My One Speed

My bike only has one speed. Whether going down hill or making a climb, I don't have another gear to shift into. Me and my bike are a lot alike. I mentioned in my last post that I ride pretty aggressively in NYC. I wear a helmet and my training as a professional bus driver in college comes in handy as I zip through the winding streets of the West Village and the yellow cab dominated streets of Midtown. But now matter the neighborhood or terrain, I only have one speed.

Only having one speed is an incredible way to feel ever turn and know exactly what it is going to take to make it through an intersection or climb up a hill. Only having one speed means selling out to the effort you know it is going to require to grind through the backside of Harlem Hill in Central Park. With just one speed, there is no confusion about how to approach any kind of terrain, you just approach it like you do everything else and don't stop pedaling until you're on to the next one.

Yes, having one speed does mean your uphills feel higher and your downhills feel lower, but, knowing what you have and leaning into it makes the ride that much more personal.

Not Your Race

I am a competitive person. I abhor the idea of playing a game and not keeping score. If there is a way to win, I will find it. If there is even a way to CLAIM a win, I will attempt to. Which is why riding my bike the past few weekends has proven to be an interesting change of pace. When I ride my bike in NYC, I usually head over to the West Side Highway bike path and ride North along the Hudson River. The path there is just wide enough to pass slower bikers or joggers without scooting over into oncoming traffic. And when I ride, I tend to pass a lot of folks. Even more now that the CitiBikes are out and people who haven't ridden in NYC are doing so for the first time in a long time.

And sometimes, I get passed. Usually by guys in spandex with bikes that cost more than my first car. At first, being passed bothered me. They were beating me was my default thought process. They were going faster and they were winning. But then I considered, did the people that I passed think the same thing? Was me zooming past them in the realm of consideration that I was winning? Of course not. And neither were the guys zooming past me thinking that they were beating me. It wasn't a race. We were all out there for different reasons with different levels of equipment and training and health. Even though we were all doing the same activity, an activity that by its very nature showcases speed, strength, and distance, we were not riding with the same end game in mind.

I am in San Francisco this morning and I've been thinking a lot about the technology scene and industry and how it too isn't a race.  There are countless ways that you could think that someone was passing you or that you were falling behind, but that isn't a fair race to ride because we are all coming into it with different equipment, skills, and teams than everyone else.  And, if we are all smart, we are all riding for a different end game than everyone else. An end game that is ours and ours alone. I'm not talking about an exit or the cover of FastCompany or some other moment in time goal, those can't be the reason we are all riding as hard as we are. The reasons have to be bigger, otherwise you won't enjoy the downhill that comes after you powered through the grind to get to your momentary peak.

When it is all said and done, most of life isn't a race against anyone else but ourselves. Everything that we are building has to be worth it for our own definition of a win, not for anyone else's.

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.

Social Commerce and Waze

Before I share all of the big ideas that I had the chance to glean from this year's SXSW, I wanted to post a recent speech I gave for the W20 Social Commerce Summit. It was a honor to speech to such a fantastic group of big thinkers, brand marketers, and digital innovators. I shared some of the initiatives that we're pursuing with Waze and how our partners are leveraging the Proximity Incentive Graph our platform is being built on. I even snuck in a couple pocket square and breakfast taco references. What do you think?

(Here are the slides so you can follow along)

Outsmarting Traffic Together

This morning I had the chance to join the morning show on KVUE in Austin to talk about Waze. We launched as their traffic partner less than a month ago and have been seeing a great response from their viewers and our Wazers.  We also dove into the feature on Waze that allows you to find the cheapest gas in the area. (If you don't have Waze yet, go get it HERE)

Also, have to say, happy that the camera guy kept my pocket square visible for this segment.

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