Simple Life

Life and Business Blog

Failures and stories of 2019, hopes and dreams of 2020🎊

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Hey there 👋 Happy New Year of 2020. Can you believe it is an end of a decade ? As it is becoming a tradition now, I would like to thank you for reading our my, motivations and suggestions you send to me be in public or private really make me sticking to my pen(keyboard)! It is always nice to hear from you, and I can't thank you enough for that.

As part of this new tradition, I will extend thanks and warm wishes not only to the blog readers, but also to those who use my online products or those who bought my new book! 🙏🏻

Other previously published blogs are the 2019, 2018. Those that never made it are 2017 and 2016, and a procrastinated of 2015.

Without further due, here is a highlight of what we made together in 2019, shortcomings and what I think you will enjoy in 2020.

2019

  • Elon Musk launched a weird yet popular vehicle. It is called a CyberTruck. Greta (Tintin Eleonora Ernman) Thunberg warned us about that our “house is on fire”, Voyager 2 reached the interstellar medium. On sad note, Cassini plunged into Saturn and VW stopped R&D of the e-Golf. 👌

  • On personal note, this year will forever be marked in my life with two major life changing events: the birth of my first rainbow baby boy and finally publishing my first ebook. That positive energy is going to be reflected in my other products and services. 👌

  • Moved all my writings, and code into a monorepo. This approach of working tries to maximize the the rate at which the content is produced versus the rate at it produces results, or throughput, at the same time enhancing the adoption of publish on your own website, syndicate everywhere mantra. This is the second of those articles edited from the monorepo architecture, the book being the first. 👌

  • I was able to double daily visits, without publishing new content consistently. Quora remains the major source of referral to all my websites. Regardless of not having new answers this year. 👌

  • I work on writing and other side projects after regular work hours. You add a new born to the mix and you get a really small time dedicated to anything else. I manage to read when he is playing, and catching news when feeding or making him sleep. In such an environment, every second counts, and waiting an hour for a computer to just boot no longer a healthy option for me. I have to be honest that I do not share this opinion, for that matter the next action, with my girlfriend. After a good 9 years ride, I finally ditched my 2011 13' MacBook Pro, for a top-end super performant 16' 2019 MacBook Pro. I struggled with the idea of buying this equipment, unfortunately the needs of Chrome browser in terms of memory left me with no other alternative! I must admit that it is really a good piece of equipments, though. 👌

  • Minimalism ~ I practice minimalism on every aspect of my life now. I focus on one thing a time, and stopped worrying about deadlines. That helped me overcome burnouts, and rethinking the way I look at life in particular, and business in general. I sleep the minimum of 8 hours a day, one hour of work is just one hour of work, after work hours are for my sanity and my family. 👌

  • On sustainability and frugal-ism front, I was able to double the production of my vegetables by doubling the planting bed size. I am still aiming at a more self sustainable household, to be able to produce vegetables all year around. Canada is not a joke when it comes to winters, it is as cold as at the bottom of a glacier. Read below in objectives how I plan to do just that. 👌

2020

Coming 2020, the following is a non-exhaustive, non-exhausting list of things I wish to accomplish. There is no deadline on them, just north star of where I want to be at the end of the year, and probably generations to come.

  • Be with my family often, and ability to keep those two universes separate is at the top of my priorities.
  • Sleeping 8 hours, and teach my son how to just do that, comes second in the list. All things that we do, should not impede ability of our bodies to recover, unless we have really exceptional circumstances such as a war time 🤷🏿‍♂️ 🔥

  • The number of visitors doubled last year, but still low compared to levels I think should be satisfactory, regardless, there is definitely a trend. I always see the blogging as a way to communicate with others and better organize my thoughts and projects. Like I did last year,the objective is to double views on all blogging platforms to double the count by posting answers that are related to those answers that proven to perform better, providing more insight on content that proved to bring in more visitors, and automating cross posting by making syndication a part of content production pipeline. I already have ready but unpublished blog posts that can be updated, published and syndicated. Some of those blog posts can be recycled, enriched and made into more ebooks. 🔥

Other places where I blog or post content are: dev.to/murindwaz, GetSimpleWorks for engineering subjects, GetSimpleBlog for personal and business, Medium.com and Quora

In case you are wondering, this is my current no-brainer publication pipeline

My publication pipeline takes raw Markdown text and publishes manually to blogs. These blogs are powered by write.as. From there, I manually cross post content to publications media and systems such as dev.to, and then sharable content to various social media. The whole process is manual, but would be great to automate it as well. That can be feasible if I leverage the power of RSS feeds, serverless computing and YAML front-matter.

