Josh Constine

Josh Constine

Meme Whisperer & Editor-At-Large at TechCrunch

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON June 03, 2016

Discussion

Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
Ohai, I'm Josh Constine, the Editor-At-Large at TechCrunch. Ask me ANYTHING, from what's its like professionally blogging about startups and social apps for 5 years, the Cybersociology Masters program I designed at Stanford, my predictions on tech trends, or why my hair is called the #Omnibang. Supremely curious to see where this goes! Update: This has been incredibly fun and thanks for all the questions. I'll try to answer a few more in the next hour, but I sincerely appreciate this community!
Varun Shenoy
Varun Shenoy@varunshenoy · High School Developer and Researcher
Hey Josh! What is the best way a young entrepreneur can get featured on TechCrunch and get press for their startup?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@varunshenoy Here's the best way to pitch journalists. In either spoken or email form, first explain the problem in the world you're going to solve, then the way your product solves it, and then some evidence that you'll succeed (traction, the right team, great investors). For example "Getting taxis is tough, they don't show up fast enough, there's no paper trail about the driver for safety, and paying cash is annoying. Uber lets you press a button, get a car with a record of your driver, and pay instantly when you finish. It's led by an entrepreneur with a previous exit, initial traction was great, and top investors are lining up." Get a personal recommendation from someone successful if possible. But most importantly, build something important!
Dan Flanegan
Dan Flanegan@dflanegan · Co-Founder, Butter
@joshconstine @varunshenoy I'm going to print this on a card and hand it to every startup that asks me for advice on this topic
Andrew Galaska
Andrew Galaska@andrew_galaska · Co-Founder of Anchor
Hey Josh! There are tons of great social apps that fall by the wayside because they can't get a critical mass of users hooked on their product. What are a few key features you've seen that really separate the wheat from the chaff and give an app that x-factor?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@andrew_galaska Social apps can't do something a little better than what already exists. They must provide some fundamentally new value that dictates a whole new behavior pattern. Facebook brought authenticated identity, Twitter condensed big thoughts to digestible nuggets, Instagram made every cameraphone user feel like they could share something beautiful, and Snapchat used ephemerality to mimic the transient nature of our lives + let you pull your favorite stories from friends rather than them pushing into your feed so they never worried about posting too much.
Andrew Galaska
Andrew Galaska@andrew_galaska · Co-Founder of Anchor
@joshconstine That makes sense about offering something new. Browsing the App Store, there seems to be a new Snapchat-esque sticker app born every minute. How would a new app succeed in breaking through the resistance to changing a behavior? I just started (reluctantly at first) using Snapchat this year and can't quite put my finger on why it hooked me, seeing as I wasn't really concerned about the lifetime of the message.
CarHughes
CarHughes@carhughes · Brand-builder | Raconteur
@joshconstine I find your feedback really insightful when you say that a new social app must provide some 'fundamentally new value' that dictates a whole new behavior pattern." What do you consider as fundamental? I think entrepreneurs’ view of what is ‘fundamental’ will range wildly here, so your two cents will be much appreciated here. :-) Your expectation that the new app must 'dictate a whole new behavior pattern" is also invaluable. What evidence do you want to see to decide whether the startup is onto something, is promising, etc?
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
What are 3 pre-revenue startups that you'd personally invest in?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@tomstocklein Pocket and Down To Lunch are two I believe in. Pocket's read it later service lets you browse the Internet and discover content even if you can't consume it now, and will become a powerful recommendation engine. It's only just starting to show ads and they're working very well. Down To Lunch solve a fundamental problem in that we spend so much time online together but never know which friends are free to congregate in person. It will deliver more happiness to people, and the intent expressed by people about what they want to do once they meet up could power extremely high-converting ads for local businesses.
Capri Galaska
Capri Galaska@caprihiggins · Co-Founder @anchorxyz
Hey there! There are a bajillion apps, which lucky 24 apps get the prime real estate of your home screen (assuming you have an iPhone) or what are your top favs? (also, I'm taking the bait... what is an omnibang?)
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@caprihiggins I roll with my favorite apps splayed out from the bottom left corner, with Facebook Messenger, Fb, Twitter, Snapchat, Google Calendar, Vine, Imgur, a bookmark for Techmeme.com, Sporify, Imgur, Slack, Convo, Pocket, Asana, Uber/Lyft folder, and a few others
Capri Galaska
Capri Galaska@caprihiggins · Co-Founder @anchorxyz
@joshconstine I had never heard of Asana, looks awesome! Definitely beats sending texts back and forth to my co-founder and guesstimating three weeks later everything we accomplished. Thanks for sharing!
