Articles about thoughts

Fortress Of Meditation

When adventurer Alexandra David-Néel wasn't on the road, she would stay at her Fortress of Meditation. Even explorers need to have a stable place to retreat to, because a life without roots is also without directions. Or as the poet would say: Happy he who like Ulysses Has seen hundreds of lands And has regained again, after Many years of wandering The country of his youthful years On an early Summer morning When the sun sings within your heart Then how fine it is to be free Fine to be free ! We are all free to choose where home is, but I believe it takes some introspection work and many exp...read more

Freedom and Solitude

Plato's parable of the cave was written to illustrate how unnatural it is for humans to seek the truth: education is a painful process, some people willingly remain in the comfort of the darkness their minds provide, and they will kill you if you try to force them out of it. This allegory is also reminiscent of how great freedom often comes with great solitude. It's in human nature to like the idea of freedom, without actually going all the way to acquire it. We are afraid of alienating ourselves from our colleagues, friends, lovers, and family, so we never act to make our dreams a reality: we...read more

A Thought on Financial Independence and Digital Nomadism

I was interviewed by a French newsletter called Plumes with Attitude two weeks ago about my lifestyle as a maker-writer. An observation by my interviewer Benjamin Perrin struck me as particularly interesting: "I see digital nomadism and the Financial Independence Retire Early movement as two opposites. A bit like the Grasshopper and the Ant, in fact. One is more hedonistic in nature, whereas the other is turned toward sacrifice." I was 23 when I decided I wanted to reach full financial independence in my early thirties. I was still a student, but I'd already saved about 11,000 dollar...read more

Unsinkable

How can an entrepreneur acquire the ability to get back up no matter what? I like to think I'm unsinkable. But everybody thought the Titanic was unsinkable too, until it hit an iceberg. Rather than declaiming empty words, I want to describe my thought process. Whenever I would get particularly mad at my parents as a child, I would plan to run away with my bike and a bag. Of course, I never followed through, but it begged the question: how would I react if I had no one to rely on? In other words, how would I survive, no matter the situation? The first step is to find ways to keep your sanity (m...read more

Tired but Relieved

I don't feel like writing. But then I write a few words and the flow of ideas keeps me going. I don't feel like writing because I'm exhausted. I worked hard the whole week to make sure I could release a proof of concept for my new digital product, and it's ready to soft-launch. I almost launched today, but for once I decided to remain patient and give myself till Monday to test the app and squash bugs. I find it extremely difficult to keep it to myself. I've been wanting to talk about it ever since I started working on it, a month and a half ago, and yet I learned it's best to speak about new ...read more

All Writing: A Thought Experiment

Let's pretend I did a stellar job at making The Co-Writers and everyone on the planet started developing a deliberate writing habit: how would it impact the world? Utopian version The practitioners would start thinking more independently and become proactive. We would know ourselves better, so we'd be able to fulfill our needs more efficiently and provide concrete solutions to our deep-rooted issues. Change would come from within and naturally impact its surrounding environment. At an interrelational level, even though people wouldn't forcibly agree with one another, compassion would be predom...read more

Re: A Little Q&A - Proust's Writing Questionnaire

Loved this idea by @gabrielgreco so I decided to give it a try. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Sitting by the fireplace, surrounded by loved ones. What is your greatest fear? Death of a family member. I also have a phobia of slugs, snails, worms, and caterpillars. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Pride / self-absorption What is the trait you most deplore in others? Self-absorption Which living person do you most admire? My uncle Noël, a landscape gardener. I admire his humbleness and his maker skills. He built himself a whole wood cabin once, which left a deep impressi...read more

The Worst That Could Happen

People live deferred lives out of fear. If we rationalize those fears, however, nothing stops us from doing what we aspire to. We can distinguish two kinds of fears preventing us from making drastic lifestyle changes: social fears, and financial fears. "What will my boss/partner/friends/neighbors think of me?" is the classic example of social fear put into words. Just realize that your life is yours, and that nobody else should make decisions for you. If you have duties and responsibilities to oblige, just remember that reality is negotiable. If you really want change, you'll find a ...read more

Introduction to the Five Principles of Sustainability

Dr Michael Ben-Eli from The Sustainability Laboratory defines sustainability as a "dynamic equilibrium in the process of interaction between a population and the carrying capacity of an environment, such that the population develops to express its full potential without adversely and irreversibly affecting the carrying capacity of the environment upon which it depends." To achieve this balance, he introduces the five principles of sustainability. The interaction between humans and their environments can be broken down into five domains: the Material Domain, the Economic Domain, the D...read more

Convictions, Philosophy, and Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is always about trying to prove something: that your product, service, or method is the best. You need the flexibility to make new assumptions and learn from your errors, but you also need strong convictions supported by data and your own experience. A company's culture is a guiding principle that acts as a behavioral compass. Corporate competition is thus a clash of philosophies. The company with the best philosophy--and the best ability to articulate it--wins the heart of its customers. Convincing others that your philosophy is best is as hard as coming up with one. In fact,...read more

An NGO-Startup Hybrid

I volunteered for three years in a student NGO. More than a pass the time to feel good about myself, it was an enriching human experience I'd recommend to everyone. Working with others, of my own free will, taught me a lot about myself and how powerful collaboration is. It's not the same as working in a company for a monthly paycheck. You have to be self-motivated to get started, but the work and the friendships you develop will make you come back for more. However, the strength of an NGO is also the source of its problems. An NGO is often synonymous with a non-for-profit organization, whose e...read more

Symbolism of the Shepherd

When sedentism became the norm, the remaining nomadic populations were mostly herders. Modern shepherds are remnants of a historical nomadism, moving from one pasture to another. Shepherding has an interesting symbolism. Its most obvious use can be found in monotheistic religions. Shepherds are portrayed as benevolent leaders guiding innocent sheeps. A sheep is the allegory of faith and communion with the herd. Nowadays, being called a sheep has a pejorative connotation. One of blind faith and docility. A sheep, because of its innocence, is easily influenced. In an age where individualism is r...read more

Imagining An Ideal Nomadic Lifestyle For Myself

Nomads are shepherds moving from one location to another according to a seasonal path. Digital nomads could behave in a similar fashion. On the other hand, when I imagine the ideal nomad lifestyle, I think of Henry David Thoreau, his essay on walking and living in Walden, and how he traveled. I can see myself in my 30s combining the two ideas. I could buy a cheap plot of land in two different countries--say, Spain and Sweden--and share my time between them to take advantage of the weather. I would learn bushcraft and make myself a cabin like the ones you can see on Youtube self-reliance channe...read more

