Here I am sitting on a super power (I think), and I already want to build version 2.0 without any manifested success. I’ve been stalled recently, and I don’t anticipate much progress until after I move back to the midwest. This project is not dead yet, but it is on life support.
I’m at an inflection point where I have to decide my course with this project and my career. I could rethink my efforts as a generic WebAssembly container in the hopes that I can run on other infrastructure. Perhaps, I could build that WebAssembly container service as a business. This would get me motivated to rewrite the translator to produce Rust code. Rust has excellent meta-programming facilities that I could leverage for some of my magic. I could produce a few novel crates for the larger community.
Now, these are all exceptionally practical things depending on where I want to focus. It’s practical to focus on novel value added and then grind towards the finish line. Life is short, and time is precious. Focus is important.
For my life, I have decided to focus on being happy with my wife. My career has been built by making pragmatic decisions, but being practical has been devastating for my mental health. When my mental health suffers, my wife suffers too. It’s the creative artistic soul wanting to manifest. Sadly, the open curious mind eventually runs into the reality of judgement and proving out a value proposition, and this is hard.
It’s hard because you have to take your precious idea and then contort them to the market which is always unnatural. For success in business, it is unilaterally better to go from a customer problem to technical solution. Taking a technical solution to customers is harsh because you will have to make compromises. My suffering is rooted in the gap between what I want to manifest versus what business needs from me. It is important to note that this pain is not without good reason as starting things is vastly easier than finishing things.
Adama is in a middle ground because it is derived from my developer pains for board games, and I've been struggling with board games for 21 years. Is my approach applicable for anything else? Maybe, maybe not. I believe it is, but this rests at the heart of entrepreneurial delusions.
My decades of experience tell me that I have something to offer, but maybe a business is not the right goal. Perhaps, goals are not the way to approach this. Instead, I need a daily routine where I can reflect and ask if I enjoyed the day? Did I enjoy my time?
Reflecting on this question puts into light that judgement is at the root of all my problems, and I’m most happy when I solve novel problems that pop up in my efforts. The root of my career is having the creativity to solve problems, sitting on an empire of solutions, and developing operational discipline at scale.
As I approach 40, I intend to embrace the impractical and silly side of life.... like building a foundation around a programming language for board games.
Instead of worrying about all the mistakes I’ve made, I just need to commit myself to the current path. I need to embrace my mistakes and prioritize which warts to clean up over time. I need to build community that thinks “hey, this is kind of neat, and I want to play with it.”