Contact: (415) 350-8104

11/5 Salon Invite + News: Stanford Mediax + Sinicki films + Bone Broth Tasting


Below is a very abbreviated invite due to technical difficulties beyond my control.

If you’re new to this page, check out the full invites in the previous Salon posts below.

You can also click here to see the full 11/5/15 Salon invite in a separate page.


You’re invited to the next monthly

 FocusCatalyst Brainstorming Salon  


November 5th

Note: You do not have to read this whole long email. Ever.

(See the fine print below if you want to know why.)

All you really ever need to know is:

Drop by any time between 5-8pm at 695 5th St. #2, San Francisco.

For details like directions, what food & drink to bring, etc.,

scroll past the full News & Announcement section below the summary.


November 2015




Martha is the Executive Director of Stanford’s MediaX



Founders of Molly & Anjuli: Organic Meals for the Modern Villager



Marlene directed, wrote and edited all three films.


November 7th 2-5pm is the next of 6 monthly BETA Walking Workshops

FocusCatalyst  “Manage Your Brain | Manage Your Weight” Walking Workshops

I recently lost 80+ lbs with techniques I use with Silicon Valley innovation clients.


“Interesting people, interesting conversations”

6.  ALAN ABRAMS:  Alan’s Wine Cellar Wine Tasting Notes 

Feel free to forward this invite to anyone you think would enjoy the Salon.  If you’d like to be on the list to receive invites, email me at Thanks!

The fine print:  

For more details than you’ll ever need (plus who comes to the Salons and lots of comments about them) just keep on scrolling.  All the details are just here for folks who like ’em.  (You know who you are…)  Also, the Salon is not a “networking” group or a place to promote products or services or to look for a job.

NOTE: All the people/places/things in the News & Announcement section are from/about my own personal friends and connections.  (The rule is pretty much if you need to ask to be in the Salon invite you likely won’t be. I end up being the one to ask friends if I can put info about them or their companies in it, not the other way around.)


I’ve only emailed this list with one invite and one reminder a month ever since the Salon started in 2004. So you won’t be getting a flood of emails.   And, if you don’t live in the SF Bay Area you can still participate.  See below for details.

Also, why is this email invitation so, um, ugly? :-)  Well…it’s a qualifier because the Salon is in my home. And I’m only looking for folks to come to it who are interested in interesting conversation with interesting people. If you take a look at this very plain Jane (um, ugly…) email and get excited about the descriptions of who comes to it and how it works (and you don’t care that it’s free of snazzy graphics :), then the Salon’s for you!




This in from Martha Russell, Salon regular and Executive Director of Stanford’s MediaX.  I go to MediaX programs whenever I can.  They are always fantastic.  Highly recommended!  For details on any of the programs below go to their site at

From Martha:  “Last year was a turning point in innovation. Everything became SMART: smart cities, smart schools, smart commerce, smart office. The mandate for “smart” moved beyond sensors to platforms and presence. This trend manifested itself in learning, in business and in entertainment.  MediaX is building on member-inspired research of fifteen years (yes – 15!*) These insights are applicable for “smart” people, “smart” environments, “smart” systems,”

CONFERENCES: Two half-day conferences in November will recap recent results and pivot our discovery collaborations into the coming year. We’ve scheduled two in the same week for the benefit of international travelers. 

11/16, 1-5pm: The Experience of Immersion 1pm-5pm, reception following. This may be the year when VR sees the light of day and AR takes center stage in the laboratory. Come share insights with thought leaders from labs at Stanford and mediaX member companies.  

11/19, 1-5pm:  Platforms for Collaboration and Productivity in the Smart Workspace, reception following.  In the on-demand economy, configurations of physical and data environments optimize creativity, innovation and productivity for distributed, modular work, with agile team structures. 



10/16-17: Tipping Points in Education, Innovations in Learning (Yes, this was last month but I wanted to include the link for those interested in the topic and i know there are many of you on this list!)

11/2: Stanford Women in Data Science Conference


Tuesdays until 12/1, 12-1pm A fall seminar series on Interactive Media and Games takes place weekly on Tuesdays with videos of the seminars posted online.  The next one is November 3rd on:  Immersive Virtual Reality and 3D Interaction for Task Performance and Embodiment.

