East Meets West 2019

Thanks to everyone who has been making this event happen.

As I’m relaxing on a Saturday night after a couple of days of working with awesome people, I wanted to share my experience with East Meets West 2019.

If this event is something new to you, the best way I can describe it is bringing in a pool of different types of people: innovators, investors, leaders, and entrepreneurs. The reason for the gathering of these people from Asia to the US? To share their perspectives and expertise in hopes to¬†solve the world’s challenges.

I was fortunate to be a part of the Hands In Helping Out (HIHO) crew. For this event, we were tasked to take care of registration. It was nice to see some familiar faces on our check-in list and I always enjoy hanging out with my HIHO peeps.

Lucky me, I got to attend a good chunk of the panels during downtime and I did my best to soak up as much information as I can. Here are a couple key takeaways:

  • Rebecca Lynn from Canvas VC shared that it’s never too late to do what you want.
  • Margot Shmorak from Hostfully¬†said, “do things that are not related,” and she emphasized that’s remarkably valuable if you end up becoming a leader. Also, never be ashamed of asking for help.

I found some really good value in a surprising panel. Listening to Max Holloway give his analysis on the future of sports, more specifically UFC was inspirational. The basic concept he bestowed upon the panel attendees is this: You need to have a personal brand to have people trust you and it’s not easy. He compared it to being a fighter, having to practice control and master your art.

Being a champion isn’t all about the flash and the glamour. Glad to hear Max Holloway talk about how there are responsibilities to being a champion. It’s up to you how you want to brand yourself.

There were tons of ideas exchanged throughout the event and Hawaii is probably one of the best places to do it because of the unique environment and challenges. To me, every interaction I had with everyone I made connections with is data to analyze and material to work with to solve big or even small problems.

If you attended, what did you learn? Let’s talk story, would love to chat with you and see what we can do to solve problems.

Excel Is Useless

Anyone can have Excel on his or her computer just like anyone can have a guitar at home. But what you do with it is what counts. Can you think of any “Rock Stars” in Excel? (Photo Credit: D. Ramos, Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle)

Reading my daily periodicals, a headline caught my attention: “CFOs No Longer See Excel Skills as Vital for New Hires“.

After building a successful meetup and finding professionals who are interested in using spreadsheets, I stayed calm and collected but curious. The basic gist of the article is that Excel as a skill isn’t more necessary than having the skills of adaptation. I can completely agree with that.

So why is my blog titled “Excel is Useless”? I’ve spent enough time with a variety of companies to see a pattern that involves Microsoft Excel. I had plenty of colleagues who had “Excel Skills” at different levels. My most successful colleagues were open minded to change and were able to adapt their thought processes to leverage Excel.

Sometimes software is sold as a magic pill to solve all your problems but it’s only as useful as the person using the tool.

Questions? Comments? As always, holler @ me and let’s talk story.