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  • What happens when a university, a city and an agency collaborate to innovate? Something exceptional

    • By jennifer
    • |
    • Tuesday, December 3, 2013

     It's a rare occasion when people and institutions exceed our expectations, isn't it? And when we encounter “exceptional,” it makes a lasting impression that is worth sharing. Just recently, I had the opportunity (thanks to the project's visionary, Alex Lawrence) to attend the launch of Startup Ogden - the outcome of disparate entities truly collaborating beyond typical borders. The trip was a ton of fun and taught me some valuable lessons about community and collaboration. This startup and education facility was the result of an entrepreneurial leader's vision, a university's buy-in, a city's future thinking and the community's support. 

    startup ogden grand openingThe project, dubbed "Weber State Downtown" arrived stylishly on the scene on November 20, 2013 with the opening of this coworking + education space. It's a two-year, $3.5 million project that was the vision of Alex Lawrence, successful entrepreneur and teacher. Alex is full of passion for helping young people succeed and for his community in Northern Utah. He’s brilliant at making things happen, and this project showcased how to translate vision into collaboration between disparate parties in order to innovate for the future.

    With Alex’s leadership, Startup Ogden came to fruition due to a financial partnership rarely seen, including a university (Weber State University), a city (the City of Ogden), an economic development agency (the Governor's Office of Economic Development) and a local Chamber (Ogden Weber Chamber).

    Startup Ogden is a multi-use space focused on coworking, but also features an iMac-filled classroom for development and design-oriented continuing education, a mobile apps lab, campus store, event space, café and get this - an Apple store (coming soon).

    startup ogden

    Startup Ogden's coworking floor

    In his usual generous spirit, Alex invited some #VegasTech members (myself and David Gosse included) up to the launch festivities and its subsequent Startup Weekend. Alex has been an avid supporter of VegasTech and we've appreciated his consistent contributions in-person and from his home base in UT for our growing community. It was our honor to trek up to Ogden for his mega-launch and see what he'd been cooking for the last couple years. (For some fun outtakes, see the #SelfieTour photos initiated by Jimmy Jacobson and Porter Haney).

    #VegasTech in Ogden

    It's a beautiful place. The rustic modern three-floor building has been reimagined from an abandoned manufacturing facility. Original exposed brick walls date back to the late 1800's while the new hand-scraped wood floors update the look. Loads of natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows on each floor is enhanced by a glass enclosed staircase. Ping pong tables, a punching bag and conversation areas with flat screen TVs makes the old-meets-new look a definite modern vibe.

    Startup Weekend’s founder underscores the imperative of inclusiveness in community

    Also in attendance at Startup Ogden's launch and its subsequent Startup Weekend event later that evening was Andrew Hyde, the founder of Startup Weekend. As the 54-hour startup event began, Andrew’s keynote revealed that his original goal when launching Startup Weekend was to help build inclusive communities.

    He encouraged attendees to nurture a community where everyone feels welcomed and valued. If you can do that in a weekend, you can carry over that practice to your company and city. It's hard to do a bad job when you're inclusive, he said.

    That sentiment matched perfectly with the theme of Startup Ogden's launch weekend: community, inclusiveness and innovation.

    Andrew Hyde and Made in Ogden

    Andrew Hyde and local tech goods maker, Ogden Made, founder

    When we knock down our typical walls and collaborate cross-agency/company/city/demographics/company/culture, we can create something innovative that improves our collective futures.

    That’s what Alex Lawrence did with his original vision for Startup Ogden and what the founding partners did when they signed on to work together for a common goal for the betterment of their young people’s and community’s future. It’s also the aim of Startup Weekends in over 200 cities around the world. And it should be the goal for each of us in our communities, companies and families. After all, collaboration is simply defined as working with others in order to produce or create something – exceptional.


