Helping front office teams grow better

Here you’ll find an archive of Nathanael’s weekly email. The email features an essay and curated reading on technology + marketing + simplicity.

Nathanael also posts longer-form pieces about CRM software, front-office strategy, and similar topics.

Social media: a requiem - Issue #334

15 years ago, I sat in a group of b-school students trying to explain to our skeptical professor that social media was useful. He wasn't just a curmudgeon: a successful entrepreneur (oil, business schools), he wasn't interested in fluff but in what actually works. We tried to talk about how views would lead to engagement which would lead to ... leads? The case was weak. We sounded like those social media mavens giving talks to your chambers of commerce through the late aughts and 2010s.

Indy Ski Pass

My Experience with the Indy Ski Pass Winter 2022-3

In January of 2022, I skied a new hill for the first time in at least ten years. Our home mountain, Sugarloaf, is a crown jewel of east coast skiing. For the first years we skied there, I was living in DC, and just getting ski days in was a feat. Since moving back to Massachusetts, skiing has been primarily about getting my kids into the sport. Staying at our home mountain, especially a great one, made sense. But then, I finally took advantage of our access to Loon Mountain, in New Hampshire, and skied a few day trips with some friends.

Jon Ward's Book Testimony

Testimony - Issue #333

When a non-religious person hears the word testimony, they think about courtroom settings: the rat's testimony puts the capo away. When people like me hear it, the reaction is visceral. Testimony? I cringe. My physical discomfort comes from one of two scenarios, both from church events.


Get out your pencil and go to work alone - Issue #330

Since coming back from the time away, I've been noodling on some ideas. I think there might be two longer-form pieces in my drafts that will see the light of day, or at least the thin blue light of the internet. Writing them has been tough. It could be because I'm reading Raymond Carver and John Updike and they set a high bar, or, more charitably, that I'm trying to say something a little more complex than my usual. Either way, the drafts are beginning to linger.


Why to Avoid Becoming a Brand - Issue #326

It's probably the crusty Mainer in me, but I like playing the contrarian. I get almost the same juice from the things I do not do as from the things I do. It makes me more than a little smug to say that I'm not on Instagram (or Facebook or Tiktok); I'm such a hipster that I gave up social media for Lent in 2006 (but I definitely posted about it on social media to get those classic thumbs-ups).


Two Jim Fallows on Jimmy Carter - Issue #325

History may not repeat, but it rhymes. It's not hard to see the echoes of the 1970s today: inflation, foreign wars, recalibrating political coalitions, one-term GOP presidents... there may be lessons to learn from what happened then to what might happen now.


Is there something wrong with big companies? - Issue #324

This week has been a pretty busy one for me: I spent the week doing the normal consulting of my HubSpot customers and preparing my team to cover that work during my 30-day sabbatical, which starts today. It's part of the fairly cushy benefits you get when working for a software company: after five years of unlimited vacation, I'm granted a 30-day sabbatical.


Why people like to chat with bots - Issue #322

Whenever you see hockey-stick growth, you have to wonder why. In 2010, why did everything need to be a daily deals website? Why did every category suddenly need new luxury DTC brands? Why is everyone on Tiktok?


Nathanael's Reading

More than a hundred and fifty  people read the weekly email “Nathanael’s Reading,” which he’s sent every Friday since 2016. Nathanael includes original thoughts and curated reading on technology + marketing + simplicity. Subscribe by entering your email here