Weekly Notes 006 - Getting to Alpha & Choosing what to work on

Hey, and Welcome to my weekly review. I hope you find something useful from my experience this past week.

  • So my most impactful learning for this week is the idea of working on important problems and doing important work. I'll talk more about this in the next section, but the general idea is that they are inseparable. You can't do important work if you don't work on important things.
  • I've been contemplating the idea of starting a podcast. I bought the Boya M1 USB mic and will do some experiments with it this coming week. Boya M1 Microphone
  • I'm planning an alpha for WhereAPI this weekend. WhereAPI is my side project to solve location-related problems in African apps. The idea is to get some friends to try the API and give feedback before the V1 (End of March). This is my first public backend project and I can't mess things up 😎.

Podcasts

Stuff I'm reading

  • Digging Into CSS Logical Properties - CSS Logical properties are something I've been postponing for some time now. It's very natural to think about multi-directional content since most sites (and Google of course) can now translate web pages with ease.
  • Vanilla JS Scroll Events & Animations with IntersectionObserver API - Step by step walkthrough to create one of those scrolling entry/exit animations. These feel so good when done rightly. One thing I can't stop thinking about is how hard this was to implement without the Intersection Observer API. I read somewhere that one of those on scroll libraries used scroll events to check for the position of the element. That's an event per scroll. I can't even wrap my head around this 😂.
  • The 13 immutable reads on choosing what to work on - I can just say this article has changed my life. It's a curation of articles from Naval, Paul Graham, Sam Altman, Shane Parrish, Ben Horowitz, Patrick Collision, and Drew Houston. The fact that these guys give out advice for free is a blessing.
  • Hamming, "You and Your Research" (June 6, 1995) - I don't know who this old guy is, but he sure knows what he's talking about. My biggest learning was The Mathew effect - The only way to do important work is to work on important things. The Mathew effect is borrowed from the parable of the talents. See more here mathew 25 vs 14.
  • Advice for ambitious 19-year-olds - Biggest takeaways from this essay
    • Every ambitious young person has only 3 options; join a startup on a trajectory, start a startup or go to college (Become an academic).
    • No matter the option you choose, always build stuff and be around smart people.
    • Joining a company that has a chance of failing as employee no 50 is not an option.

Resources

Music

  • I got some epic idea this week. Make a playlist of songs that put me in the "shake your body" mood. The result was an Afrobeats playlist on Spotify. Please tell me what you think if you get to listen to it.

That'll be all for this week. See you next week 👋