Nathan Bashaw

Building a new kind of electronic book.

The Origin of Product Hunt

A story about building something cool over a weekend

On November 6th 2013, I got an email from my friend Ryan, asking if I wanted to contribute links to his new email list thingy called Product Hunt:

Progress bars while reading — yay or nay?

I’ve recently noticed that a lot of sites are implementing progress bars at the top of their navigation. Here’s an example from Bloomberg:

In response to Startups ≠ Freedom

To me, it’s not just “Startups ≠ Freedom”. It’s actually “Startups = Less Freedom”. Starting a company is a huge commitment, and you can’t just walk away when you have customers, employees, and investors depending on you. It’s a lot closer to getting married and having kids than it is just getting some regular job. You can’t just walk away.

Twenty Six

Birthdays are when you can’t ignore the big, scary questions that usually lurk in the background.

Today I turn 26, and I’m leaving my job.

I’ve worked at General Assembly for a little over two years, and I still love it. Creating Dash was the happiest experience of my professional life. Over 250 thousand people have used it to learn how to make…

Publications edited by Nathan Bashaw

on the art & craft of constructing software

Latest Story

Uber for Food

Nice one, Medium.

Today I noticed another one of Medium’s wonderful typographic details. I have no idea how long it took to code, but I’m guessing it was non-trivial.

“In typography and graphic design, when you start a new paragraph with a quotation, it’s generally considered a best practice to align the first actual letter in the quote with first letter in all the other…

You gotta start short before you can go long

I started writing “Navigating the Product Maze” as a short post, like this one. It ended up ballooning into a full-blown essay. It occurs to me that I probably wouldn’t have started writing it in the first place if I knew it would take that much work. But once you’re in the middle of something, it’s hard to stop.

All this to say: good job, Medium. The new short-form posting feature works, at least on me ☺

Navigating the Product Maze

When I first got started building products I relied on random inspiration. Most ideas started with me thinking “Wouldn’t it be cool if ______?” and never went…

Today I discovered an awesome way to proofread: switch contexts. Seriously, just copy and paste the text from one place to another. I think it helps turns off the part of your brain that gets numb after staring at the same thing for too long. Kind of similar to how when you first enter a place you might smell things (coffee, for instance) but your brain eventually makes it fade away.

Back to blogging

I discovered blogging when I was a middle-schooler in Arkansas. There was a group of friends, mostly older kids, that used LiveJournal. I used to write little updates about my life a couple times a week, and read updates from my friends. It made me feel more connected to them. I’ve wanted to start doing that again for some time now, and Medium’s new short-form posts are the perfect excuse ☺

Advice I’d give my younger self

Today I discovered an blog post I wrote about four years ago. It was my senior year at Michigan State, and I had just lost hope in another one of my startup ideas.

It was a sad time for me. In the writing I try to sound optimistic and confident, but deep down I was worried I’d never get it right. In some ways, it’s a cry for help.

Idea for Oyster

I love Oyster. It lives on my homescreen. Since I signed up, I have started reading more books. This is wonderful.

There is, however, one big problem that Oyster creates for me. When I want to read a book, I used to have one good method for acquiring it, but now I have two bad ones. They are:

  1. Open Oyster, search their small-yet-growing…