In my work with Typewriter I’ve been talking to founders who are looking to write guest posts for major publications.
“We want to write something that will get us into BusinessWeek,” they say. And, me being me, I tell them that’s ridiculous.
I had a great time talking to Neal Stephenson, author of SevenEves. He’s a fascinating writer and his book is really good. Take a look. Now that I’ve interviewed him and William Gibson I’ve completed my collection of great cyberpunk authors and can die happy.
There’s a fun thing I do with folks I meet who want to write a book or build a startup or put up a blog post. I say I’ll help them. I give them a few pointers — for book folks I recommend they prepare an outline and we can tag-team the chapters. In this way they could finish a book in a few months. It would be their book, I’d give up all rights. Maybe they could pay me if they get paid but I basically say “Yes.”
I’m working on a new project that’s designed to offer editing on demand. It’s called
Typewriter.Plus (or just Typewriter) and I started in at the and of July and we’ve already seen a few thousand in billings. In short, it seems like something people are really interested in using.
If you’d like a quote simply upload your document and the robot will give you a price. The price is high because I’m using amazing writers and editors instead of bodies in chairs and I think it’s going to be really useful. Let me know what you think.
Some startup zealots posted a quote a few months ago:
“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames”
This quote really bothered me. For some reason, in the doldrums of startup building, I saw it as a warning. Set your life on fire. That’s an insane proposition. And then you’ll know your enemies by how they fan your flames.
But then I realized something: this quote meant something entirely different. It meant that you had to find the right people to help you grow, to help you expand, to help you gain the most out of your adventure. They fan your flames. They help you burn brighter.
I gave a talk at Impact CEE about this quote and I’d like to share it with you. I’m not usually emotional on stage but this was one of the few times that I shared personal truths with a room full of people. Anyway, enjoy.
John Sundman is on parr with Bruce Sterling and William Gibson in future-telling and he sat down with me for a few minutes at Disrupt in Brooklyn to talk about the future of nanobots, CRISPR, and genetic engineering.
It’s been a habit of mine since birth and I’m sure you share it: I try to check out bookshelves whenever I can. During dinner parties I gravitate to the host’s stacks in an effort to suss out their taste and opinions. Homes without bookshelves are as sterile as Intel clean rooms. They show that either the host is an insufferable bore or they are one of those weirdos who gave up all possessions. Either way, as John Waters said, “if you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ‘em!”
What’s the point? The point is that we are fast approaching an era when books will be as cumbersome and unnecessary as vinyl. The olds among us will remember the days of packing your vinyl into THOU SHALT NOT STEAL milk crates and driving them cross country next to bulging boxes of paperbacks. These days my music is in my phone alongside my books. I have one crate of vinyl that I haven’t listened to since I was 21 and I have shelves of books that I rarely look at except in quiet reverie.
And printed books are in trouble. Don’t let the publishers tell you otherwise. They’re falling rapidly at a rate that will put them equal ebook sales in 2017. It’s bad news for folks who love slipcovers.