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Until next time San Francisco

Today, after 8.5 years, is my last day living in San Francisco – a city that gave me so much:

  • The love of my life
  • The birthplace of my three children
  • The only jobs I’ve ever known
  • My first major sports championship I’ve experienced
  • The first home that I bought
  • The only place not named Cary, NC that I’ve ever called home

I’m really sad.

We’re leaving behind an incredible friend network, a fascinating school community, a gorgeous home and backyard we just settled into, and so much more.

Our new destination – Brooklyn, NYC, NY.

We’re gaining closeness to our old friend network, a phenomenal career opportunity for Micky, weekend trips to see family in the UK, train rides to see Doruk and Hanna, and an amazing adventure at a point in our lives where it feels perfect to take on this challenge.

And yet – tonight – as I said good bye to Yenni for the last time, and, today, as I said good bye to CDS for the last time all I could feel was sadness. My heart could only fill with tears.

And tomorrow, at 9am, we board our one-way flight to JFK.

Life Updates, Uncategorized 4 comments on I’m leaving TokBox

I’m leaving TokBox

Friday will be my last day at TokBox.

It ends an eight year journey through multiple products, lots of different target audiences, four CEOs, and three different careers.

I asked Scott if I could say a few words at my last team meeting. I didn’t make it to the first word without starting to cry.

Across the tables in front of me were the SF TokBox team of today. And in between them were the faces of those who had come before. Moments replayed of team meetings past. Decisions second guessed. Triumphs celebrated. And of course tears. Lots of tears. Mostly my own.

It’s amazing what 8 years of memories looks like as it passes you by in a single moment.

I met the love of my life at TokBox. I can remember the first time she laughed. The whole office stopped to see who that was in the glass meeting room. I thought she was crazy. She thought I was too young.

I lived my wildest dreams at TokBox. A Turkish hick from North Carolina who makes it in big, bad Silicon Valley. An entrepreneur who convinces much smarter people to follow in his footsteps. A team lead who builds great products and people.

And oh the people.

Some amazing people were part of my TokBox journey. The ones who made me laugh. The ones who made me cry. The Chairman. My original BD partner. The gamer turned evangelist. The partner in crime with whom I grew up. The Dutchman with his orange hair. The kid from South Carolina with a huge heart. The CTO on top of his mountain. The office manager turned company leader. VPs past. And VPs of the future.

I wanted to say a few words to thank the people who had been so instrumental in making me a success while I was at TokBox.

There were hugs and tears and laughs. I finally squeaked it all out.  The appreciation was unexpected, warm, and overwhelming. And the goodbye tour was officially on.

Friday is my last day at TokBox. Words I never imagined would come from me.

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I played hard for the money…

I haven’t written up my CES report yet, but I did want to report that I left Vegas slightly ahead (don’t worry IRS. I’ll lose it at the ponies this year with Luka)

I was down my budget – $20. And I was all in on one last bet. Many a time, it comes out in the house’s favor, and I’m done. But that was not to be that night. 

The fellow hit his point. Went on to hit 3 more points and a ton of numbers in between. He was setting the dice on sixes on top, and so I played the 11 quite a bit. I hit it about 2/3 of the time which really helped explode my bank roll. 

He got me back to halfway. Next guy did nothing. Next one was good for 3 points. One of them was a 10 which helped huge on the odds when he hit it. 

Next two were useless. Then it was my turn. 

I had a great roll. I hit 4 points. A ton of numbers in between, and then seven’ed out. 

And at the the end I was back to being ahead. So I picked up, and went home. 

It was a ton of fun, and it’s why I love craps so much. 

But when that last all-in bet goes the other way…

Life Updates, Uncategorized 0 comments on Viva Las Vegas 

Viva Las Vegas 

 It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year… CES in Las Vegas!

Since… 2003 or 2004… Or maybe earlier… We’ve come yearly. It’s a boys only weekend, and the days of Luka and Theo coming are fast approaching. My only hope is that we get all three generations here together. 

