20 8 / 2014

Jessica Lawrence feature pic

JESSICA LAWRENCE | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF NY TECH MEETUP (NYTM)

Published On August 20, 2014 | BusinessInterviews

Jessica Lawrence is the Executive Director of NY Tech Meetup (NYTM), the largest Meetup in the world and a non-profit organization supporting New York’s growing technology community. NYTM’s goal is to build a sustainable and diverse technology industry that drives economic growth, leads innovation, and creates positive, high-impact change. The organization’s perennially sold-out monthly events have served as a springboard for hundreds of the city’s technology start-ups from Tumblr to Foursquare to Livestream.

My Definition Of Success | Success in the past has sometimes meant getting good grades or a promotion or a raise, but success for me now means flourishing – both my own, and the flourishing of those around me. It isn’t just about being happy, but having a true sense of well-being. Author and researcher Dr. Martin Seligman has a model with five components that resonates with me: it’s about experiencing positive emotions like joy, comfort, hope; being engaged (experiencing flow), having positive relationships, experiencing meaning (finding connection with something greater than yourself), and experiencing a sense of accomplishment (setting goals and working towards them). I feel successful when I’m flourishing and when I’m able to help others experience it as well.

I Am Driven By | I’m in large part driven by a sense of unfulfilled potential. I have a continual sense that I can contribute more, that there is more that I can extract from myself, more ways that I can add something meaningful to the world. I’m also driven by the desire to help others reach their full potential and flourish. I picked up Austin Kleon’s book, Show Your Work!, the other day, and even just a few pages into it found myself saying, “This is an amazing book! This is so helpful!” I’m driven by wanting to give that experience to people – to have them feel that a talk I’ve given, an article I’ve written, a conversation I’ve had with them, a product I’ve made, or a company I’ve built has made their lives better.

The Difference Between Good And Great | The difference between being good and being great is most often tied to how much effort you are willing to put into something. The great writer is the one who gets up every day and writes, even when it’s difficult. The good writer sits around waiting for inspiration instead of working.

A Key Talent | Conscientiousness has been crucial to me. Although by no means perfect at it, I tend to think first about how my actions will impact others: how will the conference that I’m planning or the dinner that I’m curating or the website that I’m helping to design make people feel? When I was planning a conference in fall of 2013, I developed a new practice that helps answer that question: I wrote myself a letter, pretending that it was coming from a thrilled conference attendee. In their voice, I described all of the aspects of the conference that would leave them thrilled, whether it was inspiring speakers, feeling taken care of, or having amazing food. I then translated those concepts into actionable ideas, like creating name badges out of Scout Books notebooks so that they would always have a notebook handy, or having a chalk artist create portraits of every attendee on the chalkboard wall in the event space. The letter gave me a framework and something concrete to work towards.

How I Use My Mind | I use my mind by observing my mind, by looking for patterns, by getting curious about what is and is not happening. When I’m stuck, it’s usually not because of external forces, it’s because my mind is in the way. I’m counting myself out before I’ve even tried. I’ve let fear apply the brakes. I’m ascribing intent when there wasn’t any intent there. It’s not about defeating your mind but understanding it and gently reshaping its distortions.

Dealing With Doubt | I have moments of self-doubt, fear, and negativity every day. My internal dialogue is harsher to me than any external critic ever has been. It’s a voice that says, “who are you to be speaking up and speaking out?” It’s a voice that judges me when I do little things wrong or when I find a task challenging. That voice can feel like an enemy that I have fight on a daily basis, but it can also feel like a friend. It keeps me humble. And it teaches me how to work through challenges, even if they are self-inflicted. I’ve learned to pause my catastrophizing and work with my fear by articulating what I’m really afraid of and why, and by looking at the best-case, worst-case, and realistic outcomes of any situation. I also think that being bold isn’t something that you do once and then do on auto-pilot from that point on. Being bold, moving ahead in spite of fear, is a daily practice.

Performing At My Peak | I don’t think that anyone can always perform at their peak. I think the trick is to not let those non-peak times turn into catastrophic moments of self-judgement. One day of sitting at your desk and getting absolutely nothing done does not mean that you’re a lazy, unproductive person. Giving one less than stellar talk doesn’t mean that you’re a bad speaker. Failing to close a few deals doesn’t mean that you’re a horrible salesperson. Make a small mental note of the circumstances at the time so that you can recognize patterns if they develop, but otherwise, let it go. Part of performing at your peak if forgiving yourself when you’re not, and moving on.

