Here's the first two paragraphs of the first rag I ever wrote. I stayed up until 4am attempting to perfect the issue and probably spent eight hours in total writing and editing before scheduling it to be sent out. I obsessed over every detail. This was my writing process for the first few months of the rag. I was desperate at the time and needed to prove to myself that I could do something productive that provided others value.
I started Marty's Bent at the lowest point of my life. At the time, I was a newly married 26-year old who was approaching 18-months of prolonged unemployment after quitting a job in haste thinking that I would be able to break into the tech scene as a product manager. I can't even recall the amount of job interviews I went on during that period. How many rejections I experienced. How many tears that were shed thinking of how big of a loser I was sitting on my couch in an apartment in East Williamsburg being paid for by my fiancé/wife. It was a truly dark time.
A week before I started writing in this dirty corner of the Internet, I failed at landing a dog walking job because I couldn't properly fasten a leash on a stuffed French Bulldog. I can vividly remember laughing to myself as I walked to the York Street F train stop in DUMBO with my tail tucked between my legs thinking about how much of a loser I was and how I was going to explain this to my wife.
"Honey, you married someone who has just been considered incapable of walking dogs and picking up their shit."
How could you do anything but laugh in this situation? I certainly didn't realize it at the time, but looking back it feels like the universe was trying to tell me something.
Three days later my parents came up to Brooklyn and took my wife and I to Roberta's in Bushwick. As we were standing there in the back patio of the restaurant sipping on beers and eating their shitty pizza, I was venting to my parents about my struggles to acquire gainful employment. My dad, knowing how passionate I was about Bitcoin, that I knew quite a bit about it and held on to some despite the fact I hadn't worked for well over a year, encouraged me to start this newsletter. He was aware of the fact that I was already fielding questions from family and friends about Bitcoin as they grew more curious, and that I had written for the fund I worked for out of college. Why not combine the two?
"You know what, dad? That's not a bad idea. Maybe I will start a newsletter. I literally have nothing else to do."
A few days later, issue number one was released to a mailing list of ten people that included myself.
One thing I should give myself credit for is the fact that I attended any Bitcoin meetup I could find around New York throughout the duration of my unemployment and was able to meet some very smart people around the Bitcoin scene in the city. One of those individuals was Santiago Siri, who was kind enough to tweet the first issue of the Bent out to his tens of thousands of followers with an extremely kind message encouraging people to sign up to the mailing list. The list grew from 10 to well over 100 in the first couple of days. I was pretty fucking pumped.
From there, I continued chugging along producing a letter a day, sharing it on social media, and jumping right into research for the next day's letter. Slowly, over time the newsletter picked up more steam and I had enough of a following that seemed to like what I was putting out there that I started to feel like less of a loser. One thing led to another, and later that Summer I began recording Tales from the Crypt at the Barstool Sports offices late at night when everyone went home. The tides had quickly turned in my favor.
I was still unemployed, but I had found my passion. I loved waking up and writing and talking about Bitcoin every day (and still do). I was invigorated and finally had a sense of purpose.
At lot has changed since then. I've continued to write every weekday and put out multiple podcasts a week. This thing has evolved into a business that allows me to support my family, which now includes a 15-month old son. And it has led me to meet some of the most inspiring people I have ever come into contact with. If you would have told the Marty who was standing out back of Roberta's having a conversation with his parents and wife that this is what this would lead to, he would not have believed you.
Along this journey, I have learned a lot about myself, the power of perseverance, persistence, what it means to dedicate yourself to something, and the benefits that dedication can bring with it.
I guess that's the thing I'm trying to get at with issue number 1,000; you never know how quickly things can turn around. How drastically the perceived trajectory of your life can change. If you're out there feeling like a loser because the world keeps rejecting you and you feel like you're not getting anywhere and won't be able to, keep pushing forward. Try to find something that challenges you and stick with it. Especially if it's tied to something you're passionate about. At the very least, you'll learn a few things.
Over the course of these 1,000 issue, my perspective of Bitcoin and its role in the world has become very crystal clear to me. We are in a war for Freedom in the Digital Age and Bitcoin is one of the most potent tools we have to win that war. I've learned that some of my previous held beliefs about Bitcoin were wrong, one must try as hard as possible to not put individual bitcoiners on pedestals, decisions around protocol development come with very nuanced tradeoffs, and the noise only gets louder over time.
I try to constantly remind myself of that last point and use it as a personal north star for writing about Bitcoin and the other topics I venture into from time to time. It is, after all, the original value prop of this rag as laid out in my first final thought.
I may stray from this self-imposed mandate from time to time and these rags may be riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, but I hope that overall this rag has delivered you value throughout the first 1,000 issues. Here's to many more.
I did not expect to write this piece about my "journey" today, but oh well. Here it is.
Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
The coffee shops on my village by the sea were all closed today. The first day I've craved an ice coffee in forever. I had a long disappointing walk this morning.