A few thoughts on stepping up, and the State of Engadget

April 5, 2011

Man. What a crazy day this has been. It started in the heart of North Carolina, and ended in New York City with a dinner shared by my new boss, Tim Stevens. It’s a little crazy – nah, insanely crazy – to think about this. Right around five years ago, I was hustling out of NC State and taking a job I knew I’d hate. Nine months transpired between my original application to my original Engadget hire date, and the next six months were pure torture. Ryan Block edited me almost exclusively, and given that Engadget was his baby, he wasn’t about to cut me free to publish on my own until I was a bona fide Engadgeter. Some of my early posts took eight or nine hours to complete after all-night edit sessions. Eight hours to perfect 150 words. I can’t count the times I pondered quitting, but for some reason, I hung on.

It paid off. The lessons Ryan taught me enabled me to make up lost ground over the next four years, and I knew I’d found my calling. I loved this job even when I hated it. And after Ryan cut me loose, I never rolled out of bed without being genuinely excited about the day ahead. How many employees in any line of work can say that? I’m blessed beyond imagination to have this job, and I can’t imagine a world where I’m not informing and entertaining on a daily basis.

I’ve met my best friends at Engadget. People I’ve laughed and cried with, people I’ve stayed up all night working with, and people that I’ve learned to deeply respect. There’s no question that I’ll miss working directly with a cadre of my best friends. I love them. They helped mold me and shape me.

I vividly remember a night not too many years ago, during a conversation with then-Associate Editor Joshua Topolsky. You may know him now as the EIC that took Engadget to Late Night, among other things. He pinged me in between bouts of punching the wall and pulling his hair out. “Dude, I can’t deal with this.” Those weren’t the exact words I’m sure, but that was the gist of it. “How are you dealing?” Before the night was over, I’d assured him that all was going to be fine, and that after my own bouts with frustration during the early months, sticking it out was the best decision I’d ever made. He stuck around, and became larger than life itself. He also taught me what genuineness truly is, and I’ll be grateful to him forever.

A lot has transpired since 2011 began. I visited my 50th state with a trip to Alaska. I drove in Montana, Alberta and British Columbia in a single day. I saw Manchester United play a match on the same day that I was trying to find our next new hire. And I’ve effectively spent every waking hour intently focused on Engadget. Through a crazy set of circumstances, I’ve found myself as Managing Editor of Engadget, and I’m beaming inside. The outpouring of love has been overwhelming, and while I’ll be working more than any sane human should for the foreseeable future, I can’t help but be excited about what’s next.

Wild new meetups. Great new Engadget Show segments. Insane liveblogs, hopefully with various members of Smash Mouth and / or aliens from Samsung’s lunar station. I’ve never been more excited to grind away, and I can’t accurately express how thankful I am to be in these shoes. If you’re reading this, you’re to thank, too. I hope you enjoy Engadget in the months to come, and I hope you know that I’ll enjoy making it enjoyable. My life has been truly insane over the past five years – I can’t even begin to think what the next five hold. Let’s find out together, shall we?