We as humanity sit down today in America reflecting on blessings, while also re-learning historical truths thanks to the humongous reference book that is “the internet“. I am completely content knowing *that* internet, hyper-evolving technology, and a love for changing paradigms led me to the startup wave that emerged after the Great Recession. After discovering entrepreneurs like Seth Godin, Chris Sacca, Nick Campbell, Chase Jarvis and Kevin Rose, I was inspired to follow a similar path. Freelancing in and of itself is a small business. You have to bootstrap your gear, your brand, your marketing, your payroll department. Many times, you wear all those hats (and more).
Four years later, I had the wonderful opportunity to work for the best tech blog in the world, TechCrunch.
It all happened quite fast. I was already a “jack of all trades” in the Film/TV world at that point. You had to be adaptable in the post-Recession landscape. When some Huffington Post Live colleagues recommended me for the job of Video Producer at a blog I already followed intensely, I was beside myself. I will always be thankful for Jon Orlin, John Biggs, and Jordan Crook for seeing the potential of what we could do together in New York City. Hundreds of videos and 3 years later, I can say TechCrunch Video is the strongest it’s ever been.
I always felt grateful that TC hired people with real personalities and deep opinions. Because who the hell wants to watch a wishy-washy take on a piece of tech or a hot new app? From CES to TC Meetups to the infamous Disrupt Conferences a small, fierce team managed to create content at a pace I haven’t seen in my career. Today, that team has a firm grasp on shareable social media content, web series, feature videos, breaking news, talk shows and daily rundowns with ease. They are in really good hands.
I say this because before I left for Nepal with Rashmi, I had made the tough decision to leave TechCrunch in search of new opportunities. As many tech journalists can tell you, news is a grind. Many times, I have watched in awe as our team would hunker down in a Skype or Slack room, divvy out coverage, and just slay an Apple announcement WHILE being all-hands-on-deck for Disrupt. Insane. They are absolutely the hardest working, most intelligent, savvy, and tight-knit tech blog in the world (read about TC’s history here). If you have heard the rumors of our post-Disrupt karaoke, you know it is epic — and *usually* alcohol fueled.
<3 Look at these bad asses <3
So you’re asking yourself, why leave? To this day I still have that entrepreneurial spirit alive. I’m about to launch a podcast about musical guilty pleasures called The Guilty Mixtape. I have a steaming music show idea I’d like to develop. And I’ve become very taken with Virtual Reality (VR) video. Aside from that, I’d like to tell stories of startups, nature conservation, musicians, microbreweries, art, organic food, DIY-culture, green homes, activist causes, and all the other things I love. Just outside the news cycle.
The Freedom 360 Explorer VR video rig in use in Kathmandu this past month.
My vacation in Boulder, Colorado this past April also reignited a kinship I grew up with: being deeply connected to nature. I spent time in a yurt in the middle of the Rocky Mountains and just shot photos and video for the love of creation. I ate delicious bacon and guacamole soft tacos. And I hung out with an over-zealous blue bird. Which culminated in this meditative video.
It reiterated what I needed to be doing. Also around that time, my wife’s family experienced the horror of debilitating earthquakes near Kathmandu. All of this was a wake up call that I needed to put into motion my own family, while ensuring I am building a future for us going forward.
My family in Ohio.
My extended family in Nepal.
This new start is a part of that.
Oh… PLUS a group of us finally finished a fiction short film called “What We Talk About When We Talk About Zombies” which got into the Nitehawk Shorts Festival in Williamsburg (and hopefully more, fingers crossed). I worked with a great team and hope for many more film projects like it.
As for right now? I am currently booking, and looking to collaborate with YOU. I do travel, and I have an active passport. I love New York City, but won’t say no to a gig in Costa Rica, Morocco or the Pacific Northwest this winter either 😉 If you know anyone who needs their story told effectively through video or photos, or would make good collaborators for me, please reach out – firstname.lastname@example.org or call me 201.618.2642
As for my day of thanks, I have made lifelong friendships at TC, and amongst the startup community we reported on and championed. I look at the caliber of people I was able to interface with daily, as we rode that wave with (relative) ease and just feel happy that I got to spend the last 3 years as part of their quirky, nerdy tribe of geekdom.
Thank you all.
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