A History Lesson On ME
I can't believe that I'm writing this article, a major milestone not just for me personally, but professionally. This post is my 15,000th article that I've written for TweakTown, a massive journey that started in 2010. But where did I come from?
We're told throughout life that we need to finish school, go into further study, and spend our 20s 'finding ourselves' and trying out different jobs. Well, I've always been someone who doesn't want to do things the way everyone else does it - and this is how I've approached most of my life, including my career.
I was never someone who spent much time thinking about my career when I was a teenager and went from a factory/laboring job directly into IT retail for just under 10 years. I worked at a small IT retailer in South Australia called Getright Computers, right up until the end of the world - 12/21/12... the end of the Mayan calendar, 21st December, 2012 - the day I quit my day job and started writing for TweakTown full-time.
When I started writing for TweakTown, I still remember what Cameron (the founder and Managing Director of the site) tasked me with. He told me that I was the Australian News Editor, and that I was to cover the world of technology and news in Australia. That's fine, except there's not much that happens here that makes waves internationally, and it got boring... fast.
So I began writing news from around the world, and had my first warning: "stop writing news that isn't centered around Australia", or something to that effect. I was whipped back into position, and started - well, trying to write Australian news. Yeah, it didn't last long... around a week, and I was back to writing US content - and another warning from Cam: "stop writing US news, this is your last warning".
That kinda scared me into submission, and I tried once again to write Australian news... but failed.
However, I noticed Cam had stopped telling me off - and then the ball dropped, my news had started taking off, and the traffic was good. More than good, because it continued evolving and changing, and TweakTown shifted from a site where people came once a day for a review that went live, to daily visitors increasing thanks to our traffic from news.
I continued working for Getright while writing for TweakTown, juggling a 50-hour a week (6 days per week) day job, while writing content for TweakTown. I did this for a few months until my first daughter was born in March 2011, and then I dropped down to 5 days a week, and increased my responsibilities for TweakTown.
Then in 2012, Cameron sent me a message asking if I would go on a business trip to Taipei to cover Computex 2012 for TweakTown. I couldn't believe my excitement, that I was going to be going on a trip to a major technology trade show, in another country - and it was my job. I still remember that trip the most out of all of my trips, it felt like every day was 48 hours long, and the humidity - oh gosh, the humidity.
Fast forward to the middle of 2013, and I had Cameron asking me if I would go on a trip for NVIDIA... NVIDIA! Of course I would. I grew up as a technology addict, with ATI and NVIDIA being two companies that excited me more than Batman and Superman, more than pizza and beer, more than gaming itself - were the GPU companies.
I flew to Montreal, Canada for the launch of G-Sync, and it was awesome. I met one of my best friends there: Dimitry from Hardware Canucks. I'm sure most of you know him, but behind closed doors (or should I say, behind the lens) he's one of the most humblest, friendliest guys I know. He is someone I'm proud to call one of my best friends, I would do anything for that guy - and I've tried to get him to come over to Team TweakTown a few times now! Love you, man.
It was at that event, everything changed for me - Linus was just beginning his journey towards the top of the TechTubers mountain, and I was just beginning to have my name known throughout the industry.
Towards the end of 2014, I had another monumental email from Cam asking if I would fill the shoes of the GPU editor for TweakTown - uh, of course, Cam. I said yes instantly, and the rest is history... I continued writing news, doing the lion's share of social media work on Facebook for TT, I was the face of TweakTown at trade shows and various events, and now our video side and FB Live video content.
I had negotiated a fair bit with Cam, and proved to him that I can extend my reach and change - so I did. I went on more events and did more event coverage in 2015 than any other year by a long shot, so when I get to the point where people like Roy Taylor, Corporate VP and super-awesome VR expert at AMD calls me out personally during the Radeon RX 400 series unveiling in Macau in May.
Getting my name called out 3 times during the speech, in the same leagues with just two other names mentioned - Linus, and Ryan Shrout who runs PC Perspective (who is also a super awesome guy, and one of the most intelligent guys I know). Having my name said out amongst those names feels like a badge of honor - achievement unlocked, I guess.
Spending one-on-one time with the likes of RTG boss Raja Koduri (where we chat about cricket, because India and Australia have a great rivalry for cricket) and late night ice cream, as the RTG guys and girls took me and a few other press out after their CES 2016 party for ice cream in Vegas at 3AM... in the freezing cold. Then again during Siggraph 2016, but this time it was after their Capsaicin event, and it was only 11PM. Super down to earth people that I feel energized being around.
