Brannon McAllister

Founder of The Gospel Fund. Co-Founder of NoiseTrade. Cultivating curiosity with a bias towards action. Greenpoint, Brooklyn NYC.

Brannon McAllister

Founder of The Gospel Fund. Co-Founder of NoiseTrade.
Cultivating curiosity with a bias towards action.

"Thornton Wilder talked, in that Paris Review interview, about the difficulty of recreating the past: “It lies in the effort to employ the past tense in such a way that it does not rob those events of their character of having occurred in freedom.” That’s the difficulty exactly—how do you write about something that happened long ago in a way so that it has the openness, the feeling of events happening in freedom? How to write solid history and, at the same time, give life to the past and see the world as it was to those vanished people, with an understanding of what they didn’t know. The problem with so much of history as it’s taught and written is that it’s so often presented as if it were all on a track—this followed that. In truth, nothing ever had to happen the way it happened. Nothing was preordained. There was always a degree of tension, of risk, and the question of what was going to happen next. The Brooklyn Bridge was built. You know that, it’s standing there today, but they didn’t know that at the start. No one knew Truman would become president or that the Panama Canal would be completed.

–David McCullough in Paris Review, Fall 1999

"Sorrow and grief are real in our lives whether brought about by earth-shattering atrocities or by private, quiet loss. Jesus doesn’t minimize our needs because they are not as big as someone else’s, not does He find any situation too large or complicated or gruesome to enter into. "Come unto me" is a call to all; there is no qualification of intensity or respectability or manner of suffering that we must meet in order to receive His compassion. There is no limit, no scarcity, to His power. He does not have to reserve it only for the most pressing circumstances, nor will those catastrophic needs be overlooked because they are out of His reach. No situation is too complicated or too simple, too heavy or too light to be answered when we call. I believe that God wants to understand the gravity of what is happening around the world and to be sober and in prayer about it. I believe he wants these world events to give context to our lives and abundant freedoms. But I don’t believe that He wants us to minimize our own sorrows and those of the ones we love to the point that we forget that Jesus cares about those too and is a "Man of Sorrows" in those situations as well." –Michelle Radford

Amazon vs. Hachette

"Here is the secret to understanding my take on Amazon: they’re not part of the publishing industry, although the things they do certainly affect it. They’re not a service and retail company, though that is the way they make all their money. At its core, Amazon is and always has been part of the computer industry…every company in the computer industry behaves like a sociopath. They will do good things for you for as long as there’s profit in it, but as soon as it reaches the point where they don’t have to, they immediately flip to abusing you, relentlessly, all the while telling you there’s nothing they can do about it, and it’s probably all your fault.”

Christopher Wright

20 Startup Lessons I’ve Learned (And I’m Still Learning)

  1. Have a strong sense of urgency and a bias towards action.
  2. Every single day, do your most creative tasks first.
  3. Prioritize your day well or someone else will do it for you.
  4. Cultivate curiosity about the world. Read broadly.
  5. Have a personal learning plan.
  6. Reserve times for extended offline daily reflection.
  7. Adopt a simple toolset of the best productivity apps & practices.
  8. Capture everything in your head in one place.
  9. Spend the majority of your time on high leverage tasks.
  10. Leaders eat last.
  11. Match intelligence with empathy. Learn to listen.
  12. When the money runs out, it’s over.
  13. Bootstrap by default. Only raise funding to pour gasoline on a fire.
  14. Match your risk-taking with discipline.
  15. Take the time to learn essential MBA concepts.
  16. Always have a technical co-founder & a designer co-founder.
  17. Co-founders should always vest their shares.
  18. Learn to be a good delegator.
  19. Go to conferences & meetups. Take weekly coffee meetings.
  20. Don’t confuse learning about entrepreneurship with doing it.

BONUS: Don’t waste your 20’s.

