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Want to be one of the first to read The Passion Conversation?

Our second book, The Passion Conversation will hit bookshelves in just eight short weeks.

Yup. Septmember 3rd to be exact!

The Passion Conversation is rooted in the belief that it is absolutely possible (you might even say absolutely critical) to fall madly and passionately in love with the people you serve. And for them to fall in love with you. And yes, for you to become famous and grow your business because of that love.

Our new book is full of real stories of real people and organizations whose lives have been forever connected… and forever changed.

We have come to believe at Brains on Fire that we’re not in the marketing business any more.

Nope.

We’re in the business of helping our clients create lasting, meaningful and real connections with the people they serve.

We are in the PEOPLE business now.

So this is not a book about twitter friends or facebook likes or pinterest strategies. Just like our first book, Brains on Fire, this book is about people.

Incredible people like Tameria, Dave, Pam, Sean, Colin, Josh and Marcus. Just for starters.

We seriously CANNOT wait for you to meet them.

We’ve also studied, compiled and shared some smart academic research about WHY people talk. It’s really good stuff that anyone interested in sparking conversations and igniting community needs to embrace and understand.

This next book will also go a bit deeper by giving you ways to bring the lessons you’ll learn to your own businesses and organizations with 12 Exercises called Passion Explorations.

Three years ago we shared the first preview copies of Brains on Firewith you on this blog.

So we decided to do that again with this book.

We have 10 “not quite final, semi proofed collectors edition” copies waiting for ten of you. Each one will be signed by all of us.

Want to get your hands on one?

Just hit comment and tell us about a brand, cause or organization you have fallen in love with, a brand that makes you feel loved and how that love has inspired you to talk and led to meaningful and lasting conversations. We’ll randomly (or thoughtfully) pick our top ten. Then (after those winners give Mary Susan their address) we’ll ship ten personalized copies off to their new owners and their new homes.

We do hope you’ll take extra good care of them. Maybe even send us photos from time to time.

So. You ready? We’re listening. And we really want to hear YOUR love stories!

TPC_Bug

  • mwedwards

    Wonderopolis definitely comes to mind! By interacting with and encouraging interactions between the families, teachers, and children who enjoy the questions and information they share, a community of learners was built. As a member of that community of learners (and/or wonderers), I have a desire to share what I have enjoyed and invite others to join the exploration journey!

    • http://brainsonfire.com/ Robbin Phillips

      You will really like this book! Wonderopolis has it’s very own chapter. Their story is an amazing one!

    • KatieScully

      Love love your connection, Melissa! You have inspired so many others, educators, neighbors, friends, to Wonder with you and on their own, too. Love it!

  • http://7son75.com 7son75

    I’m going to go against the grain a bit and say Microsoft. As an exclusively Mac guy, this might seem odd. But for years, I’ve had excellent experience after excellent experience. And it hasn’t been dependent upon one platform or another. I’ve reached out to them on Twitter and received prompt, courteous service. The same applies to email, phone calls, and in-person interactions.

    I’ve called in and have been treated respectfully every time. Not only that, but their employees have been friendly, personable, and downright funny at times. I wound up on a 40 minute call to resolve my son’s hacked XBOX Live account. My problem was resolved within 20 minutes. The rest of that time was spent exchanging stories about identity theft and online security. The call was only terminated when she politely asked if it would be OK for her to move onto the next call in her queue.

    I attended a launch event for an Office product a few years ago. In the days following the event, I received a phone call from a Microsoft team member. He made zero attempts to sell me anything. We just chatted about the strengths and weaknesses of the updated platform. It was a conversation. Yes, a conversation! He wasn’t waiting for his turn to talk or trying to blow smoke up my rear. It was such a refreshing change of pace.

    I’ve also dealt with Microsoft adCenter (now BingAds) in the past. Their support team was incredible. When there was a gray area on how a competitor was phrasing ad copy on keywords that included our client’s trademarked name, they were gracious enough to stay on a conference call with our attorney for an hour to reach an optimal solution.

    For the record, I’ve never received a penny from Microsoft. They’re not a client nor do I personally know anyone employed by them. And we all make jokes around the office about what a nightmare Internet Explorer can be. But at the end of the day, their culture and their people have been such a pleasure to work with that I’ll always root for them. Even if I never own another Windows machine again.

    • http://brainsonfire.com/ Robbin Phillips

      I know they have made a lot of cultural changes in how they have conversations with their customers. Must be working!

