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August 2016
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Debate Night, Be Careful What You Post

We live in politically charged times and I like discourse and I love a debate. I like to say what is on my mind and while I know I am always right… I am smart enough to know that is not the case.

Tonight is the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Tonight these candidates are likely going to “go at it” and it is going to make for great drama. There will be Tweets and Facebook posts and post debate spin for hours and days. Opinions are going to fly in every direction. Truths will be lies and lies will be truths.

Tonight someone, or many someone’s, is going to lose their job, client(s) and/or friendships.

Let me be clear… yes you have the right to freedom of speech.

And everyone else is free to react the way they do.

So before saying #(Candidate)Sucks or #(Candidate)Lies or worse something extremely inflammatory that is fueled by one too many bourbons, beers or glasses of wine… ask yourself if that thought is so damn important, it is so crucial to mankind that you are willing to lose something over it.

My over/under on how many hours until a viral news story breaks about how someone was fired because of what was said is 72 hours.

I hope I am wrong.

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10 Minutes With Nick Roseth, Tech Leader And Evangelist

I am very thankful for those who have been willing to take time to chat with me and this might be the one I have most looked forward to as I think this is a big moment for the Minnesota tech scene.

Nick Roseth has been working on a project called DocuMNtary and it debuts during Twin Cities Startup Week. We can’t seem to remember when we first met but have spent a good chunk of time together the past year on the Make It MSP regional tech hiring initiative, talking about DocuMNtary and sharing our thoughts on the Minneapolis tech and business scene.

One of our conversations we had 12 or whatever months ago included Nick asking me what I thought this project should look like and specifically how it could help recruiters. I gave a long rambling answer on the different things he could do.

Last week he gave me a sneak peek (and I should note I am a sponsor of the project and make a couple of brief appearances) and I sent him this text:

This… this is exactly what I was hoping for

Nick and his team nailed it.

I will post a link to the video here and likely do another blog post about how recruiters, hiring managers, CEO’s and others interested in promoting the Minnesota tech scene can use it.

Hey Nick… you are The Man.

And thank you for taking this on.

Continue reading "10 Minutes With Nick Roseth, Tech Leader And Evangelist" »

10 Minutes With Nels Pederson, Co Founder And Coordinator Of Twin Cities Startup Week And Startup Entrepreneur

Next up on my series of chats is Nels Pederson who coordinates Twin Cities Startup Week. We are halfway through the week and I wanted to chat with him to talk about the growth of the Twin Cities tech community and Startup Week.

If you’re wondering about what this series is about click Ten Minutes With.

In part what we spoke about:

  • How Twin Cities Startup Week started
  • The growth from year 1 to year 3
  • The major events of the week
  • What it is like coordinating a lot of moving parts
  • Who some of the volunteers are
  • Fly In program (I am a sponsor)
  • Target Techstars
  • What’s next for Startup Week
  • How Nels sees the Minneapolis tech scene

Continue reading "10 Minutes With Nels Pederson, Co Founder And Coordinator Of Twin Cities Startup Week And Startup Entrepreneur" »

10 Minutes with Shannon Pritchett, Editor of SourceCon, Sourcer And Speaker

Next up on my series of chats is Shannon Pritchett, a long time sourcing and recruiting friend. Shannon is currently the Editor of SourceCon where I am speaking at in Anaheim in a few days (Fall 2016).

If your new to this series click Ten Minutes With to learn how this came about.

While most of the chats are going 45 - 60 minutes this one keeps with the name, 12:35 to be exact, as Shannon was busy getting SourceCon set up and I was off to another Twin Cities Startup Week event.

So with a few minutes to talk fast here is what we cover:

  • SourceCon setup
  • The origin of the SourceCon purple squirrel
  • Girls Who Code
  • SourceCon “welcome wagon”
  • Biggest SourceCon ever
  • Spring 2017 event => We Control The Robots
  • My lobbying for SourceCon Minneapolis
  • What new SourceCon attendees can expect
  • Shannon’s love of aviation

NOTE: for those attending the conference I mention my session is Thursday at 4 pm and it is at 3 pm. Let me say that again my session is Thursday at 3 pm.

Continue reading "10 Minutes with Shannon Pritchett, Editor of SourceCon, Sourcer And Speaker" »

10 Minutes With Casey Allen, Startup Advisor And Investor

Years ago… oh damn it’s already 10 years ago (click Ten Minutes With), I had an idea that I wanted to “interview” people who are smart, have cool ideas, are people I know (or are friends of friends) that my other friends should get to know. One part share ideas and one part introduce friends to friends.

Think hanging out at a coffee shop with a friend and being able to record the conversation. Because so many times I have walked away from such a conversation and thought, damn… I wish I had written “that thing” down.

I mentioned this to Casey Allen a couple of months ago and he said:

Great, when are you going to start doing this?

I said:


A couple of weeks went by and he asked again. And then a couple of weeks ago he asked again.

I was getting annoyed with him but angry with me for not doing it.

So I asked Casey if he would be willing to be the first one and he said yes.

Continue reading "10 Minutes With Casey Allen, Startup Advisor And Investor" »

Minnesota Morning: Taking A Step Back, Skate Where The Puck Will Be And What’s Next For Me

If we break the year up into thirds and I use a sports analogy which I commonly do, this time from hockey… today starts the 3rd period of 2016. And I am reminded of this quote:

Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been. - Wayne Gretzky

The past month or so I took a big step back from the Minnesota startup, tech and recruiter scene. For the previous 18 months or so I had been so head down recruiting and attending tech meetups that I lost some vision on what was going on and what was coming next. I had a sense of some things changing but did not have enough time to explore, confirm or deny them.

I did a lot of lurking on Twitter and LinkedIn. I was watching status updates… what people were talking about, what kind of mood they were in and what they were working on. Add in a bunch of phone calls and Hangouts. “Hey, do you have a minute for a quick question” was a common email or text from me and note… it was never a minute.

I then extended out from Minneapolis and spoke with some Midwest and Bay Area friends.

There are a number of trends in the Minneapolis, Midwest and Bay Area tech scene that will start, have started to change the tech hiring landscape. While most folks are skating where the puck was (reactive) and some are skating where it is (getting by) there are very few in Minneapolis and the Midwest going where the puck will be (proactive).

Memo to Recruiters, CEO’s and Investors: skate where the puck is going.

Continue reading "Minnesota Morning: Taking A Step Back, Skate Where The Puck Will Be And What’s Next For Me" »