All posts by rob

  • Languages and Entrepreneurship


    A few months ago I was contacted by Lizzie Fane, founder of ThirdYearAbroad.com, to take part in some research she was conducting for The Higher Education Academy and The British Academy. The report, entitled Languages and Entrepreneurship: A guide for students, highlighted language graduates who used their experiences abroad to push them to take risks and be more entrepreneurial.

    In late October Lizzie asked whether I would like to speak at the report’s launch event. I genuinely believe, and am hopefully living proof, that taking taking a year working or studying abroad opens your mind to new possibilities and makes you less risk adverse – two essential factors if you are to be successful in business.

    And let’s be honest, it’s not every day you get to speak at The Royal Society, so how could I possibly refuse?

    Update:
    The British Academy have contacted me to let me know the video of my little and hopefully motivational 7 minute talk is now available on YouTube. If you’re interested, watch it above or by clicking here.

  • Small steps towards a big future: Cardiff Start.

    Cardiff Start Hack Night
    Take a good look at the picture above. What does it look like to you?

    A weekly team meeting at a creative agency perhaps? A brainstorming session for the latest client project? But wait. The clock reads 8:10 and there’s beer on the table so it’s probably quite late in the day, right? They all look pretty relaxed though so they must know each other quite well and not care that much about working late.

    The reality is quite different. Many of the fourteen people who attended Cardiff Start’s first Hack Night had never even met before, let alone worked together. Each of the people around this table at some point have started or have been influential in the creation of a new company in or around the Cardiff area. And all these people want to create a community that aids others starting up in this young, vibrant and creative capital city.

    The mission is simple: Cardiff Start wants to connect people who make Cardiff an awesome place to start up. The aim is to foster a community that shares knowledge, offers advice and attracts investment for new tech, creative, online and digital startups. Cardiff Start also wants to highlight the benefits of Wales’ most connected city and the great facilities on offer.

    After months of discussion on the 180-strong Facebook group, the group now aims to meet regularly, with participants giving up their own time to push the community forward. During the first four hour Hack Night, strides were made deciding an initial strategy, basic branding and a new website. The group will meet again on September 11th to discuss the next steps. 

    This is a really exciting time for our capital city. I recently moved my own company, Applingua, into the city centre and haven’t looked back since. It’s amazing to see so many people wanting to help each other without any ulterior motive. Exactly what a community should be! 

    Special thanks to Alex Kavel who organised the Hack Night; Michelle Davies and IndyCube for hosting; and of course Neil Cocker, who planted the first seeds.

    Go to all-new Cardiff Start website or participate in our active Facebook group.

  • Understanding Cookie Law

    On 27th May 2012 the UK’s implementation of the EU’s “Cookie Law” will come in force. My own personal opinion aside, I wanted to take the time to actually read and digest the UK’s interpretation of this EU directive and summarise what it means for users and web developers.

    The reason why we have this law

    Studies suggest that the majority of internet users don’t know what cookies are and what information can be accessed by certain websites. This raises obvious privacy concerns.

    The target of this law is to try and prevent or dissuade website owners and content producers from collecting unnecessary information. The main target of this law appears to be third-party cookies, those that are often set by advertising networks to track a user’s global site preferences while browsing. This law makes it very difficult for them to ask for consent.

    What the law actually states

    The law is based on a privacy-based EC Directive from 2002, which was later amended in 2009 to require consent for the storage or access of information on a user’s device (a cookie). The UK implemented this change on the 25th May 2011, but delayed the compliance date by one year. It’s the Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) job in the UK to inform us, the public, of changes to the law and what is required of us. 

    The law is pretty clear. Websites of individuals and businesses based in the EU must comply, regardless of the where the web host is located or where the website’s visitors are accessing the site from.

    Websites have to:

    • Tell users there are cookies on the site
    • Explain why you have cookies
    • Get the user’s consent to store a cookie on their device

    For example, this blog would be required to tell the user that a cookie will be saved on their device, which anonymously tracks user interactions on this site (Google Analytics). This site would then need to ask the user for consent to store these cookies.

    According to the ICO’s guidance, the user’s consent should be required before you set any cookies. In practice, however, the ICO recognises that most websites load cookies as soon as the site loads. In such cases, site owners should do whatever possible to inform the user as soon as possible that cookies are present and explain clearly what the cookies are for. As implementation becomes universal in the future, expect consent to become Opt-In only.

    Who needs to comply with the law?

