The beta link: linktr.ee/gathr

Dear chosen friends and family,

Today marks the day that we’re putting out a limited release version of gathr. We’ve chosen to limit it to about 50 of our close connections for two reasons:

  1. The pandemic rages on. It is still not safe to gather responsibly at-scale. Given that our entire raison d’etre is to make it easier to get together, we won’t be releasing en masse until post-quarantine. We’ve chosen to release the app to you because we trust you to gather responsibly with appropriate social distancing measures.
  2. This is still an early stage of…

My fingers are rapidly darting across my keyboard this early morning after Christmas to capture my dreamt memories before they sieve out of my mind.

The dream right before I woke up had a very Promised Neverland feel to it. For those of you who haven’t watched or read, Promised Neverland is a fantasy manga about an orphanage. The orphans slowly realize that they’re actually like cattle being grown until their eventual consumption by a race of demons. I know, dark. But I had the creeping sense that someone (or maybe a race of demon people) was manufacturing my experience.


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As Bernie Sanders exits the presidential race, for what may be the last time, it might feel like the people lost. Whatever your political leanings may be, one thing is clear. Sanders cares deeply about the American people, and believes that the government has undermined its own role as protector of all by looking out for a select few.

The wealthy and powerful.

I’ve followed Sanders since 6th grade, since I first saw his visage light up the tele in my childhood best friend’s shambled living room. He was an Independent back then, and still remains one at heart. …


This is an exercise in self-love, assigned by my therapist.

I’ve been struggling with self-esteem. I’ve always had this creeping feeling in the back of my mind that I’m not good enough, but lately it’s gotten worse.

I’m always comparing myself to the people around me. And that’s especially unforgiving when my high school classmates are building things like Turbotax for bankruptcy, a virtual classroom for tutors, or an NYC contracting marketplace for repairs backed by Village Global. Hell, one friend a couple years ahead of me is a 3-point sharpshooter for the NBA’s Miami Heat.

Meanwhile, things have oscillated…


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The OG Homecooked team.

We live in strange times. In an age of unprecedented technological progress, our societies and economies are being decimated by a microscopic, invisible force. For all of our advances, we are still vulnerable to the smallest of organisms, the minuscule increments of infectious disease evolution.

The age of coronavirus has insulated us from our communities, and it’s left me plenty of time to reflect on the past. When the world around me is quiet, my mind fills its own space with noise. Fueled by anxiety, I think about the good, the bad, and past mistakes in particular.

In January of…


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Steve Jobs, delivering the Stanford Class of 2005 commencement address.

15 years ago, on a sunny afternoon at Stanford University, Steve Jobs delivered the Class of 2005 commencement address.

Of course, most days in San Francisco are sunny. Of greater interest was the fact that Jobs had taken time out of his jam-packed schedule to impart a few words of wisdom. Stanford, being situated right in the middle of Silicon Valley, draws a slew of entrepreneurial undergrads. So Jobs faced an eager crowd of newly minted graduates who listened intently to his every word.

Jobs started by saying that he wanted to tell three stories. “Today I want to tell…


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A stylized drawing of Frank Ocean.

A series of synthetic chimes introduces the melody. They match up to an asynchronous beat that contains at once a soft soothing cadence and a sense of unease.

Fitting for a song that floats a wistful wish to change amidst a meandering life.

“That every night shit, every day shit.”

Frank Ocean’s Nights is a song in three acts:

  1. The first, introduced by the asynchronous melody
  2. The second, divided from the first by a chaotic electric guitar riff
  3. The third, a callback to the first with a more rushed and urgent beat

I think the reason Nights resonates with me…


A two-tool solution that led to 1,400% more traffic in the first week

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Our pivot from a B2B real estate services startup into a supercharged social events app was an utter whirlwind. The pivot changed our tech stack from top to bottom, shifted our team’s roles and skill requirements, and upheaved our entire market.

That was already enough to throw us into an existential panic. But on top of that, we lost our entire userbase. We were no longer selling to large apartment buildings as a real-estate tech play, we were trying to get a consumer app out the door. And customer lead gen was about to get a lot harder.

The B2B…


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Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash.

Since I was old enough to walk, my parents have told me I was the smartest kid in the room. They barged their way into principals’ offices to lobby for my placement into “gifted and talented” classrooms. They scoured our local neighborhood in Madison, WI, enrolling me in whatever advanced or accelerated programs they could find.

My mom likes to use this story from when I was two years old to illustrate what she calls “innate talent.” She says that she was walking down the aisles of a Toys R Us (r.i.p.), with me seated in the grated metal cage…


A letter of gratitude to my 5th grade teacher

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Source.

I’ve recently been giving more thought to why I am here. Not in the existential sense of “purpose” or “origin.” But the literal events and people that acted as guideposts for the life that I’ve traveled.

I think back to when my mom would take me to the grocery store. The medley of smells and taste profiles from the free samples dotting aisles of Whole Foods. How food inspired a sense of wonder that brought me to start a food startup.

Or the walks with my grandfather along the park near the lakefront. The pure love for the outdoors that…

Hojung

I’m trying to de-stigamtize mental health. Chief Gathering Officer @ gathr, a magical.app

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