You might remember Karen Cheng: she famously learned how to dance in a year in a viral YouTube video that racked up millions of views and inspiring blog posts end of last year. But as it turns out, that was just the beginning for the 26-year-old San Franciscan. She also taught herself to play guitar and cello. And how to juggle. And how to design — so well, in fact, that she quit her job at Microsoft to become a professional designer full-time.
“People who watch me dance today sometimes assume I’ve been dancing for many years. I made this video so you could see the awkward body that started just one year ago.
Here’s my secret: I practiced everywhere. At bus stops. In line at the grocery store. At work — Using the mouse with my right hand and practicing drills with my left hand. You don’t have to train hardcore for years to become a dancer. But you must be willing to practice and you better be hungry.”
Her story has inspired a lot of people around the world, and Karen wanted to bring it a step further.
Hundreds of e-mails poured in. That created a germ of an idea. What if there was a way for everyone to show their learning process honestly and transparently? A way to see that even great artists and dancers all begin from somewhere?
Slowly after that, she registered a company allowing people around the world to do the same thing.
“You choose something you want to get better at for 100 days and you share a 10-second video of your progress every day. You get a simple daily routine to stick to and you’re totally accountable because you have to upload a video as proof. Plus practising has always been a solitary, lonely thing — and 100 changes that,” Karen told Washington Post.
The website, called GiveIt100, is a site where users can submit videos of them practising something they have always wanted, and sharing with a community of learners across the globe. Of course, users are free to make their videos private if they dont want everyone to see the videos. For those that wants more than just 100 days, they can also extend their project to 365 days or longer. Every video uploaded is limited to only 10 seconds, which, according to Karen’s team, “makes the videos more interesting”.
Unlike learning to dance for a straight 100 days, Karen is actually building a company now, and that is not something that is easily achievable in just 100 days. However, that did not stop her from launching the company and the GiveIt100 platform. Hundreds if not thousands of people are using the video documentation site to upload videos of themselves:
Karen told TechCrunch that YouTube isn’t the right place to share this kind of content because users there expect camera-ready or impressive feats.
“This is one of the places where mistakes are celebrated and mistakes are OK,” she said. “If you post yourself sucking at guitar on YouTube, the response is not going to be good. But this place is about a work in progress. It’s not about your final performance.”
Would you join in the movement?
Also read: 11 ways to be unremarkably average