Release notes: May 2021

Date: 2021-06-03 | release-notes | reflections

See all reflections.

The world is opening, NYC is dead, and #hamyishealing.

In May, I traveled to Atlanta, marked 2 years as H&M, failed to build a business in 1 month, hit an 85% savings rate, and committed to sharing 1 thing / week.

My name is Hamilton and these are my May 2021 release notes.


  • 8/10 best adventure

I continued my travel streak with a stay in Atlanta to see friends and family then went to work reconnecting with NYC.


It was great to see my ATLiens after a good ~year of separation. My dad has a beard now and my mom has pink hair.

I love coming back to the city and seeing how it's changed - and how it hasn't. I'd decided last year that I wanted to visit 3x / year. Ofc that didn't happen due to the pandemic but I think that's a good number and I'll be looking to hit that in H2.


NYC is slowly coming back. It's still dead compared to normal NY but it's definitely healing. Music events are scheduled, bars are open past 2, and the streets are returning to their usual hum. I can feel the energy and am excited to channel it into the resurrection of Exodia.

Come thru and take part in the city's reawakening. 🌆🐷🌆


2020 has made time feel like more of an illusion than usual. I can't believe it's already June. I can't believe H&M has been around for 2+ years.

It's been a grand, challenging adventure. I'm excited to see what #hothamsummer has to offer.


  • 7/10 best projects

Aside from resurrecting Exodia, I've been channeling the newly-returned NYC energy into my projects. I'm still on track to miss most of my goals for the half, but I've also made a step change in productivity and will likely have at least one thing to show for it.


I'm back on my 1 project / month commitment though I've lowered the targets a bit to make it more attainable. Instead of building 1 business and 1 art each month, I'm just going to be building 1 project / month - alternating between business and art - which will hopefully lower stress and context switching and ultimately increase productivity.

This month was a business month so I tried to build a business. But I failed.

In the process of trying to build this business (my first of the year) I realized that there were a lot of things I needed to first do:

  • Learn about my past failures
  • A better system for validating problems and creating businesses
    • so I consumed some entrepreneurial resources like YCombinator's YouTube courses and The Mom Test
  • Build more efficiently
    • so I have been building a boilerplate project with my favorite technologies that I can use as a basis for my future businesses

I spent all my time working on these instead of building the actual business. Thus a blown deadline.

Some of this may have been premature optimization and it's definitely the primary factor I didn't hit my business goal. However I think a lot of this will be applicable in future ventures so it was kind of a now or later thing and I think the now will pay dividends in future ventures.

Time will tell.

I'll be posting regularly with project updates so learn how to follow along in the next section:


In addition to my recommitment to 1 project / month, I've also created a new commitment of sharing 1 thing each week. I think sharing is a core part of the creation process so I hope that regularly exercising in this domain will increase my skills as well as my overall effectiveness.

Most of this effort will be in areas that are relevant to my projects focus as I think it has the most potential for synergistic effects. In particular I'll be posting more on:

with updated with new art when I'm making it in art months.

Twitter was a bit of a surprise pickup for me but I've found a really strong creative coding and solopreneur / indiehacker community there which has been fun. Also it feels like a platform that revolves around conversation topics rather than media / conflict / etc which has been refreshing.


  • 7/10 best self


Savings rate: 85%

Despite logging my lowest savings rate on record last month, I was able to hit a very nice rate of 85% this month by spending less money on travel / adventure and selling my RSUs at some record high prices.

In a normal month I wouldn't have gotten so lucky but that's just how the stocks fell this month /shrug

I plan to cut back spending over the next few months and return to pre-hothamsummer levels post-hothamsummer but that leaves several months of inflated spending and I'll enjoy it as much as I can.


Abs: 3?

I've been working out more this month than I had in previous months of 2021 but I've also been eating, drinking, and being merry more so I think it's actually a net negative. I was in pretty good shape before so I'm holding onto my last 3 abs but would definitely consider them at risk.

Send me your best inspo for fitness. pls and ty.


  • 7/10 work

I'm getting myself in gear to finish the half strong. I dealt with a lot of organizational and project leading roles this half which has been new and interesting for me. On the other hand it's taken up quite a lot of my time and energy which has left me in a bit of a code deficit coming into EOH1.

I'll be pushing this momentum forward through June and looking to land a lot of code.

Fun fact: I'm at around 485 commits to the code base rn so can probably break 500 by EOH.


Overall I'd rate myself around 7/10 for the month.

The world is healing. Ham is healing.

I'm not where I want to be but I do see a better path ahead. So I'll work towards that.

GLHF this summer. See you in one month.