I Found a New Job

There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.” – Winston Churchill

Last week was officially my 4th anniversary at Quill – a company I started working at immediately after graduating from DePaul. Over my four years, I developed great relationships, and gained a ton of valuable experience to start my professional career. But like high school and college before it, the impending end of another four year cycle in life had me itching for a new challenge.

Because I was a commuter during my time at DePaul and work being so close to home, moving downtown was an absolute requirement on my checklist. Additionally, I’ve developed a love for the tech sector from reading blogs and interacting with smart, interesting people on Twitter (if you’re reading this post, I’m sure you know who you are). Finally, I wanted to find a company that was young and rapidly growing. No offense at all to Quill, it is a fantastic company with fantastic people, but the office supply industry is getting swallowed up in a software/tech driven world.

This post has been in the works for some time now, but I am happy to share that I’ve accepted an offer to start working at Fieldglass as a Revenue Analyst in the next few weeks. Although finding this job took longer than I expected and hoped, I knew immediately the fit was right when I met the people I would be working with. The company is young, energetic, dynamic, focused, and driven. They are moving into an amazing new office in November and I couldn’t be more excited to start. 

I’m equally excited to start looking at apartments in the downtown Chicago area, where I’ve wanted to move since starting college eight years ago. I moved around a lot when I was younger and there isn’t a better city for my money than Chicago, and I can’t wait to finally move and live downtown. Better late than never, right? 

I would be remiss if I didn’t say thanks to my coworkers and friends who gave me great advice along the way. And a special thanks to my recruiter who helped me find an awesome gig. 

Every App on my iPhone

My friend Katey asked me to explain what I have in the convoluted mess (to me, it’s organized) you see below. 

I also wanted to do this after reading MG Siegler’s post on the topic as a end-of-year audit of apps he used as a way to see what I can get rid of.

image

I’ll start off by describing what’s in the bottom dock. 

  1. Messages
  2. Echofon Pro – my daily driver for Twitter and the most used app on my phone. At $4.99, that’s an absolute steal.
  3. Mail
  4. Pocket – makes your online and Twitter reading experience so much better. You can save articles, and go back to them later, even if you don’t have Internet connection – perfect for when you’re on a flight.

Everyday

  1. Alien Blue – I think the best Reddit app for iPhone.
  2. Instagram 
  3. Tumblr – use to manage my blog.
  4. Droplr – I absolutely love this app and all the screenshots for this post were taken using Droplr. More info on their website here. Also, not cheap – $49.99/year. My one gripe is that it’s not yet iOS 7 compatible.
  5. Feedly – when Google killed their RSS reader, this became a must have.
  6. Google Maps – 1,000x better than Apple’s version.
  7. YouTube 

Social – Page 1

  1. Twitter – I use it as a mobile version of twitter.com/activity
  2. Tweetbot – I’d like to eventually make it my primary app, as it has more features than any 3rd party Twitter client.
  3. Facebook 
  4. Foursquare – I’m excited to see how it will change once Swarm is launched. More on that here.  
  5. Vine – Twitter’s six-second video app, my usage has dropped off significantly since it was released.
  6. Jelly – fun social Q&A app released by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.
  7. Frontback – think of it as a double-sided Instagram app
  8. Secret – probably the most talked about app in tech circles the last month or so. Good read by Adam Besvinick here.
  9. Google Hangouts – Gchat on the go.

Social – Page 2

  1. Timehop – gives you a historical feed of your Tweets on that day. I think Bairet described it perfectly, though.
  2. Snapchat – all the teens are crazy about it.
  3. unfollow – you can filter who hasn’t sent a Tweet in a week, or month, and unfollow them if you wish.
  4. bitly – link shortening app, but you don’t really need it because most good Twitter apps are integrated with Bitly already.
  5. Sayonara – get notified when someone unfollowed you because you probably Tweeted something stupid.
  6. Flickr – I absolutely love their recent update.
  7. Telegram – it’s supposed to be an alternative to WhatsApp – I haven’t used it.
  8. Spark – the love child of Instagram and Vine.
  9. Facebook Paper – after a lot of hype, I don’t think many are using it. 

Social – Page 3

  1. about.me – easy way to build a starter webpage that contains your online identity.
  2. Skype
  3. OkCupid
  4. Mindie – fun video sharing app, another love child of Instagram and Vine.
  5. Google+
  6. WitStream – think of it as a Twitter feed for comedians.
  7. Quora – great resource for questions people ask online, heavily tech-focused.
  8. Carousel – Dropbox’s just-released photo app – similar to Flickr
  9. Facebook Messenger

Social – Page 4

  1. Steller – cool app to build stories with photos, videos, etc. Here’s a great example.
  2. rumr – anonymously chat with your friends. More here.
  3. Nextdoor – social network for people in the same neighborhoods. More here.
  4. WhatsApp – enormously popular messaging client, for which Facebook paid $19 billion
  5. Eventbrite – purchase tickets and scan entry directly from the app.
  6. TweetsPie – recommended to me by Eli Langer after Tweeting this.
  7. Skedadel – discovered it from Adam Besvinick’s rec

Sports – Page 1

  1. Yahoo! Sports – best app to keep track of scores across all leagues, much better than ESPN’s app.
  2. Yahoo! Fantasy 
  3. NHL GameCenter – their push notifications are very timely and informative.
  4. PGA Tour
  5. Chicago Bears
  6. Chicago Blackhawks
  7. ESPN F1
  8. Watch ESPN
  9. SportsCenter

Sports – Page 2

Sports – Page 3

Finance – Page 1

Finance – Page 2

Finance – Page 3

crApple – Page 1

crApple – Page 2

crApple – Page 3

crApple – Page 4 – I just want to make a note about how deep my PHONE is actually buried within my phone.