  • The first version of “Testing nodejs applications” will need some updates and publicity. This year may inspire me with a followup with a second edition, major content upgrades, and opening help channels to make sure the book get an even bigger impact on those who bought it. 🔥

  • Some people have excess, others struggle to survive, and some others are in between like ham in a sandwich bread. The mission of Hoo.gy is to bridge that gap and makes sure those willing to reduce their carbon footprint, have reliable tools to do so, while allowing those struggling to have decent access. For this the platform needs to integrate with existing systems capable of identifying when resources are underused, and providing information to those needing to have access to those resources at a cheaper price, if not free of charge. 🔥

  • To make the mission possible, and potentially making money to support the project, the iterations have to be faster. Like the content does, the code for the project will become a monorepo as well. On integrating other systems, the plugin has to go live, and eventually the rewrite of the application will follow. Open up some of the system as an API can help increase some cashflow, and providing on open and free inventory management system, can help solve the chicken-and-egg problem. 🔥

  • I stopped a couple months the migration from Angular to React of Hoo.gy, to be sure I finalize the testing book first. I also postponed bundling “Angularjs migration to Angular” and ***“The Productive Solopreneur” for the same reasons. 🔥

  • In life as in business, I am a minimalist. This will impact delivery pipeline. So few, but working things are going to see the sunlight. Whereas others are not to see the sunlight in 2020. There is however some sustainability that are too close to my heart. Those are in the following paragraphs

  • Gardening ~ in an urban farming setting, in 2019 I was able to produce double the produce on a double growing space. This time I am planning on going vertical, and aim at producing my vegetables all year round. 🔥

  • Woodworking ~ as far as I can remember, I am curious and love to make things. I have been always fascinated with wonders Japanese joinery can do. It would be awesome to be able to make my own greenhouses and planting beds out of reclaimed wood.🔥

  • Clothing ~ There are quite amount of non-decomposable garbage that is thrown in wasteland, thanks in part to fast cheap fashion. Ideally, I will not be buying new clothes, only used and equip myself with ability to repair my old clothes. There are services such as Yerdle to buy new clothes. 🔥

  • Alcohol ~ this commodity takes a good chunk in my monthly budget. I postponed making my own beer/wine for a decade now. Buying used or renting out equipments can be a good starting point, to test waters and see If can actually make that dream a reality.🔥

  • Reading ~ I managed to read Malcolm Gladwell's “Outliers, Blink and The tipping point”, John Urschell's “Mind and Matter”, Michael Nielsen's Neural Networks And Deep Learning, Ryan Singer's Shape Up, Started George Orwell's “1984” and Anthony Bourdain's “Kitchen Confidential”. My priority on reading front, should probably be to finalize those books I already started, and attack Walter Isaacson's “Leonaldo da Vinci', Yuval Noah Harari collection “Sapiens, Home deus and 21 lessons from 21st century” (books already secured), and probably some more Artificial Intelligence, Math and DevOps(Docker/Kubernetes/Cloud native and Infrastructure as code related subjects), before I update my own book. 🔥

Summary

I would like to mention that aforementioned are just north-star. They can change anytime, and that will not keep me awake at night. I stick to minimalism, and most recently, shape up strategy.

I can’t do this without people who keep motivating me, and 300+ members currently using Hoo.gy. 🙏 Happy New Year of 2020, 2019 was a heck of ride, and can’t wait to see you all in 2019. Much Blessings.

Stuff we did together in 2018 and what is cooking for 2019🎊

Hey there 👋 Happy New Year of 2019. Thank you for reading our blog — Your appreciations, suggestions and love shoot through the roof this year, and I can’t even find words to thank you enough.

