State of The Arcanum – July 2015


                                                                                                                                                               Image by Stuart Davidson

Happy Birthday to The Arcanum!

On June 24th 2014, The Arcanum was officially “Outta Beta” and off to the races! About a year later, it’s a perfect time for a little reflection and a sneak peak at where we are headed.

Reflection and Insights

Trey Ratcliff, Curtis Simmons and I (Peter Giordano) started The Arcanum because we believed that for learning new skills like Photography, we learn best by doing and working with others. The idea was simple – connect a Mentor and a Protégé, a Master and Apprentice, and let them work together to level up their skills. One year later we’re awestruck at how great it’s working (and how much more there is to do!).

But it’s working because of different reasons than we originally thought:

  • Community is Key. We believed that the main value of The Arcanum would be a 1×1 relationship. Yes – there is a lot of value in that. But it turns out that sharing a passion is incredibly poweful in terms of motivation. The Community aspect of The Arcanum is the big “Ah Ha!” for us!
  • Masters as Community Leaders. We learned that the best Masters focus on the health of their whole Community as much as each individual’s unique path.  For the best Masters, being a great artist and educator are “table stakes”.  The best Masters are also world-class coaches and community leaders.  Masters tell us that being a Master in The Arcanum is a wonderfully enriching experience – it fuels their own passion to improve and teach their craft!
  • Build a Movement. Finally we learned that in order to achieve our mission of unlocking the “Creative Awesome” in every individual. We had to build something greater than the sum of its parts. More than an organization or company. We had to build a movement. This only happens with you – each member of The Arcanum Community – one by one.

Fearless and Forward

As of this newsletter there are 50 Masters leading Communities with more than 900 Apprentices from 44 countries. We are honored and inspired by the hundreds of stories from Apprentices moving from their “comfort zone” to “creative awesome”. I love this wonderful video montage created by Master Stephan Bollinger – it features Apprentices within his Cohort expressing the impact of The Arcanum on their lives. There are more stories here

But we have more work to do.

We see a world with MILLIONS of members in The Arcanum – a world-wide community of people that learn, work, create and share together in a culture of respect, humility and vulnerability. In order to accomplish that vision we must continue to deliver on our promise of providing the most personal, effective and fun learning experience in the world.

We can’t do it all at once. It will take several steps. So here are a few of the steps we will take the rest of this year:

  • Personal Journal. We’re adding new capabilities for Apprentices to track their personal path within The Arcanum. Think of it as a journal that captures your Goals, Level Assignments, Progress, and Portfolio.
  • Sphere Builder. We’re adding new features that make it easier for Masters to create, manage and share Cohorts, Spheres, Levels, and Challenges.
  • Community++. We want to do more, WAY MORE with the Community! Photowalks, Meet Up, and Creation Wars – Oh My!

Photo Walks & Meet Ups. If you live in the United States – definitely sign up for on of the Bus Tour Photo Walks. I see this USA event as a way to kick-off a “world wide wave” of photo walks for The Arcanum.

Hangouts & Shows. Ollie and Stu continue to transform the weekly Creation Wars into a full blown Info-edutainment-bonanza — bringing on new guests speakers, debates (Camera Wars!), and of course Creation Wars episodes.

In Anything Worth Doing, it Takes a Team to Win.

“Ideas are easy. Execution is everything. And in anything worth doing, It takes a team to win.” — John Doerr

To accomplish our mission and deliver on our promise – it takes a great team. Trey, Curtis and I are delighted to work with a team of folks that have high integrity, a fierce passion for our mission and vision, and unwavering desire to create the best learning experience in the world. A truly magical learning experience.

I’m personally honored to work with each of the following people each week to make The Arcanum dream come true. You should feel free to also contact these folks if you have any questions.

Dev / Engineering Team ([email protected])

  • Gene “The Coding Machine” Dower
  • Robert “Wall Breaker” Tyska
  • “Magic” Mike Cox

Master Development – Identifying, Inviting and Onboarding new Masters

Path of the Protégé – From Apprentice to Master within The Arcanum

Community – The Heart of The Arcanum – You! ([email protected])

A Culture of Feedback

Your feedback is the fuel that drives us forward. We only improve when you let us know what we’re doing well and what we need to improve. Don’t be shy. Send an email to [email protected] and share your thoughts on how The Arcanum can be the most personal, effective and fun learning experience in the world.

Refer a Friend

Finally – if you’re having a great experience in The Arcanum, please consider inviting a friend to join. We’ve made it easy to do so from within The Arcanum web application…. just log into The Arcanum, click on your name, then select “Invite a Friend”.


Thank you so much for being a Member of The Arcanum!
Peter Giordano and The Arcanum Team

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