Archive for January, 2015

2014 (Brief) Recap

January 30, 2015 - 11:09 am 1 Comment

I’ve neglected writing in my personal blog for a while now – seems that it’s hard to squeeze out an extra hour to do this, but increasingly I’m aware that memory tends to distort and fade such that I would appreciate having a record to remember all the simple joys, triumphs, and challenges.

2014 was quite a cornerstone year for me – new job at Vernier Capital (launch in Feb 2014), bought a place in Brooklyn and moved, Forbes 30 under 30 in education, and a whole lot of intellectual stimulation with travel (Switzerland with the St. Gallen symposium, my first trip to India, and 2x trips to Greater China). Givology continues to grow albeit our fundraising receipts in 2014 disappointing due to website performance, which we fixed only mid-year

I can’t possibly expound in detail but below are some 2014 reflections:

  • Brooklyn is a really fun place to live – my neighborhood is filled with wonderful restaurants, pretty old Brownstones, no traffic (I’m very happy to avoid the tour groups on Wall Street!), a beautiful Botanic Garden nearby, and just a relaxed atmosphere. The sense of neighborhood is spectacular and whenever I feel peckish at night, I can just hop across the street to get a donut, sushi, or chicken. My family came to celebrate my first Christmas, complete with tree and decorations! Mom and dad seem particularly enchanted by Yemen Café, and I always look forward to having my little sister visit
  • Getting the mortgage vexed me to no end – with my credit history, I assumed that it was just be easy…but it turned out to be extremely difficult and we barely closed in the time period allotted. I had to conquer mountains of paperwork, and we braved living out of a suitcase in Long Island City for half a month prior to moving in
  • In December, braving the cold weather, Dave and I took a wonderful eating trip to Montreal, where I indulged too much on fois grois (including the legendary Joe Beef and Au Pied de Cochon), Montreal bagels (St. Viateur came out ahead of Fairmount…frankly, both put NYC bagels to shame even though I love NYC bagels!), and other extraordinarily rich foods (particularly maple sugar deserts). From the Belles Arts Museum to walking around old city, we had a really amazing time together
  • India is really extraordinary! Despite my short time there, I packed in as many sightseeing highlights as possible (it cost only $50 to hire a full guide and taxi in Delhi and $125 for a private tour/car to the Taj Mahal) and re-connected with friends from Oxford who I haven’t seen in years
  • Work is going great – I love the flexibility to look at companies around the world and traveling to meet management teams and better understand the entire supply/value chain. It’s impossible to run out of new ideas and I like the start-up environment
  • Making a stop in Taiwan during a China trip in December was very worthwhile – I got to see my grandfather who has been sick. Even though I am very sad about his condition, it was so good to see him one more time before he passed away. He’s now watching our family from above!  
  • My second time at the St. Gallen Symposium in Switzerland was an extraordinary experience. I had a lot of fun asking questions and participating in debates regarding intergenerational conflict. It’s always so inspiring to meet peers around the world engaged in entrepreneurial activities from all different sectors!
  • Givology continues to grow, although the pace was disappointing for me this year. We on-boarded some exciting new partnerships (Apne Aap, Abaarso, among others), officially launched our product line (www.giveinspiration.org), actively grew our social media network with our #givchat tweetchats and other campaigns, published the second edition of our book, and continued with our core chapters and online fundraising. Fixing the website is my top priority for this year and I’m willing to pay to get this done on a personal level
  • After playing ice hockey at Chelsea Piers for the Fall season of 2013 and Spring season of 2014, I decided to take a hiatus given my schedule. Even though I miss skating and the excitement of competition, I realize that taking a more relaxed weekend schedule has become increasingly instrumental