A little misty…

In late 2002, 10 LEGO colleagues, me included, came together to develop the Community Strategy moving into the future. This group, the “Launch Crew” (we had a whole Mars theme) met for 10 weeks, putting our jobs on hold in the busiest time of the year to develop plans, ideas, strategies and teams. Out of the Launch Crew came the LEGO Community Development team, my full-time community role, and some goals.

At the end of the 10 weeks, we all sat around at the end of the last day and chatted about our personal goals. These were the things that when they happened, we would say “Yep, we’ve done it… we’ve done good work”. My goal?

To have the adult fan community grace the cover of a major publication.


It’s happened. As of a few days ago, The Mindstorms Users Panel (MUP) and the Mindstorms NXT project made the cover story for Wired magazine.

Here’s the opening from the article:

The email from Denmark was only a few lines long. “It basically said, ‘We have an opportunity for you here, but we can’t tell you anything until you sign a nondisclosure agreement,” says Steve Hassenplug, a soft-spoken software engineer from Lafayette, Indiana. The cryptic tone of the email from Lego headquarters hinted at something more than a simple customer survey, but Hassenplug didn’t know what.

Actually it wasn’t quite Denmark, but from the US… my computer actually! It’s been an amazing process to see the MUPs work side by side with the Billund design team. It’s amazing to see them get the credit they so rightly deserve … and in one of the coolest magazines on the planet.

Last night I went to the bookstore and bought three copies of this issue. I have to tell you, I’ve never been more proud of the adult fan community. Steve, John, David, and Ralph, you did something amazing with this project – your humility and professionalism has opened the doors for more projects like this in the future.

On top of that, you’ve shown the world that working together with consumers is a great idea.

Wow.