    The law will apply to all website owners within the EU. This not only includes organisations and business, but individuals with blogs and private websites. Any site that sets a cookie, where the owner of the site is based within in the EU, regardless of where the site is hosted, must obtain consent.

    Like every law, there are exceptions (hooray!):

    • Cookies used to remember goods when they proceed to a checkout
    • Cookies that comply with stricter security principles, such as online banking
    • Cookies that help distribute workload across numerous computers (e.g. Amazon EC2)

    As the majority of websites use tools such as Google Analytics, pretty much everyone will need to think about implementing this.

    How to comply with the new law

    Fortunately for those in the know, satisfying the new law can be achieved by a small script. Unfortunately for those who don’t know anything about front-end web development may find it a bit moredifficult. Here’s two tools than can help:

    If you want to fully comply with the law however, you will need to prevent all cookies being stored until the user has agreed. As a cookie is actually required to remember a user’s choice, users that decline to accept cookies will be informed and asked the same question each time they access the site.

    The above tools will likely put you in good stead with the ICO for the foreseeable future, but when Opt-In is fully enforced, you should be preventing cookies altogether until the user agrees.

    Other Useful reading

  • My tips on getting your first office

    In March of this year I decided to finally get Applingua some office space. Since starting the company in January 2011, I have been travelling around, working pretty much anywhere.

    Working from your bedroom, dining room table or at Starbucks may seem glamourous, but when you have client obligations and need to fully concentrate, these places can get frustrating quickly. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the flexibility for a year but eventually I, and Applingua, needed some structure.

    Finding an office at first seemed almost impossible. While you will find some properties on websites such as Rightmove, they are mostly long term, high lease, commercial spaces. You’ll also find tonnes of serviced offices.

    You’ll find serviced offices pretty much around the world. These cold, soulless places may be good if you’re a team, but on your own the price mounts up quickly. I visited a couple and found them to be the polar opposite of what any web-based start up would be looking for.

    I then contacted some commercial estate agents, but they too could only come up with long lease, high service cost places. So what other option do you have?

    If you live in a big city, you are likely to be fortunate to have several co-working spaces available. These places are genius: you rent a desk among similar like-minded people and work independently, but share services such as internet and overheads. Mark my words: co-working is going to be the way most people work in 50 years time. It gets people out of the house, into a work environment but gives them the flexibility to manage their own time and work remotely wherever they are in the world.

    In a small city like Cardiff however, your co-working options are limited. So I tried something similar.

    Searching Google, I made a list of small businesses in the area whose work I respect: designers, web agencies, developers, etc. All businesses that don’t compete with me in any way, but where I knew there’d be people who understood my business. I then emailed them.

    My email asked whether they had any space available. Space for two or three desks where I and my first employee could sit. Low and behold, two companies had space! I’ve now moved in with one of them 🙂

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained I suppose.

     

  • Outsourcing small jobs cheaply

    I probably have about 100 different ideas a week. They can be anything from future Applingua plans to completely new business ideas to something as simple as a blog post. Most ideas are instantly unviable, but there are often a few which get jotted down in The Hit List for future consideration. Unfortunately they often get left there simply due to time constraints.

    One such idea was a blog post I recently published to Applingua’s Blog, listing the Top 100 Paid Mac OS X apps and their localizations. I knew in order to make the blog post more valuable to me, my clients and the blog’s audience, I needed to delve a little deeper than just studying one app store. I also knew surveying 100 apps across several stores would take a lot of my time, which I needed for client projects.

    After weeks of putting it off, I decided to write a quick job on oDesk (if you are interested, the job post is at the bottom of this page). The applicants had to be able to navigate the Mac App Store proficiently, enter information into Numbers or Excel and do a little research on Google to find out where each developer was located. It’s a classic data entry job.

    Within 15 minutes I had 4 applicants. I sent three of them the job and asked them to do the research and get back to me in their own time. There was no rush.

    A few hours later, a guy called Ramon got back to me with the finished work. I was amazed not only by the speed, but also quality of his work and friendly replies. His portfolio told me he was based in the Philippines and is an iWork and iLife “expert” looking for all kinds of work including mundane data entry. Perfect. I instantly hired him again, asking him to do 4 other stores and then to amalgamate all 7 excel sheets to find a set of statistics. I provided the sums and short descriptions.

    A few days later all the hard work was done and all I had to do was quickly check over the stats and write the blog post. In total, my time ~1 hour. Had I done the store research myself, it would have been ~2 hours per store * 7 + amalgamation + statistics + coffee breaks + the data entry boredom effect. Easily 2 and a half days on one blog post. The post is an important one, but I can’t justify 2.5 days off client work for it.

