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Joseph Mavericks

Joseph Mavericks

1 year ago

Apples Top 100 Meeting: Steve Jobs's Secret Agenda's Lessons

More on Cooking

Karthik Rajan

Karthik Rajan

1 year ago

11 Cooking Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier 

Quick, easy and tasty (and dollops of parenting around food).

My wife and mom are both great mothers. They're super-efficient planners. They soak and ferment food. My 104-year-old grandfather loved fermented foods.

When I'm hungry and need something fast, I waffle to the pantry. Like most people, I like to improvise. I wish I knew these 11 hacks sooner.

1. The world's best pasta sauce only has 3 ingredients.

You watch recipe videos with prepped ingredients. In reality, prepping and washing take time. The food's taste isn't guaranteed. The raw truth at a sublime level is not talked about often.

Sometimes a radical recipe comes along that's so easy and tasty, you're dumbfounded. The Classic Italian Cook Book has a pasta recipe.

One 28-ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes, one medium peeled onion, and 5 tablespoons of butter. And salt to taste.

Combine everything in a single pot and simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered. Stir occasionally. Toss the onion halves after 45 minutes and pour the sauce over pasta. Finish!

This simple recipe fights our deepest fears.

Salt to taste! Customized to perfection, no frills.

2. Reheating rice with ice. Magical.

Most of the world eats rice. I was raised in south India. My grandfather farmed rice in the Cauvery river delta.

The problem with rice With growing kids, you can't cook just enough. Leftovers are a norm. Microwaves help most people. Ice cubes are the frosting.

Before reheating rice in the microwave, add an ice cube. The ice will steam the rice, making it fluffy and delicious again.

3. Pineapple leaf 

if it comes off easy, it is ripe enough to cut. No rethinking.

My daughter loves pineapples like her dad. One daddy task is cutting them. Sharing immediate results is therapeutic.

Timing the cut has been the most annoying part over the years. The pineapple leaf tip reveals the fruitiness inside. Always loved it.

4. Magic knife words (rolling and curling)

Cutting hand: Roll the blade's back, not its tip, to cut.

Other hand: If you can’t see your finger tips, you can’t cut them. So curl your fingers.

I dislike that schools don't teach financial literacy or cutting skills.

My wife and I used scissors differently for 25 years. We both used the thumb. My index finger, her middle. We googled the difference when I noticed it and laughed. She's right.

This video teaches knifing skills:


5. Best advice about heat

If it's done in the pan, it's overdone on the plate.

This simple advice stands out when we worry about ingredients and proportions.

6. The truth about pasta water

Pasta water should be sea-salty.

Properly seasoning food separates good from great. Salt depends is a good line.

Want delicious pasta? Well, then kind of a lot, to be perfectly honest.

7. Clean as you go

Clean blender as you go by blending water and dish soap.

I find clean as you go easier than clean afterwords. This easy tip is gold.

8. Clean as you go (bis)

Microwave a bowl of water, vinegar, and a toothpick for 5 minutes.

2 cups water, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and a toothpick to prevent overflow.

5-minute microwave. Let the steam work for another 2 minutes. Sponge-off dirt and food. Simple.

9 and 10. Tools,tools, tools

Immersion blender and pressure cooker save time and money.

Narrative: I experienced fatherly pride. My middle-schooler loves science. We discussed boiling. I spoke. Water doesn't need 100°C to boil. She looked confused. 100 degrees assume something. The world around the water is a normal room. Changing water pressure affects its boiling point. This saves energy. Pressure cooker magic.

I captivated her. She's into science and sustainable living.

Whistling is a subliminal form of self-expression when done right. Pressure cookers remind me of simple pleasures.

Your handiness depends on your home tools. Immersion blenders are great for pre- and post-cooking. It eliminates chopping and washing. Second to the dishwasher, in my opinion.

11. One pepper is plenty

A story I share with my daughters.

Once, everyone thought about spice (not spicy). More valuable than silk. One of the three mighty oceans was named after a source country. Columbus sailed the wrong way and found America. The explorer called the natives after reaching his spice destination.

It was pre-internet days. His Google wasn't working.

My younger daughter listens in awe. Strong roots. Image cast. She can contextualize one of the ocean names.

I struggle with spices in daily life. Combinations are mind-boggling. I have more spices than Columbus. Flavor explosion has repercussions. You must closely follow the recipe without guarantees. Best aha. Double down on one spice and move on. If you like it, it's great.

I naturally gravitate towards cumin soups, fennel dishes, mint rice, oregano pasta, basil thai curry and cardamom pudding.

Variety enhances life. Each of my dishes is unique.

To each their own comfort food and nostalgic memories.

Happy living!

Chris Newman

Chris Newman

1 year ago

Clean Food: Get Over Yourself If You Want to Save the World.

From Salt Bae, via Facebook

I’m a permaculture farmer. I want to create food-producing ecosystems. My hope is a world with easy access to a cuisine that nourishes consumers, supports producers, and leaves the Earth joyously habitable.

Permaculturists, natural farmers, plantsmen, and foodies share this ambition. I believe this group of green thumbs, stock-folk, and food champions is falling to tribalism, forgetting that rescuing the globe requires saving all of its inhabitants, even those who adore cheap burgers and Coke. We're digging foxholes and turning folks who disagree with us or don't understand into monsters.