  • Autumn McReynolds

    Honestly, while it might seem cliche, I think HootSuite is a wonderful example of an organization that loves their community (and shows it)! Not only are they uber helpful and provide a ton of resources for both their free and paid customers, they offer a service that is extremely useful and never try to pull one over from a pricing perspective.

    Additionally, they take their social presence offline and meet their current and prospective community members in person to really drive home the relationship.

    And finally, as a point of good measure, they make it really, REALLY easy to be a brand advocate. From their Owly masquerade masks to their attention to detail (recently sent me a post card with some swag and included a message about my running hobby – and I only know them from Twitter!), they have really inspired me to promote them and never leave for another platform.

    • KatieScully

      So pumped you shared, Autumn! As a community manager myself, I love that you recognize how organization helps keep you sane and productive at work. Love that they go beyond the “paid” resources, too. Effort sometimes means more to me than anything else.

      Sounds like you are totally rockin’ the HootSuite love- rock on, friend!

      • Autumn McReynolds

        **And I should note that after having used them for a couple of years, I applied this spring to be part of their pilot community manager advisory council to give feedback on products or services, which has been a great experience! I did want to make it clear that I’m not paid by them/working for them and was already a paying community member before joining the advisory board.

        • KatieScully

          Love that you are truly a part of making the community better, Autumn, and your disclosure: fully noted :-)

  • I am swag.Hate that?

    BMW. Every interaction I’ve had with their products, experiences, and staff has always cemented my belief that you get what you pay for. From the humble(sortakinda) mini coopers to the thunderous M series big iron rides that I’ve driven, everything inthe fleet is confidence inspiring, bulletproof, and elegant. And the driving school? Mecca.

    I think their commitment to excellence carries over to sales. Our teenager has car fever. And there’s only one nameplate in the running. BMW. Period.

    • Shannon Kohn

      Thanks for sharing this, K-Pop! As you know, my wonderful husband got to experience that mecca of a driving school, and he STILL talks about it…two years later!

    • http://brainsonfire.com/ Robbin Phillips

      Well, you know how I feel about this one!

      • I am swag.Hate that?

        I may or may not have stole the ‘Mecca’ thing from you, Robbin. Among other things. Don’t Judge, i yam what i yam. #incorrigable

    • Sean Madden

      Sean, aka BOF Senior Designer, chiming in…. Totally agree, Mr. Swag. Coincidentally we have some big projects in the works for the BMW Performance Center! It’s been awesome to help mesh BOF’s unique approach with such a respected brand. I have dreams about the M badge too, but for totally different reasons. :) We’ll be sure share the final product later this year!

    • http://about.me/TVAmyWood amywood

      Agree… completely.. can’t think of any THING I own that I LOVE like my beamer – and from the interactive app in my car to the wonderful people I meet at all levels of real life interaction – you can tell THEY love BMW too :)

  • dipankar Subba

    I love how simple yet profound Blake Mycoskie’s vision with TOMS is. Even though I’m not crazy about the design I find myself ordering them though I live in Singapore. Its truly a brand that is close to my heart.

    • Megan

      This is Megan Byrd from BOF, and although I’ve never ordered a pair of TOMS yet, I also like their vision. You’ve inspired me to check them out today! Thanks.

      • http://about.me/TVAmyWood amywood

        I was going to write about TOMS too, as a brand that I fell in love with – but have not stayed in love with because of the meaningful and lasting conversations that the original brand passion birthed! At an idea conference I Iearned TOMS is actually damaging third world economies where they operate, taking away jobs from people there who could have made shoes. Instead of handing out shoes, the idea conference “experts” suggested TOMS should open factories in those countries and create jobs making the shoes that they later give away.

        • KatieScully

          Love that a business idea started a movement, and others are taking strategic steps to make it even better. Thanks so much for sharing, Amy. I had no idea about that other layer of business and consequences.

  • disqus_vgVYci93vM

    The love and branding connection makes my stomach grumble.

    Local food serves up the most passion for me, so one our most talented and service-oriented farmers shows the love every time I see him or his brand.

    His farm isn’t the biggest; but he is always the first to greet you in front of his tent at a farmers’ market, the first to volunteer to teach innovative practices to a group, and certainly ready to help build the growing local food sector.

    Daniel Parsons is the brand at Parson’s Produce. Good food, good mentor, great for the Upstate!

