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8 June 2021

Thoughts on rent control and better alternatives

Rent control is a recurring idea in politics. And for good reasons: In some cities, housing prices increase to untenable levels for most. Berlin was one of those cities. For decades, it was known in part for its affordable cost of living. But its rise in popularity led rents to sharply. Until last year, when a strict rent control law enacted.

29 April 2021

A guide to building a blockchain & cryptocurrency from scratch in Ruby

Even putting aside the hype around cryptocurrencies, it’s impossible to deny how big an innovation they are. Computers and the internet brought us free and unlimited copies of data: You can create a file and send it to thousands of people for free. The invention of blockchains brings scarcity to the internet: If you have a coin, only you have it.

22 April 2021

A minimalist free commenting system built with Cloudflare Workers

It is still possible to build interactive features on the web without overengineering them. At least, that’s what I wanted to prove to myself when adding a commenting system to this blog.

4 April 2021

10 risks and challenges you should be aware of in P2P Lending

P2P Lending is a recurring topic in the Financial Independence community due to its relatively good track record (at least in Europe in the last couple of years). After losses, investors are regularly above 10% return per annum—an incredible performance compared to other alternatives in Europe.

8 May 2020

Introducing my latest project: VocalBird

Those who use voice messages on apps such as WhatsApp or iMessage know how efficient and personal they are.

16 February 2020

Getting more productive is the most human thing you can do

If you create an application that streamlines a regular hour-long operation in a two-minutes one, you might have a successful company on your hands. You’ve created value by saving time (and therefore money) to a business, and your client thanks you by giving you a share of the savings.

26 January 2020

Security needs the best UX

Keeping data secured online is cumbersome. Nothing beats in simplicity: reusing the same short password, avoiding IP filtering, sharing passwords in clear text, and not having 2FA. Business owners and engaged employees will work through some hoops, knowing what’s at stake. But not everyone will care, which will create vulnerabilities.

29 December 2019

A system to be calm

Our default approach to productivity is to think of increasing our output. How can we avoid distractions? The afternoon slump? Need less sleep?

7 October 2018

Business opportunities well-funded startups cannot take from bootstrapped businesses

When well funded, growing, continually hiring startups are in a market, it’s not necessarily bad news for bootstrapped companies. After some time, a pattern emerges on their pricing pages: High prices with a lot of emphasis on reaching out to the sales team — Or even no publicly available pricing at all.

13 June 2018

Gaming the NPS

If for your job, you get a bonus over a certain NPS score, then here is how you can game the system to get it.

10 June 2018

Visualizing the destructive effect of fees on investments

Fees can turn a great investment into a mediocre one. They do so without us ever noticing, and after years, they can end up taking a significant portion if not the majority of your returns.

23 December 2017

Not raising funds to stay small and happy

“Any plans to raise funds?” is a question I get a lot. Here are a few of the reasons why we intend to stay bootstrapped.

22 May 2017

Tools distract us from building

When building a SAAS, every week comes with opportunities to use news tools. Maybe we need to add a new database or to track a new project. Those are almost never first-times. You most likely already have a database currently online.

10 March 2017

HTTPS is hurting users far away from your servers, and what to do about it

Lately, we’ve been told HTTPS is finally faster than HTTP. Mostly because of HTTP/2’s multiplexing. In this post, I want to highlight an issue we rarely think about with HTTPS: the slowdown it implies for users far away from your servers. Since we’re usually on the same continent as our servers, we never get to think about this.

28 February 2017

Super simple worker pools in Go using channels

I’m sure you’ve had to write some code where you have a few hundred thousand items and need to do some work on them. Performing the jobs serially would be too long. And launching everything at once with goroutines isn’t possible because of some other limitation. You need a worker pool.

6 January 2017

How to disable some of your website’s endpoints in seconds

They are cases when you need to disable some endpoints of a website as fast as possible. For example, in the case were an issue on an endpoint is causing all of your website to go down. Or because you need to limit the traffic load quickly by sacrificing parts of the API, instead of losing everything.

9 December 2016

Lessons learned from our Security Bounty Program

A few weeks ago we launched our security bounty program. This was a great decision and we should have done it earlier. Over the last few weeks, we learned some key lessons.

26 October 2016

Getting hired as a remote worker

Over the last few months, I got to do about a hundred interviews to hire new members of our remote team. Here are the most frequent issues I experienced. Most of them seem obvious, but you would be surprised how frequently they happened.