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.
The first week of the year in Spain is, unlike other countries, a very slow week. On Jan 6th, most families celebrate the visit of the Three Wise Men to Jesus after his birth. It’s a national holiday and many people is still on holidays -or recovering from the massive New Year’s Eve hangovers- so it feels like the end of the party more than the beginning of a new cycle.
Anyway, I found the way to do a few things last week:
I sent the proposal “Tap to write History” to MMConf and got accepted. My attendance is still not confirmed since they don’t know if the conference can cover the traveling costs, we’ll see. If your company is looking for a good talk to sponsor, send them my way :).
Exchanged a few emails about new projects/estimations; nothing confirmed yet but some things keep appearing on the horizon.
I went to Madrid for a physical meeting with our friends of the Bazaar project, and enjoyed a lovely lunch with some of the friends living abroad that were, like me, at home for Christmas.
My recommendation today is a bunch of great talks. XOXO organizers just published all the talks of the last edition and there is a lot of inspiring bits: Makerbot, Etsy, Indie game developers, small artisans… You can feel the tons of love and caring passion they put in their respective companies. Find all the videos here.
2012 is basically done, finished… exactly what has happened to the week #405.
In this last week of the year we’ve been working with our friends of verkami on small features, like copy/UI improvements and polishing the Open Graph tags we use, for improved rendering in Facebook. Verkami is working at full speed now, just two years after the launch and I’m meeting them in the beginning of the year for another highly focused workday on the next milestones.
I spent the rest of the week answering requests for a few project’s estimates, Stage’s support tickets and in meetings with different clients like our friends of La Personnalité and Steel Stock Exchange. Recover from the -delicious- food blitzkrieg my mother perpetrated on Christmas Eve was another not negligible task.
We’re still reviewing projects, events and small incidents of the year to create a mental image of how good/bad has been this year. It has been better than 2011 for sure (professionally the hardest year of my life) but there are a lot of shadows on it too. I’ll try to write a wrapping post for the year next monday but I don’t know if it’s realistic to expect I’ll succeed given it’s Dec 31st.
My recommendation for this weekend: relax, think and meditate. Take your time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished in 2012, but more importantly on the goals for 2013. Do it thoughtfully and it’d be the best investment you’ve done in months.
Have a great end of year.
Friday evening and week #403 is coming to an end for Linking Paths.
I started the week at a hospital and I’ll end it quite tired after a few nights with problems to fall asleep. In the meantime I’ve been working on Bazaar mainly, closing small issues reported in the last meeting and stuck for a while with elasticsearch and its indexation of special and accented characters.
Aitor has had a more productive week improving some Verkami minor features -password recovery- and designing their strategy for a tighter integration with Facebook. He also reviewed our work during this year and is preparing us for 2013. We have a lot of open fronts in form of pitches, small customer projects, Stage features and SAAS services we use that needed a clean up to start the new year with a fresh feeling.
This week my recommendation is The Inconvenient Truth About SEO by Paul Boag for Smashing Magazine. It’s not that I believe SEO is irrelevant, because I don’t, but I firmly believe that there are no shortcuts to delight your audience. So, please, read the article and think about it the next time someone promises you the Holy Grail just tweaking your website’s indexation. SEO is a hard and long term task, not a silver bullet you shoot one time.
Have a nice weekend.
Hard week… I’m broken. I’ve been fighting like a dog to ship stuff and, at the end of the week, the effort is taking its toll.
In the Verkami front, I’ve deployed multiple improvements to the project submission process. Given the stateless nature of the web, multi-step workflows are always more painful that they should be. Additionally Verkami is experimenting with different UI elements to promote the multi-language features authors have to internationalize their projects. In Stage, multiple support tickets and some development sums up my work. Finally, a review of the company’s yearly figures -not very good- added extra weight and fatigue to the week. Alberto had a meeting with Bazaar’s founders and kept working in the project.
Well, enough with all this talking about we. What do you want? Some inspiring link? Here we go: this teenager from Sierra Leone really kicks ass!.
He is a self-taught hacker that creates useful tools with electronics founded in the wastelands of one of the poorest countries in the world. I can not help but feel ashamed of myself when I see how little I do with all the opportunities that life has given to me, when there are people like Kevin that are incredible enough to accept their situation with a smile and become a role model for others. Rock on Kevin!
Have a great weekend!
Week #401 is done. This has been one of those weeks when you do so many little things that you feel you haven’t done much. Stage support, different work on customer’s projects, my son has been sick a couple of days, etc.
