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Dosas, brains and Facebook’s Town Hall in Delhi with Vivek and Sneha

This update is very, very behind, but I’m still somewhat getting back to real life after a very fast, very cool trip to India. I tagged along with Michael while he went to a conference in Udaipur, then we spent a few days in Delhi. At the conference, I met Vivek and his lovely wife Sneha.

Vivek is a neurosurgeon at AIIMS, a giant, giant hospital in Delhi, where they live. Since Michael and I don’t know our way around Delhi, when we arrived, Vivek and Sneha offered to take us out for dinner (ok, it was dinner, not lunch, but rules schmules). They picked us up at the India Habitat Center (where we stayed and a very cool place btw) around 8:30pm. Both were coming straight from work.

Sneha’s phone kept ringing and while she was answering it, Vivek was telling us that Mark Zuckerberg was in town the same time as us, for a Facebook town hall in Delhi. It turns out, Sneha works on the PR for Facebook in India. Aside from feeling kind of guilty about going out for dinner the evening before what seemed like a pretty busy day, I was pretty excited to go for dinner with someone that would also be interested in talking about not-neurosurgery stuff!

Sneha recently visited Menlo Park when India’s Prime Minister came to visit Facebook. This led to a hilarious conversation of why does everything in the ‘burbs close so early and why are the only vegetarian options at most places salad? It was great to get a chance to brag about all the cool things in the US that aren’t closed at 8pm and uh…everything that isn’t salad :) Prior to that, Sneha was working on PR for Uber’s launch in India. We talked about the issues that came up during launch and also how the PR team addressed everything.

We had a great meal of South Indian food. It was all so delicious and I ate way too much food, although it felt like we didn’t even get halfway through the food we ordered. The restaurant was in a cool part of Delhi that I think used to be a separate village, but is now a bunch of cool shops, galleries, restaurants and places to go out. We walked into a couple of stores, but didn’t really get a chance to investigate too much (because I was hungry, I insisted on eating first, at 9pm, and when we were done the shops were closed).

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Peter loves data, startups and music

I had an amazing lunch with Peter Marinari today. Peter is someone who can cover an intense amount of topics in a 45 minute lunch. I knew I liked Peter the moment I first met him. He has a big personality, always thinks the best of people and consistently gets more stuff done in a day than most people do in a week.

We started lunch by talking about his recent trip to San Francisco for an RJMetrics customer event. He spent a day relaxing in Palo Alto, then emceed the event held at New Relic’s head office. Listening to him talk about how well the event got me all excited about my work, as well. Every day this week, I’ve talked to someone that is clearly sold on the idea of events being an important part of their business. Obviously, this feels great.

Peter is a great person to talk to about career trajectory. He’s spent time thinking about where he is at in his career, where he’d like to get and what he needs to do to get there. I get the feeling he’s spent as much time thinking about that for each member of his team, as well. We discussed a Seth Godin video that everyone at my work is thinking about (Lizard Brain, if you’re wondering).  It is both reassuring and energizing to speak to people at other startups about how work is going.

In addition to work, we talked about Peter’s music and where he’s at with it right now. I’m so impressed that he can juggle working at a busy startup, a toddler and being a musician, which isn’t an insignificant time commitment.

We ate at HipCityVeg, a great to-go lunch spot in Rittenhouse. We both grabbed salads and sat in the park, today was the perfect day for it.

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Chrisse talks tickets, running and toddlers

I had lunch with Chrisse Dragon today – we both ate a quick, late lunch by the windows in the office. Chrisse is the Director of Customer Success at Ticketleap and does an amazing job. She knows everything you can possibly imagine about ticketing (ok, that’s not the *coolest* thing ever, but for where we work, it’s pretty important). She’s also really great at talking to people on the phone (also good considering her job). One of the reasons I enjoy working with Chrisse is that she’s a very empathetic team member. She’s pretty good at reading how the team is feeling and knowing what to do about it. Maybe I should copy/paste all of this as a LinkedIn recommendation?

I used to be the first person in the office every day, but Chrisse has taken over that role pretty much all the time. That means she makes the first pot of coffee most days, so it is important to be on her good side (or at least, very important to me). In addition to being the first one in every day, she also often works out at lunch. Over the summer, we went running a couple of times together (she’s fast, it hurt and I really didn’t even keep up). We both also participated in the go-to-the-gym-across-the-street club, even though that gym is terrible. Since (I’m lazy and) Mike is on research this year, I don’t need to workout at lunch all the time. Pretty sure Chrisse is still going strong on that though.

