My beautiful wife-to-be! (Taken with Instagram at The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen)

My beautiful wife-to-be! (Taken with Instagram at The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen)

Just Got Engaged!

I am the happiest person in the world right now! The love of my life — Amy Lynn Fox — just agreed to marry me! After dinner I took her to Cupid’s Span by the water in San Francisco. I dropped to a knee to take her photo and told her it would be more “artistic” if she turned away. I took the shot and when she looked back at me, I’d replaced the camera with a ring… she said yes!

Now there was a little bit of scheming going… I actually posted shots on Path before proposing so some of my best friends could follow along. Now that we’re done with all the nervous and exciting stuff, I can share it all with the world.

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2010 New Years Resolutions

I know… the year is already 1/3 over. I actually wrote these resolutions on a scrap of paper in India back in January, but only just got around to posting them.

  • Climb at a V5 / 5.12 level
  • Post to this blog at least once every two weeks
  • Find a sustainable source of income
  • Spend some time with all my immediate family
  • Somehow fulfill my entrepreneurial spirit
  • Do something (a book?) with the memories, photos and journals from our trip
  • Be healthier (eat well and exercise regularly)
  • Find my true passion

I Should Have Started Twitter…

In a random quest to determine when I joined Facebook, I came across an email I sent to suggest@facebook.com back in September of 2005:

The trend right now with computer savvy people is blogging, and I don’t  necessarily think that facebook should become a blog.  But maybe a part of one’s profile could be something like a short blog entry.  There’s just no good place for people to say something like I’m studying abroad or I’m traveling Europe.  Maybe it could show just the most recent entry and then you can view all the old ones too…Just a thought

Chris


If only I had thought to take that idea and turn it into something I would’t be unemployed right now… Just don’t blame me for all of Facebook’s privacy issues… I swear I never sent that as a suggestion.

DIY Anything

About three weeks ago this dreaded “you need new brake pads” light came on in my car. I went into a local brake shop only learn that my car needed new front brake pads and rotors (cost: ~$400). Wondering if it had to be so expensive, I did a little research. Just minutes later I found a step-by-step YouTube tutorial on the exact job I had to do on my exact car. I watched the 10 minute video and decided I was up for the challenge. $200 in parts and tools later I was ready to go, and two hours later I had a car that was ready for the road.

This got me thinking about how the Internet is enabling people to do things they never would have attempted before. Sites like YouTube, Instructables or eHow have completely changed the way I approach problems. Despite that brakes perform a VERY important function on a car and that I have ZERO experience in brake repair, I still felt that the quality of instruction available to me was high enough that I could manage the job (and 3 weeks and >100 complete stops later I think I was right). So what implications does that have on society? I think it is part of a larger theme: “Community Education.”  People today are sharing so much of what they have to offer for free that I truly believe one could get an education in just about anything without ever having to pay for formal training. In fact even traditional educational institutions like MIT, Yale and UC Berkeley have put lectures, courseware and even textbooks online for the public to consume.

So what does this mean for society at large? I don’t think it means the end of the University, but I do think that we will start to place a greater emphasis on actual accomplishments than we do on specific academic records. However this change won’t happen overnight. We still need to figure out how to organize all this educational material and filter out the garbage. Nonetheless, I’m very excited for what the future holds. If you have any thoughts, comments or opinions, please feel free to comment below!

My Ignite SF Presentation

For anyone who doesn’t know, Ignite is a night of presentations on a variety of topics, with a twist. Each presentation is 5 minutes long and has 20 slides that automatically advance after 15 seconds. My first encounter with Ignite was at Ignite Boulder 2 in 2008 and from that day forward I knew that I wanted to give a presentation. I finally had that opportunity last week at Ignite SF at the Web 2.0 Expo. I chose to present about Hippos and our trip to the Okavango Delta. Enjoy!



Going Around the World

If you’ve found this site, there’s a good chance you already know this, but I’ve already left for SXSW. I’ll be traveling around the world with my girlfriend Amy Fox and won’t stop until I get to Austin for SXSW 2010 in March. Check out our tentative travel plan below, or just follow us on our travel blog at: http://withoutaguide.com

Dave McClure: How to Pitch a VC

Last weekend I attended PresentationCamp in San Francisco. It was my first non-LaidOffCamp “camp”, and I was surprised (and flattered) that some people turned to me for guidance about how to run a camp. I personally tried my best to deflect questions to Dale Larson who I knew had much more “camp” experience than me.

Anyways, I only managed to catch one of the presentations on video, Dave McClure's “How to Pitch a VC (aka Startup Viagra: How to Give a VC a Hard-On)”. For those of you who don't know him, Dave is a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur, angel investor, startup advisor, and blogger. Enjoy!





LaidOffCamp SF was a Major Success

I’m in the midst of a much longer post on LaidOffCamp, but I wanted to share a few highlights of last weeks inaugural LaidOffCamp in San Francisco:

  • Over 400 people showed up
  • 35 Sessions were held by over 50 different presenters / facilitators
  • Over 30 sponsors made the event possible

Here are some of my favorite posts / articles / videos about the event:


2009 Life Update

Note: This was intended to be released a few weeks ago, but do to some unforseen circumstances it is a few weeks late.

So it’s finally 2009… As you may or may not know, 2008 was definitely a year of many changes for me. This time last year I was just getting settled with my girlfriend, Amy Fox in New York City. Now we’ve both moved across the country together and are living in San Francisco.

Here are a few updates:

  • In September (right before the economy started to crumble), and after a year and a half in NYC, Amy and I decided that we wanted to be in a place that we could see ourselves living in for more than a couple years. We looked at a few different cities (Boston, Chicago, Denver/Boulder), but ended up going with San Francisco, primarily because my company had an office there and would pay for our moving expenses. So Amy left her job (which she wasn’t very happy with in the first place) and in mid-October we headed West.
  • In December, less than two months after arriving in SF, I was laid off (read more here). I am now working as a “self-employed consultant” seeking clients in need of business, marketing or Internet strategy advice. However, on a more positive note, Amy just recently accepted a job offer with Evolve Discovery and is looking forward to starting an exciting new career as a litigation consultant.
  • I’ve finally done something with my personal website (where you are at right now). Going forward, it will be a place for me to share my thoughts, ideas and experiences. Check it out and let me know what you think.
  • The Big News: I just recently announced that I am planning an event in the Bay Area for unemployed and self-employed people called “LaidOffCamp” (read more here). It’s become so popular since receiving news coverage from TechCrunch (article is here) that it is quickly expanding. As of today, I am in the process of helping organize ~5 more LaidOffCamp’s around the country.
  • Three months in, Amy and I are extremely satisfied with our decision to move to SF. Every day we’re finding new reasons to love living in the Bay Area. We both hope that you’ll let us know the next time you’re in town.
  • Finally, I’ve migrated my entire photo collection to Flickr and have created a 2007/2008 highlight reel, enjoy!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read. I’d love to know what you’re up to in 2009, so feel free to comment below or send me an email. Stay in touch!

~Chris