Ryan Hoover
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Hey, Josh! HBD! 🎉 I know you love music and see a tooon of concerts. Who's been your favorite?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@rrhoover Robert DeLong is my favorite performing musician. He's like Skrillex meets The Postal Service in a one-man-band where he plays video game controllers, live drums, synths, and sings. Here's my playlist of my favorite tracks of his https://open.spotify.com/user/jo... and here's one of his most entertaining videos
Ryan Hoover
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@joshconstine I missed him at the TechCrunch SXSW party. Looks epic.
Sayla Dobro
Sayla Dobro@sayladobro
@joshconstine tried to book him for a SXSW party for Live365/Avenue Live in 2012! Saw him 2012? at Empire Garage, love the joystick Dub drops.
Ben Tossell
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Makerpad.co
If you could swap lives with a Tech CEO for a week, who would it be and why? p.s. happy birfday
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@bentossell I'd swap lives with Mark Zuckerberg, because he is in a place to do an extraordinary amount of good in the world using the platform and fortune he's earned. I'd use the time to try to inspire world leaders and 1.65 billion users about the power of love, compassion, and education. Luckily, he seems to already be doing this himself, judging by the inspiring opening to his F8 keynote
Gabe
Gabe@gabrielpetrolio
Hi, Josh! 👋 I've got two if you would: What motivates you to write about a new startup or product/service? And what's your advice for teams looking for press coverage when launching a product? Thanks!
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
I like to think of myself as Tron - "I FIGHT FOR THE USER". What motivates me is a desire to help the world embrace the potential of technology without unwarranted fear of things that won't hurt them, while protecting users from companies trying to exploit them. @gabrielpetrolio Check @varun's question for how to pitch.
Gabe
Gabe@gabrielpetrolio
@joshconstine @varun Nice! Thanks Josh! 🙏 I'll pitch you my next product to see if you think it has potential 😜
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
Is there a product/service that you're really excited about that most folks may not be aware of yet?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@tomstocklein I think sponsored creation tools are the next big thing, like Snapchat sponsored lenses. People have become so numb to traditional advertising, but by layering a brand into user generated content -- literally attaching the ad to your friends' faces -- people will not only put up with brands, but be thankful for their help making something cool to share.
neeharika sinha
neeharika sinha@neeeharika · Google, Threadchannel
Hello Josh! great to meet you here. I have 2 questions for you. 1) How does a pre revenue startup connect with someone at techcrunch? 2) TechCrunch has become an integral part of Sillicon Valley show was there any resistance to do so or was TechCrunch always on board?
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@ettinger · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
How do you feel about the future of Twitter?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@andrewett Twitter is an amazing product for some people, but years of poor onboarding combined with no inherent audience of friends made it confusing and feel like yelling into a black hole. I think that will make it extremely hard for it to grow, no matter what it changes. It will remain popular with some and grow a little, and get better at monetizing existing users, and it will have an important impact on how information moves around the world in real-time, but I don't think it's destined to be a billion user juggernaut. I lay this all out in my video rant about Twitter's future here http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/10...
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hi Josh. Happy Birthday!! What story that you've covered about startups, SF, social etc. has most shocked you? Bonus Q - best present?? 🎁
Sarim Haq
Sarim Haq@sarim_haq · AI Whisperer
Hey Josh, if you were to receive a mail from a startup with a bunch of goodies. 1: Would you even open it? 2. Would that, in any way, increase the probability of you writing about them? 3. If the startup is operating in a cool space (A.I. or VR), would that increase their chances of getting press coverage?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@sarim_haq We open things sent to TechCrunch, but it would have no sway on whether we'd write about something. If you're a hardware company, we'll need to be able to demo your product just like we would a free app, but we send back demo units when we're done. Rather than trying to win journalists with swag bags, concentrate on building a product that solves a problem no one else does that you are truly passionate about.
Sarim Haq
Sarim Haq@sarim_haq · AI Whisperer
@joshconstine Thanks for the reply btw Happy Birthday!!
Vanessa Castañeda
Vanessa Castañeda@ohmyafly · metaverse settler
Hey Josh. Did you ever get into Second Life? And if so, what's your take on it now that Linden Labs supports experiencing the destinations through an Oculus Rift? Do you think it's still a relevant player in the space?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@ohmyafly I studied Second Life but never got into it. They had a fundamental problem in that if you build a janky, slapdash platform then let users build content atop it, you can never update the platform without breaking everyone's creations. That's why Second Life aged so poorly. I think something like Second Life will be a hit in VR. Perhaps Facebook will let you construct a virtual monument to your life as a VR profile that friends can literally visit.
