The Entreprenurial Spirit. Otherwise Known as Sh*t I Don’t Have Time For

Living in “The Valley” has its benefits. First and foremost, the weather. We have skiing about a 3.5 hour away (2.5 hours if you drive like my fellow blogger Ursula Ringham), the beach just over “The Hill,” and lovely wineries () all over the place. No mosquitoes! Fabulous restaurants. “THE City” just up the 280 (or the 101 if you are a masochist and want to sit in traffic).

Silicon Valley also has its downfalls. It’s astronomically expensive to live here in terms of housing costs, if you can even find housing at all. There are pockets of quality schools, but for the most part, public education sucks for the amount of money we pay in taxes. Traffic. Glassholes. Traffic.

For me, my #siliconvalleyproblems are all the side project “distractions.” Let me explain. There is a massive amount of creativity and entrepreneurship that happens all around me every day. My neighbor is developing a cool new shopping app. My daughters BFF’s mom has a new company.  My friends are writing screen plays and books! When did everyone get so freaking smart and inspired??

To fit in, I try and come up with new ideas too. But seriously, ain’t nobody got time for THAT! I have two kids, a job, Gweneth Paltrow recipes to try, work outs to do, Game of Thrones to watch, Facebook posts to comment on (but not on my phone, per my last blog post here!). It’s already exhausting!

Ask any of my friends. I come up with a new “amazing” (insert sarcasm here) idea almost every week. But I need someone to actually do the “doing.” Is that why the rich get richer? It’s one thing to have great ideas, but quite another to bring them to fruition. Successful rich people have ideas, but I imagine they also have numerous “staff” to take care the execution.

Perhaps if I had a small staff of “do-ers” maybe all my cool inventions and business ideas would allow me to now have a large staff? Who knows. For sh*ts and giggles, here are a few of my ideas and how they came to be. If you steal them, I will sue. I have a on staff. Just kidding, she’s my good friend, but she writes super threatening letters.

BabySure: After having two “false alarms” while nine months pregnant (i.e. thought my water broke, but I really just peed a little), my genius friend/attorney Brooke and I came up with the idea to create a pad type of thing that sticks in the underwear of a very preggo lady. If a “leak” happens, the pad would turn color if it was amniotic fluid and time to hit the hospital. Brilliant! But all the testing and endorsements and OMG, who has the time for that? I am at that time in my life where divorces are happening amongst our inner circle of friends. Having been the confidant of several newly divorced ladies, I have discovered that one of biggest issues for each of them was that “first time” with someone else. We concocted an online community for people that are fresh out of a relationship. The site would match those who want to get “it” over with and move on. Right? Amazing! I went so far to partner with a few people and get a story-board video together. , done by the awesome . I giggle every time I see it. But, like everything else, I have no time. My partners kind of fizzled out as well. They all have kids, jobs and social lives as well. And then Netflix released an entire season of House of Cards, which totally takes priority.

Parent Pairings App: I own and work on a wine brand called . In an effort to help promote the product, I wanted to create an app that would pair all kinds of wines with different parenting situations. Turns out, it takes a lot of money and brainpower to create an app. It takes a lot less time to publish a book, so I did that instead. is clearly soon to be bestseller. It is currently available in all two of my neighborhood . Seriously, who has time to go sell it individually to each indie store? I already do that with wine for my full time job. Summer intern for credit? Anyone?

iVibe: Many years ago, back in the dark ages when I decided to get a Blackberry Storm instead of an iPhone, my good friend and I had an idea to revolutionize phone sex. So, you take an iPhone, or a Storm, although Courtney LOLed when she found out I had one. iVibe is an app that makes the phone vibrate hard and fast enough to, well, give a…well, you know. BUT, the kicker, the phone could be controlled by someone else, from anywhere else that had a signal. We didn’t totally think it through (there was talk of a “sleeve” to “protect” the phone, which is just weird). But someone else really did think about it and now there is this: the . It is an app that controls a vibrator that is connected to a phone via Bluetooth. So someone from afar can be controlling what goes on down there. Via a phone. That’s pretty cool and changes phone sex forever. Because now its not just phone sex, right? The funny thing is, a friend of mine invented it all on his own. Without even stealing our brilliant idea. Nice work Brian Dunham. Nice work.

The “Oh Shit” Cam: Scenario: Your former employee has totally f-ed you over. Stolen business plan and customer list. This former employee went out on their own to create a competing business. On YOUR time. While neglecting their job and screwing up your business so it makes customers easy to poach. Yeah, that guy. Imagine you get a lawyer to file suit and then send that guy a letter about it. Wouldn’t you pay money to see that guy’s face when he opens the letter? How much? That’s the “Oh Shit” camera. Attach it to a document and when the other person is reading it and hopefully reacting with an “Oh shit!” face, the camera takes a picture or video. The file is then sent immediately via 4G it to an email address or text. The camera then disintegrates. I love this idea, but nothing has ever come out of it, just a lot of lunchtime laughs.

STIK Your Pose: So this is something that is actually happening. My attorney friend and I have done it again, coming up with the greatest idea ever. It is inspired by our favorite workout class at in our ‘hood. We have a URL, a manufacturing plan and contacts, the start of a business plan and even a potential first customer! So I am not going to say too much more about it. Except that it has all the qualities of a potential new successful business. One, it solves a problem that I and others have. Two, I am passionate about it. Three, it fills a need in the marketplace as there is really nothing like it that is widely available. Of course, last but not least, there is a huge potential market for it. Stay tuned. But seriously, I don’t have any time to do this. I guess I will have to forgo Orange is the New Black this summer.

Google Alerts Can Cause Cancer

As the HMPIC (Head Marketing Person in Charge) of several wine brands and business entities (, ,, , , , and  to be exact), I have a Google News Alert set up for each of my charges.  If any of my “babies” are mentioned anywhere on the web in a news outlet, I get an email telling me where. It’s pretty intuitive and saves me a lot of time. Back in the dark ages of tech bubble number 1, my fellow public relations interns and assistant account managers used to scan all the actual print publications for coverage of our clients. It made for a long day looking for clips about executives, software and servers. Fortunately I escaped that world many moons ago and went into booze. Wine is so much more fun than a CD-ROM game called “”(one of my actual clients back in ’97) on so many levels. image

I digress. Back to Google Alerts. I get a lot of, hmmm, interesting notifications from time to time. The most common—articles about drinking wine and its correlation, or lack thereof, to cancer. I read them all—scared out of my mind or jumping up and down for my good decisions.

One article covers a study that young . But then upon Googling that, another article references a study that claims no— and then another that insists alcohol in general will raise your life expectancy.

WTF?  Do I freak out and overhaul my lifestyle or do I celebrate my choices? I need to know!  Google, help me!

Information is all around us—and it is becoming increasingly difficult to weave out good from bad, fact from fiction, important from the drivel, truth from bullsh*t—you get my drift. What comes out one day is often contradicted the next. The.  Can I sue Google?

Oh, and as an alcohol industry professional, my recommendation for a long and happy, healthy life: everything in moderation. Like what  says. Note the reference to my  in that link—my inspiration for today’s blog and received via Google News Alerts. Looking forward to coming full circle when this blog comes up in a Google Alerts.