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For the past four years, I’ve been working on a product called Wristify that’s been fortunate enough to get press coverage from Wired, Popular Science, and The Today Show. Despite the name recognition and millions of impressions, our team decided to kill the name Wristify.

In this blog post, I’d like to tell you the story of the name ‘Wristify’ from birth to death and the product name that arose from its ashes.

That product is launching this September, but let’s start at the beginning.

The name ‘Wristify’ was born in 2013 on the MIT campus.

My co-founders and I had gathered at the Muddy Charles Pub to come up with a team name for our MADMEC project idea to help buildings save energy by heating and cooling people directly. Our prototype would be worn on your wrist, so we cheekily decided to call it Wristify. …


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My experience at K50 in a nut shell. (Image from foundr)

I have Imposter Syndrome.

Even as a white, male, jewish, MIT graduate working in tech.

I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing — that every other founder deserves to be in the room but me.

I remember my first tech conference after starting EMBR labs — Kairos K50 2014.

I was 21 years-old & four months out of college.

Every other start-up was farther along.

Many had raised millions of dollars.

We were barely more than a student project with less than $50K in our bank account.

But as I talked to people that weekend, I learned something that set me free. …


Qualitative & Quantitative Reflections on Writing Every Morning

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During my 28 days posting consecutively, my pieces were read on averaged ~54 minutes per day, but the data shows there is high variance within the average.

Dear michael saminsky,

28 days ago I wrote to you to say that I was making a commitment to write and publish something every morning. I said that my number one goal was consistency. Today, I write to you at the end of this experiment to report my results.

The Qualitative

I choose to write daily because I really enjoy writing, and I predicted that making it a habit would make me happier. This prediction has proved accurate, as I’ve really come to appreciate the process: brainstorming topics, finding an angle, and sitting down in front of the keyboard. Most amazingly though has been the qualitative feedback from readers. Family, friends, and even the occasional internet stranger have all said nice things to me in person, written comments, and recommended my pieces. Knowing that my writing made someone else smile or think is the best feedback, even if it is hard to quantify. …


Brief Reflections on 2016

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2016 brought a lot of pain, but it also showed me the solution to that pain is love. (Photo from BrainyQuote)

Dear michael saminsky,

Since today is the last day of 2016, I can’t get around writing something reflecting on this year.

Starting from the beginning, I kicked off 2016 with a Polar Plunge in New Hampshire with David King and friends. It was epic, and it reflected the excitement with which I entered the year. Twelve months later, and that excitement has worn off and I couldn’t be more ready for this year to be over. As usual, John Oliver captures the sentiment of the year best.

My 2016 had plenty of shitty moments, but nothing even close to as painful as losing my friend Drew Esquivel. In a single moment on July 16th, 2016, my whole year changed for the worse. It’s very weird how the entire 525,600 minutes are defined by something that happened in about 10 seconds. …


Reflection on my trip to Rome

Dear michael saminsky,

When I did my summer abroad in between sophomore and junior year of college, I decided to spend three weeks travel after I finished up my internship in Spain. Part of that time was spent in Rome with my sister Lisa, and the trip changed the way I thought about history.

I wrote a short vignette on the trip that I want to share this morning. I was thinking about it recently because that trip made history real. In the age where people try to make you doubt the veracity of history and the objective truth, I found that walking through ancient ruins shreds any doubt you may have. …


Why the fate of the World Depends on Not Sucking

Dear michael saminsky,

I admit that is an overly dramatic headline. In fact it’s the exact type of exaggeration that scientists hate, but I bet it got your attention.

As our world today becomes more and more dependent on science, fewer and fewer people understand the physics, chemistry, and biology that literally power the modern world. Most people don’t understand that the energy that heats their home, fuels their car, and powers their lights all come from burning Carbon. Most people don’t understand that the alcohol we drink is made from yeast and sugar. …


Memories from the 2007 Finals Matches

Dear michael saminsky,

As you can tell, I’ve been thinking a lot about high school wrestling memories this week, and today is no expectation. This evening is the Lowell Holiday Tournament finals, and it’s got me thinking back about the first time I watched the finals in 2007, my sophomore year of high school.

That tournament was my breakout moment; I entered unranked and unknown and finished in fourth place, proving to myself I could hang with the elites in Massachusetts. At the same time, watching the finals also showed me there was still another level between where I was as a Lowell place winner and where I wanted to be. …


What Happens When Things Don’t Go According to Plan

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Wrestling During the Holiday Break

Dear michael saminsky,

The week between Christmas and New Years always means one thing for me: Newton North Wrestling Practice. For the past six years, this means going back as an alumnus to pay forward all the years I benefited from alumni coming in to help me. Before that though, it meant getting the last few practices in before the Lowell Holiday tournament.

This year‘s Lowell Holiday tournament starts tomorrow, and I’m writing this post before going into practice. …


The evolution of my views on presents

Dear michael saminsky,

Today is about spending as much time with family as possible, so this post will be short. I was originally going to write about how on Christmas Day 2008, I ran six miles to help prepare for the Lowell Holiday tournament, but that will have to wait for another time.

Instead, this post is about how I’ve come to appreciate the true meaning of Christmas: time with family. Like many people growing up in Newton, I used only care about what presents I was getting for Chanukah/Christmas. It was all about providing not-so-subtle hints to your parents about what you wanted and then coming back to school after break to compare with your friends. “You got a new X-Box? That’s Awesome!” “You got new baseball cleats and gloves? Jealous!” …

About

Sam Shames

MIT ’14 | All opinions are my own

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