Category Archives: YENFM


Good morning yeniverse!

I’ll cut to the chase: I fucked up and I may have gotten more than a few of you excited about the upcoming changes that I shared on Monday

… because today is the FINAL ISSUE of YEN.FM for the foreseeable future. It’s been an incredible ride and an unbelievable journey. But, as I assessed the work ahead of all of us I realized that my time would be better used in other, more strategic parts of the expanding metaverse. It was simply about time, something we all need to be hyper-sensitive too.

You see, I am a suicide survivor — you may not have known that. I spent a good deal of my life thinking that no one liked me and that no one cared. I was dying on the top-bunk of my freshman dorm while my “roommate” played HALO on his newly-minted XBOX.

I had never felt so lonely (and I was glad that it was going to be over soon). Apparently, I suck at suicide so that didn’t work and I woke up in my own vomit and with whatever energy left I called my Uncle and Aunt some 30 miles away who came and helped me take back my life.

I have been on a mission to not fuck around with my time ever since; even at the cost of losing so many connections and relationships that I’ve made with all of you (but we can connect in the YENIVERSE now!!).

Thank you for reaching this piece-of-shit in your inbox everyday; I see the stats, I read the comments, I think of each one of you by memory (I do, it’s weird, I know). I’ll see you in the metaverse.

🛑 — Oh! We’re launched on Product Hunt! Upvote, share… you know the drill! 🎉

You know what to do!


To infinity & community,

— john

One… more… time.

  1. Forest. The real OGs. Good question. Supply, stupid. Art.
  2. Burn. Twitch. Not boring. Topics. Smells like success. Easy.
  3. Amaze. WTF. SPACs. It’s not about energy, it’s about control.
  4. Neat. Toys. Crazy. Steve. Hiro. Service. Trends. Real-time.
  5. Good resources. Python. Tunes. More metabusinesses. Close.
  6. The portal opened. Whoa. Rare. Marketing. ADHD. Not new.
  7. Glorious. Metaforming. More smells. Internet. Mining. Futures.
  8. On hiring. Find your voice. Already happening. Fix this. LOL.
  9. Twitch. Ship. Contributions. Animoca. TL;DR. For this. Beautiful.
  10. Fashion. Ready Player One. Tim. Integrity. Time preferences.
  11. Nextjs. Yes. From. Welcome. Privacy. Close. Go long. Okay
  12. Gamble. Both / And. Product-led marketing. Bomb. Woz. My Woz.
  13. Saverin. Insights. Problems. Stats, bro. Believe in yourself. Fun.
  14. But don’t stop there. Bonds. Origins. UFC. Not future. Ads.
  15. PR. Editions. Capsules. Moar. Market. Boring. Stupid. Whoops.
  16. Impossible to follow, but entertaining. Fashion is identity. Old.
  17. Hate, but, okay. Renet. Flat. Pyro. Birds. Whatever. Curious.
  18. Superworld. Evil Corp. I’m hiring a #metadesigner. Smaller now.
  19. Feels. Shared world. The right shortcut. Hyro.

I’m sorry I can’t finish the #yenBOOKCLUB that we had started! But, I’ll post my notes from the remaining chapters here — thanks for those that were reading with me! So much of my design aesthetic for this first iteration was reinforced by this book. But, I’d be lying if I said that I loved it; maybe… 20% of it.

Week 9:

  1. A major shift is happening, the first is the inexorable blurring of lines between “product” and “service” as consumers shift expectation of just functional performance to a more broadly satisfying experience. Secondly, design thinking is being applied at new scales from discrete products to complex systems. Thirdly, that there is an end to the unsustainable pace of consumption; limitations and constraints.
  2. “How might we…”
  3. Instead of an inflexible, hierarchical process that is designed once and executed many times, we must imagine how we might create highly flexible, constantly evolving systems in which each exchange between participants is an opportunity for empathy, insight, innovation, and implementation. Every interaction is a small opportunity to make that exchange more valuable to and meaningful for all participants.
  4. If we take time to examine the whole cycle of creation and use of a product — from the extraction of raw materials used in manufacturing to disposal at the end of its useful life — we may be able to find new opportunities for innovation that reduce environmental impact while enhancing rather than diminishing the quality of life we have come to expect.

Week 10:

  1. The greatest design thinkers have always been drawn to the greatest challenges, whether delivering fresh water to Imperial Rome, vaulting the dome of the Florence Cathedral, running a rail line through the British Midlands, or designing the first laptop computer.
  2. Sometimes necessity is the other of innovation.
  3. The idea of designing products, services, and business models that create a rapid return on investment seems very attractive, and it is no accident that it first appeared in places where most people have no choice.
  4. Design thinking is how we will continue to spot opportunities that have global relevance and how we will avoid becoming the victims of the new competitors who thrive in environments where more prudent organizations fear to tread.
  5. The key, as every designer knows, is to craft a brief with enough flexibility to release the imagination of the team, while providing enough specificity to ground its ideas in the lives of their intended beneficiaries.
  6. Don’t forget the children (and education). Design thinking is about education.

