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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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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