Have you watched Inception?



It’s a really interesting movie where people can enter the dreams of others. I don’t wanna ruin it for anyone but the ability to enter dreams is infinite.

You can enter the dream of someone who is sleeping in a dream. Dream within a dream.

My first dream was to design for the internet.

The moment I saw the Cartoon Network website in the late nineties, I knew that’s exactly what I wanted to do. I learned how to use Photoshop, Illustrator, picked up HTML + CSS, designed MySpace pages and built a static website.

The static website was the accomplishment of my dream. I designed a website, coded it up, published it on the internet and got paid handsomely for it.

Almost immediately after, I was unsatisfied.

I knew the website I built was subpar. Every page was manually created. Every menu item was manually added. I knew there has to be a better, more automatic way. After all, it’s hard to imagine there was someone at Google whose job it was to design the result page of my search and publish it milliseconds after I click search.

I began to dream of a better way to build websites. Dream within a dream.

This led me to WordPress, which I used to completely rebuild the static website for free. The client was so impressed that I was given a bonus for my work. The bonus was more than the cost of the initial website.

The second level of dreams brought me a better understanding of PHP and MySQL, the backing technologies of WordPress. I also spent a lot of time with JavaScript. I discovered the joys of pubsub, single page applications, package management, build tools and so much more about the server side. I built a desktop application and a server to server app.

I learned a lot more about the internet I wanted to design for. Today I can build a dizzying array of things. Give me an idea and I can get it off the ground. I’m very comfortable in dream world level two.

Just like before, I’ve come to realize I need to go deeper.

The ability to build and deploy solutions is really important in our world, but it doesn’t guarantee you will be able to take care of yourself. One of my biggest takeaways from reading My Inventions by Nikola Tesla is that you can build important world-changing things and die penniless.

My ability to build needs to be sustainable. Scratch that. Rewarding. If my ability to build does not sustain me, I can’t continue to build.

My original dream is to build for the internet. My second dream is to have the ability to build a large assortment of things. Now, I dream to build profitably.

I need to learn more about the business aspects of software. How to market and sell something I’ve built. How to make it profitable. How to spot profitable products for the internet and how to invest in them.

I came. I saw. I built. Now, I must go deeper.

Mal: “I’ll tell you a riddle. You’re waiting for a train, a train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you don’t know for sure. But it doesn’t matter. How can it not matter to you where that train will take you?”

Cobb: “Because we’ll be together”

– Inception