Brian Alkerton — Productivity

Why I Quit, And What's Next

So, tomorrow's the one-month anniversary of me quitting my job at Shopify. It was as amicable as these things can go.

To answer the one question I've heard more than any other since making my decision, why did I leave an amazing company with great perks? To be clear, Shopify is a great company, easily the best I've worked for. I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss the catered lunches, snacks, and camaraderie. But without diving into exact numbers, here's why:

Not the most elegant graph, but I'll try to explain. Joining Shopify...

Passion Breeds Productivity

Today consisted of the longest trip I've ever taken to Boston - even including the times I took the Greyhound to see relatives. Layovers and all, today's trip was longer. The roads were hell up until the U.S. Border, and for more than a little while afterwards.

I packed light, optimistic that the weather would be tolerable in nothing more heavy than a blazer. No precipitation after this morning, temperatures in the 0 to 5 range... not balmy, but totally manageable. That was the forecast. Things played out a bit worse. Hopefully they improve.

I love to travel, and am...

No Excuses On The Dancefloor

I've been complimented on my dancing skills a lot since the first time I saw this scene:

If I were to describe my style of dancing, it starts with the steady, on-rhythm motions of Will Smith's approach. But from there, rather than doing gimmicky moves that are very deliberately "moves", I've just trained my feet, hips, shoulders, and hands to do their own thing but stay on beat, and since I have a little bit of musical training and am able to recognize common song structures, even if I'm hearing something for the first...


The tricky thing about self-improvement is that writing about it has absolutely zero impact in whether or not you go through with the changes you want to make. I can (and in the past I have) announced new diets, new exercise plans, a commitment to be a better and more honourable person... it's all words. And worse, it's words that get you supportive comments and feedback when you haven't lifted a finger to do the damn thing you know deep down that you should do. Because I make it public, now it's a conversation and you get to demonstrate you...

Shaking Things Up

I love Fight Club, but when Tyler says "It's only after we've lost everything that we are free to do anything" I'm not entirely sure I agree.

I get the context - when you've got nothing to lose, consequences don't matter - but I've been feeling similarly liberated of late, if not from consequences then from constraints. The thing about that freedom is that if you don't use it, you don't lose it, you just... waste it. Here's what I mean:

  • I didn't have to write a blog post today.
  • I didn't have to wake up before 11 this...