summer updates, reflections on life, and things worth sharing
This month I started an internship working as an innovation developer where I’m working on designing and creating a new product for internal employee use.
On the blockchain side of things, I wanted to get back into coding so I built a few contracts for a protocol for scheduling crypto payments (I was surprised to see an easy way to do this didn’t already exist)
With the announcement of a few companies working on zkEVMs as well as a recent TEDx talk I gave, I realized a lot of the basics of how Ethereum scaling works and why this announcement matters aren’t entirely clear to most people. I thought I’d make a video connecting the dots between Ethereum, scaling solutions, and the recent zkEVM announcement.
I’ve also been working more closely on research over the past month into computer networks, security, and zero knowledge. Normally, I’d share links you could refer to see these things, but it’s still fairly early. Over the next few months, more periodic updates on the ideas I’ve been working on will reach your inbox.
#1 - on being mission-driven
Many companies say they’re mission-driven but beyond just having employees that say they align on a certain vision, what does that actually mean?
I listened to a podcast with the Co-Founder of Duolingo on the Tim Ferris show. One of my favourite quotes from the episode: “The attitude of just finding a way to become useful gets you a lot farther.” From the beginning, it’s clear that money wasn’t a priority; when you set out to solve a problem and provide value to people . As Naval says the way to get rich is to give people something that they don’t know how to get yet.
“Something like 97 percent of our active users use Duolingo for free. Still, we make more money than all other education apps. We’re very proud of that.”
From experimenting with different monetization techniques to trying to convince investors they were too early to worry about monetization, Duolingo showed that clearly defining goals and metrics for the long term becomes so much more important than finding a way to monetize. There’s a different idea related to this subject in this essay.
#2 - the pareto principle
There’s this idea that most of what you do in your life will yield no results.
The pareto principle, or the 80/20 rule - the idea that 20 percent of your input will yield 80 percent of your output is true across domains but what do we do with it? Reduce more of the things that you’re doing so you can capitalize on the output you get.
“When it comes to the goal oriented life, only about 1 percent of the efforts you made paid off…….. The reason I say this is not to make some glib comment about how 99 percent of your life is wasted and only 1 percent is useful. I say this because you should be very thoughtful and realize in most things (relationships, work, even in learning) what you’re trying to do is find the thing you can go all-in on to earn compound interest.”
things worth sharing
I enjoyed this awesome thread on some useful mental models and rules I’ve been practicing this month
I liked reading The Immortal Game: A History of Chess by David Shenk. The way it’s written each section is based on a theme and paired with moves from Bobby Fischer’s Immortal Game. It’s a fun read and keeps you on the edge of your seat. My favourite quote: “The game is often as much about demolishing your opponent’s will”
until next time…
Here’s what I’ll be up to:
formal research in secure systems, computer networks. and zero knowledge
making more regular content about the things I’m learning
exploring the VR/AR space (something I’ve found interesting lately)
reading! (I’ll publish a review of what I read here but in the meantime send me your favourite book recommendations)
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