Lessons Learned in San Francisco

In November 2014, I traveled to San Francisco and spent 5 days (Thursday–Monday) skating the streets to introduce FoodCircles to different startups, engineers, and connectors. I received some of the best technical, managerial, and fundraising advice of my life and wrote the following as a response to the question, “So, how did it go?”

Guidepost to Reading — There are two general ways of reading this post:

The “Lessons” Route: skim down the post, looking for the bold or yellow-highlighted sections. When you find something you like, feel free to read the context.

The “Narrative” Route: read the full perspective of an entrepreneur—and many times wantrapreneur—trying to find his way through the city and his first startup.

Late Wednesday Night

The journey started on a late, rainy night finding my way into the hills of Chinatown to get to my Couchsurfing host’s apartment. I once slipped on my longboard and watched it almost get crunched by traffic. Thinking back, losing my board would have greatly limited my trip and experience. But thankfully, that didn’t happen. I got to Ken’s place and he was already asleep, leaving a note for me on the table. I hit the strange bed in the strange city in the heart of Chinatown and tried to get ready for the day that was to come.

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(c) Abigail Kumar 2013

We can feed 5,000. We need your help.

A measuring stick for you and me….
The moment you decide to grab food tonight, or perhaps this weekend, you have a chance to truly show love to a child in need. This child is probably someone you’ve never met, and maybe will never meet, but you have the power to right at least one wrong in their life. You’ve given 215 dinners to local children in need plus 168 DAYS of food to malnourished children in Niger, West Africa in just 60 days.

Gotta share our goal of 5000 because we believe in A) having a concrete, ambitious mark to work towards {do ya have one?}, B) you keeping us accountable, and C) because we know “what’s measured, improves“. It just takes you to continue to love those in need and feed 2-4 children per month.



We’ve also updated our Local and West Africa giving profiles.



To reach 5000, we need to introduce bold, new ways of eating well and changing lives:

—new “au courant” restaurants
—get tighter service at restaurants and sharpened donation followup
—send $1 dishes to friends, nominate new causes, even reserve that dish you really want

Sparrow’s Coffee and ROWSTER have also chipped in. Get 10% off or $1 off your coffee just by showing you’ve made a purchase on your app timeline or by downloading the app at the register. Thank you Lori and Stephen.


The Mysterious Disappearance of DoGood

Jason Bornhorst – Founder of DoGood (currently http://filamentlabs.co).

Jason Bornhorst – Founder of DoGood (currently http://filamentlabs.co).

The concept is simple; everyone gets a daily act of kindness, they try to do it, then they get to share their experience with others.  The DoGood app (for iPhone and later Android) was launched the summer of ’09 by Jason Bornhorst and a cohort of University of Michigan engineers (Go Blue!).  Within eight months, over half-a-million new good deeds had impacted our world.

Another company, Tonic Inc., lined up to buy DoGood.  They were quoted with intentions of “making it a massive worldwide movement.”  It sounds like a great idea and a simple app.  So where is it?  How come when we google “dogood app” or search on the App Store, we’re not able to download it?

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