• Define: Good Business

    Good Businesses are hard to come by. It is something personal yet calculated. A Good Business is the ice cream place you always went to as a kid. It's the company you don't fully understand, but think they're onto something. It's the coffee and bagel shop near school with terrible service, but "the best" breakfast sandwiches turn it into a place you full-heartedly reccomend. A Good business is the newsletter that you actually open in your inbox. A Good Business provides value, whether that value is emtional, material, social, or other. Above all, a Good Business is hard to define.

    This category -- Good Business -- will be my atttempt to document the Good Businesses I've encountered in my life. 

    The first Good Business isn't even profitable to my knowledge.  

    730DC is 

    "a daily email newsletter that connects young Washington to their city and each other. Each morning at 7:30 a.m., the newsletter cuts through a fragmented local news space to deliver the most relevant news and events in D.C."

    While this might seem like a micro Thrillist, I gaurantee you it is not. This newsletter tells you "what to know" and "what to do". Quality and care as to what is inlcuded is what makes the daily newsletter most valuable and differentiates it from everything else out there. Whether the event they list is up your alley or not, the commentary and context draws you in and reminds yourself of where you fit in among other goings-on in DC.

    It is with impressive consistency that the authors deliver information that light is not shed on elsewhere. Ben Thompson wrote about Blogging's Bright Future730DC is a shining example of that future.  I am a happy subcriber of Ben's newsletters and in a survey 730DC sent out last week, I noted I would happily pay to have the same daily newsletter in Boston. Yes, you read that right, I don't even live in DC. I visit a lot and picked it up when looking for things to do.  

    This is certainly not a paid endorsement, nor did anyone even ask my opinion. That is one of the virtues of a Good Business. The customers who see them as such, will advocate for them with passion and creativity that is hard to replicate.

  • Chasing your "Bottom Line"

    ... and letting it dictate how you spend your time.

    On April 7th, I was lucky enough to be asked to return to a class I TAd when I was in college at Tufts University.  ELS-107, taught by Pamela Stepp, is a class designed to help students develop their knowledge, confidence, skills, and self-image necessary to pursue entrepreneurial ventures. It is also a source of inspiration and energy in the art and science of taking visions and bringing them to reality.

    The opportunity was an impotus for me to get thoughts I had running around in my head into a "coherent" form. Unfortunately I wasn't able to record the talk (camera crashed) but I've posted the visuals (see below).  

    This talk focused on being aware of the time that passes every day, how you choose to spend it, and how you should be choosing to spend it. It's about finding your "Bottom Line" and letting it dictate how you spend your time.

    If you're curious what the words behind them were, reach out. I'd be happy to let you know.


    A brief note on the photos used in the talk. Some are my own, all others I reached out to the creators for permission.

  • Why I Speed

    It’s the first day of spring and I’m driving down 128 with the windows down and an open road. The speedometer points to 65mph and I decide to push the accelerator down.

    At the age of 7 years old, I thought I had discovered the key to success… Do everything as fast as humanly possible. If could do this, then I would be able to complete more tasks in a given time and free up room to do all sorts of other things. “If only I could make my bed and clean my room in 2 minutes I’d have so much time to play Legos” I told myself.

    In retrospect, I wonder if I had made toddler equivalent of the jump from assembly language programming to abstract languages. The answer? No, not quite. The similarity though, is that I wanted to “push down my stack” to create room to do other things. So far, I’ve found that this can be done in two ways:

    Operational efficiency. i.e. doing everything quickly or with less effort, but achieving the same result

    Abstract implementation i.e. delegating tasks “do my chores”

    I thought that operational efficiency was the key to success. In reality, when success is defined as completion of an intent by executing tasks, it is a combination of the two.

    This way you can break down ways to achieve goals or intentions into these two methods. For example, with the intent to get to work, you could drive and have the ability to increase operational efficiency by speeding. If you choose public transit, an abstract implementation of self transportation, you can only optimize which routes you take or the departure/arrival times.

    It’s worth noting that abstract implementation generally leads to a larger increase in “space on your stack” than operational efficiency, but less autonomy.

    Does pushing down the stack decrease quality of the work you do? Not if done well. Why should you do it? To reach space that you’ve never reached before. These two solutions, operational efficiency and abstract implementation drive productivity forward. They open up the unknown, and those who are aware and eager take advantage of it; progressing forward. Those who take advantage beat on against the stack, ceaselessly moving forward into the future.

    So why do I speed? Because how would you want to spend the minutes and hours you’ll never get back; driving down the highway or reaching into the unknown?

    I wrote this piece on medium