My baby has grown up.
Since launching Admitted in August 2020, it has been read by thousands of students and hundreds have sent me personal notes sharing their love and support for the book.
Now it’s time to launch a second edition of the same.
This time around, I’m not doing it on Amazon. Rather, I’m launching on a platform that is reimagining what reading on the web could look like: Holloway.
On April 25th, 2020, I opened Twitter at night to send a message to @holloway.
Figure: My very first correspondence with Holloway
Holloway is trying to reimagine what reading quality long-form content on the web could look like.
To do this, they have done two things, and done it really well,
Build a native web-reader that converts 200+ page guides into digestible content that you can seamlessly access through the various features present on the platform.
Collaborate with experts on topics centered around the future of learning and work to create comprehensive guides, painstakingly curated and edited.
I’m fortunate to call myself one of the authors on the platform. Ironically, the collaboration did not work out in April 2020 when I first reached out to them, but it did the second time when I was not even looking for one.
Story of Admitted & Holloway
I recently quit my job at Salesforce.
But the journey to quit really began more than a year ago.
Without going into too much detail in this article on my journey, let’s just say there was a day in November when I woke up feeling,
I need something to happen today. I need to figure out a way to quit and work elsewhere, on something that gives me meaning.
So I wrote down a list of startups I admired and sent an email to the CEOs of all of them enquiring if they have a part-time position open for me.
Joshua Levy, the CEO of Holloway, was one of the recipients of this email.
I got an email back from Josh within a day, something I did not expect. He did not have a position open at that point in time but suggested that we get on a call. I happily agreed. Below is a brief excerpt from my Roam Research second brain where I took notes after our first call.
As mentioned in the final sentence over there, I had no intention of publishing Admitted on Holloway when I entered that call, because my mind was set elsewhere, in finding a part-time position to quit my full-time job. Yet, Josh planted a seed in my mind by suggesting it could be an interesting experiment.
And boy, it was.
It took us about 6 months since that call to sign a contract to publish Admitted on Holloway.
And another 6 months to go through a rigorous editing process (much more rigorous than when I published Admitted!) and import it into the Holloway reader, complete with illustrations and visuals.
It took us so long because this was not a top priority project for either of us, but we still kept in touch and slowly pushed forward, one meeting at a time.
Here we are now, ready for the world to experience my book on Josh’s platform.
Figure: After a 5-hour brainstorming session between me, Josh, and Rajesh Setty (who clicked this!)
Although at times I felt demotivated to keep pushing this forward, and I’m sure Josh did too, what kept me going was believing in the mission of Holloway and thinking about the future possibilities when the mission gets accomplished. Looking back, I can see how the dots have connected so beautifully… in ways I could not have imagined back then.
I am unbelievably grateful to Josh for responding to my email and working with me on this. I am also grateful to my lovely Admitted team (Karthigeyan Shankar and Nidhish Rajan) and the wonderful Holloway team (Nathaniel Hemminger, Carolyn Turgeon, Rachel Jepsen, Hope Hackett) for all of their contributions 💚
Admitted on Holloway: A New Reading Experience
I will soon be publishing a video walking you through the experience of reading my book on Holloway.
For now, let me give you a brief peek into it.
Figure: What reading Admitted on Holloway looks like.
As shown in the image above, there are four features that enhance your reading experience of Admitted on Holloway.
- Scan through the table of contents: First, you can use the table of contents on the left to navigate to any chapter or sub-heading you want to in the book. This way, you don’t need to shuffle through pages trying to get to the topic you want.
- Check the legends: If you didn’t know already, Admitted is a very visual book! One of the visual elements we introduced was the legends. These emphasize specific passages throughout the book to create a visual hierarchy as you read the book.
- Hover over words that are underlined: Many words throughout the book will have an underline under them. This means they are hyperlinks and if you hover over them, you can easily see their definition. When you click on it, it will take you to the part of the book where the term has been introduced, making it seamless to traverse the entire book.
- Finally, the “search” bar to ask questions: This is my favorite feature of all! Have you ever read a book in which you can ask a question to the book? Well, Admitted might be your first! As shown in the image below, you can ask questions to the book by typing in keywords, which will show a list of pre-populated questions. Clicking on any of them will take you right to the section where it’s answered.
Figure: How the “ask a question to the book” works!
Aside from having my book on a platform I admire and giving my readers a new way to experience it, I am thrilled to be a part of the future of the reading movement.
And soon, I hope to shape it with my contribution.