I’m back! I heard you missed me

Hiatus explained, a new podcast, and fun things coming…

Hello! It’s been too long, but I’m back from my hiatus.

First, an explainer: I needed a break. I know now why TV shows have seasons. Writing every week with no plan to take a break burned me out.

I also had a serious amount of stuff to pull off since we last met here, more than the usual, and something had to go. We had to go finish applying for our NSF grant (we got it!), I moved to LA (October!) We went live in the App Store (November!), I’ve been fundraising (February), We got into Yellow (also February!), The pandemic happened (March!), I had to go back to New York to deal with a personal COVID-related situation (May!), I finally got back to LA (June!). There were some really tough weeks in there like the week right before we got our grant money, and some miserably hard months that I know we’ve all had during these “unprecedented times”. I ended up taking off more time than I meant to. But then, that time taught me something:

I missed this. I thought about the book I want to write one day and these weekly accounts that were not being recorded, and my journal not being, uh, high-fidelity enough writing for writing these stories of startup life.

Then, I had multiple people reach out to tell me they enjoyed and missed this email (which was really nice to hear, because honestly I didn’t know!) so I thought about starting it again. In the meantime, I also thought a lot about changing the format to something less lonely – writing is a pretty solitary act! So…

I started a podcast with my founder friend Cheraé Robinson called It Just Got Real! We started practicing in December and the pilot dropped this spring. It’s so much fun to record and put out in the world, and now that we just recorded episode 8, I’m feeling good enough about it to tell you to go check that out if you liked these emails. It’s all of this kind of content plus Cheraé’s amazing personality and her founder journey too. You can get It Just Got Real in all the usual podcast players. Each Thursday we talk about a moment where things got very real for us. We also talk about a whaaaat record scratch moment and a culture moment. Tune in.

The pod is awesome, but I realized it doesn’t replace this email. So here we are! I moved to a shiny new Substack. As much as I love Tinyletter, it’s unfortunately really unsupported these days and the bugs were so frustrating to deal with while writing.

This week I have a super fun email for you, but before I sent that I wanted to check back in, say hi, remind you that you signed up for this! Talk soon :)

It feels good to be here,
– Han