Why I quit the StartUp world (for now)

Few days ago, while watching The Martian something special happened to me: I got my first epileptic seizure. I don’t remember that much of that evening, but I realized how much I grew up by moving away from Italy, and deciding to stop working for Startups.

Almost 2 years ago I decided to escape my country to find my path abroad. I accepted a job offer to be the CTO of a Danish startup, lead by Italians.

I moved to København. I don’t have any regrets, and I still suggest my friends to move abroad as soon as they can, to make more experiences. Continue reading Why I quit the StartUp world (for now)

The reason I use the international keyboard

If you think that a keyboard layout can boost your productivity, you should consider the time you will spend to learn a new one, the hassle and the frustration when typing something wrong… but if you love programming, you may consider to buy/switch to the international keyboard.

Back in February, I had to switch to a new MacBookPro. My old 2011 13 inch MacBookPro, started being impossible to use… and after 4 years I had to remove all the stickers from its back and turn it off forever. I am still in mourning after its death.

Considering all the times I’ve been playing, working, writing and programming with it, I feel sad… but I feel even worst when I think that I did it using the Italian keyboard, that was really impossible to use to write code: the keys that I need are hidden by combinations of shift and option. This is really common in several keyboard layouts, like the Danish or German ones.

The Option button (or Alt for some keyboards) is the big problem. If you look at your hands while typing you will notice that probably this “layout switcher” is right under your palms. This means that you have to move your hands to press some combinations that are including it… and you do this every time.

The international keyboard layout, instead, puts all the buttons we need, right there, and we can get [ ] ' \ / . - ; and , without crazy combinations. If we need something more complicated you can still use the shift button, and you can activate it without moving your hands from the previous position.

There is a feature that is helping me when I need to write other “special vowels” by holding the one I need. You can read more about it here, on the Apple support website. For example to write København I will hold O when i need ti write Ø and something like this will appear:

Just old the vocal you need

To be honest, it is not a big deal, but this is the reason why my MacBookPro has an International Keyboard instead of a localized one. It is easier to use to write code. My hands are thanking me for this choice 🙂

I wish you a private and secure 2015

During the 2014 I’ve learned how much privacy and security are important. Apart from my “nerdy needs“, I started observing my habits, considering who reads what and where my important information are stored online. My bank accounts, passwords, email and some private conversations should stay private and encrypted. Some other information should still be available to somebody as other documents could be read by anyone.

Sometimes we need to keep secrets, secret.
Sometimes we need to keep secrets, secret.

I discovered and I got annoyed by the fact that, in order to provide a “spam-free inbox” or other advertisement service, all my emails are read and scanned by Gmail. I also got rid of Dropbox because after thousand of passwords leaked, I felt bad that some of my documents were stored in a not-really-safe service. So, when I am communicating or sharing things with others, I decided to switch to secure and private channels when needed… including those services that are considering encryption as a serious thing and not just a joke as SSL. So I wrote down a list of suggestions to improve the privacy and the security. Continue reading I wish you a private and secure 2015

My Bitcoin Experience: Wallets and Debit Card

I am in the world of bitcoin since 2012 when I opened my first bitcoin wallet on blockchain.info… and a lot of things changed since that moment: new services, growing communities, new alternative crypto currencies, ATMs, Credit-Debit cards, and a larger diffusion of people accepting bitcoin in their shops.

After those two years I can see a better view of what Bitcoin means to me and the innovation behind that technology, including Xapo debit card… and some of my friends are tired of me talking about bitcoins 🙂

How I choose a wallet

Using simple words: the wallet is a collection of addresses and their private keys. The address, that is used to receive the money, is a group of letters and numbers generated by the private key, that is required to send money.

Because you must have the private key of your address in order to sing a transaction, the security level where this value is stored must be high. The default bitcoin client provides a wallet, but is really slow and it must be synchronized and it will take some days…

Continue reading My Bitcoin Experience: Wallets and Debit Card

Needs and happiness with Maslow’s pyramid

Maybe I should write this blog post on my personal and secret diary, but I would like to share this using my blog. This time I am not going to talk about technology or startup, but what happiness is to me and how Maslow’s pyramid helped me to realize that.

Before moving to Denmark, when I was in Italy, I was focusing all my attention on the main actions to get material things and physical welfare: I was happy only when I was able to achieve my goals. The truth is that I was able to achieve my goals, but as soon as I got stuff done, after a short period of happiness, I had the same feeling when the tv series I am watching is over, and there are no more episodes to watch: looking for something to re-fill that feeling of nothingness.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

So I reminded that Tommaso Grotto, once told me about his own version of the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and I decided to think about that, redrawing and thinking from scratch what happiness means to me. I am not a psychologist and just for fun, I created my own Maslow’s pyramid, based on the needs I can satisfy to be happy and on my life goals.

