Eli Rousso: Issue 0006

Reflections on Primitive & Introducing Basis Community

Primitive Reflections

In August, I hit a wall. I was running at a high clip, and I burnt out. I spent a lot of time learning, teaching, managing, creating lessons, getting up to speed on video and audio technology. Primitive even earned the attention of some investors: "This space is going to be big." I began Primitive as an experiment; it grew into a rich, little community of almost 2,000 designers learning to code.

However, I discovered I wasn't passionate about SwiftUI. I stopped creating lessons. I stopped tending to the community. I think it's very cool, but I didn’t want to live and breathe it anymore. I love design. I like code. And sometimes, I enjoy sharing what I've learned— but it’s not what I love.

Lessons from Primitive in 2020:

  • Work hard, but don't burn yourself out.

  • Catch yourself and recognize the difference between excitement and passion.

  • It's better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all.

For more lessons on SwiftUI, I recommend:
Hacking with Swift

For starting on design, I recommend:
The Design of Everyday Things
The Elements of Typographic Style

Primitive is on the back-burner for now, but the brand isn’t going anywhere. Thank you to all the beta testers and all the Primitive community members. I appreciate all of the feedback and support. I have a newfound respect for content creators.

A New Opportunity

As I lost steam with Primitive, another problem reared its head. I took some time off from work, rolled up my sleeves to hack on some projects, but nothing happened. I couldn't focus. Primitive or not, I couldn't get anything done.

I tried to fight it with brute force. I created lists and routines but couldn't bring myself to do any work. I even tried creating an app to help, but the problem remained.

We live in a time where everything unhealthy for us is within a tap away. It's our modern struggle. Once I was introduced to this concept, I realized how much time I spent on Social Media. On the worse days, I spent nearly 5 hours a day on my phone, mostly on Twitter and Instagram.

I decided to go for a hard technology reset. Instead of adding more checklists, routines, or apps, I decided to subtract. In September, I committed an entire Sunday to stay clear of phones, computers, tablets, and televisions. I went for a long walk. I read. I wrote. I meditated. I took a nap. I spent almost all day outside. I was bored, but I couldn't remember the last time I felt bored. It was refreshing.

I immediately felt better and re-energized. By the end of the reset, I knew how I wanted to spend the rest of my day. I knew what I wanted for dinner. I knew what movie I wanted to watch and what book I wanted to read. I knew what I wanted to do the next day. I felt clear.

As a person who spends hours on Twitter and Instagram every day, I also knew I needed to change my life to maintain this new feeling.

A few weeks later, I invited 12 friends to join me in an experiment called Basis.

Every Sunday, we would break from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. And after 7:00 pm, we jumped in an iMessage group chat called “Basis” to talk about how our respective days went.

In the end, we all learned how Social Media impacted our lives and how great we could feel without it. As an added bonus, I found myself able to quit social media entirely for those 2 months.

Introducing Basis Community

Now, I'd like to open the Basis experiment to others who want to limit their Social Media consumption.

Basis is now open for 2021 membership. If your New Year's resolution includes spending less time on Social Media, this is a great way to start.

Join and be a part of our first Social Media Fast of 2021 on Sunday, January 3.

➜ Join the Basis Community

And thank you for all your support and feedback!
L, K, Y, D, P, J, G, B, J, A, A, A

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That’s it!

Thanks for reading and see you soon.

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