12/31/2023 Last edited: 6/3/2024

2023: Year in Review

Headshot portrait of Dustin Schau

Dustin Schau

Product & Engineering Leader

2023 was a bang-up year for the Schau household and for me, personally. In sequential order: my company Gatsby was acquired by Netlify, we had our first child (Noah) soon after, and we bought our first house. By any measure, one of the most momentous and life-changing years for us.

Those last two accomplishments have dwarfed all others in 2023 and really put my whole life into perspective. But, I’ll still jot down a few notes of what I accomplished, what I learned, and what I hope to do even better in 2024.

What I accomplished

  • Became a dad with the arrival of Noah on February 10th, 2023 (my wife deserves all of the credit here, let’s be honest)
  • Bought a house in San Francisco in September 2023
  • My startup, Gatsby, was acquired by Netlify in February 2023 (yes, February was a little bit stressful)
  • While at Netlify, we launched Netlify Connect, which is Gatsby’s data layer made framework agnostic and available on Netlify’s platform
  • Chose a new job as Head of API Client at Postman in October 2023 (more on that… soon)
  • I wrote my son Noah a book, Riley the Robot. I printed dozens of copies and shared them with friends and family.
  • Went on Syntax.fm to talk about the Gatsby acquisition
  • Joined the board of an early-stage startup: Kepler, with my good friend Sam Bhagwat
  • Read 25 books. The best of these was definitely the Red Rising series, it’s incredible.
  • I re-built this website — finally! My last one said I was a frontend developer who lived in Omaha… neither of which are true

What I learned

  • Being a parent is relentlessly difficult. The challenge isn’t the individual moments or any particular moment being exceptionally hard, it’s the constancy of tending to him and the re-prioritization it causes you to make, whereas before I could be a bit more selfish with my time. I’ll also note that it’s relentlessly difficult but ridiculously rewarding. Just seeing him smile and giggle makes it all worth it.
  • Focus on relationships. With a child, it’s ever more important to keep focusing on relationships, both with my wife Maggie and with friends and family. It’s easy to get consumed by the new life, but it’s important to remember: I was me before Noah, and I need to be me with Noah too. Living a fulfilling life makes me a better partner, parent, and professional and personal relationships are one aspect where I find fulfilment.
  • In an acquisition, seek clarity and tough decisions on why you’re acquired. One of the mistakes I made with Gatsby was not being more decisive on the acquisition strategy, which led to confusion about the framework and Gatsby Cloud strategy when the focus was on the data layer.

What am I hoping for in 2024?

2023 was a great year, and I achieved many of my long-term goals in being a parent and buying a house. I thought there’d be this moment of satisfaction and zen in achieving these life-long dreams, but I still feel a hunger and a desire. I don’t feel content, and I want to be better.

So 2024 is about being better.

  1. I want to be a better partner to my wife, Maggie.
  2. I want to be a better, even more active parent to my son, Noah.
  3. And I want to absolutely thrive in my new, exciting role as Head of API Client at Postman.

How will I measure these? Not sure yet, but I know that 2024 is going to be the best year yet.

Until next year ✌️