I created a new pyramid made by needs connected to specific life-goals and actions: At the bottom of it there are needs that I can satisfy easily, (like eating junk food) and on the top the needs that require a bigger effort (like found another company). I don’t want to share it here, because is really personal and I am sorry, but I hope you get the idea: I really suggest everybody to create their own Maslow’s pyramid.

To really use my “pyramid” I started comparing it with my every-day whims: by asking myself  “where should I put this whim inside the pyramid?” I understand what priority and if that whim makes me really happy. If it fits or is connected to some of the pyramid levels, I will perform the actions to satisfy the need behind that whim. This helped me to distinguish things that really matter and things that doesn’t, like for example, my decision of not buying a new phone at the beginning of this year: there was something more important to do than spend some money for something that I don’t really need.

Even If I live in the happiest country in the world, I think that this is really personal and probably there is not a single way to see the Maslow’s pyramid. I am not a psychologist but I think everybody should build a pyramid… and listen to the happy song 😛 It helped me to clear my mind from stupid whims.

Communication techniques for lovers.

During the last months, I fell in love with different people. My real problem was that my mind was “acting like a child”, dividing work from loving affairs as two magnets with the same poles attract themselves (hint: they don’t). That’s good, but what happens if you bring “communication techniques” into love affairs? So I realized that, when I am in love, I was not that good in communicating as I am doing while working every day… then I decided to write down some suggestion about the “communication techniques for lovers“.

Communication for lovers (Photo by MartinodF)

I decided to write some simple suggestions based on what happened to me, to remind me to communicate better. I want to apply some communication techniques that I’ve learned from the experience of working in teams, to my future love story, just because I failed in the past.

The fact that we pretend other people to read our needs is really stupid. Is really important that we understand that nobody will ever be able to read clearly what we are thinking, our needs or our interests. Nobody is called Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos, and only few people are able to understand or create needs in other people. I believe this is the basic problem that brings us to communicate with other people in the wrong way. Continue reading Communication techniques for lovers.

Goodbye Roma!

Dear Rome,

I know you are not missing me and I am not missing you. You may wonder why I made the decision to move to another city, well the truth is that I planned to go abroad to live and escape your life-style. Escape from the never-ending life style. When I’ve got 21 I realized that I would no longer be the “smart guy”, the “genius” or the “talented young guy” and I cannot stay in my “comfort zone”. I knew i have to change everything and grow up. Again. So I made a big decision 8 months ago: I started collecting money and waiting for the right moment and the right opportunity…

Copenhagen Canali

We are on a time bomb, Rome. You are not what I need now. You are the perfect city for people that are not willing to grow up. Your citizen has big dreams, but maybe someone has cursed you. So they easily get distractions when they are almost to achieve goals. You are my eternal city because it was not easy to get things done for me. I had this feeling.

When I was not thinking about collecting money, because I get used to that, and when I forgot that I planned to move abroad, because I was feeling so good with my friends and my clients, something more concrete and real bring me back to the reality. During my 21th birthday party I got my opportunity and a new mood. I got an unexpected opportunity to move to Copenhagen. I took that and I decided to escape and get away from you. Is the very first time in my life I feel really happy and “accomplished”. I achieved my goal: I found a great job in a cool startup with great people and great co-working space. I am really lucky.

My dear Roma, you have to understand that Copenhagen is different from you. Is better than you. If you are talented, young and really skilled, you will find a great job a great salary and a big opportunity. Nobody is using me or takes advantage of my time. Nobody is using my age. Nobody is promising me money. Nobody is talking behind about my projects. Nobody is smiling at me just because they want something back and everybody answers to email. Nonetheless, that is something that will change. You gave me the opportunity to learn and to know, you helped me by introducing me cool and interesting people: even if everyone has defects, I think I’ve met the most important people, and I am proud of what you gave to me: I great experiences inside a great community.

It's time to fly

Roma, I am not missing you… The startup world in Copenhagen is not so big, but at the same time is more solid and people really care about important things. The city “works” and “rocks“, nobody is really complaining about the transport system, the internet connection, money, and services. Everything just works.

I hope to stay here for long time, and I want to create my new networks and my reputation in Copenhagen, because that is the thing I was really taking care when I was “with you”… and is the only thing I am really missing. However, as everybody knows, the world is still spinning around and we will never know what is gonna happen, and maybe I’ll be back under your ethereal spell. 🙂

But I don’t think so 😛
Goodbye Roma!