Archives for November 2015

November 20, 2015 - Comments Off on 2016… the year of side project(s).

2016… the year of side project(s).

2015 has been a great year... I feel like work/life balance finally has a fulcrum as Sonic, which has been and is an incredible place to flex my skillset in digital innovation and experience development. The team is fantastic, clicking along toward some great great stuff over the next 12 months. This week, we finally launched a project we've been working on for close to a year, it's not the full vision, but a huge step in the right direction. You'll see more in the coming weeks on the work we did for the new Interactive POPS experience... I can't wait for everyone to experience the full version of this experience!

In the balance, I was finally able to get Lake Surf Co. and Woodshed Tea off the concept floor and into Oklahoma state certified businesses!

Lake Surf Co. has been around for a few years, but will pivot away from SUP board sales and rentals and focus on the SUP boarding lifestyle. We'll be venturing into apparel and other accessories for the lake and river SUP boarding lifestyle in the Midwest. I'm looking forward to leaning into this space, as the brand is super fun to work on and anything to get us out on the water is a good thing! We are launching next week with two hat styles, and should be able to move into some t-shirts before the new year. #getboard

Woodshed Tea is a passion project from my time at Alpha Dominche. We worked so hard to position the Steampunk brewer to be ambidextrous, that is, to revolutionize coffee and tea brewing, both in extraction time and flavor profile. In that experience I got the opportunity to visit some of the top coffee roasters in the nation, as well as some of the top tea importers and blenders. A working man's master's degree in coffee and tea has been stuffed in my head, and with Woodshed Tea I get to explore the tea side of things in much more detail. We will be launching with nine tea varieties, a curated list of loose leaf teas including some organic single origin green, black, white tea and a couple expertly blended herbal teas. You'll find our offerings incredibly diverse, and yet pure to their original intent. So much to be excited for with this project. #looseleaf


So, here is to 2016! Lot's to look forward to and lots of building to be done. Because builders gotta build.

November 17, 2015 - Comments Off on give me your tired, your poor…

give me your tired, your poor…

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

- From "The New Colossus" an 1883 Emma Lazarus poem quoted on the Statue of Liberty.

The idealism behind this sentiment and proclamation seems to be directly tied to the fact that in the land of opportunity you don't need to kill to provide for your family... you just need to work. And when you work and are paid, you find an affordance of things, thereby making your fundamentalist viewpoint un-ideal.

As resources get scarce, it becomes a bit hazy.

And when people get backed into a corner, the fundamentalist viewpoint seems more ideal, as the alternative of Heaven is a reprieve from the reality of scarcity.

And here I'm talking about most religions and beliefs, not just one in particular.

Clarification. I'm not saying we shouldn't be open to refugees, just pointing out the different socio-economical environment we are now living in. If we can figure out the income gap and revitalize the middle class, there is mounds of opportunity. But if the gap continues to widen, we won't have much opportunity for the natural born citizen or the immigrant. And in the vacuum -- fundamentalism/extremism will continue to bloom in the ghettos and in the suburbs. Creating such polarization, violence will seem to be the only answer.

But again, as Emma Lazarus declared, there is another way. A way of peace and equality. I'm not advocating for socialism, but a regulated capitalism. An economy protected against collapse by a robust middle class, who advances in economic booms, and digs it's heels in during economic busts. A majority of people, diverse in ethnic background, and religious tradition, but unified in opportunity. With this stability, our land can truly be the "Mother of Exiles," a place of refuge for the tempest-tossed.

November 3, 2015 - Comments Off on Autonomous Cars

Autonomous Cars

Yesterday, I fell into a conversation about autonomous cars in response to this blog post by Zack Kanter -- How Uber’s Autonomous Cars Will Destroy 10 Million Jobs and Reshape the Economy by 2025.

It's a thought provoking post, with lots of links to sink you deeper into the wormhole of autonomous car dystopia (or utopia... depending on how full your glass is this morning). Not to argue with any of his stats or the conclusion he draws from them; the post did kindle some thoughts on the ethics around autonomous cars, and the risks we assume by stepping into a vehicle with no driver.

These are a few of the questions spurred by this conversation, as it opens pandoras box regarding AI and altruism. Can the sometimes selfless and irrational acts of man to save countless lives be programed into a machine?

No doubt we have time to answer this question, but my fear is it will be an afterthought, only studied once we have a handful of deaths attributed to autonomous driven cars. The inventors role is not necessarily to write ethic statements that influence law, but it should be on their minds as they write algorithms and code that will direct a 40-ton machine careening down the interstate at 70mph. There is a lot to unpack here, and if you are in law school, it might be something to focus on for your term paper... wait, do law students even have term papers?

Either way... that's my two cents.