    The point of this post is you can do this too. Look at your todo list, set aside a small budget and outsource all the small, time consuming jobs you can.

    Just because you don’t want to do them, doesn’t mean others won’t.

    Hi Guys! *** Max 1.5/2 hour job ***

    I’m looking for several Mac users in different countries to do some research for me on the Mac App Store. 

    I am looking to extend this blog post:
    http://applingua.com/blog/2011/10/itunes-usa-top-50-paid-apps-localizations/

    You must be:
    – A Mac OS X 10.6.x or 10.7.x user. If you don’t know what this is, stop now 🙂
    – Know what the Mac App Store is. How to access it. How to navigate it
    – Have Excel or Numbers installed to work on spreadsheet

    What you would need to do:
    – Look at the attachment to this project. There is an excel sheet and a screenshot. The excel sheet tells you what you need to record.
    – Launch the Mac App Store
    – Go to the Top 100 Paid Applications in your Country’s Store
    – Click on each app. 
    – Make a note of the available languages (See screenshots)
    – Now, the difficult bit: go to the developer’s website and find out where the developer works (USA, UK, etc). You may need to use http://www.who.is if it’s not obvious.

    Any questions, just ask!!

    Thanks,
    Rob

  • I can’t use two computers for business

    Despite years of wanting “the perfect setup”, an iMac in tandem with a MacBook Air, I’ve come to the conclusion it just doesn’t work for me. Sure, it’s nice going on the odd day out with the Air, knowing I can check eMails and do any emergency work if I need to, but if you spend a week or weeks away from home as I recently did, having two machines is a bit of a headache. Even despite the many cloud sync options available today.

    This year I’ve been fortunate enough to own both a MacBook Air and iMac. For the most part it’s been excellent. Work has been sync’d perfectly over Dropbox, making it easy as pie to pick up from where I left off during the odd day trip. But anything longer than a day or two and it starts to become a real problem.

    Applications get updated all the time. Maintaining two sets and having to keep them up-to-date not only hogs bandwidth, it takes time when I should be working. When I have big projects on, I forget command line tools or helper apps I’ve installed along the way. Not to mention app preferences, email signatures, keychains and the like (this was great in MobileMe, but is no longer in iCloud…). If this were Twitter, we’d be calling it only a #firstworldproblem, but the fact remains that many people would like a two-computer setup, but I’m just saying I’m not sure it’s worth the extra effort.

    Then there’s the matter of iTunes and iPhoto. I like to have my photos on the move, but I hate having to double copy photos back on my iMac when I get home. The same for Music, redownloading everything from iTunes and keeping Playlists in sync. I’ve actually recently become a paid Spotify and I’m really happy with that.

    The cloud is supposed to be the answer to everything, but it’s not realistic with our current average internet speeds to expect people to store 50GB iPhoto or iTunes libraries online. For work purposes, Dropbox has been incredible and I’m constantly recommending it to people. But again, Dropbox is for documents and the odd media file and not really practical or big enough to sync my photo and music library.

    Things are changing however. I can see potential in Apple’s iCloud for example. They’ve tried to address the photo issue with Photo Stream and music with iTunes Match (US). I can’t help but think these are designed with silicon valley people in mind and not your average person who doesn’t live in a city. Calendars and Contacts are great, but the rest still feels like we’re in the early stages (for example, Apple’s productivity suite, iWork, hasn’t yet been updating on the Mac but has on iOS).

    So, I’ve decided to sell up. I want one Mac that is powerful enough to not hold me up when working, but portable enough not to break my back while travelling. I’m replacing both machines with the “Ultimate” MacBook Air: 13″, 1.8Ghz i7 (BTO only), 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD. I’ll write up my first impressions and post them shortly. Meanwhile the 11″ Air has been sold and the iMac will be going up shortly (contact me if you are interested).

  • Making money online

    For years I struggled to make real money online. Apart from making the odd website, staring at a screen doesn’t bring in cash. It’s a dream many people have, especially those who want to free themselves from their desk and become more “location independent”. Well I’m making money online now and I’ve learnt a lot along the way. I want to share with you what I know.

    This article already sounds like link bait, right? Just like one of those posters that used to litter lamp-posts “earn cash at home” or the countless spam emails you probably receive every day. Well it’s true to a certain extent you won’t be able to earn money online if you are not comfortable with your computer or if you don’t possess any sales drive. Finding work online requires you to be able to sell yourself and sell yourself well. There’s no manager to hand work out to you, you have to go looking for it and you have to tell potential “employers” why you are best for the job, no matter how big or small it is.

