Fears of a Startup CEO

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I have not been writing much on Jeffsauer.com, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. In fact, you can see my newly written words often on the web at the various websites I have been working on recently. You surely know about Jeffsetter and Jeffalytics, my two other narcissistically fueled “Jeff” websites, but I’m also trying to build an amazing travel community at Free World and I’ve recently started to share everything in my brain about marketing at Knowledge Land. Add to that several other sites that I have worked on in the past and I’ve been staying busy.

The last two endeavors are the startup ideas I have been working on since going back on my own at the end of last year. They are what excites me for the future and keeps me occupied in the present. They are my attempt to build something substantial and add value to the world. They are my passion projects, and they are how I am chasing the dream.

I’m writing today because I just read an article that hit very close to home on Pando Daily, where a startup CEO talks about their fears. Holy shit! This is such an accurate depiction of the fears that go through my head every day as I work toward building a long lasting company around my passion.

I highly encourage you to read the full article, where 44 fears are listed. They are realistic fears and I have thought at least 80% of them over the past 4 months as I work on my startups. For the purposes of this post, I just wanted to share the first 10 fears expressed by this CEO:

Fears of an NYC Startup CEO

Keep in mind that there is a good chance that this is a successful company! The reality is that no matter how successful a company becomes, it’s the duty of the CEO to worry about creating a great company that will satisfy employees, investors and the marketplace for years to come. Heavy is the head of the CEO for any company, even if they are the only employee.

Every single day I’m faced with doubt about whether I am doing the right thing by taking the entrepreneurial plunge, and every day I keep on plugging away because I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. It’s easy to get tempted by the “easy” money of taking a well paying job as a VP of Marketing or taking on consulting gigs to pay the bills. But each minute spent on those projects is a minute that is not spent accomplishing my dreams.

I admit it, I’m afraid. At times I’m scared shitless. And that’s what keeps me going.

Opening Photo Credit: alles-schlumpf via Compfight cc

Porkapalooza VII Announced

Note: This is a private invitation to my annual BBQ and not a public event. With that said, I had so much fun writing it that I am sharing on my site for your enjoyment. 

As is tradition with Porkapalooza, I send out the invitation each year after the last snowfall. Every year I go through the Evite process and create an invitation with some sort of BBQ theme on it. At what point will evite just give me a personalized template each year? 200 pounds of pork? 500 pounds? AT WHAT POINT?!? [Read more…]

The Best Way to Make Coffee at Home

Over the years I have either purchased or received as a gift nearly every coffee device known to man. My “coffee cabinet” is like the island of misfit toys, and with every passing year something gets added to the pile. Drip, Plunge, K-Cup, Espresso, etc. All of them a symbol of my coffee life past, wasting space in my coffee cabinet waiting to be played with. It’s like Toy Story 3 but with talking coffee apparatus’ instead of talking toys. Talking toys? That’s ridiculous.

Since I became adult enough to drink coffee, I have owned:

  • 2 Coffee Grinders
  • 3 Drip Coffee Makers
  • An Espresso Machine
  • A French Press
  • A Keurig K-Cup Brewer
  • Multiple storage mechanisms
  • More scoops than Raisin bran

And almost all of them sit in my coffee cabinet, wasted, because I don’t need them anymore. Because I have found the best way to make coffee at home.

The Best Way to Make Coffee at Home

It’s a two step process and it will cost you around $25 to get started.

1) Sign Up for a Free Trial of Tonx Coffee

Tonx Coffee Free Trial

I discovered Tonx coffee a few months back and have been a big fan of their product ever since receiving their free coffee sample in the mail. The coffee is sourced, roasted ands shipped by Tonx to your house every two weeks. When you receive the coffee from Tonx in the mail in an elegant package, that coffee is less than two weeks old. That’s some fresh coffee!

