Starting Some Projects, And Ending Others

Photo by Adrian Infernus

Typically I would save updates on my work for the newsletter, but I feel as though enough is going on that it can be a full work all its own. Treat this as a mini-State of the Union of sorts.

I’ve been having a lot of trouble recently dealing with how I start a lot of projects and don’t seem to end many. There are a couple of sunset projects like AstukaGaming that I believe reached a natural and fitting end. There are also some projects like IGRU that seemed to have loads of potential but simply took up more bandwidth than they were worth. Then there are the ones that really grate at you; the ones that are almost finished, but not quite. The ones that should best be killed off, but there’s something that just bugs you about their seeming non-fulfilling closure.

I am a maker. That’s just what I do. I make things. It’s in my blood. And one of the biggest problems of a maker is deciding which projects will have the greatest return, whether that return be money, or knowledge, or relationships, or all of the above. And so when I take stock of my (many) projects, I need to decide which ones I can still learn from, which new ones I could learn from, and which ones I can no longer learn from. This is especially important going into the fall where things run from a leisurely 60-hour pace to full 110-hour crunch time.

The first thing I think of is BDC. I love BDC’s original mission: to bring art to cheap fashion. I also love how easy it has become to run BDC; all I do is use the art-inspo pics I post on Instagram, which automatically goes through a funnel and into my images folder, with which I then do some quick edits to make it fit the RedBubble requirements, and ship it out.

However, there’s a couple of problems with BDC. The first is that some things are surprisingly high bandwidth; including source management. Unfortunately tracking the source through all the stages becomes more trouble than it’s worth, and while this might be alright on Instagram — where it is clear the account is a curation page which is not trying to make any money or garner any high follower count — this becomes pretty unacceptable for RedBubble. So, what I plan to do for BDC is finish up Season 2 (there are about 50 shirts still left) and cut off the project. This also includes minimizing the marketing of the @astukari Instagram account, which will likely go back to irregular posting (but likely the same art-inspo content).

In addition to BDC, I also have to consider Leviathan, the book that I had written starting in Junior year in high school. The book revolves around a cyberpunk dystopia, which back then really interested me. Nowadays, however, I just can’t stand the formula; I’d rather stay in the realm of reality, writing short 4-5 page pieces, rather than a full 150 page novel about cyborgs and augmentation. So, in the future, if I do write any fiction pieces they’ll have to be short story collections (just like the first book I published). Still, seeing myself halfway done with the final chapter will eternally drive me mad. So I’m thinking specifically for Leviathan all I do is abandon the Summer 2020 deadline and instead coast with it, writing it only when I feel inspired to.

As for new things, I’m still trying to scratch my startup itch. My latest attempt is Vox Jobuli, still in the mockup stage, which I’m currently pushing through YC Startup School and hope to (if need be) push through other soft incubators like Pioneer in order to stay accountable. Vox Jobuli’s goal is to fix the problem of the often frayed and messy job search system; while many resources promise quality job postings, they often sacrifice quality for efficiency. What I want to do is use a curated system to showcase positions at companies that are known to be nothing short of wonderful, hopefully ceasing the issue of people having to sort through miles of shlock to find the good stuff. Alongside soft incubators (By the way, that’s not a word. I just made that up.), I also want to make the process of going through it fully transparent, just as I had done with BDC.

As for the blog and the newsletter, things are going so smoothly that I really feel no reason to change things. I don’t want to be overly optimistic, but it has been about a year of the blog running with virtually zero issues, and that is something I have straight-up never had before. It’s a beautiful feeling. So we’ll hopefully keep this running far into the future.

Anyway, that’s all for this one. If you want to keep in touch, check out my biweekly newsletter! Following this will give you the low-down of all the new stuff I’m working on, as well as some things I found interesting. As an added bonus, you’ll also receive the Top 10 Tools I Use on a Daily Basis to help better manage your workload and do higher quality work in a shorter amount of time.

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