A few additions to Philadelphia magazine’s profile of Technical.ly

Ahead of the fifth annual Philly Tech Week, Philadelphia magazine profiled Technical.ly, the local tech news site I cofounded that helps to organize the calendar of more than 150 events.

The piece is fair, largely flattering but challenging, too. It was written by Joel Mathis, whom I’ve come to know some through Philadelphia media circles but got to speak to more at length during the interview process (thanks for the interest Joel). I can admit that I was nervous how the piece would land after I found out the magazine announced plans to launch a vertical focused on “innovation,” but I’ve seen the piece and their plans for Biz Philly appear to be a wider business blog.

It’s still a strange time here for the local news media environment.

Still, though I think Joel did a fine job, I wanted to share a few more background thoughts for those who might be interested. Read the item here, or find a PDF of the article here or buy the mag if you can, then check out below.

(Also, check out this cool blog post of a mutual friend who reached out to make sure the typewriter I’m using in the photo was authentic — it was a gift from my grandfather.)

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Choose a time, not a place to live: my piece for our live Technical.ly podcast

I helped organize our first ever live Technical.ly podcast and, in addition to helping to produce the event, I put together one of the main pieces.

My point? We don’t really choose a Place to live. We choose a Time in a Place to live.

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Why I’ve (slowly and modestly) paid more attention to fashion for professional gain

Even in high school, I had it in my head that buying new clothes was vain.

Picture my mother pleading with me to let her buy me pants that fit me. At some point I realized that she had started sneaking in new pairs of socks and throwing out my old ones with holes. One of the first places I went after I got my driver’s license was to a thrift store, afterward proudly showing my parents a $5 suit I bought (and wore way later into life than I should have, like at our closing party at Philly Tech Week 2012).

While my teenage friends cared about clothes, I was defiantly disinterested in any of it. I was proud I saved what money I earned and perhaps prouder of how little I ever asked my parents to contribute. (For their part, they were more often embarrassed of my taking hand-me-downs from bosses and friends. They were worried it might look like they weren’t taking care of me, even though they most certainly were. I had one of the most loving households I could imagine, which might be why I didn’t want to ask them for anything else — look at how they helped me pay for college.)

But then I got older and entered the workforce, where the first impressions you make aren’t cast aside by the whims of youthfulness.

It took quite a few experiences as a professional for me realize that there’s a balance between spending too much money and time on clothes and too little, and I hadn’t found it. That’s when I had to make a change.

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Entrepreneurs often start early: here are 5 of my own examples

Entrepreneurship has a legacy of leaders who got started early. That sense of independence, experimentation and motivation to be challenged appears to often be a natural instinct.

When I started Technical.ly in early 2009, I had no experience or real awareness of entrepreneurship. We’ve learned a lot, and in truth, I still remain a relatively inexperienced founder, but I have taken and enjoyed this early entrepreneurial experience.

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Snowpocalypse: here’s a flowchart on whether you can park your car

Parking in the snow in dense urban neighborhoods is always a testy issue. People have strong opinions about whether you can use a chair to reserve a spot or swipe another’s — legal or not. Thankfully I sold my car last year, but I’m still a sucker for life hacks for city living.

Considering it’s something that happens in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia and likely anywhere else where great urbanism means parking is limitless, we need better agreement of what’s proper etiquette. Here’s my take, built on some thoughts I shared back in 2010.

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Qatar: everything I learned while visiting the wealthiest country in the world

Joe is a friendly Filipino private car driver who has lived and worked in Doha, the capital and dominant city of tiny Persian Gulf country Qatar, for the last decade. He forces a laugh and answers “maybe” to any question I ask him that seems to make him uncomfortable.

Last month, I was in Qatar to mentor at a hackathon organized by Aljazeera, the global news organization based in Doha. Leading up to and during my time there, I did a lot of reading about the Gulf. I had a couple dozen conversations with people who live there, like Joe, and I did a fair amount of exploring parts of Doha, or at least as much as I could considering I spent most of my short few days there inside a convention center.

I found the country so interesting (and complicated) that I wanted to share nearly everything I learned about the Arab desert nation state. Find that below.

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Leadership Philadelphia called me one of 55 young ‘keepers’

The half-century old Leadership Philadelphia civic service nonprofit named me recently one of 55 young leaders in the region worth “keeping.” I’m among more than a dozen local tech leaders included.

Those of us named are said to be future leaders of Philadelphia that should be connected with more established leaders to ensure we remain invested here. It’s the same group that organizes the 10-month long leadership fellowship I proudly completed in 2013.

True to form of Leadership Philadelphia, led by a mentor of mine Liz Dow, this is not just a vanity list. Over the course of six monthly networking events, we’ll be paired with more established leaders to foster mentorship relationships outside of our existing communities. The series started last week with an event at the historic Union League.

It’s both a true honor and an incredible opportunity to meet people I will work with for years to come.

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