No.

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This photo is an easy to follow metaphor, not a cute cat meant for click bait

When you start something new, you embark on one of the oldest adventures in history: the search for meaning. However, the meaning of this new project is very different for each stakeholder involved. It certainly has meaning to you, some meaning, if you started it; but unless you’re creating something purely for your own satisfaction, this new project needs meaning for other people as well.

That’s where the other party comes in. It doesn’t matter if you’re creating a service, a product, software, hardware, or a stationary piece of art. …


Oh boy.

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The Scream, by Edvard Munch, 1893

In many ways, as I write this, it feels like 2020 has been a long, uninterrupted blur. It’s like my life stopped in March and is just on hold. I could argue 2020 has been uninspiring, but that’s not really true. Things have happened, and time has passed. I have been inspired and uninspired. I may not have travelled as much (or at all) and I certainly haven’t done as much social interaction, but 2020 won’t be forgotten. I am a different person than I was when 2020 started.

So here it is. What’s inspired me in 2020.

Fermentation


Every now and then, I’ll obsess about something and I’ll try to learn absolutely everything I can about a minuscule part of our history or knowledge. This is how I learned about the most important prostitute in history.

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The foundation of Rome is a historical mystery surrounded in metaphors, legends, and mythology. So much so that Ancient Roman historians narrate these events as legends. The most accepted tale begins with Aeneas sailing the Mediterranean to what today is Italy, after it was foretold that in Italy “he will give rise to a race both noble and courageous”, as Virgil narrates…


As I do every year now, these are the things that inspired me in 2018. 2018 was a weird, weird year. A great but weird year. For the first time in forever, I achieved stability. When things have been changing in your life for so long, you sort of get used to it. It’s the thrill of change. 2018 was a year of heads down, hard work, and stability. I guess every now and then we need one of those.

I barely traveled. Not my proudest achievement, because I do love traveling, but 2018 was just heads down work. …


You and your coworkers have mouths and faces. Use them from time to time.

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President Obama could’ve brainstormed via Slack with this pirate. He wisely decided to do it in person instead. (Pete Souza, US Government)

In a short period of time we’ve gone from face to face conversations to memos, to emails, to Gmail chat, to Hipchat, and now to Slack. Slack isn’t particularly innovative, it’s just very well designed and very easy to use, and it’s a great business tool for a whole company to be in sync. However, it can also slow down a team if used incorrectly.

Don’t brainstorm on Slack

Slack is a chat application and it’s ephemeral in nature. They’ve tried to solve this by making search features work better…


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US Department of Energy, Sequential Programmer

I left the developer tools space last year and this is my brief post-mortem, an analysis and some of the conclusions I gathered after working on it for almost 4 years. Most of these conclusions are my take on unintuitive learnings and pieces of knowledge that seemed paradoxical, at first, but in hindsight make sense to me.

“We’re our own users” is not a product strategy

Well, the thing with developer tools is that they’re built by developers. It seems straight-forward and intuitive that this has to be a great advantage, right? Nothing better than the artisan making tools for artisans. …


Here’s a short but real summary of what inspired me in 2017. Some of it inspired code, some of it inspired design, and a little bit inspired me to take a big, risky step in my career.

Video (and song): Kendrick Lamar — Element

Directed by Jonas Lindstroem and The Little Homies (Kendrick Lamar and Dave Free). Element features scenes inspired by the photographic work of Gordon Parks, a 20th century American photographer.

There’s something very specific about this that inspired me. In my opinion, the best artistic work comes from very particular circumstances and one of them is remixing. The remixing of Parks’ fantastic photos…


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“Violin crafting”, by Raul Lieberwirth. CC2.0

The first thing is wanting it. Is that why you’re here? You’ve used an app, you’ve hopped on the bus, you’ve checked out at an online store, and you’ve told yourself: fuck this. I could do it better.

Well then, let’s do it better.

You’ve probably been observing how things are designed. You secretly loathe how some products work. Maybe you’ve wished more than once that you were given the chance to redesign this one product. “Only if”.

I have good news for you. UX Design is fairly new. It’s a field built upon the experiential knowledge of professionals, and…


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Berlin Startup Tour, by Heisenberg Media. CC2.0.

Short answer: yes.

Now let’s see the things you need to look at when considering a startup, and what are the benefits and disadvantages.

Many foreigners in the U.S. (or those outside considering coming to the U.S.) hesitate about joining a startup for a number of reasons. These are some of the reasons I’ve heard recently:

  • Startups are unstable and I need stability because of the complexity of living somewhere other than my home country
  • Startups are not well funded and they cannot sponsor foreigners to work visas / don’t have the same chances as a bigger company when sponsoring.

Antonio Bustamante

Designer, engineer. Cofounder at Silo.

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