My brain is being mapped out into a new site.
Meantime, here's (part of) My Story, and links to my work and writing.

MY WORK

CONTACT ME

MY WRITINGS

MY STORY

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MY STORY

 

 

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In the beginning, the world was fresh and bright, albeit dreary in western Pennsylvania.

I was read Bukowski.  I was raised a blue-collar white boy.  I inherited survival and adaptation power, and used it early to survive a series of misfortunes, of displacement and disease. 

Our life was made possible by the rank-and-file people like us, before us.  I wore red vests in solidarity.

I wrestled kids for trophies and authority in the unspoken ranks of boyhood. 

I wrestled with the structure of school, authority, conformity.  I refused the restrictions of institutions.  I knew from my family history, power and control were meant to be challenged. 

The future was not set, it could be created. 

I found words early on and felt the power of good writing. 

My sister taught me to be kind to others.  Pie became my spiritual guide.  She saved and saves me. She lives on in my high aspiration, my intention to love without judgment.

When in doubt, when angry, when feeling lost and betrayed and vengeful, I ask "What Would Pie Do?"

Entering the political theatre 

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It started early with “organizing” – first in my high school and then on campus. I entered the world of campaigns and canvassing, talking to people where they live about what they need. There was far more to learn outside of school. I joined and even started new campaigns for bold ideas. There were brilliant minds and potential all around me, feeding and teaching me. I even began to hear my words echo in others and thought of running for office myself one day. It become clear: policy was where the real impact lies. When Martin Heinrich (pictured) was an Albuquerque city counselor, I came to work for him on policy.
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In the fast-paced NM Legislature, I was trusted in a powerful position as lobbyist and liaison, moving House Bills through the Senate, finding sponsors and learning to speak policy. New Mexico holds tremendous power at the national level thanks to the legacies and persistence of our politicians. Congressman Tom Udall was a civil rights leader who supported my ACLU Group’s efforts on UNM campus to oppose the Patriot Act. When he ran for US Senate, I was hired and assigned to campaign across all of eastern New Mexico. Politics became my frame for seeing the world as adaptable, changeable, fixable. With the right message strategy and philosophy – the future was open to become anyone’s compelling vision.
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Udall and Heinrich became the two United States Senators for New Mexico. I’m grateful to have been some, front-line part of their journeys. New Mexico is a dynamic state. Political scientists come from all over the world to study our bubbling, melting pot of people. Years among farmers and ranchers, the descendants of original Spanish families, the artists and politicos, – my time in field politics reaffirmed my faith in real, face-to-face community dialogue. It’s how we connect and understand each other. It’s where humanist policy is born. Politics is everywhere, so I began to explore the re-explore world of technology, and saw the potential and freedom of bold new ideas applied.

I BROKE AWAY FROM POLITICS

I felt the lure of the entrepreneur 

The dream from my hustles of childhood never left. I craved the wide-open frontier of new ventures.  Campaigns and new offices only satisfied so much.  My faith in my role, what I could create and impact through politics had begun to wain.  A tragic motorcycle accident left me with years of painful, forced reflection.  Undiagnosed osteomyletis was finally treated with traumatic aggression to save my leg and my life.  I watched cancer patients die around me and thought of what I would do if I made it, when released.  I would have lost time and ground to make up.  But was I even on a worthy path?

Political decisions were made on trivial grounds.  Impact was lost in the lesser games of polarization, gossip, and ego.

To start my own business, define my own policy and purpose outside of government rose again inside me.  Waiting for someone else’s story to play out, for my turn at running for office, it was too safe and simple. Too known.

What exactly was I good at?  What does the world need?  What else was possible with technology and data and passion?

Once able, I joined business plan competitions.  I conspired with other restless, creative minds.  New realities began to take shape. The endless risk and unknowns were catalytic, rocket fuel, pure motivation.  The future was right in front of me.

Co-Founder: The Lavu Breakout Story

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Conceived, built, grown in New Mexico

Business tech sucked in 2010.  Worse than boring, it punished entrepreneurs.  We knew this from the restaurants that came to us  for websites.  Our first, failed startup.  Restaurateurs needed a better, affordable way to run their business, send orders, take payments.

The iPad was just about to come out.  We were first in the app store, and made enough with each sale to scale up our service and software without investors.  We grew 4,000 % those first few years, and hired a local team.

We found a need and built something from nothing to meet it.  I had found something I was good at.

We took off

Gordon Ramsey loved us

Through creative connections, I put  our system in front of the producers of kitchen nightmares.  She showed it to Gordon Ramsey, who gave us huge airtime in exchange for helping save the businesses he was turning around on the show with our system.  Taking orders at the table with iPhones and iPads makes for good tv.  Our name and sales popped.
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We went international and so did I

As we grew interest from abroad poured into our inboxes.  We were in 82 countries and 4,000 locations by 2014. Our resellers translated and programmed menus and portals for our software to be understood in their countries.
On my traveIs, I discovered Asia and was overwhelmed by the potentials.

“I became a serial entrepreneur and white-boy ronin– aka unemployable”

Building a data directory in SE Asia

I saw a common need.  In Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei, Bangkok  – it  was near impossible for the small players to play.  Then the real problem was clear:  there was no business data.  There were no listings.  A city like Bangkok had leapfrogged the land line and the phonebook.  You couldn’t find anything. Google gave up years ago.  We went to work and founded Uteeni, a complete directory with apps for merchants, buyers, and data Harvesters.  I applied canvassing strategy from politics and built a program to pay local people to collect data in person, verify it, and then handoff a full profile to the  business itself to keep updated.

It was a huge, ambitious play, – and we set the standard of how a business should be represented.  I was back and forth to the US, and then full-time on the ground for over three years.  Learned some Thai.  Uteeni by day, consulting with US businesses to pay the bills by night.

Prepare, pitch, switch, repeat

It’s hard to say no when you can see the possibilities in each new technology and team.  I wanted to help everyone, everywhere – make things happen.

Too many timezones, too many startups

The frantic sprint, proving I could do it all, build it all, keep all these teams and visions together. All those demands, in opposite timezones, the stress was building.  Then, black mold exposure took me down. I hit true burnout.  Another health crisis forced me to reset.

Between my consulting business, multiple US startups and moves abroad – it was too much. Things were not happening; I was not effective enough. I was learning less, too operative to think deep and clear. I missed rest and reading and philosophy. And New Mexico. 

CVF Board at Hotel Chaco #1 2019

IMPACT,

Takes time, space, and focus

The best things take time.

I returned to the land of enchantment, found a new balance and a new purpose.  My experience and travels enabled me to see the bigger purpose.  I chose to re-base,plant my feet more often, look ahead into the horizon and the future.  I would travel again, but with a new perspective and appreciation.  I would use what I had learned to build the next philosophy and technology from New Mexico.

Pride in being the operator, the chief, the one in charge of everything slowly faded.  I found how powerful, objective approaches and prompts will discover the next great model, or product strategy, or philosophy. 

I must read constantly, be active and vigilant to observe and understand, speak to truth and listen for what's real.  New Mexico is where I find space to think deeply and create new things.  I am a practical philosopher and strategic futurist. 

What a journey.  What a space and time to be alive and involved on the edges of the techno-human world. It took a few years as an advisor and strategist to find my optimal role. 

My purpose has arrived in writing, exposing inequality and calling in complexity, and revealing the greater truths of impact through inclusive data dialogue.

 

"In dialogue, I learn."

CONTACT ME

If you send me a message, I'll send you occasional updates when I write something new or have something worth sharing

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I am a journeyman futurist

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