On April 1st, 2005 I founded Linking Paths. By that time I didn’t know almost anything about running a company, especially after the main idea behind it fell apart seven days later. And I’m still not sure about what is this all about, but that’s another story. I’ve an announcement to do today and felt this birthday a round date for it.
This is something that some of you, dear readers, already knew. A few of you guessed it since I haven’t write any weeknote for the past months. But today is finally becoming formal, public and final: yesterday was my last day at Linking Paths.
But this is not its end. Aitor has taken the lead and I’m sure he will do many memorable things in the coming time. That’s is what he has always done since he joined me in 2007. I made this decision for personal reasons, I really feel it’s time for a change. For me and for Linking Paths.
I would like to use this last post to thank you all of you, friends, customers and occasional readers, for your support all this time. It has been a long and worthwhile journey and I really appreciate it. I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved together in this eight years, even with its not-so-funny moments. Thank you very much for being there.
That’s all. Take care.
PS: To satisfy the curious. I’m taking a couple of months off while closing the transition for some customers that took longer than expected. No plan after that yet.
Another week finishing… and more work done in multiple fronts. This week was rough in Iceland due to weather conditions but as with the postal carriers neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays us from our deploys.
Support and some billing in Stage. The week started on Sunday’s night with some issues related to our fees. As we state clearly in our product’s homepage our fee for free tickets is 0. The reason for this policy is that we’ve always supported people organizing open, community-oriented, free events providing them our service for free. However many organizers promote their events giving discounts and coupons to customers that sometimes cover the full ticket price and we think that is purely a marketing decision, a good one probably but marketing nonetheless and therefore the 0 fee doesn’t apply.
Alberto met with Bazaar’s founders during the week to push the project further and continue development in the first shop powered by the system. The shop is designed to interact with a central catalog system (Bazaar) and one of the main challenges is to ensure a good performance and stability for this interaction.
In the last weeks some testing on Foundation 4 was done. Although the new version has been a complete revamp and there are obviously some small bugs to be ironed out in the coming weeks, experience has been quite solid so far. It’s well structured, configurable and mobile-first. It’s a very interesting tool for us: you can prototype an app in no-time, there is a good number of add-ons and the documentation is clear and simple.
Facebook integration in Verkami is basically done. The internationalization process is madness and Open Graph custom actions must be manually approved by Facebook, but now everything is in place for slowly rolling out the feature to users. Most of the implementation is transparent to users and not terribly complex but I’m happy with it because is configurable (letting users to share more/less info in their timelines), extendable (allowing verkami staff to add new sharing options in the future) user-oriented (detecting and connecting new facebook users with their old verkami users, conserving contribution history) and multi-provider (enabling other OAuth platforms -eg. Twitter- to be used as extra identity in the future).
The recommendation for the weekend is a little wink to all the nerds in the audience that -like us- spent many hours in the 90’s playing with a very special type of cards: Friday Night Magic.
Have a nice weekend!
Resist discouragement. Your own and the one you acquired from others. Resist the sleepless nights and the after-hours work, especially the one that doesn’t make sense. Hold that unnerving feeling when something inside your brain says what the hell am I doing. Grit your teeth and move on, specially when it would be easy to turn around and do something else. Assume that things will not be right the first time, probably not even in a second try but trust that, still, hard work and do-the-right-thing are almighty tools.
Accept that the encouragement of your family, wife and friends is a gift too precious to allow yourself to fail when facing adversity. Resist the thought of failure, the though of “shit happens”. Be true to yourself and don’t let yourself be impressed by the pyrotechnic flaunting of fops and supernovae. Hold on to the dream, the enthusiasm, the primal desire that started everything in first place, beyond all logic reason and beyond all doubt. Persevere and work hard to honor the people who support you.
When things go wrong, rectify and keep fighting. This will put you in the same group in which the greatest humans in history are; no one is remembered by never been wrong. Build something you can be proud of with trust, honesty, transparency and dialogue. Resist the lie of work-life dichotomy: improving our work improves our lives and 8 hours per day is a lot to put them in a corner at night. Prove that profitable and human are not incompatible terms.
Resist. Resist. Resist.
If you would like to know how to make a company work you just have to learn what that word means.
I wrote this five years ago.
Have a great weekend.
413 Request Entity Too Large: The request is larger than the server is willing or able to process.
The HTTP is wise and universal: that is the perfect definition for this week. Is easy to fall into despair when you try to cope with many projects and fail miserably doing it… but one must move forward. A few things done this week (very similar to what has been done during February):
- Integration of the front-end in the Bazaar’s shop project.
- The usual support and maintenance in Stage.
- Estimates and inquiries for multiple project propositions.
- The first private alpha integration of Facebook OAuth & Open Graph in verkami has been deployed.
To research this last point, we’ve tested many well known sites doing similar stuff and discovered that most implementations are really poor. One small example: most apps don’t try to correlate new identities coming from Facebook with existing users in their sites (with the consequent confusion and loss of historical information for the users). Additionally this precludes users from disconnect their facebook accounts in the future if they change their mind. We’re working hard to build a better approach.
