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Stories from People Around You

Stories from People Around You
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Stories from People Around You








19: Hospitality and Community with Alex Mondau

Alex Mondau is the Community Ambassador at the Collective. The collective is a co-working space located in Seattle's South Lake Union, and is described by its founders as an urban basecamp for the mind, body + soul. Alex started The Collective Seattle one and a half years ago with business partners Tommy Trause and Scott Barber in order to create a diverse community where people can build genuine relationships as well as find refuge from life outside the walls. Prior to founding The...


18: Leaps of Faith with David Mays

David Mays is Senior Public Relations Manager at Amazon where he oversees multiple high impact initiatives. I actually worked with David in my former life at Amazon but we never had a chance for an extended conversation. But as they say, better late than never and today's conversation makes me wish I'd done this earlier. Turns out we have much in common, besides the common employer and the pathological need to run long distances. Prior to Amazon, David has had an expansive career across...


17: Following the Filmmaker's Journey with Bao Tran

Bao Tran is a professional filmmaker currently raising money for his first feature film, The Paper Tigers, a "Kung Fu indie feature film about three guys who are one kick away from pulling their hamstrings". Despite knowing that he wanted to do film from watching kung fu movies as a kid, Bao got a degree in computer science as it was the responsible thing to do for someone that is the child of immigrants. This tension between following your dreams and doing what is expected is a theme that...


16: Friends, Family and Startups with Robert Sweeney

Robert Sweeney is CEO of Facet, the premier platform for hiring senior contract software engineers. Before becoming a founder, Robert was a senior software engineer himself at companies such as Netflix and Microsoft. Robert knew from an early age that he wanted to be an entrepreneur from working at his grandpa's grocery shop. Robert left Netflix with a friend to start a software development studio with an initial verbal contract from Western Digital. In 2014, Robert founded Numetric, a SaaS...


15: Domain Expertise with Jay Westerdal

Jay Westerdal is a CEO, founder, board member, and investor of a wide multitude of companies. Jay first got interested in technology at an early age after witnessing early demonstrations of the internet in middle school. His first job out of college involved creating systems to help manage domain names, a field that Jay has stuck with ever since. Jay founded his own domain company, DomainTools, in 2001, which provided information about the history and ownership of internet domains. Jay also...


14: Focusing on the Message with John Lauer

John Lauer is the CEO of Zipwhip, a Seattle based businesses that enables businesses to text message their customers through software and API solutions. Zipwhip is one of Seattle's fastest growing private companies and was the first business that made it possible for landlines and cellphones to communicate with each other. Prior to Zipwhip, John was already neck deep in entrepreneurship. John started coming up with business ideas ever since he was thirteen. John started his first company,...


13: Creating Film and Community with Vivian Hua

Vivian Hua is the director of the Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) , a non-profit film and arts center dedicated to public dialogue and creative action through collective cinematic experiences. Prior to NWFF, Vivian was Communications Manager for ICANNWiki, a collaborative resource dedicated to simplifying the complex issues, policies, and players in the sphere of internet governance. Vivian was also editor in chief of REDEFINE Magazine, a print and web magazine focused on music and the arts....


12: Feeding Ghosts with Tessa Hulls

Tessa Hulls is an artist/writer/adventurer whose work spans a multitude of genres and whose travels have taken her across all 7 continents, much of it on bike. She is the daughter of two first generation immigrants and is currently working on a graphic novel about her grandmother titled "Feeding Ghosts". Tessa describes herself as a compulsive genre hopper who has worked in some capacity as an illustrator, cartoonist, editor, interviewer, writer, performer, chef, muralist, conductor of...


11: Building a Successful White Label Technology Platform After a Decade of Pivots With Mark Michael and Daniel Rust

Mark Michael (CEO) and Daniel Rust (CTO) are the co-founders of DevHub, a white label technology platform that powers some of the world's most recognizable brands. Companies license DevHub technology to create sites /landing pages pages at scale. Companies also use DevHub as the repository for their experience data. Mark and Daniel first met in high school and have been working together as business partners ever since. At DevHub, Mark handles business and marketing whereas Daniel defines its...


