1. My way of categorizing the world isn’t by that of domains or fields. A question I constantly get is: how do you reconcile your passion in visual arts and tech? They seem remotely different. I believe that what drives me in art and tech are essentially the same. I want to create something that expands upon an interesting question, or impose my version of a better world to a greater population. I have a strong desire to be as close to the product as possible: to be the producer. What drives a business development manager who works in tech probably shares more resemblance to an art dealer than to me despite us working in the same industry.
There are many entrepreneurs that intrinsically share values with or think like an artist. An evidence is this unconventional speech by Jack Dorsey which I was lucky enough to enjoy live.
2. Art has the greatest power to endure over time, while tech is the most effective in terms of scaling and reaching out to the most people. In the end of the day, it’s the conviction that matters (ideas are just temporary manifestation of different phases in which the conviction evolves).
3. While traveling during summer, I made a pact with myself that I wouldn’t talk about something I’m working on until it’s at least 30% done. Everyone has an Achilles’ heel, something that’d make all the difference between a mediocre life and something that may be a bit more interesting, and by interesting I meant the extent in which one is embodying a philosophy, a core belief, or a fascinating question. I believe that even among the ambitious, there are three times of people:
-The pawn that desperately tries to move across the board to be a queen (~60%)
-The chess player who figures out the rules and strategies of the game (~38%)
-The inventor/ designer of the game. (~2%)
My Achilles’ heel is that i have for far too long aspire to be a chess player, rather a game designer. Now that this has surfaced into my consciousness, and because I have previously spent so much time internalizing the rules of the game, I need a detox period when I only surround myself with signals, and intentionally try to filter out the noise, one of which is the desire to obtain external validation. When I only talk about something after it’s 30% done, I can ensure that my sense of satisfaction and fulfillment comes purely from the process of creating the product and not from people approval. This decision has been healthy for me thus far.
4. Life, strangely, has never been more peaceful. I made a conscious effort to figure out my conviction and what drives me at the beginning of senior year, and used the entire senior year traveling and reading to figure it out. It’ll always evolve and grow but at least, it’s now at a stage ready to be translated into a concrete product idea. This time, I didn’t feel the same hype as I did when I came up with other product ideas. For the first time, I feel like I have developed a mission/ vision I am willing to work on for a very, very long time. The idea was a natural progression of my conscious effort to develop a conviction, and hence, there’s a sense of inevitability around it. Perhaps hype is an indicator that you’re doing something not for its own sake, but for something external, which is seldom a sustainable motivation.
5. I realized that I genuinely love learning for the sake of it, which is usually perceived as a positive trait but it also makes it harder for one to prioritize interests, since the first 10% of everything is going to be fun.