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  • The Green Knight: 2010/12 - 2011/01
    market that doesn t exist yet with an approach that hasn t existed before I must always give credit to my secure bases my business and personal relationships who provide the support I need to keep going without them I would be lost So happy birthday Smart Office Energy Solutions many happy returns Posted by Bryan Hassin at 12 36 No comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels Smart Office Energy Solutions 2010 12 12 The Price of Freedom Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to d0 my civic duty of jury service and it got me thinking about all the costs involved in this process Previously my experience with jury service had been quite limited Each time I was called in I sat around for 30 180 minutes and then was ultimately dismissed without any need for my service This time I still didn t wind up sitting on a jury but I did come close which gave me my greatest insight into the entire process to date I showed up at the courthouse at 8 30 AM and waited around with about 100 other potential jurors until the judge showed up to brief us at 9 We spent about an hour going through jury orientation training and then we waited around for our names to be called for a specific courtroom Waiting was not onerous at all the seats were comfortable and the courthouse offered free WiFi Meanwhile upstairs each courtroom held 30 50 accused citizens Each defendant talked to the judge and plead guilty not guilty or no contest For those who plead guilty or no contest they settled immediately there with court administrators Those who plead not guilty had the right to a fair and speedy trial which is where the jurors come in Once a courtroom processed all of the non trial defendants they began the jury selection process for the trials Down in the jury room the administrator periodically called out 14 random names of potential jurors these formed a single group which was then marched upstairs to a single courtroom There a jury of six jurors was selected for each case and the trials were held Because this was municipal court traffic tickets and such all trials were guaranteed to end the same day I spent the morning working on my laptop and my name was never called There was a lunch break and then my name was called in the early afternoon how exciting In the courtroom each juror introduced himself out loud name profession area of town inhabited and then underwent voir dire There wasn t too much biting examination just general questions about prejudices biases and understanding of the judicial process Frankly I don t think the lawyers were as concerned about selecting a jury as they were about pre seeding all of the potential jurors with the main arguments of their cases I was not one of the six selected for

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  • The Green Knight: 2010/11 - 2010/12
    developed and population booming developing world He talked of healthcare water and democracy but he contended that ultimately energy is the keystone that must be addressed I agree He challenged the audience especially the students to come up with innovative ways to produce transmit and use energy Again I agree I have devoted my professional career to it He espoused the Silicon Valley mantra of shots on goal an admission that many such ventures will probably fail to induce massive change but we have to take those shots to ensure that eventually some of them score This mentality is part of what motivates me every morning even if Smart Office Energy Solutions were to fail spectacularly we would have helped advance the state of the art such that the next shot has an even greater chance of reaching its mark Of course I believe that Smart OES will succeed rather than fail spectacularly but it is encouraging to hear words of encouragement from someone older cleverer and much more successful than I More pointedly it is encouraging when such words come from a really big deal investor while we are in the midst of our new capital raise Of course Doerr s words weren t meant for me per se but everything in them seemed to say to me Keep at it you re on the right track Being an entrepreneur can sometimes be a lonely frustrating exercise especially when you are as extroverted and impatient as I am Success however you define it always seems to be just an inch further than you can reach or just a step further on the path than is illuminated As such Doerr s words fell on receptive re encouraged ears Posted by Bryan Hassin at 17 56 No comments Email This BlogThis

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  • The Green Knight: 2010/10 - 2010/11
    it taking more than a few minutes Regardless the team fought a hard battle and won the game at the last moment I don t know if my words reached anyone but I hope those young men found them beneficial The rest of the weekend was spent enjoying Fall weather and catching up with family and friends in Northern Virginia Now I m back in 90 degree Houston but still glowing from a wonderful weekend Posted by Bryan Hassin at 16 57 2 comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels failure fall football TJHSST 2010 10 15 Phoenix Last weekend Katie and I went to Phoenix to visit her sister When we planned the trip we had an ulterior motive too get our canine fix with Kelly s newly adopted dog Kona Now due to the timing of our own adoption of Max we no longer needed the fix but we new it would be a wonderful trip anyway After having Max just one week we dropped him off at Pet Paradise to be reunited with his buddies for the weekend and then we headed to the airport I pulled a really dunce move and left my driver s license at home I had scans of both my driver s license and my passport on my laptop but that was obviously insufficient Just when