Posts by Mark Malmberg

Mark Malmberg
Mark Malmberg

Mark is the Communications Director at The Nerdery

Core Values Week 2014 – day-by-day diaries

Here are excerpts of some of the messages and stories shared by Nerdery leadership throughout 2014 Core Values Week, starting with a Friday-before preview:

Friday, Oct 17 from Tom O’Neill, President:

My fellow Nerds – I am writing from the Inc. 5000 conference where we are being honored for the amazing growth you all have contributed to. As I packed up to leave for the airport I got a text from Mike Derheim asking to me to grab a book from his office. I didn’t recognize the book but there was an impressive list of leaders on the cover. As I skimmed the list my internal voice read “Ken Blanchard, Warren Buffet, Ira Flatow, Mike Derheim, Bill Gates… wait… what the, MIKE DERHEIM?” I quickly texted Mike back with some thoughts on how I felt about him not sharing this tiny little detail with me yet.

Always humble, Mike thought it was not important to share that he contributed to a book of essays along with some of the world’s most influential leaders. As I read his passage I went from shocked to moved pretty darn quickly. In Mike’s essay, he wrote a personal story about having faith in decisions that are grounded in core values. Now I want to share this edited-down excerpt with Mike’s permission from Marcia McMullen’s new book, “Because You Believed in Me, Vol 2; Contemporary Mentoring Stories”:

“Everyone should be so fortunate to have someone walk into their life and change it forever – someone who challenges them to see things differently. To think big but stay humble. Lucky for me I met Luke Bucklin. Luke believed in empowering people – and in our case, Nerds. He always said if you do the right thing, trust people and spread the leadership, the right things would happen. I could spend hours explaining things Luke taught me. I’ll always come back to one word, one which I believe defined Luke. That word is ‘faith.’ Echoing in my memory’s ear, I hear Luke saying things like, ‘Mike, don’t worry so much. We did the right thing.’ It took me a long time to realize what he meant and how revolutionary an idea it is to just believe – blindly, completely, totally – in your decisions and core values. I could’ve easily spent all my energy trying to figure out what the worst case scenario was, and how to avoid it. Luke dismissed the worst case immediately because he knew whatever we did was based on what we felt was right. That Luke could so gracefully navigate complex times by following relatively simple ideas – and faith – well, it gives me peace and always will.” - Mike Derheim

I love Mike’s reference to “relatively simple ideas” in his essay. Our core values are relatively simple ideas. Ultimately we all want to do the best we can to serve our customers and make this place great. We are more effective as a team when we all agree on what “the right thing” is. For us it is:

  • Integrity in All Circumstances
  • Solve Problems Pragmatically
  • Win by Empowering People
  • Be Humble
  • Constantly Push Boundaries

I am very proud of how far we have come and incredibly excited about the next few years of our journey. We have a long, tough, exhilarating road ahead – many roads, really. Audacious goals. Lots more changes. Awesome challenges. We’ll confront challenges we don’t yet know exist and may not see coming, but on we go, armed with a vision we know by heart, and guided by core values that point a true direction. I for one, have faith that we all will do our best to do the right thing. Enjoy your weekend ladies and gentlemen, more to come.

– Tom O’Neill, President

Read more

Filed under Nerdery Culture

Digital PM Summit preview w/speakers Megan Wilker and Kurt Schmidt

This podcast is a conversation about digital project management with two leaders in the field: Clockwork COO Megan Wilker and Kurt Schmidt, Director of Project Management here at The Nerdery – both invited to speak at today’s Digital PM Summit in Austin, Texas – no spoilers in this preview. Kurt also talks with Megan about the growing community-of-peers she founded called the Twin Cities Interactive Project Management Meetup.

Filed under Uncategorized

Overnight Web Challenge Founder Honored With Titans of Technology Award


This podcast was recorded just days before Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge founder Mark Hurlburt was to be honored by Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal as a Titans of Technology Award recipient in the Community Hero category.

Whether you’re a Web Challenge vet or you know very little about this 24-hour community service initiative, you’ll learn something from this podcast about the history and evolution of The Nerdery’s pro bono endeavor. Since 2008, Web Challenge volunteers have freely given more than $5 million in professional web development services to 144 nonprofits in the Twin Cities, Chicago and Kansas City.

