Year in Review 2020 🏝

A short retrospective on the past year.

Year in Review 2020 🏝
white and black lounge chairs near palm trees under blue sky during daytime

Hey everyone! This was an awesome and confusing year at the same time, so it’s a good time as any to share my story for the past year, and also think of all the things I achieved and would wish to achieve in 2021.

At the start of the year, my mind was set on going for an MS in CS in the US. I was admitted for an MS in CS degree in either University of Utah or University of Virginia. However, March soon came and it was pretty clear that leaving the country wouldn’t be a good option for this year. Luckily (for then), I had the option for deferring admissions to the Fall of 2021.

As I continued working on my job, I started to explore my interest in startups and businesses, and tried to understand what makes a great product, and more importantly, what makes users use and spend money on a product. Through this journey (which sort of started back in 2019 when I was introduced to the Makerlog community), I learned about SaaS products, and how founders bootstrap their own businesses, not primarily to become millionaires, but to serve an audience. These founders eventually end up getting a good MRR, depending on how their business is doing, and so I got introduced to Micro-SaaS (or lifestyle SaaS).

While studying Micro-SaaS, there was this random guy Preetam Nath whose blog I used to study a lot. He managed to grow his business to $33k MRR, which was pretty impressive to me, because the only paid work I had done online till then was paid writing gigs. As it happens, Preetam and his co-founder were hiring at the same time as I was done deferring my college admissions. What happened next, has very really changed the course of my life.

The application process was a simple WhatsApp message with a template, as opposed to the complex job application forms I was used to applying to by then. I had sent the first message near around 10PM at the night, and by 12PM, we had set up an interview for the next morning. From there, the process was pretty fast and clear, they wanted a person capable of building a frontend from scratch (which was a major part of my previous full-time job) and I wanted to learn how to build a viable business from scratch.

The end result was that I became the Founding Engineer and the first full time employee of DelightChat. Soon, we would grow to a team of 5 amazing folk (soon to be 8), and I would be having (and still am) the time of my life building an awesome product.

This wasn’t all, another thing which is taken very seriously here is consistency, and deliberate training. The founders take things like writing and exercise very seriously, and with great consistency, which just compelled me to do the same. So, I started writing more seriously and consistently here, and have also started setting personal goals for myself, hence posts like “VPS Profitability”.

Apart from screen-usage related activities, I had already started reading books more consistently over the past year, and can remember completing at least 7 of them. I’ve also taken up doing at least 15 pushups early in the morning. I am allowed to do more, but a minimum count of at least 15 means that I can also push through on the slow days.

I don’t believe in “New Year Resolutions”, because if I have the chance of improving my life in any way at any point, I believe that I should be capable of doing that from then itself, instead of waiting for an arbitrary position of the Earth around the Sun. However, apart from that sentiment, I do intend to double down on the things I’m already doing well this year, like:

  1. Continue to read more books
  2. Continue writing here, and continuing to work on my personal brand (which may involve moving away from Substack)
  3. Take Twitter more seriously, as a lot of good folk have connected to me from there
  4. Reach that 50 USD goal which I’ve set for myself
  5. Travel more once the situation improves
  6. And, most importantly, have fun in anything I do.

So that’s it for my Year in Review guys! If you like my posts, you can subscribe to this Substack, or follow me on Twitter here.

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