Adventure and innovation have come naturally to Daniel over the years.
Starting blogs. Attending major tech conferences. Diving into startups. Now, traveling the world and living with all his belongings in one backpack.
Looking back, Daniel can pinpoint one moment when he truly found himself and embraced more of the world than ever before.
It was just before the Sydney retreat in 2015, and it manifested in a blog post that would be his most popular post to date.
Will blog for products
As a freshman in high school in Louisville, Kentucky, a friend and him brainstormed some ways to make some money.
Daniel had been a quiet kid living a standard childhood. He loved watching TV and was known for always having the biggest smile.
When it came to thinking of some entrepreneurial venture, he first thought of starting a blog about Apple products — he loved all Apple products and wondered if he might use a blog to review and try new products.
The blog took off and Daniel learned and grew along with it. He attended CES in Las Vegas, though he was only 17 years old, so his father had to go into get his pass because the age minimum was 18 for that building.
He interviewed companies and business people well older than him.
“It never once felt unattainable to do anything we were doing,” Daniel says of him and his blog collaborator. “I learned so much out there than what I thought there could be.”
After CES, he started thinking about building his own product - a wooden laptop stand called Trey. He whittled away in his uncle’s basement and reached out to a contact he’d made in Las Vegas. He flew out to Portland, Oregon, to work on building the product out of aluminum.
High school was left behind and Daniel fell easily into the startup mindset. He worried more about patents, reaching out to lawyers than he did his classes (though he did pass them, barely.)
In his senior year, he sold his Mac blog and Trey hit a few roadblocks without the capital for mass production. He started a new blog that became design-focused publication with many authors.
Berlin & Buffer
After high school, he moved to Berlin to work for Wunderlist as a copywriter. Though he didn’t have a ton of experience, he dove in and learned through his mistakes.
During his time in Berlin, he read Buffer’s blog loyalty and applied everything he could to his own role. He also urged his coworkers to use the product, as he did for the design blog.
When he saw Buffer was hiring, he applied and joined as the very first Weekend Warrior.
Starting with Buffer started a whole new chapter full of giant learnings.
He moved from Louisville to San Francisco and during some travels right before the Sydney retreat, he found himself.
In Foster, Australia, a half a world away from his hometown, Daniel typed up and published his coming out post. He hit “post” to share it on Facebook and went to bed. The next morning, he woke to an overwhelming response. His friends and family commented and shared their support and he said it was incredible.
“So much more happens after you find yourself,” he says.
104 items and still minimizing
Daniel has been on a journey of minimizing and being comfortable without “things.”
Leo first inspired him by traveling with only one backpack on retreats. In his time at San Francisco, Daniel was surprised how many items he’d accumulated. He went from 600 things and brutally cut into it. He currently has 104 items and wants to reduce that even further.
His focus is high quality, low quantity. He says the ability to travel with his home has changed everything.
From San Francisco, to Bali, to Australia, Hawaii, Louisville, Florida, New York and currently London and Amsterdam, Daniel has found joy in exploring the world around him.
He experiments with photographing his days and will continue to journey to a more minimalistic lifestyle.
Thanks so much, Nicole, for writing this originally for the team as my Buffer Story and letting me republish it :)