I am happy to share with you that today, Ten Factorial Rocks (TFR) is officially one year old!
Exactly one year ago today, inspired after a long morning walk, I started this oddly-named website. The idea itself had been germinating for long, after years of being on the receiving end of frustratingly bad information from mainstream media and also, dealing with well-meaning – but often wrong – advice from friends, peers and family (thankfully, I stayed clear of all those). For several months, I thought why not be a ‘voice of balance’ in this crazy world? In the process, I discovered a great community of personal finance bloggers, focused on financial independence and retiring early (FI/RE).
The relative anonymity of the Internet is a benefit that I wanted to use to get the facts straight and take on this “TFR project” (as my family calls it) even while working full-time in a senior management role. I want to inspire people to achieve FI (even if RE is optional) and avoid the traps along the way in their own journey. Finally, I want to explore life’s ‘meaning’, whatever that means to each of you. My About TFR page describes the background in a bit more detail.
Being a mid-40’s corporate nomad, I have been a participant in the Internet’s evolution from the old days of text chat forums (alt.newsgroups – remember those?) to the curiosity of the visually rich ‘world wide web’ as it came in mid-90’s (Netscape Navigator, remember?) with better online search engines, online videos etc. Then came digital commerce and the craziness that followed with anything.com start-ups commanding $1 billion valuations. Boy, we lived through a lot! Finally, we are today where the Internet has become a staple fixture in almost all aspects of our lives.
In this entire journey, I have also seen how anonymity gets abused by some people, writing things they would never dare say to their neighbor, colleague or even a fellow passenger on a flight or train in person.
In my view, anonymity comes with utmost responsibility. Authenticity has always been important for me, whether in real life or in the virtual cocoons of the Internet that we create and occupy. Anonymity should empower authenticity – this has always been my belief.
I often imagine a genuine ‘seeker’ on the other side reading my articles, hoping to learn a thing or two from my experience and knowledge, and perhaps wondering (like most of the junk published on the net) whether these articles are true or not or even whether the writer is truly qualified to write about the subject matter.
I write for this person, which may be YOU.
Importantly, I write with the question in my mind: What if you actually follow in your real life what I write here? This unknown aspirant of a better life is my inspiration. Your credibility, whenever you share anything you read here on TFR, is as important as my own credibility.
This website was not created to be part of my financial plan, but it has taken over a big part of my life plan. It has zero impact on my finances but a tremendous impact on my ‘self-actualization’ (to borrow the term from Maslow’s hierarchy). That’s entirely thanks to you all!
So, how did we do in the first year? From the comments and mails I have received, I am gratified that my content has added a lot of value to you all. These words mean much more to me than the quantitative metrics that websites are judged by.
I generally don’t post about blogging as some do, as it detracts from the key topics of this website, but I think the occasion calls for it today. So, here we go with some basic metrics:
Our readership is global, but we have a strong North American audience, which isn’t surprising given the topics covered in our articles.
We couldn’t have come this far without you!
The journey continues…
Today, Ten Factorial Rocks has become a toddler from a baby. Wikipedia describes a toddler as:
A child 12 to 36 months old. The toddler years are a time of great cognitive, emotional and social development. The word is derived from “to toddle”, which means to walk unsteadily, like a child of this age.
Uhmm…… We will try to avoid the “unsteady walk” of a toddler but will contribute to “great cognitive, emotional and social development” in all topics relating to life, financial liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Stay tuned! And thanks again for being part of this journey.
Raman Venkatesh is the founder of Ten Factorial Rocks. Raman is a ‘Gen X’ corporate executive in his mid 40’s. In addition to having a Ph.D. in engineering, he has worked in almost all continents of the world. Ten Factorial Rocks (TFR) was created to chronicle his journey towards retirement while sharing his views on the absurdities and pitfalls along the way. The name was taken from the mathematical function 10! (ten factorial) which is equal to 10 x 9 x 8 x 7 x 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 3,628,800.