image 6 Power Users AI

Hey, I’m Dave, and welcome to my blog about tech and productivity. 😎

My story is the perfect example of how you can truly only connect the dots looking backward.

I never thought I’d be writing a blog, but it’s fun to see how life leads us to take a unique path and the lessons I picked up throughout the years.

Lessons from BMX riding 

Ever since I was a little kid, I was riding bikes. Nothing was more fun than riding around in summer popping wheelies and jumping small dirt jumps in the park. But it wasn’t until I discovered BMX flatland riding that I really got hooked.

This style of riding requires an insane amount of practice – we’re talking hundreds, even thousands of hours just to master a single trick. This means you either persevere and stick through it developing a specific mentality and concentration, a willingness to push yourself past what you thought was possible, or you just quit.

But it’s worth it because when you finally nail that trick you’ve been working on for months, the feeling is indescribable. BMX taught me that with enough hard work and dedication, we can achieve incredible things, no matter how crazy they may seem. Oh and to not fall on my face cause that sucks! (from experience)

image 2 Power Users AI
Bmx riding – 2019

First time building something from scratch

My classmate at high school and I were approached with an idea to create the high school’s senior robotics team. An opportunity that sounded cool at the time so we decided to go ahead and start recruiting people without thinking how much work it would actually entail in the future.

We built a robot for the FIRST FRC competition, we started with nothing but a simple toolbox on a single table in the school’s basement, we had no idea what we were doing. But, with the help of some amazing mentors, we were able to create the school’s first robot.

image 1 Power Users AI
Me testing the robot’s drivetrain – 2010

Being the team’s captain and taking part in building the robot taught me a lot about planning, and keeping people engaged. It was like a light bulb went off in our heads and we realized that creating things from scratch was awesome.

Obviously, the robot had to have bicycle wheels cause it made sense as I worked at a bike shop at the time and I could vouch for bicycle wheels being stable in strange angles lol.

We managed to get to the quarter-finals in our first year! We even didn’t have the materials for the box we had to ship the robot in, we used old broken tables and connected them with aluminum L-shaped pieces.

Robot competing in robot soccer
Our robot defending like a champ after another robot flipped itself trying to bump us – filmed with a potato circa 2010

But I think what was even more interesting to see only came years later when we saw how the foundations we had laid allowed for creating a polished state-of-the-art laboratory at the school, allowing them to create amazing robots including CNC machinery, lasers in comparison to the finessing we had been doing!

This planted the idea of whatever we create today, can help others be their foundation or help them achieve their goals faster.

old robot vs new generation
Remains of our first robot frame vs the state-of-the-art level the current teams are achieving

The Army Days 

During my time serving in the army, I had the opportunity to take on a variety of roles and responsibilities. In the first half of my service, I found myself constantly honing my leadership skills as a commander. This meant not only teaching and instructing others but also speaking in front of groups and driving behavioral change every day in boot camps. 

It was a time of growth and learning, one that taught me the importance of effective communication and empathy. In the second half of my service, my role required managing vast amounts of resources and being able to multitask nonstop with a barrage of tasks. 

Collaboration was key, and I found myself navigating high-pressure situations on a daily basis. Through observing the higher ranks and their behavior, I learned to appreciate the power of processes and gained a fresh perspective on what it means to achieve productivity. All in all, my experience in the army taught me many valuable lessons that I carry with me to this day.

Traveling and Social Media 

During a seven-month travel adventure, I had the opportunity to meet some inspiring individuals who ran a bespoke online travel business. Curious about their business, I decided to join and helped them grow their social media presence, eventually boosting their following to 20k (@tripcoaching) while learning about various aspects of an online business. 

ometepe island landscape
Ometepe Island, Nicaragua – 2015 

This experience ignited a passion for photography and sparked my curiosity about growth hacking social media accounts. Eager to test my skills further, upon returning home, I set out to grow an account from scratch, managing to get 28k followers at peak (@livetlv) and start a hashtag trend which was a fun project. 

#livetlv instagram

While I found the growth hacking process interesting, I eventually realized that monetizing this account wasn’t something I truly wanted to pursue. Nonetheless, the journey taught me invaluable lessons about the power of social media and how using the right methodologies, and tools with a proper system can be very powerful.

University and People: The foundation for Success?

Not knowing what I want to learn specifically I decided to start a computer science degree, thinking that anything will be code related in the future so might as well start with that. I made sure to take advantage of as many of the extracurricular activities as I could from what my university had to offer. 

I joined a VC program for students and took part in leading an accelerator for student ventures to see different perspectives on start-up ventures from both directions and gauge my interest in similar potential paths. 

Realizing that connecting with like-minded people and helping each other is a massive life hack, I created a networking group that pushes for collaboration and the exchange of ideas. This allowed me to not only create a solid foundation for my personal network but also help others move faster and not get stuck in the zero-to-one phase.

Covid-19 and Online Experiments

Before covid hit I was working as a student software developer while being in the process of applying for a prestigious entrepreneurship program, contemplating whether it’s worth quitting my job to participate in the program. 

Luckily I decided it wouldn’t be wise due to the fact my mom works in tourism, a decision which was crucial as the tourism industry went dormant for 2 years!

At the time my friend told me to buy a certain “fear index” as the market was in turmoil. Having bought it through the bank I had paid massive fees and it kept going up, I didn’t know when to sell.

So I sold when it was below my purchase price obviously. This started a journey of two and a half years of studying day trading, OTC stocks, and being all in on it after my regular work hours. I decided I have to figure it out while pursuing that financial freedom we all desire.

workstation
More screens = better trader – it is known, 2022 

The Search for Something Different: The Rise of AI and the Path to Productivity

Although day trading after work provided a very interesting experience with improved financial knowledge. Despite feeling like I was starting to be on the right path, I felt the urge to explore different avenues that offered more transferable skills which align with my passions.

Then I saw the beginning of the rise of AI combined with the perpetual need for productivity solutions, I found the perfect opportunity.

Drawing on my experiences helping others, and having tried many different ventures, I always had to pick the right tools, and sources for anything I tried. So I decided to combine my skills and passion into a new venture. This exciting new path not only aligned with my interests but also allowed me to make a meaningful impact in helping others increase their productivity and outputs using tools and methodologies.

So that’s how I got to writing here!

Quite a journey! From early age interests, many venture trial and error to software, AI, and productivity, It’s a testament to the idea that life is full of surprises, and sometimes the path less traveled can lead to the most rewarding experiences. As I continue to evolve and learn, I will share all my findings on this blog and hope it brings you value!

all the best,

Dave