Andy Matuschak

is creating tools for thought

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You'll get early access to my experiments and periodic updates on my projects.
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This is a meaningful contribution! If you'd like independent research in tools for thought to be possible, this is a significant way to help make that happen.

250 patrons at this level would fund the equivalent of a typical grad student's research grant.
Sponsor
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At this level, you'll become a major sponsor of my work. To express my thanks, you'll be listed in a prominent sponsor section in all my projects.

50 patrons at this level would fund the equivalent of a typical grad student's research grant.

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About

Hi there! I’m a software engineer, designer, and researcher. I work on technologies that expand what people can think and do. Recent projects have included Quantum Country and How can we build transformative tools for thought? with collaborator Michael Nielsen. I'm continuing to explore those themes in a variety of projects around computer-supported thinking; you can see what's top of mind for me here. My primary project at the moment is Orbit, which you can read about here.

If you're here, you probably know something about my work, but you may not know that I'm an independent researcher. These aren't side projects for me: they're my day job… except insofar as they don't produce revenue. Instead, I'm supported by a crowdfunded research grant, supplied by people like you who want to see this work happen—and who vote with their wallet. Think of your contribution not as a "tip" (i.e. buying me a coffee in appreciation) but as "grantmaking" (i.e. crowdfunding a research program).

Living in San Francisco with my background, the easy thing to do would be to raise VC funding to pursue these projects. But if I did that, I'd need to make revenue generation a major priority. I worry that'd be not just a distraction but a brick wall: tools for thought are hard enough to explore with complete focus; it's hard to imagine succeeding with divided focus. And as Michael Nielsen and I describe, there are some deep structural conflicts between startup models and this type of research.

So: this is an experiment! Can we crowdfund full-time research in tools for thought? I have no idea if this is a viable path permanently, but it seems viable at least as an approach to bootstrapping—one which may lead us to very different outcomes in this path-dependent space. I don't think it's ever been done before! I'd be grateful for your help in running the experiment.

—Andy

PS: This used to be a joint Patreon with Michael Nielsen. I know it's a bit confusing! Michael and I had a great collaboration; he's decided he'd like to find a more stable gig. You can read more about that transition here. Thank you to those who have been with us for the whole journey!
Goals
79% complete
Crowdfunded grad student-level research grant
When we hit this goal, we will have crowdfunded the equivalent of a typical grad student's fellowship grant. That's a huge step—the distributed provision of substantive research funding.

Coincidentally, this level is also the point at which our crowdsourced grant will cover my essential expenses. I look forward to no longer being "in the red"!
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 18 exclusive posts
27
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14
Writings
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 18 exclusive posts
27
Images
14
Writings
2
Videos

Recent posts by Andy Matuschak

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