RESEARCH THEMES: Two new Research Themes launch this fall:  

“Technologies for Learning,” in collaboration with the Stanford Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning and the Stanford Digital Learning Forum. 

“Memory, Estates and Legacies in the Digital World.” 

WORKSHOPS:  Workshops for executive teams, visiting from Brazil, China, Japan and Finland.

ABOUT STANFORD’S MEDIAX from their site:  “

We harness the drive of industry and the genius of Stanford to change the world. Industry affiliate program of Stanford’s H-STAR Institute.   We help our members explore how the thoughtful use of technology can impact a range of fields, from entertainment to learning to commerce. Together, we’re researching innovative ways for people to collaborate, communicate, and interact with the information, products, and industries of tomorrow. We explore the use of information technology to improve the human experience.”


Molly McGee is the wonderful daughter of my close friend and Salon regular, Valerie Landau.  I’ve written often in this Salon invite about the amazing work Valerie has done in technology and her decades-long close collaboration with Doug Englebart (filing two patents with him and co-authoring “The Engelbart Hypothesis: Dialogs with Douglas Engelbart” along with another Salon regular, Eileen Clegg, founder of Visual Insight).  Doug was one of the leading intellectual lights of the 20th Century.  Valerie is the daughter of filmmaker and author, Saul Landau, who was close to Fidel Castro ever since he did the first documentary about him in the 1960’s.  Because of Valerie’s experience both living in and visiting Cuba since the 1960’s and her connections there to literally the highest levels, she has lead many successful delegations to Cuba.  Last May I was part of a delegation to Cuba on” Broadband and the Internet.” This January Valerie is leading a delegation of 30 U.S. Makers to collaborate with 30 Cuban Makers.  And in May next year she will lead a high-level delegation of LGBT American leaders to meet with Cuban LGBT leaders.  When Valerie’s father died two years ago, he was making a film about the Cuban LGBT culture with Raul Castro’s daughter who is a major leader of the movement there. That film was picked up by HBO last July. (Anyone interested in being a part of any of these delegations, you can find out more at Landau Travel or email me.)

Of course Molly is amazing in her own right!  She and her business partner, Anjuli Konar, have launched their company, Molly & Anjuli.  

And at the next Salon on November 5th, you all get to sample one of their wonderful bone broths.  As they describe it:  “We are bringing a ginger chicken sipping broth with parsley, celery and chili garnish. The bones are from pastured chickens from Marin Sun Farms.”   I’m a huge fan of bone broth and frankly I think it should be sold the way juice is sold in juice bars now.

ABOUT MOLLY & ANJULI from their site:  “Organic Meals for the Modern Villager.  We provide balanced meals that are designed to enhance flavor and nutrition. Each meal includes a bone broth braise served with sprouted buckwheat, steamed greens and live pickles or yogurt sauces.  You love to eat food that makes you feel good. You believe that delicious food should nourish your body. Our flavorful, complete meals are designed to optimize digestion and nutrient absorption. We prepare everything from scratch using only the best local organic ingredients.

“OUR APPROACH TO FOOD. Bone Broth is Full of Nutrients & Supports Digestion.  Bone broth contains magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur, calcium & other trace minerals. It also has chondroitin sulphates & glucosamine from broken down cartilage & tendons. Glycine, proline & arginine, amino acids, all have anti-inflammatory effects.  Sprouting Grains, Nuts & Legumes Makes Them More Nutritious & Easier to Digest. Soaking allows the grain, seed, nut or legume to begin the germination process. Breaking down phytic acid, an enzyme inhibitor, helps our bodies assimilate nutrients more easily.  Probiotics Ease Digestion & Increase Nutrition.  Fermented and cultured foods are more nutrient dense and easier to digest. They are also known to boost the immune system and fight off infections.  Slow Cooked Meats Preserve More Nutrients. When meat is cooked at low temperatures more of the nutrients stay in tact.”


The Salon is very lucky to be filled with so many wonderful authors, artists and filmmakers.

