Deep in the Weeds

Deep in the Weeds

For much of August I've been deep in the weeds working through my to-do list. Among those items:

  • Creating reusable animation templates using Apple Motion (sneak peek below)
  • Configuring my backend infrastructure through AWS Amplify
  • Continuing my monthly YouTube upload schedule (latest video)
  • Tracking down extra plywood tiles for my video backdrop (I didn't order enough 🤦)
  • And so much more...

With any large project, the journey to completion includes blocks of creative thinking, researching and ideating. Also equally represented in that journey is plain old work. The put-your-head-down-and-just-do-it type of work.

Tiago Forte, the author of one of my favorite books of the year, "Building a Second Brain," might call this part of the journey convergence. This is where decisions are made, and where the focused drive towards the finish line happens. In my case, I find myself deep in convergence working towards Alpha testing in early fall —when the first round of testers will finally set eyes on what I've been working on these past few months.

The Struggle

During this time of heads-down work, my daily struggle is managing the feeling of drowning under the mountain of to-dos. An old mentor of mine would say that if you keep your eyes straight ahead and don't look up, you won't know how deep underwater you really are. This advice helped me keep moving forward (especially when I was a manager at Amazon); however, it doesn't account for the existential factors I now face as a solo entrepreneur.

With success resting entirely on my shoulders, taking scheduled breaks or facing unforeseen setbacks both have unexpected weight to them. If I'm not working, I'm stagnant, and stagnation breeds feelings that feed on my insecurities: Can I ever be successful outside of Amazon? Was I stupid for abandoning the typical career path to take a risk? Am I a fraud? Logically, I know these fears are unfounded, but on an emotional level, these fears manifest like pressure from the weight of water above my head.

A goal of mine is to be able to look up and trust I can swim to the surface — without drowning.

Feature Preview: Graphics & Animation

For the past few months, I've migrated my animation workflow into Motion, Apple's dedicated motions graphics program. Motion has allowed me to create animation templates that can be customized and re-used for a consistent look and feel across videos. will feature this all-new suite of animations and The Modern Coder YouTube channel has slowly been incorporating them, as well. Check out a sneak peek in the video above, or watch the latest Modern Coder video for a full-length example. Git concepts have never been this easy to visualize!

There is a lot more to come in future newsletters. Thanks again for joining the journey. Cheers,


The Modern Coder

My name is Jack Lot Raghav, I'm a tech industry professional (ex Amazon) & growing YouTuber (28k @themoderncoder) building an online business ( In this newsletter, I'll be sharing monthly technical & business insights as I strive for self-employment.

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