One Hundred Of Something Is More Than Zero Of Nothing

After 100 posts I offer up some stats, some thoughts and a poop emoji or two.

I’ve read a piece of advice countless times over the past few years and it’s always struck the wrong chord in my head. The advice is: spend money on experiences, not things.

I’m not so sure about that. Experiences are fine. Things are fine. Your preferred mix of these things is a preference and all most preferences are fine. I like some things and I like some experiences. I don’t like feeling as though there’s a “better” or “right” way to live. It’s all choice and habit.

And yet, the #1 piece of advice I give to people entering the workforce is to spend as little as possible on recurring expenses so they can save and afford more experiences and things because one day certain experiences and things will come along that are really important and you’ll wanna have some cash handy. Like babies or jetpacks or telling your grabby boss to suck an egg. You know.

I should note that I’m often asked this question (“What’s my #1 piece of advice…”) as part of a volunteer thing I do helping people early in their tech careers. I’m not attending graduation ceremonies with a megaphone or cornering cousins at funerals or anything that would label me “unhinged.”

I’m well and truly hinged, thank you.


This is my 100th post. Sorta. It’s technically #103 if you count everything. And if you take away those labelled “Throwaway” it’s only #98. But if you consider everything that I consider a real post, this is #100.

They average 841 words, for a total of something like 84,134 words. That’s enough to stretch from the Earth to the Moon if each word was like four and a half kilometres long.

A single post will be seen by 100s or 1,000s of people, depending on quality and promotion. I used to push around links a lot more than I do now, so the numbers plateaued after that. I’ve settled into the idea that I’m writing this for a metaphorical pub audience, and not concerning myself about ever playing arenas. I like pubs, even if I don’t really drink.

The most popular post so far is It Takes 60 Hours To Work 40 Hours Per Week followed by What Do You Do After Selling Your Company?.

I don’t look at the site’s numbers all that much. I check them about as often as I check my balls for ball cancer. If you’re alone right now, it might be a good time for you to check whatever parts you have for whatever lumps they shouldn’t have and call whomever you need to call with the results.


So I’ve basically written something the size of a novel, in two years, in just two hours per week. Okay, so now and then I’ve gone over the two hour mark, but not by much. (If I wanted to spend more time on it, I would shine up some of these 💩s before I dropped them on you!)

And that leads me to the second piece of advice I give people, based on a common piece of advice that I actually really like. “We tend to underestimate the amount we can do in a small span of time, and overestimate how much we can do in a long span of time.”

Love it. So true.

Constant effort is where the power lies. Weekend hackathon? Not worth it. Clean all the things? I’ll never clean all the things. It’s sexy to think we can put in a great effort all at once and produce something amazing but that’s not how amazing things are made. Try 30 minutes per day, or 2 hours per week, or 3 lunar cycles per Chinese year. Whatever your cadence is, if you can keep it up over a long enough time period you will move mountains.

I don’t think this blog is a particularly great example of that, but, you know, it’s an example.


Anyway, I guess my point here is that, sure, you can spend your money on experiences. You can spend it on things. But I think there’s a third option: creation.

For me, spending my time / money on creation is my preference.

I don’t want to climb the mountain. Or buy the beautifully framed painting of it. I want to create the damn thing outta rocks and glue and lava and whatever else they make mountains out of.

Also I really like watching TV because it quiets the incessant chatter of my monkey-brain and that’s okay too.

🐵


That was going to be the end of the post, but I’m going to shoehorn one more thing in here: I want to try a new posting frequency so I can spend the same amount of time on fewer topics. I thought about monthly, but that’s too infrequent. Bi-weekly is a no-go because I’ve never liked that term and it’s confusion with semi-weekly.

Maybe something irregular, he thought, while also wondering if he should be eating more fibre.

I landed on a new post every 17 days. If it’s good enough for terrifying swarms of bugs, it’s good enough for me. So from now on a new post will go up every 17 days. I like it as a number of days. I can picture it going through its awkward teenage years and experiencing its first love. Going out on a date with its girlfriend, every 15 days, who will thankfully turn into every 16 days soon enough because the age difference is a little creepy. Ahhh, brings me back.