While financial gain is often on agenda for most, sometimes more meaningful projects and experiences are not commercially motivated. Having lectured at universities and being a mentor, Myles Palmer is aware of many barriers preventing entry to fully-fledged mentorship programmes for creatives.
At first offering his time for half-an hour, every few days to anyone, he built Pair-Up, connecting creative professionals to offer advice through graphic design problems or ideas, for free. Under one condition though:
as long as you look legitimate and not like you're trying to sell something.
That's refreshing, for once. And it works, with 150 seasoned creative professionals already signed up.
To be fair, it's not completely based on volunteering - many “Pairers” end up asking to be paired with another, becoming the “Pairee” themselves. It's an good example of value exchange.
Even with high interest this remains as a “spare time” project though.
Yet Palmer has plans to continue adding and improving the features as well as recording the podcast with the “Pairers”. Having safe and secure platform at its core, this project might continue to grow into something even bigger.
Design expertise might be difficult to productivize, but this is a great take on a classic “solution to a problem” built around a creative community that helps to maintain quality and expertise exchange.
Interesting to see what the future brings.