Vanessa Castañeda
Vanessa Castañeda@ohmyafly · metaverse settler
@joshconstine I hear that. It feels like the 90s in there. A FB VR profile would be fascinating to play with if you could put it on like a skin.
Collin Ferry
Collin Ferry@collinferry · Founder @Tub
Hey Josh, yesterday you wrote a piece on Facebook's new DeepText. I'm building a Facebook chatbot that delivers curated, time-capped content to Uber riders (www.fillthetub.com). We're not conversational yet (and I'm not sure we need to be), but I'm curious at how new tech on the backend could make our bot smarter. What's your opinion on the implications of DeepText as it applies to Messenger bots?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@collinferry Eventually, DeepText could help bots understand the meaning of responses rather than just picking up on keywords. I think bots have the potential to get much more usable, but for now the tech isn't quite there for indie dev-built bots to live next to your most human conversations with friends in the same app. I wrote about the dangers of bots to Messenger here http://techcrunch.com/2016/05/06...
Collin Ferry
Collin Ferry@collinferry · Founder @Tub
@joshconstine Thanks for the response, I gave the article a read. We hope our bot will avoid contributing to the spam problem by a) only engaging users when talked to or b) explicitly reacting to real world actions. I saw in another answer that you're a Pocket user. When you order an Uber, Tub sends you content from your Pocket with a read/watch/listen-time that matches the length of your ride. Any interest in giving it a try and dropping some feedback?
CarHughes
CarHughes@carhughes · Brand-builder | Raconteur
Hey Josh, HBD first of all! In the saturated space of mobile video apps, separate from the 1,800 pound gorillas, dominating or battling the space (Snapchat, FB, etc.) what 3 things must a new mobile app startup bring to the table to impress you?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@carhughes Solving a problem or adding value in a significantly new way rather than being a little better than something that already exists, having strong initial retention -- not just adoption, and having visionary founders who can adapt the app to the rapidly changing landscape.
CarHughes
CarHughes@carhughes · Brand-builder | Raconteur
@joshconstine Thank you. I really value and appreciate your 2 cents on this. 🙇
Andrew Galaska
Andrew Galaska@andrew_galaska · Co-Founder of Anchor
@joshconstine What's the weirdest/craziest/creepiest thing someone's ever done to try and get coverage? And did it work? If someone hired a skywriter would that do the trick? Purely hypothetical obviously.
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@andrew_galaska Someone sent me a miniature toaster and a stencil with my face that printed my head on toast. It was hilarious but I absolutely didn't write about them. I'm rarely impressed with gimmicks. Just build a product people love. If it does something important, you don't need connections or money or even traction yet. I'll pick it out of my inbox.
Andrew Galaska
Andrew Galaska@andrew_galaska · Co-Founder of Anchor
@joshconstine So would you say that emails to personal work accounts are acceptable generally? I've seen sources (can't recall where) that said to only use the general tip line and it will be discovered, but when thousands of pitches are coming in daily, that seems unlikely, even with a stellar product.
Capri Galaska
Capri Galaska@caprihiggins · Co-Founder @anchorxyz
@joshconstine from what you've seen blogging startups and social apps is there really magic by living in Silicon Valley or NYC as a startup? It seems very romanticized, any substance to physically being in the area?
Leon Hitchens
Leon Hitchens@leonhitchens · Digital Marketing Strategist
What does a topical day write for tc look like?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@leonhitchens Wake up either at 5:30am if I have to finish a story for an early deadline, or 9am if I don't. Check Techmeme.com to see if any major news has broken that I can give a fresh perspective to, and scan TechCrunch's internal collaboration tool Convo for news others have spotted or need help on. Then start writing the most urgent or important story, and if there isn't something quickly skim my email for critical news. I try to publish more in the morning when people are reading. Once the morning news blitz is over, I'll take a few interviews with startups and talk to sources, and then finish the day by clearing email. I rarely go to the office because I work much more efficiently from home, and I love that TechCrunch gives me the freedom to do that.
Rabi Gupta
Rabi Gupta@rgupta29 · Cofounder Eva bot @Vizzi
Hi Josh, good to see you here. Any idea on what happened to Peach? Is it still growing?
Capri Galaska
Capri Galaska@caprihiggins · Co-Founder @anchorxyz
@rgupta29 not sure if this is what you were looking for, but thought of your question when this popped up in my notifications https://www.producthunt.com/tech...
