It's been almost 3 years since I've updated my blog. A LOT has been going on: Got married, moved across the country, bought a house. With all of that behind me and so much more to look forward to, I want to make time to write in 2018. Stay tuned. We'll go on an adventure soon.
Over the Valentine's Day weekend, Jenny and I decided to make a trip down to Monterey, Carmel and Santa Cruz. We brought the dog, booked a dog-friendly motel, and were on our way.
Let me just say that neither of us "enjoy" Valentine's Day - Partially because we are not ones to wait for 1 day out of the entire year to show how much we love each other and partially because it's just the worst. So when we were deciding about what to do, we left out the typical things and did what we do best: Get up and go.
Since we had the dog with us, we knew that we had to do something outside. Anything. We came across Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. I've seen redwood trees before, but they never cease to amaze me.
It was like walking among giants. Walking above the clouds even and needless to say it made for a memorable day.
New Year's Resolutions should be manageable. They should be concrete, achievable tasks. One should be able to accomplish them with, of course, some higher degree of effort, but still achievable. Here are mine:
I also feel that New Year's Resolutions should be personal. That means not posting it to Instagram or Facebook for the sake of getting a few "likes." I know what you're saying: "But, Wade...you posted your resolutions to Instagram and Facebook."
I know I did. I also know that I've never gone through with any previous New Year's Resolutions that I set for myself. I need the push. I need the accountability that posting my list brings. I urge you to do the same. Not for "likes", but for that extra push. That extra push we all need from time to time.
Man, it's been a while. It's been a long while. Too long, really.
There's been so much going on since my last post - My job at Square has been going so well. It's been keeping me incredibly busy and I truly take pride in empowering small business owners every single day. The products and services provided by Square are unmatched by any competitor and I love what we're doing as a company. Looking forward to continuing my journey.
As I just mentioned, my job has truly has been taking up a lot of time, which I don't mind because (again) I like what I do, but I've found myself missing things that I used to do. Things I had more time to do. One being designing. Though I never claimed to be a good designer (or a designer at all), it was always something I took pride in and just flat out enjoyed. I think the act of creating something from nothing has always astounded me. I need to do this more. We all do.
I find myself keeping up with many talented designers/writers/creators via social media and admiring them for what they do. They inspire. I want to challenge myself to (and you if you're so inclined) to just create. No monthly quota. No 30-day challenge. Nothing like that. Just create.
Whether it be a new business idea, an app, a water-color painting, wood carving, a sketch, anything. Just create. As often and as much as possible.
I'm so excited to announce that I am joining Square.
Square began with a simple idea: everyone should be able to accept credit cards. They've been rethinking buying and selling ever since. It's such an inspiration.
I will be joining Square as an SMB Account Executive and I cannot wait to start helping people grow their businesses and their communities.
I am so happy and excited to announce that I am making a move. Taking steps forward. Living life. I am moving to California.
The allure of apps like Secret is simple: I can anonymously post anything I want.
However, there is more to it than that. People are shifting what and how they are sharing.
For example, Facebook is built around building personal connections with people that you already know or want to get to know. You share things that can/should be shared on a platform like that. Pictures of your newborn baby, your latest selfie, your personal thoughts on an article. You share on Facebook because you want people to know what you have to say. In a sense, you want to brag. Secret is taking us back to the beginning of the Internet when anonymity was king. Take away identity and you take away fear of judgement. Take away identity and you allow free and open expression.
With Secret, users can speak openly. Speak honestly. Speak bluntly. On the flip side of that coin, users open themselves up to criticism. From what I've seen, responses have been mixed. Most are helpful and comforting while others have been flat out mean. Since it's anonymous, responses can be blunt, hurtful, and 100% trollish. However, if you sign up for Secret, you realize that's just part of the territory.
There's also a mystery surrounding Secret. With every post being anonymous, you can't help but wonder who's on the other side. Especially if they are in "Your Circle". Users are sharing some very personal thoughts and feelings. It's drastically different from any other social site and that alone will keep users coming back every day. If early reviews are any indication, people will keep coming back.
And, with Secret just getting started, I can't wait to see where it goes.
Download Secret for iPhone
I set up my GoPro to capture the sunset over Lake Tahoe on my recent trip to California.
Music is "re:stacks" by Bon Iver
I recently returned from week long trip to Northern California. As usual, I was in awe of the beauty and majesty. I captured as much as I could with my camera, but it doesn't do the real thing justice.