"There’s a lot of concern about teenagers playing 40 or 50 hours, wasting time on a game or commenting on Reddit or whatever. There’s talk about addiction, Internet addiction, which I don’t really believe. I mean, there are occasional cases, but most of the time it’s young people who are becoming obsessed about something. Obsession is a tremendous force; real creativity comes when you’re wasting time and when you’re fooling around without a goal. That’s often where real exploration and learning and new things come from. Even as a society we can have temporary obsessions with something that we will work through, and that’s one way in which a society can explore an idea. We can call them fads or whatever, but they’re actually more productive than just thinking of them as a fad. Think of them as kind of a compulsion that is trying to explore something, and right now there’s a compulsion about what can you do with 140 characters, and we’ll work through that and we’ll say, “Well, here’s what you can do, and that’s about it."

- Kevin Kelly in The Technium

"And this brings me to the other sense of glory—glory as brightness, splendour, luminosity. We are to shine as the sun, we are to be given the Morning Star. I think I begin to see what it means. In one way, of course, God has given us the Morning Star already: you can go and enjoy the gift on many fine mornings if you get up early enough. What more, you may ask, do we want? Ah, but we want so much more—something the books on aesthetics take little notice of. But the poets and the mythologies know all about it. We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. That is why we have peopled air and earth and water with gods and goddesses and nymphs and elves—that, though we cannot, yet these projections can enjoy in themselves that beauty, grace, and power of which Nature is the image. That is why the poets tell us such lovely falsehoods. They talk as if the west wind could really sweep into a human soul; but it can’t. They tell us that “beauty born of murmuring sound” will pass into a human face; but it won’t. Or not yet. For if we take the imagery of Scripture seriously, if we believe that God will one day give us the Morning Star and cause us to put on the splendour of the sun, then we may surmise that both the ancient myths and the modern poetry, so false as history, may be very near the truth as prophecy. At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in. When human souls have become as perfect in voluntary obedience as the inanimate creation is in its lifeless obedience, then they will put on its glory, or rather that greater glory of which Nature is only the first sketch. For you must not think that I am putting forward any heathen fancy of being absorbed into Nature. Nature is mortal; we shall outlive her. When all the suns and nebulae have passed away, each one of you will still be alive. Nature is only the image, the symbol; but it is the symbol Scripture invites me to use. We are summoned to pass in through Nature, beyond her, into that splendour which she fitfully reflects."

- C. S. Lewis, Weight of Glory


Christ is risen from the dead,Trampling down death by death,And upon those in the tombsBestowing life!


Christ is risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death,
And upon those in the tombs
Bestowing life!

Key Quotes from Simon Sinek’s Book, ‘Leaders Eat Last’

“If our leaders are to enjoy the trappings of their position in the hierarchy, then we expect them to offer us protection. The problem is, for many of the overpaid leaders, we know that they took the money and perks and didn’t offer protection to their people. In some cases, they even sacrificed their people to protect or boost their own interests. This is what so viscerally offends us. We only accuse them of greed and excess when we feel they have violated the very definition of what it means to be a leader.”

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

“All the perks, all the benefits and advantages you may get for the rank or position you hold, they aren’t meant for you. They are meant for the role you fill. And when you leave your role, which eventually you will, they will give the ceramic cup to the person who replaces you. Because you only ever deserved a Styrofoam cup.”

“The true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own. Great leaders truly care about those they are privileged to lead and understand that the true cost of the leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest.”

“And when a leader embraces their responsibility to care for people instead of caring for numbers, then people will follow, solve problems and see to it that that leader’s vision comes to life the right way, a stable way and not the expedient way.”

“Truly human leadership protects an organization from the internal rivalries that can shatter a culture. When we have to protect ourselves from each other, the whole organization suffers. But when trust and cooperation thrive internally, we pull together and the organization grows stronger as a result.”

“It is not the genius at the top giving directions that makes people great. It is great people that make the guy at the top look like a genius.”

― Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t

"Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in Psalm 42] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says, “Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you.”"

- D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones