Happy Birthday Wait But Why

King bday

Wait But Why’s first post went live one year ago today, on Monday, July 8, 2013.

With 24 million readers in 195 countries since then (still waiting on you, Western Sahara), Year 1 has exceeded our expectations, to put it mildly.

All of this has us incredibly energized for Year 2 and beyond. The first priority will continue to be the post every Tuesday(ish). The Year 1 plan was “Tim will write high quality posts about stuff, on a regular schedule.” And stuff was a good Year 1 topic, but writing posts for a year has given me a much better sense of the areas I want to hone in on, and our list of over 300 future post topics makes me anxious because I want to do them all right now.

Then there are all the other ideas Andrew and I have. There are several other content mediums we’re dying to try, a bunch of weird products we want to make for the store, and we’ve been talking a lot about new creative ways to engage our readers and make Wait But Why more interactive.

For now, though, we want to say thanks—but in order to say thanks accurately, we need categories:

To those readers who came to the site once after someone sent them a link to an article and then left forever—you and WBW had an underwhelming (or maybe a horrible) first date, or maybe you’re just the noncommital type. Either way, we hope someone sends you another link and things go better next time. Still, you at some point dedicated five minutes of your life to us, so here’s a stick figure drawing, but not the whole body, only the head and neck, and it doesn’t matter because you’re not reading this right now anyway.

half stick figure

To those readers who are on the site from time to time but repeatedly forget that it exists, we hope you’re enjoying the fling as much as we are. You treat our body like an object, but that’s okay—we’re just happy you keep texting us when you’re drunk. You get a full stick figure drawing. Sorry the face came out weird.

full stick figure

Finally, to the readers who stumbled upon Wait But Why sometime in the last 12 months, liked what they saw, started coming back regularly, and today are committed readers—the people who keep telling their friends about us, who subscribe by email, who support the site, who stay patient with us as we continue to figure out what the hell we’re doing, and those who simply keep coming back week after week even though we sometimes put up a post they hate—you are our husbands and wives, and we love you. Some part of your brain has a lot in common with some part of our brains, and we’re thrilled that the internet has allowed our brains to play together. These posts are for you.

And you get a stick figure pyramid.


  • AB

    Fermi Paradox got me hooked. That shit still fucks up my mind.

  • John

    Best site on the internet, period. Here’s to Year 2.

  • DQ

    Amazing first year, WBW. Totally looking forward to Year 2 (and 3 and 4 and . . . 25).

  • Vishesh

    Yay for stick figure pyramids! I too came by the popular Fermi paradox post, spread that around to my friends as much as I can, and got hooked on seeing other posts being pretty thoughtful and great too! Keep being awesome!

  • Wife

    And I wasn’t even sent a link. I read your GYPSY post in translation on another site, then found the original and fell in love. Then I read every single pos… article on this site, but looks like I haven’t visited the shed for a while, going to read every entry there as well. I’m not subscribed, nor am I a follower, but I believe that true love is stronger than formalities. Looking forward to more awesome stuff 🙂

  • Ed

    When in Japan check out the crazy Robot dinner show in Tokyo. Also Tanuki’s, they are mythical creatures with preposterously large testicles. They are all over the place there. It’s super weird to be looking at a cute 3 foot tall sculpture of a cartoon racoon dog, only to realize that it is better endowed than you. Tom Robbins wrote about them in Villa Incognito.
    Go to a baseball game in Osaka, Babe Ruth played on that field.
    also in tokyo stop off for a beer at the Ginza Lion, a cool old beer hall in Ginza. Oneof the few buildings to survive the war, it’s german deco style, very neat.

  • Cora

    Is this you proposing to me, Tim? I accept!!!

  • Hexapylon

    Yeah, i just stumbled upon recently, but i´m back frequently. Great Site! Congrats!

  • Kimberly

    Woot! Woot! I’m so happy that you were birthed! Shots! Shots! Shots!

  • Danimal

    Congrats guys! Can’t believe the site is that young (came on-board about 4 months ago, assumed it had eluded me for years based on the quality). Here’s to many more…

  • Webin Sydney

    Happy birthday guys!

    I love a big brain, and that’s what I see in evidence here. Love the stats, facts and fun!

    Keep up the great work!

  • Nimish

    It’s not just the content, but the amazing writing style of this blog that encourages us to come back for more posts. Here’s to another great year from Tim and company.

  • Bobby

    I stumbled across WBW just a week ago and I can’t get enough, I love a good brain play date. Congratulations on the first year.

  • TA

    Caught a link to your “The Fermi Paradox” article the other day, my first time to your site – bookmarked.

  • Lourdes

    Happy birthday WBW! Your posts make the pixels of my life much more thoughtful and amusing!

  • Tom

    I stumbled upon the page when I one day googled “why is North Korea so fucked”

  • Dustin

    I stumbled upon this site just a couple weeks ago through a link to the Fermi Paradox article via Reddit. I was amazed not a just how interesting the subject matter material was, but the writing style was awesome and the way the articles apply structure and frameworks to define loosely structured concepts resonated with me to the point I read through almost the entire site.

