Reflecting on 2023

Random Observation/Comment #827: Every year, I look forward to that time between Christmas and New Years where nothing and everything happens. So far so good.

In 2023, War and AI took over. I pivoted my professional work towards building AI workshops and started a company (Wanessa Labs, Inc) to cover some fun side projects.

  • Traveled to: Disney Cruise (Miami, Grand Cayman, Bahamas Disney Island), Monterey Bay Daddy-daughter trip, Florida (Tampa, Naples) to see grandparents, Malta, Amsterdam, Jackson Hole (Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Idaho), Camping/Glamping in Shawnee Peak, Keystone summer camp, NY for a work trip (but also great seeing friends), Moab to see the Solar Eclipse, NYC for 10 days (yearly vacation)
  • Triumphantly: wrote a full “Burn After Reading” notebook, Won bingo on the Disney Cruise, ate Michelin star combos at Remy in the cruise ship, Visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium and drove the 17 miles to Spanish Bay, Chophouse tasting menu in Malta, Amsterdam wandering and delicious times, Completely wrecked Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom (70+ hours), Saw the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone in real life, Seeing a moose in real life, white water rafting snake river with Evie, Old Faithful eruption, Hiked to hidden falls in Jenny Lake, Saw a ghost town near Keystone, rafted and swam the Colorado river with a dive off a rock, Horseback ride to a beautiful dinner with wine, Did so many faceswaps as a fun party trick, ate some of my favorite steamed fish cooked by my Mom, Awesome hosting Evie’s bday party, saw the Stanley’s at Rozhashana, Saw the solar eclipse!, presented monthly on Web3 Wednesdays about AI trends, Wrote a monthly article about AI, wrote my 40-under-40, finally got work done in the house (Master bedroom, closet, window, and new 3 panel door), Super proud of Vinessa for finishing her stand-up class and performing! Won $2500 donation for St Baldricks foundation through a Consensys Quizathon, finished writing “Our Life in Lists of 30”, met Jake Gyllenhaal at a holiday party, became the Lead AI Evangelist at Consensys
  • Read / Listened to / Podcasted: Smartless Podcast (binged it), Bad Dates with Jameela Jamil, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, Doughboys, Revisionist History, We Got This with Mark and Hal, The Word Association, Review Revue, A bit of Optimism, WTF with Marc Maron
  • Series / Notable Movies: White Lotus, Glass Onion, Jack Ryan, Witcher, Forest of Piano, The Menu, M3gan, Avatar 2 (in 3d at the theater), Last of Us, Man from Toronto, Man Called Otto, Guardians of the Galaxy, Leon the Professional, Jury Duty, Beat Bobby Flay (so many seasons), Our Flag Means Death (so good!), Black Mirror, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Pulp Fiction, Barbie, Warrior, Extraction 2, The Flash, Zom100 anime, 1883, Replica, Dungeons and Dragons, Meg 2, Dredd, Finally finished Samurai Jack, Ted Lasso, Love Death & Robots, Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning, Paddington 2 (it was so good!)
  • Live Shows: Judge John Hodgeman Live, SteelyDead show, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard show (although we got rained out and ate in-n-out burger at 10pm instead), Taylor Tomlinson, Santigold in Botanic Gardens, Esperanza Spalding, Ed Sheeran Concert (although this also got rained out and we went bar hopping instead), Botanical Gardens Music Al Fresco, Phishmas weekend, Death Cab for Cutie and Postal Service at MSG, Aparna Nanchurla, French 79, Matchbox Twenty Acoustic, Live jazz at Nocturne, Vinessa on stage at RISE comedy!, Billy Joel at MSG
  • Neighborhood Parties: Recurring Poker Nights (x7 this year), Karaoke, Private chef, Superbowl party, Chinese New Year dumpling party, Easter drinks, random BBQs (x5), 4th of July, Halloween drinks and trick or treating, Freshly made bagels for brunch, kids birthday parties, Friendsgiving (x3), Random get-togethers for no reason but great company, Armando’s 40th cocktail/Casino Royale party
  • Experienced: Private chef parties, Nat West Stock Show with kids, multiple one-off personal ski trips to Keystone and Breckenridge, Surprise visit from Mukesh, Disney Marvel Cruise to Bahamas and Grand Cayman with neighborhood families, Surprise trips during ETHDenver (Jared, Chahiro, Greg, Dennis), Proof of Selfie project at ETHDenver and in NY for DIN, A few bike rides around town, played a lot more Chess on mobile
  • Presentations: ETHDenver on main stage, Web3 Symposium Korea Keynote (not recorded), AI Web3 Wednesday Playlist, Personal Presentation Playlist

I think we live in a world of uncertainty. Uncertainty seems to be an understated aspect of control in our propaganda media consumption and manipulation. Every bull market or period of peace is usually followed by a correction and a sway. The pendulum swings. If we could all predict the future then we’d all be doing fantastic. Alas, economics does not work this way. I wonder what actual post-labor economics will look like when AGI can do most of our white collar jobs and software can be created on demand. Will we be peaceful? Or will this chapter of global development and advancement be a barbaric phase of inequality and daily economic slavery to capitalism? We were not in control all along.

In 2024, I’m predicting:

  • The Actual Recession (again) – As long as you keep calling it out every year, you’ll eventually get it right. We’re probably going to have a face melting rally until the first rate cut and then you sell the news.
  • Web3 <> AI Bootstrapping – This was already the trend of 2023, but I see this being more prominent in 2024 where all the tools start getting integrated into work activities. The deflationary pressure from efficient labor economic disruption will happen much faster than expected. I’ll be launching a Udemy course next month.
  • Life in Lists of 30 with Web3 and AI Marketing – I can’t wait to launch the whole book with a series of creator-to-reader techniques practicing all of the things I’ve helped build and launch with my day-job.
  • More Family Routines – Evie’s at an awesome age where she can start to get curious and understand different deep concepts. She’s finally forming long-lasting memories so I want to make sure there’s a foundation of tradition and good habits.

I’m looking forward to a few high level 2024 triumph moments:

  • Ski trips for the Ikon pass – At least 5 times (already planned Jan/Feb activities)
  • Brother visiting! – Haven’t seen Angus since COVID started
  • Wan Family meetup in Switzerland – Probably also hitting up Strasbourg
  • ETH-based conferences (EthDenver and EthDAM) – At least 2
  • AI-based conference or hackathon – At least 1
  • Live shows (definitely Phish again) – At least 5
  • Comedy shows – At least 2
  • Visit In-laws with Evie – This is always a good time
  • Daddy-daughter trip with neighbors – At least 1
  • Road trip somewhere (State park) – We need to use that national park pass
  • Parties with Northend Neighbors/Beefcakes – At least 50 (which seems like a lot, but actually easy to do if you know how much we party)
  • Rock climbing gym membership – This is a big 2024 goal for me. I need to lose 20 lbs and a few of my 40 under 40 goals are heavily correlated to core strength.

(Previous Year’s Reflections: )

~See Lemons Look Forward to 2024