The Kaizen Newsletter #44 (05/05/2020) - Project Not Available

I mention it a lot, but one of my goals in life was always to start a company with my brother.

For the past few weeks, my brother has been telling me about how he wanted to start an app for fun and I told him that if ever he needs someone to do the design of the app, then I'd gladly volunteer as a tribute since I want to sharpen my design skills and it would be my first project that I can put in my portfolio.

After discussion, I was able to convince him to pivot to something else and actually thought the idea was pretty dope (lol cause 50% of it was mine) since it solved an issue we both had.

So it finally happened! My brother and I decided to join forces and started a project together. I guess the stars aligned, since not even a few months ago, my brother was saying that he hated coding and didn't want to be a software developer anymore (the latter is still true though) and I was just a product manager with no real interest in learning any hard skills. Fast forward to today and we both are trying to learn a particular hard skill (him coding and design for me) that meshes perfectly with what we're trying to do. Not to mention that I can also apply my product management skills to this whole project, which is equally exciting!

Now to set expectations, I don't believe this is THE company we always wanted to start together. I'm gonna steal some music lingo for this analogy, and say that this is more like a mixtape whereas our "real" company will be our first album.

"Ok, so what's the project!??"

Well, I'm sorry to say but I won't say 🤐

"Wait are you serious?!"

Yup 😅. I know, I know, I would also be pretty pissed if I were you, but let me explain.

I usually talk about my project ideas with pretty much anyone. I like talking about them because I like it when people validate that it's a "cool idea". But every time I do that, the project dies down after a few weeks since I never end up doing anything concrete about it.

And this is actually true. Receiving good comments and praises about your goals or big ideas could create the same amount of dopamine as if you already accomplished your goals. So unconsciously, you already think that you achieved your goal and makes it less likely that you will follow through with it.

And since I really want to make this happen, I'm going to keep it hush-hush until I have something to share with you.

So why project Not Available? Honestly, this is pretty dumb, but we haven't decided on a real name yet and since our first name initials are N and A, I just tried to find a name that included both and that's what I ended up with. I lowkey like the name though lmao.

So where are we exactly with the project? Well, it's only been a week so not that far.

We established exactly which part of the overall workflow that we want to tackle and have a vague idea of how the app will work. But, one thing we both realized pretty quickly is that building an app from scratch is REALLY HARD.

In comparison, it's so much easier to take an app that's already built and find improvements to make to it.

But to go from 0 -> 1? Now that's a different story.

We literally have to think of EVERY SINGLE DETAIL. Every user interaction, the placement of each button, every icon that is available, the copy, how much white space there is, functionality, etc.. 🤯

It's honestly a lot more intense than I thought, but it's also SO FUN.

Anyways. can't wait to share more with you guys. Hopefully, in a few months, we'll be ready (setting expectations low here)!

Our current next steps involve getting inspiration on how to build the app, doing preliminary design work (probably just wireframes for now) and starting to build the foundation for our code.

Really looking forward to see how far we can take this project 🚀.

Now, on to the newsletter.

Weekly Favourites

📃 Articles

  • Journey to fixing my mindset: Wants over Shoulds - Usually, whenever you want to achieve a goal, the best way to do so is to break it down into smaller chunks. The usual way on how to do this is to reverse engineer it and instead of thinking about a yearly goal, you should think about hitting your daily goal. If you concentrate on hitting your daily goals consistently, then in theory, you should be hitting your yearly goal after hitting your daily goals consistently for a year. This sounds nice and all, but the issue with this is that you will constantly be thinking that you "should" be doing X (x = hitting your daily goal). Why is this an issue, well as my brother explains when you do things because you "should" then it feels like it's not really your decision to do as it's someone (your future-self) that is forcing you to do it. This means that most of the time, you won't actually do it and you will fail to hit your yearly goal. Instead, you need to fix your mindset to actually tell yourself you "want" to be doing it.


  • Jam - Got beta access to Jam which is a website that allows you to share your accounts with others without telling them your password. This way you can actually control who can access your accounts and you know they won't be distributed to other people that you don't want to have access to the account. Reminds me a lot of this short made by WongFuProductions.

🎙 Podcast

  • #1 Right to Self - Problematic - Discovered this podcast through Twitter and it’s super interesting. The theme of the overall podcast is to discuss subjects that nobody really wants to talk about and that are “taboo”. In this episode, Mike Solana (the host) talks to a biologist about genetic engineering and bio-hacking.

🐦 Tweets

  • The most insane and coolest thing I've seen over the past few months. I remember when I used to dabble in photoshop when I was a kid and I had the hardest time to remove backgrounds. Now, we have good enough technology to do that using just your phone AND THEN copy-paste it to photoshop. Dat shit cray.

Twitter avatar for @cyrildiagneCyril Diagne @cyrildiagne
4/10 - Cut & paste your surroundings to Photoshop Code:… Book: @HOLOmagazine Garment: SS17 by @thekarentopacio Type: Sainte Colombe by @MinetYoann @ProductionType Technical Insights: ↓ #ML #AR #AI #AIUX #Adobe #Photoshop Image
  • Love this framing for what is design.

  • Good reminder for people (like me) that tend to overthink decisions. Most of them are reversible, so just make a decision ASAP and if you realize you made the wrong choice, then you can change it later.

  • Ryan Reynolds is really killing the ads game.

🎧 Music



🙏 Shoutouts

  • Shoutout to my friends Cheetah and Topa. They’re both really killing it so super happy for them. Probably the best convo I’ve had since COVID started. Really grateful for both of them 🙏.

👋 End Note

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