1TPD#1: The time gap between idea and execution

Bridge it!

Hey folks,

Been a while. Won’t dwell long on that as I want to focus on something else. I have an idea I want to talk to you about.

Well, the idea is this.

Oh yeah, no, really, this. This post is the idea manifested. To help you understand what I mean, I have to tell you a tiny story.

A few days ago I bought an online course that I would describe as a “bite the bullet” purchase as it set me back 720 bucks. The course I bought was about web development and it’s by a guy named Kent.

The last time I recall my wife paying a good amount of money for something was her wedding day make-up. She became a make-up artist after that.

The reason I brought up a story within a story is because I’m trying to tell you that I’ve started wondering if I should be a Kent. If I could be a Kent. Making courses. Giving talks. Living a good life getting paid well while helping people.

And here’s the part where I tell you that I don’t think I could. I know I could try, but from the little tastes I’ve had in teaching programming and writing technical articles, I can’t see how I’d rise to the level of energy and insight that this guy has.

To be clear, this is what I wrote down:

I’m not Kent C Dodds and don’t think I’ll ever produce tonnes of useful articles and course materials even if I continue to be a developer professionally for the rest of my life.

To you, that may sound like a given. To me, it’s news. I’ve never admitted this to myself before.

I can’t be someone who creates technical content for a living? Shit, is there even another kind of content that I could create? Let alone for a living? I always believed being a professional programmer was just an interim job. What now?

Frankly, I don’t know what now. It’s not the end of the world. I’m still in what I would consider an incredible apartment, in a great city, surrounded by my wife, our child, and our dog. I’m healthy, making a decent living, and staying awake in safety writing stuff for the internet. No, this is far from the end of anything.

In fact, this may be the start of something new.

I brought up the story of Kent to set the context of why the idea I’m about to tell you matters, feeling bummed and all.

This idea perks me up.

This idea is preposterously simple.

The idea is… I’ll expand on one thought per day for 30 days.

For the next 30 days, I’m going to force myself to sit down at my computer and write for you (the folks I know on the internet now and in the future).

Why? I’ll unironically quote myself from earlier:

I always believed being a professional programmer was just an interim job. What now?

… and:

Shit, is there even another kind of content that I could create?

I asked myself, how can I find out if there’s something else I could create that has even the slightest chance of making my interim job an actual interim job?

My answer was to just try stuff. The 1TPD30 idea is just the first system that came to mind, a system that would make me try stuff.

The reason I’m enthusiastic about this system lies in this illustration that I saw on my LinkedIn feed today:

Addy Osmani is a good follow on LinkedIn. (Source)

What the illustration is trying to, uh, illustrate is that it’s important to try to close the time gap between an idea and its execution.

Instead of having an idea and thinking about it and mulling over it and thinking about mulling over it before eventually, most likely, dismissing it, you should execute an idea as soon as you can.

Practicalities of life get in the way of that (like having to wash your kid’s pants because she forgot to pee in the toilet) but, hey, I like to believe that if someone is motivated to get something figured out, they’ll make the necessary arrangements and get it done.

Am I motivated to find out what I could create that could be the basis for a fulfilling life sans interim programming job? Yes, ma’am, I am.

And so this post is the first step of potentially many that I’ll be taking. Hence, as I said earlier, the idea is this.

Now, I’m a sensible adult and I’ll only commit to taking 30 steps (30 thoughts as posts; well, 29 now) and then look up and see where I am.

Last note: if you find this post insufferable or don’t think you’ll like receiving 29 more emails from me over the next 29 days, I don’t know what else I can do for you except show you the unsubscribe link (it’s at the bottom of this email).

But if you find this interesting, I hope you’ll stick around and maybe read one or two of these posts occasionally over the coming days. Even better, send me feedback, tell me how you feel and what you think. Yet better, think of a friend who might find this interesting and share it with them.

I’ll see you tomorrow.

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