Hey there it's Jim!
The photo above is a bit older (no glasses, no beard), so to avoid any confusion...
I'm the one on the right
Brad Pitt is the fellow on the left
The purpose of this site is to illustrate some of the cool projects I've worked on in my life, and allow people to get to know me on a personal level. In a nutshell, here is my story.
I was born with a wicked Boston accent in the city of Dorchester, Mass, where luminaries such as the Kennedys, Martin Luther King, Jr., and "Marky Mark" Wahlberg once lived.
My Italian mother worked in the health care field. From her I developed:
A strong desire to help others
An innate passion for everything I do
The ability to cook a killer lasagna from scratch
My Irish father worked as an accountant.
Relentlessly efficient with numbers and details
My spreadsheet game is unparalleled
I get sunburned by the moon on a cloudy night
Smart enough to start programming on a Commodore 64, geeky enough to win a Rubik's Cube contest, and armed with a strong work ethic and supportive family, I was ready for business from a young age.
The College Years
As I grew out of my Boston accent (oh, the laughs at the word “party”), I grew into my own:
My tech skills thrived in programming classes as a CIS major
Writing prowess emerged in the “Greek News”
A multimedia presentation to 250 students gave me confidence as a speaker
Leadership and teamwork excelled as president of my fraternity
I was ready for the real world.
A Run, a Dream, and Embracing Uncertainty
My first two jobs at Boston-based software companies gave me an amazing foundation:
Taking 12,000 tech support calls developed instant problem-solving skills
Being the 3rd hire at a startup let me wear many hats in an entrepreneurial environment
But a New Year's Day run led to an ambitious resolution:
Find a dream job in sports, in a new city, within 6 months.
Smash cut: I embraced uncertainty, got the gig, and relocated 3,000 miles to Seattle without knowing a soul.
As a Producer at ESPN.com, I helped lead designers, editors, engineers, sales, and legal in the production of dozens of games that delighted millions.
And the perks weren't too bad either.
Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made Of
“You will LOVE New York,” my friend Cheryl assured me, as she tried to address my concerns about transferring from Seattle ... sky-high expenses, lots of noise, and no mountain biking.
After a visit, a lease was presented -- triple my rent in Seattle. More uncertainty. Was I making the correct decision? Was NYC right for me? I swallowed hard and signed my name.
The date was September 10, 2001.
My world didn’t change the next day. Everyone’s did.
Call me naive or stupid or brave, I had decided to move to New York, and nothing was going to change my mind.
The strength I saw in people over the next year resonated with me. I was now one of them.
Somehow, Manhattan lived up to the hype.
New York was like a new best friend that matched my unwavering optimism and energy.
If your work ethic is genuine and your passion is real, the city rewards you with access to world-class media, publishers, universities, and like-minded people to guide you.
In the blink of an eye, more than a decade flew by:
Continuing my dream job at ESPN.com, ESPN the Magazine, and Mobile ESPN
Finding a new dream job in tech at WIRED, riding the mobile/social wave
Starting a side hustle and seeing it lead to a book deal, speaking, and conferences
And while it is necessary to escape sometimes to pursue other passions — entertaining nieces and nephews, driving the perfect twisty road — the city always welcomes you back.
Working Remote: The World Is Your Office
If New York was like your Type A best friend that was driven to succeed 24/7, then working remote is like your surfboarding cousin that's "just going to chill for a little bit."
Don't get me wrong -- I still worked incredibly hard and cared way too much about my job, the difference was that when I ran my own business and served as Director of Courses for Mirasee, I could now do that from wherever I wanted:
At least 15 different US states
Singapore; Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Krabi, Thailand
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Montreal, Canada (more than a dozen times)
Barcelona, Paris, and Prague
In some ways, this time in my life served as a Tim Ferriss-esque "mini-retirement."
Things I Love
Growing up in Boston, the Red Sox were a religion and sports were an obsession.
The neighborhood kids and I would play just about any sport imaginable from dawn till dusk, my Dad brought me to Fenway Park as a toddler, we marveled at Larry Bird, cheered when the US beat the Soviets, and groaned when the ball went through Buckner’s legs.
The photo above features:
My dad and sister at the 2004 World Series in Boston (also went in 2007)
Two college friends and I watching the Sox clinch in St. Louis a few days later
Family and friends watching Boston win a title at Fenway in 2013
Attending the Patriots Super Bowl in Minneapolis in 2018 (also went in 2005)
Friends and I watching a Red Sox World Series win in Los Angeles
Seeing the best soccer player in the world, Lionel Messi, play in Barcelona
What can I say? I like watching sports. I like talking sports. I like playing sports. I've won rec league championships in soccer, volleyball, and hockey. I like made up fantasy sports. So much so, I made it my career for 8 years and once ranked 99.97th in the world at it. #dork.
