The Time I Met Steve Jobs

Over the last few hours, I’ve spent some time reflecting on the news that really shocked the world — Steve Jobs had passed away. Just six weeks before he passed, he officially resigned from Apple, the company he helped start and led for so many years. He really gave it his all, up until the very last bit he could.

As I was thinking about what Steve had done, there was one memory that had kept coming back to me. The time I got to meet, and shake Steve Jobs’s hand. It wasn’t until after that encounter that people started telling me that Steve doesn’t shake anyone’s hand. I felt honored. I felt lucky.

It was 2007, and Steve Jobs had just gotten off the stage at Macworld after he had announced the revolutionary iPhone. We were all blown away by this device. I was sitting towards the back of the room with my good friend Adam Jackson, when we both decided to head up front and see what all the hubbub was about. It turns out Steve was in front of the stage chatting with some folks.

Keep in mind, in 2007 I was only 14, so I was still quite small and could maneuver around a crowd much better then others. There was a large group of people, and I snuck under all of them. As I turned around, Steve Jobs was standing right in front of me being escorted out. I quickly said “thank you!” and put out my hand, and he said “you’re welcome,” smiled, shook my hand, and ran off.

That is a moment I will never forget, and I will cherish for the rest of my life. We will always remember you, Steve. Thank you for everything.

Some Updates (Updated)

After taking a few months off since February, I’ve had a lot of time to think and reflect on these last few months, and choose my next steps going forward.

I’ve tried to stay off the grid as much as possible in terms of public events and such, but I’m excited that I’m starting to ramp up my speaking engagements, starting off with Tomorrow’s Web at the end of this month in San Francisco. Sure, Tomorrow’s Web maybe a competitor to the Teens in Tech Conference, but in the end, we’re aiming for the same mission, so I’m gladly going to help where I can to achieve our mission. Grant and his team have put in a lot of work into Tomorrow’s Web, so I’m excited for the upcoming event! I’ve also got three 20% off conference ticket codes that the first three people can use. If you want to attend Tomorrow’s Web on Saturday, July 31, use the code “DANIELBRU” when checking out, and your ticket price will be deducted 20%!

I’m really excited to announce that at Tomorrow’s Web, during my talk, on stage, I’ll be announcing two new exciting things that Teens in Tech is working on, as well as side project that Michael Costigan and I have been working on.

Also, since stepping down as CEO of Teens in Tech Networks, I’ve had a lot more free time to think about the future of the Teens in Tech Conference with my business partner Sam Levin. In the coming weeks, we’ll be announcing some exciting news from the company that I’ve been hinting at on my Twitter feed.

Not to be left out, of course, that I’ll be starting college in a few weeks as well, which I am more then excited about. I’m more excited about the courses that I’ll be taking, like Video Production, Digital Video Editing, and more!

Another thing that I’m excited about, is the launch of iPhone Case Finder. Much like its sister site, iPhone Case Finder is all about finding iPhone cases that are right for you, the user. We’ve been focusing on iPhone 4 cases, after the whole “Antennagate” issue, so if you need an iPhone 4 case, iPhone Case Finder is your place. Check out the site, and let me know what you think!

I’m really excited for the future, and I hope that you all can join me in it!

Update: So after some miscommunication, and disorganization, Tomorrow’s Web was unfortunately canceled. Hopefully next time around, they can prevent the issues.

Thanks For The Memories

Before I start of, I wanted to let everyone know that this has probably been one of the hardest posts I’ve written on my blog. Over the last two years, I’ve done a lot in technology — I joined Qik in January 2008, started Teens in Tech Networks in February 2008, worked with some amazing companies like Apture, TechCrunch, atebits, Wonder Warp Software, etc., and had a blast doing it all. I’ve worked with startups in the past, but there is nothing the feels the same as working on your own startup.

I’ve made a very important decision in my life that was not easy, but I feel is the right thing to do at this time. Today is my last day as President and Chief Executive Officer of Teens in Tech Networks, the company I started over two years ago.

I would not have made this decision if I didn’t feel confident in my successor, and their abilities to lead our team. Spencer Schoeben, who is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Teens in Tech Networks, will become the the President and CEO of Teens in Tech Networks.

Spencer has been my right hand man at Teens in Tech Networks for the last seven months, when he joined Teens in Tech Networks in October 2009, and has been an amazing asset to the company.

