Jumping on Entrepreneurship http://blog.zaccohn.com Parkour, Startups, and Travel en-us Thu, 23 Feb 2017 03:36:46 +0000 http://sett.com Sett RSS Generator Top 26 Things I Did At 26 http://blog.zaccohn.com/top-26-things-i-did-at-26 On my birthday for the last two years, I've made lists of the Top 24 Things I Did At 24, and The Top 25 Things I Did At 25. It's a fun yearly tradition that I'm continuing. Hopefully, for every year I grow older I'm forced to do more interesting things. So, in no particu]]>

On my birthday for the last two years, I've made lists of the Top 24 Things I Did At 24, and The Top 25 Things I Did At 25. It's a fun yearly tradition that I'm continuing. Hopefully, for every year I grow older I'm forced to do more interesting things.

So, in no particular order:

  1. Guerrilla Compliments v2
  2. The Priceline Glitch Trip: NYC->Milan->Prague->Paris->Bangkok, all for $177. Pictures.
  3. Speaking at the 2014 Lean Startup Conference
  4. Getting flown down to Chile to help SaasGeneration.
  5. Crashing a random parade (which I later realized was probably a protest. Of what? Who knows!) in Valparaiso, Chile.
  6. Getting flown to Amsterdam to give a talk for Hyatt.
  7. Attending a 200+ person pillow fight. (and somehow I lost my shirt)
  8. Teaching Monica Guzman how to drive stick, and then live streaming the experience.
  9. Launching www.AmazingAirfare.net, getting a hundreds of paying customers, and then selling the business.
  10. Going to Orcas Island and building mysterious puzzles for future visitors.
  11. Working with my friend Fisher to help the State of Washington figure out how to build the best IT organization possible.
  12. The First Annual "Easter Egg Hide” where we hid easter eggs all over Capitol Hill.
  13. Going to DENT 2015 and giving a parkour workshop there.
  14. Going to a Metalachi show (a metal mariachi band).
  15. Going to a small SEAL “assault” training (with airsoft guns).
  16. Sprinkle Packing Party. (BOX IS LIFE. LABELS UP. NOTES FOR ALL.)
  17. Going to 10 new countries (Austria, Germany, France, Thailand, Myanmar, Egypt, Turkey, The Netherlands, Chile, South Africa)
  18. Moving to DC with Lauryl.
  19. Sleeping in a treehouse in South Africa, and waking up to Bushbabies in our ceiling.
  20. Seeing elephants, giraffes, and so much more at Kruger National Park Game Reserve. Pictures.
  21. Hearing a whale singing while scuba diving in Cape Town.
  22. Seeing my first shark in the wild, up close and very personal.
  23. Joining the federal government to work for 18F.
  24. Giving a talk, explaining what my team is and what we do, hundreds of people on my third day, with 27 minutes notice.
  25. Seeing Aladdin, my first broadway play.
  26. Traveling to South Africa with Lauryl for three weeks.

Okay 27. Lets rumble.

***

Picture is of me doing a backflip in Egypt in front of the Great Pyramids. This was just before our guide bribed the guards to let us into the far one and keep everyone else out, so we could have a quiet, private experience.

Definitely a highlight of the year.

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Sat, 24 Oct 2015 01:29:03 +0000 http://blog.zaccohn.com/top-26-things-i-did-at-26
This Is What Real Life Looks Like http://blog.zaccohn.com/this-is-what-real-life-looks-like TL;DR: I’m publishing a read-only version of my live To Do and To-Done list. Transparency has been a big theme lately. The current #talkpay movement encouraging people to publicly disclose their salaries. Pushes for wearable body cameras to bring greater transparen]]>

TL;DR: I’m publishing a read-only version of my live To Do and To-Done list.

Transparency has been a big theme lately. The current #talkpay movement encouraging people to publicly disclose their salaries. Pushes for wearable body cameras to bring greater transparency to policing. Transparency into NSA’s surveillance efforts.

Transparency isn’t just a buzzword - it’s a powerful thing. When something hides in the shadows, it’s hard to see exactly how big or small it is. What color it is. Sometimes even what it is altogether. So your imagination fills in the gaps. And we all know that the details our imaginations invent are rarely accurate.

But when you illuminate something hiding in the shadows, you can suddenly see all the details. The monster is revealed to be just an everyday coat hanger.

