July 20, 2019

About about

One of the first pages I check on a person or a company’s website is their about page.

I am in the middle Jerry Colonna’s Reboot, and as the universe often conspires, it is just the book I need to read right now.

Each chapters is driven by a few hard questions. As I struggle in the midst of a new company, a book project, a consulting assignment and more – all solo – and wondering why I made these choices, when Jerry Colonna asks:

In what ways have I depleted myself, run myself into the ground? Where am I running from and where to? Why have I allowed myself to be so exhausted?

I relate.

Or when he quotes Lao Tzu’s poem

Always we hope / someone else has the answer, some other place will be / better, / some other time, / it will turn out / … This is it.

I am reminded, of that other quote: “Wherever you go, there you are”.

But I digress, this is a post about about pages.

In a world of selfies, LinkedIn and Instagram influencers, when you feel compelled to turn every act of describing oneself into an opera of self-promotion, it is heartening to read About pages where people come ‘just as they are’. In their beachwear, holding a glass of beer and a smile.

I didn’t know Jerry Colonna and Fred Wilson were partners. I have always enjoyed Fred’s blog AVC, so that made me check it out again. And this time I checked the about page. It is short.

I love that he writes

This is my diary, my sandbox, my therapist, and more than anything it is my bar where I get to be the bartender. AVC is a place where everyone is welcome and the conversation is civil and lively.

He has also been writing every day since September 2003. Some discipline. Or perhaps just the commitment to write everyday eases the expectation of how magnificent you expect each of your word-turds to be.

Made me think of some other about pages I like.

  • Like Craig Mod’s. I love this bit “I’m adopted. Fascinated by provenance. Provenance and mythologies. Especially the myths we create around ourselves and the boundaries which define ‘family.'"

  • There was a time I loved Merlin Mann’s About page, but his current website is sparse and the Internet Archive one doesn’t help me recall what I loved about it.

I always imagine my dear friend Carissa calling me out when I unconsciously bias my mentions towards men. But today I hope it is okay.

Why this rambly blog post in the middle of a Saturday, Ashish? Let’s say I am just playing with my bar equipment, inspired a little by Monsieur Fred.