It was over a weekend in August that I sat down and started Tools & Toys. It had been six months since I quit my job and began writing this website full-time, and just six weeks after finding out my wife and I were pregnant with Noah.

That was three years ago.

Primarily, I built Tools & Toys because I wanted an outlet for me to link to and write about cool things. Now, the scope of what I write about and link to here on shawnblanc.net is technically not limited, but I do try and stay on the topics of design, diligence, and Apple nerdery. However, my personal interests extend far beyond those topics. And so I built Tools & Toys as a place where I could link to and write about things beyond the scope of what I write about here. Tools & Toys was — and is — a playground of interesting things; a collection of fine paraphernalia.

Secondly, I wanted to build and design a WordPress site from the ground up.

You know how it is when you get the unquenchable need to make something. You can envision a project, picture the end result, and suddenly its all you can do to pull yourself away from working on it at 3 in the morning to get a few hours of sleep before your motivation wakes you up again. Well, that’s how it felt with Tools & Toys. I knew what I wanted, I knew how I wanted it to work, I knew the site itself had potential to be great, and I wanted the challenge of building it from scratch. And so I did.

I also did it for the money. The business model of Tools & Toys was an obvious one: find cool stuff on the internet, and when possible use affiliate links.

I have always subscribed to the principle that quality and honesty breed trust and attention. And what I want more than anything when it comes to the T&T readership is to have people who trust that we’re not here to rob them of their time.

On Tools & Toys we’ve never fed the pageview machine (we put the full content of each post on the home page and in the RSS feed), and we’ve never linked to something without reason. Sure, there have been some oddball items we’ve put up, but sometimes that’s the point — hey, look at this wacky item.

And so, now, three years later, it’s time for Tools & Toys to evolve just a little bit.

Starting next week, we’ll begin publishing several new types of original content. This will be in the form of photo essays, editorials, gear guides, reviews, and interviews. This will all be in addition to the daily posts we’ve always been publishing; we will continue linking to new and cool things that are out there.

The site is also getting a complete design overhaul, including a brand new logo. My friend, Pat Dryburgh, has done an amazing job re-imagining the site’s design. I cannot wait to pull back the curtain on it next week.

So, click through to check out the new logo. Also, we’re giving stuff away all through the month of October. If you join the new T&T newsletter then you’ll be entered to win something, plus you’ll get notified as soon as the site goes live next week.

September 30, 2014