Projects & About

About Steve

Hi. I’m Steve.

Contact: My email is

About: I was born in ’92. I’m a photographer, traveler, and entrepreneur, but I do lots of other things, too.

I’m an explorer, aerial cinematographer, online marketing enthusiast, learning researcher, and people connector.

I learn so much from everyone I meet.

I’m based in Colorado. I grew up in Monument. The mountains will always be home and family is here.

I frequent SF, LA, and NYC. I walk like I was born in Manhattan, I drive like I was born in Santa Monica, and I work like I was born in Palo Alto – always coding, systematizing, and automating. I’m impatient and ambitious in many different ways – for better or worse.

My motivating forces are simple: I want to make adventures wherever I go, be happy by choice, dream big because it works, and practice helping people understand each other better.

I know that my life is best when the people around me are having fun and getting every opportunity they want. There’s nothing more fulfilling than meaningful work in collaboration with good friends.

There are three things I want to do most: Take pictures, learn cool things, and change the world for the better.

Why “change the world?” It’s not because I want to be famous or rich (that would be cool though). I’m an ambitious lunatic because I see the world changing around me at an incredible pace and want to be a positive part of those changes. It’d be a shame not to at least try, right?

Okay. So now you know 2 things about me: I live in Colorado, I have an odd list of projects. What else is important?

Well, I’m also wrong.

I’m wrong almost all the time.

If you asked me “Steve, do you really think you’re a lunatic?” I’d chuckle uncomfortably and say, “No, that’s an exaggeration, but it gets the idea across.”

See? You’ve been reading my autobiography for 30 seconds and I’ve already been wrong.

How embarrasing. You’d think I’d be qualified to write my own bio.

I often exaggerate facts and figures to catch people’s attention – and I only get along well with the people brave enough to call me on it and ask me to clarify & specify.

Many people are too shy to catch me in what they think is a lie, but I don’t lie. I’m a scientist who’s learned sales. An engineer with amazing discoveries to pitch you. I always have data behind my words but I prefer to excite people’s curiosity first. Ask me and challenge me if you want details! That said, there are many things I just don’t know.

Because I’m (almost) always a little bit wrong, my hobbies include:

  • Soliciting negative feedback
  • Going where I don’t belong to ask questions
  • Starting constructive (if uncomfortable) conversations about disagreements

That might sound a little crazy, but it works quite well! Being comfortable being wrong makes it much easier to become a better person.

Testing my assumptions helps me learn and improve faster. There’s nothing that slows down learning quite like thinking you’re right about something. This is why the scientific method works so well.

Just so this bio doesn’t get too weird, my other hobbies include sleeping in, thinking my political views are right, wishing I had more time to read, going to midnight premieres of sci-fi movies. I can only ever eat about half of the popcorn I buy.

I have set to automatically redirect to so I don’t get distracted by my news feed.

I habitually order hot chocolate when I don’t know what to get at fancy coffee shops. I’m trying to change that habit to a cappuccino or mocha because I think it will make me seem more cultured.

Questions you should ask me:

(I want to write blog posts about these)

Steve, what is “mapmaking” and why is it the title of your blog?
Why do you keep turning down job offers?
How can I create community and get involved in my city?
How can I build a business without any debt or outside investment?
Why did you build a company to help people study abroad?
What happened to your study abroad company?
Do you really think travel is that important?
Where can I learn more about money?
Why are subscription business models catching on?
What do you think about sustainability?
What do you think about revolutionizing education?

I call my blog “Mapmaking.” I try to be less wrong by “making better maps” of the world and everything in it. I’m never expecting to ever be “right” because all I’m making is maps.

Not terrain maps like the one above. Idea maps.

I find that leaving behind normative terms like “right” and “wrong” is very helpful for having productive conversations. When you’re making maps, constant revision is part of the game. You become very familiar with your own inaccuracies.

At best, you’ve made a good map. It will need to be updated even if it’s perfect now. You can’t be right if you’re just a cartographer.

But you can be wrong and that’s what matters. Being wrong is where learning begins.

I’d like you to join me.

Help me make better maps.

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Here are the main things I’m working on.



Lander Media

Lander started out in 2014 as a hobby – a personal outlet for me to make money on the side when I was running a doomed study abroad company. My friends and I did aerial video & timelapse projects. Now, years later the contractors I’m lucky to work with and I run a full service agency that does what we call “story engineering” – whether it’s a 3 minute video or an entire sales funnel, we’ll take your story and make sure it works for you to generate profit. I have an entire twitter thread about it.

When people who are curious enough to be engineers take on marketing projects, the whole marketing mystery gets simplified dramatically: We find your lifetime customer value, we calculate how much a new customer costs you to aquire, and then we tweak and test your internal processes and sales content until you can spend predictably on marketing as much as you want to scale. It’s not that difficult, but it’s rare.

Visit http://Lander.MediaLike Lander on Facebook

Check out Lander on Instagram!

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      I’m the curator and organizer of TEDxColoradoSprings. This means I pick the speakers. I pick all of them the same way: I invite them to fill out the “apply to be a speaker” link on our website, linked below, and everyone goes through the same audition process, the same way no matter if you’re an Olympian, the homeless guy who screams really loud at 8:30 am in downtown Colorado Springs most mornings, former White House staff, or even Elon Musk’s mom.

      I’m very lucky to work with a dedicated team of dozens of volunteers and hundreds of former and future speakers to make this event a mind–blowing, life-changing, assumptions-testing, idea-generating MACHINE. Check us out:

      Visit http://TEDxCOS.orgLike Lander on Facebook



      The extra things I don’t spent much time on, but which you might find fascinating!



      I want to be able to refer people to a single place for everything I do.
      So, (also redirects from features:

      • A simple link to contact me by email:
      • A way to dive into what I’m learning
      • A list of my most important projects (which you’re reading now)
      • Links to everything I do on the internet (see the footer of any page)


      The Map Making Blog

      The blog is a place for me to post ideas, tools, book notes, resources, and updates of all kinds. I also guest post various places around the internet.

      You can read my work on Medium here.

      This blog is my way of learning through teaching. Did you know that’s the best way to learn?

      See The BlogFollow My Publication On Medium



      Find me around the rest of the internet.