How much has money contributed to your happiness? – Dusty Reagan

The man.

In December I asked my Linkedin friends a question. It was a time when I really needed to hear inspiring words. I needed to feel comfortable with my decisions. I received so many great responses (35 total), I want to share them with you. I’m going to start throwing them out here – assuming I get permission from the respondents.

One of the first to reply was my good buddy (and perhaps yours too) Dusty Reagan. …Let’s begin:

My question

How much has money contributed to your happiness?

I’m curious because, as a soon-to-be college graduate turning full time entrepreneur, I feel like I have several options. Do I go for the money now so I can follow my passions later. Do I follow passion now and hope that money follows. Is money even going to make me happy…

I’ve heard two things: “Money does not make happiness” and “Money is not happiness, but money is freedom and freedom is happiness.” ??


Personally, I consider capitalism like a video game. There are a set of rules you must play the game by, there are weaknesses in the system you can exploit, and you generally have to practice to beat the difficult parts.

For me money doesn’t necessarily equate to happiness, but (like collecting wood, gold, and ore in an RTS) it’s a resources I must have to sustain and grow my venture. If I have an abundance of resources to grow my venture, I coincidentally, find myself happy. 🙂

You should always follow your dreams. That will make you happy. It won’t necessarily make you money though. And you usually need money to follow your dreams. This conundrum is the game we’re all playing. But, as long as you have enough money to feed yourself, your family, and your business, you can keep playing the game. If you run out of cash you’ll be forced to find a new racket.

The long and short of my advice is you *must* have cash flow. How you obtain it is part of the game. One other piece of advice, there’s never a “good-time” to set out on your own venture. It will always be risky, it will always be hard, and there will always be nay-sayers in your life. You just have to do it.


I encourage you to ask questions on Linkedin. I promise you will get some great answerers. Ones that resonate with you, like Dusty’s did for me. Thanks dooder!

Walkandtalk meeting with Austin Mayor Will Wynn

Today I ran into Mayor Will Wynn on 5th street. I asked if I could walk and talk with him. Per my tweets afterwards, here’s what happened:

  • Me w/ 1 minute version of our plans for a Startup District: startups in close proximity = innovation, attraction for Austin, reclaim our diminishing spot as the number 2 location for startups, proposed east side location because of price, light rail.
  • Mayor: the city has been talking about something like that for 10 years now. No one has taken the lead.
  • Mayor: you better get to know the neighborhood planning committee (for the east side)
  • Maor: what kind of startups are you talking about.
  • Me: internet, digital media, gaming, etc. – not silicon, not enterprise software
  • Mayor: talk to the emerging technology fund at their next open meeting and propose the idea. It’s in line with what they want. and there are funds there (Kristine Gloria thanks for finding the link).
  • Me: staring at Will Wynn as he walks off  ::Our mayor is a sharp dresser. I gotta remember to take pictures with people::

Austin Startup Community Vision – true alpha

google image

…for Austin

  • Austin has a Startup District. Blocks of startups flying their flags to the world – I want this to be an attraction when people come to Austin. Highest props to Dane Hurtubise for originally coming up with this one.
  • The startup community in Austin knows each other. (Yeah.)
  • When tech people come to Austin we twitter ’em up and we welcome them as family. When they get they know wher to go and where they can stay. We love our community.
  • has stuff to talk about non stop. Like the valley, people who run blogs about austin startups can live off just blogging. There is that much traffic; because people really care. right?! …this is how the community stays up-to-date with the people around them – people report on it.
  • One of us hits a home run. I’m talkin Google. 🙂
  • We have several kick ass coworking spaces – including one that is straight up free.
  • (1 Year) We have a micro fund – 10-15 teams per year – 25K max. similar to ycom / techstars <— <3
  • Oh, and we have people running the fund who know what they are doing — who are these people in Austin? Answer me that. …I know one I want on the team: Jared Slosberg. Sosa bothers would be nice. I could go on.
  • there is a bar downtown that you can walk into at anytime and see some great startup people.

…for The University of Texas

  • Coworking space for students, near campus -call it an incubator, call it a hatchery, i’ll call it coworking
  • Official concentration in entrepreneurship available to all majors – similar to “business foundations”
  • Grads and Undergrads know where to go if they have an idea or are interested in entrepreneurship -single place that embraces them, fosters them, understands them. COMEON!

conjunctured guys, john sibley butler, marc nathen, whurley, andrew hyde, Thomas Marriott … just so you know, i thought of all of you while writing this.


Forms and verbiage, feel free to pass it on:
Conjunctured is opening a Coworking space in Austin. We’re following the lead of some of our friends in other cities: [] []

We’re looking to plant this space in the heart of a “Startup District.” A place where all the startups in Austin live. Where we proudly fly our flags to world. The district is an attraction in Austin. If you think you might be interested in playing with us, let us know by filling out this fancy form, here:

If you don’t need / want a space. But you’re interested in sponsoring this endeavor (great for social capital, exposure to potential recruits, and PR), you can let us know that, here:

Quick thought

Three most important (potentially game changing) social media concepts. IMO

Presence – the ability to immediately share my state of being, including my location, from anywhere.

