#7: What It’s Really Like to Be a Presidential Innovation Fellow

Are you a developer, designer, data geek, entrepreneur, or product manager? The federal government needs your help. Apply to join Round 3 of the Presidential Innovation Fellowship, a program that Todd Park, CTO of the United States, calls “a start-up within government without any money but with the President’s backing — and that’s what matters.”

In this episode, we invite current Round 2 Presidential Innovation Fellow Mollie Ruskin to the podcast as we discuss what it means to be a PIF and the incredible, intense, and sometimes quite challenging experience of the fellowship.

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Show Notes

day-to-day life of a presidential innovation fellow – Sarah wrote a detailed and comprehensive blog post about her experiences at the Smithsonian and as a PIF
Reflections from an SF Tech Entrepreneur After One Month in Washington DC – a blog post by Jason on what it’s like to live and work in DC and how it compares to the culture in Silicon Valley
The Official WH page – The official page on WhiteHouse.gov detailing the Presidential Innovation Fellowship
Meet Round 2 Fellows – If you want to reach out to specific fellows, this list might be your best bet
Contact Info – to get in touch with us, find us at: @jasonshen, @ultrasaurus, @mollieruskin.


#3: The Top Tech Trends of 2013

As the year winds down, we decided to make episode 3 all about the major tech trends of the year and what matters now. If anything, it’ll be fascinating to look back on this episode next year and see how things have changed. We covered 6 major topics and there’s a lot that we didn’t get to, like the leaks about NSA, Bitconin, and Women in Tech for instance, but hopefully you find our list interesting and worth a listen.

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Show Notes



Wearable Computing


Coding goes mainstream

Web / Tablet apps Replacing Desktop

Real-time goes mainstream

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#2: Blogging is a Technical Skill

In our second episode, we explore the origins of our respective blogs Ultrasaurus.com (happy 10 year anniversary!) and The Art of Ass-Kicking, how you sometimes gotta just put stuff out there because you don’t know how people will respond, and the idea that if you can’t communicate your smart ideas … well … maybe they aren’t that smart.

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Show Notes

xkcd: The General Problem – a webcomic on the problem with trying to automate everything

Beyond Desktop UI – a few paragraphs Sarah wrote in 2003 on the future of desktop applications, ended up getting picked up by Robert Scoble. A surprise hit.

Learning Bash – an example of one of the really arcane blog posts Sarah did on learning “born again shell”. Another is “Bash: Xargs is Your Friend”

Running a Fast Mile: an example of Jason’s monthly fitness challenges.

Serious Pony: the internet reincarnation of the really awesome Kathy Sierra

Eleven Compelling Startup Pitch Archetypes : an example of Jason “catching” all his ideas after an intense period of advising people applying to Y Combinator

Rules and Freedom: a post by Sarah on how the best toys give just enough freedom