Take Dr. Daphne Miller's comments at the end of her Slow Money Journal interview:

“Americans are going to fall into two camps when all is said and done: People who buy cheap goods, regardless of quality, versus people who are willing and able to pay for things that are made with integrity. We are seeing the limits of the “buying cheap crap” approach.”

This is one of the most judgmental things I've read outside the Bible. Consequences:

  • People who purchase inexpensive things (food) are ignorant buffoons who prefer to choose fair trade coffee over fuel as long as the price is correct.

  • It all depends on your WILL to buy quality or cheaply. Both those who are WILLING and those who ARE NOT exist. And able, too.

  • People who are unwilling and unable are purchasing garbage. You're giving your kids bad food. Both the Earth and you are being destroyed by your actions. Your camp is the wrong one. You’re garbage! Disgrace to you.

Dr. Miller didn't say it, but words are worthless until interpreted. This interpretation depends on the interpreter's economic, racial, political, religious, family, and personal history. Complementary language insults another. Imagine how that Brown/Harvard M.D.'s comment sounds to a low-income household with no savings.

This just went from “cheap burger” to “political statement of blue-collar solidarity.” Thanks, Clean Food, for digging your own grave.

Dr. Miller's comment reflects the echo chamber into which nearly all clean food advocates speak. It asks easy questions and accepts non-solutions like raising food prices and eating less meat. People like me have cultivated an insular world unencumbered by challenges beyond the margins. We may disagree about technical details in rotationally-grazing livestock, but we short circuit when asked how our system could supply half the global beef demand. Most people have never seriously considered this question. We're so loved and affirmed that challenging ourselves doesn't seem necessary. Were generals insisting we don't need to study the terrain because God is on our side?

“Yes, the $8/lb ground beef is produced the way it should be. Yes, it’s good for my body. Yes it’s good for the Earth. But it’s eight freaking dollars, and my kid needs braces and protein. Bye Felicia, we’re going to McDonald’s.”

-Bobby Q. Homemaker

Funny clean foodies. People don't pay enough for food; they should value it more. Turn the concept of buying food with integrity into a wedge and drive it into the heart of America, dividing the willing and unwilling.

We go apeshit if you call our products high-end.

I've heard all sorts of gaslighting to defend a $10/lb pork chop as accessible (things I’ve definitely said in the past):

  • At Whole Foods, it costs more.

  • The steak at the supermarket is overly affordable.

  • Pay me immediately or the doctor gets paid later.

I spoke with Timbercreek Market and Local Food Hub in front of 60 people. We were asked about local food availability.

They came to me last, after my co-panelists gave the same responses I would have given two years before.

I grumbled, "Our food is inaccessible." Nope. It's beyond the wallets of nearly everyone, and it's the biggest problem with sustainable food systems. We're criminally unserious about being leaders in sustainability until we propose solutions beyond economic relativism, wishful thinking, and insisting that vulnerable, distracted people do all the heavy lifting of finding a way to afford our food. And until we talk about solutions, all this preserve the world? False.

The room fell silent as if I'd revealed a terrible secret. Long, thunderous applause followed my other remarks. But I’m probably not getting invited back to any VNRLI events.

I make pricey cuisine. It’s high-end. I have customers who really have to stretch to get it, and they let me know it. They're forgoing other creature comforts to help me make a living and keep the Earth of my grandmothers alive, and they're doing it as an act of love. They believe in us and our work.

I remember it when I'm up to my shoulders in frigid water, when my vehicle stinks of four types of shit, when I come home covered in blood and mud, when I'm hauling water in 100-degree heat, when I'm herding pigs in a rainstorm and dodging lightning bolts to close the chickens. I'm reminded I'm not alone. Their enthusiasm is worth more than money; it helps me make a life and a living. I won't label that gift less than it is to make my meal seem more accessible.

Not everyone can sacrifice.

Let's not pretend we want to go back to peasant fare, despite our nostalgia. Industrial food has leveled what rich and poor eat. How food is cooked will be the largest difference between what you and a billionaire eat. Rich and poor have access to chicken, pork, and beef. You might be shocked how recently that wasn't the case. This abundance, particularly of animal protein, has helped vulnerable individuals.

Especially when the mutton’s nice and lean (image from The Spruce)

Industrial food causes environmental damage, chronic disease, and distribution inequities. Clean food promotes non-industrial, artisan farming. This creates a higher-quality, more expensive product than the competition; we respond with aggressive marketing and the "people need to value food more" shtick geared at consumers who can spend the extra money.

The guy who is NOT able is rendered invisible by clean food's elitist marketing, which is bizarre given a.) clean food insists it's trying to save the world, yet b.) MOST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE THAT GUY. No one can help him except feel-good charities. That's crazy.

Also wrong: a foodie telling a kid he can't eat a 99-cent fast food hamburger because it lacks integrity. Telling him how easy it is to save his ducketts and maybe have a grass-fed house burger at the end of the month as a reward, but in the meantime get your protein from canned beans you can't bake because you don't have a stove and, even if you did, your mom works two jobs and moonlights as an Uber driver so she doesn't have time to heat that shitup anyway.

A wealthy person's attitude toward the poor is indecent. It's 18th-century Versailles.

“Let them eat cake. Oh, it’s not organic? Let them starve!”

