My reading backlogs, Quitting Govtech, and 2023
It's a big change. But it's necessary.
This month will be my last month with Govtech.
I've learned a ton during my time in Govtech. I had fun building products in the zero-to-one nature, and we doubled our OKR achievement. I moved to PM: Shaping strategy, execution, and operations. It has been an incredible journey.
It's a hard decision, but an obvious one, to leave Govtech.
It's no longer a fit. And that's okay. It's just the culture fit is no longer there. It doesn't mean Govtech is a lousy organization. If you're reading this and considering to join Govtech, I think you should consider taking it if it’s a fit for you. You should assess if it's a good fit like you should with all other organizations. I will always cheer the team from the sideline.
Seeking for a new job?
I did. Since four months ago. I get a few offers as Director of UX in some hypergrowth companies. They're all exciting. But I always have one worry: I become overly specialized.
I have spent my career in product design for 12 years. Design is an important skill, but I must expand my skillsets beyond design.
I tried to find a role as a PM. Then I always worry about two things. Number one, I worry that the leadership is not strong. I want to spend time building as an IC, but if the company lack leadership, it drives me nuts. Number two, I realize that you must love the problem space to be a good PM. I am still looking for an exciting one.
Then, I wonder: What if I just put all of my knowledge on building product to the real world, and just build something that I deeply care?
After a long reflection, I decided to dedicate my time to learn and building things in 2023. In my reflection, I wrote: “If I love building products and want to learn how to build business, well, maybe I should face my biggest fear. Programming.”
It is a mysterious box that I’ve been curious about for years and I want to spend my energy next year on doing that. I always enjoy the feeling of being a beginner at something.
My goal is to build something small first, maybe in the productivity category. We’ll see how it goes.
If you want to learn computer science, go check CS50 from Harvard. It’s free.
Next year is going to be a lot of learning: Programming, finance, AI, and physics. I want to understand how the world works. I'm excited.
Of course. I have this big problem with quitting move: I will have no stable income. I did some calculations (thanks to my accounting major lol) and talked with my wife. Next year seems doable.
But the risk is necessary. After all, if I want to do what I love and build products, I need to take the risk. In the short term, I will grow this newsletter. Hopefully, I can deliver valuable content for you and the community. And, I hope that's enough to pay the bill.
I realize I don't have to work in a non-profit organization to make positive changes in this world. We can see examples: Tesla, SpaceX, Apple, and Disney. These companies make positive changes in their for-profit format.
Last year, I thought, "Non-profit work is so much fun." But now I realize it is not necessarily an accurate worldview. For-profit is probably a way forward for me. Although I’d avoid the for-profit companies that are blindly chasing revenue and forget why the company exists in the first place.
Excited for 2023
Mentorship program. The first project I'm focusing on now is building a mentorship program. It's going to be cohort-based, where people can learn with peers. They’ll get prompt and worksheet to implement it to their own company or team. I released it yesterday to my Indonesian audience. Fortunately, sold all seats—ten people enrolled. I'll scale this to English speakers next year. Stay tuned!
Growing newsletter. I'm excited to continue writing this newsletter in 2023. Please expect more topics and formats that you can enjoy.
Building softwares. I hope my programming skill result in something useful.
Next quarter, I’ll poke around AI, physics, and self development. Here are some of my reading backlogs:
Lying - Sam Harris
Range - David Epstein
The personal MBA — Josh Kaufman
So good they can't ignore you — Cal Newport
How to Change your Mind — Michael Pollan
Tools of Titans — Tim Ferris
Six Easy Pieces — Richard Feynman
The rational optimist — Matt Ridley
Perfectly reasonable — Richard Feynman
With a warm handshake,
P.S. Thank you for your support. Now go make something meaningful.