A few years ago my high school English teacher asked me to come and speak with her seventh period creative writing class about having a career in writing. Her students asked me questions related to my job, career in the newspaper business and what my time as a student at Van Buren Jr/Sr High School was like. We met for over 50 minutes and I tried to be as helpful as possible. I even spoke in front of the entire high school and tried to give them any tips that could make them successful after graduation.
But one question from that day that always stuck with me was if I would ever be writing strictly for a website. I remember telling him at some point in my career I probably would but didn’t know who, what, when, where, why or how.
Those questions have been answered.
Having this opportunity to lead Clay&Milk has been a hard concept for me to grasp. When I interviewed for the position I felt like I was in the scene from “The Social Network” where Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg are sitting in the nightclub. Sean Parker (Timberlake) explains to Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) the potential Facebook has and how useful it could become. Even though we sat at Fongs and not inside a fancy nightclub, my level of optimism matches what Zuckerberg (Eisenberg) displayed in that scene is at the same level for me with this website.
Clay&Milk won’t be Facebook but we will share as many cute videos as possible.
We hope our work at Clay&Milk helps a new generation of founders and innovators build their companies and ideas in the Midwest so they don’t need to leave. Using the internet to provide a voice and path to discovery, our hope is that big ideas will be built here.
Paypal’s founders have a connection to the midwest, as does Marc Andreessen who helped create the modern web. Even Twitter and Pinterest have deep midwest connections.
Our humility as a region can be counterproductive to helping great ideas be nurtured. Those ideas instead depart to the coasts to find like minds.
We want to change that.
My role though is as a storyteller. And this site is dedicated to telling the stories of the entrepreneur, artist and those in the tech community. A lot is happening in the Midwest that nobody is talking about. Without someone sharing the stories the communities can’t connect and the midwest can’t grow.
So we will talk about it here. We will tell the stories.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your stories and your ideas. I’ll run them down and I won’t tell you that you’re crazy. I want to help tell your stories and believe deeply in the mission of our publication.
Thanks for having me. I’m excited to meet you.
Joey Aguirre is the managing editor of Clay & Milk. Send me an email at email@example.com