Many launch, few maintain

Building stability and slowing down the self

I almost started coding another custom static blog — that’s why I tweeted about Gatsby the other day, it’s cause I was using it again.

At this point I’ve lost count; couldn’t tell you how many NextJS or NuxtJS apps I’ve spun up in the past year or so, it’s a lot.

I don’t even want to admit to how many domains I’ve bought, thinking that my app idea would blow up.

It’s embarrassing.

Not only do I buy domain names… but I also start to secure user accounts or usernames for all the major platforms I care about.

  • good time to admit that I take up Twitter handles.

  • (feeling horrible now)

  • I guess I also secure gmail accts?…

  • … and maybe TikTok usernames 😬

  • … hmmmaybe GitHub accounts…

  • … I hope that’s all1

Trust me — I’m not proud of this.

(Someone comment and tell me I’m not the only one who does this, please).

I’m really not feeling this pattern I’m seeing in myself, this cycle of trying, again and again, to start something effective and impactful… only to burn out until failure.

… my approach is off,

interest fades,

domains collect dust,

and the code grows legacy.

So yeah, I write code

For the past 8 years, I’ve been working as a front end developer2 in the tech industry — can’t lie, I love it, and I’m so grateful to be here cause I’m a nerd at heart.

My role as a front end dev has allowed me to have visibility into how successful products are born, planned, designed, built, and executed, from inception.

I’ve seen this process happen successfully, in varying models, at both the agency and enterprise levels.

Architecting stability

On my current team, I somehow volunteered to serve as a support resource for maintaining other parts of the app’s ecosystem… meaning, not just “front end”, as I’ve mentioned above.

Long story short, I told them I’d be willing to learn more about application ecosystem.

(famous last words☝🏼)

Sure, this isn’t my ‘area of expertise’ (I’m air-quoting here).

Still, I am interested!

There are benefits from knowing about the architecture of our application, the infrastructure on which it’s hosted, and our app deployment model3, as well.

By sitting in on their meetings, and hanging with engineers who’re trained to think about arch/infra, I feel like I’ve picked up new perspectives on my own internal processes and self-organization.

Bear with me like the Cali flag, cause I do this a lot.

I apply analogies from tech, to my personal life. It helps me understand both worlds.

For real!

Anyway, over the past week, I did some reflection and it dawned on me, as to why my side-projects fail:

  • I need more personal infrastructure

  • I need to architect stability, along the way

As a front end dev (currently working as a UX Engineer), a large part of my workflow is to create prototypes. These prototypes serve a pretty simple purpose - to convey an idea, that’s it.

There’s an interesting parallel happening here.

Think about that — these prototypes don’t need stability, nor do they need infrastructure. They just need to launch.

Had me thinking:

  1. Does this explain why I enjoy the work that I do?

  2. Does it explain why some of the side-projects don’t last over the long-haul?

  3. What can I change in my own strategy so that my work is built to last until reaching legacy?

I plan on unpacking more about what this means for me, in upcoming installments of this publication.

Intentionally slow

Similar to so many of you out there, I also battle my own anxieties; years ago it got the best of me, until I finally made the decision to win that fight.

With God, family, and by changing the internal soil, I’ve learned to manage it and I know what works for me4, in terms of how to deal with it.

These days, one way I tackle it is by intentionally slowing down.

Oftentimes, it’s anxiety that causes me to rush, to overthink, or to feel some sense of inadequacy.

Combine that with the pace of the world, in addition to the pretentious movements of social media, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for doubting yourself into a mental breakdown.

So…

I’m reminding myself,

that I have to slow down.

I’m giving myself permission,

or the restriction,

to focus on less.

I’m talking basics, here.

I’m talking doing just one thing at a time.

that’s it.

just one.

smh…

Different approach

Ok.

We’re rewinding.

We’re rewinding all the way.

I’m resetting.

Today, I don’t have a business.

I’m not a person with some grand idea of a product.

I don’t have a side-hustle.

Not allowing myself to be any of that,
because I have to admit that it wasn’t working for me.

Today, I’ll happily concede to being a lot simpler.

I’m just someone who wants to write.

And what’ll be the purpose of my writing?

Easy - it’s just to pass down to the Wolves5.

At the end of the day, that’s all I am — I’m a family dude with a Substack blog now 🤷🏽.

And we’ll leave it there for now.

For the Wolves:
As your dad, I wholeheartedly encourage you to ‘take audit’, every now and then, for what parts of your lives need reconsideration.

Be mindful of your ‘settings’, and if need be, reset the configuration to default, and build back up with stability in the infra.

Words to know

  • Launch

  • Maintain

  • Stability

  • Architecture

  • Infrastructure

Love you guys,
pray & stay great.

__
@makertolentino is a family dude with a Substack blog. Thank you.

1

Okay fine, I sometimes secure Twitch account names too… 😩

2

A “Front End Developer” is someone who writes code for the internet… code that people see or interact with… I think you get it.

3

Oh, you do Front End?… here, learn infra 🎉

4

Personal remedy for fighting anxiety: truth, prayer, family, fresh air, diet, etc…

5

We call our sons, the Wolves