survive the streets

Give $1 for Each Package Guard Sold… Why?

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A lot of companies have adopted a model of giving back as part of how they operate the company. I love the idea as long as it makes sense for the company and its mission. I do see some companies that only do it for a way to “say” they are doing good things. Many times it is more of a PR strategy than a part of the mission of the company. I decided before I even had a company that we would giving $1 to a non profit Survive the Streets for each Package Guard that was sold. Because without Survive the Streets there would be no Package Guard, Inc.

Survive the Streets had its first fundraiser (outside of our home) on Nov 5th. For those of you who don’t know, Survive the Streets is the non profit my wife and I started 17 years ago. We help the homeless each year on Thanksgiving day by providing a free pop-up store for them to get what they need to help them through the winter months. We give out hundreds of warm-weather-gear items like gloves, socks, sleeping bags, backpacks, hoodies, coats, hygiene kits and more.

Back to the fundraiser… We were nervous about doing a fundraiser for more than just our friends like we had done the last several years at our home. But we committed to at least trying it to see if we could put 75-100 people in a room and have a FUN event. And the results were…..

It really blew our minds of what happened. We had 120 people and raised almost $15,000! But more importantly, we had many people come to the event that didn’t know much about Survive the Streets, so we were able to show more people how easily they can help. This event was a huge success as people had a great time, they enjoyed some great fresh wood-fired pizzas and some awesome wine (which we ran out of towards the end). So we will be doing it again and see if we can get 150 people in a room next year to learn about Survive the Streets and helping the homeless in Seattle.

What also was exciting about this event was talking to a few people about the Package Guard. I did a very short Live Facebook Video and a few people asked me about the Package Guard. I told them the story that I would have not invented the Package Guard if it wasn’t for Survive the Streets. Without getting a box of coats stolen, I would have never started looking for a solution for package theft. When it happened to me almost two years ago I just assumed this product existed somewhere. After a couple of months of research, I realized it didn’t but should. And this is where we are today getting ready to release the Package Guard to help stop the package theft problem in many neighborhoods in America.  

The problem of package theft gets more media attention each year which then shows bad people how easy it is to do, which creates more crimes… it is a cycle that is not going to slow down with the accelerated growth of ordering online. Until there are more inventions like the Package Guard to help slow the thieves down this problem is going to grow not slow down. Our mission is to do everything we can to stop it. If you want to stop package theft as well, please join us in this fight against porch pirates by liking our Facebook page , following us on Twitter, visiting our Website and signing up for our newsletter.

Package Guard Yard sign

Don’t Call 911! Talk to your neighbors first.

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Package theft is a huge problem and it’s getting worse.

Why? Because police departments don’t have the time or the money to investigate criminals stealing packages. But what about us?! What about the times when thieves get away with expensive electronics, medical supplies or maybe a keepsake that literally can’t be replaced? For those times, we wish the police would go after these criminals, but the fact is… it is just not going to happen.

So where does that leave us?

That leaves us, and all our neighbors, responsible for package theft prevention. Together, we can help end package theft – simply by watching out for one another and talking to one another. The online delivery industry is growing at a rapid pace and, as a result, so is package theft. Unless we start helping each other out, then the porch pirates will continue to succeed.

Why is package theft on the rise?

The crime of package theft is growing rapidly because it can be committed by anyone over the age of 10. Therefore, to help our neighborhoods become safer, we have to look for methods, ideas and products that will help combat this crime. For heavens sake, people on bikes are stealing packages. Take a look at this video.

What can you do?

Some of the best ways to prevent package theft is meeting and interacting with your neighbors. I order online and get packages dropped off on my doorstep. I want convenience. So if I want convenience and I need to protect my packages then maybe I can ask my neighbor to help pick up a package if they’re home. This is not always going to be easy as most of our neighbors work during the day, but some do work from home and you may even have someone retired living close by. Another step in protecting your packages is telling everyone in your neighborhood to watch what is going on around them and on the street. This happens a lot on services like Nextdoor. Nextdoor is awesome. People are always sharing what is going on in the area. Join if you haven’t yet and share what you are seeing. It will save you some headaches and even help you find your lost dog or cat.