it was looking like I would have to return home in rush hour to retrieve my license and then take a later flight we received a very welcome surprise TSA offered to help They took me into an isolated area and grilled me with questions about my identity verifying my answers against a database of everywhere I had lived which cars I had registered etc Then they gave my luggage the full treatment checking every nook and cranny of it for sketchy stuff Finally they gave me the full treatment patting me down well up down and every other which way too I passed all the tests so after 20 minutes or so they let me through I was incredibly impressed with the professionalism and courtesy they showed me throughout the process I know it s not easy to keep millions of travelers safe every day but they did it with aplomb Seriously well done TSA Kelly and her boyfriend Mike picked us up and took us immediately to The Vig a bar restaurant We ate drank watched college football and met up with their friends there it was great weather for outdoor merrymaking Then we went back to their house to meet Kona We had another pleasant surprise though they were sitting two other dogs for the weekend All the dogs were sweet and fun and it was clear that it was going to be a good couple of days Saturday we went to the dog park had some breakfast and then hiked Camelback Mountain Mike and Kelly had made the hike many times but this was Katie s and my first time hiking anything in awhile and we decided to make the attempt in our Vibram FiveFingers barefoot shoes The terrain was very desert rocky so it put our Vibrams to the test but we scrambled up OK Coming down was a little slower as we focused on ensuring we had enough grip and tried to avoid stepping hard on jagged rock surfaces It was hot and tiring but a very rewarding experience Afterward we treated ourselves to Thai food at Fresh Mint The food was excellent the oldies playing in the background were great and the Joe Montana memorabilia on the walls The owners are from San Francisco was very welcome The rest of the afternoon was spent lazing by the pool cooking dinner and watching 300 Sunday we played some beach volleyball then had brunch at a vegan restaurant that offered many raw food options I put together an entire meal made of raw dessert items black cherry cheesecake blueberry acai pie chocolate donut chocolate walnut brownie chocolate macaroon all raw It was delicious and very filling We stopped by a microbrewery to watch some football before being dropped off at the airport for the ride home A friend of mine had very kindly overnighted my driver s license to me so I managed to avoid extra TSA attention on the way back Max was elated to see us again when we picked him up Now after nearly two weeks with him he seems really to have adjusted to our house and life We were sorry to leave him for a weekend but it certainly was a wonderful 48 hours Posted by Bryan Hassin at 13 44 No comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels food Max Phoenix 2010 10 12 Why I Donate To Rice After reading Falan Mouton s article laying out her rationale for not donating to Rice Rice just a business donations are purely optional for graduates October 8 2010 I was tempted to write a response pointing out flaws in her logic e g contending that the Rice product ceases creating value for its consumers the moment they graduate and her apparent misunderstanding of how businesses work e g most businesses with the aim of having no upper limit will need to raise capital too Instead though I would rather focus my words on why I do donate to my alma mater because I love Rice I loved Rice as an undergrad I loved Rice as a grad student And I have really loved Rice as an alum The cost of educating one undergrad is roughly twice what Rice takes in as tuition Rice isn t just trying to meet its costs though it has grand ambitions to be better each year but such ambitions aren t realized for free When I donate to Rice I know my money is going to make a positive difference for the entire Rice community I m

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  • The Green Knight: 2010/09 - 2010/10
    Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels imd Jimmy Buffett pitching presentation Rice 2010 09 16 Wedding in Italy No not my wedding Last week Katie and I attended an IMD friend s wedding in Italy which was absolutely marvelous The day before we departed we attended the Rice UT football game at Reliant Stadium There was just a splotch of Rice blue in the very UT burnt orange crowd but we cheered disproportionately loudly The Owls gave us something to cheer for too scoring first and outscoring UT in both the first and fourth quarters A few key mistakes led to a 34 17 loss but overall we felt pretty good about our performance against one of the top teams in the nation this should bode well for the season to come Sunday we departed for Bari in Puglia the heel of Italy s boot via Milan via Newark Both our Houston Newark and Newark Milan flights were on older Boeing 767 planes with two significant disadvantages 1 Their entertainment systems are fixed offering just a few movies at regular times and 2 They have special power ports that require a special adapter to use I had become so spoiled by the 777s flying back and forth to Geneva offering hundreds of on demand movies and normal power outlets that I was already in a sour mood when I realized that I would only have a few hours of laptop time and that I wasn t interested in any of the movies Shame on me for not checking on this in advance though On the international leg Continental forgot my vegetarian meal request At least they remembered Katie s so that left me with an even worse impression from the flight Then Milan Malpensa airport lost Katie s luggage so that she arrived in Bari without any toiletries or changes