Cofounder/CTO at the Creative Action Network. Cofounded midVentures (now TechWeek). Bar pianist at the Pour House.

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Elevate the Conversation

I was recently introduced to a proverb:

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

It’s amazing how succinctly this quote (usually misattributed to Eleanor Roosevelt) describes the way most of our daily interactions work. Look at the media. Find yourself reading People magazine? Maybe you’d learn more by watching the Events on CNN. And you would learn even more if you cracked open the Economist and read about the great Ideas in there.

When you are having a conversation, the first question you should ask is, are we talking about People, Events, or Ideas? And if it’s People or Events, see if you can elevate the conversation.

This is harder than it seems. We all are tempted to talk about people that we know. We are natural gossips. These are conversations we all have had:

  • He just got a new job
  • They just got married
  • I really don’t like her
  • ...

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My Sidecar Drivers

I have been using Sidecar for about eight months. I don’t use other services, so I can’t say if my experiences with Sidecar have been unique, but the people I meet using Sidecar are the reason I do it. In just 10-30 minutes per ride, I have heard some amazing stories. I just went through my trip history to share some of them (I changed the names).

  • Kwame, from Ghana, joined the National Guard the month after getting his Green Card last year. He was shipping out in a week to Afghanistan for a yearlong tour. As a member of the army, he had to renounce his Ghanaian citizenship, and since he won’t get his US Citizenship for another three years he is currently a man without a country.

  • Tom is a truck driver for his day job. He used to be an avid gamer to battle his loneliness, but discovered Sidecar was a great way to meet new people. He was born into a Catholic family and has...

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