Reflections on 2019
2019 was a good year and I am looking forward to a lot of change in 2020. Some lessons/reflections and random notes
- If I lived outside the US, I would live in Asia. I spent a good portion of 2019 (and late 2018) living in Asia full-time for work in Hong Kong, China, and Korea. For all of the handwaving about China, it’s a very enjoyable place to live. Things are relatively inexpensive, it’s easy to travel around the country, and it has a real fun wild-west vibe to it
- While I was living abroad, I also spent a lot of time being a solo tourist and I have a newfound appreciation for being a lone traveler. I got to do all the weird things I wanted to do that no one else would be interested in.
- Deep friendships > shallow friendships. When I moved back to SF this year, I realized one of the reasons why I think I had not liked the city at first was because I had a lot of shallow and fleeting friendships. I am making an effort to spend more time with a few people, while still being open to meeting many people. Some tradeoffs there.
- “Poor distribution is the number one cause of failure.” is a lesson from Peter Thiel’s Zero to One, which I read but had not internalized. I will never make the mistake of overlooking this again
- If you are lucky, the best kind of business to be in is one where you really love your customers and the people you are selling to/building products. There were many times this year when I felt that and it was a great feeling.
- Writing, both in public (blog, etc.) and in private (internal company docs), is one of the most powerful ways to convey your thinking, 10x your ability, and get in front of a broad audience who might not otherwise see your thoughts
- Dedicating time to think is a good use of time. Work-wise, I am guilty of often being very in the weeds and not spending time to sit back and think about things at the “3,000-mile high level”. As a practice, I have found that when I spend dedicated time doing this that I am able to generalize and share my thoughts at a much higher level.
- A lesson I am always relearning in different ways… keeping great care of your health is super important. Dieting well, working out, having healthy relationships, etc.
- It’s useful to connect people you know to each other and see how they can benefit each other. Being recognized as a person who can make good connections is a nice place to be in
- Being decisive is important and it’s good to recognize when you’re avoiding making tough decisions
- Favorite Movie: Parasite
- Favorite Book I read this Year: Cable Cowboy: John Malone and the Rise of the Modern Cable Business
- Favorite Book I read this year (that was written in 2019): Dignity by Chris Arnade
- Favorite New Podcast: The Portal by Eric Weinstein
- Favorite TV Show: It’s not necessarily a TV show, but with the lines now blurred, my favorite new ‘show’ was Netflix’s Love, Death & Robots, an “adult animated science fiction anthology web television”
- Favorite place I visited: Shanghai x3 (doesn’t have the same tourist value as e.g., Beijing, but super comfortable, fun, and beautiful city to live)
- Favorite music video: Bop by DaBaby
- Favorite musical artists that I discovered this year: Four Tet / Tourist / Peggy Gou