Remembering Steve Jobs

In case you didn’t know, I am a big nerd. I am also a big sap. So when I heard the news that Steve Jobs had passed away today, I kinda broke down in tears. In public. Ugly crying, everywhere.

First, let me rewind. Six weeks ago Steve stepped down from his position at Apple, and I guess I knew then that it was a wrap. Steve had always said when his health got so bad that he could no longer lead Apple, he would step down. And when that day had come, I knew things had to be dire, because Steve struck me as the kinda guy who would try to work until his dying day. I shed some tears that day, knowing his time had to be soon.

I came home crying this evening (finally home where I could really break down) and my roommate thought I was a bit crazy for crying over the passing of a man I had never met. But, much like Michael Jackson, Steve was a cultural game changer for the majority of my life.

My first interaction with a (cool) personal computer was some early model Macintosh. Sure, I’d played Oregon Trail on some sort of early model IBM. But I remember loving computers and thinking they were awesome in 7th grade when my Journalism teacher taught us how to lay out our school newspaper on a Macintosh. It was way more interactive, it made cute, cool sounds and it was easy to work with. In High School, we did our art projects on Macs in Art class. At home, our very first computer was an Apple laptop. My first interactions with the Internet was through an Apple computer, and today I make my living on the Internet. The first computer my parents bought for me in college was a graphite iMac. Every computer I’ve ever purchased as an adult has been a Mac. My first (and last! lol) boyfriend was an Apple Genius. I remember the day I bought my first iPod, convinced that me and 50 Cent had to be the only Black people on the planet who owned iPods…and that was cool. I remember the day I bought my first iPhone. And as a budding entrepreneur and someone trying to mold her career, I’ve admired Steve’s passion, business acumen, and innovation.

In some way shape or form, Steve Jobs has influenced the way I consume and produce media, the way I think, and he’s had a hand in how I communicate with the world. I know we all have a limited time on this earth, but I think one can only hope that they will leave behind a legacy as impactful as Steve’s.

Rest in peace.

My Totally Awesome Interview with Tristan Walker

Soooo. I’ve been trying to work on my “writing career” slowly but surely. The latest chapter in this walk is my interview with the totally awesome Tristan Walker of FourSquare: “Square Biz: The Silicon Valley Hustle of Tristan Walker, VP of Biz Dev at FourSquare” I pitched this interview to The Atlanta Post months ago, and I finally finished it! Tristan is great, he really gives off a very inspiring vibe, and you can tell he really loves his job (I would love his job if I were him too!) Anyway, below is the intro, check out his story it’s really interesting for anyone pursuing a career in tech. I also asked him about diversity in tech and it was good to get his thoughts on the matter.

If you haven’t heard about mobile social startup FourSquare, then you must not be paying attention to the news, your TV or your local Starbucks. A location-based application for your phone, FourSquare is seen as the frontrunner among the crop of location-based services vying for your attention. In charge of business development over at FourSquare is Queens-bred Tristan Walker, a recent graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and former Wall Street oil trader turned tech shot-caller. Walker leads FourSquare’s partnership development with media, brands and retailers such as MTV, Bravo, American Eagle, CNN, The New York Times, Louis Vuitton, and VH1.

Walker talked with The Atlanta Post about what it’s like juggling a full-time exec-level position at a hot startup while simultaneously finishing up his MBA at one of the leading business programs in the country. Find out how he landed this position, how he became interested in the Silicon Valley hustle, and what he thinks about diversity in technology.

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Stop The Startup Madness

It’s not often I read anything said by Robert Scoble and agree with everything he has said 100%. I find I disagree with him more often than not, but usually that’s somewhere in the Twittersphere or Friendfeed-ersphere. Either way, he’s spot on with his post, The worst things startups do.

If you don’t know who Scoble is, one thing you should know about him is that he talks to a lot of startups. Everytime I turn around he’s talking to a startup CEO, CTO, visiting their offices, reviewing their products, etc. I have known Scoble to do this for years now. Anyway, from what I know as a consultant to startups, my academic training, and my observation of the industry over the last several years, Scoble’s list is accurate. Literally every item on this list are rampant symptoms among dysfunctional startups. So. If you plan on launching a startup, or you have one and you’re wondering why you’ve spent thousands of dollars and nobody is interested in your product, please review Scoble’s list and make adjustments immediately. Your livelihood (and any good employees you’ve managed to lure in) are at stake.