Discover more from Pete Lead’s startup updates
Pete's April 2023 update
That big work news, sniffing the wind, and bad old hair
April brought with it an unexpected trip back to Sydney for a family health thing (which is all going OK, thanks for asking). Then back to NZ for my last week at Young Change Agents (more about that below). Now I’m in a weird limbo week because next week I have jury duty (maybe, if randomly drawn).
We’re expecting snow this week! ❄️ I have stocked up on firewood and Lucy has harvested anything that might die in the cold.
Windows and dogs
When we picked up Nutmeg just under one year ago, she was terrified of the car. We were told she would be OK travelling in a crate, but I think that mostly hid her from view. Within a couple of weeks we ditched the crate and Lucy sat with her in the back seat. Over time she got better, and only got freaked out when we drove on the highway or when the road was wet and was therefore louder to drive on.
Then she discovered the windows. Her fascination started mildly: sticking her nose into the breeze and sniffing. Then she discovered the joys of sticking her nose — then her whole head — out into the passing wind. All of the smells! Sheep. Cows. RABBITS!
She started to overdo it. As soon as we started moving she’d be up on her hind legs, front paws on the armrest. Falling after a roadbump, then clambering up again. She’d accidentally find the “open window” button, and I’d have to try to over-ride it from the front seat controller. The smells were getting her all riled up and she’d be bonkers when it came time to walk. We bribed her with treats to sit nicely in the car, and she is a quick learner when it comes to food.
Now she absolutely loves the car, and windows are a sometimes treat.
Work update: freelance coaching and workshops + special projects
In a bit over a year at Young Change Agents I’ve launched a bunch of tech platforms, two new learning programs, a library with over 400 resources, and a bunch of internal rituals and processes. Now I’ve handed things over to a newly-trained product manager and I’m stepping away.
I’m also stepping away from full-time work for a bit, and chasing a bunch of shiny things I’ve been wanting to work on but haven’t had the headspace for. More updates on those things once they start taking shape.
As well as doing things that won’t make any money for a while (if at all), I’m doing some startup coaching with both Startup Dunedin and Remarkable. Which is a dream come true! I love coaching founders — it brings me joy and satisfaction. So to be invited (and paid) to do it is incredibly gratifying.
Other than my own projects, I’m open to doing freelance startup coaching, pitch coaching, running workshops, and other things I enjoy. :) 🤙
A whirlwind trip. Mostly family. A few catch-ups. A bit of work.
It was weird not having to check the weather every day to know what to wear; I mostly spent the week in a t-shirt with long-sleeve shirt tied around my waist. 🌞
It was weird to go into a supermarket and see all the stuff. Produce out of season. Low prices. Brands I recognised. 😆
It was great being able to pay via Paywave everywhere for anything! Though I notice a Paywave surcharge has crept in over the past couple of years there, too.
This comic about proprietary cables and adaptors on old tech speaks the truth.
After using borrowed devices over the years, I finally bought my very own* video camera in the late naughts at a duty free store on the way home from my sister’s wedding in Thailand. That was in the days before doing a lot of online research was the norm, if it was even possible back then. So I bought it based on the features listed on the box. It was okay, but not all that I had hoped.
One of the reasons I chose that particular model was because it used mini-DVDs instead of tapes or memory cards — which I had assumed would make it easier to transfer things to a computer, as well as being cheaper to shoot lots of footage. And this mostly turned out to be true! I could pop the mini-DVD into the DVD tray of my computer and copy over the files, and avoid the hassle of messing around with cords and drivers and operating system compatibility.
The problem now, of course, is that I backed up all those old files on DVDs, and it’s been years since I’ve had access to a DVD player, let alone a DVD drive. Oh well. At least I never have to sit through another DVD menu.
* The video camera was bought for and with money from our theatre production company, Twisted Melon. Among other things, it was used to film our improvised rehearsal/writing process for the launch ads for Yahoo! Mail that were canned at the last minute when there was a change at the exec level. We still got paid, though, and I got a bespoke bunny suit out of it. I can’t find photos of the bunny suit but here’s me around the same era with questionable hair. You’re welcome.
If you’re wondering: this was a promo photo for a tennis-themed improv show called Theatresports Mixed Doubles.
Read / Watch / Listen
[Read: 15 minutes or Listen: 25 minutes] The Failed Dianas. What if a clone met her original, and discovered she was nothing like her parents had raised her to believe? A lovely short story about the choice between living up to expectations and pursuing your dreams.
[Watch: 9.5 minutes] Living in an abandoned house in Japan. Japan’s real estate system is completely boggling — houses lose value over their lifetime. The couple’s first year living in a vacant house looks modestly challenging, right up until the horrifying moment the giant insects arrive. (Note: the narration is mostly via on-screen text rather than dialogue.)
[Watch: 25 minutes] Roy Wood Jr’s remarks at the White House Correspondents Dinner are probably the best version of this event I’ve seen.
[Watch: 2.5 minutes] SNL’s take on the Amazon Go store. I feel like this could be used in a “know your customer” workshop…
“Sometimes what seem like obvious outcomes never come to pass, while the real futures emerge unexpectedly and accidentally.” — Max Read