And here it is, the final week:

  1. The tools of the design thinker are: getting out into the real world (to be inspired by real people), building prototypes, creating stories to share ideas, and joining forces with folks from other disciplines.
  2. The most challenging design problem is how to design life.

The final chapter captures the high-levels and notes:

  1. Begin at the beginning: It’s about the inclusion and expansion of thought and ideas within the broader organization and network. You need them in senior leadership roles.
  2. Take a human-centered approach: Observation of human behavior is at the root of design thinking. Start with humans first, then business / tech needs second.
  3. Fail early, fail often: Time to first prototype is a good measure of the vitality of an innovation culture.
  4. Get professional help: Seek out extreme users and think of them as a creative asset.
  5. Share the inspiration: Make sure you support inspiration within your organization and community, not just efficiency. In-person and real-time events help nurture this.
  6. Blend big and small projects: Diversify your assets as an organization. Encourage experimentation.
  7. Budget to the pace of innovation: Design thinking is fast-paced, unruly, and disruptive. You will have to rethink your funding schedule and reporting / metrics. You’ll have to reset your expectations.
  8. Find talent any way you can: Source from within. Then, create a system to recruit them.
  9. Design for the cycle: Let the team (members) go through the entire lifecycle of a project.
  10. Don’t ask what, ask why: Is this the right problem to solve?
  11. Open your eyes: Schedule in time to observe the ordinary. Ask questions.
  12. Make it visual: Don’t just think, look. Record your observations and ideas visually.
  13. Build on the ideas of others: All of us are smarter than any of us. Socialize and diversify the idea formation and evolution throughout your organization and business.
  14. Demand options: The pursuit of new options takes time and makes things more complicated, but it is the route to more creative and satisfying solutions. Set deadlines so you know when to stop.
  15. Balance your portfolio: Remember to document the process as it unfolds.

Here’s a practice pitch I found buried in the archives that I thought would be fun to see! Thanks James for anchoring it with me; a good iteration and pass, for sure.

I had no idea at the time that we’d be building out most of that stack (but definitely not in the ways that most people would think). Fun to live in the future, that’s for sure.

I was also hoping to share this for another issue but it’s just this wonderful series from a friend on communication and public speaking — I hope my friend doesn’t mind me sharing it.

I learned a great deal fro this man and I owe him quite a bit. In fact, we all do.


📻 — BIG CHANGES AHEAD: YEN.FM is now The Metaverse Daily, New Content Schedule, Focus

Hey yenizens!

Things are changing around these parts and I’ll just cut to the chase: We are re-focusing our content towards the imminent and exciting #metaverse and leaving behind the slightly-more boring focus on just “community” and “creator tools” (although I’ll still very much cover those things).

The reason is simply because this is part of my larger content and branding strategy for the YEN Project (aka “The Metaverse Company“) which includes this publication as well as a metaplatform that’s releasing in BETA soon. In fact, I spill the beans below…

… focus!

If things like “metacreator” and building “metabusinesses” in the “metaverse” aren’t interesting topics for you then that’s entirely cool! At the very least read this new and updated landing pages to see if anything resonates and if nothing does then feel free to UNSUBSCRIBE — no hard feelings! I know that your time is super-valuable and precious and I’d be the very last person to waste it — as you already know.

I respect each and every single one of my readers because I know that I must earn the right to enter their guarded email inboxes every morning and I take that very, very seriously — as serious as I do my own inbox (and I’m a fucking maniac when it comes to inbox / email management)!

If you do end up sticking around it’s important to also note a few, important operational and logistical changes that might also change your opinion — here’s what’s going down:

  1. I’ve moving to a weekly publication instead of daily. Some of you may love this while a number of you might (privately) rejoice. In either case the reasoning is simple: My role is going to change as my organization and startup changes and since I’ve done this before as a metacreator I know what the next evolution is going to be and, more importantly, feel like. What I’m going to need more than anything is time to think, strategize, and cope with the growing universe that we’re going to have, quite literally overnight. I’m excited, nervous, anxious, afraid, and even a little bit sad since I have loved writing this thing daily because writing is my art.
  2. Content focus will change slightly. You’ll still get an assortment of links and good-reads that I collect from the growing metaverse (like below) but the list may actually get larger! Imagine 5 days-worth of links in a single issue?! I’ll have to give that some thought… in any case, I’ll be reporting on all of the same types of things that you’ve come to know and love but I’ll also be adding a section dedicated to our growing community — THE YENIVERSE. This will mostly be stories of (growing) success for our metacreators as they build metabusinesses that they are super-proud of. My hope is to help at least 1,000 folks build profitable businesses this year and I’m going to need time and space to do just that. Part of that is sharing the stories via this popular newsletter which all of us have grown from scratch. Amazing.
  3. While I cannot guarantee size or length but what I can promise is delivery time: Friday Mornings, PST. You can now expect an issue of #yenFM in your inbox — fresh in the AM! — San Francisco time. I can’t wait to serve you every morning with a fresh dose of the metaverse and what’s happening in our world.

