My 2020 Review

Table of contents

  • On remote work
  • On writing
  • On reading
  • On fitness
  • On tracking habits
  • On leading and managing
  • On COVID
  • Memorable moments

On remote work

  1. I have a lot of meetings, and Zoom calls drain me faster than in person meetings.
  2. I thrive off the physical and mental energy of others at work, which is also why I love working in coffee shops.
  3. Tapping folks on the shoulder in the office is my second language, which has been difficult to replicate virtually.

On writing

On reading

See Goodreads for all my reads
  1. The Phoenix Project- This book surprised me. It’s not only the most well-written book I’ll ever read about IT (albeit, not a particularly high bar), it’s one of the best books I’ve read period. It covers prioritization and efficiency in the world of work, which was already a hard sell for an optimization enthusiast like me. But the author weaved these insights into an engrossing and entertaining corporate drama. The jokes are corny, but the book is brilliant for anyone that enjoys thinking critically about productivity at scale.
  2. The Hard Thing About Hard Things- This had been on my backlog for a while, and it didn’t disappoint. I’m generally skeptical of taking someone’s personal experience as dogma but these types of books are a great way to peek around corners as you go through a similar experience. In this case, I’d recommend it to startup founders, execs, and early folks, in that order.
  3. Recruit Rockstars- This book was recommended to me by a friend who founded a startup. It delivers on core concepts while introducing some new ideas. Recruiting is a ridiculously hard problem. Imagine, in a couple hours (if you’re lucky), figure out if you can work with this person for potentially thousands of hours. Oh, and make sure they’ll be good at what they do (whatever that means). Oh, and if you do that successfully, convince them to join you. In interviewing at least one candidate a week in addition to hiring two people directly onto my team in 2020, I can use all the recruiting help I can get.

On fitness

Hawk Hill just north of SF

On tracking habits

Average hours of sleep per day
Average calories burned per day

On leading and managing

On COVID

Memorable moments

  • Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with Bridget’s
  • Hiking in Half Moon Bay on my birthday
  • Taking a ramen-making class
  • Lake Tahoe for Labor Day Weekend
  • Chinese New Year with my sister and cousins
  • Debating every proposition on the 2020 ballot
  • Fixing my desktop after tinkering with and replacing every single part over the better part of two months
  • Getting a massage and grilling steaks for our anniversary
  • Persona: moving to the new office, park hangouts, office warming, holiday party

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