Advice On Building Wealth | I would recommend that before they take steps to grow rich, they understand exactly why they want to be. Security? Power? A sense of winning some grand life competition? To change the world? To feel successful? Because they think being rich will make them happy? Despite all the evidence that once we have our basic needs met, additional money doesn’t make us happier, many of us still hold onto the belief that we’ll be happier with more money in our bank accounts or with nicer houses and cars. Once you understand your motivation – your underlying goal – relating to being rich, ask whether money is a requirement to get you there. Can you accomplish it without being rich? Can you actually find a sense of security or feel successful without accumulating more money? Are you using your current lack of money as an excuse for not moving forward with what you want to accomplish?

The Legacy You Would Like To Leave | I want my legacy to be about how I made people feel and the positive impact that I had on their lives. Did I help them thrive? Did I make them laugh? Did they feel supported and loved around me?  Did I help them reach their full potential? Did I solve important problems and make the world better?

Useful Links | 

Website: http://nytm.org/

Website: http://jessicahlawrence.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessicalawrence

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicahlawrence

12 8 / 2014

Lately, NYTM has been meeting with lots of international tech organizations who are all asking a big question: “How do we break into the New York tech scene?

In a recent interview with Montreal NewTech, Andy Saldana, our Sr. Manager of Events and Development at NYTM, shares insight and resources for anyone looking to “relocate, expand, or collaborate in NYC”.

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NewTech - How big is the NY startup scene currently? Do you have numbers in terms of total # of startups, number of investments?

Andy- It’s difficult to estimate the exact size of the NYC Startup scene as it is growing very quickly. This spring, NY Tech Meetup collaborated with Association for a Better New York, Google, Citibank and HR&A to conduct a study examining the economic impact of New York’s Tech Ecosystem. The findings conclude that “Tech is not a silo” but is “infused throughout the city’s diverse economy.” It also finds that there are 291,000 jobs in the NYC tech ecosystem. You can find more details about the study athttp://www.nyctecheconomy.com/.

Other indicators of the size of the startup scene is our “Made in NYC" list, and the city’s "Made in NY" list. Both sites list companies that base 75% of their development here in NYC. Each list has over 600 and 1000 companies listed, respectively.

- See more at: http://mtlnewtech.com/post/94447657600/how-to-break-in-the-new-york-tech-startup-scene-a#sthash.KW8RKwwv.dpuf

NewTech - Let’s say a Canadian startup wants to move to NYC. How would you accelerate the process? Any insights on meeting investors, potential partners, getting new customers?

Andy- I would definitely suggest checking out our Monthly event and our website! Second, they should check out as many of the tech and entrepreneurial meetups found on meetup.com and events such as Creative MorningsInternet WeekSocial Media Week or any of the number of conferences that happen monthly and annually in the city. NYC is thriving with coworking spaces such as WeWork that also encourage community and collaboration and are great places to work! The NYC EDC also runs some great programs focused on entrepreneurs that many startups can take advantage of. Here’s the link . In addition there are great programs like VentureOut NYC that connect startups with investors in NYC. If startups are ready to look for Angel funding, AngelList and Gust are great tools places to start.

NewTech - Can you highlight names of individuals or organizations that are a must in New York? For a growing startup.

Andy- In addition to some I mentioned in my previous responses here are a few resources that are a must. Subscribing to the NYTM newsletterGary’s Guide, StartupDigest, This Week in NYC Innovation are all great newsletters for trends, events and community news. AlleyWatch, AlleyWire, TechCocktail are great sites for startup news funding and general content. General AssemblyFlat Iron School and New York Design and Code Academy are great places to learn and hire local developers. There are a ton of resources out there for anyone new, looking to relocate, expand and collaborate in NYC. We at NY Tech Meetup are always happy to help as much as we can!

You can read the full interview at: http://bit.ly/1osIyTb

Big thanks to MTL NewTech!

01 8 / 2014

Here is the lineup for the August 4, 2014 NYY Tech Meetup (listed in alpha order):

Caliber
http://www.caliber.io
@becaliber

Caliber helps you connect with professionals you should know from your city or at an event.

MongoDB
http://www.mongodb.com/
@mongodbinc

Get a sneak peak at MongoDB’s upcoming new web service that offers single-click provisioning of MongoDB on Amazon’s EC2.

My Mini Factory
www.myminifactory.com
@myminifactory

MyMiniFactory is the worlds only fully curated, 3D object download platform - hosting thousands of free files all ready to 3D print.

Ringly
www.ringly.com
@getringly

Ringly: Smart jewelry and accessories that keep you connected to the things that matter most to you.

Slidejoy
https://www.getslidejoy.com
@GetSlidejoy

SocialRank
http://socialrank.com
@SocialRank

SocialRank is the easiest way to identify, organize, and manage your followers on Twitter.

Thomson Reuters
www.thomsonreuters.com
@thomsonreuters

Thomson Reuters: Act with confidence in a complex world.

Zenly
https://www.zenly.com/
@zenlyinc

Zenly: Browse apartments with video tours. Rent online without a broker.