Carol Duong
Carol Duong@carol_tong · PR Consultant
A couple of q's: What editorial vision do you have for TC long-term? What's your take on FB's push into AI? Elon musk said he "wasn't afraid of robots" - do you think he's right or do you agree with Hawking that it could be the end of mankind? Burning man: still cool?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@carol_tong 1. Continue to be the rogues gallery of tech coverage, providing vastly different perspectives within the same news outlet, from kooky opinion to no-holds-barred criticism to unique scoop reporting to deep profiles of early stage companies we think will change the world. 2. We're approaching the age of the AI haves and have-nots. Companies without the resources to invest in AI research will be left behind as competitors like Facebook use it to better route relevant info and content to the right people. I think the dangers of AI are still a long time down the line, and center more around giving them physical control of devices. I also think the risk is more in humans corrupting AI to purposefully do bad things. 3. Burning Man was never meant to be cool, but it's certainly still fun if you like meeting new people, experiencing pioneering art, and dancing til sunrise with your best friends. That won't change, but as demand increases and tickets don't end up with people committed to significant contributions of art and experience to others there, Burning Man could be diluted.
Sayla Dobro
Sayla Dobro@sayladobro
Hi Josh, what is your favorite App for new music discovery?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@todd_tate I love the Hype Machine top tracks list, and using Songkick to find out about concerts of artists I already like and then exploring the openers. Then I use Spotify's top tracks for each artists to get a taste of tons of bands on reputable showcases and parties at SXSW.
Sayla Dobro
Sayla Dobro@sayladobro
@joshconstine good ones! We Are Hunted lives on as wonder.fm - that's a goodie too.
Wurku
Wurku@wurku
What're your thoughts on the On-Demand Economy - Bullish or Bearish? (High level question but I'd love your opinion :)
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@wurku I think the on-demand economy has huge potential, but many many of the startups today will fail once VCs stop subsidizing the unit cost for users and prices rise to unattractive levels. I believe Uber will runaway with the logistics layer, handling a great deal of the movement of both people and goods in cities. They simply have more cars on the road and can move things more efficiently, which is why UberEats is so fast, and many on-demand services will need to drop their inefficient delivery systems and adopt Uber.
Vanessa Castañeda
Vanessa Castañeda@ohmyafly · metaverse settler
@joshconstine @wurku I wish I could @tag the mayor of Austin in this comment. (Uber left town a few weeks ago.)
Theoharis Dimarhos
Theoharis Dimarhos@theo_dimarhos · Marketing+Biz Dev at AngelouEconomics
Hi Josh! Who are the best networked people you know and what are 3 things that make them better than everyone else?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@theo_dimarhos The core personality trait of the best super-connectors I know is that they strive to give more than they take. They want to bring people with needs to people with resources. They want to provide experiences and joy. They want to advise and share their insights. And they don't care how it benefits them...but down the line it always does.
Rod Matveev
Rod Matveev@therodka · Student / iOS developer / UI designer
Hey Josh :) if you had to pick 3 technologies/new products that you're most excited about, what would they be? And which platforms do you think will have most of our attention in 10 years from now?
Rabi Gupta
Rabi Gupta@rgupta29 · Cofounder Eva bot @Vizzi
What's your thoughts on bots? Any cool useful not you came across?
Lee Shepard
Lee Shepard@leeshep
What are the podcasts you're listening to these days? What's your favorite doughnut?
Austin Teague
Austin Teague@austin_teague · Full-Stack Marketer and Entrepreneur
Hey @joshconstine, thanks for joining today. What do you look for when determining what to write about? Specifically in the area of new tech and startups
Arun kc
Arun kc@arunkc97 · CS Student,Entrepreneur
Hey Josh! What are the steps to start a startup venture? Do we need to focus more on funding or press coverage at start?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@arunkc97 You need to focus on building a product that adds significant value and solves a problem, not one that's just a little bit better than what came before. Build that, and the press and investors will flock to you.
Kalina Zografska
Kalina Zografska@kzograf · Product fella @trygigster & @publitas
What do you think of FB instant articles, Google AMP, Apple News as emerging formats? Will static and usable form win versus the open web?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@kzograf I think platform-hosted sites like Instant Articles will succeed as a format for platforms and users, but I think their potential to sterilize the identity and style of a publisher and reduce their ability to forge a loyal relationship with readers is extremely dangerous for content creators. I warn of the issue here: http://techcrunch.com/2015/10/20...
