On Weed & Productivity

2012 was a big year for me.

In January, I started working as an intern for Astrid (recently acquired by Yahoo). Thanks to the kindness of the Astrid team, I was working directly on Astrid for iOS from my 2nd week on. I wrote shipping code as a college freshman.

In April, my game Slide shot to #1 Free on the US App Store charts and stayed there for almost 4 days. Almost 4 million downloads in a week. Whoa. How did that happen? Better launch Falcross.

In July, I was hired as an engineering intern for Apple on the iPhoto team. I worked at the main campus in the iconic main building, IL1. I did stuff I can’t talk about.

In December, I released the 1.4 update to Falcross and finally realized that I was capable of making a profitable game. Slide is not very profitable.

How I came into all of this fortune remains a mystery. Maybe people liked my design sense or my attitude. Well, probably. But why me? And more importantly, how long could this continue? Certainly 2013 couldn’t be nearly as prosperous as 2012. Or could it?

iPad Mini & Magic Flight Launch Box

Fast forward to now. I feel like a sitting duck. I feel unproductive. Uninspired. But not because I became rich in 2012 and now I’m lazy. I didn’t become rich in 2012, at least not money-wise. I simply feel like I haven’t done anything notable this year. Of course, compared to last year, notability is a high calling. But I feel behind; I feel like I could have done more by now. Falcross 2.0 has been in the works for 5 months and it’s definitely getting there. But “getting there” and “shipped” are two very different things. I feel like it should have been done 3 months ago.

Maybe it has something to do with the way I choose to socialize. I got my medical marijuana card in December 2012 and I’ve certainly been wearing it out. Winter quarter I made a bunch of stoner friends, and as a result, winter quarter was spent in a smoky haze. Certainly I had some of the most fun times of my life, and spent it with lovely people, but I knew it couldn’t continue forever.

Living in fantasy land can be fun, and productive, but not for an extended period of time.  Certainly I had some of my best ideas for Falcross when I was high, and surprisingly wrote a lot of good code. But I slowly learned that smoking weed 2-3 times a day is not conducive to being a productive person. Ideas start to lose meaning when you can’t even remember what you were doing 3 hours ago.

So I think it’s about time for me to hit the brakes. Hard. My past 4 weeks have born some of the least productive and inspired days in recent (hazy) memory. My sense of progress has become uncalibrated. My standards have fallen.

This is not a declaration of abstinence or a cry for help. It is simply a realization that I can’t become who I want to become if I continue my current habit. I will not stop smoking weed altogether because I believe there’s a lot of positive and introspective value to it. But my days of being a daily, twice-daily, thrice-daily smoker are over. This is my public commitment to myself.

Thanks for listening.

4 thoughts on “On Weed & Productivity

  1. dylan

    Sounds like the problem isn’t the weed, but hanging out too much with your stoner friends.

    Cannabis recharges my mental batteries. Especially when I surround myself with motivated people. my 2 cents

  2. Elvis of Dallas

    I like Dylan’s point. I’m wondering if you have (or will in the future?) share why you got your med MJ card?

    I discovered (reluctantly) in 2011 that I’ve been bipolar all of my adult life. It fueled some incredible successes (the manic stages) including many that lasted for years. The downside was that I was self-medicating to deal with my bipolar disorder. I had been diagnosed as “hypomanic” in my early 20s (I turn 42 tomorrow) and the medication offered was lithium. All I had heard about lithium is how it was for crazy people, so I just refused to take the help and continued the ups and downs of my condition.

    Fast forward to now, I’m nearly 18 months into treatment for bipolar disorder with a medication called depakote ER and over a year on Vyvanse for ADHD. I’ve never felt “normal” like this while at the same time retaining my ability to excel in almost all of the areas I did in the past. For example: I picked up LiveCode as a language about 2 months ago and I’m proficient enough to write code for clients using it now, with just a cursory read of the manual and code examples found across the web.

    Sorry I made this comment so much about myself, I just want to say that a) you can do anything because you are already awesome b) I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for you!



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