how this virus could change our definition of patriotism

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Shit’s pretty terrible here in the U.S. — 400,000+ CoVid-19 cases (29% of the world’s cases), 15,000+ CoVid-19 deaths in the last 30 days and 17 million people have lost their jobs in the last 3 weeks (11% of the US workforce). On top of this, hundreds of millions are locked in their homes fearful for themselves & their loved ones. Hospitals are running out of supplies & are being trained on triage. Plus there’s tons of other small & large consequences rippling across the country…many of which won’t be unpacked until this is all over. Long story short, this really f**king sucks — a giant just picked up earth like a snow globe and started shaking us violently. …

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Last November, my car was dying — sensors firing, engine over heating and brakes worn down. My mechanic called me: “blah blah…pay lots of money…blah blah…it still may need more work”…basically your car is fucked.

So, as I pondered what to do next, a question dawned on me: could I live in Los Angeles (one of the world’s most spread out cities) without a car?

The Experiment:

I started this experiment as a cheap, impatient, single guy living on the westside of Los Angeles — with work being about 5 miles from my home. …

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Photo, Twenty20

Last month, I pitched a fellow growth executive on an idea: let’s swap companies for a day. We did — here’s the story:

The realization:

I met Matt (Head of Growth, The Black Tux) at a coffee shop on Wednesday, Feb 22nd. A short 30 min conversation about podcast advertising and SEO quickly turned into hours of bantering around all-things-growth — how to work with designers, building a growth-minded culture, hacky ideas, etc. I started thinking in the back of mind — holy shit…while we work for different startups, our work lives are basically the same.

I realized three main things:

  1. Matt and I could easily switch jobs and probably have similar success. …

(A lesson in the ethics of growing a startup)

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In startups, we’re told our job is to grow. We set ambitious targets and have ‘growth’ as our north star — it’s both anxiety-inducing and extremely rewarding. This leads teams to test bold and creative tactics. We venerate and hail these teams as having created the greatest “growth hacks” — a good example is Airbnb’s famous ‘Craigslist-spam’ growth hack. 1

But we don’t do a good job at is questioning whether we should do a marketing campaign. This week, we’ve been planning to roll out an anti-Trump marketing campaign. This morning I listened to Glenn Beck’s interview at the Upfront summit. …

It’s been a crazy year at Twenty20 — layoffs, major shifts, amazing quarters, terrible quarters & everything in-between. Matt recently detailed the experience of how we burned millions here. In the chaos, there was one theme that was pretty clear: we scaled the wrong acquisition channel for over a year (a long time in startup world). It’s really obvious looking back, but…I guess hindsight is Twenty20.

Before diving into the story, let’s look at the chart I wish I would have seen two years ago:

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As someone who takes pride in growing businesses, I feel shame — shame of not having seen it earlier, shame that I’m an imposter, shame that I hurt a lot of people through the layoffs and changes we had to make. …

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The truth is that we (humans) are terrible drivers. Louis CK explains how it brings out the worst in us:

Replacing humans with software will not only tamper our anger, it also represents lives saved and huge profits for businesses. This is why everyone and their mom is getting into the business of self-driving cars:

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The majority of the impacts are fairly well known:

  • 15,000+ lives saved per year in United States [1]
  • $2+ billion saved per year in costs from crashes [1]
  • $153,000,000+ less fuel consumption / year (35% reduction) [1]
  • Eliminate truck drivers (driving down cost & improving…

Our decisions today will eventually define us. So, to help guide my decisions today, I want to define who I’d like to become.

a person:

  • who finds a way to be brutally honest with himself & others — and discovers ways to share this honesty in a caring manner.
  • who finds a way to leave a positive impact on the universe before exiting it — because he is grateful and knows there’s purpose in giving back.
  • who doesn’t take life too seriously — who takes time to laugh, play & dance….and …



a curious human— formerly EIR @TubeScience, VP Growth @Twenty20, Marketing @LivingSocial, Writer @TechCocktail

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