20 Blog Posts and $10 MRR 😛 A Month of Building and Writing
January - February 2021 (archived from MailerLite)
Hey, I'm Samson, an 18yo taking an unconventional path to high-impact building and entrepreneurship.
In January I quit my full-time job, moved to a community house in Utah, and got to work building and learning what I actually wanted to. In the past month I published 20 blog posts, built a whole bunch of landing pages and software, and last night made my first $10 through software I built. Humble beginnings, but it's only up from here!
Here's a look at my January 🤠
One month at Edyfi
"I am not eating, hydrating, or sleeping enough, but I am breathing air soaked in dreams and full on dinners of wandering conversation."
I jotted down that note at the beginning of our self-quanrantine, when movement was restricted, expensive DoorDash orders were kept at a minimum, and my job and college apps kept me up late.
Since the end of quanrantine two weeks ago, I've been eating, at least, better than I ever had. I love cooking, and with access to a kitchen and delivered groceries (including a Chinese supermarket!), I've been replicating tons of recipes old and new. Ditching my job and wrapping up college apps made life better too.
The latter half of the quote still applies, though. It's incredible being surrounded by people you can look up to, and look up to you. Under one roof are 18-21yos working on the school Elon Musk built for his kids, a social media app backed by John Scully, and a creator analytics startup that counts Yes Theory among its first customers.
Casual conversations have led to Twitter growth campaigns and product vision pivots. A hackathon project I worked on with two teammates who have both launched and sold startups before got its first $10/month subscriber last night.
20 blog posts in a month
I haven’t learned something until I’ve published writing about it...Whether it’s a book I’m reading, a good conversation, or a mental model I assemble for myself, if I find it interesting I feel compelled to get it down in writing sooner or later.
I first encountered the idea of learning in public in June 2020, at Phil Liao's Summer of Shipping. I posted updates on Twitter, but nothing seemed to come of them. A staff writer for The Incandescent Review, I struggled to send bi-weekly contributions, let alone personal essays.
Without school or structure around me, though, I found myself learning on myself more and more, and by extension my writing. I found myself spending mornings and afternoons throwing unedited thoughts out on my blog, my thousands-of-words vomits naturally shaping into neater, 500-2000 word essays.
I wrote about innovation, culture, prioritization, and creativity:
I wrote about the projects I was working on, or the books and ideas I came across:
And, of course, I wrote the meta-thesis for all my writing, from which the quote at the beginning of this section is taken:
Publishing your thoughts for others to read is the only way to make your thoughts real, to make them exist in the real world and not in the meaningless chaos of your mind...
…and lots of building
If you know me, you know that I'm addicted to building things and making stuff happen. Here are a few things I've built in January.
Updately took a big pivot from its original daily update vision to an all-in-one tool for knowledge management and publishing. I've been building on this vision for more than half a year now, starting with my first-ever React app, SZPT, in July. The project is still pre-launch and highly WIP, but the landing page and waitlist are up at updately.us, and progress on the MVP is going smoothly!
What started as a 1-hour hack for the house turned into a hackathon project, and now into an actual SaaS product my two co-founders and I are aiming to hit at least $1000 MRR on. "Learn to sell, learn to build. If you can do both, you will be unstoppable," Naval's saying goes. I'm lit at building and now, with Updately and EloLeague, I'm learning to sell. Excited to see where things go 😁
The second round of TKS Community Talks went live on Friday, January 22, with eight more Innovate speakers training their speaking skills and sharing their knowledge! In addition, we involved several mentors, directors, and other members of the TKS community in its organization. The hope is for Community Talks to become a sustainable fixture of TKS, run by successive student boards over future years.
Lastly, my wireless power transmission research/space solar power is still firmly on my mind. I've a lot more progress to make on this, so I don't have much concrete to share now, but expect lots of exciting developments in next month's newsletter :)
I'll end with a note of gratitude. Away from the formal support structure of high school, college, or even a job, I've found boundless support in every direction: professors willing to help with my research, young founders willing to brainstorm together and share knowledge, friends and family absurdly generous in being there for me when I need it.
With this support, I'll continue to push ahead. firmly focused on improving myself and striving to make the world a better place, if only in small ways for now. As always, thank you for following along with my journey, and look forward to what comes next 🤟
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