2023 has been an exploratory year for me, where I’ve been on the journey of identifying what I want to pursue next in my career, and if that’s even one thing at all.
I leaned into investing, both in liquid markets and illiquid private markets. I educated myself on macroeconomic investment principles via a number of paid subscriptions, and further dipped my feet into early-stage venture investing with my syndicate Striking Markets and crypto with investment community Deus Ex DAO. I did 6 startup investments in 2023, none crypto.
I also picked up coding in April. It’s been a great joy learning about how software is made, the web works, and being able to create such things from scratch. It’s also incredibly challenging. Intellectually, it’s probably the hardest thing I’ve attempted to learn. But that’s also why it’s gratifying. I began with Python, then realized I needed front-end skills and learned HTML, CSS, JS and SvelteKit. I’m now at a point where I can build simple apps. It’s great fun to create in this way.
What a year plus of investing has taught me, is that while I find it stimulating, it’s not the same thing as building a business. I’ve enjoyed initiating and contributing to Striking Markets and Deus Ex DAO, which have given me a sense of community and smart people to collaborate with. However I’ve come to the realisation that I want to build a business again. The feeling of coming up with an idea and manifesting it in the world is the most fun thing to me. Taking something from 0 to 1.
My plan for 2024 is to keep doing what I’m doing. Improving my skills. Now that I have basic code proficiency, I’m beginning to orient myself on new business ideas. It’s a remarkable time to build an internet business, with the abstracted coding frameworks, tools and AI at your hands. A small team can do so much with little today. That excites me and I’m eager to experiment again. I’m interested in the idea of building something which uses technology to solve a problem for the average person. So not developer tooling or something sophisticated, but more something along the lines of a fitness tracker, a scheduling application, a stage timer. But inspiration is hardly predictable, so let’s see where I land on this.
This year also emphasises the importance of not having a fixed image of myself. I never want to be the “music”, “crypto” or “angel investing” guy. No dogmas, about anything. This willingness to change my mind is very important and hinges on the view I have of myself. Sometimes it can feel like failure when telling the world you changed your mind about something, or are going in a different (sometimes opposite) direction. But it’s a superpower to be willing to do this. I intend to spend as few hours possible doing things I don’t want. And my intuition is often right about what I should be doing. The trick is knowing when to lean into that feeling, and to avoid not acting on it because you fear judgement.
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