Thriving + Speaking at Amsterdam | April 2022
A rollercoaster of a month where I landed in Amsterdam
Welcome to my April Update!
What’s up! I’m back after 2 long months for my April update. Summarizing these past two months will be fun as I’ll get to look back on the various memories that I made in April.
By the way, I know I missed March. It flew by, and I realized that I really didn’t accomplish much that month. April was quite different, and now, so am I.
If you’re new to my monthly update, welcome!
I’m a 16 y/o web2 + web3 + neurotech developer currently trying to build the future of neurotech R&D funding with NeuraDAO + Bring electricity to 10,000 Liberians.
As I go on a journey to try and build the future, I would love to have you be a part of it!
Thriving + Speaking at Amsterdam
To encompass April in one word, it would be thriving. I was figuring out what moves the needle for me (in my life, and in my work), falling in love with my daily routines, and finding unique experiences.
A quick rundown of my April:
Went to ETHAmsterdam and spoke at DeSci Day
Got into my Thrive state
Started a new project to electrify Liberia
Flying out to ETHAmsterdam
TL;DR: Serendipity is beautiful. Huge shoutout to Erik for not only organizing DeSci Day with Eugene, but also hustling to make sure that I could fly out as well! I wouldn’t have been there without Erik, and all of his help.
It all started with me tweeting that I want to go to ETHAmsterdam but I’m kinda broke therefore I needed funding to be able to go.
Erik saw the tweet and the rest is history. There were a lot of ups and downs but in the end, I was on a flight to Amsterdam to go speak at DeSci Day!
In the city
The city of Amsterdam is beautiful, I’ve never seen so many bikes and I loved the overall “vibe,” of the city. Moving there might not be such a stretch in the future.
I hopped from conference to conference exploring what the city and DevConnect had to offer. It was great being in a completely new environment and trying to figure out the city by myself.
I felt a great deal of independence and freedom as well as excitement when exploring the different parts of the city and meeting new people.
For some reason, my theme song of going to Central Station and Beurs Van Berlage (BVB, the main venue for DevConnect coworking) was Hold My Liquor by Kanye West
The first thing I did when I landed was go to the BVB which is DevConnect’s coworking space where everyone goes when they’re bored. There are free drinks, coffee, and snacks -> literally the best possible place to be working especially amongst all the crypto bros.
I met a bunch of people there who made the experience soo much better (some of these guys I knew but we love to shout the homies out) like Aakaash and Niklas from LabDAO, Nick from Crowd Funded Cures, Erik from DeSci Labs, Shady from OpSci, James from OrangeDAO, and Eugene from SCRF.
Speaking for the first time
Speaking for the first time was actually a lot less scary than I thought it would be. I felt less nervous and more excited which is a welcome change when I was always horrible at presenting. I realize that the amount of practice that I’ve gotten in has made me a lot better than I thought.
The pitch was about: who we are (we’re a band of people who wanted a better future of neurotech research), why we are here (to fund neurotech research and open-source data for the commons), and what we do (align incentives between all stakeholders to fund, and democratize neurotech research).
Overall, the pitch went really well. I was super happy to see various people enjoy different parts of my talk.
Some people were really intrigued by the Tokenomics system I talked about
Some people were interested about my journey as a whole
Some people wanted to talk to me about how they should build their own DAO
All in all, it was a unique experience that I look back on fondly. 10/10 experience would do again.
Getting into my Thrive State
I talked about this a bit above but I really want to hammer down what I mean by thriving. In April, I started to rebuild myself from the ground up in many different ways.
Firstly, I redefined what habits I wanted to train and actually started working them into my daily routine. These changes were small but meaningful. For example, I changed my bedtime so that I wake up around 5 AM and got my most important work done in the morning. It was also the month of Ramadan, so I had to wake up early anyway to start my fast -> it was the perfect storm.
Secondly, I started to reflect more on each week on what I accomplished, how I felt, how my days went, and how I could improve. It was something so simple, but actually putting thought into places where I normally didn’t changed the way that I saw a lot of things.
Actually putting pen to paper and writing down “yea, I fell asleep a bunch throughout the day which screwed with my sleep schedule, my eating habits, and working out.” does wonders for your self-awareness and autonomy. Putting a spotlight on the parts of my week that didn’t go so well so I could take measures to make it better was a game-changer -> after all, if you don’t know what the problem is how can you fix it?
Thirdly, I had fun. This last point is more about me just enjoying life and the things that I was doing week over week. Towards the 2nd to 3rd week of April, I really started to actually enjoy life and waking up to live it. I started to enjoy the projects that I was working on, the people that I talked with and met, as well as how every day panned out -> nothing felt boring, I enjoyed every minute.
I started a new project as part of TKS Activate (a human accelerator program that I’m a part of) where I, along with 2 other teammates (Raina and Sanvi) try to increase access to reliable, cheap, and accessible energy to 10,000 Liberians. Our current hypothesis is to do this using off-grid solar that’s microfinanced, however, we’re still trying to fully understand the status quo of the solution landscape before we fully decide on anything.
If you’re interested in this project, hit me up on Twitter and we can chat about it!
Electrify Liberia is going to have its own newsletter, so I’ll spare you guys the heavy details of that right now. Here’s the Twitter so you can check it out!
I’m thinking of changing up the structure of these updates. I want to change it from monthly, to weekly with more of a focus on reflections and learnings throughout the weeks.
Kinda like a weekly memo on my growth. I think it’ll be interesting to look back on and see the progress as the months go by.
Otherwise, here are my goals for May
Get 20+ sign-ups for Electrify Liberia’s MVP
Deploy NeuraDAO’s MVP on Testnet (Read our newsletter about it)
Consistently put out weekly content (this might be a stretch, who knows)
Thank you for reading my (very lengthy) April newsletter, I hope you enjoyed reading and that I see you soon!
P.S: I love this GIF so much, here… look at it.