    • Shannon Kohn

      Love this story! It’s music to my food-lovin’, community-buildin’ ears Thank you for sharing, and please say hello from the whole BOF crew the next time you see Daniel!

      • disqus_vgVYci93vM

        Will do, Shannon! And to think that Daniel represents so many awesome farmers in the area tingles my palate and my mind! I often ask what more can we do to help them be successful!?

  • Erling Amundson

    Trailer Life is a great brand for RV camping. The community they establish with their forums provides value and engagement for the camping community. It is my number one recommended place for any new RV camper to get started.

    • http://brainsonfire.com/ Robbin Phillips

      I love communities that welcome newbies! Thanks for sharing.

  • huebnerc

    I am going to plug a local business. In Columbia, SC there is a coffee shop called Drip Coffee. It is just a few stores down from a Starbucks. This has been the only coffee shop that has survived in the area (other than Starbucks) that I can remember. Their staff has a remarkable ability to make every interaction with customers personal. They brew each cup of coffee separately and are very engaging while you wait for your personal cup of coffee.

    I was doing school work on the morning of the fourth and it was obvious that the employees had a hard time with being at work on a holiday (this was at 6am). Instead of complaining, they made a menu that had personalized drink names for many of their regulars. I witnessed one these regulars come in, realize there was a drink with his name on it and happily proclaimed he would order the drink. It was a very inspiring moment and one that showed the shop was truely invested in what it did.

    • Shannon Kohn

      That sounds like quite an amazing place to grab a cup of joe, huebnerc! It’s so cool to hear about businesses that take that extra step to include and elevate their customers. Thank you for sharing!

      • huebnerc

        It really is! They have even broken me of my Starbucks allegiance- and I am Gold Card member!

        • KatieScully

          That is QUITE a feat, friend!

    • Megan

      This is Megan Byrd from BOF and I just wanted to tell you how much I liked your “love story” example. Next time I’m in Columbia, I’ll visit Drip Coffee! Thank you for sharing!

  • Drew

    As soon as you said “fall in love with” I thought of a local charity here called AWOL (All Walks of Life). They’re an arts-based after school program for at risk youth that uses poetry, hip-hop, IT, dance and theater to transform the lives of kids who were destined for the “social landfill”.
    My firm met the co-founders, a husband and wife team, 3 years ago and immediately fell in love with their passion for what they do and the kids they serve. With very little funds or man-power they personally advocate for the kids in court, bail them out of prison, give them money for school lunch, essentially adopt sometimes hundreds of kids each semester.
    But it all pays off when you see that child who society had written off, graduate from college or get a high-skilled job directly as a result of the training and mentoring they received at AWOL.

    • genoc

      Drew, thanks for sharing… advocacy at a one-on-one level is what it’s all about!

  • Kristin Van Dorn

    The brand I am in LOVE with is Women Rock MN (http://www.womenrockmn.org/). They are truly in love with what they do and who they serve, building a community of health conscious and empowered women! Their events are fun, their social media is clever and engaging, and their supporters are all superstars. They post a lot of motivational content, and they offer create contests and incentives over Facebook. It reminds me and helps to motivate me to run – a miracle in and of itself. And, they make running feel BIGGER, like I am apart of something.

    • KatieScully

      That sounds like loads of fun, Kristin! Love that you are so inclined to share their message, and you are a part of what makes them awesome!

  • http://www.ricardobueno.com/ Ricardo Bueno

    There’s a coffee shop in Glendale, CA where I grew up. It’s called Urartu Coffee and they serve the best Armenian coffee ever. But I don’t go there for just the coffee, I go there for the owners and the atmosphere they create. Always smiling, always friendly, always welcoming and they always take such good care of you.

    They make you feel at home, whether you’re by yourself or with friends.

    So now, whenever I visit home, I try to stop there for some coffee, or heck, even just to say hi. I’ve shared plenty of coffees and plenty of great conversations with the owners there. They’re a small mom and pop store that I’ve come to love. It’s not just coffee, it’s an experience. And I happen to think that sort of thing is rare these days.

    • KatieScully

      “I don’t just go their for the coffee, I go there for the owners and atmosphere” – if that doesn’t speak volumes, I don’t know what does, Ricardo. Love that the people make it, and the product is awesome, too. Sounds delish!

  • Jamie Wallace

    I hate to be cliche, but I have to go with my local coffee shop hangout: Zumi’s.

