Fuck tools

I spent three days researching laptops. And after two nights of your faced bathed in the blue light of mHz and SSD and GB of RAM stats, you are left with nuanced trade-offs between the Lenovo Y540, Dell G3 Gaming Laptop, and the Razer Blade 13, as well as the Ryzen 5 AMD versions, but no closer to being a writer.

What is the best laptop for a writer? As a writer, write on what you have. Above a basic level, the tools are largely irrelevant.

If you need examples still:

  • Casey Neistat made popular videos on a video camera that was grainy and had terrible audio quality. Check out his bike lanes video. That video prompted comment from the NYC mayor.
  • Eric Kim talks about forgoeing all his camera gear and using a mid priced camera with one focal length.
  • Chase Jarvis released an entire book with the iPhone. An old iPhone.

They were using new tools, but that really did not matter.

The counter argument is that those technologies are shitty now, but at the time, they were cutting edge.

When small cameras were around for Casey Neistat, you could not edit before on a computer.

When Eric Kim was using an APS-C camera to take photographs, they were the newest models of that camera.

When Chase Jarvis released that book, well the iPhone was a revolutionary tool.

Plenty of people had access to those tools and they did not blow up. Why?

What matters?

1. Platform matters. Tools give access to platform.

What the fuck? The platform, access to a new technology is another factor that propelled those people.

Casey - YouTube
Eric - Internet blogging
Chase - Phone Apps, YouTube, Blogging

It was the explosive growth of the platform combined with a little something extra (the brain, the execution) that propelled them to heights.

2. Software matters, and that software is your damn brain and execution.

If I gave you those tools, could you make as good of a video?

With today's better tools, better than anything being used professionally, could you make as good of a video?

If I gave Casey Neistat a 5 year old cell phone and you had the latest DSLR, could you make a better video?

What is the thing that matters? The software they have. Their damn brain. Their skills. Their creativity and execution. Vision.

Develop your brain.

3. Your skill matters. Yes, this point is a reiteration of point #2. Develop your brain, your skill, the quality of your content.

In the internet, the content is the calling card.

The branding is part of it too.


Have great media skills, develop content around things you love, put those on an explosively growing platform. Engage with people.

I am typing this post in 2020 on a wordpress blog (blogging is dead), but the technology is a laptop from 2013. 7 years, at least 6 generations of processing behind. The requirements for word processing have not grown since then anyway.

But the keyboard is failing, the system meets only the base system requirements and in a year or two, I will need to replace this computer. Maybe even sooner. I did, after all, spend all that time looking for a new laptop.

How do you know what an explosively growing platform is? New technology is one. New media is one. Look at where teens are accessing information. But the other thing is that Eric Kim was on Google Plus, Flickr, and all sorts of other platforms. His blog has stayed around though. Put stuff everywhere, be universal, and you do not have to pick as much.

Network matters. Who you are as a person. Who you know, but even more than that, who are your friends.
Your social circle matters for support, access, and other things
I updated this point on 11/12/2020. I go back to old posts and update them, so the content on this site continues to improve.

Be Universal

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