Mr. Independent

My buddy Stephen announced he was going independent today. Let me just take this internet armor off for a minute to say I’m so proud of Stephen. He’s poured himself into his writing and podcasting for years now as a side gig and he’s finally able to take it full time. I have immense respect for the amount of hard work and dedication I know Stephen put into getting himself prepared to sustain the independent career. It’s not easy to be steadfast in saying no to so many things so you can say yes to the the long term goal. Speaking as someone who has similar long term goals of going independent I’m proof that sticking with it is difficult [1]. Stephen joins Shawn Blanc, Myke Hurley, Marco Arment, Jason Snell and many others in proving that if you put in the effort and continually invest in your craft it is possible to live sustainably doing so.

512 Pixels 2015 T-Shirt

Ok, now that all of the feels are out it’s time to help support Stephen’s independent career in the best way possible; buying a t-shirt! I’ll leave it to Stephen to describe the thought behind the design.

The quote on the back of the shirt comes from the original Macintosh unveiling in January 1984. After an impressive multimedia demo, the computer spoke:

Hello. I am Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that bag.

Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I’d like to share with you a maxim I thought of the first time I met an IBM mainframe: Never trust a computer you can’t lift!

Obviously, I can talk, but right now I’d like to sit back and listen. So, it is with considerable pride that I introduce a man who’s been like a father to me … Steve Jobs!

In so many ways, this single demonstration explains almost everything about Apple. Take good technology, infuse it with something special and you’ll end up with a great product that can change the lives of its users.

  1. 6 months between posts is bonkers. My Illiad length post that explores why it happened is currently being drafted.  ↩


As much as I enjoy Merlin Mann as a podcaster, this piece he published last night reminds me how I first fell in love with his writing.

And, even nine goddamned years after I’d left Ohio and improbably found myself in a pretty good college in Florida, I still craved the Reds cap that I thought was worthy of my childhood.

Then, one day—maybe 1988—I was at at sporting goods store in Tampa and I saw my Rosebud. A gorgeous and worthy and seemingly authentic Reds cap that brooked no mesh nor foam nor notch dingus. A classic 7⅛″ felt cap with authentic stitching and the humbly round shape that befits a journeyman megafan.

Just go read it and try to suppress that lump in your throat when you do. I hope this is a sign of more to come.

Write for Yourself, Edit for Your Reader

To pull the curtain back just a little, oftentimes the thing which most keeps me from writing is a fear of putting my own narcissism out on display for all to see. So often my first draft is little more than my own self-centered view of the world — a world where I sit at the center. This is not the world I am trying to build up, but when writing, how can any of us write about anything else but what we know and what we have heard? We write about what we know and what we feel. We write from our own soul and our own heart and we share what we’ve seen through our own eyes and what we’ve heard through our own ears. We write from the inside out.

Such great perspective from Shawn Blanc. One of my goals this year is to write more and fear is easily one of the biggest reasons things don't make their way onto the page.

Jason Snell is Everywhere

Jason Snell recently left MacWorld and looks to be flying solo. I’m stoked for Jason and look forward to continuing to see his talents unfold upon the world in new and exciting ways. He’s porting the Clockwise podcast to Relay FM along with starting a new show with Myke Hurley called Upgrade for which episode one dropped today. Today Jason launched Six Colors, his new outlet for writing. Reading the about page of Six Colors I found myself locked in tandem with Jason’s simple explanation for his love of Apple.

I’ve been using Apple’s products since I was in elementary school. And it has defined my professional life, too, since I’ve been writing about it for two decades. Apple will always be a part of me. I am one of those people who bleeds in six colors.

While I’m not a journalist, Apple is a part of me and will be forever. It’s where I met my wife, where I got fired[1] for the first time in my life and it’s the backdrop for why my profession is comprised of circuit boards and pixels instead of sauce pans and filet knives. The excerpt above is just one example of Jason’s immense talents. He’s able to hone in on something so apparent and write about it succinctly with emotional weight that’s not distracting. I’m also thrilled that he’s on his own in bringing those talents to the world without any corporate filter or distractions. I highly encourage you to subscribe to his podcasts and the Six Colors RSS feed, follow Six Colors on Twitter and read Jason’s final byline for MacWorld.

  1. Oh, that draft is just begging to be published  ↩

The Spark Journal

Chris Gonzales just re-launched his site and wrote a bit about what prompted it. Being that this is timed right as I'm chipping away at planning Course Code's direction I couldn't be more in tune with what Chris's goal is with The Spark Journal (RIP Unretrofied).

What I care about are the people who make things, and I care about helping people who struggle to make their thing. I want to write in a way that inspires others to do awesome stuff rather than drifting through a dreary rat-race life. I want to tell better stories. I want to try new things. As Chase Reeves might put it, I want to do things that are matterful.

I'm excited to see what Chris has yet to share and have a little more wind in my sails as I define what Course Code is exactly. Stay tuned.