Tyler Olson's Blog

The Adventures of a Young Entrepreneur

President Obama’s Motorcade

Today was full of adventure!

While stopping by the office this morning to do some reorganizing, the parking attendant mentioned that President Obama was supposed to be in town within an hour or two.  After debating whether I should listen to President Obama speak or watch my high school friend (Clayton) model for the first time at Bloomingdale’s, I decided to try to do both.

You can check out the exact livestream of my day by going to my twitter feed.

Ultimately, I was able to do a little of both. Check out Clayton Hottinger Modeling below.

Afterwards, I ran to the top of the Mall of America parking lot (which was practically full for a reason I was unable to determine) and was the first person to tweet about Air Force One coming in for a landing. It was interesting to see the sheer number of cop cars around the U of M and the airport today. There wer at least 15 cop cars near the Highway 62 and 77 interchange along the flightpath.

Interestingly, the @FMCNL twitter account seemed to have up-to-the-second information on Air Force One’s whereabouts. It seemed to know exactly which fighters were protecting it, which Air Force One it was, which frequencies they were using to communicate, when they activated the no-flight-zone, etc. Really interesting.

Anyways, I was able to race back before the motorcade shut down 35W and planted myself and the University Avenue exit off of 35W. Below is the video I took:

and after waiting around for an hour, I took the video as they left

don’t forget to watch Pawlenty’s welcome video for Obama as well. it is hilarious.

In the News: September 2010

I have been in the news a bit lately… here are some recent articles I have been in within the last month that I picked up from my Google Alerts.





What I use

The idea and entire foundation for this post is artfully stolen from Mitchell Hislop. Artfully, may in fact, be too strong of a word.

Last Update: 9/25/10
Legend: (p) means I pay for the service


  • Laptop: 15.4” Dell Inspiron E1505 with 2GB of RAM, 128MB of Video Memory, 60 GB of Hard Drive
  • Office Setup (Home): Refurbished Dell I bought 3 years ago for $220. P4 2.4Ghz, 2GB Ram, 500GB Hard Drive, 22” Widescreen LCD and 19” LCD. Wireless Keyboard and Mouse.
  • Office Setup (SMCpros): Secondary 17” monitor for my laptop
  • Office Setup (Mobile):
  • Phone: HTC Hero, Android 2.1



  • Chrome Beta Version
    • Add-ons:
      • Awesome Screenshot
      • Send with Gmail
      • A bit better RTM
      • Remember the Milk for Gmail
  • FireFox v 4.0 beta
  • Microsoft Office 2007 / 2010 (prefer 2007)
  • Google Desktop
  • Google Picasa
  • FileZilla
  • Skype
  • VLC
  • iTunes
  • TweetDeck
  • StarCraft II

Android Apps:

  • Home Screen:
    • TweetDeck
    • Google Voice
    • Advanced Task Killer (p)
    • Astrid
    • Google Maps
    • Power Meter
    • FourSquare
    • NewsRob
  • Other
    • Backgrounds (I try to change my background every week)
    • Beacon Demo
    • Dropbox
    • Opera
    • Pandora
    • Qik
    • Power Manager (p)
    • SwiftKey Beta
    • Wells Fargo
    • mNote

Social Media Platforms (in rough order of frequency of usage)

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • FourSquare
  • Blogs
  • YouTube
  • Google Reader
  • Qik
  • TweetDeck
  • Meetup
  • Pandora / Last.FM
  • many others


How has Google impacted your life?

Seriously – think about it. If you read this post, I want you to respond with something.

Here are some of my reflections of how Google has impacted my life:

- It is no longer as important “what you know” – because I can find any answer instantly from anywhere. This is a fundamental shift in the purpose of your time and life.
- I can find, within seconds, any digital conversation I have had with anybody in the last 4 years. Can you find that letter from your loved one when you were younger?
- From my open-source, Google-powered cell-phone, I have dozens of applications that allow me to communicate with people around the world instantly and for free.
- I can listen to what people are saying about me and my businesses
- I would rather hire people who know how to find an answer versus those who know the answer. Those who know the answer but can’t find new ones will become obsolete to me in the near future. Those who don’t know the answer but can find the answer are infinitely adaptable.
- I cannot describe how much more efficient my life is. How much more information I am able to consume. How much more organized I am because of Google. My productivity levels are 10X what they would be without Google.
- How much time have I saved by simply using Google Maps everytime I drive someplace to re-route myself around traffic? I am confident that in the last 2 years, I have saved myself many dozens of hours.
- Last year, I copied all of the data from all of my past computers onto one hard drive. Then I installed Google Desktop. Now, I can find any paper I’ve ever written in my life (including my essay on Kirby Puckett from when I was in 3rd grade), instantly.
- Soon, I will OCR scan in all of my notes throughout my schooling. All of the tests. All of the handouts. Imagine, being able to instantly bring forth all of that education that many thousands of dollars was spent on.
- Google has pushed technological growth. Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, startups, are all pushing faster, further, more efficiently than ever because of Google. Google  is creating an immeasurable amount of positive technology growth in this country.
- Google created a way so that I could make it easy for my girlfriend to share her pictures while studying abroad to the whole world through her blog, in only two clicks.
- Do you remember the days of SPAM? WOW. Just think about it. Think back to the amount of spam that you used to receive. Think about how useless the Microsoft Outlook spam filter was. Now think about your inbox. When was the last time you saw spam in your inbox? I honestly can’t remember.
- Speed. Think about how fast Google Chrome, Google Search, Gmail… and how that revolutionized the way we use computers.

