Build what you love, love what you build
Why am I doing what I do?
Time and time again, I come back to this simple but important truth: that I love building certain things, and that I love using these things. It sounds obvious, but it's no necessarily always the case.
That's also why I'm unemployable. Every moment I spend on trivial tasks where I feel no ownership, no real stakes, I'm swamped by anxiety and existential dread: why am I doing this? does this matter in any meaningful way? who I am doing this for?
Launching both Mailbrew and Typefully, I didn't think these are sound business ideas; these have vast addressable markets; these things have interesting growth loops. Surely these things always linger in the back of my head, but at the core I build what I build because I feel a deep need to do so. I feel like these things matter, and that there are tons of people out there that would share this feeling.
Mailbrew affects my daily routine and mental health in a meaningful way. Typefully is the only sane way I know to write and publish a Twitter thread away from distractions. Even my side-project lofi.cafe was built out of a specific frustration: having to find a good lofi station every time, without getting bored of listening to the usual 2 or 3.
I decide to build these things because they're essential to me in some way, and I love (almost) every moment I spend working on them.
Sure, these are those customer support days, those bug fixin' days, those full-of-zoom-calls days — but knowing that tomorrow I'll get to decide what's on my plate, makes them bearable and even occasionally fun.
If I know that what I'm doing has a true, lasting impact and makes some kind of true difference in people's lives, I choose to continue working on these things every day.
But as an insatiable "maker" and creative — or maybe I should say creator? not sure what's the lingo anymore — at the end of the day I'm always left wondering: what's next? what's bolder, better, more challenging? what will make my past projects blush in embarrassment?
And there's no cure for this. Nor should there be.