Q&A with O’Reilly Author and Futuredraft Partner, Jorge Arango

Jorge Arango is an information architect with 20 years of experience designing digital products and services. He’s a partner in Futuredraft, the experience design consultancy that solves complex problems using co-creation throughout the design process. He is a co-author of “Information Architecture for the Web and Beyond” the fourth edition of O’Reilly’s celebrated “polar bear” book. Jorge has also served the global UX community as president and director of the Information Architecture Institute.

He will be speaking at the Uncharted Minds Design Gurus Summit on September 19th. Click here to get 20% off tickets to the event.

Q. When you were growing up, were you always interested in design?

A. I didn’t know to call it “design” at the time — but yes, design was central to my sense of play. Two memories are particularly strong: my brother and I drawing screens for new video games, and building small paper models of the attractions at Disney World. In many ways I consider my career to be a continuation of these things. I suspect my 8-year-old self would like who I’ve become. I’m very lucky.

Q. What were some early influences on your career choice?

A. Two experiences were particularly important for me: visiting Disney World, and being introduced to computers by my grandfather. The latter happened when I was around eight years old; there has rarely been a day since that I haven’t been immersed in digital information environments.

Q. What did you study in college?

A. Architecture

Q. What did your parents do?

A. My mom took care of us. My dad had dual careers: he was an orthodontist and a farmer. He’s since retired from dentistry, but is still quite active in food production. (I hadn’t thought of it before, but it’s interesting that both careers have to do with the mouth.)

Q. Tell me about your first design job.

A. It was a summer internship at an architecture studio before I’d graduated from university. It made me very upset to be put on (tedious!) clerical duties right off the bat when I clearly had so much more to contribute. How could they not see that?! I had no humility back then — that’s not part of the curriculum in architecture school.

Q. What were some early lessons you learned about design?

A. The first lesson I learned in architecture school is still one of the most valuable: learning to look at the opportunities afforded by constraints when you push them to their limits.

Q. Tell me about your approach to design today.

A. The main way in which my approach to design has evolved is that I know understand and practice it as a collaborative activity. Again, that’s not on the curriculum in architecture school.

Q. How do you find clients for Futuredraft?

A. Primarily through personal and professional networks.

Q. What career advice would you give to young people today?

A. Don’t be lured by tools and techniques — look beneath the surface, to what is really happening with a design challenge. Get over your ego, your filters. You should be able to do your work with a simple pencil and a sheet of paper.

Q. Hardest part of being a designer?

A. Talking about what I do to people outside the field. We’re slowly getting to the right language to describe our work, but we’re not quite there yet.

Q. Favorite part of being a designer?

A. Working with people to help them see their worlds more clearly, and act more skillfully in them. Digital designers work on products and services that have a massive impact on the world. We have both the means and responsibility to help make things better.

10 Reasons to Attend the Second Annual Design Gurus Summit

It was standing room only at last year's Summit.

It was standing room only at last year's Summit.

You’re probably sitting at your computer reading through all the emails and materials we sent to you, trying to decide if it’s worth it to attend the Design Gurus Summit this year.

It may not be a question of cost, but about determining if this is worth your time. Attending requires you to be out of the office for a full day, plus travel time. However, at Uncharted Minds we know it’s worth it, which is why we’ve put together a top 10 list to help you decide if you and your team should attend the Second Annual Design Gurus Summit.

  1. Trevor Hubbard is speaking. He is a multi-award winning creative director and founder of Butchershop Creative in San Francisco. Their list of clients includes companies like HotelTonight, the recently public Okta, Zuora, SAP Ventures, and Levis. Trevor was a panelist at last year’s Design Gurus Summit. His genuine presentation style, sense of humor and out-of-bounds creative thinking impressed us so much that we asked him back to give a keynote this year. Be prepared to be blown away by reading the Q&A he did for Uncharted Minds last year.
  2. We secured a phenomenal space. We’ve upgraded significantly to the JCCSF’s Kanbar Hall, a world-class facility with a renowned audio visual team and desk seating for up to 200 people. The experience for both attendees and speakers will be top notch. Oh, and unlike last year, lunch will be served.
  3. More for your money. It’s a full-day event for almost the same price as last year. This year the Design Gurus Summit is a full-day of networking, talks, and panels with Silicon Valley’s most creative people. It will open your horizons and educate you on the latest trends in user experience design, branding, and creativity.
  4. An O’Reilly author, Jorge Arango is speaking. Live and direct from the series of books that you know and love. I have seen copies of O’Reilly books propping up computer monitors or lying half open on web developers’ desk throughout my entire career. We are lucky to have secured the author of the O’Reilly book titled, Information Architecture for the Web and Beyond. He is also a partner at Futuredraft in Oakland and his agency's clients include Facebook, Google, Chase and Charles Schwab.
  5. If you’re not a designer, you don’t want to fall behind on the latest design trends. Learn about conversational user interfaces, chatbots, and design for 3-D environments. While it may be obvious how this is important to consumer-focused companies who are in touch with the needs of their customers, the user experience is now an essential component to the success of B2B products, since more and more adoption now happens virally.
  6. Recruit great people for your team, startup or agency. Do you want the best and brightest? Do you want people who are motivated and talented? You will find them here. Anyone that attends our summit is clearly a driven and dedicated individual who understands that a career is a never ending journey of self-improvement. Our attendees are also polite, attractive, well groomed, articulate and fun at cocktail parties (yes, this last line is a joke).
  7. It’s cost-effective. We work hard to keep prices down and the content quality high. It’s no small challenge. Most other events of this type charge at least twice as much. We don’t. We’re dedicated to bringing this experience to our community at a price point that the average employee can afford on their own.
  8. Tickets started selling before we even announced any speakers. It’s true. They did. Why? Our audience knows the great lengths we will go to find the best speakers and put together a program that is both entertaining and educational.
  9. We will have a robot on stage. Adrian Canoso, head of product and design at Savioke, the creator of the first autonomous delivery robot called Relay. The robot will make an appearance during Adrian’s fireside chat with yours truly, Gregory Kennedy the co-founder of Uncharted Minds.
  10. Build your network and reputation with Silicon Valley’s most creative people. Networking is an essential part of growing a career. If you want more tips on how to improve your networking skills and get more from the events you attend, read our guide to networking here.
  11. Bonus! You can expect a lot more amazing speakers. We’re just getting started. Expect more announcements as we bring on great speakers.

And if you want to apply for a team discount, get in touch. The Second Annual Design Gurus Summit will take place on Tuesday, September 19 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM in San Francisco, click here for 20% off tickets.

See you at the Summit.

Gregory Kennedy

Co-Founder, Uncharted Minds

Want to get over 1,000 upvotes on Product Hunt?

Come ask one of our panelists on April 25th. They all represent applications with over a 1,000 Upvotes on Product Hunt. Find out how they did it.

We’ve gone to great lengths to find the crème de la crème of top Makers. Come and listen to them discuss the state of the startup world and take questions from the audience.

And just because we’re nice people, we are also raffling off two FREE pairs of Snapchat Spectacles at this event. You must be present to win! Join us for the networking and stay for the free swag.

Tuesday, April 25th, from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Featuring (in order of Product Hunt upvotes)

Duet Display — Upvotes: 2448

It’s amazing that this app doesn’t already exist? If you want to turn your iPad into a second screen for your laptop, Duet Display is the answers. Meet the founder and CEO, Rahul Dewan. This app is one of the most popular applications on Product Hunt and has been featured in TechCrunch, Forbes, Business Insider and more.

Aye Moah, Chief of Product, Boomerang — Upvotes: 2006

Yes, it’s that Chrome plugin that you and your team love. And their AI offering called respondable, is knock-your-sock-off awesome. Meet the co-founder and Chief of Product, Aye Moah who helped create one of the most popular productivity apps for Gmail and Outlook ever, enabling millions of people to email more effectively.

Mike Melanin, President, Statsbot.co — Upvotes: 1426

Funded by Slack, 500startups, and even Google’s former CEO, Eric Schmidt. This is the analytics bot with every feature you always wanted, but couldn’t find, until now. Meet the President of Statsbot.co Mike Melanin. His analytical bot is used by over 20,000 companies and allows teams on Slack, MS Teams, FB Workplace, and to monitor analytics from inside their favorite productivity tool. A Slack essential.

Andrew Ofstad, Co-Founder, Airtable — Upvotes: 1179

It’s a spreadsheet and project management tool, but for cool people. Seriously. You have to try it. Meet Andrew Ofstad the co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Airtable. Previously, he led the redesign of Google’s flagship Maps product, and before that was a product manager for Android. Andrew studied Electrical Engineering and Economics at Duke after a childhood in rural Montana.