Back to the Grind

Last family meeting and last gargantuan meal of the holiday season today. I feel the new year weighing on me. The work ahead is as intimidating as ever, or perhaps it is just my stomach playing tricks on me. I acquired enough leverage in 2019 to design a sustainable lifestyle in 2020, whether it is in terms of interpersonal relationships, skills, or personal branding. I'm happy with the balance I found. I just have to keep delivering and aiming higher. I'm moving to Budapest in three days and will probably stay there for two or three months. The environment will be perfect for deep work, which...read more

It Was a Great 2019

2019 has been a pivotal year for me. I started making my first product in September 2017 and it became my first registered business six months later. 2018 passed by, I made half a dozen products without making a cent and living off my savings. Then I built 200WaD in November 2018 and everything went uphill from there. I'm very proud of three things this year. First, I've made my first monthly-recurring revenue as an indie maker. It gave me the strength to believe in myself and keep grinding. I can't live from making products yet, but I've also made my first revenue as a freelancer. This was a ...read more

3 Days Till Christmas Eve

My brother arrived at the family house. His semester just ended, which means there are only three days left before the big Christmas Eve dinner. We will all gather at my uncles'. I say "all", but we never managed to get every member of the family in the same place. We are just too spread out. My father has 11 brothers and sisters, so I have many cousins. My mother's family is also a big one. They tried organizing a cousinade two years ago and made it to the local newspapers: "90 family members gathered today, something never seen before". I didn't see it either because I wa...read more

Relaxing by Tidying Up

If you come to a place I've been living in on my own, you'll probably find it messy and dusty. It's not that I hate chores. I simply convince myself every day I've something better to do than cleaning, and it works almost every time. But for some reason I ignore, I go on a cleaning spree when I feel stuck. I tidy up my desk, take out the trash bag, clean the kitchen, make my bed, and have a shave. Once I'm back to the original minimalistic state of my apartment, I write down my goals and tasks on post-it notes and place them on the wall. Then I just go on a walk and empty my head. When I come ...read more

Acting

I took acting classes for two years. I was 10 years old and extremely shy. My parents figured out it would help me open up. It did, eventually. Being shy is being preoccupied with what people think. It's mirroring the persons in front of us in an effort to please them, or at least to not antagonize them. Shyness is a form of fear. It's an attempt at avoiding conflicts by repressing self-expression. Revealing yourself is uncomfortable and can be perceived as a threat, so shutting yourself down becomes a defense mechanism. Acting is putting on a mask. It's forging yourself a second identity. Whe...read more

Retirement Age

There is a huge protest going on in France. Nothing new, it's a tautology. French people are used to going on strike when their rights are threatened. It's been this way for hundreds of years and it will be tomorrow. The object of the protest is a modification of the pension system affecting the legal age of retirement to obtain a full pension: 64 instead of 62. As a young solopreneur with little revenue, I don't think I'll ever be able to reach the required years. I don't plan to anyway. The government will probably increase the age again in a few years. I can't trust them to retire when my h...read more

Do, then Document

I used to write about my upcoming projects before delivering: "I'm doing X and Y and releasing on date Z, watch me!" I've given up on this habit. I thought that documenting my journey in real-time was important to keep my audience updated and excited, but it's only diverting me from solving the urgent problems I have at hand to deliver. I was naïve. There is no clear call-to-action for my readers anyway. As long as you don't have anything to show for your efforts, keep it to yourself and your close circle. You should always find ways to bounce off ideas without telling everything you...read more

Hard Coding

I spent the whole day working on a new feature and failed to deliver. It's one of those days where I bump into too many bugs to count. I'm frustrated. I have nothing to show for my efforts. It happens. Sometimes, the problem is too hard to solve in a single day. The key is to have a good night of sleep and let the solution come to you. When you focus really hard on a single problem for several hours, your brain becomes as rigid as a stone. It becomes difficult to think. I feel grumpy. I'm full of doubts and I'm questioning myself. It's like swimming in mud, and I don't enjoy it. I might feel b...read more

Creating New Opportunities

As the co-founder of Linkedin Reid Hoffman says, opportunities come from people. If you want new opportunities, you need to meet new people. Even though I agree with this statement, meeting new people on Linkedin and putting my content out there didn't help me generate opportunities. I am not sure why honestly. Maybe I'm just in the wrong network with the wrong people, or my content doesn't resonate with the users of the platform. Or perhaps the way Linkedin is designed is not for me. I'm more of a Twitter guy. Twitter seems more content-driven than Linkedin. If you stay consistent and authent...read more

The Christmas Presents

When you're a kid, Christmas means presents. I remember the excitement of my brother and I. We would start browsing toy catalogues in November, pick one item, and write Santa a letter with carefully cut pictures and drawings as to clear up any confusion on his end. Waiting a whole month never failed to fire up our imagination. We learned about Santa's secret at some point, and from there it started being less about the magic of Christmas, and more about the material pleasures of the consumer society. We didn't have pocket money, so Christmas was this time of the year where our parents could af...read more

The 5 Principles of Sustainability - Introduction

Sustainability, or re-designing the way we live to be more mindful of our environment, is the greatest challenge in the History of humankind. What is sustainability though? To find a solution, we need a common framework for every stakeholder to understand the different aspects of the problem. This is the main motivation behind the Five Core Principles of Sustainability, written by Dr. Michael Ben-Eli. Sustainability can be divided into five sub-domains: the material domain (how do we manage our natural resources?), the economic domain (how do we manage wealth?), the domain of life (how should ...read more

You Are The Niche

As an indie founder, if you want to thrive, you have to niche down. That's common entrepreneurial advice. "Find your niche!" But what nobody tells you is that you already found it: it's within you. What's a niche in the end? It's a tiny subset of the overall market with its own culture - ideas, needs, beliefs. As humans, we already belong to several cultural spheres. We work in specific industries, in distinct companies with their own values. We come from different countries. We have different hobbies. We share the same biological needs, but ultimately we are all culturally and genet...read more

Junto

I finished reading "The Startup of You" yesterday, written by Reid Hoffman, co-founder of Linkedin. If you go past the self-advertisement parts, it's an interesting read. It makes me think a lot about how I nurture my own network. I especially liked the idea behind the Junto ("together" in Spanish), a club for mutual improvement established by Benjamin Franklin: close friends gathering together to discuss important ideas and work together on finding solutions in a relaxed atmosphere. By definition, such group is not meant to scale to infinity (even though its impact upon so...read more

