i just used vim to record my podcast wow very nice

hell yeah boi

Hey everyone.

HackFurqanFeb2020

The sun just set. Looks cool. Look at that gradient dawg.

Currently sitting at my friend’s house doing a mini-hackathon working on this app called KitchenPods: an app to make cooking easier for users of AirPods.

Trying to solve a personal problem.

Lets say I want to cook shrimp alfredo pasta.

Right now what I’d do is follow a YouTube video while actually cooking. But, this sucks because often my hands are full and I’m always having to rewind/forward the video to watch how the chef magically cuts onions or re-listen to what temperature I need top set the stove at. And, when I’m cooking shrimp alfredo pasta my hands are usually covered in shrimp juices or water or some shit and it gets all over my phone as I’m scrubbing through the video. Then, I’ll also be needing to set timers to make sure I don’t overcook my shrimp or pasta. Users of iOS know that setting two timers is impossible. Pretty soon, I got my fucking laptop out to use a website that lets me set multiple timers. Now I’m worried about getting shrimp juices on my laptop. It’s all so fucked.

With KitchenPods, you can open the app, pop in your AirPods, choose a dish to cook, place you phone somewhere near your workspace, tap “Start”, and that’s the last time you’ll be touching your phone during this cooking sesh.

Now, lets say the first step is “wash the shrimp”. It’ll show a clip on your phone showing how to wash the shrimp properly and it’ll also feed you audio instructions. When you’re done, just say “next”. If you need to see the clip + hear the audio again, just say “repeat”. Need to start a timer? Just say “start timer for shrimp”. Set as many timers as you want. Easily see what timers are running by just looking at your phone.

You get everything. Beautiful visuals recorded w/ a professional chef. Simple instructions. Easy voice commands. Premium recipes you can only find on KitchenPods. And you never even need to touch your phone.

Idk when its coming out. Just a side project to help me learn SwiftUI + learn to cook. If I do release it, I’m just going to put together 16 recipes and charge $10 a month.

Zip

Did revenue go up this week?

✅ Hell yeah. Quite a bit compared to previous weeks actually.

The nice part of having a decent week is you feel happy for like ten minutes.

But, then, it’s like, “Okay. So whats next? How do I double this number next week? Sure, this week was decent but why were our metrics not even higher? Where am I fucking up? Why am I such a fucking terrible entrepreneur? FUHHHHH maybe I should just ask my Dad if the cafe next to his office is hiring a janitor.”.

Building My Community

This is what my “home office” in college looked like. My desk is the one on the left!

In college I lived in a house with four other guys and my workspace was in the living room right next to the house’s ping pong/pool table. My “normal” work environment was loud hip-hop or rock music, the sound’s of heated ping pong/pool matches, high-volume arguments between my brother (who lived with me) + whoever else he was up against, and sometimes even the sounds of music being made.

This is literally my ideal work envrionment and I really want to recreate it in SF.

I literally got some of my best work done here.

I worked like a mad man here (and often worked solo) but when things got really hard I could always step away, play some ping pong, and interact with people I liked. Also, I could talk about what I was working on + the problems I was encountering and get another person’s input. I could also tell my friends when something really good happened and we’d celebrate together by going to McDonalds or something.

Now? Well. I’m solo. I’ve been in SF almost two months now. Most of my days have been spent in silence, alone in my room. It’s pretty maddening.

Now, when I’m pissed, frustrated, sad, happy, gloomy, whatever — there is no one there to feel it with me. That’s the downside of being a solo-founder. There isn’t much interaction. You are stuck inside your own head 24/7. There isn’t anyone to share the highs and lows with.

This is a known issue of being a solo founder and I didn’t properly plan out how I was going to deal with it.

WELLLLLLL - okay, this isn’t rocket science. So I just need to interact with people. Right? Hmmmmm. So, I tried an experiment.

So for the last two weeks, I’ve mostly been working outside of my house at AWS Loft on Market and Noisebridge in Mission which are both free spaces to work on whatever you want

It’s been wayyyyyyyyyyyyy better. I’ve gotten to meet a bunch of cool people like:

  • A guy working on a jacuzzi where it’s heated by GPUs mining crypto (I’m serious).

  • A guy working a Pakistani “ghost” kitchen in SF.

  • Students from Minerva, a new online college based out of SF that’s getting a lot of hype in the press.

  • Remote employees from a bunch of random companies who also hate working from home because it drives them insane (omg it’s not just me!).

  • YC founders who also work @ AWS Loft.

  • Many more!

Oh and a funny story!

A few days back I was at a coworking space watching Super Smash Melee re-runs on YouTube and a guy tapped me and was like, “Who do you main?”. I said, “Marth”. He invited me to play Melee and five minutes later I was at Zillow HQ playing Melee in their beautiful office and talking ML with some of their engineers LMAOO.

That’s stuff just doesn’t happen with you working alone at home.

How is all this interaction good for me?

Well, I get to talk about Zip and hear other people’s input. I get to hear about other people’s endeavors and give them my input. We can just chat about life, tech, whatever. It makes everything feel way more human.

Now, look. I’m not going to lie my productivity has taken a hit. Ubering to coworking spaces, accepting invitation to play Melee at HQ’s, getting dinners with new people I meet — it’s all time that should go to Zip.

These months in particular are even more important because the YC deadline is SOON and I’m trying to hit some big goals for myself.

But, at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter how hard I work. If I’m not happy. Good stuff will not be produced. Pretty simple.

Plus, I’m pretty new to the “solo” life and I like many aspects of it. I’m always going to be improving. But, you can’t improve without running new experiments. The only way I’ll learn new things is by trying new things. If I never try to experiment with my work habits out of fear of hurting my productivity, then, I’m letting fear of the unknown control me + hold me back which is stupid.