Return from Summit at Sea

Themes and Micro Take-Aways from the Boat.

I had the badass honor of attending this year’s Summit Series at Sea and have returned a newly inspired human. Think: startup entrepreneurs, innovative non-profit leaders, spiritual gurus, and game changing inventors all hand picked and thrown on one privately charted ocean liner for a 3-day weekend brainfest.

Incredible lectures, next-level discussions, and groundbreaking ideas were constantly flowing on the bahama waters. We spent time with powerful minds; from Richard Branson and Gary Vaynerchuk to Tim Ferris and Blake Mykoskie. Companies like SoundCloud, X-Prize Foundation and The Nature Conservancy expressed views on the world. The Roots were our daily house band and each night culminated in a raging music fest-like party on the cruiser’s boat deck.

Sunday was spent on Coco Coy - a private island in the Bahamas outfitted with an aqua park, jet skis, giant water slides and a massive BBQ. It was the world’s leaders and game changers, all soaking wet in bathing suits and acting like kids, coming together to interact in an entirely unique environment.

Most wildly, all of this was organized by the summit series group of about twenty close friends and roommates in their early twenties. They’re using Summit Series and the Summit brand as a vehicle to bring innovators and influencers together to change the world, with core focuses on altruism and revelry.


1. You have the power to do whatever you want. It begins with you.

Listening to next-level individuals share their stories and then seeing them in the boat cafeteria or going down a water-slide reminds you that innovation is not superhuman. Anyone can change the world. And the size of your impact depends on your belief in yourself.

The environment you create will determine your personal growth. “Nothing’s going to encourage you to run faster than living with sprinters.” Keep your inspired people close to your daily life.

2. Master the Art of Delegation.

This is two fold: self delegation (life vs work balance) and delegating work with others (clear roles, empowering others with trust).

It’s natural to want to hold on tight to every aspect of your company. As entrepreneurs, these are our babies. But our babies will grow stronger if we allow them (and ourselves) room to breathe. Creating daily time to disconnect from work and delegate aspects of our projects to others gives us time to think, be human, have fun, eat well, make love, and come to work recharged and empowered with new ideas. For anyone that calls bullshit, take a look at Richard Branson and the 350 companies that he’s started in his lifetime. He spoke about this eloquently and passionately.


Richard Branson, Virgin

  • The art of delegation is key to maximizing your output and quality of success.
  • changed the online charity model.

Blake Mykoscie, founder TOMS shoes

  • Take a step back and empower your employees. Hire people you trust, so you can breathe.

Sean Stephenson, The 3 Foot Giant

  • There’s a difference: confidence is about improving yourself, arrogance is about proving yourself.
  • Even in your toughest times, always remember to ask: “What’s funny about this?”

Keith Ferazzi, Author: Never Eat Alone

  • The difference between the millennial generation and all others is transparency. We share, we communicate, we build relationships on honesty. That defines the businesses we build and the ideas we pursue. 
  • 50% of Americans say no one has their back. 60% of those peeps are married. Identify 3 people in your life that have your back and keep them close.

Russel Simons, Entrepreneur 

  •  ”I dont do shit before I meditate”
  • Success is built on Faith and resilience.
  • Good givers are great getters.
  • If women were empowered, we would not have oil problems or meat manufacturing problems. The world would be incredibly different.
  • The peace inducing and powerful ideas behind "twining".
  • You learn so much more from struggling than ease.
  • Doesn’t matter how big your mansion, you can only sit your ass in one seat at a time.

Questlove, from The Roots

  • "I survive creative tsunamis"
  • "I’m an example of how I used the Internet as my life raft"

Marc geiger, co-founder Lollapalooza, Head of Music WME

  • "Record labels are going to be more important and profitable than ever… Once they get out of this troph of shit." 

Peter Thiel, co-founder paypal, early investor facebook

  • Stressful education experiences in high school and college prevent long term thinking. The Stop Out fund for 20 under 20.
  • A great place to start with someone new: tell me something that you believe that few people agree with you on.
  • Facebook in 5 years: over 1.3 billion active users.

M. Sanjayan, Lead Scientist, The Nature Conservancy 

  • If you learn that you’re going to die by drowning one day, would you learn to swim? 

Gary Vaynerchuk, VaynerMedia

  • Caring, for the first time, is scalable.

Peter Diamandis, Founder X-Prize Foundation

  • The best way to predict the future is to do it yourself.
  • The end of scarcity is here.
  • Upcoming X-Prize missions: The Tricorder - a handheld AI doctor.

Shai Agassi, founder Better Place

  • How do you end gasoline? Digitaze the car industry by taking the biz model of cell phones and apply it to the automotive industry.

Leslie Bradshow, Co-founder Jess3

  • The not-so-subtle ways of Entrepreneur Homophily.

Ant Demby, founder humbleRIOT

  • "always hella profesh"

Gabby Bernstein, Author, ~ing

The Summit Series organizers

  • We are building a social sculpture; Summit Series is social architecture. 

Very amped to see what Summit pulls off next…