Chrisse has one of the best last names ever and we often refer to her in office as Mother of Dragon, since she has a son. We talked about Halloween costumes for our kids and also some general, “Are we doing this parenting thing correctly?” that often seem to come up in the Ticketleap office. I can’t tell if we’re all terrible parents, or just more self-aware than other parents I meet.

Since we started working together, I’ve learned several things about Chrisse. She’s from NEPA, which I didn’t even know was a thing, she’s very competitive about everything she does while being a good sport and she takes her birthday off from work every year.

While I ate a sad, sad salami-on-Taffet’s sandwich, Chrisse ate some pretty amazing looking takeout.

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Juliana Reyes reports on tech and records her dreams

Today, I had a great lunch with Juliana Reyes at Gavin’s Cafe. Because I’m a numpty, I forgot to take her picture and had to ask her to send one to me.

We started off by discussing how she ended up a Technical.ly and what it was like to jump right into the deep end of the tech scene. I was new to Philly, but not new to tech/startups. She was new to tech/startups, but has been in the area for a while. We both felt pretty welcome, although it seems like a long time ago now!

Juliana recently started a series on Technical.ly on tech people talking about everything else in their lives. I think it is the best idea and asked her how she came up with it. She said she hates meeting people and being at a loss for what to talk to them about. This series is her solution to that. Meeting someone and already knowing a little about what they love to do makes it easy to having a meaningful conversation with them.
Perfect segue…

One of the reasons why I wanted to have lunch with Juliana was to ask her about a cool project she’s working on. She’s been writing dream poetry and, with her roommate, started making short films about them. She posted one on Twitter and I thought it was pretty neat. It seemed like a cool side project she was doing because she loved it — I wish there was more room in the world for projects like this. She said at the moment, she doesn’t have plans to do anything more with it other than to make more short films.

I asked about what Juliana took in school and she said she graduated from Linguistics. I appreciated our discussion about college/university, as it seems pretty similar to my experience. I went to drink and to figure out who I was as a person. I left with a degree and somehow ended up as an employable human. Although I admire people that go in knowing exactly what they are going to get out of a post-secondary education, I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything.

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Neil knows linguistics, improv and ex-pat life

Yesterday, Neil and i had lunch at Agno, one of my favorite lunch spots. It was brutally hot and at that moment, I very much regretted the all natural deodorant I bought on the weekend. Also, Neil has successfully dropped a secret middle finger in this photo.
Neil and I met through some of the stuff he does with Bad Kitten, an improv group he is a part of that makes great, “come to our show” videos. I learned at lunch that Neil spent 3 years living in The Netherlands before moving to Philadelphia. I appreciated his thoughts on living abroad and how he views the experience.
Neil’s background is psycho-linguistics. We had an interesting chat about all of that including how adults are continuously learning new words, how learning language after a stroke is both fascinating and terrifying and how deaf people form words when learning to read. While he is no longer in the academic world, his education and research helps with what he currently does. Improv Science helps scientist (and other science types, I assume) learn how to collaborate and communicate better through the same tools that improv groups use.
One of the things I admire about Neil is that he always seems to have several things going on. He contributes to geekadelphia.com, he is writing reviews at this year’s Fringe Arts Festival, he does improv, he works hard for the money and he has more cool projects on the horizon.
He very graciously did a spinach check on my teeth at the end of the meal.

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Lisa Wu loves her job, travels well and apple picking

Lisa Wu

I had lunch with this amazing lady yesterday. It was a holiday, so there was booze involved. We met at Jones, a place I have a love/hate relationship with. Something always just feels a bit off there…but they have tots so I inevitably keep going back.

Lisa works at J&J and I’m always impressed by the way she talks about what she does. She loves her job and her coworkers. She spends her days organizing clinical trials. I can’t even imagine how much work goes into her job and I get the impression she is very good at it (from her coworkers, not just hearing that from Lisa, haha). Her job is probably not a great for someone that isn’t into details.

We spent a large part of lunch discussing the one week safari in Africa, plus one week diving in The Maldives trip she and her husband just went on. If you’re ever wondering how much you can pack into one vacation, or how far away you can go in a limited amount of time, talk to Lisa. Her recreational travel schedule is impressive and neither Lisa nor her husband are shy about getting on long flights for a weekend trip.

