Undoing the undoing (Mowing, not re-planting)

When I decided to reboot GBXM again, I went through over 700 published articles and turned them back into drafts. Within a week, the hundred or so bots and randoms hitting the site on a daily basis dropped to a couple dozen. Whatever. I don’t care.

But then I got to thinking about it. Good or bad. Poop or polish, GBXM is a body of work. Its value comes from its imperfections. It’s worth, a function of tenacity, persistence, and effort.

Doesn’t matter if there are weak interviews in there with people who obviously didn’t give a shit. For every one of those, there are 10 others that mattered to people who truly felt honored.

There’s a poster on the wall at LeadMD that says, “The longer it takes to develop, the less likely it is to launch.” Translation: Stop holding out for perfection and just do it.

Start that blog. Apply for that job. Ask that person out. Do it.

Find the courage to take that first step.

Deal with the consequences.

Take the next one.

And never, ever, be ashamed of your body of work—however raw or unpolished it may be. That work makes you who you are. Go back through as you can and clean it up—but only if it makes sense to do so.

I’m going to do it. I’m going to straight trash dozens of things I’ve published over the years.

But I’m mowing the lawn—not replanting it.

Sleepwrecked

Eight years ago, today, I published the first ever interview on GBXM.

Today, I re-published a much more meaningful version of that interview.

I feel good about that, but I’d feel a lot better if I could have slept through the night at least once this week. Keep waking up every 90 minutes or so. I’m feeling sleepwrecked—and that’s bullshit.

(Kinda goes without saying that, if I’m not sleeping at night, I’m not getting out of bed at 5AM to run—even though I know exercising in the morning contributes to better sleep. I’m exhausted. And it’s cost me a week of progress. Gonna try again tomorrow, though.)

The Problem With Print

Money talks. Bullshit walks.

Excited as I am about relaunching GBXM, I still don’t see any money in it. Sure, this time I’m open to selling sponsored content, ads, and merch, but I’d be a fool if I thought that was ever going to add up to do-it-full-time money.

I’m mostly doing it because I need the inspiration. I need to know being a gearhead still matters. I need to know there are people out there in the world with differing political views that aren’t complete fucking idiots. I need to know I have something in common with strangers.

I’m not doing it for the money.

But I’m surprised how quickly the thoughts come back to money.

People pay for things—and content IS a thing—but all things (read: content) aren’t equal.

People are still starting product-driven businesses. You see them all the time—on Kickstarter, Indigogo, and GoFundYourself. They’re trying to get 10, 50, maybe $100,000 to cover initial production and fulfillment runs. Seems to me most fail.

Meanwhile, SaaS (Software as a Service, if you didn’t know) startups are everywhere. Companies like Twitter and Snapchat are valued into the BILLIONS—often without real, actual revenue models. They can’t even tell investors how they would ever make a profit, but they’re swimming in cash.

Serial entrepreneurs are starting businesses with absolutely zero intention of seeing them through beyond a fat, acquisition paycheck. They start one after another after another.

You know WHY SaaS startups are all the rage these days? Because CODE IS A PRODUCT.

Code is a product that requires no manufacturing facilities, no offices, no packaging or fulfillment.

Solve a problem with programming and you’ve got an instant customer base.

Serve a big enough customer base, and you could get acquired.

Buy that sailboat. Buy an island to go with it.

Code is content, but it’s content that DOES something for customers.

Even if I won the lottery and could spend my days publishing whatever I wanted—and it was exactly what a couple thousand people needed—it’s still content. It’s only words.

Words have meaning. But they have to mean something to be valued.

Still not sure what GBXM means, but I’m thinking print is all talk.

It’s opinion. And opinions are like assholes.

Supply and demand, I guess.

Just an observation.