It Could Be Very Interesting...

... if we survive long enough.

Morning friend.

I’m glad you’re okay. Seriously. I called and I texted and you didn’t answer. And!! When you did… there was a real sense of relief. Please don’t die yet because I’m going to need your friendship this year.

Seriously. I mean, this is going to be the year, right!? Last year was interesting… this year is going to be nuts (at least that’s what we keep telling ourselves).

I hadn’t gotten around to sharing this with you yet but I want this to be the next topic of our convo, mmmmmkk? It’s a chat between Bill Gates and Andy Grove and it’s been blowing my mind.

This made me laugh:

A portable, put-it-in-your-pocket device could be very interesting.

Bill Gates, Founder, Microsoft

Seriously. This chat between Bill and Andy back in 1996 is fucking with my head! It’s utterly-fascinating to see what they got right and what they got wrong. It’s more interesting to think about how they got to those conclusions because it requires a ton of serious mental horsepower to draw-out those types of thoughts.

I love the idea of “tidal wave” events; I think it’s neat to think — and know — that these events are happening all around us, at this very moment, and only “some of us are more aware than others.” I hope you’re one of them friend. I want to be one of the ones that are infinitely-more aware.

This is how great (and profitable!) businesses are built. Ah, there are too many gems, but, this one stood out for me as well:

What really worries me, then, is this: Let’s not let this industry get boring.

Andy Grove, CEO, Intel

And look at where they are now

… huh.

As you know, I don’t often think that far in advance of where I am currently with my business but this convo between two very good friends got me really thinking about how far I could go and how long it would take for those things to become real and, most importantly, how interested I am in going that far for that long.

Decades, I’m thinking.

If we start with community, then, I see the opportunity extending to every major software and hardware stack. The question would become profoundly-simple: What industry wouldn’t YEN be in… really?

Both of them chattering on (I hope you and I can be like this as we get older and wiser… maybe):

GATES: We’ve seen many, many examples of companies who weren’t open-minded. We saw companies like Lotus or WordPerfect ignore the graphical interface. They could have afforded to put five people on the thing–even if their CEO thought it was stupid.

Every day we get up and say, “Hey, what should our company be more open-minded to?” I mean that is an absolute mindset. Why over the years have we been having all these meetings about PDAs and set-top boxes? Because we can afford to…

GROVE: Also, because we can’t afford not to.

Being ruthlessly open-minded while staying focused and mission-driven is insanely difficult… but, apparently, not impossible.

I am certain of one thing above all else after I concluded the read: Strong relationships — like the one between Gates and Grove — is a fundamental and uncompromising ingredient for long-term success and sustainability.

This is how you win, not just professionally but also personally.

This is why I’m committed to writing this newsletter… for years… decades even. We have something strong and I’m not interested in getting rid of that anytime soon.

Have a great one friend; I already miss you.

To infinity & community,

— john

Disappoint Them All...

... b/c it's going to happen, regardless.

Hey friend,

I know that you appreciate Godin, so… here’s one that rocked my face recently.

I mean, Seth really does say it best:

All forward motion disappoints someone.

If you serve one audience, you’ve let another down. One focus means that something else got ignored. If you create something scarce, someone won’t get their hands on it.

The very act of creation means that it won’t be the ideal solution for everyone.

On the other hand, with certainty, we know that doing nothing disappoints an even larger group of people.

via Seth Godin

As you know, I have built, launched, and quit hundreds of projects over the last 20+ years of being a serial founder and creator. This is who I am and how I operate. Hell, that’s who you are too. I know you know this feel!

In fact, this is how all serial builders must operate; there is no other way!

Yet — just as you are — I’m constantly hounded by non-builders who simply do not understand this dynamic and cyclical process. Why? Because they have never built, launched, and then had to quit a public project before.

And, as a consequence, they will never understand; I’ve decided to not waste my time with them; it’s wasted breath.

I get these daily, by the way… as I know you do too.