Anna Vital, Founder, Adioma — Upvotes: 1119

Who doesn’t love inofraphics? In fact, if an event or trend is not transformed quickly into an infographic, does it even count as a trend? Meet Anna Vitalthe founder of Adioma, an online infographic maker. She started Adioma in 2016 to simplify the process of infographic creation. Before that, she has been an infographic author at Funders and Founders. Her infographic work is often featured in the media.

See you all there.

Gregory Kennedy, Co-Founder, Uncharted Minds

Q&A with Andrew Ofstad, Co-Founder of Airtable, The All-In-One Collaboration Platform

Andrew Ofstad is the co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Airtable. Previously, he led the redesign of Google’s flagship Maps product, and before that was a product manager for Android. Andrew studied Electrical Engineering and Economics at Duke after a childhood in rural Montana.

He will be speaking at 1,000 Upvotes: Meet Top Product Hunt Makers on Tuesday, April 25th @6 pm. Click here to get 20% off tickets to the event.

Q. When you were growing up, were you always interested in entrepreneurship?

A. I wouldn’t say I was interested in “entrepreneurship” per se. I did always know that I wanted to build cool things and have some amount of freedom to be imaginative, but I didn’t really put much thought into the type of career that would make this a reality. So entrepreneurship was more of a means to that end.

Q. What were some early influences on your career choice?

A. I was really into video games in high school. I liked playing them, but I was also curious about how they worked. It seemed pretty magical to me that you could build these virtual environments that were hyper realistic and interactive. I was inspired to learn more and picked up some programming, and eventually started writing my own little games and game engines. Over time it evolved into a more general interest in computers and software.

Q. What did you study in college?

A. I majored in Electrical Engineering and Economics. As I mentioned before, I learned a bit of programming and CS in high school, and was curious about how things worked at a lower level. I also thought that I might not want to sit in front of a computer all day, and had this notion that electrical engineering would be more “hands on”. I later realized that you’re going to spend your working life in front of a computer regardless of what you do, and I really don’t mind that, and it’s a lot easier and cheaper and faster to build things in software. So I ended up taking more CS classes towards the end of college. I’m not really sure why I did Economics, I think at that point I decided that “business” could be interesting and that seemed like the most relevant major for that.

Q. What did your parents do?

A. My dad is an optometrist and my Mom was a teacher. My Mom stopped teaching when she had kids and was able to spend a lot of time with us. My Dad spent most of his time painting and woodworking outside of work. I had a pretty creative and adventurous childhood in the mountains of Montana.

Q. Tell me about your first job.

A. My first job after college was at Accenture, which is a systems integration consulting firm. I worked in their R&D lab as a developer. Our job was to build prototypes that were then used to pitch clients. The point was to show clients that we were on the cutting edge, so it was kind of cool in the sense that our prototypes were always built with the latest technologies. It was a nice way to get exposed to a lot of new things early in my career, but ultimately I decided I wanted to work for a real product company and build something of lasting value.

Q. What were some early lessons you learned about business?

A. It’s really hard to focus. There’s a huge sense of urgency, and you feel like you should be trying everything, and there are a million distractions constantly popping up. The hard part is figuring out what the most important thing is at any given point, and then making sure that you’re executing on that.

Q. How have you funded Airtable? How did you first attract investors?

A. We started out with a seed round after self-funding and working on a prototype for about 6 months. It definitely helped to have a really polished prototype that investors could actually play around with and get excited about. My co-founder knew a number of seed investors from his previous company, which he had sold to Salesforce, so we started with a few of those. It then cascaded from there, with one investor introducing us to another, and at the end we were able to raise $3M in seed funding. Later on, we raised a Series A from CRV, bringing our total funding to $10M.

Q. What career advice would you give to young people today?

A. I think the most important thing for any career is to keep learning. This is especially true in tech. If you’re trying to build a company or move your way up a career ladder, you’re going to have to understand and solve new problems in new disciplines. I think the problem for a lot of people is that they get intimidated by something new that they’re not already good at, or they label themselves as a engineer or designer or marketer, and are afraid to work outside of that domain. But the best people, and the ones that can take more responsibility for larger swaths of a company and/or start a company in the future, are those that can cross those boundaries and have some operating knowledge of all of them. So it’s important to not be afraid to dive into things outside of your comfort zone, and stay interested and active in learning as you progress.

Q. Hardest part of being a entrepreneur?

A. You have to do a bit of everything, and it can be hard to juggle everything at once. There’s a lot of context switching, which can be hard.

Q. Favorite part of being a entrepreneur?

A. Working on a product that you love with people who you like working with. It’s also really gratifying to understand a product on a bunch of different levels, and to look back and see how far you’ve come and how much you’ve learned.

Q&A with Aye Moah, Chief of Product of Boomerang, A Popular Email Productivity Tool

Aye Moah is Co-founder and Chief of Product at Boomerang. Boomerang is the most popular productivity app for Gmail and Outlook, enabling millions of people to email more effectively with artificial intelligence. Boomerang’s Respondable is the first real-time AI assistant that improves your writing based on an effectiveness prediction. Moah was born and raised in Burma. She graduated from MIT in 2005 with a degree in Computer Science.

She will be speaking at 1,000 Upvotes: Meet Top Product Hunt Makers on Tuesday, April 25th @6 pm. Click here to get 20% off tickets to the event.

Q. When you were growing up, were you always interested in entrepreneurship?

A. Yes and no. Both my grandmother and my mother started their own businesses. My parents ran the business my mother started when I was growing up. It wasn’t like I had always dreamt to be an entrepreneur and couldn’t wait to become one. It was more that I just assumed that’s what was normal.

Q. What were some early influences on your career choice?

A. I believe I was in the 7th or 8th grade when my high school started a programming class as an after-school experimental activity. The class used old Intel 386 computers and we learned fundamentals of programming in BASIC. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the math teacher who initiated and taught that class. She’s the first influencer who inspired me to understand the delight and joy of programming.

Q. What did you study in college?

A. Computer Science

Q. What did your parents do?

A. My parents ran their own wholesale business, importing construction materials back in Burma.

Q. Tell me about your first job.

A. My first job title was Associate of Technology at Sapient, an IT consulting firm in Cambridge. I got to learn a lot about various roles within a software development team and I appreciated the chance to work in a variety of industries with different clients. That job showed me that I really enjoy working on UX and product design. I also learned that my true passion is in delivering products that users love and need.

Q. What were some early lessons you learned about business?

A. The early lessons I learned about business came from being around my parents while they ran their business together. The best one is to always deliver what you promise to your customers. Once you build the trust with your customers, you will have them for life.

Q. How have you funded Boomerang? How did you first attract investors?

A. We only raised a small seed round back in 2011 from some angel investors and a couple of seed funds like 500 Startups and K9 Ventures.

The rest of our growth and funding came from our own revenue. It’s equivalent to raising a series B every year except we don’t have to give up any equity. We call it Series R — for Revenue. I believe the best kind of funding is real revenue from customers and it’s the best validation for a product’s value.

We have a very interesting story on how we approached our first investor, Dave McClure. It involved giving him a ride to the mechanic and that was before the time of ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft.

Q. What career advice would you give to young people today?

A. Find your superpower and focus on being the best at it. In the earlier part of your career, it’s great to branch out and do a breadth first search to see what you are really passionate about and what you’re great at. Once you find it, stop trying to be good at a dozen things. Work hard on what you love until you get to the top 1% of what you’re great at.

Q. Hardest part of being a entrepreneur?

A. It’s really hard to tell what you need to be focused on and there isn’t an easy way to know if you are working on the right things.

Q. Favorite part of being a entrepreneur?

A. The ability to shape a company culture and build the kind of company I would want to work for myself. I love that we can use our profits to do things like build schools for children who wouldn’t otherwise have a chance for an education.

Q&A with Rahul Dewan, Founder & CEO of Duet Display, Use Your iPad as a Second Display for Your Mac or PC

Rahul Dewan is the founder of Duet Display, software that lets you use your iPad as a second display for your Mac or PC. It is in the top 50 paid iPad apps in the world, and has been featured in TechCrunch, Forbes, Business Insider and more. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Rahul held a software engineering role at Apple and attended Stanford University and Georgia Tech.

He will be speaking at 1,000 Upvotes: Meet Top Product Hunt Makers on Tuesday, April 25th @6 pm. Click here to get 20% off tickets to the event.

Q. When you were growing up, were you always interested in entrepreneurship?

A. Absolutely. Since I was twelve, I have been developing ideas, products and side businesses. However, at my core, I consider myself an engineer. I love building technology and solving challenging problems more than anything else. For me, being an entrepreneur is the intersection of those two paths.

