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2 week farm reset

From May 3rd to May 17th, I was at the farm. I needed a break from lockdown New York City. It was a productive two weeks and I am happy I did it. I not only had a great time with my family, but I woke up at 5am every day, started the carnivore diet, and ditched my caffeine habit.

On the car ride up, I made an an agreement with my friend that we would both try to wake up at 5am for the month of May or we would have to Venmo our worst enemy $100, something neither of us wanted to do. We both validated our getting up early by sending a selfie outside between 5:00-5:15. It’s worked like a charm – every day since May 4th I’ve gotten up on time.

Last year, my new year’s resolution was to get up at 5am everyday for the year. This was a big challenge, and I did so for about half the year. I found that the hardest part was getting to bed early enough to get up on time. Still, with the extra time I had in the morning, I ended up reading a lot and starting a business. I didn’t plan on doing those things, I just made it a point that I woke up early and let myself wander to whatever I wanted to do.

I took the same approach with this challenge for myself during the farm reset – after I got up, as long as I didn’t go to bed again, I wanted to give myself the freedom to do whatever I wanted. I ended up doing a fair bit of reading (Thus Spoke Zarathusrta and Letters From a Self-made Merchant to His Son) and going for walks in the morning. A few mornings I helped my dad, a few I checked on the chickens that had some predator problems.

The first few days of getting up early, I would make a strong cup of black coffee and read in my room. It reminded me of a description of Coke Stevenson’s morning routine of waking up at 4am every day to read. I read about this in Means of Ascent bu Robert Caro. Coke Stevenson was LBJ’s opponent for a senate seat in 19XX. A lawyer, self-made man, his integrity was unassailable and he was popular throughout all of Texas. It’s widely accepted that LBJ cheated him out of the senate race.

“He would read at night, but also in the morning before daylight. He rose very early every morning, and put on a pot-a battered old graniteware pot-of very strong coffee. Then he would site down with a book. Friends who stayed at the ranch remember sometimes getting up at four or five in the morning to go to the bathroom, and seeing a lamp brining in the living room, and in its circle of light, Coke Stevenson reading, his huge, gnarled, powerful hands tenderly holding the book. ‘He treats his books like friends’ one man would recall. ‘None of this books has a turned down edge’ to make the place; ‘none has notes on the margin – if notes are needed, he makes them on a piece of paper and inserts them at the place'”

I always remembered that quote, and waking up a few days and doing the same made me feel some kind of connection with a great man like Stevenson.

The first 10 days I spent clearing away 10 years of brush from fences on the outskirts of the farm. The brush grounded the fence so electricity couldn’t go through.  This was satisfying work and what I needed to shake up sedentary quarantine routine. Above and beyond the other things I’ll talk about here, outdoor manual labor, being around family, and seeing the first results of the work that I do in the real world were crucial to the reset. It got me thinking about some kind of business that could be built around a farm reset.

I also planted 4 acres of peas and did other tractor work. Tractor work is always fun because of the power you feel when behind the wheel of the tractor.

Another change is that on May 14th, I started a carnivore diet. I noticed that within a few days of the carnivore diet, my mood and energy levels improved. I felt alert and sharp all day and slept great. I didn’t feel tired or slow after I ate. I was eating lots of steak, eggs, and ground beef. I don’t know how it will affect my running, since I usually feel better running on carbs, but I’ll write about that later. 


When researching the carnivore diet, I learned that some people have bad diarrhea for the first few weeks of the diet. Luckily that did not happen to me, at least not yet. I did notice that I poop once every 5 days or so, which honestly is nice. I don’t even think about having to go and don’t miss going 1-2x per day. I drink about a gallon of water a day.

Since I was on a roll with waking up early and eating a lot of meat, I decided to take a break from coffee as well. I haven’t been drinking it since May 12th or so. Who knows how long it will go, but the combination of eating only meat, and waking up early for manual labor outside is a great recipe for not needing coffee. I noticed a few withdrawal headaches, but they weren’t too hard to get through. My liquid treat is now Topo Chico.

On May 3rd, I stopped using a face cream I’ve used for years to keep my face clear. My face has been pretty red, dry, and flaky for the majority of the time, but I think it’s a good release and I am testing whether or not a carnivore diet will change my skin at all. I think it will, but we shall see.

When I set out on the farm reset, I had the intention of journaling more, following Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism, and of starting a calisthenics routine, but you can only do so much at once, and overall I am happy with the foundational momentum I’ve started to build.

I also re-did the farm website. I migrated their content from Wix to Square. It wasn’t a terrible transition. The hardest part of this stuff is having the photos and content already, so I was able to copy and paste most content over to Square. I will say, as someone who has worked in software sales, that it was interesting to be on “buyer” side where I worked with my mom to determine what exactly was needed and what the problem w

I also worked on cleaning up one of the farm houses we have that has sort of fallen into disrepair. I’d like to get it to a livable situation so that it could be used for workers, as an airbnb, or for myself one day. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being ready to live in, it’s at about a 3. It needs a lot of work that is above my skill level, but it’s something I want to work on in the future.