of clothes All in all not one of our best flight experiences No matter though we were determined not to let it affect our trip We swung by a clothing store outlet near Bari and picked her up some essentials then drove North to Lucera where the Italian side of my family lives We spent two days with my Italian cousins and it was a grand time Touring around Lucera which is older than Rome and has tremendous ruins of a castle and anamphitheater eating clothes shopping for Katie eating some more and just catching up with family Oh and eating even more No matter how short it is it is always a special experience to spend time with this distant family These are my humble roots and it is important to stay connected Wednesday we drove further North to Tuscany to check out a venue we are considering for our own wedding It was everything we hoped it would be and it had a few surprises for us like a ping pong table and volleyball net on the premises We spent the

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  • The Green Knight: 2010/08 - 2010/09
    several tournaments left in the year and I hope to win one especially now that my favorite men s partner is back in town Professional Development I have been powering through one book per week on leadership economics strategy green business marketing and just about everything else I can get my hands on If I keep up this pace I will meet my yearly goal While I have been pretty diligent about reaching out to mentors I have not been quite so systematic about helping out others Last week at IMD I had the opportunity to share some experience and guidance with this year s MBA class Check out the presentation that instigated these conversations and it reminded me how much I m missing out on when I m not paying it forward In the second half of this year I must do better Professional Performance The goals I set for Smart Office Energy Solutions at the beginning of this year aren t terribly relevant anymore as our plan has evolved several times since then At this point we have hit some major milestones closed our first fundraising round begun generating revenue with high profile clients in multiple cities advanced our own intellectual property to increase the energy savings we provide by 50 and several more I m not a patient person though and I yearn to pick up the pace during the second half of this year for personal reasons for our shareholders and for the very significant global energy challenge we are trying to address If you haven t yet voted for us please support us at GE s Ecomagination Challenge We are currently the 65 idea out of 1 089 submissions and every increases our visibility significantly Professional Brand I m close to achieving my twitter and LinkedIn goals but my blog hasn t gained too much additional viewership That s probably just as well as I am now considering leaving this blog focused on my personal life and starting a more professional blog on the Smart Office Energy Solutions website I evaluate my progress so far this year as good but not great There are no huge holes and there have been some early successes but several major goals need significant work to be achieved Now it is time to refocus buckle down and ensure that H2 2010 is even more productive than H1 Posted by Bryan Hassin at 07 11 2 comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels goals Smart Office Energy Solutions social media volleyball 2010 08 10 IMD Times Last weekend was very much centered around IMD It began when two awesome classmates rolled into town one from the Netherlands the other from Zurich with their partners We had dinner at Le Pinnochio an IMD standard and then spent the night just talking and catching up back at our place where both couples were staying with us For one of my classmates it was his first time back in Lausanne since graduation Saturday was a glorious weather day typical for Lausanne in the summer While most of the household had a lazy morning one of my classmates and I got up early and headed into IMD Saturday was Mock Interview Day during which alumni return to campus to give the current MBA students experience interviewing with real hiring managers It is also a great chance for us to get to know some of the students reconnect with the school and partake in the famous IMD lunch In addition to the mock interviews I gave a presentation to the class on using social media for their own professional branding We live in an ever more connected digital world and your online presence can either help or hurt your career but you have the power to control which The presentation went very well and I have posted the slides on SlideShare Take a look and I welcome any feedback Saturday night we had some of my IMD classmates over to the house for a pool party Hmm summer pool good friends sounds like the perfect recipe for SANGRIA We made up a big batch of French Swiss sangria using French wine instead of Spanish and using Kirsch instead of Triple Sec and all local organic fruit of course and served it along with mojitos bellinis beer and wine all night It turns out that Katie and the rest of the gang weren t idle while we were at IMD all day By the time the party started they had whipped up tables and tables of delicious healthy and mostly vegetarian food The party was a lot of fun We had about 30 people over the course of the night and we didn t turn out the lights until about 3 AM Several little groups formed and people just kept switching between them talking and catching up Another IMD couple stayed with us Saturday night as well so Sunday morning we had a four couple breakfast reunion It would appear too that my sangria hasn t lost its touch as one of my classmates came down the stairs Sunday morning another one said to him Oh wow you look how I feel Mission accomplished Monday Katie and I trained into Zurich where I had lunch with the sponsor of my IMD ICP Here again it was great to catch up with someone from the IMD world It was excellent chatting with him and he still contends that our supply chain strategy project helped them through the difficult financial times of the last two years It has been a great IMD filled four days This is why I came back for the summer OK also for the perfect weather and gorgeous lake mountain views Posted by Bryan Hassin at 04 26 1 comment Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels ICP imd Lausanne sangria 2010 08 02 Engaged Nearly 9 5 years ago Katie