Human rights include access to nutritious food without social or environmental costs. As a food-forest-loving permaculture farmer, I no longer balk at the concept of cultured beef and hydroponics. My food is out of reach for many people, but access to decent food shouldn't be. Cultures and hydroponics could scale to meet the clean food affordability gap without externalities. If technology can deliver great, affordable beef without environmental negative effects, I can't reject it because it's new, unusual, or might endanger my business.

Why is your farm needed if cultured beef and hydroponics can feed the world? Permaculture food forests with trees, perennial plants, and animals are crucial to economically successful environmental protection. No matter how advanced technology gets, we still need clean air, water, soil, greenspace, and food.

Clean Food cultivated in/on live soil, minimally processed, and eaten close to harvest is part of the answer, not THE solution. Clean food advocates must recognize the conflicts at the intersection of environmental, social, and economic sustainability, the disproportionate effects of those conflicts on the poor and lower-middle classes, and the immorality and impracticality of insisting vulnerable people address those conflicts on their own and judging them if they don't.

Our clients, relatives, friends, and communities need an honest assessment of our role in a sustainable future. If we're serious about preserving the world, we owe honesty to non-customers. We owe our goal and sanity to honesty. Future health and happiness of the world left to the average person's pocketbook and long-term moral considerations is a dismal proposition with few parallels.

Let's make soil and grow food. Let the lab folks do their thing. We're all interdependent.

Alexandra Walker-Jones

Alexandra Walker-Jones

1 year ago

These are the 15 foods you should eat daily and why.

Research on preventing disease, extending life, and caring for your body from the inside out

Photo by Isra E on Unsplash

Grapefruit and pomegranates aren't on the list, so ignore that. Mostly, I enjoyed the visual, but those fruits are healthful, too.

15 (or 17 if you consider the photo) different foods a day sounds like a lot. If you're not used to it  — it is.

These lists don't aim for perfection. Instead, use this article and the science below to eat more of these foods. If you can eat 5 foods one day and 5 the next, you're doing well. This list should be customized to your requirements and preferences.

“Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it” -Heather Morgan.

The 15 Foods That You Should Consume Daily and Why:

1. Dark/Red Berries

(blueberries, blackberries, acai, goji, cherries, strawberries, raspberries)

The 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study is the greatest definitive analysis of death and disease risk factors in history. They found the primary cause of both death, disability, and disease inside the United States was diet.

Not eating enough fruit, and specifically berries, was one of the best predictors of disease (1).

What's special about berries? It's their color! Berries have the most antioxidants of any fruit, second only to spices. The American Cancer Society found that those who ate the most berries were less likely to die of cardiovascular disease.

2. Beans

Soybeans, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, split peas, chickpeas.

Beans are one of the most important predictors of survival in older people, according to global research (2).

For every 20 grams (2 tablespoons) of beans consumed daily, the risk of death is reduced by 8%.

Soybeans and soy foods are high in phytoestrogen, which reduces breast and prostate cancer risks. Phytoestrogen blocks the receptors' access to true estrogen, mitigating the effects of weight gain, dairy (high in estrogen), and hormonal fluctuations (3).

3. Nuts

(almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts)

Eating a handful of nuts every day reduces the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Nuts also reduce oxidation, blood sugar, and LDL (bad) cholesterol, improving arterial function (4).

Despite their high-fat content, studies have linked daily nut consumption to a slimmer waistline and a lower risk of obesity (5).

4. Flaxseed

(milled flaxseed)

2013 research found that ground flaxseed had one of the strongest anti-hypertensive effects of any food. A few tablespoons (added to a smoothie or baked goods) lowered blood pressure and stroke risk 23 times more than daily aerobic exercise (6).

Flax shouldn't replace exercise, but its nutritional punch is worth adding to your diet.

5. Other seeds

(chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, fennel seeds)

Seeds are high in fiber and omega-3 fats and can be added to most dishes without being noticed.

When eaten with or after a meal, chia seeds moderate blood sugar and reduce inflammatory chemicals in the blood (7). Overall, a great daily addition.

6. Dates

Dates are one of the world's highest sugar foods, with 80% sugar by weight. Pure cake frosting is 60%, maple syrup is 66%, and cotton-candy jelly beans are 70%.

Despite their high sugar content, dates have a low glycemic index, meaning they don't affect blood sugar levels dramatically. They also improve triglyceride and antioxidant stress levels (8).

Dates are a great source of energy and contain high levels of dietary fiber and polyphenols, making 3-10 dates a great way to fight disease, support gut health with prebiotics, and satisfy a sweet tooth (9).

7. Cruciferous Veggies

(broccoli, Brussel sprouts, horseradish, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, boy choy, arugula, radishes, turnip greens)

Cruciferous vegetables contain an active ingredient that makes them disease-fighting powerhouses. Sulforaphane protects our brain, eyesight, against free radicals and environmental hazards, and treats and prevents cancer (10).

Unless you eat raw cruciferous vegetables daily, you won't get enough sulforaphane (and thus, its protective nutritional benefits). Cooking destroys the enzyme needed to create this super-compound.

If you chop broccoli, cauliflower, or turnip greens and let them sit for 45 minutes before cooking them, the enzyme will have had enough time to work its sulforaphane magic, allowing the vegetables to retain the same nutritional value as if eaten raw. Crazy, right? For more on this, see What Chopping Your Vegetables Has to Do with Fighting Cancer.

8. Whole grains

(barley, brown rice, quinoa, oats, millet, popcorn, whole-wheat pasta, wild rice)

Whole-grains are one of the healthiest ways to consume your daily carbs and help maintain healthy gut flora.