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
What was it like designing your own degree at Stanford?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@tomstocklein Stanford is amazingly receptive to the idea in general, though in 2006 when I proposed my Cybersociology degree they were kind of like "really? social tech is going to be that important?" By 2009 when I finished they were like "Oh yeah, obviously a good thing study." haha. I cobbled together syllabi from different classes in Communications, Sociology, Psychology, and Science - Technology - And Society, and then designed independent studies with two amazing professors: Howard Rheingold, an early scholar of the Internet who taught me about communities and trolling, and Mark Granovetter, who wrote the Weak Tie Theory Of Sociology that the Internet proved true. I highly recommend doing whatever you can in school to bend the resources to your passion, rather than shoehorning yourself into someone's frame of what's important.
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
@joshconstine Love it! This reminds me a lot about how Steve Jobs took seemingly unrelated courses at Reed College once he had officially dropped out and didn't have to fulfill specific major requirements any more...
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
Which founders do you admire the most and why?
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
What are some upcoming new features/improvements/changes we can expect to see from TechCrunch and CrunchBase in the next 12 months?
Josh Barkin
Josh Barkin@joshbarkin · Co-founder @ Janis.ai
Not judging, just curious what inspired the hair?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@joshbarkin I grew my hair this way to give an outward sign that I care about self-expression and different perspectives which breaks the ice when meeting interesting people, and to make it easy for people who only know me from a tiny online avatar to recognize me in person so we can connect on a more intimate level. My whole #Omnibang philosophy is laid out in this BuzzFeed article I can't believe they wrote about me https://www.buzzfeed.com/jessica...
Marius Chawa
Marius Chawa@marius_chawa · Analyst, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Hi Josh! When can I meet with you to cover our startup. It's in beta now. It's the easiest way to distribute audios, videos through multiple platforms and devices. www.houlem.com
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@mariuschawa Unfortunately I feel like there are lots of products that do this, and not enough need from a mainstream audience. So I would probably pass unless it did something truly revolutionary in the space.
Marius Chawa
Marius Chawa@marius_chawa · Analyst, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
@joshconstine something revolutionary like allowing content creators to instantly sell their media contents via barcode scanning functionality? with our app, content creators can sell their contents in person by scanning a user barcode and instantly sync their contents in their app. I would love to chat with you more.
Vanessa Castañeda
Vanessa Castañeda@ohmyafly · metaverse settler
Good hustle on that feature plug, @mariuschawa. (:
Taylor Buley
Taylor Buley@taylorbuley · Dilettante
If you could bring two people together (who have likely never met) in order to dine with you tonight for your birthday, who would those two people be and why?
William Zh
William Zh@williamzhng · Co-Founder, Board
Hey Happy Birthday Josh! You write about many things, from social media platforms like FB to ride-hailing services like Uber. When you write, what do you love to cover the most and why?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@williamzhng I love to cover things that change the way humans interact with each other. Uber unlocks cities, allowing people to explore every corner and meet up with friends more. Meetup-tech like Down To Lunch or Facebook Nearby break down the walls we've erected between us and our friends and gives transparency to the opportunities for serendipitous congregation. And VR could let people on other sides of the world feel like they're in the same room, shrinking the planet and enabling an expanded age of globalization.
Pablo Quiroga
Pablo Quiroga@pabloiquiroga · CEO, Fuelixir
Hi Josh, what is your most humbling experience that has influenced your career thus far ?
Josh Constine
Josh Constine@joshconstine · Writer, TechCrunch
@pabloiquiroga In 2013 I royally screwed up, reporting that Facebook would launch a news reader app at a press event they had just announced. I was wrong. http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/14... They launched Instagram Video. They wouldn't launch the News Reader -- Paper-- for another 6 months. While I had the big scoop on the product right, having spotted Paper in the wild months earlier http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/14..., I was overconfident and misinterpreted information from sources. I was sleep deprived and overeager and published something untrue. Luckily another TechCrunch writer Ingrid Lunden scooped that Instagram Video would launch, but the blunder hurt my credibility. Even despite big scoops on Facebook launching Home, the Messenger Platform, and Messenger bots, it's taken a long time to win back the trust of other journalists. I learned that one should be cautious about the little details like timing, even if you know the big stuff.
Pablo Quiroga
Pablo Quiroga@pabloiquiroga · CEO, Fuelixir
@joshconstine Thank you for sharing your candid story. #detailsmatter
Lonnie Rae
Lonnie Rae@lonnie_rae · CEO, Medal
Hey Josh, with so much going on in the Bay all the time, how do you keep the noise level low and find signal? How do you choose what is a worthwhile focus for your writing?