It’s my dad, Aydin, and I. The three amigos. One night is a steak dinner. The next is a show. It’s been an awesome way to say connected even though we’re thousands of miles apart. 

The big items this year seem to be health, cars, drones, and virtual reality. 

I’ll let you know tomorrow how many thousands of steps we take walking around, and what all the cool gadgets were. 

Oh, and how much money I win at the Craps table 🙂

Life Updates, Uncategorized 1 comment on This week in review

This week in review

Ok, I’m going to get back in the swing of the family weekly update. That means many things have to happen. (1) I need to take photos. (2) I need to start recording these kids more because honestly unless you hear it from their mouths, then you won’t believe it. (3) I need to not fall asleep Sunday night with the babies after an insane weekend.

And we’re off.

This week was always going to be crazy because it was Homecoming week at TokBox. For those who don’t know, homecoming is an event that colleges and high schools across America celebrate as a way to bring alumna back on campus. It’s usually centered around a major sporting event. In our case, it’s just centered around the calendar. And it’s just a cluster fuck of humanity. Which is good because all of this is an outcome of the great work we’ve done. But holy smokes that was a lot of people.

Monday was also a pretty special day. Micky turned 40 for the 2nd year in a row 🙂

We went to Central Kitchen, and had an AMAZING dinner. Really, really awesome.

Tuesday, I took my turn at being a speaker about the OpenTok platform. It’s nice because I feel as if I haven’t had as much of a chance to talk about the product publicly as we all thought would happen. Lots of reasons why, and so when the chance came, Ellie and I practiced a ton, and then really nailed it. The demo worked (and about 2 people later, the Internet went down). I hit the talking points. It was a good 3.5 minutes. I had to fly back up to the City though (from Santa Clara) because I had to coach soccer.

Oh yeah baby, I’m helping to coach the Swooping Eagles! We’ve got a Tuesday practice run by a pro, and then Saturday it’s me and the other parents. So far, only dads, but I can see a few mom’s itching to make it happen.

We had another conference Wednesday (where I was a booth babe!), and then on the way to the dinner (which is the BEST part of homecoming) Micky got sick. Like up all night, throwing up sick 🙁 So I headed home, and the babies and I spent Thursday not being at home so that Micky could get better. Which meant…


I finally passed my damn belay test. I’ve got a red Planet Granite card to prove it. The first time the guy was like, “I’ve never failed anyone, but I’m going to fail you.” That was bad :-/

The kids though hung out with Liz and Jose Carlos, and got both their top rope and bouldering on. It was really lovely. They’re so good at bonding with people, and I think that they’ve really learned to trust people as well. They look for clues from Micky and I (which makes sense), and then on that assumption they dive in.

Micky got better after a day full of rest (thankfully), and the week ended with seeing Praveen (who is leading in the weight contest right now).

The weekend was its usually mad self with a visit to the pumpkin patch after a Saturday morning soccer game. Today we did ballet, brunch with Betsy & Cody, and a daddy/daughter date for dinner.

Oh shit, I almost forgot… Saturday was our 5th wedding anniversary. And we went to see a movie. And it was AWESOME!!! Definitely go see the Martian. It’s a wonderful movie. We laughed. We cried. We peed our pants. It had it all. I’ll write another post tomorrow about how I think it’s the first science movie I’ve seen that made minorities and women look like heroes. And then we had a quick bite of sushi, and then passed out. Oh what a life!

I’ll add pictures when I download them (not tonight), and I’ll start writing again. But until then, what a week!

Life Updates, Uncategorized 0 comments on Happy Birthday to my dad

Happy Birthday to my dad

She said, “You don’t look very handsome. You should wear a white shirt”

He said, “You know what? I have a white shirt with me.”

She watched as he buttoned up each button. When the one in the middle wouldn’t stay in place because the shirt only fit him 10 pounds ago he said, “You know there’s no one else in the world I would change into this shirt for.”

