What I'm up to now

(This is a now page, and if you have your own site, you should make one, too.)

I haven’t been writing as much recently – I’ve been trying to work hard and focus. The big things in my life are currently:

I’ll elaborate.

building something of value

To recapitulate what I had written here a few months ago, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t want to hop onto the hedonic treadmill of working for ‘the man’. I don’t want a mere job. I want a career. I want to use my abilities in interesting ways. I want to either start something of my own or join something very early that one of my extremely talented friends have started. I’m vehemently opposed to wasting away my life at an Amazon equivalent bigco – I’d rather work my ass off to make something of value to the world, then use the generated capital to do something even more valuable, and so on, ad infinitum. This is the founder mindset as I see it, and it has infected my mind.

In that spirit, I’ve joined a well-funded stealth startup that was created by a few extremely talented friends of mine. My formal title is ‘Technical Product Manager’, which for now means that I’m helping craft the product and writing a ton of code. The process of creation has been immensely satisfying thus far, and I’m excited to see just how far me and my fellow team members can take a vision and how well we can craft a future out of it.

building personal infrastructure

Over the course of the past few months that I spent trying to find interesting things to work on, actually finding those things, and then beginning the work, I’ve come to realize the importance of having extremely strong personal infrastructure.

Personal infrastructure, as I see it, is consciously acknowledging the existence of a set of tools that you consistently use in your life, and also embarking upon the endeavor of actively filling out that set. The tools that you use in your life can be composed of software, hardware, emotions, behaviors, habits, mental models, or really anything that you think fits the bill. Actively searching for and acknowledging that something you use consistently is a tool of this form is both extremely difficult and extremely rewarding. It’s difficult in the sense that a lot of these ‘tools’ are embedded invisibly into your daily life, and it’s rewarding in the sense that once acknowledged, you can actively begin to shape the tools and their usages to better attain what you want in life.

To give a more concrete example of what this process looks like for me, I realized that I go for walks in nature on a fairly consistent basis, and that the habit is triggered by specific events or conditions in my life. If I’m stressed or feeling extremely cooped up, I just go out and do it without really thinking about the process of doing it. Very low meta-awareness. At some point, it occurred to me that this was a tool of mine, and I’ve now learned how to implement it more effectively and use it pre-emptively to prevent those feelings of stress and being overly cooped up.

Another concrete example of a tool I’ve adopted that has seriously changed how my mind works is a piece of software called Alfred. Its ability to be programmed to my desire has allowed me to interact with my computer in a completely new way, and has opened up new pathways of thinking and working that I wouldn’t really have dreamed existed prior.

This process and framing of building personal infrastructure has been a huge update for me, and it’s something that I don’t really foresee myself stopping for the rest of my life.

Last updated: June 2020