I'm really condensing so much of my career, trips, and experiences into something very small - this really is the tip of the iceberg, and is acting more of a 'getting it off my chest, holy crap I've written 15,000 articles' explosion of text.
It might feel like there's a huge team of news writers for TweakTown, but for the most part - especially between 2011-2015, there weren't many of us - at least not full-time. I did a lot of content, and that's how I've hit 15K articles today... but there's a few people I'd like to thank.
You have been a boss without being a boss. Seriously... the guy never has to tell me off, or tell me to do something - he's a very hands-off boss, and that lets me work far better than I would if someone was breathing down my neck.
You have helped me out in more ways than one over the years, and have completely reshaped my entire life and career - I truly owe all of this to you giving me a chance, but as you've said before - and just recently, I've continuously shown you how dedicated I was to TweakTown, and to you. I can't wait to see where we can go in the next few years.
My Wife & Kids
My wife and BFF - without Natalie holding down the fort at home with our two young daughters, I wouldn't be able to do what I do. I go on ~10-12 major overseas trips a year, and she keeps everything on lockdown. She supported me through the transition of Getright and TweakTown, and is the best mom that I know.
Working from home is a blessing, and a curse. It gives me the 'ultimate freedom' of 'working when I want', but it also gives me freedom to spend more time with my wife and kids. Natalie makes this easier for me, and I don't think I express how much she does for our family - something that lets me continue to work hard, and kick ass for our family. Thanks, babe.
And my girls... sure, this is a technology site, but my life is what drives a lot of the content on this site - so I feel it has a massive effect in my work. Delilah and Evelyn are the best things that ever happened to me - they are amazing little creatures that have taught me more about life than anything I've ever done, including TweakTown.
The soppy side of me wants to go into how much I love them, but you should know I do - like any father, but instead I will say this: everything I do, I do for them. They are my superpower, not my fast hands that dart across my keyboard typing all of these 15K articles. They are the reason I can sit here spending time away from them, knowing I'm building something - and I'll hopefully be someone they can remember me by.
The words I write on the internet are immortal. They will stay there for a very long time, and my name is known throughout one of the biggest industries in the world, and it's incredibly humbling and overwhelming, and makes me want to cry from sheer excitement and child-like joy that a company like NVIDIA, AMD, MSI or GIGABYTE will use my quotes from my reviews, or even link to my review on their website. That's crazy, you guys. *blush*
Me, Myself and I
I guess I'm responsible for some of this, and have to thank myself. I work hard, but I know it's for such a good reason. I do promise myself a holiday, as with all of this travel - I see so much of the world, especially the US which I visit 5-6 times a year (it's a 24-hour one-way journey). The one thing I don't get is time. I don't get time to actually relax, and explore the cities I visit - I'm flying in, try and take it slow the first day - and then it's work, work, work for a few days and then I fly home.
While my friends at home think I'm overseas and say "oh that's so cool!", like I'm getting an all expenses paid trip overseas (which it is, but it's not in the 'hey here, take this trip voucher and use it when you want and go sit on a beach for 5 days').
I promise myself a holiday. A real one. The first one since my wife and I married in 2010. I will do it, and I know I'll still work during the holiday - I have to, at least an hour a day - and I'm fine with that. #netflixandchill
Seriously, you guys and girls are just as important to me as Cameron and Natalie. Cameron pays me, Natalie is my partner - but the readers and 'likes' on FB and subscribers on YouTube, and followers on Twitter, and everywhere else - you guys and girls are the best.
Without you, I wouldn't have a job.
Without you, I wouldn't be where I am.
Without you, I won't be able to go where I want to go in the future.
So thank you - each and every single one of you. Some of you I've met in person, I talk to on Facebook, or play Overwatch with. There are some regulars in my FB Live videos now that I'm loving, and I don't want you guys to stop. Please keep supporting us, and we'll continue to deliver you content that you love. Thanks again everyone, I really appreciate your support.
We get some haters, but for the most part we're a successful site with millions of readers and a massively strong Facebook audience. You guys are what make this happen, and with the future looking up, things are only going to get better.
I'm a firm believer in providing back to the people who help me, so where I work hard for Cameron because he's a great person to work for, I'm going to be organizing a huge 2017. The new year will be all about change, and the more the audience responds to our content and our readership and FB audience grows, we will be giving back with a new system of competitions and giveaways. I have some massive ideas I'll be discussing with friends and industry peeps during CES 2017 in January, so expect some great things in the New Year.
I was going to go into deeper detail, but I did that in a 1.5-hour 'mini history' of my career in the two FB Live videos below.