Wearing Many Hats

Wearing many hats is part of creating a startup. Except each hat is a parasite that takes possession of your body and you start developing multiple personalities. The writer wants to create more content. The coder begs to spend more time on making things. The marketer is never satisfied with the growth rate. The CEO wants to print cash. The teacher wants to spend more time guiding users. The gardener sow seeds. The student is thirsty for knowledge. It's not easy to make room for everyone, so they take turns. Living this many lives at once is enriching, but you know what they say: a jack of all...read more

November Project Inventory

Some of you might wonder what the hell I'm doing with my time, so here is an inventory of what I'm doing and why. Mastery is both my vision and my mission, why and how I live my life. Tech, writing, travel, and entrepreneurship are my tools to reach mastery. They suit me best because they leverage my strengths and interests. The projects I work on leverage those tools. I currently have 5 main projects. 200WordsaDay.com is a product for writers. I made it because I need to write a lot and well: content is king. The best way to do that is to use social accountability and visual triggers: a commu...read more

Content Creation in College

Back in college, I wish someone would have told me how important it is to have an online presence through content creation. We are taught how to write a resume. Then we are told to register on Linkedin and upload these short summaries of our lives. We are prepared to apply to jobs and perform interviews. The school's alumni network allows any student to identify work opportunities. Even though the employment rate remains high, students are growing increasingly dissatisfied with the current job market. Most settle for the first opportunity they are offered. We are told the most important thing ...read more

Creation, Destruction

An artist is a master of life and death, of creation and destruction. Destruction is always less attracting than creation. Destruction has a negative connotation because it's associated with mortality, but in the end, it's an integral part of change. You have to lose some before you earn some. We have to destroy before we can create. Destruction is the simplification process that gives room to growth. Muscles have to break down before increasing in mass. Instead of focusing on what we lack, maybe we should assess what we can remove from our lives first. It's far easier to destroy than it is to...read more

Re: Power November on 200WAD

This month is going to be significant in 200WaD's history. Our community will celebrate its first birthday on November 22. @keni is organizing our first community event on November 15. Today is also my 365th day of writing 200 words a day. I'm currently writing a retrospective to process what happened and inspire others to do so too. Writing literally changed my life. I had a lot going on over the last few months, which delayed the release of 200WaD V2.0. I wrote articles interviewing entrepreneurs. I'm currently working on my first paid writing gig as a freelancer. I experimented with new dig...read more

The Alarm Clock Dictatorship

My biggest privilege is not owning an alarm clock. My time is flexible. If I want to go out, I can party all night. If I don't feel like working, I can postpone my tasks. Nothing stops me from trying new things or jumping on impromptu opportunities. I can go to bed when I feel tired, and wake up when I'm rejuvenated. My circadian rhythm can be messed up sometimes, but I'm free to do whatever the hell I want. I can just listen to my body. I have absolutely no schedule whatsoever. I developed self-discipline instead. There are days where we are more productive than others. It's natural. Instead ...read more

The Cookie Jar

David Goggins's Cookie Jar technique is a motivation technique using visualization. The cookie jar is a mind palace filled with mental images of events and people triggering a strong emotional response, both negative and positive. The idea is to use this mental imagery to force a hormonal response within your body that will act as a lifeline throughout your hardest moments. It's not as wild as it sounds. It's been proven that playing tennis, watching someone playing tennis or imagining yourself playing tennis triggers the same parts of your brain called mirror neurons. Imagining a past event a...read more

Publishing my First Youtube Vlog

I published my first Youtube video yesterday. I wrote about going from blogging to vlogging a month ago, and I finally made it. My motives remain the same: I want to improve my speaking skills and experiment with new ways of expressing myself. The format appeared to me right before sleeping. I didn't want it to be too time-consuming, it had to seamlessly integrate into my daily life. I also wanted it to support my business goal to grow 200 Words a Day. That's when the idea of centering my vlog on my writing process hit me. I already have developed a daily writing habit. All I have to do is to ...read more

Seize your Time

I started working on MindfulPomodoro.com, a tool to help people make the most of their time. How so? Mindful Pomodoro combines the Pomodoro technique and a bell of mindfulness in one browser extension. A bell of mindfulness is a practice inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh from the famous Plum Village, for the monks and pilgrims to practice mindfulness. The idea is to ring a bell every 15 minutes to remind us to breathe and to bring back our attention to the present moment. The Pomodoro technique is a productivity tool used in time management. A timer is set to break down work into intervals, traditio...read more

Strong

As a teenager, I started working out because I wanted to look stronger. Not be stronger, look stronger. What does it mean to be strong anyway? We think having a six-pack is the epitome of strength. The main protagonist of Fight Club jokes about how art directors and advertisers define masculinity. A toned body and visible abs are the marks of beauty and everybody should look like a sculpted David. The archetype of the fighter is also how most people imagine strength. A fighter doesn't want a six-pack, a thin skin would leave an opening for the enemy. In the French army, the ideal soldier is de...read more

Childhood Vision

A clear mental picture appears to me when I try to imagine who I want to be: a man in a private office, sitting at his desk, surrounded by books, flying paper sheets, laboratory equipment, and mysterious inventions. I feel like I had this vision since forever, which intrigues me. I wonder where it comes from. Growing up, I idolized characters displaying a form of eccentric yet great wisdom, whose strength was known, yet hidden. I can trace it back to movie characters like Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings, Merlin from the Arthurian legends, and Dumbledore from the Harry Potter saga. I was 7 w...read more

Entrepreneurial Animal

Trade has been a pillar of most human societies throughout the ages. Owning some sort of business used to be as natural as getting married. In Vietnam, it's still common to have a side-hustle helping the family business while working a full-time job. The same happens in most developing countries. Only in rich countries do we perceive entrepreneurship as a risky path only a select few can pursue. Truth is, anybody with a few bucks to his name can become an entrepreneur nowadays. And it's not even hard, thanks to technology. There is just nothing glamorous about it anymore. Worse, any person wit...read more

Disciplinatus Flexibilitate

How would I describe my work ethics in one expression? Leonardo Da Vinci had Ostinato Rigore. Stan Lee proposed Excelsior. I decided mine would be Disciplinatus Flexibilitate. The first article I ever wrote online is called Chaos Routine. It already set the tone of what I'm aiming for in my professional life: kaizen and habitus, but also adaptability and an absence of dogma. That is, disciplined flexibility. Flexibility is analogous to adaptability. Adaptation is the single factor for survival in Darwin's evolution theory: "it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it ...read more

