Update: I was glad to be interviewed on this topic. See the Q&A
Have you heard of Dylan? How about Caine?
A persistent and creative 6-year-old, Dylan wrote a book called Chocolate Bar to raise money to help fight his buddy’s rare liver disease.
Amount raised: An astonishing $1.3 million, all of which goes directly to a research institution.
My first two thoughts:
1) What an amazing kid!
2) Who is his Nirvan?
Nirvan, as you may recall, is the film maker who walked into an auto parts shop in East Los Angeles to buy a door handle and met, before he even knew it, his next film project — an imaginative kid named Caine who had created his own magical arcade out of cardboard boxes. Nirvan made “Caine’s Arcade,” a short film that became an Internet sensation.
Yup, it went viral.
Caine, then 9, went from having no one visit his arcade to hundreds of arcade customers on weekends. Meanwhile, Nirvan Mullick has raised $235,000 for a college scholarship for Caine and launched a nonprofit foundation to foster kids’ imaginations around the globe.
To get heard, you need a Nirvan.
That is, a marketing champion — someone (or, better yet, a team!) passionate about your cause and willing to find allies everywhere.
As a producer named Ted Hope said at South by Southwest about radical collaboration:
“You have to find a way to conspire with people you have yet to meet.”
Here’s what I learned about Dylan’s team. His mom is a professional organizer and his dad has serious marketing chops — he works at Disney.
Who is your Nirvan? Are you your own Nirvan? (Sidenote: Nirvan says he’s his own Nirvan.)