I was born in Los Angeles and raised by New Yorkers. After a stint in the music industry, I attended UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. During my first semester, Wired Magazine's editor in chief Chris Anderson hired me to be his writing assistant on his forthcoming book. Published in 2006, The Long Tail appeared on The New York Times bestseller list and won the Loeb Award for Business Book of the Year. Soon after, I became a correspondent at Wired.
Since 2007, I've been a freelance writer for various magazines, including Wired, Esquire, Men's Health, Popular Science, Maxim, and Playboy. Among other subjects, I've written features about biotech and body hackers, performed as a pro mascot, trained as a Benihana chef, experimented with online dating, explored controversial treatments for military veterans with PTSD, and profiled celebrities including Ashton Kutcher. In 2011, I was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for Personal Service. In 2012, I popularized the term "oversharenting" in an essay for the Wall Street Journal called "The Facebook-Free Baby." Shoutout to my wife for creating the portmanteau, which characterizes parents who overshare about their kids on social media.
My most recent story, “The Bicycle Thief,” is a 10,000-word narrative about Tom Justice, an Olympic hopeful cyclist who became one of the most prodigious bank robbers in American history. I wrote and reported the piece for Epic Magazine, who co-published the story in the February 2019 issue of Chicago Magazine.
For two years, I edited Cool Tools, a website published by Kevin Kelly, Wired's founding executive editor. During that time I edited more than 500 reviews of wondrous doodads — everything from bicycle pumps to beekeeping gear. Published in 2014, the print version of Cool Tools has been compared to The Whole Earth Catalog.
I'm also the writer and managing editor of a book based on the website Cabin Porn. Published by Little, Brown and Company, the book debuted in 2015 on The New York Times bestseller list for How-To/Misc. According to Powell's Books, "It’s sweet to look at beautiful photos of woodsy cabins... But the stories about the work behind the cabins — that’s the magic." To date, Cabin Porn has been translated into several languages, including French, Japanese, Polish, German, Korean, and Chinese.
Since 2012, I have been writing, directing, and producing documentaries. The first feature documentary I wrote was All Things Must Pass, which explores the rise and fall of Tower Records. Directed by Colin Hanks, the film premiered at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival and was called "freshly compelling" by Variety and "disarmingly intimate" by Newsweek.
My directorial debut was a short documentary for ESPN Films & FiveThirtyEight called In Deep Water, which tells the story of two friends who set out in 1985 to find the greatest lost treasure in U.S. history. Spoiler: They find the gold but lose their friendship.
In 2017, I completed work as the showrunner on Hunting ISIS, a six-part series for A&E Films about westerners volunteering with the Kurdish forces to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The series premiered on the History Channel and Viceland in 2018.
In 2018, I finished writing What's My Name: Muhammad Ali, a two-part documentary directed by Antoine Fuqua and executive produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter. The film premiered on HBO in 2019 and was called ”a stirring work of nonfiction assembly” by Variety and a "brilliant... must-see television event" by the Chicago Sun-Times.