09 September 2017

I'm very fucking drunk

and I won't regret this post in the morning. at all. 

by Nino Rosella
08 September 2017

You need less than you think

What technology stack should I build my app in?

The one you (or your developer) already knows. 

Ruby on Rails [insert framework of choice] doesn’t scale.

You have zero users. Worry about this (amazing) problem when you get to it. 

I’m going to build my app in Crystal language [insert new shiny new language of choice] because it’s gonna be hot.

Good luck hiring developers to write all the tools you’re going to need from scratch when you could just use an ‘old’ language and tuck into the millions of open source tools already available. 

My app can’t launch without a suite of cool animations.

It can. Add bells and whistles when you have time, money and/or users to appreciate them. Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, famously said: "If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late."

I need £xxx,xxx to build this app

Nope. Build an app to test the market with the tiniest amount of features possible to make it work. If it sticks, charge users for it, and build more features with the money. 


It’s amazing the amount of people I see that make everything so much more complicated that it needs to be. You need much less than you think to get going. The main thing is that you act. Now. 

Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify.
- Henry David Thoreau

by Nino Rosella
07 September 2017

The most connected we've ever been. Yet...

The internet has made us the most connected we’ve ever been. Yet, the population of London alone increased by 100,000 in the year to June 2016. 

The internet has made us the most connected we’ve ever been. Yet, you simply “have” to be in Silicon Valley (insert your own local hub) if you want to build a start-up. 

The internet has made us the most connected we’ve ever been. Yet, we have a loneliness epidemic in the Western world. 

The internet has made us the most connected we’ve ever been. Yet, hundreds of millions of people still work in cubicles. 

The internet has made us the most connected we’ve ever been. Yet, I haven’t seen 95% of my Facebook friends face-to-face in the last ten years. 

The internet has made us the most connected we’ve ever been. Yet, I still don’t know the names of my neighbours. 

The internet has made us the most connected we’ve ever been. Yet, I haven’t tried actually connecting all that often. 

The internet has made us the most connected we’ve ever been. Yet, all we do is share cat videos and troll each other.

The internet has made us the most connected we’ve ever been. Let’s do something incredible with it. 

by Nino Rosella
06 September 2017

Going pro

I'm rushing this post.  

I've had all day to write it, but it's 10pm and I'm stood up on a Victoria Line train after a ten-hour shift at work writing this on my iPhone. I should have rushed at the beginning of the day and finessed right now. 

This is unprofessional. Why does that matter? This blog is just an extra curricular activity, right?  

Sure, but how can we become great at anything without taking it deadly serious and giving it the attention and care it needs and deserves? 

Just think of all your best projects - I can guarantee that the ones that most impressed your boss, had the most impact with your client were the ones where you were the consummate professional. 

This begs the question: where else in our lives can we go pro? 

by Nino Rosella
05 September 2017

Good leaders don't meddle

What do you want from a leader?  

Do you want to be hassled about the minutiae of you job? (By the CEO no less!) 

Or do you want to be trusted to make the right call on the things you’re expert at? 

Leadership is not the same as management, and even good managers don’t meddle where it isn’t necessary. 

If you don’t trust your employees why the hell did you hire them in the first place? 

by Nino Rosella
04 September 2017

Curing writer's block

Is impossible because it doesn’t exist.  

What does exist is the fear in our heads that our friends, family and colleagues will read what we write and think we’re an idiot. If they think we’re an idiot then they’ll stop hanging around with us. Then we’ll have no friends, and we’ll probably get fired from our job because nobody wants to be the company that openly employs idiots. With no job we’ll be forced to move back in with our parents.  

But our parents won’t have us back because it’s too shameful for a thirty year old to move back home, and besides, they’ve spent that last seven years bragging to their friends about how well you’re doing. This means, unable to pay rent, we’ll be homeless on the streets of some harsh, unforgiving city. 

To cope further with the shame we’ll turn to the numbing effects of alcohol before realising even that isn’t helping any longer. Heroin. Overdose. Death. 

