New video: JAPAN

What I’m up to—meet “People & Company”

July 5th, 2017

Bailey, Kevin and Kai standing on a bridge

Kevin, Bailey, and Elmer of People & Company

Here’s the most important thing I’ve learned from my work:

If you give humans the right sandbox to play in, they can make things they didn’t know they were capable of.

A careful combination of resources and constraints can empower a community to leave a remarkable impact on the world. This idea of building sandboxes—enabling passionate people—is both the work I love and what I’m good at.

Hence last fall, with Bailey and Kai, I started People & Company: a community design practice.


Who are and how did I meet my partners?

Kevin, Bailey and Kai

Me with Bailey and Kai shortly after I almost died during hot yoga. All photos by Kai.

I met Bailey during her time at IDEO. Common friends demanded that we meet. She was early at Instagram and also worked with organizations like StoryCorps and Pop-Up Magazine. She’s seen first-hand how a sense of ownership can propel a rapidly growing community.

Bailey introed me to Kai who was early on Facebook’s growth team, launched Instagram’s ad business in Asia, and helped expand eBay by designing programs for sellers. He’s witnessed how loyal audiences often drive the most meaningful growth for companies.

Beyond the résumé, Bailey and Kai are good eggs, avid surfers (they’re teaching me!) and different brains on a common mission: to help others embrace the value of putting people at the center of what they do.


At People & Company, we help communities.

Pensive Kevin

Me, ready to eat post-its.

We help communities grow. We help them thrive. We help them evolve. We design programs and processes that help groups of people come together to do meaningful, ambitious things.

Our process involves listening to both what people say and what the data says they do. In summary:

We help people-centered orgs go deeper with their people.

Our clients vary in size and industry, online and offline, but they all depend on a particular group of humans. Some of our work includes:

Kai and Bailey

Kai and Bailey looking casually hip, staring into your soul.


I’d love your help!

Thanks for getting this far. If you’re keen to support my work at People & Company, here’s the low-down.

New biz: If you know an organization with a wicked challenge and a rabid community (users, fans, advocates, you name it…) we’d love to discover how we might help. Find me at We’ll all be in NYC next week (7/10-7/15)!

Research: We’ve also been conducting our own research into how people make each other better. Check out our first interviews:

Stay in the loop: For once-in-a-blue-moon announcements about new projects and resources sign up for the People & Company email list!

If you have any questions/comments/feedback/ideas or anything else to share, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thank you thank you thank you for listening,