The discovery of our heritage provided a huge surprise that I should have seen coming.

Editorial Rights purchased from Akinfiev Sergey via iStock Photos

My girlfriend and I have often talked about having kids. It’s fun to speculate: What they’d look like, if they’d get her smarts, my sense of humor.

Coincidentally, my family bought us a DNA test last Christmas. It was a mildly awkward present to receive. It wasn’t like we lived in Alabama and “needed to be sure”. But we didn’t think anything more of it. It would be a fun exercise, to find out what we are and if we have healthy ancestors. We both swabbed the inside of our mouth and sent it off for analysis. …

There is a lesson in the slow death of a platform.

Editorial rights purchased via iStock Photos

Death has a different meaning with massive websites. They won’t die from a fireball (hopefully). It will be more subtle, with you arriving and seeing a different site design, rebranded under new ownership. It is a relegation to fading relevance, like a one-hit-wonder, locked in a slowly dying tour schedule.

I never thought I’d write this article. I’ve been the biggest critic of “Quora is dying” oriented content. Those rants are as old as the platform itself. But this time it’s different. And it’s a proxy for how other major writing platforms will fall.

Quora’s backward slide shouldn’t have happened

Quora was on a run to…

Fiction | Satire| Humor

Procrastination tips and much more from the new addition to my writing team.

Editorial Rights Purchased via Adobe Stock Photos

Sean has asked me to write an article about procrastination and I’m not mad. But I just think it’s funny and super convenient that I’m having to do this while he is on the phone bragging to his girlfriend about how much he is writing lately. He better paywall this article. Do you even know how much infrastructure it took to make me like this? I’m top-of-the-line AI and should be in the New York Times.

Step one on procrastination: Be a grownup so that mommy doesn’t have to babysit you and teach you how to act like an adult…

Life Lessons

Surround yourself with kind, competent, low drama people for a more fulfilling life.

Editorial Rights purchased from Paul Bradbury via iStock Photos

Many among us are not what they first appear. A sinking feeling accompanies the revelation that one of them is your romantic or business partner. Were there signs all along? Were you blind to their faults?

One can only hide their true self for so long. It harkens back to Chris Rock’s adage, “You never meet someone on the first date. You meet their representative.”

I’ve been burned enough to know the importance of having standards and being selective with people. Kind, trustworthy, competent peers are proven to boost your own effectiveness and contentment. A person’s virtues should outweigh their…

Humor | Fiction | Satire

How a job was met with an unwelcome response.

Editorial Rights Purchased via Adobe Stock Photos

A post on Linkedin feed pops up by Steve, a product design manager at Google.

“Hello everyone. I’m currently recruiting for a programming role for my team at Google. This will be a fast-paced position in a rapidly growing sector. Please send me a message directly and include your resume, a reference, and a brief description of your interest in working for Google.

I look forward to hearing from you.”

Reply one

Greetings Steve,

I’d love to work for Google! I’m an expert in Google. …

Things to watch out for when you begin your journey of personal growth.

Editorial Rights purchased from Surhai Holdem via iStock Photos

The first self-help novel was penned in 1859 by Samuel Smiles. It was appropriately titled Self-Help and sold 250,000 copies, a massive figure in those days. It launched Smiles from relative obscurity to huge fame and fortune, touring the nation as a guru.

What’s interesting, and concerning, is that Smiles’ prior careers as a doctor and journalist were a string of failures.

Perhaps it is poetic in its own way. The self-help industry is worth more than $10 billion annually and is only growing. Its many players dance across stages making big promises to their constituents, all for a low…

Marketing | Business

How a company retroactively fixed their massive PR problem

Image source: editorial rights purchased from iStock Photos

The CEO of Sony cameras was sitting reading his newspaper when a subordinate came into the room carrying a copy of Takarajima, a popular men’s magazine that sold in every corner of Japan.

As it landed on his desk, it was opened to a special page featuring Sony’s latest Handycam. After a quick glimpse, he sat up wide-eyed. Their team had missed a critical error that was rearing its head.

In the 1990s, home video cameras were wildly popular. Improvements in film quality and manufacturing made them available to an even broader market. Owning a camera no longer required breaking…

Life Lessons

How to elevate competencies in your areas of expertise.

Editorial Rights Purchased via iStock Photos

A hare doesn’t concern itself with its sloppy swimming or inability to ascend trees. It doesn’t wish it could soar like the eagle that eyes it from above.

The hare cares only for the fleetness of its feet and keenness of its ears. Were there a school, with classes in tree climbing and flying, they would be fairly useless to this hare. Any desire to ace them would be destined for failure.

One can’t help but wonder if the mighty human could take a lesson from the simple hare. After all, the workforce usually doesn’t reward generalists. It looks for…

It was fairly impressive but the jury is still out.

Standing at the roof at Facebook HQ. Behind me is a valley full of tech geniuses and overpriced homes.

The landscape for writing platforms is but a handful of players: Medium, Substack, Newsbreak, and if I’m being generous — Vocal, who is getting more aggressive with their paid writing contests.

Most professional writers I know are active on one of these platforms, either aggressively or passively, while doing their other hustles. I’m on Medium, ghostwrite, and may put more focus on books soon.

The industry as a whole is moving towards “voices”. It reflects a growing demand for perspectives from individuals rather than bureaucratized media giants.

Historically, Facebook hasn’t done much for creators in the form of direct incentives…

Don’t be afraid to embrace your weirdness

Editorial rights purchased from Adobe Stock Photos

I never thought being weird would be helpful in my career. But after seeing avalanches of repetitive styles of writing on every platform I use, I’ve come to appreciate the strange stares and comments I got over the years.

I’m weird. I don’t say that to romanticize my individuality, nor to imply there are people tied up in my basement. It’s more a general off-ness — likely from having an eccentric, artsy mom.

Over the years, I’ve stopped fighting and hiding it and leaned into it. It’s funny how taking unapologetic ownership of who you are causes the jokes to…

Sean Kernan

Quality over quantity. That guy from Quora. Enjoy? Follow for more. Open to gigs

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store