Morning Walk #45
Letting the universe do its own thing
Hi. I’m Stepa Mitaki. I’m a product person and an entrepreneur. I’ve been working in 🏙 govtech for eight years and currently work at a UK-based 🏦 fintech startup Silverbird while building a new company in 👩🏼⚕️ health tech on the side.
Morning Walk is a personal weekly newsletter where I share some musings on tech, digital healthcare, working on startups, productivity, some nerdy stuff and an occasional share of reflections on the Ukraine war and how it feels being Russian at this moment in history.
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This issue was sent out to 208 subscribers (+12 from the previous week). Last week’s issue received 710 views.
💫 Letting the universe do its own thing
Do you sometimes fear that you might miss something insanely important that would turn your life in another direction? I’ve been anxiously trying to catch on all of my reading, not to miss a single post on blogs I’m following, go through each read-it-later piece I’ve saved, and generally spend a ridiculous amount of time consuming content. Yeah, I’ve been on top of every trend in my field, but I couldn’t say it made me any happier or better at what I do.
Here is a story of how I got there. Some of you familiar with my biography might remember I worked in the government technology sector for almost ten years before leaving it last year. There was a story about how I got there. I was working on my first job in advertising (as a digital creative), and at that point, I got interested in two topics: digital technology and urbanism. Back in 2010, I couldn’t even think that these two could intersect somehow, and the only application of digital technology I was good at I saw in digital advertising.
Then, everything changed when I accidentally stumbled upon this piece on FastCompany. It told the story of Rachel Haot (back then Rachel Sterne), Chief Digital Officer of New York City, and the grand new digital strategy for the city she came up with. It was refreshingly innovative at the time, with the centerpiece of the strategy around the concept of opening data to allow for companies to use that data to build new services on.
I remember the day I read this article for the first time. It’s a short piece, but it got my attention so, I started digging. The next thing I know, I’m reading through the whole 300-pages strategy. Six months later, I left advertising to work on my own thing in government technology. Five years later, I'm taking part in building a digital strategy for the city of Moscow. Basically, because of this piece, I got into government technology in the first place, and you know the rest of the story.
Unfortunately, this accidental discovery stuck in my head for a long time. The lesson – you could discover some hidden gem anywhere, you just got to keep your eyes open. Since then, I’ve been so fearful that I will miss another gem, so I started consuming content like crazy. I’d begin to follow 50+ blogs, read through each piece daily. I knew every little trend going on in government technology, but I was consuming all of my energy, and there was none left for actual making.
I started noticing this problem about 3-4 years and go, and now I am finally getting at peace with it. Last fall, I discovered another piece that greatly influenced my professional life and inspired me to explore the health tech industry. Luckily, I found it by accident and knew it was a sign. I don’t have to read every blog post, tweet, or article on my reading list. I know that if it’s truly important, it will somehow find its way to my attention. I know I can relax a bit and let the universe do its own thing. It always did for me.
Recommendations of the week
🕵🏻♂️ Jack Barsky: KGB Spy – Lex Fridman Podcast (podcast)
One of the most captivating podcast episodes I’ve listened to lately. Fascinating personal story of a former German agent of the KGB who spied on the United States from 1978 to 1988. Lots to unpack about his biography and some major topics real KGB spy might know (Putin and the Ukraine war, obviously). Highly recommend!
🌎 Overlap by Moleskine Studio (app)
I’ve been in dire need of a good time zones app for quite a while, and after testing 30+ apps out of there, I could tell you – there is only one decent app out there. It was made by Moleskine Studio and seems like it’s been abandoned (last update 11 months ago), but still, I’m in love, and nothing else fits my needs. And my needs are not that excessive, I believe: I want fun UI, the ability to swipe through the time quickly, calendar sync, and iOS widget support. Overlap has all of that.
🧧 Wu Wei (wikipedia page)
Wu-wei (無為) – is an ancient Chinese concept literally translated as ‘no trying’ or ‘no doing’, but best translated as ‘effortless action’ or ‘spontaneous action’. In the modern culture of trying harder, grinding, and strategizing, wu-wei enables us to get out of our own way – which is often half the battle.
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That’s it for today. Thanks for reading. Until next week 👋🏻
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