Zola, Inc.
https://www.zola.com
@ZolaRegistry

Zola combines design, ease and endless options for a new wedding registry experience for the modern couple.

30 7 / 2014

Couldn’t make the meetup? You can watch the live video stream provided by MLB Advanced Media HERE.

Here is the lineup for the August 4, 2014 NYY Tech Meetup (listed in alpha order):

Caliber
http://www.caliber.io
@becaliber

Caliber helps you connect with professionals you should know from your city or at an event.

MongoDB
http://www.mongodb.com/
@mongodbinc

Get a sneak peak at MongoDB’s upcoming new web service that offers single-click provisioning of MongoDB on Amazon’s EC2.

My Mini Factory
www.myminifactory.com
@myminifactory

MyMiniFactory is the worlds only fully curated, 3D object download platform - hosting thousands of free files all ready to 3D print.

Ringly
www.ringly.com
@getringly

Ringly: Smart jewelry and accessories that keep you connected to the things that matter most to you.

Slidejoy
https://www.getslidejoy.com
@GetSlidejoy

SocialRank
http://socialrank.com
@SocialRank

SocialRank is the easiest way to identify, organize, and manage your followers on Twitter.

Thomson Reuters
www.thomsonreuters.com
@thomsonreuters

Thomson Reuters: Act with confidence in a complex world.

Zenly
https://www.zenly.com/
@zenlyinc

Zenly: Browse apartments with video tours. Rent online without a broker.

Zola, Inc.
https://www.zola.com
@ZolaRegistry

Zola combines design, ease and endless options for a new wedding registry experience for the modern couple.

26 6 / 2014

Can’t make the meetup? You can watch the video provided by MLB Advanced Media HERE at http://bit.ly/mlbJuly2014.

Here’s the lineup for the July 1, 2014 NY Tech Meetup (listed in alpha order):

72Lux
www.Shoppable.com
@72Lux

Shoppable is a licensable marketplace that allows you to shop and sell products from multiple retailers within one checkout.

Amicus
http://amicushq.com/post
@AmicusHQ

Amicus helps nonprofits raise more money, attract more members, and win more votes.

Blippar
www.blippar.com
@blippar

Blippar: a platform that bridges the real world with the digital using image recognition to bring real world products, print and more to life.

Electric Object
electricobjects.com
@ElectricObjects

Electric Objects: Art for the Internet Generation

Fieldlens
http://fieldlens.com/
@FieldLens

FieldLens: Mobile Field Management App for the Construction Industry

Knozen, Inc.
www.knozen.com
@KnozenInc

"We’re bringing personality to the internet." Knozen shows you what people like most about you.   

Picturelife
https://picturelife.com/
@picturelife

Picturelife: The smart home for photos.

Syncmotion
syncmotion.co

Syncmotion: Connecting the physical and digital worlds.

Vosmap
www.vosmap.com
@vosmap

New York’s Leading Google Business View Provider.

Hack of the Month

The Satellite
http://thesatellite.org/about
@satproject

The Satellite: A New Vision of Earth.
The Satellite is an experiential, photo-realistic portrait of Earth, seamlessly combining real-time imagery and remote sensing data from hundreds of satellites to present viewers with a true, three-dimensional vision of their planet from the perspective of the International Space Station.

02 6 / 2014

Can’t make the meetup? You can watch the video provided by MLB Advanced Media HERE at http://bit.ly/mlbmay2014.

Here’s the lineup for the May 6, 2014 NY Tech Meetup (listed in alpha order): 

Centrallo
http://centrallo.com/
@lifecentralized

Centrallo: A better way to organize, manage and centralize your life

EndlessTV
http://www.endlesstv.com
@endless_tv

EndlessTV: the start screen app for video

Everplans
www.everplans.com
@everplans

Everplans: You’re not immortal…deal with it.

HackHands
www.hackhands.com
@hackhands

HackHands: Your SOS button for Instant Coding Support

Lifedots
http://www.lifedots.com/
@lifedotsapp

Lifedots: The easiest way to collect your memories.

Pagevamp
www.pagevamp.com
@pagevamp

Pagevamp: Create your website, in one click.

Poncho Inc.
http://poncho.is
@poncho_ny

Poncho is a simpler weather service with a personality.

Qvit
Qvit.com
@qvitcorp

Qvit: The first online boutique to have a virtual dressing room

Stray Boots
www.strayboots.com
@StrayBoots

Stray Boots: A fun experience that’s part scavenger hunt, part tour. Try one of ours or create your own.

HACK-OF-THE-MONTH

Heat Seek NYC
heatseeknyc.com

Heat Seek NYC: helps tenants prove their apartment is too cold when their landlords don’t turn the heat up in the winter.

