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A Framework for Your Ultimate Self

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A Framework for Your Ultimate Self


5 min read
5 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Learn Kickstarter founder Yancey Strickler’s simple system for making wise decisions.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


In 2017, Kickstarter founder Yancey Strickler stepped down and found himself without a clear direction. In this video presentation for Adobe 99U, Strickler describes the simple, powerful system he devised to decide what to do next: the Bento system. He explains its use for both individuals and organizations and how the system supports personal integrity and long-term goal achievement. Strickler gives examples from his own life, the careers of musicians Brian Eno and Madonna, and Apple.


The Bento system offers a framework for making decisions that look to the future and beyond a person’s individual self-interest.

The Bento system for decision-making uses a two-by-two grid with four categories: “now-me,” representing immediate self-interest; “now-us,” the immediate interests of yourself plus the people who matter in your life; “future-me,” your own interests 20 years from now; and “future-us,” the interests of yourself and those you love 20 years in the future.

To use the system, you first consider your values and goals in each area. For example, for Yancey Strickler, inventor of the system, now-me means things like health, money, happiness and feeling grounded; now-us means things like togetherness, unity and time; future-me means not selling out, staying curious and having integrity; and future-us means sustainability, justice and progressivism. After defining your values and goals in each area, you can consider any decision in light of all four.

Yancey Strickler invented the Bento system when he was considering what...

About the Speaker

Yancey Strickler is the co-founder and former CEO of Kickstarter, author of This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World, and the creator of Bentoism.

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