Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Introducing my new blog!

Hey everyone! I announced this a few months ago but I figured I better come back and remind you that I am now blogging over on Wordpress at my new blog, Love and Math. Come check it out and say hello!

If you're wondering what I've been writing about, here are a few of my latest posts (you know, over there on Love And Math, where I'm blogging now):

So if you're wondering where I've been, you can find me over there. At Love and Math. In case you're wondering :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What I really want for Mothers Day (Sponsored Conversation test)

This is my test post for Ebates Sponsored Conversation. I am totally into blazers this year and love pairing them with formal and casual shirts to dress them up or down. I'd love to have this Alexander Wang Tailored Blazer I found on Ebates site! P.S. I get 3% cash back on this maaahvalous item, too :)

Happy Mother's Day to my mom and all my other favorites moms out there!

Whatever you’re buying this Mother’s Day, start at Ebates and get up to 20% cash back! To celebrate moms everywhere, Ebates is giving away a $1,000 shopping spree from any of their 1,200 retail partners!

How to Enter: Visit and find something you or your favorite mom would love. Reply below with a description of what you found and the percentage of cash back! A random winner will be announced Monday, May 10, 2011.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ebates. The opinions and text are all mine.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Making the switch to Wordpress and new blog name

I have been meaning to switch my blog over to a self-hosted Wordpress site for at least a year now. I started my blog on Blogspot back in 2007 when it was a casual pastime and I mainly wanted a place to express my thoughts about marketing, the tech space, and life in general. But I've gotten more serious about content management, SEO and design so I'm finally making the switch.

One of the reasons the switch got stalled was because the domain name was taken and I didn't want some extended version of the name (like Not sure why I was particularly picky about that but that was how I felt. So I took the opportunity to step back and actually give my blog a new name, too.

I graduated college with a degree in Mathematics but have always found the non-linear aspects of life (like love) to be just as interesting. So my new blog is meant to cover everything in between. I plan to write more about topics I have tended to keep to myself but that are very important to me. Like the books I read, travel, being an entrepreneur, flying (I've been flying single-engine prop planes for over 15 years but never written about it), and my pursuit of general self-awareness and purpose.
I will start officially blogging on the new site in the next few weeks. Take a sneak peek at Love and Math! I am still monkeying with the design so its likely to look a lot different by the time I make the final switch but you can see the first version. I have been incredibly lucky to be getting design and tech help from my long-time friend, designer, and blogger Jedd Rose. I've known Jedd for years and he is hands-down my favorite designer in the world. He helped me get my original blog set up and I've hired him professionally for at least three companies I've helped run.

If you've been following me here at BreadCrumz or just happened to stop by today, I hope you will join me over at my new blogging home, Love and Math. I'll be sure to leave a post up here so you'll know where to find me!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Big Exhale

This weekend, Dave and I hid out in a little cabin in Estes Park, a small mountain town about an hour away from Boulder. We didn't want a long drive but still wanted to feel like we had gone away. Too far away to worry about the laundry, chores, errands, and the dried-out Christmas tree still hidden in the back yard waiting to be taken to the wood chop place. On trips like these, I can measure my progress into emptiness with periodic and spontaneously audible sighs. Big exhales that sink me deeper into the realization that there simply isn't anything to do but breath.

As usual, it took about half a day to really settle into the bliss of nothingness. One of the first things I do in the morning is make a list. Every imaginable task required to achieve the 237 goals I set for myself that day. Lists are my friend. It was entertaining to witness myself struggling to make a mental list of "shoulds" on a trip where having no agenda was the goal. No list necessary? Exhale.

Even though the cabin had a full kitchen, I didn't want to cook at all. So before leaving, I stopped at Whole Foods and stocked up on all kinds of yummy prepared food. Grilled salmon, green beans almondine, candied yams, lobster chowder, fancy olives, three different kinds of cheeses, mangoes, pears and an insanely decadent chocolate cream pie. No cooking required? Exhale.

We hiked for three hours up Old Man Mountain randomly going off and on the trail as something of interest would catch our eye. It felt great to just stop and listen to the birds and the wind in the trees. No phone or Google reminders? Exhale.

I knew I had achieved escape velocity when I spent an hour watching the melting snow drip slowly from the roof into tiny puddles on the deck. Exhale.

For a weekend, no one needed me. No meetings, conference calls, or deadlines. No shuttling kids to hockey, baseball, band practice, or a friend's house. No parent-teacher conferences, permission slips, lunch money, or forgotten homework. I love the busy-ness that makes up my life. I created it and wouldn't have it any other way. But once in a while, it feels good to be still. To be quiet. To experience divine invisibility. Exhale.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

I've watched this TEDTalk video four times now and the same thing keeps happening. I watch it, silently acknowledging how lucky I am to live in a world where more work/life options are available to moms than ever before, then move on to the next task at hand. Something nags at me but I power through my to-do list: draft that marketing plan, review another candidate's resume, put the clothes in the dryer. But something in Sheryl Sandberg's presentation keeps haunting me and making me watch it again.

Why is it that out of 190 Head's of State in the world, only 9 are women? That out of all the people in parliament in the world, only 13% are women? Or of C-level positions (including Board seats) in the corporate world, only 15% are women and the numbers haven't changed since 2002 and are actually declining?

Sandberg (COO of Facebook) suggests that its because most women struggling with balancing careers and family end up giving one of them up. And what they tend to give up is their career. She presents her views with no judgment, pretense, or hint of elitism. I think her goal is simply to point out how the statistics are vastly different than for men.

