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Postcard 18: Circle

Louie Bacaj
Louie Bacaj
4 min read

Hello from my garage.

I hope you are having a wonderful week. I just finished another cohort of Ship30, and I summarized my learnings here. But in short, it was an amazing ride, and the learnings and friendships are invaluable.

I don't know if it was because of Ship30 but I did more in the last 30 days than I've probably done in a long time, maybe ever.

A few things of which included taking a class on entrepreneurship with the master himself, Sahil. Another of which included helping my brother, on my nights and weekends, build the backend of his app TapeX which just hit 1.0 and got its first annual paying user. The first stranger ever that paid for that thing on the internet! It's an amazing experience to see that. He will be officially launching 1.0 on Product Hunt on August 3rd. Hopefully, I can count on you to help upvote it. (I will send a reminder)

I've got two short essays from me, and two essays from others, and a few great tweets for you this week.

So many people are limited by the default circles they seem to slide into. Few make an effort to join the right tribes, join people who have the same goals. In this essay I prove that the people in your circle determine your success far more than any individual action you take. Change your circle, change your life.

My friend Sam, summed up my essay with this quote from Goodwill Hunting:

"No. No, no no no. Fuck you, you don't owe it to yourself man, you owe it to me... 'Cause I'd do fuckin' anything to have what you got. So would any of these fuckin' guys."

I owe it to the people who don't have the same opportunities to try hard and make the world a better place as a result of my work, and you probably owe it to them too.

A few Articles I've read from others this week:

The Value of Doing a Little – trms
Often, doing a little is better than doing a lot.

The value of doing little things everyday cannot be understated, it might be one of the most underrated abilities to get ahead. The article says the goal ought to be to have no "zero days", where we didn't do a little and its beautifully summed up:

“We think the choice is between doing something big or something small. But really, it’s between doing something small or nothing at all.”

Counterfactuals are not Causality - Wide Awake Developers
Suppose we’ve had a recent error with a Kubernetes cluster. As often happens with a problem in our systems, we noticed it first in terms of the visible error, which we could state as “Builds did not complete.” Now we want to trace backwards to figure out what happened. A common technique is the “Fiv…

For my friends in the Software space having to deal with post mortems on issues, this article is an awesome reminder when doing the five Whys, to stay focused on the facts and the root cause, not on the what might've been, the counterfactuals:

“A counterfactual is a statement about how the world might be different now if something had happened differently in the past. It’s a kind of “alternate history” idea.”

A few ideas I ran into this week:

Taylor in this Tweet puts the idea of "Show me your friends, and I'll show you your future" in another way. Change your circle and change your life.

This Tweet from Kate is a great reminder that the old conventional wisdom of blindly working hard will stop paying off at some point. It took this last year to really help me internalize this. We need leverage, ownership, and to work on things that compound. Blindly working hard at the things that will taper off makes no sense.

A great thread from Sam, on how to build products that succeed. I especially love the Validate before building and Ruthless prioritization, you cant afford to build the wrong thing when you are small.

Everything Sahil teaches is so simple, yet so effective, including in his entrepreneurship class, the minimalist entrepreneur.

Thanks for reading.

A reminder that my inbox is open; feel free to reply to this email. I love hearing from my friends and acquaintances who subscribed to this weekly postcard, and I am happy to help in any way that I can.

Have a great week,