    It’s not just because I’m a writer, so a coffee shop is my natural habitat (even though – gasp! – I don’t drink coffee). It’s because the people at this little shop go out of their way to make customers feel welcome. I can spend five hours there – tapping away at my keyboard, nursing a single chai latte – and when I get up to leave, the owner will call out, “Jamie! Where’re you going? Don’t leave!”

    That’s love.
    I bring my daughter there for ice cream. I meet friends there to catch up. I invite new clients there for first meetings. And I always tell random strangers (we get a lot of tourists in the summer) to head down to Zumi’s for a little something-something and a smile.

    I love Zumi’s because they are not *just* a coffee shop. They are a cultural and community destination. They host poetry readings, Shakespeare performances, art shows, musicians, and presentations on everything from someone’s trip to Tibet to the evils of human trafficking to the dangers of global warming or the importance of recycling.

    Zumi’s – this small and unassuming coffee shop – makes me like my whole town more. I get to meet people who would otherwise go “unmet.” (The owner is famous for making impromptu introductions … “Jamie – yes, this is Mark. You and he should talk. You both…”) Being at Zumi’s makes me more creative – the energy is wonderful. Being at Zumi’s makes me like humanity a little more as I sit and watch all the happy faces going by, smiling, meeting, talking.

    This is a brand that inspired me to send a huge (and anonymous) Valentine. The shop’s anniversary is February 14th. A few years ago, I collected well wishes & love notes from regular patrons and put them together on a huge poster board Valentine that I left on the front door in the still-dark hours of early morning. It felt so good to be able to say thank you … just one more reason I love Zumi’s – the sense of gratitude it embodies. So much to be thankful for. :)

    • http://www.stringshot.com natespain

      Dang. I want to go to Zumi’s now. I love how the owner makes “impromptu introductions”. What a fantastic idea and place!

      • Jamie Wallace

        It IS pretty cool. Talk about walkin’ the walk. He’s not just creating a welcoming atmosphere, he’s actually playing host and matchmaker. He LIVES his brand! :)

        • http://www.stringshot.com natespain

          That’s awesome. It sounds like he loves what he does – that always makes a difference.

          • Jamie Wallace

            It sure does. This is not a contrived brand. This is a brand that sprang from the heart and just “is what it is.” Because of his authentic approach, the people who work for him – many of them young kids – are learning hugely important lessons about how to treat people, provide service, and be part of something bigger than themselves.
            I’d love to see all the ripples that are spreading out into the world because of this one little corner of my tiny, New England town. :)

  • Robbie

    Brooks Running, as a member of the running community I love what they have done to inspire and motivate people. Their concept of “Run Happy” really does give a great backdrop for what Brooks as a brand stands for in the way that they encourage people to enjoy the experience of running and to share that experience with others. In addition they create unique experiences for members of the Brooks community by creating and supporting different local and regional events, which give those members a place to meet and share their passion for running.

    Also as a nationally distributed company it has been really cool to see how they create advocates to engage on a local level with their Brooks ID (Inspire Daily) program, active members of the program are charged with the task of inspiring others to pursue their passion for running. Brooks essentially creates advocates for running and a healthy lifestyle who are also extremely passionate about the Brooks brand.

    • KatieScully

      Robbie, I’m a huge Brooks fan, too! And I became one because other people I trust wore their shoes and never looked back. I’m not even a runner and I love them! Thanks for sharing- it is so cool to learn about their community and their brand. They are conveniently located around the nation but don’t feel like a huge company.

  • Hannah A.

    As a long-ago BOFer, I’m now working for the U-M Health System’s fundraising world, as a part of a massive re-org and re-branding to make the entire system the “Charity of Choice” for the state of Michigan. Working with all the avenues – from neuro, to pediatrics, to congenital heart, to partnerships with bioengineers…it’s all fascinating and easy (for me) to jump on board.

    Internally, it’s more of a struggle. Sadly, so many of my co-workers see this as a run-of-the-mill employer and just somewhere to punch a timecard. I would LOVE to find ways to create dialogue and engage my co-workers in saving the world through the Health System and all the magnificent pieces of it we fundraise for, including the grateful patients and families!