Vulnerable

I woke up this morning with weak aching muscles. Then I felt cold and without appetite. It was the flu. It's not funny to be a sick digital nomad by yourself in a foreign country. Growing up with asthma, I was often ill. But I could count on my parents' devotion to get better, and eventually, the symptoms weakened as I grew up. I am reminded of this period of my life. I am reminded of my mortality and how limited time is. I also remember last time I got sick. It was in Penang in November last year, and I just started writing 200 words every day. The website wasn't a thing yet. The fever lasted...read more

Notes on At Eternity's Gate

I just watched Vincent Van Gogh's biopic, At Eternity's Gate. I don't like most biopics. They are more focused on the drama and the love stories than the actual individual's thought process and mastery of the craft. It was different this time, I enjoyed how the director portrayed his life by focusing on his art and philosophy. It even gave me a lot of food for thought. You're never really creating if you've never experienced great solitude. There are things you can only express through your work, but sometimes your work just doesn't resonate with others and you enter an existential crisis. Cre...read more

Da Vinci inspired Resume

How to convey your diverse skills and interests to your audience when you're selling your expertise to potential customers or employers? A sales pitch is reader-centric, focused on the identified needs of the customer. Resumes are no different. You can shower the reader with keywords, job titles, achievements, and personal projects, but it's not directly telling the person analyzing you what you can bring to the table. I stumbled upon Leonardo Da Vinci's resume the other day, and I was fascinated by its clarity. It's not a resume per see - resume originating from the Latin expression Curriculu...read more

Ostinato Rigore

I've been feeling tired and bored over the last two weeks. Burnt-out, one could say. But it wouldn't be entirely true. I just needed some rest and some me-time to think and get some fresh air. We all have low periods throughout the year, it's just normal. There are moments where I feel like starting a business was a mistake and I would've been better off living comfortably with a stable wage. What do I tell myself when I feel like quitting my life as a maker? I just remember what led me to this point. Leaving college, I gave myself two choices: I could either become an employee, live frugally,...read more

Surround Yourself with Hungry Fools

Being a maker is a career. If you want to increase the probability of success of your project, you need people. The more people, the better. Owning a business is not hard anymore, anybody can be an entrepreneur, but it got way harder to compete for attention: how can I attract people to rally my cause? Most people go for the big fishes in the pond: influencers. If you manage to get people with a huge following to become your ally, you can speed up your growth - in theory at least. The reality is everyone is self-interested to some extent. Influencers have higher leverage, they don't have an in...read more

Friendly Advice to New Makers

I'm in no position to give guidance, but here is a piece of advice I wish I knew when I started out as a maker: marketing is an integral part of making, don't avoid it and give it as much attention as shipping features. Marketing is a frightening word when you know nothing about it. As Jason Fried from Basecamp wrote, just understand everything is marketing: it's not a secondary activity, it's almost a lifestyle. Marketing is simply about sharing every day: choose a format (podcast, blog, videos, tweet, Instagram post, etc.) and create content on a daily basis by documenting your journey - wha...read more

Let's stop separating science and art

It's commonly assumed there are two kinds of people in the world: those who do science and those who do art. The dichotomy is ingrained in our minds as early as primary school. You have a math class, then a plastic arts class. The former weighs more in your trimestrial evaluation. Then, in high school, the best students go to the Science branch while the marginal ones are told to integrate the Literature branch or to drop out to find a specialization program. In college, the inequalities grow even more apparent. You assign yourself a label and a tribe you proudly proclaim. Differences are mock...read more

I'm joining Makerlog's staff

I love Makerlog. It's been one of the main inspirations for 200WaD with the free streak-based community model, and I use it daily to journal my deliveries in terms of content (200WaD posts) and software releases (updates and bug fixes). The community is an integral part of my work from both an operational (tasks performed) and a strategic (personal marketing, motivational support) point of view. I already support Makerlog financially by donating $5 a month to his creator Sergio and I'm an active user featured in the leaderboard, but I wanted to help it grow further because it's a product I bel...read more

Living in the Future

It is commonly assumed great leaders and entrepreneurs live in the future. They are expected to be some sort of oracle whose job is to guide mere mortals to a land of prosperity. Or at least, that's what the common startup hero narrative tells you. I couldn't disagree more. The best entrepreneurs live in the present. The problems which matter are happening now, not in 10 years. An entrepreneur's success doesn't primarily stem from his ability to think ahead, but to deeply observe what's happening now in the world. It's those observational skills that will lead to the right predictions, if such...read more

Alignment

What is alignment between who I am and what I do? If I were to represent it on a piece of paper, I wouldn't draw a line between the two. Alignment is best represented with a circle. When you work on what you love, it feeds your enthusiasm, then you work harder and it all adds up. Throw in just the right amount of fun and you obtain a virtuous circle called a passion. A roller coaster loop that will propel you to the most exciting aspects of life, that's what alignment is. At first, fear and self-doubt will prevail. It's only temporary. There is no more transcendent feeling than overcoming hard...read more

Cheap Thrills

I find the best things in life to be either free or cheap: Bolognese pasta, a bike ride, friendship, knowledge... anyone can enjoy those at an affordable price. But we are wired to focus on the things that are out of our reach. Do we even know what it is we already have? I don't know what's exactly in my bag right now. I don't know how the nerves in my hands operate. I don't know if I feel excited or tired or caffeinated. Modern humans are deeply individualistic: we want what's best for us. Yet, we always experience outside of ourselves - existence, from the Latin words ex (out) and stare (to ...read more

Re: Designing your dream life

To be honest, I don't know what's a dream life. I'm just 25, my life barely started. I don't know how you yourself can design one either. The only question I'm asking myself is: am I living the dream now or am I daydreaming? I don't have time to think about a dream life, I can only live. The things you deeply want to do are either actionable right now or out of your control. What kind of lifestyle do you want to pursue? If you want to go vegan, you just become a vegan. If you want to be a millionaire, this is not for you to decide. In both cases, there is nothing to design. Is society getting ...read more

Inner Calling

In his book Mastery, Robert Greene talks extensively about the need to reconnect with your inner calling to reach mastery. His message is not to find a "passion" but to reconnect with what we were naturally intrigued by as children. A visceral desire that will fuel and guide our life's work. Is there such thing as an inner calling? The author pinpoints aspects of the lives of famous masters to illustrate his claims. For example, Einstein was fascinated with a compass, the invisible force known as magnetism probably triggering his future interest for physics. As Freud says, "the ...read more

What's good teaching?