Q. What were some early influences on your career choice?

A. The great thing about being an engineer is the power to bring your ideas to life. If you have that spark as a kid, it’s easy to learn and just build things yourself. So I bought a book and learned to code. It’s incredible how many resources there were back then, and there are even more now, so I’m not surprised in how many kids want to be engineers now.

Q. What did you study in college?

A. By the time I was in college, I had taught myself how to code. So I went into computer engineering, which is a blend of software and hardware. I think it’s important to learn something in college that you’re interested in and would be difficult to learn on your own. I was lucky enough to have access to world renown professors and state of the art hardware, and it gave me a good background for my what I do now.

Q. What did your parents do?

A. They both worked in finance, which provided me the opportunity to learn about business. This was incredibly useful when I had to run one for myself.

Q. Tell me about your first job.

A. My first job was luckily at Apple where I learned the invaluable startup lesson of how important it is to focus and do few things, but do them extraordinarily well.

Q. What were some early lessons you learned about business?

A. To really question trends and analogies people use when describing a business, idea, or concept. Many people describe their company as ‘Uber for x,’ ‘Netflix for y,’ or adopt strategies because another successful company advocates them. I understand why people tend to, as those analogies can seem like a great shortcut to pitch complex concepts. But most of the time there is an underlying reason it doesn’t apply.

Q. How have you funded Duet Display? How did you first attract investors?

A. Duet has intentionally taken no outside investment. We’ve had a few options, but haven’t found a great fit. Sometimes it’s more important to find the right investor than the right valuation, and we just haven’t come across that yet.

Q. What career advice would you give to young people today?

A. There’s no right or wrong answer for what you want to do. Learn what you stand for, what is important to you, and what will make you happy. Then go after that.

Q. Hardest part of being a entrepreneur?

A. There is a lot of responsibility in leading a company. I’ve met plenty of people who want to be a business owner and simply delegate the important parts of a business. As an entrepreneur, and as a leader, everything should be your responsibility. Mistakes are always your fault, and it is always your job to fix it.

Q. Favorite part of being a entrepreneur?

A. Though I love building things, you can do that inside a large company. Being an entrepreneur may sometimes make that more difficult and resource constrained. However, I make that trade-off because as an entrepreneur I can continuously experiment and learn, perhaps at a rate unmatched to any other opportunity.

Q&A with Anna Vital, Founder of Adioma, A Tool to Automate Infographic Development

Anna Vital is the founder of Adioma, an online infographic maker. As an information designer, she creates visualizations using algorithmic design to visualize the lives of companies and founders. She started Adioma in 2016 to simplify the process of infographic creation. Before that, she has been an infographic author at Funders and Founders. Her infographic work is often featured in the media. She holds a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings and a B.A. in Linguistics from Brigham Young University.

She will be speaking at 1,000 Upvotes: Meet Top Product Hunt Makers on Tuesday, April 25th @ 6 pm. Click here to get 20% off tickets to the event.

 

Q. When you were growing up, were you always interested in entrepreneurship?

A. Yes, but I was not sure what exactly being an entrepreneur meant. I definitely felt like entrepreneurship is something mysterious, especially the part of starting something from nothing.

Q. What were some early influences on your career choice?

A. Very early on, at about age six, I think, my parents left me in charge of selling corn at a bus stop. This was back in Ukraine. I was a shy kid, so was very surprised to that people came up and didn’t think much about me being a kid and bought my corn and were grateful that I was out there selling something they could eat on the way to work. That experience showed me that you don’t need much to start. Just showing up and offering something of value already makes you an entrepreneur.

 

Q. What did you study in college?

A. I studied linguistics and Chinese. I got good advice about what I should study in college. I think it was a college counselor who advised me to just study whatever I like. I had no idea how linguistics would apply to anything I’d do later on. And I couldn’t explain why I liked it. I just did. But now that we are building a visual language inside Adioma, it recently started making sense why I liked it. And the icon language inside Adioma is build following some of the principles behind Chinese characters.

 

Q. What did your parents do?

A. My parents did a lot of different businesses from brick selling to running a restaurant. Growing up, I’d help my father sell bricks over the phone for a small commission.

 

Q. Tell me about your first job.

A. Other than internships in college, I don’t think I ever had an actual job. Right after graduating from law school, I started a startup demo show business, then an infographic agency, and then Adioma.

 

Q. What were some early lessons you learned about business?

A. That the best way for me to learn about business is by actually doing a business. Every business is different and learning about it at a distance never seemed to work. I like getting involved right away, even if I don’t have an exact plan and just assume that most things will go wrong and I’ll figure out how to fix them later.

 

Q. How have you funded Adioma? How did you first attract investors?

A. Adioma is funded from revenue right now and will be for a while. The first prototype was funded from my previous business.

 

Q. What career advice would you give to young people today?

A. Honestly, I wish I sought out less advice and just tried more things myself early on. So my advice is to take all advice with a grain of salt and just start something, no matter how small.

 

Q. Hardest part of being a entrepreneur?

A. The hardest thing is living with the possibility that at any point things can go south. And only you and your team can fix them.

 

Q. Favorite part of being a entrepreneur?

A. Seeing that I can actually solve a real problem for other people. I’ve been surprised that some people take the time to write and thank me even though they are paying for the service.

1,000 Upvotes: Meet Top Product Hunt Makers + Snapchat Spectacles Giveaway

Meet Top Product Hunt Makers

Tue, April 25, 2017, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM PDT @ WeWork SOMA

For those who don't know, Product Hunt is the new community site where all the cool kids discover clever new applications, websites, plugins, startups and stay up-to-date on the latest tech trends. We've assembled a panel of top Makers from the platform whose apps have received over 1,000 upvotes, making them Product Hunt royalty.

Come and listen to our panel of Makers present their applications, discuss the state of the startup world and take questions from the audience. And just because we're nice people, we are raffling off two FREE pairs of Snapchat Spectacles at this event. You must be present to win! Join us.

Get 20% off tickets here >

Find Networking Difficult? Tips to Get the Most From Our Events

Networking. Many find it challenging.

However, there are countless articles, guides, and research that espouse its value. And we all know that having a great network will make it easier to get a job, hire talented people and get advice on solving business problems.

But, how do you build a great network? How do you do it efficiently and effectively? One evening at a sponsored cocktail party, unprepared, can be disheartening. Don't despair. Networking is a skill that can be developed. With a bit of practice and a few pointers, anyone can become a networking ace.

Here are my expert tips for navigating the complex social fabric of business networking events.

Seek Out High-Quality Events
Paid events attract more engaged attendees. I recommend avoiding free events. They appeal to people who may be less interested in serious business networking and more interested in free food, drinks, or because it's simply something to do.

But, you don't have to break the bank and start attending expensive events. There are a lot of high-quality events in the $25 to $100 dollar range. And most employers will let you expense the ticket. Large conferences usually offer an expo pass in that price range, that will let you roam the trade show floor. I also recommend focusing on events with a topic that's relevant to your industry. It's less likely that you will make a valuable connection at a general business networking event.

Come Prepared and Have a Plan
Have a goal in mind and practice your pitch in advance. Otherwise, you will waste valuable time engaging in polite small talk with people who can't help you. Here is a straightforward example, "I am interested in networking with companies that currently have an opening in event marketing." Or if you want to be more subtle, "I am in marketing and want to network with other marketing professionals." When you state your goal up front in the conversation, you may be surprised how quickly people will help you. If they are not in your target, almost everyone will offer to introduce you to someone they know that meets your criteria.

In order to close the conversation many people still like to hand out business cards. I think that's inefficient. When I meet someone I want to connect with, I use my mobile phone to send them an email from my account or connect on LinkedIn in the moment. Then I can follow up with them the next day and meet up for a coffee or set up a call.

Get There Early and Talk to Lots of People
The people who arrive early are motivated to network. Also, it will be easier to strike up a conversation with the first few people who arrive, since they won't be engaged in a conversation already. Chat for only five to ten minutes and then move on. Get their email or card and offer to follow up over email and continue the conversation. Remember, this is work and you have a goal, building your network.

I also recommend that people attend networking events on their own. It will force you to talk with new people. Even if you're a power networker, having a friend will distract you from making connections with new people. If you do go with colleagues, make a plan to split up. Circulate around the room and then synch halfway through the event to compare notes.

Be Positive and Keep an Open Mind
Sometimes, things just won't go your way. It happens. When I just can't seem to meet the type of people that I want to connect with, I leave right away. It's a sign that the event is just not the right one for you. Do not let this get you down. Expanding your network means trying new things. Sometimes those experiments don't work. This is to be expected.

