2014 Year In Review



For the last few year I list the goals that I would like to achieve for the year. With this post I’d like to take some time and see how many of my 2014 goals I managed to achieve.

Get more involved in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

2014 started off with massive bitcoin hype. I jumped in with both feet and built a bitcoin mining rig, I called it “miner threat”. The price tag for the parts was about $5500. After a few short months, the mining rig was costing more money to operate then we were mining. Overall, mining bitcoins was fun, but not profitable. I can say however that I used bitcoins to pay a ransom to Russian hackers! Grade: #win

Involve more wearable tech in my life

2014 was definitely the year of the wearable and I embraced it. This year I tried the following wearable devices.

Google Glass was the biggest loser of the bunch with few apps, poor battery life and limited usability. Everyone I know who had Glass has ditched it. My favorite wearable was the Misfit Shine. The Shine is a beautiful wearable and I loved wearing it. The down fall of the Shine was the poorly designed wristband that lead to me losing the tracker. I replaced the Shine with the Misfit Flash. The Flash is an extremely cheap version of the Shine, but features an improved wristband. Last week I received my Spire tracker. Spire is worn in the waistband of your pants and tracks your breathing patterns. It detects stress and calmness. I really like the Spire, and I’ll be interested to see the data of my breathing habits. Honorable mention goes to Muse, the brain wave tracker. Muse is very interesting, but hard for me to get into. I like the idea of training myself to live in a calmer state. Moving into 2015, the Misfit Flash, Muse and Spire are the only devices I plan on wearing on a daily basis. Grade: #epicWin

Work on educating people more about MFA and account security

Account security and MFA (multi-factor authentication) has been central to my day job for the last few years. Okta is a cloud identity solution that I help manage at Esri. MFA and MFA education is a key feature of Okta. In November I was honored to be presented with the Okta Atlas Award at the Okta user conference in San Francisco. Grade: #epicWin

Get more involved in the Shopify community

In 2013 I went to the first west coast Shopify meet-up and absolutely loved it. A few months into 2014 a Los Angeles Shopify meet-up group formed. I had the pleasure of  speaking about SEO and my upcoming book at one of the first meetings. You can see my presentation here. Grade: #win

Continue to automate more of my income

With the growth of my apps I was able to automate more of my income in 2014 than ever before. I’m getting closer to that 4-hour work week. Grade: #epicWin

Continue to pay off more debt

I read a great book called “I will teach you to be rich” by Ramit Sethi. It was one of those books that hit me hard. I’ve been following some of his advice and am working my way towards a debt free lifestyle. I’m using more automated tools to make that happen, and it feels great. Grade: #win

Launch another Shopify app

I totally smashed this goal by launching two Shopify apps in 2014 – SEO Scan Pro and Social Share Manager. Grade: #insanelyEpicWin

Continue to delegate more of my tasks

This is something that is really hard for me. I’m going to be honest on this one and admit that I just need to let go of somethings and trust others to help me. Grade: #fail

Finish and publish my SEO book

I knew that was on the list for 2014 and I really wanted to get it done. In August I really buckled down and started working hard on the book. The writing process was tough but was nothing compared to the editing process. My editor really helped refine the book into something that I’m truly proud of (thanks Rhian!). On December 29th 2014 I finished my first book. It’s been an amazing journey that has pushed me and forced me to grow. The book is in the publishing process and will be available soon. Grade: #win

Expand my SEO offerings to clients

In 2014, along with releasing two new SEO related Shopify apps, NewLeaf Labs also started to offer more personalized and hands on SEO consulting along with copy writing. Grade #win

Drive a Tesla Model S (at least a test drive or a rental)

Man, I totally blew this one. I had a Tesla model S lined up to rent but I never pulled the trigger on it. I guess I’m going to have to move this one to the 2015 list. Grade: #epicFail

Have a  conversation with Kevin Rose, and Tim Ferris

This is another one that didn’t happen for me, then again I didn’t really try hard for it. I did have a few twitter exchanges with Kevin Rose this year but I’m not counting those. Grade: #fail

Contribute to more charities

I’m proud of this one. This year I was able to contribute more to charitable causes than ever before. One of the charities that really grabbed my attention this year was The Pratyasha Foundation. My friend Kristin lives in India and started this non-profit to provide food, health care and hope to children in the slums of India. Money donated to them goes directly to the children. I encourage you to join me in supporting Kristin in her efforts. http://thepratyashafoundation.org. Grade: #epicWin

Over all 2014 was a hard year for me. It was a time of growth and change – becoming more of a grown up. Change is never easy. Despite the challenges I was able to accomplish most of my goals in 2014. I’m looking forward to the adventures  that 2015 holds as #jacksonHighland grows up and as my wife and I welcome our second son into the world.

2013 Q1 Review – Glass Edition

2013 has been an interesting year for me so far.

Following my goals for 2013, I have been focused on building more software products and services that automate more of my income and help me payoff some debt. I’m finding great success with Shopify.com apps and consulting work. I should really blog about this more.

Yesterday I got an idea for a shopify app. I have a very strong feeling that its going to be great once I launch it. I’m hoping to have it done by the end of summer.

To help promote my clothing line, Wolves Clothing. I’ve brought on a partner / vice president. In a short time we have already started seeing some progress. I’m very hopeful for the future as we branch out and start to sponsor more bands, events and athletes.

Being a new father in a digital age has really changed things for me. In mid February I was at home having lunch, talking to my wife, when all of a sudden my son #JacksonHighland started trying to walk on his own. Amy acted fast, pulling out her iPhone and capturing a video of Jackson’s first steps.

The entire experience was amazing. Having my son walk to me was a great feeling, but the realization that I had a high definition digital copy of that experience really hit me hard. I will have a copy if that moment forever. I will be able to share that moment with my family, loved ones, and with Jackson himself when he gets older. I want to capture everything. I don’t want to miss moments like this.

I also realized that I have a digital photo of him from every day that he’s been alive, and those will last forever as well. I have a few dozen pictures of myself as a child, Amy only has a hand full of baby pictures of her (Her house burned down in 2003). Jackson is going to end up with thousands of images of him growing up.

The day after Jackson took his first steps, Google announced a contest called #IfIHadGlass. In 140 characters or less you had to tell them how you would use Google Glass if you got a pair, and include the hashtag #IfIHadGlass.

One of my goals for 2013 was to try a pair of Google Glasses. If I was able to wear a pair for 5 minutes, I would consider this goal accomplished. I submitted the following to the contest:

I have an 11 month old son. Every day he does something new and amazing. #ifihadglass, I would always have a camera ready to capture those moments forever, and share them with family and loved ones. He will only take first steps, and say his first word once.

I also attached the video of Jackson’s first steps.

Yesterday I found out that I was accepted into Google Glass Explorer program! I’m getting a pre-release pair of Google Glass! It’s still hard for me to believe.

IfIHadGlass Winner

I love the concept of wearable computers. If you know me well, you know that I would love to augment myself with digital parts. I’ve always wanted a heads up display, just like RoboCop, The Terminator, and The Predator.

My entry to Google is genuine. I will mostly be capturing video and images of Jackson growing up. I will always have a camera available when he starts to do something new and awesome. I can’t wait.

I imagine that Google Glass will change a lot of things in my life. I’m going to be doing a lot of testing, app developing and blogging about Google Glass. Stay tuned!

Picard Google Glass