I first heard the term “Stanford Duck Syndrome” when I began taking classes there for my Master’s degree in 2010. SDS refers to a phenomenon that occurs on the Stanford campus and at campuses all over the world. You see, when you look out over the student population – your friends, classmates, and so on – it seems that everyone is gliding along effortlessly, undeterred by the stresses of life at an elite institution. In reality, though, everyone is tired, stressed, and totally freaking out, just trying to make it though one more day. Like the little duckling that appears calm on the surface of the lake but is furiously paddling to stay afloat, so the young adults of the Bay Area and beyond hide their panic under a calm facade.
If I were to describe the past year of my life I would say that it has been one long episode of Stanford Duck Syndrome. I’ve tried to keep everything pretty casual here, but behind the scenes I’ve been running around with my hair on fire (and I mean that in the best possible way). It’s been a great year, but is has indeed been a crazy one.
The craziness began one year ago when I left my job as a structural engineer. I decided to work on finding a career that aligned more with my current interests; along the way I managed to get some good press, work for some friends, take random trips to New York, meet cool people, and much more. I spent a good deal of the past year networking with many great people across quite a few different industries, and each one got me a little closer to what I was looking for. I’ve tried to keep this journey separate from my writing here, but this should give you a better idea of what’s been going on behind the scenes (on a related note, you may have noticed that I haven’t been writing much about any recent purchases – as you can imagine, my limited funds were going towards other things).
Anyway, the point of all of this is that I have a new job. And this time around, it’s in the clothing industry.
As of the beginning of this month I am running the men’s apparel portion of an SF-based startup called Massdrop. If you haven’t heard of Massdrop, here’s the idea: it’s a place where hardcore enthusiasts and hobbyists of varying things – audio gear, fountain pens, clothes, and so on – come together and discuss their favorite items. Users can create polls to highlight their favorite things, and when the polls get enough traction the good folks at Massdrop (that’s me) will do their best to source these items for the community at a big discount.
Essentially, it’s group buying for enthusiasts – if we can get dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people with a shared hobby to buy their favorite items all at once then we can make a big bulk order and save everyone a bunch of money. I’ll be the guiding force for the men’s style community and will be working to bring the items that the group wants (and others that I know they’ll like) to the site.
The items that I’m sourcing should begin trickling in next month, and by January most of the products on the site should be through me. Even before I started, though, I saw many great brands come through. Companies like Rancourt, Kent Wang, Oliver Peoples, Alpha Industries, and more have listed products through Massdrop on deep discount – and these are companies that don’t go on sale.
So, how does all of this affect fromsqualortoballer.com? Hopefully not too much. These first few months will be quite busy so my posts may become slightly less frequent, although I still expect to post at least once per week. I’m also not planning on broadcasting Massdrop deals on this site; the best way to see these would be to get an account there, or to follow me on twitter where I might occasionally discuss these things.
All in all, this has been a great development for me and I’m excited for what’s to come. One of my primary goals with FSTB has been to educate readers on the basics of dressing well and guide them towards the best deals on my favorite products; now I have many more resources at my fingertips to do exactly that. If you like what I wear on my blog and the products I talk about then I bet you’ll like what I plan to do at Massdrop.
That’s all for now! If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below.