The examples I gave above are big issues facing society today. But there is something to be said for everyday transparency, too.

I've been thinking a lot about the public image people present vs reality, and about the lack of clarity into what people's day to day lives are really like. I’m sure Producers on televisions shows are very important… but I have no idea what exactly it is they do. A student I know wants to be a graphic designer, but I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know what a graphic designer really does all day. And does anyone know how project managers stay busy all day?

I get this all the time. When I tell people I’m a consultant or an entrepreneur, they tend to say “Okay, so… what does that mean?”

Well. I’ll show you. As an experiment, I’m going to publish a read-only version of my master Trello board.

I’m going to give anyone in the world who wants to see it detailed insight into my day to day life. Everything from “invoice client x” to “build Twilio integration” to “do laundry.” The glorious to the mundane. I’ll keep a history of “Done” items so people can see not only what I need to do and what I’m doing, but also see what’s been completed.

I’ll publish links to this blog post and my Trello board on my main site, periodically on Facebook and Twitter, and include it in my email signature.

I don’t have any specific metrics for this experiment, but I am curious if:

-People view it more than once
-Other people adopt it as well (it’s easy! You should! #ToDoPublicly)
-The “surveillance” aspect pressures me to get things done faster and not let things sit around unfinished.
-It reduces "did you do that yet?" and "when will you do that?" type questions.

The last point I think is valuable for people at work. If someone asks you to do something, instead of making them ask when it will be done or what the status is, they can just look and see.

This will be a fun experiment. Trello doesn’t have a way to track people viewing a public board, so if you do take a look, hit me up on Twitter or email me (my domain name at google.com) and let me know what you think.

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Mon, 04 May 2015 16:13:49 +0000 http://blog.zaccohn.com/this-is-what-real-life-looks-like
Public Speaking. Sometimes You Have to Suck Before You Can Rock. http://blog.zaccohn.com/public-speaking-sometimes-you-have-to-suck-before-you-can-rock The very first time I did any serious public speaking was the final pitch at a Startup Weekend.

Preparing for it, I pretty much knew I was doing everything wrong (wrote out the whole talk word for word, was trying to memorize it, etc), but did it anyway, and... it was brutal. It took me 5 minutes to get through the first 45 seconds of my pitch, and during the Q&A the judges just said "No questions." I let my amazing team down, I embarrassed myself, and I embarrassed my employer... which was Startup Weekend itself!

(Un)luckily, one of my team was taking a video. A few days later, I finally brought myself to watch it.

Turns out... it wasn't as bad as I thought. Don't get me wrong - it was still bad. But it wasn't "an asteroid the size of Venus hit the Earth" bad. That made me feel a bit better. So I actively put myself in more places where I could speak, so I could practice and get better.

Fast forward a few years later to today: As I write this, I'm sitting on a hotel bed in Amsterdam. The Hyatt saw a talk I gave in the Philippines on Youtube, found a talk I gave at TEDxSeattle, then paid me (a lot) to fly me out to The Netherlands to give a talk at an internal sales conference they were hosting.

How times change.

But you know what? Before every talk I give, including this one, I get so nervous. Before everyone gets there, I like to sit in the chairs. Pretend to be out in the audience. I'll sit in three, four, five different spots if I can, and just watch the stage. Think about what it will be like for them to watch me. I try to get into the audience's head. Take a bunch of really deep breaths.

Then it's showtime. Performer mode turns on, auto-pilot gets engaged, and nothing can stop me.

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Fri, 17 Apr 2015 09:20:57 +0000 http://blog.zaccohn.com/public-speaking-sometimes-you-have-to-suck-before-you-can-rock
Unexpected Cynicism http://blog.zaccohn.com/unexpected-cynicism I see myself as a pretty positive person. I believe people can generally do anything, if they decide to truly make it happen. One of my favorite retorts when someone says they can’t do something is “Not with that attitude!” In 2008, my parkour friends a]]>

I see myself as a pretty positive person. I believe people can generally do anything, if they decide to truly make it happen. One of my favorite retorts when someone says they can’t do something is “Not with that attitude!”

In 2008, my parkour friends and I realized that negative attitudes are really detrimental to our training. Every time someone says “That jump is impossible” or “I can’t do this vault,” it’s admitting defeat. And if you admit defeat, you’ll never succeed.