10 Ideas – June 5 2014

1.The UN becomes a green energy initiative instead of a talking initiative that is it as right now
2. Elementary schools make a major push for kids to make solar powered projects because the planet needs projects like this right now.
3. Similarities between a water bottle and a seat belt. Both protect people.
4. A trusted list of what a destructive relationship is. It would convince an arrogant and self obsessed teenager what a bad relationship was.
5. An edible menu for a restaurant
6. pokemon cards that are for green energy. All forest/green pokemon
7. All the money that goes into the US should go straight into green energy production.
8. The US stops waging wars. Billions are freed up to invest in research and development of green tech
9. Project that every high school student has to create their own energy in the school. At least their own replacement value.
10. Some bacteria that absorbs/consumes CO2 and produces O2 that we can control. Global warming seems like such as east problem. We should be able to fox everything pretty easily.

10 Ideas – June 2 2014

1. At some point, we will no longer need to speak to each other because it will be faster to send messages with our brain through biologically integrated technology. How will that affect the human ego? It will have to make it at least a little smaller. It will be so easy to show evidence of someone being wrong or right.
2. Similarities between a broom and a backpack. Can’t come up with any.
3. Lucid dreaming class for all college freshman. If you can lucid dream you can learn while you sleep. It will make college way better.
4. Dogs that glows in the dark
5. Put little disco balls on your car lights.
6. Airplanes with see through ceilings so you could see the stars at night
7. Marshmallow incense.
8. Wearable tech that helps runners maintain the best form by audibly notifying them when they’re slipping up
9. Service that automatically sign me up and take care of all frequent flier miles.
10. Is there some way to put a little turbine on the shower drain to generate a little electricity?

10 Ideas – May 30 2014

1. Simple reminder app to call those people you who really want to stay in touch with
2. Some way to measure all the things that sleep helps and eventually find a way to take vitamins/something that boosts everything that needs recovery so we don’t have to sleep or we have to only sleep less
3. Similarities between jumping jacks and a notebook. Both things likely introduced to you around kindergarten.
4. From 10th grade: an individual does not have to reproduce for a population to continue, but a population must always reproduce. What are the consequences of the more educated not having as many kids? If education improves it probably doesn’t matter too too much. If these kids can be born and have access to computers and kahn academy, won’t they be okay?
5. There are ways to pull out people’s blood and centrifuge it, isolate, and concentrate some parts that are anti inflammatory and reinject them into your body to heal certain things. Can’t we do something where you pull blood out and remove HIV and put it back in the blood? If we could clean all your blood in this way over two years, wouldn’t it cure HIV/AIDS? What else can this process cure or enhance?
6. Will there be a time when roads disappear bc we all have personal drones either run errands for us and we fly in big ones to visit friends?
7. What is similar between a pond and rubics cube? I don’t know
8. There will be another company that takes the self driving system of google and offers an anonymous self driving car so that google doesn’t always know where you’re doing.
9. Waze/google maps and self driving cars could eliminate traffic forever. Imagine that
10. Indiana Jones would not use a self driving car, would he? All these things could be robbing us of some adventure, but maybe adventure will simply evolve.

10 Ideas – May 28 2014


1. Can’t all movements somehow generate a little big of energy to charge our devices?
2. You can have shares in crypto mining rigs. What if when you were running, that would somehow charge things and then you could send that power to make crypto and donate your share of the reward?
3. You have a solar panel on your house and instead of selling your extra power back to the grid, you can sell it to your neighbor and they pay you in crypto automatically for what they use.
4. When will all the turn dial phones be out of existence, except maybe in museums? And what will the most advanced communication be at that time?
5. When will dropshipping/ecommerce fulfillment all become as easy as an app?
6. What could you do with 1000000 if you had to spend it on a physical product today because tomorrow it would be gone? I would buy a sick boat to live in
7. I read that there is evidence that the universe is just a hologram. So what’s projecting the hologram?
8. Similarities between an airplane and a water bottle. Similar shape, both eventually end up in a junk yard
9. It would be cool to live in a submarine for a few days
10. Some part of schools in the future will teach kids that creativity is really the best thing possible. They will teach them early that it is important to come up with ideas and take risks on things

10 Ideas – May 27 2014


1. When I am in my self driving car, can I drive a drone and have it follow me and film me. I think I can do some cool shots with that
2. How could I know that a bike would make me more efficient than a cheetah
3. What is a good way to make people nicer? Put cats in classrooms?
4. Similarities with a glass of water and sex? A glass of water makes you healthier, so does sex.
5. What else could you put in coffee to make it great? Soda? No. OJ? chocolate, bacon, fruit, help, spicy? honey? Coffee bar and a laundry mat. Coffee and arcade, coffee and movies, coffee and book store, coffee and car shop, coffee and computer store. coffee and travel store, coffee and a thing, coffee and a coffee bar
coffee and a school
6. It will be cool when we can all send little go pros into space to do things for us
7. When we have robots to do things for us, what then? What will we even have to do? Maids will literally be out of service. And will they take care of our babies? Or will be keep doing that. What is like like for a baby to grow up feeling electromagnetic waves from a robot
8. A rocket ship that takes you to mars with a movie theater inside. Basically a mall rocket that takes you to mars. A little planet. Let’s just live in space
9. Travel shoes that looks sweet and are antibacterial. They actually clean your feet as you walk. Some device that is able to charge a battery as you walk.
10. What could you change if you had all the time in the world, and you could have one thing to change? I think I would choose to remove greed.

