Even though we don’t reside there anymore, I’m still super psyched and rooting for the DC tech & startup community. Over 7 years, it has been great to see DC Mayor Vince Gray really become a spokesman and advocate for the movement.
This year, he even went to SXSW to evangelize the region. Here’s an interview that he did with TechCocktail
Haven’t been using my gym membership lately so decided it was time to cancel. Instead of paying $70/month to be able to exercise, I decided I could just run outside. Funny thing is that it’s free to run outside.
Figured I could just stop by Washington Sports Club and cancel. Nope. It’s not that easy. They handed me a piece of paper, which gave me instructions to cancel over the phone.
So, a few times I had a few minutes and figured that I had a few minutes so I’d call their member services line. I get the hold music. After a few minutes of hold, I gave up because I had other things to do. Lauren had a few minutes today so she called for me and had to wait 10-15 minutes on the phone before she got to someone and actually cancel my account. It was ridiculous.
It shows a solid principal that it’s worth underlining. If you want me to trust you with my business, you have to let me easily stop using your service. The fastest way to lose my trust is to make me feel trapped when patronizing your business. Let me get out as easily as you allowed me to get in to the relationship.
Here’s what I’ve been reading lately…
Here’s what I’ve been reading…
Today, Lauren and I went to the Crafty Bastards craft show put on by the Washington City Paper. This year it was being hosted at Union Market in DC’s up in coming NoMa neighborhood.
There were 2 massive tents with booths occupied by handmade creators from up and down the east coast. (I wonder how many were from DC.) You could get everything from jewelry to bath products to tshirts to leather bags. Everything is made in small batches by hand. It’s like an offline version of Umba Box.
And… It was packed. Not just crowded but annoyingly packed. It was hard to get up to some of the booths because there were so many people. AND… everywhere you looked there was plaid and a beard.
It made me wonder. Where are all these hipsters hiding? When you think of DC, you think of the government and people in suits. When you think of creativity, you think of Brooklyn or Portland. Does DC have a burgeoning creative class that’s just about to explode?
6 years ago a handful of folks felt a hunger for a technology & startup community and look what happened.
(Photo by Jason Rosenberg)
Here’s some of what I’ve been reading the last couple days…
So for the last two days, I’ve been helping Lauren with her Umba Box booth at the Urban Craft Uprising craft show in Seattle. It’s been great. Have gotten to tell the Umba Box story to a lot of people and helped garner that much more excitement for what Lauren is doing, which is AWESOME!
I’m completely fascinated by people. It’s been a lot of fun to watch people walk by the booth, try to figure out what’s going on their head, so I can figure out how to get them over to talk to me about Umba Box. Craft shows are different from just general expos or trade shows too. The goal at a craft show is you actually wanna move product.
I developed a theory about folks that come to craft shows and how they browse. There are people who walk at 1 feet, 3 feet, and 6-10 feet from the booth.
The 6-10 feet people aren’t really interested. They come to the show to feel all handmade but they’re not interested in buying a product. There are always exceptions to this. Interestingly lots of men/husbands/boy friends hover at the 6-10 feet mark. Umba Box is an especially great gift for the lady in your life so I’ve been successful with pulling the guys who are hovering at 6 to 10 feet and getting them to make a purchase or at least take a card.
With the 3 feet people, they’re interested in what your selling and want to buy but they need to be invited over. It’s funny because most handmade vendors just sit behind their booths and don’t actually talk to their customers. I would step out from behind the table, invite them over and talk to them. Was able to reel them in from 3 feet to 1 foot so they would start to play with the products and listen to my schtick about Umba Box.
The people at 1 feet are the best. They’re the ones that go booth to booth and are really interested in what everyone’s doing. These are the people you can have a conversation with. These are also the people who have 3 or 4 bags in their hands because they’ve been buying and buying and buying.
I remember when I got the original iPhone. When I held the device in my hand for the first time, I knew that everything was about to change. Computing was going to go mobile.
Well, get ready to say goodbye to your mobile phone. The next wave is wearable computing. Your cell phone is something you’ll wear (maybe in eye glasses) instead of hold. It’s not a new idea but for the first time wearable computing could really go mainstream.
The NY Times is reporting that Olympus and Apple are both working on wearable computing, in addition to the already announced Google Glass.
On Sunday evening, my wife Lauren and I went to go see the movie The Avengers at a near by movie theater. So many of my friends had been talking about it. I just had to see it. While I didn’t grow up with comic books, I definitely have enjoyed getting to know the characters with the recent flurry of movies from Marvel.
The movie was phenomenal. You can’t help but get swept up in all the all the action and all the futuristic technology. I wish I could get my hands on a fraction of all the Tony Stark had in his lab.
The movie reminded me of a talk that I’d heard by LeVar Burton a few weeks earlier at the MamaBear conference in Mountain View, CA. He talked about a lot but one thing that especially resonated was the importance of science fiction to society. It’s important for us to dream and have something to shoot for, when we’re thinking about what the future might hold
I was a HUGE fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation growing up so when I think of LeVar Burton, I think of Geordi La Forge. I can’t imagine how surreal it must be for LeVar. 20 years ago, I’m sure people laughed at the notion of the visor that he wore on the show. Now we have the Google Project Glass. On the show, they had the tricorder. Now we have the iPhone. It’s amazing how fantasy & reality are becoming so similar.
While people may balk at what they see in The Avengers, the idea of a centralized computer that talks to you and controls all the systems in your house, a clear computer screens that you can swipe with your hands Minority Report style, or even mechanized computer suit that you wear like Iron Man, I know that these technologies are under development and aren’t that far off from being mainstream.
So… who are the dreamers? Who are the writers that are not just paving the way for the next 5 years but for the next 50?
Instagram & Angry Birds are great but… who’s shooting for the moon?