The Rise of Silicon Reef

This past Friday, I was lucky be part of This Week in Start-ups, created and hosted by Jason Calacanis. I was invited by Sesiri Pathirane, my machan (Sri Lankan term for “mate” or “bro”), who organized the selection of five Sri Lankan start-ups to pitch on the show. I had a great time and appreciated being involved.

In the episode, I gave hint at the rise of a Sri Lankan tech and entrepreneurial scene that Sesiri and I are calling Silicon Reef. The goal is to start a flow of development projects from all over the world into our Sri Lankan incubator anchored in Silicon Reef. It’s the start of something fun and worthwhile, and I’m excited to get it going with Sesiri.

I head down to Sri Lanka on May 29th until June 6th and will be in Colombo the first several nights before heading down to see my Aunties in Ja-Ela. The fine folks at the South Asian Mobile Conference have invited me to speak on May 30th on the topic of “The Future of Media.” I plan to give an overview on the changing landscape in media production, consumption, and marketing. I’ve been thinking about these topics pretty intensely at Topspin and will also be unveiling some new hypotheses and efforts that I’ll be pursuing to tackle the problems of demand generation for all the

worthy artists and creators in the world.

On May 31st at 6PM, Sesiri and I will be hosting a tech meet-up in Colombo. Facebook RSVP getting updated here. It’ll be nice to talk shop with fellow entrepreneurs and technologists. If you happen to be in Colombo during that time, please do reach out, and hopefully we can eat some Kottu Roti together.

Check out the start-ups on TWIST’s Sri Lanka edition and especially the one at the end called Let Go. I really enjoyed the premise of their app, which is intended to help people manage their negative emotions and get on the path to more happiness. It embodies concepts of Emotional Intelligence. Although EI has been around in some form or another for many years, I was introduced to it at Stanford via Daniel Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence. I also read Goleman’s book Primal Leadership, after it was recommended by my old boss at Musicmatch, CoFounder Dennis Mudd. I found both books interesting and useful.

My friend Aaron Suplizio in Los Angeles reached out after hearing this week’s TWIST on a podcast, and he pointed me to another app that tracks and monitors your happiness. It was started out of Matt Killingsworth’s Harvard research project and is called Track your Happiness. After Aaron’s endorsement, I signed up, answered 10 min worth of life oriented questions, and have just started the process. I’m very interested to see how I’ll fare with the service. I hope I can stick with it and become a better person. Either way, I love the purpose and am inspired to see such good intention grounded in a rigorous approach.

Looking forward to meeting more of the tech community and fellow entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka. It’s great to see the potential and participate in the birth of Silicon Reef. Enjoy the show below!