When I first got connected with David Sax, he was doing research for his book that would eventually become The Revenge of Analog. He was intrigued by some of the community management work I had done at Yelp since it justified an important point, namely that even as we become more and more connected to our phones, we still are masters over our digital lives. Yelp is useful, only to the extent that it helped you find a cool restaurant or bar. Uber is useless unless you had somewhere to go, someone to meet. Tinder and Bumble are simply means to get out into the real world.
David has since gone on to write another fantastic book, while also contributing to fledgling publications like The New York Times and New Yorker, but it’s his fight for the tangible that has remained near and dear to me as I listen to another record while flipping through a coffee table book, glancing over at my manually-wound watch to make sure I remember to pick up a piece of original art from my local frame shop.
Nish: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
David: Laughs with friends outdoors, with good food, and drink. Ideally, after a day doing something even better outdoors…skiing, surfing, hiking.
Nish: What was your worst job ever?
David: The only real job I ever had. I made photocopies of dentist office addresses on dental newsletters in a windowless office. One day, I made so many copies that the copier caught on fire. I was moved to data entry on a screen that was broken, so you could only see a few Excel cells at a time if you were an inch or two away from it. I lasted four weeks.
Nish: What was your first job ever?
David: Summer camp counselor.
Nish: What was your best job ever?
David: Freelance travel journalist.
Nish: What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Nish: What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Nish: What’s some advice you’d give to yourself at 23?
David: You have so much more time than you realize.
Nish: What is your greatest extravagance?
David: Good bread. The difference between a supermarket loaf and an artisan fancy sourdough is a few bucks, but those bucks contain a universe of pleasure.
Nish: You have exclusive dinner reservations for 4 excluding family and close friends, who are the 3 people (alive, dead or imaginary) you’d invite?
David: George, Elaine, and Kramer. I’d be Jerry.
Nish: What is the theme song of your professional life?
David: A Tonga da Mironga da Kabulete, a Brazilian song that is essentially gibberish.
Nish: What is your motto?
David: Life is better over lunch.
Nish: What is something you’re really excited about right now?
David: Lunch (it’s 11.31 am and I’ve been writing for two hours)