Koya Bound Kickstarter

In March I took a eight day hike in Japan with Dan Rubin and Craig Mod, which was definitely one of the more beautiful journeys I’ve taken, and I couldn’t imagine finer gentlemen to have embarked on it with. We trekked, ate, bathed, had long conversations about life, about our fathers. When I returned to Houston I was able to show my Dad some of the photos and they brought a smile to his face, a rare occurrence those days before he passed.

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Dan and Craig are both Leica heads and shot largely on a Leica Q and M Monochrom on the trip. (Bonus points if you can identify Dan’s non-Leica film camera in the above photo.) After I left they camped out in an old house and put together their best work from the trip into what looks like a gorgeous book, which there is now a Kickstarter for.

There are some very cool perks on Kickstarter if you go back the book now, including a few special editions and some photo prints. I’d highly recommend checking it out!

What a Week: WordPress, Maeda, .Blog

I’m still overwhelmed from last week, which was full of major announcements. Get your Instapaper / Pocket ready because I have lots of links!

It started with a very smooth WordPress release, version 4.6 “Pepper.” A week later it’s had over 4,200,000 downloads and upgrades are rippling throughout the WP ecosystem with 13% of all known installs already on the latest. WordPress 4.6 was available on release day in 50 languages, which blows my mind.
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The next big move was John Maeda joining Automattic as our Global Head, Computational Design and Inclusion. You can check out some of his talks on TED and his Twitter is always interesting. This was covered fairly well by mainstream media, especially with feature articles by Wired on the open source aspect, Fast Company on the inclusion side, and Techcrunch on the business side.

As often, the best stories are often personal ones: Om is a friend of both John and I, long-time Automattic designer Matt Miklic shared his “I will never stop learning” journey and and how he helped hire for this role, and finally John told his own story directly on Design.blog.

In the beginning days of the Web, Open Source was a human right.

You might notice something about that domain… it’s a .blog! We opened up .blog for early registrations and launched the first few founder domains like get.blog, design.blog, dave.blog, and of course matt.blog. More coming this week!

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Design.blog also launched with great essays from Alice RawsthornCassidy Blackwell, and Jessica Helfand. It will be updated every Thursday with a new home page design and new round of great voices, so bookmark it and be sure to visit again in a few days.

Huge thanks to Judy Wert who led the search for the design role. Combined with Chris Taylor starting as Chief Marketing Officer at Automattic a few months ago I think we’re well-positioned to really boost the growth of WordPress in the coming years. You may have even started to see video ads for WP.com. We’ve had 90 people start so far this year at Automattic bringing our total to just under 500 in 50 countries, if you’d like to join the family we’re hiring for over a dozen roles.

As you can tell, things have been moving at a hundred miles per hour, and the momentum is carrying through the all-company Grand Meetup in Whistler next month and WordCamp US in December. I’m going to take a few days to unplug at Burning Man next week (photos from my first year), might even take a Real Camera to capture some of the art.

The first-party premier Simplenote native apps for Android, iOS, and macOS are now fully open source. I’m very proud of the team for this, and excited that the broader Simplenote community can now see behind the scenes of how things are developing with the app, which remains one of my personal favorites across every platform. What’s Simplenote? It’s the easiest way to have your plain text notes synced instantly across every device and browser you use.

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jellaludin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

I found this poem through the Search Within Yourself book, in which I’ve enjoyed learning about mindfulness in a business context. I found this poem online here.

Mortgaging your site to a closed-standards vendor gives them, not you, the economic power.

Another Matt from Alley ruminates on Medium’s uncertain future for publishers. I agree that these first couple of publishers probably got a good deal: better than free, they’re guaranteed money regardless of whether Medium makes money or not.

In making the decision to hitch their horse to Medium’s wagon while fording a river, they’re probably betting on Medium not going out of business, which I agree there’s only like a 10% chance of happening. However I think there is a 97% chance that Medium’s business model will change in the future because the path they’re on and these publishers are dependent on will not sustain their current costs or the investment they’ve raised.

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 2.37.03 PM.pngI’m really happy about the feature in today’s new 4.1 release of Jetpack that streamlines logging in with your WordPress.com account. When this is finished it’ll completely protect you from brute force attacks (and server load), and you can secure one login with two-factor for all your sites rather than maintaining dozens of user/pass combinations for all your WordPresses.

Posted from the WordPress.com Mac app.

Good to keep in mind, especially as you’re making data-informed product decisions:

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.

— Stephen Hawking


41HooVl0BFLAnker has come out with a pretty cool new USB charger that also supports USB PD
, which is the USB-C power delivery standard which means it can fully power a Macbook. So you can take the USB-C cable that came with your Macbook and use this instead of the white brick that Apple makes and other things as well, so fewer things to travel with. It will of course charge any USB-C devices like your Nexus phone super fast as well. I really hope everything uses USB-C PD in the future