Featured on Aug 12, 2011
"we are all interested in the future, for that is where you and i are going to spend the rest of our lives. - woody allen "
i'm the founder + ceo of new york startup voyurl.com, a platform that uses your under-utilized data exhaust to effortlessly fuel content recommendation and great personal analytics. i think that technology should do more for people, while requiring them to do less. and, i believe that data shouldn't be considered a "four-letter" word even though it literally is a four-letter word. that's why we're building voyurl. enjoy the web as always; let voyurl do all the work.
prior to going homeless for a year to bootstrap and start voyurl, i was the director of communications strategy at the new york-based ad agency anomaly. i went to amherst college where he studied french, english, and philosophy. it was there that i acquired a dislike for capital letters.
i'm a born-and-bred kansas city native. while growing up there, i developed a fondness for big pickup trucks, wide open space, and nice people. i've played tennis my whole life and competed nationally in the juniors and in college. my mom's side of the family is from tunisia; my dad is a former college basketball player; i have three amazing, incredible older sisters; i'm the uncle to seven nieces and nephews... and counting.
life is good.
- Title: founder + ceo, voyurl
- Age: 30
- Location: Everywhere
- Contact: @adamcl
Out of everything that voyurl has suggested to you, what is your favorite recommendation so far?
did you know that gaddafi has an amazonian guard? let me repeat that as a statement: gaddafi selects and maintains an elite group of deadly female bodyguards informally known as the amazonian guard. apparently, the amazonian guard totals 40 women–all hand selected by gaddafi himself. anything sound fishy yet? no?
it gets better.
not only are they hand selected by gaddafi, but they are also all bound by a vow of chastity. which is to say that gaddafi's hand-selected troupe of 40 badass amazons are also virgins. oh yeah, and they're all trained to beat the motherloving snot out of you if you so much as even fake a questioning grimace at gaddafi's pashmina. to top it all off, every last woman in libya is supposedly clamoring for the chance to never have sex, defend gaddafi with deadly ninja force, and wear some makeup and western fashions while doing it all (or not 'doing it' at all).
i had no idea this amazingness existed; i definitely didn't think anything like this was remotely possible. the whole situation sounds like it's out of a bad james bond rip-off. but, lucky for me, voyurl was kind enough to point it out. and, we all know that if you read it on the internet, then it must be true. i'm still in awe of this morsel of information; and, i'm over the moon about the fact that the service i've worked so hard to build with my teammates was what spoon-fed me this otherwise onion-worthy discovery/geopolitical gem (tomayto/tomahto).
What’s the story behind your dislike of capitalization?
i could attribute it to all of the e.e. cummings and emily dickinson that i've read through the years. those two hate grammar, punctuation, capital letters... and people. but, really, i think it's a result of my perception of a few things: efficiency, medium, and tone.
it sounds crazy, but i'd prefer to save that keystroke from [shift] + [letter] for something more like a [!]. that [shift] key is just one more button to press... a billion times over. and you know that they say, a little times a lot.. is a lot (i wonder how much time that actually adds up to over one's life). i'm sure my typing teacher from grade school is already on a flight over here to kick my ass.
i'm sure plenty of folks will disagree with me, but i just don't think that email, instant messaging, facebook messaging, etc are terribly formal mediums. they're casual; they're brief; they're effective; they're efficient. but formal? not so much. however, just because i view these mediums as casual doesn't mean i have less value for their content. not at all. i just don't think the two items–capital letters and substantial content–need to be mutually inclusive. and, i think the medium of the message is what brings this to bear. was i to write someone a handwritten letter, i'd most certainly use capital letters. although, i wouldn't use cursive because i don't believe in writing in cursive, but that's a discussion for another entrepreneur.
i'm an easygoing, upfront guy. i'm a friendly guy, too. what you see is what you get. which is to say that i'm generally relaxed until it's clear that i need to be something other than relaxed. until then, i like to lean back and throw caution to the wind. so, i went ahead and tossed the MLA handbook out the window. i find lowercase letters to be more friendly... and i like friendly.
Coming from the Midwest, was it at all challenging to get adjusted to the big city? What do you miss most from KC?
so, i was born and raised in kansas city, ks and then went to college in amherst, ma. believe it or not, amherst is actually smaller than kc. between the two of them, i was lucky enough to enjoy the luxury of a few things for 22 years: ridiculously nice people, slower paced living, lots and lots of space, and doing great stuff outdoors. moving to nyc didn't seem challenging at first. rather, it felt exciting, electric, invigorating. but then, as time moved on, there was a lull in the middle of it all. and, more than anything, i found myself really missing the space of things and being outdoors–camping, hiking, barbecuing, etc. that was the hardest part for me, i think. walking around among all this concrete, the cabs, the crowds, the buildings with just the oasis of central park to satiate me for the few warmer months of the year. the rest of the stuff i could adjust to: naked people on subways, bugs in my apartment, weird smells, crazy neighbors, and having it be a grind just to get groceries. but i had to work hard to figure out how to make the spaces and places of nyc something i wanted to be in. i had to explore; i had to wander around a bit. eventually, i was lucky enough to begin to discover those many incredible things that are packed into such a dense place.. and then the city opened up for me. it's been amazing ever since; i wouldn't trade it for a thing.