This is one of the “hidden” costs of being a serial builder and creator on the internet: You will have a long (and growing) list of folks that will be forever disappointed in you and your inability support projects that you launched decades ago.

That’s the price of being an artist: We are forever disappointing people. Everyone. You, them, anyone and everyone will be disappointed — so just disappoint them all, all the time, never stop!

And that’s the thing. We must not stop, don’t quit your quitting.

Besides… remember!! You weren’t building for them in the first place! You were building because you can’t help it that you have to do what you were made to do.

And you do know why you exist, right? You do know why you were created by the Lord God Almighty, right? It’s kind of an important question to answer… ya know?!

If you don’t then you should try to figure that out this year; it’s so much better on the other side. And, if you need a conversation partner — I’m so down for that.

Hit me up anytime.

To infinity & community

— john


... shit.

Hey friend,

We didn’t get to talk much last week… sorry, that was my bad. I was having some personal issues and I couldn’t really get away from my own shit.

I mean, you know what it’s like.

Last week was… … what the fuck was last week? A serious hangover from 2020, that’s what I’ve been telling everyone.

And as I woke up Sunday morning I knew that I needed to just slow things down a bit, take smaller steps, breathe a bit more fully the air into my lungs, I knew that I should just throttle down a tad, if just for a small moment; a week will do.

I canceled the large (and very profitable) workshop that I was planning this Thursday because I knew that I needed space and time to process the events of last week. I knew that I just needed more “room” for my brain to oxygenate — you know what I’m saying? I didn’t even think twice about it.

And thank God because today I got hit in the face with a last-minute staffing challenge that I was not planning on thinking through! You see, startup world is all about not being surprised about being surprised about all the surprisingly-unsurprising shit that happens all the time to you and your team.

If that makes sense.

Love you, miss you. To infinity & community,

— john

And So It Begins...

... once again... just like last year.

Hey friend,

Yes, it’s the new year. And yes. I didn’t do anything; I went to bed around 8:00pm.

And yes… I’m hype because this is going to be the best year ever.

Why? Because how could it possibly be worse than 2020?! I mean… seriously. What could possibly happen outside of the zombie apocalypse or WWIII? Well, maybe those things could happen; you never really know.

I enjoyed our chat yesterday! That was fun. Honestly, getting a hug from you would feel real good about now… but… I’m not really the hugging type and so I’m not even sure why I would say what I just said; maybe I’m insecure.


Here are 2 reasons why I’m excited:

  1. I get to test-drive a full year of living into a greater sense of purpose, my “why”, and a big dose of self-confidence. If I could get through 2020 w/o much of the latter… imagine what I’ll do with it? The juice. I seriously wish I could give you all a big helping of my own…

  2. My little technology startup has some real legs… we worked hard last year to find the right folks to fill-out the squad… and now, it’s time to execute.

There are few things more satisfying for a CEO / Founder than knowing that one’s team is competent, trustworthy, and aligned to the core vision.

If you’ve got that… you’re fucking invincible. How can I help you out this year?

To infinity & community,

— john

Bonus: I’ve just launched one of my most-popular live, hands-on workshops of all-time! I’ve taught this course to over 2,000+ folks in the last 10+ years. Check it out.

Smells Like Revenue...

... and it's always green.

Hey friend,

This is my last update of the year — I’ll keep it short… mostly because my fingers are really tired from writing a ton in the last few days, like…

  1. Most important YEN.FM issues I wrote in 2020… and why.

  2. The most read posts via my personal blog… and I crossed over 2,000,000 words published on that stupid thing!

  3. My 2020 Year in Review — This piece frames my 2021… I hope each and every one of you can eventually find the alignment that I’ve found.

And then finally… I’m doing a ton of educational courses this coming year where I’m going to teach everything that I know to as many people as I can.

The first event is this Sunday — maybe I’ll see you there?

Love you all. Have a wonderful New Years!!

To infinity & community,

— john

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