On today, the first day of the new year, I give to my wife Amy Batchelor the gift of a lifetime of uncomplaining tech support.
While in Bora Bora, one of the books I read was Stewart Friedman’s Leading the Life You Want: Skills for Integrating Work and Life. It was “ok” so I ended up skimming a lot of it. But I picked up one great thing from it which made the entire book worthwhile.
In the section about Sheryl Sandberg and how she lives her life, there was a comment from her that one of the best gifts her husband David Goldberg gave her was “uncomplaining tech support.” I relished that, tucked it away, and have started acting on it. Today is “tech support day” at the Feld/Batchelor Manse and my list is long, but I am uncomplaining.
Nerds of the world – consider giving this to your partner. The magic part seems to be the word “uncomplaining.”
Foundry Group has now been around for over seven years and I’ve been working with my partners for 14 years. We’ve started to develop some traditions.
One of my favorites is exit gifts. When a company has an exit that generates a return for us, we give a gift to the partner who served on the board. These gifts are generally tuned to what the partner loves such as musical stuff for Ryan and Jason, bike stuff for Seth, and art for me. They are modest, but very thoughtful and something the partner wouldn’t have just gone out and done for himself. They are often self referential, such as the Makerbot sculpture of me created by an artist and printed on a Makerbot after Stratasys acquired MakerBot.
A few weeks ago Seth, Jason, and Ryan corralled me in our small conference room. Whenever they do this, I’m never sure if it’s going to be a happy thing or an intervention. Ryan was holding the following 2′ x 3′ framed print.
To get a better sense of this masterpiece, let’s zoom in on the G and the N.
This is a list of every tweet I made at @bfeld from the day of our investment in Gnip to the day that Twitter acquired Gnip. This first one is from 2/29/08.
The last batch is from 4/14.
Ryan told me that Gnip was used to generate the tweet list for the poster. And Postertext was used to print it. Thanks guys – this one made me smile a huge smile. I love this tradition.
A week ago, Fred Wilson wrote a post titled Etsy Gift Finder. In it he described a new Etsy feature that uses your Facebook friends info to suggest gifts for your friends. He picked out what he called “a clay Farmville sheep thingy” and bought it for me. As you can see it has already made friends with Yoda but appears a little scared of my ray gun.
It arrived today with a nice order slip #41270774 (I love order slip numbers and trying to figure out the algorithm for them). It’s cool and a great example of “social shopping.”
Thanks Fred. I’ll definitely use the Etsy Gift Finder for some of my random gifts since I don’t believe in holidays, but just send people gifts whenever I feel like it. And thanks to ElvenStarClayworks for making the clay Farmville sheep thingy!