Last week Thursday I was at the library doing some work and “somehow” I “mysteriously” ended up on Twitter. I noticed that OSAP was trending and usually when a student loan program is trending, that’s usually not a good sign.
Sure enough, I clicked on the trending topic and it was trending because student loans were getting cut and people were very upset. People like me were trying to figure out how the heck we were going to be able to pay for school next year.
In February 2019, I was on the Youtube homepage looking for something to watch while eating dinner. Refusing to enjoy the meal until I could find the perfect video to watch, we’ve all been there. When the almighty Youtube algorithm recommended that I watch the most recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience with Andrew Yang.
I thought to myself: “Yang? Is that an asian name? An Asian man running for president? Has this ever happened before? Interesting, I wonder what he has to say…” and that started my deep dive into the Yang Gang.
At the beginning of May my coworker mentioned she had extra tickets to Collision Conference, the “fastest growing tech conference in North America” and asked if anyone would be interested. I messaged her and said yes. So first, I want to thank Jessica for getting me free tickets to the conference. Second, I want to share some of my thoughts on Collision Conference specifically and Conferences and Networking in general.
Strong Opinions Weakly Held Disclaimer
Are Conferences Overrated?
Is Networking Overrated and a better way to Network
In Jeff Bezos’ 2016 Annual Shareholder Letters for Amazon, he talks about measuring Amazon’s success as a function of experiments run. Essentially, instead of looking at net income or revenue as a way of tracking progress, you can use the number of new things tried. I think in 2018, I ran the most experiments in my life.
In 2018 I finally had the guts to “drop out” of University.
Then I decided to come back to University and finish my degree.
Started an interview podcast series called Atila TV
Started a Youtube channel about software engineering, programming, business and self-improvement
Big Ideas and Lessons Learnt in 2018
The biggest thing I learnt in 2018 was the nuances of human nature and how irrational we can be. I sort of knew that humans can be irrational but seeing how people react in the face of contradicting evidence and how they can create narratives to support their worldview was a bit surprising. Though, in 2019 I would learn that creating these narratives is actually a very important part of human progress, but we’ll get to that in 2019 year in review.
Paul is an incoming management consultant at Bain and Company. Before that he was an investment banking summer analyst at RBC after declining an interview at Goldman Sachs and founder of a food delivery company called Dine Easy. He is currently in his final year in the honours business program at the Ivey Business School.
In this episode we talk about why he chose investment banking and consulting and if he was chasing prestige or doing what he genuinely enjoyed. We talked about how he feels when people say “you only got an opportunity because you’re black or because you’re a woman”, why he left banking to join consulting and much more.
2018 was a very eventful year for me. I also read some interesting books that provided me with a lot of new perspectives. I think 2016 and 2017 were more transformative years in terms of new ideas gained from books. Without further ado, here is a list of the best books I read in 2018 and key takeaways and big ideas from each book and a bonus section on new blogs, podcasts, youtube videos I enjoyed in 2018.
In early November 2018, a family friend messaged me on Whatsapp asking me to send links on a trading algorithm and website which I built. I was curious why she asked, but decided to just play along and send her the links without asking any further questions.
A few weeks later she messaged me again asking if I would be willing to teach her son how to code. I agreed to do so and also tutored one of her coworker’s sons. We moved at a very fast pace of 2 hours/day, twice a week since I had to leave for a trip to Europe very soon. Over the course of those sessions and even though I was the teacher, I think I learnt just as much from them as they did from me. Here are some of the most important things which I learnt.
5 Things to do in Barcelona, Monaco, Nice, Madrid and Lisbon
I just got back from a 14 day blitz of London, Paris, Nice/Monaco, Barcelona, Madrid, and Lisbon. It was an amazing experience, if you are going to any of these places here are somethings I think you should try to do.
Spain is known for their famous dish called Paellas and Tapas. If I had to give an analogy you might understand, Palleas is basically rice stir fry with seafood (or meat or other vegetable) and Tapas are essentially appetizers. The analogy doesn’t do the food justice (google it to get a better idea) but they are really good and I recommend you try them, also a good rule of thumb is to eat the local cuisine of wherever you visit.
We arrived at the Louvre with 30 minutes left and the admission fee was 15€. I asked the lady if we could get a discount since we could only look around for 30 minutes. Now, I don’t speak French and she doesn’t speak English so that negotiation didn’t go too well.
Me: “Val let’s go. Why pay €15 for 15 minutes”
Val: ” Says something about it being a once in a lifetime opportunity and some Drake lyrics”
Long stay short, he was right, it was worth it and we end up having a fun time (thank you Val).