Tonx Coffee

Each time they ship coffee it’s from a different source. So far I have received coffee from all over the world! If I were to have any issue with their coffee is that it’s not quite enough for two people to last two weeks. A large package will generally last us around 8-10 days.

Cost is around $40 a month for some of the best coffee you’ll ever taste. While that may sound like a lot, it’s really only around $1 per cup you brew. That’s much cheaper than the $3.00 burnt tasting coffee you receive at most chain coffee shops.

2) Purchase an Aerobie Aeropress Coffee Maker

Aeropress

The second step of the process is to purchase an Aerobie Aeropress, which can be purchased for around $25 on Amazon.com. Similar to a french press coffee maker, the Aeropress uses gravity and a filter to separate the coffee grounds from the coffee you are drinking.

There are so many advantages of this brewing method over other classical methods of brewing that it’s best to make a list.

  • Easy clean up. Take off the black end cap from the apparatus and the coffee shoots out of the bottom of the Aeropress and into your garbage. Wipe down the rest and rinse off and you are ready for another brew! Also dishwasher safe.
  • The taste is better. I think that the coffee coming out of an Aeropress tastes better than any other method I have tried for brewing.
  • It’s a space saver. You don’t need a coffee cabinet to store the Aerpress (although I still use my coffee cabinet for storage).
  • Nothing to plug in. You can heat water on your stove, microwave or an electric kettle, but the Aeropress itself doesn’t need to be plugged in.
The lone disadvantage of this method is that it really only meant for brewing one cup at a time.

The Best Way to Make Coffee at Home: Tonx and Aeropress

Step 1: Get great coffee from Tonx Coffee
Step 2: Use an Aerobie Aeropress to brew it up!

Disclosure: Both of these product links give me referral credit if you sign up. I did not write this post because of the referral credit, but if this post inspired you to give this a try, credit is appreciated. You can also sign up for the products directly at their websites.

Next Stop: Turkey and Greece!

Turkey and Greece Trip Map

In a few days I will be on my way to visit the intersection of eastern and western civilization. While the trip is a short one, it is the perfect amount of time for my dad, brother and I to see what Istanbul and Athens have to offer. Something tells me we won’t have a shortage of things to do or sights to see!

What to do in Turkey and Greece?

I am intrigued by Istanbul’s history and all of the distinct cultures that call the city home. Many religions, cultures, empires and civilizations have converged into this one city for thousands of years, making the city itself a walking history museum.

Athens should be excellent as well. Our hotel room in that city appears to be super modern (not really my style, but it was highly rated) and right next to the national gardens. From there it’s only a short walk to the Acropolis and the other great sites of the town.

If you are interested in following my travels, stay tuned to my Jeffsetter travel blog where I will be offering many details of the trip, including getting there, reviews of our hotel accommodations, and pictures of some of the sites we witness along the way.

The 35 Layer Super Bowl Dip

35 Layer Dip is Complete!

I didn’t invent the idea of taking a traditional 7 layer dip, injecting steroids, adding a multiplier to the number and creating a terrine of taco, but the following step by step guide to creating an 35 layer dip is a true original.

While I was originally inspired by the 47 layer dip, I settled on 35 layers for two reasons: 1) Many of the items in the 47 layer dip were gross and 2) I wanted to make a dip that would taste good and include items I would consider to be normally welcomed in a Mexican dish. Sure, some things are a stretch (like the addition of pulled pork and Feta Cheese), but they are also deliciously welcomed by those with an open mind and empty stomach.

Math Wizards will appreciate that 35 is easily divisible by 7, resulting in the number 5. One could say that this dip will have 5x the impact of your standard 7 layer dip. Pragmatists understand that the maximum that something can be better than something else is 5x, so why waste our cycles considering a number of more grandeur? [Read more…]

Photo Gallery: Oktoberfest in Munich

Oktoberfest Munich 2012 Pictures

While you will soon be able to read the story about the travel portion of Oktoberfest in Munich on Jeffsetter, I wanted to share the full photo set here for friends and family.

