An Analog Story

When I start a new season in my life I almost always also start with a new, physical notebook; my favorite being the moleskine. And when I started my company it started, per usual, in a notebook as well, as well as every pivot, change-up, and heartache.

Whatever happens, happens. Most of it is planned but all of it ends up being a surprise — I like how that works.

The story of YEN is not a digital one; rather, it’s one of physical parts, real component pieces like sweat, blood, tears, and coffee stains… and more tears.

Pen to paper is one of the most exhilarating and scary things; it’s a promise and hope of what can be as well as a commitment and a challenge that if I do not execute then they will not transpire; nothing will happen and it’s (partly) up to me.

Most folks are scared of planning because they are scared of committing to something that might actually fail. And no one likes to fail or even the feeling of failure. But, what choice do we really have?

I start all of my projects in the hidden places of my notebook where they can simmer and bake a bit more before I introduce them to the world. And not everything becomes public but most of it does.

My past, present, and future can be found in the distance between pen and paper. I think that it’s a glorious representation of how simple and profound life can truly be.

It is a wonder that we get anything done.


via July 20, 2020

One year ago, today, I revisited my original roadmap and many of the high-level questions that I was wrestling with in late-2019 / early-2020 after I had completely and entirely reset my startup. I was honestly still recovering from having had to let everyone go and even the month of time I took off still wasn’t quite enough. But, I had a unique and important insight and it was a big enough idea to pursue and continue the quest.

And a year later we’re very, very close at putting the final part of that vision together as we’ll be able to complete the cycle from visitor to guest to user to customer. It’s been a long and very difficult road but if I didn’t believe it was possible then who would?

My timing couldn’t be more perfect (and scary) as we’re less then 3 months away from running out of money; the clock has almost ticked it’s last and I’ve already started the necessary conversations with my “leads” — existing investors who have committed more than $1M USD in aggregate for information and decision-making rights over our two rounds of institutional rounds of financing.

Honestly, I’m torn because I know that what we have actually works and yet it is unclear as to how fast we’ll scale to become the project and business that I believe that we can be. At the very least I know that I could use a bit more time but time is costly and sometimes (always?) comes with compromises that I’m not nearly as interested in making these days.

And if this was a purely digital game it would have been over a long time ago; Thank God for analog (and bitcoin!). 2019’s reset / pivot was YEN’s 3rd life; v3.0 to be exact — the url slug tells all.

I believed it would be enough and I still believe… I’m just looking for (a few more) true believers. The game is afoot!