Habitat Thailand Day One

I arrived on Monday afternoon to Chang Mai and met up with my roommate and team lead at the Royal Llana hotel where we did a team dinner and got to know everybody. There is a lot of diversity on the team, about 1/2 live outside the United States permanently andbtravel much more regularly than I do. There is a good collection of young, middle aged, and older people on the trip.

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On Tuesday, we did our cultural activity, a bit strange given that we are still getting to know our team and especially our Thai hosts, and have little to celebrate yet. Though understanding the hill people and Buddhism is probably of great importance of working with local volunteers, contractors, and the people we will be building houses for. One surprise is how many tourists there are here, from many Western countries.

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Uber Eats

As Uber raised more money today, I decided to try them for a cheap lunch. They’re new to Atlanta and doing some promotions.

They offered 3 options in the Atlanta Market, a burger, a chicken salad sandwich, and a soup. I like Yeah! Burger so that’s what I went with.

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The burger was about as expected, a basic double burger with cheddar, onions, and  pickles. One issue I see with this is that my Yeah! order is more typically specialized with different sauces, jam, and even bacon. I’m also not sure why ordering a drink with Uber wasn’t an option.

It makes sense how this can scale, by limiting the food selection and limiting the geographic area to certain office areas (that are high density) you can limit the need to pickup fresh food and increase the amount of orders served. It’s also quicker than a custom order such as Zifty, PostMates, Glovo, or Grubhub.

Have you ordered it yet?

SidePrize Pitches at the LA Dodgers Accelerator

Adam Wexler Pitching SidePrize
Adam Wexler Pitching SidePrize

Tuesday was the culmination of 3 months of work and mentoring with the LA Dodgers R/GA Accelerator for SidePrize. It finished with a bang at Dodger’s Stadium where 10 companies presented to investors, mentors, media, and others interested in sports technology .

SidePrize hops on the growing Fantasy Football market to keep more fans engaged over more of the season. SidePrize ensures that Winners Get Paid, and Friendships Get Saved.

The presentation included the story of their growth from baseball season with 1 provider to Football season with 5 external integrations (especially impressive are those with Yahoo, ESPN) with a future goal to cover all major US Sports (adding on Basketball, NHL, and eventually MLS).

Adam Wexler also talked about active leagues, specifically, The Saratoga Elite, that has been enjoying using SidePrize. New Rivalries have formed. Involvement is higher than ever. The smack talk, and side challenges are keeping the league members involved, communicating, and winning. It will be interesting if the company continues to see this kind of interaction.

I’m an employee with them, I have a fantasy team, and I’ve introduced friends to fantasy sports. The additional taunting is great. The focus on relationships and engagement over money draws me in. Are you playing every week with your friends?

Outdoor adventures

Before coming out to LA, I explored Groupon for some great experiences to enjoy that would be great experiences to enjoy this coast. I settled on 3. Rappelling down waterfalls, an Italian dinner, and paddle boarding.

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Paddle boarding is a relaxing workout where you can stretch some muscles, practice your posture and braiding, and explore waterways. It’s great for breathing and relaxation, some people do it for hardcore workouts out surfing too. Between paddle boarding an kayaking there isn’t a much easier way to explore cities on the coast.

Some innate balancing is useful, that hand eye coordination, but mainly realizing that each action has a reaction from the board.

Remember to take those deep breaths and stretch out. 🙂

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Rappelling down waterfalls is something I’ve never experienced ( all of the rappelling and climbing I’ve done in the southeast was dry.) We got to go down 3 of them. We started with a drive up a mountain, then a hike up another 1500 ft to 6300 feet. We walked a thin trail with risks of rock slides (they don’t go when it rains) to get to our first waterfall. A goat was just chilling eating on some of the plants above us. Getting down the waterfalls was cold when the sun was hidden, but not as slippery or dangerous and you might think. Definitely a cool experience.

The Angeles National Park was beautiful, we could see the mountains around us lit up by the sun with a bit of a tree line, you could see where water runs off and where snow groups up.

Life is about experiences, make sure you seek them.

On the Groupons, this was a great way to find outfitters that I would have otherwise needed to search for and have known that I absolutely wanted to do rather than do because they were on a curated website. They were definitely steals, especially since I bought them with 20% off. Unfortunately, since I’m traveling, they won’t really convert me to being a long term customer (unless I come back to LA)

Pitch Practice

PitchPracticeOnStagePeople fear public speaking more than death. When you say it out loud or type it it sounds ludicrous, but you are standing in front of others, presenting your thoughts and ideas, and facing judgement for what you are doing and saying.

Pitch Practice is something each of the teams is doing to prepare for Tuesday, our big pitch event where we will present SidePrize to a network that the LA Dodgers and R/GA have curated for the sports technology companies. Every day we are working on getting better – working with our slide decks, working on memorization, working on interacting with the crowd (through cues and gestures, not questions).

A great way to practice public speaking has been to join a program like toastmasters (I’ve still not done this) as giving a toast requires some quick thinking and empathizing with the audience. Another way is pitch Karaoke – give a pitch for somebody else’s idea without knowing all of the details – you can invent some, but ultimately, fill the details with something that’s not wrong, but entertaining.

According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that seem right? That means to the average person, if you have to go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy .Jerry Seinfeld

With the accelerator, I’ve been extending normal team updates with a toast (When I first got the ESPN integration working correctly), talking with company representatives and mentors to really explain what we do, and a few days stood on stage to give the weekly update. It is good practice. I’m reminded of presentations I gave to auditoriums in college with slide decks and content that a team and I created only a few minutes ahead of time.

Are you afraid of public speaking? Can you form presentations on the spot? How do you practice to get better at this skill?