Starbucks brings comfort through consistency

So, yesterday my wife and I finished our trek across the country to our new home in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over the 4 days, we stopped in a lot of random towns to crash before we picked up and got on the road again.

When you’re in places you don’t know, it’s always nice to find things that look familiar. For example, Starbucks is amazing because it’s the same regardless of where you go. Starbucks is the same in DC as it is in Oklahoma City as it is in Las Vegas.

I remember, when Lauren and I were on our honeymoon in Europe, we had just taken the train from Venice up to Munich. We had some time to kill in the Munich train station and were elated to find a Starbucks. We enjoyed a latte, blueberry scones, and free wifi. ūüôā

I know that its cool to be down on national food/coffee chains (i love me a good indie coffee shop) but sometimes when you’re in the process of a lot of change, it’s nice to have things exactly the same.

We’re moving to Las Vegas!

vegasI have some exciting news.  Lauren and I are moving to Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday.

There’s an incredibly vibrant tech/startup community in¬†Downtown Vegas¬†that’s being built up by¬†Zappos’ CEO, Tony Hsieh, his team, and dozens of tech startups that are relocating there from¬†around the country¬†and even world.

Lauren’s¬†startup,¬†Umba Box, has been asked to be a part of the Vegas Tech community (we’ll be able to share more specific details about what this means at a later date), which is what’s initiating the move for us.

Friday is also my last day at HelloWallet. ¬†I’ll be talking more about what’s next for me job-wise soon.

I’m really excited for this new season of our lives and what God has planned for us in Las Vegas. ¬† ¬†I’ll be just as active on social media (including writing more for this blog) so, if you’re interested, it’ll be easy to keep track of our comings and goings.

While I’m excited for this new opportunity, it’s definitely hard to leave a city that I’ve called home for almost 7 years now. ¬† There are so many people who I’ve met over the years that have been such an incredible blessing to me and Lauren. ¬†I can’t do or say enough to repay how thankful I am for how much you’ve contributed to our lives.

Also… can’t leave without saying how so incredibly proud I am of all that’s happened during my brief tenure in DC with the local tech community. ¬†I remember when Social Media Club was one of the only meetups and Peter Corbett, Joe Price, and I would sit around a conference table with 10 other people pontificating about the future. ¬†Now the¬†DC Tech Meetup commands an audience of 1200. ¬† I remember when I could count all the startups ¬†on one hand. ¬†Now there’s new ones popping up everyday. ¬† I’m excited for the future of the DC Tech community and I’ll be actively tracking its progress.

I’ll definitely be posting more about what’s happening in Vegas. ¬†If you have any questions feel free to post a comment to the blog or drop me an email –

And if you’re ever in Vegas, holla. ¬†Would love to meetup. ¬†ūüôā ¬†XO!

The most important thing I learned in college.

When I went to the Rochester Institute of Technology, I took all kinds of interesting classes. I was brimming with knowledge from classes on Java programming to legislative process to the wines of the world.

But the most important thing I learned in college wasn’t how to start a method in Java or the differences between oaked and unoaked Chardonnay. I learned how to learn. I learned how much fun learning was. My intellectual curiosity was more than reinforced. It was a cultural norm amongst everyone who attended (and survived.)

In one of my classes, we had the project of learning a new programming language (or Web technology) and teaching it to the class in 2 weeks. ¬†What?!? My partner and I showed the class how to build something in XForms. ¬†Heh! ¬†Oh Web technologies that no one use anymore. ūüôā

In today’s technology age, things are constantly changing. ¬†Everyday there’s something new popping up that solves a problem more effectively than what existed in the market before. ¬† To survive, you have to be ready and willing to adapt.

A big part of my career thus far has been helping to evangelize how the different innovations can be used to help solve existing business problems. ¬† I was just showing some colleagues the other day how to do something and they wanted to know how to do this other thing. ¬†I think they were surprised when I said I didn’t know how. ¬†I just hadn’t spent time to figure it out yet but left the room challenging them to jump into the unknown, try it.

Don’t let what you don’t know or haven’t experienced scare you? Life is one big ever-changing learning experience. ¬†Embrace it. ¬† Never stop asking questions.

