We as humanity sit down today in America reflecting on blessings, while also re-learning historical truths thanks to the humongous reference book that is “the internet“. I am completely content knowing *that* internet, hyper-evolving technology, and a love for changing paradigms led me to the startup wave that emerged after the Great Recession. After discovering entrepreneurs like Seth Godin, Chris Sacca, Nick Campbell, Chase Jarvis and Kevin Rose, I was inspired to follow a similar path. Freelancing in and of itself is a small business. You have to bootstrap your gear, your brand, your marketing, your payroll department. Many times, you wear all those hats (and more).
Four years later, I had the wonderful opportunity to work for the best tech blog in the world, TechCrunch.
It all happened quite fast. I was already a “jack of all trades” in the Film/TV world at that point. You had to be adaptable in the post-Recession landscape. When some Huffington Post Live colleagues recommended me for the job of Video Producer at a blog I already followed intensely, I was beside myself. I will always be thankful for Jon Orlin, John Biggs, and Jordan Crook for seeing the potential of what we could do together in New York City. Hundreds of videos and 3 years later, I can say TechCrunch Video is the strongest it’s ever been.
I always felt grateful that TC hired people with real personalities and deep opinions. Because who the hell wants to watch a wishy-washy take on a piece of tech or a hot new app? From CES to TC Meetups to the infamous Disrupt Conferences a small, fierce team managed to create content at a pace I haven’t seen in my career. Today, that team has a firm grasp on shareable social media content, web series, feature videos, breaking news, talk shows and daily rundowns with ease. They are in really good hands.
I say this because before I left for Nepal with Rashmi, I had made the tough decision to leave TechCrunch in search of new opportunities. As many tech journalists can tell you, news is a grind. Many times, I have watched in awe as our team would hunker down in a Skype or Slack room, divvy out coverage, and just slay an Apple announcement WHILE being all-hands-on-deck for Disrupt. Insane. They are absolutely the hardest working, most intelligent, savvy, and tight-knit tech blog in the world (read about TC’s history here). If you have heard the rumors of our post-Disrupt karaoke, you know it is epic — and *usually* alcohol fueled.
<3 Look at these bad asses <3
So you’re asking yourself, why leave? To this day I still have that entrepreneurial spirit alive. I’m about to launch a podcast about musical guilty pleasures called The Guilty Mixtape. I have a steaming music show idea I’d like to develop. And I’ve become very taken with Virtual Reality (VR) video. Aside from that, I’d like to tell stories of startups, nature conservation, musicians, microbreweries, art, organic food, DIY-culture, green homes, activist causes, and all the other things I love. Just outside the news cycle.
The Freedom 360 Explorer VR video rig in use in Kathmandu this past month.
My vacation in Boulder, Colorado this past April also reignited a kinship I grew up with: being deeply connected to nature. I spent time in a yurt in the middle of the Rocky Mountains and just shot photos and video for the love of creation. I ate delicious bacon and guacamole soft tacos. And I hung out with an over-zealous blue bird. Which culminated in this meditative video.
It reiterated what I needed to be doing. Also around that time, my wife’s family experienced the horror of debilitating earthquakes near Kathmandu. All of this was a wake up call that I needed to put into motion my own family, while ensuring I am building a future for us going forward.
My family in Ohio.
My extended family in Nepal.
This new start is a part of that.
Oh… PLUS a group of us finally finished a fiction short film called “What We Talk About When We Talk About Zombies” which got into the Nitehawk Shorts Festival in Williamsburg (and hopefully more, fingers crossed). I worked with a great team and hope for many more film projects like it.
As for right now? I am currently booking, and looking to collaborate with YOU. I do travel, and I have an active passport. I love New York City, but won’t say no to a gig in Costa Rica, Morocco or the Pacific Northwest this winter either 😉 If you know anyone who needs their story told effectively through video or photos, or would make good collaborators for me, please reach out – firstname.lastname@example.org or call me 201.618.2642
As for my day of thanks, I have made lifelong friendships at TC, and amongst the startup community we reported on and championed. I look at the caliber of people I was able to interface with daily, as we rode that wave with (relative) ease and just feel happy that I got to spend the last 3 years as part of their quirky, nerdy tribe of geekdom.
