Thirty

Four years ago, I published Twenty Six. Here’s how it started:

Birthdays are when you can’t ignore the big, scary questions that usually lurk in the background. Today I turn 26, and I’m leaving my job.

Apparently history does rhyme, because last weekend I turned 30 and, again, I’m leaving my job!

Why? As much as I love the Substack team and mission, my skills just aren’t what the company needs right now. When I first started working with them a year ago, my mandate, more or less, was to crank out features. I’m a much better product manager and entrepreneur than I am software engineer, but I’m decently good at engineering, so we made it work. For a time. But gradually it became clear that this arrangement wasn’t the best for either Substack or me, so we decided to part ways.

This is obviously a bummer and not what we were hoping for, but it’s the best move for everyone. And, honestly, I am really excited to build something new :)

So, what’s next? I’m taking some time to explore. But there are some themes I’m particularly interested in working on:

  1. News that makes it easier to find out what actually happened

  2. Pre-seed funding that gives founders more control over their destiny

  3. Education that gives students control over what they want to learn

If that sounds interesting to you, stay in touch! I’ll write more about these over the coming days and weeks. I’d also love to hear from you if you’re working on something similar, or have ideas. Reach out!

The thing all these themes have in common is they’re all an extension of the core mission that motivates all of my work that I laid out in my post about winding down Hardbound:

I want to use technology and storytelling to help people widen their perspective, deepen their empathy, and sharpen their knowledge.

I don’t know what happens next. Having no immediate plan is deeply calming and stressful at the same time, somehow. But I’m excited to take some time I should have taken after Hardbound to think and explore, and I’m practically chomping at the bit to build something new again :)

Stay tuned!

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