Building is how we reboot the American dream

In fact, I think building is how we reboot the American dream. The things we build in huge quantities, like computers and TVs, drop rapidly in price. The things we don’t, like housing, schools, and hospitals, skyrocket in price. What’s the American dream? The opportunity to have a home of your own, and a family you can provide for. We need to break the rapidly escalating price curves for housing, education, and healthcare, to make sure that every American can realize the dream, and the only way to do that is to build.

Marc Andreessen

It’s Time to Build

The mind boggles

I love discovering new words and learning about the definitions and meanings behind it. The word “boggle” is quite fascinating.

According to the Merriam-Webster’s definition:

intransitive verb

  1. to start with fright or amazementbe overwhelmed
    // the mind boggles at the research needed
  2. to hesitate because of doubt, fear, or scruples

transitive verb

  1. to overwhelm with wonder or bewilderment
    // boggle the mind

(Overwhelming is another one of my favorites)

The word boggle basically is telling us that wonderment and fear are connected. That to marvel and to doubt are related feelings of the same nature. That to be amazed can be frighting. To be astonished can cause you to hesitate.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite games was called “Parole”. In Portuguese that means “palavra”, or in English “word”. It was a very simple game. Take a few plastic cubes that have printed letters. Shake these cubes in a container, and organize them in a plastic plate. Now turn an hourglass for one minute and write as many words as you can with those random letters.

After moving to the US, I was delighted to learn that this game actually existed here too (long before it went to Brazil actually). And of course you probably know the name of “Parole” in the US: Boggle.

The Website Obesity Crisis

It has been almost five years since this presentation by Maciej Cegłowski. Since that time, the real topic seems to be forgotten.

We talk about website optimization and static sites, but we continue to forget about his main issue. Simple informational and text-based websites that are still loading 1.5-5MB (just to display news or articles).

It seems to me that with the mobile revolution (both in devices and in network speeds), the ideas outlined in that presentation have completely faded into obsolesce. Yet, the web could be much faster if we just had better tools and best practices to address the problems.

Perhaps adding that Google Maps embed to your restaurant site is not needed if the user can just get a link to it. Maybe we could find better tracking tools that don’t need to load twenty different JS scripts in the background.

Over the past few years, the results of these technical choices are clear. People decided to search for tools to remove these bloated sources. Ad Blockers continue to rise, pop-ups to deactivate ad-blockers are needed for editorial industries to economically survive.

Simply trying to discover who’s tracking us, and what data is being sent to advertising networks has become an impossible task. New initiatives, such as the Brave Browser, appeared to try to solve some of these issues. But the massive results we expect are still not there.

As 5G networks start to be rolled out world-wide (slowly), we have another great opportunity to address some of these lingering issues. The real question is… Are we going to take this chance? And when?

An optimistic view of the web

Eric Bailey wrote a great article over at CSS Tricks outlining some of the key factors that make the web such a strong platform.

I thought it would be a good exercise to take stock of the state of the web and count our blessings.

Eric Bailey

The “state of the web” is an ever-changing topic that interests me a lot, and it is refreshing to see an optimistic point of view focused on the strengths of the web, rather than the issues surrounding it.

Link to the article below:

500 Days of Summer

A few years ago I watched 500 Days of Summer for the first time, and it was so powerful to me at that moment, that I had to watch it again, just a few days after.

In 2019 the movie completed 10 years since it was released, and I feel I should watch it over and over again.

I’ve seen a couple of videos on YouTube celebrating and remembering the movie. The two videos below are with the main actors in the movie — Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

These videos are worth watching because they explain the real perspective from the film, which is primarily (almost solely) focused on Joseph’s character Tom.

“Hear what she says. She is very honest.”, Zooey Deschanel, talking about Summer, her character in the movie. That is the key to this movie, and what made it so powerful to me at the time. Tom was not really listening during this relationship, and that caused a series of effects that ultimately lead to the beginning and end of the movie.

Just watch it, it will make more sense after. I should do the same, and then watch it again every time I come back to this post for a reminder.

A great insight to start the New Year

Think about that for a minute, because it’s really important. Somewhere along the way, we’ve all bought into the idea – without consciously realizing it – that to be motivated and effective we need to feel like we want to take action. We need to be eager to do so. I really don’t know why we believe this, because it is 100% nonsense.

Yes, on some level you need to be committed to what you are doing – you need to want to see the project finished, or get healthier, or get an earlier start to your day.  But you don’t need to feel like doing it.

Heidi Grant

I believe this is such a simple concept, that sometimes it feels too easy to think about, and we want to look for a better idea, hack things and find a more complex explanation.

The fact is that the “act of doing” things consistently, regardless of inspiration or motivation more often than not leads to better results. Maybe not better, but definitely to results. I think the “better” part comes from perfecting the act by repetition or iteration.

In 2020, I want to experiment the idea of producing more and more, and see if the aggregate will lead over time to something greater.

10 reasons why WhatsApp sucks

I’ve always been fascinated by the evolution of the web and the impact that mobile devices had on its development. Although we had amazing innovations on the way we browse, search, consume content, find locations and share content, there is one area that can still benefit from innovation, opportunities and technical improvements — and that is messaging apps.

Don’t get me wrong, I know we had significant advancements in the way we communicate via text, audio and more importantly video over the years. However, there is one huge leader in this space that we really need to talk about: WhatsApp.

Continue reading 10 reasons why WhatsApp sucks

Terms and Conditions

I have been thinking a lot about the way the internet works now, primarily with social networks and advertising.

There is a tremendous amount of articles, videos and discussions on these topics, so this post will first start with a (constantly updated) list of resources I recommend reading and watching. Eventually I’ll expand on each of these topics into separate posts (and I’ll update this post with more links). Continue reading Terms and Conditions