On Tuesday I visited Otogami’s office and spent most of the day working there with David and Jerónimo. We also found time to share experiences and our products’ current situation and future plans. Building a product company is far from easy and having someone to share your fears, doubts and to celebrate small victories is always helpful.
After spending most of the week working on Verkami’s multilingual support (and some improvements caching API calls), Aitor spent Thursday in a couple of interesting events. First he was in Seth Godin’s first conference in Europe since 2010. The conference was organized by Icelandic Marketing Association and besides Seth, they had as speakers Lazy Town’s founder Magnus Scheving and George Bryan of Brooklyn Brothers. If you follow Aitor in Twitter you may already know that this was one of the best conferences he has attended lately. During the afternoon he attended a meeting from The Open Knowledge Foundation on one of our beloved topics at Linking Paths: Open Data.
And finally my recommended reading for the weekend. This week I have had a few conversation on startup strategic, so I want to recommend you a post written by Andreas Klinger, founder of LOOKK: Founders lie about comfort zones.
That’s all for this week, have a nice weekend.
Four hundred. Twenty times twenty. Almost eight years that look like a whole life. Sometimes an exciting adventure, sometimes a heavy burden, just like life, Linking Paths has endured this round, magical, stunning number of weeks. Phew.
In a nice coincidence Alberto’s birthday is today too: happy birthday! He has been slightly disconnected this week (a time without contact lenses following medical advice) but still he found the way to make some commits to Bazaar. In Verkami I’ve been quite busy extending a calendar view I introduced a few weeks ago as part of the scheduler to include more business related events (start, ending, funding status, etc…) and implementing a few other small features. Stage support and research for a new, responsive design for our product filled up the rest of my time.
The link for this weekend is multimedia: Noam Chomsky on Where Artificial Intelligence Went Wrong, text and video. The reason I find Chomsky and this interview interesting is the same one that motivated the conversation between him and Yarden Katz:
The motivation for the interview was in part that Chomsky is rarely asked about scientific topics nowadays. Journalists are too occupied with getting his views on U.S. foreign policy, the Middle East, the Obama administration and other standard topics. Another reason was that Chomsky belongs to a rare and special breed of intellectuals, one that is quickly becoming extinct. Ever since Isaiah Berlin’s famous essay, it has become a favorite pastime of academics to place various thinkers and scientists on the “Hedgehog-Fox” continuum: the Hedgehog, a meticulous and specialized worker, driven by incremental progress in a clearly defined field versus the Fox, a flashier, ideas-driven thinker who jumps from question to question, ignoring field boundaries and applying his or her skills where they seem applicable. Chomsky is special because he makes this distinction seem like a tired old cliche. Chomsky’s depth doesn’t come at the expense of versatility or breadth, yet for the most part, he devoted his entire scientific career to the study of defined topics in linguistics and cognitive science.
Enjoy the interview and have a superb weekend.
Friday is here again and the working week comes to an end. It’s time to relax and enjoy more time with family and friends. This weekend is gonna be crazy for me, though, since I’ll host a party for more than twenty (4-year old) kids: my son and all his school friends born on November and December will celebrate a birthday party together! Managing all these kids in the same room is going to be something heroic for anyone but a Kindergarten teacher… but we will worry about that when the time comes. Let’s start with this week’s review.
As promised last week, Aitor has implemented multi-provider support for transactional email in Verkami and has started migrating some mailers to the new platform (Mandrill). The migration must be gradual to stay under the hourly limits imposed by the service so the migration will continue in the coming weeks. Although there was some stats and activity backlogging during the week, it looks like a very promising service (the use of SMTP custom headers, metadata and mustache templates for über simple integration is brilliant!).
Additionally he rolled out another nice feature: one-off photo uploads to Verkami’s CDN so authors can host all the media they use in their project’s blogs with the best performance. He also found time for a small update in Steel Stock Exchange and to support Stage’s users.
I’ve spent much of my week working at Qstion’s headquarters. Things finally are taking off for them and a new developer has joined the team. I have spent some time with him to make the landing easier. Regarding Bazaar, I’ve been tweaking its searching features, digging in elasticsearch’s internals and in Tire, a ruby gem for easier integration. We don’t have any production app using this tandem yet so please take my advice with a grain of salt, but as today, I would recommend it.
Finally my recommended reading for the weekend. This time is a blog post from a very famous person, so odds are pretty high that you have already read it. I’m talking about Pruning: Making room for something new from 37signals’s founder, Jason Fried. It’s always hard to say goodbye to something you like, and it’s even harder if it’s something you have created. It takes a long time until you are prepared for it, but once you accept it’s for the best, your mind will be free for accepting new challenges.
Have a nice weekend.