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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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Life on Sark - Issue #339

Today's link is just a fun and funny read. The writing is good and the topic is interesting: how's a small, somewhat self-governing island going to fare in the modern world? Sark reminds me of where I grew up.


Internet fads - Issue #337

A fun thing about the internet is how quickly things pop up and how quickly they fade away. It's all the usual human trends, but faster. It decades for T.V. to become the anchor of pop culture, its 3-channel heyday lasted for decades, and even in its current, sports-addled twilight, you still can't miss T.V.'s influence. Meanwhile, in the internet, Twitter's had a similar arc in about ten years.

Nathanael's HubSpot Sabbatical in Pictures

Lessons learned from my HubSpot sabbatical

In March and April of 2023, I celebrated my fifth anniversary of working for HubSpot with a 30-day, paid sabbatical. The five-year sabbatical is HubSpot’s signature benefit. On our first day, way back in September of 2017, my new hire group talked about what we’d do if we had a month off from work. Finally getting to the five-year mark and scheduling the month off was a great moment.

Since my sabbatical, I’ve been thinking about the experience, what I learned, and how it changed me. It wasn’t quite what we’d envisioned five years ago: a month of not working was unexpectedly tricky and there were some surprising realizations. In the end, I’m better for the rest and a reset of my work. Here's the story of my sabbatical and what I learned from it: thoughts about traveling, working from home, an information diet, and the practice of simplicity.


The surgeon general may be wrong - Issue #336

Last week, our Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy released an advisory on social media and mental health for the young. He referenced that there are 'ample indicators' that social media potentially harms mental health and well-being, especially among children and adolescents.


Broken politics - Issue #335

Here's a quote, attributed retired Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank: "Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together." The attitude behind that quote has caused all manner of mischief, but I think the sentiment is reasonably construed as a way of understanding the political process. When the people who earn the most votes make some decision, we can reasonably describe the political process as achieving some kind of consensus. Politics is a way of deciding to collectively do things.


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.


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