Journal

On Discord, a blogger suggested Excalidraw as a good resource for creating graphical elements for posts. Excalidraw is an online tool for creating diagrams with a hand-drawn appearance, supporting realtime collaboration and export to SVG, so I may try to utilize this for the blog sometime!

On the ongoing motivation front, my friend stumbled across and sent me a whole series of posts on guilt and motivation, which I have started to read through. One impactful take-away so far has been to reframe “should” and “need” statements into “want” statements. Through this lens, “should” and “need” are negative frameworks, where one option is feeling guilt and the other is “you’re bad.” By saying “want,” the options now become “I want to do this thing and it will require X from me, OR I can choose to not spend those resources but the thing will not happen.”

In this week’s Scrimmage Notes, one link that was shared covers “tinkerer” entrepreneurs, or people focused on solving challenging real-world problems and iterating over difficult problems, and the current issues with financial sustainability towards those objectives.

Having delved into the startup scene a few years ago myself, I was initially slightly put off after discovering that a substantial component of the modern startup cycle was, basically, selling the idea that your idea is valuable, and there was less emphasis on solving impactful issues.

A few attempts in, and it made sense why - difficult problems tended to have cost-prohibitive solutions. One idea to help track food inventory and expiration rates based on storage location could potentially help save many people lots of money annually and reduce wasted food. The critical issue is accumulating enough correct data for the platform to be useful (labor intensive, and would ultimately require strong connections to national grocery chains), and storing all the data at expense long enough to generate revenue.

If we already had other successful services or a portfolio of revenue-generating projects, then such an investment could theoretically be possible, albeit at extreme expense. However from some things we’ve seen, there is strong suggestion that Google may already be well into the data aggregation stage of a related endeavor already, and what was already a 2% chance of long-term and financially-sustainable success is now even smaller.

The idea of a “society of tinkerers,” to circle back around, really resonates with me. If a community like this is, in fact, out there and growing somewhere, I hope that it is able to grow and survive within our current system, and that people with resources see, or perhaps now better understand, the priority of addressing human problems.

Helping to give humanity more time to make things better, to lift more people up, to give more people a better chance - this is the dream. I don’t just want to hope, I want to help.

Tasklist

  • Build a “Quotes” element to replace existing quotes
  • Add a “Books” page that scoops up all book progression items and outputs them to a table (can be hidden for now!)
  • Revisit the priority list from 11/22 and develop a schedule
  • Look into duplicated “Firebase” entries in Skills page on Learning Log
  • Change the create-react-component-folder template for Storybook stories in my Portfolio