    Bonus section (more photos)

    classroom space

    #VegasTech pals Jimmy Jacobson teaches Tracky CEO David Gosse a lesson or two in coding in the continuing education classroom.

    bikes at coworking

    Bikes as art? You bet. Especially when just outside are some epic trails in the Wasatch Mountains.

    ogden mountain views

  • SMBs - why your cloud partner is one of the most important partnerships you'll make

    • By jennifer
    • |
    • Friday, August 30, 2013

    Cloud4SMB exoiThis week at Cloud4SMB Expo in Las Vegas, there was a lot of talk about what's now and what's next in cloud computing for small business. Among the sessions was a talk by CloudSigma CEO, Robert Jenkins, and our own VP of Development, David Longnecker, about how small businesses can make better informed choices about cloud hosting.

    As reported by Rich Steeves, TMCnet Managing Editor, migrating to the cloud is one of the most challenging decisions that small businesses can make. As a SMB owner, you might realize that the cloud can offer you speed, cost and scalability benefits, but it's probably unclear which provider to choose, much less which program to select within the provider's offerings.

    That's why we hope that our experience as shared in the Cloud4SMB session and in a case study with CloudSigma will help other startups and small businesses with their own cloud evaluation process.

    Our main reasons for choosing CloudSigma were: flexible computer resources, open software systems, perfect provisioning, all-SSD storage (solid-state drive storage) five-minute billing increments, scalability and very importantly, 5X faster performance with a 350% cost savings. 

    CloudSigma

    Plus, CloudSigma's stellar team has seen the transition as a collaborative experience. They've helped us decide which programs would be best for our growing platform needs and helped make the migration as smooth as could be. Their customer service was the best we've encountered in the industry, which can be almost as valuable as savings for startups. We're very confident in our choice to migrate to CloudSigma and we'd recommend them wholeheartedly to other SMBs.

    Read more about why Tracky chose CloudSigma to host our scalable collaboration platform in this CloudSigma case study.

  • Lessons from SXSW V2V – Conference Goers Do Indeed Care, Smiles are Good & 12-Year-Olds Can Code

    • By jennifer
    • |
    • Monday, August 19, 2013

    SXSW V2VWhen you’re on the conference trail as an attendee or exhibitor, it’s easy to get a wee bit weery and “overdone” when it comes to yet another convention. So when SXSW V2V arrived on the scene, we were still buzzing from the deafening hoopla that was SXSW in March and intitially weren't convinced we should exhibit. Yet, there promised to be something a little different about V2V that begged our attention.

    First of all, Las Vegas was its home. Score a big point for making it more economical for a Vegas-based startup. Second, its slogan promised a focus on innovation, visionaries, ventures, VCs and productive conversations. Well played. Third, we’re suckers for startup spotlight-type events. Such as: SXSW, CES, DemoVegas and TechCocktail to name several we've attended. Fourth, VegasTech friend Gabe Shepherd and V2V Community Liaison encouragd us to join the festivities. OK, so VegasTech at SXSW was a hit, so score another for "yes."  Plus, when a conference is innovative enough to feature a 12-year-old developer and his father in a session, you know good things are in store.

    David & Jennifer Gosse at V2VBeing the resilient startup folks that we are, we dove head first into the opportunity to exhibit at the Startup Spotlight last Monday and to take out an ad in the inside back cover of the program booklet. Despite those wins, the quiet cynic in me didn’t expect much from a summertime conference-going crowd inhabiting one of the most party-notorious hotels in the world. Nonetheless, I brushed those notions aside and showed up with the best intentions and a smile on my face.

    As the start of the spotlight rolled around at 3:00pm, the registration lobby went from eager startups setting up shop to a trickle of fresh-faced attendees, quickly escalating by 3:30 to an eager flood and ending in a roar, well after the 6pm closing time. (Perhaps the adjacent open bar should be credited for helping the spotlight to end on such a high note). Regardless, any doubt about the spotlight's viability for a startup was squashed. And that was just one event of the week’s mega-schedule. It was an important one for us, though, as we publicly debuted our stop giving away your contentcommunity publishing product to attendees via the ad and the spotlight.