Ownership – the ability to own all the data you are creating. Such as your social graph.

Moments – using the data you have been (or facebook as been) collecting to digitally travel back in time and get a keen sense for what was going on in that moment.

…ok, heading to the Funding Symposium.

Millennial job hunting – Q&A

Last weekend during the Startup Barhunt I made a new friend. Her name is Archana and she is thee most startup-savvy UT student I know. What does startup-savvy mean? She knew everything that was going on in the tech world, from gossip and people, to new technology and services.

Today she asked me to answer a survey for a project she’s working on. I had a great time answering the questions. If you want to take a stab at answering all or some of ’em, DO IT. I’m sure it would help her out. Enjoy!

1. How did you find your current job? Online? Networking? Company website? Job fair?

Hmmmmm… I don’t have a job really – no one employees me. :-\
But! If that was the case, I would have got the job online – that’s how I found when I was in school. They had a facebook ad looking for a young, mobile savvy student. I clicked and it asked me to write them a letter about how savvy I was, how connected I was, and why I love tech…

2. Have you ever searched for jobs online? If so, how?

For sure. Don’t think I’ve looked any other way. I’ve looked at and to see what’s goin on. I’ve looked on craigslist in the past. Umm.. I looked at monster one or two times. People can find me now. Via linkedin or

3. Do you have a LinkedIn account?

For sheezee.

4. What do you use in LinkedIn?

Um. Everything. Even though I’ve only asked one, I think the Q&A feature is killer. I asked a question about following money or passion over Christmas and got 30+ answers/messages. That kind of feedback was amazing.

5. How do you manage your impression online?

My outward appearance? I am who I am. I write casually like I am here. I try and post everything I do so people can get a good sense of who I am. I want people to be engaged in my life. I want to set the example for how I want others to document their life. I love knowing what’s going on with my friends and others. I have… oh, next question.

6. Have you ever altered your image online, like “untagging” photos?

Untagged, YES. But not often anymore. It was mostly pics of when I was in college and chugging tons of beers. I still have some of those, but because I don’t post that many pics on facebook anymore, it would seem I was still doing the same thing.

7. Have you ever asked or been asked by an employer about your online activity on sites such as Facebook or MySpace?

NOPE. But no one employees me. When I was working (interning) fb wasn’t that popular.

8. How do you network?

By writing people emails that make them think. And by going out to places where I can meet them. By always staying up-to-date with what’s going on in the bubble that I care about. And some other bubbles. Using Twitter.

9. Do you use business cards?


10. Have you ever applied for a job that did not require any online activity? For example, you were asked to mail in your application.


11. In your opinion, what is the best way to find your first job out of college?

Depends what kind of job you want. And if you want a job.
Read the book Never Send A Resume. It’s short, I read it in a Borders.
I’d say, make relationships. Go meet people, email them. Email the leaders, only start at the bottom and work your way up if you have to. Even if you do have to, keep emailing/starting conversations with people who you respect, who you can empathize with. Help them empathize with you and they will help you. Only take a job that you are going to love. You’re gonna have to look and look and look so you better start now. It will all be worth it though – think of it as your contribution to the world, this is you giving back. How does that work? If you are in a place where you are happy, the world overall will be that much happier. Your vote (happiness) counts!

The number one reason why I love the Austin Startup Community

I’m not sure if y’all know this, ohh my 50 visitors, but the Startup Community in Austin has a hawt group of g33k girls!! (just look at that sweet, blue VC Wear tee, “Your Mom is not a test market.“)

These are the twitter’n, text messagin, geek loven, iPwn sportin, black boxy glasses wearin, nerd babes of Waggener Edstrom.

As you can see here they’re always busy in meetings and twittering things like “Beauty bar I just got hit on in the women’s bathroom!” from @gloriakt (the scenester looking one in black) and “I am wearing my iPhoneDevCamp shirt tomorrow, you wear your BarCamp shirt and we’ll see who gets the most dudes… ;-)” from @keelyanne (stripes, cardigan and dual tone hair) and finally “I’m in!! @gloriakt you better come tonight since you missed all the spooner action last night” from @kmclarty (PINK – w/ cunning elf ear showing in second and third pics).

Above, in pow-wow fashion, likely twitting about @whurley‘s upcoming escapades or the next Austin Startup Drinks.

…So, here you have it. Bring it on girls!

Austin Coworking space, future plans

Update: Conjunctured is up and running and full of members. check out the site here: 🙂



We have a lot going on at Conjunctured these days – most of it overlaps with what I’ve been talking about recently. I want to bring you all up to speed. So, here’s a list of everything we are doing.

btw Conjunctured is a co-company I co-founded with Dusty, Matt, David, and Cesar about 2 months ago – it started at a Jelly.

