Semi-Random Walks # 19: David Cohen, co-founder TechStars

TechStars co-founder David Cohen is one of my idols. Not just because of his success in entrepreneurship, but also in the way he made himself relevant in the Boulder tech scene. He had already demonstrated his entrepreneurship bonafides by starting a couple of companies, but he was relatively unknown in the local tech scene because he was too busy running his company. Listen to the episode to learn how he managed to meet a lot of people quickly. (Here’s a hint.)

Follow David on Twitter @DavidCohen, and follow @TechStars while you’re at it.

The show opened an closed with music by Fela Kuti, the legendary Nigerian musician. I saw him once in Chicago in the late eighties. He reminded me of a sort of African James Brown. Below is Just Like That. The song is political commentary on the fact that in Nigeria you could be thrown in jail for no reason Just. Like. That. And he was.

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Semi-Random Walks #18: Jessica Billingsley

Jessica Billingsley is the co-founder of MJ Freeway, a company I wish I had started.

The show opened with the ageless Taj Mahal singing “Chevrolet.” It is impossible to not feel happy while listening to this.

PS: Rather than commenting here, please give Semi-Random Walks a review on iTunes. Whether you love it or hate it, I value your feedback.

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Semi-Random Walks #17: Laura Rich

Laura Rich is the founder of Street Fight, a media company focused on serving companies disrupting local media. Prior to to creating Street Fight, Rich co-founded Recessionwire, the first “recession media” startup, which covered the profound impact of the Great Recession on the lives of everyday people. She previously ran teams at Portfolio.com, Inc.om, and FastCompany.com. She authored a weekly interview column in the Sunday edition of the New York Times and wrote a biography of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Once upon a time she worked forThe Industry Standard, which old guys like me remember as actually being the industry standard!… during the first dot-com bubble.

Follow her on Twitter @LauraRich

We opened the show with the Meters’ Look-Ka Py Py, and they were so good we brought them back to play “Ease Back.” Zigaboo Modeliste is my god.

PS: Rather than commenting here, please give Semi-Random Walks a review on iTunes. Whether you love it or hate it, I value your feedback.

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Semi-Random Walks #16: Steve Outing

Steve Outing is a journalist, analyst, educator, and media futurist. Isn’t that cool? Oh and he’s also an avid mountain biker. Several years ago Steve and I worked on a startup together, so it was great to reconnect.

Download the mp3 here.

PS: Rather than commenting here, please give Semi-Random Walks a review on iTunes. Whether you love it or hate it, I value your feedback.

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Semi-Random Walks #15: Tripp Keber, founder and CEO of Dixie Elixirs

Tripp Keber is the founder and CEO of Dixie Elixirs, a manufacturer of edible cannabis products. This is a fascinating industry and it’s interesting to see how Dixie and other companies are applying tried-and-true brand development techniques to differentiate themselves from just plain old weed.

In the interview Tripp mentions Sanjay Gupta, who recently issued a very public apology for being anti-marijuana in the past. This is a big deal. Gupta is very well respected, and his willingness to publicly recant says a lot about the guy.

And let’s be clear: I don’t think marijuana is harmless candy. Kids shouldn’t do it because it may impair brain development. Obviously you should not use it while operating heavy machinery or at work (though I think it may be okay in certain jobs…). But living here in Boulder  home to a major party school — I’ve long thought that if all those students were getting stoned instead of getting drunk, we could probably fire half the police force.

(Not that I’m against cops. I love cops! Rest assured, Officer, that you have no need for ever pulling over my law-abiding self. Seriously. Like, never. Seriously. Did I say that already?)

 I have a Sponsor!

In this episode I talk about Staunch Robots, my sponsor. Make sure you listen because it’s kind of a big deal.

Download the mp3 here.

PS: Rather than commenting here, please give Semi-Random Walks a review on iTunes. Whether you love it or hate it, I value your feedback.

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Semi-Random Walks #14: Morgan Drmaj

First things first: Drmaj is pronounced “dermay.”

I first met Morgan almost two years ago when he was helping run a mens’ group I’m in that’s devoted to self improvement. He’s since moved on to other projects, but once you hear him you’ll see why he’s so successful at helping people.

(Side note: I’m a huge believer in men’s groups and mastermind groups in general. I’m currently involved with three of them. Do yourself a favor and join one. Can’t find one you like? Start your own. Invite a few trusted friends and I guarantee you’ll get a positive response.)

Morgan is also the president of PlumeSocial, a still-new but quite successful content marketing agency.

Follow him on Twitter @morgandrmaj and find him on LinkedIn.

Download the mp3 here.

Also, the show opened and closed with the incomparable Roky Erickson. The man was a musical genius, some say even a little mad. But if you read that Wikipedia article you’ll see he was at one time faced ten years in prison for possession of a single joint! That would make me insane, too, and with policies like that you have to wonder who really belongs in an asylum.

Seriously, it appears he truly did suffer from schizophrenia, and my heart goes out to someone with that condition. I like to make jokes about crazy people as much as the next insensitive asshole, but to be imprisoned by your own mind is the worst kind of hell. I’m glad to hear that he seems functional and productive again. Long may he reign.

And I can’t talk about mental health without a shout out to my therapist. She is, in a word, awesome at her job. Need someone to talk to about life struggles? Contact Roianne Ahn.

But that’s not all! Also in this episode I talk about a therapeutic technique called Voice Dialogue. I’ve been using it for a couple months and find it really helpful. It’s not something you can do alone because it requires a facilitator (that is, a therapist). Check out this introduction and consider applying it in your own life.

 

PS: Rather than commenting here, please give Semi-Random Walks a review on iTunes. Whether you love it or hate it, I value your feedback.

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Semi-Random Walks #13: Sunir Shah

Sunir Shah is a self-described “marketer, developer and startup guy.” He’s built a career helping small organizations do big things. Really big.

Find him on Twitter @Sunir, and check out the Small Business Web, an organization he helped found and Meatball Wiki, which played a key role in the formation of WikiPedia.

Download the mp3 here.

The show opened with this awesome remix of “Party and Bullshit” by Ratatat.

PS: Rather than commenting here, please give Semi-Random Walks a review on iTunes. Whether you love it or hate it, I value your feedback.

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Semi-Random Update

This is not an episode, just a short update on what I’m up to these days.

I also share a powerful networking tip.

Total time is under 8 minutes.

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Semi-Random Walks #12: Anne Holland

Anne Holland has spent her career building a publishing empire. Currently she is the genius behind Marijuana Business Media and Marketing Optimization Media. She previously founded MarketingSherpa, which was acquired in 2007. This despite the fact that she’s dyslexic! That’s like Peter Dinklage becoming an NBA point guard.

Download the mp3 here.

The show opens with “Yellow Dog,” a rave-up from Seasick Steve. Check it out below.

PS: Rather than commenting here, please give Semi-Random Walks a review on iTunes. Whether you love it or hate it, I value your feedback.

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Semi-Random Walks #11: Wayne Elise

Wayne Elise is many things: a street performer, a story teller, and a teacher of how to be conversational. His company is Charisma Arts, and we were glad to get a chance to catch up with him.

Follow Wayne on Twitter @Wayne_Elise and Charisma Arts on Facebook.

Download the mp3 here.

Below is a great video of one of his workshops.

PS: Rather than commenting here, please give Semi-Random Walks a review on iTunes. Whether you love it or hate it, I value your feedback.

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