Hi there! We're two guys and a dog who left college early to make real things happen. We spend our days building great things on and off the Web. This site is where we write about what that takes from the technical to the mental.

    The Difference Between Hard and Easy

    Shortly after launching Nice Translator, I became friends with a teenage user from Greece. He emailed me to report a problem and we continued chatting after I found out he was interested in learning to program. One day, talking about HTML, I shared a thought I’d recently had about learning: something is only hard when […]

    It Doesn't Matter If You Learn From Failures - Just that You Have Them

    I believe that failure is a critical component to ultimate success. So, I was surprised when, after reading Rework and hearing one of its authors, Jason Fried, on Mixergy, I began agreeing with one of their arguments: That although failure may sometimes show you what not to do, it rarely shows what to do. They […]

    The Secret Inner Life of Fraternities

    When I entered college, I was pretty sure I wanted nothing to do with fraternities. They seemed out of control, grotesque, immature and whole bunch of other adjectives I didn’t consider myself. But when Rush came around (a period in the beginning of each year when fraternities throw events to recruit new members), it seemed […]

    How to Make Doing it Everyday Easy

    This is the second post in a series about the power of Doing It Everyday. In the first, we talked about why Doing It Everyday is so effective. (Read this first!) In this article, we discuss how to make Doing It Everyday, which can often feel pretty hard, easy. I understand that doing it everyday […]

    7 Reasons Why I Do It Everyday

    This is the first post in a series about the power of Doing It Everyday. In this post, we talk about the advantages of taking a small form of your goal and just doing it everyday. In the second, we discuss how to make doing it everyday easy. Over the past couple years I’ve tried […]

    What I Learned When I Fell in Love with Piano Scales

    Growing up, just about everything I pursued on my own seemed incredibly fun and quickly came to make sense (programming, electronics, woodworking) while everything people tried to teach me seemed confusing and endlessly painful (math, guitar, history). Over many years, I grew frustrated with teachers, their methods and their curriculums. When I began learning piano […]

    Natural Talent is a Sham: You Can Do Anything

    The idea of natural talent is bullshit. People love to romanticize that others were born with a certain skill they were instantly able to do. This rational draws itself to the belief that if one is not already good at something they want to do, it’s acceptable for them to not pursue it. They simply […]

    You'll Learn It When You Need to Learn It

    When I was in college, my major was Product Design & Engineering – an interdisciplinary mash-up that brought together mechanical engineering and architecture-style design studios. No surprise: I loved the design studios. There was very little direction which meant that there was room to be creative, follow independent trains of thought and build some really […]

    How to Stop Wishing You Read More Books and Read More Books

    My dad is a warm-hearted Lebanese man with the calm temperament you’d expect from someone raised along the Mediterranean Sea. Compared to most other parents he was pretty lax, rarely pestering me as I grew up. Which is why what he did harp on stood out. Etched into my brain is him saying, “Nicky, you […]

    The Little Known Benefit to Learning a New Keyboard Layout

    If you’re the average person, you probably haven’t thought a whole lot about the keyboard you type on. But, those out there who have a little nerd in them may already know that the standard, Qwerty keyboard layout was designed in the 1870s for the typewriter. Typewriters frequently jammed with alphabetically-laid keys. The solution, by […]

    Be the Wind: What to Do When Things Aren't Working

    You know what I love about programming? There are a lot of problems. Every step of the way, you’re taking something that doesn’t do what you want it to and making it work. As I improved at this I thought, “Cool, I’m getting to be a better programmer.” Lately, I’ve been realizing that the fundamental […]

    There are Barriers Keeping You from What You Want: Do You Know What They Are?

