Despre startupuri, bloguri si idei

Am inceput sa urmaresc, in ultimele zile, printre picaturi, serialul “Silicon Valley“. Stiu ca nu e nou, dar pana acum nu imi trezise curiozitatea – ma asteptam sa nu fie decat o caricaturizare a vietii de programator, ba poate chiar o insulta indirect adusa profesiei noastre. Ma temeam ca imi va trezi acelasi sentiment de face-palm pe care il am cand in filmele hollywoodiene programatorul stingher, care nu cunoaste nici macar conventiile sociale de baza, reuseste in cateva minute sa scrie un “cod” care sparge conturile bancilor, viruseaza calculatoarele ternare ale invadatorilor extraterestri sau sa reprogrameze sistemele de securitate care ne protejeaza de dinozauri (“this is Unix? I know Unix!“).
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On buying things that don’t fit – my iMac 5K anti-review

When Apple announced their iMac with 5K display I was hypnotised – it was the best looking desktop computer that I had ever seen. The Mac of my dreams.

Little did I know that it was going to be one of the WORST investments I made in the past 4 years.

This is a story about a computer. But it’s actually a lesson.

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9 life tips from a successful entrepreneur

He had looked so tired that last time I had seen him, 4 years ago. His characteristic joy and “make it look easy” attitude were swept away by responsibilities; deep bags under the eyes, stress and lack of sleep showing in.

But now, here he was – joyful, free, relaxed, burdens gone, as if the past 5 years had been erased. His startup bet – many years of hard work, sleepless nights, transatlantic flights and countless meetings – had finally paid up. He was now one of the elite few, the top 1% in Romania. Over a morning croissant, among talking about his exit, gadgets, living abroad, holidays and life in general, he shared some of the habits and lifestyle tricks that had contributed his success.

I did my best to extract reusable life lessons from our chat, taking words out of context and trying to enrich them with my own thoughts and personal interpretation, hoping they’ll help others as well:
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7 effective copywriting tips for mobile app success

For the past 9 years I developed, released and managed over 100 apps for iPhone, iPad and Mac and around 1000 updates for them. I’ve read thousands of articles with tips and tricks on app marketing tricks that an indie developer could use. I’ll share some of the lessons I learned. Don’t run away – there’s useful information for everyone – you might not be into mobile entrepreneurship, but you’ll probably want to sell something online at some point(even if only on Craigslist or Ebay).

Let’s play pretend: you’ve just spent a fortune developing a cool new mobile app or game, and another one to advertise it. And you somehow managed to convince people to tap the ad and reach your app’s AppStore (iTunes) page. But that’s not enough. According to recent analytics, there are over 2.2 million apps on Apple’s AppStore and over 2.8 million on Google Play Store. Your mobile app will have a difficult war to fight in order to persuade users to actually tap that “Download” button.

You have only one shot to deliver your most convincing message through the 4 items at your disposal: your app’s title, icon, app screenshots and your app’s description. I’ll discuss all of them in due time.

Today, we’ll focus on your app’s  description.

7 effective copywriting tips proven to maximise the impact of your mobile app’s AppStore description

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Repost: 5 Terminal Hacker tips for the Mac

[This is a repost from my HackTheDay blog of 6 years ago. But these are rare-to-find tips that are still highly valuable.]

You don’t really need a reason to try out these Mac OSX tips and hacks. But they are fun, probably useful and definitely will get a nice reaction from your friends. They all involve typing some commands in the command is followed by the Enter key); if commands start with sudo, you might be asked to also type down your Mac administrator password(which you ought to have set when you first logged to your computer). For instructions on finding and tips on using it, see our great tutorial.
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The magic of saying “Yes”

According to Goodreads, the most quoted fragment from the best selling book The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo is:

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”

This being the most popular quote is clear proof that people only remember the good and uplifting stories. Also, one of the reasons why “The Alchemist” is dismissed by serious critics who consider it easy reading, a “chicken soup for the soul”-like motivational book.

Way less quoted(80 times less frequently) is this other crucial fragment: Continue reading “The magic of saying “Yes””

Cure your internet ADD – my guest post on Zen Habits

Once upon a time I owned/wrote a pretty popular website/blog on productivity and lifehacking, which was called Hack The Day  (don’t look for it, it’s been closed down for years and the domain is now owned by scammers). While starting up, I reached out to popular bloggers. That’s how I succeeded in being the first small blogger published by the hottest blog on habit change, productivity and mindfulness of the decade : “Zen Habits” of Leo Babauta.

I wanted to link to it, but Leo has removed all guest posts from those days. So I managed to recover my article from some long-forgotten archive. I’m posting it here, for your enjoyment : the software-related tips might be obsolete, but the general advice retained its value.

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I used to be a blogger

It started innocently – a couple of emails on how much stuff costs back there and how tired I was. I wanted to share with my family and friends the novelty of a new country, in a journal-like fashion. But emails felt intrusive given that not everyone on the list cared about the price of yoghurt in the suburb of Paris I had moved in.

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How to handle internet trolls

This post is not about software or apps. It’s mostly about politics and comment trolls. But there are some generic thoughts which might be useful for others also – hopefully not by inspiring you to troll competing companies or apps.

If you’ve been on the internet for a few years, you must have ran into them. Trolls. Haters. Crazies. Leaving out poisonous comments or reviews, preposterous lies or hidden insults. In my golden years of blogging I sure had my share – fewer since I’ve retired from daily blogging. Some were obvious – people with rude language and opinions. Some were subtle – I don’t even know if they were very weird fans or very subtle haters. Not that it matters, anyway.
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What should a high school student learn to best prepare for a successful IT carreer?

This post is dedicated to Tibi, my parent’s godson, who asked me the above question, in a somewhat different form. A bright student now in his 2nd year of high school, he loves computers and sometimes feels that he should be taking advantage more of the opportunities that his generation takes for granted(you know, everyone having computers, internet, access to information). To be honest, his question was actually how can I earn some money after school. I twisted it around trying to cover a more useful area.

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