Cafe Witness

Monday, April 20, 2009

I Have Seen the Future, and It Is Me


I was profiled in a KDKA TV News feature about Pittsburgh's young entrepreneurs. Reporter Andy Sheehan talked to several local innovators about the ways our businesses differ from the norm -- my tendency to work from cafes while producing STBD, for example, or the wisdom of converting a home into the (multi-employee) office for local design firm Blue Tomato.

As always, most news items about young people in Pittsburgh tend to focus on two themes: whether we'll save the city by reinventing it, or whether the city will empower us to make our dreams come true. This particular clip does a bit of both -- which is typical of the city's identity crisis. As the region with the second-oldest population in the country (behind only Miami), Pittsburgh is forever torn between the need to redefine itself and the presumption that it doesn't have to.

If I were a casual viewer, I'd probably think every one of us featured in this video -- including Nick Pinkston and Kellee Maize -- are naive young crackpots who need a real 9-to-5 job to drive some reality down our throats. But, on the off chance that one of us succeeds, that same casual viewer can take pride in the fact that we didn't listen to their conventional wisdom after all.

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2 Comments:

  • If I was a betting man, I'd count on the ladies succeeding. Nakturnal and Blue Tomato both seem like fast growing startups. Also, unlike you or Nick, they've never been burdened by my "help."

    Also, when did Pittsburgh start having rickshaws? I gotta get in on that!

    By Blogger Jia, at 1:10 PM  

  • Blue Tomato, Nakturnal and Nick's company (GearHeadz LLC) all offer a specific service, which is key for growth. I'm a jack of all trades, which means I'll be vaguely redefining myself for the next 40 years, en route to a Mexican rest home.

    Pittsburgh's new rickshaw company is called Green Gears Pedicabs. It was started by a friend of Kellee Maize, and just launched during St. Patrick's Day, I believe.

    By Blogger Justin Kownacki, at 1:24 PM  

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