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Having skills is cool but there's something more important
And you need it for real progress
Something short and sweet for you this week and results of what I’ve been working on.
Let’s dive in.
Main quest 🛡
Yesterday, I spent around 5 hours on Discord rooms watching demos of other builders (and sometimes sharing mine) and I’ve been blown away by the sheer quality, diversity, and progress some people made in less than 6 weeks.
To give you context, I was part of a program called “Nights & Weekends” where people from literally all corners of the world could apply.
Those who got in, had access to a structured program with lessons, labs, and exercises. That’s all to help people work on an idea they wanted or they are passionate about.
It is intentionally broad. You could bring whatever idea you wanted and get help and accountability to build it and get something working to later share with others.
Now, some numbers.
Around 10k+ people applied from all over the world.
From those, less than 4k got accepted. In the kickoff call there were around 3,300-3,600 who tuned to the livestream.
Every week, less and less people would join or would show progress.
By week 4, around 70-80% of people either dropped off, got behind on the work and didn’t keep going, and so on.
This week was the 6th week and the people who made it to the demo day…
Guess what percentage was of the total.
If you said that only 10% remained… you’d be right.
Less than 350 people.
And like I said before, the quality, diversity, and creativity of the majority of the demos was 🤯
In a way, one could think, “Well that’s to be expected. Many people start doing stuff and then they never finish”.
But there’s more to it.
What kept surprising me the most is that the people with the more creative ideas and the ones who made the most progress are not the typical people you’d think.
They were not the typical person living in the US/Canada/UK/etc…
They were people that come from countries like Malaysia, Nigeria, India, Kenya, Mexico, and from Eastern Europe. (Heck, there was a guy from Zimbabwe making a mental health app.)
This was a reconfirmation of what I’ve been saying for years already.
The people that have nothing going for them, even with several disadvantages, eventually find a way to make things happen.
And the people with all the advantages, all the help, and everything going for them, can’t seem to make something meaningful.
Imagine if you would give some extra help to those people from 3rd world countries actually doing stuff, how farther they would’ve been already.
That program, in a way, it’s doing just that.
Avoiding all the YC and Silicon Valley BS, giving a chance to the underdogs, the ones who have the talent and the creativity but have to deal with many obstacles, both internal and external.
And that relates to the topic of skill learning.
It doesn’t matter what you learn, or what skills you get, or the access you have to information, or any of that stuff.
What matters is what’s inside.
The courage, the tenacity, the grit, the dedication, the self-belief, the mindset, and all those things that truly determine whether a person will make something meaningful with their time and talents or end up just wasting them.
Yesterday was a great time of reflection about it because that has been my experience as well. Even with many factors against and even against many odds, I’ll find a way to make it on top.
And I hope you can take this lesson and also apply it to our own journey. Wherever you are along the way.
Been experimenting with media content this week.
If you remember from last week, I was fiddling around with different Stable Diffusion fine tuned models and apps that allow us to use those online.
And I’ve been looking into how to animate (or otherwise don’t have stale) images.
There are several tools for that like Kaiber, Genmo, Pika Labs, and Runway. But in general, they are not there yet for personal use.
What’s free and accessible it’s of low quality and short time. And what works for a trailer or animated film, it’s pretty expensive at this moment.
So far, I’ve found it’s better to just use the images and animate them with normal effects or transitions from a video editor.
Something that has powered me up through this week (and a little of the previous one) has been the Clipchamp video editor.
I know, it’s crazy to think that a software like that, which is now part of Microsoft, would have been so useful.
But without it, I would haven’t been able to make the trailer for my upcoming story-based course and also a demo video for the project I’ve worked on in the past month.
In case you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about…
From the vault 🏛️
Ohhh who would’ve thought?
There’s no particular resource I can bring from the vault in this case.
Will see if one of those comes up for next week.
That’s it for now.
As always, thanks a lot for reading.
Hope this issue was useful.
I’m going to get some rest after the work done these past 2 weeks.
Get some rest for you as well and see you next week.