    What was truly refreshing was the authentic interest in what Tracky does that the majority of our booth-goers showed. An exhibitor can get a little self-conscious about their pitch when it’s delivered hundreds of times to folks that are probably more interested free swag or a novel game rather than learning about a productivity and publishing platform. We were pleasantly surprised by the smiling faces, intriguing questions, patient onlookers, sincere well wishes and legitimate leads that came out of the event.

    V2V VineThere were some solid technologies at the spotlight and it was an honor to be among them. The buzz was nicely captured in this Vine that our #VegasTech startup pals at Alice Receptionist created. Their virtual reception system is an impressive Vegas-built product that we know is solving a real need for resources-strapped companies and large organizations, plus it’s a product that we believe will be very successful and around for the long-haul. Also in attendance was Vegas-based child care location assistance app,,Cubby Road.

    The rest of the show was well done, too. Much of our time at the Cosmo was spent networking so we didn’t get to as many sessions as we would have liked, but to all who planned, sponsored, spoke, mentored, attendees and exhibited – thanks for making SXSW’s first foray into Las Vegas a success!

    We would love to see more of SXSW and similar events happen here in Vegas. We’re looking forward to the Life is Beautiful festival in October, where I’m sure that more good intentions and pleasantly surprised responses will result.

    Thank you to all who made Tracky part of your V2V experience and who cared enough to stop and smile back at the big smiley mark staring back at you and the three humans who were thankful for your interest.

  • Researching science for your startup? Here's how to avoid getting tricked by bad data

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Tuesday, April 30, 2013

    “10 ways the Internet is killing you,” along with a photo, like the one below, is an attention-getting premise, but unless there’s evaluated data, expert commentary and, otherwise real science to back it up, it’s nothing more than click-bait.


    [PHOTO CREDIT: jurvetson / flickr]



    Whether you’re looking to establish need for your startup or producing editorial content for your blog, scientific data is essential. Nothing backs up your hypothesis than scientific findings. But, beware, not all articles based on science are created equal.

    The Incubator, an independent science blog from The Rockefeller University, recently shared, “5 Steps to Separate Science from Hype, No PhD Required.” Researchers Gabrielle Rabinowitz and Emily Jane Dennis outline ways non-scientists can determine whether or not what they’re reading has merit:

    1. Separate the sales pitch from the science
    2. Find the data
    3. Evaluate the data
    4. Put the story into context
    5. Ask an expert


    To read the article in its entirety, visit The Incubator.

  • Would you use Bitcoins in your business? [POLL]

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Friday, April 26, 2013

    What about for a startup?

    “Bitcoin uses peer to peer technology to operate with no central authority; managing transactions and issuing Bitcoins are carried out collectively by the network. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin allows exciting uses that could not be covered by any previous payment systems.” (Bitcoins.org)

    [PHOTO CREDIT: zcopley]

    While you can’t live off of businesses who currently accept Bitcoins, there are a growing number of companies, like OKCupid, Wordpress, WikiLeaks, 4chan and Foodler who accept them. (Here’s a complete list of businesses.)

    Because you can’t use Bitcoins in many locations, it’s what TechCrunch’s John Biggs calls, “the last mile problem.” They need a mass adoption by businesses who accept them or they may not stand a chance.

    Why aren’t more people using Bitcoins? Well, it’s kind of confusing and the average internet user may not feel comfortable being a guinea pig in this new era of value transaction. Plus, without worldwide adoption, Bitcoins could lose their value entirely.

    If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur and, knowing what you know about Bitcoins, would you consider using them in your business?

