July 10, 2014

Pinboard Turns Five

I’m not a Pinboard user. I find the RSS-Pocket-Evernote trio that I set up in January to work just fine. But reading Maciej Cegłowski’s fifth-anniversary post has left me wanting to* has made me become a paid user just for the sake of it. Cegłowski shares numbers and stats transparently, something I always look for, but this time I dig the writing as much as the numbers:

Avoiding burnout is difficult to write about, because the basic premise is obnoxious. Burnout is a rich man’s game. Rice farmers don’t get burned out and spend long afternoons thinking about whether to switch to sorghum. Most people don’t have the luxury of thinking about their lives in those terms. But at the rarefied socioeconomic heights of computerland, it’s true that if you run a popular project by yourself for a long time, there’s a high risk that it will wear you out.

More than anything though, I like Cegłowski’s levelheaded attitude towards entrepreneurship: He’s building a business in the age of startups. A useful service in the age of sexy, meaningless apps. He’s going for revenue in a time when everyone seems to be after snap acquisitions and fantastic exits. He has clients, not users.

It’s a little ironic, but in many ways, Pinboard (as a web enterprise) is an oddity. And an exhilarating one at that, if I may.

*I’ve purchased a Pinboard account hours after publishing this piece.

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