You might have noticed that I tend to write previews and reviews with we, our, and us, rather than me, my, and I. This is sometimes deliberate, other times by habit. Maybe you even glanced at the metadata under several post headlines and noted that I am the only regular author on ToolGuyd.
For the past four years – oh gosh, has it really been four years?! – I have avoided talking about myself here on ToolGuyd. Sure, I shared a few things here and there, but I tried to keep personal details away from my writings as much as I could. As you could tell from the post headline, this is not one of those times where I hold back.
I am extremely pleased to share with you all that I recently earned my doctorate degree in materials science and engineering. I have a masters degree in the same field and a bachelor’s degree in physics.
What Does This Mean?
Everything, or nothing, depending on how you look at it. Years of study and research projects have irreversibly changed who I am, how I think, and how I see the world. I cannot gauge how influential my research and experiences have been on my ToolGuyd efforts, but there must be some connection.
Technically this also means I can add Dr. to my resume and business cards.
Earning my doctorate was a long and exhausting journey, but in the end I am better for it. Now that I am finished with my dissertation research I am currently looking for work. For the time being I can afford to be somewhat selective with the jobs I choose to apply for – thanks to ample savings, consulting work, freelance assignments, and an understanding wife – but I am looking for a full-time position, preferably in a research lab in or near NYC. Or enough science and engineering-related freelance positions to supplement my income.
What This Means for You, Dear Reader
Ordinarily I feel that it is best for my observations, assessments, and recommendations to speak for themselves, and this sentiment has not and will not change. Maybe my scientific and technical proficiency adds weight to my writing, or maybe it doesn’t. I really don’t know, but I can tell you that I am extremely sensitive about reader perception. That is probably why I waited four months to share this news with you.
Behind the scenes, my technical knowledge and insight means I have a better understanding of core technologies or at least an easier time catching up. My BS detector is not infallible, but I like to think it’s better than average.
I would love to discuss all the things my BS detector has caught, but this really isn’t the place for it. You will definitely see me call things out in the future.
What Does This Mean for ToolGuyd?
For now, I have big plans for 2013 and am working on fresh content. Previously I fit ToolGuyd activities into my nights, weekends, and breaks. With some free time now, when I’m not working on research papers or job applications, I am putting the finishing touches on editorial project plans, reviews, and special projects.
It is important to note that ToolGuyd does not bring in enough revenue for it to be my career. That is besides the fact that most revenue has been pumped right back into the site. This might change in the future, but for right now my mindset and understanding keeps me focused on building content rather than revenue.
I certainly don’t have the budget to hire additional writers, editors, or product testers and evaluators.
As a result, ToolGuyd will likely be affected when I land a full time position. That’s why I am trying to create a buffer so that post and review frequency, as well as post quality, is minimally affected.
Short-term, I intend to explore different types of content. Maybe a post that describes why titanium hammers are in theory better than traditional steel hammers. Perhaps a breakdown of all the factors that affect hammer design. Or even a discussion about the best knife and tool steels. I am also working on content for a short book.
As far as long-term plans go, meaning a few years from now, I intend to build and acquire testing equipment. Wouldn’t it be neat to compare the crystalline structure of cheap vs. expensive drill bits? Broken wrenches? Sand paper? Cordless drill motor windings? Circular saw carbide teeth?
So I’m Not a Tradesman or Professional Tool User?
That doesn’t mean I don’t understand jobsite demands and what professionals look for in their tools.
I have made it a point not to discuss tools that are beyond my experience. That way you can be sure that I know what I’m writing about. This is also why I have not reviewed jobsite generators, continuous-runtime shop compressors, concrete breakers, and other such strictly professional tools. Sometimes if I want to write about a product outside my comfort zone I phone a friend, colleague, or family member.
The people that design, build, and market the tools tradesmen and pros use – they’re not tradesmen or pros either.
What I’m trying to say is that you shouldn’t trust my writing any less today than you did yesterday. If you want to trust me more, that’s okay.
I’m sorry, I had to – it rhymes!