Steve Jobs on life

From the video:

“When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family. Have fun. Save a little money.”

“That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact and that is: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.”

“Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

Flaws in Path

Yes, the new Path app is amazing. Everyone’s been going crazy about all those smart user interface tweaks that make you smile. You can read about that elsewhere. I on the other hand have some critique. So far I’ve found two flaws, both visible on this screenshot:

 

Photo

 

First, the app does not recognize and hyperlink links. Second, it does not support national characters (the word with question marks on the screenshot should be “prší”). These are relatively cheap to fix, yes, but with the attention to detail that went in, I’m surprised these bugs are present at all.

On Android market share and lack of developers

Yesterday evening, I attended For Mobile at HUB Prague. It’s a regular meeting of local mobile developers. One thing that struck me was the dominance of iOS developers amongst attendees. There were almost none Android devs there.

This obsession with iOS is a common theme here in Czech Republic. There are various reasons for it, e.g. loud advocates, local success stories or historical lack of Android against iOS. This lead to wider iOS adoption not only by developers, but also by clients who were, sometimes mindlessly, ordering only iOS apps.

With the widespread adoption of Android, times are changing. At Wildfuse, we have clients from the Western Europe and overseas and we could see the turn already about half a year ago. It is only a matter of time when the regional media houses, advertising agencies and other institutions core to the business of local mobile studios will acknowledge the size of the Android market. I think it will come in about 3 to 6 months. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the locals will adapt to this market turn, more so with the current lack of Android devs.

If you are a developer playing with the idea of “going mobile”, we’re hiring. Non-experienced devs can learn from one of the best Android developers in the country. We’re also looking for iOS programmers. Don’t hesitate to say hello.

 

My DailyWeb 2011 presentation

I gave a talk at the DailyWeb 2011 conference. Here are my slides, in Slovak.

The talk was a short and fast introduction to NoSQL. It gives and overview of pros and cons of NoSQL systems and a cherry-picked summary of 4 concrete NoSQL products (MongoDB, Redis, Couchbase and Riak).

I’d like to thank the people behind DailyWeb and namely Daniela Hladíkova for inviting me to speak at this conference and for the profesional, flawless organization.

Money is in mobile

The golden era of mobile has begun. Mobile is huge right now and growing strong, with no signs of stopping. Just take a look at any indicator – sale of mobile devices, apps available, people with internet access on mobile devices vs. traditional desktop computers, etc.

There are companies launching with nothing but an iOS app; they don’t bother making a web. Others start with a website just as a thin client (e.g. Instagram, LocalHero). Old, established companies are reinventing themselves through new mobile offerings and for some, creating a mobile version of their existing product is a life-saver. Some VC firms invest purely in companies with mobile products.

There’s money to be made, whether you’re a developer/provider of apps or a business owner looking for a new ways reach your customers. The amount of cash fuels the industry.

What it means for developers?

If you’re looking at getting your hands on this cash, there are two obvious ways.

The risky, but ultimately more rewarding way is to start your own company. The web is full of success stories, but be careful not to get seduced by them. It is hard work, success does not come over-night. For every new “mobile millionaire” I can show you ten guys that didn’t make it. A piece of advice – be innovative, i.e. don’t make another photo-sharing app right now, plus whatever you do, don’t do it without an excellent graphic/UX/interaction designer.

The safe and arguably more fun way is to get employed. Good mobile developers are scarce, companies will fight for you. You can choose where you want to work. Even people in junior positions get better salaries than their counterparts in non-mobile companies. Another advantage of this is that to make good money, you don’t have to work for a big, faceless, enterprise firm developing J2EE applications.

If you’re aspiring to become a mobile programmer, don’t hesitate and contact your desired company. Because of the world-wide shortage of mobile developers, there’s a good chance they will give you the opportunity and you will learn it on the go. If you’re looking for a job in this space right now, Mobera Job Fair is the best place to do it.

What it means for businesses?

Every company should have mobile presence. At minimum a responsive (fancy word for saying “optimized for viewing on a mobile device”) web. If it does not, it is missing out on an ever growing pool of potential customers.