    TWEET THIS: Would you allow people to pay you in Bitcoins? CLICK ONE: Sure, why not? http://wedg.me/YRObJs or Never. http://wedg.me/Zs6DNu

  • 11 startups #Shakespeare would probably have invested in

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Monday, April 22, 2013

    [PHOTO CREDIT: Lord Chamberlain’s Memes]

    Did you know that William Shakespeare was also a savvy businessman and “ruthless investor and profiteer?” It’s an often overlooked skillset of the beloved playwright.

    If Shakespeare were alive today, chances are he would be interested in innovations being made in technology and communications, especially as they relate to the arts. And, being the savvy investor he was, he’d want to get involved in the best.

    1. MySpace (new) - Shakespeare would treat the new MySpace as this century’s Globe Theater. His support would fuel the rise of up and coming performers with a passion for creating works of musical art. He might even feature a great indy band in his next rom-com. And, who knows, a JT and Shakespeare partnership?
    2. GetGlue - Imagine finding out who is reading your books or watching your written-for-the-big-screen movies. Shakespeare would have been glued to Glue, along with finding ways to engage with and reward his most loyal fans.
    3. Medium - Like modern day quarto editions of his best works. Shakespeare would find innovative ways to connect his art with a greater community. I wonder if he’d invite anyone to contribute?
    4. Twitter - To be or not to be, that is the question. The 140-character format would be an ideal platform for Shakespeare to share his daily musings, tease his next project and correct misinformation about which Anne Hathaway he married. 
    5. Kayak - A travel app? Yes. Shakespeare was known to spend his time between London and Stratford, England. That’s two hours by car and would have been about three days by horse and cart. Once he discovered innovations like planes, trains and automobiles, I bet Shakespeare would become a world-traveling jetsetter.
    6. BuzzFeed - What if the combination of memes, pop culture and original news content was right up Shakespeare’s ally? Known for his precise comic sequences, maybe he would have become both an investor and contributor. Can anyone say king of memes?
    7. Foursquare - As a “ruthless investor” Shakespeare would be all about making a profit. He’d urge Foursquare execs to sell check-in data for ad targeting. There would most likely be a King’s Men badge for those who check in to more than three live performances of Shakespeare’s plays.
    8. Netflix - If only to expose more people to Mel Gibson as Hamlet, Shakespeare would have wanted in on the Netflix early days. With more than 20 movies based on his written works already available, who knows what else he would be able to make happen.
    9. Tracky - Playwrights in Shakespeare’s time often collaborated on projects. Well, there’s no better collaboration platform than Tracky, so we’re inclined to think he’d be all up in our business.
    10. Dollar Shave Club - Impeccable grooming is a top priority when you have well-known facial hair. Plus, who doesn’t love a great deal? Shakespeare would most likely be both investor and spokesperson for the men’s razor deal site.
    11. SnapChat - Shakespeare would love real-time picture chatting and would have found a way to socialize shortburst soliloquies.

    And suggestions from a few from our friends:

    “Kickstarter!” -Brady Akers
    “Rap genius.” -Michael Gruen

    What startups do you think Shakespeare would invest in if he were alive today? Share your responses here or on Twitter and tag @Tracky.

  • #VegasTech Showcases at #SXSW

    • By jennifer
    • |
    • Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    Last March, it started as Gabe Shepherd’s big idea and culminated in bringing the #VegasTech community to showcase at SXSW 2013 in a very big way. Switch's sponsorship gave the idea life, and paved the way for others sponsors like Downtown Project and the community to get on board, for real. 

    Before SXSW Interactive 2013, #VegasTech was already legit. After all, #VegasTech is a two-year-old startup community with humble coffee shop roots that has grown into an oft-referred to tech community attracting national attention. But something shifted with our #SXSW community representation: to the global scene, we’ve arrived as a notable tech community with viable startups, serious talent, major corporate support, educational backers and a whole lot of passion.

    The project encompassed a booth at the SXSW trade show, a cocktail hour and a mega party.