    This website quickly made its way to my daily read list and I’m looking forward to future content. Thanks guys!

  • Max

    Keep it up ! I have been following your posts since 2 months and I’m always eager to read the next one ! I was never into newsletters or any kind of informative blogs before, I think you have a great thing going 🙂
    I loved The Fermi Paradox !
    Cheers from France

  • Swati

    Yes…the fermi paradox via huffington post got me…..and still scares me…..you are good and to make it all so easily (yeah !right) understandable …. I wish i found u sooner….hope to be a part of the pyramid next bday…. Have a gud one. Cheers!!

  • Frank

    Happy first!

    I stumbled on the Fermi post and that got me hooked. Read the whole backlog in the last days (at work….. but don’t tell anyone) and I greatly enjoy this site.

    Hope you have a nice trip and bring back lots of good stuff for us.

  • Lucass

    First post I read was that one about Generation Y on huffingtonpost and i loved it!!
    Since then (Feb. 2014) I read everrything! and of course every previous post.
    I even showed the Generation Y post to my Great Aunt (75 y.o.) with Google translator and
    even with the horrible grammer she also loved it. I thought you were around much longer but
    I hope amazing posts will follow!

  • Tom

    I come by several times a week. Tuesday. Then every day after that until it’s Tuesday where ever you live…

  • Cherish

    Adore this site and my WBW t-shirts!

  • Dee

    I’ve never gotten a stick-figure pyramid before. <3 I will cherish it forever. And maybe start commenting on the site, since it occupies my Tuesdays (and Wednesdays) and has been for several months.

    Anyway. Thanks for writing wonderful, fun stuff.

  • CC

    Would you be able to make some sort of infographic to show all of the countries we read from? 🙂 I’d be interested to see that!

  • CC

    ps happy birthday! wahoo!!

  • Alan

    You know a site is good when it has a Facebook comment section, and its own comment section. Great site, keep it coming.

  • Em

    Yippee for the stick figure pyramid! I am the noncommittal type and Waitbutwhy managed to still somehow rope me in. Keep doing what you’re doing and happy birthday!

  • Bruno

    This blog, i mean, site, is amazing, I’m really jealous I’m not the one writing it. I came here for the first time ’cause of the GYPSYs post (like so many of us), and I am a subscriber since the procrastination analysis, which I consider the best post here (the Fermi Paradox not being that far though). It’s funny, ’cause I consider Tim almost a personal friend, even if he does not know who I am. The internet is a funny thing.

    The stick figure pyramid is slightly assymetrical, it upsets me a little, but that’s ok! Can’t wait to see it on a WBW t-shirt!


  • Heldarion

    I found this site when somebody (don’t remember who) linked me the Fermi Paradox article and I’ve been a fan ever since.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Matt

    Congratulations, and PLEASE keep up the good work. This is the only blog I’ve ever followed and love it. Perhaps some day you’ll make a nice glossy coffee-table book of all the posts so that I can impress guests and teach my kids a thing or two about the world (they won’t get it at school these days). Thanks so much for starting this. It is simply genius.

  • LC

    It’s been a good year.

  • Anonymous

    Happy 1st birthday.. I may not be in Western Sahara, but from a place south of the Sahara..

    I found this site, and subscribed through feedly so get excited every time there’s a new article.

  • AnonymousAnonymous

    Happy Birthday! You fellas are out of this world. Maybe the Fermi paradox isn’t that firm a paradox after all.

  • One of the wives

    I love this blog SO much. I randomly found it one day this year and ever since that day, I can’t stop coming back. I support you guys and all that you do!

  • Cris

    Thank you for the “stick figure pyramid”, that’s definitely for me, I stumbled on this site recently, wasn’t even aware that it was only 1 year old (!), keep up the good work, will definitely keep following. And another thing, if you do go to Iraq like you said on the other post, please watch yourself, these guys from the “caliphate” are probably eager to get their ands on some American guys (no matter what your intentions are, they will look at you as “evil”), they probably think it’s the “gold” in terms of foreigner captures….(sorry for any mistakes, english is not my language)…thank for inspiring work

  • Alex

    We share a birthday. This makes me love Wait But Why even more. I’ve been with you since the North Korea article and never looked back.

  • Sofi Berro

    It’s incredible how it’s only been a year and yet you’ve managed to make me smile so many times. I’m glad to be a wife of yours, you both are awesome. I truly want to wish you a happy birthday and thank you for all the laughs you gave me. I’m not sure if I should be proud or concerned that our brains are somehow alike. Even though I don’t comment much, I’m an avid follower and will continue being one. Have fun in your trip, Tim! Heard some pretty weird sh*t about the places you’re going to.

  • Jennifer

    Probably has to be the highlight of my Tuesday’s (ish). I love Wait but Why. I barely comment but I am ALWAYS following. Thank you for all your thought into this site! Happy Birthday!