This happens when fibre is broken down in the colon and starts a chain reaction, releasing beneficial substances into the bloodstream and reducing the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and inflammation (11).

9. Spices

(turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, saffron, cloves, cardamom, chili powder, nutmeg, coriander)

7% of a person's cells will have DNA damage. This damage is caused by tiny breaks in our DNA caused by factors like free-radical exposure.

Free radicals cause mutations that damage lipids, proteins, and DNA, increasing the risk of disease and cancer. Free radicals are unavoidable because they result from cellular metabolism, but they can be avoided by consuming anti-oxidant and detoxifying foods.

Including spices and herbs like rosemary or ginger in our diet may cut DNA damage by 25%. Yes, this damage can be improved through diet. Turmeric worked better at a lower dose (just a pinch, daily). For maximum free-radical fighting (and anti-inflammatory) effectiveness, use 1.5 tablespoons of similar spices (12).

10. Leafy greens

(spinach, collard greens, lettuce, other salad greens, swiss chard)

Studies show that people who eat more leafy greens perform better on cognitive tests and slow brain aging by a year or two (13).

As we age, blood flow to the brain drops due to a decrease in nitric oxide, which prevents blood vessels from dilatation. Daily consumption of nitrate-rich vegetables like spinach and swiss chard may prevent dementia and Alzheimer's.

11. Fermented foods

(sauerkraut, tempeh, kombucha, plant-based kefir)

Miso, kimchi, and sauerkraut contain probiotics that support gut microbiome.

Probiotics balance the good and bad bacteria in our bodies and offer other benefits. Fermenting fruits and vegetables increases their antioxidant and vitamin content, preventing disease in multiple ways (14).

12. Sea vegetables

(seaweed, nori, dulse flakes)

A population study found that eating one sheet of nori seaweed per day may cut breast cancer risk by more than half (15).

Seaweed and sea vegetables may help moderate estrogen levels in the metabolism, reducing cancer and disease risk.

Sea vegetables make up 30% of the world's edible plants and contain unique phytonutrients. A teaspoon of these super sea-foods on your dinner will help fight disease from the inside out.

13. Water

I'm less concerned about whether you consider water food than whether you drink enough. If this list were ranked by what single item led to the best health outcomes, water would be first.

Research shows that people who drink 5 or more glasses of water per day have a 50% lower risk of dying from heart disease than those who drink 2 or less (16).

Drinking enough water boosts energy, improves skin, mental health, and digestion, and reduces the risk of various health issues, including obesity.

14. Tea

All tea consumption is linked to a lower risk of stroke, heart disease, and early death, with green tea leading for antioxidant content and immediate health benefits.

Green tea leaves may also be able to interfere with each stage of cancer formation, from the growth of the first mutated cell to the spread and progression of cancer in the body. Green tea is a quick and easy way to support your long-term and short-term health (17).

15. Supplemental B12 vitamin

B12, or cobalamin, is a vitamin responsible for cell metabolism. Not getting enough B12 can have serious consequences.

Historically, eating vegetables from untreated soil helped humans maintain their vitamin B12 levels. Due to modern sanitization, our farming soil lacks B12.

B12 is often cited as a problem only for vegetarians and vegans (as animals we eat are given B12 supplements before slaughter), but recent studies have found that plant-based eaters have lower B12 deficiency rates than any other diet (18).


Article Sources:

  1. The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010)

2. I. Darmadi-Blackberry, M. Wahlqvist, A. Kouris-Blazos, et al. Legumes: the most important dietary predictor of survival in older people of different ethnicities. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2004;13(2):217–20.

3. Guha N, Kwan ML, Quesenberry CP Jr, Weltzien EK, Castillo AL, Caan BJ. Soy isoflavones and risk of cancer recurrence in a cohort of breast cancer survivors: the Life After Cancer Epidemiology study. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2009 Nov;118(2):395–405.

4. Y. Bao, J. Han, F. B. Hu, E. L. Giovannucci, M. J. Stampfer, W. C. Willett, C. S. Fuchs. Association of nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality. N. Engl. J. Med. 2013 369(21):2001–2011.

5. V. Vadivel, C. N. Kunyanga, H. K. Biesalski. Health benefits of nut consumption with special reference to body weight control. Nutrition 2012 28(11–12):1089–1097.

6. D Rodriguez-Leyva, W Weighell, A L Edel,R LaVallee, E Dibrov,R Pinneker, T G Maddaford, B Ramjiawan, M Aliani, R Guzman R, G N Pierce. Potent antihypertensive action of dietary flaxseed in hypertensive patients. Hypertension. 2013 Dec;62(6):1081–9. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.113.02094.

7. Vuksan V, Jenkins AL, Dias AG, Lee AS, Jovanovski E, Rogovik AL, Hanna A. Reduction in postprandial glucose excursion and prolongation of satiety: possible explanation of the long-term effects of whole grain Salba (Salvia Hispanica L.). Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Apr;64(4):436–8. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2009.159. Epub 2010 Jan 20. PMID: 20087375.

8. W. Rock, M. Rosenblat, H. Borochov-Neori, N. Volkova, S. Judeinstein, M. Elias, and M. Aviram. Effects of date (Phoenix dactylifera L., Medjool or Hallawi Variety) consumption by healthy subjects on serum glucose and lipid levels and on serum oxidative status: a pilot study. J. Agric. Food. Chem., 57(17):8010{8017, 2009.

