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The Stupidest Experiment

Me since 2001: Don’t revisit your Van Halen book for a third edition. It’s an endless pit of work that never makes money and invites trolls by the dozens. Me in 2022: Let’s do this thing. As always, I’ll report back with my findings on Substack,

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Just putting it out there

Publish your weird ideas in public. You never know who’s listening. Back in May 2021, I posted this idea about a guitar design to Twitter, tagging EVH guitars: I asked EVH for a Nuno-style version of the guitar (which is a natural-finish ash or swamp ash guitar body with

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Surviving the Ad-pocalypse…Again

Experience is a brutal teacher. One lesson, that is almost never passed along, is that creators should avoid advertising as a business model for as long as possible. Sure, most of time, it seems like the easiest, fastest way to put food on the table, especially to a younger generation

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Having trouble starting your next thing?

Make a list of writers, podcasters, and YouTubers who are consistently pushing out great stuff – in the ugliest ways. Refer to it often. I love slap-dash creators! I won’t name names here, but they’re not hard to find. From the CEO who records videos on his morning walks

Having trouble starting your next thing?
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The Cures for Burnout

Hi there! I’m back from Maine and ready to publish. How has the summer treated you? The hope is that it’s sunsets, pools, and loved ones having fun all around you. The truth is often that we hope the summer just staves off the inevitable burnout for a

The Cures for Burnout
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You are more interesting than you think.

I’m guessing you’re a generalist, because most people are. But the online content-consumption machine seems to reward those who make their personalities all about one thing. I believe that’s a distracting, unhelpful remnant of the first 29-ish years of the web — minus the first five years. Why

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The Most Useful Book Cover Constraint

Love plain linen hardcovers. Wisdom without hype. pic.twitter.com/nlvHCAWcMe — Derek Sivers (@sivers) September 6, 2021 I can’t tell you how many hours and how much money I’ve spent on book cover design. But, for nonfiction, nothing beats the stamped, cloth cover. It somehow adds more weight

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Be everywhere. But be your best here.

The biggest trend in branding this year appears to be one of the oldest trends — signature models. From shoes to guitars, old-school brands are flooding the market with products stamped with a creator’s personal brand. A “brand” is just a “reputation.” The bigger you get as a company, the

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The great personal newsletter migration

For the third week in a row, about a dozen of my favorite indie newsletters have landed in the spam folder — newsletters I’ve opened and click-through hundreds of times. What gives? I love how Apple, DuckDuckGo, Neeva, and others are making our online lives a little more private and

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35 Lessons from 35 Years of Newsletter Publishing

My first newsletter was about ninjas in 1987. I was 12. Since then, I’ve been obsessed. I’ve created small newsletters for my own projects, and big newsletters for corporations. What ties them all together? Probably hundreds of things, but I’m lazy, so let’s start with 35.