Lately I’ve been on stage and I’m talking more and more about value. Whether you have a product or a service, whether you use all the gadgets or the new toys or not, at the end of the day if you bring value, you have a real chance at winning in the consumer market. So I’ve been thinking a lot, and putting pressure on myself to be creating quality posts on this LinkedIn forum, and taking the fact that I’m one of these couple of hundred contributors very seriously.
Last night I had a great thought about what has separated me from some of my competitors, and how I could share that with my audience. I came up with this idea of up-and-coming people I follow on Twitter, because when I think back to 06, 07, 08, it was the up-and-coming people that later became titans and the movers-and-shakers in the industry that I followed early on. They brought me a lot of value, linked me to articles that I read, and really educated me. And I continue to try and do that, day in and day out, and so I’m going to put together a list for you once in a while, maybe once a month, a certain number of people I think you should be following, because Twitter is a really easy way to follow people and get a lot of great content.
This list always going to be made up of people who aren’t necessarily the most famous or the most known, usually under 10,000 followers for sure… so here we go. The inaugural list.(Note: by the time I finished this list it was WAY too long for a single post, so I decided to split it up. This is the first 10. The last 9 are coming tomorrow.)
Ryan Harwood (@RyanHarwood27) is the CEO of Purewow.com (think of it as an older DailyCandy for the female set). Really interesting guy. Ryan is a good friend and a huge Knicks fan, but most of all is a head-down entrepreneur, and someone that I think really, really has a bright future ahead of him. If you’re into email marketing, or the New York Knicks, he’s a must follow.
Ryan Graves (@ryangraves) is the head of operations at Uber. Uber is an extremely hot company and most people surely know the charismatic, brilliant Travis Kalanick who’s the CEO, however Ryan is an unbelievable #2 man. I’ve gotten to spend some time with Ryan recently (playing beach volleyball for 40 hrs in a 44 hr window), but most of all, I’ve watched him for a long time and I’m impressed with his maturity. I think he continues to grow, and I think he’s a worthwhile follow, especially as I believe in this “real-world meets the tech-world”, Ryan will be an interesting character to follow.
Danny Trinh (@dtrinh) is probably the most ridiculous person on this list. If you’ve ever spent any time with him in the real world, you will realize that there is a very good chance that he will get drunk and get completely ridiculous. However, I see Danny continue to grow as an entrepreneur and as a designer. I think he’s got so much raw talent that I felt like I had to put him on this list. If you enjoy some laughs, or, more importantly, if you enjoy the future of design in the digital world, I think Danny is a must-follow.
Colin Devroe (@cdevroe) is one of the people on this list that I’ve known the longest. Colin convinced me to switch from YouTube to Viddler (thanks a lot, Colin), but I’ve always respected Colin as a technologist, and his new project is something that I think has the real chance of blowing up in 2014. Keep an eye on him. I think he’s a great follow and someone who’s always been quite smart as a product guy.
Ingrid Sanders (@ingridsan) is somebody that I just met. She’s the founder and CEO of an interesting site, and more importantly just really blew me away. I meet with a lot of young entrepreneurs and start-ups constantly, and I would say that out of the last 400, Ingrid really stood out in the top one or two. I think she’d got her head on straight, I think she’s got a bright future, and I think that she’s a worthwhile follow as being a big prospect for having a successful startup.
Sam Rosen (@sir) is an interesting one for me. He’s an entrepreneur in residence at GPR Partners, and he’s a hustler. This dude chased me down at SXSW constantly a few years ago, trying to get me to invest in his company. I ultimately passed (and I was super right, because it didn’t work), however there was something in his eye that almost made me invest in an idea that I hated. That alone make him a worthwhile follow, and I believe that he will bring value for people that follow him, especially for anybody into entrepreneurship and venture capital from a young person’s perspective.
Dan Shipper (@danshipper) is a college junior. He clearly has to be on this list because if you go to his profile, one of the things it says is “Jets fan”. My brother @AJV actually turned me onto him, and I’ve just been following and paying attention to him for a little bit now. He’s a young buck that I’ve had my eye on as somebody that I want to work with/have work for me/work along side with. There is just something about this kid that pops in my gut and intuition, and I think he’s an absolute must-follow.
Henrik Werdelin (@werdelin) Is massively underrated. Period. End of story. The fact that he’s only got 3800 followers is a shocking indication of a diamond in the rough. Henrik is not a kid. He’s a mature entrepreneur who’s had a lot of success in his career and he’s doing some amazing stuff right now. I believe in this guy tremendously. I think that he has enormous long-term potential, and if you ask me which of the 30-40 friends I have has the potential to build a billion-dollar company, Henrik would be on that shortlist. I think he’s an amazing visionary when it comes to product, and I also think that that European humility he has is quite attractive. If there is one person on this list that you want to follow in order to be successful with product, it’s Henrik.
Erik F. Kastner (@kastner) is probably the one that I’m post emotional about on this list. Erik is the individual that turned me onto technology. He was the lead developer at Wine Library in 2002, and he started my path to why I’m ultimately even able to write this article. I have enormous love for him, and he has gone on to leave Wine Library and work for places like Kickstarter and Etsy. I have nothing but respect for him and if you’re a developer or coder I promise you that you will get tremendous value out of following this guy. He is, by far in my opinion, one of the most underrated technologists on the east coast. I am a big fan. Also, make sure you look at his profile on a desktop. On the left side, you’ll see tagmy.com. Ask him about it.
Kevin Colleran (@KevinColleran). This one’s interesting to me, because Kevin Colleran is probably the most successful person on this list, but he’s only got 759 follower because he’s just jumped on Twitter. One look at his profile will make you understand why, since the last line is an unbelievable humblebrag: Employee #7 at Facebook. If you are interested in how to monetize your business, sales, or “Fortune 500 company thinking”, Kevin is your guy. Kevin is now a venture capitalist at General Catalyst, and writing for the Wall Street Journal. He’s not only a tremendously bright guy, be he’s one of the nicest people I know. I’m an enormous fan of his, and I highly recommend the follow.