Fine dining, with a side of tech

A study published in 2016 in the Journal of Consumer Marketing shows that we mere mortals are highly suggestible. The line between our appreciation of how food looks and enjoyment of how it tastes can become blurred. Researchers discovered that our enjoyment of indulgent foods increases significantly when we take a picture before eating it, and can even boost our experience of consuming “less pleasurable” (by which it means healthy) foods.

I’d suggest that you read this article you if you fancy your tech and a good meal.

https://www.cnet.com/news/chefs-special-fine-dining-with-a-side-of-tech/?ftag=CAD-03-10aaj8j

An entrepreneur’s biggest opportunity: stop and think about this, please

This is by far the most difficult post I have ever written for several reasons. First, it is the first time I am publicly writing (outside my personal network) about the loss of my father-in-law. Second, I write with humility that there is something wrong with me (and others like me) who think the future is only a product of how we handle today.

90 days ago my father-in-law was killed in a car accident on Ortega Highway, a poorly planned, dangerous and over-crowded road connecting South Orange County and Riverside county. Through this I have learned the definition of “tragic”, a word I had used flippantly until now.

Saying Mike was my father-in-law doesn’t really do our relationship justice, as he and I have known each other since I was 17. By all accounts, Mike was my Dad.

 

Mike provided guidance throughout his life with his actions. He was an entrepreneur from an early age and hustled his way through life by creating opportunities in the present and finding his way to provide for his family day to day.

Mike and I were (are) wired the same. We know the importance of planning ahead, but for some reason we value our own ability to put out the present fires over the ability to invest in those building blocks that lead to protection of the future; building blocks such as life insurance, succession planning, estate planning or long-term retirement goals.

Over the last several days I have spoken with several friends about this topic with the hopes of alerting them to the importance of stopping the grind for one moment and thinking about the future, about tomorrow.

“As Entrepreneurs we believe how well we do in the NOW determines how we will do in the FUTURE.” Thus, we fail to plan for the what-ifs and view that level of investment (time and money) as a luxury.

One friend agreed and added, “Its tough to worry about the future when the now includes rent, payroll, cash flow and taxes.”

Another, who interestingly is now advising and leading venture backed businesses added, “Entrepreneurs DO plan for the future but take irrational steps to get there”.

I tend to agree with the both of them. Somehow we rationalize a prioritization of just getting through the next 90 days over planning for the unknowns as it feels like something we can better control. But the reality is that we can control the unknown if we only stop to think about it.

And that is the point of this note….stop and think about it.

I am missing Mike a lot today. I miss my friend, father, and entrepreneurial kindred spirit. I learned a ton from Mike over the years and will do my best to continue his legacy for the next generation. It is his passion for life and giving back to others that fuels my newly found interest in planning for the future and becoming an advocate for entrepreneurs to stop and think about it.

Ironically, Dave Hanley, a high-school friend of mine (whom I have known since the same time as my father-in-law) just launched a new app today called Tomorrow, on the anniversary of my father-in-law’s untimely death. I know that if Mike had seen the app he would have signed up and sent Dave a personal note of thanks and congratulations. And I want Dave to know that had he used the app, it would have changed things greatly for his family today. I encourage all of you to stop, think about the future, and plan for whatever tomorrow brings.

Tomorrow Overview from Tomorrow on Vimeo.

Why I joined the OCTANe and Project Hope Alliance Board of Directors

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I am committed to seeing Orange County take its rightful place on published lists of great places for tech startups and business to grow.

As an investor, builder and lover of all things tech, I am interested in seeing other passionate entrepreneurs commit to setting foundation within our community and throw out the challenge to join me by starting and building here.

Having lived and worked in New York, LA and Long Beach over my career, I can honestly tell you that OC is the most desirable and most conducive for building culture and brand value. The talent pool is growing as is the available capital.

The addition of high potential companies, led by high performing entrepreneurs is great for our economy for all the reasons we already know. However, it is often overlooked that the new tech can be leveraged by local brands enabling first mover competitive advantages and differentiation. Bridging the gap between innovation, start-ups and brands is one of my real passions.

