Searching (Ricky Weekly #18)

No, not the movie with John Cho / Harold.

Ricky Yean

This is where I share 3 things every week with my friends and anyone else interested.

A picture from my life:

I discovered Kanhfections. It’s an awesome bakery in the Mission. They have great breakfast biscuits. Here’s a picture of me taking a picture of their nutella croissant. I love croissants and I love nutella. The combo is just perfect. 🤤 The place across the street from my house sells spam croissants, but it’s not good even though I love spam.

Thing on my mind:

I’ve been thinking about social products because I spend a lot of time in them. I wrote about it a month ago but it’s kind of like a mind virus so I just keep thinking about it. Specifically I’m doing some thinking around groups. As a YC/StartX founder I have access to Bookface/Founder Center. Both are “forum” type tools that are extremely useful, but only because both the YC and StartX communities have strong vested interest in each other and a culture of paying it forward. I’m also in a habit / accountability group, but there is a very strong leader who is making this group a great experience for me. I have a “virtual house” on a Discord server with friends, and I’m trying to not moderate too hard and force activity (btw, reply if you want to come check it out). I don’t know what I’ll come up with, but if this is a topic you’ve thought about in the past, let’s chat more.

I’ve also been thinking about how to make better progress as a founder searching for an opportunity. We’re not talking about ideas. I’ve got plenty of ideas and I think most entrepreneurial people do. Rather than starting with ideas, I’d like to start with a problem or a customer in mind. The easiest one is to focus on my own problems. However, I’d love to have a better framework on determining which problem spaces beyond my own problems are interesting to me—something that’s more than just “big market” or “platform shift” or “crack in existing market” or “emergent behavior” etc. I think for an idea to be interesting to me there needs to be a piece of insight or a nuanced approach or something. I’m not sure yet.


Piece of content I recommend:

Two videos of awesome YouTubers explaining things to me.

One answer from last week, one question for this week:

In my last newsletter and I asked:

Where do you practice vulnerability? How do you experiment and work out messy feelings and unclear thoughts?

You told me that you do your incoherent rambling with close friends and significant others, or you just work it out in your own head or write out thoughts in your journal. A few of you mentioned being vulnerable with new friends, which I thought was interesting because it tells me that existing relationships can have fixed context, and if that context is not conducive to being vulnerable, then it might be easier to be vulnerable with a new relationship.

Some of you go to therapy to practice vulnerability. A few of you are like me and feel relatively more comfortable being vulnerable in general.

A friend pointed out that it’s hard to be vulnerable sometimes even with your closest friends or significant others because:

I feel like that it doesn't matter how much respect, closeness, earned with someone, having a low point or being vulnerable in front of them does seem to incur a cost in how they think about you, even if its tiny or imperceivable.

That sucks, but I think therein lies the problem.

My question for you this week is: I’m sure you’re part of many groups and online communities? Which one is your favorite and why?

As always, you can find out what I’m thinking in more real-time on Twitter and my essays are on my website. My latest essay is called The arc of social