Things I Enjoyed Recently (5/31/2023)

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May 31, 2023

Taste Sets Your Ceiling

Taste vs CraftTaste vs Craft

Your taste sets the ceiling for your craft.

The space between your taste and competency in your craft is called the gap”.

As your taste improves, you can begin to distinguish between bad to good, and good to great. Your ceiling rises and the gap increases.

Masters of a craft have supreme taste. Their ceiling is high, they see the gap”, and work for a lifetime to reach this ceiling. But part of the journey is that your craft will never reach your taste. It’s asymptotic. Once your taste has reached your craft, you have achieved perfection.

May 30, 2023

Making Beautiful Things is Enough

Anthony Bourdain interviewed Calypso Rose, a renowned calypso pioneer, in an episode of Parts Unknown dedicated to Trinidad & Tobago.

Bourdain asked a question that has stuck with me, Is making beautiful things enough?”

And Calypso Rose responded with a resounding, Yes, making beautiful things is enough.”

Making beautiful things is enough. That’s a line I’ll never forget.

May 29, 2023

The Gap

Recently, I revisited Ira Glass’ timeless classic, The Gap”:

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.

Right now, I can very much feel a gap between my taste and my craft. I have these ideas, these ambitions, but I’m limited by my craft.

It’s frustrating but this piece is a reminder that the gap” is part of the journey.

I’ll keep going. Keep writing. And improve with every piece.

May 28, 2023

Where to go in Williamsburg

Moving to New York City last July was overwhelming. With so many attractions, events, and restaurants, it was difficult to decide what to do first.

When I moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I wanted to go deep and understand my neighborhood first. I joked that Williamsburg would become my niche.

I did some research, when on a few of tours, and learned about the history and stories. Enough so, that I can give friends an in-depth tour of the neighborhood.

I’m often asked what my recommendations are. Here are a few of my favorite spots.

May 27, 2023

There Are No Strangers

There are no strangers, just friends you haven’t yet met. - William Butler Yeats

Love this quote. Every stranger is an opportunity to make a new friend.

May 26, 2023

Giving Compliments

At Trader Joe’s the other day, I was checking out my groceries when I struck up a conversation with the cashier.

She told me her parents were from Haiti and she lived in Flatbush, an area where many Haitians live. I told her I just returned from a short trip back home in Toronto.

After chatting for a bit, I paid for my groceries and as I was walking away she said my shirt looked great on me. I left Trader Joe’s that day with a smile. That one compliment made my day. It was a reminder that I should be generous with my compliments, it might make someone else’s day.

May 25, 2023

On Daily Blogs and Newsletters

There are two daily newsletters I subscribe to: Seth Godin’s Blog and Rohan Rajiv’s A Learning a Day. Both have been writing far longer than I have. Both are role models for me.

I’m joined on my daily writing journey by several friends, some of whom have moved on and others more recently involved. Two friends’ daily blogs I check often are Benedict Neo’s and my roommate Rishi’s blog.

At a party, I met a reader who said he’s been reading my blog for years. I joked that he might know me better than some of my closest friends who don’t read my work. Writing regularly requires you to open up and be vulnerable. Every post is a genuine reflection of my ideas and values. Writing daily is not about gaining readers or social recognition - it’s about expression, curiosity, and authenticity. This is why I love reading other daily writers.

You can sign up for my daily blog at

May 24, 2023

Easy Come, Easy Go

Whether it’s money, an audience, a community, a company, or a skill.

The faster you get it, the faster it tends to go away.

May 23, 2023

Animes that Defined My Childhood

I nostalgically recall my childhood, particularly the Friday evenings I spent watching Bionix, a Friday evening programming block that mainly featured anime. I’d watch some of my favorite animes accompanied by my mom’s freshly baked Pilsbury cookies. Those were the days!

Anime was a major part of my childhood, having taught me many important lessons. Here are the four Animes that defined my childhood:

NarutoNaruto InuyashaInuyasha One PieceOne Piece Samurai ChamplooSamurai Champloo

May 22, 2023

Advice from a Dad to his Son

I was at the airport this morning, laptop out, airpods in. A father and son sat down at the table next to mine to eat breakfast. The dad was dropping some old man wisdom to his son and I couldn’t help but turn off noise cancellation on my AirPods and listen in. These are a few of my takeaways:

May 21, 2023

On George Gershwin

If you’re a jazz musician you most certainly know who George Gershwin is. Gershwin is a renowned American composer and pianist. Many of his songs are jazz standards and have been featured in movies such as Disney’s Fantasia, covered by many other musicians including the New York Philharmonic Orchestra’s landmark performance in North Korea.