Over lunch we also discussed the optimal fall weekend for apple picking, what the eff you do once you pick a bunch of apples and when we should next convene for cocktails at our (what I think of as) secret location, the outdoor garden at M hotel. Hello, gin list!

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Michaelangelo Ilagan runs, eats tacos and loves Philly

MikeyIl

I met @MikeyIl (and let him know we only refer to him as MikeyIl in the office) for lunch at Buena Onda today. He has a plan to meet 100 people for lunch and document each one. I thought it was a cool idea, so I’m copying it, starting with today’s lunch! I’m not sure I can meet people for lunch every day, but I’m making it my own and aiming for 3 lunches per week.

As we ordered, he mentioned he normally eats what I would consider to be two lunches because he’s been running a crazy amount lately. Over the last few years, he’s gone from not-a-runner to finding his groove and really getting in a huge number of miles every month.

After we ordered, we mostly talked about work, with a few random questions I had sprinkled in. I was interested in the dynamic of what it’s like to work at a smaller company, but be in a huge corporate office all day. He is a front end web developer for Think Brownstone and is contracted out to Comcast. MikeyIl says he likes how they work together. He gets all of the benefits of working at a smaller company, a great team culture, etc. but also has the stability and predictability (in a good way) of working at a large company. He said before working at Comcast, he had no idea just how many people could all work on the same website. It’s pretty crazy when you think about it.

MikeyIl seems to be connected to everything in Philadelphia, so I asked him about how he gets involved in stuff. He said if it has a social network, he’s on it, although he doesn’t actively contribute to the same things year over year. I told him my story of getting fired from Yelp Elite. He then definitely one upped my story by telling me about how he originally met Allison Hartman (I credit her with helping me get a job a Ticketleap) by trying to set The Trestle Inn on fire at a Yelp Elite party.

MikeyIl has just finished up Geekadelphia’s Geek Awards for the year, and I was excited to talk to him about how things went. Events are hard work and The Geek Awards is all done by volunteers. They used Ticketleap for ticketing this year and I’m looking forward to showing off some new stuff we’re working on to The Geek Awards when they are ready to ramp up again next year.

When I talk to anyone that’s from Philadelphia, I always want to ask them all of their favorite spots (and other questions, like, “Do you know where to go hiking?”). I settled on asking about a brunch spot I’d seen him post about (Fourth and Cross). It’s kind of weird when you follow people on social media. You know weird details about their lives, then have to either pretend like you don’t, or just be comfortable asking questions that would otherwise be awkward. “I stalk all brunch photos and was hoping to get your opinion on a restaurant.” would be one of those awkward questions. Lunch #1 was a success, even though I forgot to take a photo until after we ate.

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David Gluzman drinks good wine

David and I worked together for several years. We actually shared a tiny desk together for over a year (oh, startup life!). I can’t believe we still speak, actually.  He is the first person to introduce me to the idea of user experience. Since working together, David has founded his own startup.

 

What is BlackSquare?

BlackSquare is a slightly different kind of tech startup. Rather than dealing with fluffy bits and bytes, we dabble in the wine industry. Which means we drink less Gin in the office than Wine.

We run Alberta’s largest monthly wine club (WineCollective.ca), a premium flash sale wine portal (Tannic.ca) and a turnkey direct to consumer wine platform for anyone that sells wine (Blackboxx).

What is your background and experience?

I used to be dedicated to sport (started with Speed Skating, and transitioned to Cycling), which gave me an early opportunity to travel the world. During this time I balanced sport with working with computers. I used to do tech support, sell computers, and design/code/write on the Internets. I had my first “blog” in 1995 and thought usenet was pretty neat.

Since then I’ve created and worked at various startups, ad agencies, and ran an online magazine for ten years. I started as a designer, transitioning to a developer, and came full circle finding my passion in user experience and product design. I’m constantly playing with new concepts, and experimenting with technology.

I’m one of those people that always questions why something was built a certain way and imagine on how it could be better. I get frustrated when I approach a building with two doors, and the first one I try is locked! Why do you have two doors? That sort of stuff drives me nuts.

You were a consultant for a long time, did starting your own start up evolve from that, or is it something completely different?

The first time I took up consulting life was rough. I recall one year making $6000, and barely having enough to eat. Then again the last stint I did as a consultant, life was gravy. The only problem with consulting is that it never ends, and I always have an itch to work on products versus projects.

