4 Ways to Stop Overthinking And Start Doing

4 Ways to Stop Overthinking And Start Doing

It’s fun to wonder about how much the slogan “Just do it” had to do with the enduring success of the Nike brand. The slogan is actually 30 years old—it was first launched in 1988—and the current generation of kids is as familiar with it as their parents and grandparents. You may want to think about just doing it too, especially if you’re prone to overthinking.

Overthinking is a destructive thought pattern, as it can keep work from getting done. It tends to have 2 aspects. One is about regretting something in the past and dwelling on the topic so much that they imagine it would have been better if the past mistakes didn’t occur. The other aspect is about persistently worrying about the future and imagining dire catastrophes that may not even become likely. Both aspects involve worrying about things you can’t control.

Overthinking is a bad habit, but that’s not entirely a bad thing. It just means that as you can develop the habit, you can break it as well. You just need to take the necessary steps to practice training your brain to think in different ways.

1. Know When You’re Overthinking

Are you overthinking right now? It can be so common for you to obsess about mistakes in the past and imagine doom in the future that you’re no longer aware that you’re doing it. So you have to pay attention to your thoughts. If they revolve around regrets about the past and fear of the future, you need to realize you’re overthinking. You have to tell yourself that you aren’t productive when you think this way so you can move on.

2. Look for Solutions Instead

So what should you be thinking about when you can’t think of regrets and impending doom? If overthinking is about obsessing with things you can’t control, you need to shift your focus on the things you can control, such as looking for realistic solutions to realistic problems. You can think of ways to solve a problem if it comes up, and you can even devise ways to prevent such problems from ever coming up in the first place.

As for the problems (and the past) that you can’t control, you can think of ways to cope with the situation. Focus on your attitude instead.

3. Challenge Your Worries

You always have to admit that your thoughts aren’t always accurate or true. They can be exaggerated or even downright false.

To do this, you first need to take a deep breath so you can try to look at the problem from a more objective perspective. Whatever your fear is, do you have any proof that your thoughts are true? Are the proofs for their inaccuracy more compelling? More often than not, when you start to think more rationally your worries may subside.

4. Give Yourself Some Time to Ruminate

Overthinking also implies that you take up too much time worrying. The excessive time is the problem. It’s not that you can’t worry, because that’s inevitable. But you should just reserve a 20-minute time period every day on such ruminations. Once the time’s up, you need to think about another topic altogether.

All in all, you have to pay attention to how you’re thinking all the time. This can help become aware of bad mental habits, and with practice you can develop more beneficial thought habits instead.

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

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Best Project Management Practice For Complex Projects

Best Project Management Practice For Complex Projects

Managing a complex project requires careful planning and an accurate estimation in terms of resources needed and deadlines that need to be met – and this is all prior to starting to execute on the project. Requirements must also be clearly understood, forming the basis of the project plan and helping to clearly define the goals of the project.

Not all projects are worth the time and effort, and sometimes there is a tendency to overestimate the capability of a team. On the other hand, you cannot know the limits of your team unless you take the plunge. If you boil it down, there are only two reasons why a project would not be fulfilled by your team: it is either a matter of ability or of management.

For ability, there is no substitute for good training, hard work, experience, and team synergy. Those four core characteristics are essential.  Hundreds of thousands of scholarly articles and case studies have been done just to find out how to achieve these characteristics, and a short feature in this article will not do them justice.

On the other hand, proper project management is much more straightforward and truly has a gigantic impact on the productivity of a team, ultimately promising results if done correctly. Project management may sound high-level and strategic, and this is partly correct, but, at its heart, project management is actually very simple to learn and achieve. It is the execution part of the process that takes time and effort. Simply put, project management is how a leader fulfills steps in order to complete a project successfully. Here are a few things you can do to make sure that a project is managed properly.

1. Get a bird’s eye view and look for the forest to follow up with focusing on the trees

Whether it be for conceptualizing and starting your project, for troubleshooting and improving the process for the duration of the said project, inductive thinking, or the top-down thinking, can definitely help. By knowing that conclusion that you want to arrive and then start building up from there, the project will have a better structure and the execution would be easier. Looking at the bigger picture will allow you to find the bottlenecks and the problem.

You can do this by either looking at it with the mentality of a third neutral person or better yet ask an expert who has no part in your project. For instance, asking questions in Quora or opinions with your friends in your social media, provided of course that you can trust them with your privacy and secrecy, will definitely help you find a different perspective.

