Containerization as a Metaphor to APIs. Great Video

I’m always banging on about APIs. If you’re wondering what an API actually is and what it’s benefits are then this film reveals all in such a great way. 6 minutes of your time well spent I’d say.

This is a short film by MAYA Design created to put some perspective on one of the most powerful yet under appreciated design patterns for large scale resilient systems.

Want to learn more about the future of the future and how we’ll not only survive but thrive? Order the book!

Trillions, the book is now available in hardcover and kindle versions at Amazon, at Barnes and Nobles, and on iTunes.

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Nice Design Touch. Made My Day

If you spend a lot of time on the web you start to recognise all the patterns and things become a bit samey. So it’s nice when something new strikes you and shows that the creators have put some thought into how to solve a problem or convey some information. Read More

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The Magic of Coworking

I’ve been wanting to write an article about the “magic of coworking” for a while now. I feel it every day, I really do, but whenever I go to write something about coworking it just sounds like I’ve joined a cult.

To truly understand the benefits of coworking, you have to experience them. If you haven’t already, then you’ll just have to settle for a story.

Are you sitting comfortably? Let’s begin…

Read More

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Realtime WWII. The most interesting use of Twitter so far

72 years ago today, Brussels, the capital of my adopted country, fell to the advancing German army. It was declared an open city to save it from the ravages of bombardment and the Government retreated to Ostend on the coast.

In the days prior to this, the neighbouring countries of Luxembourg, the Netherlands and  France had also been invaded. My home country of the UK went on full alert, recruiting volunteers for home defence and would soon be evacuating any remaining  troops from the beaches of Dunkirk. For the next 5 years war raged in Europe and longer in Asia. We all know how the story ends.

“What does this have to do with Twitter?”, I hear you ask. Read More

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Remarketing AdWords campaigns are a crude sledgehammer to crack a nut

You’ve probably noticed them. The same advertisement following you around the web, site after site after site. It gets a bit tiresome doesn’t it.

Chances are, if you see the same ads again and again on the web, it’s not that the company is blowing its way though millions of dollars of venture capital spending it on ads, but rather, that it is is using a smart tactic called remarketing.

Smart for the advertiser, presumably profitable for the ad broker such as Google, but kind of annoying for us. Ads are shown to visitors who are known to have visited the website of the advertiser recently. That sounds like a good idea, but it’s slightly flawed and here’s why. Read More

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Lean Startup : Let’s clear a few things up

I must have heard the phrase, “We’re a Lean Startup” at least 3 times in the past week. The founder is usually alluding to the fact that their set up and running costs are very low. That’s great. But that’s not what makes them Lean.

Lean Startup. It’s not about saving money and cutting corners. Let’s just clear that up and move on. Lean, means carrying no extra fat.

Sure, being able to quickly spin up a few Linode servers for a handful of dollars a month, is a smarter way to spend your money than purchasing hardware. It’s certainly an option that wasn’t available to startups a few years ago and YES that means that many of the barriers to getting started have been removed. But, again, it’s not the low cost or ease of access that is the point here. They are merely bonuses. Read More

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Are You A Five Dimensional Web Designer?

Web design can be a complex business that requires a team of skilled designers, engineers and content creators at the helm if it’s going to be done well. You need to assemble at team that can cover what I call the five dimensions. Budgets don’t always allow for that, so if you have to cut corners, at least make sure your thinking like a  five dimensional designer.

So what are the five dimensions?

#1 & #2

The first two dimensions come straight from the flat earth world of print. How high is it, how wide is it?

In the early days of the web in the 1990s print designers weren’t bothered too much by their employers to design for the web. Creating a company website was seen as a “computer guy” thing. And that suited the print designers just fine. They didn’t like it when layouts were flexible, colours rendered differently on different monitors and clients wanted to change the copy after the site had been launched! Read More

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Do you really know who is reading your DMs?

I use direct messages (DMs) on Twitter for a variety of purposes and probably as much as I do regular, public tweets. Over the past month I’ve DMed about 25% of the people that I follow.

I know it’s not called Private Messaging, but I think most Twitter users have an expectation of privacy when they DM. There’s a lot of information flowing on that back channel and not all of it is for public consumption.

I am flirty, I am dirty, I am cheeky, I am helpful, I am supportive.

Others have told me about the kind of information they see flowing via DMs. Personal mobile phone numbers, email addresses, even passwords and credit card numbers. Read More

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What can you expect from a Startup Weekend?

This year I became one of the co-organisers of Startup Weekend Brussels. It’s a great event and I love it.

There were a few mutterings about how such an event cannot hope to create viable companies. So I thought I’d respond to that . The article was published on Tech Brew podcast website where I am co-host.

The comments are particularly interesting.

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