I’m going gray. Okay, I’ve gone gray, and I’m not exactly sure when it started because I’ve been covering it for so long.
The last time I dyed my hair was in January of 2020. But like many women who couldn’t get to the salon during COVID, and who hate dying their own hair, I started to let it grow out to see how gray it was, and holy crap I’m 95% gray, actually silver, or platinum as my stylist likes to call it, but that’s just lipstick on a pig. After 2 years of this, I don’t recognize myself in the mirror or in photos anymore. I still don’t know if I like it – I waffle on it actually. One day I think “hell yeah, I’m doing this thing!” And other days I jump out of bed with the intention of heading straight for the hair dye.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about the impact of attention, awareness, and responsibility in our lives, specifically how it impacts entrepreneurs and the performance of early-stage startups. I’ve always believed that what you focus on expands, and some of this has been shown in both quantum physics and in sport psychology. In this context, attention is your ability to direct your focus on outcomes you WANT (rather than those you don’t).
I am married to a Dead Head. My husband Mark didn’t discover the band until he was in college, so he missed much of the touring that makes the community vibrant, but he’s made up for it ever since. Like most Dead Heads, he has listened to the 200+ versions of Fire on the Mountain and could tell you what date and venue the best version of the song was played. He loves the Dead so much that he plays keys in a Dead cover band called Peak 2 Peak (they gig locally so check them out if you live around here!).
I have a secret rock. It’s 3/4 through my weekly hike, and I always stop there to relax for a few before returning to my car. It’s obfuscated by the tall golden grass of the hillside meadow in which it sits, with views south and east in Boulder. It’s a glorious spot because it overlooks […]
The vegetable plate was the only item at the Starbucks near my gate I can eat. First of all, it was literally the only food item I could eat since I’m trying to avoid gluten. I’m from Boulder after all. And we, in Boulder, avoid gluten, alongside other curiosities, like sugar, high heel shoes, GMO foods, nail polish on our fingers (toes are okay though), and carbon emissions. But today I can’t eat the gluten-laden muffins and croissants of Starbucks even if I wanted to because I can’t open my jaw wide enough to get my toothbrush all the way in. See I had dental surgery last week, a cracked wisdom tooth resulting from a large filling, and a few years of grinding in my sleep. The temporary crown back there is rougher than my other teeth, and is supposed to get replaced with the permanent crown 3 days from now. It’s doubtful I’ll be keeping that appointment since I can’t even yawn, as this complication with my crown surgery has put me in considerable pain. And for some stupid reason, I feel like toughing out the pain rather than taking ibuprofen. So… I’ve bitten the tip off the pointy cherry tomato foot and am sucking the juice out because I can’t open my mouth any wider.
I am surrounded by change, in fact my very career in tech entrepreneurship bets on change. But sometimes we don’t fully understand the impact of our actions and our innovations. And in tech, we have been accused (rightfully so) of not understanding how the rest of the world lives. The tech bubble isn’t just economic, its also a bubble of perspective. Case in point, this hit me hard when Trump was elected because I couldn’t fathom anyone believing he would make a good president.
Since then, I’ve made a commitment to expanding my own awareness and getting out of the tech bubble. I am in a unique position where getting this exposure doesn’t have to be hard, and I just need to pick my head up to look around. If successful, maybe, just maybe I can help “sides” better understand each others perspectives.
That’s why I’m pleased to share that I’ve joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Economic Advisory Council. Our role on the EAC is to help inform the Federal Reserve Bank’s leadership about regional trends, concerns, and opportunities. Helping the Fed understand the sentiment and trends of tech – I can do that – especially given I’m standing amidst the maelström that is crypto-currency, investing, startups, and entrepreneurship.
However the thing I’m most excited about is learning how the Fed thinks and works, and hearing from my peers in the non-tech ecosystems. How does hospitality feel about the current state of affairs? Construction? Transportation? Agriculture? What are the trends affecting those industries that I might not be aware of because I’m submerged in tech? What does the government really think of our economy today? How do the checks and balances put in place really work?
