Shutting down Input has enabled me to look at my career and next steps from a different light. I spent time on Twitter looking for business connections, news and new opinions on products… but I’ve found that it’s just a cesspool of people that are trying to grab attention by any means.
I don’t think it’s completely Twitter’s fault—it’s just a mirror of human behavior. At this point, I’ve moved the app from my phone into a dark corner where I probably won’t be checking it again. I guess Twitter was becoming a negative experience because it became closely tied to the work I did—fund raising, networking, staying at the bleeding edge of opinions and news.
I didn’t realize how much anxiety a product like Twitter could cause. At this point, it’s pretty old (as an app), and I’ve not only lost interest in it, I actually associate it with negativity and a network that I don’t care to keep up with. It’s probably why I’ve moved most of my writing and thoughts back to my blog.
There’s something nice about having a place to publish something without being judged. In fact, I removed all the comments and social features from my blog for a long time, and I prefer it this way. I still wish I could get fresh inspiration, but I’d like to filter out all the garbage.
I don’t need to stress myself out with solving that problem either. For now, I’m just subtracting Twitter from the diet. It offers very little nutritional value and it leaves a terrible after taste.
As I create more YouTube videos, I find myself looking at the analytics… trying to understand what people want to watch. Sometimes it’s a painful reality to see drop in views in a particular part of video—maybe it’s because they don’t care about my opinion or I’m getting boring. I found that most drops happen when I have longer shots of a landscape… which is a bummer, because that’s what I like the most.
But I think that I’m going to keep creating the content I want, rather than be a slave to the attention economy. I will certainly create content that will cater to YouTube, but I also want to continue making my own kind of videos to document my life. I think there’s more value in having videos to watch later on in life than having tons of people watch my videos.
In a world where every app is fighting for seconds of your attention, I think I need to be careful about playing into creating content that is only curated to grab attention. Yes, it’s important to retain viewers, but it’s more important to have a way to express myself and explore.
Here are some screenshots of a hike I did with Annie at Blackhill Regional Park a few weeks ago. The lighting is kind of crap because there was a ton of overcast,but we still really enjoyed it. We actually ended up finding a nice wild flower bed along the hike. Here are some stills pulled from the video:
We’re almost done shutting down Input.com. In a conversation with one of the partners at Expa, he gave me some really good insight about how they build things. Many products that he and the other partners have built required timing and luck (in addition to many other things), but emphasized that their studio builds things differently.
As an example, Uber wouldn’t launch well today (with the current way things are with covid, etc)… but several years ago, it was a brilliant idea. The same thing goes with Twitter—the introduction of the iPhone and mobile devices enable twitter to be a mobile/social platform, and it may not have worked if it was launched a couple years earlier.
Expa builds things differently… it’s closer to making music. For some people, it’s frustrating because it’s hard to tie things to a metric or a process. Sometimes things work, and sometimes things fail. But ultimately, Garrett wants to build certain things and will be so persistent that it will come to life somehow. This is a very different approach—so much that it was the original reason why I was attracted to Expa many years ago.
They had a partners meeting recently, and I can tell you that I felt so much creative and positive energy coming from my conversations with one of the partners. As I shut down one thing, I feel so many other doors open. Not just for opportunity in terms of career, but as a person who wants to build and create things that should exist (because we simply believe they should). There is something special about that process, and there’s a gravity to it.
I’m not sure exactly what my next steps are, but I feel more free than I ever have with my work and life. More on this later. For now, I just wanted to remind you that positive energy is something you can’t fake… and it feels good to be around it.
Yep, that’s a photo of Taro’s new favorite spot in the house. You’ll also notice that we installed some nice new curtains as well. It’s a project that has taken me several months to get to, and I’m finally getting it all done.
Even thought I’m not working on Input or any major projects right now, I find myself extremely busy taking some personal time off. Over the last few days, I’ve worked on YouTube videos (for both myself and Annie), worked out, returned a ton of stuff to Amazon, explored new parks, mowing the lawn, cleaning parts of the house, and I even installed some more curtains. It’s wild to think that I still have to use Asana (or a project management tool) to keep everything under control in my life.
I’m not sure how long this will last until I can really settle down and do absolutely nothing. But then again, I don’t think sitting still is really in me.
There are a couple of things I need to keep moving forward this week like power washing the deck and prepping it for winter. Getting caught up with life seems to be a full time gig. At some point, I’ll need to start making some money again to fund all my crazy interests. Until then, I’m going to just enjoy each day.
I even took a nap in the afternoon today, and that was fantastic.
It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to photograph myself. I think it may have been because of my weight before, but I’m finally starting to feel like myself again.
A new profile photo kind of feels like a fresh haircut. I know it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but it lets people know that something new is happening. For me, I’ve had to make a lot of changes over the last year.
For those of you who don’t know yet, I’m in the process of winding down Input (a project I’ve worked on for a couple of years). It was a strong experiment and attempt to build something big, but it was hard getting it off the ground. I appreciate everyone for the support and positive energy throughout the years. It was definitely a learning experience, and I will grow from it.
As part of that growth and change, I’m going to take some time inbetween things to recalibrate and work on me. It sounds dramatic, but it’s just going to be a bunch of time hanging out more with Annie, the cats and my family. In addition, I’ll be actually working on my YouTube page moreâ€”it’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and I’ve got some good things going. Please make sure to visit itâ€”I try my best to create content that I think you’ll like, and I have fun putting them together.
So much has happened over the last few months, and I’m not sure where to start this post. Let’s just outline the last couple of months in simple bullet points of what’s been going on over here:
Been on the east coast (in Maryland) since the beginning of March.
Converted the majority of the lights in the house to smart switches that are now controlled by voice with Google Home.
Installed two Nest security cameras to monitor our back yard and garage.
Installed two litter robots, which have saved a ton of time for Annie and me.
Installed 3 fans in the house.
Installed four 3’x6’x1′ garden beds, with drip irrigation.
Installed irrigation to the front of the house to water our potted plants.
Planted Cleome flowers to our front garden bed.
Added mulch to the tree and did a little landscaping.
Became CEO of Input.
Still paying for my apartment in San Francisco.
Unable to use my car, because it’s in San Francisco.
Upgraded my laptop to something that can actually do some heavy lifting.
Installed a professional mic to my workspace setup.
Starting to learn how to stream live.
Hooked up my Nikon Z6 to my computer to use as a web cam.
About to install pro lighting to my workspace, so it looks better for streaming and video calls.
Continued my dietâ€”not eating beef, chicken, pork, etc.
Haven’t really lost much weight because I’ve been badâ€”eating too much fast food.
My parents visited me a few weeks ago and I caught up with them.
Been exploring Google Earth and putting together a bucket list of places I’d like to visit.
Helped some friends edit some video.
Started playing some games with friends and streaming to Twitch.
Spent more time hanging out with Annie and our cats.
I guess each one of these bullet points could have been a blog post, but it’s just so hard to sit down and write sometimes. We’re past the halfway mark of 2020, and I need to start to update my priorities.
I hope everyone has been well. I think times have been tough for everyone with all the changes that are happening in the world. If you need support, want to jam, play games, browse Google Earth, or just talk, I’m here for yall.