I value ridiculous laughs, tomfoolery, ballyhoo, attempting to frown while skipping, existential crises, type 2 fun, eco-friendly glitter, naked bike rides, ultimate frisbee, almond butter, expertly-roasted ‘mallows, bunny ears, funkadelic tunes, shower thoughts, and stories of romance.
Pity for my bank account I also value human rights, equity, inclusivity, the environment, future generations, human connection, physical health, mental health, minimalism, and slowness.
And perhaps most damning is what I don’t value. I don’t value tech advancements for the sake of tech advancements. And I don’t value tech advancements for the principal sake of monetary advancements.
To make matters worse, I have strong moral resolve, making the devilish angel on my shoulder a royal pain in my dick sometimes, yelling so loudly that I keel over in pain when I don’t do what I’m told.
But with my as-so-called “obnoxious” values comes a wonderful side: if I’m on your team, I will rock your fucking world. I will pour my heart, soul, and brain into every minute. I will spread the word. I will involve my community. I will stick my neck out for you. I will… [gasp]… think about you after hours.
Here are more deets about specific values that may impact you.
Minimalism, both digitally and physically, is wicked important to me. As is mobility. It’s the lifestyle that I need in order to be creatively expressive. I’ve tried the permanent desk thing. I’ve tried the permanent location thing. And - I’m not knocking that life for others - those things just don’t work for me.
Because of that, it’s important that I don’t add any hardware to my life. I’ve got my 15” MacBook Pro, and I don’t want anything else. I mean, if you need me to carry around a Raspberry Pi or a Jetson TX2 (both things I’ve carried around before) or something similar in size, we can certainly talk about that. But if you need me to work on hardware that won’t fit into my backpack… I can’t. I just can’t. I’ll go freaking crazy, and everybody will lose. That said, I’m happy to fire up as many ec2 instances as you need!
Minimalism spills into every design, block of code, piece of copy, and database schema that I create. It’s a huge net positive in both my personal and professional lives, a positive that will translate to you... but sometimes it might make me mildly annoying.
Without Instagram, where am I supposd to brag about my Digital Nomad lifestyle?
Cal Newport doesn’t know me, but I’m his biggest fanboy. I strongly believe that people with non-robot brains must take precautionary measures in order to avoid the suction of the attention economy. Well, if they want to be efficient, anyway.
I’m the fastest project-getter-doner I know… and it’s precisely because I go so slowly. After all, slow is smooth and smooth is fast, as once said somebody.
I don’t have email on the greyscale phone that I leave at home more than half the time. I don’t have any social media accounts. I literally plan every single computer session with pencil and paper before opening my laptop lid. And my wifi is disabled when I don’t need it (which is most of the time, given the magic of local environments). Maybe I’m more susceptible to this technological distraction than most people? It’s certainly possible. But I think, really, that I’m only more aware of it.
For most projects I spend at least as much time offline as I do online. Sometimes - though this might not be true for your project - I work offline for days at a time.
I’m going to die way too soon to spend time pretending to be busy.
So as to sound as contradictory as possible, I’m faster than I am slow. I employ the above tactic to get shit done. But really, deep down, I’m all about speed.
This means that I iterate. A lot.
And iteration inherently means saying “I was wrong”. I’ve developed quite a fond relationship with being wrong, and I’ve learned that that truth will always bubble up in the long run, so better to admit you were wrong after 2 hours than after 12 years, right?
Sunk cost bias is a real butthole. I try my best never to succumb to it. And I’ll hope the same from you. And I know that that will require a lot of…
Communication is my new favorite thing. I didn’t use to be so great at this, gladly trading comfort now for pain later, but slowly I started to compile a mental spreadsheet of the times when I did and didn’t communicate fully. And, perhaps to nobody’s surprise, I started to accept that communication, almost always, regardless of how uncomfortable, is the long-term best play.
So now I embrace it. Hooray vulnerable conversations! In fact I embrace it so hard that it’s sometimes hard to comprehend how pre-communicative-Patrick could have moved through this world.