Posted on June 29, 2016 by Jeff Reifman

Heartwarming Megan Marie Myers Show at JoLa Cafe – Portland

If you’re in Portland, consider taking your children to the heartwarmingly beautiful show by localish artist Megan Marie Myers at the JoLa Cafe through July 22, 2016. As soon as you walk into JoLa, you’re touched by large format originals and framed prints of Megan’s nature scenes with children. There are girls with foxes, moose, bear and lamas, boys with walruses and mountain goats and more. You can see examples from the show below.

Girl and Fox and Moon Megan Marie Myers

Artwork by Megan Marie Myers

For me, her work inspires the joy of being a child with an innate appreciation of nature and animals. You can’t make it through the cafe without having your heart literally warmed.

Moose and Girl Megan Marie Myers

Artwork by Megan Marie Myers

Of course, I may be a bit biased because I’m collaborating with Megan on Zoe and the Amazocalypse, a illustrated children’s book about the tech boom’s impact on Seattle (basically the Space Needle has disappeared and a young girl sets out to find it, meets a monster, etc.)

Walrus and Boy Megan Marie Myers

Artwork by Megan Marie Myers

You can see more of Megan’s work at her website: http://meganmariemyers.com — and yes, you can purchase prints online at her Etsy store.

I hope you’ll check it out. Sales during the show at JoLa have been intense!

Zoe and Amazocalypse
Posted on June 28, 2016 by Jeff Reifman

The Road to Amazocalypse

I wanted to share some of Megan Marie Myer’s original sketches for Zoe and the Amazocalypse, our Kickstarter for an illustrated children’s book about the tech boom’s impacts on Seattle.

She actually came up with the box monster concept used in the story first, but also drew three other Amazocalypse monster concepts.

The second sketch reminded me of Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, which is making a comeback:

Zoe and the Amazocalypse

Second Amazocalypse Sketch

The third sketch was clearly nerd monster Amazocalypse:

Zoe and Amazocalypse

Third Concept Sketch – Nerd Monster

The fourth sketch was Drone Monster Amazocalypse, drones will play a critical role in “Daddy, Where’s the Space Needle?”

Zoe and Amazocalypse

Fourth Concept Sketch – The Drone Monster

Ultimately, we both loved the first box monster concept:

first sketch - web

If you haven’t shared or pledged to “Zoe and the Amazocalypse: Daddy, where’s the Space Needle?,” please check it out.

Posted on June 21, 2016 by Jeff Reifman

Zoe and the Amazocalypse Search for Seattle’s Space Needle

seattle space needle

Amazocalypse Realizes Maybe He Built Too Fast

The Space Needle’s gone missing beneath Seattle’s epic growth. Zoe goes searching for it and soon meets Amazocalypse and his dog Prime. Once Amazocalypse realizes the impacts of his actions, he decides to do everything he can to find the city’s special landmark.

Please consider a pledge to our Kickstarter campaign for Zoe and the Amazocalypse! The illustrations are done by Megan Marie Myers.

microsoft id card circa 1991
Posted on June 3, 2016 by Jeff Reifman

25 Years Ago Today I Started at Microsoft and…

On June 3, 1991, I began my career at Microsoft. Today is also the one year anniversary of my brain surgery. Both have provided incredible experiences yet only one left me permanently scarred.

For the first four years at Microsoft, I worked in research to bring Windows to fax machines so you could send files from floppy disk via fax:

Unfortunately, email took off right about that time. But, I had time to work on designs of the first touch screen user interfaces and personally argue with Bill Gates about whether the buttons were big enough for people’s fingers. Though the project wound down to ultimate failure, I had the opportunity to sing karaoke in Japan (Young MC’s Bust a Move) and learned everything about successful project management that one needs to know.

Interestingly, my first manager at Microsoft was one of the company’s earliest and most successful female executives, Karen Hargrove. I’m greatly appreciative for having had a strong woman leader as a mentor. Another member of our team even went on to become a U.S. congresswoman and her lowly husband, only the head of Microsoft Office.

After Microsoft At Work, I helped build the technology team that launched MSN News and MSNBC.com; the first major story covered was the explosion of TWA Flight 800.

I left Microsoft in 1999, with one of our At Work team members to launch GiftSpot, now GiftCertificates.com. After leaving GiftSpot, the Wall Street Journal quoted me as saying, “It’s weird not having a reason to shower and shave.” I’ve come far.

In all seriousness, the anniversary today reminds me how grateful I am for my best friend Kerry who stayed with me through surgery (I was required to shower for it, twice!), my neurosurgeon and her team, and the nurses that supported me in ICU last year and for the overall outcome.

I’m also grateful for my experience and time at Microsoft, my friends and mentors, and the privilege and opportunity it’s helped provide me. My time at Microsoft’s allowed me to orient my focus towards making a difference in a variety of different ways.



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