How I Spent 2013 and Looking Forward to 2014
Here’s to another year. My 2013 was one of the busiest and most fulfilling of my life and 2014 is already promising new opportunities and experiences. I always like to take a look back before diving head first into the new, so here’s a roundup of what happened and the one resolution I’ll make for 2014.
- I went to TED (again) and saved my sanity (and my liver) by skipping SXSW. This year, I think I’ll do the opposite.
- Despite not going to SXSW, I planned Black Founders’ Ideas Are Worthless Austin conference – the first minority tech conference to be held in conjunction with SXSW
- Then I decided to take a mini-break from Black Founders so that I could spend this year as an Innovation Fellow for San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation
- But I thought a lot about the state of black entrepreneurship and why it’s important not just for the black community, but for the economy.
- I wrote a resolution on broadband and unlicensed spectrum which was adopted at the US Conference of Mayors.
- I spent a lot of time looking at issues around access to internet in disadvantaged neighborhoods. I still think there’s incredible opportunity to use SMS to deliver services and information in these communities both here and abroad. This year, I would like to go to India and Africa to see the challenges of internet access up close.
- I planned Innovation Month for the City of San Francisco.
- I spoke at events, moderated panels, and judged hackathons.
- And met more brilliant and interesting people than ever before.
- I broke up.
- I embraced the #NoNewFriends movement and got closer to my old friends.
- Then I made some new friends.
- I went camping.
- I binge watched Breaking Bad, House of Cards, and Orange is the New Black.
- I finally cut the cord.
- I gave my time to causes I believe in like Compass Family Services (homeless families) and the All Stars Project (youth development).
This year, I make no resolutions save one:
Only do the things I absolutely want to do.
This is the direction in which I usually navigate, but I always find it useful to re-up on this resolution. Sometimes you get sucked into doing things and weeks or months (hopefully not years) down the road, you suddenly realize you’re not even interested in it. Life is too short and the stakes are too high to do anything less than what makes you a happier and more fulfilled person.
I’m excited to see what 2014 brings. I plan to keep doing big things, taking risks, and working only with people that I respect and who can push my intellectual horsepower to it’s limits.