    I’m currently gathering a slew of innovative strides in medicine fostered by partnerships across campus. One of the (I think) coolest, is a 3-D printed tracheal support for infants with collapsed, separated, or non-existent tracheas. It’s a tiny implant that encourages skin growth around it (or strengthens what does exist) and dissolves over time. It was a project too small for for-profit companies to fund and has been fully philanthropically-supported…and actually gives life to infants that would otherwise have passed within minutes. How can you *NOT* fall in love with ideas like this?! (Read more here: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2013/05/doctors-use-a-dissolvable-3d-printed-tracheal-splint-to-save-a-babys-life/)

    • KatieScully

      Love hearing about the totally rockin’ and innovative things happening at U-M Health System, Hannah. Hello from the Firesphere! Once a BOF-er, always a BOF-er… what an impact your team is making on the world.

  • JohnFrost

    I’m going to cheat a bit and go with the company that I consider the originators of much of the passion conversation movement – The Walt Disney Company. I’ve been in love with their product for as long as I can remember, I’ve been writing about them online since the early days of the internet, and writing The Disney Blog since 2004.

    The Mickey Mouse Club, which had its start as a fan club in the late 1920s required fans to show they love by writing in for a free membership cards. Those cards were cherished items shown between friends, but also access to the merchandise Juggernaut that the Disney Cartoons had become.

    In the 70s and 80s the Walt Disney Company became known for another form of devotion to its fans – excellence in customer service. Having Disneyland on your resume was proof that you knew the value of building a relationship with a customer.

    The tradition continues today in the mouse house’s theme parks and online with D23, the modern equivalent of the original Mickey Mouse Club. They have perfected the craft of storytelling (and acquired companies with similar blood in their veins – Pixar) to build affinity with fans. Disney CEO Bob Iger knows they’re in the people business as success is ultimately measured in how strong of a relationship they’ve built with their audience and if they’ll share their magical experience with their friends and how soon they’re planning to visit the magic again.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share my passion and to be one of the first to read The Passion Conversation!

    • genoc

      John, preach it brother…as you know we both share a passion for Disney. Thanks for the comment and also for taking the time to grant me an interview during the research process of our new book.

  • Becca Obergefell

    I fell in love with the Girls On the Run organization started by Molly Barker 3 years ago. Molly spoke at a diversity leadership conference for college students about her organization and I’ve been following it ever since. After (literally) away from her issues with alcohol and self-esteem she re channeled her energies to create an after school program for young girls that uses running to teach strength, endurance, self-love, and confidence. I ran my first GOTR 5k this year and was blown away by all of the pink tutus and sparkly headbands running along side of me, smiling and strong.

    What started as an escape from her own issues has spread to a nationwide program that is changing thousands of little girl’s lives. I am constantly inspired by Molly, by these girls, and by the adults who volunteer as coaches and running buddies for the program – so much that I’m planning to volunteer my own afternoons to run with the girls this fall.

    • Shannon Kohn

      As the mom of a teenage girl, I think this ROCKS, Becca! Thank you for sharing your inspiration and for writing your own chapter in the Girls On the Run love story!

  • joshcarlton

    I have fallen in love with the non-profit, International Justice Mission (IJM). IJM introduced me to the idea of providing judicial system support/protection to those who desperately need it, especially in the developing world. They give a voice to the voiceless.

    IJM battles really heavy topics every single day – sex trafficking (often of minors) and slavery. When you think about the massive scale of these problems (27MM+ people enslaved worldwide) it’s easy to want to just tune it out. Yet IJM attacks this problem with such persistent energy, it has made me pay attention and want to talk about their mission with others. I’m on their email list, and have loved getting updates of major rescue operations they’ve led — where over 200 slaves were rescued from brick factories in India, dozens of young girls were freed from the sex trade in the Philippines, and many other stories.

    They are a fairly young organization – founded in 1997 – and are already having a major impact on helping the powerless.

    • genoc

      Josh, thanks so much for sharing your passion for IJM.

      We’ve been very fortunate to partner with Love 146 in the fight to abolish slavery/trafficking…

      Our challenge is to take shouts and turn them into a collective action… head nod to Rob Morris :-)

      And what you have shared is doing just that… having a passion for a group like IJM and it’s mission comes to life through our personal actions and our voice that we use everyday.

  • amberpagewrites

    ModCloth. They are an online retailer that sells lots of girly, semi-retro clothes. And the dresses! Oh, the dresses.

    I am a woman who has always loved classic, girly dresses, but it’s hard to find places in the real world that sell the kind of clothes I’m interested in…unless they’re doing it ironically.