Stay positive and keep looking for events that are a good fit. Once you find a meetup, event series or conference that works, get involved. You can volunteer, sponsor or even pitch yourself as a speaker. Most event organizers are looking for enthusiastic supporters to help.

Good luck networking.

Gregory Kennedy
President and Co-Founder, Uncharted Minds

Women CEOs in Silicon Valley Panel: Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

By: Kathie Green, Co-Founder, Uncharted Minds

Uncharted Minds’ sold-out panel at IDEO, featuring five all-star women CEOs, was truly inspiring. Shaherose Charania, founder of Women 2.0, my personal friend, and hero to many moderated the conversation. The panel covered topics including how successful CEOs manage their careers, get funding, and make the leap from early-stage startup founder to growth CEO.

Key takeaways for aspiring entrepreneurs include:

  • Winning venture capital investment is incredibly exciting and comes with great responsibility. If your intention in starting a company is to be your own boss, know that instead of just one boss, you will now have many bosses when you start having to answer to investors.
  • Do your homework before pitching. Target investors who are missing a product like yours in their portfolio, rather than those who have already invested in your space.
  • Being a founder is all about selling the vision, the dream, and living in the future. But, being a CEO requires living in the now. You will have to take full control of company finances and operations, and have the emotional intelligence needed to counsel and coach employees.
  • Consider the personal costs of starting and running a company. Being an employee has its advantages, including a steady paycheck and a clearly defined scope of responsibilities. Being a CEO is an endeavor above and beyond a full-time job. The responsibilities are immense.

It was a privilege to be able to showcase these phenomenal speakers. We also want to thank our partners at IDEO for being incredible hosts. And of course, a big thank you to everyone who joined us on Tuesday.

Erica Rogers, President and CEO, Silk Road Medical

Erica Rogers, President and CEO, Silk Road Medical

Melody McCloskey, Co-Founder and CEO, StyleSeat

Melody McCloskey, Co-Founder and CEO, StyleSeat

Amanda Kahlow, Founder & CEO, 6sense

Amanda Kahlow, Founder & CEO, 6sense

Monisha Perkash, CEO and Co-founder, Lumo Bodytech

Monisha Perkash, CEO and Co-founder, Lumo Bodytech

Kate Kendall, Founder and CEO at CloudPeeps

Kate Kendall, Founder and CEO at CloudPeeps

Moderator: Shaherose Charania, Product Strategist, 23 Design / Advisor, Republic / Co-Founder, Women 2.0

Moderator: Shaherose Charania, Product Strategist, 23 Design / Advisor, Republic / Co-Founder, Women 2.0

Gregory Kennedy, Uncharted Minds, Co-Founder speaking to a packed house at IDEO's office on Pier 28

Gregory Kennedy, Uncharted Minds, Co-Founder speaking to a packed house at IDEO's office on Pier 28

Forces of Disruption, Evolution, and Innovation in Finance

From BitCoin to banking, disruption in finance is everywhere. Even the future of something as tangible as cash is being called into question as credit cards and mobile payments continue to be adopted globally.

On this panel, top fin tech executives will share their thoughts on the future of payments, finance, savings, and investments. Learn if a cashless future will become reality. Gain insight into the latest fin tech trends. And understand what the implications of disruption in finance could even mean for your retirement.

Get 20% Off Tickets Here >

Speakers:

Catherine Berman, CEO and Co-founder, CNote

Third-time entrepreneur Cat Berman is co-founder and CEO of CNote, the nation's first savings products delivering a 40x better return with 100% social impact. Prior to CNote, Cat maintained senior roles at Charles Schwab, Deloitte Consulting and Astia.

 

Tomas Puyeo, Head of Marketing and Product, SigFig

Tomas is the Head of Marketing and Product at SigFig. Before that, he was Chief of Staff and General Manager at Zynga across the Marketing and Product organizations. Before that, he directed Viral Products, Games, and Paid Acquisition at RockYou. Tomas has two MSc in Engineering from Universidad Pontificia de Comillas and Ecole Centrale Paris, and an MBA from Stanford.

 

Eric Wiesen, General Partner, Bullpen Capital

Eric joined Bullpen in 2015 from RRE Ventures, where he was a General Partner. Current areas of focus include financial services and technology, consumer products and manufacturing, marketing technology and next-generation computer interfaces. Much of his investing philosophy and approach is informed by his experiences as a two-time founder, first in the 3D Graphics hardware space and later in the enterprise software/ERP sector. Eric is also an attorney, and practiced in the corporate group at Fenwick & West in Silicon Valley. As an undergraduate, he was an intern in the only very famous White House internship class. Eric holds a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley, a J.D. from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Columbia.

Eric is currently a board member at Imgix and Yieldbot and an advisor to several companies. Successful prior investments include Braintree (acq: PYPL), Flipswap (acq: Hyla Mobile), Hyperpublic (acq: GRPN), Makerbot (acq: SSYS), TapCommerce (acq: TWTR), Singleplatform (acq: CTCT), and Venmo (acq: Braintree). He also sourced or led a number of other investments including Bark & Co., Collective Health, NerdWallet, Paperless Post, Sailthru, Viglink, and YipitData.

 

John Rampton, Founder and CEO, Due.com

s serial entrepreneur who now focuses on helping people to build amazing products and services that scale. He is the founder of the online payments company Due. He was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine. Time Magazine recognized John as a motivational speaker that helps people find a "Sense of Meaning" in their lives. He currently advises several companies in the bay area.

 

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Matt McNamara, Director of Engineering and board member, Expensify

Matt McNamara is the Director of Engineering and board member at Expensify, a San Francisco based startup. He has been focusing on creating expense reports that don't suck since 2011. Matt is an enthusiastic people-driven generalist software developer with a special interest in web application development, user experience, and design. He is a 2009 graduate of the University of Dayton, with a B.S. in Computer Information Systems and Business Administration.

 

Moderator:

Gregory Kennedy, President and Co-Founder, Uncharted Minds

Gregory Kennedy is the Co-Founder of the highly regarded Uncharted Minds Thought Leadership Series. The series has featured speakers from top Silicon Valley companies such as Airbnb, Lyft, Medium, PayPal, Coinbase, BoostVC, Misfit Wearables and more. Gregory is a sought after thought leader, speaker and author whose writing has been featured on The BBC, VentureBeat, YahooFinance, Entrepreneur.com, CMO.com, and Marketing Profs. A former creative director and user interface designer, he has held marketing roles at InMobi, TapSense, and AdRoll. Born in New York City, he now calls Berkeley, California his home.

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Agenda:

6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Networking and refreshments

6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Panel discussion

7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wrap up and meet the speakers

 

Venue Sponsor:

General Assembly, 225 Bush Street, 5th Floor (East Entrance) San Francisco CA 94104

Women CEOs in Silicon Valley Panel: Silk Road Medical, StyleSeat, 6 Sense, Cloudpeeps and Lumo Bodytech

Get 20% Off Tickets Here >

The number of women CEOs in the Fortune 500 has been rising steadily since 1998. Back then, there were there were two. Today, there are now 27 women in the top slot of an S&P 500 company, an all-time high. Tech startups have also seen a big increase of women founders, executives, and CEOs since 2009.

On this panel, hear women CEOs from top Silicon Valley startups share their struggles and successes. Come and learn from their achievements, be inspired by their stories, and network with other like-minded professionals.

Get 20% Off Tickets Here >

Speakers:

 

Erica Rogers, President and CEO, Silk Road Medical

Erica Rogers is the President and CEO of Silk Road Medical. Prior to Silk Road Medical, Erica was the COO of Medicines360, a non-profit pharmaceutical company developing drugs and devices for women. Erica was the founder and CEO of Allux Medical, as well as the co-founder of Visiogen, which was acquired by Abbott Medical Optics in 2009. Erica spent over 12 years at Boston Scientific, in sales and marketing positions. She began her career in pharmaceutical sales after receiving a B.S. in zoology from San Diego State University. Erica holds five issued and 15 pending US patents in medical devices and nanotechnology.

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Melody McCloskey, Co-Founder and CEO, StyleSeat

Melody McCloskey is the co-founder and CEO of StyleSeat, the leading destination for booking beauty and wellness appointments. McCloskey co- founded StyleSeat in 2011 to simplify the process of booking beauty appointments. With StyleSeat, industry experts are provided a place to showcase their work, connect with clients, and build their business while clients can discover new services and providers and book appointments on the go.Prior to developing StyleSeat, McCloskey led digital distribution at Current TV, where she met developer Dan Levine. Today, the platform has powered over 50M appointments in over 16,000 US cities and has powered over $3 billion in appointments. High profile investors of StyleSeat include Ashton Kutcher, Sophia Bush, Guy Oseary and Uber CEO Co-founder Travis Kalanick.