One of them is Salon regular, Marlene Sinicki.  She’s a fabulous fine artist.  Make sure you ask to see her art on her iPad when you see her at a Salon.  Marlene also designed my FocusCatalyst website.  And she helped me with my TEDx talk.  Thank you, Marlene!

AND Marlene is a wonderful filmmaker.  She recently shared with me three of her films. [*** See BB NOTE below].  Here’s Marlene’s note to me about her these 3 films:

Wanted to share the movies I made in two of our favorite places, the Presidio and  Dogpatch. As well as directing, writing and editing, I did all location scouting and art direction.”


Soul Moves (5 min)

Snake Hips (10 min)


World Within Worlds (5 min)




Marlene Sinicki 

Artist * Storyteller * Designer

Strategic Storytelling That Sparks Positive Change    Twitter :::: LinkedIn :::: Facebook :::: Pinterest :::: Vimeo

*** BB NOTE:  As Marlene says in her note above, she made these films in “two of our favorite places, the Presidio and Dogpatch.”  The Presidio and Dogpatch are definitely two of my favorite places in the whole City.  If not THE two favorite places of mine.

As a matter of fact, if any of you want tips from me on visiting either place (or want to go there together), just grab me at the Salon or shoot me an email at

Pro tip: Dogpatch is the home of Pier 70 which is probably my favorite place in the city.  It’s the best “ruin porn” there is. :)

Pier 70 was also the location for the fabulous  TEDxSan Francisco yesterday  where my good friends, Bobby Chang and Yrmis Barroeta, gave a great talk. Bobby and Yrmis are founders of Mission Heirloom, a gorgeous restaurant in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto.  I love Mission Heirloom!  If any of you would like to go there with me sometime, shoot me an email about that, too. I love introducing folks to the wonderful eating experience that is Mission Heirloom.


My first two BETA Walking Workshops on September 19th and October 3rd were great.  Thank you so much to all the participants!  Your help and feedback are invaluable to me.

I decided last month to do the BETA Walking Workshop every first Saturday of the month for  6 months.  

The next one is THIS Saturday, November 7, 2-5pm. (Scroll down for details.)  

Participation at each one is limited to best meet everyone’s needs and to get the feedback I need to develop the workshop further.  

Based on the great feedback I got on the first two BETA Walking Workshops, the working title for it right now is:

The FocusCatalyst “Manage Your Brain | Manage Your Weight” Walking Workshop

I’ve done Walking Workshops for many years, all focused on the techniques I’ve developed for more effective innovation in business, based on the Neuroscience of Insight.  I wrote my first book, FOCUS. The Catalyst for Innovation, about that.

Now I’m doing these BETA Walking Workshops applying all those techniques to weight loss.

(Why? See below about my 80+ lb weight loss and how I did it using the same techniques I use with my innovation clients, all based on the Neuroscience of Insight.)

In this initial BETA phase, I’m doing the workshops on the first Saturday of every month for 6 months  The next one is this Saturday, November 7, 2-5pm, starting and ending at my loft–the same location for the Salon.

The BETA Walking Workshops’ attendance will be limited to begin with so I can give maximum focus on each attendee’s interests and needs.

There’s no charge for Salon invitees to be a BETA tester of this workshop, as well as for Salon invitee’s friends and family.  All I ask in return is your feedback on it.

Here are details for the next Walking Workshop BETA:


Saturday, November 7, 2016


2pm to 5pm


We’ll start at my SOMA loft (same address as the Salon) then take the MUNI LIght Rail to a special location and then return to my loft.  It is a walking workshop but we don’t do extensive walking and there’s no hiking involved.

This is a much shorter, SF-only-based take on the all-day strategy sessions I take innovation clients on.  That one is from SF to Yosemite and back in one day via AMTRAK.

So in this case, the MUNI Light Rail is the stand-in for AMTRAK and, well, the “special location” is the stand-in for…um…Yosemite.  OK, maybe not!


The FocusCatalyst “Manage Your Brain | Manage Your Weight” BETA Walking Workshop 

This Walking Workshop will feature several FocusCatalyst techniques applied to weight loss that I’m using to lose over 80+ lbs on my way to losing 100 lbs.