    But ModCloth gets it. They understand their customers, and how important clothes are to them. They understand our mindset, and so they design an “experience” that appeals.

    They’ve created a community through their blog, through the reviews that people post about the clothing, and through their customer-driven Style Gallery.

    I have waxed poetically about them on my blog several times, and made lots of my IRL friends ModCloth converts. I’m not an official ambassador…but I may as well be.

    • Brandy

      I LOVE Modcloth!! Completely understand your passion for this company. If only I was a millionaire, I’d hire them to dress me forever! Thanks for sharing Amber!

      • KatieScully

        Brandy, you told me about Modcloth! Talk about sharing love stories…

    • Moe Megan

      Oh, the dresses is RIGHT! Glad to hear you’re a ModCloth fan- me too! I especially love their “Be the Buyer” feature, where they let their community vote on items to add to their future inventory. Great stuff! Have a rockin’ week sporting some ModCloth girl – and thanks for sharing your passion!

  • http://www.CommunitiesDNAblog.com Rolando Peralta

    Wonderful News! Congratulations!! (It’s already on my shopping cart)

    I have to mention this cause with my church. It would be a cliché but it’s quite special for me.

    Every other night, there are dozens of people who cook and gather clothes for homeless people in my country, El Salvador. Because our church (www.tabernaculo.net) has local branches in almost every city, it’s quite possible to count maybe more than 2,000 people who go out to the streets at night, talk about God, salvation and share a couple of words with men, women and kids, as well as a cup of hot chocolate (a local hot drink made from natural cocoa) and something to eat (from a home made sandwich to a little bit more elaborate dinners). This is why it’s called: “Pan y Chocolate” (Bread & Chocolate).

    We love it because it has become part of the life of every member.

    Cheers!!

    • Brandy

      Love this…so simple and honest. Thanks for sharing Rolando!

    • http://brainsonfire.com/ Robbin Phillips

      And thanks for preordering the book!

  • Sara McGee

    Congratulations on your new book!

    As for a brand that I love, I think that nothing compares to Clemson University. I’ll admit a slight bias because I graduated from there, but they made me love it more and more as an alumna.

    From birthday emails to Clemson World Magazine to local alumni events, Clemson’s strong and loving brand reminds me that my time and money I spent during undergraduate was a lifelong and worthwhile investment– much longer than the four years I spent there.

    There is truly something about having that orange blood in you that makes you want to talk about Clemson to others and help them feel that same love and sense of family that Clemson makes you feel as a fan, student, and/or alumni .

    • Emily Everhart

      Hey Sara! I’m an AE here at BOF. Thanks so much for the share – your comment made me smile as a fellow CU Alum! It’s a great example. I’ve never experienced something so powerful as a game in Death Valley…where 80,000 people so strongly want the EXACT same thing you do! It’s electric!

  • Rick Harris

    I’d have to say Mill Village Farms (MVF) in Greenville. It started with a plot of land donated by a church. Now they’ve grown to three farms in three different low-income neighborhoods. Teens from the neighborhood can join MVF and learn entrpreneurship and help provide fresh vegetables to their neighborhood.

    It’s sort of blown up lately; they have partnered with a new business in town (Tupelo Honey Cafe) and a nonprofit (Loaves and Fishes) to create a mobile produce market for food “deserts” in Greenville.

    I really like it because it’s a fresh take on community development, and the community has responded. Churches, banks, businesses, nonprofits and local gov’t are on board. I’m excited for what’s next.

    • Brandy

      I had no idea Rick! Great story and thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.stringshot.com natespain

      Hey Rick! I was lucky enough to stumble across a video about Mill Village Farms the other day when we were looking to go to Tupelo Honey for dinner. What an inspiring story they have! I think it’s really interesting that entrepreneurship is one of their core values, and am really interested to see them grow in the future. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kathleen Scott

    I’m an Amazon woman. Not the giant kind. The kind that can get a new mattress delivered right to her door in 36 hours. For FREE with Amazon Prime. I’m no fool. I know they’re getting their money somehow. I just can’t figure out how. $75 a year can’t possibly cover the books, gifts, appliance parts, ice trays, lemon tree (seriously), light bulbs, tires (for the tractor I’ll concede) and goodness knows what else that has arrived on my doorstep faster then I could possibly make time to get to the store. The convenience is unparalleled, the customer service unflappable (sure you can return an open bag of dog food), the options unlimited. I don’t think it will ever replace a day of shopping with the girls but Amazon definitely has my heart.