A big drive to working on my own products has come from the fact that I want to have the maximum amount of impact come from my efforts. Most jobs and even some consulting gigs restrain me.

How much time did you put into the experience people have when ordering through WineCollective?

A fair bit, but to be honest the website itself is pretty simple. We have set out to remove the choice when joining (we have five packages). Pick a price point and style, done. Wine starts showing up at your home or office every month – along with in depth tasting notes teaching you about them.

We taste hundreds of wines a month looking to find the best on the market (of which Alberta has an incredible amount of rotating skus). Our goal is to eliminate the dice roll of trying new wines, while pushing you into trying something you might not normally choose on your own.

We only showcase wine that we think are awesome.

Do you get to drink wine every day?

Yes.

How do you decide what wines will be delivered next?

It’s a mix between seasonality, quality and availability. For example we feature a sparkling wine every December and generally feature heavier reds during winter and brighter whites in summer.

What is your favourite part of founding your own company?

True creativity. Having to make decisions and figure out solutions without any kind of road map is incredibly challenging yet oddly fun.

I used to be excited by spinning out ideas, and now it has lost its luster. Ideas are a dime a dozen, the hard part is actually doing it. It’s the execution that is addictive.

To go a bit deeper I think the largest reward to running my own company is that I’m learning every day. I hope this never changes.

What do you wish you knew before you started?

From my first start up I learned how important it is to have motivated and driven people by your side. I also learned that these people come and go – that’s life.

This time around, I wish I knew how to clone myself. Did I mention we’re hiring?

What’s next for BlackSquare?

We’re expanding world wide, and currently working on expansion to Australia and Asia. I’m excited that we’re disrupting the wine industry, and pushing it into the modern world. We’re growing WineCollective and Tannic, but our main goal is growing Blackboxx as a new global standard for direct to consumer wine sales.

I want to revolutionize how people buy and learn about wine.

 

If you want to keep up with David, you can follow him on Twitter.

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Alex Middleton finds stories and shares them

Alex is organizing the 3rd annual TEDxYYC event next month in Calgary. He’s lined up some interesting speakers across numerous industries, including Raffi (as in Banana Phone) and Moeed Ahmad, the Head of New Media at Al jazeera. He is a PR Consultant, a former journalist and one of my favorite people to go for brunch with!

What do you do?

I’m a PR Consultant.

Does your education match your job title?

Strictly no, but the skills I learned being a journalist have certainly made the transition easier than if I had studied accounting. Being on the other side and having had the experience of working with both good PR professionals and bad PR professionals was a valuable experience in what to do to and what not to do. If not, how did you end up where you are today? I had moved back to Calgary after working in London with the CBC and The Globe and Mail and didn’t really know what my next career move would be but was offered a job with a film festival helping with their PR and communications and really enjoyed it. That was nine years ago, and I’ve been doing PR ever since.

How would you explain the skills required to put together an event like TEDxYYC?

Honestly the thing I think I’ve done well is surrounding myself with some very talented team members. It’s almost like planning an elaborate bank heist but instead of looking for explosives experts and get away drivers I’ve found a group of people who are great designers and web developers, event planners, speaker prep and community connectors.

You’ve been able to attract some world class speakers to a relatively small event, without paying them. How do you do it?

Begging;) Actually the TED brand is recognizable enough that when approaching a potential speaker target out of the blue starting of your email with TED often times gets their attention and then once we have their attention we talk about what we want to accomplish at our event, which is community building and collaboration. This is what it’s all about for me – attract a group of speakers that will inspire an audience to take the lessons they’ve learned and then spread those ideas into the greater community.

How do you learn about people who might give interesting talks?

From reading magazines and newspapers to getting feedback from everyone in the community about people they’ve come across in their professional lives. We usually draw up a list of around 50 people and then whittle it down to around 12. IT’s not easy and a lot of the time it’s a crapshoot as we’ve never seen the people we select speak in public. A good speaker prep person is invaluable.

What keeps you up at night in the days leading up to TEDxYYC?

The fear of technical issues on the day of. We work with good production partners though so those fears are somewhat mitigated. Unlike the first TEDxYYC event when a caterer plugged a coffee machine in and killed our live stream. We now have safe guards built in.

Who is your dream speaker and what would they speak about for 20 minutes?