If you are interested in doing this November 7th BETA Walking Workshop, or a future one, just shoot me an email at .  Thanks!

** For background on what I’m doing, below is what I’ve had in the Salon invitation about my weight loss approach in the past few months. 

NOTE: I’m doing the interviews I talk about below on an on-going basis.  So if you’d like to do one with me, just email me at  Thanks!

I’d love your feedback and advice for the NEW BOOK I’m writing based on using the techniques in my first book, Focus.The Catalyst for Innovation, but applying them to weight loss–of all things! :)

As some of you know, I’ve recently lost over 80 lbs. (On my way to losing 100+ lbs total.)   

And…it was quite amazingly “easy, effortless and fun” *** because I applied all my FocusCatalyst techniques to do it.  Yes, I used the same techniques I use when I consult with companies on innovation based on the Neuroscience of Insight.  Sounds crazy, but it worked!

So right now I’m in the process of writing a new book that will show how to use those techniques for weight and eating issues–instead of for innovation.

I’m putting this into the Salon invite because I’d love your help, feedback and advice!  

First of all, “weight and eating issues” isn’t just about losing 100 lbs like I’m doing.  I know many thin women who have a lot of weight and eating issues, too.

So wherever you are on the “scale,” I’d love to have a confidential 15 minute phone conversation with you about it.  

While the call is a total favor from you to me (thank you!), women I’ve done this with already find it’s helpful in and of itself.

If you’d like to do that, just shoot me back a reply at and we can set it up.  

Thank you so much!


*** “Easy, effortless and fun” is a phrase I use in my current book on innovation based on the Neuroscience of Insight.  

That phrase is based on the fact that you can accomplish a lot if you manage your brain right. 

Looking for how to make things “easy, effortless and fun” is something your brain can really get into–IF you know how–even with really hard things to do, like losing 100 lbs. 

My new book on weight loss will cover how to do that, using practical, easy techniques.

5. For folks new to the Salon invite:  

For a taste of just what the Salon descriptor, “Interesting People. Interesting Conversation,” can mean, below is a wildly divergent list of topics one Salon attendee sent me the day after a Salon: 

“I had a great time at your salon. In a trip down memory lane, I recall conversations about:


·         Categorical and topographical mapping

·         London, Tokyo, Bay Area underground systems

·         Harry Beck

·         Edinburghians vs. Glaswegians

·         Blind Man’s Bluff

·         Scuba driving

·         Bali

·         Web site design for the challenged

·         GoDaddy

·         Hogmanay

·         Wine tasting and hosting events

·         Bill & Melinda Gates and Hewlett Foundations


·         Learning Chinese and ballroom dancing deep in China

·         Air pollution in Shanghai and Hong Kong

·         Colorforms


6.  Alan’s Wine Cellar Wines at the Salon: Tasting Notes 

Background: As many of you know, Alan is the husband of FocusCatalyst Advisory Board member and Dwell Media CEO. Michela O’Connor Abrams.  Alan is a real expert on wine and folks who come to the Salon love finding out more about it by chatting with him. Alan’s Wine Cellar does wine tastings (including charity fundraising ones), wine cellar design, wine courses, cellar stocking and wine search.


Below are Alan’s tasting notes for the Salon.


As always come early if you want to taste these. They can go fast! 


Pinot Grigio

Vintage: 2012

Varietal:  100% Pinot Gris

Origin:  The Veneto region of Italy (near Venice)


Wine Library: “Incredible for the money!  Clean, crisp and refreshing, this is an excellent value and a must try for anyone who loves Pinot Grigio.  The soft citrus flavors and the creamy long finish make this our top choice for under $10 P.G.” If you’re looking for a wine to bring to an outdoor party this is the one; pure expression of fruit and what a value wine should be.


Tasting Notes

“Light straw color.  Fine, elegant, clean and intense aroma, dry flavor with pleasant green apple aftertaste.  Lively, and easy to drink.”

Production notes:  fermented and finished in stainless steel (no oak)

Alan’s Tasting Notes

Truthfully, many of the Pinot Grigios imported into the U.S. have about as much taste as glass of water.  This wonderful Pinot Grigio is dry, but still delivers a wonderful, crisp fruitiness.  Perfect with salads, chicken or fish dishes, and many lighter Italian foods.  It’s also wonderful all by itself.



