New Ventures and Finding (My) Balance

I’m admittedly way overdue on crafting an original post for Get Scrappy. It actually saddens me how long it’s been since I’ve written. But no fault of anything other than a full schedule, a desire to find solstice and fresh creativity and having just come off a vacation to Paris. (Yes, Paris…it was awesome.)

But what I wanted most to share now is just how crazy (and fun) the startup train can get. And what I’ve been really up to, other than running around like a mad women.

Project 1:

Been utterly nose down in a special project for iCharts. iCharts is my first love – my day job – and we got a little creative (or crazy) a few months ago and decided to launch a custom chart section for Elections 2012.

Our objective was very simple – to showcase the data centricity of politics and especially the US Elections – via iCharts. We joined hands with Experian Marketing Services and Peoplebrowsr to highlight a combination of online and social analytics, on top of charting open date sources like Pew and Gallup. And short story – I’ve been loving every step along the way. Yes, I’ve lost a few hours of sleep along the way and I’m a walking encyclopedia of election oriented data points. But  none-the-less, I urge you to check it out. (I genuinely know of no other source on the web that has aggregated and created as many original Elections related charts.)

At the root of what we’re doing is showcasing data  – data that can persuade voters, and accentuating that (data) journalism can in fact be done via short-form visuals. Not just through a Twitter post, but in data-rich chart formats that quickly spotlight information in a way that’s easily digested and distributed on the web via social networks, email, advertising, etc… and doesn’t just reside in elongated blog posts or dense articles. Call it a larger call to “citizen responsibility”, but it’s in all of our best interest to keep the larger population informed – at a glance – and that is what we aim to do, even if a very short snippet of what could be done with a larger editorial/marketing team.

Project 2:

Paris inspired me. It has and always will, but this time was different. I was admittedly beyond tired as I started the trip. I couldn’t even see straight the first day due to an exaggerated case of jet lag, but after a few days in I found myself wanting to bring my everyday life back to somewhere between Paris and life in San Francisco. To somehow combine (necessary) creative outlets into a business model that I never tire of – cooking.

Many of you know I love (no really love) cooking…and making specialty cocktails. It’s my go-to when I’ve had a long day, and no matter how tired I might be, I find myself in the kitchen rejuvenated by fresh ingredients and a deeper connection with earth and the rhythm of life.

True, there’s a little necessity out of it given I’m a mom now and would be guilt-ridden if I put frozen dinners in front of my child. But bigger picture, having a child has become an awesome excuse to try new recipies, keeps me from only focusing on tech-oriented projects and in the kitchen.

So out of my love for food, annual fall dinner parties were born a few years ago, adhoc cooking and entertaining ventures with friends and family have followed me for years….and now… there’s Let’s Eat, a unique dinner party experience that incorporates the casual environment of a home, and the fabulous fanfare of gourmet home-cooking. :)

Bear with the newness factor and non-existent website (coming soon!), but the simple truths hold true to start out: dinner will be served, with awesome cocktails, for an inaugural dinner party on October 4th. Bring a friend, or two, and raise a toast as we/I aspire to bring together more foodies, more friends and even some out-of-towners to enjoy the basics – food – in it’s most glamourous self.

To follow iCharts, visit or @icharts.

For Let’s Eat, please register for dinner on Oct 18th and/or join the conversation on Twitter or Facebook.

Cheers and Bon Appetit!

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