What impacted me the most is something she said that I've notice myself over and over in the tech industry and throughout my career. We women systematically underestimate our capabilities, undervalue our achievements, and under-negotiate our worth. She also points out stats that show "likability and success" are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women.

To me, Sandberg's message is one of awareness, not one meant to blame or incite. We need more women sitting at the table, fighting for their worth, and teaching their employees, co-workers, and daughters to be confident in their accomplishments. If you struggle with this, find someone you look up to and ask for support. If you're already there, make yourself available to others and maybe we'll start to see some change!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Trada’s Marketing Metrics BootCamp a huge hit with tech community

Niel Roberston is the poster child for the phrase “go big or go home”. He is the founder and CEO of Trada, a company revolutionizing the advertising industry by crowd-sourcing paid search. I first met Niel over ten years ago at Service Metrics, an internet performance start-up that was acquired for $280M shortly after launching. He was one of the founders and I was lucky enough to help drive marketing efforts. He went on to start several other successful tech companies and is now the go-to guy for all things online advertising.

In the true spirit of community, Niel and his amazing team took time from their schedules to organize the Marketing Metrics Bootcamp, a 3-day local conference that brought together thought leaders in the advertising, performance, branding and social media spaces and let a crowd of budding (and current) entrepreneurs pick their brains. The event was sponsored by a host of local companies, Silicon Flatirons, and the CU Marketing Department. Over the course of three evenings, speakers and panelists covered topics such as:
  • Basics of CPA, funnels and customer lifetime value
  • Measurement tools, ROI, and performance tracking
  • Video strategies, going viral, and renegade digital marketing
  • Email marketing, trust, and the changing role of the social media specialist

I had the honor and pleasure of participating on the Brand vs Performance panel along with Derek Koenig (former CMO of Vail Resorts and former VP of Advertising at AOL), Toby Hedges (Director Digital Marketing for WhiteWave), and Matt Cutler (CMO for Visible Measures). That's me up front waving my arms trying to make a point. We got to discuss one of my favorite topics - how social media is radically changing how brands create, manage and leverage their online voice to serve their customers and grow their businesses.

I could talk about that topic for hours. Which I ended up doing because the conference wrapped up with an intern job fair where CU students had the opportunity to talk with dozens of local tech start-ups and learn about intern opportunities. I got to see lots of my fellow start-up junkies – Sonya Caprio and Grace Boyle from Lijit, Ted Guggenheim, CEO of Rage Digital, Mike Lewis, co-founder of Kapost, Brett Greene, founder of Hip Chameleon, Andy O’Dower from BeyondCredentials, and James Moreau with BlipSnips. It was fun watching them get mobbed by talented students hungry for a chance to work with cool tech companies.

By 9:30pm, I was exhausted and hoarse but I’m glad I stayed until the very end. The last person I talked to was Carson, who looked a little younger than most of the crowd but I just figured he started college early. He was the best conversation of the night. He asked thoughtful questions about our vision, business model, revenue plans, back-end evolution and the interest-based social graph. We talked about BlogFrog's mobile potential, viral growth and the possibilities of opening up our API. Something was different about this guy/kid. He might have thought he was looking for the next big thing, but I got the impression he would someday CREATE the next big thing. Then I learned that he was a student, but not at CU. He was a local high school student. Even more impressive. Then as we walked out, I got to meet his dad, who was his ride. Which means the boy genius who just blew me away probably can’t even drive yet. I won't mention his full name. Not because I probably need his parent’s permission first, but because I want to hire him before you do.

You can catch all the presentations and panels on Trada's Ustream channel, which were streamed lived during the event. Thanks Trada and sponsors for an awesome event (and cool t-shirt)!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The lost art of saying Thank You

When we were kids, Mom would make the five of us sit down after Christmas (and birthdays or any occasion where we received a gift) and make us write thank you notes. She had cards, paper, envelopes, stamps, and even all the addresses. All we had to do was sit still, stop for a moment to remember someone's thoughtfulness, and say thanks.

From our perspective, you'd think we were being asked to milk the cows at dawn or scrub the toilets. We hated it then, but 20 years later, my appreciation for that tradition has grown (had the same experience with my Dad's classical music. It annoyed us as kids and now I have a wonderful affinity for Bach). I appreciate her efforts to teach us to be grateful for the kindness of others.

I woke up on New Year's Day thinking about how often people do something nice for us in a day (whether we know about it or not) and how many opportunities we have to say "thank you". Some scientists believe that human's can't simultaneously feel anger and gratefulness at the same time. So if our hearts and minds are thinking consciously about something we are thankful for, anger cannot co-exist in that moment. I find that fascinating.

So just for a day, I challenge you (and myself) to be on the lookout for all the things that friends, family and strangers do for you and make a point to express your thanks. If you sincerely thank someone and for a second they become grateful that you recognized their act of kindness, then they can't be feeling anger or offense either! That's a 100% return on your gratefulness investment :)

To my sweet friends, who let me vent about my frustrations:

To my boys, for reminding me to play:

To my mentors, who keep me motivated and inspired:

To the cashier at the supermarket, who let me run back to exchange an item even though there were are people behind me:

To the people at Midas, who tightened my oil filter for free last week:

To my partner (and favorite engineer), who makes me feel loved every day:

Who can you thank?

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