2013 in Travel ✈ 10 countries, 100,000 miles

2013 was a busy travel year. I flew over 100,000 miles and drove across the US.
Here is a breakdown of my notable trips in 2013:
January
San Francisco, CA
Limassol, Cyprus
Beirut, Lebanon
Chicago,CA
Yellowstone National Park
Lebanon
Yellowstone
February
San Francisco, CA
London, UK
March
San Francisco, CA
Kharkiv, Ukraine
Seattle, Washington
April
San Francisco, CA

May
San Francisco, CA
Boston, Massachusetts
June
San Francisco, CA
Maine
Boston, Massachusetts
Maine
July
San Francisco, CA
Muir Woods, CA
Brooklyn, NY
August
Los Angeles, CA
San Francisco, CA
September
San Francisco, CA
Boston, Massachusetts
New York, New York
San Francisco, CA
October
San Francisco, CA
November
San Francisco, CA
Kharkiv, Ukraine
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Istanbul, Turkey
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Istanbul, Turkey
December
San Francisco, CA
Maldives
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Tokyo, Japan
Maldives
Tokyo, Japan
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

P.S. I’m posting this from a plane.

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15 Years of Booking Travel Online: What’s Next?

Booking a hotel room online has changed a bit within the past 15 years… but barely. Today, about 40-50% of all hotel rooms are booked online and the average traveler checks 6 different sites before booking. We’re going to see a spike in mobile last-minute bookings and alternative accommodations like Airbnb and HomeAway. Airbnb already books more rooms in Manhattan than the 1,980 room Hilton, the biggest hotel in New York City. We know that these changes have taken hoteliers by surprise but are giant travel booking sites ready for this radical of a change?
1996-2004

In 1996, Microsoft started a travel division, which we now know as Expedia. Priceline followed a year later in 1997. These two behemoths still flourish, persisting as the largest publicly-traded players in the industry, taking in $3.4b and $4.3b in revenue, respectively, in 2011.
Orbitz and Travelocity threw their hats into the ring 4 years later in 2001 …

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Mission Bicycle: The Bike Startup

I recently stumbled upon the Mission Bicycle website after chatting a bit with the company’s owner, Zack Rosen. I moved to the Mission this month and I quickly learned that Zack’s company had serious bike-cred in San Francisco, which is saying a lot since it’s a bike-oriented city, to say the least. Zack still has a hand in the Mission Bicycle, despite just closing a Series A for his Drupal development startup, Pantheon.
I was in the market for a solid city bike so Zack invited me to stop by the shop to scope out their operation. I stopped by without any intention of making any sort of purchase that day but needless to say, an hour later, Zack and I had meticulously picked out every part needed for a fully custom-built bike. I pulled the trigger and the bike is currently in the queue to be built.

I left the …

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Hotel Review: Forty 1° North (Newport, RI)

I like hotels… a lot. I have always been intrigued by Paul Carr’s hotel reviews, especially his series, “The Strip Diary,” where he stayed in a new hotel in every night in Las Vegas for a month. I have decided to review some of my favorite hotels right here on teddy.is. For starters, I wanted to review Forty 1° North  in Newport, RI where I stayed Wednesday night with my girlfriend Sally. The new LEED-registered Thames Street Forty 1° North is a 28-room seaside yachters’ paradise.  Finding a hip and luxurious hotel in Newport is not the easiest thing in the world but I’m quite sure that Sally and I achieved it.
We were very close to booking a room at the Vanderbilt Grace but we opted to use Hotel Tonight to book Forty 1° North
instead.  This was my first experience booking with Hotel Tonight and overall, it was a pretty seamless process. When we …

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Hacking the iPod: Gizmodo vs. Hacker News

On Monday, I spontaneously decided to write a post about my high school iPod venture. I hadn’t posted in over a month and I thought it would be a nice break from the load of Econ papers that I had to write for the week. I had no real expectations that many people would end up reading the post but I submitted it to Hacker News for the hell of it. It was my first Hacker News submission and I had figured that getting to the top of HN required a massive network of friends to simultaneously upvote the post. Much to my surprise, the post received 206 total upvotes without any real effort, maintaining a pretty high position in the rankings for a fair amount of time.
I know it’s probably a bit cliché to post a breakdown of the traffic garnered from an HN post but I’m doing it …