I love sharing what I know or what I'm trying to learn. Sharing is part of teaching: done right, it's a highly rewarding activity. You get to have a lasting influence on the lives of others. Good or bad, I wouldn't be who I am without my teachers. Then, the following question comes to mind: how can I be a good teacher? As Montaigne describes, great teachers are compassionate beings. They can put themselves in the shoes of their students. If teaching is about bringing out the potential of his/her students, a teacher has to be familiar with their needs, and since the tutor shouldn't make a disti...read more

Team Work

The thing college fails at most, no matter where you are from, is its approach to team work. Being academically successful in college depends on a single metric : not grades, but ranking. If you are ranked well, you get access to the best programs by selection. It’s a twisted system clearly favoring competitivity over collaboration. And yet, we are expected to know how to "team work" when we enter the job market: how can we flip this? First, team work is not just a nice-to-have. It's the very fabric of any human endeavor: you make something with others, or you don't. There is no self...read more

The Age of Makership

The age of makership is barely getting started. Craftsmanship gave birth to a whole new set of businesses with their own distinct codes and sub-cultures. Similarly, makership is a new paradigm. The means of production are getting increasingly distributed: 3D printing, no-code tools, free online services, mass artificial intelligence... it's never been easier to create wealth. Today, anyone can make a tech product. Degrees won't matter as much as having a portfolio when it comes to get a job. It will be expected of employees to have built something on their own - a community, a tool, a website,...read more

Pain Threshold

My pain threshold has dramatically increased over the last two years. I barely procrastinate anymore, I stopped complaining, and I stopped feeling discouraged when I receive negative feedback. Is it a good or a bad thing? I'm not sure. I have little empathy for people who never stop whining. I'm becoming a tad robot-like, more stoïc when it comes to getting things done. It has become so obvious to me I'm starting to forget where I come from. I don't know how I got to this point honestly. Probably the accumulation of experiences. The mockeries throughout middle school. The first time I...read more

Expertise Validation

Most workers spend their life trying to climb the corporate ladder. Since I worked as an employee for only six months, I am not an expert, but I think it's quite obvious most people are bad at it. Working for one year to get a 2% raise? Seems pretty fishy if you ask me. There is so much you can do in one year to grow as an individual - I can safely assume you can deliver at the very least 10% more in value if you set your mind on it. People aren't lazy, it's not the issue. We are just bad at selling our expertise to gain leverage. Good news: it can be learned. How do we demonstrate this exp...read more

Resting

Today I'm 25. I took the day off to visit Hoi An with my family and two friends. I couldn't say no. I'm not a cave man yet. Days off have been pretty rare over the last year and a half. I don't really need days off, there is always something I'm excited about that's closely related to my work. That's just how I designed my life: a constant alternance of working and resting phases that's sustainable for me. Steven Pressfield would say a pro doesn't need days off. I agree: no days off, but plenty of rest. You don't have to be at 1000% all the time. It's better to go at 80% every day and keep goi...read more

Reasons to make

We all have our reasons. We do everything for a reason. Quite often, this reason is someone else. That's just the way humans are: we are social animals. When you ask yourself why we act one way or another, it's probably because we have been told to do so by someone else, directly or not: family, friends, lovers, bosses, colleagues, teachers... All of our acts which are not requested by nature are social constructs. Do they matter? Does free will truly exist? That's the question I have in mind after remembering Camus' Myth of Sysiphus. I wanted to write about makers and entrepreneurship, but I ...read more

Meaning of Life

I came to the conclusion "know thyself" is both the way to live and the meaning of life. The how and the why. My existence is centered on learning about myself: my place in the universe, what makes me human, what are my strengths and my weaknesses, what makes my DNA so unique. Only by exposing myself to new experiences can I know what's best for me, then act upon it accordingly and deliberately. Alignment between who I am and what I do is what I define as happiness. It can be linked to the Japanese term "ikigai", the "reason for being". It is believed ikigai origi...read more

Minimalist Entrepreneurs

The market follows its own version of natural selection. Companies which adapt best to their environment are more likely to survive. The surviving species are the ones who can do more with less. T-Rex had claws, thick skins, an imposing size, and dense bones. It can easily crush a cockroach, and yet, cockroaches are not going extinct any time soon. Even humans are not nearly as prosperous as: cockroaches are at least 320 million years old, whereas the Australopithecus lived around 4 million years ago. The reason is quite simple: a cockroach doesn't need much to live and reproduce. In a sense, ...read more

Big Evilcorps

There was a time where I wanted to work at a big tech megacorp. 6 digits paychecks, a good employee package, respect, a good line on the resume, and important challenges to solve. A "Dream Job". Then I read about what's a typical day at Google/Facebook/Apple/[insert relevant company] and I wasn't so excited anymore. Then I watched Mr. Robot and the question of ethics came out. I wanted to rebel, I wanted to become a counter-power with a strong moral compass. Startups appeared as the antithesis of the typical evilcorp. At first. After co-founding one and going through an incubator, I ...read more

Achilles' Dilemma

Sometimes, when things get hard and I can't help but feel lonely, I forget why I became an entrepreneur in the first place, and I wish I had pursued a more stable position. It's hard to ignore your reptilian programming. To seek the comfort of a good job, before spending all weekends forgetting you have one. To lock yourself in an identity, a situation. To chase money and status. To cherish praises, to dwell in the everyone's (and thus no one's) approval. Most people want rest, stability, or happiness. Is it what we are here for? Why don't we all just eat, sleep, watch TV, and f* all day then?...read more

Building a House

Building my own tiny house is a thing I absolutely want to do during my lifespan. I love making stuff with my own hands, and building a house is probably the most useful thing you can learn. I got the idea watching an uncle of mine living in a little cabin he made in his garden. Then I read Thoreau's Walden and I knew I wanted to try it eventually. All I need fits in a backpack, so I guess I don't need to build something big. I've been looking at this Youtube channel called "Living Big in a Tiny House" lately, and I find it super inspiring. I've always been attracted to minimalism an...read more

Why I liked GoT's ending

Good art is not merely entertaining. It's didactic, it broadens the mind, it makes you think. Similarly, a good ending is a resolution bringing a fresh perspective to a problem. GoT's finale was incredibly subversive. Not a happy ending, but full of valuable lessons, which is precisely why it was a great ending. The last two seasons received a lot of hate, most of the time for the wrong reasons. No, the plot was good. Yes, the pace was too fast. GoT is not merely about dragons and zombies, it's a political essay trying to answer a complex question: what is a great ruler? The series was a huge ...read more