I said, “That’s the power of a woman”

But in this case it was just a little girl. A special girl. The granddaughter of the birthday boy. Who wore her special dress, flew to see Dede in his favorite place, and with her brother made the day even more special than it already was. 

That’s the power of unfiltered, honest love. That’s the connection a birthday brings whether you’re 4 or 56. And that’s why having these moments, recording them, and sharing them is so special. 

Happy birthday babacigim. 


Life Updates, Uncategorized 0 comments on My baby brother is a lawyer

My baby brother is a lawyer

It was a good two days with the family in Nashville celebrating Doruk graduating from Vanderbilt. I landed bright and early on Thursday morning, and we headed straight to see Walter Isaacson speak.

He did really well. If you know he’s quoting the amazing lines of the geniuses he studied, then it’s slightly less impressive, but nonetheless he threaded together some of the greatest minds in US history together into a really wonderful graduation speech.

Then we ate some wonderfully delicious food.

Meat and 3 at Arnold's in Nashville
Meat and 3 at Arnold’s in Nashville

We then made our way to downtown Nashville. We got burgers and tater tots for dinner, and then Doruk surprised us with tickets to the Grand Ole Opry!!

The opening acts were really great. The host was funny and a great storyteller. And then out came Charlie Daniels closing out the night with “Devil went down to Georgia”. It was amazing!


The next day was graduation day. We found some shade, and watched the big ceremony. The chancellor’s speech was about passion, and it was awful. The law school talk was about being a great lawyer, and it was fantastic.

Doruk and friends were so happy. The parents and family were so proud. It was really wonderful.

Congratulations Doruk! You’re wonderful, and beginning what will be a wonderful journey. I hope these last three years will be the foundation for another 3+ decades of joy, passion, growth, inspiration, and changing the world.


Fatherhood, Life Updates, Uncategorized 0 comments on Talking about hummingbirds…

Talking about hummingbirds…

After setting up the treehouse for the kids, I decided to add a hummingbird feeder off of the end to see if we could become friendlier with our hummingbird neighbors.

It’s worked!

They love our yard for its flowers, and they love our yard for its hummingbird feeder. While we’re in the yard playing, they’re buzzing around us almost as if they don’t fear us at all. Today, the main fellow (or maybe the sneaky fellow – I can’t tell the difference yet) buzzed just out of arm’s length away from me, suspended in air as we watched each other.

He then went and chased, got chased, and I lost track of where he went.

The kids started playing pirates in the treehouse, and as they were bringing the treasure into the pirate ship, I said to Amelia, “Look, the hummingbird is back”.

Mr Hummingbird in the backyard
Mr Hummingbird in the backyard

I think her expression takes care of the rest of the story 🙂

Life Updates, Uncategorized 4 comments on This week in review

This week in review

I’m bringing back this fan favorite because what a week it has been!

Micky and I took most of the week off to get our house in order for the baby. We spent Tuesday cleaning up the garage, and then went out to buy a car. We ended up with a white Acura 2011 MDX. I actually quite enjoyed the negotiation because the guy was very clearly surprised at the price he’d quoted us via email. So it goes. He got rid of the inventory. We picked up the monthly payment.

Let me also just say how much I hate having a car payment. Or any payments really. I know I have the mortgage, and that feels like a given. Everything else just feels like too much coordination. And it takes away from the other things I’d prefer to do 🙁

Oh well. New baby means bigger car. And there was no way we wanted to get a van. And so it goes.

Then we painted, cleaned, filed, organized bank accounts, fixed garage door openers, organized the garage, and everything else that it takes to feel like you’ve got your house put together.

The baby’s room looks really good. All of that credit goes to Micky.

The garage looks amazing. I’ll take 50% of the credit for that.

It was a really good week of work… ending with a Frozen Sing-a-long at the Castro Theater on Saturday.