In Praise of Idleness (+145 remote roles)

Some interesting companies featured in today’s job drop. Stripe and Slite, who I recently included in a job round-up, just announced capital raises and are hiring. Others that just raised capital and that are hiring remotely include Stamus Networks, Remote, Vercel, and Glassbox.

❶ Being Idle

A little while back, I cited this interview with Paul Jarvis where he talks about growth and setting a limit on working. The quote I pulled was:

“With growth, if you start to think about things like upper limits or like what enough is, and that’s different for everybody, “…” you can say ‘ok, like, if I know I need my business to make money to be profitable and support my life “…” if I reach that then I can ease off the throttle a bit, I can pay more attention to the audience that I have, I can maybe take a break, I could maybe recharge my batteries, I could maybe not work 16 hours a day but work 4 or 5 hours and find other things that I don’t have to monetize that I can just enjoy doing.

I followed that up by saying:

…whether you’re looking for a full-time remote role, or you’re building a project largely on your own, or something between those two things, that idea of finding enough and finding balance is kinda something that I want for everyone that’s signed up to this newsletter.

This week, I stumbled on this essay by Bertrand Russell, titled In Praise of Idleness, that takes the idea even further.

I want to say, in all seriousness, that a great deal of harm is being done in the modern world by belief in the virtuousness of work, and that the road to happiness and prosperity lies in an organized diminution of work.

Look, these are some scary times for a lot people. It seems like a daily occurrence that a prominent and well-funded startup announces that they’re slashing their workforce. If your livelihood has been directly impacted by this public health crisis, reach out and I’ll try connecting you to at least one other person in the community that may be a beneficial contact.

But, it’s worth remembering that there is virtue in learning something unrelated to your career, having down time, and not fully optimizing every waking second. You can and should allow yourself that, if you can.

The full essay by Russell is worth a read.

❷ For the Makers

Airbnb recently launched Online Experiences. They’re branding it as a way for people to travel virtually. I was skeptical but then saw some of their offerings. Meditation with a Japanese Buddhist Monk, Learn to Cook Mexican Salsas, Virtual Bike Tour with a Gold Medalist Triathlete, Guided Meditation with Sleepy Sheep, Dogs of Chernobyl.

All of those sounded intriguing!

All of that to say, if you’re thinking about a building a profitable side project but you haven’t quite settled on what that looks like yet, this might serve as inspiration. Show people your neighbourhood or teach people something that you’re good at.

I’d love to know: what’s one area you feel like you could speak on for 30 minutes without research and that you can teach others? Email me

❸ Interesting Things

I’ve been reading a lot about X, Google’s moonshot factory, and it sounds like an incredible place to work and dream about the future. X’s CEO wrote this post for unleashing radical creativity.

Heartcore Fellowship Program: "Y Combinator for people who can't leave their house.” €100,000 per founder for a 7% total equity stake, via convertible note. The goal is to build a prototype with the financing and then raise a seed round. Open to everyone in Europe who’s working on pre-pre-seed tech in the consumer space. Online application, followed by Zoom call.

One of my favourite contemporary novelists, Elif Batuman, on the shortcomings of short stories. If you’re thinking about writing and communicating and in general, there’s a lot that she nails, like the use of hyperspecificity.

This podcast about the Passion Economy with a Patreon co-founder and a partner at a16z. I’ve talked in the past about how I think now is the time to create a profitable side project and this podcast provides some really interesting stats.

  1. Pateron transferred $1bn to creators over a decade, but half of that, $500m, was in the last year.

  2. Online education + health & wellness is a $140bn category combined. Possibility that some portion of this spend will transfer to independent creators.

Now feels like the time to build some stuff and crave out a place for ourselves outside of the office.


  • Call for a project: Common advice when starting a project is “fall in love with a problem.” I’d love to see a newsletter that highlights one problem per week and provides some key stats around that problem.

  • CV feedback: Working on the final few people to provide CV feedback to. Looking to get this done asap. Thanks for your patience.

  • Two apps: If you’re finding it difficult to concentrate or are feeling more anxious than usual, here’s two apps that I have helped me: Waking Up, a meditation app by Sam Harris and Tidal HiFi. Really unique guide mediation that gets you to contemplate the nature of consciousness and lossless compression that’s made a devout podcast listener rediscover music. Praise be to Frank Ocean.

  • Support the community and join as a founding member: For the time being, I’ve lowered the annual and lifetime membership costs to $69 and $99, respectively. You’ll get access to CV templates, CV and cover letter review, access to our Slack group which includes members with experience at Google, Amazon, and Harvard, and full access to new features that I develop to help support people interested in finding remote work, building their networks, and developing meaningful side projects.

    In the Slack group, I’ll be placing a greater emphasis on private channels organized around skill-sets, the first of which is dedicated to product managers. Come connect with other PMs and learn about where they’ve applied and their experiences with specific companies and how they’re thinking about developing their careers in a remote-first world.

    Note: lifetime membership says per year on the subscription page. I need to apply the lifetime status manually and will confirm when I send out a personal welcome email.

Chris ️

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