Jared Novack

I'm a technologist, designer and Mr. Manager from St. Louis — but I live in Boston nowadays.

Things I've Done

Upstatement Our work

In 2008 I started a design & technology firm with three friends from college. We're now a 40+ person agency in downtown Boston with clients all over the world.

Timber GitHub

Frustrated with how hard it was to build WordPress sites, I built a framework for doing it better. That code now powers sites for Upstatement and tens of thousands of sites around the world, including those for the PBS, Spotify and Barack Obama.

The Boston Globe & Houston Chronicle

I was the first newsroom developer at these newspapers. In my time I focused on building tools for the newsroom to multiply the power of producers and journalists to add visual and interactive content to their work. We also built some of the first live-data visualizations for the 2006 and 2008 elections.

The Daily Orange

My real education in college came from the student newspaper at Syracuse. We wrote, designed, broke stories, uncovered scandal, fought with administrators, managed a business — all without a single administrator or professor looking over our shoulders.

Podcasts I've Been On

Syracuse Alumni Conversations with my partners Mike and Tito, discussing the apps that Upstatement built in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Pressing Matters on Timber and the importance of making the right technical architecture decisions.
Side Hustle to Small Business on how we grew Upstatement from a nights and weekends project into a full-time job for me (and the many other people who've joined our company since).

Talks I've Given

Fuck this Fucking Agile Bullshit Underneath the sprint reviews, pointing, and backlog groomings have we lost the true meaning of Agile? (Hint: we have)
Deploy First, Develop Later Deployment isn't a "last step" it should be the first step in a software development process to ensure the whole of the cycle is understood from the start
Positivity, Fuck Yeah! Being positive isn't about puppies, rainbows or even being nice — it's about describing your vision in a clear way instead of the things that "it's not."
The GTD Programming Language What do Tom Cruise, Will Smith and David Allen all have in common? If you said "IRS investigation" you're correct! But if you also said "a framework for organization and achievement" you're much closer to the relevant commonality behind this presentation.

Things I've Read

These are some of the books and articles that have mattered to me.

How Buildings Learn
The Age of Spiritual Machines
Deep Work
The Spirit of Kaizen
Homicide A Year On The Killing Streets
Nonzero The Logic of Human Destiny
Implementing Value Pricing
Why Buddhism is True
But How Do It Know? The Basic Principles of Computers for Everyone
Radical Candor
Wonderland How Play Made the Modern World
The Works Anatomy of a City
The Way to Go Moving by Sea, Land, and Air
Homo Deus
Messy The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives
Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind
Underground Airlines
The Second Machine Age
Work Rules!
The Heights Anatomy of a Skyscraper
Rust The Longest War
Secrets of Power Negotiating
Consider the Lobster
The Martian
A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again
The Plane That Wasn't There
Managing The Professional Service Firm
The Skies Belong to Us Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking
Fire in the Hole
Then Everything Changed
America's Game
Merger of the Century Why Canada and America Should Become One Country
Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future
Visual Explanations Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative
Master of the Senate
Creativity, Inc.
Gang Leader For A Day
Please Don't Remain Calm Michael Kinsley Commentaries 1995 - 2008
The Information
The Looming Tower
The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories The Perry Bible Fellowship Collection
Editing by Design
The Bush Tragedy
Kindly Inquisitors
Traffic Why We Drive the Way We Do
43* When Gore Beat Bush
Slow Getting Up
The Hot Zone
The Demon in the Freezer
Getting Things Done
Parting the Waters
The Intelligent Universe
Bogle on Mutual Funds
Good Book
Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming
Contracts as Promise
The Future of Freedom
The Post-American World
Worth the Fighting For
The World Without Us
First Light The Search for the Edge of the Universe