• AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Innovation, Mobile Tech, Other Cool Stuff..., Tech Trek

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    My eyes shot open and I looked above my head to see the upside-down characters on the alarm clock…somehow my brain made out the fact that it was 3:30 AM, but it didn’t matter I couldn’t sleep any more.  I reached up and turned off the clock so it wouldn’t blare and wake up my wife when it was scheduled to go off at 3:45.  I rolled out of bed to see my wheeled carry-on bag and backpack bursting at the seams, sitting along the wall.  Both bags were stuffed with enough t-shirts, clean underwear and technology to last me 7 days on the road.

    My beautiful wife eventually woke up and graciously drove me to KCI where I barely made my flight out.  Airport security at 6:12 AM runs just as fast as you do at that time….  Day 1 of the Tech Trek had begun:  8 guys, 7 days, 5 stops, countless experiences with the bleeding edge Google Glass hardware in tow, all documented on video.

    After some flight confusion and missed connections by some others we eventually assembled as a team in Silicon Valley.  A Mod Squad of technologists, creative designers, innovators and entrepreneurial minds assembled on the patio of a German style beer garden in down town Mountain View:

    Chris Shaw – Entrepreneur In Residence at Think Big Partners and founder of the Tech Trek (LinkedIn Twitter)

    Hampton Stevens – Freelance journalist for the Atlantic, ESPN the Magazine, Playboy and many more (LinkedIn Twitter)

    Blake Miller – Partner at Think Big Partners and Managing Director of their Accelerator (LinkedIn Twitter)

    Andy Olson – Innovation Leader at Hallmark Cards (LinkedIn Twitter)

    Tom Brantman – Innovation Leader, Immagineer at Hallmark Cards (LinkedIn Twitter)

    Jason Grill – Media Relations, Public Affairs, PR, Attorney, Entrepreneur, TV Analyst, National Writer, Radio Host, Fmr MO Rep (LinkedIn Twitter)

    Spencer Walsh – Documentary Filmmaker, Owner of Piscator Media (LinkedIn Twitter)

    and me….

    We kicked off the day talking with Wade Foster, a graduate from MU who founded Zapier and just recently moved out to Silicon Valley. Over brats and a .5L of beer we talked about his experience with Y Combinator, the benefits of the Valley and his desire to eventually come back “home” to Missouri.

    After killing some time at  the Googleplex in Mountain View, we headed back to our hotel to prepare for the main event….picking up Glass in downtown San Francisco.  We arrived at a nondescript corporate office building close to pier 28 and took the elevator to the 5th floor.  Greeted by Google security, only a couple of us were actually allowed to go into the Glass Receiving area…a stripped down concrete floor with modern/minimal furniture accented by Glass branding.  Chris was seated at a table with a Glass specialist who helped him with the fit and walked him through a very detailed orientation.  It’s clear the technology is new and Google is trying to reduce the learning curve as much as possible.

    We played around, geeked out, asked a bunch of questions and then we were off…on our own in downtown San Francisco.  We navigated to a local pizza joint using Glass and devoured our food.  Everyone took their turn passing Glass around the table and envious onlookers peered through the window to see what we were doing.  We were having a great time but many of us were coming upon our 24th hour awake and we were ready for bed.

    Today is a new day, we’ll be exploring the bay area a bit more talking with a few early stage companies and then doing some of the touristy things.  I would love to take you all along with me on this experience over the next 7 days and you’ll be able to do that because of the technology we have in tow.  Stay tuned here, keep an eye on the TechTrek Blog and Twitter as well as my social media sites….we’re capturing a lot of content with the intent to share!!

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