RW Newsletter: 13 from '13. And a giveaway.

Hello everyone,

Off to a good new year? Hope so. I haven't sent one of these notes out in a while, and since I spent some time recently looking back through stuff I published in 2013 (a very transitional year for me), I thought I'd offer up my personal Year In Review: 13 pieces from ’13 that remain readable, that stand out to me for one reason or another, and that maybe you missed. Chronologically:

  1. January 15. Print: The Pencil Factory: An Oral History. I thoroughly enjoyed working in a format that was new to me, and learned a lot doing this.

  2. February 13. Design Observer: Let’s Make A Mark. In which I channel E’s proposal for a new punctuation option.

  3. February 28. Bloomberg Businessweek: The Cult of Evernote. Fun-to-report feature story.

  4. March 4. Yahoo Tech: Are Smartphones “Emasculating”? I started a new gig as a “tech/culture” columnist for Yahoo News this year, and this was my debut. A lot of what I do there is news-driven, but there are elements of this one that hold up anyway, I think.

  5. April, The Atlantic: Putting the “I” in IPO. How one man turned himself into a publicly traded human.

  6. May 15. Catalog for “Sentimental Value” (Philadelphia Art Alliance): Finding The Story. Flattered to be asked to give my two cents on Emily Spivack’s thoughtful project.

  7. June 4. Yahoo Tech: The iPhone As Polo Shirt. This should have gotten more pickup.

  8. June 17. Yahoo Tech: 15 Ways BuzzFeed Is Toying With Your Faith In Humanity. Another new format for me: a listicle! (Yes, it is silly of me to include this one.)

  9. August 11. The New York Times (Sunday Business): The debut of Workologist, a biweekly column. Another new gig and yet another new format: Advice. Very fun.

  10. August 12. Design Observer: An Accidental Time Capsule. A somewhat personal piece, with pictures by E.

  11. October. Fast Company: Hands Off That Logo! For the magazine's “Decade In Design” package, I contributed this essay arguing that “design rage” is a good thing.

  12. October 4. Yahoo Tech: GoPro: How an upstart camera company launched — and thrived — in the smartphone era. My attempt to do a basically traditional reported magazine story in the Yahoo Tech context. I think it holds up.

  13. November 11. “Design and Violence” ( The Librator (Defense Distributed). Another honor: Being asked to contributed an essay to this online MoMA exhibition that I strongly believe in.

Say, what happened in December? Well, there's some stuff in the works at Yahoo that will come into being in the new year that has taken up time and energy. I also have a few (modest) personal projects planned for 2014, but more on that later.

Multimedia Bonus!

A Personal Note

Probably the saddest news of the year was the passing of William Drenttel, a brilliant, inspiring, and generous man I wish I could have known better, but I am thankful to have known at all. The moving tributes here attest to his widespread and profoundly positive effect on the world, and I recommend taking the time to read this selection of his writing gathered by Rick Poynor.


The prize: A bottle of George Takei "Eau My" fine fragrance, in package."Set Phasers to Stunning." (Yes, also silly. This is courtesy of our friends at Omni Consumer Products, who graciously sent this sample my way. I need to find a more suitable home for it.)

The question: What are you looking forward to in 2014? Could be a personal project, a cultural event, or anything else. Answer any way you wish to Winner will be chosen by our secret algorithm. Deadline January 7.

And that is all for now. Have a great 2014, and keep in touch.