    If you’re anything like me, you have a lot of goals set but it sometimes feels like your actions are betraying your desires. For awhile, I thought this was just the way things were and it was out of my control – some days you’ve got the will-power other days you don’t. More recently, I’ve […]

    The Question to Ask When You Don't Want to Do What You Want to Do

    Jeezus, I really don’t feel like writing right now! It’s later than I like to write, so I’m worried that I won’t get to it – that just makes me not want to do it at all. It makes me want to sleep. Mike is working next to me, but I generally prefer to write […]

    How to Get Rid of Things: 5 Ways to Overcome Your Sentimental Mind

    If you want to start getting rid of your things, it’s important to start by understanding the mental struggles making it hard for you to get going. This is what I did when I figured out what the deal was with my sentimental mind. Once you’ve got a handle on that, though, the next step […]

    How to Get Rid of Things: Understanding The Sentimental Mind

    When I was quite young, probably around 8, I climbed up into our house’s attic and came across piles of my old toys. I felt washed over in happy memories and if I hadn’t been a sentimental guy before then, I certainly was after. Ever since, I’ve loved coming across objects that allow me to […]

    The Secret Inner Life of Fraternities

    When I entered college, I was pretty sure I wanted nothing to do with fraternities. They seemed out of control, grotesque, immature and whole bunch of other adjectives I didn’t consider myself. But when Rush came around (a period in the beginning of each year when fraternities throw events to recruit new members), it seemed […]

    How to Write a Tough E-Mail

    I am a proud member of the email generation. Few things fire me up like the opportunity to write a long, involved message to someone (just ask Reese)! The beauty of email is that, like a phone call, it can arrive at it’s destination instantly but, like writing a letter, it offers the time to […]

    How to Wrangle in your Big Ideas

    This is the second post in a series about the power of small ideas. In the first, we talked about why it’s important to realize that small ideas can have as much or more impact than big ideas. In this article, we looked at how to re-envision your projects as a series of complete, smaller […]

    The Big Power of Small Ideas

    This is the first post in a series about the power of small ideas. In this article we’ll talk about why it’s important to realize that small ideas can have as much or more impact than big ideas. In the second, we looked into how to re-envision your projects as a series of complete, smaller […]

    Pleasing Everybody is Different than Caring About Everybody

    Gary V. says that “you can’t please everybody“ is much too common a phrase these days. He thinks that even just the effort to connect with the displeased on their blogs or on twitter is worthwhile. I could not agree more. Except that pleasing everybody is different than caring about everybody. ~ As a designer, […]

    Fairness is Irrelevant

    I’ve recently been reading the classic tome Philosophy for Dummies. In the chapter on morality, I came upon a sentence discussing the importance of “kindness, fairness, sensitivity and self-giving.” Of course, in essence I agree with this sentiment but something about that list felt wrong. It took me sometime to realize that it was fairness. […]

    Take Control of Your Circumstances so that 'Everything Happens for a Reason'

    For about 10 days last Summer, an old tennis court in the park across the street from us was turned into a dog park. Our dog, Bella, could not have been happier. Everyday, we’d bring her over to hang out with her friends and run around freely as much as she wanted. One day, a […]

    Detach from Your Projects to Connect with Your Craft

    When I first told people that I was going to leave college, they would usually ask something like, “Oh, what’s your idea?” or “Are you going to make the next Facebook?” But, I’d watched a few friends graduate and try to pursue their big idea – as soon as it started to unravel, their passion […]

    Natural Talent is a Sham: You Can Do Anything

    The idea of natural talent is bullshit. People love to romanticize that others were born with a certain skill they were instantly able to do. This rational draws itself to the belief that if one is not already good at something they want to do, it’s acceptable for them to not pursue it. They simply […]

    Detach from Your Projects to Connect with Your Craft

    When I first told people that I was going to leave college, they would usually ask something like, “Oh, what’s your idea?” or “Are you going to make the next Facebook?” But, I’d watched a few friends graduate and try to pursue their big idea – as soon as it started to unravel, their passion […]

    Flokks: A Practical Example of the Power of Small Ideas

    This is the fourth post in a series about the power of small ideas. In the first, we talked about why it’s important to realize that small ideas can have as much or more impact than big ideas. In the second, we looked into how to re-envision your projects as a series of complete, smaller […]

    Pleasing Everybody is Different than Caring About Everybody

    Gary V. says that “you can’t please everybody“ is much too common a phrase these days. He thinks that even just the effort to connect with the displeased on their blogs or on twitter is worthwhile. I could not agree more. Except that pleasing everybody is different than caring about everybody. ~ As a designer, […]