Perfect Day

Here is another thought experiment for you: what would be a perfect day? Lou Reed sang it, it was more of a call to escapism than a perfect day: Just a perfect day, You made me forget myself I thought I was someone else, Someone good. What's a perfect day anyway? I'd argue it's a day you can't improve. And since days are the unit of life, they should fit in the bigger picture. A balance between delayed gratification and epicureanism. It's 6 AM. The sun is rising, so do I. I reach my desk to shut down the alarm clock. Some sportswear has been placed methodically on a chair. I put it on and he...read more

Re: 5 years from now

Thank you for the mention @santoshguru , great writing prompt. At first, I was tempted to talk about 200WaD. The thing is I have no idea if it will still exist. Most startups never go past a year, and even though I work every day on creating a sustainable business, there is no way I can influence the market by myself. This is why I decided to write about where I'm planning to be in five years from now on, because I can only have control over myself, not others. In July 2019 I will celebrate my 25th birthday, and I promised myself two years ago I would dedicate my life to the pursuit of mastery...read more

Five Movies

I want to add a Fun Facts section to my website, so how about a list of the five movies I would take with me to a deserted island? A Fistful of Dollar, by Sergio Leone: Listening to Morricone's music while watching Clint Eastwood playing the part of the unnamed gunslinger anti-hero never fails to reignite my desire for adventure. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly remains the most acclaimed movie of the trilogy - for good reasons - but I'm a big fan of this remake of Kurosawa's Yojimbo. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, by Hayao Miyazaki: Apprenticeship, environmentalism, incredible animation......read more

Entrepreneurship and Philosophy

Philosophy is the love of wisdom, and ho boy do we need more wisdom in the tech startup scene. You don't become a philosopher by reading philosophy, philosophying is the act of loving wisdom and thus consciously or unconsciously seeking the truths of this world. What is it entrepreneurs do? They own businesses. And a sustainable business solves a pain point, a problem. When Elon Musk tells us about his problem-solving method, he brings up First Principle Reasoning, which was coined by Aristotle. A first principle is a general truth everyone can agree on. For example, humans are social animals,...read more

On Ignorance

If I knew right from the beginning how tough making your own startup is, it's highly probable I would have been discouraged. Knowledge can be overwhelming, sometimes it's best to just chase an opportunity by rushing headfirst. I think it's a mistake to say you want to acquire more experience before starting your own tech business. The more you wait, the higher you set the bar for yourself. Nothing will go perfectly, you have to start lean. You can't overdo things when you don't know them, so stop planning, stop listening to successful entrepreneur's podcasts, stop overthinking, and just make s...read more

Spinozadventure

Baruch Spinoza fascinates me. The acts of the Prince of Philosophers were aligned with the ideas he preached - philosophy as a way of life is still rare nowadays - while keeping his material desires to a minimum, living a simple life dedicated to the pursuit of truth. I was reading his Ethics yesterday, or at least I was trying to: I read 10 pages before giving up and quickly skimming through the book to get a sense of the structure. I can still formulate a thought from having a quick look at the page: Spinoza's reasoning is one of a mathematician, first principle reasoning. The author establi...read more

Adaptation

Success is an equation between adapting yourself to the world and adapting the world to you, a sort of alignement between who we are, what we want to represent, and what the world needs. Darwin taught us adaptation is the cornerstone of survival. Similarly, individuals striving in today's economy are those who can learn hard things fast: education is cultural evolution. Knowledge is not just any power, it commands wealth: respect, fame, love, money... truth is both destructive and liberating. Those who are right, or appear to be right, hold the world. Scholars and priests are held in high rega...read more

In an Introspective Mood

Book released, website migration almost over, the comfort of the family house... it's the right time to pause for a few days before attempting to reach new heights of growth. I spent the whole day spring cleaning my bedroom - aka my temporary work office. It is now high-time to update my personal growth framework with the success of 200WaD at the center. I do not work in plans, only habits I integrate into daily life. Plans are meant to change frequently when you are a young indie business because flexibility and iterative learning are primordial, so why should I spend too much time writing on...read more

A man's search for meaning

There are two books I always have in mind when it comes to life and its meaning: Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, and Albert Camus' Myth of Sysiphus. Frankl proposes that humans need meaning to be able to strive, survive, and flourish. He then formulates there is no big or small meaning. Children, art, science... any meaning works as long as it has a positive impact on your life and others. Escapism is both humanity's greatest strength and the root of all evil. Civilization is the ultimate attempt of humankind to avoid facing its own mortality. Camus talks of escapism as "philos...read more

Teaching Entrepreneurship in College

I got introduced to entrepreneurship in engineering school through a school project. My classmates and I joined courses on topics such as finance or marketing. We had to deliver a minimum viable product and a business plan in 6 months, under the guidance of two tutors. The school project was fun and rewarding from a technical point of view. We won a small prize. But it wasn't exhilarating. The way we teach entrepreneurship in school is still far from reality. It projects wrong perceptions. Writing a business plan is incredibly boring. Business plans are for fundraising: you don't need one when...read more

Limiting beliefs in the tech economy

You don't need to know how to code to launch a tech product. You don't need a network to make an app. You don't need experience to start a business. You don't need much money to create your own venture. Limiting beliefs don't discriminate. Colleagues, school, friends, lovers, family... they come from anywhere. But we are in an age of digital wild west. For every problem, there is an opportunity. A cyberspace where the brave will prevail. What you need is a thirst for truth, that which is in accordance with reality. People who strive best in today's economy are the ones doing hard things at the...read more

Ethics and engineering

Engineering is not just about technical mastery, ethics play a huge part as well. No matter your engineering field, you are going to make moral choices. Science and technology are powerful tools impacting our daily life. With great powers come great responsibilities. If physicians have the Hippocratic Oath, engineers need to make one for themselves. There is no such thing at a company level of course. Should we give up our values for a monthly paycheck and great benefits? I hope not. I do not want to. This is something you have to think about and discuss right from the start. Being stuck in a ...read more

Freedom Guilt

One of the aspects that attracted me the most in entrepreneurship is creative freedom. I can work on what I want, whenever I want. Of course, it's still a romantic view of entrepreneurship -- you still have to take into account the interests of your stakeholders. You are independent, but not entirely free. Tech entrepreneurship also feels like diving into the unknown. There is freedom, a form of transcendence in navigating past the known world. Product/Market fit is a quest for truth. When I think about truth and freedom I'm always remembered of Socrate's Allegory of the Cave: if you happen to...read more