9. Eid N, Enani S, Walton G, et al. The impact of date palm fruits and their component polyphenols, on gut microbial ecology, bacterial metabolites and colon cancer cell proliferation. J Nutr Sci. 2014;3:e46.

10. Li Y, Zhang T, Korkaya H, Liu S, Lee HF, Newman B, Yu Y, Clouthier SG, Schwartz SJ, Wicha MS, Sun D. Sulforaphane, a Dietary Component of Broccoli/Broccoli Sprouts, Inhibits Breast Cancer Stem Cells. Clin Cancer Res. 2010 May 1;16(9):2580–90.

11. Lappi J, Kolehmainen M, Mykkänen H, Poutanen K. Do large intestinal events explain the protective effects of whole grain foods against type 2 diabetes? Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(6):631–40.

12. S. S. Percival, J. P. V. Heuvel, C. J. Nieves, C. Montero, A. J. Migliaccio, J. Meadors. Bioavailability of Herbs and Spices in Humans as Determined by ex vivo Inflammatory Suppression and DNA Strand Breaks. J Am Coll Nutr. 2012 31(4):288–294.

13. Nurk E, Refsum H, Drevon CA, et al. Cognitive performance among the elderly in relation to the intake of plant foods. The Hordaland Health Study. Br J Nutr. 2010;104(8):1190–201.

14. Melini, F.; Melini, V.; Luziatelli, F.; Ficca, A.G.; Ruzzi, M. Health-Promoting Components in Fermented Foods: An Up-to-Date Systematic Review. Nutrients2019, 11, 1189.

15. H. Funahashi, T. Imai, T. Mase, M. Sekiya, K. Yokoi, H. Hayashi, A. Shibata, T. Hayashi, M. Nishikawa, N. Suda, Y. Hibi, Y. Mizuno, K. Tsukamura, A. Hayakawa, S. Tanuma. Seaweed prevents breast cancer? Jpn. J. Cancer Res. 2001 92(5):483–487.

16. Chan J, Knutsen SF, Blix GG, Lee JW, Fraser GE. Water, other fluids, and fatal coronary heart disease: the Adventist Health Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2002 May 1;155(9):827–33. doi: 10.1093/aje/155.9.827. PMID: 11978586.

17. Fujiki H, Imai K, Nakachi K, Shimizu M, Moriwaki H, Suganuma M. Challenging the effectiveness of green tea in primary and tertiary cancer prevention. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2012 Aug;138(8):1259–70.

18. Damayanti, D., Jaceldo-Siegl, K., Beeson, W. L., Fraser, G., Oda, K., & Haddad, E. H. (2018). Foods and Supplements Associated with Vitamin B12Biomarkers among Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian Participants of the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2) Calibration Study. Nutrients, 10(6), 722. doi:10.3390/nu10060722

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Sanjay Priyadarshi

Sanjay Priyadarshi

1 year ago

Using Ruby code, a programmer created a $48,000,000,000 product that Elon Musk admired.

Unexpected Success

Photo of Tobias Lutke from theglobeandmail

Shopify CEO and co-founder Tobias Lutke. Shopify is worth $48 billion.

World-renowned entrepreneur Tobi

Tobi never expected his first online snowboard business to become a multimillion-dollar software corporation.

Tobi founded Shopify to establish a 20-person company.

The publicly traded corporation employs over 10,000 people.

Here's Tobi Lutke's incredible story.

Elon Musk tweeted his admiration for the Shopify creator.

30-October-2019.

Musk praised Shopify founder Tobi Lutke on Twitter.

Happened:

Screenshot by Author

Explore this programmer's journey.

What difficulties did Tobi experience as a young child?

Germany raised Tobi.

Tobi's parents realized he was smart but had trouble learning as a toddler.

Tobi was learning disabled.

Tobi struggled with school tests.

Tobi's learning impairments were undiagnosed.

Tobi struggled to read as a dyslexic.

Tobi also found school boring.

Germany's curriculum didn't inspire Tobi's curiosity.

“The curriculum in Germany was taught like here are all the solutions you might find useful later in life, spending very little time talking about the problem…If I don’t understand the problem I’m trying to solve, it’s very hard for me to learn about a solution to a problem.”

Studying computer programming

After tenth grade, Tobi decided school wasn't for him and joined a German apprenticeship program.

This curriculum taught Tobi software engineering.

He was an apprentice in a small Siemens subsidiary team.

Tobi worked with rebellious Siemens employees.

Team members impressed Tobi.

Tobi joined the team for this reason.

Tobi was pleased to get paid to write programming all day.

His life could not have been better.

Devoted to snowboarding

Tobi loved snowboarding.

He drove 5 hours to ski at his folks' house.

His friends traveled to the US to snowboard when he was older.

However, the cheap dollar conversion rate led them to Canada.

2000.

Tobi originally decided to snowboard instead than ski.

Snowboarding captivated him in Canada.

On the trip to Canada, Tobi encounters his wife.

Tobi meets his wife Fiona McKean on his first Canadian ski trip.

They maintained in touch after the trip.

Fiona moved to Germany after graduating.

Tobi was a startup coder.

Fiona found work in Germany.

Her work included editing, writing, and academics.

“We lived together for 10 months and then she told me that she need to go back for the master's program.”