2. Make a superstar team who knows the project well

By superstar team, we do not mean the best of the best, which was very good can be quite costly and a team of geniuses does have its own unique problems. What we mean is that you should make your current team superstars. This is directly related to the first reason why a project could feel like something beyond the capabilities of the team. We are not just talking about the capability but also the synergy of the team. To make it more straightforward, we make the team learn during the project and not just do.

Getting an experienced expert is good, but if you are thinking long-term, which you should, cultivating talent is the way to go. In managing a project, deal with it as an opportunity for your team members to level up, whether by improving on their abilities and talents or by improving the synergy of the team by making them more integrated and knowledgeable about the team members and the long-term vision and goals of your business.

This can be done by integrating tools into your project management that not only remind them of their duties and responsibilities but also make the team aware of where the progress of the project is currently. One way to do that is to use software light Trello or Scoro. These tools will not only give a visual representation people assigned, they will also allow you to put comments and do even time tracking and reports on finances and project progress. If you do not have a project management tool yet, please get one as soon as possible. You will see your efficiency improve by leaps and bounds.

3. Communication should be proper

You may have a plan that has a great top-down perspective and you may have the best tools for your project management, but one thing where a competent team can fail is the breakdown of communications. We are not just talking about the lack of communication. What we are talking about this proper communication. Communication is a two-way process, in the listener or receiver is as important as the sender of the message.

The best way to ensure that there will be no misunderstanding or miscommunication is to use not only a reliable tool but to also properly word your messages. There are communication tools like Slack and in fact, most project management tools have their own communication channels. Instant messaging is best and will beat out not only e-mail but also voice calls because instant messaging is faster and easier to understand.

As for your communications, it is best to use simple language for instructions and more detailed sentences for the process. It is best to start with what should be the result by use of descriptions using adjectives and adverbs and then followed by a series of instructions which has a lot of verbs and concluded by recommendations for processes. That way, your communications are easier to understand and by using words economically.

In simpler words, you can improve your project management by focusing first on the bigger picture, followed by the proper use of tools and lastly by using proper communication channels and techniques.

Overall, a project manager must be an expert in leadership, communication, and organizational skills. With the high workload and stress, it is critical to have the skills required to bring a project to the finish line. Staying accountable and aware of all aspects of the project will guide you to project management success.

Also, try these 10 shortcuts to boost your productivity.

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

20 Steps You Need to Take to Get Your Startup Off the Ground

20 Steps You Need to Take to Get Your Startup Off the Ground

You don’t need to take too many months to prepare if you’re really determined to start a business. Instead, you can complete these steps in a few days.


When you’re pondering the prospect of starting your own business, it’s easy to get lost in the myriad details of the process. You can end up spending too many months preparing, and during this time you might even hesitate and lose your nerve.

The truth of it is that you really don’t have to spend a lot of time to prepare to start your own business. You just need to focus, and with the following checklist of steps, you need to take you can be well on your way.

