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Showing posts from June, 2012

Kickstarter Campaign Successful

We raised $3310 in 5 days from 76 backers! We're eternally grateful for the support, and have started building the fence. Also, on Friday the local paper covered the project, and the support since then has really grown. There's interest from around the county in getting similar projects going, and some local foundations have expressed interest in expanding the mission. So again, thank you. Here's the crew from last night...

My First Kickstarter: Lancaster Community Gardens

I've become very passionate about community gardens, and this Spring started Lancaster Community Gardens to serve as the catalyst, technical support, and organizer to establish community gardens throughout the city of Lancaster, PA--for all of the obvious reasons: health, education, but especially community. Last year I started mapping out software based on Jawaya based on the theory that communities strengthen with the number and quality of connections among their members. In the real world, it's quite compelling. I'm still thinking about the software, but my primary focus this summer is launching the gardens. Here's the kickstarter project --50% funded after just one day, and only three days to go. Can you help? Here it is (video is worth watching, for any caddyshack fans)

Father's Day

It takes we a while--usually into the evening--to celebrate Father's Day. Mine passed away in 1996 of cancer, and I have never been a father, though would like to be. One defining thing of my marriage was the repeated fear around the six pregnancies, all of which ended up badly, with my then-wife's health in jeopardy (quite seriously twice). My dad showed up at most of my soccer games in Middle School and likely half in High School, part of which time I was in Delaware. He backed my band, bailed me out of many situations, flew me home from London when my first engagement was clearly over, broke and homeless and hadn't eaten in weeks, and then flew me home again when England refused me entry (long story). He backed my first tech company and sat on its tiny board. He showed up at my gigs, hawked my CD to his patients, employees, and fellow docs. I still run into people today who have that CD simply because he talked them into buying it. What a card. There were over 500

Real conversation

I was honored to have my name mentioned a few times in this conversation  between Fred, William, Arnold, And JLM--friends from That's weird and amazing--I have friends from all of us commenting on a blog and getting to know each other in the real world. I'm much more interested in offline conversations than online ones. This conversation is a pretty good one and worth listening to.

Hiring Courtesy

I really hate when I've reached out to someone and they don't respond. It's even worse if you've made an effort on their behalf--you've invested time and thought and they can't summon the courtesy to simply say no, this isn't going to work.  And I'm a hypocrite--I do that from time to time: failing to acknowledge someone who has reached out, invested a bit of time, and asked for something. But I'm going to add that to my list of principles I'm committing to as part of the new and evolving daily routine.  What sparked this post was a comment by Carl on today's post by Fred about the hiring process, along with a friend's story about how his incredibly qualified girlfriend was in the top 3 choices for a rare position at a college in New York, and after the process she still hasn't heard back from them after not simply going through the process, but also being told she's the likely selection (a mistake in any case).  It'

Social Proof: High School All Over Again

I've had a lot on my mind this week, and last night I had a dream that sparked memories of other dreams, as though they're all part of the same mystery. I have no idea the meaning, but there was conflict without resolution, which is somewhat similar to parts of my waking life. The great thing, though, was that Dad was in it, and although we were in conflict in this one, it's always good to see him since his passing in '96. (Ah, unresolved issues, son?). Why am I telling you this, you think to yourself. I have no idea, but I'm in a contemplative mood after watching the sunrise, listening to the birds and getting a head start on a big push for HN. Ok. So. Social Proof. Today Fred posted about "social proof" , which has become the accepted currency of angel investing, and basically means that, well, if Fred is in then I'm in.  Fred doesn't like social proof, by the way, and if Fred is in, I'll take a look but I'm not going to invest i

This Internet Thing is Going to Be Big

Yesterday, here in my hometown of Lancaster, we learned that a gay couple's engagement announcement was rejected by the local paper. The paper made a statement, something to the effect that its policies reflect our community's norms.  And then the shit hit the fan, which had sensors on it connected to an Internet-connected Arduino board and some open source BS detection software, and that was pretty much that: massive outcry throughout the regional interwebs.  People emailed the link around, posted it on Facebook, complained (quite eloquently) on the paper's Facebook page, and even reached back to that retro communication device the phone and called the paper's president.  In what has to be the fastest reversal of an anachronistic Lancaster Newspapers policy ever, by yesterday evening he had reversed the decision and opened engagements to all people, thereby aligning itself with our actual community norms.  Good for them.  And good for my town. We&#

Announcing Startup Lancaster for General Business

Last night I started another meetup with a bit of a bulky name: Startup Lancaster for General Business . Same concept as the one for tech founders, same format, but any founder can join. No employees, no vendors looking for business--just founders. Every month we'll meet the second Wednesday at a different location so we can bring our dinner business to local restaurants who will/can accommodate us without charge. We'll continue to hold Startup Lancaster for tech founders on Monday of that same week. If you know local founders of relatively young businesses, please let them know. Experienced founders are also welcome--it really helps to have a good mix of people with different levels of experience and wisdom. See you there.

Startup Lancaster: 1 Year Anniversary

Over the past 12 months, we've held 11 Startup Lancaster meetings. The group is limited to founders only, and only from technology product companies. We opened it up briefly a few months ago, but that diluted the effectiveness of the sessions. Over the past year we've come up with a model that seems to work: we network for a bit at the beginning, then talk about what the night's topic should be, then break into groups of 3 or 4 to talk about the issues. After that, we get back together and share what we heard in the breakouts. Friendships have formed, new startups have formed out of old ones, 4 or so have raised capital, and one was accepted into the  3-month acclerator. We have, in short, a technology startup ecosystem. A year ago, I wasn't so sure, and started the group to find out what was out there. And I'm impressed. Steve Palmer and his partner were accepted into  and leaves later this week. He'll be miss