Welcome to my new Granddaughter, Harper McKenzie Greye

Harper:  I am sure you will hear all about this day from your mom and dad, but I wanted you to hear in my own words what your date of birth was like and what’s going on in the world.  I am writing this just a few hours after your birth while on a bus ride to Dallas for some business events.

Your Birth

Your mother entered the hospital at 1:00 Monday afternoon June 3rd and you were born at approximately 4:30pm. All went smoothly. I know that because your dad texted me at 4:39 saying “Just got out and they are doing great!”. Thanks for being so easy on your mom. By the time you read this you surely would have heard stories about how long your sister Olivia took to come into this world after your mother started labor.

This photo is the one I took of you when you were only 30 minutes old and was the very first photo after the one your father took. Your grandmothers and aunts used this photo to notify all of their friends. Present for the festivities were your sister Olivia, your aunts Kayla and Meagan, your grandparents Kelly (Mimi) and Montana (Grandmère) and yours truly (Grandpa Gordon).

You weighed 7 pounds even and were 20 inches long. You were almost bald and only had a very little bit of hair.  Your dad said there was some red in your hair but when I first saw you, your head was covered. So as I write this I’m not certain.

Your Parents

Your mother is the Director of Revenue Operations for a software company named CallFire that is headquartered in the Los Angeles area of California.  She was very recently promoted to the Director level and that is something we all are both happy about and proud of for her. She is an absolute ninja at managing the software tools that are needed to run an efficient sales and marketing function.

Your father works for a software company named Compete, where he is a sales rep focused on the restaurant industry – an industry he knows well from his college degree and from working in that industry for years.  The fact that both of your parents work in the technology industry is not much of a surprise, given that your family lives in Austin, Texas. Austin is on the top of just about every nationwide list related to technology hubs, tech startup markets, and the like. Officially, your family lives in a city named Cedar Park, which is just on the outskirts of Austin.

When your sisiter Olivia was born, your parents hadn’t yet bought a house but when you get to come home from the hospital, you will live with them in a house they bought a couple of years ago – their first house. It is really nice and you have a bedroom all to yourself that your mom and Mimi spent a lot of time getting ready for you.

Your Sister Olivia

She is more than three and a half years old and pretty tall for her age. Her hair is so curly that it’s hard to tell how long it really is. We get to see her all the time. She loves getting spoiled by your grandmothers and she likes to play with things in my home office. She is not yet a dog lover but that doesn’t mean she hates them. It is more that she is so small that they seem really big to her and they sometimes accidentally scratch her and she doesn’t like that. You will soon learn that our family is full of dog lovers, so maybe you will be too.

Your Grandparents Mimi and Grandpa Gordon

After your aunt Meagan graduated from college almost two years ago, she lived with us for several months while she took some time off and searched for a job. After living in the far Northwest side of Austin for 20 years where your mother grew up (10404 Ember Glen Dr.), we moved into a neighborhood called Northwest Hills that is really close to the Arboretum and the Domain. We expect that this is the last house we will own and we really like the house and the location.

We still love going to our beach house in Galveston every month and can’t wait to spend time there with you.  We call it the “Surf Shack” because your Mimi was a very good competitive surfer when she was younger.  We obviously don’t know if you’ll become a surfer, sailor or avid seashell collector but we are certain that some of your favorite activities and traditions will happen at the Surf Shack.

I still work but not at a typical company. Instead, I serve as President for a tech startup accelerator and venture fund in Austin called Capital Factory. Everybody in the tech and startup scene in Austin knows about Capital Factory. I help hundreds of startups try to build a great company.  I am also writing a book on startup fundraising. I am working with a publisher and the manuscript is done but the book doesn’t even have an official title yet. Maybe by the time you read this I will be a bestselling author.

Your Mimi has been taking art classes for almost 5 years and is producing some amazing work that you will get to see. In fact, there is a painted mural on the wall in the upstairs guest bedroom of our beach house that Mimi painted a few years ago.  She also loves to spend time working in our various gardens and doing just about anything at the Surf Shack (working in the yard, walking on the beach, surfing the waves, watching sunsets/moon rises, etc).

The World Around You

Most of the headline news for the past two years relates to our US President, Donald Trump. Regardless of whether people like him or not, he operates in such a way that always generates headline news.

The world is not as consumed with the fear of terrorism as it was 5-10 years ago, although it still exists. Or maybe we are just getting used to it and don’t react the way we did in the past. In the US we still have too many instances of mass shootings and that causes a lot of debate about the root cause and things that can be done to help. There is a lot of discussion and debate about racial and gender inequalities. I think a lot of us (especially those that are white and male) thought the improvements experienced over the past several decades put us in a pretty good position but that’s obviously not the case or there wouldn’t be so much anger and disappointment remaining. We can all do better and, if we do, maybe this will not be a huge issue by the time you are a young adult.

The technology revolution continues at a pace that seems to never end.  Some of the hot technologies this year and expected for the near future include the following:

  • Artificial Intelligence – AI is all the rage today. It is being used for just about any technology solution you can imagine. Some people fear that AI will be used to create robots that will take over the world and maybe that is a legitimate fear. But there are almost infinite ways that AI can improve our society and I can’t wait to see it happen. There will be a day soon (3-4 years) when we don’t actually talk about “AI” to describe a company and that’s because its use will be so pervasive.
  • Electric Cars – This is actually not a hot new technology. Instead, I wanted to mention that almost every car manufacturer has one or more models of electric cars. Most of them have a driving range with a full charge of 200-300 miles but I’m sure that will improve.
  • Driverless Cars – It is obvious that we will have autonomous vehicles on the road within the next 2-3 years. Maybe it will start with 18-wheelers and delivery trucks, but by the time you reach high school I can only imagine how pervasive they will be. Combining this with ride-sharing services causes me to wonder if you will actually own your own car.
  • Blockchain – This is the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin but it is also used for regular software solutions that businesses can use. We are still in the very early days of Blockchain use, even though it was invented a little more than 20 years ago. I think once it finally breaks into mainstream, we won’t even use the word much anymore. Like artificial intelligence, it will just be a technology that is embedded inside a lot of technology solutions.

I hope you find this information interesting someday and I look forward to playing with you, teaching you things and growing older with you.

Love,

Grandpa Gordon

Author: Gordon Daugherty

Over the past 15 years Gordon has seen more than 1,500 startup pitches, given personal advice to more than 500 entrepreneurs and been involved with raising over $45M in growth and venture capital. Throughout his 28 year career in high tech, Gordon has two IPO’s and a $200M acquisition exit under his belt. Now, through his advisory practice called Shockwave Innovations and as Managing Director for Austin’s Capital Factory startup accelerator, Gordon’s focus is purely on educating, advising and investing in tech startups.

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