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TTT 5: Cost of Inaction

Janahan Sivaraman
Janahan Sivaraman
2 min read

Welcome to the 5th edition of the TTT Newsletter where I'll be sharing a thing I did, a tweet I loved, and a thought I had.

The best Cacio e Pepe in NYC can be found at Piccola Cucina - 75 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012. The best thing I ate last week :)

I love going out to dinner for 1. As a self-proclaimed texture hound who speaks from the heart, you can trust me when I suggest you a place to eat. If you're ever in NYC, do let me know - would be honored to share a memorable meal with you.

With that said, இரவு வணக்கம் (iravu vaNakkam), Buenas Noches, and Good Evening - let's get into it!

Thing I did

Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve been learning Mexican Spanish “by ear” 1-on-1 with Idahosa Ness, the creator of the Mimic Method.

He opened up teaching slots for just 5 students. I applied and was accepted!

This week, we worked on awareness of tongue, lips, and breath. Many languages require you to move your tongue in ways that are unfamiliar to English speakers. By building a basis of that awareness, it’s easier for Idahosa to correct sound issues I’m having by giving direct feedback on my tongue/lips/breath.

I learned to make a sound that’s only present in Russian and Japanese that sounded like gargling to me.

My favorite part about learning languages is the way it makes my brain feel. I can feel a physical sensation in my head of connectedness. It feels like one of those things my brain is wired to do - like building reliable software systems that scale seamlessly.

Tweet I loved

What I loved about this tweet is it exposes a blind spot for me.

We don’t usually consider inaction as a competitor. I’m currently working on a “How to Learn Tamil While Not Immersed” product. The major reason is that I looked for years for this and found nothing.

I'm posting vlogs of how I’m doing it in real time on Instagram and Tiktok. As Justin Welsh says, solving a big problem and learning in public lets people know exactly how you can help them in a clear, concise way.

My competitor is not another product, it’s inaction.

Thought I had

I’m satisfied in many parts of my life - language learning, writing, and cooking. But one thing I could do better is with my own health. There have been two massive undertakings that have caused me to de-prioritize my health.

One was starting Quotail in 2015 and the other was driving a HIPAA compliant cloud in 2020 at my job.

Each time I gained 20% of my body weight in stress eating. I never got fully back in shape after the HIPAA compliant cloud project. I realize that if I don’t get a grip on this, it will take what I hope to be a background thread and force it to become a blocking thread.

I need to keep as much of my attention free to keep solving novel problems and helping the people around me.

What’s something you want to change about your life to ensure you’ll be proud of it in 20 years?


P.S. If you enjoyed this newsletter, feel free to forward this email to your people or share this link. It'll encourage me to keep writing!


Janahan Sivaraman Twitter

Currently learning 2 languages "by ear". Secrets to growing your career in Tech. Food pics and tricks