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Amanda Kahlow, Founder & CEO, 6sense

Amanda is passionate about bringing the power of predictive marketing and sales intelligence to B2B enterprise and mid-market companies. Amanda makes 6sense customers’ needs a priority, applying her proven aptitude for relationship building and sales. Prior to 6sense, Amanda spent 14 years as the CEO and founder of CI Insights, a big-data services company that used multichannel analytics to help enterprise companies generate hundreds of millions in net-new business. The ultimate optimist, Amanda is focused on giving back to the community. An advisor to the organization, Girl Rising, Amanda is committed to their mission to educate girls in developing countries as a way to build thriving, prosperous, healthy communities and effect positive social change.

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Monisha Perkash, CEO and Co-founder, Lumo Bodytech

Monisha Perkash is an entrepreneur with experience building companies, managing cross-functional teams, and creating a strong culture. She enjoys using her business and leadership skills to bring success to innovative companies and to create a positive impact in the world. As CEO and Co-founder at Lumo Bodytech, Monisha champions the vision to unlock the body’s full potential and improve human movement. Lumo is a motion science company that combines sensor data and advanced algorithms to optimize movement for better health, performance, and injury prevention. Their consumer products Lumo Lift and Lumo Run are built on the Lumo MotionScience Platform which is also available to B2B partners to co-brand or build entirely new products. Monisha previously served as CEO and Co-Founder of TuitionCoach (acquired by SimpleTuition in 2009), where she oversaw the financing, launch, and general management of the start-up. After the acquisition, she stayed on with SimpleTuition as VP Products. Monisha has an MBA from Stanford and a BA from Yale.

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Kate Kendall Founder and CEO at CloudPeeps

Kate Kendall is a San Francisco-based, British-Australian entrepreneur and writer. She's the founder and CEO of CloudPeeps – a marketplace, platform and community to discover the best freelance talent and jobs. She also created the Freelance Friday global coworking community and The Fetch professional event discovery guide. She regularly speaks about the future of work, the freelance economy, female-founded companies, and the evolution of marketing. Her work has been featured in Quartz, BuzzFeed, The Next Web, The Australian, the ABC, Marie Claire, and Lifehacker, and she was named The Most Influential Australian Entrepreneur on Twitter by Smart Company.

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Moderator:

 

Shaherose Charania, Product Strategist, 23 Design / Advisor, Republic / Co-Founder, Women 2.0

Shaherose Charania is a Product Strategist with 23 Design, working to solve business problems through design and is an active Advisor to Republic.co (an AngelList sister company). Previously, she was the Co-Founder and CEO of Women 2.0, the leading brand for the next generation of technology leaders and launched Founder Labs a pioneering incubator that focused on inclusion, and created one of the first “founder boot camps”. The top 30% of companies from Women 2.0 programs and Founder Labs have collectively raised over $100MM to date. She started her career in Silicon Valley as Product Manager and Product Marketer working for a variety of startups including JAJAH (acquired by Telefonica), Ribbit (acquired by British Telecom) and Talenthouse. She sits on the Board of Directors for Good World Solutions. Shaherose received her B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business.

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Agenda:

6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Networking and refreshments

6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Panel discussion

7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wrap up and meet the speakers

 

Venue Sponsor:

IDEO, 501 The Embarcadero, Pier 28 Annex, San Francisco, CA 94105

 

Read our terms and conditions here.

Venture Capital Event: Tech Investor Perspectives for 2017 With Greylock, Foundation, Norwest, 500 Startups, and Scale Ventures

Tech Investor Perspectives for 2017

On this panel, top Silicon Valley investors share their outlook for 2017. Hear directly from them on what areas of business are hot, and what areas not. We will explore questions such: What impact will the new administration have on tech? What areas or technologies are they looking into for 2017? And of course, are we in a tech bubble or not?

This event is a must attend for business and technology professionals as well as entrepreneurs. Find out what areas of innovation the investment community is focused on for 2017 and how it may impact your startup, company, area or career.

All sales are final. No refunds. Read our privacy policy here.

Click here for 20% Off Tickets >

 

New Speaker Added

Cack Wilhelm, Principal at Scale Venture Partners

Cack joined Scale Venture Partners in 2014 and focuses on investments in next-generation enterprise software companies, with a particular emphasis on the cloud infrastructure, big data, DevOps, and security sectors. Cack’s efforts have led to Scale investments in mobile database company Realm and cloud analytics infrastructure company Treasure Data. Prior to joining Scale Venture Partners, Cack was an enterprise sales representative, first at Oracle selling databases and data integration tools, and later at Cloudera, where she sold the management application for Apache Hadoop to early-adopters in the push toward distributed parallel computing. Cack was initially drawn to the technology and software sectors while at Montgomery & Company, where she helped advise on software acquisitions and capital raises. Cack holds a M.B.A from The University of Chicago – Booth School of Business and a B.A. from Princeton University.

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Parker Barrile, Partner at Norwest Venture Partners

Parker Barrile is a product builder and Silicon Valley veteran, who recently joined Norwest Venture Partners as a Partner on the Internet & Consumer team. Most recently, Parker was Chief Product Officer at Prosper, a marketplace lending company, where he led Product, Design, and Engineering. Previously, Parker was VP of Product at LinkedIn, where he led a product org responsible for 80% of LinkedIn’s revenue during a period of 20x growth, from $100 million in 2009 to $2 billion in 2014. Prior to LinkedIn, Parker founded a venture-backed startup and held product and business strategy roles at Google and Bain & Company. Parker has served as an advisor to startups such as Medallia, Thumbtack, NerdWallet, Doximity, and Procore. He holds a BS in Math from Stanford and an MBA from Stanford GSB, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.

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Arjun Dev Arora, Venture Partner at 500 Startups

Arjun is currently a Venture Partner at 500Startups, the most active early stage venture firm in the world. He works very closely with the SF accelerator as well as other regional funds and leads the efforts for fundraising for the fund. Prior to 500Startups Arjun was the Chairman, Founder, and CEO of ReTargeter, a leading digital advertising technology company which was acquired by Sellpoints in 2015. Recognized at the White House and the UN in 2013 and at the Global Summit for Entrepreneurship in 2012 for his success and commitment to a values-centered organization. Arjun has also invested in or advised over 50 early stage companies in the last several years including AngelList, Change.org, BranchMetrics and more. Arjun graduated from UC Berkeley with degrees in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Entrepreneurship & Technology.

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Joanne Chen, Partner at Foundation Capital

Joanne Chen started as a technology entrepreneur when she was nine years old, selling Web design services to local businesses. She studied electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a master of business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In July 2014, she joined Foundation Capital, where she is heavily involved in sourcing new deals, with a focus on seed- to growth-stage companies with annual revenue of around $15 million. She also launched Foundation Capital's Berkeley Founder's Program, which helps entrepreneurs currently enrolled as students or alumni of UC Berkeley attain seed capital for their startups. Prior to her venture career, Ms. Chen worked as an engineer at Cisco Systems Inc., and was a co-founder of a mobile educational games company called Learning Yard. She began her investing career at Chicago's Hyde Park Venture Partners in 2012.

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Matt Heiman Investor, Greylock Partners

Matt joined Greylock Partners as an investor in 2016. Prior to joining Greylock, Matt worked at Charles River Ventures and Greycroft Partners. He was a growth equity investor at Lee Equity Partners where he helped lead investments in the areas of media, consumer, and healthcare. Before that, he worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he managed teams advising Fortune 500 clients across a number of industries. He also founded a technology startup and was a founding board member of Mommy Nearest. Matt received his MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he graduated as an Arjay Miller Scholar. At Stanford, Matt was the President of Stanford’s Private Equity Club and Jewish Business Students Association. He holds a B.A in Economics and Psychology from Columbia University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa and was awarded the Stanley I. Fishel Prize and Costantino Colombo Award. Matt is a native New Yorker and West Coast transplant.

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Moderator and Host:

Gregory Kennedy, Co-Founder of Uncharted Minds (@IamGkennedy)

Gregory Kennedy is the Co-Founder of the highly regarded Uncharted Minds Thought Leadership Series. The series has featured speakers from top Silicon Valley companies such as Airbnb, Lyft, Medium, PayPal, Coinbase, BoostVC, Misfit Wearables and more. Gregory is a sought after thought leader, speaker and author whose writing has been featured on The BBC, VentureBeat, YahooFinance, Entrepreneur.com, CMO.com, and Marketing Profs. A former creative director and user interface designer, he has held marketing roles at InMobi, TapSense, and AdRoll. Born in New York City, he now calls Berkeley, California his home.

