2014 Year in Review

After 2013 was the Year of Yes for me, I would characterize 2014 as the Year of More. I didn’t start any new activities in 2014, and instead did a lot more of what I was already doing.

Job: I am still in the same job as last year (Chief of Staff to Product VP of AdWords at Google), and have an ever-growing set of responsibilities, including presenting a comprehensive set of business metrics to the SVP twice a quarter, being the point of contact for regular updates on the search ads business to the rest of Google (including Board of Director updates, investor relations updates, etc), thinking about the 3-5 year strategy for search ads, and doing revenue analyses and business modeling as needed.

Generalisting: As mentioned in my recent Generalist is In post, I’ve been expanding my work with the MIT Venture Mentoring Service, and trying to be a useful sounding board for friends and colleagues with their business and strategy challenges. I also restarted SF Salons as suggested in last year’s post, and had several enjoyable evenings out discussing ideas with friends. I also joined a design/business book club, which has met twice so far.

Singing: I continue to sing with the Collage Vocal Ensemble, with the highlight of the year being my solo in this PDQ Bach piece, which begins at 2:22.

Skiing in BaldfaceSkiing: I went all-in with skiing this year – since there was minimal snow in Tahoe this past winter, my ski house crew did two international skiing trips, one to Niseko in Japan, including my first helicopter ski day, 3 days of touristing in Tokyo and a day in Kyoto, and one to Baldface, a cat skiing lodge in British Columbia (pictured right). This sparked my interest in backcountry skiing, so I bought all the gear this summer, and took an intro to backcountry skiing and an AIARE Level 1 Avalanche course with Richard Bothwell of the Outdoor Adventure Club in Lassen National Park the past two weekends, which was awesome. I’m excited to start doing my own backcountry trips this winter!

Moab ridingBiking: I also went all-in with biking this year – I went on 53 bike rides for 2000 miles and 165,000 vertical feet in 2014 (Strava captures most of it) (up from 22 rides for 622 miles and 26k vertical feet in 2013), and that doesn’t count the 172 times I bike commuted to work (another 850 miles or so). The highlight of the year was doing a mountain bike tour from Durango, CO to Moab, UT, via a hut-to-hut system run by San Juan Huts, about 222 miles and 22k vertical feet of climbing over 7 days of riding (not included in Strava). The scenery was amazing and it was really satisfying to travel on human power alone. Levi's Gran FondoAfter I got back from that, I finished off the year by doing two centuries, the Marin Century and Levi’s Gran Fondo and am aiming for the Death Ride next July. Other biking highlights from 2014 include bike camping on Angel Island, and my first mountain biking experiences in Tahoe (Memorial Day and the Flume Trail and Hole in the Ground trail in September).

Other stuff:

  • I got more into volleyball, playing 58 times in 2014 compared to 35 times in 2013. I have been playing with the same set of guys for a year and a half, so we are pretty evenly matched with each other, but it was gratifying when I played with other people this fall and realized I have gotten a lot better in the past year – my group was just all getting better together.
  • In general, I exercised 161 times in 2014 compared to 125 in 2013 and 80 in 2012, which has definitely gotten me in better shape over the past two years.
  • I went to Dublin for work in October, and popped over to visit the London office as long as I was across the Atlantic, which was useful.
  • I went to Overlap’14 in Almont, CO, which was a great weekend of getting back to the basics with a group of people I really enjoy hanging out with. I’ll write more about Overlap at some point, as I love being part of that community.
  • And lastly, I turned 40 this year. I had a great birthday weekend, with friends flying out for the event. We took over Hog and Rocks on Friday night, had a huge BBQ on Saturday (80+ people including kids – see below), and hung out some more on Sunday. It was delightful. I am thankful to have so many awesome people in my life and look forward to spending more time with them and to making new friends in 2015!

Group Photo 2014

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