Father's Day is coming up here in the US (on June 16) and the internet is full of great, unique gift ideas to let dad know he's awesome.
My dad's birthday also happens to be June 10, so he basically gets one big gift (sorry, dad) every year.
This year we're having dinner with one of this favorite Washington Redskins thanks to a startup with a less-than-perfect name, Thuzio (props to @davetisch for turning me on to this startup). If your dad's a sports fan and you can bring a few of his friends in on it, this is sure to be a memorable time (just don't ruin the surprise like I did and accidentally CC him on one of the email threads).
As a 'Skins fan, there aren't a lot of things from Texas he'd like, but I've ordered him a brisket from Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, TX. Assuming your dad enjoys eating, there's no shortage of tasty things for him on goldbely from across the USA.
I'm not sure how dad would take this, so I'm not getting him a subscription of "One Wipe Charlies" but you've got to give the company credit for taking the viral-video-marketing approach to the next level. Perhaps your dad is a bit adventurous or has a good sense of humor?
My dad can barely use his smartphone (love you, dad!) but if you've got an e-father, consider a pay as you go hotspot like Karma (no connection to reddit, though now that I think about it -- reddit gold is the perfect gift for any occasion).
I've been so impressed by how Fathead handled their shipping fiasco on /r/NFL that I want to show them some love -- perhaps my dad can use a life-sized Robert Griffin III in his bedroom?
Or what if you just don't have the money to spend because your still trying to get ramen-profitable with your first startup? (You know I'm all for that) Just spend time with him -- on the phone, facetime, or ideally in-person-face-time (like he did back in his day!). That's probably all he really wants, anyway.
We're a generation in debt. I had a world-class education at the University of Virginia. I met my reddit co-founder Steve Huffman there on move-in day. That chance encounter changed both of our lives. I had some awesome professors. There was the fortuitous trip to Waffle House that convinced me I wanted to be an entrepreneur, not a lawyer. I've written the book about internet entrepreneurship I wish I had back then. But my kids won't have the same education I did. And that's a good thing.
A year ago I sat on a panel at the White House* for a room full of deans from universities across the country. We were tasked to talk about entrepreneurship and how to better prepare our nation's undergraduates for an uncertain job market. "A critical skill I see in great entrepreneurs and employees alike is resourcefulness. Resourcefulness doesn't come from case-studies, it comes from doing things." This turned out to be quite the applause line.
Paul Graham says the best founders are "relentlessly resourceful."
I've been thinking about that day in D.C. ever since.
Getting Things Done > Grade Point Average
I'm an employer and I don't really care where you went to school or what your GPA was -- I want to know what you've done. Paid off student loan debt by tutoring computer science in New York? Rock on. Raised $20,000 on kickstarter for a daft punk tribute album? Awesome! Started the 'dear photograph' meme? Splendid! Blogged years worth of eating across the world and now creating food-tour-guides? Now we're cooking with bacon.
This will not be on your course syllabus
What are you passionate about?
Writing code? Awesome. Start launching stuff. Tell your friends, see if any of them are willing to use it. If yes, then you're on to something, if no, figure out why your own friends aren't using it. Or maybe they're just not into doing things, that's cool, but Drew Houston taught me a great quote about that: "You are the average of your 5 closest friends."
(Wish you could write code? Sign up for a CS class -- this is the single-most valuable class you can take. Don't wait for the semester to start, sign up for Codecademy).
Love cats? I do too! What do you know about cats no one else does? Can you start turning that into content? Is it a blog you start with cats that look like Ron Swanson? (OK, nevermind, that's been done). Are you contributing to the discussions on /r/cats?
We need more people - especially my fellow Millennials - doing things, learning things.
Don't wait for permission to be awesome.
*It was at this moment I realized I could've also called this post "From Waffle House to White House." Ah well, so it goes.
I'm declaring a phone call armistice. Why?
When I call you, I’m essentially saying:
“Stop whatever it is you’re doing and pay attention to me right now.”
If you were doing anything creative, anything that involves flow, you’ve now had that interrupted. It could be hours before you get it back.
All for my phone call.
If – on the rare occasion – I’m calling you, I’m going to have a really important (read: time-sensitive) reason. Or we’re going to have scheduled this phone call ahead of time.
Exceptions should be made for close friends and relations, of course, but can we all just agree that we won’t abuse phone calls now that we’ve got countless of other ways to get someone’s attention on their terms?
What are some more positive examples of where drones are being deployed that people haven’t seen?
We’re involved in research funded by the Gates Foundation that looks at how we can distribute medicines and vaccines in rural Africa in a fairly automated way. Essentially the researchers at looking at creating a spoke and wheel system with drones as the spokes. So from a central distribution point in Africa where there is already an airport, or vehicles that bring medicines and vaccines in, we then distribute the stuff via drones. So that entails a whole collection of UAVs that on regular schedules fly out to these remote villages, drop the package and come back in a very, very autonomous way.