Thank you all.
I’ve had some problems getting PGP just right in the past but Mailvelope, specifically their Firefox Plugin makes it super easy as it works within your current webmail.
PGP is essentially an encrypted Public Key + encrypted Private Key you create and another user creates to communicate privately. You write an email, encrypt it according to your distinct Private Key and the recipient’s Public Key. The recipient can only decrypt it by allowing their Private key plus their secure password to do so.
1. First, head to https://www.mailvelope.com/
2. Depending on your browser – Firefox or Chrome, download the extension and install.
3. Watch this setting up Mailvelope video tutorial:
4. Once you plug in your email and a highly secure password, you can then upload your Public Key to MIT’s Public Key Server (this isn’t essential, but nearly everyone does it for easier sharing). https://pgp.mit.edu/
**YOUR PUBLIC KEY**
The public key looks like this:
-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----- Version: SKS 1.1.5 Comment: Hostname: pgp.mit.edu
And ends with:
-----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
5. After uploading, to get your shareable MIT link, you need to go back to https://pgp.mit.edu and search your Key ID.
6. To find that, go back into the Mailvelope Settings, I’ve highlighted with the red arrow.
Then, on the MIT site, plug into the search bar:
0x______________ and then your Key ID.
I can’t wait to see more from this team. They also were behind the hilarious parody song “Turn Your Phone 90 Degrees” which got over 800k views. As an added bonus, Kessler Crane was a strategic partner on the video and provided a bunch of gear and technical help. They put up a behind-the-scenes post here that you can check out.
This was the copy that was attached to Stone’s 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA. The words really ring true to me in how I view the coming art & craft rebirth we are experiencing here in America:
“In the 15 years since we entered the craft brewing world, change has come not in a straight line, but as an exponential curve. The craft brewing movement has long been called a “revolution.” But today the air is so thick with revolution, it’s palpable. No longer is it only an awareness among the faithful; the unconverted are beginning to feel it as well. Denial and ignorance are disappearing in favor of opened eyes, curiosity and the sense that there’s something larger out there. For far too long we have been lied to. For far too long we have been oppressed by the notion that dumbed-down-lowest-common-denominator-mediocrity was all that we could, and should, expect.
You might think we’re talking only about the world of brewing, but we’re not. There is a myriad of products out there masquerading as cheeses, coffee, chocolates, breads…hell, there is stuff pretending to be ’food’ that our great grandmothers would not recognize as such. Yet the craft brewing movement, together with the artisanal food movement, is making much progress. Where the industrial companies can’t dismiss or bury us, they are attempting to copy us with cheap facsimiles. Yes, chances are if you are holding this bottle, you understand these things to be true about the world of brewing.
You also likely understand the importance of our fight at Stone against accepted ’norms’ over the last 15 years. We believed that America was ready to embrace things made with artistry and passion. You have spoken. Your response has been clear. We are not merely consumers to be spoon-fed whatever commodities need to be unloaded for a profit.
We have only just begun to move the needle of this revolution, & mediocrity still reigns. Consider that when you reject dumbed down, industrialized food and drink, you also support craft brewing. The line is nearly seamless; we are fighting the same battle. We will not win in our lifetime, as the powers are too entrenched, and the masses too fooled. And shackled.
However, this is a revolution of ideas and of taste, and we will win. How do you want to be viewed by your children, and your children’s children? As a hero, or as the oppressed? (Those that don’t think they have been oppressed are already lost.) Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide. We hope you’ll stand with us. Strong and unyielding. You are needed.
This bottle and its glorious contents are a celebration of you, brothers and sisters, and your importance in this fight. Cheers to all we’ve accomplished together in the past fifteen years, and cheers to the adventure ahead!”