going all in on startupy, community-curated search, consistency > intensity
Hi, I’m Sari Azout and this is the the 65th edition of Check your Pulse, a tech and startups newsletter designed to make you feel human.
Hello friends, old and new. It’s been a while.
As you might have guessed from my 4+ months long absence, I can no longer continue writing this newsletter on a regular basis.
I’ve gone all in on startupy and I foresee this taking up most of my mental space into the near future. My days now mostly revolve around back to back hiring, team meetings, lots of admin stuff, product prioritization, and finding time in between to raise good humans and keep them alive – including the high-stakes job that is keeping an 8 month old from putting toilet paper in his mouth.
I’ll be back, I promise.
In the meantime, there are a few other ways to keep up with me:
I’ll be curating a weekly newsletter for startupy which we describe as “a laid back newsletter about very serious ideas”. It’s not too different from what I’ve done here in the past, minus the original content. I’ll plan to send it to this list and if you want to unsubscribe, no biggie. So goodbye, but also maybe not?
I launched a podcast! It’s called Tokens, but How and it’s about the messy details of building token-based products. I’ve been pounding my head against the wall trying to think of the best way to share upside of startupy with our community. Now I get to think about it out loud with some of the smartest people in the world. Check it out and let me know what you think!
Join the startupy private beta — in addition to unrestricted database to the startupy curated database, paying members will be invited to a private Discord community, which I have no doubt will morph into one of the most wholesome places on the Internet. You can use code “
cypfriends” to get 20% off a yearly membership. If you’re on the fence, here’s a quick demo I recorded to show you what cool things you can do on startupy today.
Warning: our vision is not quite ready for prime-time. We have lots of bugs, so please be patient.
This has been quite a run.
Your encouragement, kind words, thoughtful comments, and sharing my work on social media are what gave me the confidence to go all in on startupy, and were the perfect flywheel for attracting the kinds of people and conversations that brought me real-lasting joy.
Humanity in tech seems to be one of the most important themes of my work, and I’ve experienced that in spades here. I’m indebted to you all and extremely humbled by it.
With incredible gratitude ✨
On community-curated search engines
When I first shared what I was working on, I billed startupy as a community-powered database of startup knowledge, organized associatively. At the time, I’d been relentlessly curating a repository of content on Airtable with no intention to build a meaningful business around it – and that content was mostly tech related.
Over the past year, there’s been a big shift in how I’ve allocated my brainspace. I’ve gone deep down crypto, but also self-improvement, parenting, management, wellness and many other rabbit holes. Throughout that time, my excitement for startupy and the importance of curation has only grown but it turns out the startup focused description wasn’t quite right.
Thriving in an information abundant world requires being able to dance across disciplines and cross pollinate ideas from a wealth of places – if you’re building a DAO but only reading DAO content and researching other DAOs, you’re missing out on the best insights.
So here’s the pitch: Startupy is a community-curated search engine for meaningful insights across a long tail of culturally relevant topics. Zero SEO BS - just a delightful library of human-curated content, topics, people, and companies, all organized based on their connections, and made searchable.
How can I make it better?
On building human-scale organizations
The fact that you can connect with anyone in the world, have anything you could possibly want delivered to your doorstep within a day, and retrieve any information you could possibly want in seconds is incredible — scale has unlocked enormous benefits. But a lot of the good stuff has been lost in this endless quest for scale — the human touch, empathy, joy, delight. It’s very hard to preserve these things at mega scale.
There’s a reason it’s impossible to speak to an Amazon customer service representative; this level of intimacy is impossible when your customer base is the entirety of the human race. So maybe it’s not about aiming for mega scale or human scale but about interrogating what is the optimal scale, the scale at which the highest degree of quality for your product can be achieved.
Right-scaling organizations is not a part of the thinking process in tech the way, say, MVP or growth hacking or Series A and other BS round nomenclatures are, so maybe all I’m saying is; I think it should be.
On consistency > intensity
Being an ideas person is a double edged sword. I get the biggest highs from running radical experiments and doing the work required from napkin to introducing it to the world.
The problem, I’ve learned, is that what really matters is not the big things you do sporadically (i.e. the launch) but the small things you do consistently.
Intensity makes for a good story, but consistency makes progress.
The first ever experiment in tokenized advertising allowing you to own digital real estate in websites you believe in went live last month. The startupy billboard was a resounding success with ad lots now trading at 4x initial price in secondary market.
I’m very excited about this project and think there’s enormous potential. That said — project was built by a group of Internet friends who can no longer keep up with the demands of the product.
To that end, we’re looking for a CEO/leader type person interested in stewarding, nurturing, and harnessing its potential. Ideal profile: web3 curious, scrappy, and experience building/growing early stage products. Hmu if this is you or anyone in your orbit! 👀
Oliver Burkeman’s 4,000 weeks: Time Management for Mortals. What a book! This passage on our cosmic insignificance stopped me in my tracks.
Cosmic insignificance therapy is an invitation to face the truth about your irrelevance in the grand scheme of things. To embrace it, to whatever extent you can. (Isn’t it hilarious, in hindsight, that you ever imagined things might be otherwise?) Truly doing justice to the astonishing gift of a few thousand weeks isn’t a matter of resolving to “do something remarkable” with them. In fact, it entails precisely the opposite: refusing to hold them to an abstract and overdemanding standard of remarkableness, against which they can only ever be found wanting, and taking them instead on their own terms, dropping back down from godlike fantasies of cosmic significance into the experience of life as it concretely, finitely—and often enough, marvelously—really is. 📚
This thread on a simple fact that blows your mind is worth a browse.
For example, every ‘c’ in Pacific Ocean is pronounced differently 🤯
Tyler Haney, the founder of Outdoor Voices is back — this time with a Web3 commerce tool called Try your Best 🤷🏽♀️
A very accurate description of parenting (& building startups) by Glennon Doyle 👇🏾
If you’re wondering who’s behind this newsletter:
My name is Sari Azout. I am the founder of Startupy, a community-curated search engine for meaningful intellectual insights. I spend my days thinking, building, and investing at the intersection of Web 3, curation, and the future of knowledge.
Thanks for being here!