Focus Update 01

How Launch School is going and building shitty things...

Hey guys - hope you are feeling wonderful.

Like I said in my last blog post, I’ll be writing weekly updates during this 4 month sprint, welcome to the first edition.

👨‍💻 Coding

The first week of code school went really well. I’m on track to finish the 101 course by the deadline, and I feel like my note-taking skills are really ramping up. As I compared my timeline to previous students, I realized I’m being crazy ambitious. That’s OK in this case, because through checking my coding calendar every day, I’m more accountable. There’s no way I would have gotten this much done without it.

👨‍🏫 Meta-Learning

That said, fail to plan = plan to fail. I need a leg up on other students, and for this I borrowed from the online course I just semi-finished, Building a Second Brain. My note-taking framework has leveled up 10x, so I started actively highlighting and taking notes on every section of coding curriculum, and I am learning 1.5x better. Not faster, but better.

Here’s a screenshot of my current notes on the last lesson, ordered on the left, using progressive summarization to get the main points.

🕝 Timing

I still need to carve out morning time to code as well. I’m a big believer you must give your best hours to your best projects, and I’m not. I didn’t wake up very early this week, and I just can’t bring myself to start work at 10am, so there wasn’t time for AM coding. This will be an improvement area for next week.

Up next at school is an assessment on my grasp of the material. I am anxious to get into it, but need to prep first. I can do this!

🛒 Online Business

🧨 Physical Goods

Things are progressing OK with the plan to launch a physical good in May. I had an in-person meeting with my Physical Therapist where we talked growth, strategy, and next action steps to launch his invention. This has been a fun and anxious process for me. I know eCommerce at a high level, with money and a team, but I’m not experienced in the 0-1 level of it.

I think I’m selling myself a bit too much, as I’d been feeling guilty about this project - in fear that my PT would come to find out I’m a fraud. If you’re feeling this way in any arena, I think all you need to do is roll back your pitch. Be honest about where you are, be honest about your resourcefulness & assets, and you’ll be fine. After my meeting IRL, I unsold myself, talked about my friends who gave me 0-1 advice, and now I feel like I’m on way steadier footing here. Hoping we get packaging sorted ASAP, and can start taking orders. My job is 90% done.

🍲 Justin Mares and the story of Kettle and Fire

Amazing read from my boy JM this week - you should head over here to check it out if you haven’t. Basically he ideated and launched an MVP of Kettle and Fire in <1 day, which has now become a healthy 8 figure business. How?

  1. Starting with personal interest (“I would use this”)

  2. Investigating supply (“Can I get this?”)

  3. Not being afraid of a bad UX (“I don’t give a sh*t”)

  4. Testing demand with real $$$ (“Will people pay me for this?”)

I was so impressed by his story that I texted him about it and tried to understand how he could be so cavalier. I mean - taking paypal payments via DM with 0 inventory, packaging, or idea how to get any! He broke my brain with the next insight, that he and his friend Ryan used to consistently set 1 day as the constraint for launching things.

We only have a day, they said. Miraculously, it was done in a day. I had to do something with this.

💩 Building Shitty Things

After sharing Justin’s post with a close friend, we arrived at a simple conclusion: it’s time to learn how to build shitty things. In a day, ideally. I want my building skill to be world-class. But first, it will be shitty. That’s ok.

We planned a hackathon here in Oregon next weekend, where from Friday-Sunday night, we’ll launch something. That something only has to be able to make money. I think done consistently over time, this will tear my perfectionist wall down, and open the door to launch anything I want.

That’s the goal anyway.

Back in a week,

Will