There are a lot of companies and individuals that have done amazing things for their brands by creating and distributing original content for free. For example, Harvard puts out the Harvard Business Review, which I imagine has some of the most widely distributed articles in the business community, McKinsey & Co puts out the McKinsey Quarterly, 37signals created and shared Ruby on Rails, which is now a standard for web development, Fred Wilson made a name for himself via his A VC blog, and Kellogg distributes bite-sized bits of their latest research via Kellogg Insight.

I am a huge fan (of Justin-Bieber-fan-like proportions) of creating and sharing original content of all kinds, so I’m issuing a challenge to anyone and everyone in grad school for 2011.

Create and share something

Grad school is the perfect time to do it. There is a good chance that you will have to submit a final project for at least 1 class next year. Instead of looking at it as just another assignment, consider it an opportunity to add something to your professional or personal portfolio.

Latch on to a class that you enjoy, center that project on something that you are passionate about, and put your heart into it with the knowledge that you intend to share it. Schools and professors should be supportive of this endeavor. What school wouldn’t want to be known for having students that are contributing original content in their area (in addition to their professors).

It doesn’t have to be perfect, and it doesn’t have to be groundbreaking or even read and loved by millions (like Harry Potter). It just has to be your ideas. Who knows? That bit of work that you share might give someone else the inspiration necessary to change the world.

And if you are looking for a place to share it, I suggest a blog, YouTube, or Slideshare.

Here are a few of the things that I’ve shared in 2010.
<ul><li>My walk to Kellogg - 233 views </li><li>My team’s presentation for the 2010 Boston University Tech Case Competition - 1858 views, 141 downloads </li><li>Kellogg Consulting Recruiting Info document - 1712 views, 49 downloads </li><li>My team’s presentation on Life Balance for our Managerial Leadership project - 400 views, 34 downloads </li><li>My portion of my team’s paper for the Advanced Business Strategy final project - 107 views, 1 download </li><li>This blog, which IS read and loved by my mom - 19000+ unique visitors, 68000+ page views </li></ul>