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Michael's Newsletter - May 2018

Michael's Newsletter - May 2018
By Michael Karnjanaprakorn • Issue #49 • View online
It’s a beautiful day here in NYC 🌞! 
Moving forward, I decided to update the newsletter format to three sections: 1) commentary, 2) articles, and 3) recommendation
I’ll start including some commentary on living your best lives. This will include thoughts on productivity, personal finance, cryptocurrencies, and everything in between. 
I’ll continue to include the best articles from the previous month and recommendations on everything from books to apps to music.
In other news, I created another newsletter called the Founder Playbook, which covers some of my best practices and lessons from growing Skillshare.
For crypto, Pantera called the bottom of Bitcoin (₿), Telegram’s billion dollar ICO has become a mess, and Ethereum just passed $750 (up ~2x from a month ago).
This summer, we’ll be traveling to Thailand, Seoul, and Hawaii (Big Island and Oahu) for our honeymoon. Please send any recommendations.
And let’s go Cavs 🏀! 
- Michael 

✍️ Transitions
I’m on the second month of my transition from Skillshare. I spent some of that time traveling to LA, North Carolina (to prepare for our wedding), and visiting friends in Charleston. 
The rest of my time has been spent thinking through what I want to do next in my life, reading, journaling, exercising, learning, angel investing, and getting my personal house (financials, health, etc) in order. Basically all the things that you put off while working at a startup.
Not much has been written about career transitions, especially for founders and entrepreneurs. It’s been a journey. Equally exciting and daunting but I’ve learned to embrace the uncertainty and to be patient through this transition.
No Meetings Experiment
A lot of my new free time was the result of a no meeting experiment. (This was much easier to do now that I don’t have a traditional job.) While I did cheat with a couple of meetings, most of my days were free and open to do as I pleased. 
Some of my personal insights from the experiment:
  • Most meetings are inefficient. The default for most people is to “schedule a meeting” whereas a quick email, or 10 minute phone call would suffice. I defaulted to the latter and dodged a dozen meetings.
  • Building “Deep Work” endurance. At the beginning, tt was difficult to spend more than a an hour or two in deep work. I was used to working in spurts and having my day sprinkled with meetings. By the end of the month, I was able to knock out what I can usually do in a few days in one. I built up the mental endurance that allowed me to focus, think, and GSD.
  • Keeping a strong filter. While I intended to have no meetings, the ones that made it through the strong filter were extremely valuable.
It was a nice break to not have any meetings scheduled. Similar to Warren Buffet who spends over 50% of his day reading with no meetings scheduled, I also did the same. A lot of the extra time I saved from meetings was spent on “investing into myself” - reading, journaling, thinking, exploring, etc. 
Similarly, I encourage everyone to spend at least one hour a week investing into yourself. Find that one inefficient meeting in your calendar and cancel it. Or, wake up an hour early. But the idea is to invest in yourself - take a nap, read, learn, etc. 
Basic Income
A couple of weeks ago, me and Leah, along with a few others had dinner with Andrew Yang who is running for President in 2020. The New York Times did a great profile piece on his platform around basic income - giving every citizen $1,000 a month with no strings attached.
It got me thinking on two levels… 
1) Universal basic income can eradicate poverty, decrease crime, and improve overall happiness and wellbeing. These are already experiments already being run in Oakland (with Y-Combinator). 
It could happen in our lifetime.
There are others that are already creating their own version called FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). The idea is that your investments passively (e.g. real estate, dividends, etc) cover your living expenses.  I’ve included some great articles and book recommendations below for those that are interested in FIRE.
Coming full circle, I’m fortunate enough to be living a basic income experiment right now. While I’m not completely at the FIRE stage yet, it has given me a different perspective on life.
2) Could an independent candidate (Andrew is running as a Democrat) win the Presidency if he ran on a platform that appealed to those under the age of 45? It would include basic income, removing college debt, legalizing marijuana, etc that universally appealed to the younger generation. Would it be possible to win if this candidate took away votes from both parties, while capturing new votes from those that haven’t historically voted? Just a thought..
- Michael
🔖 Articles
🕵️ Recommendations
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Michael Karnjanaprakorn

I'm the founder of Otis. Every month, I share my favorite links from the web and share an inside look of our company.

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