Week #2: MIT Class, Volunteering and Bernies Birthday

January 28, 2018

Hi all,

Okay so here’s an update on the progress in life and work since last week.

Last Sunday we were finishing the weekend up in Vermont. Andrew and I decided to work a full day on Monday before driving back to Boston.

A long time ago my side view mirror had been broken off in the parking lot of a rock climbing center. I had super glued it together, which broke off again over the weekend while we were cleaning snow off the car. We had bought some epoxy and fiberglass to fix it up, and after lunch started the patch up job. Fiberglass was a bit tricky to work with; the whole time we were afraid of getting splinters.

Unfortunately, an ice storm formed Monday night, so the epoxy didn’t dry and we had to rig some rope to hold it up. The drive home that night was painfully long – ice kept freezing on the windshield wiper. It took us close to six hours instead of the usual three.

We stayed over at Andrew Takao’s house when we got into Boston that night. We’ve been making a habit of stopping by their house and staying over the first night back in Boston. They live in Davis Square which is pretty up in Cambridge and kind of on the way home to our place at S Whitney.

The remainder of the week was spent almost entirely working and taking the MIT class. I completed writing a few predictive models on a sample housing dataset, none of them were accurate in predicting a housing price, and will need a good amount of more fine tuning to get them to be reasonably accurate. I decided to put that on pause, switch gears and create content for the Project12 website. Andrew has the outline of all the webpages up, but needs words to fill each section so I’ve been working a bit on coming up with things to say.

We started our MIT course this week. It’s a two-week long course 6-9pm on weekdays. It is an entrepreneurship class on starting a new business venture. The professors are great and the content is amazing. Andrew and I have gone over a good portion of the material in the past, especially Andrew since he’s been involved with business strategy for so long (and me just from my many discussions with him), but it’s great to have the information solidify on the forefront of your mind.

I’ve been taking a good number of notes on the course. I compiled the first section of notes into a more cohesive article that I hope to post later. I finished writing the paper today so I’ll attach it to the email. Feel free to provide feedback. It’s just a first draft which I still need to review more myself so spelling errors beware. If you’re interested in starting a business you might want to give it a read!

I started volunteering at Venture Café. On Thursday I went in before the MIT class. Every Thursday they have an after-work networking event where the tech/entrepreneurship community meets over drinks. Only this time I was hanging out behind the bar instead of in front of it! I feel like I’ve really started to drink the cool-aid of the Venture Café community; I think it would be cool to build a social network tool that helps people in the community keep up with each other. Another project for another time.

After the volunteering/Thursday event Andrew and I biked over to the class. It’s a pretty cool feeling to walk down the MIT halls and go into a classroom and receive instruction from some of the world’s best professors. When the class ended we decided to head home, only to get a call from our good friend Flavia (Andrew’s coworker when he used to work at Endeavor Partners – strategy consulting). A little backstory on Flavia— I first met her actually at our house in S Whitney when she came to talk with Andrew about getting an internship at Endeavor Partners many years ago! She eventually became a senior consultant there, but now is working with a small startup in Boston that she’s loving. Anyways, we biked over to her house in South End, and walked in to find a small group of friends in the middle of wine and cheese and laughter. She’s from Spain and a couple of the friends there were from Spain as well. So, the whole soiree had a bit of a Spanish flair to it. We had some Spanish music playing, break out salsa dancing (which ironically, after spending a month taking private lessons in Medellin, I didn’t even dance because I was so caught up in conversation with Flavia’s boyfriend Nico). ​

Around 11pm I decided to duck out of the little party. Reflecting on it a bit biking home, there is definitely a feeling that fills the soul when you spend quality time with longtime friends.

On Friday after another work session Andrew and I drove up to the mountain. We picked up Andrew Takao (old roommate) and our friend / his girlfriend Sanae from their house in Davis Square and had a blast driving up to the house. In fact all the roommates from Davis square drove up to the ski house this weekend. It was one of the roommates (Bernie’s) Birthday this weekend, so we got him cupcakes and had a fun party at the house on Saturday.

The skiing this weekend was only fun because of the group who skied together. The mountain was pretty icy, but being with everyone on the slopes was fun as always.

Now it’s Sunday night, tomorrow around midday we’re going to drive back to Boston to start up week 2 of the courses!

See you next week.

Josh