• Going through the motions

    I finished Peak Performance some days ago. The book describes a simple principle: Stress + Rest = Growth.

  • On changes

    The challenge for the last 10 days of the year, was to write daily. Today is the first day of 2020. I have - I think - been pretty consistent. I have written 10 posts, this being my 9th published.

  • Books in 2019

    In 2019 I started reading more. Some books in paperback format, some on my iPad via the Kindle app. I tend to prefer the Kindle app since I can highlight certain parts and export those highlights later on for my archive.

  • On Marketplaces

    Marketplaces. Traditionally the arena of commercial dealings. Nowadays, besides simply being the area where merchants expose their merchandise, marketplaces are a separate entity, enhancing the basic scenario for both participants.

  • Anti-Dev

    In honour of my contrarian nature here are the 10 commandments of the modern anti-developer:

    1. I stage-deploy and click through the functionality I implement. I do not rely solely on tests in order to validate the functionality of my code. I write tests for code that needs to stand the test of time.

    2. I duck-tape engineer as much as possible but do not forfeit good engineering practices.

    3. I follow separation of concerns as much as possible especially in the early stages of a project in order to have clear dividing lines later on when they will be needed.

    4. I realise that the an undeployed feature/project is the big unknown. Thereby I hurry to deploy the MVP, validate my thoughts and reserve time to refactor code as I gather feedback.

    5. Not all code is the same.

    6. Product comes first. Code is second.

    7. The best code written is the one removed.

    8. Good engineers create good code, better engineers create good engineers.

    9. There is no average user for my code. There are different user types and an associated distribution.

    10. In tech there is no black or white. Context is everything.

  • Bliss Station

    When in 2007 we searched for an office to house our first company we found a small typical greek, corner shop in a northern suburb of Athens. Prior to us, it was used as an office for two very heavy smokers. The walls and even the windows were covered by a yellow tint.

  • On believable visions

    I was always a big Star Trek fan. During my teens, the Next Generation was airing. The peculiar thing is that I am not that much into sci-fi. Most of the sci-fi books set in the near or distant future seemed implausible, impossible to happen. The structures and technologies described always had a magic component, something that was not a logical projection of the current state of things.

  • What's next for humanity?

    I think humanity’s biggest advances came in the form of augmentations. Language augmented our memory. The wheel augmented our ability to move things from point A to point B. The industrial revolution augmented our ability to process. Networks and telecommunications gave rise to the internet which augmented our ability to communicate.

  • 2020 - What's on the list

    I don’t believe in resolutions. There is no magical switch that I can turn by the end of the year to change my behavior. But I believe in macro steering. In planting a seed inside your head every once in a while. I believe in gratitude, in cherishing what is good in your life.

  • The Scholar, the artist and the warrior

    Human nature seems to be a mixture of three opposing and complementary personas. We harbor all three of them, inside of us. Over certain periods of time, only one of them resides on the throne. Ruling our everyday life. The other two in slumber, tired, retrieving their strength in order to claim back the lead role.

  • "Job to be done" vs "Dream to be dreamed"

    When do you buy from IKEA and when do you buy from a designer showroom? Do you care about the wattage of a toaster as much as you care about the MHz of your notebook?

  • What's your definition of success?

    Almost three years ago I walked into a meeting room. It was a casual meeting about a new feature/change I don’t really remember. I had an opinion in my mind, but it didn’t feel right. It was a thought, more of a cover up, a temporary fix rather than a solid brick for a stable product strategy. Anyway I walked into the room hoping that someone would see the issue in a different light. Maybe start a thought that would resonate with us and form the right solution.

  • Reading Notes - Factfulness

    TL;DR: 10 instinct that distort our worldview.

  • Whoop here it is!

    One thing I learned really late into the game is that if you want to have results in the gym, the time outside the gym is just as important. Apart from nutrition which I mentioned in a previous post, recovery and workout planning is a key factor in order to achieve results.

  • Design is applied thought and emotion, both are deeply personal

    Is the sum of small correct decisions a good product? Should we strive with each design or product decision to satisfy as many as possible use scenarios?

  • Lifestyle changes that worked out

    What you eat is 70% of the effort. In nutrition you need to separate energy consumption (aka calories) and nutritional value. Bones + Muscles + Fat is what we are made off. To affect muscle mass and size you have to workout, to affect the fat layer you have to watch your nutrition.

  • My perfect smartwatch

    Disclaimer: I am not an professional athlete but I am quite active with a mix of basketball, weightlifting, and cardio.

    During the last years I have had my fair share of activity trackers and smartwatches and I am currently using a Fenix 3 HR . Every one of the devices I had, had some strengths but also a few shortcomings. Here are the things I am looking for in my next perfect smartwatch:

  • Patterns

    I was just visiting them after work to drop off some laundry and say “Hi!”. Turning into the street my parents lived, I almost drove into my father. Hastily he hid something behind his back, then threw it blindly away while simultaneously smiling and trying to steer my attention away from it. He had stopped smoking 2-3 years ago, but apparently when he went for a walk he did a cigarette or two. “Stupid addictions” I said to myself.

  • How to apply for a job

    We have had some job openings lately online, and quite some people applied for them. Given the diversity of quality in these applications I thought I give everyone an inside look about how we handle such email.

  • The dreaded 5%

    We often spend 95% of our time finishing up the last 5% of a task.

    The above is a well known fact in software development. In fact it is one of the most annoying things that can happen during the software development life cycle.

    During the first phase of a new feature/branch/project apparently we can run through miles of code, implement, test, visualize a great deal of complex behaviors yet when we reach this certain threshold our pace comes to a screeching halt.

  • We are meant to pulse

    ...A related danger of the merging of online and offline life, says business thinker Tony Schwartz, is that we come to treat ourselves, in subtle ways, like computers. We drive ourselves to cope with ever-increasing workloads by working longer hours, sucking down coffee and spurning recuperation. But "we were not meant to operate as computers do," Schwartz says. "We are meant to pulse."

  • Book Review - Neuro Web Design

    The first time I was introduced to usability design as a concept and a general idea, was while working with the team behind the SmashingMagazine website. It was not the project we were working on - the job board - but rather the time I spend on their site, and the strict methodological approach they showed to presenting the information to their readers. In fact I firmly believe that their success - and successful they are - was very much fueled by the explicit design decisions they made. Their post about usability related books pointed me to Steve Krugs "Don't make me think!" and to Jacob Nielsens website.