    VegasTech
    #VegasTech startups and organizers about to hit the streets with party posters

    Perhaps best of all, we got to share the collaborative, cooperative and passionate nature of our community. With our growing publicity and infrastructure growth, we hope to attract more companies and talent into the valley in order to grow the ecosystem. But, even if we don’t, it was a bonding experience to collaborate on the #VegasTech #SxSW go-to-market plan (we used Tracky!) and see it come to fruition.

    Gabe Shepherd and David Gosse

    @tracky CEO @davidgosse and #VegasTech SxSW Organizer @gapeshep sporting VegasTech shades

    Now, the world knows about our startup community. We even trended on Mashable and other outlets.

    trending

    Thanks to Fuller Street Production, amidst the SxSW trade show noise, #VegasTech stood out.

    VegasTech sign

    Here is a little recap of what went down...

    Tracky at #SXSW

    Tracky at VegasTech booth

    First off, our corner of the booth was rockin’ thanks to Fuller Street.  Tracky co-founders David and Jennifer Gosse were booth-bound most of the show and it was hugely productive. Sarah Evans was evangelizing and producing an Innovator Series (details below).

    Tracky caps

    We hung our Tracky caps on the scaffolding and gave every single one away. (If you snagged a Tracky cap while at #SXSW, snap a picture and share it with us! We’ll add you to our “Tracky in the wild” sightings and share a little about who you are too).

    We met a ton of interesting folks from around the world. We got to demo Tracky to hundreds of people and loved the feedback that we received. What were the main complaints that we heard? Workflows are broken and email kills productivity because it's still being used as collaboration. (More on that in future posts). If we met you and we need to follow up, we’ll be in touch soon!

    TechCocktail held interviews in the booth for a couple days. It was great to see the flow of startups and thought leaders come through the space and chat with Frank, Jen, Zach and Kira. We love that TechCocktail is in Vegas now!

    TechCocktail at VegasTech

    David Gosse and Frank Gruber

    We enjoyed sharing the space with our VegasTech comrades, including Switch, UNLV, the Governor's Office of Economic Development, Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, Alice Reception, Tabeso, docBeat, UsedGearSale, RollTech, LaunchKey, Zuldi.

    VegasTech comrades

    Oh. And we got to see Shaq. He stopped by the VegasTech booth for a minute, entourage in tow. He is extremely tall.

    Shaq

    Shaq and Rick Duggan

    Innovator Interviews

    Sarah Evans hosted the Innovator Series from the Samsung Blogger Lounge on March 12th with partners Watchitoo, Cox Blue and Tracky.

    Sarah Evans and TicketCake

    Sarah Evans with Jackie Jensen and Dylan Jorgensen of TicketCake

    Innovator series

    Sarah Evans with Gabe Shepherd - sponsored by Watchitoo, Cox Blue and Tracky

    Lounge

    The #VegasTech lounge brought together an electric crowd and showcasing startups and sponsors, with the evening’s presentations hosted by Frank Gruber of TechCocktail. Switch and Downtown Project, ended the evening with inspiring talks via Jason Mendenhall and Tony Hsieh.

    Jason Mendenhall speaking at the Cocktail Hour 

    VegasTech Party

    VegasTech party

    The community invited SxSW attendees to a big bash at Red 7 for open bar, Vegas musical talent (Jordan Laws, Rusty Maples and American Cream), big-time dancing and networking. With something like 3000 RSVPs, the venue was packed until 1am.

     Switch team

    The Switch team with David and Jennifer Gosse

    Fuller Street Productions abundantly sponsored the production materials for the booth, lounge and party at a great financial and human resources expense. Thank you. Your generosity shined.

     Daniel and Jennifer

    Daniel and Fuller Street - you represent the 1% doers movement!
     

    VegasTech buds

    VegasTech buds 


    Sarah Evans, Ann Diab and Jennifer Gosse

    Sarah Evans, Ann Diab and Jennifer Gosse all smiles at the #VegasTech party

    We Did It

    Networking and partying in Austin with hundreds of your closest friends is a great way to celebrate the two-year anniversary of our community. A heartfelt thanks to Gabe Shepherd, all the hard-working volunteers, sponsors and to all who made it happen. We <3 you!