I always want to be learning, growing, and being put into situations that are uncomfortable and I want to be around people the feel the same.  Otherwise, things just get boring.

Wish The Nike+ Fuelband Would Kick My Butt

Since the end of July, I’ve been rocking the Nike+ Fuelband on my right wrist. It’s been fascinating to see how some days I’m more active and some days I’m not. It’s easy to be neurotic about constantly checking to see what my score is.

While its easy to check what my score is, what it doesn’t tell me is what my score should be. You know how many fuel points you need to hit by the end of the day but you have no idea if you will.

After a few weeks, the Nike+ Fuelband knows what my regular rhythms are including the days where I’ll hit my goal. ¬†It should know that I’m not on track or not hitting the typical pattern of a goal breaking day and alert me accordingly.

It’s not enough to tell me that I’m not going to meet my goal as I’m about to go to bed. ¬†I want to be told that I’m not going to meet my goal when I still have a chance to meet it.

I’m excited. ¬†Today, Nike announced that they’re working with TechStars to create a Nike+ Accelerator program in Portland, Oregon. ¬† The goal is to build whole new companies around innovating on top of the Nike+ platform. ¬†I’m hoping that these startups will help to add an extra layer of complexity to the Nike+ ecosystem.

The 4-Hour Chef & Learning to Learn

Lauren and I were in Lansing, MI over the last couple of days visiting my parents for Thanksgiving. ¬† ¬†Figured I’d grab a new book to read through while on the break. ¬†When I saw that Tim Ferriss’s new book “The 4-Hour Chef” was only $4.99 on the Kindle (It still is. ¬†Grab it.), I figured that I’d take the plunge.

I’ve attempted to read Ferriss’s other books “4-Hour Work Week” and the “4-Hour Body.” ¬†I usually only made it 20% of the way through the book feeling completely inadequate to Tim’s level of¬†neuroses¬†for using every means to necessary to optimize me professional and physical life.

Regardless, knew I wanted to grab a copy of the “4-Hour Chef.” ¬†Part of it delves into cooking, which you all know is a personal passion of mine. ¬†Plus, it was only $4.99 on Kindle so it was hard to say no.

So far, I’m only 15% of my way through the book. ¬†Unlike the first two, the central thesis of this book isn’t about cooking or any one subject matter (despite the title). ¬†It’s about learning to learn in a way that allows you to conquer whatever subject matter that you’er trying to conquer. ¬† Tim shows the construct that he’s used to for example learn to cook, learn new languages, or learn to become a dancer and do this all in record time.

As I read more of the book, I’ll report back on what I think.

Less Screens for More Sleep

If you’re a reader of Business Insider, especially Henry Blodget, you know how they’ve made a business out of making simple article headlines slightly more hyperbolic in order to drive massive amounts of traffic.

With that in mind, saw an article today¬†from Business Insider about how increased screen time from things like looking at your iPhone right before bed actually causes less sleep. ¬† It says, “Too much screen time reduces melatonin, the chemical that makes you sleep.” ¬†This goes with what I’ve heard from a number of people who say the best way to get more sleep is no screens an hour before bed.

Has anyone else experienced this?   Maybe I need to try it.

What I’m Reading – Wednesday, October 3rd

Here’s some of what I’ve been reading over the last couple days…

Roasted Chicken: Executing On The Simple Ideas

On Sunday, Lauren made one of my absolute most favorite meals, roasted chicken. It’s something you can get at the grocery store for $5. Put a lemon in its butt. Season with salt & pepper, shove it in the oven for an hour, and you have an amazing meal.

If you want the full recipe, read Michael Ruhlman. He has a great write up.

When you watch TV, like Top Chef, you get the impression that the best dishes are super complicated. That’s the furthest from the truth. ¬†In many cases, the best meals are about executing on really simple ideas with just a couple of ingredients like a roasted chicken. ¬†We’ve also fallen in love with roasted broccoli. ¬†Mmmmm. ūüôā

It’s a great lessons for life too. ¬†Instead of trying to bite off too much or making things too complicated, really focus on doing the best at executing against the simple tasks infront of you.

What I’m Reading – Saturday, Sept 22nd

Here’s just a quick look at some of what I’ve been reading over the last couple days…

What have you been reading?