No, that’s what’s so interesting.
…was the part where a woman confessed to having sex with her boyfriend while reading The Fault in Our Stars. But we also answered many questions and told stories and etc.
1. I’m tired. This tour has featured very few days off and very little sleep. Hank and Katherine and I often talk about how we don’t know how real bands (like Driftless Pony Club, for instance) do this night after night for months.
2. I’m really glad I get along with my brother and Katherine, because the three of us spend a lot of time together. Like, there have only been one or two times on this entire trip when Hank or I said the equivalent of, “You looking at me isn’t helping,” and each of those times, we’ve actually said, “You looking at me isn’t helping,” which does kind of break the tension.
3. Nerdfighters are amazing. Like, I have no way of knowing whether this feelings extends from the stage into the crowd, but every day, I feel so lucky to have this place where I can be nerdy, where people will laugh if I tell jokes about The Odyssey, where it’s cool to wear Doctor Who shirts and homemade French the Llama dresses and Ceci N’est Pas Une Pipe tank tops.
4. I miss my family.
5. I miss eating hot food that is not cooked in a microwave at a truck stop Arby’s.
6. I literally can’t believe that The Fault in Our Stars has been #1 on the New York Times bestseller list two weeks in a row.
Thanks to all of you who’ve come out to the tour. I really hope it was fun, because we’d love to do it again sometime. Let us know if you had fun at the events (and feel free to be honest). Both Hank and I track the tumblr tag tour de nerdfighting.
After I read the first chapter on YouTube, hundreds of grammarians pointed out to me that one is sixteen in one’s seventeenth year (like, in your first year, you are not yet one; in your second year, you are not yet two; etc.). So Hazel is sixteen, and she is in her seventeenth year.
This is one of those annoying example in language where being correct means being unclear or unwieldy, and a writer must choose between technical accuracy and colloquial accuracy. I chose technical accuracy, because I am afraid of grammarians, but I realize it’s confusing. I thought about ditching the construction altogether, but I really wanted the novel to begin “Late in the winter of my…” for a lot of reasons, so…yeah. Sorry if it’s confusing!
It’s the best review anyone has ever written about any of my books.
If you want a copy of Time Magazine this week, you should probably go and get it now, because my mom is currently attempting to buy like every copy available on newsstands in America.
So Hank and I run or help run several businesses at the moment: Vidcon, DFTBA Records, the juggernaut that is 2-D Glasses, ecogeek, vlogbrothers, scishow, and crashcourse, as well as administering the nonprofit Foundation to Decrease Worldsuck. These are not huge businesses or anything (and in some cases are not even profitable), but many of them have employees and revenue and function like any other business, so recently Hank and I have developed some Rules for Running a Business That Doesn’t Suck, which we thought we’d share.
Rule 1: Don’t be a dick. This is the governing law of the Internet, as created by the great Wil Wheaton, and we try to apply it to our businesses. Not being a dick mostly means treating your clients and customers respectfully, and focusing on creating value rather than creating profit, and generally being reasonably kind and personable when it comes to business relationships.
Rule 2: Increase Awesome or Decrease Suck. If an idea won’t increase world awesome or decrease worldsuck, we won’t do it. (And if we’re doing something that no longer feels like it is increasing awesome or decreasing suck, we stop doing it.)
Rule 3: Minimize lawyering. Hank and I tend to lose interest in any endeavor when a lot of lawyers become involved. Basically, if we require lawyers other than our cousin Mike or the people he works with, we don’t do it.
Rule 4: Employ more people per dollar of revenue than PepsiCo. This is very important to us. So one of the emerging metrics for a company’s “success” is revenue generated per employee. PepsiCo generates more than $196,728 in revenue per employee. (That may seem ludicrously high, but it’s much lower than many companies: Google generates $1,900,000 every year per employee.) The thinking goes that successful companies generate a lot of money per employee. Our thinking is that it is both good business and good citizenship to invest revenue in new employees.
Rule 5: Keep promises. We try to keep promises even when they are very inconvenient and expensive to keep, such as when Amazon Germany ships out a thousand unsigned preorders of your new book even though you signed more than enough copies for them to ship to their customers.
Rule 6: Pay tops out at 10x average worker pay. Pretty simple, really: The highest paid employees of a company shouldn’t make more than 10 times the average employee’s pay. (Current estimates in the US indicate CEOs make between 185 and 310 times more than the average worker.) Capping this at a multiple of ten means everyone is invested in seeing the company grow and succeed.
Rule 7: Have awesome customers. If you don’t like the people who watch and read and wear the stuff you make, then you will not have any fun. Speaking of which…
Rule 8: Have fun. Our grandfather wrote thousands of lists in his life—grocery lists, lists of business ideas, pros and cons of taking different jobs. Almost all of his lists ended “Have fun!” We think this is good advice.
Jonathan Coulton is wise.
Jonathan Coulton is wise.
Driving through west Texas today, Hank and Katherine and I have made some important innovation to the Game of Cows, and we thought you might like to know our rules. (For those who don’t know, the Game of Cows is a road trip game in which you say “cows” when you see more than one cow. It’s very complicated. Oh, also, you can get points for saying, “dead people” whenever you see more than one grave.)
So here are the new rules we’ve developed, basing the game on quidditch:
Cows are worth 10 points. Dead people are worth 150 points, and whenever someone correctly calls dead people, the game ends. So generally if you see dead people, as when the seeker catches the snitch, you win. But if Katherines has 160 points from cows and I have 0, and I call dead people, the game has ended with her winning.
If you incorrectly call cows or dead people (like, for instance, if you call cows but it turns out they’re horses), your score goes to zero within that game.
You then keep track of your victories and losses over the course of the trip.
So far today katherine has three victories, I have one, and Hank has zero even though he is trying harder than anyone else. (Katherine is at the moment so confident of victory that she is taking a nap.)