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git reset --hard 2018 | A Comprehensive Review!

27 Dec 2018 . category: report . Comments
#bangalore #mumbai #singapore #lanka #bali #report #startup

I just spent the last hour or so going through my older vlogs & Google Photos library. Nostalgia is a bitch.

I sit in the living room of my Dad’s place in Bombay four days before the New Year, time travelling inside my head. I’ve been doing this for the last two years, and if you’re a regular on this blog, you know what that means.

A 52-week Mega-Massive-Compre-fuckin-hensive Report! (still better than YouTube Rewind?)


Before getting into the specifics, we’ll do a top-level review of 2018 goals:

“Intent without action means nothing.” -Casey Neistat.

  • The scary career goal: Accomplished. A hundred percent. More on that later in the blog.
  • An emotionally mature version of myself: Getting there. A lot better than last year.
  • Full Marathon: Not yet there, but definitely happening before 2019 mid-year. Everything takes longer than you think it does.
  • Top 10% of a Kaggle competition: This was a major fail. I shouldn’t have included this in my goals because I didn’t actually want to do it.
  • A ranking in AITA: Another fail. Played one tournament, lost in the first round. Didn’t devote the required time and effort. Priorities changed, goals changed.
  • Read more, put in deep work: I’m much better at putting in concentrated hours of work. I read quite a few books in the first half of the year, but didn’t continue the habit. Haven’t read a book in the last six months.
  • Eliminate Social Media: Oh boy, this is tough. I’m a Daily Active User of Instagram now.
  • 1000 subscribers on YouTube: 276 now. I gave up YouTube six months back. Again, priorities changed, goals changed.

For all the science i believe in, I also believe in visualizations. And affirmations. And sharing that shit. Once I put my goals out there, my brain somehow works to get there. This time round, I’ll make a conscious effort on designing my 2019 goals with a touch of realism. But first, a recap!

> git log

1st Jan i returned from a solo trek up Kumar Parvat on New Years’ Eve. Solo travel is bliss.

Jan - March i moved to a new project on building personalized rankings for user clusters(at Myntra). We couldn’t beat the baselines to get it into production.

14th Jan i cycled to the Tamil Nadu border and back, all within a day.

25th Jan i visited Hampi, again. We climbed up boulders & explored hidden temples. I ran a half-marathon with Aniket, clocked 01:56:15.

One month into my resolution to eliminate social media I started documenting my runs on Instagram. 160 odd posts later, pretty happy with my profile :p

Early Feb i participated in Myntra’s sports fest, the Myntralympics(cringe). Won the Individual Circuit challenge.

10th Feb i visited Pondicherry with Sikri. We saw the Matrimandir, and ran another half-marathon. Clocked 01:51:48, my Personal Best.

24th Feb i played in my first individual tennis tournament in more than 8 years. Lost 8-2 in the first round.

24th Feb i turned 22. We celebrated in Koramangala, it was beautiful.

Sometime in Feb i started listening to the Tim Ferris podcast. i got addicted.

11th March i visited the Kudremukh forest ranges with Sikri. Wanted to climb Kudremukh, had to contend ourselves with the Bavikonda peak.

March-April i read “The Hard Thing about Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz, “Rework” by Jason Fried, “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight & “Born to Run” by Christophher McDougall. i was on a streak.

25th March i had the idea of building an AI that could do what Google Photos does, but offline. i called it FocalAI, and built some initial modules. i visualized it being my first startup.

First couple weeks of April i visited Bali with my family. i surfed for the first time in my life. i vlogged for 6 days straight. We then visited Singapore, little did i know this place was gonna become my home soon.

15th April i made a Casey Neistat ripoff vlog. The video i’m most proud of.

April - June i moved to a new project at work – Ads Personalization. Neural networks, XGBoosts and a lot of headaches.

April i started meditating with Headspsce, for 10 minutes in the morning. My thougts are not me, i’m better at distancing my actions from my emotions.

End April i wasn’t making progress on FocalAI, my motivation began to fade away. FocalAI died.

6th May BITS Pilani rose in unison against the Fee Hike. i covered the revolution as i made four YouTube videos in support of the movement. my first video got featured on +uploads on DC++. i made it.

