The Right Laboratory

I love experiments. Being able to try new things, see how well they jive with my ambitions, and then adjusting my lifestyle accordingly. Experiments are a key component to my happiness, present and future.

I started Asymmetrical Press with Josh and Ryan from The Minimalists because the three of us wanted to build a laboratory. We wanted to have an optimized means of creating new work, using new technologies, trying out new business models, and distributing in new ways. We wanted to bring new people to the forefront: people who are talented as hell, but hadn’t gotten the recognition we thought their work warranted via existing structures. We wanted to figure out how we might blend the best ideas from various industries into something new, and determine what might be possible using a lighter-weight, more minimal and focused business strategy.

That was three years ago, and we’ve learned a lot since then. We’ve learned enough, in fact, that we’ve begun taking larger risks and working on bigger ideas in an effort to see what else might be possible. To see which ceilings are actually skies, waiting for us to push past them.

Tomorrow, we kick off a new experiment: an tour called the WordTasting Tour. This has been a long time in the making, and we’ve been working on aspects of it since we started the company three years ago. Only recently have all the pieces fallen into place, though, and only recently did we decide it was time to take such a risk.

This tour differs from typical authors tours in several respects. Instead of presenting one book, one author, we have five. Instead of featuring a reading, maybe a Q&A, we have performances, presentations, some readings and a lot of music; we’re traveling with the amazing Skye Steele, and he’ll be adding his sound to the mix throughout each event.

We wanted to attendees to experience something, to feel something, to sample new genres and taste new ideas. And we wanted to ensure that as many people as possible could attend, which meant making every single event free.

As we’re going through our final preparations and readying ourselves for the first tour stop, which takes place tomorrow, May 1, right here in Missoula, Montana, I feel pretty certain that we’ve accomplished a lot of our goals. I can’t wait to share this thing we’ve made with you.

This first WordTasting Tour is taking place across 32 cities in the Western US and Canada, and if all goes well, we’ll be replicating the model in other places in the future.

If you’d like to attend, please RSVP (it’s free!) here. If you have couches, beds, spare bedrooms or very comfortable floors we might sleep on while on tour, please let us know, and thanks in advance.

See you out there on the road!