“Sleepy Hollow” Pinot noir

Vintage: 2012

Varietal: 100% Pinot noir

Origin:Estate Grown in ‘Sleepy Hollow Vineyard’, Santa Lucia Highlands, one of the most significant vineyards in the appellation. The vineyard is situated on 585 prime acres of benchland in the Santa Lucia Highlands, 13 miles south of Monterey CA.

Winemaker’s Notes

“It has aromas of bright cherry and plum leading to floral and spicy French oak notes. On the palate, this Pinot Noir displays a rich texture, soft, velvety tannins and ripe fruit. Flavors of Bing cherry and red plum lead to a long finish with vanilla oak and lively acidity. This wine defines the Talbott style, with power, richness, integrated oak, and cool-climate acidity.”

Production Notes

  • Barrel aged 11 months in French Oak, 20% new.
  • A blend of old-vine (planted in 1972), Martini clone Pinot Noir grapes and Dijon clone grapes.  

Roots Run Deep Winery

“Educated Guess”

Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage: 2012

Varietals: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc,

2% Petit Verdot


Origin: Napa Valley

Vineyards:  The primary sources for the grapes are Beckstoffer Vineyards in Rutherford and Louer Family Vineyards in St. Helena.


Production Notes: Barrel-aged 12 months in French & American oak

Winemaker’s Notes:

“What can we say about how delicious our Cabernet Sauvignon is? It’s rich, ripe, and focused with juicy blackberry and cherry fruit, milk chocolate, and dusty notes all tied together with a creamy french vanilla middle and a finish that in a word is…lingering. Educated Guess fills all the requirements that a serious cabernet lover is looking for while remaining fun, approachable, and food friendly!”

Label: It shows actual winemaking formulas that are either induced or naturally occur during a specific winemaking process.

* A NOTE ABOUT NEXTNOW (and Doug Engelbart**)   

A lot of people who come to the Salon are in a group I’ve been involved with pretty much since its inception in 2003, NextNow. It’s a small, relatively loose affiliation of interesting folks started by Bill Daul, who Doug Engelbart (fellow NextNower and who in the 1960’s was the inventor of the mouse and a whole lot of personal computing in general–see Wikipedia.  Sadly, Doug died on July 2, 2013) calls “human glue” and James Burke (from the UK, known for the TV series “Connections”), calls “the world’s greatest social networker.” NextNow members include Buckminster Fuller’s archivist and the CTO for the Dalai Lama, among a lot of other very interesting folks.

The FocusCatalyst Brainstorming Salon is where NextNowers get together most regularly. But the Salon is not a NextNow function per se and you sure don’t have to be in NextNow to come to the Salon!



WHAT:  Interesting people. Interesting conversation. Bring food and drink to share.  

[Note to all you cooks out there: Please do not bring items that need heating up in a microwave, stove or oven. Also, bags and boxes are just fine to serve what you bring. But if you feel you need a serving dish, please bring one and take it home afterwards. Many thanks!] 

Optional: Write what you want brainstormed on the sheets provided. Put them on the wall. Others add their ideas with Post It notes. Then you take your sheet home with new ideas and contacts.  (But also, you don’t have to have anything you want brainstormed or put any sheets on the wall to participate and have a great time)

This isn’t a meeting or a place to sell your services or products.  It’s an informal, fun, and relaxed get together.

The end game isn’t even brainstorming as much as it is “interesting people/interesting conversation.”  To tell you the truth, most people get too involved in conversation to write on people’s brainstorming sheets–but that’s the point. The brainstorming technique works as a catalyst to help move the conversations beyond just the usual “Hi, how are you?  What do you do?”

WHEN:  First Thursday every month.


Drop by any time between 5 and 8PM for as long, or as short, a time as you’d like.

WHERE:  San Francisco: 695 5th St. #2 (5th & Townsend).


Alas, parking meters have finally arrived in my neighborhood. The good news is there’s now more parking available.  But please note: they can sometimes be in effect until 10pm.  So make sure you check all that out if you use them.   They do take take credit cards.

