I've struggled a lot of the last couple of years about what I want to do with this blog which lives on my first and last name .COM. It's weird because you'd think a simple think like a blog, that has no advertisers, no specific topic, and no expectations of schedule wouldn't stress me out, but it has, more than I would have imagined.
I've done some soul searching lately to try to figure out why that is. For those who might have just stumbled on this blog - here's the quick TLDR.
I started writing this blog in 2007, at that time I had started dipping my toes in the domain name investing waters. Yes, people invest in domains, think of it as digital real estate. Unfortunately, unlike physical real estate, when you buy digital real estate and it goes up in value, people think of you as a squatter. When you buy physical real estate and it goes up in value people think of you as a smart investor.
But I digress. I wrote about domain name investing on this blog for over a decade. I shared what I was learning about domain investing, and in the process attracted some pretty lucrative sponsorships (or at least lucrative for me at the time). I traveled all over the world speaking at conferences as I was thrust into the thought leader/influencer role.
At first I honestly really liked the attention I was getting. I can still remember one conference where a blog reader came up to me with a stack of papers with different sections highlighted. It was his favorite blog posts of mine, he wanted my autograph. It was a surreal feeling, and honestly very gratifying in many ways since like most human beings, it feels good to be appreciated, but when a complete stranger appreciates you it also shows that you're making a broader impact than you might have once thought.
But with blogging, and with sponsors, and with the thought leader/influencer stigma came a lot of stress and pressure. I never really shared it publicly but it weighed on me. Reflecting back on that time I don't think I truly realized who I was as a person, I had convinced myself that being incredibly social, coming up with fresh content every day, going to every conference that I could was something that was perfect for me and my personality.
My life changed when we started Bold Metrics, where I am our CTO today leading our Engineering and Product org. As my life and focus shifted I started to feel disconnected from this blog, domain investing was becoming a smaller and smaller part of my life, but I had an obligation to my sponsors, and more importantly to my readers who had read this blog, many for over a decade.
At this point everything changed. I dreaded writing my blog posts, I started to feel like a fraud - I was busy learning and growing as a founder but writing about buying and selling domains, something I wasn't really actively doing any more. Still, as an early startup founder, I wasn't paying myself much and the extra income from the blog made a difference, so I kept writing.
When COVID hit in 2020, like everyone else all over the world, my life changed. I was living in San Francisco at the time and my active social schedule came to a screeching halt. All of my time spent going to dinners and drinks, attending startup events, networking, going to conferences, poof - gone.
I thought I would absolutely hate it - going out with people, attending events, that was my jam. But as the months went by I realized that I was actually really enjoying the heads down time to just focus and build. I discovered a nascent NFT project called Bored Ape Yacht Club and got really involved in that community on Twitter.
In April of 2021 I changed my profile picture on Twitter to my ape, I was part of a very early group of people to do this and wrote about my initial experience on Medium. At first I got messages from people asking what the heck I was doing - why did I have a cartoon ape as my profile picture?
It was a very freeing experience, while a seemingly small thing, I felt in some way like I was finally able to express myself creatively in a new way. For whatever reason, this event and all the incredible things happening in the NFT space at the time pushed me to think more about myself, who I am, and what I'm doing for myself vs. doing because it's something I think I should be doing.
I realized that I actually was really enjoying time away from the pressures of all the dinners, networking events, schmoozing, etc. At the same time I was really enjoying being heads down with our team at Bold Metrics, building, growing, and really going deep on what we were doing.
In 2022 we raised our Series A round led by Bessemer Ventures, and in this process I started to learn more about Bessemer's focus on efficiency metrics - it was truly fascinating. One of Bessemer's most famous investments was Shopify, which was able to cross the $200M ARR mark raising less than $20M.
We started hiring more people and soon had build what I can honestly say is a real dream team. As this all happened something changed for me, I was no longer interested in being a thought leader or influencer myself, instead I wanted to see our team excel and grow, I wanted them to have the limelight, not me. I also realized that maybe I wasn't quite the bubbly extrovert I had always thought I was. I really loved being heads down building, I didn't want to be on the podcasts or interviewed by the media, I just wanted to hire great people and together build something truly transformational.
Today I'm proud to say we're doing just that. At the same time, through all of these experiences I've learned that while I got a good taste of the thought leadership/influencer world, it's just not what I want. More than anything I just want to build, and when I say build I mean build great teams, and with great teams come great products. At my core I think I am a people person, I love getting to really understand people and finding ways to build an environment where they can do their best work.
Which now brings me back to this blog. When you have a blog that matches your name, i.e. MorganLinton.com, it's almost impossible to not have what you write come across as an attempt at thought leadership, or a journey along the influencer road. And now, it is more clear to me than ever, that I don't want that. Of course, this doesn't mean I'm going to stop writing, I absolutely love writing, it's one of my life's passions. I will still publish from time to time on Medium, but most of my writing, which I actually still do daily is creative writing, but for now it's just for myself.
So today, Sunday February 11th, 2024 I am hanging up my hat and making this my last blog post here on MorganLinton.com. While this is my last post, my blog will live on - I'm not taking it down, all of my posts for the last 15+ years will remain, they are a part of me, and taking them down in some ways would be denying a seminal part of my life and my journey.
After I published this Ghost told me this was my 4,183rd blog post and I couldn't help but notice the last two words - "keep going." It really is bittersweet, but in many ways I'm doing just that, but "keep going" takes on a different meaning in this case.
Thanks to all of my readers who have supported me over the years. In some ways I feel like I'm letting you down, but I also know that this next phase in my life isn't about me, it's about my team. I am so humbled and honored to work with the people that I do, now it's their time to shine.