  1. Come up with a business idea. You need a business that best suits your preferences, skills, and interests. Pretend you have to ask for some seed money from a prospective investor. You have to make sure you have the skill set and the background for the business idea you’re offering. To make your idea more concrete, you have to serve a particular need or solve a specific problem. You need to identify this need or problem so that you can customize your solution and design your business accordingly.
  1. Do market research. You can go online for this, starting out by checking out your competition. If you’re starting a plumbing business, then you better know how many plumbers there already are in your town. You should also find out the level of demand for the business service or product you’re thinking about offering to the consumer public.
  2. Choose a unique business name. Uniqueness is more important than how catchy your business name is. You can always do a quick web search, though you also need to check with your state department of revenue that no one else in your state is already using the business name you’re considering. A trademark search will also be necessary. Check GoDaddy.com for a domain name.
  3. Define your target market. You can find lots of apps online that can help, and you can always conduct your own surveys.
  4. Pick the location where you’ll be working. Most people start by working at home, but that may change later on. But you have to find workspace options that you may need to use eventually, such as when you’re meeting with clients.
  5. Set up your website. That means buying your domain, obtaining your web hosting (we uses MediaTemple), and building a website. It probably will help a great deal if you let a pro handle all this, although you will have to pay for these services. The point is that a website is a must—people don’t really trust new businesses without websites these days.
  6. Put up phone service. Even though just about everyone has a smartphone these days, it’s still a good idea to have a business phone setup to make things a lot more professional. You can still use your smartphone, but the other people at the other end of the line will see your business phone number instead.
  7. Set up your customer database. You’ll need this if you regularly interact with customers. If you find keeping lots of contact information on Rolodex cards, then you certainly will find a database a lot more useful/
  8. Use lead generation software. Leads tell you where you can focus your sales tactics so that you don’t waste time contacting people who are unlikely to become your customers. You can find software that can identify these likely customers for you, and you can use them with your database.
  9. Get your business on social media. You should have a business profile on the social media platforms where you will find your most likely customers. You should also consider getting on Yelp and Google My Business.
  10. Obtain the business licenses you’ll need. You can do some research on the state licenses and permits you’ll need, along with the fees you have to pay.
  11. Get your Employer Identification Number if you have workers. The EIN will be required by the IRS if you’re going to operate as a partnership or corporation, or if you’re going to hire workers. You can just go to the IRS website for this.
  12. Open a business bank account. The most convenient bank is the one where you already have a personal savings account. But you can check out other banks in your area if they specialize in business accounts. You’ll most likely need your EIN, the documentation you needed to register your business with the state, and a copy of your business license.
  13. Invest in accounting software. Try FreshBooks and QuickBooks, along with Zoho Books and Xero. You’ll need this type of software to keep track of your revenues and expenses, and the reports will be necessary come tax time.
  14. Draw up a marketing plan. Again, you can go online and find templates you can use to promote your business. Your plan needs to identify your target market, as well as the ways to reach and advertise to these potential customers.
  15. Write your business plan. A business plan comes in handy to help you focus on the tasks you need to do to start and develop your business. This business plan also will be necessary when you’re looking for investors. This business plan will include a general description of your company, the data from the market analysis you’ve done, information about the products or services you’re offering, and some financial data.
  16. Obtain the funding you need. You can go to a bank or a relative to obtain a loan, and perhaps use up some of your savings. But you should also see if there are grants available for your business. Crowdfunding may also be possible.
  17. Think about trademarks and patents. You can discuss this with an attorney, though if a lawyer does all the work the fees can go into the thousands of dollars.
  18. Prepare a logo. A logo helps your business to stand out, and it can be very useful for marketing. We use 99designs.com and Fiverr.com for this task.
  19. Think about insurance. At the very least, you may need professional liability insurance. Check with your insurance agency to find out what your business insurance needs and options are.

You can do some of these steps in just a single day, so there’s no good reason to feel overwhelmed about the preparations you need to make. Starting a business can be a risk, but you can’t reap the rewards if you don’t take the plunge.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
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LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

6 Top Soft Skills You Need To Work At a Startup

6 Top Soft Skills You Need To Work At a Startup

When Google first started, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, set up their hiring algorithms to sift for Computer Science students with top grades from the elite universities. Their belief was that technology can only be truly understood by those who actually studied technology.

They found out much later that this hiring principle wasn’t exactly accurate. In 2013, Google computers tracked all their data concerning their hiring, promoting, and firing of employees. They then found that among the most important qualities of the most successful Google employees, STEM knowledge actually came in last!

The other more important skills are what we call “soft skills”. These are the non-technical attributes that help employees become more productive and better able to work with others.

The soft skills that many startup companies today are looking for include:

Communication Skills

Being able to communicate well is a crucial skill if you want to work well with others. After all, what’s the point of having a good idea if you can’t communicate well enough to convince the other team members about the merits of your idea? If you’re able to communicate well, then you can help convince the rest of the team to believe in your idea. They can understand the idea because you’re able to explain it.

Self-Awareness

This is the ability to recognize how your words and actions affect others. A successful leader needs to develop this mindset because they can then discover how to encourage and motivate others properly. They can also avoid awkward situations when their words and actions hurt and offend their teammates.

Project Management

This means you’re able to organize the work and the team, you can focus on the task at hand, and can work under pressure and time constraints. Even if you’re not the project manager, you can do your part by meeting your deadlines.  You can give updates on your progress and send alerts if you’re having trouble.

Perseverance

You should be able to commit to an assignment until you complete it, even if takes longer than what you anticipated. This also means you need to be flexible, as requirements may change before the due date and you should be able to adapt to the new scope of the project.

