OneThirtySeven was first published in November 2011, running consistently well into 2013. During that time, I wrote and published over 1,000 articles of all different sizes.
After successfully securing initial funding for Need in February 2013, my time began to dwindle. This website was — and will likely remain — a single person operation. And, as my obligations began to multiply and expand, I ran short of the opportunity to continue writing about design, technology, and all the various existential and opinionated crises I was enduring across those formative years.
It was a genuine shame to watch it come to a halt, although I was scarcely calm or collected enough to truly take stock of the decline. Rather, I'd just joke, "remember when I used to write?"
It was almost as though I was treating this blog as a punchline. And, yet, when I originally pitched Need to a small group of investors, I only had a handful of slides in a slapdash Keynote presentation. On the second slide — the first with any material beyond a name and tagline — it showed only OneThirtySeven and Bionic. (Remember when Bionic was serious?)
Those avenues — the ones I joke about the most on Twitter and the like — were the most important items I stressed when attempting to show that I was deserving of investment and support.
Although I never made a living from the site, it absolutely laid the groundwork for what my life has become. I frequently talk about it with students, investors, and prospective entrepreneurs as the mechanism through which I found my identity and embraced my entrepreneurial side. (Indeed, it was originally conceived as a long-term plan to help me write my way into a viable career, rather than being held back by the stigma of being an English major.)
As time went on, Need was joined by Foremost and the two, eventually, merged into Edition Collective. Between November 2013 (launch) and October 2016 (acquisition), we sought to change the way people shopped for clothing on the web — mostly by emphasizing the importance of storytelling and embracing your own tone. It was something I continued post-acquisition with Rye 51 (as part of Q Fifty One), too. And, in retrospect, it's clear that these concepts were very much an extension of what I'd begun to develop with this humble website in 2011 and 2012 — an intensely personal outlet for stories, business, and so on. I've always held a fascination about publishing and personal storytelling and, lo and behold, much of my professional career has swirled around those ideas.
Recently, I've (amicably!) wound down my time with Q Fifty One (our acquirer) as I've begun to feel an entrepreneurial itch to build something from scratch again. In the aftermath of my (amicable!) departure, I found myself thinking a lot about OneThirtySeven. I recognized its impact and importance for the first time, but, with a new project on the way, almost dismissed it as a pointless hope to resume writing and contributing through this outlet.
I stopped short of dismissal, though. If 2017 (so far) were to be summarized by one thing for me, it'd simply be a process of recognizing quite how dysfunctionally I was operating as an adult human while developing the last company. I ate irregularly, I set little time aside for myself, work time bled into all elements of personal time, and so on. As such, beginning on January 1, 2017, I set about rectifying that situation.
I began to exercise several times per week. I crafted a morning routine to ensure I had sufficient sleep, but also had something rhythmic in my scheduling and eating. And, most importantly, I began writing for myself once again.
Starting as a Five Minute Journal each morning and, steadily, growing into a daily morning entry in Day One, I suddenly found myself writing about my life and all of the positives and negatives therein. In doing so, I could not shake the thought of returning to OneThirtySeven in earnest, regardless of my other commitments.
So, I am.
As I mentioned, I never made a living from this site. It wasn't that I didn't want to, but I merely feared I would not have a sufficient audience. I feared few people would care or pay any mind to my idle musings about technology, design, and so forth.
This time around, I've vowed to myself to just allow myself to keep publishing — to remain consistent, regardless of hypothetical judgment from others — and also to experiment. One of the constant refrains of building startups and raising capital and running large-scale businesses is that it becomes frustratingly difficult (or frowned upon) to experiment. But we often did just that and found a great deal of joy and success in doing so.
So, I'm launching a paid newsletter.
It'll arrive once per week — every Friday or thereabouts — and will share links, personal insights, interviews with prominent and inspiring friends, inside information and details about my upcoming project(s), and, notably, curated clothing and products from some fantastic brands. I hear frequently from people who miss the curation we offered at Need, so it ought to be simple for me to share some of these brands, products, and finds without the overhead in this format. It's just going to be me, basically.
It's $1.37 per month with a fourteen day free trial (i.e., enough for two at no cost).
As for the blog, I simply plan to write and share as I did in 2011, 2012, and 2013. My interests have drastically expanded beyond the Apple ecosystem since 2013 and, accordingly, I'll endeavor to share more cultural, fashion, media, and other such insight along the way. I may even touch upon some lessons learned and some productivity tips from running these companies in recent years. (Gross, I know.)
The goal is not to make a living here. As I've shared, I'm working on something rather exciting and new. My hope is simply that the newsletter will provide rhythm and accountability — that I'll keep going for the many who've already (bafflingly) signed-up without hesitation — and find some catharsis and utility out of writing on this blog.
This website, however small it has always been, is a formative and important element of my identity and my life. And, as I have the opportunity, I'm excited to pay it the respect and attention it deserves, regardless of audience, for as long as I can.
Maybe I'll be unsuccessful, but that's the whole point. I'm just excited to try.