Potential and the drain

Ariel Schrag coined a specific meaning of the word "potential". In her usage, it refers to the prospect of excitement. She wrote a book of the same name which was a memoir of part of her time at high school. A time filled with potential, particularly romantic. Like the potential of a date with a girl.

Schrag coined a complementary phrase: the drain. The sharp feeling of potential that dissipates or is pierced and pops.



Ideas equal potential

Having a new idea can feel like potential. An excitement that the future will be better than the past because this thing I thought of is good. And there is also the complementary feeling of drain when I explore further and the idea falls flat.

Don't stop forever

As I've been thinking about this building software faster cloud of ideas, one of the recurring topics has been: What makes me stop working on something?

It's any one of a set of things:

But what it feels like is the drain. The will to keep going descending out from under me.

I want to make tools that help me avoid the drain. Tools that:

I want to dig further into the sources of drain. "Feeling like I'm not making progress" and "more expressive" are both very vague. I think there are probably rich insights to be discovered through introspecting the micro feelings I have as I work.

The why

And there is another source of drain that I don't think a tool can help with: