Say something real
I try not to speak when I don’t have a distinct point that adds something to the conversation. I don’t work on projects without intention to execute on something useful. I don’t write articles to fill space, or write papers for homework assignments with no point. I write marketing copy that communicates something distinct, newsletters with tangible updates end-to-end. We have too much noise & not enough signal; it’s a crime to merely add noise.
This can make execution harder in the short term: it’s more difficult to write with a clear thesis, to speak with a clear through-line. The rigor when you’re designing a website or crafting an announcement means more iterations that take longer & feel more tiring. The quest when you’re researching to write something takes you down more rabbit holes.
But long-term, the projects then amount to something, because every brick is constructed of something real. You don’t pick up any & discover they’re hollow. You can step back in the history & find the story, the scale, the milestones as they happened. You can make every brick open source, with nothing to hide; others can learn from your transparency,
Humanity presently faces our most momentous challenges ever, challenges which ask us to become more proactive, cooperative, creative. We should hold zero space for talk that’s neither contributing in a serious way nor making the equally-critical space to relax & appreciate the world along the way. Pranks for attention, empty promises, useless points for airtime, cannot stand.
Once you become averse to bullshit, you can’t go back, because anything lacking true meaning feels infested, lacking nutrition. I have barely enough time in my life to do the most critical work I see to on the issues of utmost importance; to waste the next person’s time would rob everyone of what we could do together working at the highest level. Time & attention are precious resources never to be wasted.
I credit Zach Latta & Hack Club for sharpening my focus and inspiring me as a young person with authenticity & agency. Working on early web projects together, he constantly saw through anything with no there-there. At the beginning it’s brutal to realize when something lacks content, but longer-term the pursuit of true meaning amounts to a spectacular gift to give.