Like it is becoming a tradition, Here is a highlight of 2018 accomplishments and shortcomings, as well as 2019 agenda, hope you enjoy new year head 🙏🏻

2018

  • Elon Musk’s BFR had a successful maiden launch and Aretha Franklin passed away, Bito O’ Rourke succumbed to Tedd! A roller coster of mixed emotions ~ that is how I will remember this year.

  • As promised, “Angularjs migration to Angular” and “The Productive Solopreneur” content is complete. Next year will be for making sure it gets updated and reaches larger audiences compared to previous years ~ I added trends for the last month below.

  • Future iterations of the application are heavily user centered(customer centered) — in making upgrades include a streamlined feed, ability to book from the application as well as participant’s website providers — using a widget running on those websites.

  • On product side though, I failed to finalize the front-end migration. The reasons and how I do it is documented in the new series — “The Deep Dive”. In case you need inspirations to learn React, how to do migration from Angular to React, that is can help you as well!

  • To make more products become available on the platform — the need to involve those who are already making a difference and integrate their their inventory into our product has been started — more on this below

  • In addition to existing features, only being able to configure and integrate HooGy with your existing site has been added. Existing features will not change.

  • Minimalism became the goto strategy — from product development to business strategy. This gives time to ship few features, fix issues faster and obsession with the customer experience over quick growth.

  • In that spirit — there is no marketing trickery, I share only things I learn on our blogs + Quora. There is enough referrals coming from those two sources, and that costs no money to do that.

  • Personal side — I failed to run my half marathon, but I read a whole bunch of books and watched movies (I discovered Vikings and medieval series: The Last Kingdom and Vikings ~ other titles included Knightfall)— couch-potato-ing and sleeping 8hours minimum.

Just some of books that commuted with me in 2018

2019

The realization of who read the blog didn’t change. The technical blogs saw a big surge in 2018 — that will not change, but made better.

Minimalism

  • To reduce friction — one *zero-maintenance *platform is going to support my personal website and company blogs. More efforts will be put into Medium Publication and Quora. Those two outlets helps to identify questions of users, and communicate updates as soon as possible.
  • Simple Engineering will host content for technical audience, whereas Simple Blog hosts content from our audience and rants about everything living a greener life — both blogs are running on write.as ~ I will update why these soon!

Objectives

A couple of objectives —

  • To make better content, recruiting part time Writers and Editors will be in my mind.

  • Since running a blog professionally is a whole new business on its own, having writers and other business people wanting to promote environmental friendly businesses and practices will help achieve better results, while spending less time on the writing side.

  • Funding good quality content is a quite a feat! But finding content sponsors or advertisers may help cover server spending, and paying writers. You can refer me writer, editor or illustrator!

  • Medium Publication brings in ~21 leads a month per ~1100 views. The clickthrough rate(clicks per impression) is 1.9% on Medium. Better visibility can improve these numbers: better syndication(rss feeds, integration with readers, and republishing to third party publications).

  • Quora brings in ~ 100 leads a month per ~4000 views. It feeds both Medium Publications and The website. Answering more questions relating to simple living will be stressed, to better serve our community and increase referral numbers.

  • Target is reaching 400 Answers or more. Those questions are related to Collaborative Consumption, technical stuff and life at large!

  • On average 100 people visits the website per month. Which is 12k visitors a year. If we increased the Conversion Rate up to 10%, or 10 signups a month ~ The end of 2019 would add 1200 people on the site. *The question to increase that signup rate will be the target throughout the year*.

  • From the previous argument, A landing page with better copy righting ~ and offering(widget and integrations) from our providers will be the focus in 2019.

Projects

  • Upgrade the web application and launching the Widget is on top list — The widget will be used to help rental companies increase reservations. We hope this will increase inventory on HooGy as well.

  • There is enough content on “The Productive Solopreneur” series enought to put in an ebook. The content was designed to help Solopreneurs to automate most daily tasks.

  • Even though series on “The Deep Dive”, not yet published ***“AppEconomy” ***have enough technical content, there is little hope that those will be bundled into an ebook, unless time allows. But they will be constantly updated to make learning react, testing react components and migration from Angularjs to React JS accessible to anyone having an internet connection.