    1% Doers

  • Tracky Hack Week Two: Board Meetings and Vegas Sunsets

    • By dan
    • |
    • Monday, August 20, 2012

    In case you missed our first Tracky Hack Week write-up, our hacks are when we bring in all the team members from around the country into Tracky headquarters in Las Vegas. We build, we strategize, we eat, and we laugh a little. Okay, we laugh a lot. Here's a little look into our second hack week.

    It's always a little nerve-wrecking to meet your board of advisors and directors for the first time. I'm not sure why, they all ended up being great people once we got to know them. Regardless, I think you feel nervous because you want to make a good impression on the good folks who donate their time and their dollars to make sure our startup keeps chugging along in the right direction.

    inNEVation from Switch
    Tracky HQ, where palm trees meet technology

    Our board is filled with some success stories too. Maybe I felt anxious because they've "done it" and we're still trying to "do it." Or, maybe it’s because I read their bios before I arrived in Vegas, and realized how lucky we were to have them.

    Our board is filled with everything from Vegas entrepreneurs who are revolutionizing the way data is managed, to someone who changed used-car buying forever. There are members who know numbers so well they've written books on the subject, and guys who are as so seasoned at building startups, that now they simply do it for fun. We even have someone with the sixth most listened-to radio show as an advisor. Not to mention that two of these folks are also amateur pilots.

    Tracky team strategy session
    The Tracky team huddles around David Gosse’s strategy session

    Despite their accomplished careers, our board was all ears and smiles during our first board meeting. They met the team as each of us presented what our roles were, and how we want to see Tracky grow. They got to see glimpses of our v3 launch plan, and some side projects we're working on specifically for organizations.

    They had feedback, sure, but all of it was helpful and encouraging. The one thing that resonated, was their overwhelming excitement for seeing Tracky v3 launched. Don't worry, we're equally if not more excited to launch as well.

    grass-fed burgers are noms
    Burgers man, really good burgers

    After the board meeting, our second Tracky Hack was similar to the first. The team got tighter, we worked on strategy and building, and we ate (a lot). We’re getting closer to launching the version of Tracky that we all want and talk about, and you’ll notice subtle changes to the Tracky platform as we roll them out week-by-week.

    Sarah Evans and Dan Zelikman
    Classic. I can’t believe I fell for it

    Our Tracky Vegas family grew a little bit too. Sarah Evans and her family are officially living in the heart of #vegastech, where she can help build Tracky into the ultimate social collaboration tool. Her young son Kashton is also loving Vegas, and has become the youngest baby to ever win the World Series of Poker. Just kidding, for now.

    Oh yeah, we also got these!

    Tracky hats
    What? You want one? ;)

    Until next time, keep on Tracking! ;)

  • [VIDEO] The Future of Social Collaboration With Tracky's Chief Evangelist, Sarah Evans

    • By dan
    • |
    • Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Our very own Sarah Evans was interviewed on the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City, KSLTV about the future of social collaboration. Naturally, they chatted about how Tracky makes your life easier in more ways than one.

    Enjoy the banter about getting things done between Sarah and the newscaster in this three minute clip! Then, go check of some Tracks, geez! ;)

  • Tracky Hack Week: Bring Your Startup's Team Together, and Do Work Man

    • By dan
    • |
    • Thursday, July 12, 2012


    Track Stars — Photo: Mike Manzano

    Technology

    It’s great, right?

    Technology enables us to connect to one another in ways we never imagined. Like others, Tracky has a team that is spread throughout the country. From our headquarters in the heart of VegasTech, to an island in the middle of the Pacific, and a few other states sprinkled all over. Heck, we're even in Canada, eh? (Sorry Canada, bad joke).

