Here we go, my first blog post at my first blog.  I plan on sharing my misadventures of startup, design, life and general nerdiness. Who I am, what got me here, and where I hope to be in the future.

If you have made it far enough into my page to find my blog, you probably already know that I love design.  This has been an interest of mine as long as I can remember.  Most of my skills are self-taught, it took me over two years to get to where I was proficient but now I can hold my own against my peers. I utilized online tutorials to learn graphic design principles and then I decided that I needed to add Web development to my skill set.  I would find something that I thought was interesting and well designed, and I would reverse engineer it. This helped me learn many new design techniques that had previously seemed like “Magic” to me.

That led me to seek out a web development degree at a local community college. I wanted to build websites that were unique. Though I succeeded at designing these interesting pages, often they were not easy to use.  I could make one heck of a good looking static website, but there was usually not much functionality to them.

I started to take an interest in the startup culture, I watched hours upon hours of CEO interviews, Jack Dorsey (Twitter & Square), Dennis Crowley (FourSquare), Kevin Rose (Digg, Google Ventures, ETC). These were my rock stars! I wanted to reverse engineer their successes and stand in their shoes. I wanted to build things that millions of people would use to make their lives better. The funny thing is that I’m a bit of an introvert. Big crowds and interacting with new people just isn’t my style.  But online I can craft what I say, I can introduce myself to new people.  With very low effort, I’ve been able to hack my way into some of these networks, I’m Co-Founder/Visual Designer of a startup called DropTrip, I have about 1,200 followers on twitter and I’ve managed to connect with some of my heroes like Gary Vaynerchuk (Vayner Media) and Eric Ries (Author of The Lean Startup) on LinkedIn.

I’m not yet standing in the shoes of my heroes. I’m not yet where I want to be, but I’ve made great strides to get where I am today. I’ve overcome most of the anxieties I faced just five short years ago. This is just the beginning of my story. I can’t wait to share the rest of my journey with you.

If you have an interest in something, go out and hustle to make it happen. You won’t reach your goals by sitting around playing Call of Duty the rest of your life, GO MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Shawn

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