So we started playing a game called “Banana, Mango, Coconut.” We picked the three most common negative words people would say when training (can’t, never, impossible). Every time you said one of those words, you had to do ten pushups. (We ended up replacing those words with banana, mango, and coconut, respectively. “I coconut this jump! I banana do this vault.”)

It might sound silly, but I think this game went a long way in forging a more positive attitude on life. Even if there’s just a small chance of a positive outcome, if you preemptively decide on a negative one, there’s now NO chance of the positive outcome happening.

A great example of this was my Thanksgiving goal. My roommate and I decided to go to Turkey for Thanksgiving (we were already in the region). So I decided, naturally, I wanted to spend Turkey Day in Turkey eating turkey with a Turk.

Almost 100% of people I talked to, after laughing at how ridiculous this idea was, said “I don’t think they have turkey in Turkey.”

I can’t describe how many people said this, and it actually started to bother me. If I accepted that they probably didn’t have turkey in Turkey, there was no way I was going to find it. But if I made it my MISSION, if I had a BURNING DESIRE that nothing could stop me from spending Turkey Day in Turkey eating Turkey with a Turk… if there was ONE PLACE in all of Istanbul that served turkey, I would find it. If there was a non-zero chance of success, I was going to succeed.

(spoilers: I succeeded)

However, I’ve noticed recently that I might be a lot more cynical than I thought I was. A few people have pointed this out, and since then I’ve noticed how it creeps into my thought process in subtle ways.

I’ve found it mostly comes out when dealing with other people - specifically new people I don’t know very well. Today, I was able to qualify at least one aspect of it a bit more:

I find it really, really, difficult to evaluate people who are bad at the things I’m good at, but I expect them to be good at.

For example, lets take someone who is running a small one or two person web company. If I am just meeting this person, I kind of expect them to have at least a basic understanding of copywriting, online marketing, and sales. If they’ve spent a reasonable amount of time on their company, I expect them to have a deep understanding of their customers’ problems, to be able to articulate them clearly, and to be able to pitch their company and product effectively.

In this example, if I met a founder who is absolutely terrible at writing copy, or has never talked to a customer, or can only pitch their solution, not the problem it’s solving… I lose a lot of faith in that person. Too often, I’ll write them off (or, if they’re receptive, switch into teacher mode).

I find it very, very difficult to evaluate someone if they don’t meet my (assumed) expectations for the skills they have. And that’s not fair. My expectations aren’t based on some universal rule, and just because they’re garbage at writing copy doesn’t mean they’re not legitimately good at something else.

The better I get to know someone, the more this goes away. But I don’t want to wait to get to know someone before realizing how unexpectedly amazing they truly are.

I recognize this is a flaw, and I’d like to work on it. I’d like to eliminate my cynicism altogether, but first I need to keep identifying areas where I’m cynical so I know what to work on.

If you have any suggestions (or other areas where I’m cynical that I maybe haven’t noticed yet), leave them in the comments!

***

Picture is of a backflip in Phuket, Thailand. In my opinion, this was about the only good part of Phuket.

I moved into a new apartment today. It's a cool place, and I'm very close to lots of friends. Should be a lot of fun!

I launched a new side project this weekend. It's called Amazing Airfare. Basically, for $8 a month I will email and text you all the crazy airfares I find. I'm only sending airfare that's more than 50% off. If you get jealous of my $177 trip to Milan/Vienna/Munich/Prague/Paris/Bangkok, or my upcoming $277 roundtrip flight to Johannesburg... this would be a good thing for you to sign up for. :)

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Thu, 08 Jan 2015 09:17:23 +0000 http://blog.zaccohn.com/unexpected-cynicism
What Is Today For? http://blog.zaccohn.com/what-is-today-for I opened my eyes. It was dark. Really, really dark. Oh, right. I still have my sleep mask on. I took off my sleep mask. It was bright. Really, really bright. I looked at my phone. It was 12:08pm. Uh.. crap. I put the sleep mask back on. My friends went ahead to Prague]]>

I opened my eyes. It was dark. Really, really dark.

Oh, right. I still have my sleep mask on.

I took off my sleep mask. It was bright. Really, really bright.

I looked at my phone. It was 12:08pm. Uh.. crap.

I put the sleep mask back on.