    Like the great Johnny Cash, Tracky is everywhere, man—and that's a good thing. We pull inspiration and creativity from our team's favorite places, and that diversity is poured into the Tracky concept.

    What is the Tracky concept you ask? It’s a product that helps you connect and collaborate with amazing people, so that you can finish and share your amazing work. And when the work is done, you can use Tracky to plan amazing experiences in your personal life—amazing huh?

    The Tracky Team

    You guessed it, we're also part-time models — Photo: Evan Nagle

    Here is a list of the entire Tracky team on Twitter.

    Tracky's fearless leaders David and Jennifer Gosse, used their super hero powers to network, research, and put together a team that would build a product to solve all our technology woes. They wanted honest, hard-working technology lovers who could think outside the box. But when they couldn’t find any, they settled for us.

    They chose the person, not the location, and because we're scattered about—we're the perfect test case to build the ultimate social collaboration tool to help teams work virtually. And while we all use Tracky to build and work (along with some group Skype calls), there's really nothing like getting together and cranking stuff out.

    So, we launched Tracky Hack Week. A week dedicated to bringing the whole team to Vegas to strategize and build (and eat). Here's a peek at some of the hacking that went down.



    Seriously, we ate our faces off — Photo: David Longnecker

    The Tracky House

    Tracky House — Photo: Sarah Evans

    Before we all arrived, Jennifer, Tracky's Co-Founder and CMO, asked all of us whether we wanted to get a hotel or a house. She posted a survey using VegasTech’s Wedgies, and we all somehow agreed that a house would give us a lot more opportunity to jam on Tracky stuff in a creative way. I think we were right.


    D&D, dining and developing — Photo: David Chat

    The house felt huge, even with most of the team staying there. It gave us the peaceful nights we needed to recover, and the meeting areas we needed to do work.



    Sarah vs. The MacBook — Photo: Dan Zelikman

    The pool, the ping pong table, and the mini-golf course didn't hurt either. Okay, so it was just a putting green at first. But it's amazing what a little creativity and some bricks can lead to.


    Mini-golf, Tracky style — Photo: David Longnecker

    After all-day work sessions, we would relax by the pool and eat some amazing barbecue courtesy of Tracky's Founder and CEO, David Gosse. But every night without fail, with a bottle of delicious scotch, we fell into a relaxing yet extremely productive strategy session about Tracky's growth and direction. Basically, it was the team getting together and dreaming up what Tracky could be.



    Late night jam session — Photo: David Chat

    Those were my favorite parts of the Hack Week for sure. Well that, and the times we all were trying to figure out how to restart the internet whenever it went down.



    The files are in, the computer? — Photo: Dan Zelikman

    The SuperNAP

    When we weren't playing and working in the Tracky castle, we frequented other amazing workspaces. Thanks to Rob Roy, his incredible team, and his generous investment into Tracky—we were able to work in the Star Trek-like work station, inNEVation, that they're building close to the SuperNAP, the largest data center you'll find on the planet Earth.

    Sure, the security is fairly tight in those parts, but they did let us snap a photo of their theatre, where folks will be able to host conferences, presentations, and various video game competitions (no seriously they have a PS3 hooked up to a ginormous screen).



    Tracky meetings are tough — Photo: Jennifer Gosse

    Besides the datacenter (which is so awesome we launched Tracky there), Switch is interested in helping diversify the local economy by making inNEVation a small business coworking space (and the soon-to-be Tracky headquarters). It's not finished, but take it from me, it will be just as jaw-dropping as the datacenter. Keep an eye out for updates from Switch, and if you're in the Vegas area, I highly recommend you check out the space. If you don't, we'll send this guy after you.



    Happy developer — Photo: Dan Zelikman


    Camping, Reflection, and Dreaming Big



    A little outside those flashing lights from the strip — Photo: Dan Zelikman

    One thing stood out more than anything else during the Tracky Hack, and that was our camping trip. I never associated Las Vegas with beautiful scenery or the outdoors, but man was I wrong. David and Jennifer drove us to one of their favorite local spots, Mt. Charleston, which left us all in awe of VegasTech’s softer, more relaxing side.



