Who is Zac?
Zac loves making things happen, organizing people and communities, and solving problems that matter. He is currently a partner at LIFFFT where he helps build products and consults with large companies to help them move faster and think more like startups. Before LIFFFT, he was part of the core Startup Weekend team at their headquarters in Seattle.
When he’s not changing the world through entrepreneurship, he’s training parkour and doing backflips, making viral videos, and running the Hacker News Seattle Meetup. He also thinks Space is really, really cool.
What He’s doing:
- Partner at LIFFFT, where he consults with enterprise companies to help them adopt product development best practices from the startup world like Lean Startup, Customer Development, and Design Thinking.
- Facilitating Startup Weekend events around the world. Current number of events facilitated: 11
- Running the Seattle Customer Development Meetup and teaching people interested in building products and companies about Steve Blank’s customer development, how to conduct customer interviews, and how to use the Business Model Canvas.
- Vice-chair of the Board of Parkour Visions, the first parkour 501(c)3 non-profit, which runs a 10,000 square foot parkour gym in Seattle.
- Helping organize and run the speaker series Ignite Seattle. Average attendance: 700.
- Mentor to Angles Media, a 9 Mile Labs company.
Guest Posts and Public Speaking
- Spoke at Ignite Seattle 23 to an audience of 700 people about how to hack your way into social circles.
- Emcee and speaker at Geeks on a Beach: 2013 in Boracay, Philippines. Gave a 22 minute talk on Corporate Innovation and what corporations can learn from startups.
- Spoke at TEDx Seattle in June 2013 on “Parkour and the Art of Problem Solving.”
- Keynote speaker at StudentRND’s Summer Incubator DemoDay.
- Guest on the pilot of the TV show “Taste of the Future.” The topic was Wearable Technologies and I was representing my experiences with my Google Glass.
- Panelist on Turnstone’s panel: “Millennials in the Workplace.” Related Bloomberg article.
- Guest on the Jason Rantz radio show on KIRO 97.3 discussing Lyft, The Taxi Industry, and Innovation.
- Guest on Jenni Hogan‘s podcast: The Next Big Thing.
- Hosted a class for the non-profit GiveGetWin on “Building Products People Actually Want,” and was interviewed by Sebastian Marshall.
- Geekwire’s featured “Geek of the Week” for July 2nd, 2013.
- Guest post on Geekwire about the Museum of Flight’s “Wings of Heroes” Gala.
- Wrote a controversial piece called “DOXing is not okay. Ever. For anyone.“
- Did a live video interview of Don Dodge on Google Developers Live.
- Facilitated/emcee’d 11 Startup Weekend events: Seattle (twice), Louisville (twice), Iowa City, Madison, Atlanta, DC, Cebu, Davao, Syracuse.
- Geekwire featured me in their Tech Moves column when I joined LIFFFT.
What He’s Done:
- Was in charge of “Hacker Relations” at Startup Weekend. He worked with Google to run pre-event bootcamps to teach people about cool platforms, APIs, and technologies they can use in their Startup Weekend projects.
- Piloted the Startup Weekend: Government vertical. These are Startup Weekend events that are focused on encouraging people to create startups that solve the problems of government or build on “open data.”
- Founded and organized the monthly Hacker News: Seattle Meetups. # events: 22. Avg attendance: 150. Sponsorship raised per event: $2000.
- Helped produce funny viral videos for LaughPong, Satire, and Gritty Reboots - comedy Youtube channels with over 35 million views.
- Produced The Day the Lolcats Died, a Youtube Video protesting the SOPA/PIPA bills. Our video got 700,000 views in the first week after launch, and in addition to the traditional tech media like Techcrunch, it was played on The Today Show and in between segments on NPR.
- Assisted in making We’re NASA And We Know It, a viral video parody of “I’m Sexy And I Know It” that broke 2 million views in the first week. It’s been played at Mission Control in Houston, at the Museum of Flight’s “Wings of Heroes” Gala, to open TEDx MidAtlantic, and on the International Space Station to hype up the astronauts before a spacewalk.
- Was invited to join Reddit’s Internet 2012 Bus Tour, which was touring the Midwest to promote Internet Freedom and document how important the internet was to startups, and even to brick and mortar businesses, in places outside of the typical startup hubs.
- Guest Trustee for The Awesome Foundation
- Organized The Seattle MetaMeetup, an event and private email list for event organizers to teach each other how to be better organizers.
- Created the Seattle Startup Map, a semi-open sourced map of all the startups in Seattle.
- Mentor at 9 Mile Labs, a B2B accelerator in the Seattle area.
- Ran The Awesome List, a highly curated list of cool and high quality events to go to around Seattle.
- Started and ran a series of “How to Survive The Email Onslaught” Seminars to help people get, and stay, on top of their inboxes.
- Started The Neverending Fast, a collaborative fasting and self-discovery project.
- Founded Rochester Parkour. He ran beginner workshops drawing over 100 people, attracted media coverage of our organization multiple times, and developed a sustainable, friendly, and positive parkour community.
- Ran the American Parkour web presence, including daily news posts, social media, forum moderation, Youtube contests, Google Ads strategy and execution. Was also the Editor in Chief of their monthly newsletter.
- At age 19, planned and took an 8 week, 21 city trip around the country to teach and spread parkour, and to learn more about other parkour communities.
- In High School he worked as a programmer for the National Security Agency doing [redacted] with [redacted] on the [redacted]. Was NOT involved with [redacted], [redacted] and definitely had no connection to [redacted]. No involvement with PRISM. I swear. Those guys were always jerks, anyway.
- Worked as the lead analyst for Parallels, Banyan Branch’s biggest client.
- Co-founded an Android gaming company called Happy Monster Games. Released one game called TrickyLeaks. The game lampooned Wikileaks, got coverage from some significant gaming blogs, and even got mentioned in a tweet from the official Wikileaks account!
- Graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree that combined two years of Computer Science with two years of business/marketing.
- Taekwondo Blackbelt Tournament career: Undefeated, 100% TKOs. (I was 1-0. But hey… 1 and 0 is still undefeated!).