Year of the Rabbit
Tings Newsletter #10
Who am I? I’m Michael Karnjanaprakorn. I was the founder of Skillshare and Otis. Now taking some time before I start my personal holding company (PHC). Every month, I send out a newsletter about life, money, and random tings.
Since it’s a new year, I wrote about my biggest lessons. These were around a) knowing when to quit, b) using money as a tool for fulfillment, and c) getting comfortable with boredom. Quitting isn’t a bad thing and focusing on the best decision moving forward is often the best one.
If you’re looking for a framework to plan out your year, I recommend YearCompass or the annual life review from David Spinks. Every year I do this exercise, I learn about what’s important in life and how to prioritize those areas. (Somewhat related, I also enjoyed reading Dickie Bush’s 2022 Yearly Review.)
For me, it’s to write more frequently, learn photography to take more family photos, and continue on the journey of reaching a biological age of 30 and mental age of 50 as a 40-year-old. (Reminder to myself: time to get the DEXA body scans.)
I’m also conducting a few life experiments. This year I’ll be experimenting with process > goals, asynchronous tutoring, and a 4-hour workday. For process, it’ll be more centered around inputs like “write 250 words daily” balanced with an outcome goal of “reaching 100K followers”.
I’m excited about asynchronous tutoring after reading about it from Jonathan Swanson. The best way to accelerate your learning curve is to get tutored from an expert. No live meetings. Go deep on a topic and send questions to the expert to get unstuck. S/he responds at their own leisure. Will do this for photography (just bought the Fuji x100v), video editing, writing, cooking, nutrition, etc. Hit me up if you're an expert.
I’m looking for a PT video editor for my a) youtube channel, b) my other youtube channel with Safwaan (where we talk about Creators), and c) asynchronous tutoring. Get a front row seat at building a PHC, working with Creators, and endless Dad jokes. If you got the skills, shoot me an email with links to your work on Youtube.
I was a guest on Greg Isenberg’s podcast “Where It Happens”. This was the most fun I’ve had on an interview! We talked about the intersection of money & happiness, niches for creators, and personal holding companies.
Some cashflow ideas I’m considering for my PHC: 1) starting a talent management agency (or YC) for Youtubers with a focus on incubating companies, 2) building a portfolio of luxury vacation rentals (that I can also use) with Summer, and 3) building/buying a portfolio of productivity apps with one low subscription price. (Slim chance I’ll do any of these so feel free to steal any of the ideas.)
There are a lot of breakthroughs to be optimistic about in the future! Scientists achieved the first nuclear fusion reaction. Base editing (which was only invented six years ago) cleared one girl’s leukemia. GPT-4 will have 100 trillion parameters — 500x the side of GPT-3, which is what powers ChatGPT, and hundreds of other AI apps. The marginal cost of electricity and compute is closing in on zero. What a time to be alive!
Hands down, this is the BEST podcast interview from 2022. It’s with Dame Dash who started Roc-A-Fella records with Jay-Z (who he claims is all about the money) and signed Kanye (who was all about the art). I could listen to him for hours dropping non-stop gems. He talks about not being programmed by society and his journey over the past decade as a creative artist. (It’s currently the most viewed interview on The Diary of A CEO).
I enjoyed this podcast interview between Chamath Palihapitiya and Lex Fridman. Chamath opens up with extreme vulnerability and talks about his childhood, which a lot of immigrant families can relate to. He also shares his views on money, success, and overall happiness.
At the end of the year, I decided to simplify my office and sell everything from my desk chair to monitor to lights. Facebook Marketplace made it so easy. Sold almost everything within the day of posting. Check out my simplified home office/Youtube studio.
For eSports, there’s League of Legends, Fortnight, and Call of Duty. And now there’s competing in Microsoft Excel: “in competitive Excel, players square off in test-taking showdowns, earning points each time they answer a question correctly. Players’ screens are a whirlwind of columns and keystrokes and formulae; if the terms XLOOKUP, RANDBETWEEN, and dynamic array don’t mean anything to you, you are unlikely to understand what’s going on.”
Texts.com is an app that aggregates your messages (from WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, etc) into one inbox. Fully encrypted. I like it so far but I’m so used to checking each one individually. Will see if if my behavior changes with this one.
This is a fascinating chart. On average, the time spent with family peaks at 15 years old, with friends at 18, with coworkers at 40, with children at 40, with your partner at 70, and alone peaks at the end.
This is a great article on raising mentally strong kids. Parents should not do these 13 things. As I read through each one of these, I could see how these would be painful lessons to learn as an adult. Better to give your kids a safe space to learn them when they’re much younger.
Over the next three months, I’m looking to mentor 1-2 Creators or Entrepreneurs. If you’re interested, learn more here.
With Chinese New Year right around the corner, do not eat at a Chinese restaurant unless it has a 3.5 star rating. (And here’s a free restaurant idea called Slurp, from yours truly).
That’s a wrap!
If you enjoyed reading this issue, you can also “like” this newsletter by clicking the ❤️ below, which helps me get visibility on Substack.
Until the next one, have a great start to the year.