There’s also a parking garage a block away, underneath the Safeway at 4th & Townsend.  You enter the garage on Townsend, between 4th & 3rd Streets.  You can get 90 minutes of free parking there if you spend at least $5 at Safeway. (But if you stay longer than 90 minutes it can cost you up to $30.)

Note to Peninsula Folks:  My loft is one block from the CalTrain Station.  So, very easy access by train.  Bill Daul comes to virtually every Salon via the train from Palo Alto. If you’d like to join him, just let me know at

Note to East Bay Folks:  It’s easy to take the MUNI light rail at the Embarcadero station (located a level up from the BART Embarcadero station)  to the Caltrain station.  (Take the MUNI light rail trains to “Caltrain/Ball Park” or “Sunnydale”.  Both will get you there.) My loft is a block from the Caltrain station.

HOW MUCH?  Just drop on by. No need to RSVP. And feel free to forward this email to anyone you think might enjoy the Salon.  This invite is in Constant Contact so you can forward it with the link at the end.

More Information About FocusCatalyst Brainstorming Salons

I’m not a big fan of linking to web sites or attachments. I’d rather scroll than link. So, scroll below for more information about the FocusCatalyst Brainstorming Salons for any of you who’d like a lot of details.

For those of you who haven’t seen this invitation before, you may be asking yourself, “What in the world is a brainstorming salon?”


A brainstorming salon is an informal, drop in get together of interesting folks at my loft in San Francisco, South of Market. Come by for as long or as short a time as you’d like.

It’s a salon because it’s meant to foster some interesting conversation.


And it’s for brainstorming, too. But the brainstorming is totally optional and in many ways quite unobtrusive.


I love brainstorming with folks. It opens up whole new ideas. I love the infusion of creativity and solutions that a good brainstorming session can give. But I don’t want to require everyone to show up at a specific time, sit in a circle and brainstorm and then all go home at the same time


So here’s how it works:

Everyone who wants to (and you can certainly come to the Salon and not participate in the brainstorming part at all) when they arrive at the salon, takes a sheet of paper and writes on it something you’d like others to brainstorm about for you.

It can be on any topic and you can ask for any kind of feedback you’d like.  You can do it anonymously or you can sign their name to it. Then you put your sheet on a wall in my loft.

Everyone else at the salon can then look at your sheet and if they have a brainstorm idea for you, they can write it on a Post It note and put it on your sheet. Those Post It ideas can be anonymous, too. Or not. It’s up to you.

When you’re ready to leave, after 15 minutes or after 3 hours or any time in between, just take your sheet home with the Post It ideas people have put on it.

You’ll probably also have fun brainstorming ideas for others. And you may meet other folks dealing with similar situations to yours.

Another feature of the Salon is the big round table in the middle of it piled high with books, many written by friends of mine, including many by Salon regulars, and others that are just books I love.  It’s an eclectic assortment on a wide variety of topics. Often people connect over the books, too.

And, for those of you who can’t come at all but would like your Brainstorming Sheet on the wall, just send me an email with what you’d like folks to brainstorm about for you, ideas, suggestions, leads, anything, and I’ll put it up on the wall and mail it to you afterwards. I can keep it anonymous or not. Your choice.

Please bring something to eat and drink to share. And the Salons also feature Alan’s Wine Cellar wines for tasting, for drinking, for enjoying!  


Alan and his wife Michela are old friends of mine. (They even got me going to the Napa Valley Wine Auction for years.) Michela is on FocusCatalyst’s Advisory Board and she’s the president and publisher of Dwell Magazine. (Great magazine.)

Alan has been involved with the wine industry since 1984 when he began advertising and marketing major wine brands. Since then he has become an avid wine collector. He does fabulous wine tasting parties for corporations, for charity fundraising, and in people’s homes, as a great way to learn about really interesting and inexpensive wines from around the world. And it’s also a very fun party. He also teaches an in depth wine tasting course and provides cellar stocking advice. On top of all that, he designs gorgeous wine cellars.

