My first year out of college I worked an investment banking job that had endless small responsibilities that were hard to keep track of. I got by with the classic TODO list on a notepad for a little, but felt annoyed by the endless copying over to the next page routine and looking at my own malformed scribbles.
As we so often do at work, I sometimes eyed my co-workers monitors out of curiosity and one day happened to see the other junior analyst on the desk using something that looked like Google Docs but with lots of strikethroughs and bulleted notes. He was hammering down keyboard shortcuts and moving stuff up and down the screen – it actually looked a little bit look programming now that I think of it. Anyways, I got a little closer and started looking over this analyst’s shoulders, and it became apparent he was using some TODO list app called Workflowy. I should get that.
Two years later, it’s all I use for TODO lists.
A lot of the stuff I use on a regular basis – Chase Sapphire Preferred, Kindle Paperwhite, the DDPerks Card and Fitbit Flex, to name a few – are entirely the result of friends who had this stuff first and I just happened to see using. They never sold it to me or tried to use a referral link to rope me in. I saw them using something and asked about it. This idea always made sense to me – the best way to gauge product quality is to observe people actually using a product.
It’s not really kosher, however, to just mine friends’ brains for the stuff they like to use. It would take me hours to run through a list of products I like using, and I’d forget at least half of them in the process.
This area – this problem – is where I think fortheboys.club can add some value. Online directories have been a thing since the ARPANET – to me, sorting and filtering and curating stuff is what the web is really good at. There’s certainly stuff that already exists similar to FTB. I’m a regular reader of Esquire and Wired and understand how many resources are out there to help dudes 20-30 make good life decisions.
But is there anything directly to the point that just offers the 20 or 30 best must-haves? That updates on a regular basis to incorporate new information? Of that I’m not sure. Just through the process of doing this little side project, I’ve heard about some stuff I wish I had heard about years ago – Jack Threads and Heinz Sriracha Ketchup, to name two. Every little addition in this sense makes FTB worth existing and maintaining.
And I suppose the best possible reality here is one where enough people start contributing that a virtuous cycle of product recommendations forms. The newest and best deals push out the older ones, and you end up with a website that is an easy location for useful items for our demographic (and I also think that’s a key concept – I can only speak for what’s useful to a 25 year old male).
Last – I’ve been reading a lot about the cruft of Web 2.0 – the ad-everywhere era and the pages that take an additional 3 seconds to load because of every Network request under the sun to tracking and profiling your behavior. The sites I really like haven’t been immune to these issues. My hope is that FTB always is ad free, and the word “monetization” never enters our lexicon. This project is, after all, for the boys.
If any of the above sounds compelling to you, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The more on the pirate ship, the merrier.