4 min read

Make Room For New Trails

Make room to get lost exploring a new trail every now and then.
Make Room For New Trails
Photo by Jens Lelie / Unsplash

When I moved to NYC over 13 years ago, I had a lot of new things to learn. I quickly discovered the difference between the uptown and downtown platforms on the subway, that you have to carry cash at all times, and that I would miss local radio because I no longer had a commute or a car in which to listen to it.  

Young Andy determined to make it in NYC (2010)

I also was working at a venture-backed start-up for the first time and realized this wasn't just another sales gig. My curiosity was at an all-time high. But, my 5th-floor walk-up apartment was so small I could flip pancakes while sitting on the toilet, so I had to get a coworking space. A pre-WeWork coworking space on Lafayette where I'd dutifully would go every day and stay as if I was Fred Flinstone waiting for the horn to sound at 5pm. During the day, I'd either pack my lunch or go out and get Chicken and Rice from a bodega or the street cart. As I opened up lunch, I'd log into what I called TedTalk University and follow the same routine every day:

  1. Log into YouTube.
  2. Go to the TED page.
  3. Sort videos by Most Viewed.
  4. Watch the next unwatched Most Viewed video.
  5. Take notes.

Over the course of my first few years in NYC, I watched hundreds, if not thousands of TED videos. They sent me down trails of my favorite presenters and favorite topics. I started trying to sequence them for others, "if you want to learn quickly about XYZ topic - here are the first 5 videos to watch."

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