Mobile web is, however, only the beginning. People prefer native applications to mobile-optimized pages. For a lot of businesses it makes sense to have a specialized application for iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7. There’s also value in creating a custom app just for a single product (car makers are especially good in this area).

If you are just starting to think about your mobile strategy, come to the B2B networking event at Mobera to learn more about the market. Pick a mobile solutions provider with good references with and with a top-notch interaction designer. In mobile, the feel, ease of use of the final application matters more than anywhere else. You don’t want your customers to be frustrated. However, be prepared to pay more for your than you would for a web app – development for mobile devices is more complex, takes more time and developers are paid better.

Mobile is an exciting space right now. Don’t miss out on all the fun and opportunities it has to offer and definitely come to Mobera.

Don’t ever buy a car from AAAAuto

AAA Auto is the largest used-cars dealer in the Czech Republic. It is also known for being dishonest, fraudulent and customer unfriendly. There are tens blogposts of customer complaints if you search for them. Basically, AAA Auto is a big scam.

The other day, my brother found an interesting listing for a 1999 Ford Mondeo on their website. I’m attaching a screenshot of the car’s dashboard if the original link will disappear in the future.

Aaaauto-mondeo-fail

The funny and sad thing is they are so dumb they didn’t even notice. Anyway, if you’re looking to buy a used car, do yourself a favor and aviod AAA Auto.

Attention to detail

I’m not an Apple fanboy, quite the contrary. However I admire the unrivaled attention to detail throughout their products. The magnetic power cord connector, sleep indicator blinking rate that mimics a human’s breathing rate, new mail indication in Mail app on iOS, the Notes app icon (notices the remains of previously tore down notes) or my personal favorite, the iCal/Calendar app icon which changes every day to represent the current date.

This almost fanatic attention to detail is a big part of why people love Apple. And it’s not just Apple. Every time I see something similar, a “nice to have” feature, a small but beautiful design touch, something almost unnecessary that improves how I use the thing, I appreciate it deeply. I instantly feel more in love with the product. It gives the impression of quality because I know someone has thought intensively about how he can improve it and make the product perfect. You wouldn’t spend your time on unnecessary, needless details if your product wasn’t working properly.

These well thought out details persuade me the whole package is worth it. Attention to detail is a sing of quality. Go the extra mile and make your products a tad better. Even little details can make a big impact.

I don’t understand the Internet, do you?

The recent success of threewords.me and donothingfor2minutes.com got me thinking. I would never bother to build a site like that. They are silly, almost useless, yet somehow they managed to attract a lot of visitors and media coverage. So maybe it’s not those sites that are silly, maybe it’s me. Maybe I don’t understand the Internet.

Therefore I decided to build my own dipshit website to see if I can manage to attract millions of visitors. I already know what will it be, but I don’t want to disclose any details until launch. It won’t solve anyones problem, it won’t save your time or money. If you want to hear about it firsthand, subscribe to this blog or follow me on Twitter.

New job at Wildfuse

I have recently stareted working at Wildfuse, a mobile development studio in Prague and I’m loving it. I get to work with brilliant people and latest technologies, which is awesome. We’re an international team so we communicate in English. Wildfuse has foreign (non-Czech) customers which I see as a big plus.

Our office is located in a great neighborhood; 3 of the best coffees in Prague are in 10 minutes walking distance and there are tons of great restaurants around.

Img_0204Img_0203Img_0205Img_0206Img_0207

(sorry for the shitty photos, blame iPod 4th gen for that)

Wildfuse develops mobile apps (iOS, Android) together with the necessary server-side stuff. We use state-of-the-art tech (Tornado, MongoDB or AWS to name a couple of my favorites) to deliver robust products. Besides customer specific applications, we have some in-house apps you’ll definitely hear about in the future.

 

The value of good microcopy

I’m using Toshl to track my spendings. Besides really neat drawings of the adorable mascot, they’ve nailed also anothe important but often overlooked part of a really good product. Microcopy.

you’ve been a busy spender, huh?

syncing is good for your skin

this should be done right away

geezus, have you seen the rack on that one?

testing your patience

 

 

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