Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Why I Write

William Wen
8 min readJun 13, 2022

A couple things have happened recently where it made sense for me to explain this. It would help clear up some misunderstandings, and also make a lot more sense about my articles in the future.

The Innocent

When I started writing in mid 2021, it was on LinkedIn. Mostly it was to quiet the thoughts in my head after retirement. It’s as if these stories were writhing in my brain and waiting for me to manifest them. I was writing for my LinkedIn network, which consisted of mostly old coworkers.

After I retired from Google, I returned my work MacBook Pro. My only computer is a HP Pavilion p6250t desktop from the late 2000s, a hand me down from my wife after I bought her a 2014 MacBook Air. I’m writing this story right now on the old HP running Windows 10. Believe it or not, I’m a very frugal person.

In late 2020, I was smitten by Apple’s new M1 chip, and really wanted to get the new M1 MacBook Air. Am I the only person that thinks the M1 is the iPhone moment for laptop and desktop computers?

I told my wife and kids that I’m going to move my writing to Medium and hopefully earn enough to buy a M1 laptop. To be honest, I knew nothing about writing as a business, but it’s good to set goals, even if they seem out of reach.

How did I do in 2021? Pretty laughable. I made $12.02. Woohoo! At this rate, it’ll take me 80 years to buy that MacBook Air!

In April 2022, I took a risk and wrote Why I Left Google. It was a very personal story and there was a chance it could upset some old coworkers. To my surprise, the story took off like a rocket. It’s been read by over 4000 people and is my most popular and profitable story!

Since then I published a few other Google related articles which got thousands of reads. It appears I’ve found my audience, which has grown to over 600 followers! I know it’s peanuts compared to a lot of big-time Medium writers, but this is one of the rare moments when you can acknowledge that you’ve achieved a goal.

I did it!

William Wen

25 years in tech | 13 years @ Google | 9+ years Tesla Investor | |