three product suggestions to outfit yourself for “working remote”

Guest post from Darin, a Senior Millennial, well versed in the field of finding good places to work outside of his house in Southwest Minneapolis. Enter Darin:

A couple years ago I was faced with this challenge: how can I effectively work on the go outside of an office setting? 

For me, this challenge presented itself when I moved to a full time work-from-home position and I discovered the need to get out the house for sanity sake. However, as the work force adapts and changes to smaller, more nimble office environments, a growing number professionals are also faced with this challenge.

I ended up investing in a few gadgets to better enable myself to work from any environment; my backpack became my mobile office. And by the way, I am in no way afflicted with any of these products:

The “Big Three” for working remote:

  • Noise canceling headphones: Jabra Evolve 75 MS/UC Stereo – ~$290
    • Wireless, Bluetooth adaptor with dual connectivity
    • Mute/unmute when the mic is moved up and down – no more “sorry, I was on mute” excuses
    • 14 hour battery life, charge by USB
  • Laptop stand: Roost Laptop Stand  ~$75
    • Collapsible, lightweight, easy to carry
    • Adjustable height; use as a bar top standing or for sitting – this one is key for me as stand as much as 80% of the day (a topic for a different day)
  • Wireless keyboard and mouse:  Dell KM714 – ~$80
    • Full keyboard and number pad, yet fits fine into a backpack
    • Reliable wireless connectivity – other brands tend to cut in and out which is obviously frustrating

Outfitting myself with this gear enabled me to work from almost anywhere; airports, music-bumping coffee shops, the gym lobby, or the pavilion next to a windy lake.

What gear have you found improve remote work productively?

Darin’s “big three” components for working remote. All can fit easily into a backpack

With your brand, are you faking it or applying tribal empathy?

People are so smart these days. Because we have been marketed to everywhere and aggressively, our bullshit detectors have switched from “stun” to “acute.”

Every post, Craigslist listing, email, or piece of mail is met with “is this on the square?”

Instead of being numb to the bullshit, we are acutely aware of the bullshit.

The good news is that authenticity wins. And now more than ever.

Trying to make a difference? Try this:

  1. Identify something that when you are doing it, you “hear the angels sing.” This is your Zone of Genius, Stephen Pressfield, The War of Art.
  2. Keep doing that thing.
  3. Build your tribe, people who also enjoy that thing. Maybe it’s 1,000 true fans.
  4. Listen to the angels and come up with something that adds value to your tribe.
  5. Bring that thing to the tribe.

Critical: Apply Tribal Empathy (vs. ethnographic SEO optimization)

Are you applying tribal empathy or just trying to monetize?

We can tell the difference.

Mixing the communication cocktail for effective results

Whether we are faced with asking a professor for an extension on a paper, pitching a liquor company to license a drinking glasses made entirely out of ice, or reviewing an email blast before we hit send, it is important to be sensitive to the communication options at our disposal. Let’s consider the rainbow of options for communication:

  1. Eyeball to eyeball
  2. Phone call
  3. Text (including Messenger)
  4. Email
  5. Letter
  6. Telepathy
  7. Other (not yet discovered or defined).

There is no perfect method, but we want to be cognizant and critical of when and how we communicate. No matter where we are or what stage in our lives, whether we are in college, working in the marketplace, or having coffee with our spouse or loved one, we constantly are learning how to mix our communication.

Some ideas include:

Email: A great tool when there is a call to action. Good chance that the receiver of the email will be at their desk, on their computer, and able to respond with more thought and organization. Lots of people hide behind email. They hit send and falsely believe that the task is complete. Careful with that.

Letter: Most underutilized. Consider getting out a pen and paper and write someone a letter, right now. Think it’ll have an impact? Try it!

Text: when there is a need for quick, collaborative communication.

Eyeball to eyeball: crucial, but takes logistics at worst, and spontaneity, at best.

Phone: Great for catching up and ideating*, or when wires need a bit of untangling. Younger people entering the work force have been criticized for being afraid to talk on the phone. Don’t be one of those. Get a voicemail? Keep it short. Ask for one thing. “Hi Sara, i’m calling about the three fabric options. Can you give me a quick call ?” Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone!

Telepathy. The ultimate. Some business partners have it. Some family members have it. When you find it, don’t overuse it, and hold it dearly. Cherish it.

Sales professionals, generally, have become good at mixing the communication cocktail. Just like bears know where and when to get in the water to grab for salmon, sales professionals have learned how to customize their communication methods to fish how and when the fish are running. It takes practice. It takes patience. Ask any bear.

BONUS: By mixing the communication cocktail, sales people can tune the “peacock effect.” Mixing a finely tuned recipe of 1-7 above allows salespeople to work effectively, without being a pain in the ass (over communicating) and without appearing vacant (“what’s my reps. name again?”).

Is eyeball to eyeball the alcohol in the drink? Is email the ice? Each communication method has its importance to make a great communication cocktail.

it’s up to you to mix your own communication cocktail. It’s a life long learning lesson with great rewards.

*ideating. best to use this word sparingly. Much like optimize, robust, disruption.

Steve Case’s The Third Wave makes a case for the power of 3

There’s something powerful about the number 3.

Reading Steve Case’s (AOL) The third Wave, I’m struck by how clearly we can explain things and connect things by 3. In the case of this book, Case is able to break down the evolution of the Internet as three phases:
1. Building the Internet
2. Connecting to the Internet
3. The Internet of Things.

Case gives credit to his thesis with a clear acknowledgment of Alvin Toffler’s book (of the same title!). Written in 19 , Toffler clearly outlines and accurately predicts human kinds technological revolutions as:

Agricultural age

Industrial age

Information age.

You don’t have to read either of these two books to get a grasp and understanding of what each are trying to explain. Yet, as you plow through each of these books, you can’t help but stay on track and, if not agree, completely understand their arguments. Each of the three relate to the other two. Each one is a clear, chronological set up to the next. Each one is clearly explained and supported.

Where we’ve been.

Where we are.

Where we are going.

Thinking in 3’s is a great way to encapsulate and grasp what may otherwise be something confusing and hard to grasp.

Holy Ghost.


It’s great to collaborate with three people. There is always a consensus. Two can work together while the third goes off and tackles a new challenge. Three founders can outnumber two VC’s in a conference room..

3 sauna rounds are a preference shared by myself and countless guests to my saunas, as well as what I later learned to be common in Finland and also as with the centuries old Mayan Temescal tradition.

Three is not absolute. Marriages, except maybe in San Francisco, don’t work with 3. Same, currently, with internet protocols, which are based on switches of “1.s and 0’s.” But what about a new internet protocol, instead of “1’s and o’s” could we make more powerful microprocessors with switches of “1’s and 0s and 2’s?” Why not?

Could biomimicry be an entrepreneur’s secret path to innovation?



  1. The imitation of natural biological designs or processes in engineering or invention.
  2. A method for creating solutions to human challenges by emulating designs and ideas found in nature.

“Companies seeking breakthrough products tend to ignore the greatest invention machine in the universe: life’s more than three-billion-year history of evolution by natural selection.”

Examples: (excerpts courtesy of Digital Trends).


Kingfisher birds have specialized beaks allowing them to dive into water to hunt while making a minimal splash. Utilizing this new nose, the next generation 500 series trains were 10 percent faster, consumed 15 percent less electricity


Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, discovered that woodpeckers have four structures designed to absorb mechanical shock. The bird’s semi-elastic beak, an area of “spongy bone” material behind the skull, and cerebrospinal fluid all work in unison to extend the time over which this concussion occurs and therefore inhibiting vibration. Based on this multifaceted design, the team is working to create an array applications ranging from more shock-resistant flight recorders (black boxes) to micrometeorite-resistant spacecrafts.


Using an intricate network of intentionally air pockets, termite mounds create a natural ventilation system using convection.  The engineering firm Arup built an entire shopping center in Zimbabwe based on this natural convection system. Currently the system uses 10 percent less energy than a traditional air-conditioned facility.

Other examples of how biomimicry spurred innovation include Velcro (from the tiny hooks at the end of burrs), bird safe glass (from UV reflective strands in spider webs), and coatings for ship’s hulls, submarines, aircraft, and even swimwear for humans (from shark skin).

What are you building?  Next time you go for a hike or are in nature, look around.  A breakthrough or inspiration for your design or product may just be right next to you.

a path in the woods as inspiration

Three things that get in our way from doing great work

As we try to make a difference doing something worthy of our time and effort, we inevitably run into boulders in our path.  We can become frustrated, lose our momentum, get agitated, or unsettled.  It sucks.

Running into boulders is inevitable.

What helps us get through these periods?

  1. A simple acknowledgement that it is happening.
  2. An understanding of the source.

External obstacles (equipment malfunction, lost email, customer complaint) can be overcome with attention and action, but internal obsticals are often hard to define, and deal with.  Because it is hard to put our finger on the problem, sometimes we may want to go hide in the closet, or reach for booze or other medications, or need to “burn off” our angst in other ways.  This is very common!  (and inevitable!).

Why?  We’re lost inside.  We can’t find ourselves.   Shit is bothering us and we can’t get to the source.

There are three sources that keep us from doing great work.

Hidden Agenda.  This was supposed to be fun.  I thought I was doing this because… but now i’m not so sure.  What’s your hidden agenda?  Go for a walk and be true to yourself.  Stop at the water’s edge and look at the reflection in the water and try to get a handle on who you really are.  Take a deep breath and consider the virtues of transparency.  We don’t have to be like Ray Dalio’s radical transparency, but is your internal obstacle your own hidden agenda?

Glory.  We all walk the tightrope of undertaking projects because of an internal calling, or passion, or the simple desire to make a difference.  But on the other side is our own glory.  The spotlight: “wow, isn’t he great?”  Ego and vanity are great motivators.  But nobody likes ego and vanity.  Do you want this to succeed on its own, or are you imagining yourself on CNN?

Paralysis.  Business writers like Seth Godin have made a career out of helping people get through the Dip. The newer land grab term is Flow state , with Steven Kotler’s Stealing Fire leading the way.  What shits we are not being able to get our projects done!  Paralysis happens because we’re afraid to make a mistake, and look like an idiot.  Are you afraid to look like an idiot?

It’s ok to have any of these internal obstacles getting in our way.  Boulders are going to fall.  It happens.

A rock weighing about 1,500 tons landed on the westbound lanes of U.S. 52 in Lawrence County on Friday, April 10, 2015. (Photo credit: Ohio Department of Transportation – District 9)

Could someone make a second career earning some side cash representing Kong Pong to hotels, resorts, health clubs?

NEWS FLASH: Hilton Hotel, New York City is taking delivery of a Kong Pong unit

They became interested as the hotel owner, owns a Kong Pong.

Like most resorts they need activities for guests.

As u know Kong Pong is design to be outdoor 24/7 with lights

New feature and only on a Kong Pong adjustable legs for the Youngsters & Wheelchair

All table come with outdoor paddles & balls

Elevated Playing Lights &

Lighted nets are optional

My new women logo and African Safari font.

need better pics Scotty!

Help wanted: Process Manager to help people turn their idea into a finished product

Rolling Thunder Review is looking for an experienced professional who is good at helping college aged interns stay on task and meet deadlines.

Chance to give life long lessens learned in a no pressure environment.  Ideal candidate will have no boss and no TPS reports.  Process Manager will be given total freedom to scratch the entrepreneurial itch without having to invent something or sell it, while providing the rush that comes with helping others turn their idea (or yours?) into a selling product.

Most communication will be by telephone or other method most productive for Process Manager.  No cube or conference room work, unless desired.  Can manage remotely.

Senior mentor can advise entrepreneurs from wherever it best suits them.

This is fun.  Kids can be fun. 

Two college entrepreneurs appreciating advice and direction from a mentor who has shipped.

Here’s a chance to give back and help young kids realize their own contribution to the entrepreneurial spirit.

Pay is $0.00 per hour, yet with equity earning (or giving) potential with Shark Tank negotiating skills intact.

Where are the entrepreneurs that want to get involved from the ground up?

Grit.  That’s the key.  Grit fuels it all.

  • Execution
  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Presentations
  • Sales
  • Success
  • Fulfillment

Grit.  Give us Grit.  There are monumental opportunities for people with grit.  The rest can be learned.

Find us 3 entrepreneurial minded folks with grit.  We will show you 3 projects with which you can sink your teeth and learn the craft of entrepreneurship for yourselves.