Life, Love, and Purpose Down on the Farm

Great story, beautiful location and home. That’s the kind of spot I want to put my home on.

The Foolish Crowd

Are you willing to be foolish in order to do work that matters? Are you willing to fail? To be honest with others? Are you willing to create something even when life is still messy? Are you willing to take risks? Are you willing to put your work out there even when you’re afraid it might not work? Are you willing to try something different than what everyone else is doing because your gut says “why not”? Are you willing to make space in your schedule so you can show up and create something every day?

In our heart, we say, “Yes!” Then we tell ourselves we’ll start tomorrow.

Most of us want to do work that matters. But most of us don’t want to be foolish. At least, not right now. Or, we’re okay with being foolish so long as it’s calculated, planned out, polished, and then distilled down to the lowest common denominator until it’s so insipid it couldn’t possibly be confused as foolishly original.

It was really appropriate that I read this last night, because it really echoes what I’ve been thinking about for the past few weeks. I’ve been mulling over a job offer as we unpack into our new home. What I really want to do is take the risk and spend a couple month’s working full time on Outshape. But it’s a huge risk. Lauren’s income will be limited until she can get more clients.

It’s not just the financial risk that concerns me, it’s what everyone else thinks. I try so hard to only answer to God and my wife. If someone doesn’t like what I’m doing, then that’s their problem. But it’s hard not to hear family constantly saying “but it’s a job” and feel like it’s what I should do.

I may not have another shot to take this risk. The App Store is a tough place to be successful. I have so many doubts and fears, but I badly want to make a run at it. In a few months I may be desperate for a job, and I’m ready to deal with that if we get there. I haven’t quite made a final decision but I will soon. And regardless I will continue to be open to the right job offer if it comes along. For now, I might just be ready to be foolish.

The Old House at Home

Fascinating. I love places like this. I just wish they could be visited without be surrounded by other tourists. I was amazed that it existed as described, until I realized it was a story from 1940.

On Black History Month and Empathy

So today, listen to someone else’s story. Ask good questions. Ask hard questions. Attempt to let go of your own perspective for a moment and get lost in someone else’s life that’s different from your own. Empathize. Be a better human.

I married a good one.

Last Day

My last day at ESPN has finally arrived. It’s been a pretty incredible 3+ years for me. I moved from Knoxville to Seattle to Orlando. I’ve gotten married. I got cats...

Now we move onto the next season of life and I’m filled with both excitement and terror. I’m excited to be moving home to the city that I love in Knoxville. But I’m taking a little bit of a plunge as I continue to search for the right job while I work on Outshape and keep sending Three Things Weekly. It is terrifying. But I believe in myself, I have a wife who believes in me, and I trust God and I can’t wait to see what happens.

Voluntary Simplicity

Voluntary simplicity, or simple living, is a way of life that rejects the high-consumption, materialistic lifestyles of consumer cultures and affirms what is often just called ‘the simple life’ or ‘downshifting.’ The rejection of consumerism arises from the recognition that ordinary Western-style consumption habits are degrading the planet; that lives of high consumption are unethical in a world of great human need; and that the meaning of life does not and cannot consist in the consumption or accumulation of material things. Extravagance and acquisitiveness are accordingly considered an unfortunate waste of life, certainly not deserving of the social status and admiration they seem to attract today. The affirmation of simplicity arises from the recognition that very little is needed to live well – that abundance is a state of mind, not a quantity of consumer products or attainable through them.

This is a concept that has been on my mind a lot lately. As we plan our move and I see the amount of crap we accumulate, I can’t help but think we need a better strategy when it comes to the goods we acquire. When I was trying to write out a personal manifesto in my journal, one of the things I landed on that was important to me was my use of goods and resources. Here are the bullet points:

  • Actively looking for ways to reduce my waste
  • Only keep things that are frequently useful, or which I like to look at
  • Think more carefully when acquiring new things about sustainability, utility, and aesthetic value

This ‘simple living’ doesn’t mean buying cheap stuff. In fact, to me it means the opposite in many cases. I want to acquire less stuff, but I want it to be higher quality. I want to buy things that last and that I enjoy seeing in my home.

Mass Production and Mass Media

Produce for a micro market.

Market to a micro market.

When someone wants to know how big you can make (your audience, your market share, your volume), it might be worth pointing out that it's better to be important, to be in sync, to be the one that's hard to be replaced. And the only way to be important is to be relevant, focused and specific.

More and more it’s possible to be successful in media without being successful in the mass media. Fame and audiences more niche heavy. Find your 1,000 true fans and you can be successful.

The Great SIM Heist - How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle

Depressing news of the day. The NSA hacked a SIM card producer and they’re now easily decrypting your communications. Is there a way to arrest the people responsible for crap like this?

The town without WiFi or cellular service

I’m not sure what’s more interesting, this town or the fact that it seems so antiquated. Also, that rectangle for the quiet zone seems incredibly large.

Leaving ESPN

Just over three years ago, I was doing a little freelancing and working on an idea for a fantasy football site I had. I’d spent the year applying to jobs, occasionally landing interviews, and always getting turned down. I saw the “We’re Hiring” link on my ESPN Fantasy Football clubhouse, and figured why not?

A month later I was sitting next to Jerry Rice on a bus to get my rental car for my interview. Within a week, I was hired at ESPN as a web developer in the League Manager group. I moved across the country to Seattle and immediately got to work helping to build Fantasy Football for iPad.

ESPN was the first company to actually give me the chance to show what I’m capable of. And I like to think they don’t regret it. I’ve been able to contribute to some incredible projects in my time here, and in the process I’ve learned a shit ton about what it takes to develop a large scale web application.

Now the time has come for me to leave ESPN. My wife and I have been looking for a while at moving home to Knoxville, Tennessee and we’re finally able to make that happen. While we’re incredibly excited about it, we’re a bit melancholy about having to leave the company that has given me so much.

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to get to work here. I’m thankful for the incredible and talented group of people I got to work with. I got to experience the other side of the interview table, and I got to experience not being excited about a candidate, only to realize once they were hired how fucking wrong I was (This is why I’m incredibly sympathetic to the many “no’s” I’ve received).

When my then fiancée started grad school in Orlando, my manager and superiors were awesome and worked hard to make it possible for me to move and work from Florida while staying in my current role. When I told them I wanted to move to Knoxville, they did everything they could to make it happen but it just wasn’t in the cards. I’m so thankful for all of those efforts and the appreciation they showed.

ESPN and Disney are fantastic organizations that appreciate their employees and reward them for good work. I will certainly miss the magic that both provide. More than that I will miss the many people I’ve worked with that make that magic possible. I have no doubt that my team will continue to do awesome work without me. I like to think part of me will stick around there (and not just a few poorly named variables and accidentally committed debugger statements). I’m positive that a part of ESPN and Disney will always be with me.

My only regret is that my coworkers will no longer have someone around to constantly remind them that the SEC is superior to all other forms of sport.

I don’t yet know what my next thing will be. I’m pondering a few options. I will keep sending my newsletter. I hope to launch Outshape in the coming months. And I'm really dying to get into a little podcasting. If you want to work together on something, let me know!