UX, mobile, freelancing, entrepreneurship

Costolo on Mobile SDKs

The mobile SDK landscape has been inhabited by parties that optimize for self-interest first, and your interest second

I have found this quote only in this post on ReadWrite. I can’t believe that Dick Costolo already forgot how Twitter treated developers a few years ago. I hope it’s a joke. Costolo may have a short memory, but developers hardly forget.

Went to Work For

Saul Mora -> Coursera

Brent Simmons -> Omni Group

Jonathan Penn -> Apple

Kevin Hoctor -> Apple

Dave Addey -> Apple

Jared Sinclair -> Bloglovin’

Patrick Burleson -> Apple

Sophia Teutschler -> Apple

All indie in a previous life. Now working at a company. It’s hard to not see a trend. Is the wind changing?

ps: I feel there’s more, but probably I don’t know them. Feel free to suggest.

Would You Work for Apple?

Sometimes, especially during conferences, somebody throws out the question. I always answered a sound no. As much as I base the most part of my business on Apple products, I think I’d not fit Apple’s culture as an employee. I have always found difficult to tell the why. Well, Ole Begemann transcribed part of Debug 47, in which two former Apple managers where interviewed.

This is one excerpt that dazzled me

When someone came into my office and said they wanna be a manager, I asked them, “How did you sleep last night?” And they said, “Oh, fairly well”. and I said, “Good, ’cause that’s the last good night’s sleep you’re gonna get.”

This is even worse.

And I know I’ve read a lot of studies how this is a stupid way for the tech industry to function. And that’s certainly true. But this happens all over, and it’s not just the tech industry …

Why worse? Because it entails the hateful “it’s always been like that”.

I firmly believe you can build great products living a healthy life. I know people that successfully run a business without giving up their souls. Don’t fall into the trap that you have to work most of the time (including Sunday evening) to be successful.

This Is a New Apple


As far as I remember I have never seen a concentration of issues in such a short time. It’s easy to close with a “I miss Steve Jobs”, but I won’t fall into that trap.

Apple screwed up also when Steve Jobs was in charge. It just screwed up less frequently. Is this a sign? I don’t know, I’ll “connect the dots” in a few years. Do I like it? Not so much. Do you?

Accessibility and Dark Mode in iOS8

As you know I am very sensitive to accessibility.

But until that day comes, I ask developers of text-heavy apps: please consider including a dark mode for your app not just because it’s a night-use feature but also because, for some of us, it’s an accessibility feature.

Even if it’s potentially a lot of work to include a dark mode, do it. It’s worth it.

Mixed Feelings on Swift

While writing the chapters in iOS 8 by Tutorials I have banged my head against the wall often, pretty much every beta release. I was really excited when Swift was announced. Excitement naturally fades, by design I’d say. It fades even more quickly when the real thing is far from your expectations. Today, I’d use Swift in an app if:

  • it’s a new app
  • it’s a small app
  • it’s a product of mine

Right, I’d not venture in Swift land for client work. Why? When something does not work I can’t live with the doubt that it is due to Swift, or me not yet fully grasping Swift.

I have mixed feelings. I invite you to read David Owens’ post. I share most of his concerns.

Proposal: why don’t you write a blog post about your experience with Swift?

Can’t Be Copied Because There Isn’t Enough Free Space

I was about to copy a ~35GB file onto my Mac. I got the “can’t be copied because there isn’t enough free space” message. I checked Finder and the available space was ~75GB.

First reaction: WTF?

Tried a few more times with no success, much like when you keep on switching on/off a broken switch. Then I checked “System information” and I saw the real available space was ~28GB. Same reaction: WTF?

After some digging I discovered that it’s Time Machine’s fault. Besides keeping your backup on the designated (usually external) drive, it also keeps a copy on the local drive! So here goes the third: WTF?

Fortunately you can disable it via a simple

sudo tmutil disablelocal

This will ask for the admin password and disable the local copy. In case it does not free space immediately just start the Time Machine backup.

To enable it again (do you really want to?)

sudo tmutil enablelocal

ps: All this happened on Mavericks 10.9.5. I am not sure how Yosemite behaves.

Speaking Engagements - Fall 2014

After a short pause, conference season is back! Here is a list of conferences I am gonna speak at.

Yow conference

Where: Melbourne, Australia

When: September 8-9

Website: http://connected.yowconference.com.au

Pragma conference

Where: Milan, Italy

When: October 3-4

Website: http://pragmamark.org/events/pragma-conference-2014/


Where: Warsaw, Poland

When: October 18th

Website: http://www.mobilization.pl

Cocoaconf Boston

Where: Boston, USA

When: November 14-15

Website: http://cocoaconf.com/boston-2014/home

If you are attending any of these events, or you live nearby, and you wanna chat yell at me on twitter.

Choices and Consequences

I recognize that by writing this I may be disqualifying myself from some future CEO role. Will that cost me tens of millions of dollars someday? Maybe. Life is about choices. Right now, I choose to spend more time with my family and am confident that I can continue to have an meaningful and rewarding work life while doing so. At first, it seemed like a hard choice, but the more I have sat with the choice the more certain I am that it is the right choice.

You look at the CEO of a big company as a sort of “Superman”. He/she manages many ideas/teams/meetings/dollars. And yet he is human, struggles like everybody and makes hard choices. I am impulsive by nature but sometimes I feel that the more you struggle the wiser is the choice you make.

Simple Idea and Simple Design

I like simple, very much so. I usually tend not to publicize kickstarter projects on this blog, but this tool looks very interesting. How many times you had to slightly hear better the audio coming from your iDevice? Countless times I thought I could use something like SpeakerSlide. A video is worth a gazillion words.

Key takeaways for designers and product makers:

  • Solve a problem
  • Solve a single problem
  • If your product is simple, marketing is easier.
  • Simples allows you to focus on key aspects like price. 10$? Instabuy!

I really hope it gets funded, although there are just three days left. I am really thankful to the guys behind this because it’s a great source of inspiration.