I bought a car. Here’s what I did wrong.

I’ve taken a lot of pride in not owning a car, as I have intentionally built a lifestyle around transit and walkability over the last several years. It was something that made me happy, something I liked talking about. I sold an inherited 2000 Toyota Camry a year and a half ago and even before then was living without any real reliance on a car.

Then this summer I married SACM, who was using her struggling 2000 Kia Sportage to visit her large and local family. She was ready to replace it, and so we were made our first large purchase as a married couple — since the house we bought together slightly predated our getting married.

We recently bought a pre-owned 2012 Kia Soul with 32,000 miles from a suburban Kia dealership, from which we got extended roadside assistance and warranty coverage to 100,000 miles (from the original 60,000 miles).

She led the research effort and did so thoroughly. I led the on-site negotiation and made some mistakes. Here’s what we learned buying a car from a dealership for the first time in our lives.

Continue reading I bought a car. Here’s what I did wrong.

30×30: 30 things I’m proud I did before I turned 30

I like lists. I find them motivating and easy to understand. It’s a structure to limit and highlight, whether they be daily to-do lists or curated honors or resolutions — both personal and professional. I also like somewhat arbitrary milestones to serve as an opportunity to review my progress to the goals I have. It’s the same reason why I celebrated my 10,000th day alive.

Here’s another. I turn 30 this week and have used that as a reason to feel good about what I’ve done so far.

Continue reading 30×30: 30 things I’m proud I did before I turned 30

We beat $1M in revenue in 2015; small, growing and proud

Let’s start with the obvious: I help run a (very) very small, young business. By very nearly any measure, $1 million in annual revenue shows no great scale.

But for this first-time entrepreneur, slowly bootstrapping a niche news company like Technically Media, it means a lot to me to hit that nice round number in 2015. We have a full-time team of 15 with another half-dozen independent contractors who support the daily production of a news and events product with a strong reputation. We continue to find purpose with Technical.ly and expect our second brand Generocity.org to signal a coming explosion of local social impact conversations like local tech is here now.

I want to share what this means to us.

Continue reading We beat $1M in revenue in 2015; small, growing and proud

On starting to drink coffee

Surely there will be others, but presently, the summer of 2015 was one of the hardest, busiest and most stressful of my life.

In the last few years, I’ve been blessed with a nice calendar rhythm I’ve enjoyed — hectic and busy and big spring, fall and winter, with calmer summers to re-tool and a few weeks of December to get primed for the new year.

2015 was different. In the span of three months I bought a house, got married, rented out my former house, effectively acquired a company, grew our business  staff headcount by a quarter, transitioned out an internal leader, took a road trip near Calgary, spent two weeks in Ecuador and, you know, just did the normal stuff too.

Though I do strive to have -some- work-life balance (here is where SACM and others close to me roll their eyes), this incredibly time-crunch resulted in the inevitable: I slept a whole lot less. I did more successive late nights and early mornings than perhaps ever before. So I started drinking coffee.

Continue reading On starting to drink coffee

My proudest professional outcomes of 2015

I want to keep developing as a small business owner and leader.

That’s why I keep track of my professional goals each year — in addition to personal resolutions. This past year was no different. Most of those goals involve my company Technically Media but not all.

Below see what I’m most proud of having accomplished in 2015.

Continue reading My proudest professional outcomes of 2015

Religion as tradition, not rule

Like others I knew in the middle class U.S. Northeast in the 1990s, I was raised Roman Catholic by a family who felt limited by the religion’s slowly moving moral structure. I was there for a foundation that I could return to later in my life, by my parents encouragement. For all the complaining I did then, I am thankful for that.

For the first time in years (excluding weddings, though even mine wasn’t Catholic), later this week on Christmas Eve I plan to be in a church service. But there still isn’t much there for me. I’m saddened by that.

Continue reading Religion as tradition, not rule

Here’s the audio from my on-stage interview of Philadelphia Mayor Elect Jim Kenney

In front of an audience of 150 civil servants and economic development executives from throughout the mid-Atlantic, I interviewed last week Philadelphia Mayor Elect Jim Kenney for the second annual Rise conference on civic innovation we at Technical.ly organize.

Find the transcript and write-up here. Below listen to the audio,

Continue reading Here’s the audio from my on-stage interview of Philadelphia Mayor Elect Jim Kenney

Surprises from our inaugural Delaware Innovation Week

We at Technical.ly hosted our inaugural Delaware Innovation Week. It was our smallest community yet to do something like that, so we anxious to see what would happen.

The early signs show the model worked — new people came to take part in the week and join the community. So we’ll be back in November 2016.

Since it was the first year, I thought I’d share some surprises that came across.

Continue reading Surprises from our inaugural Delaware Innovation Week

What happens to old customers when your prices go up

Raising prices for a product or service is challenging. One strategy is to keep the headline price but simply offer a cheaper product — fewer chips in the bag, fewer deliverables in the sponsorship package.

But what happens when you so misfired from the get go that you can’t sneak in a change? Or, what if your product or service has simply gotten far better and more competitive?

I’ve heard lots of advice on how founders and early stage companies often start off by charging too little and need to try to maximize their ask early on. Too bad I didn’t know that starting Technical.ly — because our business team still struggles with the legacy of our pricing strategy from our founding, some six years ago.

Continue reading What happens to old customers when your prices go up