Three years of brainstorming

I’ve been having a hard time figuring out what projects to put time into during this period where we’re brainstorming about product ideas and trying to narrow our focus. I decided to gather together all of the product and funding ideas I’ve had from the last 3 years into one document and do an analysis of the ideas to decide which options hold the best opportunities for moving LI in the direction that we want. Compiling all of these ideas has turned into a 70+ page document (and that doesn’t include any of the analysis). I don’t want to spend too much time analyzing all of these options. It would be better to just pick anything at all than to wait another 3 years analyzing our options. The downside is that if we spend time doing things that don’t provide us with opportunities and/or resources (money, funding, team members, etc.), then it might just be better to carry on working toward mind uploading as a side project. At least then we would stay on the right track. So yeah, I need to thoroughly write down all of LI’s funding/product options that we have brainstormed over the years and analyze them all to decide which ones are worth our time.

We definitely have plenty of ideas, we just need to decide what things we are willing to compromise and what things we are unwilling to compromise in working toward mind uploading.

It’s been really nice having so much time to brainstorm. I came into this all with the end goal in mind, not a starting product. The vision of LI is very solid, but the challenge has been in figuring out how to get from where we are now to where we want to be. I’ve brainstormed with many many people, and alone with myself. I’ve had intense brainstorming sessions where I wouldn’t let myself stop until I came up with something good, and I’ve had short impromptu sessions just because something inspires me. I’ve used many different mediums and software for brainstorming, from text to pictures to graphs. Using all of these different brainstorming strategies and making use of all the brainstorming opportunities has been very beneficial to the overall idea generation. I don’t know how applicable all of these strategies are to other people or organizations, but I find that the more organized I can keep everything, the better (and it was definitely time to organize all of LI’s funding/product brainstorming ideas).

Week 21 – time put into LI: 12 hours

I didn’t get a whole lot of time in this week, but I did get some very important work done that moves us closer to deciding on a first product. I deleted all the video games off my computer, so hopefully I’ll be more productive with my free time in this next week.

The Indefinite Life Handbook

I’ve been working to figure out what LI’s first product will be, and the product idea I’ve had in my head might be a little too ambitious while we’re just starting out. In order to build the MEA product I’m thinking about, we would need more experienced people with knowledge of MEA design and fabrication. In addition, one of the difficult things is going to be the cost of actually building a prototype. If the right circumstances align, I would like to have some kind of MEA be our first product, but if not, then we should be open to other opportunities and slowly work toward the MEA as we can. Maybe it would be better to start with something less challenging (just so that we can get on our feet and start working under LI on paying jobs). Another option would to be to get into the software side of things, where the costs of entry aren’t nearly as prohibitive. I’ll have to research more into building AI and the business opportunities that surround AI (as well as how all of that fits into the roadmap.

Week 20 – time put into LI: 22 hours

I haven’t put a whole lot of time into LI this last week (although it was more than last week), but the roadmap is still growing, and the business opportunities for LI are become more clear. The roadmap is 500 pages now with the additional documents I’ve included (as I’ve been organizing all of my written down ideas and thoughts to have online as the team grows). Since the roadmap has expanded to become more than just the roadmap for Lifetimes Infinity’s goals in pursuing mind uploading, I’ve decided to rename the whole series to “The Indefinite Life Handbook”.

The roadmap is growing

I’m still working on finish up the roadmap documents and publishing them in order to attract more people to LI. I’ve started working on getting all of my thoughts online into Google Docs so that the entire team is on the same page. I’ve organized a lot of the content into the roadmap that I had just lying around, so it’s going to be a while before the entire roadmap series gets completed. However, I feel like it’s just going to keep growing indefinitely and we’ll find better ways to organize the information and projects contained within it.

Week 19 – time put into LI: 13 hours

I’ve been spending time looking for a job, so I haven’t had as much time to put into LI.

The team has begun

So the team is starting to come together from the few people that have been working with me and wanted to join. I’ll be focusing on finishing up the roadmap and publishing that so that I can use it to attract more team members and we can continue working toward building our first products with more manpower. So I won’t be working on the products ideas/design/market research/manufacturing (like I had been) myself until I get the roadmap finished and work a bit on the team position applications and work on finding some people.

