Helping front office teams grow better

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

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What Christianity Can Be - Issue #327

Last week, I listening to a great book The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer. I grabbed it from HubSpot's free books program because I thought it would help me calm down and, amidst my ongoing sabbatical from HubSpot, think about structures for keeping my work in its proper place. The title made it seem like the sort of book that would help me reconsider my constant racing to manage the calendar and inbox and my increasing work evenings.


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?


Nostalgia vs. Progress vs. ? - Issue #321

Are things getting better or worse? By some measures, now is the best time ever to be alive: people have never been healthier or wealthier or longer-lived; by other measures, it seems grim: teenagers, especially girls, have never been more depressed or suicidal, and people of all ages report fewer real friends and participation in robust communities. We're coming apart, inside and out, at a time when we might expect to be doing our best.


But will it scale? - Issue #320

People at a certain kind of growing software company are always asking if a thing will scale. You can win meetings by asking the question, "will it scale?" every so often.


Generation to Generation - Issue #319

I'm a sucker for fake trends and the sorts of cool, simple explanations of complex phenomena that have to be mostly false. Generational analysis usually fits the latter category: the idea that all Americans born between 1995 and whenever share traits is a composition fallacy. Some of the "Greatest Generation" were cowards and some of the Boomers were selfless heroes: I don't think you can accurately and completely generalize groups of people by birth year.


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