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Agenda:

6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Networking and refreshments

6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Panel discussion

7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wrap up and meet the speakers

 

Venue Sponsor:

SF Embarcadero Location, San Francisco

Uncharted Minds Design Mixer on January 12th, 2017 @ WeWork San Jose

Meet and mingle as Gregory Kennedy, Co-Founder of Uncharted Minds leads an in-depth conversation with top Silicon Valley designers. Through client case studies and examples of their best work learn:

  • How they stay inspired?
  • What drives their creativity?
  • What process they use to solve design challenges?
  • What advice they have for designers just starting out?

Agenda:

6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Networking and Refreshments

7:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Portfolio Showcase and Q&A

7:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wrap up and Meet the Presenters

Click here for 20% off tickets

 

All sales are final. No refunds. Read our privacy policy here.

www.weareuncharted.com

 

Featuring

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Michael Jennings, Senior Creative Director at Fyber and Formerly of Zynga

With more than 10 years of experience, Michael Jennings is currently Senior Creative Director with Fyber, where he is responsible for overseeing the branding, identity and user experience design team. Previously a Senior User Experience Designer a Zynga, he worked on some of their most popular games including Zynga Poker, FrontierVille, and CastleVille. A passionate video game enthusiasts, Michael started his career as an Art Director for print magazines including Computer Gaming World. He lives in San Francisco and in his free time loves to play with his Australian Shepherd dog Buckley.

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Joseph Kappes, Interaction Designer at Cooper

Joe is an Interaction Designer at Cooper. A careful and articulate communicator, Joe excels at processing abstract concepts and guiding others to an understanding of those ideas for themselves. With a background in English, he combines his communication skills with his love of narrative, research, and synthesis to create engaging interactive experiences. In his work as a designer he’s helped people with type 2 diabetes lead fulfilling lives, envisioned the next generation of digital photography tools and developed structures to help coordinate care for special needs students. In his down time, he can be found writing, fumbling with crossword puzzles, and hiking the Bay Area trails.

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Moderator Host:

Gregory Kennedy, Co-Founder of Uncharted Minds (@IamGkennedy)

Gregory Kennedy is the Co-Founder of the highly regarded Uncharted Minds Thought Leadership Series. The series has featured speakers from top Silicon Valley companies such as Airbnb, Lyft, Medium, PayPal, Coinbase, BoostVC, Misfit Wearables and more. Gregory is a sought after thought leader, speaker and author whose writing has been featured on The BBC, VentureBeat, YahooFinance, Entrepreneur.com, CMO.com, and Marketing Profs. A former creative director and user interface designer, he has held marketing roles at InMobi, TapSense, and AdRoll. Born in New York City, he now calls Berkeley, California his home.

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Click here for 20% off tickets

With Snapchat Spectacles, Wearables are Back for 2017

The breakout success of Snapchat Spectacles has the potential to breathe new life into the entire wearables category. The quirky, fun and inexpensive approach Snapchat took has captivated the nascent Millennial audience that Google Glass was never quite able to reach. With a high price point and a less than stylish look, Glass just couldn't get traction with consumers. No matter how much marketing spend Google put behind it.

The enthusiasm that consumers have had for Spectacles demonstrates that there is consumer demand for a Glass type wearable device. The winning product marketing combination appears to be a low price point, a stylish look, and a dead simple feature set. And of course, the fact that Spectacles seamlessly integrate into Snapchat’s user experience is paramount.

This is a unique, almost contrarian approach. When one consider all the investment in Silicon Valley that went into Glass competitors and is now funding VR headset and app development. Snapchat took a big risk with this product, going against the grain, in a failed category, and it seems to have paid off.

Will a Snapchat Hardware Ecosystem Emerge?

It's too soon to say for sure, but the creation of an entire Snapchat hardware ecosystem is possible. Why not offer lots of different styles of glasses for consumers to pick from? Which could lead to the licensing of third party manufacturers like RayBans, Oakley or even Prada Eyewear to make glasses that work on the Snapchat platform? If my RayBans connected to Snapchat, I would be Snapping video all day.

A Rebirth of the Category

Wearables as a category saw the most success with fitness tracking devices from FitBit. Their clever marketing and a large product line, at multiple price points, crushed the competition. But beyond fitness trackers, not much else in the wearables space has gained traction, until now.

If Snapchat’s success continues with Spectacles, expect to see the other dominant players in the social media space imitate the approach in 2017, reigniting interest in wearables once again.

Q&A with Adam Vollmer, Founder and CEO of Faraday Bikes: Advice to Entrepreneurs, Hire Great People

This interview is with Adam Vollmer (@oregonadam), Founder and CEO of Faraday Bikes. He will be speaking at the next Uncharted Minds event titled, Disruption in Transportation CEO Roundtable Featuring Scoop Technologies, Getaround, Ridecell, and Faraday Bikes on November 30th. Click here to get 20% off tickets.

Q. With Tesla, the self-driving car is arguably already on the market. How long will it be until the majority of cars in service are automated?

I think this is still further away than most people realize or want to believe. There are 250 million cars in the US and the average car on the road in the U.S. is 11.5 years old. I bet the majority of cars in service still don’t even have bluetooth or built-in MP3 players.

I think the more interesting question is — how will the integration of self-driving cars work out? I suspect that self-driving cars will work very seamlessly when they occupy either a very small or a very large percentage of cars on the road. But, how smooth will the integration go when they are anywhere between 5 percent and 90 percent of the market?

Q. Significant disruption has happened in the taxi industry. What are there other industries that you think will be affected? And why?

I think it’s interesting that Uber etc.’s disruption of the taxi industry has essentially been the disruption of a private industry by another private industry. So much of transportation is inherently public. Especially in light of recent political events, I’m interested to know whether there are traditionally public industries that could be privately disrupted. Public transit and busing for instance.

The emergence of the “tech buses” in the bay area is an interesting example of this — is there a broader market for private buses that could reach consumers other than tech workers? Public infrastructure and public transit are badly underfinanced. Frankly, disruptive transportation startups aren’t helping since they only pull more riders — and revenue — away from the public transit system.

That’s OK, or at least inevitable, so long as we continue to have good, affordable transit options that can effectively serve lower income communities and riders. It’s tough to compete with the value of a bus pass. Carpool startups — Scoop comes to mind — are exciting to me here. So are scooters and bikes, honestly. Personally, I get excited thinking about someone disrupting the bike lane construction industry…

Q. Besides self-driving cars, what other transportation technologies do you think are disruptive?

I think electric cars are incredibly exciting — way more exciting, and way more necessary, than self-driving cars, honestly. Running a bike company I’m excited about the other forms of transport — bikes, ebikes, scooters, escooters, mopeds, hoverboards, skateboards, etc., that are really taking off. But, it’s also quite clear that the car is here for good. Emissions from automobiles account for 20 percent of the CO2 emissions in the U.S. We need to rapidly switch those cars to a cleaner power source, develop the smart electric grid, along with solar and other clean electricity production solutions. That will be required on a massive scale to support an electrified U.S. auto market.

Without widespread adoption of electric cars, I fear self-driving cars could simply make the experience of driving more convenient and less painful, which would only give people MORE of an incentive to drive more, emissions would then only increase. And, boring as it sounds, I think that high-quality divided bike lanes are, dollar for dollar, probably one of the most exciting and impactful transportation disruptions beginning to happen in a lot of US cities.

Q. What inspired you to start a company?

I found an area that was personally exciting and meaningful enough to me that I was willing to work 80 hour weeks on it. Once I built a small prototype and saw that other people were as excited about as I was, I saw there clearly was an opportunity in the market, and that was the start of Faraday.

Q. Is all the excitement around entrepreneurship warranted? Does entrepreneurship deserve all the media attention that it’s currently receiving?

Yes and no. I think that it’s exciting and deserving of attention anytime a talented person makes a big sacrifice and commits themselves to something they really, truly believe could change the world — whether they’re an entrepreneur, a nurse, a social worker, or a teacher.

Q. What’s one piece of advice you would offer to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Hire great people.

Q. What’s the best part about being an entrepreneur?

Working with talented people who believe in the impossible and share a common vision. Knowing that we make a great product that people love. Hearing our customers’ stories.

Q. What’s the most challenging part about being an entrepreneur?

The responsibility you bear for all the people who have put their faith in you.