    Human Intelligence Tasks – HITs

    Anyone who has managed to navigate to this blog is already overqualified for most of the work on Mechanical Turk, a website set up by Amazon in 2005 to human-automate tasks. It works by developers submitting small tasks to the website which need a human to decipher results.

    An example: someone with a website would like to display summaries of wikipedia articles on their website. A computer can’t decide what sounds best, so the developer creates a HIT on MTurk. You apply, navigate to a list of wikipedia articles the developer specifies and then copy and paste a succinct summary of the article (maybe the first two or three lines).

    Pay is very low, but these tasks are quick. You can easily do several an hour to rack up some change.

    Qualified Jobs (Anyone with any skill, grad or non-grads)

    Can you proofread, administrate, project manage, write blog articles, edit photoshop files, make PowerPoints, edit CSS or HTML, translate or speak another language? Can you web design, write reviews, check spreadsheets, answer support tickets or take good photos? Basically, can you do anything semi-skilled? You will almost certainly find something for you on oDesk.comvWorker.com or GetAFreelancer.com. The work is usually time limited, but there are also positions that last 6 months to a year.

    An example: you know how to use some photo editing tools (like Photoshop, Gimp, etc) and a company is looking for some customer support. They want you to login up to 10 hours a week, answer as many support tickets as possible, and get paid for each email you answer. It’s nice when work in = pay out.

    Pay ranges from very low (simple admin / web research) to high (development / web design / etc). I have employed lots of translators in the past from these platforms and it works very well.

    Creative Minds

    If you are creative, you can make things and sell them on etsy.com. You can take photos and sell them on iStockPhoto.com. If you can design websites, sell themes for good money on ThemeForest.com. Hey, even if you have a good voice-over voice, or are just particularly attractive while holding a sign that mentions a company’s name, check out fiverr.com. There are hundreds of alternatives to these sites, but these are some big names.

    The post-Apple internet is crying out for creative people. If you can offer a few freebies to a developer or company, they’ll almost surely recommend you. If they don’t, you’ll have gained work for your professional portfolio. Win-win.

    Online to Offline World

    If you’re into manual labour, helping people with their shopping, building ikea furniture, cleaning pools, take a look at the likes of TaskRabbit.com orMyTaskAngel.co.uk. This is a growing market and I imagine you’ll see a lot more from the likes of TaskRabbit in the near future.

    If you have a spare room or two then rent them out by the night on AirBnB.com. You’re protected by their guarantee and you can also check out guest reviews from other hosts if you’re afraid.

    Live in a city? Rent out your parking space on ParkAtMyHouse.com. People in big cities are making real money from this ingenious idea.

    Scared about your CV?

    If you do decide to go at it alone to fund your travels or just to get out of full-time work for a year or so, you may be afraid what effect it will have on your Cv. Well I can’t tell you that for sure and it all depends on the person interviewing you for your next career job.

    In my opinion, any one who has gone out looking for work (being “entrepreneurial”), sold themselves as the right person for the job (“sales & marketing”), budgeted their own expenses (“financial skills”) and managed their own clients, deserves to be praised for it. At the end of the day it will come down to how you sell yourself in the interview, but surely a potential employee who has worked for several different clients doing varied work and getting experience, is better than someone who “just” took two years off.

  • The best thing the Tories have done for me

    Everyone loves to hate the Tories. At least that’s how’s it been within my lifetime. Since coming to power in May 2010 most of us have been following what seems to be a constant juggling match with our most prized possessions: education, health, financial services (and, for a moment there, even our forests…). But I can’t say I disagree with everything they’ve done.

    I’m a strong believer the UK needs a better “starting-up” scene. Notice I don’t use the term “startup”, which, in my opinion, has been taken over by the tech industry to mean fast-moving, insanely funded business ideas that appear to fizzle out as quickly as they begin. The UK needs people starting up companies not just in tech, but also in one of the many other industries out there. When I talk about a better starting-up scene, I mean a more approachable environment in which people are encouraged to start up their own companies. To realise their own ideas.

