The Holidays really crept up on me pretty quickly this year. I was completely unprepared when I headed out to California from the 19th. I didn’t check the snow reports in Tahoe, so I hauled my snowboard out there only to find manmade, icy runs. I can handle manmade, icy runs in Vermont where I’ll take what I can get, but up in Tahoe it’s just depressing. I also had done absolutely no Christmas shopping, which meant I spent my supposedly relaxing vacation days in the labyrinth that was the local middle America mall. Although unprepared, it ended up being a great Christmas. Its always tough being on the other side of the country from my family, but it does make the Holidays that much more special. I hope everybody had a great Holiday too.
Tuesday, December 13th: Founders @ Fail w/ Amol Sarva of Peek
First, I have to say that I met Amol recently, and he is a perfect example of why the New York entrepreneur ecosystem is great. I’ve had a few conversations with Amol now, and during each one he continually surprises me with how genuine and sincere he is. Amol always seems to be more than willing to listen, give advice, and help out where he can. Just one of those guys I look to emulate in my daily life. On to the talk… I remember reading about Peek on Engadget when it was launching and not knowing how to take the device. Peek was getting a ton of press and gadget of the year titles, but the iPhone had just come out, and I didn’t understand where an email only device would fit into the market. Then the economy crashed, Peek struggled, and eventually fell off of my, and probably most people’s, radar. The story that was missed was an incredible one. Amol spoke of Peek’s troubles, how they searched for a new path, how they’re investors supported, issues in the office, and their eventual turn around. Peek, for those who don’t know, are currently providing software for low-cost feature phones around the world. I am now incredibly interested to see how they will continue to evolve as the world turns from feature phones to smart phones. If you have a chance meet or hear Amol speak, I highly recommend it.
Thursday, December 15th: Startup Jobs: Find Your Path w/ Charlie O’Donnell
I thought it would be interesting to check out Charlie O’Donnell’s thoughts on breaking into the start-up job world. It was a good talk, informal and free flowing; he answered a lot of audience questions. The general theories weren’t anything you don’t hear everywhere else. Mainly that startups are busy and need to know exactly how you will help them. For those interested in making a career change, I would recommend checking this talk out if he does it again and definitely checking out Charlie’s Blog, thisisgoingtobebig.com.