My other passion is finding ways to give back to our community. By combining the mutual interests of a thriving tech and start-up community with the needs of community focused organizations everyone wins.

I am proud to be a member of the Board of Directors for Project Hope Alliance and, as of yesterday, OCTANe.

 

OCTANe drives technology industry growth and innovation in Orange County by connecting ideas and people with resources and capital. Its members represent Orange County technology executive leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists, academicians, and strategic advisors, all working together to fuel innovation in the OC. The organization has helped more than 800 companies via the LaunchPad™ SBDC accelerator. LaunchPad™-certified companies have received more than $1.7 billion in investment and equity exits. OCTANe annually welcomes more than 7,000 people to its programs and events. More than 2,000 business leaders throughout the Orange County region are OCTANe members. For more information, visit www.octaneoc.org.

 

Founded in 1989, Project Hope Alliance is ending the cycle of homelessness in Orange County, one child at a time. The nonprofit organization supports homeless students and their families, meeting the unique academic and psychosocial needs of these children via a two-generational approach targeting innovative rapid rehousing and education programs. Since 2012, Project Hope Alliance’s Family Stability Program has worked with over 150 families to end homelessness by moving more than 700 parents and children into permanent housing with financial independence. For more information visit www.projecthopealliance.org.

Last month my interests in The Buddy Group, OCTANe and Project Hope Alliance collided with The Buddy Group Invitational.  What came out of it was huge for the community, huge for the tech and investor scene and huge for local brands (yes, I wrote that knowing full well that you would be putting a Trump accent on the use of “huge”).

I look forward to helping Orange County thrive, grow, give and build sustainable businesses over the next 10 years and create an even better Orange County for my kids and future entrepreneurs to enjoy.

Care to join me? Connect with me on LINKEDIN.

Do you have or know someone who has kids?

Two very good friends (who happened to be married) have followed their passion and started a small craft-publishing business. As an entrepreneur, I applaud their willingness to bring a vision to life. As a fellow creative-minded person, I am jealous of just how great their first few projects are.

I encourage anyone who has kids, knows people with kids or knows what a kid is to buy their books.

https://www.peachwoodpublishing.com/

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Customers want simple…

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/261806/smart-homes-74-want-devices-to-be-as-simple-to-s.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=headline&utm_campaign=87556

The smart home may be just around the corner but consumers are somewhat leery of what they’ll have to do to make it work.

While most (68%) consumers think smart homes will be common as smartphones within 10 years, they don’t necessarily want to personally do the work to make them possible, based on a new study.

The study comprised a survey of a representative sample of 2,500 U.S. adults by TNS for Intel.

Consumers want things simple. This is how they see it:

  • 86% — Want to manage all smart home devices from one central portal
  • 79% — Want a single sign-on to a central portal where they can manage their entire home
  • 75% — Suffer from password anxiety

However, most (71%) expect that at least one smart home device will be in every home by 2025 and 65% agree that smart home technology will be a standard feature on real estate listings.

But the complexity of different systems has to be resolved before connected homes go mass scale.

The study is yet another indicator that consumers want IoT technology to work and they aren’t necessarily interested in a do-it-yourself approach. Here are consumer views on smart device setup:

  • 83% — Want smart devices bundled with other services
  • 74% — Require smart devices to be as simple to set up as a cable TV
  • 64% — Would rather lease smart devices from a trusted service provider than install themselves

It’s no secret that security is a top-of-mind challenge with the Internet of Things and the access to connected devices. This study echoed many others, with 82% of consumers seeing security as a priority and wanting all devices to be secured through a single integrated package.

Here’s how consumers would want to secure their smart home:

  • 52% — Fingerprints
  • 42% — Voice recognition
  • 37% — In-home smart sensors
  • 10% — Men who would employ a robotic guard

The wave of smart devices that make homes smart is here.

As a follow to its study, Intel even created a working model of a smart home to test what IoT technology can do.

And based on consumer viewpoints, the smart technology better be pretty smart.