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Joah Spearman
Austin
The Renaissance meets Austin
Interests: music, travel, life, running, spending time with friends, fashion, throwing parties, writing, books, culture, traveling, concerts, biographies, reading - magazines, about sports, beautiful women
Recent Activity
Think back a decade if you can. Think about the things that were happening in your life that caused you stress. I'm sure they were all consuming at the time. Think back a year and do the same. Now a month ago, one week ago, and finally think back to yesterday. If I've learned anything, it's that stress is the most temporary and short-lived element of our lives. It comes and it goes faster than money and has less meaning than feeling love or fulfillment or a sense of accomplishment. Stress is just a bully that picks on you when... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
If you're already starting to feel yourself become much less engaged in the presidential election now that the nominees are pretty much determined (particularly for Berners and reasonable Republicans), please consider doing some research on your state's, city's and county's candidates for races this November. You may not love your choices for the White House, but this isn't the only race of consequence this year. This is an extremely important time in our nation's history not only because of the Presidential election and its ramifications on our way of life from the Supreme Court to immigration and women's rights, but... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
The University of Texas at Austin was one of my top two choices for college since I was 12 years old. I'd learned about the school in part because I was born in Texas and everyone knows the Longhorns and in part because, in South Carolina, there was a computer program that provided information about colleges you should attend based on a personalized test measuring your skills and interest called SCOIS. No one in my immediate family graduated from a four-year college, and we grew up poor, so I knew it would take a lot of hard work and dedication... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
It's that day again. Father's Day, that is. I'd say it doesn't mean that much to me because I didn't have much of a father at all, but as I've grown older my feelings about this day have changed. For starters, my mom Sabrena was both mother and father to me in so many ways. She put the food on the table for my older brothers and me, the roof over our heads, the clothes on our back, and she put the motivation in our hearts and minds that we could be anything. I'm sure my life would be far... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
On Wednesday, I gave a talk to 22 employees from Nike HQ who are having a team retreat in Austin. I did this with Chase for a different team at Nike about a year ago too. These people can use Localeur to make decisions about where to eat and drink in Austin and today I'm in Portland about to use Localeur to determine where to have breakfast. This is exactly the kind of business I always wanted to build. Something that doesn't have to be limited to the confines of one brick and mortar store (Sneak Attack) or one event... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
The scar tissue of being a CEO never leaves you or heals. You carry the wounds with you like you carry your memory with you. There are more lessons, mistakes and trials I've had to go through in the last 3 years both personally and professionally than I could ever capture and share on Facebook. That said, all of those scars are what makes me who I am, what drives me to constantly keep improving, keep learning and keep pushing myself to be a better CEO the next day. It's also what let's me know that the path I'm on... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
President Obama showed me that a President doesn't just have the power to change your way of life for better or worse as Presidents before him did, but that Presidents can also have the influence of changing your perspective on life. JFK perhaps is held to this standard, but we never got the full benefit of seeing what this influence could do as he was killed prematurely. And I'm not going to lie and say that I haven't been scared for the past near-decade that Obama would be taken from us, too. Instead, thankfully, those "powers that be" tried to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
I think it's great that Susan Sarandon and Sarah Silverman plan on voting for Bernie. I loved Sarandon in Little Women two decades ago, and I got to see Silverman's standup at Oddball Comedy Fest a couple summers back, and she was fucking hilarious. That said, this whole "I'm not sure I can vote for Hillary if Bernie loses" stuff is complete nonsense and a total farce (even you're not that good of an actress Susan) and neither woman has spent a good part of their lives in the poor or working class or as an ethnic minority in an... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
What do you do with all the rejection? If you’re a startup founder, budding artist or pursuing any business or creative dream, here’s what you do with all the rejection you’re sure to face. This has been true for me my entire life going back to when I was in middle school and black kids said I was “acting white” because I was making good grades and white kids said I was “not really Black” because of those grades. It’s even more true today as I experience rejection and keep moving forward. 1. You face it. 2. You listen to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
Hear me out... I don't really think all that much about the billions I'm going to make with Localeur because most of that money is going to go to charities I support one day and not into owning a sports team or something silly, but here are some crazy numbers off the top that get me amped... TripAdvisor has about 400 million monthly users and a $9 billion market cap, which means they are getting a value of around $22.50 per user. Yelp has about 90 million monthly users and a $1.5 billion market cap, which means they are getting... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
If you want to know what I do during SXSW, here it is: 1) fundraising (All of last weekend during Interactive), 2) brand awareness (Interactive --> Music including our party), 3) storytelling (meeting with media and social influencers), 4) partnership development (all week, especially during Music), 5) have fun (table stakes to be effective at any of these activities), and 6) supporting my friends and the overall creative community (seeing shows and attending panels and events primarily); and 7) encouraging visitors to support the locally-owned and operated businesses here in Austin from Sunroom to El Chilito. These are the businesses... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
Localeur launched 3 SXSWs ago and I will say this: One of the things I've learned in interacting with thousands of people and steadily building Localeur to reach 1 million users and partner with great companies like JetBlue and expand to 20 cities and raise $1.6 million from 45 investors from Facebook, Bazaarvoice, etc. is that not everyone is cut out for a job in which you wake up every day doing something you've created from nothing because you found a problem you were passionate about solving and you've done it almost exclusively with people you've hand-selected with a mission... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
