Welcome To Stew's Letter

For those who haven't subscribed yet, I recently launched Stew's Letter - a weekly email where I send out my best stuff. This was the introduction to the first email. Enjoy!

So, it turns out that sitting down to write an email for a bunch of smart people is pretty terrifying.

It didn’t take long to go from “I am a genius with many great ideas” to “all of my ideas are either obvious or wrong and sending out a newsletter will only confirm people’s suspicion that I am actually just an idiot.”

But, I’m going to fake some confidence and hit publish anyways.

This all started last year after an amazing, but intense and stressful, few years working on a startup. I was completely burned out and decided to take a months-long sabbatical to figure out what the hell to do next.

The goal was to get up to speed on all of the insane things happening in the tech industry and to start working on something in the most promising field. That goal was mostly accomplished, but it blows my mind how much time I wasted and how many dead ends I went down.

My “sabbatical” was really just an extended period of unemployment, filled with the same temptations to waste time and lose whatever momentum I had in a past life. It didn’t take long for the typical day to start looking like this:

  • 7:02 AM: Start pot of coffee
  • 7:03 AM: Habitually refresh email even though nobody is actually trying to email me because I do not have a job
  • 7:07 AM: Write
  • 7:45 AM: Decide that today is the day I’ll figure out what Bitcoin is
  • 8:01 AM: Read highly-biased article claiming Bitcoin will cripple world governments
  • 8:45 AM: Buy Bitcoin
  • 9:01 AM: Read article claiming Bitcoin is a Ponzi Scheme
  • 9:32 AM: Sell Bitcoin
  • 10:01 AM: Realize that neither author actually knew what Bitcoin was
  • 10:11 AM: Realize that, also, I forgot about that pot of coffee
  • 10:14 AM: Start second pot of coffee
  • 10:18 AM: Try to find writers who actually understand Bitcoin
  • 10:19 AM: Forget about second pot of coffee
  • 3:06 PM: Realize that I was not able to actually convert coffee grounds into something drinkable today and it’s like 3 PM so I’m not going to do it now
  • 3:07 PM: Give up on Bitcoin research
  • 3:56 PM: Write code
  • 8:45 PM: Ask girlfriend where those THC mints are
  • 9:23 PM: Start reading an amazing book
  • 9:44 PM: Realize that this isn’t a book, it’s the mint container. Remember how strong these mints are. Pledge to never eat them again.
  • 10:12 PM: Enter a deep slumber

That probably doesn’t sound terribly productive, but, amazingly, I managed to do more reading, reflecting, and writing than any other time in my entire life.

When I reviewed a bunch of what I wrote, it struck me that it might actually be useful - or even just entertaining - for other people too. You all don’t need to spend a few months pacing around your apartment like an insane person. I’ve done that on your behalf and put the results in this email.

This will be a collection of the types of things I’ve written over the past few months, which mostly consist of tech commentary, trivial observations, speculation about the future, nuggets of wisdom, and literally just uninformed, unfiltered rants.

Thank you for taking a risk on this and I hope you love it.

Haters, the “unsubscribe” link is at the bottom.

To everybody else, welcome to Stew’s Letter.