My friends went ahead to Prague, and I'm staying in Munich another two days to meet up with a friend. My friend isn't free until Monday night though, so I didn't have any plans for today. Turns out, I slept until noon.

By the time I finally got showered, dressed, and went outside, it was 1:30. I headed to Karlsplatz (Karl's Plaza) to take my backflip picture... but the lighting was all wrong, so I gave up on it for today.

I wandered into the old city to get some lunch, and by the time I was done eating and had paid the bill, it was 3:30pm. I originally planned to work on my book, but the the restaurant didn't have any power outlets, so I read on my Kindle instead.

I went back to the hostel to charge up and start writing, but when I got there... I just couldn't bring myself to write. We're almost done writing the book, but everything that's left is hard, complicated, and important. There's a lot of contextual information to keep track of, and the work is a combination of editing, expanding on bullet points, and thinking about what's missing and writing it from scratch.

It's exhausting and tiring work, and I just couldn't bring myself to do it today. So when my new friend from yesterday found me in the hostel lobby and asked if I wanted to get dinner, I said yes.

Because I've been sprinting ever since I landed in New York 9 days ago. And I'm exhausted. And looking forward, in the next seven days I'll be in 4 new cities, 3 new countries, have driven 6 hours, flown another 15 hours, and jumped countless time zones. It's going to be intense.

I'm definitely the type that always wants to go. Always wants to fit more in. Get more done. But at some point, I have to think about what's next. The next week is going to be more exhausting than this past one, so maybe taking today to rest is actually a good thing. Sometimes you have to listen to your body and do what it needs. Once you listen, take the appropriate mindset.

If I don't get anything done, I feel like I've wasted a day. If I decide today is for resting, then I've done what I need to do.

***

I had a much more in depth second half to this post, but I stupidly hit the wrong button and lost it all. I did my best to re-write it, but it's way later than I'm happy with, so I'm just posting this one as-is.

At the beer hall yesterday, I waved some Brazilians over to hang out with us. My friend and I decided to draw a portrait of one of them. Together. At the same time. With the same pen. It looks a little more like an Angry Bird than a Brazilian, but it was a fun experiment. The bottom half is our attempt to sign the piece of art. With both of our names. At the same time.

  • Communicate: Yes.
  • Write: Yes.
  • PT: Yes.
  • Meet someone new: Yes. Software developer from Canada who's working on Augmented Reality.
  • Do something new: Yes. Swung from a stripper pole at the hostel bar. (Seemed like a good idea at the time...)

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Mon, 03 Nov 2014 01:12:41 +0000 http://blog.zaccohn.com/what-is-today-for
Always Say Yes http://blog.zaccohn.com/always-say-yes "It's 5:45pm. We'll just head upstairs and get some rest. Lets regroup around 8pm and go out." The four of us headed up to our room. My friends laid down to take naps, while I worked on how I was going to get from Munich to Prague to catch my next flight. At eight, we we]]>

"It's 5:45pm. We'll just head upstairs and get some rest. Lets regroup around 8pm and go out."

The four of us headed up to our room. My friends laid down to take naps, while I worked on how I was going to get from Munich to Prague to catch my next flight.

At eight, we were going to meet up with one or two people from the walking tour of Munich we went on earlier that day and go out to a beer hall. They were going to meet up with us at the bar in the basement of the hostel at 8pm.

Well, 8:10 rolls around, and everyone is still asleep. 8:15, someone stirs and sleepily asks if we should go out or stay in. We decide we should go out, somewhat out of guilt for our new friends who were waiting for us.

And we had the best time.

A new girl staying in the hostel joined us, and we went to a beer hall. For Americans who have never experienced a beer hall, think a school cafeteria, but with lots of character, personality, people, and (obviously) lots of beer.

Almost immediately after we sat at an extended picnic table, I made eye contact with two Brazilians across the room. Without really thinking, I waved them over. They got up and started walking towards us.

"Oops. Guys, I think I just invited these two people to join us." I said just as they sat down. Luckily, Brazilians are super social and they immediately jumped into the conversation.

And they were awesome.

We ended up Googling hilarious fake animals from our home countries (drop bears, anyone?), drawing (very, very, very bad) portraits of each other, and pulling pranks on each other. They changed up the dynamic of the group, livened up the conversation and brought even more internationality to the group (which was currently Americans, Australians, and Brits).