With Fiona, Tobi immigrated to Canada.

Fiona invites Tobi.

Tobi agreed to move to Canada.

Programming helped Tobi move in with his girlfriend.

Tobi was an excellent programmer, therefore what he did in Germany could be done anywhere.

He worked remotely for his German employer in Canada.

Tobi struggled with remote work.

Due to poor communication.

No slack, so he used email.

Programmers had trouble emailing.

Tobi's startup was developing a browser.

After the dot-com crash, individuals left that startup.

It ended.

Tobi didn't intend to work for any major corporations.

Tobi left his startup.

He believed he had important skills for any huge corporation.

He refused to join a huge corporation.

Because of Siemens.

Tobi learned to write professional code and about himself while working at Siemens in Germany.

Siemens culture was odd.

Employees were distrustful.

Siemens' rigorous dress code implies that the corporation doesn't trust employees' attire.

It wasn't Tobi's place.

“There was so much bad with it that it just felt wrong…20-year-old Tobi would not have a career there.”

Focused only on snowboarding

Tobi lived in Ottawa with his girlfriend.

Canada is frigid in winter.

Ottawa's winters last.

Almost half a year.

Tobi wanted to do something worthwhile now.

So he snowboarded.

Tobi began snowboarding seriously.

He sought every snowboarding knowledge.

He researched the greatest snowboarding gear first.

He created big spreadsheets for snowboard-making technologies.

Tobi grew interested in selling snowboards while researching.

He intended to sell snowboards online.

He had no choice but to start his own company.

A small local company offered Tobi a job.

Interested.

He must sign papers to join the local company.

He needed a work permit when he signed the documents.

Tobi had no work permit.

He was allowed to stay in Canada while applying for permanent residency.

“I wasn’t illegal in the country, but my state didn’t give me a work permit. I talked to a lawyer and he told me it’s going to take a while until I get a permanent residency.”

Tobi's lawyer told him he cannot get a work visa without permanent residence.

His lawyer said something else intriguing.

Tobis lawyer advised him to start a business.

Tobi declined this local company's job offer because of this.

Tobi considered opening an internet store with his technical skills.

He sold snowboards online.

“I was thinking of setting up an online store software because I figured that would exist and use it as a way to sell snowboards…make money while snowboarding and hopefully have a good life.”

What brought Tobi and his co-founder together, and how did he support Tobi?

Tobi lived with his girlfriend's parents.

In Ottawa, Tobi encounters Scott Lake.

Scott was Tobis girlfriend's family friend and worked for Tobi's future employer.

Scott and Tobi snowboarded.

Tobi pitched Scott his snowboard sales software idea.

Scott liked the idea.

They planned a business together.

“I was looking after the technology and Scott was dealing with the business side…It was Scott who ended up developing relationships with vendors and doing all the business set-up.”

Issues they ran into when attempting to launch their business online

Neither could afford a long-term lease.

That prompted their online business idea.

They would open a store.

Tobi anticipated opening an internet store in a week.

Tobi seeks open-source software.

Most existing software was pricey.

Tobi and Scott couldn't afford pricey software.

“In 2004, I was sitting in front of my computer absolutely stunned realising that we hadn’t figured out how to create software for online stores.”

They required software to:

  • to upload snowboard images to the website.

  • people to look up the types of snowboards that were offered on the website. There must be a search feature in the software.

  • Online users transmit payments, and the merchant must receive them.

  • notifying vendors of the recently received order.

No online selling software existed at the time.

Online credit card payments were difficult.

How did they advance the software while keeping expenses down?

Tobi and Scott needed money to start selling snowboards.

Tobi and Scott funded their firm with savings.

“We both put money into the company…I think the capital we had was around CAD 20,000(Canadian Dollars).”

Despite investing their savings.

They minimized costs.

They tried to conserve.

No office rental.

They worked in several coffee shops.

Tobi lived rent-free at his girlfriend's parents.

He installed software in coffee cafes.

How were the software issues handled?

Tobi found no online snowboard sales software.

Two choices remained:

  1. Change your mind and try something else.

  2. Use his programming expertise to produce something that will aid in the expansion of this company.

Tobi knew he was the sole programmer working on such a project from the start.

“I had this realisation that I’m going to be the only programmer who has ever worked on this, so I don’t have to choose something that lots of people know. I can choose just the best tool for the job…There is been this programming language called Ruby which I just absolutely loved ”

Ruby was open-source and only had Japanese documentation.

Latin is the source code.

Tobi used Ruby twice.

He assumed he could pick the tool this time.

Why not build with Ruby?

How did they find their first time operating a business?

Tobi writes applications in Ruby.

He wrote the initial software version in 2.5 months.

Tobi and Scott founded Snowdevil to sell snowboards.

Tobi coded for 16 hours a day.

His lifestyle was unhealthy.

He enjoyed pizza and coke.

“I would never recommend this to anyone, but at the time there was nothing more interesting to me in the world.”

Their initial purchase and encounter with it

Tobi worked in cafes then.

“I was working in a coffee shop at this time and I remember everything about that day…At some time, while I was writing the software, I had to type the email that the software would send to tell me about the order.”

Tobi recalls everything.

He checked the order on his laptop at the coffee shop.

Pennsylvanian ordered snowboard.

Tobi walked home and called Scott. Tobi told Scott their first order.

They loved the order.

How were people made aware about Snowdevil?

