Yo yo yo. Here is me and my homie Alec.
A lot of you are new subscribers I met at HustleCon this week :). Welcome to my newsletter, which I send out once a week, where I talk about what I’m up to. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s bad. But damn it, there is always SOMETHING.
I was just at the airport when some super old dude (like 85+) sat down next to me in front of the gate. He starts the conversation by asking me if I liked Star Trek. 5 minutes later, we were talking about time travel.
Basically, he really believed in time travel and it was a subject he was really passionate about. He kept pulling out evidence on his phone of pictures of the Bible where the same passage had been changed multiple times over the course of the Bible’s history. I pretty much told him he was being ridiculous. The evidence he was showing me was just a result of an error in recorded history, after all, the Bible has been passed down for 1000s of years and there were bound to be discrepancies. History is not perfect. And then, I kid you not, he pulls out videos of kids saying the name of the cereal “Capn Crunch”. In some of the earlier videos, kids were saying “CAPN Crunch” and in some of the more recent videos kids are saying “CAPTAIN Crunch”. His argument here was that someone went back in time and changed something that caused kids to now say “CAPTAIN Crunch”.
“Someone from the future was messy when they came to alter our timeline”, he said.
Again, I’m not joking.
Overall, it was a decent conversation. He started getting mad when I told him I thought time travel was a load of bullshit but we agreed on the existence of alternate dimensions. He’s actually on my newsletter now. What’s up Paul ;).
I stayed at a hostel for the last week as I was searching for a place in SF to sign a lease. Each room had 8 beds in it, like bunk beds.
I was going to get a private Airbnb but damn dude that shit is a rip off. After all the fees staying 7 night for $50 a night costs like $450 fuck thaaaaat. The hostel cost me like $200 for 7 days and I got to meet a bunch of cool people who were passing through SF from other countries :).
I was kinda scared of being murdered in my sleep but after hanging out with some of the guys and girls that were staying there I got pretty comfortable and came to the conclusion that the likelihood of one of these people murdering me would be around 0.05%. Not bad. I can deal with that.
It was fun. I got to share meals + talk to people from all over the world and learned a lot about each person’s life. Some of them are on my newsletter now (what’s up Max and Scott)! The person who had the bunk next to mine was this 60+ year old dude from France who had done everything from work on setting up the internet in Argentina to performing theatre in Paris. Oh, and he also knew a lot about Linux and we talked for a while about his distro and his set up. My man was rocking only open-source software + his own VPN. Hell yeah. Then he taught me about how to start a farm.
Most of my week was spent hanging out with these people! Was a nice change of pace.
Staying at a hostel really proved to me that I only understand a small fraction of this world.
I’ve always known this, but, when you have people from Germany, Portugal, and Malaysia tell you about their lives back home it really sets in: you know nothing.
Does this mean I’m going to spend 2 months traveling the world now?
Hell no. I’m not a bum millennial.
I will certainly travel. But, in bursts. Perhaps every 6-12 months I’ll visit a new place for a week. I want to travel to not only experience new things, but also to learn and absorb new things. When you’re 23 and you “backpack through Europe” over a course of 2 months you’re not absorbing anything. You barely have time to process what you just saw in the last hour.
New places have the ability to massively shift your worldview, but it often takes time for previous experiences to set in. Like, I’m still reflecting on my trip to Pakistan from a year ago.
Have you ever finished a Calculus textbook in one go? No. Of course not. It can take months and months. Every lesson builds on the previous lesson. I see traveling as a lot like this. Previous experiences + time to reflect helps make future experiences even better.
I promise you if I went to all the top art museums in Europe over 2 months that wouldn’t be nearly as significant + memorable to me as spending 1 week at 2 of the top museums in Paris + exploring the city would.
Depth over breadth.
I went to a 2-day event called HustleCon this week. It’s a convention that brings together entrepreneurs for two days of talks and networking. Some hella cool founders spoke there like the founders of Strava, Native, Zapier, Method, Pandora, Calm, Hims, The Athletic, and IndieHackers.
1. Validate an idea as quickly as possible. Native Deodorant got v1 out in 3 weeks. Yes. That’s right. It took them 3 weeks to come up with a new deodorant formula, make it, ship it, and realize they were on to something.
2. Don't be afraid to really drill into a niche. If you get the niche right, chances are you can expand after that b/c your product would be super mature + high quality. Strava focused on bikers for 3+ years. They now have the hearts of hundreds of different niches.
3. If there is a thing people are passionate about, chances are there is likely a product to be built. The Athletic is ESPN but for super fans.
This week I’m in Seattle hanging out with my boy Alec. He is making an apple pie right now. Here is a short clip of my reaction to his Tesla parallel parking itself (was my first time in one today)
We’re going to road trip from Seattle -> SF! I’m hype. Once I’m back in SF, its back2work. I’ve sorta been floating around for a bit now, but now I finally have a place in SF, have worked out my finances, and am pretty committed to building stuff I think is cool.
I should note here that I’m not necessarily rushing to start a profitable startup. I don’t think it’s a switch you just flick on. I’ll likely spend a few months just shipping products I think are cool and will take it from there.
See yah next week :).