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  • The Green Knight: 2010/07 - 2010/08
    by the end we were positively stuffed To digest we added Raki Turkish liqueur too and then rolled ourselves home Sunday we spent the day eating and lounging around the beach at our Turkish classmate s parents house We hadn t been able to find any beach volleyball the entire trip Go figure with no beaches available but this place at least had a ping pong table So finally we got some land sport in on top of the swimming we had been doing By that evening all of our classmates had already departed so Peter and I walked along the coast found a nice place for fresh seafood and had one final meal My return trip went about as well as my first one The taxi got me to the airport with plenty of time but my flight was delayed 80 minutes We arrived in Istanbul s Ataturk airport after my connection should have departed but fortunately for me Turkish Airlines is consistent and my flight to Geneva was also delayed just long enough for me to sprint across the airport and run down the jetway before they closed the hatch Waiting for me at GVA was a friend from Rice who will stay here for a few days It s good to be back in Switzerland but my few days in Turkey definitely generated positive memories that will last a lifetime More than the eating swimming and boating I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to catch up with my classmates and make some new Turkish friends Posted by Bryan Hassin at 03 55 No comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels imd Switzerland Turkey 2010 07 15 Swiss Productivity Now that I am settling into my routine here in Switzerland I m becoming very productive When not meeting with previous connections or networking with new connections I ve been spending most of my time powering through major objectives at the Smart Office Energy Solutions EMEA HQ Sometimes this is by myself but I have also had the fortune to work with some local experts on designing some revolutionary new product features As I am very extroverted working with others like this makes me even more energized and productive I have also been pursuing a new type of workout regimen one with no gym whatsoever This is a first for me so I enlisted the help of noted expert Drew Skaggs in putting together a program that would continue to meet my fitness goals without requiring specialized equipment You can see the initial results at Drew s THE SHOP blog This first week won t be quite complete due to scheduling constraints but as of next week I should be into the routine My time here hasn t been all diligent work and working out though there has been plenty of time to play as well On Tuesday I attended a concert at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival for the first time Buddy Guy was in town and I just couldn t resist the opportunity to see him The event was fantastic a bunch of people packed into a small venue and Buddy playing to the crowd The concert was basically a nonstop medley of his original songs mixed in with blues standards Hoochie Coochie Man I Just Want to Make Love to You Five Long Years Voodoo Chile Slight Return Strange Brew and Sunshine of Your Love to name a few He adopted a point counter point style singing softly and slowly then answering with blistering electric guitar riffs As is his trademark he used a wireless pickup and came out into the audience to play a couple of songs I was 20 40 feet away from him all night it was a grand experience The following night a French classmate and his family hosted a party for Bastille Day There were 15 of us in all including a family from a different IMD class year so this was my best chance to date to catch up with those whom I haven t seen in awhile Even though I had to get up very early this morning to check everything off before departing for Turkey I stayed at the party very late because it was so so nice And on that note I had better get moving in order to make it to the airport on time Posted by Bryan Hassin at 02 37 No comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels blues Buddy Guy fitness Smart Office Energy Solutions Switzerland 2010 07 12 Returning to Normalcy After my first week back in Switzerland I m starting to feel plugged back in to a normal life Although it s not routine per se it is beginning to feel just like business as usual a good thing Even though I have a car at my disposal here it is amazing how much more active I am just from walking taking public transportation everywhere Since my arrival I ve burned an average of 3 415 calories per day vs an average of 3 054 per day in Houston The fact that much of the walking is uphill probably contributes as well Friday night I attended an apartment party for a former Poken coworker who is leaving to join the staff of IMD I know from personal experience that it can be hard to make the decision to depart from Poken but I am very very excited for her new opportunity and for IMD s great new team member The party was a lot of fun and ridiculously international exactly what I remember about my Swiss social life Saturday one of my best friends from IMD and his family came to visit so we organized a small dinner gathering with other local classmates It was so nice to see everyone and impressive how easily and naturally we fell back into catch up discourse IMD is more than a