I may not be the CEO anymore, but I will remain the Chairman of the Board of the Directors, and remain a key asset to the team helping with the products and the business.

I’m excited to see the company grow under new leadership, and being Chairman will give me a different perspective on that. I’m also looking forward to attending college, like I mentioned in my last post. Who knows — maybe I’ll have a new company by the end of the summer!

Thanks to our amazing Advisors, and the amazing team we have at Teens in Tech Networks. I feel very confident that Spencer will be able to lead Teens in Tech Networks into its next phase.

Running the Carlsbad 5000

I typically don’t write about specific personal events in my life, but I feel like this one is something that I want to share with everyone. Many people don’t know, but my mom is actually a marathon runner. And of course, I’ve been inspired by her, to train for my first official running competition — the Carlsbad 5000.

In April, I’ll be heading down the coast from San Francisco to Carlsbad to run in this event, with my sister, who also is a runner (it runs in the family).

I’ll be tracking my progress on Twitter, Facebook and this blog, so if you want follow my training, go ahead and subscribe.

Speaking at Under 21 – Digital Natives in Rome, Italy!

Wow, where do I even begin. At this point, I think I’m at a loss for words. I recently got an email that landed in my spam folder, asking me to speak at a conference. More and more, I’ve been getting these types of emails (keep them coming!), but this email was different. It was an invitation to speak at a conference in Italy! It’s not everyday that you get an email from a major telecommunications company asking you to speak at their conference in Rome, Italy.

Telecom Italia has invited me to participate at their upcoming event, Under 21 – Digital Natives on November 18 in Rome at Capitoline Museum.

“Digital Natives” is a project on the future of innovation and digital culture designed and produced by Telecom Italia, Wired, Foundation Romaeuropa, and CATTID University La Sapienza.

I’ll be speaking with a great group of young (well, under 21!) individuals, including; Salvatore Aranzulla, Jessica Brando, Marco De Rossi, Nicholas Greek, Andrea Lo Pumo, and Valerio Masotti. They will be live streaming this event, which you can find here.

I’ll be staying in Italy from November 14, through the 21, mostly in Rome. If you are an Italian entrepreneur, lets get in touch — I would love to learn what your working on! Thanks to Telecom Italia for inviting me — I look forward to this great opportunity. Till then — ciao!

Speaking at BizTechDay

I’ve always had a passion for marketing — getting the word out through multiple channels. But, one of the missing ingredients in marketing is how to target the youth. So on Thursday October 22nd, I’ll be speaking at BizTechDay on how to target the youth when it comes to marketing, both traditional and new media. My session is from 1:50 – 2:45 pm in the “New Media Hall,” so go ahead and drop by!

How to Sell to Niche Markets Online – Baby Boomer and GenY/Teen Communities

As each generation ages, what they buy and how much they spend will change. Each product and service has a “best customer” that sustains its business. As these customers mature, the smart marketers will stay one step ahead of them and their money. The Baby Boomer and Generation Y communities are redefining how we market and it would be wise to learn how to anticipate their needs more effectively.

During this session, you will learn:

-How to clearly understand their ideal customer’s purchasing behaviors
-How to successfully build rapport & trust with these markets
-How Baby Boomer and Gen Y consumers evaluate brands and what they pay attention to when making purchase decisions
-How to narrate your business story in a way that resonates with Baby Boomer and Gen Y community members
-The Dos and Don’ts of marketing to the Baby Boomer and Gen Y communities

I’m excited to share my insight on youth marketing, especially since I’m taking a different approach with this presentation. I’ll upload my presentation to Slideshare on Friday as well. Thanks to Edith Yeung to inviting me to speak, as well!

Update: My presentation is embedded below. Please contact me with any comments/suggestions. There is also video of the session coming as well.

Continue reading

College: To Go, or Not To Go [Updated]

As an entrepreneur, you have to make a lot of difficult decisions in your life. I’ve had to make many of those decisions for my business, but not until recently, have I had to make such a big decision that can affect my entire life — to go, or not go to college. Even Louis Gray, one of Teens in Tech Networks advisors, and a personal mentor, has written a whole blog post on this issue: The Great Debate: Is College the Right Path to Succeed?

