Chris Michel, the founder of Military.com and Affinity Labs, is a well-known entrepreneur and investor. He is also an accomplished photographer and someone whom I call my photography guru. He is one of the quiet success stories in Silicon Valley, and his journey is chock-a-block of lessons. Michel sits on the boards of Dale Carnegie, Catchlight, Kixeye, and 3D Robotics.
His photos have appeared in the National Geographic, the Smithsonian, the New York Times, the BBC, Outside Magazine and others. His “Flying Emperor” photograph was the 2nd place finisher in the 2014 Wikipedia Picture of the Year. We share a love for Leica and its beautiful lenses and often go out to make photos.
After months of arm-twisting, I finally convinced Chris to sit down and tell me his story — his journey in life, his time in the U.S. Navy, his move to Silicon Valley and why he loves photography. We dig deeper into the meaning of life, accomplishment and how to reframe ourselves in a world that is framed by false proxies of success — money and fame.
There is so much I learned about him during this conversation, even though we meet for coffee every two weeks. I was moved to tears, and so inspired by our tête-à-tête. Have a listen –you will be glad you did.
March 2nd, 2018, San Francisco