5 Reasons Why I Loved the BoulderBoulder

I ran the Boulder 10k this weekend, called the BoulderBoulder, with my sister and Diane and it was just a fantastic time.  I’ve run a few races in my day and they are all pretty similar, but some things that make the BoulderBoulder a unique running experience.

#5 The costumes.  Lots of people dress up and they look fantastic.  We’re talking tigers, bears, superheros and belly dancers.  The spirit is infectious and i’m already thinking of my costume for next year.

Continue reading “5 Reasons Why I Loved the BoulderBoulder”

Some things i’m changing in 2012

With the new year, i’m going to try to do some more things.  Here’s what i have in mind: 

Read More.
 I hit a reading rut in 2011 where i went a few months without finishing a book. This was for good reasons (i was pretty busy doing actual work), but I want to get back to reading a book a month. I’m already on a good path as i’m busting out Ebert’s memoir and also Lean Startup and i’m really enjoying both. 

Exercise More. I used to exercise every day and lately i’ve been finding myself at only 2 or 3 times a week.  I want to give crossfit a go and stay at 4 times a week for the entire year.  Some other goals are: biking to and from Boulder from Denver twice a month in the summer.  And, possibly, doing a triathlon if I can get back in the pool.  

Eating Better.   I still have horrible eating habits.  I eat portions way too large and i eat stuff that’s just not good for me (ahem, Domino’s pizza).  I haven’t been able to do smaller portions.  I think cooking will help this (see next).  

Cook More.  My goal is to cook at least once a month in 2012 (twelve times total).  I had the same goal in 2011 and failed miserably with only about 4 or 5 cooking attempts.  I’m looking forward to Liz’s blog (one that is going to tell me exactly what to make) helping me out here.  Hopefully I’ll be a master chef by the end of the year. 

These are my lifestyle goals for 2012.  You have any you’re doing that i’m missing? 


How i get stuff done

A few people asked me this week how keep track of things i need to get things done.  So, let me tell you.

First, I keep an ongoing Task list. I have a big list and then i have a line in that list that i put each day of the things i want to accomplish that day.  This way i can move things up and down that list.  I actually have two lists – a personal list and a work list. I find that it’s helpful to keep them separate as i try to accomplish the work list when i’m at work and then when i leave, i consider my time to get those tasks done as over.  Then i’m on personal time.  It’s helpful to keep them separate.  How do i keep these tasks? I use Google Tasks.  It’s nicely tied into both my email and my calendar.  Also, there’s an app (I use GooTasks) that synch with the Gmail version so i can grab tasks when i’m on the go.

Second, i have a “one-touch” policy.  I’m not sure who told me about this but the idea is that you should touch things only once.  If you can read, process and reply all at one time, it’s better than filing to do later.  I do this with physical mail and i also try to do it with email.  I’m not as good as some, but i’ve found that the more you do this, the more you get done. My business partner Toby is actually a master of this.

Third, i subscribe to the “Daily Inches” mantra of consistency. This is best expressed in the Al Pacino speech in “Any Given Sunday” (listen to it here). The idea is that if you really want to make big changes – this could be your life, your work or whatever – the best way is to make progress daily.  You don’t ahve to do it all at once, but just make a little progress every day and you’ll get there.  For instance, if you want to increase your arm strength in the gym, you don’t want to go on a weekend and try to lift weights for 20 hours straight.  No, it’s better to work out a little bit each day for an extended period of time.  Make a little progress, every day.

There it is.  My three easy steps to getting things done – Lewis-style.  Most of it is common sense, but thought i’d share.  Tasks, one-touch, and daily inches.   What is your philosophy for getting things done?


So, what do you do again?

I’ve been asked this question a bit lately.  I remember a funny Friends episode where the gang played a trivia game about how well each person knows the other friends.  The final winner-take-all question asked to the group was, “What does Chandler do for work?”  To which nobody, not even his wife, could answer.  Well, it seems that I’m the Chandler Bing of my friends.

I’m not too surprised by this as the startup that Toby, Nader and I started last year, named Kapost, has shifted (aka “pivoted”) three times in the past 18 months so I frequently end up describing my work in different ways to the same person.  I could see where the confusion comes from.   Luckily, describing my job just got a little bit easier today when we launched a new commercial describing Kapost.   What we do is build software to help Editors of websites manage their users and the content they want to publish.   Watch the commercial below to get a more fun and colorful explanation of this.

Just got a Fitbit


Sure i ordered it in October and it took forever, but it’s finally here. I now have a fitbit

For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a little clip you were around. The clip (called a “Tracker”) contains a motion sensor like the ones found in the Nintendo Wii. The Tracker senses my motion in three dimensions and converts this into useful information about my daily activities. The Tracker measures the intensity and duration of my physical activities, calories burned, steps taken, distance traveled, how long it took me to fall asleep, the number of times I woke up throughout the night and how long I was actually asleep vs just lying in bed.

