About David Kadavy
I’m David Kadavy. I’m a creative entrepreneur, author, podcaster, speaker, and creative productivity expert. I believe one of the biggest challenges we face in the age of AI is the ability for humans to tap into their innate creativity.
So, I explore how to make something when you don’t know what you’re making, how to get the courage to do things that might not work, and how to find that one thing that only you can do for the world.
My books include The Heart to Start: Stop Procrastinating & Start Creating, Design for Hackers: Reverse-Engineering Beauty (which debuted in the top 20 on all of Amazon), and multiple “short reads”.
On my weekly podcast, Love Your Work, I’ve learned from entrepreneurs, creators, and experts such as James Altucher, Dan Ariely, John Bokenkamp, Adam Conover, B.J. Fogg, Jason Fried, Seth Godin, Noah Kagan, Joanna Penn, Laura Roeder, Tynan, Vanessa Van Edwards, Cy Wakeman, and many more.
On my weekly Love Mondays newsletter, I share the very best gems I’ve learned on how to make it as a creator.
I’ve spoken in eight countries, and my writing has been featured in Observer, The Huffington Post, Inc.com, Quartz, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Upworthy, and Lifehacker.
In my past career as a designer, my work gained international recognition, including being featured in Communication Arts.
What is my why?
The motivations behind my work are personal. In 2004, I was stuck in a cubicle in Nebraska. One day, I gained enough courage to write my first post on this blog. Since then, I’ve worked in Silicon Valley as a product designer, spoken in eight countries, lived “mini lives” around the world, and moved to Colombia to double down on writing and podcasting.
I was able to make this shift thanks to following my curiosity, investing in myself, constantly improving my ability to be both creative and productive, and of course good and bad luck.
I’m so grateful for this change in direction, I want to prevent others from making the mistake I almost made – the mistake of living the wrong life.
What is my style?
I support my advice on creative productivity and motivation with research in behavioral science, neuroscience, and psychology. In fact, I worked with behavioral scientist Dan Ariely on a productivity app called Timeful. Google bought Timeful, and now its features are a part of Google Calendar.
But, I steer clear of dryly citing one study after another. I hate pop-sci books that are a blog post with 200 pages of filler, cherry picking studies that don’t replicate. I prefer to have skin in the game. My advice is based upon my own personal experimentation. I make this stuff for myself first. That obviously won’t work for everyone, but I strive to abstract it enough that people can apply it to their own situations.
Lately, I’m interested in antifragility – particularly as it applies to lifestyle design, how attempts at being rational cause us to be irrational, and making complex decisions under conditions of uncertainty. These all obviously have broad implications, but they do ultimately help a creative be more effective.
I question the mores of the traditional publishing industry, and – though I do have one traditionally-published book – I have learned a lot self publishing.
I also believe in the power of story to engage and ignite the human spirit – to inspire action and transformation.
Where am I?
I currently do most of my writing and thought experimentation on Medium. I’m very active on Twitter, have started dabbling in Instagram, and have a Facebook Page.
I currently live in Medellín, Colombia, which I chose as my home base after extended stays in many places around the world.
I’m originally from Omaha, Nebraska, and have also lived in San Francisco; Chicago; San Jose; Kearney, Nebraska; Ames, Iowa.
I’ve done month-or-longer “mini lives” in Rome, Buenos Aires, Brooklyn, Austin, and Manhattan.
I frequently visit family in Scottsdale, Arizona and friends in Chicago. Thank goodness I earn 3x points on all the ads I buy to promote my books – I need those airline miles.
Kadavy.net on WPEngine
Kadavy.net has been hosted with numerous companies on numerous platforms, but is now happily served up on WPEngine. You can get a special deal on hosted WordPress if you use his special WPEngine free trial. They make it so damn easy. It’s great. No updating or getting hacked (knock on wood).
It’s KAD-uh-VEE: “KAD” like “CAT,” “uh” like “duh,” “VEE” like “KNEE.” But, David’s not really too picky about what you call him, as long as it’s not “jerkface,” or something like that.
Common misspellings include cadavy, catavy, katavy, cadavey, kavady and kadavey.
If you want to get in touch with David, you can always @mention him on Twitter, but he also gets email at david (at) kadavy (dot) net. Please be aware that I rarely accept pitched guests for my podcast (I already have a backlog of people I’m curious about). So, I’m unlikely to respond to guest pitches.
If you’d like to get real-time advice from David about self publishing, or anything else, use this VIP link to book a 15-minute call with him on Clarity.fm, for free (for a limited time).
Photos / Headshots
For press photos, choose from any of the above, or click any of the below images to access a high-resolution version.