Here, today, I return to the world of blog writing. With this initial post let me give some why, what, and how. Or why I want to blog, what I hope you get out of this and lastly I’ll take a moment to talk about what I’m using to create and serve this blog.

Inspiration

I’m a huge admirer of Basecamp and their associated Signal v Noise blog. They have strong opinions on software, work, and running a business. I recently heard an interview with co-founder Jason Fried where he talked about writing blog posts. The act of writing a post is not so much a search for perfection. Rather it’s a quick moment to share your thoughts in a conversational way with readers. Conversational, in this case, doesn’t necessarily mean familiar or informal. It just means that you don’t have to be overly worried about the product. Conversations aren’t scripted they flow naturally; some are memorable and some awkward. Good posts rise and crappy posts will be forgotten in a few days. I’ve always loved blogging but have been hindered by placing too great an emphasis on craft and not enough on simply getting my thoughts down, outside of my head, and into the world.

What I’m offering the reader

I plan on posting about three specific things:

  1. Resources that I would have liked to have when solving a specific challenge. Too often we discount our own learning curve, assuming that the knowledge we struggled to acquire brought us up to par with some predefined status quo. The exact opposite is true. When we struggle through a particular problem it actually elevates us beyond what most other people are willing to do (especially if there aren’t already a thousand answers on StackOverflow). It doesn’t make one an expert pre se but there is something qualifying in the struggle itself. When I started using Sketch I wanted to make a sprocket icon and couldn’t find any tutorials on how to do it (there were dozens for Illustrator) so after I completed it I made a little video. This was as much for me as anyone else. That sort of learn, teach, rinse and repeat cycle (see also pt 2) is what I hope to provide with this blog. I code mostly in JavaScript and Ruby so I’ll be writing about those languages a lot but I’ll talk about anything else I’ve struggled with or find interesting.

  2. Thoughts on design and startups. At the moment, I’m not a great designer or a great entrepreneur, nor am I super far into a specific career. As valuable as learning from someone who has succeeded in the struggle (pt. 1) it can also be equally valuable to see the struggles of others as they happen. Like how listeners to StartUp watched Alex Blumberg take Gimlet Media from little more than an idea to its ultimate acquisition by Spotify some five years later. By sharing my thoughts on design hopefully I’ll be able to gain a more critical eye and you will too.

  3. Shameless self promotion. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Almost everything I post will be tangentially or directly related to what I’m working on right now. I’m excited about what I make but not always good about sharing it. Hopefully you’ll dig my projects too.

A technical note

I’m managing this blog with Jekyll and letting GitHub pages do all the heavy lifting of generation and deployment. All I have to do is post markdown files tothis repository and GitHub will essentially do the rest. I don’t love the lack of drafts or the overall look of GitHub as a blogging platform but I draft my posts in Bear so it’s not a big deal. Someday I’ll explain why I jumped ship from WordPress, skipped over Ghost (which I love) and went this route.

Like everything else, this blog is an evolving experiment none of the above is legally binding (thank goodness). As time goes on I will be adding features and improving design elements. Subscribe and watch this happen.