I’m on a perspective quest, and joining the Kansas City Fed’s EAC is just one step of many in expanding my awareness.
If you’re in the Denver area and would like to have your opinion represented at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, shoot me an email with your thoughts and I’ll ensure they get represented.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the word connectivity.
In tech, we use the word ‘connectivity’ to talk about our devices – how our devices connect to the internet and to each other. As one who travels a lot, connectivity is my tether to work and home. I can survive without my cell connection, but sever my data connection and much is lost. I can’t check my email, I can’t work, I can’t see if that company’s round is closing or what startups we decided to invest in or sign that board agreement. I can’t FaceTime or text with my kids, can’t see the news, can’t check in on Twitter or Facebook. I have no idea what’s happening in the world around me. Being connected to the internet helps me support not just a few investments and Techstars programs – but hundreds. Being connected to the internet broadens my reach from what’s immediately around my physical person – to the global reach that Techstars has across 5 continents, 500+ cities, and 100+ countries. Connectivity helps me scale my productivity.
Shel Silverstein is a hero of mine, his writing always speaks to me with its multi-layered meanings, rhyme, and rhythm. I think it’s hard enough having to write something with substance, but when you add rhythm and rhyme to it, it becomes genius.
Given today’s eclipse, it would be àpropos to share his poem “A Battle in the Sky” which comes from his famous book Falling Up. I read this book regularly to my children and find the same amount of joy in it that they do. If you haven’t read any of his poetry books recently, I highly recommend it, for adults and children alike.
A Battle in the Sky
It wasn’t quite day and it wasn’t quite night, ‘Cause the sun and the moon were both in sight, A situation quite all right With everyone else but them.
So they both made remarks about who gave more light And who was the brightest and prettiest sight, And the sun gave a bump and the moon a bite, And the terrible sky fight began.
With a scorch and a sizzle, a screech and a shout, Across the great heavens they tumbled about, And the moon had a piece of the sun in its month, While the sun burned the face of the moon.
And when it was over the moon was rubbed red, And the sun ha a very bad lump on its head, And all the next night the moon stayed home in bed, And the sun didn’t come out ‘til noon.
Today marks a monumental day in Mark (husband!) and my life.
We bought a bed.
Now, I know this doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is. Our mattress has been sitting on plastic-wrapped box springs, on the floor, for 5 years. Prior to that, our old mattress was on one of those free frames that come with the mattress when you bought it, and I think it was the same frame I got in college.
The bed represents the first piece of furniture we actually *bought* in our adult lives. You know, something that we didn’t get on Craigslist, or Ikea, or was a hand-me-down or gift of some sort. In fact, the Ikea furniture that’s currently in our master bedroom replaced a used, falling-apart dresser that I literally bought for $20 FROM THE CLASSIFIED SECTION OF THE NEWSPAPER when I was a sophomore in college. It was that old.
I’ve known Phil for nearly a decade. Phil has demonstrated, time and time again, his commitment to the best interests of our community. Among other things, he’s worked on Governor Ritter’s Innovation Council, was critical to bringing the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network to CO, and when he was Dean of the CU Law school, he successfully pioneered an entrepreneurial program at CU that successfully integrates the local business community. (Imagine that, law and entrepreneurship!) More importantly, he’s already working to transform the government from the inside out through the Governmental Entrepreneurial Leadership Accelerator (of which I am a quasi-mentor) which takes motivated individuals inside of the government and gives them resources to make big changes with civic issues.
Through his list of accomplishments, you can see that Phil knows how to execute. But looking more closely, you can see that Phil is phenomenal at navigating complex situations between powerful institutions and groups that result in a mutually beneficial outcome for all. He knows how to drive positive change and collaboration among people because Phil’s values and motives are in the right place. He is one of the best humans on the planet, and individuals like Phil will be the catalyst to getting our government on the right foot. With Phil in a leadership role in our government, great things can and will happen.
When Trump was elected, I vowed to get more involved in our government. For me, this means supporting individuals that I know bring the right qualities to office and that I trust to make hard decisions. Phil is that guy.