On Visionaries

A visionary is someone capable of imagining the future while planning for it accordingly, someone who has a vision. It's interesting to note that prophets and visionaries have been revered throughout history as carriers of great wisdom. The Oracle of Delphi was so respected it became a Roman institution. Elon Musk is highly-regarded as one of the most talented entrepreneurs of our age. All great leaders seem to have great visions, so it's only natural to be lead to believe you need a great vision to become a great leader. When I reflect on this statement, I can only observe that most movements...read more

On Thoreau

Henri-David Thoreau is among my favorite writers and philosophers. He was not afraid of living an authentic life and stayed true to himself until the end of his own existence. Thoreau was a precursor. You might have studied Walden, his most famous book. It still fascinates me. Walden is a call to our animal side. Being one with our nature is respectfully living off nature, the essence of environmentalism. To do so, the author advocates simple living, which we rebranded nowadays as "minimalism". Emancipator, he coined the term Civil Disobedience, which would later inspire Gandhi to le...read more

French Engineering School

The French education system is peculiar. Public universities are almost free: a few hundred bucks per year, paid by the government if you come from a low-income family. Most teenagers decide to pursue their studies after high school, for better or worse, but many options are available. Two paths are possible to obtain a Master degree: you can attend a regular public university, or you can go to a "Grande École" ("Great School"). I always knew I wanted to become a software engineer. In France, the title of engineer can only be granted by engineering schools, and the best one...read more

When are you getting a real job?

I will have been a full-time entrepreneur for a year by the end of the month. Looking back, it's been a bumpy road, but it was worth it. Probably my best year in terms of personal growth. When I told my parents I wanted to work on my own company, they thought it was a phase. I had just stopped a job interview process at a tech consulting firm in Paris. The company was prestigious. The salary was great. The benefits as well. In the eyes of my parents, it was a dream job. My monthly wage would have represented double the amount my mother was earning after 40 years of career. They respected my ch...read more

The "Stop Consuming, Start Creating" fallacy

I often read the expression "Stop Consuming, Start Creating". Sometimes on Twitter sometimes on Medium. It seems it appears on every platform. It has some truth to it, but it remains a black-or-white fallacy. Those articles preach the idea that consuming is a bad thing and that we should all be "doers". They are usually followed by a call-to-action inviting you to buy products that will enable you to realize your wildest dreams. Don't be fooled, it's oversimplifying motivational bullcrap. The truth is that there is no such thing as consuming and/or creating. What is the fir...read more

Out of Control

This post is a personal reminder to let go. We all have moments of doubts. Sometimes those doubts turn into fear. The good thing with fears is that you can overcome them. You either learn to rationalize what scares you or, if it's an irrational fear, you can meet a therapist when it gets debilitating. Rationalization is a great defense mechanism when it's used to overcome psychological blocks - not when it's used to create excuses that will sabotage your efforts or someone else's. Take a good look at what frightens you. Ask yourself a simple question: is it something within my control? If you ...read more

Minimalism

The engineer part of my brain loves optimizing, so I quickly got attracted to the concept of minimalism during my college years. Minimalism has been around for thousands of year. From Diogenes the Cynic to Marie Kondo, the core idea remains the same: Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. - Wind, Sand and Stars (Terre des Hommes), Antoine de Saint-Exupery Perfection is an ideal state. You cannot reach it forever. It rarely comes. It will eventually go. Saint-Exupery was referring to the craftsmen who built his airplane. The...read more

Consuming is making a choice

I like the expression "Purchasing power". Not what it means, the amount of goods or services that one unit of a given currency can buy, but what it illustrates in a literal manner: having money is a form of power, and buying is empowering the company you are buying from. We are quick to forget that the way we consume has a huge impact on our economy at scale. I plead guilty. There is always a moment where you just buy something apparently harmless without thinking about the consequences, like buying a burger from McDonald's out of hunger after a night at the bar. Do I want to empower...read more

Makers that inspire me

Product Hunt kicked off an interesting discussion yesterday: "Name another Maker that inspires you". It makes an interesting topic to discuss today as well. @aidenbuis Aiden is not only a great mental health advocate but also a top maker. The very definition of quiet strength. @andreyazimov Andrey inspired my first project as an indie maker: Road to Ramen, a journey of 6 months to reach ramen profitability as an indie maker building his own products. It was the umbrella project that got me into a habit of making, and that led to 200WaD. R2R is now abandoned (focusing full-time on 200...read more

What's a Maker?

Note: The title of my book, which is announced to be released by March the 15th, is Making a Maker. I guess it's only fair to make a first attempt at defining the term Maker in this post. I will iterate over it later. Consider it a draft. Makers are people who make things. If we consider this general definition, makers have been around since the dawn of time, and most individuals are makers. But words evolve. They are meant to, because societies change. In the context of the Maker Movement, a maker is a member of a culture. Cultures are exclusive by definition. It doesn't mean that cultures di...read more

Imperfections

Greeks believed men and women were originally not two but one single entity called Androgynous. Androgynous threatened the gods, so Zeus divided them to better conquer them. Soul mates are but two parts of the same Androgynous soul, and this is why humans seek their better half since the dawn of time. We seek wholeness. One could say, we strive for perfection. Everybody knows that nobody is perfect, meaning, humankind will always hope for a better tomorrow and perfection is a never-ending quest. However, what matters in the quest for perfection is the journey, not the destination. People who s...read more

Unpaid Roles

Time to take on the weekly topic. I can talk about my childhood with a stay-at-home dad and a working mother, or, I can tell my experience as an NGO volunteer. Let's consider with the latter in this post. I joined the Board of European Students of Technology in October 2015 while I was still studying at INSA Lyon as an aspiring telecom engineer. BEST is a European non-profit student NGO whose aim is to empower diversity through education. I started as a regular member in Lyon. I then took on some IT tasks (build event websites, manage the web hosting, create an official website etc.) and becam...read more

Living off the Clutter of Others

One thing that attracted me to the nomad lifestyle, in particular, is how it presupposes minimalism. Wherever I go, people are always surprised at how small my luggage is. In Asia, I carry 3 t-shirts, 2 shirts, 3 pairs of pants, 1 pair of shoes, 4 pairs of socks, 4 underwears, and a blazer for whenever it gets cold. I never fail to bring a tie and a waistcoat. There is always a good reason to suit up when you travel. When I stay inside I use a sports shirt and a pair of shorts. Except for clothes, the only thing I need is my laptop and some electronics. What I carry fits in a medium-sized bag,...read more