Team Mentality

Plenty of people automatically say that they’re a team player, but of course, it isn’t always true. The true team mentality is about getting the work done and helping out one another. But some people seem more focused on getting credit for the success of foisting blame on others when things go wrong.

Willingness and Ability to Learn

Things change all the time, and that’s especially true in the workplace. What employers are looking for are workers who can change with the times and adapt to the new conditions. You can’t be dead-set on using traditional ways when new and more effective tools and processes become available. This means you need to demonstrate your willingness to learn, and that you can and have learned before.

During your job interview, it’s not enough that you demonstrate your technical proficiency for the job. Try to demonstrate these traits in your responses to interview questions, as these are the traits your future employers are looking for.

Also, check out these 5 Things NOT to Say to a Recruiter

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

Want to Work at a Startup? Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile With These Simple Tips

Want to Work at a Startup? Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile With These Simple Tips

If you’re looking for a job at a startup, no other social networking tool will be of greater help to you than LinkedIn. The vast majority of startups use it as their primary candidate search tool, so you need to do a version of SEO on your LinkedIn profile to make it stand out.

Even if you are happily employed, you owe it to yourself to be well represented on Linkedin, as you NEVER know what will come your way. LinkedIn is the first place companies go to find out about you.

Here Are The Must-Haves

Right from the very beginning, your profile has to stand out from the rest of the riff-raff. Startups are a lot about the mission of the company their building. Show why you are passionate about working for their company by sharing your experiences that align with their mission. Startups want to find someone who loves their company almost as much as they do.

So, first, make sure that you have the basic steps covered. This starts with a professional-looking profile photo to help them recognize you. It’s been found that you get 9 times more connection requests when you have a photo than when you don’t have one.

You also need to make sure that your profile is updated with the latest information. It must include your present industry, company, and position, so that you’re better able to connect with the content, groups, and jobs you’re interested in.

Your current location is also crucial, as this type of listing helps searches made by recruiters, former coworkers, and fellow alumni. With your location listed, you’re 10 times more likely to be found.

A good profile can immediately display your work affiliation and location, your contact info, and your list of connections. It can feature your education history, though you can also hide this easily if you don’t want to highlight it. You should also add videos and images to your summary.

Make your profile stand out from others by adding your FUN side to it.  Use emoji, symbols and visual cues in your profile will definitely help to make it stands out from the crowd in a positive way especially if you use them conservatively. Make sure you don’t overuse them. You don’t want your profile to appear unprofessional.

Keyword Your Skills

Recruiters spend hours searching on LinkedIn looking for top performers. And when they find them, they will contact the top performers. Knowing this, you’ll serve yourself well to market yourself as a top performer by highlighting your skills in the summary and experience section.

With the ever-increasing data available about you, the candidate, many companies are using innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to quickly weave out the low performers. AI technology has the ability to quickly sifts out keywords and key skills in your resume. Customize your profile with keywords that represent the required soft and hard skills found in the job listings. Incorporate these terms throughout your profile, particularly in the “Key Skills” and “Work Experience” sections will definitely help. Remember, hiring managers to need to know what industry you are an expert in, what technologies you are most fluent in, and which types of products/services do you have the most familiarity with.

You can start by featuring your top 3 skills on your profile. These are the skills for which you want to be recognized. You can also categorize your skills so that others will find it easier to find out if you have the particular skills they’re looking for.

One example of categorization is to have categories such as Skills in Technology and Tools, Industry Expertise, Interpersonal Skills, and Miscellaneous Skills. You should take care of the order of the skills you list within each category, as the most important ones should be at the top of the list. Don’t forget to update these lists as you gain more skills. Whether you learn a new program or even just a new musical instrument, include them all here.

These listings matter a lot, in case you still don’t realize their importance. If you have at least 5 skills on your profile, you’ll get 17 times more profile views. Recruiters and other people who can help you advance in your professional career can send up to 31 times more messages.

You can finish off the profile by adding more clues to who you are aside from your work and educational experience. Mention every charity or community work you’ve, and don’t forget to add new awards and accomplishments. Always update, as you’re never really done with your LinkedIn profile.

This might interest you: Top 5 Items that Job Seekers Need to Remove from Their LinkedIn Profile


 

Cadre is a quality over quantity boutique recruiting shop specializing in all things software engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence, and autonomous vehicles. Cadre is building a talent network utilizing AI and Machine Learning to help solve the tech talent crisis across their portfolio of 85 startups throughout California, Seattle, and Austin.

