Spreading Stereotypes of the 3rd World

There was an article in the Atlantic recently – How Millennials are Changing Travel – that I saw shared by multiple people over the course of a week. There are over 200 comments on it, but here’s one that particularly caught my attention: We know how people in 3rd world countries live without having to go to them. Fact is they are extremely dangerous and their really is no reason for people to travel to them. Their is a reason they are so cheap to visit Honestly, I just about threw up in my mouth when I read it. This is clearly someone who knows absolutely nothing about the 3rd world, aside from what they hear in … Continue reading

Posted In: Travel


I think I have literally thought through every single consumer travel angle you can think of over the past 2 years working on Oh Hey World (and now Horizon). Travatar is one of the ones we explored but never ended up pursuing… Your Travatar is your location that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. The complete write up on the idea can be found on TravelStartups.co. Can someone please please build this?

Posted In: Travel

The Coming Start-up Chile Journey

[Originally published in the Impact HUB Seattle member newsletter] As many Impact Hub members know, the entrepreneurial road is a long and often rocky one with no shortage of ups and downs. My journey of connecting like minded people in person began in early 2012 while living in Chiang Mai (Thailand). The company is still bootstrapped after 7 months of product development late 2012 into 2013 (we built Oh Hey World), followed by a year of consulting work while validating new product approaches to alleviating the same problem. That said, we finally caught a break about a month ago when we learned we were accepted into Start-up Chile with the new private couchsurfing concept, named Horizon, we’ve … Continue reading

Posted In: Travel

Horizon – The 2nd Stab at Solving Missed Connections

Over a year and a half ago, we embarked on building Oh Hey World in our attempt to solve the rampant missed connections while traveling problem that every regular traveler inevitably suffers from. Our goal was to connect like minded people in person. We spent 7 months working on the product, and learned a lot. Ultimately, we ended up open sourcing that project as location sharing isn’t a strong enough hook to get to the scale necessary to surface other trusted individuals nearby in the majority of cities. But we didn’t solve the problem. Thus, over a year later, we’re taking a second shot at solving the problem with a completely different product, which we’ve named Horizon. You can … Continue reading

Posted In: Travel

Slingshot…and a Yawn

It’s official. Facebook’s newest creation, Slingshot, is here. It’s SnapChat — but to see photos sent to you, you are forced to sling something back. Yawn. Who cares? Is there some sort of pain point this solves….for anyone? There is a reason that 1% of people create content for the rest of the world to consume. It’s hard work, and frankly the majority of the world likely thinks it’s a waste of time to send a bunch of (largely) irrelevant content into the cloud. And they are likely right. But they will all consume content from friends because they do indeed care about them. Slingshot is aiming to make the 99% work harder to receive photos from … Continue reading

Posted In: Mobile

Even Some Great Ideas Don’t Make It

I was beyond surprised when I learned that Lively was shutting its doors. It was one of the Seattle startups, along with Trover, I was personally interested in & felt had massive long term potential. Done right and given enough time to get momentum, I think the Lively vision of bringing the experience from a concert home with people is a home run for music lovers. Granted, I don’t know the music industry at all, so I have no idea what it would take to reach critical mass. Just goes to show, even startups with really great ideas don’t always make it.

Posted In: Technology

Mass Automation and the Lack of Human Interaction

I wrote about Fatdoor’s recent announcement they are relaunching social networks for neighborhoods, with shared robots as a part of the offering. Since then, I’ve engaged in a 45 minute talk with a high school friend, some Skype debate with Will Moyer, and a 20 minute conversation over coffee yesterday with a fellow entrepreneur in the real estate vertical. The topic: what are the long term implications of mass automation? There are two big ones, in my opinion. De-humanization of day to day life, and economic. We all know that Uber is going to put self driving cars on their transportation grid. I’m not sure Lyft will take that plunge (their tag line is “Your friend … Continue reading

Posted In: Life