10: Getting Off the Couch with Mike Grabham

Mike Grabham is a serial entrepreneur who has founded six companies over the past twenty five years. He currently consults would be founders who are interested in launching either software or hardware based products and services. Mike is also the founder of "Package Guard", a company based around a patented product that protects items left out after delivery. In addition to all this, Mike also runs a non-profit with his wife called "Survive the Streets" which helps the homeless in Seattle....


9: Telling Stories with Paul Currington

Paul Currington runs the Fresh Ground Stories(FGS) meetup in Seattle. If you're not familiar with FGS, its a meetup that comes together ones a month to share personal stories (based off "The Moth"). Every month, there's a theme and people tell stories based on that theme. Anyone can go up on stage and tell a story, provided that they are true, personal and under 8 minutes. I've gone to a couple of these events and have always been struck at how raw some of these stories can get. I also told...


8: Not Living on Automatic with HB Siegel

H.B. Siegel is Prime Minister of Ideas at Amazon and also one of a very select group of people who have been at Amazon now for almost two decades. In that time, H.B. has been the Director of Media Technologies, the CTO of IMDB (an Amazon subsidiary), and helped launch the "search inside the book" feature for Kindle. H.B. graduated with degrees in computer science and electrical engineering with a focus in computer graphics. Prior to Amazon, H.B. worked in a series of animation related...


7: Running the Distance with Evan Williams

Evan Williams is a man of many miles and talents. He has degrees in both physics and biomechanical engineering and for his day job, Evan works as a design engineer at MSR (Mounstain Safety Research), a firm which designs and manufactures high performance gear for the outdoors. The outdoors is also where you'll most likely find Evan, though good luck pinning him down as he dashes past you at five minute mile pace. When it comes to racing, Evan is just shy of elite, which means he's about as...


6: Hands on Learning with Sarah Smith

Sometimes I have days when I wake up and think of everything wrong with the world (this is fun - I encourage you to try it sometime). Sometimes, this can feel overwhelming with all the problems going on - climate change, nuclear weapon proliferation, extreme social inequality, etc. Sometimes, it's hard to know where to start. And as a consequence, I do nothing about any of it. This is why I'm glad that there are people like Sarah Smith out in the world who look at these issues and actually...


5: Love, Math and Design with Janet Galore

My guest today is Janet Galore, Creative Director of Amazon's Retail Experience Concept Lab. The Concept Lab is a department that looks 3-5 years ahead and explores potential retail experiences that could be possible in that time. Janet is all about working at the intersection of emergent technologies and design and her past gigs include being an executive producer at Zombie VR Studios where they made the first VR exclusive computer game called Locus and as Speech Director of Microsoft's...


4: Celebrating the Century with Hallie Kupperman

Before introducing today's guest, I like to setup a bit of context. Within the last two years, I wanted to get out of my regular circles and do something that didn't involve technology (for people unfamiliar, my day job is a software engineer at Amazon). I ended up picking up salsa dancing - little did I know that this decision would lead to some of the most significant relationships that I have today. Most of these encounters took place within the Century Ballroom, an incredible dance...


3: Taking No Shortcuts with Colm MacCárthaigh

Colm MacCárthaigh is a Principal Software Engineer at Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS provides on demand cloud computing services to individuals, companies and governments around the world. If you're a customer of AWS, Colm has probably had a hand in the services you use - his past projects include Route53, Cloudfront and Elastic Load Balancer. If you like open source software, Colm was heavily involved in the original Apache HTTP Server and more recently was the driving force behind the...


2: Just Playing with Jay Hitt

Jay Hitt is a cast member and Managing Director of the Unexpected Productions (UP) Theater. UP is Seattle's longest running Improv Theater and Jay has been there for two of the plus three decades that its been around. Jay studied theater in college and got interested in improv through an early fascination with ninjas. At UP, Jay's helped see the theater through multiple expansions, renovations and new shows. One of the show that Jay kickstarted and also hosts is the "Duo Comedy Showcase", an...


1: Directing the Narrative with Johan Liedgren

Johan Liedgren is an award winning film director, consultant and investor/advisor/CEO of over 15 ventures. His clients include major brands like Amazon, Nike and Warner Brothers. Born in Sweden, Johan studied philosophy in college but put the degree on hold to be one of the first employees in Microsoft at its European Headquarters in Paris. After 8 years at Microsoft conducting corporate strategies and negotiations, Johan left the corporate gig to pursue consulting, startups and film making....