Estonia e-residency

[discuss on Hacker News] I think it’s time to write about Estonia’s e-residency program. I will tell you what it is about, how my experience has been so far, and then some humble suggestions on how to improve it. 1) What is it Estonia’s e-Residency is, in essence, an electronic form of identity for ANY world citizen. With a valid form of identity, you can setup a company in Estonia, and manage that company remotely by using electronic signatures and verifications offered by the program. However, “e-Residency does not confer citizenship, tax residency, residence or right of entry to Estonia…

Early Sunday morning random thoughts

I woke up at 6:00 a.m, together with my wife. I made a Moka pot (mostly for her), and saw her go to work (she works in a restaurant in San Francisco). Emma, our friends’ dog, is with us for a couple of days while her owners are on holiday in New York, and at about 7:00 a.m. I brought her out to let her do “her things”. Minutes later I went back home, opened the front door with my code, did the few stairs to get in front of our apartment’s door, only to realize that I’ve been locked out….

On Evangelism

Warning: this will be a long blog post. Very frequently I am asked, by different organizations and individuals, what would be the best strategy to reach out to developers, build a community, and create a positive “buzz” related to a specific technology. Or, how to do Evangelism. I have decided to spend a long and lazy evening to share my thoughts on the subject, and the result is this blog post. I hope that many people will find this helpful, and of course comments and suggestions are more than welcome. To be clear, this is more about how a Company…

Why Stallman is wrong

[discuss on Hacker News] Richard Stallman (also known as RMS, from his initials) is considered one of the fathers of the Free Software movement. I have a deep respect for someone who dedicated most of his life to a noble cause. His latest article is about “Reasons not to use Facebook“. (photo courtesy of RMS himself, source here) The article is smart, factual, and well written. Unfortunately, there’s a fundamental flaw in it. Stallman would like to convince MANY people that using Facebook is wrong, and lists the reasons. The problem with his view is that MOST people would not…

A better mentor manifesto?

[discuss on Hacker News] I’m a fan of Techstars, even though nobody’s perfect (no, not even YC). David Cohen, one of Techstars’ founders, has interacted with hundreds and hunders of startups, and their mentors. In his latest post, he writes his version of a “Mentor manifesto”, to answer the simple question of: What does it mean to be a great mentor? I have a slightly different view, but I think it’s wise to build on top of what David has already written. Therefore, I will list his points, comment or elaborate on each point, and add my own. But first,…

Apple will NOT buy Tesla for $75 Billion in 18 months

Jason Calacanis is an accomplished VC (Venture Capital), angel investor, and startup guy. He’s also a smart guy. He recently wrote that, in his view, Apple will buy Tesla for $75B in 18 months. I 100% disagree. Let me explain. (disclaimer: I own no AAPL or TSLA stocks, I don’t own a Tesla car, and I own two Macbooks). What’s the current status? Some facts, so that we are all aligned. Apple is worth more than $740 Billion. It sold about 170 million iPhones in 2014, among other things. Tesla is worth $25 Billion. It sold about 33,000 cars in…

The Ugly Thing about The Hard Thing about Hard Things

(this post originally appeared on Medium) (discuss on Hacker News) Who the f%*k is Joel Clark Jr.? When I was five years old, we moved to Bonita Avenue, a collection of hippies, crazy people, lower class people working hard to move up, and upper class people taking enough drugs to move down. One day, one of my older brother Jonathan’s friends, Roger, was over at our house. He pointed to an African American kid down the block who was riding in a red wagon and dared me: “Go down the street, tell him to give you his wagon, and if…

People are interesting

(an old post from April 2011; saved as draft, left unpublished until now) I am reading a book on presentations, “Resonate”, by Nancy Duarte of Duarte Design, one of the largest design firms in the world. Below there’s an excerpt from page 12. People are interesting “A great way to stand out is to be real. Presentations tend to be stripped of all humanness – despite the fact that humans make up the entire audience! Many corporations condition employees to put meaningless words together, projects them on a slide, and talk about them like an automaton. The cultural norm is…

Accents, English, Arrogance, Success

[edit: thanks to Thomas B. for correcting a few mistakes I did below. You rock!] The recent discussion around “Accents” is very dear to me. Let me tell you something. Read on. 1) Accents Paul Graham recently wrote about accents. Simply put: if you have a strong accent (e.g. your English is not that great), you are more likely perform poorly as the CEO of a startup. It is rather obvious, but important to know. One more point that Paul raises is that when communication is important (when you are the CEO of a Startup, and not just any employee),…

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