Santiago Calatrava. Especially with the controversy surrounding the Peace Bridge in Calgary. I’m a huge fan of the bridge but there has been a lot of vitriol from Calgarians about the project. I’d love to hear him talk about art and architecture and the role design plays in livable communities. If anyone out there has his phone number let me know.

Have you read any good books lately?

I just finished Atul Gawande‘s book Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science. I don’t generally read non-fiction and am not especially interested in the healthcare industry but I flew through the book as it is so interesting, and frightening, and there are so many issues with the healthcare system that mirror problems in other industries. Highly recommended.

If you’d like to learn more about TEDxYYC, check out their website. You can also follow Alex on Twitter. 

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Connor Turner makes things look great on the Internet (including this blog)

Connor Turner helped me redesign I know smart people. I think it looks great, so what better person to interview first? You won’t be disappointed, he answered all of my questions really well and shared more about what it is like to move for love (I can relate!). Hope you enjoy the post and if you love Connor’s design for the blog, why don’t you leave him a comment below?

 

What is Armadillo Studios?

Armadillo Studios is a Web Design/Social Media/iOS app/Web Data company that I started about five years ago. It’s a small Calgary-based outfit that has been working with some great clients, building sites for best selling authors, the Canadian government, local start-ups and of course a variety of businesses across North America. The company is also involved in theCalgary tech community. The tech community inCalgary is great and has been a vehicle for me to try out different side projects, such as the yycApps project and also the new AlbertaTweets project.

How did you decide on the name?

It’s a combination of a two random items. First, as a kid I hand an unhealthy obsession with Armadillos and the Ankylosaurus (the armadillo’s prehistoric cousin). Whenever we had to do reports on animals or dinosaurs in elementary or junior high school, I’d always do my report on either one of those two animals. I guess it’s fair to say that my love of the armadillo is something that hasn’t gone away.

And then, when I was about 25 and toying with idea of take the plunge into the web design world, I decided to see what it was all about by heading to SXSW inAustin. I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I went down there anyway and was immediately inspired. And of course, Central/West Texas is notorious for its armadillo population. So as a odd but fitting dual homage to my childhood obsession and also the city that inspired this career shift, I decided to name the company Armadillo Studios.

Ironically, it took me 31 years and a trip to theWashingtonDCzoo to see my first real life armadillo. I giggled like a school girl when I finally saw one – my wife and niece mocked me for days after that. My wife won’t let me have an Armadillo as a pet; she says it has something to do with their shifty eyes.

Um…yeah and it would be weird. When you strike out on your own, how much work is it to get a steady flow of clients?

To steal a line from Spinal Tap, if on a difficulty scale from 1-10, with ten being the highest it’s probably an eleven or closer to twelve.

I think there’s a misconception of what it’s like to strike out on your own. Many people imagine it as this wonderful and glorious world of sweatpants, sleeping in and afternoons riding your bike around town. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize how much of a constant hustle is to be on your own. In particular, how much effort it takes to maintain and build lasting relationships with clients. When you’re working for someone else there is normally a bit of a buffer zone which gives you room for error. Even if you’re the main sales representative, you’ve still got a support staff to do the dirty work (such as accounting and producing the product) and all you really need to do is maintain your group of client relationships. When you’re out working on your own, it all rests on your shoulders – keeping up with communications, accounting, marketing and relationship building all falls on your plate.

So to be successful at building a steady flow of clients you really have to learn how to be persistent and how to sell yourself in a manner that matches your personality traits.  The biggest marketing tool out there for someone starting out on their own is word of mouth and the only way to get that is to get the boots on the ground and meet people.

Who do you admire in your industry and why do you admire them?

There are a handful of people in the industry that I really admire. I tend to gravitate to the bolder people in the field for inspiration. Jason Fried and Gary Vaynerchuk are two guys that have really influenced me over the years. I’ve always appreciated Fried’s challenges to the paradigms of our standard work patterns and the work/life balance. And, Vaynerchuk was a guy that I openly mocked for many years, but when I finally started paying attention, I was in pure awe of his vibrancy and tenacity. I love that even though Gary comes off as an almost larger than life figure, he is still able to connect with people on a more grounded level. I also really admire the work that Leslie Bradshaw and Jesse Thomas are doing at JESS3. I love that they’ve taken the traditional web design agency and transformed it into a new hybrid creative outfit with a focus on data visualization and story telling. I really admire that sort of outside the box thinking.