Week 18 – time put into LI: 16 hours

I am terrible at getting distracted by opportunities. Since I’m not making money yet working at LI, I will often get the thought in my head that I should just make a bunch of money to support myself. Sometimes I start chasing that idea for the day and end up wasting my time. I know I need to not let myself get distracted in these ways, and I’m getting better, but it can still happen when I’m thinking about money and wondering about how nice it would be if I could just totally dedicate myself to LI. I imagine how much more I could accomplish if I didn’t have to worry about money at all. I imagine how much I could accomplish within LI. I imagine how much LI could accomplish if we could hire on team members and all of us could work full time on LI.

 

Time

This post is about putting more of my time into Lifetimes Infinity and maximizing the impact of that time.


I need to work on using my time better. I need to make sure I’m not spending time doing things that don’t move me closer to my goals. There are a lot of things that I would love to do (in life and with LI), but there’s just not enough time for it all. It’s easy to get distracted, so I try to find as many reasons as possible to stay focused, but more importantly, I continually try to improve my discipline.

Efficiency (maximizing my impact)

I need to make sure that the time I do spend working on LI is making the biggest impact possible.

This last week, I worked on the job descriptions and postings (like I had planned), but I didn’t finish them (and I don’t know how many different positions I want to search for at this point). In addition, I organized a lot of my thoughts and ideas so that as the LI team grows, I’ll be able to delegate projects/tasks to the new team members. Unofficially, the team has grown to 3 people as of this last week, and I need to make sure we’re organized (as we are all working remotely for the time being).

Before I get too much further into creating job descriptions and postings, I want to have a discussion with the team so that we are all on the same page as far as our goals as a team and our individual goals within the team. I also want to discuss the possible products we can work to build and figure out which one(s) we want to put our time/energy into right now. From there, we can figure out what additional roles on the team we need to fill first. Once we have outlined that, I will continue looking for people that fit.

I also spent some time adding a new supplementary document to the roadmap that holds all the ideas I’ve had for future studies and strategic planning. This is a domain that I don’t have the time to pursue at this point. However, at some distant future time, we will want to have a small team of people working on this domain to ensure our long term planning has a good foundation, allowing us to better match our shorter term plans to the longer term plans.

Lastly, I spent time doing market research for the potential product that I am most interested in building (microelectrode arrays). Out of the product ideas that we have, we need to figure out which ones are viable (in terms of us being able to design them, manufacturing them, and selling them).

Considering the goals of LI, if I am able to achieve mind uploading for myself, I wonder about what kind of impact I can make with my life and how I can best utilize my time. On longer and longer time frames, small amounts of time spend every day can add up. It makes me think about every little thing thing I do and how they will add up over my lifetime (whether I die as a human or as a digital being).

Week 17 – time put into LI: 34 hours

At my current pace for 2016, I’ve been averaging 3.0 hours per day. For reference, working 40 hours a week averages out to 5.7 hours a day. I often get distracted with looking into ways to support myself while working on LI, when I should really just be putting as much time into LI as I can and then make myself get a side job when I need one.

I decided to make a graph showing the amount of time I’ve put into LI. You can see how much having my part-time job from May 2014 to May 2015 affected the amount of time I put into LI.

LI hours - 2016-04-29

Starting to look for a team

I’ve put off working on the Roadmap this last week in order to spend the time to outline LI’s technical agenda so that I can begin searching for the team members LI will need to build our first products. I don’t plan to post the technical agenda for a while (if at all). In the next week, I’ll start putting some team position listings on this website detailing what I’m looking for in building LI’s initial team. It will also provide as a space for people to formally apply for the positions. I’ll also make some posts around the web so that people who don’t frequent the website and aren’t in my communications circles know I’m looking to build the team. None of these job positions will be paid, considering LI has no funding at this point. However, I want to start looking for team members and start working toward building prototypes and products to finally get LI out of just researching toward mind uploading and into developing.

Week 16 – time put into LI: 10 hours

I didn’t get a lot of work in this week as I had some other things on my mind. I spent too much time playing Pokemon Red, reliving my childhood. However, it was enough time for me to make some important decisions regarding the near future of LI, so I’m happy with that.

Be bold

It’s been almost a year since I quit my job to live off my savings and focus my efforts on LI. I’ve been getting a little anxious lately, wanting to figure out how to start building a business so that I can have financial security, but the best way to do things often isn’t the easiest. Having enough money to survive and do the things I want to do is good, but I shouldn’t sacrifice my long term goals by trying to build something within LI that is not in the agenda. The problem right now is that I want to start thinking about funding when there is still plenty of philosophical and technical groundwork that needs to be laid down. Most of all, I need more experience and/or a bigger team to be able to start taking on the large challenges LI has its sights on. There are plenty of organization already in existence that are just out there to make money whether or not it supports the original vision. LI will not be one of those organizations. This is all too important.