Despite what you're thinking, I wouldn't say I'm obsessed with sports, as most people I hang out with feel the same way. I just love the camaraderie, the energy, and the competition.
2. Mt. Rainier
Anyone that follows me on Instagram knows that I love taking photos of Mt. Rainier.
From a plane
From the hill 5 blocks from my apartment
From a mountain bike trail
It could be because it's elusive so many days of the year, but it took my breath away the first time I saw it, and continues to do so to this day.
3. Cover bands with female lead singers doing alternative versions of songs I love
Then I found their spinoff band, Scary Pockets. Seriously. Check out the bass player on this funk cover of Creep. If you don't think this is the greatest showcase of pigeon-flinching unbridled musical joy, you don't have a soul. Or may be Crazy.
I have yet to find a problem that could not be dissected by a well-organized spreadsheet.
5. Lots of other stuff
Running. Long meals with friends. Podcasts. Bose headphones. Family time. Road trips. Laughing Chewbacca. My Specialized mountain bike. Helping people solve problems. Researching the best products. Leaves in Fall. John Mulaney describing college donations. NY pizza. Magazines. Naps. Planning vacation itineraries. Brunch. Eddie Bauer puffy coats. A silly play on words. Seiko watches. My 2011 Macbook Air. Gratitude.
Things That Drive Me Crazy
1. Clueless Marketing Managers
Check out the photo above, taken during a playoff game between Oklahoma City and Golden State. There are 18,203 rabid OKC fans wearing BLUE t-shirts. Some marketing wizard easily spent $100,000 on this promotion. Maybe even got a sponsor.
The problem? BLUE IS THE COLOR OF THEIR *OPPONENT* AT HOME GAMES!!!
Really? No one caught this?
2. Unearned High Fives
Sticking with our NBA theme, this photo shows a player getting congratulated by one teammate and reaching for a high five from another. The two players behind him are also coming forth with high fives.
The problem? HE MISSED THE FREE THROW!
A high five is a form of congratulations! They must be earned! Not given after choking in huge situations or down by 40 in a playoff game.
Your opponents are now mocking you.
3. Sitcoms and Commercials That Insult Our Intelligence
I know a lot of people watch sitcoms. But laugh tracks? Cliches? Tired scripts? C'mon people. We can do better than that.
And the corresponding commercials that go along with that? Like this one from NFCU? Oh I get it! You fooled me! With the person. In the fighter suit. Didn't see that coming.
4. Inefficiency in the Face of Repetition
I've identified this as the one concept that irks me to no end. Let me give an example:
Scenario 1: Your new neighbor decides to host an end-of-summer barbecue. You stop by toward the end of it for a burger or a hot dog, and he says there are only hot dogs left because this was his first party, more people than expected stopped by, and he ran out. Verdict? No problem.
Scenario 2: You go to Yankee Stadium in August and during the 7th inning stretch you go to grab a hot dog and there is a huge line. You finally get to the front and there are only 2 people behind the counter (even though there are 3 registers) and they tell you they are out of hot dogs.
Verdict? This is fine because it's the first time they have served hot dogs. Oh wait. Just kidding. Unacceptable!!!
The stadium has been selling hot dogs for nearly 100 years
According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (who knew?) baseball fans consume about 19 million hot dogs during the Major League Baseball season
An August game will probably be the 70th home game of the year
My point being, when faced with the repetition of serving thousands of people for months at a time for years on end, with specific trends that can be tracked in terms of attendance and purchase patterns, there's no excuse for not having enough employees or hot dogs.
Or maybe I just hate the Yankees. ;-)
I hope you understand these "mini Jim rants" are done in jest. People make mistakes and buy the wrong color shirts. Athletes fail and even the pros need empathy. Original ideas for selling mortgages creatively are hard to come by. And sometimes you just run out of hot dogs.
I'm passionate about life. I get excited about the little details. I love creativity. I want to give you my money for delicious hot dogs and help your business succeed.
I want to help!
So, How Can I Help You?
This being a personal website and all, most of the attention has been on me. [blushes]
But I try really hard to be grateful for all the wonderful things in my life, and realize the greatest satisfaction comes from helping others ... build cool things, enrich their career, connect with each other, share a great meal, or take a fun trip.
So now I want to know ... how can I help you?