Becoming Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

We all know the story. Dr. Jekyll was a well respected man in the community. Friendly and normal. During the night though, he turned into the horrible Mr. Hyde. Violent and wild.

While on a flight to Dallas I began to think about how this same concept should apply to a person’s’ life-work. Most of what I do and work towards is very much undefined and lose. Others have more structure and they benefit from this.

But I often wonder if the lack of structure will prevent me from the ability to achieve my own ambitions.

My personal opinion is that if you want something, you need to do whatever it takes to embrace the other side of your creativity to see how uncomfortable you can get. Set yourself up so days are filled with tactics and planning and your nights with obsession and insanity.

2012

2012

2012 was an amazing year. Here’s a few things I’m proud to have experienced.

– Had a conversation with President Barack Obama.(p)

– Flew 60,000+ miles to places like New York, Miami, L.A. and Paris.

– Hung out with Kevin Rose, a person I’ve looked up to for a long time.(p)

– Had lunch with Adam, a giant stuffed bear, and Chris – creator of Nyan Cat.(p)

– Wore a Google Glass.

– Spoke in front of thousands of people at events alongside Microsoft, BMW, AT&T, Google, and others.

– Got a taste of Hollywood. Met Rob Thomas and Matchbox 20. Thomas Gibson and the set of Criminal Minds. Sphero on The Big Bang Theory. Neil Patrick Harris tweet crashing our site. (Thanks Brett)

– Spent a weekend with the awesome Jailbreak community. Craig, pimskeks, pod2g, nitoTV, iH8sn0w, and many others.

– A handful of amazing shows with friends. Kill The Noise, Dillon Francis, FUN, Flux Pavilion, Barcelona, Walk The Moon, Colt Ford, Casey Donahew, and even DJ Chuck Lepley.

– I’m in love with my ‘job’ and the amazing people I work with.

None of this could have been done on my own. Thanks goes to friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers. Here’s to an even better 2013.

So you wanna be a web startup superstar?

So you want to be a startup superstar and live large? Here are some lessons I have learned these past few years that I hope can help an aspiring entrepreneur.

  1. Just do it. Stop talking about it, stop thinking about it, stop telling people you are “trying”. Do it.
  2. Get out there. Meet people and make yourself available.
  3. Create “you” brand. Get some good pictures of you. Not the kind of pictures you think are good but the kind your mom would think are good. It really helps. Associate yourself with words or phrases on your websites and keep it consistent.
  4. Get Social. Tweet, Like, Check-In and blog. Let Google crawl you.
  5. Have something to show. Your first venture will most likely fail or not catch on as you hoped. That’s fine. It is still something you did and you will probably learn from it. Go fail.
  6. Create a community. If you have a passion for something I guarantee that there are others out there who feel the same about that thing. See if there is a meetup, if not, create one. It will give you valuable management and organizational experience. You have to start somewhere.
  7. Be risky, break rules. Sneak into the VIP at a live diggnation party, Drive 2000 miles to a conference and sleep in your car, spend two weeks in San Francisco hustling. Put yourself out there and take a risk. If you don’t leap, you won’t get anywhere.
  8. The big guys don’t care.. yet. There are a few that might care, but if you only have an idea and nothing to show, they don’t give a crap. Ideas are a dime a dozen, it’s the execution that matters.
  9. Stick with what you know. Don’t start a company that deals with herding cows when you have no personal experience herding cows. Start with something you are good at and like to do. If you dont know something, learn it.
  10. Don’t let it go to your head.  Be humble and open to others.
  11. Find a mentor(s). Whether they are formal (techstars) or informal (follow on twitter), find people you look up to and follow their lead. Learn from their advice and mistakes. Reach out to people in your area. Not everyone will respond well but you might find someone who sees something in you.
  12. Start small. You probably want to start a giant company with millions of users! Don’t focus on that. Start out with a simple idea, then grow and nurture it. Start with a small feature set and leave the complex features for later. Don’t overwhelm yourself or you’ll break down before the race has started.
  13. Cover your ass. Don’t trust everyone. There are people out there who can and will take advantage of you.
  14. Have fun. Don’t do it for the money because it may never come.

(updated 1/2/13 for broken links)

Boulder Android

I have recently started a group in the Boulder Colorado area called Boulder Android. With my partner, Henry Koren, we are aiming to create a community of Android experts and enthusiasts in the Boulder area. If you would like to join us for our first meetup, check out http://meetup.com/Boulder-Android/ and RSVP. Space is limited and there will be beer (maybe you should take the bus).

I want to thank Adam from Orbotix for allowing us to use their office space.

We all are very excited for the frist meetup. Please come with an open mind and some ideas on what you are looking for in a BA group.

Media Server Setup

It took a little bit longer than expected but my media server is all set up and streaming! In my anticipation for the Boxee Box, I wanted to build something that would hold my 800GB+ of movies, music and tv shows. I went and dug through all my old computer parts and managed to find a working mother board, CPU and some RAM.

I wanted to do a little experimenting with the different server OS out there. I tried Windows Home Server (WHS), FreeNAS, and Ubuntu server in that order. Here is a brief review of each.

WHS: Sucks for my tastes. It seems like it would be good for a basic user. The one thing that pushed me away was it wanted to erase everything on my hard drive to add it to the storage pool. Yeah-Right.

freeNAS: Setup was easy but I had some issues with UPnP. Without UPnP, I woud not be able to stream to my xbox.

Ubuntu: This was what I ended up sticking with. Install was easy. I installed ushare, a free UPnP program that works awesomely (after some command line configuration of course).

Here are my specs:

CPU: AMD Duron 1.8GHz
RAM: 1.5GB DDR
HD: 1 – 80GB WesternDigital (os), 3 – 500GB Seagate (1.5TB storage)

Thoughts about siink

Last week Google announced that they were going to discontinue Google wave. As some of you might know, my partner and I were working on a collaboration platform, built on top of Google wave, for teachers and students called siink. We have been waiting for additional parts of the code to be released but now that will never happen.

I have turned my attention to a full list of new ideas and projects. I am very optimistic about my future. I’m 21, as long as I keep the dream alive, i’ll be just fine. Jason has moved to Chicago and is now attending Illinois Institute of Technology for computer science.

I want to give a special thanks to Jennifer Selke, Kevin Weil, Huian Bean, Jessica Sellars, Jimmy Sellars, and everyone else for giving us advice, support, insight, and your time.

“You always pass failure on your way to success.”