May the next four years be boring.
"For a cautionary tale, everyone cites Paul Bradley Carr." - THE SUNDAY TIMES
A little late to post this – a whole month in fact – but in my defense I was finishing a book and watching a coup d’etat.
So, yes, on December 7th I turned 41. Forty fucking one. I’ve been writing this blog – on one platform or another – for almost two decades. It’s incredible, looking back at those early posts, at how much abuse I habitually subjected my body to. The drinking, obviously, but also the constantly shifting sleep schedule, the junk food, the lack of exercise. Even thinking about it today gives me acid reflux.
Luckily I spent most of my 39th year – the year before the pandemic ruined everything – getting into shape. As I’ve written here before, I started going to Orange Theory and re-discovered Soul Cycle. I started eating better and doing yoga. As a result, I entered lockdown feeling pretty great, and it took a full three months for it to all go completely to shit.
Earlier this week I went for a run for the first time in months and it nearly killed me. I’m about 14lbs fatter than I should be, and my daily calorie consumption is a joke. We’re all in the same boat, of course — in fact many are in a far, far worse boat.…
Business Insider just published an exclusive(!) story about something very exciting that I’ve been working on for a few months.
The article is behind a paywall but here’s the headline and nutgraf…
EXCLUSIVE: Former TechCrunch and Pando journalist Paul Carr is starting a new publication to keep tech CEOs ‘awake at night’
In the months after [Carr] left Pando, he saw Palantir’s CEO admit to helping ICE deport undocumented immigrants, and Hootsuite terminate its contract with the same government agency amidst intense public scrutiny. Susan Fowler published her book detailing Uber’s toxic culture in February, and, a few months later, Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout protesting their company’s decision to not regulate President Trump’s posts on the platform.
This “relentless drumbeat” of events, as Carr described it, was what pushed him back into journalism—this time as the creator of a new tech publication called Tech Worker.
Techworker is a passion project – assembled during the tiny amount of free time I have while working on NeedHop – to provide a platform for stories for and about tech workers, aka the most powerful workforce on earth.
I’m beyond excited to be working on the project with a who’s who of whistleblowers, activists, journalists, organizers and general badasses, many of whom are already legendary for their work in holding big tech ceos and companies accountable for their behavior.…
I heard the news about Tony Hsieh last night by text message. The latest in a years-long string of texts about Tony, sent by various mutual friends in Las Vegas.
Tony just bought the Ferguson Hotel.
Tony is turning Zappos into a Holacracy.
Tony is starting an airline.
Tony just turned Ferguson into a Airstream trailer park.
Tony is leaving the Ogden.
Tony just invested in the Las Vegas Knights.
Tony has a pet alpaca now.
Tony is moving into his trailer park.
Zappos is abandoning Holacracy.
I think Tony just bought a mountain.
Tony just quit Zappos!
Tony is apparently buying up half of Park City.
And then last night…
Tony Hsieh is dead.
I went straight to Twitter. Of course I did. And already my feed was packed with tributes to Tony. Everyone – everyone – had a Tony story to share. How he’d backed their company when no-one else would, how he’d helped them find a vegan restaurant during a trip to Vegas, or stayed up all night to give them a ride to the airport, or sent a delightful email about some missing shoes.
Even people who never met Tony had a Tony story – how his book had changed their life, or a chance encounter with the man had inspired them to build a better company.…
9:30am in San Francisco. Smoke has blotted out the sun. Month six of the plague. Locusts scheduled for noon. Maybe a frog blizzard.
This is Tom Coates’ fault.
A few weeks ago, Tom’s blog – Plasticbag.org – suddenly reappeared on my RSS reader. In that moment, I was whisked a dozen years back in time.
Back to 2008 when Tom’s blog, along with Zoe’s and Ruth’s and Tim’s and Markos’ and scores more I’ve forgotten, was on my list of essential daily reads.
2008, the year I sold all my possessions and moved full-time into hotels and began blogging in earnest to an audience of many six friends and twelve enemies and a dog. About my travels, the writing of my first real book, my various hirings and firings at the Guardian and the Telegraph and my eventual arrival at TechCrunch. 2008 was the year I first met Sarah.
Seeing Tom’s blog suddenly reawaken prompted me to dig out all those old posts, which for some reason I’d kept, archived in a big xml file on a plastic USB stick. I expected to find all of it very embarrassing, and I wasn’t disappointed. 2008 was still two years before I got sober and in the gaps between posts I got flashbacks of two day hangovers and police cells and beastly behavior towards good people who didn’t deserve any of it.…
A crazy couple of days, but wanted to take a few minutes to shout out our incredible team at NeedHop.
A few months ago we had an idea for a platform to help people connect one-on-one to solve their shared problems.
A week ago we submitted our app to the App Store. We imagined folks would use it to help each other through chronic health problems, addiction, relationship and work challenges etc etc.
Fast forward just seven days later and we’re living in a different world. A world in which the cutesy question we put at the top of the NeedHop app – “What’s your problem?” – seems faintly ridiculous.
Today we all have the same problem, and it’s a pretty fucking scary one.
A better question is “What do you need right now?”
To that end, yesterday I had a call with the team to figure out how NeedHop should react to the current crisis. Specifically how we can apply all the incredible engineering, product, design talent we have in house (and the venture capital money we have in the bank) to helping people get through this crisis.
A few minutes into the call it was clear we were all on the same page: Now and for the foreseeable future NeedHop needs to shift from being an app that helps people connect over shared experience to one that says “NO SERIOUSLY, WHAT DOES YOUR FAMILY NEED RIGHT THIS MOMENT?”…