Not (yet) included in this recording is a voiceover by James Earl Jones saying, “Mark Hurlburt. Technology Titan. Community Hero” (hopefully coming soon, budget permitting). But if I could be serious for a moment I’d say that it’s been the greatest among many pleasures of my Nerdery career to work with Mark on the Overnight Website Challenge from the humble beginnings of his idea. Congrats for this well-deserved honor.

Filed under NerdCast

The Ice Bucket Challenge Cometh

There are a number of good ways to raise money and awareness to fight ALS, but lately there’s this.

The Nerdery ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from The Nerdery on Vimeo.

I almost missed this refreshing experience. A couple hours ago – and 45 minutes before my fellow Nerds planned to pre-emptively get doused – I was working from home and just minding my own business when our friend Adam Best from Code 42 said this:

Are you talking to me?

Lou Gehrig was a great man who died of a horrible disease that we should all want to beat the living crap out of. Nerdery staff donated more than a thousand bucks today. Let’s keep this going. Who’s next?

What will Google do? A view from The Nerdery: Google I/O Extended coming June 25

Tech watchers not bound for San Francisco for Google I/O are welcome to experience Google’s annual developer conference at The Nerdery, an official Twin Cities host of Google I/O Extended.

Nerdery guests (clients, students, passersby, you?) for this free Google I/O Extended event will watch the keynote (11am-1pm, lunch served) and select portions of the Google I/O livestream on the Nerditorium’s big screen and engage with a panel of Twin Cities tech experts who’ll decode Google’s announcements.

Post-keynote, we’ll analyze Google I/O’s key takeaways, which will essentially be new marching orders for developers – and put context around what it all mean for users. Nerdery devs will present talks of their own on new Google tech, including Glass and other wearables. The Nerds who helped build Chrome Cube Lab in partnership with Google in support of their Rubik’s Cube Doodle will also give a talk.

What to expect when expecting Google I/O

Will Google release the hounds? Since they’re not in the hound business (that we know of) it’s more likely they’ll announce the release of the next Nexus phone and/or tablet, or a smartwatch or some other Android-Wear gadget that works with Google Fit, or a new version of Android, or maybe more apps for Chromecast – or all of the above. We’ll be watching/reacting. Join us? Full schedule and RSVP on our Google+ page.


Filed under Events

Hackers Using Public Data to Serve The Community at Hack for MN

HackforMNLogo3-320While we’re best known within hackathon circles for The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge, we look forward to hosting another supportable initiative: Hack for MN, coming to The Nerdery’s Bloomington HQ the weekend of June 21-22.

Organized by Open Twin Cities in partnership with MN.IT Services, and, Hack for MN’s focus is solving local issues by leveraging public data sets – so, collaborating with other problem solvers to find ways to make public data serve the public.

“Begin plotting ways to make otherwise unused data soon useful in your community”

Read more

Long-time listeners, first-time Soundset mobile App makers

Several Nerds will enjoy what’s become a traditional Memorial Day weekend at Soundset this Sunday, but for the first time there’s an app for that fine festival – and that’s because we built it for our friends at Rhymesayers. Read more

Filed under Design, Events, The UX Files

Rubik’s re-imagined on Google’s Chrome Cube Lab

To commemorate 40 years of Rubik’s Cube and support Google’s timely Doodle earlier this week celebrating Ernő Rubik’s iconic brainteaser, our Nerds worked with Google to help build Chrome Cube Lab  with the intent of letting other devs use Google’s API to re-imagine Rubik’s Cube, and play with it in all new ways. Read more

Vote: Web Challenge, People’s Choice awards

After 24-hour nerdathons benefitting 30 nonprofits in Chicago, Kansas City and the Twin Cities, public voting is  open for the People’s Choice award on The Overnight Website Challenge Facebook page, which features before/after screenshots, links to new websites and testimonials from web pros and nonprofit reps about their work and experience at The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge.

Web Challenge Awards night in Chicago comes Monday, April 28, so vote here first. Then vote for your favorite teams in KC and the Twin Cities by Wednesday, April 30. People/choosers, you may vote for one team in each region (insert rigged-Chicago election joke here). 

True Romance at the Overnight Website Challenge

You can’t make up a how-we-met story quite like the romantic Web Challenge tale of Angie Sheldon and Reed Enger – a happy couple who returned to the Web Challenge last weekend as guests of honor to relive their memories of meeting-cute three years ago at our pre-Challenge needy-meets-nerdy speed-dating mixer – and getting paired-up from thereon.