It’s pretty awesome stats and all i have to do is wear this little clip. Also, the clip uploads the data to my Mac without attaching it. All in all, it’s pretty sweet.

One thing i’ve noticed is how nice the web interface is. Entering in foods, water, and stuff is a breeze. Anyway, it’s my first day with this thing. We’ll see how it works. Stay tuned.

My Moments of 2009

2009 was a fun year.  I traveled to 42 cities, 4 countries and logged over 100k miles.  I also found time to stay at home and do stuff.  Looking back on the year, some things really stand out.  For instance:

  • Up’s tear-jerking silent vignette. With each new film, Pixar finds some way to top itself. The marvelous innovation inUp was the wordless sequence near the beginning, set to Michael Giacchino’s wistful score, depicting Carl and Ellie’s entire life together — including the sad fact that they can’t have children. Who else would dare to try that? And who but Pixar could pull it off so gracefully?
  • I Like This Song.  I started a little experiment in May of placing a good song i like every day to the blog ilikethissong.com.  At first it was easy because there were so many songs i was bursting to share.  But as the year wore on, i got more selective and paid more attention to what i was putting up.  The real treat, however, has been the followers of ILTS who have sent me new music and tunes.
  • The Android OS. I went to the largest mobile phone conference in the world last February and saw thousands of phones that were running Windows Mobile OS that was vastly inferior to the iPhone. I came away from there thinking that the iPhone was going to crush everyone for the next 10 years.  Luckily Google’s OS has grown up and is the real deal.  This is the year when the race for the future of mobile actually started
  • Brett Favre.  Say what you want about him, but for me he has transformed the Vikings from a team that drove me crazy to watch to a team to be proud of every week.  He was inspiring and regardless of how early we go out in the playoffs (i’m thinking first round) i’ll always remember this season because of him.
  • Zach Galifinakis and The Hangover.  Zach G. had slipeed under my radar until The Hangover which was this summer’s must-see movie.  I thought he made the film and i was even more delighted to see that his webepisodes of Between Two Ferns prove him a true comedic talent
  • Death of Old Media.  Magazines crumbled.  Newspapers folded.  Online usage soared.  People who were in the print business ran scared.  Some tried to adjust their print properties.  Others just wove a white flag.  It become evident this year that online is where the users are and if you’re not moving your media business there, you’re either going to downsize or disappear.  This was of personal interest to me as i spent lots of 2009 looking at the advertising piece of this at Buzz and looking at the opportunities this new world creates with Tobes.
  • In-N-Out burger.  I ate so much In-N-Out in 2009 that this could very well be the year of the Double-Double.  Thanks to JT, Pedro and JStreet for coming with me time after time after time.
  • eReaders / Kindle.  The Kindle came on strong this year and The Nook is looking like a solid competitor.  While neither may be long solutions with their closed formats, they have gained serious attention and sales.  I also read my first books on electronically this year and i can easily picture a future when books are primarily sold without paper.
  • Obama.  He came out of nowhere.  We were about to elect someone into the Presidency (Hilary) which would have had two families (Clinton’s and Bush’s) control the office for over 24 years.  THis was not the America i was down with and i was just about to write off the political system for good when Obama came along.  Sure, you can complain about different things he’s done in office thus far but he’s engaged me and he’s made me pay attention. I respect his reasoning.  That word, “hope,” is a strange one and it was a big part of 2009 for me due to him.
  • Avatar, Star Trek and Sci-Fi. This year was an incredible year for sci-fi. I thought Star Trek was awesome, the little indie flick District 9 was refreshing and extremely well done, and of course James Cameron’s epic, Avatar – the film that needed new technology just to complete it – rocked the end of the year. These films showed that sci-fi is alive and kicking and isn’t some little repetitive genre reserved for geeks and nerds.
  • A Personal Stream of Information From Friends.  Before 2009, my RSS feed dominated my web browsing experience.  Twitter and Facebook worked their tail off in ’09 to change the web landscape.  Their impact has been incredible.  The personal stream of information is how many people are now receiving their news and media.  What this means is that the web (and possibly life) won’t ever be the same.  I can’t wait to see where it leads
  • D Wood.  Last and most importantly it’s D. Say what you will about LA but it brought me to Diane and more than anything it will be a year remembered as the year i met her.  That one little meeting has changed everything.

Happy 2009 everyone. It’s been a fantastic year and I wish you all the best in 2010.

Tools of the Trade

A startup really consumes your life. Luckily i have a suite of sweet tools to keep my efficient and productive.  My favorites: icons

Balsalmiq.  This is sick wireframing software.  It’s so easy and intuitive, it can allow anyone to make fairly decent wires.  It’s also a great way to get ideas across to other people.   Doing a full-screen demo of wires always seems to impress people.