Q&A With Rob Goodman: Marketer, Storyteller, and Uncharted Minds Panel Moderator

This interview is with Rob Goodman (@therobgoodman), principal at OpenVerse, a brand strategy and content marketing firm. He will be the panel moderator at the next Uncharted Minds event Disruption in Transportation CEO Roundtable featuring Scoop Technologies, Getaround, RideCell, and Faraday Electric Bikes on November 30th. Click here to get 20% off tickets.

Q. What did you study in college?

I’ve been an artist and illustrator my entire life and went to Syracuse University to study illustration and graphic design at their VPA school. I have also always been a die-hard music fan and was looking to build a career that could balance the highs and lows of an artist’s life with the stability of a “nine-to-five” job, so I sought out internships working in the music business. I was lucky enough to get internships at a variety of companies in NYC over the summers—at Rolling Stone, Arista Records, MTV Animation, Live Online (the first live-streaming concert company), and Delsener Slater (later acquired by Live Nation). I like to say I got a real world minor in marketing during college.

Q. Tell us about your first marketing job.

I had heard that Sony Music had a paid position for college students as part of their college marketing program, which is actually the longest-standing college music marketing program in the country—industry greats like Harvey Leeds (former Columbia Records music executive), John Sykes (founder of MTV), and so many more got their starts as Sony Music College Reps. I pursued the position full force and after several rounds of interviews, I scored the job. I worked for two years in upstate New York in what still stands as one of my best jobs. I was the eyes, ears, and marketing muscle for Sony Music in Syracuse and the surrounding areas—my job was to get college students and influencers to check out new music, drive sales and interest, and build audiences for developing artists organically in my market. From listening parties to artist tour support, college press, college radio, lifestyle and retail promotions, and campus music events—that was my gig, while also studying as a full-time student.

Q. What were some early lessons you learned about work?

I went on to work for Nickelodeon, took on a full-time position with Sony Music, dove into digital marketing with Simon & Schuster, and shifted to marketing consumer technology in my role at Google. Early on in my career, I learned it’s important to build strong relationships with the people you work with. I’ve been lucky enough that so many of the people I’ve worked with over the years I now count as lifelong friends. My takeaway would be: work somewhere you can find like-minded, passionate, smart people who you can learn from, take on the world with, and also just grab beers, see a show, or hang with.

Q. Tell us about your company, OpenVerse.

In my role as founder and principal of OpenVerse, I work with a variety of brands and startups focusing on content strategy, writing and content creation, and brand strategy, positioning, and messaging work. I love having an outsized impact with smaller teams and building the kinds of relationships with clients that feel more like working partnerships and collaborations than quick-hit gigs. And I still love music and art. I continue to do illustration (band posters and CD design) and recently started writing about the San Francisco music scene for The Bay Bridged.

Q. How do you find clients today?

Finding clients has mostly been through word of mouth. I’ll get connected with folks, we’ll meet over coffee or I’ll come into the office for a chat, and we’ll get rolling that way. And if I’m not the right fit I always try to help connect dots to someone who might be. The Bay Area really thrives via the connections people have with one another. Most of the people I meet have an openness and curiosity that often leads to great conversation, and opportunities of all kinds can spring forth from that.

Q. What career advice would you give to young people today?

I would build upon a popular line of advice I’ve heard time and time again—“Do what you love.” I’ll add to that and say, “Figure out how to make money doing what you love.” We live in the real world and that means rent, food, family, and all that good stuff. So home in on what you love and what you are passionate about, identify your strengths, and then pursue every avenue that could connect back to those things. And be open and giving with your time and your willingness to help others.

Q. What are you most excited about for the upcoming 'Disruption in Transportation CEO Roundtable' you are moderating?

When it comes to all the innovation we are seeing in the transportation space—I am most enthusiastic about the transformational possibilities for our cities and in the way we work. It’s one of the reasons I was thrilled to recently work with Nauto, a company developing technology that will evolve standard vehicles to smart, autonomous-ready road warriors. The speakers for this roundtable discussion—CEOs from Scoop, RideCell, Getaround, and Faraday Bicycles—are leading this revolution. I can’t wait to get a glimpse into their vision for the future of our cities. I am also interested in understanding the biggest technological advances that are helping us get there and the infrastructural roadblocks that everyday citizens might have a hand in helping to surmount.

Q&A with Robert Sadow, CEO and Co-Founder of Scoop Technologies

This interview is with Robert Sadow (@rsadow), CEO and Co-Founder of Scoop Technologies. He will be speaking at the next Uncharted Minds event titled, Disruption in Transportation CEO Roundtable Featuring Scoop Technologies, Getaround, Ridecell, and Faraday Electric Bikes on November 30th. Click here to get 20% off tickets.

Q. With Tesla, the self-driving car is arguably already on the market. How long will it be until the majority of cars in service are automated?

We could see ride-hailing fleet automation within the next five to 10 years. It may take significantly longer before the majority of non-fleet vehicles are automated — it typically takes more than 10 years for innovation to work its way through the private car market.

Q. Significant disruption has happened in the taxi industry. What are there other industries that you think will be affected? And why?

The better question is “what industries would not be impacted by disruption in mobility and automation of vehicles?” The answer is very few. Decreasing the cost and pain of covering distance will impact where we live, where we work, how services are delivered, and how humans interact. Cheap access to mobility is one of the great enablers of social and economic mobility. The American dream itself becomes more attainable as mobility become ubiquitous.

Q. Besides self-driving cars, what other transportation technologies do you think are disruptive?

I find the evolution of telematics fascinating. The amount of data being generated by vehicles and drivers has profound impact on safety, insurance, cost of vehicle ownership, cost of fleet management, even routing / mapping. Autonomous vehicles get more press, but the data generation and corresponding ripple effects are every bit as interesting.

Q. What inspired you to start a company?

Deep passion for the problem we are solving. Our mission at Scoop is to build congestion-free communities — to improve quality of life for commuters and residents. 100 million commuters drive alone to work in the United States. Long distance solo commuting is expensive, unproductive, has been linked to myriad negative health outcomes, and even divorce. My brother and I grew up commuting more than 250 miles each week to school in Atlanta — we know what that feels like and felt compelled to invest energy to solve it.

Q. Is all the excitement around entrepreneurship warranted? Does entrepreneurship deserve all the media attention that it’s currently receiving?

The excitement around entrepreneurship absolutely is warranted. Entrepreneurs take big risks to try and change the world around them, and we should celebrate risk-taking to advance quality of life. Personally, I don’t love how the media covers entrepreneurship. There is too much of a focus on fake milestones and vanity metrics that don’t really reflect the health or value of underlying businesses. With not enough focus on why entrepreneurs start companies, how hard the journey is, and how to be a better entrepreneur from those that have been successful in the past.

Q. What’s one piece of advice you would offer to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Make sure you believe deeply in the mission of your company. Being an entrepreneur is HARD. Some days you feel like the smartest person in the world. Other days you don’t understand why you are putting yourself through so much stress and hardship. Underlying belief in your mission and why doing what you do is important is how you get through the tough days. If you don’t feel that way about the problem you are solving, don’t go down the entrepreneurial path.

Q. What’s the best part about being an entrepreneur?

For me personally, it is getting to work with my brother and see him every day. More broadly, it is the ability to build a team of passionate individuals that work together to accomplish a bigger vision. Getting to build and work with a tremendous team is the real payoff in being an entrepreneur.

Q. What’s the most challenging part about being an entrepreneur?

The learning curve is exceptionally steep, and it never slows down. Every problem you solve breeds three more problems you didn’t foresee. But that is also what makes it fun! I’ve learned more in the past two years than I had in the previous five, and I am incredibly thankful for the journey.

It’s Going to be Different Getting Around in the 21st Century

Disruption in transportation is happening everywhere you look. Self-driving Google cars map our roads, ride-sharing startups like Uber and Lyft have made access to taxis as easy as pushing a button on our phones. Electric cars, after having spent many years as an R&D curiosity, are now popular and found all over. Cities across the U.S. have been installing bicycle sharing systems, improving bicycle infrastructure, and encouraging people to ride a bike instead of drive. There are even companies pioneering self-driving trucks like Otto, acquired by Uber. And of course, Elon Musk won’t stop talking about the Hyperloop, his new idea that could revolutionize mass transit.

In the 20th Century, the car was arguably one of the most disruptive innovations ever. It changed everything about how we live, shop, eat, and work. From the creation of the suburbs to the innovation of the destination shopping mall, the car transformed daily life. In the U.S., the Eisenhower Interstate Highway system in the 1950s connected the country with a system of modern freeways and paved the way to establish the car as the undisputed winner when it came to transportation.

