Boundary areas: House of Genius NYC

Tim Peek was a panelist at the first Manhattan session of House of Genius NYC. This was Tim’s second time appearing on a House of Genius NYC panel. Here are some of Tim’s thoughts from our May 2013 panel in Manhattan:

It’s the boundary areas where the cool stuff happens – whether it’s the rich ecosystem of marshlands, the exciting no-man’s-lands of international borders or the meeting of virtual and real businesses.

The latest (and inaugural) House of Genius Manhattan gathering focused on that virtual melting pot with three entrepreneurs who are building their business in the space where the web meets the street: Moveline, a web service that brokers the best household moving deal for consumers; Wine For the World, a business that seeks to combine wine consumers with economic development; and Brunch Critic, a site devoted to finding the perfect brunch spot.

Each faced a specific challenge around business development and each was looking to crowd-source some answers. But not from just any crowd. And that’s the genius of House of Genius. The event creates genius ideas not by bringing together geniuses (though there were many in the room that night) but by gathering a diverse group of real-world practitioners, keeping everything except their first names secret, and then giving them a tight deadline to take their best shot at the problem.

That’s the secret sauce: smart people, interesting problems, no titles or resumes to obscure good thinking and a tight time limit to prevent bloviating.

On this evening, the panel came up with ways for Moveline to identify and attract corporate HR departments to lower their relocation costs and improve quality for employees; tactics for telling Wine For the World’s story in a way that attracts funding; and market differentiation and conversion techniques for Brunch Critic to reach those who really care about French toast with Mimosas.

Usable ideas, energizing discussion, diverse experience – what’s not to like?

About Tim Peek
Tim Peek is the executive producer for NBC NextMedia, an in-house creative services group at NBC Universal that produces narrative-based advertising for clients. Before that, Peek worked as a producer and executive at NBC News and then led a transformation initiative to re-define video news production for broadcasters in the digital age. Peek is an avid long-distance runner, back-country skier, mountain biker and the winner of numerous awards for his investigative and news coverage at NBC and elsewhere.

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