Learn DIY video / Cell-grown BBQ / Phil Collins drum fills

Also: Steely Dan, Write of Passage | Mailing #2

:::Why are you receiving this? You’re a friend of Cam Houser. This is his occasional email sharing atypical stories of creativity, entrepreneurship, and growth + his own entrepreneurial journey:::

Greetings, rulebreakers.

This week I finish up Write of Passage, an online writing class that has been one of the best educational experiences of my life. A decade ago, I founded a company called 3 Day Startup that became a global phenomenon and now runs in 50 countries. In the early days, we could sense that it was something special. It was gonna be big.

That same energy is present with Write of Passage. I’m excited to be part of it and expect big things from the community that founders David Perell and Tiago Forte have assembled.

Learn From Rulebreaker Newsletter News

Last issue: How to reach out to important people, aka the story of the time we botched an exchange with Paul Graham [youtube, 5 min]

This issue: Upcoming DIY video session, details below.

Next issue: When we reminisce about Kobe Bryant, his tenacity and competitiveness come to mind. I have a piece about his creativity and inventiveness coming soon. This is best thing I’ve ever written and I’m over the moon to share it with you.

Next next issue: upcoming Enter the 36 Strangers Zoom session.

“We'll complete jerky and brisket prototypes by 2023”

I recently heard that sentence in a pitch from a lab-grown meat company called BioBQ, the Beyond Meat/Impossible Foods of barbecue. Only in Austin would you hear the words "brisket" and "prototype" in the same sentence.

Interested in learning DIY Video?

I spent years learning how to create high-quality smartphone videos. Some new internet friends asked how to get started so I’m running a session open to all. It will be high-energy, fun, and interactive. Even if you already make videos, this will be a chance to get feedback on ideas and serve as the beginning of a great community.

One minute preview video of what to expect:

When: Monday, August 10 at 7pm CST/8pm EST.
Duration: 90 minutes
Where: Zoom link you’ll receive in calendar invite the day of
How to get in: Register and tell me you what want me to focus on in this signup form. If you already sent me your email, the form is optional—but it is an opportunity to tell me what is important to you and aid me in shaping the session accordingly.

Creative Innovation: Phil Collins, Steely Dan

One of my side gigs is teaching a class called “Creative Entrepreneurship” at the University of Texas. I’m fascinated with how musicians, filmmakers, creators, and artists innovate and solve problems. Click on the tweet to below to read a thread on the errors and randomness that led Phil Collins to the iconic drum break on “In the Air Tonight.” It also goes deep on Steely Dan.

See you in the Zoom grid,

Web: actionworks.co
Twitter: @cahouser
Twitter: @actionworksco
If you need professional grade virtual courses, conferences, or workshops, email cam@actionworks.co

The Lucky Pitch Deck

One founder's throwback approach made its way to Andreessen Horowitz, SoftBank and Founders Fund | How to communicate with important people

:::Why are you receiving this? You’re a friend of Cam Houser. This is his occasional email sharing atypical stories of creativity, entrepreneurship, and growth + his own entrepreneurial journey:::

What’s good, y’all!

Danielle Baskin, founder of Dialup, created a 1990s-style email chain letter—complete with animated gifs, colorful fonts, and promises of good fortune—to attract investor attention and contacts.

Inside the 'fwd: fwd: lucky pitch deck' that's reached over 500 ...

This offbeat strategy worked: over 500 VCs received the email, and the Dialup team landed dozens of meetings with firms such as Andreessen Horowitz, SoftBank and Founders Fund.

More on the chain-email-to-land-venture-capital strategy here.

In other news, I’ve been cranking away helping organizations scale their entrepreneurship/innovation learning. Most of this involves designing, delivering, or assisting orgs with large-scale virtual programs.

My biggest personal goal these days is to build an audience so I can have more impact beyond enterprises and institutionally-vetted entrepreneurs.

Audience-building has involved making shedloads of content, all of which I’m really excited about.

Enjoy this video I made below, which offers tried-and-true tactics for communicating with important people. It was inspired by the time my colleagues and I sent a really stupid email to Paul Graham…

From hellishly hot Austin, TX,
Twitter: @cahouser

Web: actionworks.co
Twitter: @actionworksco
Need help with virtual entrepreneurship courses, conferences, and workshops? Reach out!

Changes to Inbox Mindfulness

Taking a new direction

Greetings, y’all. It’s your friend Cam. I hope all of you are well and surviving the weirdness that is life in 2020.

Things are good with me, albeit surreal. It took awhile, but stir-craziness is just now starting to sink in. For most of quarantine I’ve been producing shedloads of videos. See below for a pic of one of my takes getting interrupted by sarah’s cats…


I wanted to give an update to the format of this newsletter.

Long story short: I’m switching gears.

The guided meditations will be distributed through my youtube channel. The latest experiment is adding ambient music (I’ve been dusting off the ol’ sampler/synthesizer!); see below. Note: I’m not deleting the old posts, so if you want to revisit those they will be available in the archives.

As for what this newsletter will become, I’m going to switch to some new topics. The macro subject will be entrepreneurial learnings from unlikely sources. Here’s the new description of the newsletter:

Learning from Rulebreakers: Atypical stories of creativity, entrepreneurship, and productivity. From El Chapo's tunnels to Uber's disregard of regulations, this newsletter explores what can we learn from rulebreakers.

The above topic will be the major theme, but the tone going to forward is going to be a bit more personal. I’ll be sharing my own insights and thoughts from my own entrepreneurial journey. I’m constantly testing approaches to teaching entrepreneurship and growing entrepreneurs, as well as all manner of weird experiments because that’s what I’m into :)

Other themes: Zoom, AI, the information economy, online learning, digital notetaking and productivity, using video to accelerate your career, and more.

I mention all of this to give you the chance to unsubscribe, should you want to.

Until next time,


Today's Meditation: Listen to the Data and Tell a Good Story


:::You received this because you signed up for Inbox Mindfulness, a guided audio meditation for knowledge workers, delivered straight to your inbox. This audio is designed to provide a respite during a busy day and some lessons for the workdays to come:::

I hope 2020 is going gangbusters for y’all!

Things are going swimmingly on my side. Opportunities abound and I feel like a kid in a candy shop. Just have to make sure I don’t overcommit and say yes to too many things, which is a problem for me—and I suspect for many of you as well. I need to heed the guidance in these recordings and slow down a bit, and let things move at less of a breakneck pace.

Quick note: a subscriber mentioned that sometimes the audio pauses when listening on the phone, which is mildly jarring when you’re deep into a recording. A solution here is to click “Listen in podcast app".” See below:

Mindfully yours,


Say Hi to the Person in the Corner


:::You received this because you signed up for Inbox Mindfulness, a guided audio meditation for knowledge workers, delivered straight to your inbox on a weekly-ish basis. This audio is designed to provide a respite during a busy day and some words for the workdays to come:::

Greetings, y’all.

Welcome to 2020! I’d say it’s starting out pretty well so far. Existential despair is under control and I don’t know about you, but I plan on enjoying the journey of pursuing some pretty big goals this year.

Enjoy today’s meditation.

Mindfully yours,


Loading more posts…