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On My Mind: Nate Allen, self-proclaimed geek

On My Mind, Nate Allen. Allen writes a blog called Mock Crunch.

“I would never go back to a corporate day job. … I’m used to a job where you wear lots of hats.”


Self-proclaimed geek, with a passion

Dork pride. KC native Nate Allen has that and more. Being a geek, dork or nerd means you are passionate about something, Allen declares. He happens to be crazy about computers. The typical corporate cubicle doesn’t agree with the 27-year-old, who freelances from his sofa most days on start-up computer projects. Some of his start-ups have morphed into much bigger adventures, such as co-founding Vicinity Games (makers of Papercraft on the Xbox 360) or co-nerding 4firstnames.com, a company that specializes in interactive data. Allen also helps organize KC’s Startup Weekend events twice a year, is host of KC Video Game Developers Meetup, writes a satirical tech news blog called MockCrunch and participates in weekly KC Geek Nights.

Special to Ink

“I got my geeky-ness from my Dad. He happened to know about computers and would get calls from aunts and uncles who couldn’t fix theirs. Now I do that, too.”

“I learned about computers by playing around with them. Most people just use them as a tool, but I want to break them apart and see what they can do.”

“You have to have a team. Part of being a freelancer or being involved with start-ups is knowing when you can hack it out on your own and when you can’t.”

“Sometimes the home office concept is confusing for clients. They assume you’re going back to a typical desk to do projects, so describing my day-to-day is difficult. People have to look at my portfolio to really know what I do..”

“I’ve been a computer geek since a child. I’m a self-taught developer with a philosophy degree.”

“Freelancing has its ups and downs. There are times when you have no idea how you are going to find the time to get everything done and times when you have to focus on passion projects to fill the day.”

“I kept waiting for a time to celebrate. Our first big project at 4firstnames.com was my first freelance gig. It wasn’t until the money was in the bank that I could breathe.”

“There’s a whole community of geeks in Kansas City. Some of them have corporate day jobs. Some are from the marketing world. Some are into social media. It’s good to get together to say, ‘Here’s what I would do about that.’ ”


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