Hope you can make it.  If you think you might be able to, you can shoot me an email and let me know. Though really, just come on by.  No need to RSVP.  Even if you won’t know until the last minute if you can come, it’s fine for you to come on by anyway.


Scroll down for comments from Brainstorming Salon attendees

One comment that’s been made by a lot of the Brainstorming Salon first timers is how easy it is to participate even if you don’t know anyone there. You can start by reading the brainstorming requests on the wall and from there it’s easy to strike up a conversation with the person next to you reading the same request.

Other comments:


“Your salons offer another benefit besides brainstorming and snacking: they’re a place to practice the (almost) lost art of conversation. Madame de Stael, who ran a famous salon in 18th century Paris (and who said, “Wit lies in recognizing the resemblance among things which differ and the difference between things which are alike”) would approve.”


“Thank you so much for inviting me to the salon. It truly was like the old salons of Europe with smart, interesting people and a lively exchange of ideas.” 


“At the salon I talked to so many diverse and all fascinating people from different professions with different perspectives but I think what really “makes” the Brainstorming Salon is the warmth and openness among everyone because after all we’re all FOB (friends of Betsy).”


“I had a great time at your brainstorm salon. In a trip down memory lane, I recall conversations about:


·         Categorical and topographical mapping

·         London, Tokyo, Bay Area underground systems

·         Harry Beck

·         Edinburghians vs. Glaswegians

·         Blind Man’s Bluff

·         Scuba driving

·         Bali

·         Web site design for the challenged

·         GoDaddy

·         Hogmanay

·         Wine tasting and hosting events

·         Local politicians aren’t the solution

·         Bill & Melinda Gates and Hewlett Foundations


·         Learning Chinese and ballroom dancing deep in China

·         Air pollution in Shanghai and Hong Kong

·         Colorforms

·         Burroughs’ family updates

“I developed some alliances and client relationships in a natural way just through conversation. There is a great flow of energy at these salons! “


“I really enjoyed your brainstorming event last week. What a wonderful group of fascinating people!


“What a wonderful evening! The brainstorming salon was interesting, dynamic, and loads of fun. Not only did I enjoy meeting a number of bright, fascinating men and women, but it inspired me in new directions.” 


“Bravo! You are one creative individual. I look forward to the next Thursday salon at your loft. Thank you, thank you.”


“I had so much fun and met such interesting people. Thank you!”


“Great Salon party. I enjoyed myself immensely.”


“I LOVE these events. Even in the short time I was there, I connected with so many great people. There are starting to be “regulars” which is great since there is never enough time to get to know all the people at one event.”


“I had a terrific time at yesterday’s Brainstorming Salon. Thanks so much for hosting it. What an interesting group of people. So many good conversations. And then the serendipity of seeing Beatrice Wood’s ‘I Shock Myself’ and Christine Walker’s ‘A Painter’s Garden’ on your coffee table. Downright spooky.”


“Hey, last night’s Salon was just great! Both Mike and I enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and got some good ideas. We were so jazzed that we went out for a “bar dinner” at Absinthe. We talked and talked about everyone we had met at the Salon and how energized we were. Thanks so much for inviting us.”


“Great gathering last night. I really enjoyed it. And I love your swingin’ bachelorette pad, it’s the perfect party palace.”


“That was a blast.  Wonderful people.”


 “It was terrific and I had a splendid time.”


“Thursday’s Brainstorming Salon was a hit! I really appreciate you opening your home and ideas to so many of us. I look forward to the next one!”


“Having the chance to get objective input from people of this caliber is wonderful.”


“Looking at the brainstorming requests is good way of ‘meeting’ people in a way that is beyond the first introductions social interaction.”


“I felt energized by the level of intelligence and curiosity of the people there.”


“I really enjoyed the people and ambiance.”


“I couldn’t tear myself away from the conversations.”


“I always feel energized and empowered after spending time with you. Thanks so much. I look forward to the next one!”


“I thought it was wonderful to meet interesting, witty people and to talk on a range of subjects. The most complimentary way to show my appreciation is to say, ‘I look forward to the next meeting.'”


“I had a great time. Just being around persons from different walks of professional life rubs off on us, and we take what we want from that. It is invaluable! Thanks for including me.”

“I loved it.”