All that being said, my biggest influences are Julien Smith and Chris Brogan. I’ve had the privilege to see them both speak a few times, and it’s their absolute brutal honesty and bravado when it comes to building personal relations that I admire.  As opposed to many of the so called Social Media networkers out there, Brogan and Smith really hit the nail on building real relationships with people and creating lasting networks. And really, how can you not admire someone who can get a point across while dropping an f-bomb in an elegant manner.

Your wife is doing her Masters in Washington DC right now. What is it like to move across the continent, to another country while you have your own business?

It’s been an interesting challenge to say the least, but I’ve taken it in stride. The biggest challenge of leaving your “home court” and taking your talents to another playground is that you lose the face-to-face interaction with your clientele. It really means that you have to go the extra mile to maintain those personal connections and networks. Luckily, I have been able to build a great support group in Calgary who keep the fires going, while I’m away on this self imposed sabbatical.

One of the decisions I made when we moved, was to use this time as a sort of career reboot. I decided that since I had to scale back everything, I was going to spend my time not only improving on my design and coding skill set, but to really define what direction I wanted to take my career and company in. I’ve been balancing out my time by volunteering with different organizations like Junior Achievement, a local Food Advocacy group and also helping to rebuild an academic journal. They’re all fun projects that have really helped to challenge me in different ways than regular client work would.

I also really lucked out, because The District (as they refer to it here) is one of the most interesting and vibrant cities when it comes to our industry. Sure it doesn’t have the “let’s get our hands dirty and build this thing” attitude thatCalgaryhas, but there are some interesting things going on in the community. It also helps that there are a slew of events and conferences every month, so I’ve been able to really expand my knowledge and expose myself to a whole new element of this industry.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received about working on your own instead of in a large corporation?

“Fail in obscurity.”

Which I think is a Jason Fried/37signals philosophy. This basically means, when you start out on your own, you’re going to make a series of mistakes – so make them when you’re small and nobody notices. When you’re working on you’re own you’ll inevitably make mistakes on a daily basis. It’s really unavoidable. But “fail in obscurity” allows you to make those mistakes when you’re small and safe, rather than later on when there’s real money and reputations on the line.

Too many people when they decide to go out on their own, put all their eggs into one basket and end up putting themselves in a position where if they fail there are real personal consequences. We talked about this during a talk we gave at SXSW on starting your own creative agency, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with starting a new business on the side while you pay the bills with your day job. It gives you the wherewithal to screw-up without the extra pressure of relying on your brand new business to put food on the table. Far too many people expect that going out on your own is going to grant you a wealth of instant gratification. That’s unfortunately not true, working on your own involves an incredible amount of sacrifice and commitment. Plus, not every idea is going to be a surefire hit, you could probably ask my much smarter developer friend Boley how many cockamamie ideas I’ve come up with that have fizzled and died. Luckily, because we toyed with these ideas in obscurity, there was no repercussion for their inevitable failure.

What ambitions do you still have?

Call it a symptom of my environment, but I’ve decided to make a personal transition towards the political realm. Being in DC has granted me the opportunity to really see how the political world and web industry are merging together at the moment. Oddly enough,Canadaseams to have missed the boat on this topic. It’s probably a symptom of the more fluid parliamentary system, but from my observations many of the political parties inCanadaaren’t leveraging these emerging tools or really looking into the available data online. I know it’s like comparing Apples andOrangestogether, but the American Political machine is a well oiled entity that’s embraced the importance of web data and trend analysis, while the Canadian Political machines can barely get their candidates to embrace twitter. So I think there’s an opportunity to really bring some of the ideas I’ve been exposed to in DC back toCanada. It’s one of the impetuses for the AlbertaTweets project.

I’ve also become very concerned with the lack of support inCanadafor fostering our industry. As a country we already have so many inherent advantages for entrepreneurs. We have an incredibly educated population and a stable social safety net (i.e. universal health care), so as country there really aren’t any barriers to taking the chance for innovating with either a new product or idea. But where we lack is the sort of positive environment to take these ideas, products or services to the next level. Sure in recent months, we’ve seen a growth in this sort of support, but we need a stronger infrastructure to help retain our smartest firms. I think the Federal and Provincial levels of government can do a much stronger job of fostering this sort of infrastructure. I know Alberta as a province can do a much better job of fostering the web industry and I think that is really the underlying ambition that I have moving forward.

If you want to stay up-to-date on Connor, you can follow him on Twitter