Alchemy / Unlock the power of your community, Co-Founder.
Alchemy's an email-based collaboration tool that sufaces hidden knowledge, expertise, and connections within your organization. And without cluttering anybody's inbox.
• Activates hidden knowledge centers, connectors, and talents within your group
• Eliminates 99.7% of company-wide email volume
• SaaS Platform. Nothing to install.
Degrades to work w/ even the most prehistoric Enterprise infrastructures.
• Paid use worldwide
Early adopters include co-working spaces, startup incubators, professional networks, and Enterprise companies.
Check it out at Alchemy
LEAN STARTUP MACHINE / Weekend bootcamp for Entrepreneurs, Co-Founder
I co-founded Lean Startup Machine, a weekend bootcamp that teaches Lean Startup methodologies, a valuable framework of tools, techniques and resources designed to help early-stage companies identify key customers and quickly evolve their product. It's a single weekend that will change the way you approach building a startup.
LSM now operates in more than 30 cities, across 5 continents, and has more than 1,000 alumni. I departed in March, 2011 to start Alchemy
Idea to first event in 3 weeks
Expanded to 4 cities within first six months (NYC -> Chicago -> SF -> Boston)
Events capped at 50 people; average waiting list is 20.
Sponsors include Dave McClure + 500 Startups, Microsoft Biz Spark, Unbounce, Profounder
NY Times: "Why Facebook Moved Out West"
Forbes.com: "Tech Startup Communities, NYC On The Rise"
Startup Lessons Learned: "A month is fifteen weekends"
PoolParty / The ultimate digital rolodex
PoolParty enables any group of people to temporarily combine their 1st-degree Linkedin contacts. It's the fastest way to get a warm intro to a quality person vetted by someone you know, have worked with directly, know the company's culture, and know who will thrive in that setting.
Let's say you've just joined Foursquare and have been tasked to recruit a "rockstar" Product Manager (guitar + roadies not included).
Send a company-wide email that asks for intros.
Ask around the office for leads.
Email friends + former co-workers outside of Foursquare.
Rinse, repeat & pray for an outcome.
Join FourSquare's PoolParty.
Search for "Product Manager"
Results sorted by strength of connection to your team
With a single click, request a warm intro through a trusted co-worker
• Collective intelligence
You don't have to be-friend everyone in the company to leverage their warm connections.
You can leave the pool at any time---and your connections are immediately removed.
• No registration
Simply log in with your Linkedin credentials
• Awarded "Hack of the Month" by NY Tech Meetup (Feb, 2012) (See our live demo
• LinkedIn integration
• Conceptualized + built in a weekend
Check it out at JumpInThePool.com
Lia.rs / Two Truths & A Lie with your boss.
We believe great work happens when you have a bit of fun. Expertly used by generations of single men around the world to *save* bad dates, Andy
and I channeled the game
's magical powers to meet our co-habitants at WeWorkLabs
, an innovation space in SoHo.
Sign into Lia.rs with your Linkedin credentials, and the game shows you outrageous lies and and #stupendous truths about your coworkers. The game changes as you get to know more of your coworkers and connect on Linkedin.
• Social Graph Relevance
Maximized relevancy by only
showing coworkers you already know (judged by analyzing your Linkedin connections). The game changes as your Linkedin network expands!
• Engage Online + Connect Offline
Easy, fun way to learn unexpected strengths, skills and backstories of your coworkers.
• Proprietary "Save Face" Technology
At the bottom of every person's profile there's a button to invite them out for coffee. If clicked, they're notified and shown 6 potential coffee matches. Your identity's only revealed if they express interest in grabbing coffee w/ you too.
• Combination of user-generated content + scraping from Linkedin
• LinkedIn integration
• Conceptualized + built in a weekend
Check it out at Lia.rs
VoteMob / Voting web app
VoteMob is a fast, simple way to poll a live audience. More than 10,000 votes have been cast across 11 countries. It's the go-to app of Startup Weekend
, having streamlined voting at their NYC events by ~80%, reducing it from what was a 1.5-hour ordeal to a mere 15 minutes. And with ~150 people in attendance, that's nearly ~7,500 minutes spared per event!
• Vote from Anywhere
Vote from any smartphone or computer with Internet access.
No registration necessary. Participants simply log in through Facebook.
• Gamers Beware
Its sophisticated Don't Mess With This™ technology preempts any attempt to "game" the vote.
• Organically adopted by Startup Weekend event organizers around the world
• Backend admin system
• Used at events in Spain, Portugal, France, India and many more
Check it out at VoteMob.com
VOLKSWAGEN / Immersive Touch-screen Applications
Built three immersive touch-screen applications for Autostadt, a visitor attraction adjacent to the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Each image projected on the wall corresponds with a separate touch-screen monitor containing a unique Volkswagen experience. All touch-screen interactions are re-drawn in realtime on the wall, less the in-app user feedback (e.g. "Please pick the Volkswagen GTI").
allows visitors to browse through user-generated Flickr photos through touch gestures, just like a stack of magazines.
is a multi-level game quizzing players on cars belonging to various Volkswagen brands that were uploaded to Flickr by users. E.g. Which of these four cars is the Volkswagen GTI? All pictures are Creative Commons photography dynamically pulled from Flickr.
