Shopping For Better Data

On Monday, grocery store shelves across the Northeast were cleared of all sustenance by desperate citizens in preparation for the great blizzard of 2015. As I sit hunkered down in Brooklyn, with a full refrigerator of treasures I fought the bearded and scarved hoards for yesterday, my thoughts turned to the future of how we shop. Truth be told, shopping across all categories is broken. There is a growing gap between the shopping public and the retailers who aim to serve them. And caught in the middle, brands are trying to find new ways to wrestle some control back. On the edge is an army of entrepreneurs claiming they’ll show us how to do it all better. With that stage set, I believe 2015 will be a big year for shopping. I’m not predicting record sales or the greatest black Friday on record. This is about what happens behind the shelves. What we’ll see this year is the surfacing of multiple disjointed issues deep inside the infrastructure of shopping itself.

Read my conclusions to this opportunity on Forbes

Steal My Idea, I Dare You

The "stolen" idea of Facebook and eternal legal battle between Zuckerberg and the twins is a well documented worst case scenario as to what happens when you share your idea with the wrong people. But what is the best case scenario? I was recently on 5By (check them out, amazing video conceirge style curation) and checking out their Venture Cap Channel. 5By served me up a pretty great video on finding a technical co-founder, a question I get all the time from the start-ups I work with that are lacking the Hacker to complete the Hipster, Hacker, Hustler trifecta. In this video, Ian Jeffrey of FounderFuel, says that the best way to attract the Hacker is to tell everyone about your idea, especially at events and meet ups where the Hacker types might hang out (look for neck beards and ironic t-shirts) He also addresses the "what if someone steals the idea" concern.

I've thought about this idea of people stealing my ideas before telling folks about projects that I think about on nights and weekends and during the first 10,000 feet of airline flights. When it all boils down to it, I could give someone all the details needed and a really good pitch about why some of my ideas are awesome but if they tried to steal them, they would be missing a very important piece of the reason it is a great idea: Me.

At this point in the innovation and start-up industry's life cycle, we are beyond the point were people are looking for the needle in the haystack of good ideas. Now people are trying to beat back the good ideas and find the great ones, and, most everyone is partial to their own. People don't have time to steal your ideas, they're trying to find enough time to do their own.

A great example of this kind of openness was the subject of my Forbes post this morning. John O'Nolan laid out his game plan for building Ghost last year and didn't hide much. But, it was because of this openness that he got over 100,000 unique views on that blog post and, in the past 24 hours, has doubled his Kickstarterr goal and is well on his way to blowing the doors off of this opportunity. If someone else had taken this idea and run with it without John, it would have failed. There is no one else that cared about it as much as he did. And because of that caring, he's attracted a team of rock stars to work with him.

So, get out there and share the big ideas. Get out there and find others they resonate with. Then go do them together. That's what this wild and crazy world is all about.

The Art and Science of Hustle: Year One

A year ago today I wrote my first post for Forbes as a Contributor on The Art and Science of Hustle.  Since then, I have posted 2-3 times a month and have been truly honored and fascinated by the response I've received. Some posts that I thought would do well flopped and other posts that I was less committed to turned out to be run away successes and the source of some incredible feedback and engagement. Here are the Top Ten posts from my first year:

1. Why I Only Carry One Business Card

2. Going Viral For Something You Didn't Do

3. How To Make The Perfect Email Introduction

4. Top Five Reasons Not To Check Your Phone At Dinner Tonight

5. The Dream Team: Hipster, Hacker, and Hustler

6. The Only Three People You Need To Know At A Dinner Party

7. Being A Regular

8. If You're On Time, You're Late

9. The $98,000,000 Contract Inked On An iPad

10. The Hipster Effect And Your Career

All told I've seen over 215,000 pages views on the 30 posts from this past year and I am looking forward to another great year ahead. I am really working on upping my game and making sure that the thoughts and ideas I share are of interest and timely to anyone kind enough to give them a read. I would love any and all feedback on what topics you would like to see me dig into in the future.

Have any thoughts? Comment below.

Thanks and here's to another awesome year exploring The Art and Science of Hustle.

Going Viral For Something You Didn't Do

You may have seen my name associated with this photo this weekend. It appeared on every major new outlet in the US and was published in newspapers on every continent. And it wasn't my photo. From having reports stalking my apartment building to my Mom receiving phone calls on my childhood home phone number to offers of money in exchange for more information, it was a wild weekend.  Learned a lot about journalism and how things go viral and am still processing it all.

Read the rest of the story here on Forbes: Going Viral For Something You Didn't Do

More Time? For What?

This week on Forbes I only shared part of the story about increasing time in 2013. I made the bold claim that, if you found one hour each day to be more productive than you were the year before, you could add 365 hours of time to your year. Or said another way, 15.2 days of better living in 2013. (Read it HERE) Awesome thought right? Who wouldn't love an extra two weeks to get things done in the new year?

The idea hit me while recovering from jet lag after our Thanksgiving trip to Europe. I was going to be at my usual time (midnight) but waking up an hour earlier than normal (4:45ish) and functioning just fine each day on less sleep than I usually run on. So one morning around 5:15 as I started my 2nd cup of coffee, the thought struck me, what if I slept one hour less everyday for a year? That question led to the math that lead to the Forbes post this week. If I slept one hour less every day in the new year, I would be AWAKE for an additional 15.2 days worth of the year.

So, like I frequently do when I have an epiphany over my early morning coffee before anyone else is awake, I sent myself an email reminder to run the idea past some friends later in the day. When I did, I was met with two reactions:

1) You are freak who doesn't need sleep, stop judging me. In fact, you are unhealthy for sleeping as little as you do now.

2) That's cool, but what on earth would I do with all that extra time?

The first reaction was some what in jest, but it was definitely interesting to see how long people sleep being such a hot button issue that my suggestion of GAINING TWO WEEKS OF AWAKE TIME IN THE NEW YEAR set off their defenses.

But the second reaction was actually more concerning to me. Some of the very same people who I've heard complain recently of not being as far along on projects or goals as they'd hoped were viewing the sacrifice of sleep as a price too high to pay. Or that whatever they might be able to accomplish in that extra hour wouldn't be as valuable as an extra hour between the sheets.

This is not a post recommending you sleep 5-6 hours like I do, I know that isn't for everyone. But I am of the mind to say that it is amazing what you body can do when it is trained to. It is even more amazing to see what your mind can do when it is trained to consider every waking or sleeping hour as part of a much bigger plan.  My goals and ambitions stress me out everyday. The "what" and "why" are bigger than what I can see as far as the "how" are concerned. Most nights when I go to bed I am already thinking about what I am going to be working on when I get up the next morning.

Again, this rant isn't to say that my sleep patterns are to be modeled or are right for anyone other than me. But it is to say that, I hope in the new year, every hour of your day, waking or sleeping, will be considered as far game towards getting you to your goals and the ambitions that you have for the new year and that those goals and ambitions will be big enough that all habits and patterns are open for discussion and modification to optimize your life in the new year.