Start ups

Post image for Hey Baby Boomers, time to dust off those memories and share on MyRetrospect.com

Talking with the founders of Retrospect Media — Susan Hansen, John and Patricia Zussman — it’s easy to see what drew them together to start their latest venture. They are all Portola Valley residents. John and Patti (as she’s known) are married to each other. Patti and Susan went to Mills College together. Then there’s their shared entrepreneurial streak.

John and Patti have deep roots in technology with an emphasis on tech writing.  Susan works part time in the Stanford Development office, which requires, yes, writing. And it’s writing — more specifically shared stories — that they are featuring on MyRetrospect.com, specifically those of Baby Boomers (1946-1964).

“Our parents have left the stage, and we are losing their stories,” said John. “If we don’t tell our stories, we’ll lose those, too.”

Added Patti: “The diverse collection of stories demonstrates the power of shared experiences. At our age, people like to review their memories and put their lives in context.”

The free online story-sharing website has already surpassed 500 stories, lumped into topics, such as the beach, Father’s Day, war and remembrance, that are suggested and posted weekly. “It’s our conviction that in a world of fake news and alternative facts, there’s real value in documenting and sharing our authentic experiences,” said Susan.

For those who are daunted by the idea of putting pen to paper — or more accurately, keystroke to keyboard — John explained that they’re working on ways to take the pressure off. “Writing style is less important — just tell your story as you would if you were talking. Stories are how we make sense of the world.”

Photo by Robb Most, showing left to right Patti, John, Susan (c) 2017

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Street Code Academy hosts IM|Possible StreetCode Showcase at Facebook

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Stanford grad Olatunde Sobomehin co-founded StreetCode Academy in East Palo Alto in response to a “lack of access to high-tech training for youth and young adults in communities of color, and consequently, a diversity deficit in the technology industry” with the mission of equipping them with “the skills to hack, hustle, and design the future.” What […]

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Cathy Bitler brings her background in science to making handcrafted soaps

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Most of Cathy Bitler’s professional career was spent in the lab. As a biochemist, she worked at companies involved in finding new drug therapies for stubborn-to-treat medical conditions. Today, her focus is on more immediate gratification through her handcrafted soaps, lotions, and scrubs made in her Menlo Park home. Her journey to soap maker started, somewhat […]

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Dariusz Paczuski draws on his Polish heritage in founding Rocket Vodka

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Dariusz Paczuski admits “vodka is in my blood.” That’s one reason he started Rocket Vodka in his Menlo Park garage. Dariusz’s family fled Poland to escape communism when he was about a year old, eventually settling in Norway, where he was a member of the Norwegian National Swim Team. When he was 20, a  swimming scholarship […]

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Nicki Boyd explains why talking to babies matters – and how the product Starling can help parents

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Nicki Boyd, co-founder with two others of Menlo Park start-up VersaMe, admits they came up with the name for the company’s first product, Starling, without knowing the bird of the same name is studied for its advanced linguistic capability. “It was chosen more because a star has a positive connotation across cultures,” she says. After a decade […]

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From interior design to furniture – a journey that leads to Moxiemade

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For the past seven years, Nancy Evars and Dimitra Anderson have offered interior design services, bringing, as they say, “a bit of moxie” to their work. “We are driven women, both from New Jersey,” said Dimitra. Added Nancy: “We love to work, we love to be creative.” Today they’re launching a new business called, fittingly enough, Moxiemade, offering a […]

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Ashley Hunter will help you get your [you-know-what] together

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We need to get one thing out in the open straight away. When Ashley Hunter told us her latest endeavor involved offering project management services, we could only chuckle. The reason: Ashley is a super multi-tasker. We first met the Menlo Park mother of four, who’s children range in age from six to 14, when she founded The […]

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Patrina Mack develops K’Bro app for tweens and teens – and their parents

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Menlo Park resident Patrina Mack has been involved with product development and marketing her entire career, but the latest product she’s launching is one that’s very personal to her. “For 17 years I’ve had a consulting practice out of my home, but I got to the point of yearning for something different,” she explained. “Someone […]

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Sure, Menlo Park is headquarters to the largest social network company in the world, but now there’s also a new, smaller one with the goal of building face-to-face relationships among older adults. Picket Fence was started by Noopur Pandey, who lives in the Linfield Oaks neighborhood, and a colleage she had worked with at Yahoo!, Chung-Man Tam. […]

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Skin care products that promise organic and natural are “brewed” by start up, Fresh+You

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We first encountered “the soap ladies” at Cafe Zoe and were surprised to learn they were making soap just a few doors down at Studio Cake. That seemed strange to us, but we discovered it’s only so on the surface. “Well, you’ve heard of soap cakes!” quipped Fiona Plows, founder of the just-launched skincare products […]

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Closetclicks joins accelerator program to boost growth for its fashion platform

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Last year, InMenlo featured Closetclicks, a fashion startup founded by M-A graduates Rich Branning (right) and Greg Kalin. Over the past year, Closetclicks’ presence as a fashion platform has grown, and will continue to grow, through the help of an accelerator program. In late spring, Closetclicks, along with several other startups, was chosen from about […]

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