  • Tamara

    Happy Birthday!!
    I came because of the “Insufferable on Facebook” post (spot-on!), but was committed for life after you crept into my brain to write the procrastination series!

    I proudly wear my monkey shirt with pride on days when I really need to be productive.

  • Leonardo

    My first post was generation y, i liked very much and came out to the website several times, then i subscribed i although i don’t read shit on my email inbox, i managed to read all posts from WBW.. so Nice job guys, Congrats and Happy birthday to us.. because my birthday is today as well!!

  • Zak

    I have an app that’s used by more than 10M people across .. well, the whole globe, except Western Sahara.

    The thing about Western Sahara, is that, it’s a territory `in conflict` according to the UN – and that only exist in the UN list of countries, and Google Analytics.
    In reality, the traffic from WS is the same traffic coming out of Morocco, due to the fact that the territory is administered by the Moroccan government – it’s south of Morocco, actually.

    So don’t be sad if you don’t see it showing up in Google Analytics 🙂

  • Noeme

    Found this site half a year ago and I’d never imagine that was only six months old back then. Your posts are the best ever and I guess I’ll stay with the stick figure pyramid. Continue with the high quality material and let’s go to the year 2!

  • Kim

    Happy Birthday! I’ve been reading since the procrastinators post. Don’t remember how I ran across WBW, but I was so amazed to discover someone understood how my brain gets hijacked sometimes! And I think your post even created an awareness that has helped me curb my procrastination. Imagine that!
    You present info in such a way that is humorous & and without ‘fluff’ – stuff that seems like ‘fluff’ always turns out to memorably illustrate a fundamental point. I’ve learned so much and laughed so hard. Kudos to you on a great 1st year!

  • Matt

    I love you too

  • Samuel

    Happy birthday guys! I’m so happy you are doing so well! 24 MILLION!! all over the world! That’s amazing! I can’t bear to imaging my web-life without you, haha.

    I jumped in thanks to the Gypsy post that a friend share in facebook and subscribe immediately (although I always read in the site).

    I remember when this was still a blog and you have another work that kept you from focus entirely on this. In such a short time we have seen WBW grow a lot. I have laugh, learned and be amazed all along, so: Thank you very much!

    PD: BTW, reading the comments (thing that I used to do) I had an idea, you should built a ranking for your readers to vote their ten favorite articles 😉

  • Fan

    Love the pyramid! Quite funny.

  • Mehmet

    I got directed from who knows where and I read the whole blog in 2 days…

    It’s like: “If you bıild it, they will come.”

    Kudos on the first year, and lots of love from Turkey!

  • Nick

    Just discovered WBW from Fermi Paradox a couple months ago and have read every post. Great work!

  • Winchupuata

    Just recently found out your blog through the Fermi Paradox post and gladly stayed around, congrats, you have a great blog.

  • Fan

    Happy birthday WBW! I love you.

  • Dale

    Bunnies and lies brought me, the connection was forged and is solid now.

    Except when I forget and don’t come by for a month or so.

  • Robbie MacQuack

    Happy birthday, WBW! A bit behind schedule, but hey – who hasn’t been behind schedule every now and then? 😉

    I think I found you via the Gypsy article. Or was it the one abt types of behaviour on fbook? whichever was first… have read every single article since and loved them (almost) all…

    You’re simply the best thing on the internet. Here’s to year 2!

  • Mai

    Happy Birthday, WBW! Each and every post blows my mind and makes best ice breakers in (awkward) conversations. Thank you for helping me to express the nerdiness in my head into something more sciency by quoting you. Love from Germany!

  • Siobhan

    You have the same birthday as my Son! A fact nobody cares about except me. My husband cares about my son’s birthday of course, and he dutifully reads WBW posts, guffaws and then gives me a ‘you spend too much time on the internet’ look. My son is only three so he doesn’t really care about anything but hot wheels and Peppa Pig.

    Great site, can’t believe you’re only one. Get better women’s fit t-shirts and I will order every single one of your t-shirts*

    * No I won’t, but I might get one or two.

  • Markkus

    Fermi paradox and anything organized by timeline has had me hooked and checking back every day (even though I know you post every ((sorta)) Tuesday ;-). Thanks for all the hard work and informative/amusing/amazing posts!

  • Salsa

    I was subscribed to your RSS feed and I was really sad that it had been about half of a year since you had last posted. And then you alerted all of us RSS folk that you’d actually moved and that we’d need to update our RSS link. I was very delighted to see 11 unread posts!

  • Tony Banks Aguma

    Stumbled on you via the GYPSY post….every sentence in there was written r8 to my marrow n the post blew my mind. I havent luked back. Wish we cd vote on our fav posts so u cd come up with the post of d yr or the top 10 o stin. Keep it up Tim. UG z counting on u

  • Rena

    Your hand is having Freudian slips, Timmy.

  • wronglywired

    Hi, I am a new lurker here. Just read some interesting posts here. Have a great 2nd year ahead!

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