My first attempt at making New Year resolutions.
December — usually, the last week, right after Christmas — is when you see all sorts of posts on Facebook, tweets on Twitter, about people’s resolutions for the upcoming year. This time, Medium probably had the most resolution-themed posts; every time I’d fire up the Medium app, 2 out of 3 posts were about people’s plans for 2016.
I’ve never really warmed up to the idea of making resolutions. One, it’s freaking 7˚C out here, and it’s next to impossible to warm up to anything. Two, we’ve all heard a lot about how resolutions are dropped within the first 13 days of January, like you’d drop a hot oven tray right after baking a plum cake. And honestly, if I’m making a resolution, I’d like to…I don’t know, stick by it? See it through? And if that’s the intention, there’s got to be a painless way to track my progress. Now, I don’t know if such a method exists — like an app, although there are apps that help you increase your likelihood of forming or breaking a habit. But from a psychological standpoint, I don’t think that’s enough to get the job done.
So, this year, I’ve decided to:
- Create a set of actionable resolutions that I’d like to see through.
- Create a platform which will let me track how far I’ve progressed, which can serve as a way to goad me into going further, as well as show other people that hey, I’m doing this shit and it’s crazy and maybe you can do it too.
Another point that emerges from here — this “platform” I talk about — maybe it could be an app. Which other people can use too. Ergo,
3. Make the platform easy enough to use, and open it up for others to use and consume.
4. Document the process behind building said platform, and use that for the notCRUD Builder Diaries — something I’ve got planned for notCRUD.
Alright. So this first post is me listing down what I’d like to achieve. After that, I can get down to documenting how I track it all, in another post. Who knows? Maybe it leads to me creating a publication.
First off, I’ll talk about resolutions around tech.
- Figure out Angular and React. Well, I have worked with Angular before. But even today, looking at a frontend codebase in Angular and React tends to drive me over the edge. I just can’t figure out *why* people use them! And it’s worrying that I don’t get it. It makes me feel like there’s something about frontend dev that I just don’t understand.
- That leads to figuring out things like Ionic2 and React Native. The first resolution leads to this. I’ve worked extensively with Mobile Chrome Apps, and I’m a die-hard hybrid app enthusiast. I appreciate the structure that Ionic brings to hybrid app dev, which is something MCA wasn’t able to do. And of course, React Native. Something everyone’s going gaga over, although I find it significantly more complex to work with. At the same time, I’m excited about exploring Fuse Tools as well as the Intel XDK, to find better ways to build hybrid apps.
- C++. I’ve been reading up a lot on building high-performance APIs with C++. Only yesterday, I found a brilliant article on how a server in C++ could easily beat a server written with Tornado by about 40 times. That’s fucking insane. Combine that with a datastore like RocksDB, and you’ve got the equivalent of a King Tiger tank from WWII. Now, imagine combining all that with hybrid apps running inside a ChromeView. Performance just got redefined.
Now, moving on to notCRUD. All this time, the focus has been on creating a platform where product enthusiasts across India can talk about what it takes to build great products out of India, as well as showcase stuff they’re building — kind of like an Indian Product Hunt, if you would(btw, huge, huge shoutout to Ryan Hoover and the PH team for willing PH into existence). What we’re now working on, is moving towards a platform that tries to enable great product makers to build amazing shit. We’ve got a couple of things in the pipeline for that — building better content being on of them. So you can expect more writeups on brilliant product startups, called the notCRUD Originals. And there’s more — something I’m working on, called the Builder Diaries, where I take hold of an idea every month, and over four weeks, build out a product, and document how I built it, and why I built it the way I did — tech, UX, growth strategy, the works. That creates a corpus of experience, which product makers can look at and say, this is NOT how I’ll build my product!
More on that later.
Usually, I’ve been known for blowing all my cash on books. It’s a habit. Not breaking it. But the worst part is that I’ve ended up with a lot of books that I haven’t read yet. And it’s time to rectify that. Some of the books I plan to read next:
- Fooled By Randomness, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
- The Black Swan, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
- Political Order And Political Decay, by Francis Fukuyama.
- The Rise And Fall Of The Great Powers, by Paul Kennedy.
- Stalin: Breaker Of Nations, by Robert Conquest.
- The Simpsons And Their Mathematical Secrets, by Simon Singh.
- My Name Is Red, by Orhan Pamuk.
- The Last Days Of Hitler, by Hugh Trevor-Roper.
- The Grand Design, by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow.
- Broca’s Brain: Reflections On The Romance Of Science, by Carl Sagan.
- Chaos: Making A New Science, by James Gleick.
- The Singularity Is Near, by Ray Kurzweil.
I hope to add more books to this list. In time.
And the best, for the last — languages! I happen to love learning languages, and after the likes of French, German and Russian, I’d like to try others. So this year, it’s Dutch, and Czech.
Dutch, because it’s a Germanic language, and I’d like to test out this theory where having English as a first language helps one comprehend other Germanic languages better. Also, the Dutch make delightful cheeses — that’s where we get Gouda cheese from. Czech, because, well, Kafka.
Right. So I reckon that’s about it. Now, the hardest part — actually doing them.