I just met the rudest cabdriver ever…in Austin, not NY, of all places!
I took the 1 mile trek from the Convention Center to Whole Foods headquarters early today to stock up on proper food since my heart felt like it was about to quit after yesterday’s Salt Lick pulled pork sandwich. I tried calling Yellow Cab in Austin but was put on hold so I decided to go across the street to Starbucks and go online and reserve a cab via their online system from there. I waited for a while and no cab showed up (it was 15 minutes past the time I requested). I couldn’t get through their phone system and their online system couldn’t help me at this point after I’ve placed the reservation.
Finally, after another 10-minute wait, I managed to speak to someone who said that a cab should be there right now. I stood outside but didn’t see the cab. I get a call from the cab driver and I told him I’m right in front of Starbucks and I can’t see his cab. He then told me where he was located and to come find him instead. I explained to him I’m carrying heavy bags and I’m from out of town and would like him to pick me up from where I am instead (that’s a reasonable expectation for a cab service, right?) He continued to protest but eventually grudgingly circled halfway around the block to pick me up.
He slid open the door to the minivan to let me in but, because the cab was on a slope, the door kept sliding back and wedging me in against the frame. I mentioned that I could use a little help since the door kept closing on me but he didn’t respond. Finally, when I managed to get in, he started to lecture me on how unnecessarily rude I was to him for expecting him to pick me up where I was instead of walking over to find him where he decided to park. WTF? I told him that it wasn’t customary for passengers to have to find the driver and added that I would have appreciated a hand when he saw me struggling to get into the cab. He retorted that he wasn’t obligated to help me. “Wow, seems like you resent having to drive me.” Next thing you know, I’m let out of the cab, in the middle of nowhere but clearly not near my destination.
Long story short, I managed to find my way back (thanks to my iPhone, some foursquare tips and, yes, AT&T finally pulled through!). Luckily it was still early in the afternoon and I felt some sense of safety. Clearly, the area is having problems handling the SXSW volume. Businesses are enjoying the large influx of customers but remember: it’s a two-way street.
Oh and, cab dude, I’ve got a special douchebag badge waiting for you.
We had a great time a few weeks back crawling around Chinatown checking out the best dumplings that NYC has to offer. We tried all sorts of dumplings, some pork and some veggie, some steamed and some fried. However, we neglected to dive into the true emperor of all dumplings and my personal favorite, Xiao Long Bao (小籠包)!
These small packets of awesomeness originate from Shanghai are commonly referred to as soup dumplings in the English nomenclature. In China, they are considered a bun rather than a dumpling because of the cooking method, but as we are not in China, I will categorize it as a dumpling. They have thinner, almost translucent, dough than a typical dumpling that surrounds the contents consisting usually of pork in a piping hot broth.
The fun part of Xiao Long Bao is in watching people attempt to eat said bundles of deliciousness. There are many techniques and theories as to how one best enjoys Xiao Long Bao, but the best approach is to gather the dumpling delicately in a soup spoon, dip it in vinegar ginger sauce, then pop the entire thing in your mouth. Then you rest back in your chair as you let the flavor and the nuclear hotness of the broth singe the inside of your mouth all the way down to your esophagus and stomach.
So without further ado, I present our Epic NYC Xiao Long Bao tour! We plan to start with the most trafficked of NYC Shanghainese cuisine, Joe Shanghai’s in Chinatown at 6:00 PM this Tuesday (March 8) and work our way to four other destinations that evening. Come join the fun and follow our adventures on Twitter at #NYCDumpling. 好吃!!!
“If you’re looking for funding for a prelaunch product or service, you’ll need a to be a very interesting person [or someone] with deep expertise in your field. Amplifying that expertise through blogs, Twitter, live streams will get you the attention of VCs, too. If you don’t qualify as either, all the right intros in the world won’t get you VC funding.”—
“One “positive” often raised about McDonald’s is that it sells calories cheap. But since many of these calories are in forms detrimental rather than beneficial to our health and to the environment, they’re actually quite expensive — the costs aren’t seen at the cash register but in the form of high health care bills and environmental degradation.”—Mark Bittman, How to Make Oatmeal … Wrong (NYT)
“My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each other’s negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts. Great things in business are not done by one person, they are done by a team of people.”—Steve Jobs (via jacks)
We believe that the mentorship plus community accelerator model that we helped to pioneer is replicable, and that it’s a great thing for entrepreneurs.
Basically, we just open sourced our model so that others can learn from it and improve upon it over time. This includes our legal docs, budgets, and most importantly our know-how that we’ve taken the time to capture fully and provide to our partners in the TechStars Network…Some have asked why we are helping our competitors. The answer, simply, is that it’s just the right thing to do for entrepreneurs.