1.) 1-2 months out – open a coworking space in Austin similar to the following

Coworking definition: Coworking is cafe-like community/collaboration space for developers, writers and independents.

If this sounds cool, it would be great if you’d fill out one or two of these forms for we can get rolling with all this

We are looking at spaces with several agents NOW. However, we all know the best deals come from relationships and connections. If you know of a space on the east side, downtown, or on south congress – PLEASE let me know.

Here is a thread about our plans for the coworking space.

2.) Ongoing – Help organizations have conversations online.

Conjunctured leverages the power of collaboration and community. We are inspired by the existing concept of coworking and call ourselves a “co-company” – it’s a term we came up with that describes how the company is structured – we don’t employ people. Instead, a team of independent freelancers, all specialists in their own areas, come together to collaborate on the projects they feel most passionate about.

3.) 1 year – micro-fund; akin to

Here’s a link to my personal vision(1.0) for Austin’s startup community

Operation bolster Austin startup/tech community via video+conversations

(these awesome g33k girls say “read this post!“)

Here’s what I wanna do. I want to talk to every tech/startup person in austin. and I want to take a video camera. I want to know what they are doing, what they want (from the community/city). And, if they don’t know about beautiful things like door64, Jelly, refresh & geek austin, coworking movements 1 and 2, txventures, etc. I want to share that with them.

I’m so pumped on Austin from Startup Drinks and the Barhunt, this would be like my dream right now. But, if I’m going to be spending a considerable amount of time doing this I would need to have either a trust fund (OH HAI!) or some kind of other little income. I think meeting all these people, videoing it, sharing teh good news, if you will, could be valuable to some people. I mean, I’ll post all the videos to a blog, I’ll wear a company’s t-shirt, you know, sponsorship. hmmm…. Sounds like I could put a little startup in this idea (looking to VC Wear‘s pitch document for clever inspiration).

Vision: Talk to every tech/startup person or person who cares about tech/startups in Austin (or until diminishing return).

Problem: SILOS!! No one knows what anyone else is doing/up to and thus overall innovation in Austin is, well, not as high as it could be.

Solution: CONVERSATION!!! Talk to all these people, document it, share it with y’all, share what I know/learn with the people I’m talking to. Swirl everything up on a blog like it was a fruit cocktail. Y’all could even tell me what to ask.

Market Size: it could be bigger than Hutto.

Team: Yours truly! (maybe a flipcam.)

Monetization: Hope so. All I need is enough to live. So about 20k a month will do (wah!). How am I gonna make it? that’s the next line.

Funding: Cool organizations/people/groups are going to sponsor me, because they like initiative, because they want me to tell everyone just how cool they are, because what I’m doing will benefit them indirectly.

Contact/paypal address: jmetcalf27(at)

Potential Partners:

Look at that! every place I just listed has AUSTIN in their name. ha. I guess tomorrow I have to contact all these places. yikes.

if you copy my idea i’ll be sad.

Startup Bar Hunt **open alpha 0.20**

We did it! Teh Startup Bar Hunt has begun. 11 total were in attendence – and get this – 6 girls, 5 guys! WOWOW best time evva.

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In short – Betsy’s Bar was cool, dark, red, had a stick in the bathroom. Firehouse Lounge was nice and fun. Spill was awesome for dancing! Go team. Black and Tan/Orchid was pretty killer – robots hanging from the ceiling, good music, good lights, cool owner. (What was the bar Dusty went to?) Beauty Bar was fun for looking at scenesters (+ lesbians). THAI PASSION + Mmmm. END.

Austin Startup/Geek Bar – FIND IT!

I was out tonight with Cesar, Jon and Kristine – we had a good time hopping from Key Bar, the Belmont, SIX, Cuba, One2One… (none of us drank btw).

In keyBar we were talking about meeting people. We (or maybe it was just me) decided that ‘if they were on Twitter‘ was a good determinant for, would they be fun to talk to. Of course we met nobody who was on Twitter. So, with that in mind, I did a Twitter search for Austin just now and got ~2000 results. I made it through page 45 (of like 130) looking at people’s links and following them if they seemed interesting to me. By doing this I totally ruined my nice ratio of followers to followees, but who cares – I’m really looking to meet more interesting, creative, entrepreneural, techy, people in Austin, and I’m hoping this will be a good way to do it – I’ll let you know. Hiii if I just followed you!

Something else I think would be amazing is having a single place where startup/tech people usually hang out – we need to pick a place. THE place for techies, startup junckies, social media geeks, designers to hang out. It doesn’t have to be the same year after year – think of it like the clubs in LA. The cool clubs are are where all the celebs are. ohhh. Now replace celebs with geeks! w00t! I think it would be awesome to walk into a bar or club or whatev and see all the great startup types we have around here. WHERE ARE MY PEOPLE AT!

I tweeted this out about the bar spot and got some response: cuatros, firehouse, speakeasy, one2one, & sapphire. I’m going to check all these out tomorrow night. Let the hunt begin! …If by some luck you read this and want to come along, well that would be SUPER! just tweet me up!