in General

Aligning with My Needs


The more features you add to a product, the more it dilutes the core reason for a product’s existence and confuses people.

Marco Arment, Build and Analyze Show #68

I came across that quote while listening to Marco’s show last week. It inspired me to write a post on my business blog about Aligning with Your Guest’s Needs, but I’m realizing now that my thoughts on the topic haven’t finished yet. I had originally spent time thinking about how it applied to the hotel business, after Marco applied it to the design and application world, and now I am thinking about my blog. It has gone through a whirlwind of changes since I first started it a few years ago[1] but the core identity of it has remained unchanged: exploring ideas and sharing them with the world.

Here is what I wrote in my About page back then:

Instead of another niche blog, we need more of a Renaissance approach to writing to help everyone expand personally. There are blogs out there that curate the internet for us, but few bloggers that expand on the ideas that are discovered or share their ideas on other topic areas.

I realized last week that I was still exploring the concepts on an irregular basis, but not quite as varied as I would have liked. When I look at the Top 5 posts in terms of popularity, four of them are about The 4 Hour Body[2]. For 2012, I want to develop a post that will knock off at least a few of those other posts that will be a better legacy than a book. That was a great exercise for me to go through, but not valuable for the few readers I have here. I also want to incorporate more variety on the subjects that interest me the most – get away from complaining about the blogging world, and reconnect with the art world, books, business and technology. My bookshelf is a wide assortment of topics, the feeds in Google Reader are of even wider topics. I feel as though I am doing a disservice to myself by limiting the topics I am writing about. As Gwen Bell writes in her latest book, Reverb:

If our own needs aren’t met, it’s unlikely we’ll get them met by trying to convince other people to buy stuff from us.

I’m not selling anything on here, nor am I trying to make any serious money from this blog, so I removed the advertisements. I tend to live a fairly clean lifestyle away from the computer, so I went with a stripped down design on the site to align with my own needs. I wasn’t motivated to write in a busy environment like the WordPress post editor or a blog editor, so I switched to writing in markdown using Byword (Mac App, iOS App.

And, finally, I can’t compete with other blogs who are focused on providing excellent content to help people solve their problems, mainly because I’m not trying to help solve anyone’s problems here. I’m hoping to help people discover new ideas and explore new paths, which is why I will never be able to write a How To post or “X ways that Y can help you” and so forth. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to discover my voice again and publish great content of my own. This site is my way of exploring my mind and getting the ideas of my head out. The fact that anyone reads what I write continues to amaze me.

  1. Quickly approaching two years in June. ↩
  2. I won’t even bother linking to the review on the site. I put it in the top bar, and it’s on the side if interested. ↩