Goals, even macro ones, keep me going in the right direction

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I haven’t been posting on my blog very much recently..  Things got a little crazy at work and the time (priority?) just hasn’t been there.  I do think about it, but simply haven’t gotten the spare minutes to do it.

We’re going through those growing pains that all companies do when they hit a certain size.  Priorities shift toward execution, revenue generation, and a general maturation of getting bigger, needing to move faster, and with more precision.  The great part about where we are is that our network is growing so damn fast that our market opportunity is there for the capturing – which gets me back to the ‘time and priorities’ place I started this post.

I have managed to get out and ride recently.  Below is a heart-rate and altitude snapshot of the Triple Bypass ride I did a week or so ago from Evergreen to Avon (120 Miles and 3 mountain passes).

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I try and make a point to do this ride every year.  This was my 5th time out on course.  Its a great way to break up the summer (it occurs every year in mid-July).  I like it because its something to build toward, and keeps me honest as far as my riding goes.  This year I caught up with Andrew Davision, Jeff Schafer, Rushton McGarr, and Steve Frank.  A 7:50 ride time is still fairly respectable, and I’m glad the above crew (who are all much stronger/faster than me) didn’t mind me drafting wheels a good part of the way.

Back to the point of the post..  I enjoy writing on my blog and I’m glad I tuned into the medium for a variety of reasons.  I can’t write everything I want to write, but at least I can carve out 15 minutes once in a while.  Sort of like my putting the Triple on the calendar every year, it gives me something to shoot for.

RP’s wedding in Quogue, and the ‘tie-on-the-head’ guys

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This past weekend I had the honor to be a groomsman in one of my best friend’s weddings.  RP was my college roommate all through Boston College (except for the first semester when it was Pete Keller, but he got kicked off campus because we both did a lot of ‘bad’ stuff that first semester).

I re-discovered running in the rain.  Jenn and I got to Quogue a day early and it was pouring rain.  Golf outing was ruined, so I went for a long run.  After the first 10 minutes and once I got warmed up, I realized there is nothing like running at the beach in the rain.  It was awesome and I highly recommend it.

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Connecting with my college friends was equally awesome.  I don’t think we’re quite as obnoxious as we used to be (wives and families have that equalizing effect) but ‘that guy’ is still inside there somewhere.

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Congratulations RP and Lauren.  You all are so obviously happy together. 

Thanks to Lindsey Wolfington for all the great pictures – even the ‘tie-on-the-head’ guys….

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What up Z?

Just got this from a good friend, Kam Zardouzian.  Here’s the email he sent:

Drove through the worst snow blizzard I've ever been to…was going so slow that I saw this sign, grabbed my phone, took it out of its cover, turned it on, made an espresso, drank it and took this picture that I hope you enjoy cuz I risked my life to get it….

SANY0061

Living the good life

I’ve had more than my fair share of fascinating experiences and am truly fortunate to have a number of great/interesting relationships with people of all stripes.

I reconnected with a great friend Jamie Corroon this week.  Jamie is one of those people that its a pleasure to spend time with.  He’s arguably one of the smartest guys I know and has had more than his share of business success.  He changed his life trajectory a few years ago.

Jamie embodies something that most will never do, but allows (at least me) to live vicariously through him.  If you really want to have fun, amazing experiences, and enjoy the ride, you have to ask yourself ‘the question’.  Once you do that, there is no going back.

My experience at the recent fire in Boulder

I’ve never had an up close and personal experience with a real wildfire.  I generally try and avoid stuff like that.. A few days ago, I got the unfortunate chance to get up close and personal with a fire.  It’s taken me a few days to digest what happened and, to be honest, at the time I was pretty freaked out.  A week later, I can sort of reflect on what happened.  Here is my experience.

Timeline:

1:00pm – I get a call from my wife begging me to come home from the office right away .  She says there’s a fire close by and the winds are hitting nearly 100 mph.  I do the “calm” thing and check the web..  no real news.  I tell her that I’ll keep checking and she should call me if things get worse.

1:05pm – I feel anxious and leave the office to drive home and check it out.

1:20pm – roadblocks on all major streets leading to my house.  We live just outside the city limits of Boulder on a 10 acre horse property, so many of the roads around us are dirt/rural.  I navigate my way around the roadblocks and finally get home around 1:45pm

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1:50pm – The smoke is all around us, and the wind is whipping with gusts ~100mph.  Its obvious that we are smack in the “fire zone”.  Jenn is loading 2 of our horses into our 2-horse trailer.  She tells me to stay behind at the house and if the fire comes to let the other 2 horses out of the pasture.  At least they would be free to run down the road and away from the fire.  Not exactly a comforting notion.

1:55pm – a friend shows up with a 4 horse trailer!  He loads the other 2 horses and we all evacuate.  I had the chance to grab a coat from our house and that was it!

2:30pm – we drop the horses off at a friends house 15 miles away.  After getting them somewhat settled into a paddock, we jump back in our respective trucks and head back into the fire zone.

This entire time, Jenn is fielding a constant stream of phone calls and text messages from all the other horse owners and barn managers.  People are desperate for help.  I call my dad who has a 2 horse trailer and he goes in to help at one of the larger horse facilities.