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  • The Green Knight: 2010/06 - 2010/07
    of energy will be shaped by the developing world whose demand for energy is growing at an extraordinary rate If developing countries make the same mistakes that we the most developed countries have made dark and terrible times are ahead GIVEWATTS is addressing this problem 2 5 BILLION people nearly half the world s population don t have reliable access to electricity so rely on wood kerosene or other forms of CO2 producing conventional biomass for light and heat Much of Africa falls into this category Many African villages either operate with no light at night meaning they cannot be educated or productive at night furthering the wealth gap between them and the more developed world or they burn fuels such as kerosene for their heat and light The fumes from the kerosene not only damage the environment they also cause respiratory illness in those nearby reducing life expectancy and increasing healthcare costs Furthermore because fuel is expensive it keeps the population in poverty Conventional efforts to address this issue have been largely ineffective Creating the infrastructure for a modern electric power grid requires significant resources and time and too often corruption stands in the way of any real benefit The GIVEWATTS solution empowers the people directly By providing solar powered lamps and flashlights solar powered heating and power generation coming in the future to African schools and clinics we help them break the cycle of poverty illness and environmental damage The lamps charge all day then provide clean free light as late as they are needed into the night The economics of this approach are extremely compelling GIVEWATTS charges 25 20 to donate 1 watt of power to an African village The watts produce light in renewable energy solutions are used every day and has a life expectancy of 10 years if solar it also might require new batteries after 2 3 years so the 25 donation provides 3 652 days of clean free light to students teachers clinical staff and patients depending on which project is chosen By contrast it costs 0 21 per day 775 per 10 years for light from a dirty kerosene lamp assuming current prices of about 1 per liter of kerosene and a consumption of 1 5 liters per week Much of the African population lives on less than 1 per day per person so paying 20 of that for dirty energy is a big deal This is what I love about the GIVEWATTS solution by donating only 25 from the US you reduce 775 of cost in Africa This is INTELLIGENT wealth transfer from one part of the world to the other a far cry from the ineffective inefficient corrupt transfer that we have been trying for decades What s more each watt that is donated reduces CO2 emissions alleviates a major healthcare epidemic significantly reducing healthcare costs and closes the development gap Another reason I support GIVEWATTS is their commitment to transparency When you donate a watt of power it is

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  • The Green Knight: 2010/05 - 2010/06
    These represent the most significant near term opportunities for our funding this next round so I really need to nail these pitches 4th quarter time running out and we need a score gimme the ball coach Posted by Bryan Hassin at 17 13 No comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels Rice 2010 05 12 New Orleans Last weekend was spent at a bachelor party in New Orleans what a blast Of course what happens at a bachelor party stays in the bachelor party BUT I can blog a bit about some aspects of the weekend I flew in Thursday evening and immediately it was great to be surrounded by friends from high school and middle school I played little league baseball with some of these guys and high school football with others making it a great environment for a reunion Thursday night was classic bachelor party stuff on Bourbon Street finishing up around 6 AM Due to the oil spill in the Gulf I set it as my mission to eat as much Gulf Coast seafood as possible so many oysters and shrimp met their demise that night Friday morning began in the afternoon with oyster po boys and bloody marys at Mother s Friday afternoon I worked worked out and met another friend of mine at the House of Blues for an event hosted by the Entrepreneurs Organization This was of course followed by more bachelor party stuff Saturday I arose pretty early to meet a friend at Brennan s for brunch so delicious I had a cajun bloody mary crawfish bisque poached eggs a la nouvelle orleans in a sherry cream sauce with lump crabmeat and crepes fitzgerald basically strawberry blintzes What a way to start the day For lunch we all made a pilgrimage to Central Grocery to dine on the original muffuletta Saturday night was dinner at Lüke Swiss fare and more bachelor party shenanigans Sunday came too early and I caught my flight back to Houston On the way to the airport we passed a taxi pulled over on the side of the highway so the passenger could throw up Although it seemed very appropriate for New Orleans I was very glad that it wasn t I I ve always liked New Orleans from the first time I went there to play and beat Tulane in the Superdome to Mardi Gras Once was enough for me to business meetings to bachelor parties That city s had a rough go of it but it s about the most distinctive city in the US There is so much more to it than just Bourbon Street fine dining music art antiques museums and culture This was a great trip and I look forward to my next visit Posted by Bryan Hassin at 13 24 No comments Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels food New Orleans 2010 05 02 I am not the King

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