I'm meeting a friend in Munich on Monday night. I have to be at the airport in Prague on Tuesday by 3:50pm for a flight that I cannot miss. The only flights that would get me from Munich to Prague in time on Tuesday were $800. The trains were all too slow. I found a bus that would work. Barely. But it's be sketchy and risky. And the consequences of failure would be pretty huge.

Then I found a carpooling service called BlaBlaCar. A guy named Simone had posted that he was driving from Munich to Prague on Tuesday morning. For about $50, I could ride with him.

Many people would say no. What if he bails? What if he's sketchy? What if the ride is super awkward?

All that might happen... but what if it doesn't?

***

Picture is of Munich at sunset. To get this picture, we climbed 91 meters (about 400 stairs) to the top of St. Peters Church, which was built in 1158.

Today we went on a walking tour of Munich. The tour guide was pretty awful, but we met some new friends, so definitely a net positive. We walked through the English Gardens, which is apparently 2 to 3 times the size of Central Park. Which is already huge. We took naps, then went to an amazing beer hall.

People often wonder how I can have a good time at bars, even though I don't drink. This beer hall was a perfect example of how to have an amazingly good time. Maybe a full post on the beer hall later.

  • Communicate: Yes.
  • Write: Yes.
  • PT: It's 4am, but I'm going to go do it as soon as I hit the "submit" button on this post.
  • Meet someone new: Yes! Five people today. Two from the tour, one was another traveler from the hostel, and then two people I randomly waved over to sit with us at the beer hall.
  • Do something new: Yes. Went to a beer hall. Bonus: Drew a picture with someone else while we both held onto the pen and were trying to draw a portrait of someone at the same time.

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Sun, 02 Nov 2014 02:56:41 +0000 http://blog.zaccohn.com/always-say-yes
Routine: Failure. http://blog.zaccohn.com/routine-failure Short post today, because laptop battery is at 5% and I'm very sleepy.

  • Communicate: No, not really.
  • Write: Yes. (Not a blog post, but did a bunch of writing for my book, so that counts).
  • PT: No. Excuse: was running late this morning. But excuses still mean no.
  • Meet someone new: No. Excuse: was on a train most of the day. Still a garbage excuse.
  • Do something new: Yes. Went on my first train in Europe! Maxed out at 230kph. It was very, very fast.

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Fri, 31 Oct 2014 21:51:51 +0000 http://blog.zaccohn.com/routine-failure
Want to Start a New Routine? Easy. Just Disrupt Your Whole Life. http://blog.zaccohn.com/want-to-start-a-new-routine-easy-just-disrupt-your-whole-life I've been thinking a lot about routines since last December. My friend Sebastian is incredible at maintaining routines, and my friend Tynan considers routines one of the secret ingredients to consistency, which he thinks of as his superpower. I am definitely not an exper]]>

I've been thinking a lot about routines since last December. My friend Sebastian is incredible at maintaining routines, and my friend Tynan considers routines one of the secret ingredients to consistency, which he thinks of as his superpower.

I am definitely not an expert at maintaining routines, but I've had fits and starts. In January I started a "Monthly Focus Project." Every month I was going to pick one (JUST ONE!) of the many activities I want to improve. January was Blues Dancing. Other activities in the hopper were poker, tricking, poi, writing, yoga, etc.

The intention was that during the month, I'd find a way to do that activity as much as possible, it would always be the default activity, and it would take precedence over other options. At the end of the month, I'd either repeat the same activity if I wanted to improve more, or switch to the next one.

In January I went dancing 18 times (which was great!). I learned so much, and I made huge leaps in my dancing that I've been able to largely maintain to this day. decided to repeat it the next month. In February, I went dancing 1 time. The project fell apart.

In March, I spent a month traveling to Palestine, Israel, and China. I decided I was going to blog about my experiences every day. During the two weeks in Palestine and Israel, I woke up early every day to write. I wrote about my expectations vs the reality of Palestine, I wrote about Palestinian startup culture, I wrote about losing my passport and how people react to crises. I've been able to remember so many details, so many stories, and so many of my thoughts about that trip.

Then I went to China, and didn't write at all. Whomp whomp. I remember China, but not nearly as well as I remember Israel and Palestine.