Here's a quick guide to The Life of Pablo if you've loved all of Kanye's previous albums. [Yes, TIDAL is worth it so far.] Ultralight Beam - Maybe the best intro to a Kanye album ever. Sounds like something that could have been on Graduation. Chance the Rapper's voice is surreal. Wolves – The most 808s and Heartbreaks sounding cut on the album. Pt. 2 – Bang this in the car. Feedback – Yeezus has arrived. Highlights – Late Registration or Graduation...the b-side. I Love Kanye – His sense of humor is still here. Plus, he hears his critics and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
It's long, but so is the Super Bowl... When the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers meet for Super Bowl 50 think about the fact that this is a very rare matchup of two teams from swing states. How rare? It's actually never happened. Think about that for a second. This is a huge occurrence. The owners, executives and players of both of these teams will have substantial clout through this election cycle and the upcoming NFL season. If Cam Newton comes out and endorses Hillary Clinton, almost nothing Killer Mike or Cornel West can say will get Bernie cool points... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
As of this writing, I'm a supporter of Hilary's because I feel she'll do the best to continue what I view as the resounding success that was (is) Obama's presidency, second term especially. If Bernie Sanders wins the nomination, I'm very likely to vote for him unless Bloomberg runs as an Independent with someone reasonable like John Kasich on his ticket. There I said it. But there's one thing I haven't appreciated about Bernie's campaign and supporters thus far. They seem to be vocal supporters of the political revolution he seeks, yet I don't hear them acknowledging the very real... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
Last semester, I spoke to some business student’s at St. Edward’s University. One of the students reached out to me and asked if I could get coffee to share any additional advice. One of the questions she asked me over coffee was how I manage to stave off being overwhelmed and stressed. I told her that a lot of me fighting off stress is reminding myself that I chose this path. I am a tech founder. I am an entrepreneur. This is what I cashed out my stock options for and what I emptied my bank account for. This is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
I look at Twitter and Facebook and see so many different friends from high school, college and my professional life reacting all kinds of ways to Iowa. Many of them are excited for vastly different reasons. It got me thinking… Are you Cruzin’ with Ted Cruz like some of my high school or college friends? Are you feelin’ the Bern like many of my Austin friends? Either way, before you get all excited about your anti-establishment candidate’s chances of winning this Presidential election, you may want to check out these demographics about Iowa. The state is 92% white. Ninety-two. That’s... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
This shouldn't be a spoiler alert because if you haven't seen the classic Matt Damon - Ed Norton film Rounders by now, you probably never will. It came out in 1998. There's a scene toward the end of the movie when Damon's character Mike McDermott has just about bottomed out as a poker player, and seemingly in life. He started out by losing all the money he'd been stacking up over a period of time while grinding out small wins over poker tables. $30,000 in a single hand he lost to Teddy KGB, the Russian-mob connected poker giant of the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
According to LinkedIn, I've now been leading Localeur for three years. That's incredible, but here's something I'm certain LinkedIn won't tell you... You could try your hardest and best to draw a straight line from my first business at 11 cutting grass for neighbors or my Pizza Hut job at 15 to Localeur today, but it's pretty much impossible because I'm the only person who can do that given my experiential knowledge of the unique role each of my jobs has had and of the impacts of each of the people listed below along with so many others. Yep, I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
I'm a registered Republican, but for the first time I've sent in my voter registration card for Democrat so I can choose between Hilary and Bernie in the Texas primary. I haven't identified with these Republicans in years. It's a combination of how dismal I feel their leadership of Congress has been combined with how patient and effective Obama has been that's made me feel this way. I'm a certified swing voter, in a non-swing state. Texas probably won't be of import on the presidential front for another 2 or 3 cycles, but that's OK. The future will look different... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
Travel, like supporting local businesses rather than corporate chains, is often positioned as a luxury…something upper middle class people are able to do, but not us. At least, that’s how I grew up. I remember every trip I took growing up not because they were out of the country and full of worldly wonders or because we stayed in nice homes or hotels and saw Broadway shows or ate gourmet meals, but because there were so few of them in comparison to other kids I went to school with. The cross-country U-Haul ride from Texas to South Carolina when I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
I wish I could tell you I grew up knowing all the great reasons to support local businesses and started on this course as a child, but I can’t. I spent more of my own hard-earned money eating at fast-food chains and shopping at corporate-run department stores than anyone I know from around age 11 (when I launched my first business cutting grass for neighbors) through high school (while working at Pizza Hut for three years) and even during college (when I worked full time as a student at UT-Austin). The only potential redeeming qualities I could share for that... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
Here's a story... When I was 11 years old, I told my mom I wanted to go to college. I remember her telling me, "that's great, but you'll have to figure out how to pay for it." My mom was always a huge source of encouragement for me, but when you're steadily working two jobs and know no one else in our immediate family had graduated from college, your hope is tinged with a heavy dose of reality. So that's where I started. Thankfully, I had always loved school. I still have my kindergarten and 1st grade report cards with... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
I love MLK Day because it's one of the few days of the year where I know what to celebrate. On this day, like many others, I celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His book "Why We Can't Wait" remains one of the most influential things I've ever read, and I continue to learn new pieces of his story and impact the older I get, and the more I realize how much his words still apply to situations of today, situations we see in the news and those we don't. It's been nearly three... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah
I get daily inspiration from people I look at and hang out with who are constantly striving to get better at what they do whether it's Terry Lickona booking Austin City Limits, Chase Moody masterfully doing the code behind Localeur, my girlfriend Susannah doing marketing for La Patisserie or my brother Kahron writing for the Austin Chronicle. The #1 person who I've watched do this is my mother Sabrena. Fundamentally, she became a better mother and person during my childhood, and it was such a pleasure to watch and benefit from. I realize that more and more each day, especially... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2016 at Diatribes by Joah