w0t D fok is up mai boiz.
farzain “farza” majeed.
its an honor to arrive in ur inbox today. honestly.
i spent a lot of time on this email. like 3 hours.
hope u like it.
The other day, a Twitter friend of mine told me that he was in the Bay Area. I had never met him. Within five minutes of meeting him irl he mentioned how much he liked my newsletter.
Whenever someone compliments this shitty newsletter, I always look at them and say “What is wrong with you?”. LOL. He started telling me about past newsletters I had written that he really vibed with. When people do this it always catches me off guard. Not only are they reading my emails. They’re actually internalizing them.
Not going to lie. It’s a good feeling.
It shows you how powerful something as simple as a weekly email telling others about your life can be.
Also, by updating everyone about my life every week I’m able to get a lot of feedback and a lot of help. People tell me when I’m being a fucking idiot, when they feel I’m doing the right thing, etc.
This email has become both an outlet for me and a way to improve myself by crowdsourcing advice from you all. Something I did not expect but openly welcome :).
Most of you know life has been trash for 2+ months. I’ve been a confused mess. I’ve probably been the most stressed I’ve been in my whole life and I’m not even doing anything. See. When I’m not working on something and not putting my all into making stuff or learning something I just kinda… 404, segfault, error out.
The best way to describe the last 2+ months is I feel like a car with one foot slamming the accelerator and one foot slamming the brakes.
But, these last 2 weeks have given me a lot of clarity :). I wanna talk about it and I want everyone’s feedback!
Lets review the movie thus far:
Sep 16th - I leave Kanga and decide to focus on other activities I felt would help me grow faster and to work on other stuff I wanted to build. But, I had no idea what this “other stuff” would be exactly.
Sep 19th - My homie Han’s came to visit NYC for a week and we explored around. Shoutout to Hans <3.
Sep 26th - I fly to SF with no real goal and no idea of wtf I’m going to work on. I met up with a lot of old friends and mentors. Ultimately, I left even more confused than when I arrived.
Oct 8th - I arrive home in Pembroke Pines, Florida. I help my parents move into their new home and I settle down with the plan that I’m going to figure out what I’m going to make right here in Pembroke Pines.
Nov 9th - I had made close to zero progress. The best way to describe this time was “a whole lot of nothing”. Most days I’d spend staring at my ceiling. Don’t get me wrong. I was doing a lot of stuff every day. But I wasn’t going anywhere. I figured I needed a change. Pembroke Pines wasn’t helping facilitate the creative process at all. I bought a ticket to SF.
Nov 16th - I arrive in SF…again. This time hoping I would figure things out.
The Last 10 Days
Okay. So I’ve been in SF for 10 days. It has been a good 10 days and I’ve gotten a lot of clarity.
Lets talk about some stuff that happened and the things I learned.
I interviewed for jobs at startups I really liked.
After every single interview, all I could think was, “WTF am I doing… I don’t want this”. Interviewing for jobs showed me that: I only want to work for myself right now and I want to have full control over my learnings and what I build.
That was learning #1 :).
I read Shoe Dog.
I read a lot and very rarely does a book completely shift my whole world view. But this book Shoe Dog definitely did. It’s a memoir by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. I can talk for hours and hours and hours about this book. But, I want to capture the essence of what the book taught me.
The book starts with him at 24. Broke. Confused. Living with his parents. But he had a very rough vision for the future.
Knight wanted to build a future where everyone was wearing top-tier running shoes and living active lives. By the end of the book, that vision powering him did not change. It was never about the money. It was never “just business”.
It was always about shaping the world to look more like the world he wanted. He willed Nike into existence because that’s what he felt the world needed. Today Nike is worth over $100 billion.
That’s learning #2: Have steadfast resolve in building the future that you want to see, trust your vision, and the rest will follow.
My dawg Furqan.
Furqan is a friend of mine. He’s always doing something interesting. Always learning something new.
Last month he got me really into embedded machine learning. Then he got me into VR. Last week he got me into 3D printing. Today he got me into WebRTC. Basically, he does things that interest him and I’m lucky enough to be around when he talks about them.
Taking inspiration from this, this week I just started learning Swift UI and Swift Combine because I wanted to learn it and build myself a piece of software to help me improve my journals. It’s the happiest I’ve been in months. Legit, I’m hype as fuck to be learning this stuff.
I don’t think about things like: “How will this become a billion-dollar company?” or “Do the unit economics make sense?”. Because that doesn’t matter right now. I just want to explore a new technology and build something cool for me.
Who knows, perhaps the thing I’m messing around with will become “the next big thing”. When Phil Knight started Nike, he just wanted to sell some cool running shoes to people in his town. When Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook he just wanted a better way for people at Harvard to connect with each other.
It always starts with the “messing around” phase and I think the modern-day mantra of startups is killing good ideas before they’re even born.
That’s learning #3: Trust and follow your curiosity.
There’s this restaurant called Nob Hill Pizza and Shawarma. It’s just your classic hole-in-the-wall shawarma restaurant. My friend Abhishek showed it to me and we went there like 4 times in the last 2 weeks. One time we went there in the early evening and some other times we went late at night. But, each time at the cash register the owner was right there. Always smiling and ready to take our orders. He’s pretty old too, like 65+. And he was always there. Sometimes you forget how hard people work to make sure their business thrives. And it definitely felt like they were thriving based on the # of sandwiches they were pumping out of the kitchen.
Then, yesterday I ordered delivery from Nob Hill Pizza and Shawarma. And, guess who it was that delivered my food? That’s right. The owner. He was driving this super old, gray Honda Civic. He looked at me and just let out a big “Hey! What’s up buddy didn’t feel like walking over today?”. We talked for a bit.
When I started walking back into the apartment, I kinda just stopped at the lobby for like 10 minutes.
Idk. I was just shook. In a good way.
Here was this 65-year-old guy, working like a mad man, taking 12AM shifts at the cash register on a Sunday, delivering me food himself at 2PM on a Wednesday, and doing everything in his power to make sure his business succeeds. And doing it all with a huge smile on his face.
I started thinking about random shit: “What’s motivating him?”, “Does he want to expand his restaurant all over the USA?”, “Does he want to retire?”, “Why is he even working so hard?”.
Then, I realized all these questions didn’t really matter. All that mattered was that he was happy.
That’s learning #4 - Keep busy with activities that make you happy and productive.
SO. Here we are.
Some 3D printers, books, and a shawarma guy later, I’m feeling much less worried and much less stressed when it comes to figuring out what I want to do with my life. At the core of it, ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always known that I wanted to do big things, change the world, etc etc etc. That’s never left me. But, the how has always been a question.
I feel like 90% better because I’m developing a framework that works for me to achieve these big goals. I’m not just bouncing around the walls aimlessly.
I’m going to keep working on my plan/framework. For now, I’m happy exploring new technologies I think are cool :). Going to continue messing with SwiftUI. Might also fuck with some NLP.
I fucked up really bad by not thinking about all this stuff beforehand. It all stacked up. So, when I left Kanga it was time for the next move but I didn’t know what to do and sorta crashed. So, if you have zero clue what you’re doing with your life, start developing a framework. Or else you will be like Farza, staring at a ceiling in your parents’s house for weeks, months, or even worse - years.
If you made it this far, forward this email to someone who you think would like it :).
Now if you’ll EXCUSE ME. It’s Chicken + Falafel Platter time (from Nob Hill Pizza and Shawarma ofc. And yes, the owner was there on Thanksgiving night as well at 9PM).
See yah next week lads.