The cover art for the "Run for Cover" issue of V as in Victor speaks to me. It came out the week after cancelling the marathon, when Manhattan still sat in the dark. It was when we were forced to remember that all New Yorkers are New Yorkers, and everybody needs help sometimes. Bill Vourvoulias, who was without power himself, wrote:
Personally, I didn’t remember any of it. By which I mean that I forgot that the marathon was being held on Sunday. (Forgive me, I was a little busy foraging for batteries and cadging candles from neighbors and looting stores for drinking water.) I did see people running in the street the day after the storm hit and thought to myself, “What kind of fanatic goes running on a day like today?”
I haven't been blogging very much about what I'm doing at 29th Street Publishing. I'm sure you've read personal entrepreneurial stories before, and mine isn't very different. They'll say it's stressful to go out on a limb and pull non-believers out there with you. They'll say it's challenging to go into work every day to decide on the direction your day will take. If they don't say this, I will: it's terrifying to tell people what you do before you feel like it's done.
But, the truth about starting your own business is that not everybody can be an entrepreneur and it has nothing to do with their personality or their connections or even the difficulty of the job itself. It's because not everybody can take the very, very big risks. There's the huge professional risk can make or break the rest of your career, and also the personal risk that you take just by putting yourself in the spotlight. But most of all, it's the huge sacrifice that a lot of people - young and old, male and female, technical and not - can't afford to take because a stable paycheck is critical to them. In fact, if lots more people woke up one morning and decided to start businesses, I might call them reckless and selfish.
That's why I am incredibly humbled by the opportunity I've been able to take in the past two years. After dropping out of graduate school in 2007 and responding seeing a job posting on Craigslist, I moved to New York to work with a complete stranger: David Jacobs. I've been working non-stop in the intersection of technology and media ever since, and David and I started 29th Street Publishing last year. And we've been honored to have Blake Eskin and Tim Moore join our team this year. All of those "never in my wildest dreams" phrases replay in my head regularly.
What we're doing matters to me. I read voraciously -- novels, newspapers, blogs, magazines, subway advertisements for bedbugs or ESL courses -- and I want more things that I like to read as a part of my daily life. I have this thing that comes in a few colors that holds a lot of other junk for me like my wallet and my keys and my iPad, but it generally can't fit all that I want to read in a given day, like the news or opinions or what people are talking about. Our platform brings reading on digital devices to life because it offers something new from sources that you like all the time. And don't let us take credit for the experience that you love: that is the writing, the artwork, the editing (!) done by a very thoughtful, very hardworking Publisher for which the app is named. We just took care of the plumbing.
So, to you I say: try our apps. They're free to download and they include two or three (real, not "preview") issues in there so you get a sense of what the writing's like and what you'd be paying for. TAKE IT ON THE SUBWAY FOR CHRIST'S SAKES. Read it on a Sunday morning over coffee. Reminisce about Baseball Season in V as in Victor and look for his All-Time-All-Country teams. Read the Tippi Hedren article in The Weekend Companion and tell me her obsession with large cats after her traumatic Birds experience is irrational. Send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Twitter because I am sincerely all ears.