    Setting the mood — Photo: David Chat

    We cooked and ate over a fire, and we realized that some of us were pretty good at throwing a football, and pretty bad at playing badminton. After some fun and games and a little too much smoke inhalation from the fire, we sat down and chatted about our vision for Tracky.



    Tracky’s CEO David Gosse, lead off with the importance of Tracky’s company culture and finding the right team. He told us that we would be okay for now, but that he’s looking into replacing us with iPhone 5’s powered by Siri. — Photo: Dan Zelikman

    We talked about some of our favorite brands and startup books, and the things that we could take away from them. Zappos, a Vegas icon, was mentioned often. We felt like Tracky could learn from their hiring process, their focus on customer service, and their dedication to company culture.



    Andy Edinborough basically coded the first version of Tracky all by himself. Which is strange, because he admits to learning all his coding skills from the film, The Social Network. — Photo: Dan Zelikman

    Apple is impossible to ignore when you’re talking about strong brands and impactful products, so we knew there were elements there that we had to incorporate. Even our competitors, Basecamp and Wunderlist were mentioned. We knew we had to learn from their strengths, but it was even more critical to not repeat their mistakes.



    Connect, Collaborate, Share — Photo: David Longnecker

    One by one, everyone talked about the Tracky product and our team. We talked about the technology, the design, and how we’ve been communicating the product to our users. We talked about analytics, optimization, and digital and social marketing.



    Chief Octomom Evan Nagle (he codes and writes and stuff), shared his passion for the way we work at Tracky. “This is the happiest I’ve been in a long time, and I hope our work can help others find a similar creative freedom.”

    But most of all, we talked about how much we enjoyed the last few days. How we really got to know one another, and realize how similar our visions for Tracky all were.



    Tracky’s Chief Evangelist and PR social media strategist Sarah Evans, see’s Tracky as the next evolution in the social web. “It’s all about the ability to post meaningful content, and share it in a way that really connects with the audience. Connect, collaborate, share.”

    We realized that we were on the same page in terms of frustrations with technology overload. Too many apps, websites, and logins to remember. Too many conflicts when it came to collaborating with people all over the world. Things need to be simplified, and technology needs to be set aside so that people could get back to being creative.



    David Chat, our UX Designer extraordinaire, just realized that Tracky had nothing to do with track and field athletes when this photo was shot. Regardless, his goal is to find a way to find the most efficient balance of features and simple design, so that Tracky users can focus on creative projects instead of managing task lists all the time. — Photo: Dan Zelikman

    We know that we’re taking on a lot, potentially more than we can chew. But that’s why all of us chose this project, because it’s both necessary and difficult. Productivity and social collaboration are going to be key elements for the new professional, and the Tracky team would love to help you by providing a tool you’ll love.



    Cheetos, Fritos, and Doritos. Our Chief Mobile Magic Mike will work for amazing mobile app designs and delicious potato chips. He plans to do exactly that with Tracky’s mobile platform. — Photo: Dan Zelikman

    We’re going to keep building and improving, and we hope that you keep helping us by using Tracky and telling us what you like and don’t like. We’re building Tracky for you, the new professional, the busy Mom, the student working on your biggest project yet. We want to save you time by eliminating email clutter, and connect you with other do’ers so that you can get things done. And then, we hope you’ll share your work with us and the world.

    Connect. Collaborate. Share.



    Kashton Evans is the true brains behind the Tracky operation, but splits his time as a full time movie star and boy genius. He says you better use Tracky, or he’ll unleash his epic cuteness (which may or may not include Spiderman pajamas).  — Photo: David Longnecker

    Still want more Tracky photos? I guess we can’t blame you, I mean, look at us! For the full Tracky Hack photo set, see below.


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