    • Emily Everhart

      Hey Kathleen! BOF AE here. I’m so glad you commented – I’ve really been toying with the idea of Amazon Prime and this helped! (We buy 35lbs of dog food every 10 days, so bulk is the way to go!) Online shopping can only be awesome when the customer service consistently goes above and beyond. Thanks for the share :)

    • Moe Megan

      This is SO great to hear! I signed up for a free month long trial of Prime and FORGOT to cancel it (convenient, right?!) I haven’t taken full advantage of it yet, but you’ve convinced me to look into it further! I mean, sheesh — I want a lemon tree!!! Thanks for sharing your passion! I see maaaaajor Prime surfing in my future.

  • 39monkeys

    I have fallen for Tesla motors!!. Elon Musk their fearless leader, starts Paypal, wins a billion dollar contract to supply NASA with rockets to aid a failing space program, develops from ground up a viable electric car, creates a direct to consumer sales platform to make the cars more affordable (with their own financing) and has committed to blanketing the country in the next few years with charging stations (most of them solar powered). I blog about them, I plug them on facebook to my friends, I sign petitions to support them.

    • Shannon Kohn

      Definitely a cool story, 39monkeys! We were behind a Tesla on one of our local back country roads a few weeks ago. First one I have seen here in Greenville, so it was a neat experience to share with my kids. My cute little VW bug had a hard time keeping up! :-)

  • Scott Anderson

    I have to say that TED and the TED Talks have inspired me and sparked more great conversations for me than anything else in a long time. From Steve Jobs’ commencement address at Stanford to Sarah Kay’s presentation of “B”, there is a fabulous universe of knowledge and inspiration to be explored there. As a writer, orator and storyteller, it is a life dream of mine to one day stand on that stage and deliver a TED Talk.

    And I have to say, at the risk of sounding corny, that your team at Brains on Fire inspires me on a regular basis. I discovered you through your blog, and I smile every time I see a new BOF post in my news reader feed. I love the united voice that comes through in everyone who writes on the blog. I believe it comes from a shared and infectious passion for what you are doing. If I every get another chance to revisit my childhood home in Greer, S.C., I would love to stop in Greenville and meet you guys.

    • Shannon Kohn

      Inspiration is a circular experience for sure, Scott! I am inspired every day by our amazing clients, by our clients’ amazing clients, by the cool people I get to work with and learn from, and by amazing kindred spirits like YOU!

      When my creative, social soul needs a pick me up, I know there is a TED talk for what’s ailing me! Thank you for sharing your love story with us!

      • Shannon Kohn

        By the way…we hope you get to visit Greer again some day soon…The Firesphere is waiting to welcome you!

  • Jessica McMullen

    I’m currently in love with the vlog brothers, John and Hank Green. They have several wonderful you tube channels, started a nonprofit and really a movement called Nerdfighteria. I’ve contemplated writing to BoF and making sure you knew about them. It’s blog post came at the perfect time. I’d love to hear what you think of them!

    • KatieScully

      Can’t wait to check them out, Jessica, and thanks for sharing– glad you wrote to us!

  • http://brainsonfire.com/ Robbin Phillips

    Thanks to Michael Johnson from Portland for sending us a brighter version of the photo above. I love it when people help us out like that!

  • Leola Garrett Gossett

    Okay, Is anyone willing to admit that they have a “Can’t live without – ‘go-to’ t-shirt?” TS Designs, located in Burlington, North Carolina (www.tsdesigns.com) creates and sells “waterbased ink” tees that are softer than any article of clothing you will ever wear again! Oh yeah! If the t-shirts aren’t enough, they support the concept of B Corporations which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Since 1977, they’ve focused on keeping jobs at home in North Carolina with their “Cotton of the Carolinas” business model featuring three key components: people, planet, and profit which drives everything they do!
    Their calling is “We want to create a better company – one that looks after people, planet, and profit.” I love that! In addition, their “Dirt to Shirt” vision is just that – every tee-shirt is made from North Carolina cotton and their focus is environmental and social responsibility. Their motto is “Printing T-Shirts for Good.” Sustainability. Quality. Price. What’s not to love? And, oh, by the way, I love Brains on Fire … .

  • Adam Chandler

    It is proof positive how needed BOF that it took a good amount of pondering to consider a brand that I find myself eager to talk about. Apple comes to mind because of the great service they have offered me over the years among other reasons but that love affair seems to coming to an end for many reasons.

