While there are a lot of traits that might be considered requirements for running a startup, there are two that came to mind as I made my way back from a rather interesting vacation; resiliency and the ability to laugh and smile. These two traits can get you through quite a number of situations; situations that you will no doubt run into running a startup and situations you sometimes run into when on vacation (at least my recent vacation).

I’m not usually one for road trips… I prefer to just fly to my destination and start my vacation, but the idea of seeing parts of Oregon and California I might not otherwise see (at least at ground-level) appealed to me. So off we went; my two daughters, ages 4 and 8, my wife and our two year old Pug, Jubilee. The fact that Jubilee came down with a stomach issue the day before could have been a sign that this trip might not start the way I wanted, but if it was I ignored it. A quick trip to Banfield to see her Vet and some prescribed antibiotics at least made me think it was nothing to fret.


The nice thing about Banfield is there’s a national network of locations that all have access to medical history and records. So having made numerous emergency highway stops and five overnight visits to the hotel pet poop area we thought it would be a good idea to have another Vet check her out before her stay at Camp BowWow for three nights while we enjoyed Disneyland.  When the Vet suggested that Camp BowWow was not a good idea given her stomach problem it was time for some resiliency and determination. Fortunately, there was a nearby 24-hour animal hospital and spa – that’s right… hospital and spa! Only in LA, but then thankfully in LA.

After three nights of rest, relaxation and medication, Jubilee’s stomach problems were behind her. And just in time too, since we were going to have her bathed and groomed while we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. But what’s this? A hotspot (the result of her identification collar at the hospital/spa) means the groomer refuses to groom? Thankfully, the Banfield there took her, ran some tests to make sure it was nothing more serious, while we saw the aquarium.

Did I mention that we were supposed to tent camp most of the way back to Oregon but it was too windy and cold? Yeah… 40 degree temps in the morning and sustained winds prevented that and facilitated the daily search for dog-friendly, reasonably priced hotels in places that generally don’t cater to reasonable pricing.

Ability to Laugh and Smile…

While all of these hurdles kept coming, we were able to enjoy what was certainly a memorable vacation. The fact that Jubilee left with one medical prescription and came home with five is, in hindsight, rather funny. The fact that throughout all 2500 miles of driving, our kids still like and speak to each other is something to smile about. And while able to safely navigate the family through scenic and often harrowing roads, I suppose it is somewhat funny that I got a speeding ticket half hour from home. I mean, what better way to end a road trip?

As I pulled into the driveway and slowly began the transformation back to reality I thought about Digital C4 – where we started, how we’ve evolved, and where we’re heading – and I thought of those two traits; resiliency and the ability to laugh and smile. Without those two (and a bunch of others) the ride wouldn’t have been as fun.