What To Buy Your Favorite Geek Chic Startup Founder This Holiday Season

December 18, 2013

11:00 am

I may or may not be a good reference point as to the inklings of the average man-about-town. However, if there can be said to be an average geek-chic-startup-founder-man-about-town, I feel like you could do a lot worse than me in trying to assess his interests and desires. And since it is the holiday season, and thus the time for giving, I hereby present to you, loyal Tech Cocktail readers, my very own holiday wish list. Hopefully it will provide the spark that helps you find the perfect gift for that special geek in your own life.

First, a little about me—I am the co-founder and CTO of D.C. startup Speek, where we make mobile conference calls faster and easier. I am tattooed, chunky but funky, and was once called the baddest dude to ever attend Harvard. Pretty standard stuff, right? Good.

With no further ado, here are some holiday gift ideas from my own personal Xmas wish list:

Scotch

Building a successful startup can also build up a powerful thirst, and sometimes we founders need our liquid lunches à la Mad Men. Don’t judge. So: scotch. I love scotch. It’s so good, once it hits your lips. Any Scotch will do, but here are some that I’ve (eh-hem) heard are good, you know, from a friend of a friend. On the lower end there’s Bowmore 12 year old (note that “lower end” is relative). In the middle there’s trusty old standby Glenfiddich 15 year old—it’s the trusty old standby for a reason. And if you REALLY love your startup geek, there’s always Lagavulin 18 year old.

The Original Baconkit

DIY bacon. Enough said. Baconkit + pork = homemade bacon! Until you’ve tried baconkit you’ve never tasted bacon as nature intended. The kit contains everything you need to make 5 lbs of delicious homemade bacon; just add pork belly. And best of all: It’s fat-free! Hahahaha just kidding of course it’s not. It’s still bacon. But it is delicious. Buy it here.

Uggs for Men

Full disclosure: these may hurt your favorite geek’s street cred. Fuller disclosure: he isn’t in junior high any more (hopefully?), so screw his street cred: these are super duper comfortable! In the winter, I wear mine to the office. I’m a founder, dammit; I do what I want. UGG Australia employs the finest standards of craftsmanship in the world, using premium materials that feel like nothing else—plush sheepskin, burnished suede, washed canvas and tumbled distressed leather. Perfect. Buy them here.

Carrera Sunglasses

Ray-Bans are so 2013. Carrera sunglasses are where it’s at. Worn expertly by Steve McQueen and his modern day A-lister descendants alike. And who’s more bullish on investing in startups these days than Hollywood A-listers? Personally, I’m partial to the Gold 80s and the Black 24s. On an unrelated note: why, yes, Speek headquarters does accept package delivery, and yes, actually—anything addressed to me would get to me immediately. Thank you for asking. Buy them here.

Limited Edition Grey Goose & Baccarat Martini Set

Seriously, if you can find this limited edition set anywhere, please grab two—I swear I’m good for it. Two legendary French luxury brands, one ultimate martini kit, because no matter our innate startup founding impulse to tinker, sometimes perfection should not be messed with. Set includes a custom carrying case, two Baccarat martini glasses, one jigger, one strainer, four olive picks, one spoon, and one mixing cup. Details and waitlist here.

An old school, hot lather, straight-razor shave

Whether it’s for his face, his head, or both, nothing beats an old school, hot lather, straight-razor shave. Most services include hot towel treatment, pre-shave oil, hot lather and a straight-razor shave along with a post-shave treatment of some sort. The Art of Shaving is located all over the US. If you’re in D.C., check out my favorite spot: Grooming Lounge (hint hint).

Anything from Umba Box for Men

In just under two years, Umba has partnered with hundreds of amazingly talented artists who have spent years refining their craft, dedicating countless hours on even a single product, purely out of a love for what they do. It’s this single-minded dedication that makes us kindred spirits, and such artisanship should be rewarded. Plus, how cool to get something, beautiful, unique, and handmade, rather than another wallet off the discount rack at Bloomingdale’s. So it’s a win-win, really. Buy it here.

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Danny Boice is the CTO of Speek - a 500 Startups-funded startup that lets users do conference calls with a simple link (speek.com/YourName) rather than using phone numbers and PINs. A serial startup/technology entrepreneur and executive, Danny started his career as a software engineer working for startups like Network Solutions and MusicMaker.com in the 90′s. You can find Danny on Twitter @DannyBoice.

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