“End of the Naughties” and Happy Holidays to You!
Two years has gone by in a flash and I am blown away that I have not had a chance to complete this holiday letter since 2008.
Last year, I got incredibly busy with an exciting project that I could not spare any time to do my yearly letter – but to keep you up-to-date, let me give you a summary of what happened in the past two years:
Back to 2009…
Since the last holiday email:
- Spent time working with a number of NY startup companies, co-working and office space providers and the City (through the Economic Development Corporation) building business models, space opportunities and fundraising
- Led social media, affiliate marketing, software development and eCommerce efforts for a great publishing company, Knock Knock Stuff – even getting back to the coding Python once again. And, if you like their stuff, type in the coupon-code “Ho” to get 25% off all products!
- Interim CTO for Levity Entertainment – the owners of the Improv Comedy Clubs and worked for Jeff Dunham on his media monetization strategy
- Helped with the growth of the New Work City coworking space in NYC and helped a political campaign or two
…and into 2010
Then, at the end of 2009, I got a call from a friend which led me on an amazing journey into robotic telepresence. If you do not know what it is, check out my new blog, Pilot Presence, for more details. You can learn more about the Texai and the work we did at http://www.bit.ly/texai.
And while I was contracted to be the Product Director, I also worked on sales, marketing and communications for the research effort; all the while working on what might be the future of remote presence. In the course of the project, I am proud to say the team accomplished an amazing amount. Their successes include:
- Building 25 Texai prototypes for field testing and software development
- Getting press in the NYTimes (here, here, and here), the IEEE Spectrum, MIT Technology Review, CNET, The Times UK and other major media
- Having great video mentions with Sergey Brin at the X-Prize Event and at the NY Tech meetup (watch 3:24 minutes in for some great video)
- Getting some interesting product placement on The Big Bang Theory
Today, Willow Garage is now focusing on software development for the next version of the Texai, choosing not to go to market with this first prototype. With my contract done and the prospects for the next Texai not for another 12 to 18 months, I returned to NYC and have been talking with companies again in search of a new product to change the world with.
Aside from Work?
In the past two years, on the personal side,
- I got a call from CNN International to speak about the Obama Administrations promise of transparency (see the video here),
- I won an iPad from daniweb on Internet Week NYC,
- Drove spec Miatas, Audi R8s and a Formula 3 at the Jim Russell Racing School all over the course of three days celebrating a friend’s birthday (and I even smacked up the Formula 3 by the end of the trip, oy!),
- Working as the MC and moderator for the last three NY Entrepreneurs Weeks
- Vacationed this summer on a Mediterranean cruise and visited my families in California, Florida and London as usual, and
- Sadly, this past Saturday, my grandfather Joey passed away.
I know there is more, but for brevity’s sake – lets say it has been a very interesting two years.
And for 2011?
What’s in store for 2011? Great question.
After working with Willow, I fell back in love with robotics (after leaving it ten years ago) – and think that there are some amazing things happening in the space. I also am talking with some other people about options in social media metrics and healthcare, but ask me in three months and we shall see. Any leads (or emerging businesses) you have that you think I would be a great fit – I am all ears.
The family is doing well – Andrew, Miriam and the kids are great in Gainesville, and Blair passed the bar and is working as a clerk in an appellate court in Florida.
What About You?
I recognize that this is not directly personalized to you, but please know that I love hearing about what’s happening in your life. Even if only once a year.
While NYC may have millions of people walking the street every day, I sincerely treasure my friends and would love to hear how you are doing, how your life is going and so on. And if you feel this email is lacking in details (as some of my friends say), Ask me a question and I am here to answer it.
Until your email, I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year and all the best for 2011!
+1 (650) 533 5893 (CA cell)
+1 (954) 323 4450 (FL business number)
+1 (646) 290 8933 (NY business number)
www.whoissanford.com (Personal Website)