Another solution.

We need multiple solutions to package theft if we are going to stop porch pirates. That is why I invented the Package Guard. I had a package stolen, and after a lot of research, I found nothing that was inexpensive and easy-to-use for everyone (delivery people included).That was almost two years ago. Today we have a product that will alarm some criminals and will definitely alert the neighbors that there is a thief close by. I don’t believe the Package Guard will stop all thieves, but it will stop some, a lot more than it being stopped today. And it will start to make others think twice before riding up on a bike and trying to casually walk up steal a package unnoticed.

My suggestPackage Guardion is start talking to neighbors, watching your street for unusual people and don’t be afraid to ask for help *before* you become a victim of package theft… then get yourself a Package Guard so everyone knows if a theft has occurred.

Add your voice to your slide deck

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I just got off the phone with someone that had just went through a slide deck that was sent to them by a friend of mine. I know the business from which the slide deck was sent fairly well. My friend and I were talking about the company and he only went through the slide deck without any interaction. It was very interesting to hear what he thought about the company after reviewing this slide deck.  Lets just say it didn’t match what was actually happening with the company.  It was not a bad slide deck, it was very well done and was short and to the point. But the “correct” message didn’t get to the intended recipient.

You have played that game where you sit in a row and start a short message and tell it to the person next to you who tells it to the next person, etc. And you know the result of that… right? Wrong message being forwarded and a mess at the end.

For those of you who are creating a slide deck and sending it off to someone who does not know your company or you, I would suggest you add some voice to your slide deck. Narrate it so someone can hear your story about your idea/company from you words. This will help reduce some of the missed communications that happen when someone reads your slide deck without you in front of them.

I don’t think I need to go into too much detail about all the ways that a potential partner/investor/adviser can misinterpret your vision. Your vision is way too important to leave this up to chance.  I know you can create a great 10-12 slides that show how great your idea/company is but maybe you don’t know what the person is doing when they are reading your slides.  It is better if you leave as little to chance as possible.  Therefore wrap some audio into your presentation.

There are several ways to do this. You can record screenshots and video with a program like CamtasiaDebut Video Capture or you can use a service like Brainshark to record audio with your powerpoint. There are several other ways to hack a audio file onto a presentation so I am sure you can find a way to do this. I am just strongly recommending you find a way to do it as it can be the difference between having an additional chat with someone and never hearing from them again.

Startup Grind Starts in Seattle Aug 29th

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I am the Seattle area director for Startup Grind. It is a community of founders, entrepreneurs, and wantrapreneurs looking to be inspired, educated, and networked with the smartest startup minds. We currently have 18 chapters around the world and we are launching our first event in the Seattle area.

Would you be excited about having the opportunity to work worth some of the smartest people in technology? Wouldn’t it be great to get access to API’s that no one else can get access to from Microsoft and their partners?

On August 29th, we are excited about having Rahul Sood, the GM of the brand new Bing Fund, an angel fund with an incubator program that is backed by Microsoft’s Online Services Division. He will be speaking about and answering questions on the goals of the Bing Fund. The Bing Fund makes angel investments and works closely with startups to take their businesses to critical mass.

During our fireside evening event you will be learning what the Bing Fund is looking for from entrepreneurs to get inducted into their portfolio.  Learn what Rahul looks for in founders and in a business plan in order to be part of their family of start ups.

Rahul Sood is a true entrepreneur who loves meeting founders and learning about the next big idea. He knows what it takes to be a success having started two companies in the last 16 years. He sold Voodoo PC to Hewlett Packard in 2006 and is a co-founder of BrightSquid Medical, a unique collaboration platform for medical professionals, which was subsequently acquired by NetworksMD.

The agenda will be from 6pm to 7pm there will be networking and snacks, followed by a fireside chat with featured guest, Rahul Sood  from 7 to 8pm. The event will conclude with open question-and-answer session and more networking from 8 to 8:30pm. This event is limited to 50 people, so don’t dilly dally around waiting as there will be no entry without a ticket.