John O'Nolan
John O'Nolan

4 posts

Remote
John O'Nolan John O'Nolan
Ghost

How members got added to Ghost

I was digging through some old design files yesterday and came across two of the first ever sketches I made for the idea of memberships and subscriptions in Ghost, from way back at the very beginning of 2016. These seem pretty obvious, now, but at the time nothing like this really existed. It's kind of amazing how close the sketches ended up being to what we actually built. In 2016 Ghost was a nice, clean blogging platform that worked great, but it didn't do anything fundamentally valuable or
John O'Nolan John O'Nolan
Ghost

A decade after being rejected by YC

About 10 years ago I applied to Y Combinator with Ghost. At the time we were trying to get $120k in funding for 7% equity — but got rejected (twice). So instead we launched on Kickstarter and then bootstrapped. Today Ghost has earned over $25Million from customers for 0% equity, and all of Y Combinator's own blogs run on Ghost. Most of the time things don't work out quite the way you thought they would, but often they work out just fine.
John O'Nolan John O'Nolan
Meta

A new start blog for 2024

At the end of 2023 I started working on a new project called Vintas, a simple hiring platform for remote teams. Initially I shared a few thoughts on Twitter and Threads, but I quickly ran into the same problems I always do when sharing anything on those platforms. The algorithms are unpredictable. Sometimes lots of people see your posts, sometimes nobody does. The character limits are frustrating. Sharing anything that isn't shortform sucks, and threaded replies don't work well. So I'm moving
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