Reflecting on July 2016 from Adelaide

I’m sitting in a hotel room on the other side of the planet from where I’m usually hanging out. I just got back from a super run (4.5 miles in 45 minutes – nothing like sea level and flat to speed things up), am drinking some Mount Franklin bottled water, and reflecting on what was an intense month.

While I live a busy life, the pace ebbs and flows. The last 30 days were particularly busy, with a handful of deals (yeah – that’s foreshadowing for some announcements coming up), a final draft of the next version of Venture Deals (with Jas0n), lots of other typical stuff, and a colonoscopy. This would have been plenty except it was against the backdrop of the RNC and DNC circuses along with the amplification of what was already an emotionally complex presidential election cycle.

While I’ve had plenty of ups and downs, dealt with my share of failure, and struggled through emotionally difficult periods, I’m fundamentally an optimist. As I sit here in Adelaide, I feel incredibly fortunate to be alive in 2016. On Friday afternoon, I got in my car, made a bunch of phone calls on the drive from Keystone to DIA, got on a plane, took an Ambien, and woke up in Sydney. It’s not quite time travel, but it’s pretty fucking close.

As I was running on the river through downtown Adelaide, I mostly people watched as my mind wandered. There was a football game starting so there was a crowd at two segments of my loop. I could have been anywhere – I just happened to be here. It made me smile.

For a few weeks in July I fought with my emotions around the election. I vacillated from trying to ignore it to paying too much attention to it. I have clear opinions about it and a general ability to filter out the noise, but I found myself being drawn into it as though I was watching a slow motion multi-car pileup that never ends.

In the past few days, I came to terms with my emotions around everything. If you’ve read my last few posts, you can probably infer the internal conversation I’ve been having with myself. Fortunately, I spent the last week with Amy so I got a chance to work through some if it in conversations with her.

As I sit here getting ready for an interesting and stimulating week in Adelaide, I’m ready for August.


Also published on Medium.

  • I just got back from Sydney. It is amazing to get on a plane in DFW and wake up in Sydney.

    One point I should make as I was reminded as I helped a Qantas stewardess put a fellow passenger back in his seat. If you take Ambien do not drink. I don’t care if you do either, just both means you are going to be a zombie.

    • Amy and I have a super funny Ambien experience where I took it too early and she literally couldn’t get me to get into my seat and needed help. Now I don’t take it until I’m buckled up.

      • It is a tough experience. You know my size and i know yours. When i have to muscle you back into a seat

  • Horrible video, I get the point.
    On another note I am going to look for you photo organizational solution, that you wrote last year.

    • Neat on Mylio. I’ve had some contact with the team and they are continuing to improve it regularly.

  • MorganHoward

    Wow, that was an awful video. I did turn it off before it finished… just like I turned off the election coverage.

    • It ends kind of as you would expect it to. There is a moment of hope that is crushed by a giant flaming tanker truck.

  • Randall Makin

    Shocking Video – I look forward to catching up and meeting today – thanks for making the trip. That Video reminds me – perhaps while your in Aust, it may be worth while watching Wolf Creek – another shocker.

  • Stuart Snyder

    Great to see you at Uni SA this morning. You are a true intellect with a curiosity about many things, not just tech startups.

    Being an expat Yank who has lived in Adelaide for 24 years, the Trump phenomenon is embarrassing and a poor reflection on America. While you are right that the system is corrupt, mainly by big money and decisions like Citizens United that allow money to corrupt the system, I think there are more things at work here. It seems to me that many Trump supporters are those who have been left behind by globalisation and technology. Their high paying factory jobs have been replaced either by cheap overseas workers or by automation. I used to think that everyone should work hard like I did to succeed but realise not everyone is a smart or willing to work that hard. So the challenge of what to do with displaced workers in developed countries remain?

    The other thing I have noticed is how social media is being used for people to vent their anger and perhaps brainwash people, like ISIS recruits for example. Prime Minister Turnbull posted a nice photo on facebook of someone fishing and I noted most of the comments were from people who were angry about his policies. I suspect people who interact face to face are more polite.

    My wife and I went on a honeymoon to Italy and Greece two years ago on a tour with mainly retired Americans. Two of them were very angry and bitter against Obama, and I noted one of them got his news from FOX, dangerous propaganda, and perhaps was bitter because he did not have enough saved for his retirement and had a few health issues.

    I think it is important that we all don’t become victims of “group” thought and reach out to those who are different to us to keep in balance. The tech community needs to look for solutions that will help those who are not in tech improve their standard of living, it is not healthy for a society that few hold most of the country’s wealth. And finally, tech can be used for both good and bad purposes.

    At the end of the day we are all human and need to work together to spread our love to not just to change the world, but to make it a better place.

    • I might also say the other candidate doesn’t inspire people about what’s great in America either. Both are atrocious and the product of different screwed up processes

  • Al Be

    Hi Brad, great to hear you’re in Australia. Are you planning on coming to Sydney after Adelaide?

  • Check out a rugby game while you are there.