02 6 / 2014

Can’t make the meetup? You can watch the video provided by MLB Advanced Media HERE at http://bit.ly/mlbjune32014

Here’s the lineup for the June 3, 2014 NY Tech Meetup (listed in alpha order):

CommonKey
https://commonkey.com
@commonkey

CommonKey: Securely manage and share access to all your company cloud apps.

Floored
www.floored.com
@floored3d

Floored: A 3D scanning & data visualization company for real estate applications.

Glimpse
https://WeNeedGlimpse.com
@WeNeedGlimpse

With unique camera features and military grade encryption, Glimpse is the most fun way to send private messages.

Goodnikels
http://www.goodnikels.com
@gdnik

Goodnikels: A skills-exchange platform supporting social enterprise using a time-based
alternative currency system

Jewliebots
http://jewliebots.com
@jewliebots

Jewliebots: Programmable jewelry for teenage girls.

Rukkus
rukkus.com
@joinTheRukkus

Rukkus: The easiest way to find and buy the cheapest concert, sports, or theater tickets from your mobile phone. 

Simplist
getsimplist.com
@getsimplist

Simplist is the best way for your team get the right people in the room. For recruiting or business development, getsimplist.com

Social Bicycles
www.socialbicycles.com
@socialbicycles

Social Bicycles uses mobile technology to advance local transportation.

Hacks of the month - HackNYC Winners
flyer penguin
flyerpenguin.com
Make a print-ready flyer from a Facebook event.

moteio2048
http://bit.ly/moteio2048 

moteio2048: Multiplayer and mote.io-compatible 2048 game

2048 Against Cancer
http://2048againstcancer.com/

13 5 / 2014

On Friday, May 2, 2014, Jessica Lawrence, NY Tech Meetup’s Executive Director, represented NYTM on a trip to Washington, DC, along with representatives from Engine Advocacy, Tumblr, Meetup, and Kickstarter. The group visited the offices of six members of Congress, the Chairman of the FCC, and two FCC Commissioners to discuss our concerns over the future of net neutrality.

You can find the full record of our conversation and an in-depth description of our concerns via the post-visit ex parte letter that has been entered into the FCC’s official record: http://ammori.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/ex-parte-nytech.pdf

Short Summary of Our Visit
(excerpted from the ex parte letter)
[During our visit] we explained that if the Chairman’s proposal were adopted as a rule, it would stifle innovation and entrepreneurship in the New York City tech sector that is at the center of the city’s recent and future economic growth. We explained that the city’s entire tech community is paying attention to the Chairman’s proposal and is deeply concerned.

While the Chairman’s proposal may look good on paper, it provides no certainty or effective remedy for smaller entrepreneurs building real businesses on the internet.
We urged the Commission to consider a different path: to ban rather than bless a world of paid fast lanes and unpaid slow lanes; to abandon pursuit of a “commercially reasonable” standard and to impose a rule against “unreasonable discrimination,” that clearly defines which discriminatory conduct is prohibited and bans all application specific discrimination (i.e. discrimination based on criteria related to the application or class of application); and to extend this strong rule to mobile as well as fixed service.

We also invited the Commission to New York City to hold an official FCC hearing on network neutrality, so that the Commission can hear directly from those in the New York tech sector affected by this proposal.

For the rest of the summary, please visit: http://ammori.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/ex-parte-nytech.pdf

What the Tech Community Can Do

Contact the FCC

While spreading the word about the potential harm of the proposed new rules over social media is helpful, those complaints do not get officially entered into the FCC record as commentary from the community. The FCC needs to hear directly from members of our community in a way that is officially entered onto the FCC record, which includes making phone calls and sending letters. You can find an example of a letter here. You can address letters to Chairman Wheeler and Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, Pai, and O’Reilly here: Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington D.C. 20554. 

You can also call the FCC offices at 202-418-1000

01 5 / 2014

The FCC is currently considering new rules that, as Engine Advocacy reports, mark a “significant departure from the principle of Net Neutrality, which grants all content providers the equal ability to provide their offerings to consumers, and gives Internet users the equal ability to see any content they choose.” 

As we’re working on the best next steps for action here at NYTM, you can find more information on these proposed rules changes all around the web: 

For background, Public Knowledge's Net Neutrality Timeline

Engine Advocacy - New FCC Proposal on Net Neutrality is Disastrous for Startups, Consumers and the Economy

NY Times - Creating a Two-Speed Internet

Official FCC Blog - Setting the Record Straight on the FCC’s Open Internet Rules

Alexis Ohanian’s Campaign on Crowdtilt - Save Net Neutrality: Billboard in FCC’s Backyard

09 4 / 2014

Tell your Senator it’s time to curb abusive patent troll behavior and #fixpatents. Call at fixpatents.org