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What I've Learned From One Month of Building a Startup

What I've Learned From One Month of Building a Startup
Photo by Matt Palmer on Unsplash

So, it’s one thing to write about entrepreneurship — it’s a whole 'nother beast to do it.

In the past couple of days, I’ve been working on developing an MVP (minimal viable product) for my startup.

Once it’s up, I can’t wait to share it with you. But, until then — take my word for it: this is harder than I thought it’d be.

No-Code’s Great but Code is Better

No-code is incredible. I can build a website in minutes. Products I could once only dream of, I now can realize.

That said, it doesn’t take long to push it to its limits.

Sometimes, the no-code platform will actually have the capabilities to do what you want it to. However, they expect you to cough up quite a bit of cash.

But I don’t even have users yet!

The truth is that by going down the no-code path, you are giving up a lot of control. You need permission.

Code is permissionless — you simply build and put it to work.

In a way, though, so is no-code. Before, there was an excuse: I can't code! Now, there just isn't. Go build.


I spent a couple of hours last night trying to work out a new functionality for the product. I went to sleep thinking about it. I woke up thinking about it. And for the past couple of hours this morning, I’ve been working on it.

This is a new type of problem. One that I haven’t really encountered. It actually matters.

In school, I get assigned problems to solve all the time — math and computer science problem sets, humanities essays, and German grammar homework. It’s helpful, but at the core — none of it really matters.

All of those problems have been solved before. Me solving it may help me learn but has no external benefit. It doesn’t push the needle.

Once you start to face problems with a startup, you’re both rapidly learning and pushing the needle.

The problems are real. Solving a problem means you are solving a problem others have but haven’t figured out. And you get obsessed.

With your school work, if you calibrate your motivation properly (meaning, you focus on what school is actually for), the sole motivation you have is to learn.

With a problem in the real-world, your motivation is many-fold: to learn, to solve a problem, to build a product, to help people, to change the world, etc.

Coming up against problems now, it’s as if I have released a tsunami of motivation from a dam I didn’t know existed.

With my schoolwork, I used to come up against a wall and either give up or cry out for help. Now, without thinking, I climb the wall.

Because if I don’t climb that wall, no one else will.

This doesn’t mean I don’t ask for help. In fact, I am calling out louder than ever for help. It does mean that it's now exponentially more difficult to know who to ask for help.

Rethinking Education

Now that I’ve got my hands dirty with actually building a product, I want to revisit a post about college I made a couple of months ago. In it, I detail my vision for a decentralized education. One in which learners come together, without established teachers and learn together — using online resources and from each other.

I thought it’d be a great solution — I've learned far more from my peers than from classes at school.

Now, I think I see things a little more clearly.

There are teachers I’d love to have as I build my business.

The thing is: I didn’t know who these people would be until I came up against problems.

The typical way we are assigned teachers and courses in school is that we get information before we will supposedly need it.

Thus, we are prepared for a lot of things we never need. In short, it makes more sense to take classes once you need them — when will you learn better than when the information is something you actually need to use?

The more self-directed an education is, the more effective it can be.