I tried Google Cardboard and it’s awesome

Google Cardboard multiple views

Google Cardboard is exciting because it makes virtual reality accessible to anyone with a smartphone and a few extra bucks. Sure, the Oculus is cool, but $200 for a headset is still steep for the average person. Google Cardboard is…well, cardboard. Viewers cost around $20. It’s virtual reality for the masses. You assemble it in a few minutes, pop your phone in, and seconds later you’re standing in your apartment saying “OH MY GOD…OH MY GOD…OH MY GOD” because the future is here.

At least that’s how I felt about it. That, and pretty nauseated. Those VR physics aren’t quite right yet. But overall, it was incredible.

Weirdly, Google does not make any Cardboard viewers. You have to get one from a third party. I picked this kit in black for $20, because style matters when you’re in the metaverse.  (more…)

How to cold email pitch a VC

8 bit cold email

Sending a cold pitch over email is a bad way to get investors’ attention. Still, a lot of people do it, and there’s a way to make yours less bad. If you must do a cold pitch over email, at least make it rise above the (crappy) crowd.

Cold email pitches should:

  • be personalized, explaining why this firm and these partners are a good fit for you and your idea
  • be very brief, with just a high-level idea, who you are, and maybe a link to a slide deck for more info (think of the slides as an appendix: they’re extra, not necessary to understand the company)
  • link to files, not attach them (opening your giant PDF attachment sucks on a mobile phone)
  • have a reasonable ask (like “do you have 10 minutes for a call?” not “please invest $2.5M”)

A few other pitch tips from Bram Kanstein of Product Hunt:

  • Tell about the problem you’re solving
  • Show your solution
  • Show early results if you have them
  • Why are you the man/woman/team that’s going to take this to the moon?
  • Asking for specific feedback is also good. It’s difficult to help when your question is simply: “what do you think?”


The story of my life

The quest for inbox zero is a noble but tireless one. We are all Sisyphus.

sisyphus pushing a boulder representing email up a mountain

Personal heroes

Dan Savage, Tim and Eric, Crispin Glover line drawing

Dan Savage, Tim and Eric, and Crispin Glover. Image by me.

Maybe it’s because I just turned thirty, but I’ve been thinking recently about the people who I’ve admired and learned from most over the years. I listed them below, with the exception of my parents (a given).

  • Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, whose collective sense of humor skewers everything inauthentic and cheesy about the world
  • Dan Savage, the unfiltered sex advice columnist/podcaster and civil rights activist
  • Stephen King, who introduced me both to writing and nightmares
  • Trey Parker and Matt Stone, for championing free speech in the guise of hilarious shows and movies
  • Penn Jillette, for calling bullshit on things that too many people accept
  • Dave Barry, for making me laugh until I cry
  • Trent Reznor, the soundtrack to my life since fifth grade and a crusader for musicians
  • Crispin Glover, who is weird enough to own a castle in Prague and release videos like this, yet mainstream enough to play George McFly in “Back to the Future”
  • Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half, Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal, and Nicholas Gurewitch of Perry Bible Fellowship for the best comics and writing on the Internet
  • David Lynch, for making me think about movies the way English class made me think about books
  • Anne Rice, for introducing me to alternative universes
  • RuPaul Charles, for making creative identity expression accepted (and cool)
  • John Kricfalusi, for refusing to compromise with Nickelodeon on Ren & Stimpy and showing me at an early age that sticking to your vision matters

A speech for my best friend’s wedding

Last night I officiated my best friend’s wedding ceremony, and I figured I’d post the script in case anyone else is doing a gay, secular event and wants to see an example script. I read a few online and they were helpful for me in putting this together.

Obviously the Buffy the Vampire Slayer references and inside jokes aren’t applicable to the average person, but you get the idea. I also changed everyone’s names.   (more…)

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