3:15pm – we get past the roadblocks going back in.  We have horse trailers and there are people trying to evacuate their horses on foot.  The fire is way worse, the winds are crazy and the smoke is like a thick blanket of fog.

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3:25pm – we see a horse and owner running down the road towards us and away from the fire.  We u-turn and load the horse on the trailer.  The owner starts talking about how her dogs are in her car which she had to leave behind.  I offer to go in and rescue the dogs.

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3:26pm – I jump into someone’s (no idea who) truck that is headed back into the core of the fire.  Jenn goes the opposite direction with the horse.

3:35pm – we enter the real part of the fire.  Flames on both sides of the road.  Smoke so thick that you literally can’t see the front bumper of the truck at times.  No idea why we get past 2 fire checkpoints.  We drive by our house.  The fire is immediately across the road and burning the pastures, trees, bushes and fences.  Flames are 10 feet high.  This is some scary shit!

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4:00pm – I plead with a couple of firefighters to save our house.  I figured that if I could somehow personalize it, they would try harder…

4:15pm – found the dogs.  2 Dobermans.  Awesome!  I jumped in the car to drive out of there.  No keys.  Shit!

4:16pm – call Jenn on her cell.  “come f**king get me out of here!”

4:18pm – Jenn pulls into a driveway of someone’s house 4 miles away.  Asks to leave the truck, trailer, and horse in their driveway – and borrow their car.  They (amazingly) agree.

4:55pm – Jenn arrives to rescue me (and the dogs).

Later that night we watched the news from a friends house.  The roadblocks clamped down after we got out and the fire was raging all around where we live.  Jenn and I were forced to track whatever news we could and hope that our house survived.  The reports are all over the place.  2 houses lost, no 4, no 7. actually 6.  In the end it was only 1 + several barns/outbuildings.  At one point the news reported a house had burned right where our house is.  We spent the night wondering if we had just lost everything.

6:00am – the next day.  We circumnavigated a police roadblock and got through to our house.  It was still there!  The fire stopped less than 10 feet away from our property.  Those firefighters saved our home.

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Later that next day, there was a fire burning in the core of an old cottonwood tree across from our house.  This is a picture of the tree when they blew it up.

Why not just start things off right?

Want a great start to the New Year?  Try this:

  1. Go to Walk Score
  2. Type in your home address
  3. Check out all the places you can walk to that are within 1 Mile

Did you know?

  • That is takes less than 15 mins to walk a mile?
  • That it takes less than 6 mins to ride your bike a mile?
  • A 2001 National Household Travel Survey revealed that 41 percent of all trips in 2001 were shorter than two miles and 28 percent were shorter than one mile.

Here’s an example from our old house on 11th Street in North Boulder:

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The site also lists each of the local business and services along with their distance.

If you’re looking for a really basic and easily attainable New Years resolution, including one that has real impact on your health and the environment, take 5 minutes and check out your own Walk Score.  You’ll be amazed.

Check out the Carbon Trace blog post for more on the background, details, and where the idea came from.

What a cool idea

One of my good friends, Tim Magner, has done a lot of cool things since I’ve known him.  He’s now onto another.  He started a publishing company called Green Sugar Press.  In his words:

Green Sugar Press exists to ensure that our future leaders understand Cheerios don’t come from a box, milk doesn’t come from a plastic bottle, water doesn’t come from the tap and gasoline doesn’t originate at a pump.

To understand the environment is to know its connections. Like letters build words and words build stories, the environment is made up of countless pieces and parts. Each plays an important role. Remove one and it changes the entire story.

The concept as he explained it to me is simple: give kids a picture that things are connected and the environment isn’t just a cause, but a part of us and we a part of it.

Tim is currently working with several school districts to utilize some of his concepts in lesson plans that incorporate these ideas.  For example: using the planting of a vegetable garden as a way to teach about weather, math, science, etc.  Leverage real world examples of systems to teach academic fundamentals.  Cool stuff.

Where’s Wally?

Still here.. just freekin’ busy.

1. Bought a house (10 acres, horse property)

2. Can’t live in it (since May) because it was mouse-infested and had asbestos everywhere

3. Demo-ed the entire inside of the house, removed asbestos, walls, floors, wiring, plumbing, everything

4. Oops, need a building permit from the Republic of Boulder to do that

5. Attacked by (and then dispatched) a 6 ft Snake on said horse property

6. Finally got building permit (it ONLY took 2 months, and many hoops to jump through)

7. Wish the workers would take more work breaks than smoke breaks

8. Finally seeing some progress

9. Should be out of living in the parent’s basement by November

Oh and in the meantime…

We are knocking the cover off the ball here at Lijit.  Our network is growing at over 100% Q/Q and we just raised $7.1 in new VC financing.  It was a super-smooth fund raise, but they all take special time and attention to get done and get done right.  Now all we have to do is execute.  How hard can that be?!?

Found some time to ride my bike, although all my cycling friends are crushing the "slow guy".  I did manage to complete the Triple Bypass and the Sunrise century.  This weekend its the Buffalo Classic.