As America embraced the car lifestyle, city planning became entirely car-centric. Train tracks for trolleys were paved over, ferry service for commuters was reduced or eliminated. Bridges and freeways went up all over the country. And the U.S., the only nation that produced cars after World War Two, tied it’s identity as a nation so closely to them that apple pie, hamburgers and denim jeans are the only three things more American than the car.

But, the story didn’t end there. Our car based utopia of the 1960s came to a literal stop with the oil embargo of the 1970s. At times people had to line up for hours to get gas for their vehicles. It was not just an inconvenience, the oil crisis made it abundantly clear how vulnerable the entire system was to forces outside of the control of the United States. The economy suffered significantly from the oil shock. The issue became a matter of national security. And has been a major factor in U.S. foreign policy for the past 35 years.

Not to mention the side effects of all those cars. Unbearable traffic congestion and pollution at a frightening scale. The dreams of a car based society quickly devolved into an unscalable, dystopian nightmare. Cars were no longer an icon of freedom. They were now a symbol of environmental crisis and crowded cities.

Technology Offers New Solutions

The problems that the popularity of the car caused has been widely known for years, but solutions have been hard to come by. Regulations were used to reduce emissions, freeways were widened to accommodate more cars, but the basic problems remained.

Today, a wide variety of technologies and businesses are solving the problems of congestion and pollution, disrupting transportation significantly, even calling into question the concept of private car ownership.

Tesla, the pioneering electric car manufacturer, was a key turning point. It demonstrated that creating transportation alternatives were not just talk. It could actually be a viable business model for entrepreneurs.

Along with Tesla, a number of other innovations came of age around the same time. Cloud computing has made software-based startups easier than ever to get off the ground. Access to financing, a notoriously difficult problem for many entrepreneurs to solve, is more plentiful than ever. In fact, it can be only one clever Kickstarter video away. Faraday Electric Bikes is a great example of how traction with a Kickstarter campaign can culminate into another promising company that’s offering a real alternative mode of transportation.

But, it’s the mobile app revolution that’s ushering an even bigger era of change. One so transformative it could call into question how cities are designed and challenge real estate pricing.

Uber, Lyft, Scoop Technologies, RideCell, GetAround, Chariot and a host of other companies, are all working to transforming everything we thought we knew about transportation.

Uber, the most well known, offered a simple value proposition. Download an app to your phone. Push a button and a taxi will arrive at your location using the GPS chip in your phone to find you. Simple, easy, scalable, affordable and massively popular.

Big Change is Coming

The implications of this technology and these companies are vast. If an on-demand self-driving car or bus system scales to every urban location around the world, why even own a car at all? What if an electric bike becomes so powerful that it’s the obvious choice to make a run to the store instead of a car? What if peer-to-peer vehicle sharing, combined with self-driving cars, reduces the cost of on-demand taxis to mere pennies? What if the Hyperloop makes travel from LA to SF happen in under an hour?

Could private ownership of cars become a luxury, not a necessity? Yes. Someday, it could happen. And it probably will happen.

Fewer cars would mean less traffic, speeding up travel times in autonomous rented cars. It also eliminates the need for most parking structures, since there is no need to park a taxi or self-driving car. This then frees up all kinds of resources and space that were previously dedicated to private car ownership like carwashes, parking lots, street parking and even driveways. It would fundamentally change our approach to urban planning and make getting around more efficient.

Eventually, in this scenario location becomes less important. You can live far away, but still get where you need to go on time. Shops don’t need to be connected to ample amounts of parking. Commuting to work would be much more manageable. And this all could impact real estate prices, the bedrock of our financial system.

It won’t all happen all at once. The regulation will probably be the biggest barrier to overcome. But, it’s so top-of-mind that even Obama is working on it. I don’t have a crystal ball. And I don’t know exactly how this will all play out, but what is certain, it’s going to be different getting around in the 21st century.

Gregory Kennedy, President and Co-Founder of Uncharted Minds.

Four startup CEOs will discus this topic at the next Uncharted Minds Thought Leadership Series on November 30. Disruption in Transportation CEO Roundtable: Getaround, Scoop, Faraday Electric Bikes and Ridecell. Wednesday, November 30, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM (PDT) @ WeWork Transbay in San Francisco, CA

You can get 20% off tickets to the event by clicking on this link.

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Disruption in Transportation CEO Roundtable: Getaround, Scoop, RideCell and Faraday Electric Bikes

It's Going to be Different Getting Around in the 21st Century

Self-driving cars, ridesharing, the hyperloop and massive investments in bicycle infrastructure are all culminating into significant disruption in transportation. And it's happening at a global level. In the 20th Century, the car was arguably one of the most disruptive innovations ever. It changed everything about how we live, shop, eat, work and transformed how we build cities.

Today, a wide variety of technologies and transportation options are set to further disrupt a basic need in our society, getting around. On this panel, we will hear from experts who share their insights into how disruption in transportation will change our daily lives. Learn what the implications are for business, work, shopping and even real estate prices.

 > Use This Link for 20% Off Tickets <

 

Robert Sadow - CEO and Co-Founder of Scoop Technologies

Rob Sadow is CEO and Co-Founder at Scoop Technologies, the Bay Area's leading community and solution for commuter carpooling. Rob has long been a firm believer that technology could be harnessed to solve everyday problems that impact our quality of life. Rob moved to the Bay Area to join his brother, Jon, and was immediately struck by the magnitude of the area’s transportation issues and how they affected the region. Inspired, the two brothers put their heads together and developed Scoop. Rob started his career with Bain & Company in New York as a strategy consultant. He specialized in customer strategy and marketing, helping big companies develop and execute plans to attract and retain customers. Rob graduated magna cum laude from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a BSE in Management, Legal Studies & Business Ethics. Growing up in Atlanta, Rob and Jon drove 25 miles each way to and from high school, which put the importance of a better, more sustainable commute into perspective at an early age.

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Adam Vollmer - Founder and CEO of Faraday Electric Bicycles

Adam is the founder and CEO of Faraday Bicycles. Faraday designs exceptional electric bicycles and believes that everyone deserves a commute that's efficient, healthy, sustainable, and fun. Formerly a senior engineer at IDEO, Adam brings years of expertise in medical device design and biotechnology, as well as a passion for designing considered products and services that responsibly address pressing human needs. In 2010 Adam co-hosted the Emmy Award-winning PBS Kids TV show Design Squad Nation, a nationally broadcast series that showcases real, exceptional kids using engineering and design to turn their dreams into reality. Adam studied mechanical engineering at Stanford and MIT. Originally hailing from Portland, OR, Adam has ridden, raced, built, wrecked, and advocated for bikes for close to two decades.

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Aarjav Trivedi - CEO of RideCell

Aarjav Trivedi is a CEO and Founder of RideCell, the leading business automation platform to launch, operate, and scale autonomous and new mobility services, including ride-sharing, car-sharing, and dynamic fixed route services. Before RideCell, Mr. Trivedi worked in engineering at SpiDynamics (Acquired by HP) and as a research engineer at CipherTrust and Secure Computing (Acquired by McAfee) where he helped invent and ship security systems used by over 40% of the Fortune 500 as well as the Pentagon. He has a Masters degree in Computer Science from Georgia Tech and a Bachelors in Computer Science from the University of Mumbai.

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Jessica Scorpio - Founder and VP of Marketing of Getaround

Jessica Scorpio is the Founder and VP Marketing at Getaround, the leading peer-to-peer carsharing community. As a member of the inaugural class at Singularity University (SU '09)Jessica was challenged to facilitate the developing technologies in order to address humanity's grand challenges. Focused on transportation, Jessica is passionate about the Sharing Economy and the positive impact it can have on individuals and their communities and has been recognized on both the Forbes 30 Under 30 and Inc 30 Under 30 lists for her work.

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Moderator:

Rob Goodman – Content Marketing with Foundation Capital & Principal at OpenVerse (@therobgoodman)

Rob Goodman is principal at OpenVerse, a marketing and storytelling firm, and marketer with Foundation Capital, a 20-year old venture firm in Silicon Valley. Rob’s ability to blend business sense with creative expertise defines his work as a marketing consultant, content strategist, and writer. Rob was most recently head of global marketing for digital publishing at Google, and previously led online marketing for Simon & Schuster and helped shape grassroots digital marketing at Sony Music. Today, he works with an array of startups and technology companies to drive brand and content initiatives. Rob can often be found exploring the city's many music venues, illustrating band posters, running, or eating BBQ.

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Agenda:

6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Networking and refreshments

7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Panel discussion

8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Wrap up and meet the speakers

 

Venue Sponsor and Location:

WeWork Transbay, 535 Mission St. 14th Floor, San Francisco