Why "Superpowers for Good"?

Welcome! This is a preliminary post for my new Substack newsletter “Superpowers for Good.”

Many readers remember when the newsletters were called “Your Mark on the World,” “My Social Good News,” and “GoodCrowd.info.” All the historic content of YourMarkOnTheWorld.com and GoodCrowd.info has been migrated to devinthorpe.substack.com. Remarkably, people smarter than I have even figured out to make the old links work.

That transition of content also includes all of the 500+ posts I wrote for Forbes, which were all cross-posted to one of the sites above. In addition, virtually all of the old podcast episodes have been transitioned as well. Old podcast links didn’t survive the transition, but about 900 podcasts have been moved to Substack.

That means there are thousands of posts, including the 900 podcasts, that are now available here. To find an episode, perhaps the one you or a colleague is in, just click the search link and enter a name.

The newsletter title, “Superpowers for Good,” is also the title of my new book, available for pre-order now at Amazon. The book is derived from my podcast. Hundreds of times, including with Bill Gates and other renowned changemakers, I asked, “what is your superpower.” Their responses, profiles and some ideas about how to emulate them are what comprise the book.

Going forward, I will do more of that, focusing my energy on podcast episodes and thoughtful write-ups about them. You’ll find the podcast and the related articles here. The audio will be available on most podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts.

In the past, much of my writing followed the discipline of “Solutions Journalism,” a rather formal and respected niche of reporting that calls on journalists to focus at least as much energy on solutions as on problems. The discipline looks at repeatable processes and tools and formally discourages a look at personalities. This makes sense because it is easier to replicate a process than a person.

Here’s the catch. The person matters. A lot. A decade of following this practice has convinced me that focus on process is incomplete. The people leading and making real change in the world are unique and interesting. They are hard to replicate for a reason. Studying the people and what makes them tick is at least as important as understanding the steps they’ve followed and that can be repeated to expand the solution to benefit more people.

Labels like “hero” and “superhero” are sometimes thrown around changemakers. That may even be deserved. I’ll try not to use that language, even when it may be fitting. Studying people like Bill Gates to learn how to emulate them is difficult enough without believing they are superhuman.

That said, I do use the term “superpower” because I am absolutely convinced that you have them and can strengthen and add to them. You have skills, abilities and attributes you can use to solve the world’s big problems. I want you to feel empowered and emboldened to change the world. The spark or catalyst behind every effective solution is a person who wakes up one morning and says, “I will change the world.” And then does it.

Shifting gears a bit now, I want to explain a change. In the past, all the content I generated was available to people without charge. Going forward, I will continue to produce some content available to everyone without cost, but some will be available only to paying subscribers.

The reason is simple. This subscription is how I make a living. I work full time at this. I’m not underwritten by a large corporation. I’m not a billionaire—not even close. Gail, my retired-school-teacher spouse and I, cannot live off our savings.

There is no question, I could make more money in finance. I know because I used to do that. As a kid, I promised myself I would never miss an opportunity to serve other people. As a finance guy, I missed too many opportunities. I view this podcast and newsletter as partial fulfillment of that pledge made 45 years ago.

For the next few weeks, I’m offering a “pre-launch discount” of 33 percent. You can subscribe right now for just $3.97 per month! The discount will last as long as “Superpowers for Good” lasts here on Substack. But the offer will expire on September 6, 2021.

Get 33% off forever

A final note. As you may know, I ran for Congress last year. The fact that I’m doing this now tells you all you need to know about that race. Prior to last year, I never screened a subject or a guest on the basis of party affiliation. Now, I pledge to maintain that practice; I will not even ask podcast guests, “red or blue?” This platform is not a campaign tool. At this moment, I have no plans to run again.

Thanks for being a part of the team that is working to solve the world’s big problems. Together, we can.