Oktoberfest was everything I hoped it would be and then some. Great beer, food and fun with all kinds of American expatriates in Munich. Amanda and I met some great new friends and have memories we won’t soon forget.

We got treated to excellent seats at the Hippodrome through Amanda’s work, with a table overlooking the main floor of the hippodrome. The table came with some great food as well.

All was great, and after our time in the tent we ended up going on a few rides and then watched the single most entertaining game I have ever seen (video below).

By the way, have you been following the honeymoon trip on Jeffsetter?  Get Caught up here.

Lederhosen Shopping

Lederhosen Shopping

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Experimenting with my new D-SLR Camera, the Canon t4i

For our 6 month anniversary as Amanda called it (which happens to be December 25th/Christmas), Amanda gave me a present that I have been wanting for years, but had not purchased for myself: a Digital SLR Camera. Before buying, she consulted withmy sister in law/professional photographer Michelle Sauer who helped her decide on getting the Canon t4i EOS rebel with the 18-200mm zoom lens.

While I am still a newbie when it comes to using these cameras, I do understand that this configuration will help me be able to shoot landscapes very well – which is perfect, because that is the type of photos I most enjoy taking. I am most excited about this camera, because I plan to use it on my upcoming trips to Turkey and French Polynesia in April and June. I should be able to find some great subjects to photograph with my new toy!

In the meantime, I took the camera with me everywhere I went and experimented with taking photos to get the hang of things. I also had Michelle demonstrate some of the finer points of the camera to me in order to better understand what I am doing.

The result? Many photos of food from our Christmas dinner, our family foosball tournament and New Years eve. Of the 200+ photos taken, I was able to find around 20 photos that didn’t totally suck. Here you go!

Christmas Charcuterie Appetizer

Christmas Charcuterie Appetizer

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Letter to Nest Thermostat Support

Nest Photo

Nest Thermostat WIFI Connection Issues Ruining My Life

Dear NEST team,

I have a first generation Nest Thermostat and I have been unhappy with the performance for quite some time. I am asking for a replacement Nest Thermostat, preferably a second generation where you work out the kinks from Generation 1. Here are my issues:

1) WIFI disconnects and fails to reconnect. When reconnecting, I am forced to re-enter my network and password information

I have read your support articles, so please don’t just send me those links. The main reason why I use your thermostat is to control remotely when I travel. Each time I travel, I turn down heat to save energy and plan to use the app in order to turn up heat for a warm homecoming. After the first month with the thermostat, this stopped working. At some point, Nest cannot connect to my WIFI network and then simply gives up. When I get home, it forces me to re-find my network (even though it has not changed) and re-enter my wifi password (even though it has not changed). [Read more…]

Virginia Tech Football Tailgating – A New Family Tradition

Virginia Tech

College football is not very important in the north, especially in Minnesota. For me, it’s because there has never been a quality Division I football team in the area. For others, it may be that they prefer to watch professional football. Whatever the reason, I never really had a team to cheer for growing up, and as a result I never really cared about college football.

Then I met Amanda and she unlocked a new world for me: College Football in the South. You see, she grew up one town over from Blacksburg, VA – home of Virginia Polytechnical Institute. Better known as Virginia Tech. She had me at Hokie.

The first time I went to a game was in 2009, when the Hokies beat Nebraska at the last minute, and I rushed the field with my buddy Jeff Taylor.  [Read more…]

Who would play Sloth in a Goonies Remake?

On a long enough timeline, all conversations turn to the Goonies.

That’s why it’s no surprise that the topic of conversation naturally turned to the classic 80’s movie the Goonies and whether or not we should be expecting it to be remade in the future. I would consider it an inevitability at this point, since just about every movie from my childhood has already been remade for the worse.

But that’s not important. What is really important is who will play the character of Sloth when the movie is remade. [Read more…]