I was reminded this evening about the joys of problem solving just for the sake of problem solving—of “finding the thing out” (this blog post by Peter Attia, in particular, sprang to mind). Not only do I live and breathe the idea, but it feels especially true for me today.
See, today I spent hours researching and learning how to work with the command line interface, Nginx, AWS Lightsail, SSH, SFTP, and a zillion other acronyms I’ll be struggling to remember for years. Ostensibly because I want to move to a web host that is more flexible and offers faster performance… but to be honest, it’s really just about the joy of “finding the thing out.”
I also spent an hour speaking with a young startup team about some of the problem solving I’ve done in my career so far, and a few of the crazy situations that led me to teach myself new skills on the fly. Ostensibly to solve a pressing business problem or capitalize on an opportunity… but for me, really, it’s kind of always been more about “finding the thing out.”
And finally, I spent a half hour today on the phone with one of my closest friends talking about opportunities and issues we see in the world today, especially in the time of COVID. And whether he meant to or not, he inspired and motivated me. Ostensibly because of the huge market opportunity, my unique background, and the skill set I can bring to the problem… but perhaps more than anything it’s still for “finding the thing out.”
As Richard Feynman put it, “it is the pleasure in finding the thing out.” For that, and the intrinsic motivation that brings, I am thankful.