8 April 2018

Start-up Idea, and the Swift Footed

by Andrew

I don't think I've even mentioned, though it's on the website, in some unlinked-to corner, that I recorded a podcast. One episode only. I intended to record more, further episodes—eventually anyway. It was kind of fun,—alone even—I was surprised.

But speech is not my medium. The written word is mine. As it's always been.

Through the entire education system I cruised without ever having to worry about it at-all, my writing and such, without any study at-all. It was so natural. So natural that I didn't even realize, so focused I was on Math.

So though the podcast was fun to record, it is nonetheless a distraction in the end. And I should be writing instead, practicing.

In my little podcast, however, I mentioned that I have a friend who will maybe record some future podcasts with me. But how will we do this? I have no car. He lives about 15 miles outside of town. The public transportation round here is almost nonexistent. We both have jobs. He has a family. I don't have the time to walk 15 miles. And with the family, he doesn't have the time to drive into town.

So I was looking into apps.—this was October, last year. Something like WhatsApp, a VoIP app., voice over IP, that has a recorder which records the entire conversation. But there was nothing quite like that, that I could find.

And so I jubilantly texted this friend. Look here. We can still do a podcast, if we had an app. like this, where we just talk on the phone, the conversation gets recorded, and output into an .mp3 file. But there is no app. like this. So let's make it. And sell it. And there is a business.

And this friend of mine, he is about as sick of having to go to the job every day as me. He's always trying to think of business ideas, to escape the drudgery. Very seriously he's looked into buying property to open a bar. From which he was eventually dissuaded, all the obstaceles it includes, and lack of funding.

But this friend of mine is not very technical. VoIP, what's that? How do you even make an app. in the first place?

Well I don't know either, to be honest, I have to admit. But, damnit, I'll discover. This is a chance.

Anyway, we have another friend. Who does tech for a career for some company in the city, in Chicago. He studied at the university computer science, very knowledgeable, all that. But I am not such a close aquaintance with this other friend. Like I have to send messages through this friend interested in opening a bar to this other technical friend.

And the bar friend, being so un-technical, I think he never saw the value in the idea, creating this app. And really, how easy it would be to throw together a simple app., put it on the app. store, slap a price on it, sell it, and make some money—with quite a little bit of effort of course. So this technical friend never got the message.

And time passed. And I had cooled off. Winter approached. I was writing anyway. And I'd continue to write. I'll get some money by my pen eventually. No worries. No problem. Though I have a little technical knowledge myself, a little capability and experience, I'd need some uninterrupted study in order to make this app. But I need this job I have,—which I'd need to quit in order to study seriously—I'm so nearly broke, and living at my mother's for the time. Forget it. Let someone else build the app. I'll keep writing.

And about—what?—five months have passed since then.

It was just last week. I was listening to a new podcast that came out, The Drink—link for Apple users. I follow these guys passively on Twitter, Mark and Hutton, and I'd seen that they made a podcast. And I was curious. It was this Mark fellow who I had extended the challenge of writing a blog post from your Twitter tweets. He went ahead instead, I suppose, and made a damn podcast. Impressive, I thought. He nuked my idea right out the water.

So I was passively listening to a random episode of their podscast, The Drink. And right in the beginning, Mark mentions the difficulty he'd just had editing the audio they'd recorded. Because there are still no tools out there to make this thing more smooth. And that there's opportunity out there still for the technically gifted, to make an app., to make a solution.

And damnit, that old spark reignited. I texted the bar friend. Get technical friend on the phone. Let's make this damn app. already. There's still opportunity here. More and more people are making podcasts too.

And what do I get back from the friend? Nothing, not a single reply. It's been just over a week now. So I text him again. What'd technical friend say? He made the app. by now? It's been over a week.

Bar friend is in Denver at a bachelor party, he replied.

I was beginning to think he took the idea himself, talked to technical friend, and they'd cut me out. But he hadn't even texted technical friend about it, he said. He'll get round to it some time this week.


This is why they say, that you need to be in the Mecca of your creative activity. Or else nothing gets done. Chicago is not so full of technical people who will jump at this opportunity, not like San Francisco would be. Chicago is full of bankers.

So anyway, I've been cracking the books. I'll do it my own damn self then, I suppose. Or I'll try anyway. It'll be good practice anyway, to build an app. I know how to go about learning how to begin making an app. at least. There are some chapters in a book I'm aware of, "Beginning Linux Programming" by Matthew and Stones, about programming in GNOME using GTK+ and programming KDE using Qt. Which I think is a starting-point anyway.

So that's that. I think the rest of the title to this post, "...the Swift Footed," has already been demonstrated by proxy, between the lines. Here's my friend who wants to escape the drudgery of a job, but he's in Colorado, at a bachelor party, even though opportunity is knocking on his door. And here's me, who's very seriously contemplating packing a bag and running out to the West coast again. In order to chase this opportunity into more fertile valleys. If I didn't have the study ahead of me, which requires some bit of comfort.

And of course, I was on Twitter earlier. I posted a comment under one of Naval Ravikant's tweets, a recommended path of study for a Mathematical education. Which had me thinking about the study of Math in general.

How it wasn't till I'd studied the grammars of Latin and Greek that I was able to understand Math in this more advanced way, with limits. Detangling all those verb endings and catorgizing words by voice, tense, person, number, gender, and mood gets the mind turning in a way similar to studying Math. It's a good primer, studying an ancient language.

Which had me thinking of Burton's "Melacholoy." How, though I see the value in studying Math, I'll always trust Language and Letters. And the thought came to me, passively following some of these "red-pill" Twitter accounts. How there's wisdom there definitely, on these accounts. But it's a double-edged sword.

A lot of these "red-pill" accounts, they stress health and excercise, as a means of improving overall lifestyle. So they give lots of health and excercise advice. And most recommend, when it comes down to it, eating lots, in order to fuel intense workouts, to build a massive body.

How I'm always reminded of Burton. Where he recommends in his "Melancholy," that no more than 16 ounces—about 450 grams—of food and drink should be consumed each day. Because the body is a machine. And the more a machine runs, the quicker it burns out or breaks, digestion.

And how Seneca in his letters recommends exercise, but nothing too strenuous. Walking is good. Sprints are good. Swimming is good. And a few lifts of a heavy stone above the head is good. But that's it. That's enough.

And then I was thinking. That some men are meant to be conquerors—massive and strong. And some are meant to be monks, seers, and sages—light-footed and quick.

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