Places, jobs, doing a startup and reading a lot of books

End of the summer

Pavarotti on a scooter is a very Mediterranean summer vibe

Places are beautiful

I’ve always been interested in people. Growing up I only liked traveling to places to meet people. I didn’t appreciate visiting small towns or beautiful sceneries. I would do it, but I didn’t feel anything. This month I realised I now appreciate these things and it felt great.

It feels weird to say, but for the first time I realised that places can move me emotionally.

Deadlines

My internal monologue tends to sabotage me. 

I find it hard to deliberately change how I spend my time. I’m currently experimenting with deadlines. The idea is that when I think “I’d like to do X”, I know turn that into “On X day this will be done, and Y is the first step”

Baraka

A documentary on everything that is happening in the world (1992):

How work became a job

There’s a lot of unhappiness in this job market. 

And this unhappiness created another market.

The internet is full of ads for courses that will teach you how to break out of the 9-to-5 world and start making money on your own—usually by doing something just as redundant and “fake” as what you’re already doing: retail arbitrage; or some kind of consulting.

It’s a never-ending chain of online salesmen selling courses to other salesmen. This relationship to money rarely crosses paths with real material production. It gives rise to a maze of exchanges which have high monetary value but dubious real productivity. Life in the service economy and the online “hustle” look remarkably similar.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this and about the emptiness of my generation’s obsession with creativity. People creating t-shirts, videos, courses and books only address entertainment and self expression desires.

I’m trying to understand what’s progress? Is it just economic growth?

If it’s that then progress is a kind of anti-Stoicism. Human freedom as an indefinite expansion of wants and desires that is ultimately good

This article on Palladium talks about this

Personal update

This first month of full time startup has been a rollercoaster! Here’s a bit of a summary of what’s going on:

  • We made a lot of progress on the product side of things and we invented a new way of doing product analytics - with templates currently only targeted to B2B Saas companies

  • Enzo is continuing to drive our concierge analytics service

  • Onboarding 3-4 people a week on the pilot for early feedback -
    If you’re a Segment user and are interested in a demo reach out!

  • Started doing the On Deck fellowship and it’s great so far!

  • We’re also raising our first round, so feel free to reach out if you’re interested to learn more about that.

I wrote a blog post on how what we study influences how we think about the world: The eyes to think about the world

Spent quite a lot of time traveling back and forward from Italy and the South of France for some family reasons, and got a lot of time to read and write.

This month I read:

  • The cathedral and the Bazaar - A great book on open source software, would suggest to coder friends (I think Conor suggested it)

  • The remains of the day - A sad story but very well written, I found out my dad read it at my same age

  • Love is a mixtape - A sad story about a rock nerd and his now dead wife, highly emotional (Thanks to Lama for suggesting this one)

  • What am I doing here - Lots of short stories from Bruce Chatwin an adventurous guy that tells stories like going to Benin, getting arrested as a mercenary during a coup; to Boston meeting an LSD guru who believes he is Christ; to India with Indira Gandhi when she attempted a political comeback in 1978

  • Up from slavery - An autobiography of Booker Washington, a man that went from slave to public intellectual

  • The War of Art - A self help book on how to do creative work and defeat our self sabotaging tendencies, it’s written by Steven Pressfield and is a decent book

  • Edison as I know him - A biography of Edison written by Henry Ford. I wasn’t aware of the fact that the two were friends. The most surprising thing of this book is that it’s really hard to find (Thanks to Harshita for suggesting this one)

  • Deceit, Desire and the Novel - René Girard

    Currently I’m reading the Bible - I read the Genesis, then moved to the New Testament!