10 Ideas – May 26 2014


1. Send drones to drop flower packages on the army during a coup. There actually maybe way more ways to use nonviolence now.
2. A tv/screen that displays different art and somehow reads your response to it. It constantly tries different ones but responds and catalogs which ones give you the best creative response.
3. There could be a company that pays micro transactions for cleaning up trash bc the make money by recycling.
4. When will my drone be big enough to fly me around
5. Once we can map the whole brain, we can see exactly what chemicals and hormones are missing and we should be able to see the whole thing for what it is
6. The similarities between a keyboard and a bed sheet? Manufacturing, from china most likely, both used in close quarters with human creativity, literally and figuratively.
7. The similarities between Zeus and an iPhone – Thought about most likely as much as each other. We act on the information from both without question, most of the time.
8. Clothes that never smell
9. Shoes that squeeze your feet when you need to stand up so you’re active
10. phone screens that get a little charge when you tap the screen

10 Ideas – May 25 2014


1. A pillow that helps you sleep? How could it help. Change temp, puff out some sleep relaxing, and just a pillow that smells nice
2. The easiest way to jumpstart an adult’s creativity? You pay for a room with paint or something
3. Take the recording of people saying I Love You, or their favorite phrase or whatever, and add all those recordings together to make a painting with the soundwaves it makes on soemthing like the iPhone voice recorder. Make the painting in different colors.
4. A shirt with or clothes with a bunch of different sensors that tracks your body temp and how much you move and sweat. Can give you a better idea of how to get in shape.
5. Overview Effect. Put assholes into space and see if it makes them not assholes, or politicians or whatever.
6. If you let people do what they want, bad things happen, it seems like. Let people do what they want but just control the environment a little bit.
7. Caterpillars and coffee – what do they have in common. Both inspire humans to create. Caterpillars turn from monsters to fairies. Coffee can turn a lazy human to a creation human.
8. What do books and mountains have in common. Both take a long time to make.
9. This idea of labels is interesting. Why not label some things and not label others. You must label a book, but don’t label a nebula, just enjoy it
10. On a mountain, how could you learn to fly? a wing suit, seriously, people now race wing suits

Thailand Announcement

Beach near the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand

Since I read the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss in 2010, I’ve wanted to build a company that would allow me to travel. For close to two years, I worked on a food startup in San Diego. I lived and breathed the company, gained valuable skills, and experienced the rush and grind of running a small business. However, I realized that I don’t want to report to anyone again – I want to work for myself. I bought a one way ticket to Thailand in May. I am going with my good friend Josh Voydik.  I want an adventure and I want to control my finances with my laptop and the internet.

In the beginning of 2014, it was clear that I was going to move on from my startup.  I started looking for new jobs and saw myself as a great fit at a handful of other startups. It was exciting to think about the value I could add to another company and being a part of something cool. But I didn’t pursue another job.

Why not? It’s boring. It’s a known outcome – I’ll work hard and make money and have objectively less control over what I am working on compared to my last company. I see the possibility of living an independent life anywhere I want. What greater challenge is there than to travel the world and figure out how to make money on my own terms? Nothing excites me more.

If you have any questions, ask me on twitter @caseyknapp

Turning my pitches upside down

Unless you’re in sales, this won’t be that relevant to you.

I watch an interview with Oren Klaff and finished his book last week. In less than a day, I adopted some of his tactics and have seen enormous changes in how my pitches are received.

Over the last three weeks, I’ve cold approached more than 180 businesses and pitched about 50.  When I read Klaff’s book, a lot clicked. His method is all about controlling the frame of the meeting. His book is sort of like The Game for the conference room.

The main thing I have been able to API right into my performance is the idea of time contraints.

The customer, in my case larger businesses in San Diego, are used to the vendor kissing their ass so hopefully they make a sale. There’s an underlying neediness in most sales people that makes the customer a little uncomfortable but also know that they are in control. One way to to make these people 1. feel at ease and 2. know that you are in control is to immediately impose a time constraint. Say, “I have another meeting after this, so I’m going to  stay for 15 minutes, then I have to go.” It doesn’t really matter how long I stay, but everyone knows that my time is valuable and they are now working on my schedule. After a strong performance/pitch on Thursday, I had one of the top law firms in San Diego reassure me that they are a respected company and that they pay their bills on time.

I added these tactics in two days and have barely explored what this power will bring me. The main question is how does that increase sales and get more people eating our food. That’s what I’m working on next.