2004 was very different.

Tobi and Scott attempted simple website advertising.

Google AdWords was new.

Ad clicks cost 20 cents.

Online snowboard stores were scarce at the time.

Google ads propelled the snowdevil brand.

Snowdevil prospered.

They swiftly recouped their original investment in the snowboard business because to its high profit margin.

Tobi and Scott struggled with inventories.

“Snowboards had really good profit margins…Our biggest problem was keeping inventory and getting it back…We were out of stock all the time.”

Selling snowboards returned their investment and saved them money.

They did not appoint a business manager.

They accomplished everything alone.

Sales dipped in the spring, but something magical happened.

Spring sales plummeted.

They considered stocking different boards.

They naturally wanted to add boards and grow the business.

However, magic occurred.

Tobi coded and improved software while running Snowdevil.

He modified software constantly. He wanted speedier software.

He experimented to make the software more resilient.

Tobi received emails requesting the Snowdevil license.

They intended to create something similar.

“I didn’t stop programming, I was just like Ok now let me try things, let me make it faster and try different approaches…Increasingly I got people sending me emails and asking me If I would like to licence snowdevil to them. People wanted to start something similar.”

Software or skateboards, your choice

Scott and Tobi had to choose a hobby in 2005.

They might sell alternative boards or use software.

The software was a no-brainer from demand.

Daniel Weinand is invited to join Tobi's business.

Tobis German best friend is Daniel.

Tobi and Scott chose to use the software.

Tobi and Scott kept the software service.

Tobi called Daniel to invite him to Canada to collaborate.

Scott and Tobi had quit snowboarding until then.

How was Shopify launched, and whence did the name come from?

The three chose Shopify.

Named from two words.

First:

  • Shop

Final part:

  • Simplify

Shopify

Shopify's crew has always had one goal:

  • creating software that would make it simple and easy for people to launch online storefronts.

Launched Shopify after raising money for the first time.

Shopify began fundraising in 2005.

First, they borrowed from family and friends.

They needed roughly $200k to run the company efficiently.

$200k was a lot then.

When questioned why they require so much money. Tobi told them to trust him with their goals. The team raised seed money from family and friends.

Shopify.com has a landing page. A demo of their goal was on the landing page.

In 2006, Shopify had about 4,000 emails.

Shopify rented an Ottawa office.

“We sent a blast of emails…Some people signed up just to try it out, which was exciting.”

How things developed after Scott left the company

Shopify co-founder Scott Lake left in 2008.

Scott was CEO.

“He(Scott) realized at some point that where the software industry was going, most of the people who were the CEOs were actually the highly technical person on the founding team.”

Scott leaving the company worried Tobi.

Tobis worried about finding a new CEO.

To Tobi:

A great VC will have the network to identify the perfect CEO for your firm.

Tobi started visiting Silicon Valley to meet with venture capitalists to recruit a CEO.

Initially visiting Silicon Valley

Tobi came to Silicon Valley to start a 20-person company.

This company creates eCommerce store software.

Tobi never wanted a big corporation. He desired a fulfilling existence.

“I stayed in a hostel in the Bay Area. I had one roommate who was also a computer programmer. I bought a bicycle on Craiglist. I was there for a week, but ended up staying two and a half weeks.”

Tobi arrived unprepared.

When venture capitalists asked him business questions.

He answered few queries.

Tobi didn't comprehend VC meetings' terminology.

He wrote the terms down and looked them up.

Some were fascinated after he couldn't answer all these queries.

“I ended up getting the kind of term sheets people dream about…All the offers were conditional on moving our company to Silicon Valley.”

Canada received Tobi.

He wanted to consult his team before deciding. Shopify had five employees at the time.

2008.

A global recession greeted Tobi in Canada. The recession hurt the market.

His term sheets were useless.

The economic downturn in the world provided Shopify with a fantastic opportunity.

The global recession caused significant job losses.

Fired employees had several ideas.

They wanted online stores.

Entrepreneurship was desired. They wanted to quit work.

People took risks and tried new things during the global slump.

Shopify subscribers skyrocketed during the recession.

“In 2009, the company reached neutral cash flow for the first time…We were in a position to think about long-term investments, such as infrastructure projects.”

Then, Tobi Lutke became CEO.

How did Tobi perform as the company's CEO?

“I wasn’t good. My team was very patient with me, but I had a lot to learn…It’s a very subtle job.”

2009–2010.

Tobi limited the company's potential.

He deliberately restrained company growth.

Tobi had one costly problem:

  • Whether Shopify is a venture or a lifestyle business.

The company's annual revenue approached $1 million.

Tobi battled with the firm and himself despite good revenue.

His wife was supportive, but the responsibility was crushing him.

“It’s a crushing responsibility…People had families and kids…I just couldn’t believe what was going on…My father-in-law gave me money to cover the payroll and it was his life-saving.”

Throughout this trip, everyone supported Tobi.

They believed it.

$7 million in donations received

Tobi couldn't decide if this was a lifestyle or a business.

Shopify struggled with marketing then.

Later, Tobi tried 5 marketing methods.

He told himself that if any marketing method greatly increased their growth, he would call it a venture, otherwise a lifestyle.

The Shopify crew brainstormed and voted on marketing concepts.

Tested.

“Every single idea worked…We did Adwords, published a book on the concept, sponsored a podcast and all the ones we tracked worked.”