My recommendation for this weekend is to cook. Yes, you’ve read correctly: cooking. I could write pages and pages about all the links I can see between cooking and programming but that is probably material for a special post and not the weeknote. If you want some nice inspiration be sure to check this three examples of great gastronomical tips and recipes:
They are mainly a collection of short, super-high production quality videos made by a small team of enthusiastic foodies. Very inspirational.
Enjoy the weekend!
Your job is going to suck.
Not all the time, of course. But some of the time. You’re going to do things you don’t like, sometimes. You’re going to do things you don’t love, most of the time.
Late again, tired again but quite happy to end the week in a good mood. Some things were done this week:
- First private beta Facebook features in Verkami. In happy related news a verkami powered project (L’endema) became the biggest crowdfunded project in Spain. It’s the biggest project in Europe too if you leave aside Indiegogo (that has a model that is not exactly what most people understand for crowdfunding).
- With our work in those features we discovered and fixed a few bugs in the open source project omniauth.
- Integration of Swwweet’s design for Bazaar’s shops in the app.
- The usual support and development in Stage.
You may have heard recently about an article written by John Broder from The New York Times that makes numerous claims about the performance of the Model S. We are upset by this article because it does not factually represent Tesla technology, which is designed and tested to operate well in both hot and cold climates.
In the quoted article, the NYT journalist made some comments about the car’s battery life and performance but failed to mention some details that were discovered when analyzing the Model S logs. Yes, the car’s logs. The post is full of nerd awesomeness and highlights some effects of the very interesting phenomena created by the IoT as referred by our friend Manuel G. Noriega:
As more HaaS (hardware as a service) appears, people will have to learn fast about side-effects as monitoring and logging.
For a much-needed counterpoint, I’d like to bring your attention on CouchCachet, an app that helps you improve your social life by simply faking it. In a world where social reputation is constantly improved or threatened by technological proxies and agents… what kind of strange consequences we’ll see in the way we keep track of History or even reality? If you find this topic as amazing as I do, please come to the MMConf, where I’ll be talking about it.
Enjoy the weekend!
Another week I can’t publish the weeknote on time… apparently the planned re-scheduling to thursdays was a easier to think than to implement. Anyway, here is a short description of the past usual-but-mildly-less-stressing week:
- Work in PayPal and Facebook features in Verkami. I’m always sadly surprise by the incompetence and negligence of the technical and commercial departments in PayPal… horrible communication.
- Development in Bazaar and its different parts (specially the first shop) keeps going.
- Support, small fixes and some features in Stage.
This week one of my favorites conference has been celebrated in Geneva: Lift. They always pick a nice mix of topics (Democracy in Distress, Resilience and Resistance, Adult entertainment, etc.) and speaker’s quality is very good (Bruce Sterling, Oliver Reichenstein, Kate Darling…).
Additionally they live broadcast all the conference and that means you can virtually attend it and that right now you can already see all the talks here. I want to specially recommend the talks of the previous mentioned speakers:
- The charming Kate Darling talking about IP on the adult entertainment industry.
- Olivier Reichenstein (of iA Writer fame) on craftsmanship in a digital era.
- Mind-blowing Bruce Sterling on design fiction.
Enjoy the weekend, be happy.
Exhaustion: psychic, mental and physical. That is this week’s main feeling. Tons of emails, fighting and not-funny discussions that erode all your energy and leave you empty. A big source of stress is how personal some customers and so called “professionals” in all disciplines get about anything related to them. Hours and hours were wasted this week answering to people that felt personally attacked when someone makes even a mildly critique of their work.
Ironically, instead of taking their time to reflect in what is useful about the critique, this often results in ad hominem attacks to the person that questions the validity of the work. People get so emotionally attached to their work, they’re unable to see they’re not their code, design or emails. A legitimate question or even the display of clear facts is taken as a recrimination and from there it’s all downhill. Even ignoring the “offended” person trying to finish the fight becomes impossible. So. Mentally. Exhausting.
As we announced in this blog we sold Qstion a long time ago. Unfortunately the buyer is still figuring out how to launch the product. As the product had be transitioned to the actual owner, the sale’s payment was agreed to be split in multiple small portions, last ones being made on the service beta/production launch. As you can imagine we’re now in a very uncomfortable situation: our work is done, the product is not ready for launch and we can’t shelve the issue. Lesson learned: never sign a partitioned sale without establishing clear time limits for all the payments.
On the bright side, a lot of work was made in SSE, Stage and Verkami. Specially, as stated in previous weeknotes, we’ve been working in Open Graph and this included the implementation of Twitter Cards in Verkami, that we’ll extend to Stage soon. Once the application for our integration was accepted by twitter, all tweets containing verkami.com links became a much nicer experience:
On the sales side, we were forced to say no to a few proposals with deadlines that were, unfortunately, impossible to meet. Fortunately there is a big event that is evaluating Stage for selling its tickets… who knows. My talk for MMConf was published and I’m now a official speaker. I’m looking forward to participate in this conference located in the beautiful city Kraków.
Week’s recommendation: Relax.
See you next week. Have a great weekend.