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Hacking the iPod: How I Earned $65K in High School

After a long day at school, the house phone rang and my mother answered. It’s Apple and they want to have a word with you, she said. At the time, I was 16 and I had been hustling iPod parts to all parts of the world.
“I’m not telling you this as an authority but as say, an uncle figure: you need to stop what you’re doing.” – An undisclosed Apple attorney
When I was 15, my 3rd generation iPod had broken. This was a tragedy as music has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. With no funds to purchase a new iPod, I was determined to fix it. After scouring eBay, I purchased a logic board and read countless tutorials on how to crack open my iPod and surgically replace the logic board. The operation was successful and I felt triumphant …

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top 5 shows at SXSW

After a grueling week at SXSW Interactive, I had to stay around to catch the Music portion of SXSW. My buddy Hosey flew in from Wheaton to join me and Sally for a week of music. It was so evident that the crowd had changed dramatically as Interactive came to a close and the shows started up. The nerd population declined and there was an evident influx of Brooklynites and hipsters alike. I can’t say I welcomed the change with open arms as I was just growing accustomed to running into mobs of startup folk at Interactive but the music made it all worth it.

I think it’s fair to say that the Hype Hotel was one of the hottest venues at SXSW. The line was crazy every night. Sally and I were fortunate enough to snag Industry passes from our lovely friends at the Hype Machine. Thanks, guys! …

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SXSWi: the year of the battery

The StartupBus rolled into Austin on the 9th, the first day of Interactive. It was my first SXSW experience and when I rolled into the city, I instantly realized to what degree the tech community had taken over Austin. It was a marketer’s dream – a demographic of mostly middle class and wealthy early adopters all densely congregated  for the sake of tech, nonconsensual networking, and 5 days of partying. It was their time to shine – branded blimps, food trucks, iPhone charging stations, and an infinite supply of American Apparel t-shirts.
source: instagram (thestylespy)
Each year, there seems to be a new location-based app to facilitate networking with the thousands of SXSW attendees. This year, it would be an understatement to say that there was hype around the Highlight app. It’s a lot like Sonar, locating people in the vicinity with 2nd degrees connections or mutual Facebook interests. Needless to …

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mission accomplished: 3 days of sleepless chaos on the startupbus

The StartupBus journey from Boston to Austin began on Tuesday, the 6th at 6:00 AM. Since then, SXSW has consumed most of my time, which is why I’m just now getting to writing this post. Thirty-five of us left from MIT that morning to start what was an incredible, tiring journey. We began the trip with introductions and pitches from everyone. Oddly enough, only a fraction of us were from the Boston area with people hailing from New York, Chicago, and as far as Denmark and Australia. The ages varied with the youngest person being 20 and the oldest being in their late 30s. We also had a Harvard Business School student on the bus, researching StartupBus and hackathons.
After introductions, we were tasked assembling teams based on everyone’s pitches and skill sets. I thought that this process was one of the harder parts of the journey. Walking up …

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startupbus boston: a long journey ahead

This morning, I finalized my plans to take the StartupBus from Boston to SXSW in Austin. It’s a 3-day intense hackathon with

stops along the way, including an overnight stay in San Antonio / stop at the Rackspace HQ. Participants must build a prototype to pitch at SXSW.  Each team generally has a designer, engineer, and  a sales/marketing/bizdev person. I will mostly be partaking in the latter role, pitching and marketing the team idea.
The bus “conductor,” Igor Lebovic, has started organizing the logistics and connecting all of the “buspreneurs.” It will be interesting to see how everyone’s skill sets are matched up and what ideas transpire.  There is no question that the ideation stage of the process will be one of the most crucial and time-sensitive aspects of building the prototype. There is only so much building and iterating that can be done over a 3-day period.
The whole journey will be filmed and in …

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