I started going to Physical Therapy in September for some chronic shoulder pain. In her office, the PT and I did a lot of tests and exercises and movements to help her figure out the best way to correct the problem. After each session, she'd give me homework. Very simple movements I could do with little to no equipment that should fix my shoulder. I saw her four times over about 6 weeks.

I did the exercises a grand total of three times.

This was really frustrating. I was paying her a lot of money. I trusted her. Her tests actually stopped the pain in my shoulder - I knew this would work. So why didn't I do the freaking exercises?

It came down to routine. I had a routine at home. And it's really hard to change routines. It's not like I actively decided not to do them. It's just that I usually only thought about doing them when I didn't have time or couldn't do them.

I only have three minutes before the bus. I'm in the car. I'm falling asleep, and if I get up to exercise I'll be wide awake. I'm in the shower, I'll do them when I get out and dry off (but then I forget).

Adding something as simple as 10 minutes of simple exercises to my daily routine was really hard.

Several times, I'd try to write down my intended morning routine, so I wouldn't have to think. I could just read it off the post it note on the wall.

That would work well for a few days, but for the last six months my schedule has been anything but standard. Some days I have to get up at 5am. Some days, 7am. Other days, I don't have to wake up at any particular time so I focus on getting a full 8 hours. Some days I slept in hotels, some days I slept at friends' houses. Ultimately, all this fluctuation meant my routine would get disrupted.

Thinking about when I've succeeded, when I've failed, and the Why's, it seems like there's always a major life change involved. Traveling, for instance. When I travel, I can start and maintain new routines easily. As soon as I go back home, I fall back into my old routines.

Now that I've recognized that, maybe I can do something about it. When I come back from #pricelinetrip, I'll either be homeless, or have to dive right into finding a new place to live. While I'm going to continue trying to change my habits at home, I can definitely use my new apartment as a catalyst for change.

What do you wish you did as part of your daily routine? What can you do to start incorporating that? Leave a comment and share!

***

This has been Day 2 in Vienna. Went on a walking tour of Vienna and went to an opera for the first time. Picture is of the Opera House.

On the flight to Europe, I made a list of a few things I want to do every day on #pricelinetrip:

  • Communicate with at least one person from back home
  • Write every day.
  • Do my PT exercises every day.
  • Meet and talk to someone new every day.
  • Do something new.

I'm going to start including whether or not I did each of these five bullet points in the *** section of each of my blog posts. For this post:

  • Communicate: Yes.
  • Write: Yes.
  • PT: Yes.
  • Meet someone new: Yes. Canace, from England. Speaks English, German, French, Russian.
  • Do something new: Yes. Went to the Opera.

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Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:56:18 +0000 http://blog.zaccohn.com/want-to-start-a-new-routine-easy-just-disrupt-your-whole-life
Sometimes It's The Little Things http://blog.zaccohn.com/sometimes-its-the-little-things After twenty hours of traveling, we finally landed in Vienna, Austria. The first stop on #pricelinetrip. There are four of us. We walked off the plane, stepped outside the airport, and got in the taxi. We told the taxi driver what hostel we were staying in, but he didn']]>

After twenty hours of traveling, we finally landed in Vienna, Austria. The first stop on #pricelinetrip. There are four of us.

We walked off the plane, stepped outside the airport, and got in the taxi. We told the taxi driver what hostel we were staying in, but he didn't recognize it.

"In the last six years, there is so much new hotel and hostel." He grumbled. I asked him why.

"Too many tourists come visit."

It got quiet. We weren't exactly sure what to make of that. A few minutes later, he started playing tour guide, and telling us what else was near Vienna.

"Fifty minutes east is Bratislava. Four hours north is Prague. Three hours west is Munich."

"Haha, it sounds like you don't want us here!" I interrupted him, playfully.

"I take you back to the airport?" He laughed. I'm not entirely sure he was kidding.

By this point, we were driving through Vienna. I looked outside. The buildings were old. That's one of the best parts of Europe. And Asia. And honestly, everywhere that isn't North America. In Seattle, a building from the 1940s is old. In DC, a building from the late 1800s is old. In Vienna, the typical apartments we passed were probably early 1800s. And they wouldn't even be considered old here.

We slowed down and stopped at a red light. I happen to be watching it as it turned... Red and Yellow. I did a double take, and it was Green. I paid extra attention at the next light, and... yes. The traffic lights here go Red, Red and Yellow at the same time, Green. I suppose it gives people a warning that the light is about to switch.

