Why Clubhouse is the next big thing, what it teaches us about great products and growth strategies, and what it means for the future.

By now, you may have gotten an invitation to Clubhouse, the next hot social content platform from Silicon Valley. Mike Shinoda is on it, Elon Musk is on it, even Paris Hilton is on it. The basic gist is it's a platform for audio-only meeting rooms that anyone can drop-in on and participate in a conversation. At any given moment, a Clubhouse user can drop in on chats on mindfulness and spirituality, Elon’s views on cryptocurrencies…


The healing power of Big Bend National Park

2020 has been an unforgettable year. It has felt like the emotional crescendo to national unrest fomenting over the past decade as civilization reckons with unprecedented advancements in mass communication and networking, all in the midst of a generational pandemic. These seachanges, along with a confluence of personal events, have ensnared me in daily anxiety and guilt-riddled thought spirals for most of the past four years. That, however, is not the story I wish to tell today. …


How to run a hackathon to generate solutions to the problems we face today.

Hackathons are one of the most unique and rewarding parts of working in creative technology. At their most rewarding, hackathons can be an experience that sees teams go from a completely blank page to a minimally viable business in less than 48 hours. My team at SwiftKick Mobile recently stepped up to the plate in response to COVID-19 and attempted to do the impossible; come up with four viable businesses in two days to help people with their changing lifestyles in the aftermath of the virus. How we managed to start with a blank page on a Miro board and…


How I am personally handling the crisis, with ideas for you.

You and I are a lot alike. We are both American citizens during the largest, most lethal pandemic of our lifetimes, the spread of coronavirus and its disease COVID-19, and we are both scared and have no idea what the “right” thing to do now is. At the time of writing this, it’s estimated that there are about 30,000 total deaths as a result of complications from COVID-19 worldwide since January [1]. To put that in perspective, it is estimated that there were “only” around 19,000 casualties across both the German and Allied sides on D-Day [2]. …


Reflections on an era closing at my favorite soccer club.

Mauricio Pochettino

For as long as I can remember, the narratives and strategies in my favorite sports have been one of the methods I have used to make sense of the world around me. When I was a child, it was football, baseball, and basketball. I watched the Philadelphia Eagles take the field every Sunday with my family, rushed home from school to eat Elios pizza and watch the New York Yankees, and enjoyed my time in youth basketball while watching the Jason Kidd-era New Jersey Nets.

In my adulthood, my passion…


A meditation on storytelling.

The view of lower Manhattan from East River State Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

I am leaving New York City. Perhaps, more accurately, I am changing my primary residence from New York City to Austin, Texas; and I am writing the end of my story that brought me to New York City. I arrived in New York City in 2014 in pursuit of a story for myself. The story I wanted to tell myself and the world was that I am a rockstar entrepreneur. I wanted to be Mark Zuckerberg, or at least the Mark Zuckerberg character in the Social Network. …


A few additional thoughts on how we treat criticism of art and audience in the social media age.

“The Big Day” Chance the Rapper

We have a problem with how we talk about pop culture online. I wrote an editorial entitled “Moving from Backlash to Dialogue” addressing this, published in May. The piece was written as a response to the backlash to media events like the finale of Game of Thrones and Star Wars: The Last Jedi in which I called on people online to “feel the responsibility of asking ourselves whether our thoughts will positively or negatively advance thought on the topic before we share…


Why the U.S. Women’s National Team’s fight for pay parity is a “win-win” for us all.

The U.S. Women’s National Team has won the 2019 Women’s World Cup. In these divisive times, it’s one thing that most of us as Americans can agree is an objectively great accomplishment for our country. This victory has become more than just a sporting victory but has also come to be a victory for all of those who stand for diversity in all meanings of the word, including above all else, gender diversity. The focal point of this victory for gender diversity is the…


It is time to move the quality of our online conversations forward.

We’ve all experienced it. The story told during a movie or television event didn’t meet or exceed audience expectations and people take to the internet to express their displeasure. Most recently, this phenomena occurred with Game of Thrones, but it is not unique. Star Wars, How I Met Your Mother, True Detective, and even Rick and Morty were all met with quantifiable and notable internet backlash during pivotal moments during their series arcs.

While most can agree in these cases that a story took a disappointing turn, no…


What entrepreneurs can learn from the Philadelphia 76ers and the “Process” era.

The Philadelphia 76ers are a basketball team, not the next big software product. Travel back to the early 2010s, however, and you’ll see that they found themselves in a similar position to a lot of startups. They were profitable as a business, their product experienced moderate success on the court, but they sat back and watched as other teams experienced the championship-level success that they aspired to experience. Philadelphia is not a market like LA or New York that can attract players based on the strength of its…

Sean Raftery

NYC/ATX - Product Manager at Swiftkick Mobile - Process Truster - Music. Tech. Sports. Culture.

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