The suprisingly compelling audio app that has consumed my life.

About a month ago I got a DM inviting me to “a community for casual, drop-in audio conversations.” So I downloaded the app, created a profile, and was greeted by a blank screen.


Then, a face appeared! Its name was Paul — and it spoke!

“Hey! Welcome!”

After we exchanged pleasantries, Paul explained how the app works. There’s one global “room,” and when you join you start off on mute, but anyone can unmute themselves. When you open the app, it sends push notifications to everyone on the app, so they can join you and chat if they’re free.

Overstock started as an everything store but soon discovered it needed a focus to compete with the likes of Amazon and Wayfair

A photo of the Overstock logo on a smartphone.
A photo of the Overstock logo on a smartphone.
Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

There wasn’t some big light bulb moment. And there was never a dramatic boardroom meeting where the future was determined ahead of time. Instead, Overstock’s strategy emerged gradually.

When Geoff Atkinson originally joined Overstock in 2005, it was a broad discount retailer that would sell you anything. By the time he left in 2011, it was squarely focused on home and garden.

The reason behind this shift is a fascinating case study in how seemingly small details can have a huge impact: Overstock is a public company worth hundreds of millions of dollars, but its entire strategy turned on a…

Sahil Lavingia, Gumroad’s founder, shares what he’s learned along the way about strategy, product, and growth

Photo courtesy of Sahil Lavingia

Sahil Lavingia is enjoying his second act. (Mostly.)

Back in 2011, when he was employee number two at Pinterest, he had an idea for “a sort of link shortener with a payment system built-in.” So he hacked it together over the weekend and launched it on Hacker News that Monday. He called it “Gumroad.”

A few months later, Lavingia left his job — leaving all his Pinterest stock on the table — and raised $1 million from top Silicon Valley investors. Then he raised $7 million more. …

One spring day a couple years ago, I worked up the courage to ask my boss if he wanted to go for a walk. I had to talk to him about something.

We wandered around Madison Square Park, and I told him it was time for me to transition out of my role at General Assembly.

“Do you know what you want to do next?”

“I want to make visual, interactive books that are designed for mobile. Hopefully start a business around it. I’m not exactly sure what that will look like, though.”

I had no clue what it would…

Growing up, I was never interested in anatomy. The school system told me to study it, but I didn’t want to learn how the human body worked.

I felt the same way about chemistry, biology, math, literature, and pretty much every subject (other than politics and history).

Now, I see how foolish my old way of thinking was. I have completely reversed my point of view. These days, I do my best to cultivate a genuine passion for every form of knowledge. And my life is so much better because of it.

How does the human heart work? Why do atoms bind together to form molecules? When did fish evolve legs and start to walk on land? Is it possible that some infinities could be larger than…

TL;DR — Google will be fine. Apple, not so much.

Our new Head of Growth, Max Rehkopf, wrote some fantastic predictions about the wild, connected future that Neuralink promises. Enjoy!

At Hardbound, we make illustrated stories about the best books in business, history, and science. Every now and then we find non-book content that’s so amazing we make a story about it anyway. Right now, we’re working on an adaptation of Wait But Why’s masterful post explaining all things Neuralink. Head over to and subscribe for all our stories.

In crafting and illustrating this story, we couldn’t stop asking one question.

How will our favorite tech companies fare in…

We love this man

This was co-written with Max Rehkopf (who you should follow!)

At Hardbound, we make illustrated stories about the best books in business, history, and science. We recently got early access to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new book — Astrophysics for People in a Hurry — and oh boy, let us tell you: it is awesome. (You should pre-order it!)

When you open the inside cover, you’ll find a little dedication from Neil that perfectly matches our mission at Hardbound:

“For all those who are too busy to read fat books — Yet nonetheless seek a conduit to the cosmos.”

In keeping…

The story of Yuval Noah Harari, author of ‘Sapiens’ and ‘Homo Deus

At Hardbound we make five-minute illustrated summaries of the best books in business and science, including Yuval’s books Sapiens and Homo Deus. In this article we explore the key to Yuval’s success.

Also, this post was co-written with Max Rehkopf—and you should definitely follow him :)

The first question that comes to mind when considering Yuval Noah Harari’s success is: “How in the world did he do it?”

How do you write a book that gets recommended by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, and President Obama? How is it that, in 2017, people regard his work as a new and unique…

Hardbound exists because we believe in the power of books — and we want to make it 100x easier to absorb their wisdom.

We accomplish that in three ways:

  1. Our beautiful “tap story” format. You’ll read longer, comprehend more deeply, and retain your knowledge longer. Scrolling through text just isn’t good enough anymore. The combination of words, images, illustrations, and animations creates a completely new and awesome experience.
  2. Our obsessive thirst for quality. Our biggest gripe with most book summaries is simple: they’re boring. That’s why each of our stories goes through a rigorous, Pixar-esque editorial process. We believe that life is too short to create mediocre content.
  3. The perfect length: five minutes. This is just long enough for you to truly learn…

A letter to those who think we’re making the world dumber

Yesterday we launched a big update to Hardbound, an app we’ve been working on for some time now. We create 5-minute, illustrated stories based on the most fascinating books in business, history, and science. The really special part, though, is our format. (You can see an example here.)

Most of the feedback was pretty incredible:

Nathan Baschez

Studying strategy at

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