Welcome to my PinkLetter. A short, weekly, technology-agnostic, and pink newsletter where we cultivate timeless skills in web development.
I always thought of helping and being helped as a transaction: I help you and get a token, or you help me and I spend a token. I was so wrong!
As you prolly know, I love reaching out to strangers on the internet. Just last week, I talked with an engineer at ConvertKit, connected with a devrel strategist, and had several micro-interactions with the coolest folks. I wasn’t trying to extract any value, still, those conversations were super fun and taught me a lot. Not to count, I was super energized afterward.
With my transaction model, I was trying to be respectful of people’s time: I couldn’t spend a token until I earned one. But this is bullshit, I never check if a person who’s asking for my help has a token to spend because time is not the only currency we exchange.
To be honest, I’m not sure there’s such a clear separation of roles. I still remember teaching Elm to a friend, catching them a few weeks later hacking on Haskell, and ending up deploying an Elm/Haskell webapp to production in a few months together.
Did I really help him? Or was it me being helped? None. We both helped each other.
That’s why I stopped looking at help as a transaction. As strange as it sounds, you can be helped while you are providing value back. And that’s actually what I look forward to every time I reach out on the internet.
Choosing a niche makes you a commodity. Choosing an obsession makes you the only.
Riccardo: This is insight porn, but it’s also a reminder that, if you do you, you are unique.
Riccardo: Because why not?!
Riccardo: That’s why I’m proud of my non-code contribution to github/hotkey.