I was meandering through my morning reading today when I ran across this amazing article titled, "The Story Of A Failed Startup And A Founder Driven To Suicide"

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/jody-sherman-ecomom-2013-4#ixzz2PdFeXl1V

It caught my eye because I nearly lost my life in 2011 to a severe depression combined with alcoholism. Looking back on it I can barely believe I survived it, much less the fact that I didn't lose my marriage or family. 

Entrepreneurship is like manifesting one's dreams, but it often comes at a very high price.

I've been thinking deeply lately about what I've been wanting to achieve, experience and feel as a result of having "made it". By making it, I mean becoming financially free. Not having to work if I don't want to. Enough assets so I earn $500k/year off interest and dividends. But beyond that, there are a ton of things that I thought I wanted, and I'm going to be expanding on these things in my coming blog posts. The outline at this stage is looking like a book, and maybe it'll become that at some point, but for now I'm going to be doing a series. It basically all revolves around entrepreneurship, what we entrepreneurs really want deep down, and hopefully some sense of how to achieve our goals without tetting to the point where Jody Sherman got (suicide). The destruction that can result for those left behind is very real, and I think responsible entrepreneurs owe it to those who love and support us to consider going about realizing our dreams in a reasonable and non-destructive manner. Good read.

AuthorJohn Skelly

OK, so it's been almost two weeks since I got back to PDX from Austin’s SXSW Festival. I’ve had time to recover from walking about 15 miles/day and the exhaustion. Been thinking the last couple of days what I took away from the experience as my first trip to SXSW.

I left Austin completely re-energized about life. No shit. One living and working in Portland, Oregon, from home can get pretty isolated from the world, not to mention the incredible energy and inspiration that lies in other cities where there are thriving startup communities and bucks flowing. Portland isn’t exactly the Silicon Forest anymore with it’s flatline economy and relatively small startup community in tech/social. Not to say there’s no life here, but compared to the energy and optimism found in Austin.

What I took away is this: Life is what you make of it.

I know that sounds a little weak, but I’ve realized that I’ve been seeing things from the grey Portland perspective for far too long. People come to Austin from all over the world, with their perspectives, and I have to say it’s not all doom and gloom out there. There are TONS of people living their dreams being entrepreneurs, artists, producers, investors and entertainers. We all got to feed off one another’s perspectives, energy and hope for a better future. It was like an energy and hope feeding frenzy, and I recommend it to anyone here in Portland who could use a change of scenery.

So, I’m off to coalesce some great ideas into plans to manifest into reality. I think hope was the greatest take-away from SXSW. I can’t wait to go next year and make a bigger splash than we did this year. Erik Duisenberg, Dave McLaughlin and I put in a ton of prep time for our presentation at the Interactive Accelerator competition (which we didn’t win), but it gave us some great lessons, solid contacts, and hope. Also helped us figure out some new angles on the tech we’re producing, and how to get more traction with the investment community.

Back at it!

AuthorJohn Skelly

Having been a technology junkie for the past 20 years, it has occurred to me recently that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Everyone is looking for what comes next. Everyone is talking about the latest social this or that. Who's going to partner with or acquire another company to either dismantle or bolt on to their existing services. Hell, I watch this all (with increasing disembodiment) out of interest too. But what I'm coming to realize is that for the most part, it's all just more sound and fury, dancing around the simple reality that people are bored to death.

I'm not kidding.

Why is the new newsfeed functionality at Facebook so damn important? It's just a change, and most consusmers HATE change. I get it. Why does it matter that Instagram is now owned by Facebook? You'd think it really mattered when that's all people could talk about for a week when it got acquired for about a cool $1B. I say, WHO GIVES A CRAP?

Well, the guys who started Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger should care. Facebook shareholders should care. But who else? Instagram isn't a revolutionarily better app now that it has a huge, deep pocketed big brother (even if that big brother is half his IPO size now). It's still just Instagram. It's still alive as a company/app today because it's no longer a threat to Facebook, if it ever was one. The sad thing, Facebook doesn't seem realize the truth: it's fate is going to be just like that of Friendster and, what was it called (oh yeah, MySpace)?

People get bored easily. Especially with anything visual, such as the Internet. People get turned on by new stuff.

Want some proof? This is actually a little scary to me:

This past weekend, my 13 year old daughter said something to the effect of, "Dad, Facebook is so yesterday. I don't know anyone who even still uses it, except for old people. We're all using Pheed now. IT'S TOTALLY KILLER!"

No shit. The next generation who just got onto Facebook a year ago is totally dissing it, just as their grandparents are reluctantly learning to use a mouse and clicking through the Facebook accounts their now 40-something kids set up for them. Now, that all said, I don't think Facebook is going to share this fate in the same time frame as did the others given their deep pockets and growing advertising revenue base. I'm just saying, we've seen this before and we'll continue to do so in the future.

This brings me back to my original proposition: the more things change, the more they stay the same.

What I'm looking for is a GAME CHANGING technology that will fundamentally change the way people interact with information and brands, through the devices we're already increasingly dependent upon (and addicted to). I'm thinking that the audible interface to the web is in it's infancy. Think Soundhound, Shazam and AudioTag. I'm thinking about wearable tech. That shit's gonna be cool, even if it is geeky. I think it'll add usability, novelty and some massive growth prospects for device manufacturers. Investors will make hordes if they get in early. Late investors will be the sheep that get slaughtered when the IPO restrictions lift and everyone in early dumps and runs to the Cayman's. 

It's just more change. More of the same... at the macro level anyway. For those out there who are sensing that this is something approaching depressing, know that there's a silver linking for this author anyway: I intend to be one of those guys who's in early on "what's next". I'm with AudioTag, We'll see what happens, but if my guess is right, we're about 30 months from some magical stuff in the market that makes this tech go mainstream.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2008/nov/04...
AuthorJohn Skelly