Discover more from Pete Lead’s startup updates
Pete's AugSepTober 2023 update
A mishmash update from Winter to Spring
Meggie sniffed a butt. This is a big deal — she hasn’t been that close to another dog since The Tailbiting Incident over a year ago. She is… not good at sharing her space with other beings, humans and dogs included. So after lots of training and practice, we arranged a walking session with the behaviourist vet and her dog. We walked in parallel. We circled and followed. And, after almost an hour, we let Nutmeg get close enough to the other dog to have a sniff. There was much praise and many treats.
Then, emboldened by her good behaviour, I did the same thing with our friends’ dog at the beach the next day. A gentle sniff, no growling or biting, and lots of treats after the event. Phew! 😅 A long way to go still (for her and for us), but it’s great to see her making progress.
The photo below may be the most chaotic and weird photo I ever take. In the foreground: Nutmeg making her way out of the grass, distracted by a swallow that was swooping around the sand. Somehow the shutter was perfectly timed to capture the bird in flight between the edge of the frame and Nutmeg’s face. In the background: a sealion lazing around on the beach, then the water of the inlet, the green hills of Warrington, and crazy clouds in a blue sky.
Someone in the local Faecebook group is accidentally channeling Hemingway. For sale:
I’m a Kickstarter stretch goal! I was invited to add my story to this “horror lite” short story anthology, which is 270% funded with a week to go!
We’re on alert for possible snow tomorrow. 😮 How exciting. We have enough firewood left for a handful of fires, and we’ll likely have it burning all through the weekend.
“NED, Pete NED.”
I was elected to the Board of the Otago Chocolate Company, aka OCHO. This brings together my chocolate-making history, my years of volunteer time on board and committee roles in Sydney, and my business experience. I am, of course, very excited.
Startup supported: 9+
I’m currently doing hours with Startup Dunedin as startup coach, where we have 5 startups in incubation plus a few more we’re informally supporting, e.g. with pitch coaching and capital raising. Plus the student program just wrapped up with an awesome Showcase event.
I’ve also been doing some hours with edtech startup The Care Co, supporting with the CX prep for launching in schools, and working with a great small team.
I’m still working on the podcast/show that I’ve talked to a few people about. More official news on that coming next time.
Looks like there’s a new daily newsletter for NZ startups, and I’m kind of in love with the brand design. (Less in love with the hyphenated “start-ups” in this image, but it’s written sans-hyphen on the website.) It stands apart from the usual business-y or innovation-y brands. And the little mouth of the C is just too cute.
As well as being invited to an anthology, my workshop Improv for Creative Writing was accepted to a sci-fi convention. I’ll be running it for the virtual event Fyrecon in early December, alongside some amazing authors and presenters. I’m a bit nervous…
I’ve increased the number of stories I have out in the world looking for homes, and had a few “close but not quite” responses (which, at this stage in my writing career, is encouraging). I’m up to 16 rejections, and 2 stories accepted for publication.
I narrated this creepy horror story (NSFW images in the video):
Read / Watch / Listen
[Read: 8 minutes] The Sterile World of Infinite Choice is a nostaliga-driven essay about a world before-and-after blackbox algorithms decided how we see the world.
[Read: 8 minutes] The strange and secretive world of North Korean science fiction. A great read and amazing artwork!
[Read: 10 minutes] The Great Zelle Pool Scam tells the author’s tale of mistakenly sending $30,000 to scammers who hacked into a pool builder’s email system.
[Watch: 8 minutes] Why note-taking during lectures is a bad strategy. (Do free recall instead.) Very interesting brain stuff.
[Listen: 50 minutes] The two best funk playlists I’ve heard in a while.
Why is Amazon so slow to address fake reviews and review extortion?
“Their incentive is to sell ads. The harder it is to find what you’re looking for, the longer you’re on the site. Those few more seconds translate to dollars.” — Christine Larson, Ph.D., who researches Amazon’s impact on book culture. In The Gamification of Reading Is Changing How We Approach Books