It’s nice to get a present during the holidays when you’re not expecting one and that’s what happened to me. On my way to IKEA last Friday, I checked my work email and saw a something a bit strange, “You won the GA + Getaround giveaway!!”
Several questions went through my mind including — What was this? What did I win? Was this legit?
As I read the email from Paul Gleger, New Markets Producer at General Assembly, I realized this was on the level and I had won an all expense paid trip to Tahoe for New Year’s Eve! Wow! My heart skipped a few beats and I told myself to calm down and reread it. Yup. Free trip. Hotel room at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. Car from Getaround. Champagne. Bring three friends.
Yes, I made a video:
Concerned YouTube fans warned me to be careful as it could be a fake contest. Don’t worry, it’s real.
Now my origional plan was to stay home and do geeky stuff like repair the LCD lens on my Canon T2i. As a self-proclaimed nerd, I’m so over the whole New Year’s Eve party bash thing. Everyone promises if you go to their event it will be a night you will never forget. Unfortunately this has meant cramped night clubs, sad looking buffets and rail drinks with a skimpy champagne toast at midnight. When you’re young, it’s fun to seek out the best party. I was lucky and spent 1999 in New York City seeing the ball drop in Times Square for 2000. This year was going to be a quiet one of reflection until this email arrived.
In case you’re not familiar with the companies who gave me this awesome prize, allow me to explain:
General Assembly provides classes and workshops on technology, business and design topics for working professionals. They started in New York City and are now expanding to San Francisco, Las Vegas, Boston, Berlin, London, Hong Kong, Sydney and more so make sure you get signed up to get notified. Their classes are affordable and range from evening classes like the Hands-on introduction to Wireframes and How API’s work to courses that last several weeks like Intro to Rails and User Experience Design.
Getaround solves the problem of too many cars sitting around in the United States not being used. It allows owners to rent their cars out to others. You can choose hourly, daily or weekly. They received a lot of exposure at TechCrunch Disrupt when they launched few years ago featuring everything from low cost to luxury cars.
General Assembly and Getaround have reserved this awesome 2011 Nissan Rogue AWD for the drive up. I’ve actually rented this vehicle before for a work event down in Palo Alto. At $70/day and instant unlock with my smartphone, it’s faster than a regular car and cheaper than Zipcar.
Are certain people more lucky? Are there techniques to winning contests? I did win an iPhone at a conference and personally do feel that I am a lucky person. I also wrote a blog post on winning online contests as well after winning several things in 2009. It’s important to look at the contest rules, decide if you’re going to be committed to win and then execute. Random drawings excluded, many things in our lives are like contests including dating, getting a job and finding a place to live. Start with an optimistic attitude that you’re going to win. People will feel that and you just may win something!
That said, I’m super excited and have my friends all ready to go! I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year’s tonight and may 2013 bring you prosperity, success, wisdom and good health!