Some Personal News

TLDR: I have joined David Smith’s company and will be working with him on his portfolio of apps, including Widgetsmith, Pedometer++, Sleep++ and more.1

This isn’t changing anything I do at Relay or here on 512 Pixels, but it is important to me to disclose this change in my working life.

Year of the Long Now

Later this year, Relay will turn 10 years old and this blog will turn 16. In July, it will be 9 years since I left my job to go indie.

(Wow, that is a lot of big numbers.)

As part of my yearly theme — the Year of the Long Now2 — I have been thinking what I want out of the next decade.

Obviously, planning for the far future can be a bit of a fool’s errand, but Year of the Long Now is about making decisions with both the present and the future in mind. Too often on the Internet, it’s easy to think about the here-and-now of it all and not consider the future all that often.

On the professional front, longevity is a core pillar to my theme.3 I’ve been doing my thing on the Internet for a long time, and I want to keep doing it as long as possible.

There are all sorts of things that can end the career of a professional creator, including burnout, financial pressures, losing relevance and more. These are things I would like to avoid so I can keep writing and podcasting about the topics I care deeply about, with people I care deeply about.

As my theme was taking shape at the end of the year, I got a call from David. He was looking to bring someone on to focus on customer communication, marketing and internal processes. He’s an incredible developer, and as his apps have reached new heights of success, he knew there were roles in his company that he couldn’t fill anymore on his own.

After our initial conversation, I spoke to both Myke4 and my wife Merri about the possibility of joining David’s company, and both were incredibly supportive of the move. At the end of the year, we made it official.

Looking Forward

My new role should not have any impact on the amount of content I produce here and on Relay.

(I have made changes in my behind-the-scenes work at Relay to accommodate this change, but delegating those things has been a long time coming.)

One obvious factor at play is that I cover Apple and its ecosystem, including the work of third-party developers. For complete transparency, if David or one of his apps comes up in the course of my commentary, I will disclose my involvement with his work.

On the other side of the coin, my employment with David will not limit my writing or podcasting. I have been extremely fortunate to work with incredible people over the years, and David is no different. He has made it clear from the start that he doesn’t want this new position to create friction in my commentary. We’re all professionals here, and I trust that readers and listeners will understand that.

With that journalistic handwringing wrapped up, I want to say how excited I am to be taking on a new set of challenges. David’s apps are world-class, and it’s a real honor to be trusted to help shape them. This new role gives me an outlet for skills that I don’t get to use very often at Relay, and I truly believe both companies will be better for me getting to use them in this new way.

  1. Don’t miss David’s blog post here
  2. I had been thinking about this as a theme for a months and when we did this episode of Ungeniused, I knew I had the perfect name. 
  3. Year of the Long Now has lots of personal ramifications as well, but those are beyond the scope of this particular blog post. 
  4. I’ve seen how good Cortex Brand has been for Myke, both professionally and personally, and I think this change will be just as beneficial to me.