Here are just a few pictures from the trip. I've posted the rest of them here.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I had some very high expectations going in to this one based on the trailers alone and I have to say that I was not disappointed.
Shortly after seeing the very first trailer for the movie, I did some research. I wanted to research the story behind the movie. It is based on a short story written by James Thurber of the same name. Incidentally enough, at that same time I happened to be traveling for work in Columbus, OH, which is James Thurber's hometown. While the movie is vastly different from the short story, the essence is still there. Walter Mitty is a day dreamer. One who escapes the doldrums of the every day, ordinary life with his overactive imagination.
I did my best to stay away from any and all reviews prior to seeing it. I didn't want the opinion (positive or negative) of others to sway my thoughts going in.
Visually, from the very beginning, this movie is a work of art. Using backdrops like New York, Greenland, Iceland, and the Himalayas, it's hard not to be beautiful. Their use of color throughout was extremely well thought out. Throughout the movie, we are taken seamlessly in to Walter's imagination and each one more fantastical than the last.
I won't give an in-depth overview of the plot/story, but I will say that while I loved it, I wanted more. I wanted the writers to go further in character development. Go further in to Walter's relationships. Go further with Walter's travels. I would have loved this movie to have been 2 and 1/2 hours long. Also, more Sean Penn. Always.
One other thing that stood out to me was the soundtrack. To me, music has always, always been an important part of any movie. This soundtrack hits on all cylinders. The mix of original music and songs by artists such as Jose Gonzalez and Of Monsters and Men stir your emotions and really make you "feel" this movie.
The underlying theme throughout the movie is Life. We're supposed to live it. We're not supposed to sit idly by as it passes us by. So, do yourself a favor...dream big, live life and go see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
"To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls,
to draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life."
Some new music for you on this the second day of 2014
Trying some new things for the "WADE" brand - It's slow to evolve, but it's getting there.
When I found out about Coin, I immediately went in as a backer. Been tossing this idea around forever and I'm finally glad someone is doing it. Can't wait to see it when it ships in Summer 2014
I think I'm going to start something new - Every so often I am going to post the artists, designers, developers, creatives, entrepreneurs that inspire me. First up, it's Mike Mitchell.
I've been following Mike for a few years now and have always, always found his work phenomenal. His artistic style and take on pop-culture is completely original and one that I feel many people my age relate to. And, it's completely hilarious. See below for some of his more recent work
I purchased my first set of Mike Mitchell prints during the season finale of Breaking Bad. I just couldn't resist. And needless to say I wasn't let down.
With Motorola's announcement of Project Ara, an open-source plan for modular smartphones, comes a true shift in the smartphone hardware space. Though the project may currently be just a small step, it's a step in the right direction towards a huge shift in tech.
I started following Phonebloks, another open-source initiative for modular tech, months ago and was immediately enamored. There were, of course, the key impacts of this idea: reduction of e-waste, higher quality parts and equal access to tech across the globe, but there were a few additional aspects stood out to me.
1. Love Your Phone...Forever.
Whether they like to admit it or not, a lot of consumers have a connection with their phone. Their phone is with them at all times (in use or not). Their phone captures moments that they never want to forget. Their phone connects them to the people they love the most. With modular technology, consumers will be able to keep their phone for a currently incalculable amount of time. Yes, consumers will be able to fix their "companion" should anything happen. It may sound silly, but I think the idea of modular technology will have a profound effect on how long consumers keep their phones and how long consumers WANT to keep their phones.
2. Businesses Will Love This
I've begun to see a trend in B2B markets where businesses (Small, Mid-Market, Enterprise) want a truly customized experience with the products, solutions and services they purchase. A product specifically tailored for their needs. The idea of modular technology fits right in the meaty part of this trend. For example: A small business that sends and receives large media files on a daily basis would need a device with much large storage and screen size along with faster processing power. The ability for a company to create one-of-a-kind devices for employees and their specific job functions? Yeah...It's exciting.
3. Everyone Can Become A Hardware Developer
I use "hardware developer" in a loose sense, but an issue that has been around from the beginning with high-profile consumer technology is the inability for individual consumers (I'm talking those without technical understanding) to understand how a product works. Essentially, how the inner workings of a product work. This could open up an entirely new market for consumers to develop products for. An add on for a camera module, a belt-clip module (for Dad's!) and the list goes on and on.
