Makers_2: Black Friday Letdown

The Overcommitted Edition (Dec 9, 2019)

Hey friend!

Thanks for tuning into the second newsletter of Makers.

If you celebrated Turkey Day, happy Thanksgiving! If not, I hope you got a holiday off 🥳

What I've Been Up To 😊

This winter quarter has been a tough one for me.

Not only did I move to San Francisco which has a different lifestyle than Los Angeles, but I've been extraordinarily overcommitted and under the weather for much of the season.

Other than work, I've had a slew of other projects that I've been working on:

  • Building a website for a friend's new app, Clay Lab, which helps ceramicists manage their pottery workflow.

  • Building a website storefront for Rock Bottom Records, an up-and-coming LA house music label.

  • Preparing a presentation on the basics of React, the popular JavaScript library, for Credit Karma employees.

  • Improving my writing and building an audience with Write of Passage, a time-intensive writing course.

This stuff is a blast to me, but my overeagerness often bites me in the ass. It can be difficult to manage so many expectations while still being healthy and a great partner, family member, and full-time employee.

I'm doing my best to manage my health by working out, eating well, and using an abundance of oil to keep my skin from drying out like tanned leather. But holy heck am I ready to go on vacation.

Is anyone else ready above all else for the winter holiday? What are you looking forward to most?

I'm excited to enjoy a hot cup of cocoa with my nephew, niece, and girlfriend.

Recent Ideas & Posts 💡

The blog has been quiet as I've been working on a ton of projects that have kept me busy. But something I've been mulling on in lieu of the Black Friday craze...

Have we hit a critical mass of stuff?

Adobe Analytics, an arm of Adobe Experience Cloud, analyzed more than a trillion visits over 4,500 retail online sites.

Like many organizations, the Adobe Analytics team expected November sales to skyrocket with estimates of consumer spending to be near $143.8 billion. However, the numbers were far, far beneath what they expected. Consumers spent $81.5 billion. Here's the full report.

A few thoughts come to mind:

1. Is Black Friday only good for out-of-season items and upgrades?

If you're reading this, you likely have a TV, a smartphone, a computer, and a slew of other gadgets.

We're drawn to the shiny, best, new gadget, but usually the Black Friday weekend sales don't lower the price of these items. Many companies like Apple only offer a gift card incentive instead of offering a lower price.

Hell, if you're like me you already own a TV that you bought on a previous Black Friday.

So other than for the purposes of gifts, what does Black Friday have to offer unless you need to upgrade one of those items? Do we own everything we need? Have we hit a critical mass of stuff to own?

2. Is this indicative of a recession in the US?

Economists often link consumer spending habits with the health of the economy.

With the biggest day of sales far off the high mark, it begs the question: Are consumers hedging their spending because they feel like the economy/their jobs/their finances are insecure?

What do you think? Do you care?

What I'm Enjoying 💯

Everything is a Remix is a minidoc on the art and ethics of remixing. It recalls famous examples of remixing from ones you might know, like The Sugar Hill Gang's famous rap hit Rapper's Delight to ones you might not know like the original Star Wars and Led Zepplin.

I first watched "Everything is a Remix" when it was a short web series, published in 2010. Despite only revisiting it recently, this short documentary has been so influential in my perspective on artistry and creation.

Cannot recommend enough.

That's a wrap

It's a short one for this edition, friend!

I'm excited for the next edition, which will contain a status update on all my projects, blog, and the numbers.

I'll discuss my goals and hopes for 2020 (I can't wait to hear about your goals as well!).

I hope your weeks are starting to slow down in anticipation of the winter holidays, and I hope you're staying healthy. Be well!

Until next time,
Nick Nish

TwitterBlogStart HereNewsletter Archive


Got a question, have feedback, or see something insightful, boring, or wrong? Let me know by replying to this email! I’m happy to feature you in the next edition.

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Makers_1: Welcome

The First Edition (Nov 24, 2019)

Hey friends!

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Makers newsletter. 🎉

First and foremost, thank you so much for being an early supporter. My goal is to help you overcome challenges in creating for the internet. The internet is the single greatest source of opportunity and income and I aim to provide a toolkit and insights so you can leverage it.

I want Makers and my work to help facilitate conversation and to share learnings from this awesome community of creatives, entrepreneurs, and makers. But to do that, I need your help! Anytime you see something insightful, boring, wrong, or if you have any other feedback, let me know by replying to this email. I’m happy to feature you in the next edition!

Now, let’s get to the good stuff!


What I’ve Been Up To 😊

I moved to San Francisco from Los Angeles recently. SF is a fascinating city with massive pedigree and massive issues. It's hard when we’re faced with suffering, but we can all do our best to make things better for ourselves and others. For ex. I carry extra snacks to give to people experiencing homelessness.

I’m taking a fantastic writing course called Write of Passage, taught by David Perrell. It’s taking my writing to the next level and fundamentally changing the way I approach online content and learning.

I’m also experimenting on the side with growth hacking, the science and art of growing a product.

Blog Update

Over the last few months, I've revamped my blog and started sharing more through writing. This mere act has already started to pay off in more opportunities from places I didn’t expect.

One example is a one reader enjoyed my content and reached out. They offered me the opportunity to write a new development bootcamp curriculum. In another case, a colleague read a blog post and now I have an opportunity to feature the post in the Credit Karma engineering blog.

I suspect more opportunities will arise as I invest more in my writing.

For fun here's a comparison of blog traffic between October 2019 and November 2019.


Recent Ideas & Posts 💡

How to Become a Software Engineer

According to Stack Overflow’s Annual Developer Survey in 2019 which surveyed 90,000 developers, most U.S. software engineers reported a +$100,000 salary. In addition to this fantastic pay, it’s not uncommon for tech companies to offer engineers a mix of flexible work schedules, cushy office perks, free lunches, and remote work, in addition to health and financial benefits.

You've heard enough about the good salaries, catered lunches, remote work, and job opportunities. How do you become a software engineer?

👉 Read the rest here


What I'm Enjoying 💯

I'm relistening to my favorite episode of the Tim Ferriss Show podcast, Episode #136 with Naval Ravikant.

Naval is the founder of AngelList and an investor in Uber, Twitter, Wish, Postmates, Yammer, Gumroad, Lever, Disqus, and many more. He is like a philosopher, entrepreneur, and computer scientist rolled in one. In this episode, Naval dives into recommended books, happiness hacks, and observations on education and technology.

If we can be healthy, happy, and ambitious, we can conquer the world and avoid burnout.

A few of my favorite gems from this episode:

I actually think happiness is the absence of suffering. It comes from peace. That comes from being careful about desire, judgment, and reaction.

Happiness is a choice, and it is a skill, and you can dedicate to learning that skill and making that choice and telling people about it and working on it. You can slowly but steadily over the course of the years make yourself happier.

When you’re on your death bed, when you’re on your last day, you’d give up every dollar in the bank for a few days, another hour, another minute. Money has a very steep discount rate as you get older. You just realize as you get older that it matters less and less and less. Outside of the bare necessities, which unfortunately most of the world is still struggling with.

The fact that you can listen to this podcast on an iPhone [...] means you’re already better off than a lot of people.

Guard your time. It’s all you have.


That’s a wrap

Thank you for reading the first version of Makers. 🍻 I'm so excited for you to see what's coming down the pipe, and to start building this community of awesome creatives and makers like yourself.

Have a fantastic day and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday 🦃

Until next time,
Nick Nish

TwitterBlogStart HereNewsletter Archive


Got a question, have feedback, or see something insightful, boring, or wrong? Let me know by replying to this email! I’m happy to feature you in the next edition.

Share Makers

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