and here’s the most important part
The part of AGEIST that I most enjoy is the part that I am sure an MBA would tell me is the least effective use of my limited time. It’s when I am in contact with all of you. It’s returning your emails, especially the ones when you disagree or are unsatisfied with our publishing. It’s helping the fulfillment team put together the boxes of merchandise that you so generously buy, trying to sign each one when I can. It’s the taking of the portraits, when I get to spend an hour or so getting to know you.
There is a somewhat overused phrase from EM Forster—“connect only connect”—that I recall, to my shame, disparaging years ago. It is the part of this crazy startup rocket ride that I really love. People on the outside, my advisors, my financial people, are puzzled by my enthusiasm for the contact I have with all of you. “Is this scalable?” they ask. Well, no, my personal contact is not scalable, but that does not mean that I should ever want to not be in touch with as many people as possible. Not only does it fill me with the great satisfaction of having created a vehicle of substantial impact, it’s also where I learn about all of you in a very direct, tactile way — not creepy data-skimming a la Facebook. This is old school, person to person. Even if it is as slight as me putting a packing label on a box, it still connects me, and I hope no matter how large we grow, I will always be that guy who can take 10 minutes and reach out. Thank you all for the best job I have ever had.