YuuGuu.  If you want to share your screen to another person to either do a demo or just display a problem, this is the best way to do it. We’ve tried a bunch of different types (such as Vyew) and this is by far the best.

Dropbox.  We’re not the only one who loves this.   In fact, on the Balsalmiq blog they wrote, “If you don’t use DropBox, I will shake my head at you in disapproval.”  Dropbox is a network file times 1000.  It’s incredible.  We put lots of files into Dropbox as a way to share.   In fact, i’m about to start using it as a way to share all my files across my computers and my girlfriend’s.  A great way to just do backup to another machine.

Skype.  This remains the best way to do voice-to-voice communication.  It’s also a damn good IM client.  Haven’t experimented with the screen sharing yet.

Jing.  For debugging, there is nothing better than Jing.  If you don’t know Jing, here’s the use case it solves: (1) click a button, select an area of your screen, capture a video of that area for as long as you want, click to stop and here’s a URL of that video hosted on the Jing site.  Easy as pie and incredibly useful.

TripIt.  If you travel at all, this is a must have. When you make an airline or travel reservation, all you do is forward your email confirmation to tripit and they keep track of all the details.  Once you’re at the airport all you need is their iPhone app (or mobile site) to easily grab confirmation codes

Google Apps / Docs / Tasks.   Using corporate email through Google Apps is very easy to do and eliminates lots of effort of setting up Exchange or anything else – it’s both simpler and better.  Through that we get Google Docs which has always been a tremendous way to collaborate on documents with others.  For instance, i have a doc that i use that Nader (in San Francisco) can edit each day in real-time as i work on it.  I also use tasks as a great way to keep track of what i need to do.  I love that i can add tasks from the iPhone (great tasks interface) and then see them back on machine so i can knock ’em out.

Any other items that you use that you’d recommend?  What are your favorite work tools?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Loo.me Radio is Coming

Picture 2

I decided that i needed to give you all (my readers) more music.  I get lots of requests for recommendations and thus i decided to expand my minuature blogging empire a little bit.  So, starting today there is a new site assciociated with Loo.me and it’s called ILikeThisSong.com

What is ILikeThisSong.com? It’s a site which will have a new song posted there every day.  These are my favorite songs of the moment.   Also, there is a popout player that will play ALL of the site’s tracks for you like a radio station.  This radio station will soon be linked on Loo.me.  I’m currently working on that.

For now though there is limited integration.  But feel free to check out the new site and let me know what you think

25 Random Things About Me

I got tagged in Facebook to do one of these lists.  I really enjoyed reading some of my colleagues and some of my old friends from high school so i thought i’d put one together.

The rules are that once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged or however many you want. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

Here are my items:

1. I don’t like fruit (with the exception of apples) and i’m happy that my sister’s the same way. It makes me feel less strange.

2. I tend to get around. I’ve been to 49 states and hope to get to the final one, Mississippi, sometime soon.  Since college, I’ve lived in Virginia, New York, Washington DC, Boston (sort of), and now Los Angeles.

3. I have no toenails on my 2 little toes.

4. I was born in NY, then moved to CA, then moved to Texas before i finished my youth in Minnesota.

5. I grew up in Minnesota.  When i moved east in 1996, i felt like a Midwesterner.  I then lived on the east coast for 11 years.  When i moved to California last year, i felt like an Easterner.  After a few years here, who knows who i’ll be.

6. i’ve never broken a bone. I attribute this to my love of milk.

7. I love the extended Lewis Family clan and feel so fortunate that i have such great cousins, aunts and uncles.

dsc00925

8. When i was younger I used to dress up like a ninja and wonder around in the woods with my brother.

Continue reading “25 Random Things About Me”

Changing it up every 3 years

A good post today by Chris Anderson about completely changing jobs every 3 years.  He writes:

When I was at The Economist, there was a policy to rotate everyone every three years. The idea was that fresh eyes were more important than experience. “Foreign everywhere” was the mantra, and around your second year in Cairo, you could expect to get a call from the editor asking you to consider Mumbai or Sao Paolo–ideally two places you’d never been to and knew nothing about.

I’ve changed jobs every 2 years and do find that if you don’t continue to challenge yourself and learn new things, you can get complacent and bored.

Another interesting point about the post is the connection with Macolm Gladwell’s new book, Outliers, which talks about how people achieve success.  Anderson writes:

I was thinking about the three-year rule while reading about Malcolm Gladwell‘s observation that it takes 10,000 hours to become truly expert at something. If you really throw yourself into a job, you’ll spend 60 hours a week working. That’s 3,000 hours a year (allowing for vacation), which means you’ll hit the 10,000 hour mark a few months after your third year.

What do you think – how often do you try something new?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]