May - Mid July i consulted a sports nutritionist to design a diet for my full marathon training. The diet consumed me, and my apetite grew considerably. i loved the process.

Sometime in this time of the year i was growing increasingly unhappy with my job. i began to feel unchallenged and unmotivated.

End May i went strong on my skateboarding practice in the PlayArena skatepark. i could do much more with the board. it was my favorite destresser.

June - July i finished the Udacity Deep Learning Nanodegree. GANs + Tensorflow = Fun weekends.

6th June i got selected in Entrepreneur First, a startup incubator in Singapore. i resigned.

Rest of June i started preparations for a life pivot. i began the search for my co-founder on Skype.

21st June i visited Hyderabad to meet Sodhi, again. Oh, and i ran another half marathon. Clocked 01:51:13, broke my Personal Best.

1st July i visited the Hogenakkal waterfalls with the 704 gang. The waterfalls overflowed, and we did a quick out-and-back.

6th July i visited Indonesia’s Bintan island for EF’s kickoff weekend. The most social I have ever been.

13th July i put in my last day at work, and said a bunch of goodbyes. Every goodbye leads to a hello.

20th July i flew to Colombo. Met Sodhi & Gyani there. We surfed in Arugam Bay for 7 days straight. Surfing is the best, after running & tennis(of course!).

30th July i headed down to EF on a rainy day. Carpenter Street, Singapore. Our HQ for the next six months. i was suffering from impostor syndrome.

August i teamed up with Siddharth, and started work on an idea in B2B Sales. Customer calls, meetings and a lot of pivots. we broke up in three weeks. It was intense.

9th August i watched Singapore’s National Day celebrations from the Esplanade. India has a thing or two to learn from this country.

Late August i teamed up with Hardesh. More customer meetings, more LinkedIn reachouts.

Sometime in this time of the year i visited the MacRitchie trails & hiked the Bukit Timah peak with friends from EF. Jungles in the middle of an aritficial island, this country continues to blow me away.

1st September i went on a run streak. For 14 days.

Mid October i got consumed with the Eminem-MGK beef. RIP MGK.

Late September - Mid October i wrote code after four months. We went through multiple ideas for a prototype, and built out an ugly one in a couple weeks.

25th September i restarted my headspace & journalling habit, to regain some sanity on a day-to-day basis. i love routine.

Sometime in this time of the year i listened to a bunch of podcasts, on the daily. Tim Ferris, Reid Hoffman, The Startup, Gretchen Rubbin, the list goes on. i got hooked to Instagram – Jocko Willink, David Goggins, Manal Rostom, the list goes on.

8th October i started going to the gym. i love the process. Did i say that already?

30th October we went through EF’s investment committee. we got funded. i wrote a blog about the journey.

November i started work on our MVP. Execution, nothing fancy.

Weekends i ran long distances on weekends. Put in 26 kilometers last Saturday. Running is long-form meditation.

Early December i turned into a frontend engineer. We built out a demo-able MVP on Airtable, and are now writing Javascript to build out the least embarassing version of our product.

23rd December i launched my first podcast with Sodhi & Gyani. We’re calling it “Early Twenties”. Fresh episodes drop every Sunday.

25th December i flew to Bombay to take a week off, back on the grind in January.

28th December i am on internet detox for a day. the addiction is real.

With no real segue here, i’m gonna transition into my personal goals for 2019:

  • Radicali Goals : The great thing about working for yourself is that your “Why” is aligned to your company’s “Why”.
  • 5AM Mornings : I will make a 180-degree switch to my daily routine, starting the day at 5AM with a run/workout.
  • One book a month : I need escapes from work. Currently, i use YouTube and Instagram as my crutch. A much better escape would be books. i aim to finish a book from cover to cover and review it on my blog/Goodreads.
  • Full Marathon : I ran my first half-marathon more than two years ago. I’d be ashamed with myself if i don’t complete this by mid-2019.

Okay folks, later. Oh, and Happy New Year :)


Shubhankar is an awesome person. He's Co-Founder & CTO of Houseware, building the command center for modern revenue teams. In his spare time, he likes to go out on runs!