My (Late) Year End Review

In January 2010, I had just closed out a decade, but was still living in college housing in my home state.  Entrustet was in an alpha version and our informational site was live. By the end of the year, I had moved out of college housing (with a rabies shot issue) and then the country entirely and Entrustet is recognized as the market leader in our industry.  I now live in Santiago, Chile.

New Friends in Chile

2010 was my first full year out of college and I think I made the most of it.   We launched Entrustet in beta in March and Jesse announced our launch by giving a talk at South by Southwest.  Since then, we’ve been featured in over 100 media outlets and blogs, including the New York Times, Mashable, TechCrunch, BBC, Financial Times and many others.  We’ve seen our niche change from a strange curiosity into a real industry.

Press Photo for Entrustet

On a personal level, I continued to travel, knocking two continents off my bucket list.  In June and July, I traveled to South Africa for the World Cup with two of my best friends Andy and Katie.  I’ll never forget Landon Donovan’s last second goal against Algeria to put the US through to the knockout stages.  I even got on tv in the bedlam following the game.  Katie got to ride a police horse to a bar.  I’ll also never forget our safari.  Seeing African animals in the wild is an unbelievable experience.  I know I’ll be back to Africa sometime this decade.

In November, I moved to Santiago, Chile with Jesse as part of the Start-Up Chile program.  I’d always wanted to live in a Spanish speaking country, but wasn’t able to study abroad because of ExchangeHut.  So far, Chile has been great and I’m excited to travel to other South American countries in 2011.  My Spanish is getting better, but it’s still not very good.  I can’t wait to continue practicing in 2011.

When I got back from the World Cup, I got to serve as best man in one of my best friends’ wedding.  I’ll never forget seeing them walk down the aisle and out of the Church as a married couple and then giving their toast at their reception later that night.

In Madison, Capital Entrepreneurs had an amazing year.  Member companies have done some awesome things.  I helped cofound the Forward Technology Conference and will never forget the keynote speech by Fred Foster. CE and Forward have already surpassed my expectations and I’m hoping to see CE continue to lead the Madison Startup Scene.  We were even featured in TechCrunch and ReadWriteWeb as an up and coming startup hub.

It was a great badger football season, culminating in the Rose Bowl.  Although we lost, it was still amazing to see the sun set over the snowcapped San Gabriels on New Years Day.

I’ve continued to write my blog and somehow it’s actually starting to gain some traction.  I’ve been lucky enough to write for other website in 2010 and hope it continues in 2011.  I grudgingly started using Twitter and created a Tumblog, but locked down my Facebook account.  I still was able to read, but not as much as I’d like.  I even switched to a Kindle and I can’t imagine buying a paper book again, although it sucks to have to turn off my Kindle during takeoff and landing on airplanes.

I’ve been extremely fortunate to continue to stay in touch with my college friends and luckily we’ve been able to continue our yearly “friendsgiving” Thanksgiving feasts and I got to see my friend Beata who’s been living in London, Thailand and Australia since graduation.  I’ve gotten to meet amazing friends in the Madison startup scene, along with new friends in South America.

I’m thankful for my health and that of my family and friends.  I’m thankful for the perspective that working in the digital death industry has given me.  2010 was an amazing year and a year of change.  If the first week of 2011 is a precursor to the rest of 2011, I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen!

My Favorite Posts of 2010


  • Welcome to Santiago! I’ve been here a year and I hope you like it as much as I do. It was fun meeting you and Jesse at Start-Up Chile.

    I recently started using Twitter, which I like more than I expected, and rarely use Facebook. Delicious is my favorite “social” site, but I mainly use it to pass stuff to my wife. I tried a Tumblog, but didn’t like it, so I may try Posterous instead.

    The best way to learn Spanish is to buy, “A Frequency Dictionary of Spanish” and use Leitner Box software to memorize words and conjugations of irregular verbs. Don’t waste time learning words you’ll rarely use! Ben Casnocha has some more thoughts:

    I second your enthusiasm for the Kindle. It has changed my life because now I read more. I think it’s even more important in the Spanish market, so I wrote a post about it:

  • Thanks Mark. It’s been a great first seven weeks so far and it was great to
    meet you at the startup chile meetups as well.

    I like Twitter to learn/share, but it can also be a productivity killer. I
    like my tumblr because I can share links and make comments easier than on
    twitter. Plus I can write a little bit longer. I use it for things that
    are too long for twitter, but too short for a real blog post.

    I’ve been disappointed in the lack of kindle books in spanish though. The
    only ones I see in Amazon are classics, romance novels, scientology books
    and the kama sutra. Not really interested in any of them. Do you know of a
    better place to look with more selection?

    I’ll check out the Casnocha link. See you at the next meetups!

    • As you note, the Spanish selection on Kindle is sparse. You can check out the “post-1930” books on and Cory Doctorow’s stories at There’s a great story in Chapter 3 of “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” that you’ll relate to given that you just moved to another country. Read it in English first and if you like it, try the Spanish. The problem with reading is that there are many more words in written languages than are used in ordinary speech.

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