My life is more efficient, more enjoyable, more sharable, easier, less stressful, and more advanced because of Google.

Thank you Google – I owe you one.

How has Google impacted your life?

Do you flow?

After reading a recent blog post from one of my partners at SMCpros, I was reminded about the importance of flow. When you have the opportunity, check out wikipedia’s description of the psychological state of flow. Everybody has it. But what causes it? How can we harness it? Is it paradoxical to be able to harness this state and control it?

Essentially, the psychological state of flow is when you are “in the zone”. You are being challenged. Your tasks require all of your mental capacity.

I wish I had a better ability to chose when my state of flow comes. Generally, I wish I had it a lot more than I do.

I have learned that when I am in a flow state, that it is smart to take advantage of it. No matter what time it is or where I am, I use it. The amount of productivity that occurs in that small period of time is usually 10x more valuable and efficient than my normal state.

In many books I read, it sounds like the healthier you are, the more you can reach this zone state. Yes, I probably could eat healthier, I probably could exercise more, I probably could get out more, I probably could relax more… but I feel like I do a decent job at these things…

Have you had these experiences? What have you done to be able to have it more frequently, longer, chose when it comes?

I Heart Techno

Do you have something that always provides you energy and joy?

In my life, techno music is a big part of what provides me positive energy. I can listen to it all day – and frequently do. My car has 22 cds in it, all of which are techno cds. My entire iTunes collection consists of techno. My Pandora and Last.FM mixes are almost entirely techno.

I switch on the techno when I need to focus, when I need a getaway, when I need adrenaline, when I need to relax, when I need inspiration.

It truly is music that fulfills many human needs.

If you want to learn more about the joys of techno music, I urge you to facebook Tom Engrav, and ask him to enlighten you to the joys of techno. He frequently DJs and loves to provide me and others with the latest updates and releases.

What truly inspires you? What keeps you thriving throughout the day?

Typical Lunch Break at SMCpros

Check it out!

Mitchell Hislop, Joel Feder, Sarah Shehata, and Tyler Olson taking a lunch break at SMCpros!

The Digital Age

I watched a TED video this morning. Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of Wine Library TV, reminded me once again that everything we do today is digitally recorded. Our children and grand-children are going to have access to so much about our lives. When I think about what I know about my great grand-parents, I know their names and I know the few stories I have time to hear from my grandparents. But my children are going to have access to what I said on twitter even today, March 13th, 2010. They will be able to see that I missed the last 3 episodes of 24 because hulu broadcasts that.

Robert Stephens, founder of Geek Squad, spoke at an EO event this past week at the James J Hill library on the topic of Social Media. He also stressed the importance and power of the web. As technology evolution continues to accelerate, more and more of what we do is going to be digitally recorded and archived. In the near future, life will be video-recorded and broadcasted everywhere we go (as it already can be). What does this mean in the privacy debates, speed of life issues, the ADD surge in young people? I don’t know. But technology is quickly and gracefully macro-evolving the way life works.

I am very interested to know your thoughts on whether these things concern you, excite you, and what you plan to do about this…

100 LinkedIn connections within one day

It has been on my to-do list for approximately three months to do a number of changes to LinkedIn and drive additional value through it.

On Sunday Evening, I was up late finally taking action on that goal.

I always have more with Social Media I want to do, it’s just a matter of the amount of time I want to spend, what should happen in what order, and thinking through ahead of time what my goals of a campaign are going to be.

For this campaign, my goal was to see how many people I could get interested in what SMCpros has to offer within one day. I think I spent about 45 minutes planning and implementing the campaign.

Tomorrow we will know more about how the final web traffic count turned out. However, Sunday had a significant spike and I didn’t start the campaign until 10:51pm.

I can say I ended the day with 12 e-mail that I can directly attribute to this LinkedIn Campaign and 3 phone calls (one almost signed a deal valued at $1,300 with us on the spot).

I always remind people that they should not expect to break-even on their first day working with us – but even I am amazed at how often we can achieve such extraordinary results in a short amount of time.

What’s your most recent Social Media success story? Please comment below

Update: After 48 hours, I had 22 e-mails and 3 phone calls all asking to meet with me to talk about what we do.

What would you like to see on my blog?

It has been too long since I have updated my blog. And it is definitely time to change that. There are many things I can write about and enjoy writing about. But you are the reader, not me. What would you like see on my blog?

- Social Media case studies?
- My Christmas Wish List?
- Personal Adventure stories?
- What’s going on in my life on a day-to-day basis?
-  Things I learn along my entrepreneurial journey?
- Viewpoints I have on political, social, economic topics?

You are the reader. I’d like to create something you would enjoy coming back to frequently. Something you would like to learn about from me.

Please comment below, e-mail me, facebook me, or somehow get a hold of me to let me know what you’d like to know about me. And I will do my best to do that.


Tyler Olson

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