← Achraf ASH

Taking hard decisions

Achraf Ait Sidi Hammou

I’ve always struggled with focus. I’m always juggling 5 different projects at the same time, never really committing to one.

I’m extremely passionate about what I do. But that means I want to be extremely picky with projects I work on. My biggest fear: working on a mediocre projects for months.

I think this fear grew on me after working on for about a year. I’ve never spend a lot of time on it, but it took just enough mental space for me to settle and not look for a new project.

Now I’m taking a semester off from college and I had all these goals for it. The over arching goal was to build some type of lab at the cross roads of Deep Learning research and engineering to crack the code of consumer products.

But I quickly hit a wall. I can’t help but to second guess every single decision I make.

Should I really be working on this? How about that other aspect. I’m not looking at it. Is it actually worth shipping? It’s just a piece of code, I don’t want to handle users and whatnot…

And I had all these crazy expectations but I quickly found myself working on “toy” projects, things like Shazam and Voice cloning. I wanted to change the world and here I was working on futile projects…

I had to take a big decision that would get me out of that rut.

Back to the whiteboard!

This semester would be a success if I manage to:

  1. explore something completely new that I could have never done without taking time off;
  2. fundamentally change my behavior with project selection - being more focus and less of an overthinker.

So that is exactly what I did!

I dropped every projects I was working on to jump onto the Web3 bandwagon 🚀

After a lot of thinking, my decision framework boils down to 2 elements:

  1. The regret minimization framework - what will my future self (2 years from now) regret not doing today? It has to be Web3 for me. Too much hype to ignore it.
  2. Live for the present moment not a hypothetical future. I realized that most of my decisions sucked because I was trying to craft some polished resume that I don’t intend to use anyway. This created some weird inconsistencies in my reasoning, and ultimately a lot of doubts and second-guessing.

Not gonna lie, I still have some doubts and fears, but this time I’m onboard with it. No decision will ever feel easy and given.

At some point, you just gotta embrace the suck.