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Dan Wheelock
Worked at Web Content
Attended Luther College
Lives in Decorah IA
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Dan Wheelock

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This is awesome. 
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Blog Post 7 (Tuesday):

Tuesday was a very different experience. We went to a Fenwick and West (Law Firm), and SportVision. Both companies entirely different from one another, and both very different from the other companies we've seen on the trip.

Fenwick and West is a very professional and very powerful law firm. They specialize in tech companies and patent cases. A lot of the time they're dealing with patent trolls, so I would go ahead and say they're the good guys. It seems like it is so much tedious work, especially with the ambiguous nature of patents. We met with a large group of attorneys, and they mostly had backgrounds in technology, which I thought was very interesting. Very intelligent individuals. They were totally different from how I picture most lawyers. They were very kind, passionate people, who were out to protect instead of attack.

After that, we bussed over to SportVision. SportVision is the company that is behind most of the on screen graphics for major sporting events. They were the original first and ten line for ESPN! Obviously my love for sports peaked my interest, but it was actually cooler to see the technology they use. I've always been fascinated with film, and it was really cool to hear about how Sportvision uses cameras and camera technology to track players and record stats. They has a 1/8th scale football field and they let us walk on it while they through up some of the graphics you'd see at an NFL game. It was very reactive and impressive technology, and I'll never watch another game without paying attention to the graphics! They've also won a bunch of Emmy's and had one on display, which was really cool to see in person.

Two very unique companies that were totally different then I had pictured. Another great day!
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Blog Post 6 (Google):

We went to Google. We went to the internet. We went to the company that seems to be slowly taking over the world. A company that is the rare combination of old school and new school. A company who's revolutionary culture seems to be on par with myth. We went to Google, and honestly, it wasn't what I was expecting.

The campus was obviously unreal. We started in what I assume was a smaller building on the campus, but it was still crazy. From the full bar, to the fireman's pole (that was actually used), it had all the knick knacks that you've heard about. We eventually made our way to other very impressive buildings, and ended up eating at the Google Cafeteria (a whole experience in itself). Although the physical world that Google has created is truly one of a kind, the visit left me with much to be desired.

Most companies seemed to be very interested in us, and acted as an ocean of knowledge that we could dive into, in the hopes it will help us find our way into the workforce. At Google, it was more like "Here's Google, we have awesome things." Don't get me wrong, it was a unique experience that very few people get to see, and our hosts were very kind and helpful, but it felt like the whole tour was an attempt to convince us that Google is the greatest company in the world. At no point did I sense any humility. I can understand why when your company has been turned into a mammoth like Google has, but it felt very forced at times. One of the most important things I've learned on this trip is that we should always be looking for ways to improve our selves and gain experience. Although Google's actions would suggest that they do that, it seemed like a lot of the company felt like they were untouchable.

Again, I still think Google is a great company and I would never stop using their products. I was just expecting to see more of the gritty side of Google, instead, I think we saw only what they feel comfortable showing to the public. I'm still very grateful for their time, and don't regret it for a second!
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Blog Post 5 (Wednesday):

Wednesday was a grind. We visited three different companies all over San Francisco.

Our first stop was at Bizo, a small advertising consultant company for businesses. We met with Dor Solomon and Larry Ogrodnek, two software engineers. After they led us around the office, they gathered a group of their coworkers and answered our questions. Most of our conversation explored big data, a topic that, for obvious reasons, has come up a lot on our trip. Since most advertising uses big data almost fundamentally, they saw it as a tool for good.

Next, we got lunch with Honie Lui from Moveweb. Moveweb is a startup that builds and maintains mobile websites for bigger companies. A lot of companies will just take their desktop sites, dumb them down, and make them their mobile sites. Moveweb will create an entire different site that is a lot more responsive when on a mobile device. They actually have an impressive array of clients, and I think it's due to convenience and niche.

Lastly, we met with Sarah Ellefsen of Golden Gate Financial Planning. She had worked with Professor Miller when he started Net Perceptions, and she was extremely thoughtful and positive. When we asked about how we should handle our money, she said save it. It doesn't matter how much we save, just start now and don't stop. She spent the last 10 minutes of our meeting telling us all of the must see spots in the city, and eagerly volunteered to be our guide. She's done very well for herself and seems to be the kind of person that pays attention to the details. She was a great ending to a very busy day!
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Blog Post 3 (Monday):

Monday was an awesome day where we visited an up and coming start-up called "Sqwiggle," and the PR powerhouse "MSL." Both companies were very informative and showed passion in what they do, and that seems to be a common theme in every business we've met with.

