john harrison

I stop bad writing
killing good ideas

Words are just tools to make things happen.
Control those tools and you dictate the future.

project #1

My writing guide


If you don't control words, other people will.

And they'll out-write you. They'll get the investment. They'll get the customers.

I wrote a guide to help you and your team control words—the only tools you have to transfer ideas and make things happen.

When you can be clear and concise, powerful and precise, when you can convince and persuade, you can dictate the future.

project #2

Blockchain domains


You know .com?

Well, now you can buy domains ending in .sats .degen and more. It's all made possible by the Handshake blockchain. But why?

As it stands, domains are controlled by central authorities, which means your website can be taken away from you.

Handshake decentralises the system. And, because it's on the blockchain, Handshake domains can also become human readable wallet addresses, passwordless logins, and more.

Naming.media is my portfolio site.

🔋 Battery

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."

—f. scott fitzgerald


When I stumbled on this F. Scott Fitzgerald quote I finally had the words to explain a philosophy I had been cultivating for over 15 years—one that sets me free and powers me.

Like a battery, a single cell within which 2 opposing forces—a positive and a negative—sit together to create power.

So, like a battery, I approach life.

letters

🔋 Battery

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."

—f. scott fitzgerald


When I stumbled on this F. Scott Fitzgerald quote I finally had the words to explain a philosophy I had been cultivating for over 15 years—one that sets me free and powers me.

Two opposing ideas. At the same time. With the ability to function.

Like a battery, with 2 opposing forces. In the same cell. With the ability to charge and power.

So, like a battery, I approach life.

For example, I can hold the idea that if all of life was condensed into 24 hours, humans would only arrive with less than 2 minutes to go. And, that it’s important to obsess over the right words for my job as a writer in a property startup.

Considering one without the balance of the other results in either apathy because nothing matters, or concern because everything matters. Belief in only one is paralysing. Belief in both is freedom.

Perhaps that’s why I’m a writer. Because great writing is the work of dual personalities. Writing is only the first bit. The positive addition. But what makes writing great is the negative reduction. The culling of words to make the writing irreducibly valuable.

I attribute this philosophy to a dark moment in my early 20s, climbing out of that hole, and spending lots of time alone. Being happy in your own company for a long time is powerful. I remember a night out at a bar having lost my friends to the drink early on. I remember ordering myself a drink, and toasting my reflection in the mirror.

An idea was planted in those fertile alcoholic grounds—that we’re ultimately alone and need to rely on ourselves first. I was toasting my double, perhaps my balancing equal in that mirror, toasting a promise to look after myself.

During the darkness my mum said to me, “you know, you can choose to be happy”. I rejected the idea at first, but the idea persisted and now I believe it. We can choose, we have control. But, we also have no control. Perfect.

Let's work together

I make sure bad writing doesn't kill your good idea. Let me know what you're working on and how I can help.

Tight budget? Read my guide to writing well.

Wayhome

Content Designer

Sept 2018 to present [2 years, 5 months]


core skills

🔥 compelling sales copy
🧭 navigational UX copy
💻 page one SEO content
🛬 landing pages
💌 emails (68%+ unique open rate!)
✅ FCA compliant copy
🏆 champion users
💰 business missionary
🎯 product processes
📜 UX principles


what I do at Wayhome

Think of me as a startup generalist with a focus on writing.

You might call me a 'full stack' writer.

I write 99% of the website, emails, forms, landing pages, educational assets, articles, internal training materials, and more.

I write the compelling copy a Copywriter would write, the navigational copy a UX Writer would write, the SEO content a Content Marketer would write. And I think like a designer just as a Content Designer should. There's my official title!

But I'm T shaped, in a startup, and hungry to make an impact.

So, early on I conducted user research interviews, analysed the results, and made content based decisions from them. I was part of a small growth team where the majority of the business decisions were being made.

I'm a shared resource between Product, Marketing, and Operations.


about Wayhome

Wayhome is a financial services company helping people with low mortgage quotes buy the type of home they can afford to rent. In 2018 we raised £10M—Europe's largest seed round.

Jenny Schwarz

Director

Apr 2011 to Sept 2018 [7 years, 6 months]


Jenny Schwarz is the menswear label I co-founded. It was a baptism of fire in entrepreneurship and set me up for life in startups.

Fashion is unforgiving because you're usually not solving a problem. Instead your competitive edge is often the story you tell—something I've found incredibly helpful in my writing career.

In 2015, I raised £77,000 for a company making no profit. The only things that got me the money were the words I chose, the order I put them in, and the story I told.

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I'm a startup generalist with a speciality for writing well.

I write a useful monthly email to help you control words and dictate your future.

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