To Silicon Valley once more

Shopify marketing concepts worked once.

Tobi returned to Silicon Valley to pitch investors.

He raised $7 million, valuing Shopify at $25 million.

All investors had board seats.

“I find it very helpful…I always had a fantastic relationship with everyone who’s invested in my company…I told them straight that I am not going to pretend I know things, I want you to help me.”

Tobi developed skills via running Shopify.

Shopify had 20 employees.

Leaving his wife's parents' home

Tobi left his wife's parents in 2014.

Tobi had a child.

Shopify has 80,000 customers and 300 staff in 2013.

Public offering in 2015

Shopify investors went public in 2015.

Shopify powers 4.1 million e-Commerce sites.

Shopify stores are 65% US-based.

It is currently valued at $48 billion.

xuanling11

xuanling11

1 year ago

Reddit NFT Achievement

https://reddit.zendesk.com/hc/article_attachments/7582537085332/1._What_are_Collectible_Avatars_.png

Reddit's NFT market is alive and well.

NFT owners outnumber OpenSea on Reddit.

Reddit NFTs flip in OpenSea in days:

Fast-selling.

NFT sales will make Reddit's current communities more engaged.

I don't think NFTs will affect existing groups, but they will build hype for people to acquire them.

The first season of Collectibles is unique, but many missed the first season.

Second-season NFTs are less likely to be sold for a higher price than first-season ones.

If you use Reddit, it's fun to own NFTs.

Jano le Roux

Jano le Roux

1 year ago

Apple Quietly Introduces A Revolutionary Savings Account That Kills Banks

Would you abandon your bank for Apple?

Apple

Banks are struggling.

  • not as a result of inflation

  • not due to the economic downturn.

  • not due to the conflict in Ukraine.

But because they’re underestimating Apple.

Slowly but surely, Apple is looking more like a bank.

An easy new savings account like Apple

Apple

Apple has a new savings account.

Apple says Apple Card users may set up and manage savings straight in Wallet.

  • No more charges

  • Colorfully high yields

  • With no minimum balance

  • No minimal down payments

Most consumer-facing banks will have to match Apple's offer or suffer disruption.

Users may set it up from their iPhones without traveling to a bank or filling out paperwork.

It’s built into the iPhone in your pocket.

So now more waiting for slow approval processes.

Once the savings account is set up, Apple will automatically transfer all future Daily Cash into it. Users may also add these cash to an Apple Cash card in their Apple Wallet app and adjust where Daily Cash is paid at any time.

Apple

Apple Pay and Apple Wallet VP Jennifer Bailey:

Savings enables Apple Card users to grow their Daily Cash rewards over time, while also saving for the future.

Bailey says Savings adds value to Apple Card's Daily Cash benefit and offers another easy-to-use tool to help people lead healthier financial lives.

Transfer money from a linked bank account or Apple Cash to a Savings account. Users can withdraw monies to a connected bank account or Apple Cash card without costs.

Once set up, Apple Card customers can track their earnings via Wallet's Savings dashboard. This dashboard shows their account balance and interest.

This product targets younger people as the easiest way to start a savings account on the iPhone.

Why would a Gen Z account holder travel to the bank if their iPhone could be their bank?

Using this concept, Apple will transform the way we think about banking by 2030.

Two other nightmares keep bankers awake at night

Apple revealed two new features in early 2022 that banks and payment gateways hated.

  • Tap to Pay with Apple

  • Late Apple Pay

They startled the industry.

Tap To Pay converts iPhones into mobile POS card readers. Apple Pay Later is pushing the BNPL business in a consumer-friendly direction, hopefully ending dodgy lending practices.

Tap to Pay with Apple

iPhone POS

Apple

Millions of US merchants, from tiny shops to huge establishments, will be able to accept Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets with a tap.

No hardware or payment terminal is needed.

Revolutionary!

Stripe has previously launched this feature.

Tap to Pay on iPhone will provide companies with a secure, private, and quick option to take contactless payments and unleash new checkout experiences, said Bailey.

Apple's solution is ingenious. Brilliant!

Bailey says that payment platforms, app developers, and payment networks are making it easier than ever for businesses of all sizes to accept contactless payments and thrive.

I admire that Apple is offering this up to third-party services instead of closing off other functionalities.

Slow POS terminals, farewell.

Late Apple Pay

Pay Apple later.

Apple

Apple Pay Later enables US consumers split Apple Pay purchases into four equal payments over six weeks with no interest or fees.

The Apple ecosystem integration makes this BNPL scheme unique. Nonstick. No dumb forms.

Frictionless.

Just double-tap the button.

Apple Pay Later was designed with users' financial well-being in mind. Apple makes it easy to use, track, and pay back Apple Pay Later from Wallet.

Apple Pay Later can be signed up in Wallet or when using Apple Pay. Apple Pay Later can be used online or in an app that takes Apple Pay and leverages the Mastercard network.

Apple Pay Order Tracking helps consumers access detailed receipts and order tracking in Wallet for Apple Pay purchases at participating stores.

Bad BNPL suppliers, goodbye.

Most bankers will be caught in Apple's eye playing mini golf in high-rise offices.

The big problem:

  • Banks still think about features and big numbers just like other smartphone makers did not too long ago.

  • Apple thinks about effortlessnessseamlessness, and frictionlessness that just work through integrated hardware and software.

Let me know what you think Apple’s next power moves in the banking industry could be.