    So if I throw the apple out there is only one company I love telling people about, Quicktrip. My first experience with this gas station and convenience store was in Atlanta well over a decade ago. After one stop into Quicktrip I was an apostle, exclaiming the virtues of spotless facilities, competent polite employees and the joy of not dreading a stop at the gas station to anyone I would hear complaining about the horror stories at local gas stations.

    Being in the business of commercial real estate I was aware that an agreement was in place between Quicktrip and a local gas station chain that QT would never locate in the upstate of SC as long as this other unnamed gas station chain did not locate into any market that QT was already located in. Fortunately for us the local chain either forgot about that agreement or just decided that they did not care and tried to locate a store in a QT market.

    I have never seen a chain or brand come into a market that was not offering a new service or product and completely take over a market. A combination of great real estate and construction execution that is followed up by a consistency of quality in every aspect of a business has left every other service station playing a out of tune second fiddle.

    It is not as if I am the only one singing QT’s praises. I hear comments like; “Have you tried the pastries? They are better than Dunkin Donuts” or “I never thought I would eat gas station food and not feel ashamed but everything there is fresher than most restaurants” or “I want to hire everyone that works their to run my office.”

    It is the same thing we have been getting for years at any major service station but QT is a testament to how good the mundane can be. Nothing is less complicated than water, but there is water you will drink if you have too and then there is water you actually want to drink.

    QT is a testament to professional people doing things right, doing it consistently and how it makes all the difference.

  • Hugh Weber

    I know I’m a bit late, but I can’t not mention the companies that I love!

    I am over the top in love with (and feel loved by) two design-oriented companies: Best Made Co. & Draplin Design Co (DDC).

    Both of these companies have elevated the transaction to a relationship.

    When I open the box from Best Made Co, everything is meticulous and feels like it was put together by a lonely but kindhearted lumberjack. From the craft paper wrapping to the bed of recycled packing material, I feel loved. Despite only purchasing notebooks recently (less than $20 compared to most products in the hundreds of $), they took the time to write a note quoting a recent tweet of mine. Since learning of the company, I’ve actually brought the Founder of the organization from Brooklyn to South Dakota to talk about how much he cares about each and every item that leaves his shop. Amazing!

    When I open the box from Draplin Design Co, I feel like a close friend has poured his heart into each and every item in the mix. The package ALWAYS contains more than what I ordered. Some little set of stickers, a button, or a comb (for this bald guy), I know the DDC crew has been searching around their piles for something special just for me. I always feel like I got more than I paid for and I owe a little debt of gratitude that I hope I’ll have the opportunity to repay. In much the same way as Best Made Co, I’ve since reached out to the Founder of DDC and brought him (and later his wonderful ladyfriend!) to the Dakotas to share his passion for design and product. The relationship has gone so far that he and I working on a special, little (top secret! shhh!) side project together. Now, that’s a deep customer-company relationship.

    Finally, I would be remiss in not mentioning that I adore BOF. I have search the country for an organization that excites me more and come up empty handed. What an incredible creative organization, but even better, what amazing people!

  • Danny Fourneir

    I grew up in Saskatchewan and while in university a small pizza chain became really popular amongst the university students called Vern’s Pizza. Two things made Verns pizza awesome. The slices were thick, and when I say thick I mean think of the thickest piece of pizza you have ever eaten and then double it.
    The second thing was you could order the pizzas as a whole or purchase them by the slice. 1-2 slices were usually enough for a meal. What made this even better was you had the option of buying it hot or for a little cheaper, you could buy a slice cold.
    Now I know this probably isn’t a stretch from many other pizza chains out there, but trust me I have searched for something similar and have yet to find anything even close. People will drag me to different pizza places, claiming they know something similar or better but to date my sole response once testing this other pizza has always been “it’s good, but it’s not Vern’s”.
    I know I’m not the only one who puts Vern’s on a pedestal above all other pizzas. In fact, on the rare occasion where I’ve been able to take someone and introduce them to a Vern’s they are quickly converted and can be heard muttering the same thing I do when eating other pizza “it’s good, but it’s not Vern’s”.
    Could my love of Vern’s Pizza be just a way of being nostalgic about my university days? Could the strong desire for the pizza come from the lack of Vern’s location where I’m living now? Possibly…but in the end. Pizza is pizza, but Vern’s is Vern’s.