 

Jason Stomel
Contributor
Cadre Talent, Santa Monica, CA
Jason is the founder and CEO of Cadre; a talent agency, recruiting software incubator and Angel Investor. He has been recruiting in LA for 12 years across a portfolio of startups ranging from Pre-Series A to publicly traded tech companies and Venture Capitalists.
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Jason Stomel
Cadre Talent, Santa Monica, CA
Jason is the founder and CEO of Cadre; a talent agency, recruiting software incubator and Angel Investor. He has been recruiting in LA for 12 years across a portfolio of startups ranging from Pre-Series A to publicly traded tech companies and Venture Capitalists.

A 30-Point Checklist for Your Startup

A 30-Point Checklist for Your Startup

Do you want to make sure your new startup succeeds? Here’s a nice list of what you have to do for your startup.

Everybody seems wants to do a startup these days. But before you’re dazzled by the prospects of billions of dollars, here’s a list of what you really have to do first:

  1. Find out if your business is actually viable. It’s not enough to say that you’d buy something you offer. You have to determine with utmost honesty if you’ll have enough customers to actually make a profit.
  2. Come up with a business plan. This will help guide your path. Make sure you have financial projections in there so you know if you’re still in the right path.
  3. Deal with the financing. Figure out how much money you need to get your business started. Then see where you can get that money.
  4. Pick your business name. It should be original and memorable.
  5. Get your family to support you. It’s going to be hard enough to start a business, and it’s harder when your family thinks it’s going to fail.
  6. Set up your legal structure. You may need a lawyer for this. Incorporating your business is essential, so you can protect your personal assets.
  7. Apply for an Employer Identification Number. Don’t worry; EIN numbers are free. This number will be needed when you incorporate or open a bank account solely for your business. You can also use this in lieu of your social security number.
  8. Apply for a business license. Check with the SBA for what to do.
  9. Open a business bank account. You ought to separate your business and personal finances ASAP.
  10. Choose an accounting program. You don’t want your books to be a mess.
  11. Register a domain name for your business. Make sure it’s a real commercial domain name. A website with free hosting looks to amateurish.
  12. Start building your website. Nowadays, not having a website for your business is suspicious.
  13. Set up your social media profiles. You need to reserve your brand ASAP. You also get ready to market on these social media channels later on.
  14. Begin generating revenue immediately. Don’t wait until things are perfect. You’ll need that revenue to add to your financing.
  15. Determine if you need an actual office. If you can do everything online, then you can use your money for other expenses as you hold off getting an office. But you’ll need an office if you expect customers to actually meet with you.
  16. Get some business cards. They’re nice and handy marketing materials, and they’re helpful for networking.
  17. Define the responsibilities of all cofounders. These should be in writing, so there are no disagreements as to who has to do what as time passes.

After your launch, make sure you then do these things:

  1. Access free advice. Consult with friends who’ve started their own businesses, check with the local SBA, and find other online resources.
  2. Find the right business apps. These can help while you’re on the go.
  3. See if you need insurance. Your business may need health insurance, workers’ comp, or liability insurance.
  4. Hire an employee. Sooner or later, you’ll find that you can’t do everything yourself if you want your business to grow.
  5. Set up your source of inventory. You may also need suppliers and service providers.
  6. Get legal advice on patents and trademarks. Your lawyer can again definitely give good advice on this topic.
  7. Enhance your network. Tell your family and friends about your business. This doesn’t mean you nag them into buying your products. But they can introduce you to people and they can recommend your business to their own friends.
  8. Focus on making sales and attracting customers. Hold off on chasing business partnerships in the meantime.
  9. Practice your elevator pitch. You need to be persuasive when you encounter financiers, potential customers, and new hires.
  10. Back up your IT. You need to protect your sensitive information contained on your computers.
  11. Consider a salesperson. You may be the head salesperson of your startup at first, but you need someone to focus on day-to-day sales while you concentrate on other aspects.
  12. Pay attention to customer feedback. What your customers have to say can help improve your products and your approach.
  13. Try to find a mentor. Find someone who has already succeeded in your niche to help you out. Their advice can be tremendously helpful.

You may also like this list of 21 Excellent Productivity Apps

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
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LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.