Continuing the New York City adventure, this week I did a lot more of the touristy/expensive stuff with my family. We did the MuseumHack tour of the Met (highly recommended, young energetic guides show you the weirdest parts of the museum), Escaped the Room NYC, (puzzle room where you’re locked into a room and have to escape, great fun) the Top of the Rockefeller Center observation deck (great view, but overpriced and you get treated like tourist cattle), watched Kinky Boots and Of Mice and Men on Broadway (first was high energy fun, second unimpressive), and went to a showing of The Late Show with Seth Myers. I found it amazing that they go to all the trouble of getting a live audience just for authentic laughter – surely a laugh track is easier? They have a dozen security goons herding you in and making sure you don’t jump Seth, and the tickets are free, just first come first served. Bizarre.
I found Nathan Pyle’s NYC Etiquette gifs to be both hilarious and apt during this time, especially ‘how to avoid clipboards’. Ryan Holiday’s ‘40 Reasons not to move to NYC‘ also struck a chord, as it paints the city as an overbooked stock popular only because everyone else is there.
Then it was off to Portland for Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit, an entrepreneurial conference full of speakers and parties. I didn’t get a ticket for it, however, as I had noticed at SXSW that all the best stuff happened outside of the buildings. Apparently it’s a whole movement called ‘unconferencing‘. Basically I’d hang out near the building in between speeches, monitor the #wds2014 hashtag on Twitter for extra curricular meetups, and strike up conversations with other badge holders. Worked pretty well!
WDS was a lot less pure business and more woo wooey than SXSW was. While my read of the mission statement “How to live a remarkable life in a conventional world’ tends towards the entrepreneurial, for a lot of others it meant building tiny houses, affirmative self talk aimed at ‘finding your truth’ (the word chakra was thrown around often), and subsequently a large percentage of the attendee’s were life coachs. Personally I find the idea of paying a stranger thousands of dollars to give you advice absurd, unless you’re trying to do something they have already done, but what do I know. These people were really good at empathizing, I’ll say that.
Scott Berkun has a decent summary of the official talks inside, but here’s all the colorful people, habits, and things I learned from the outside.
- One recurring theme was the ‘law of attraction‘ – if you think about something hard enough, it will become reality. Very pseudosciencey at first take, but turns out it has some basis in fact. You know how when you hear about something for the first time you start seeing it everywhere? If you’re constantly thinking about what you’re trying to accomplish, you’re going to see things that relate to that success everywhere, just because it’s the top idea in your mind. That said, you still have to translate those thoughts into action.
- Tom Frank of CollegeInfoGeek sets a Buffer tweet every day for 6:10 am that says “I am lazy and slept past my alarm. Click here to get five bucks from my Paypal account” with a live link. Guess what – he never sleeps in.
- A whole lot of new lifestyle efficiency blogs to follow: Asian Efficiency, FarnamStreet, ImpossibleHQ, Unstuckable, EntrepreneurOnFire, Value of Simple, Isaac Watson’s, Gen Y Superhumans, Daniel Priestly, and The Uncaged Life.
- The HabitRPG app levels you up whenever you stick to habits, then you can battle your friends to see whose the most effective!
- This one guy only had one business card on purpose, and made everyone just take a picture of it on their smartphone. Clever way to minimize physical baggage and force people to remember him!
- I met the people behind these travel hacker blogs: TravelJunkette, The Daily Travel Podcast, Extra Pack of Peanuts, and Zero to Travel.
- I met Blake Boles, the guy behind Better Than College: a guide to UnSchooling. And Jason Fitzgerald, behind StrengthRunning.
- Lastly, Prashant Kakad quit his job in IT to become a Portland Bollywood DJ, and lets just say he knows what he’s doing!
Overall, it was a great way to meet other entrepreneurial minds and see what everyone is up to. Maybe I’ll be back next year – doubt I’ll get a ticket though!
Can’t forget the online findings: France banned the checking of all work emails after 6pm in an effort to salvage work/life balance. Doubt that’d work in the US, but I love the idea.
This algorithm calculates the most beautiful route from A to B using data from UrbanGem.com, rather than the shortest. Clever use of an existing dataset.
The story behind RapGenius.com’s path to success is an entertaining parable about unreasonable cofounders.
Simon Baron Cohen theorizes that women tend to approach the world through empathy, while men do it through systems. Makes sense to me. Speaking of which, this can lead to men rudely interrupting women and discounting their opinions – so interrupt back!
And this guy asked Kickstarter for ten bucks to made a potato salad. Now he has $50,000. Ah, America.