(3) Motion Sensor
is a slideshow of photos and tweets corresponding to a range of VW-associated activities. For example, a picture in a plane would be used as the backdrop for a Twitter message saying, "I love flying."
These applications run 24/7 and routinely synchronize with the media server to ensure it's showcasing the latest photos and tweets.
Click here to see the made-for-web demos
of "Snapshots," "Quizzes" and "Motion Sensor."
• 3 multi-touch applications built in 4 weeks
• Built in Adobe Air, integrated w/ GestureWorks for multi-touch support
• Leverages user-generated content through Flickr and Twitter's public APIs
• Each touch-screen is hooked up to a projector that re-draws all of the user interactions in realtime without the user feedback (e.g. "Please pick the Volkswagen GTI," etc is stripped out).
ADOPT A HACKER / AirBnB for startup talent interested in NYC, Co-Founder
Effort to draw more entrepreneurial out-of-town technical talent to New York City by offering a firsthand glimpse of the city's tech scene. We pair hackers with friendly ambassadors from the NYC Tech Scene who serve as "instant best friends" and offer them a couch for the weekend, bring them to tech events and/or grab coffee to chat.
We built a system that intelligently pairs potential hackers and hosts by degree-of-separation through analysis of their social graph (Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections, hometown, alma mater, etc).
Watch out Silicon Valley!
• Idea to execution in a single weekend
• 154 hackers and 110 NYC ambassadors signed up within 1st month
• Hackers have visited NYC through the program from New Zealand, Portugal, Canada, Sweden, India, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, Virginia, Oregon, San Francisco, and others.
• Mashable: "Forget a puppy, Adopt a Hacker?"
• Harvard Nieman Lab: "Adopt a Hacker wants to find couches for coders"
• ReadWriteWeb: "Hackers Invited to Crash on the Couches of the NY Tech Scene"
• Business Insider: "Adopt A Hacker Gives Out-of-Town Techies A Place to Stay in NYC"
• and others
URBAN PRE-GAME / Pre-buy bar drinks in bulk with friends, Co-Founder
Urban Pre-game was the first online service to let you pre-buy drinks in bulk from the bar with your friends. The more your group pre-buys, the deeper your discount—in realtime.
What began as an experiment in a karaoke bar
in NYC's Upper Eastside expanded to 7 bars within six months.
• Idea to live e-commerce site & first bar event: 1 month
• Expanded to 7 NYC bars within six months
• Average event: ~40 pre-gamers
• Built first mobile app enabling someone to start & manage their bar tab
• Bootstrapped the business
• Mashable: "Tech Entrepreneurs Discuss 'The Social Network'"
• Nerd Stalker: "Expensive Bar Drinks No More"
SXSW Scout / For fun
SXSW draws some of the industry's most influential movers and shakers to do business and have fun. You need someone on the ground rubbing elbows, sharing pints, and meeting with these interesting folks one-on-one. The dead-ends of SXSW are numerous but easy enough to circumvent with a strong technical and creative background and a calibrated bullshit meter. I just WD-40'd mine; I'll loan it to you.
-NY Observer: Meet Ben Fisher, The Hard Drinking, No Bullshit, Tech Fixer for SXSW
DIE TRYING AWARDS / Graveyard for good ideas
I built an interactive microsite created to eulogize good ideas killed by cautious clients. The ideas were conceived by various members of my former team at Ogilvy; a group of problem-solving, coffee-chuggin' renegades who went to great lengths building-out cool ideas, even after they were killed (the ideas... not the team).
-Ernie Parada (Art Direction + Design)
COFFEE SPY / Mobile app
I'm a caffiene addict and sometimes locating a full coffee pot @ Ogilvy on any of its 12 floors was tough.
I created the Ogilvy Coffee Spy™ so office addicts could pool their collective knowledge of the building's coffee-pot statuses in realtime. Accessed from a mobile phone, it automatically loads a light, iPhone-friendly version. It was used more than 1000 times on its first day.
That's a lot of coffee.
See it in action
Rapperina / Mixtape
In the summer of 2009, I went on a blind date with a ballerina who hated Hip Hop music. I felt that for us to have any hope of a future together that "that" would need to be fixed.
, a mixtape I created to transition (read: re-program) a classically trained ballerina to love
hip hop music. I mixed the 40-minute track in a single evening, sampling from a range of songs along the classical-to-hip-hop continuum.
Two years later, Rapperina has far outdone its initial purpose of landing a second date and has de-fanged some of the world's most hostile Hip Hop haters, ranging from mechanical engineers to 60-year-old teachers.
And the girl? Sadly, she was too far gone to be saved.
Click here or on the image above to listen to the track