Gershwin is one of my favorite musicians. Yet, few people my age are familiar with him or his music. I appreciate that his music tells stories without words - it’s like reading a book or watching a movie, with well-defined beginnings, middles, and ends.

If you haven’t listened to Gershwin before, you need to. Here are a few songs to start:

Rhapsody in Blue

An American in Paris

Concerto in F

May 20, 2023

Halfway Crooks

Scared to death and scared to look, they shook’ Cause ain’t no such things as halfway crooks - Shook Ones, Pt II - Mobb Deep

Mobb Deep’s memorable phrase from Shook Ones, Pt II suggests that those who boast lack courage when the situation gets tough. It’s a fundamental truth: one is either a gangster or not. It’s binary: you’re either with us or against us. There is no in-between.

May 19, 2023

A Customer Interview a Week

My main takeaway from the book, Continuous Discovery Habits, is that product teams should talk to at least one customer per week. Doing this helps ensure that they make informed decisions, since they can better understand customers’ goals, needs, and desires. The longer teams go without customer interaction, the more outdated their understanding of these factors—and their decisions—will become.

Finding customers to talk to can be a challenge for those who build products. To ensure a weekly conversation, the author suggests:

With some effort upfront, you can eventually automate the customer interview process, such that each week you have a call waiting on your calendar.

For more resources check out:

May 18, 2023

Things I Enjoyed Recently (5/17/2023)

May 17, 2023

Krulaks Law

Krulak’s Law of Leadership states that the future of an organization is in the hands of the privates in the field, not the generals back home. This law is relevant whether it’s a military unit, sports team, or company.

In other words, the closer you are to the front line the more of an influence you have on the brand.

Milad Mirg, a Subway sandwich artist, is an excellent example. He gained millions of followers on TikTok and YouTube by uploading videos of himself creating sandwiches while telling stories. His success has likely done more for the Subway brand than any of their corporate marketing campaigns.

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May 16, 2023

Fuck the Scores

Nuyorican Poets Cafe in the Lower East SideNuyorican Poets Cafe in the Lower East Side

Today, I attended a Slam Poetry event in Manhattan. It was open to poets of all abilities and had an inviting atmosphere. Although it was a competition, the host repeated that the event wasn’t about the outcome, frequently saying, Fuck the scores,” throughout the evening.

One girl was performing for the first time and the other poets showed their support with a warm and loud welcome. They understand the courage it takes to share their story and be vulnerable in front of an audience. They cheered loudly whenever the host said, Fuck the scores,” because they know that doesn’t matter.

Regardless of skill level, having the right mentality is key: show up, do it with soul, and fuck the scores.

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May 15, 2023

See You Someday

Inspired by Mathu’s piece, Goodbyes are hard

The Morning Fix in San FranciscoThe Morning Fix in San Francisco

Back in Fall 2018, when I interned in San Francisco, there was a breakfast spot beside my apartment that I would go to every morning. I’d order the same thing: scrambled eggs and cheese with sliced avocado and tomato.

Every morning, the same Asian lady with a bob cut filled my order. She reminded me of my mom and always smiled and waved a friendly See you tomorrow” as I headed out. In an unfamiliar city, this breakfast spot feels like home.

On my final day in San Francisco, I got breakfast there one last time. As I left, she said See you tomorrow” as usual. I let her know that this was my last day in SF, and I was returning home to Toronto. There was an air of sadness between us. And she said, See you someday” instead.

May 14, 2023

It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This

Devocion in Williamsburg, BrooklynDevocion in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

It’s an early Saturday morning. Suns out, birds chirping, I take a breath of the fresh spring air as I step out of my apartment and make my way toward my favourite coffee shop.

At the coffee shop, I buy my usual order, sit in my usual spot and write all morning.

There’s nowhere else I’d rather be, nothing else I rather be doing.

It doesn’t get any better than this.

May 13, 2023

The New York Exodus

View of the Empire State Building from the Salesforce TowerView of the Empire State Building from the Salesforce Tower

One of my older friends who lived in New York for a few years explained to me the progression of living in the city:

Living in New York has been an amazing experience so far, but I’m starting to notice the city’s drawbacks. Numerous friends I’ve met here have already left, as most aren’t from here originally. The friends that are here don’t intend to stay long-term, and I can see myself following suit.

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May 12, 2023

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