The best place for creatives to express themselves

Last night my dear friend David Karp was honored at the NYSCI gala. I didn’t know much about NYSCI but it was an event to honor David and I felt compelled to be part of the celebration. It turns out that the NYSCI is a very cool organization that is deeply part of New York City’s history for the last 50 years.

Our table at the event was awesome. The early members of the Tumblr team came out and I even got to see Marco Arment wearing a suit and tie :)

David gave a wonderful speech that started with a few fun jokes. But then he passionately went into why Tumblr exists.

David wanted to build the very best place for creatives to express themselves. To create and share their art with the world. And that would make the world a better place because the world needs more art.

I had all these flashbacks of David telling me the same thing, ever since he was 19. It deeply matters to him. You can just feel it in his words, his eyes and his work.

And the best part? He did it. I believe Tumblr is the best place for creatives to express themselves and I am reminded of that every day.

Founders, a true love story

Paul Graham penned a blog post about his wife Jessica Livingston yesterday. The two of them started YCombinator which has been nothing short of amazing

Paul gets most of the attention for YC likely because of his big personality and insightful and pointed writing. But for all of us that have met and interacted with Jessica it’s very obvious how special and vital she is to the YC story.

One of the many lines I loved in Paul’s post was this one:

What made YC successful was being able to pick good founders. We thought Airbnb was a bad idea. We funded it because we liked the founders.

Paul goes on to highlight Jessica’s ‘Social Radar’, her superpower to identify great founders. I love their emphasis on the importance of founders. I listed it essentially twice on the four things I look for. 

And it’s clear why YC worked so well. Yes, you can see it in their work. But you can really see it in the quality of their founders. 

A note from my boy

I woke up yesterday feeling just awful. I had a fever, my head was pounding and my stomach had this intermittent pain that was just brutal.

I spent the day on the couch. For the few of you that follow me on Snapchat you probably saw a very pathetic selfie at some point.

Late in the day my son James threw a paper airplane at me. It was on green paper, all the edges folded nicely and had a great classic design. I sat up and picked up the airplane off the ground. I could see some words written on the inside so I slowly opened it up.

“Get well soon”

Those three little handwritten words of a 9 year old made me smile.

The day progressed and my head and stomach was still pounding away. I went to bed early and woke up this morning feeling 90% better. 

I’m pretty sure it was all because of that note from my boy.