Here’s my position. College is either the best four years of your live, or the four years of your life where you’ve wasted those four years, and wasted a lot of money. I don’t want to look back when I’m 30 and say that I wasted four years of my life in college, when I could have been working on my next startup, or working with an awesome startup. I simply don’t want to regret making such a decision like that.

On the other side, we have people telling me the some of their best friends, and partners for life where found at college. Also, that college is a great way to make connections. Seeing that I’m in Silicon Valley, and an active member of the tech scene, I don’t feel like making connections is something that college is going to teach me. Another reason. Entrepreneurship. My philosophy is that entrepreneurship can not be taught. It is something that you learn along the way of your business as you grow.

Please leave all your comments below — I really appreciate any comments and/or opinions.

Update: Thanks for all the comments and opinions. Looks like I’ll be going to college. More details to come. Follow me on Twitter to stay up to date.

Summer Plans: 2009

With my junior year in high school coming to a close in 10 days, it’s time to (somewhat unofficially) announce some of my summer plans. First off, one of my main focuses this summer is Teens in Tech, for which we are working on version 2.0 of the site. We’re on schedule for testing in early July, and are really working hard on delivering new features and revising the site, so expect a lot of changes. I can tell you now that Teens in Tech will not be the same at 2.0.

My other focus this summer will most likely be Qik. I’ve been with Qik since February 2008, and I have a great position (Product Marketing Manager/Evangelist) and work with a great team. I get to travel to conferences across the Silicon Valley and spread the joy that is Qik. If you don’t have an account, go sign up now.

Speaking of conferences, I’ll be taking many more speaking engagements this summer, starting with Ypulse Mashup in the first week after school ends, and in the end of June, the Social Networking Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif. I’m willing to take up all sorts of speaking engagements, so if you want me to speak at your event, please get in touch.

I will continue to blog here, and produce podcasts on my show, Apple Universe Podcast (I know things have been slow there, but lots of great shows coming soon!).

I’m also continuing to consult though my firm T-Cast Media. We are still working on a site, and we are almost done. I’ll also be working with my business partner, Sam Levin (@samlevin) on projects like Western Digital, and others.

In the end, summer is time for me to relax from school, and not stress about essays, and homework and all that stuff, time for me to enjoy my time as a teenager, and that’s my biggest priority. I’ll be spending more time with my friends, and just enjoying my childhood, which I haven’t done too much in the recent times. Lots of people tell me that I should be a kid first, and entrepreneur second, and hopefully I’ll fulfill that goal this summer.

Speaking at Ypulse Mashup

After speaking at eComm 2009 in early March, I’m very happy to announce that I’ll be speaking at the Ypulse Mashup this June in San Francisco. I’ll be speaking on a panel called ‘Totally Wired Youth Entrepreneurs’ moderated by technology pioneer, Guy Kawasaki. I look up to Guy a lot, and it will be honor being on a panel with him.

On my panel are Jun Loayza, Co-Founder, Future Delivery, Carly Wertheim, Co-President, Teens Turning Green and my good friend and Teens in Tech Conference keynoter, Jessica Mah of internshipIN. My panel is at 4:45 PM on Tuesday June 2, 2009 at Hotel Nikko San Francisco (map).

I highly recommend that any teenage focused startup or company attend the Ypulse Mashup. If you want to buy tickets, use the code ‘SPKR09‘ and you’ll get a 10% on your ticket! I’ll try to attend both days of the conference, so come and say hi!

Going to Seattle [UPDATE]

I’m really happy to announce that I’ll be going to Seattle April 8-9 for spring break. I’ll be flying in to Seattle on Wednesday morning, and will be flying out Thursday at night. I’ll be visiting my friends over at Tatango.com in Bellingham (about 80 miles away from Seattle). My goal of this trip is to profile startups outside the Valley that are making differences in technology. It will be my first time in Seattle or in Washington. I’m trying to decide if I will spend any time in Seattle, so if you would like to meet with me, feel free to get in touch, and we’ll try to work something out!

UPDATE: I’ve decided that I’ll spend the first day in Seattle, and drive to Bellingham at night, and stay overnight in Bellingham, spend the day with Tatango, and then drive back to Seattle to head home! I’m booking meetings now, so email me if you want to meet!

UPDATE 2: I’ll be flying Virgin America with in flight WiFi, so I’m pretty sure I’ll try out that service and see how good it is! Maybe I’ll video chat with the rest of my family back home! We’ll see… 🙂