My name's Matt Galligan, a thirtysomething dad, product designer, and entrepreneur. This little corner of the internet you've found yourself on is going to be my new home for all of the writings, ramblings, and reviews of things that I'd like to put out into the world.
In the past I've published to a smattering of different places like Tumblr, Medium, Twitter, etc. etc. but none have ever quite felt like a "home" to me—so that's what I'm striving for with this brand-spanking-new website. It'll be the place where I can finally brain-dump in more than pithy 280 character tweets, or all-too-polished blog posts that take forever to get out there.
In addition to the site, you'll also be able to subscribe to the accompanying newsletter in case you like to get things delivered straight to your inbox.
Minimally viable publication
In the interest of getting this thing up and running I'm just running a bare bones account with Ghost, which I'm enjoying so far. All too often I go way too freaking deep on things and as a result many of my blogging attempts result in a failure-to-launch (such as the spiritual precursor to this site, six months in the making with nothing to show for it). A coat of paint might be nice soon, but for now I'm getting this launched as a "minimally viable publication."
Now, before I leave you, I wanted to dig in a bit more to explain one thing I'm excited about adding to my repitoire of posts:
Throughout my life I’ve enjoyed digging deep on the products that have intrigued me, spending an inordinate amount of time researching them, only to later bug everyone I know about the most wonderful new discoveries (not everyone always agreed to its novelty). So it was with intrigue that I discovered there’s apparently a name for folks. that are overly enthusiastic about products, such as I.
While reading Malcom Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point”, the description a particular personality type really resonated with me, that of the “Maven”. The term comes from a Yiddish word meaning “an expert, connoisseur.” But it was Gladwell’s interpretation that stuck with me:
“[Mavens] aren’t passive collectors of information. It isn’t just that they are obsessed with how to get the best deal on a can of coffee. What sets them apart is that once they figure out how to get that deal, they want to tell you about it too. A Maven is someone who wants to solve other people’s problems, generally by solving his own."
If you were to ask anyone who knows me well about the subject of recommending things, I’d hope they’d tell you that I’m driven to find the best things to fit my needs. More likely they’d tell you that once I find something interesting I can get pretty obsessive, borderline annoying, with recommending it.
Gladwell’s description of an interaction with a friend of his, who was his basis for describing the Maven archetype, made me laugh hysterically:
“[He] launched into an impossibly long, sometimes hilarious, description of the several months he took to buy a new TV.” “There’s something automatic, reflexive, about his level of involvement in the marketplace. It’s not an act.”
The humor here was purely that it felt like I was reading about myself.
When I resolve to acquire something to fit some sort of need, I wade through the depths of the internet to find every scrap of information on the subject. Only when every trail of inquiry has been blazed, every critical review critiqued, every spec scoped, do I pull the trigger. But once that’s happened, you’d better believe that I’m on a mission to tell those closest to me (and oftentimes the Internet via my Twitter) about the wonderful discovery I’ve made.
It’s because of this genuine intrigue and interest in all kinds of gadgets, widgets, and other whatsits, that many friends have encouraged me to go a bit more broad in delivering my findings. My friend Shane probably summed the idea up best when he said to me “I want Wirecutter, but for shit you like.” So here we are. You’ve found yourself on a website that'll have posts that are basically Wirecutter, but for things I like.
My goal with the reviews here will be to describe in excruciatingly thorough detail why I like some of the things that I’ve acquired for my daily life. I'll cover a broad range of categories (gadgets, health & fitness, apps), all with the interest of giving you a peek into my thought process beyond why I’ve chosen a particular product.
Most likely I won’t be reviewing and comparing lots of individual products, but for the categories and product types I do review, I’ll go super deep on the selections that I’ve made. And as far as those categories are concerned, you’ll be just as likely to see gadgets and gizmos as write-ups on some cooking tool or lawn mower that caught my fancy. It’s safe to say that no topic will be off limits.
There you have it, the first official post to my new home on the web. I'm excited to get this journey started as we enter 2021. Over the coming weeks I'll be backfilling all of my old content to hopefully make this site feel a bit more "complete".