LA Tech

Officially #funemployed: A Goodbye Note to Dedicated Media, My Home for the Past 3.5 Years

Officially #funemployed: A Goodbye Note to Dedicated Media, My Home for the Past 3.5 Years

This blog post comes at a little bit of a surprise, but I thought that I'd share this part of my entrepreneurship journey with you:

After 3.5 years, I'm no longer working at Dedicated Media! 

#blog sneak peek: how to plan goals w/non-negotiables

While picking up my cousin from the airport yesterday, I happened to come across a J. Cole commentary track where he talks about how classic of a song B.O.B. is, by Outkast. 

After the quick reminder of JUST HOW dope of a song it was, a quick Spotify search later, and I was hit with:

"1, 2, 1, 2, 3, Yeah! Inslumnational underground..."

I mostly bring Outkast and B.O.B. because I'm currently in the Lab, working on some things:

Outkast  provided some inspiration. 

My mission for yesterday was to figure out a way to finish 2016 strong while also planning out my goals for 2017.



During his verse, the under appreciated Big Boi dropped a nugget of knowledge I'm sure has influenced just how ambitious I'm going to be next year. 

Make a business for yourself, boy, set some goals
Make a fat diamond out of dusty coals

Big Boi brings up some excellent points: 

  1. Work for Yourself
  2. Have Goals
  3. Make the Best Out of Your Circumstances

In the spirit of Sir Lucious Left Foot, I thought I'd share how I'm using his knowledge and using that to provide a framework to help push me forward. 

Self-awareness is key to entrepreneurship.

My version of this is what I call Non-Negotiables.

(define): Non-Negotiable 

Something not open to discussion or modification

While planning my goals, I make sure that none of them conflict with my non-negotiables. 


While I'm busy writing my upcoming non-negotiables post, check out the video below to learn what each principle means to me.

If you like this post, please feel free to let me know what you think in the comments section below!


#blog - addicted to achieving: what j. cole (@jcolenc) taught me about how to get what you want while being thankful for what you have

#blog - addicted to achieving: what j. cole (@jcolenc) taught me about how to get what you want while being thankful for what you have

J. Cole is one my hip-hop heroes. I've always been a fan of his story-telling abilities: songs like Light's Please, See World, and Let Nas Down tell complicated stories of love/sex/relationships, crime, adolescence, and how worshipping your hero's is a double-edged sword. 

#bookreview - start something that matters - @blakemycoskie


A couple of months ago, my friend Daniel Ordonez recommended I put down what I was reading and immediately begin Start Something That Matters, by TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie. 

As part of my commitment to reading 1 book a month this year, I decided to give the book a shot. I was generally aware of TOMS and their mission, so I figured it was a good opportunity to take some of his successes and lessons and apply them to Food Tribe. 

In addition to covering Mycoskie's own personal journey as an entrepreneur, SSTM provides readers with stories, tools, and ideas to encourage and empower entrepreneurs to implement programs in their businesses to drive social impact and create meaningful change in its wake. 


Mycoskie's mission was to start a profitable company that ALSO drove meaningful impact. Too often conventional wisdom teaches us (and especially entrepreneurs) that ROI is the number driver of the health of an organization.

 Mycoskie points out that a host of alternative metrics need to start being graded in order to measure the true success of an organization: its ability to change its customers lives, or to help its employees not just be satisfied in their work, but find meaning - these are the types of things we need to start measuring beyond traditional business metrics of earnings, losses, and growth. 

TOMS' catalyst for change was its 1-for-1 model (buy one, GIVE one): if customers and employees buy into the mission of the organization they're partnering with, they're more likely to want to see that organizations success. 

restaurant review and recommendation site food tribe with downtown la's ruckus projects


Which is great! One of the challenges I've had in scaling Food Tribe was finding the perfect marriage of value proposition and social impact -  two things paramount to the success of the company. As I continue to grow the company, I'll remember to use TOMS example in order to remind Food Tribe - and everyone involved - that our number one mission is to end hunger. 

If you're interested in launching a company based on social impact, check out this cool Design for Social Impact Workbook offered by design consulting firm, IDEO. 



Last weekend I went to #DTLA and Traded My Way from a Paper Clip to $80 Worth of Gift Cards in about an hour...

.... random right?

Last weekend was my first weekend participating with Ruckus Projects. As a quick reminder, Ruckus Projects is a community of innovators looking to make social impact in conjunction with Impact Hub LA. The 3 month program groups me with 13 REALLY smart people  with the hope that by coming together, our respective visions will come to life through a spirit of support, accountability, and helpful feedback. 

This weekend, was an experience. We hung out all day on Saturday at the Impact Hub co-working space in the DTLA Arts District. It was great getting to know everyone/their ideas as well as identifying important lessons and ways to prepare for getting our ideas out. 

One of the lessons of the day involved the power of asking. We were split into groups and given a paperclip with a simple task: trade your way up in an hour and see what you can come back with. 

Through a series of trades, we worked our way up to $80 worth of gift cards. Remember, we started with one paperclip, and we didn't know any of the people we made deals with. Trades involved deals for matchsticks, safety pins, pencil sharpeners, candy, you name it. 

What I Learned:

1. People are willing to help you, just ask

 2. Your Perception of an item/service/things value doesn't always match up to someone else's (one of our last trades involved the gift cards in exchange for a pencil sharpener - our trade buddy was more interested in clearing out wallet space!)

 3. Sometimes, you just gotta wing it. You're not always going to know what you're doing, but what's the worst that could happen?