Trying to develop things right now that are beyond my grasp or jumping into markets that I don’t yet know enough about won’t really benefit me or LI in the long run. It can be hard to follow your dreams when the world runs on money and you don’t have a lot of money. But I have to stick to the vision, to seek what I have set out to accomplish. This is my dream for myself, but this is also bigger than me.

At this point there is no funding coming into LI to support the work I do. As my savings slowly keeps going down, I wonder when I’ll need to get another job and work on LI increasingly part time. Maybe I’ll be able to figure something out before that time. Maybe I’ll be able to find a job that will help build relevant skills. Or maybe life will just end up being totally crazy in awesome and inspiring ways. Who knows. I just try to live in the moment as much as possible, working toward my goals as much as I can, and enjoying the process that is life. Remember to be bold, to chase the things you want… because that’s the only way you’re going to find the things in your dreams.

Week 15 – time put into LI: 13 hours

I got more work done that I was expecting, having arrived in New Zealand this week (spending a lot of my time getting settled in). I can’t really predict how much work I will be able to get done in the coming weeks. As that time goes on I’ll be able to estimate better. I’m hoping to get back up to over 20 hours this next week though.

End of a time tracking era

I usually publish posts manually, but I’ll be in flight over the the Pacific Ocean when this post comes out. Also I technically will only get to experience a few hours of Friday before I crossing the International Date Line.

Besides hanging out with family and friends, I spent my last week in Portland preparing for the trip. I managed to fit all of my stuff into a small backpack.

Week 14 Times

This was the last week I will be tracking how I spend all of my time. I will continue to track the time I spend on LI, but I won’t be keeping track of anything else. I’ve been doing this for over 3 years now. I only started tracking my time 24/7 less than 2 years ago though. It’s been a fun experience. I originally started it to motivate myself to work more hours when I was trying to finish a music project. It worked pretty well for that, so I continued to do it even once I finished the music project. With my past lifestyle, it hasn’t been that difficult to track my time 24/7. However, since all of this is on my laptop, when I would go anywhere besides the house, I would just write down that I was gone and where I went. So to a certain extent, I didn’t capture everything that I did. Besides that, I would clump smaller tasks into categories (for the purpose of actually being able to get things done and not just spend every waking moment documenting what I’m doing).

I’d eventually like to release all of the data I have accumulated over the last several years in case anyone is interested in analyzing it. In addition to taking the time to explain everything so that people can make sense of the date, I’d also like to provide some of my ow analysis. This isn’t a high priority project, so I don’t know when I’ll get around to releasing it.

I don’t actually have full data for this week, so starting this week, I will only be posting how many hours I spent working on LI in the previous week.

Week 14 Hours

Target Hours Actual Hours
10 hours 1 hours

This last week I had a lot of things going on and I haven’t really had much time to work. This next week I’ll be settling in and still won’t have a whole lot of time. I’ll be aiming for 20 hours next week. Beyond that, I might try to get it back up in between 30-40 hours a week, I’ll have to see what my schedule is like.

New Zealand

In less than a week I’ll be starting a new adventure as I fly to New Zealand to live for up to a year. It’ll be a good experience, and one that helps me reach the futures that I’ve been aiming for, both directly and in become the person I want to be.

Week 13 Times

Target Schedule Week 13 Times (rounded to nearest hour)
Lifetimes Infinity 50 hours 8 hours
Sleeping 60 hours 48 hours
Other 56 hours 109 hours
Exercising 2 hours 1 hours

I’ve been spending a lot of time preparing for the trip to New Zealand. I plan on getting back into working on LI things (in full swing) after I get settled in over there. I’ll finish up the roadmap series and then work on building up a list of product ideas, start networking more, and try to build a team.

Vacation

I spent this last week visiting family I hadn’t seen in a long time. Between getting there, doing family activities, and working on a few other things, I didn’t have time to do any work for LI (that’s why this post is a day late). In some ways it was nice to take a solid break. I feel ready to get back into working on LI, but I still have a few other things I need to work on in the next week or two, so I won’t be getting a ton of work done.

Week 12 Times

Target Schedule Week 12 Times (rounded to nearest hour)
Lifetimes Infinity 50 hours 2 hours
Sleeping 60 hours 52 hours
Other 56 hours 112 hours
Exercising 2 hours 2 hours