It's too late to say Happy New Year as we are many days past the 7th of Jan. The new year offers a good time to not only reflect, but also see friends and family. I was very fortunate to get to do that over the festive break. And I hope you did too if you celebrated it.
🤓 What I've been doing
Visited Tallinn and Helsinki, and unsurprisingly they were both pretty cold. The first few days I spent in Tallinn, a quiet city with picturesque castle fortifications around the Old Town's centre. And then I hopped on a ferry and went to Helsinki, for the third time. Helsinki is one of my favourite cities and quickly reminded me why: it's clean (it's difficult to find litter), there's seemingly no crime, there's no homeless people and everyone looks happy and healthy. It might just be a utopia.
- Finishing off the beta for Here, I'm now tweaking with APNS (iOS's notification system) to get push notifications working. I'm using AWS Lambda and a Python library called PyAPNs2 to send the notifications. But I'm now fighting some certificate issues.
- Participating in Dry January, after reflecting more on the past year, something I'd been thinking about is energy. And it made me realise what energises me - exercise, work, friends and sleep. So as I thought of what gets in the way of that, alcohol was front of mind. Dry January is an opportunity and excuse to be sober for a month and remind myself how good it is.
📚 What I've been reading
The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz: A book by a former tech CEO and now founding partner of Andreessen Horowitz. There are excellent lessons throughout the book about starting a company and scaling it up. But what I took most away from it was how unsure Ben was of himself at times. We see tech CEOs from the outside-in and think they've got it together. In reality, they don't. Often they're just getting by day-to-day, and ensuring there is a next day is the main focus of the early-stage startup CEO.
Thinking in Bets, Annie Duke: On the Friday of the week I'm publishing this, I'm at a poker night. I have very little idea how to play poker, besides reading The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova a couple of years ago. So now I'm reading all kinds of material about poker and decision-making. There's a lot to learn from this book about how to think, and although it uses poker as an analogy many times, you can apply many of its lessons to your personal and professional life.
🔮 What's coming up
- It's my birthday in the first few days of February, and I'll be spending it in Nottingham at a friend's house with many other friends
Monk Mode, January is a good time to get my head down and work on my projects