I know that this idea is a moonshot, but that's what it has to be. That's what pushes technology forward. And I am excited about it.
First off, let me preface this piece with the simple fact that I follow a lot of brands via Social Media. All types of brands in all types of industries. Secondly, there are a lot of brands doing a lot of amazing things.
One stands out above all the rest right now: Nike.
Nike has continually blown my mind with the quality of content being created. They are truly a leader in this category (among many others). What's even more impressive has to be the shear number of communities they manage for each individual sport. One community and one sport in particular has caught my attention lately. Nike Running on Instagram. They are just doing all the right things.
Let me break it down for you:
1. Picture/Video Quality and What That Means
Each and every single picture and video posted to their page has been carefully captured, reviewed and curated to ensure brand consistency and quality. Of course you would expect them to be quality pictures, but each one has the same visual tones and each one has the same effect (for me at least): Motivation and Inspiration. I want to get up and run. Sure, I would run more if I had those views, but it's more than that. Their pictures evokes camaraderie. Each one evokes the feeling of community. That's huge.
2. Incorporation of Nike+
All segments of Nike Social Media do a fantastic job of incorporating Nike+. In specific, Nike Running has a very a subtle overlay of the Nike Fuel total, Distance and Lap/Mile Time. It's just another touch point for consumers to see Nike's own network. Personally, this drives me to push myself in my runs. Nike Fuel is truly a gamification of fitness and it works. Incorporating it into Instagram is just smart.
3. Always Driving Consumers to Their Store
With each picture and video posted to the Nike Running Instagram account, the caption reads something to this extent: "Check out the link in our bio". I think this is brilliant as Nike Running is consistently changing this link to coincide with their latest post. Nike has the opportunity to drive consumers directly to the products they want to highlight at any given time. It's instant gratification for the consumer. The consumer can see the post on Instagram and has the ability to immediately find more information.
Keep being awesome, Nike. Can't wait to see what comes next.
One of my favorite music groups, Lord Huron, sings, "I said life without end wouldn't have any meaning. The journey to death is the point of our being." Any way you look at it, we are all traveling to the same destination, but it's how we get there and what we do before we get there that differs. It's how you spend your energies. It's how you love. From the legacy that my Mother left behind, it's crystal clear to me that she did all the right things.
Over the past 5+ years, my Mother had been dealing with an unwanted predator. Brain Cancer. During those initial years, thanks to the help of many, (Duke Medical, my step-father, my sister, countless others) she dealt with her illness the best way she knew how: by kicking it's ass. As her illness progressed, there was never a moment of hesitation on treatments. Never a lapse in her optimism. Never a shred of doubt in her mind that she would't beat this thing. Her positive nature and faith were steadfast. She exhibited an attitude of positivity, even in her final days, that was constant. Now that her struggle is over, I know that she is not in anymore pain. She is with her parents and her friends that went before her. She is dancing. She is happy.
My Mother's personality, joy of life, humor and uniqueness were, and always will be, timeless. She lifted others up by simply being around them. That magnetic smile of hers lit up a room. Her laugh, which is something I will miss dearly, was contagious. For as long as I can remember, my Mother knew that life was a gift. She knew it wasn't to be wasted, but to be lived to the fullest. And, in the words of her brother, she wanted "her life to be a statement and not an apology."
By my Mother's inspiration, this is what I hope to accomplish. To live my life to the fullest. To make a statement. To treat life as the gift she knew it was. To love unconditionally each and every day. To make her proud.
Although we can't know how long we have on this earth, we can choose to live each and every day with purpose. That's what my Mother did and that's what I hope to do. I love you, Mom. I always will.
#WhatImReading - Currently, I am reading up on the life and times of Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson, aka Nick Offerman, in "Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living".
I've only started reading this book and it's already one of my favorites. His honesty and frankness can't be beat. Will be writing up my thoughts on the entire book once I finish up. As of right now, I would already recommend it. #pickitup.
For some reason, I've been watching a lot of really well produced process videos of people custom making everything from belts and shoes to iPad cases to motorcycles. I guess for me, being able to see all the time and effort that these makers are putting into their products, it's inspiring. No matter what it is they're making, I can always see the passion they have for what they are doing.
Here are some of my more recent favorites: