A brief, semi-professional introduction
- I’ve worked in early-stage startups for 10 years, usually wearing the CTO hat. In 2019, I became a cofounder and Head of Engineering at Almanac through their $9m seed raise and in the lead up to a $34m Series A raise in 2021. I was also the founder of a meditation community called OpenSit which was acquired in 2017. Before taking on leadership roles, I worked as a Ruby engineer. I’ve also worked as an EM at GoCardless.
- I’ve meditated for nearly 15 years, starting out with Insight Meditation (vipassanā) but moving over into Western wisdom traditions. These practices have remade my perception of self, world and the sacred, and I spend a lot of time thinking about where contemplative insight sits in the bigger picture of wisdom.
- I’ve had various mental health struggles—mostly anxiety/panic disorders but also depression after I went through divorce and severe burnout simultaneously in 2020.
- For a few years I got hooked on running ultramarathons. I ran 100km in a day and raised £1200 for the mental health charity, Mind.
Add all that together and you get an attitude of enduring curiousity, geeky rigour and contemplative heart.
Timeline and trivia
1986Born in Bristol
1996Our family inherits a PC. I start playing.
2000Wrote a Perl script that was featured in a Linux magazine
2004Started playing bass guitar in some metal bands
2005Started a blog called taognostic, riffing on Taoism and Gnosticism
2006Trained as Permaculture consultant
2006Identified as an anarcho-primitivist
2007Read Prometheus Rising which turned my world upside down
2008Wrote first draft of a book called The Human Potential Handbook
2008Discovered Ken Wilber
2009First mystical experience whilst focusing on a green triangle
2009Went on meditation retreats at Gaia House and Dhamma Dipa
2010Earned a black belt in Ninpo Taijutsu (Ninjutsu)
2010Qualified as a massage therapist then travelled SE Asia for 8 months
2012Moved to Bath; started working with startups
2012Founded OpenSit: an online meditation journal & community
2013Had a panic attack out of the blue on my 27th birthday
2014Became CTO at SchoolGuide.co.uk
2016Bought a house
2016My first running event: a 10k
2017Sold OpenSit, went to work with the new team as CTO
2017Got married. Bought a dog
2018Ran 100km in a day
2018Started a new blog: how to human being
2020The start of the toughest time: burnout, divorce, depression
2022Worked at GoCardless
2023Sabbatical. Started writing at Not out, but through!
I’m new here, where should I start?
- I started this blog with two big picture pieces on why meditation matters and why fitness matters. I later wrote more about weight loss and how to become more active.
- Maybe you’re interested in why I stopped drinking for six months?
- You should read my report of a 30-day Digital Declutter, which I highly recommend everyone try.
- Why do I love Huel as a meal replacement? Check out A Whole Lot of Reasons to Try Huel.
- Writing and organsing ideas is my happy place, and I’ve penned several pieces about writing.
- I also experimented with writing 700 words a day and publishing them straight onto the blog.
- When I was training for ultramarathons I wrote a few reports of some of my longer training runs and rides under the series title Go Long.
Finally, I’ve also run several other websites in the past, most recently how to human being. Everything I’ve written now lives here. I’ve also created an archive of some older pages.
Note: I use Amazon affiliate links when recommending some products. This means that if you click through and buy a book (for example), then I make a small percentage. This is an easy way of generating a little revenue from my writings, with no downside for you. I don’t recommended anything I haven’t used or read myself.
And again in legalese: Dan Bartlett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk