Codex Audentia

Codex: An ancient manuscript text in book form.
Audentia: Latin for “audacity”.

This is not a blog. This is my codex — a working notebook with all my notes and rambles in their full glory. It is raw, unpolished and unfiltered. I write these posts mostly for myself and don’t publicize them, so there’s no newsletter or RSS feed for these, sorry.

Miscellanous

Building the Dream Team

Growing up, I always knew I would be an entrepreneur one day, and that I'd have to hire excellent people. And I was always been insecure about it. Would the best people want to work with me? Would ANYONE want to work with me? Would anyone accept me as their "boss"? Would I be able to earn their loyalty? Would I be able to truly sell them on my vision? What if they leave me? What if I have to fire someone? Would they be my friends, or would I have to be detached in order to maintain respect? My…
Aman Y. Agarwal
May 12, 2022
Miscellanous

Is an Ivy League degree worth it?

As someone who went to a fairly established Ivy League school (Cornell), I can say that it's like buying a Chanel bag. Do you need it? No. Is it better than a cheap bag? Not much. Do you like the aesthetic quality and "allure"? Yeah, it's pretty good. Is it worth going into debt to buy one? Up to you. Addendum: I do believe that if you want to be a researcher, a big school can provide many facilities and opportunities you can't get elsewhere. And I, one of the "deviants" who actually visited EVERY SINGLE BUILDING on the Cornell…
Aman Y. Agarwal
May 1, 2022
Reflections

Falling vs. Scaling

There seem to be roughly two approaches to accomplish something great. One is to put yourself in a position where, if you don't succeed, you "die." There is no backup, no plan B. It's what's called "jumping off the cliff and building an airplane on the way down." Doing it this way is more chaotic, more exhilarating, and also automatically makes you more focused. It also makes your team more tight, because nothing bonds people better than trying to overcome a large shared threat. The high stress is accompanied by high euphoria. I'll call this, quite literally, "falling" to succeed.…
Aman Y. Agarwal
April 30, 2022
Reflections

How I Hire: The Heart of a Teacher

Nobody can be the expert on everything. As an entrepreneur, I always have to find people who know more than me, and trust them to do their job. But hiring is tough (and that's probably an understatement). People lie in interviews all the time (from both sides) trying to make the best impression. And often, jobs go to the best salesperson, not the most suitable person (at least for non-technical/managerial roles). When I'm hiring someone – whether it's a freelancer on Upwork or Fiverr, or a consultant – I use one key criterion to filter them out, and it works…
Aman Y. Agarwal
April 29, 2022
Reflections

The Monk Life

It took me a long time to learn that being a HIGH-PERFORMANCE PERSON demands the "monk life." Any great endeavour, personal growth, or massive success is rooted in sacrifice. A balanced life is an average life. Achieving high performance means you can only obsess over 1-2 priorities (maybe 3) in your life — the ones that bring you the most meaning and joy — and everything else usually has to be renounced. When looking for the City of Gold in the rainforest, you must be willing to take a machete in your hands and hack away at the vines in…
Aman Y. Agarwal
April 25, 2022
Rambles

Obsession

In any project, business or organization, the psychology of the leader is the biggest factor towards success or failure. I've realized I have an obsessive personality. By nature, I tend to get obsessed with things. I can forget about food. Sleep. Standing. Moving. All so that I can keep doing whatever I'm doing. But I'm also very easily distracted. My brain is an overly energetic dog. The only way to keep me productive is to put my brain on the track with a big, clear rabbit to chase. I can chase that rabbit all the way to the finish line.…
Aman Y. Agarwal
March 17, 2022
Miscellanous

Book Cover Design Brief (Final)

Hello, awesome designer! You can scroll below to read the brief, or watch this video I made first! https://youtu.be/VTUNXG_3_v8 Before I talk about the book itself, let me share some visual examples. 1) Ideally it should have a kind of "3D" paper style, either for the title OR for the illustration OR the background. As I publish more books after this one, I'd love for this to become a sort of "signature" for all my covers. A few examples: 2) I'm flexible on the STYLE of illustration/background. It can be simple or complex depending on what works best, but it…
Aman Y. Agarwal
March 12, 2022
Reflections

Lethargy, Procrastination, Ambition

I've been reading a lot again. I sometimes wonder, when was the last time I had the urge to jump out of bed in the morning? It certainly has felt like years. I believe the last time it happened was while writing or promoting an essay over several days, or any other project that was incredibly meaningful and important to me, was a lot of fun, was challenging to figure out, had a deadline, and usually involved accountability to other people. I have an obsessive personality — I can, and dare I say need to get obsessed with something to…
Aman Y. Agarwal
February 6, 2022
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