core narrative

How to sell something bigger than your otherwise boring business

It isn’t every day that I hop on a Skype call with a startup founder who is so blunt. “We don’t sell online forms. We make organizations more productive,” he subtly corrects me. “It’s a deceptively small difference. After all, who cares about boring surveys? I started JotForm 13 years ago, and even I’m not […]

to write well is to think well

If you learn to write, you can change your life.

The corpse was so well-preserved that they thought it was fresh. 6th of May, 1950, Denmark. Local workers found a man completely submerged in peat, arranged in a fetal position. They named him the Tollund Man. On his head was a cap. Around his waist, a belt. There was a leather noose around his neck. Apart […]

18 quick fixes to sharpen your writing

Write to express, not to impress

“Thesaurus carpet-bombings and long-winded sentences are commonly mistaken for fine writing because they feel authoritative and intellectual. But they’re just masks; effective writing is lean, clean, and easy to read.” — Gregory Ciotti Ciotti adds that the root of the problem lies in our desire to impress. He’s probably right. I wasted the first two years of my blogging […]


How we got 11.3 million pageviews without the growth hacking bullshit

“Once you publish a blog post, you have to email as many influencers as possible,” he tells the guy next to him, “and ask them to share it on their social media.” I know I should mind my own business and stop listening to their conversation. But overhearing strangers in coworking spaces is always more […]

How to build a startup empire without selling your freedom

Finding a startup to work for is easy. Finding a founder whose vision you believe in isn’t. I’m sitting next to a founder whose vision I have admired over the past year. It couldn’t get any louder in this downtown Starbucks in Singapore, but noise is probably the last thing on both of our minds. […]