Letting yourself get lost in abstract shape and time can push and pull your work in ways you may not have thought about consciously.

Julie Mehretu at LACMA

When I first moved to California at 23 years old, I was young, broke and living off beans & rice, but one indulgence I allowed myself was a membership to the SFMOMA. I could barely make rent and was struggling to find work, so my roommate called into question my $75 membership, but seeing the Chagall exhibit five times made it all worthwhile. I have always fantasized being included in the pantheon of fine artists with my own work hanging on the walls of these revered institutions, so being in proximity to these iconic pieces was the next best thing…


Photo by Robert Haverly on Unsplash

Your intuition is your best bet in helping you focus on glaring warning signs for your upcoming project with a new client.

A few weeks ago I turned down a six-figure salary after a few of my conversations with the founder exposed some red flags that became harder and harder for me to ignore the more we talked. Everything from the outset seemed to be working in my favor – it was a cannabis project (fun & cool), the team was really small (great to make my mark), and they had the ability to compensate me accordingly (woo hoo, money!). As the discussions went forward however, little things would surface that gave me pause and turn up my anxiety dial. …


We are winding down 2019 and closing in on a new decade, and I’ve been consumed by updating my design and illustration portfolio. I’m honing in on my own personal style and working to fix all sorts of thorns and misalignments in old projects as a form of rediscovery and personal development.

A few years ago I returned to art school as a large adult man and it helped me refocus artistically and go further in depth to my overall studies. Now I see so much with new eyes – better shapes, overall balance & composition – all the glaring…


Note: Medium does not allow co-authorship but this post was written by Nish Nadaraja and Michael Ernst. They met on their first day working at Yelp in 2005 and continue to work together with various startups.

If you were to browse a magazine rack at this very moment (go ahead, we’ll wait), you’re just as likely to see Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk gracing a cover, as you are Channing Tatum or Taylor Swift.

This should not be surprising.

Tech has become the new Hollywood, to the point that movies and TV shows are literally being made about Silicon Valley…


The 7 Things We Learned in the Early Days of Yelp

Accelerators.

Quick Exits.

Instant Messages.

Messages that even disappear.

Everything about tech is fast. Of the moment. Almost built not to last.

Back in 2005 (George W. Bush was President), we had the opportunity to work with Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons as they began what would become Yelp. There were a lot of contributing factors to the company’s eventual success — and we get some credit for creating the brand and community aspects that helped humanize and popularize the site — but that, dear reader, didn’t happen overnight.

These days, everyone seems to have forgotten the importance of building…


Your gauze gaze gave you away
staring at inexorable plums in Excel
sewing circles wholeheartedly disagree
on boundless calculations with no measure
of rickety faith or substantiated kindness
cold swaths of science halt negotiations
and suddenly, in the news:
a wild Pope appears without a prenup
and the debate rattles the Midwest
of centuries old answers sealed in wax
prime meridians falter Copernicus in 2525
shields are down, lasers tag debris
and the nerds lose this family feud
making way for brighter bolts of lightning
standstill time wraps itself in light
and music feels even on your skin
numbness is no longer a pliable option so
you wear orthogonal flowers in your hair
and you pay through the…


Twos and threes list greener trees
to keep me fixated on the horizon
tens and elevens the bodies pile up
and room in storage is dwindling

She told me she’s a Christian
and her infinite god has a plus one
and she invited him to the party
watch him be all drunk and smug

Naturally I’ll be ornery and stress
over Occam’s shitty used razor
quantifying the anger is useless
especially against philosopher bullies

Flaky hands made sense in wintertime
questioning regeneration as a goal
music stops, phone ceases ringing
and yet and yet and yet I am so close


Silent elusive showroom of
high end luxury cars
wheel out of sight into
a black lagoon tarpit of
pedigree shame
slipping through your
newly minted fingers
leather scuffs and
cutting Cuban heels
gold ampersand shapes
twist upside-down letters
to unlearn salient facts

Clever baby boy unprepared
for winning at Jeopardy
flamboyantly bookgrinning
Cliff Notes orbit voids
upending pompon castes
who cheer in the Bronx
missing future truth tones
to feel the fence’s edge
colors ululate your faith
but genetics trap you
believing pleasure bursts
fractured bucket overflows

Heavy gall bladder worry
and soup kitchen guilt
diagram a wondrous fate
plot trajectory & return
a percentage of who 1 am
which = sums > America
breathing ledger panic
whiny equality humming
wake up day after day to 72°
airport window weather
surprise you little shithead
it’s a gift


Lame horse leg swinging loosely ‘round at her head
ducking no shots fired ending existence love

Crumpled bits fall straight outta your gaping mouth
kerplop was the only feasible fairy tale ending

Bad news bears circle you and taunt your dreams
but you’ve renounced all animal metaphors

Chasing marginal affection whittled your heart down
to a tiny wooden glowstick barren of sawdust sparks

Flipping channels making habits of bad habits gone bad
doubly confusing in this sopping world of vice & mirrors

Fending for yourself like a junkie in an oyster bar
a lavender checkerboard triggers charisma vertigo

Just so you can run your wagging tongue under her shirt
validating your dark past with the smell of baby powder

Pap pap pap twists the sideways gangsta style gun
thrust into your everlasting soul side cramp


Tumult will not subside without spectacular market crashes
four year old autistic braggadocio crashing through tinker toys
just as whiny just as erratic just as you knew it growing up
little brainiac nerds will rule the world in awkward underpants

Nothing flatters vanity except for a billion billion downloads
inside baseball games cost a fortune and go on forever innings
mishmash of candy colored buttons pressed and flattened
to stretch and distort, revealing tiny cracks in the welter

Admitting matters were made up just to fit the business plan
jockeying for flashbulb presidential pardons too big to fail
smashing industrial sized broken gravel with hubris boots
into dangerously thin glass reflecting our underdefined utopia

We yawn at the pummeling of bouncing hieroglyphic tiles
wrapping ourselves in warm blankets of familiar colors
squeezing giant wrecking balls with skinny programmer arms
demolishing the creationist dream of America’s only child

Michael Ernst

Lead Designer at Daylight daylight.video

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