Guess Who’s Back

Well  hi there! It’s been a while, so pardon the dust. I’ll be moving things around and adding some new content to this site very soon. What kind of content, you might ask? Well I’m happy to answer.

What my pal Micah Baldwin calls “startup Yoda” stuff will still live at The Uptake. I have a lot of stuff that I think about and love to write about, and it needs a dedicated home.

But I also really like technology, gadgets, gear, audio stuff, cars and…well…other stuff. I like writing about those things a lot, and I don’t really have a place to do that now that I’ve joined FullContact. That’s the stuff that you’ll find here on my personal site. It’s where I’ll do occasional commentary, product reviews and maybe even talk about cars. It may never end up being a go-to source for all things ______, but I’m OK with that fact. I’m writing here because I love to write.

So there you have it. Look for new stuff soon, and make sure to follow me on Twitter in the meantime.

Trading Places

It occurred to me the other day that I kept having to explain to people what happened to old posts at after I switched to Svbtle. I then realized that there was a better option than having all of those old posts disappear.

If you want to keep up with the stuff that I’m writing, you can now do so over on Once upon a time I had grandiose ideas for that URL, but I think it will serve a better purpose by playing host to my Svbtle blog. As for this site? It will update occasionally, perhaps with more personal stories, but you can expect for it to largely remain untouched.

There has to be a separation between your work and your personal life, no matter how passionate you may be about both of them. If there’s one thing I’ve learned while searching for balance, it is that this fact is immutable.

Overcorrection: How Marriott has won my life-long business

In August of last year, Candace and I got married. We haven’t had the chance to do an actual honeymoon yet, but we did spend a couple of lovely nights at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs. The stay was great, overall, with 2 minor problems. First, Candace found fish hook in the carpet, but she found it with her foot. No harm was done, but it happened. Second, an order to room service wasn’t exactly right when it arrived. Continue reading

A Svbtle challenger (and new blogging platform) appears

If you’ve been a reader of this site for any length of time, you’ve seen it go through a few iterations. One of the challenges that I always face is trying to find something that looks good while still focusing entirely on what I’m writing. WordPress as a whole isn’t very good at that, on the back end.

Dustin Curtis, a rather renowned designer and developer, was looking for a way to blog the way that he thinks. The result is called Svbtle, and it looks incredible. Instead of being pushed to publish, Svbtle encourages you to use it as a notepad for ideas, only publishing them when they’re complete.

I won’t snag screenshots or anything else from what Curtis has done, as I think it’s equally important to read why he did it, as it is to see the end result. So head over to the Svbtle site and take a few minutes to enjoy the work. And yes, Dustin, I’m absolutely interested in being in the network if you’re reading this.


Will you please join me at Big Omaha?

When I attended Big Omaha last year, I came away calling it “the most important conference you’ve never attended.” I also swore that I’d be going back for this year’s event, even if it meant that I paid my own way and took vacation time to do it.

You see, Big Omaha is one of those rare opportunities that you’ll have in life to surround yourself with a few hundred people who want to change the world, and are actively working toward doing so. To say that I came away inspired, motivated and changed would be so much of an understatement that I really can’t do the conference justice.

Tickets are on sale for this year’s Big Omaha, and you need to get involved right now. Last year it sold out so fast that over 300 people were on a wait list. This year, Jeff Slobotski and the Big Omaha team are doing ticket sales over different periods, in hopes that more people will have a chance to buy them.

Please, if you believe in entrepreneurship, join me at Big Omaha. If you read this blog, I want to meet you, to hear what you have to say and to have the chance to find what you’re passionate about.

I promise you that you’ll never be the same. Yes, I’m completely serious.

Big Omaha 2012 from Silicon Prairie News on Vimeo.

Why didn’t 71lbs win SuperConf’s Startup Blast Off?

I’ve had this question a couple of times today, and so I figured it’s only fair to answer publicly and to the best of my knowledge. 71lbs was widely thought to be one of the strongest competitors in the Startup Blast Off at SuperConf. The truth of the matter is that it was indeed a strong contender. So strong, in fact, that at least 2 of us had it for our top pick.

But perhaps 71lbs was actually a bit too good. Now, I know that’s a head-scratcher, so bear with me while I explain. Continue reading

The conveniently forgotten truth of Apple (and what you can learn from it)

It’s natural, I suppose, to emulate those people (or companies) that you admire. Right now we’re seeing a lot of companies trying to work the way that Apple did (and does), in hopes of achieving some level of the same success.

But there’s a point to consider about Apple that most people conveniently forget – it shouldn’t have survived. It should have died, many times over, and yet it didn’t. Not always because of something that the company did. A few times, Apple simply got lucky. Continue reading

“There’s still good work to be done.”

I won’t go into a long diatribe here, but this is one of those times when I have to respond to something. MG Siegler, over on his personal blog, put together a post that essentially talked about the death of blogging because of chasing page views. While it’s no secret that almost every top blog lives and dies by advertising revenue (therefore, by views on a page) I have to agree with my friend and co-worker Matthew Panzarino: “There’s still good work to be done.”

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Is there an Angel investment divide?

When traveling and talking to both startups and investors, as I often do, I keep hearing something interesting: Increasingly, Angels from the Valley are looking outside of it in order to find investments that aren’t so hotly contested. Yet in many areas that I visit, I meet with startups who can’t seem to open lines of communication to outside investors. If investors are actively looking at startups outside of The Valley, why are these outside startups having trouble getting in contact with the ones holding the checkbooks?

Continue reading