It has certainly been a while since I’ve mixed it up in the entrepreneur scene, and I think if I were to tell most most people I know that I’m now embarking down the well (over?) trodden road of mobile applications, they would question my sincerity at the least, and punch me in the gut at the most (I had dinner with one of my most extreme hippie friends about a month ago and tried to sell her on the idea of socializing healthy lifestyle – she is a practitioner of humanure composting to give you an idea of her extremism – and she about spit her beer on me). But about a week ago I reached out to one of my more normal friends Catherine, who is well on her way to becoming the face and voice on the Silicon Beach scene. Her reaction to my app, aptly called Rooted, was much more enthusiastic. And she insisted that I begin to attend some of the Silicon Beach social and informational events. I was reserved (I’m generally reserved), but figured she was right – it was the right thing to do if I have any hope of realizing the vision that is in my head (and recouping any of the funds I’ve dumped into the app so far…).
This Friday’s event was held in the penthouse of the Hotel Shangi La in Santa Monica – conveniently a 10-minute misty bike ride from where I live. I showed up by myself not really knowing what to expect. As I said, it’s been a while since I’ve done the entrepreneur thing, and have never so much as dipped a toe in the roaring river that is the California tech scene. Ironically, I am at times a tech cynic, prefer talking on the phone to texting, and talking face to face to talking on the phone. I distinctly remember a conversation with a college neighbor and fellow cyclist / triathlete, who now is part of a successful digital design firm in Venice, where I tried to convince him that the internet was a passing phase on its way out. Of course this was in jest, but I did my very best to make a case. He still brings it up to this day. But this is why I maintain optimism for Rooted as an app. Hopefully the balance of app-i-ness and real world socialization that I’m striving for will appeal to both avid app users, and those who are simply looking to engage with other like minded, healthy people. We’ll see.
I’m not a particularly social guy, but Friday night reminded me why that is often the case. I don’t like small talk, and have a hard time bringing myself to make what can be unfulfilling conversation with people whom I have very little in common. This is of course not always the case, but in many instances can be. But my experience on Friday evening was the complete opposite. I instantly remembered how stimulating it is to meet and converse with people of similar drive and passion, who are interested in social progression – whether through technology or otherwise. Of course I was lucky to have Catherine and her Dun and Bradstreet Credibility co-workers on hand as anchors when I needed a break from said stimulating conversation – they were busy interviewing attendees.
Of the people I met that evening, the two that were particularly relevant to me where both also young guys who had recently launched their own mobile apps. Myke Armstrong is a co-founder of the app called TapShare. I’m not a big iPhone photo taker, but immediately (well less than24-hours later) saw the value in this app. The following morning I sent Catherine an email asking if she could send me any photos from the event to go into this post – she said she would, once Myke shared them. Coincidentally, what TapShare allows you to do is create a group photo album from a single event, ensuring you aren’t reliant upon others to send you photos you may want from a given outing, or so that you don’t have to hand someone your phone or camera every time you want to capture a moment and be guaranteed you’ll see the photo again.
The other app founder I met that was relevant to me was Jon, a founder of Where my Dogs At. If you are having trouble determining what this app might do, you probably don’t own a dog. I do, and am often looking for places where she can help me meet girls….I mean, where I can take here so she has a very fulfilling and active life. I’ll be downloading the app and I’m sure using it on a regular basis.
The night was a good one, and I look forward to additional Silicon Beach LA events. Thanks to the folks who put it on – it was a good time with good people.
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