Silhouette of Jason Lengstorf’s glasses and beard.

I’m Jason Lengstorf.

software architect · keynote speaker · occasional designer · mediocre bartender

Super Official Third Person Bio™:

Jason Lengstorf is a developer advocate, senior engineer, and occasional designer at Gatsby. He’s an advocate for building highly productive teams through better communication, well designed systems and processes, and healthy work-life balance, and he blogs about that sometimes. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Jason Lengstorf at Web Summer Camp in Croatia, 2017.
Teaching a workshop in Croatia.Credit:Web Summer Camp

What I Do for a Living

Jason Lengstorf and Marisa Morby in Tokyo, 2016.
Me and Marisa in Tokyo.Credit:paint with stars

What I Do for Fun

  • Travel. Often. Like, for real.
  • Write. Usually I tell stories about how I used to be a shitbag, and try to share the lessons I learned to make me less of a shitbag.
  • Cook. I love figuring out new ways to create meals, and I love having friends over for a family-style meal.
  • Code. Before it was the way I made a living, I built things for the web for fun. Sometimes I still build dumb things on the internet.

Why This Site Exists

Jason Lengstorf ca. 2000.
Looking tough with my fisherman’s vest, spandex shirt, and studded Hot Topic bracelet.Source:My Mom’s box of shame

I was not a particularly well-adjusted teenager.

I spent a lot of time feeling angry. I was always suffering from some form of (completely imaginary) censorship, oppression, brutality, or unfair treatment.

As you can probably imagine, I wasn’t exactly a happy kid.

I was lucky, though: I had good friends and supportive parents. They didn’t put up with my shit, gave me books to read, and helped push me toward a better outlook on life.

And — despite my recalcitrant asshattery — eventually they got through to me.

I’ve been able to get pretty far in life, and a younger, more arrogant me used to chalk that up to “being a genius” or “working harder than everyone else”. But neither of those statements is true.

Here‘s what is true:

I am where I am because I had smart, empathetic people around me. People I could bounce ideas off of; people who recommended books for me to read; people who called me on my shit; people who evolved along with me as I grew up.

Marisa Morby, Nate Green, and Jason Lengstorf at the Potluck of Meaning, 2015.
Marisa and Nate have always pushed me to be better today than I was yesterday. This is us at the Potluck of Meaning, a benefit dinner for Community Food Centres Canada.Credit:Precision Nutrition

I was lucky, and I want to share a little luck with the world.

Not everyone had access to a great network like that. Not everyone has someone to help push them forward when they might otherwise settle in and think, “Well, this is probably the best I can do.”

I realize that I can’t create that network for everyone. However, I can try to create a space where I’ll do my best to push you to be the best possible version of yourself, and create a channel where you can push me to do the same. And — hopefully — there will be enough of us that we can start to create that network.

I’m not exactly sure how to actually make that happen, but I’m starting with a blog and a newsletter.

If this sounds like the sort of thing you wish you had — or if it’s something you do have, and you’d like to help other people experience it — join my newsletter. Reply to a message. Let’s talk.

Let’s figure out how to connect with people who strive to be better; who push themselves and the people around them; who don’t feel threatened when someone is succeeding — instead they feel energized to go do more awesome shit.

Those people are my people. Our people.

I started this site to find more of my people. Hopefully you’re one of them.

Note: I will never share your email or spam you with nonsense. Because I’m not a dick.