Who is Nick O’Neill? Aside from being the founder of Text A Coder, here’s a list of 17 things about me :)

1. From Washington, DC

I was born at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Arlington, Virginia. Despite the political nature of the city, I still love it as a place to live.

2. Graduated from American University

I then went to American University and stayed in D.C. until 2010, when I migrated out to San Francisco, California.

My mother still lives in Arlington and I go back to the D.C. area relatively frequently.

3. A twin

I have a twin sister who lives in Brooklyn, New York. No, we are not identical, although I get asked that more often than you’d think :)

4. Interviewed Mark Zuckerberg

In 2007, while working as a software engineer at an agency in Washington, DC, I began blogging about the growing phenomenon that is Facebook. The timing was great and my publishing cadence resulted in a growing audience. The audience grew to a large enough size that I was eventually granted the opportunity to connect with and interview Mark Zuckerberg.

5. Sold my business!

That publication turned into two publications, an annual conference, and an online school. I sold all of that to MediaBistro and it was subsequently merged into AdWeek.

6. Sushi fan

In addition to having been to Jiro’s son’s restaurant in Tokyo, I find myself eating sushi far too often. While it’s not traditional sushi, I find myself eating at Sushiritto in San Francisco far too often.

7. Cycling on weekends, sometimes to Tiburon

While attending a Ruby on Rails conference in Portland a few years back, I rented a road bike to go to and from the AirBNB that I was staying in. I wound up skipping a day of the conference to ride all over the city. As soon as I returned I bought my first road bike and have been enjoying it ever since!

Since San Francisco is one of the most beautiful places in the world to go road biking, I regularly spend a few hours leaving the city and biking around Marin and Tiburon.

8. A workaholic

I began writing this article in a co-working spot at 5PM on a Saturday. I don’t say this to brag as I find it to be an unhealthy habit, however I find it to be necessary when you start building a business.

9. Legit ADHD

Despite working a ton, I could also potentially blame much of it on the obsessive nature of my ADHD. I would tell you all about my childhood but that would involve … Look it’s a squirrel!

10. Favorite comedian is Mitch Hedberg

If you haven’t listened to Mitch Hedberg, you need to! He’s absolutely hilarious. Here are a few to get you started:

  • “Every book is a children’s book if the kid can read.”
  • “I like escalators, because an escalator can never break; it can only become stairs. There would never be an “Escalator Temporarily Out of Order” sign. Only an “Escalator Temporarily Stairs… Sorry for the Convenience.”
  • My friend asked me if I wanted a frozen banana, but I said “No… but I want a regular banana later, so yeah.”

All the jokes are one-liners and pretty incredible!

11. Pursuing a minimalist lifestyle

I’ve been getting rid of all the unnecessary things in my life not only to remove clutter but to increase my focus. From getting rid of all my old CDs and having them archived, to getting rid of furniture that only provides storage for things I never use.

While my apartment is beginning to look somewhat sterile due to their empty walls, and decreasing quantity of items, it’s quite refreshing to get rid of physical baggage.

12. Read far too many non-fiction books, many of which I never finished

You may be thinking that my minimalism is simply part of a growing trend, and you’d be correct! I’m currently reading a book on minimalism called “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown. I highly recommend it!

13. Have been coding software for 15+ years

When my friend who was at MIT failed to finish a start up idea that I was developing in college, I took it upon myself to finish the project. While the company didn’t thrive (since I knew nothing about entrepreneurship), my interest in software development grew. It was especially useful since it enabled me to get paid more than working on the floor of Home Depot!

14. Have had countless jobs

It turns out that the agency and freelance life are for me as I changed jobs all the time while working for others. I’ve had jobs as a restaurant host, lifeguard (saved a life!), Home Depot associate, 1-hour photo technician, door-to-door salesman, software developer, and journalist.

I’m sure there are others that took place somewhere in that time but I don’t remember off hand :)

15. A Technical Communicator

If I were to say I have a superpower, it would be my ability to deeply understand software development while being able to explain it to non-developers. That’s one reason we are able to succeed at TextACoder!