Expelled

Getting expelled from college was one of the turning points of my life. Looking back, I always had it easy. I was a top student throughout my whole boyhood, and got my high school degree with top grades. I was lucky enough to have parents who always made sure I was not slacking off at school. Well, maybe easy is not the right term since I still had to put in the work, but I had the right environment to prosper. After high school I passed the entry process of one of the top engineering school in France, INSA Lyon. In France, public engineering schools are in a different system than regular univ...read more

Hardness, Tenderness

“One has to grow hard but without ever losing tenderness.” I grew up with this quote from Che Guevara written on the wall next to my bed in the family house. I remember writing it as a teenager learning about politics and trying to act cool and contrarian. I didn't quite grasp it at the time. I'm still trying to figure it out. The quote stuck with me for some reason, and a few days ago, it hit me that this is the perfect illustration of what a great leader is all about. A leader doesn't seek a following or to be a leader. A leader is an individual who left the cave to experience the sun and ...read more

On Education

We often quote Montaigne's essay as one of the precursors of modern education. If we have a closer look at how we handle the training of the young minds nowadays, this could not be further from the truth. According to Montaigne, the goal of education is to birth skilled individuals, meaning, people capable of judging, rather than mere scholars. Inspired by the wisdom of many ancient Greek philosophers, Montaigne proposes core educational values such as the absence of dogma and independent thinking. More than a theoretical essay, the humanist defines the role of a tutor. A teacher acts as a gui...read more

I want to work remotely from a monastery but I can't

Today I decided to give @brianball 's formula a try and state a wish in front of a group of people to hopefully attract the right person to help me with it. Here is my statement, and one of my goal for 2019: I want to work remotely from a monastery, but I can't because I don't know how to present it to the institution. This idea emerged in my mind after encountering two travelers in Penang who performed a meditation retreat in Thaïland. Mindfulness is important for many endeavors. I believe building a company to be one of them. Growing a company is tough. It's easy to get caught in the past or...read more

The 1 Million Dollars Thought Experiment

I don't remember where I read about it. This is the kind of idea that sticks in your unconscious for so long that you forget about its origin. I tried to google it, without success. How would it impact your life to receive 1 million dollars right now? It's a simple thought experiment to assess whether or not 1) your lifestyle is aligned with your aspirations and 2) you are effectively working toward your dreams. If you are already doing something you love, chances are that your life won't be much affected. This is something we should strive for: a lifestyle fitting you so deeply that even all ...read more

Spending Christmas Alone: my Experiment

This year I decided to spend the end of December in South-East Asia. The first thing I notice is that Christmas is celebrated here out of sheer western influence. There is no particular reason why people do it, except maybe for advertisement and social pressure. Santa sells more than it gives. The Christmas Spirit feels fake. Yet another attempt at pleasing tourists. This is why I don't miss Christmas these days. It just doesn't feel right. One week ago a sad looking middle-aged Bengali waiter served me food while wearing a ridiculous Christmas hat. He immigrated from Bangladesh to Malaysia to...read more

Voiceless Majority

There is but one truly serious philosophical question and that is suicide. - Albert Camus We are 7.8 billion human beings huddling around a small particle in a too-big-to-comprehend universe. In his book The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus asks: Has life a meaning? To which he answers that life is absurd and meaningless, but we shouldn't give into fear and strive to make peace with this apparent fact in order to be happy. Life is meaningless, so we are free to create our own meaning. How do we create our own meaning? My take is that before creating our own meaning, maybe we should create first. Beco...read more

You Don't Need Co-Founders

I am fascinated by the work of Paul Graham. He changed the way we build startups, but that does not mean I agree with everything he writes. His opinion of solo founders is one of them. PG argues that: 1) A founder starting a company alone is a founder who couldn't get his own friends on-board, thus proving a lack of leadership ("vote of no confidence") 2) "Starting a startup is too hard for one person [...] you need colleagues to brainstorm with, to talk you out of stupid decisions, and to cheer you up when things go wrong" 3) "The low points in a startup are so low th...read more

The Hero's journey

The monomyth, also known as the Hero's journey, is a fascinating concept in narratology popularized by Joseph Campbell in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949). A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man. This pattern can be found in most tales depicting the adventures of a hero. Not only in tales, but also in most religions. All prophets went through a similar journey. C...read more

How I got into software development

Sigmund Freud says in his book "A Life in Psychoanalysis" that the child is the father of the man, meaning that our habits from childhood end up defining us to some extent in our adult life. This could not be more true in my case. My parents, my brother and I used to go on vacation in a van traveling around Spain and Portugal. For as long as I can remember, I am a slow traveler, and a nomad at heart. My brother and I always loved playing video games (Game Boy Advance + Playstation 2). Travels and video games fueled my imagination. When I was not playing video games, I would either be...read more

What is financial independence really about

Ask random people in the street about what financial independence means to them. Chances are, they will tell you they need X millions to consider themselves findependent, meaning, you have to earn a lot more than what you are currently making. There is some truth to it. If tomorrow you earned 1 million dollars, you would have enough money for the rest of your life, as long as you invest it correctly. But this quest for more is far from liberating. Money becomes your master. You will never attain any form of freedom. Instead, I say, learn to master your money. Money is an universal tool meant t...read more

Why I gave in to entrepreneurship straight out of college

The following essay is an edited version of an original post I published on my blog (now abandoned). I hope it will inspire you to start making. --- When I was a kid, I wanted to be an inventor. I liked pretending to build advanced technologies out of wooden sticks and crayons. Children like to babble about their future job titles, though mine never changed since I was ten years old. At the time, my teacher asked the class to write down some ideas about who we would like to be when we grow up. I vividly remember coming up with two titles, one of them being “architect”, yet only writing down th...read more

On practicing what you preach

Most people think of philosophy as something abstract, which does not belong to everyday life but to formal dinners. This could not be further from the truth. Philosophy is an act first. You cannot preach something without it being already a driving force in your life. When I set out to make 200 Words a Day, I was already 18 days in the challenge. I experienced its benefits first-hand. And I knew how it could benefit others by adding new social dynamics to it. This was a belief supported by a personal philosophy. An act, no vain words. When your thoughts, your values and your acts are aligned,...read more