  • Better Content — Publishing existing text as soon as possible. Limit new content to one feature per month. That will be professional writing — the budget is set to $200 ~ half goes to Author the other half goes to Editor.

  • The Content project should be able to cover its costs — to increase visibility, author and editors will be willing to share their content to their respective social media. A convention should be established, just in case some content endup in an ebook/textbook.

Sneak Peek

The dashboard under development is modelled after these sketches. Most of less-useful features have been either merged or removed.

Resources —

  • Online advertising — a Smashing Magazine feature. Smashing Magazine documents a workable business model for content editing in this article.

I can’t do this without people who keep motivating me, and 300+ members currently using Hoo.gy. 🙏 Happy New Year of 2019, 2018 was a heck of ride, and can’t wait to see you all in 2019. Much Blessings.

Stuff we did together in 2017 and what 2018 is cooking🎊

Hey there 👋 Happy New Year of 2018. I would like to thank you for reading our blog, your motivations and suggestions you send to me either in public or private. It is always nice to hear from you. Here is a highlight of what we made together in 2017 and what we think you will enjoy in 2018. 🙏🏻

2017

A couple of things happened here at Hoo.gy in 2017. Here is a couple highlights of what this year will be remembered for:

  • Started migration of front-end tech stack and blogged about it to help others avoid mistakes we made along the way.

  • The effort was put to improve usability on smaller devices and enhancing browser features.

  • The site is more user-friendly on mobile devices. Notifications have been improved to include local(client events).

  • The helpdesk is accessible right from Messenger section. Similar features are grouped into more user-friendly(easy to use) feature. 🔥

  • For example: You can start renting to friends right from Messenger, You have access to User Profile from Messenger which allows you to make decision based on a couple metrics(more coming soon). 🔥

  • Inventory section allows you to add new items and edit existing items, without leaving item editor. Hey you can start sharing from Inventory too 👌. Or to remember board games you rented out to your cousin(goddamn it those guys never remember to return anything .. ever 🙅🏻).

  • Started “The Productive Solopreneur” a series of articles designed to help non-technical solo-entrepreneurs have idea on which tools they can include in their daily workflows.(re-read first article here)

  • Started “AppEconomy” a series of articles designed to help technical solo-entrepreneurs on business side of running their apps as a business.(re-read first article here)

  • Added more content on Engineering blog, most of them about “AngularJS migration to Angular”, some on security. Looking back to readership, and how may people return back to read articles, there can’t be any rewarding thing as those writings. (You can re-read first article here.)

  • Streamlined development in such a way new features and bug fixes goes to production as soon as possible(same day).

2018

This new year comes with more goodies planned ahead for you. Most of them, are improvements on underlying system, messaging, synchronization, security and opening the platform so that it can integrate with other tools you already use.🙏🏻

  • From experience, more readers I get on blog goes to technical readings. The plan is document more technical challenges as blog posts.

  • There are 15 articles ready for “The Productive Solopreneur”. Each will be published every first day of every month. 🔥

  • There are more than 10 articles for “AppEconomy”. I do not commit when those articles are going to be published, but if follow @hoopeez or @murindwaz on twitter, or here on Medium you will be the first to know when they are posted(hopefully on Tuesdays).

  • I always had a plan to open some of our infrastructure so that other people can use them. E.g: Photo processing, Background Jobs, Wander our Slack bot(allows you to know when people rented some items from your listings, etc).

  • Finalize “AngularJS migration” on engineering blog and add “Monolith to Microservices”(the plan is to release best practices while breaking down a monolith large scale app into microservice based architecture).🔥

  • I got a sizeable requests to write for Simple, our Medium Publication. That is good. Even if I have no guidelines, I welcome genuine content intended to help everyone to change their lives, helping to save this only planet we call home by reducing over-consumption. Since I am a geek, Technical writeup are welcome. The rule of thumb is a cross posting(from your blog, or medium). I cannot guarantee to have time to review long submissions, so 3 minutes or less, spot on articles are ideal.🔥

I can’t do this without people who keep motivating me, and 300+ members currently using Hoo.gy. 🙏 Happy New Year of 2018, 2017 was a heck of ride, and can’t wait to see you all in 2018. Much Blessings.