December 10, 2019

About MightWorks

As you may have guessed, MightWorks is a double entendre. It’s part “Might Works” (Strong! Innovative Lab That Works on Terrificly Successful Things!) and part “might works” (eh, I guess that could work?) I’m partial to the second interpretation, actually, because it’s more human and realistic. As Ev Williams of Blogger, Twitter, Medium fame said in a recent post (more or less) “everything is an experiment, and, at some point, they all end.” Experiments denote uncertainty, and uncertainly is.. well, just reality.

One of my most humanizing experiences in tech came in my first meeting with Ev, back when he was in early days at Medium and I was early building Contently. In my world, as a new venture-backed entrepeneur, the most important thing was to show strength at all times. It was the unspoken rule. Everyone was “killin’ it” all day, everyday, even when they weren’t. This rule applied 10x when you were fundraising, which we were.

In spite of, or perhaps because of, his rare bonafide bragging rights as one of the Valley’s most successful entrepeneurs, Ev didn’t take this tact at all. If anything, he downplayed the not-insignificant success he’d had with Medium to that point. “We’re not sure what this will end up being. We just don’t know.” He said not once, but many times in different ways. It was refreshing, and strange. I certainly couldn’t imagine saying those words about my startup. It would convey a lack of confidence and vision, which would torpedo any chance we had of raising money, I thought.

But over time, his words continued to rattle around in my head. They resonated with my subconcious, and then became obvious. Though it was difficult to admit–least of all to myself–I was similarly uncertain about our path. Life is uncertain, though. Uncertainty is reality. And it’s important to embrace what is real if you’re going to make the best decisions possible for your life.

So MightWorks is a nod to the rift between the ways things seem to be in the skewed world of The Valley (whether physically in Silicon Valley or not) and the way things actually are. The dissonance is real, and, while I believe it does more harm than good, it’s a decidedly mixed bag. I want to write about that. More simply, I love ideas (they get a bad rap) and I love building things. Some of them work, most of them don’t. I want to try everything and write about it. Whether it works or not.

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