Two years on

I hinted yesterday that it's the two year anniversary of this newsletter going public, and it's amazing how time has flown by‚ÄĒwhen I launched this thing, I was sitting in a cafe in San Francisco, about to quit my job in the Netherlands to go freelance.¬†Now, two years on, I'm sitting in a cafe in Toronto, where I somehow now live.

I've been meaning to write down something about where this is at, but I always find myself at a loss of words; the newsletter has been a success in some respects, with a few hundred of you kindly supporting me writing regularly. I don't think I've ever written so regularly in my life, and this space lets me do that.

But, I find myself wondering the evergreen question: do I want to keep this running, or move on to something else? I hit a metaphorical growth ceiling with subscribers and shipping improvements I could tout to bring more people in has proven harder than expected.

If I'm honest, some days when the words won't come, I think that I might want to stop writing on weekdays, and stop sending something so regularly. But, on other days I'm sure it should exist. Writing (particularly a newsletter) is an isolating affair, with little direct feedback like you' see on social media‚ÄĒfor better and for worse.

As things settle down after moving to Toronto, however, I find myself drawn back into building this newsletter again, and am making a renewed push to invest in making it even better. Much of that wheel spinning has come from the technology part, but I'm finally unblocked there, too. 

I've always wanted this newsletter to be more useful beyond your inbox, maybe on your Alexa every day, or something like that, but I was hamstrung by not having the right foundation to experiment. That's coming, along with a rebrand of Charged in general, which I'm excited about.

More than anything else, if you're reading this and actively enjoy it, I wanted to say thanks. It's a great feeling to have a space in your inbox each day, and have your support to keep writing on a regular basis. Not needing to load up on advertising, or exploit your attention in order to support doing this is amazing, and I'm pretty thankful this can exist.

I'm heads down working on the refresh of everything, but I hope to show it all off soon.


Zuckerberg will face Congress today

In a move that's telling of just how desperately Facebook wants to make its Libra cryptocurrency project a thing, the company is sending none other than Zuckerberg himself to Washington DC today to testify on their  work, and try win back the narrative.

It's become clear that Facebook has pissed off regulators with the launch of Libra, particularly without consulting any government entities, and a mad scramble behind the government scenes began to determine if Facebook should be allowed to launch the project. 

Libra, as a reminder, is a proposed cryptocurrency project from Facebook that it tried to launch as a community initiative. While it was spinning up the idea of Libra, it tried to deflect how heavily involved it was with the project by working with an array of big names in finance and tech like Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, eBay, Stripe, and Booking.

All of those partners have pulled out since the launch, with growing concerns that regulators would frown upon any of the companies attaching their name to the project. Zuckerberg is expected to tell Congress today that the company will refrain from launching Libra anywhere in the world, without U.S. approval, a huge change in narrative from the previous strategy.

It's also expected Zuckerberg will again try to emphasize that the currency is "in the hands of the Libra Association" rather than itself in an attempt to deflect its true origin. What's interesting, however, is that Zuckerberg hasn't justified why the company wants it to exist at all, particularly with Venmo, Apple Pay and Square Cash functioning just fine based on actual currencies.

You can watch the hearings here starting at 10 AM ET this morning and hope, like me, that lawmakers are actually prepared to ask hard questions this time around.


Tab Dump

WeWork would have been out of money by next Friday without Softbank rescue
Softbank has swooped in again to invest cash and save WeWork from destruction, pushing out its old CEO, and taking control of the future for itself with more than 80 percent ownership of the company. Does it have a plan to actually rescue it from itself? Probably not.

Figma's new 'community profiles' let you view and remix design files
GitHub for designers is here! 

Google claims a Quantum breakthrough that might change computing
It successfully solved a math equation that would have taken an age on any other modern device. IBM, however, says that it's not proof quantum computers are better than classical computers, yet. Google says this is a milestone important for its work across the board, which might be true, but it's difficult to assess what that really means just yet.

Snapchat is growing, still, adding 7M users
The teens tell me it's still cool, and I'd hazard a guess that's why Snap is still growing, despite many of us assuming it had died.

Interesting read: Why Catalina and iOS 13 are so buggy