I thought that was neat. I kept watching the traffic lights. An upcoming one was Green. Then... it started flashing Green. After three seconds, it turned Yellow. Then it turned Red.

The traffic lights here warn you before they change from Green to Yellow. That means you never get surprised by it turning Yellow - "Oh crap! Do I have time to stop? The guy behind me is too close. I can't stop in time. Augh, now I have to gun it to get through safely." The extra few seconds of warning means this doesn't happen in Vienna. I wish they'd implement this in America.

Finally, we got to the hostel. We checked in, dropped off our bags, then went to find dinner. We walked down a very well lit alleyway... and then I looked around. There were no street lights. I looked up. I saw that every fifty feet or so, instead of a streetlight, there were cables strung across the street. Lights dangled from the cables. Instead of digging up the sidewalks to build streetlights and putting big ugly poles every few feet, they just dangle the lights from the sky. It's much easier to string cables than it is to set up poles.

When you travel, sometimes it's the big things that make an impression. But sometimes, it's the little things.

***

Picture is of the four of us eating dinner tonight. We had a good traditional Austrian meal, which was delicious. Exactly what we needed after traveling so long. We got a little lost on the walk back, and now I'm going to go sleep forever.

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Wed, 29 Oct 2014 23:01:14 +0000 http://blog.zaccohn.com/sometimes-its-the-little-things
Top 25 Things I Did At 25 http://blog.zaccohn.com/top-25-parts-about-being-25 On my birthday last year, I made a list of the Top 24 Things I Did At 24. It was a fun project, and I decided I'd make it a yearly tradition. That way, every year I grow older I'm forced to do more and more interesting things. My 26th birthday was yesterday, and while i]]>

On my birthday last year, I made a list of the Top 24 Things I Did At 24. It was a fun project, and I decided I'd make it a yearly tradition. That way, every year I grow older I'm forced to do more and more interesting things.

My 26th birthday was yesterday, and while it's a day late, here is my list of the Top 25 Things I Did At 25. A few things didn't make the cut, which is good. It means I did more than 25 cool things this year.

So, in no particular order:

  1. Met the Governor Jay Inslee of Washington, who thanked me "for bringing [my] creative talent to the State of Washington."
  2. Learned to ride a motorcycle
  3. Met Chris Hadfield, Astronaut Extraordinaire
  4. Closed my first 5 figure contract (with DARPA, none the less!)
  5. Closed my first 6 figure contract
  6. Planned a 10 day workcation to Nicaragua… with 3 days notice.
  7. Learned to surf.
  8. Got much better at Blues Dancing focusing on it hard. Danced 18 out of 31 nights in January.
  9. Went to Israel
  10. Learned to Salsa (In Israel, in Hebrew).
  11. Traveled to Palestine to mentored four startups at the first startup accelerator in Palestine.
  12. Blogged about my time in Palestine and Israel.
  13. Was a little bit homeless for 3 months, then moved in with two great friends.
  14. Resigned/laid myself off from LIFFFT.
  15. Gave a talk at Ignite Seattle in front of 800 people.
  16. Hit platinum status on Delta.
  17. Saw the Aurora Borealis from an airplane on my way back home from 5 weeks of travel.
  18. Gave talk to 200 people at the LeanWA conference. Someone told me it was “the best session I’ve ever been to at a conference"
  19. Started Wonful Consulting
  20. Bought a car with the intention of selling it five months later. (It was cheaper than renting) (haven’t sold it yet. oops)
  21. Booked a crazy trip. NYC-Milan-Prague-Paris-Bangkok: $177. Then doing Burma-Egypt-Turkey-Paris on the way back.
  22. Wrote a book. (It's not quite out yet... but it's written!)
  23. Was called a “waste of taxpayer money.” (The other 399 people at the event disagreed)
  24. Went to The Island.
  25. Got SCUBA certified

Okay, 26. #Letsdothis.

***

Picture is of Fisher having a "Say Anything" moment during our workshop at the LeanWA conference (#18).

I leave for my crazy trip (#21) in 13 hours. Spending 41 days traveling. Should be awesome. I'm hoping to write daily. Most of them will be blog posts, although some of the writing will be for work.

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Fri, 24 Oct 2014 04:41:06 +0000 http://blog.zaccohn.com/top-25-parts-about-being-25