I love you all. Thank you for supporting this newsletter since from very beginning. I have loved, loved, loved writing for all of you and I’m so grateful to carve out time to do that at least once a week.

I’ll see you in the metaverse (and via Friday’s pub starting this week)! Here are your links:

  1. Visions. True. Dream! Grand. God’s name. User hero. Miventure?
  2. Pretty. AI. Shortest. WPEngine. Mighty sucks. Google. Options.
  3. Broken. Dodging bullets every single day. FBSports? War. Just start.
  4. Unhappy. Nap. Some, better. Our part. +1. Be irrational. Future. Neat.
  5. Tiny projects. Simple. Wrong. Assemble! Avoid. Honest. Real art.
  6. This. Eddy. Notepad. The right skills. Maths. Never. Streaming kit. Oh.
  7. Empathy. Selfcare. One of the better ones. Selfish. No mobs. Emo.
  8. Fun video in here. Hypocrisy. The fuck. Loom, damn. Probably not for you.
  9. Pony. Korea. Jaw on floor. Eternally grateful. Netflix. Freedom is coming.
  10. Tim. Somnium. Fashion. Vesting. Easy bets. Friendly? Gambling. But.

To infinity & community,

— john

Obviously, you’re probably wondering how the logistical chances of the publication cycle cited above impact the rest of my personal publication universe. Well, that would be a great and curious thing to think about! I’ll satiate you as it’s captured above for you.

This new schedule is pretty simple to follow:

  1. I’m writing (at least) 1 blog post per day on my personal blog: I’ve been doing this for 20+ years so this isn’t really something that I needed to even put in the line-up but it’s worth visually seeing the components all together.
  2. I’ll be uploading content to YouTube twice a week: With my new production team behind me I’ve been able to put together a handful of test-flights that I like and we’ve got a good rhythm now. I’m enjoying the process of capturing my thoughts candidly about my new METACREATOR LIFESTYLE™️ which is effectively the same lifestyle that I have now but I’m just calling it that to make it sound more cool. You know how we do.
  3. I’ll be hosting #yenHOURS twice a week — 3 hours of “open office” where I help other metacreators build their metabusinesses in the growing metaverse. I also will be using those times to help folks onboard into their personal YENIVERSE(es) and talking all things metaforming.
  4. I’ll be publishing my personal newsletter once a week but I’m going to put a paywall around it most likely; I usually share my most intimate thoughts in that little thing and I’d rather have a smaller, more intimate audience from here on out. This is not an advertisement in any way, shape, or form — it’s just what I’ve captured above in my new content schedule.
  5. Finally, I’ll be using @8BIT / @yenFTW daily (the floating “cloud” below the rest) as well as engaging directly in the growing YENIVERSE that I’m so excited to experience! This is what I’ve been dreaming all of my life and the first major part is going to drop this week — I can’t fucking wait!

So, hope that helps. I start this new routine / workflow… today!!

This is a random thumbnail that I had created but didn’t get to use… so, here it is. LOL.

Over the next week — if you’re following closely — you’ll see some pretty dramatic transformations from both my personal brand (especially via Twitter if you haven’t already) and I’ll just let you know what’s going down: We’re launching BETA publicly this week!

🛑 — If you want a front-row seat to that then you’ll want to subscribe to our Product Hunt SHIP page — we’ll be dropping the “hunt” @ 12:01am Thursday morning, San Francisco (PST) time! Put that thing on your calendar! Don’t worry about “spam” after the launch as I plan on turning that service off right after we launch; it’ll be a one-time thing for most of you. I may even try to livestream the darn thing!

We’re going to need your help making it a really big thing; perhaps one of the biggest launches ever! We’ve got thousands of folks who have been waiting literal years for this launch:

Patience is an incredible thing when you’re trying to change the world.

As you can see, we’ve lost quite a few folks over the years as well — some folks just didn’t make the distance.

Oh well. Only the strong survive this game and the future belongs to the metacreator. I hope you join me in this exciting and bright future! And I hope to see some of you on Thursday morning in the early AM!!

🚀 — Let’s fucking go.