MY Bitcoin Smugglers

Hi friends, welcome to my last #BCSTT blog ever. This class has been the best academic experience ever and I am so happy and thankful for all 23 of you and Doyle/Kane/Kelsey/Matt for making this possible.


I mean it!!

Rewinding to the beginning

As instructed, I re-read my first “Selfie” post and boy was that a journey. For one, I don’t even have the same major anymore (unsurprisingly, after this trip I added Information Systems). Also, despite my clear indication I do NOT live update, there still seems to be some confusion in the class that I do. My biggest take away however was that I had NO idea what I was getting myself into for this class. I knew what this class was on paper and I even talked to kids who took the class last year, but when I tried to write the expectations section in my first blog, I had so much trouble. I knew I wanted to learn more about the tech industry, but I already I wanted to develop a career in tech so how would this course could change me?

In terms of academic and professional development, TechTrek solidified my initial understanding of the industry and confirmed my career intrest. What I did not know would happen is that I would come to really appreciate how these people think and work. As Will said, the thought and consideration these people put into every response is amazing. Most the founders, CEO’s, and employees we talked to had a clear passion for their work that aligned with their personal values. I did not get the impression anyone was solely in it for the money. Instead, I could tell these people were genuinely excited about the change they are standing behind and it was very inspiring to be able to step into their environment.

My Bitcoin Smugglers

Who knew that a week together on the opposite coast could transform 23 internet friends into 23 Bitcoin Smugglers. I am equally inspired by all of you as I am by the amazing people we met. The company visits and dinners were only as good as they were because everyone was intensely interested at every event. I found myself nodding to people’s questions because I would realize I was also curious about the same thing, but it would not have crossed my mind to ask it. Not to be too cliche, but I didn’t know what I didn’t know and going through this experience helped to alleviate that. Every session was a true exchange of ideas between our class and the speaker and amongst our class itself. (Time for a quick ~photo break~)

A point that resonated with me was Christiaan from True Venture’s notion of true alignment. When a wheel is truly aligned, it is able to spin freely and effortlessly. True strives to achieve this balance between themselves and each portfolio company they invest in. I think true alignment also existed in our class during the trip. We all supported each other in a balanced manner.  Everyone in the class had an essential contribution that kept our own wheel spinning freely and effortlessly.

A few bulleted takeaways:

Here are the lessons Rich from WePay talked about on our company visit

  • There is nonlinear thinking in the valley. (And to add to this, most people’s career and life paths aren’t linear either)
  • Businesses aren’t built by logical sequences, they are built by hacks
  • To build a startup, you have to be fully committed personally and reputation wise
  • A leader (or at least one of them) must be able to inspire confidence among a wide audience of diverse stakeholders
  • When you want $$ –> ask for advice. When you want advice –> ask for $$
  • Build a product and sell it, but not necessarily in this order. (Sell before you build so you build the right thing)

So what’s next?

I think this trip and class are both still sinking in for me and the effects will continue to reveal themselves for the rest of my career. The most immediate impacts are the close friends I have made though the class and the insider peak onto what Silicon Valley looks like. The value of the alumni network (including TechTrek West alums) and key advice they provided will serve me in the long run. I feel incredibly motivated by this entire experience and I plan on increasing my involvement with BC’s Shea center starting with the crypto speaker event this week. I am also really excited to more regularly attend the lunch with an entrepreneur events. It would be really nice to have so friends to go with to these things (@ YOU PEOPLE) so let’s keep the group chat alive and stick together.

Thank you!

Once again, thank you class, Prof. Doyle, Prof. Kane, Kelsey, and Matt!




5 thoughts on “MY Bitcoin Smugglers

  1. Lizzy, what a great final post. You were one of the only people that I knew before taking this class in general. True intramural basketball homies! I can honestly say that we became very close on this trip, and I can’t wait for our friendship to continue. I loved your point about true alignment: it is so refreshing to see companies like True Ventures who stay TRUE to their values and mission. And I whole-heartedly agree: this trip wouldn’t have been as valuable without the amazing students in the class. I love you guys! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Aw Lizzy what a great post. I am so lucky to have gotten to know you over the course of the week in SF, and I definitely agree that I did not know what I was getting myself into before this class started. What a journey! I like your list of takeaways from the Wepay visit, because Rich gave so much good advice I felt like my pen couldn’t keep up. So excited for your summer in SF and I know you will do amazing things!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lizzy,
    I liked your point about learning about how these people think- that was my biggest takeaway from our trip. I think that the articulate responses we received from the people we met with was just a byproduct of their continual understanding of not only their company, but themselves, their ambitions, and their career paths. Also, totally agree with Christiaan’s point of true alignment- that is a fantastic metaphor for our trip to California and the impacts that the trip had on our lives. On a personal note, it was great to get to know you more on the trip. Whether it was spending quality time sleeping next to each other on planes or exploring everything that California had to offer, it was an absolute blast becoming closer with you. Can’t wait for all the great times ahead!


  4. Lizzy, I felt like you were one of the people that I got to know the least on the trip and I feel bad about that. I wanted to let you know that I really admire your go-getter attitude and your ability to always be so positive. You never hesitated to ask a stranger for a photo or be the first to raise your hand at all of the companies. Your strengths are definitely my biggest weaknesses and I learned a lot from you just by being on this trip. I am pleased that you got so much out of this experience and I totally agree with that point of true alignment – everybody on this trip brought something incredible to the table. Keep being yourself because I see great things in your future.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats on adding the Information Systems major! 😉 I loved your photo collage and your takeaways from embarking on such a journey (not just to California, but the entire TechTrek experience). I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment that true alignment also existed in your class – that’s what makes TechTrek so special! I’m so glad that the class’s positive spirit and interconnectedness followed you all to California. Welcome back!

    Liked by 1 person

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