Productivity – Page 1

Productivity – Page 2

Productivity – Page 3

Media

Travel – Page 1

Travel – Page 2

Travel – Page 3

Shop – Page 1

Shop – Page 2

Utilities – Page 1

Utilities – Page 2

Utilities – Page 3

Music

Weather

News

Photo Edit

Food

Real Estate

Jobs

Twitter’s Marketing Problem

I thought this was an excellent analysis by Ben Thompson on the problems Twitter has in understanding how to market their product to the majority of its users. Well worth the read.

The problem, though, was that by skipping over the wrenching process of finding a market, Twitter still has no idea what their market actually is, and how they might expand it. Twitter is the company-equivalent of a lottery winner who never actually learns how to make money, and now they are starting to pay the price.

The problem for Twitter is that getting a user as finely tuned as myself is not at all an easy process. My interests are so easily identified because I constantly edit who I follow to make sure my signal-to-noise ratio is as high as possible. However, this sort of behavior is totally unnatural and overwhelming to a new user. I hesitate to tell others how valuable I find Twitter, simply because I don’t know how to explain to them how to make Twitter as useful to them as it is to me.

How to upload your Twitter Archive to your Public Dropbox

There are times where I think I’m pretty tech savvy. Then, like in the case of trying to upload my Twitter Archive so it’s publicly accessible is another story. I finally figured out how to do with using Dropbox, so figured I would share.

Before you do this, thoroughly go through the Tweets you’ve published and think about whether there is anything that you sent 3-4 years ago that would embarrass your friends, your employer, or yourself. 

Here are the steps

  1. Download your Twitter Archive if you haven’t done so already. To do this, go to your Settings page (twitter.com/settings), scroll down the page until you see a ‘Request your archive’ link. Click it, and wait a few minutes for an email to arrive that will allow you to download the archive. This will download a zipped folder that has the contents of all your Tweets. Double clicking index.html will open your archived history where you can view every Tweet you’ve ever published, delete any posts you might regret, or copy URLs for easy embedding into blog posts, etc. 
  2. If you don’t already have a Dropbox account, you can download it through dropbox.com or db.tt/MPmHTjE – this is my referral link. Once the logistical stuff is out of the way, move the entire contents of the ‘tweets’ folder into the Public folder in your Dropbox. To get the link to share your Archive, right-click on index.html and then ‘Copy public link’. This link can now be shared, pasted into a blog post, etc.

 

Now that I’ve figured out how to do this, I’m not quite ready to make my Archive public before scrubbing the content. The good thing is, the link will always stay the same as it sits in my Dropbox folder. I would love if Dropbox gave the option of making the file password protected, just in case.

Let me know if this is helpful.

Next Chicago Steak – March 2014

Last night, Wolf and I had an incredible dinner at Next for their Chicago Steak menu.

Those who aren’t familiar, Next is unique in that it completely changes its style every few months, focusing on a different time period and part of the world for each “season” of its menu. It’s also unique in that unlike a traditional reservation system, they sell pre-priced tickets for specific dates and times similar to how theater, concert, or sporting event tickets are sold. These tickets are very sought after among us “foodies” in Chicago.

First Purchase Made with Bitcoin: Great Success!

One of the most controversial and fascinating topics in the media and press lately has been Bitcoin. Some of you might be asking yourselves, “what the heck is that?” the video below is a quick and easy overview.

I wish I could be one of those people that got into Bitcoin early and profited tremendously as some have, but sadly, that is not the case.

After the price began exploding in November, I started doing some research (123) on the technology and potential benefits of digital currencies, and opened an account on Coinbase. After making my first small purchase of 0.05 BTC, I’ve been buying bits here and there as a speculative investment, learning more and more as I go.

In early January, overstock.com began accepting Bitcoin as an official form of payment, the largest retailer to do so. According to their CEO, their first day was a hit: 

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Until today, I was not an Overstock customer. I didn’t know anything about their product assortment. While browsing around, day dreaming about playing golf once this crazy winter weather gets better, I decided to see if they carried any golf shoes. As luck would have it, the Adidas Adizero shoes I’ve wanted for a while were available and the price was $50 less than I remember. Easy decision. 

Here’s my favorite part. We all know how painful it can be to purchase something online from a brand new website. You have to make an account, go verify the account with your email, etc, etc, etc; it takes forever. When I added the shoes to my cart and proceeded to checkout, I opted to pay with Bitcoin through my Coinbase account. The entire process took less than 30 seconds. 

Taking the price and its volatility out of the equation, I’m starting to become extremely bullish on Bitcoin’s potential, especially with technologies that will be built on top of its infrastructure and how it will help businesses grow. Chris Dixon had an excellent quote about this: 

Let’s say you sell electronics online. Profit margins in those businesses are usually under 5%, which means the 2.5% payment fees consume half the margin. That’s money that could be reinvested in the business, passed back to consumers, or taxed by the government. Of all of those choices, handing 2.5% to banks to move bits around the Internet is the worst possible choice

Let me know what you think.

  1. Do you care about digital currency?
  2. Are you invested in Bitcoin?
  3. Do you think it’s a bubble that will eventually crash?