What we have to realise is that this fear is totally unfounded and this realisation comes about by dancing with it. This is why I’m blogging every day. Each time I hit the ‘publish’ button I get a little bit better at the dance. I realise that nothing bad is coming from it. I still have all my friends, my job, and life is pretty nice, thank you very much. 

We have to treat the work like a pro. Every day a mechanic turns up to work and fixes cars. He doesn’t get mechanic’s block. The same with the dentist. She completes procedures every day without getting dentist’s block. The best piece of advice I’ve been given is to write like you talk, because you don’t get talkers block! We can all type and we can all talk. 

We have to sit down every single day and write - even when we don’t want to and think we have nothing to say. In fact, I sat staring at my monitor with nothing to say for an hour before writing this post. I’ve got loads of things to say, but I was worried about saying them. It’s the practice that helps me through it. 

So now you know there’s no such thing as writer’s block what delights are you going to share with the world? 

by Nino Rosella
03 September 2017

How to get rid of bad clients

You can bitch and moan, turn your back on them, cancel the contract, stop answering their emails and phone calls. 

Or, you can become truly remarkable at what you do. Be the one that people trust, that seek you out from far and wide.  

Then choose the best clients - the ones you want to work with. 

by Nino Rosella
02 September 2017

Should my boss fire me?

I either have really bad B.O. or people don’t really like me. Why else would colleagues cross the street when they see me coming? Yes, this has actually happened on two occasions by two separate people within the last week.

If you’ve ever worked at a really large company chances are you’ve experienced something similar. Hell, I know I’ve avoided people before when I worked at a big public company. The culture is easily diluted when a company reaches a certain size - it’s inevitable that there are going to be a lot of people singing from different hymn sheets, who know each other only in passing (or not in some cases).

"The best startups work a lot like cults"
- Peter Thiel, writing in Wired

However, the company I’m with now is a small startup with around 30 employees. How is it that we’re already at the stage where people are not only failing to form bonds - and friendships - over the mission, but actually going out their way to avoid one another? I’m well aware that the problem employee might actually be me, in which case I should be fired before I pollute the culture and do irreversible damage! 

It’s these formative years that really set the groundwork for the future and I’m worried they’re going to blow it by hiring too fast and firing slow (or not at all).

by Nino Rosella
01 September 2017

When David becomes Goliath

We're so quick to fall out of favour with the band that suddenly makes it big. Quick, also, to hate the sandwich shop that turned into a national chain. I was reminded myself of this today in Pret A Manger. 

I caught myself cursing the fact that I spend so much money there, “Can’t believe I’m giving this chain all my money again. I should be helping the little guy down the road”. But, you know what? Pret is an order of magnitude better than the sandwich shop down the road. 

Every time I go in a Pret the staff are fantastically helpful, the sandwiches taste good, and they’re sold at a fair price. Conversely, I’ve seen mice in the window of the shop down the road at night when they’re closed. The sandwiches taste OK and the service is meh. 

We often forget that lots of businesses become successful because they’re actually doing good in the world. Of course, there are lots of examples of great small companies and predatory large ones. But just because a firm hit the big time doesn’t mean that it automatically becomes a big, evil corporation.  

Let’s not forget that once upon a time they were once David and we were all rooting for them. 

by Nino Rosella
31 August 2017

Cutting through the noise

I was sat behind a guy on the bus today and for the whole journey he was swiping merrily away on Tinder. He must have swiped right on fifty different girls, but I didn’t see him get one match.  

I saw his profile a number of times (amazing how much time people spend looking at their own profiles), and he was a handsome chap with decent photos, so his looks couldn’t have been the problem. 

No, the problem is that there’s too much noise, too many alternatives. It’s too easy to hold out in the hope that something better is just around the corner. (‘Better’ in the case of Tinder is usually a better staged and edited photograph). 

I first noticed this in my own behaviour on the app about a year ago and, in conjunction with my wildly dwindling number of matches, is one of the reasons I stopped using it.  

I’ve since gone back to - shock, horror! - striking up a face-to-face conversation with a girl and asking for her number. You see, this behaviour is now scarce, out of the ordinary, even. It’s more likely - no, certain - to make you stand out from the crowd. I can vouch for this. 

Where else in our lives can we zig where others zag? 

by Nino Rosella