Initial Commit 2.0

September 10, 2018

Photo: Hong Kong at night, taken during my family trip in May.

Another year, another redo of my personal "brand". I use that term very lightly because I don't really have a brand to speak of - but I'd like to think that with each successive redesign, my personality shines through a little differently from the prior iteration. Having recently joined Uber as a TPM, I figured more black and white would be appropriate. Besides toning down the colors and illustration, I hope the simplicity and structure of the design demonstrates the calculated intention and thoughtfulness that goes into all my projects. Or maybe it's calculated laziness... I'm not so sure myself. 🤔

I know I haven't done much with the blog on my site for the last year; I meant to write a lot more but here's to hoping this time is different.

I may be writing a little more about my various projects - technical, music-related, or whatever else I want to shout into the void. At a personal level, I've been trying to work on the following skills:

  1. Awareness: this goes from simply being more "in the moment" and appreciating my surroundings (which is so difficult with the distraction that is the iPhone) to being more aware of what's going on in the world - in addition to tuning into NPR more often, I recently subscribed to Bloomberg and Stratechery which I have really enjoyed perusing thus far.
  2. Foresight: it turns out you get paid more the further your personal "impact horizon" is. Humans have a long history of giving our time and money to people who claim to know what lies ahead, and while there's obviously no consistency to divination it helps to be able to identify macro trends in economics, politics, etc. Going along with awareness I want to develop my ability to see what's coming and "skate to where the puck is going" or whatever Apple claims to be up to.
  3. Negotiation: when you really think about it, just about every human interaction can be boiled down to some type of negotiation. Really understanding incentives and being able to empathize properly are cornerstones of negotiation and are two areas I'm really trying to focus on in day-to-day life. Never Split the Difference has been a very interesting, if at times hyperbolic sounding read that I really need to get around to finishing.
  4. Selling: this is right up the same alley as negotiation, but developing yourself also involves knowing how to properly sell yourself, your experience, and your abilities. I'm not really talking Glengarry Glen Ross sales but the more low-key charisma that surrounds leaders you really admire. They sure know how to sell a vision, and if that's a skill that can be learned I'd love to learn it.

Switching Gears

Anthony Bourdain had all the right ideas about living life to the fullest.

I've never felt about a celebrity death the way I did for Anthony Bourdain's; the man was my most frequent companion on a night in or over an otherwise solo dinner. His attitude towards travel was the model for how one should experience life to the fullest. He also ultimately proved that what we think of as the ideal lifestyle does not equate to the happiest. I've concluded that all we can do to be happy is to make the most of our lot in life, and to never stop striving towards our better selves.

Within the past twelve months, I bought my first car, experienced my first breakup, moved out to be closer to the city, changed jobs, changed my career path entirely, and sold that car. It's been a rollercoaster ride, one that I absolutely couldn't have predicted this time last year when I set up the blog for the first time. So I guess it feels appropriate that I'm starting here again:

commit -m "new life new site new me"

This bad boy fit so much IKEA furniture in it

Promise to self: the second I have a house with a garage I am getting a sweet car to go with it.

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© Lawrence Luk