I try to make mastery
straightforward.

What I write about

I look for interesting topics that are overwhelming. 

I then try to make mastery in those topics straightforward:

  1. I pick a topic I feel has yet to be dissected well.
  2. I research and experiment to uncover the topic's unstated principles. I question assumptions behind its conventional teaching.
  3. I get my hands dirty. Because the "difference between knowledge and wisdom is experience,” and I need experience to teach others.
  4. I release the handbook for free.

Why I don't write books

I'm sometimes asked why I don't publish books or ebooks instead.

Surprisingly, books are a worse medium for education and discussion:

  • Books become outdated, whereas I update my handbooks regularly.
  • Books lack audio and video, which I've found important to teaching.
  • Books contain boring filler to reach page count requirements.
  • Book excerpts can't be deep-linked. A lack of contextual linking means people don't share and re-reference the book's material. So they forget the material.
Read what you love until you love to read.
– Naval Ravikant

Getting value from me

People make a show of how many books they read. “I read a non-fiction book or two a week,” they say.

However, they unfortunately don't take notes, forget almost everything, and don’t apply their learnings.

This is reading for entertainment. That’s fine, but be honest with yourself.

When you consume non-fiction, know that reading is one part of the exercise.

The bigger parts are understanding, distilling, and applying.

We grew up with throwaway children’s fiction, which instilled a poor habit for consuming books: churning through them and never looking back.

My first goal

There are many experts. But few great teachers. We need more great teachers.

A bottleneck to having more is that teaching is not a natural competency. And most experts simply don't bother to get better at it.

They think, "I've put my expertise down on paper. Now, my readers can figure out all the nuances on their own."

They're squandering their expertise.

A true teacher explains how to cook instead of merely sharing a recipe. 

And they engage readers with a narrative, which makes their content universally appealing and engaging.

As a result, great teachers excite you. They inspire the exploration of more.

In fact, it's teachers — not experts — who help you attain true mastery. Because mastery requires passion.

That's why I spend more time trying to appreciate great teachers than experts.

And I do so with the open-mindedness that teachers needn't hold positions of prestige: Everyday bloggers and podcasters enlightening you throughout your adulthood can have a greater impact on you than your professors.

Podcasters and bloggers are also widely accessible. They're teachers for the masses. And that's what I hope to be.

My second goal

I categorize teaching into two types:

Type I — Collating, distilling, and articulating thoughts from the zeitgeist.

Type II — Contribute original thoughts to the zeitgeist.

Teachers and intellectuals mostly produce Type I. That's okay. It's needed. It's how we make sense of the world.

But it's the rare Type II that stimulates. It's much more interesting to read.

With every handbook, I try to do both. I recognize they wind up being 90% Type I. And that's okay. I need to make sense of a topic so others can master it.

But, what truly excites me is when I stumble into Type II insights.

Work

Current

I run Bell Curve, a growth agency for tech companies. I was interviewed about it—and my life story—here: Part I and Part II.

Founder

I started NameLayer, a domain name company that sold domains to startups and Fortune 500's. After NameLayer's launch, I wrote the guide that many startups consult when choosing a name. NameLayer was acquired by Techstars.

Engineer

I made Velocity, a popular open source library used by Samsung, Uber, WhatsApp, and thousands more. I published a book on it through Pearson. I was then awarded the Stripe grant, with which I made Libscore. I was interviewed about it here.

Contact

Say hello on Twitter.

Want to email me? I'm inquiry at {my domain}. As long as you're not expecting feedback on something (I'm short on time), I will absolutely respond.