San Francisco Chinatown, 2019

I am convinced. One of the most important pillars to success is to build our own website. Let me explain:

Much of social media is blocked by the outside world

San Francisco Chinatown, 2019

If you’ve never traveled to China (I haven’t), you might not know that China doesn’t use Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. In-fact, they have popular versions of all our American-centric apps: WeChat, Baidu, Alibaba, etc. And most of Google/Facebook/YouTube/Instagram/Snapchat is blocked in China, and also in other countries.

Furthermore, another funny thing I noticed while in Vietnam: domains are often blocked. And also in Vietnam, the government can shut down the country’s access to Facebook/Instagram/Messenger/What’sApp at any time.

Depending on what your personal ambitions are (I desire to influence THE ENTIRE GLOBE), it seems that building your own website (and not having it hosted by social media) is the goal.

Global Reach

Chinatown San Francisco, 2019

As I am writing these lines I am currently in Mexico City, where I see all these ‘Witcher’ Netflix advertisements throughout the city. It seems that Netflix is aggressive in trying to gain more global subscribers (probably the market in America is tapped out). It seems that from an entrepreneurial (and life) perspective, expansion is key.

Freedom, control, and access

Bangkok, 2017

When you have your own website (you can register one via and install you have full freedom. You have control how to build your website, how to customize it, and you can change it whenever you want. You have unlimited access to plugins and things to upgrade/fix your website. Furthermore you have more control how to share and display your photos, videos, audio, and writings.

And this is the big thing:

When you have your own website, MORE PEOPLE all around the globe can access your website!

For example, I am happy to know that my website ( and is NOT blocked in China. This means that anyone has access to my information, which brings me great delight. Why? My personal ambition, goal, and vision is to empower ALL photographers who are currently living on Planet Earth.

You think small, I think Biggie.

The greatest way to live life?

“Better to die enormous than lie dormant.” – JAY Z

Honestly at this point, I don’t care too much for money and other standard markers of fame. I find it fascinating that when reading philosophy, you never really hear about how rich people were in the past. Also, I wouldn’t really care about how rich certain kings or rulers were in the past. Perhaps I am more interested in the conquests and bravery of Alexander the Great, or even how King Leonidas stood against the massive Persian army with honor, pride, and glory.

Another thought when in Cuba:

US dollars aren’t worth anything, if you cannot use them.

For example, even though the US dollar is the primary global means of currency (for now), it ain’t gonna be that forever. Perhaps the future will be some sort of cryptocurrency (free from the tyranny of governments controlling money and means of exchange). Or perhaps gold or other precious metals will be the standard of value.

But regardless, to measure your self-worth or impact through how many USD you got in your bank account is silly. I am vain and ambitious enough to desire to be remembered for at least 300 years after my death. Ain’t nobody gonna care about how much (or how little) money I made. Perhaps future photographers will care about the basics:

  1. How to make “better” photos
  2. How to make more beautiful and elegant compositions
  3. How to conquer the fear of photographing other humans (I think this will continue to be a thing for thousands of years)
  4. Existential philosophy behind photography (this will continue for tens upon thousands of years)

Back to the website

My thought:

Building your own website is like building your own nation-state.

If you desire to be ruler, emperor, or king — make your own website. Then you can build whatever you desire on your own “site” (consider how Rome was built).

The website is the source of your power and influence. Build it today, and never stop building it bigger, greater, and more powerful!


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