"Sqwiggle" is a sort of group-oriented video-chat service that is always on. It sounds like a weird concept, but after meeting Erik Bieller (Founder) it turned out to be a very natural and practical app. It's meant to be an office away from the office, where you can always see up to four coworkers on screen at once. You can only see a black and white still that gets updated every ten seconds, and then by the click of a button, you can chat with any of them. It was a cool surprise, and showed why the company has been gaining some traction. Seeing start-ups are a great change from the huge companies we've been meeting with, and it seems like Sqwiggle could soon be a name worth remembering.

Before Sqwiggle, we met with the hugely successful public relations firm "Schwarts MSL." We met with Bryan Scanlon (President, San Francisco), who continued the trend of obviously brilliant individuals that have been ready and willing to answer our questions. One of the most interesting things he had to tell us was to take the first opportunity we get to see the world. Not only will it be fulfilling, it will help us improve how we interact with others. What blew me away was his optimism towards Chris. After we met, we gave Chris his SCI-CAN information, and he seemed genuinely interested. He promised to tweet about his foundation, and gave him his personal email for anything he might need. It was awesome to see a man in his position to still be open to anything, and I'm sure it's that mindset that has led to success. It's rare for organizations to have such caring and intelligent people throughout, but that's precisely what has turned them into a mountain amongst giants.
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Alcatraz.
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Dan Wheelock

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Jamie T - Don't You Find: http://youtu.be/-tmoaFAT108
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Blog Post 4 (Pintrest and Strava):

This one's a couple of days late because we've been so busy, but I when you're on a trip like this, that's not a bad thing.

Tuesday was a big day that begun with the social media giant Pintrest. I had a lot of questions about the company because of it's primary market: Women. I wondered how could a site that is the 3rd largest social media outlet in the world miss out on half of the population. To my surprise, my question was addressed immediately and without inquiry. We met with two of Brad's old colleagues John Rauser and Dan Frankowski. The first thing they asked was who among were "Pinners," or used Pintrest. They weren't surprised to see only the four women among us raise their hands. They told us that it's the number one thing that Pintrest struggles with and they are working extremely hard to reach a male audience. They explained the challenge of trying to change the brand of their company without changing who they are. The people who worked there all seemed to really love what they do, and the office itself had a very open and collaborative feel. Another cool point they made was in their response to the question "What challenges face Pintrest?" I was expecting they would bring up a competitor, or the changing industry, but instead it was all internal. They talked about how every challenge in the near future is all self imposed. They are so focused on how can they make their company better, so their challenges are like goals. To me, that's a true sign of a company becoming a pioneer.

Immediately after Pintrest, we met with a company with a very different mindset: Strava. We met with President Michael Horvath. Strava is a social media app for very devout athletes. Unlike Pintrest, who wanted to make a site that everyone wants to use, Strava wants to make an app that the most avid cyclists, runners, and swimmers can use. Obviously they encourage everyone to get up and be active, but they aren't out to get anybody off the couch. Strava is a very mature and well run company that has a very clear mission. I would definitely recommend it for anybody that wants to connect with like minded athletes.

Before I go, I would like to say a few things about San Fransisco. I feel like I would be doing this vibrant city a disservice if I didn't address the beauty and uniqueness that can be found within it's heart. There seems to be countless secrets hidden in the hills. From the endless shops found in the valley of the Mission District to the sheer positivity of the city's residents, this place is truly one a kind. It's a town that breathes. It's going somewhere. It's slowly taking over, and it's proud to be doing so. My only qualm is that I'll be leaving soon. It's been an unbelievable stop on an unbelievable trip!
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Hehehe. I was 8 when I moved from there. Sorry!
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More Alcatraz photos.
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Terrifying.
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Have him in circles
50 people
Chris Tomes (Vostok Motorcycles)'s profile photo
Cole Hocker's profile photo
sumathi joachim's profile photo
David Mann's profile photo
Edward Mann's profile photo
LUTHER COLLEGE's profile photo
Peter S's profile photo
Phil Matthew's profile photo
Mark D. Johns's profile photo
Education
  • Luther College
    Communication Studies, 2011 - 2015
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  • Luther College
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Decorah IA
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700 College Dr. Decorah IA