Release notes: April 2022 (also Q1 kinda)

2022.04.29 | 1191 words |

See all reflections.

This is going to be a short release notes. I missed Q1 and want to build up some momentum to get back in the swing of things.

Adventure

I traveled a lot in Q1 (8 large travels in my budget) and have a ton more travel scheduled for the rest of the year (at least 4 currently budgeted for). It’s been a great way to see a bunch of new places and old friends. It’s also been tiring.

Now at the end of April, I’m finally feeling rested again.

I think I learned some things about myself through this deluge of adventure:

  • 8 travels in 3 months is too much for me -> 1 week of travel every 3 months seems more my speed
    • Less is more -> A few high quality trips > Many low quality trips
  • I like skiing, but I don’t love skiing -> do less skiing (maybe 1 weekend trip a year)
  • More “adventure” trips -> I like trips with people, in new places / cultures, where I can explore
  • More hanging out in NY -> I like New York, I don’t want to run away from it

Self

  • Meditation - 45 / 70%
  • Exercise - 46 / 70%
  • SavingsRate - 42 / 70%

I’ve felt off balance in Q1. I’ve been doing a lot of things, but very few well. This has led to a vicious cycle of anxiety and inaction.

My systems and habits give me a core foundation of satisfaction and control that I believe enables me to enter into virtuous cycles of action and self improvement. The deluge of adventure served as an easy distraction and scapegoat from focusing on my systems which led to a prolonged vicious cycle.

Unfortunately this has been happening for some time and I kinda need to get my shit together again.

Projects

While I have felt off balance, I’ve been producing some of my best work in my career. A lot of this comes down to prioritization where I’ve focused on pushing this forward even at the expense of my other domains (or at least without regard to their deteriorating states).

Generally I think this kind of abstraction and encapsulation is good for a robust system and it has served me well in this time of suboptimization.

I don’t currently believe that this prioritization of Projects is actually detrimental to my other domains - more I’ve just slacked off in my other domains. But I will continue to monitor because ideally there’s some equilibrium to be found that is beneficial to each.

Shares

I took a 6-week course on YouTube to try and make my practice more effective and sustainable -> the Part-Time YouTube Academy by Ali Abdaal. It really forced me to reflect on why I make shares, how it fits into my life, and where I want to be in a few years.

Perhaps most importantly, it iterated on the theme of treating a pursuit like a business. This is something I really started thinking about in the past few years as I realized I was going through a lot of motions / work without much return.

I liked some of the takes on this theme, particularly as it started with your values:

  • Do you want to treat this like a hobby or a business?
    • A hobby is for you
    • A business is for someone else (a target Customer Segment)
  • A business (whether startup, retail, YouTube) is all about the Customer -> not you

This really got me thinking about my own Domains:

  • What I want to get out of them
  • How much work I’m willing to put in
  • Where I see myself in 5 years

And ultimately led to a lot of changes in my systems:

  • A recurring process of Customer Investigation
  • Each Business and Share starts with a Problem, validated in these Customer Investigations
  • Art is demoted to a hobby -> I don’t want it to be a Business

For my Shares domain I decided I want to treat it more like a business and centralize it in my Projects endeavors. This is mostly because I think it’s highly synergistic with my other pursuits and by centralizing it I think I can boost their effectiveness.

  • Forces me to focus on Customer understanding
  • Gives an outlet to further research and develop my craft
  • Platform to promote my creations
  • Also it’s fun - a different way of thinking than I’m used to

I did learn a lot about YouTube, videos, and the creator economy in the course and have been putting them into practice:

  • Release weekly (follow on HAMY LABS)
  • Content is relevant to my target audience and what they’re into
  • Resharing across my profiles - IG: hamy.labs, Twitter: SIRHAMY
  • Upgraded my creation process
    • Video editor
    • Upgraded film studio

Business

CloudSeed is the only business I released this year. While it’s the best business I’ve released yet, I think it falls short in many ways - especially from the perspective of the Customer which I’ve been taking a greater focus on.

  • 0 Sales
  • A real problem for real people (validated in Y Combinator’s Build Sprint)
  • BUT the solution is not one this Customer Segment actually wants / needs
    • Bad market x solution fit - C# typically used by !noobs and !noobs will rarely take a whole code project and use it outright
      • This is the solution CloudSeed provides
      • Customer Segment actually wants easy-to-use, plug-and-play solutions for small problems - not the entire thing
    • Poor authority in space
      • I could potentially overcome the above hesitations if I had some really good authority in this space - like conference tech talks, a history of high performing startups, etc
      • But I don’t have this right now and even if I did, it would still be an uphill battle for this Customer Segment

The more I think about it, the more I think Business is the domain through which I want to have an outsized impact on the world. I think it has a large opportunity space for impact, it aligns with many of my internal values, and I have a lot of unfair advantages that seem like they could be put to good use.

Hopefully with a greater focus on actual Customer Segments and the problems they’re facing, I’ll have some better success in my future iterations.

  • Faster iterations -> more projects released
  • Prioritize problems / customers -> more effectiveness

Art

Lately I’ve been unsatisfied with my art - its outcomes and my process.

I think that art is an exploration - I want it to be free, playful, and ultimately non-stressful. But I think some of the constraints and goaling I built up around it have detracted from these values of late.

Moving forward I’m removing all my goals and constraints here and replaced them with simple prompts in my planning docs to encourage exploration / fun again, hopefully in a manner synergistic with my values / pursuits.

I’lll produce art when I feel like it in the way I feel like it. #makeartfunagain

 

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