Andy Trattner

May 16, 2022

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For the past year, I've been removing Google from my life.

It started with Hey instead of Gmail, which was a huge upgrade. Then on all my devices, I switched from Chrome to Brave, set DuckDuckGo as the default search (although I would strongly consider Ecosia too), used 1Password instead of the built-in manager, swapped Calendar for Tasks, etc.

It's been an interesting experiment to see what I can live without. Unlike Amazon and Facebook, which were easy to quit cold turkey, Google seems to be super sticky for me. Domains and Drive are so handy I never got away from them; I survive on Maps; I maintain a Voice number to call my family in the States. Don't even get me started on Translate! It also turns out their search engine is legitimately better at finding things.

Now I'm coming back full-throttle, mostly due to Senseg. Maybe in the future we will consider Basecamp, Hey, and Zoom instead of Google Workspace + Slack. For now, it's much more efficient to suffer the calendar invites and notification spam while we focus on business priorities.

Contemplating our company's operating system reminds me of the carbon impact chart and articles which compare a plant-based diet versus flying less or having fewer kids. Just as I prefer the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, so too does our startup prefer to grow.

Although I still consider myself funemployed, building a tech company in 2022 requires disciplined practical tradeoffs that are quite different from my luxuriously philosophical, indulgently whimsical, and ultimately self-centered approach in 2021. Nevertheless, I'm excited to continue blogging and living my life in parallel.

A few minutes ago, I popped open a Youtube tab for some "happy cooking music" and was surprised to encounter ads! Since Brave shields users automatically, I had completely forgotten about the necessity for Adblock Plus in my recently reinstated browser.

I just subscribed with an annual $10 donation and felt compelled to share this purchase with the world. I don't recall if I've bragged much yet about how my humble posts have inspired other people to also donate and blog, but that's certainly been motivating for me and I encourage you to try it too.

Leaving the discussion of Google's morality for another time, perhaps we can agree since they've done us the favor of monetizing our attention, pretty conveniently, we can put our extra hours and dollars to use on causes we find compelling (see carbon above).


P.S. Funnily enough, while writing this I got a call soliciting donations for some Florida highway patrol fundraiser. I'm open to suggestions, but for now I'm glad I could choose ABP.