Three cool things
What I've been working on, and what's coming next
This is a reprint from my main newsletter in ConvertKit, but wanted to share it here as well.
Anyhow, just dropping by to share three cool things I’ve been working on.
Thing, the first. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be publishing daily over on Substack. The plan is to ship something new (and imperfect) each day for the next 100 days. The Ungated website isn’t going anywhere, but I want to plant some seeds on that platform. It’s got some pretty cool network effects right now, and kinda feels like it’s turning into a social network for writers and readers.
As for what I’ll be writing about, I’m gonna flesh out the non-coercive marketing philosophy, and go deep down the rabbit holes of self-renewal, building joyful true fan businesses, creative individuation and aliveness, digital localism, and building a more beautiful internet. (Who knows, this may also turn out to be a sloppy first draft of a book.)
If you wanna read the daily posts, head over to Substack to sign up. But if daily is not your jam, no worries. I’ll be sending a weekly recap to this list every Sunday, so you won’t miss any of the new stuff.
Thing, the second. The reason I’ve been so quiet these last few months is that I’ve been on a lil side quest. I was helping the Foster Collective reimagine their approach to marketing and media for the emerging age of AI. The internet is about to be flooded with more generic AI content than we can fathom, and the rules for how to stand out and succeed in this future are anything but certain. But one thing I am confident about is that AI will mimic the best practices of today, and it will cheapen and commodify everyone who continues to follow those practices.
That’s what The Media Frontier is about. It’s the first edition of our new digital magazine, and it’s all about how we’re breaking from these old norms, and being the change we wish to see in internet media by striving to create work that’s unmistakably human. AI is only as powerful as the data it’s trained on. The one data source it will never have access to (hopefully) is the rich tapestry of experiences, stories, and interpretations that live within each human, and make us all one of a kind. The more we can create from that place, the more of a shot we have of earning attention with our work, mattering and building trust, and being irreplaceable in a world where creative work itself is hyper-commoditized.
There are some lovely personal essays in the edition, but if you only read one thing, make it this piece. If you’ve felt trapped by marketing advice that tells you to “niche down” and “add value” and “be an expert,” or you’ve felt like a prisoner to a weekly publishing schedule because “consistency is everything,” I suspect you’ll find that essay liberating. It details how and why Foster is breaking all these rules so we can better navigate an uncertain future while prioritizing humanity and aliveness. If it resonates, feel free to steal or adapt the strategy for yourself!
Thing, the third. I’ve been using Notion to keep track of my life and business for years. In true hipster fashion, I like to tell people I’ve been a fan since 2017, before it became mainstream lol.
Anyhow, a handful of friends and coaching clients have been peer pressuring me to package the Notion dashboards I use for myself, and sell them as templates. I’ve been resistant, because I don’t want to become a Notion Bro™. But a few weekends ago, I said "fuck it" and started tinkering around and put my first template up for sale in a way that feels fun and lighthearted and authentic.
This first one is called The Experimentalist. It’s the dashboard I use to turn my biz and life into a series of experiments (like planting seeds on Substack, or publishing daily for 100 days). I’ve found this dashboard really helps with being intentional in how I design and keep track of experiments, and reflect on everything I’m learning about the world and myself. Anyhow, the link above will take you to the checkout page, but you can also see a video walkthrough here!
Oh, and one last bonus thing to share. This music video is one of the most breath-taking, transcendent pieces of art I’ve seen in recent memory. I’ve watched it at least 10 times, and it just gets better with each viewing.
Have a great week!
I’m going to copy you with the 100 substack posts in a 100 days plan. I have waaaaay too many half written essays to “make perfect” at some point -- aka never -- so the daily constraint will be good for me
Hi Ren is incredible. I’ve watched it about as much as you, including some reaction videos because it’s amazing to watch someone experience it for the first time.
Looking forward to your 100 daily posts!