Dulitha Wijewantha 🔮

Thin features vs Fat features

One of the important things you learn when you are in the early days of building a product is that you need to understand your problem space a lot more to be able to wire a useful story. This journey of building an MVP is not discussed much because most of the time – MVPs are considered as prototypes or so called toys of the real thing. When we were building alakazam, we followed a couple of approaches in doing this. The first approach was trying to see if we could essentially write a very thin prototype that someone could easily use.

This approach yielded didn’t contribute much towards the real product we were building in term of the code. Mainly cause our repositories and code structures completely changed. On the plus side, we learned more about the possible problems that we will face in the future and how we could build the next iteration better.

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Get shit done mode vs What does that mean mode

Recently I have been thinking over how I learned the basics of programming. I am not blowing my horn but I am really good at what I do. I can understand technology and build architectures and write code with mastery. I wanted to find out how I can scale this out and teach more young engineers (oh the irony, when this is coming from a 23-year-old). I have been tinkering with technology for over 8 years now (from the time I was 15 years old). Maybe it’s time that made me achieve mastery. After all, Malcolm Gladwell wrote about the now infamous 10,000-hour rule.

This didn’t stop me from trying to figure out what can be used to tackle skill development. For now, I am going to think of this as a philosophy experiment. I believe there are 2 primary forms of thinking.

  • Get shit done mode 💩
  • What does that mean mode 🤔

To explain both these things I am going to take an example of a bricklayer laying bricks to construct a wall (After all, walls are the new hot things in town).

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Managing energy instead of time

For the past couple of years, I have focused very deeply on managing my time. It’s understanding that time is the only thing that you cannot reverse and get back. Time must be regarded as the most precious resource of us. Few approaches I have tried included managing my time strictly with a calendar, loosely managing things with a Trello board, and then down to pen and paper.

Even though I tried to manage my time, I always failed. I failed where I underestimated the time required for a task. I didn’t anticipate other activities that will happen. I couldn’t figure out why I procrastinate on tasks.

I went back again to the white board to figure out what is the equation for this.

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Manage things with a Calendar

Time management for me has been a really tough task. This is mainly because I find time passing pretty quickly when I am engaged in interesting work. What I have figured out is to use a calendar to slot time out for different types of activities. My current calendar set includes –

  • Deep work
  • Appointments
  • Activities
  • Learning
  • Fun

Deep work is a category with no fixed agenda but a block of time to work on Alakazam design/ implementation etc. This is very useful when you don’t know exactly what you are going to do in that time box until you arrive at that time box.

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1000 things going wrong

As an entrepreneur one thing, you’ll never get enough of is problems. They will keep on coming and there are always going to be 1000 things that are going wrong. If you have a tendency to go fix all of these 1000 things, you are going to loose. You are going to loose because you focused on battles instead of thinking about the whole war.

This brings down to the question – what problems should you focus on? I have personally found that you should work on the problems that are strategically placed to get you on the road you want to lead.

If you are working on those important problems, don’t worry too much about 1000 other things that are going wrong. You’ll eventually fix them or those problems won’t matter much.