    One of the best things the tories have done came just one month after taking office during the June 2010 Emergency Budget.  George Osborne took the stage to announce several corporation and PAYE tax reforms, skip to 9minutes 50 seconds to hear it:

    The National Insurance Holiday scheme exempts all new companies outside of London from paying employer’s national insurance contributions for up to £5000 per employee (max. 10 employees). This isn’t something to be sneered at. Unless you are paying yourself and your employees over £43k a year, in which case you can probably afford the NIC contributions, this is going to save your company £5000 a year per employee. Even if you pay over £43k, you can claim the £5000 in contributions.

    Let’s take the average annual salary for a person in Rhondda Cynon Taf, a county in desperate need of innovation and new businesses (source).

    Average Annual Salary (Gross): ~ £25555

    Monthly Salary (Gross): ~ £2130

    Employee Income Tax: ~ £300

    Employee NIC: ~ £185

    Monthly Salary (Net): ~ £1650

    Employer NIC: ~ £215

    For a new Ltd company with two employees earning an average wage, that’s a saving of £430 a month in tax, £5160 a year (£5000 recoverable). Pretty helpful. This money can be spent on other costs a company has or even as savings to make a more stable business. It even makes taking on new part-time and full-time employees more attractive.

    I’m not paying myself anywhere near £43000, but the National Insurance Holiday scheme has meant that I can pay myself around £150 more a month because my company has it in the pot. All I can say is Thank You, George.

    One more thing…

    I should add that there is one more thing I would like to see more than anything else in the UK. It was also touched upon during the budget but hasn’t yet successfully made it nationwide: The New Enterprise Allowance Scheme.

    Germany has a similar scheme where unemployed individuals who are eligible for benefits (have to have worked and paid taxes for two years in a row), get Jobseekers Allowance (“dole”) for the first year of starting up their own company. I want this in the UK. It needs to be easy to access, guaranteed and available to all. It needs to be advertised too, not just some little backdoor thing politicians can use to claim they are “trying hard”.

  • Newsletters made easy with Mail Designer

    Most businesses, big and small, send out regular newsletters via email nowadays. Services such as MailChimp make it unbelievably easy to legally collect and manage subscribers and, best of all for the majority of small businesses, it’s completely free.

    MailChimp do provide basic templates you can work with and, design-wise, they certainly aren’t bad. You can add your own images, edit text and choose different fonts. MailChimp offers you everything you’d expect a newsletter service to provide and a few nice surprises too.

    But if you’ve gone this route before, you’ll know just how cumbersome editing templates actually is. You have to click each layout box individually, requiring almost an entire page refresh each time you change a font or add a word. You have to laboriously go through each section (header, body, footer, etc) setting background and text colours. If I were an HTML email expert, I would be mocking them up in TextMate and importing my newsletters into MailChimp this way. Unfortunately, I’m not an HTML email expert.

    Enter Mail Designer. equinux are email experts and have been making Mail stationery for over four years now. It should be said, I used to work for equinux, but never got to see this product finish and left several months before release. It’s taken me some time to start writing a regular newsletter for Applingua and only used Mail Designer for the first time properly a few days ago.

    What is Mail Designer exactly?

    Mail Designer (MD from now on) is a WYSIWYG graphical HTML email editor. Think iWeb for emails. It lets you drag and drop elements into a page-style layout and includes some professional looking graphics to make your newsletter look a bit more authentic.

    Graphics, Layout Blocks & Textures

     

    Perhaps the most compelling reason to use MailDesigner is its design flexibility. I started with a blank template, although it is possible to start with a series of pre-made templates or even by importing one of equinux’s other stationery templates. Within minutes I had dragged and dropped a series of layout blocks and started writing my newsletter.

    Changing font, sizes and colours is just as familiar as in any major document editor like Pages or Word. You can change background colours and, what’s more, equinux have provided a huge array of textured backgrounds to give your newsletter a more natural feel.

    My personal favourite feature has to be the built in graphics. I used the “New” badge in this newsletter and I can see myself using the -10% star in the future. These can be added to any image area on top or behind your own custom images.

    MailChimp ready

     

    For many however, the most attractive feature of MD is its built-in MailChimp support. The process is so slick. With built-in MailChimp placeholders you can personalise your emails using information you’ve collected when users signed up, such as their first or last name. When you are finished designing your email, you just Share to MailChimp and it uploads seamlessly.

    As soon as the upload has finished, you are taken to the MailChimp template page to review the uploaded template.

    At this point there were a few inconsistencies between my document in MD and what I saw on MailChimp. Namely, some fonts hadn’t made the journey correctly. It wasn’t major and I’d always recommend you check over your template before sending it anyway. I did contact support however and they let me know they are on to it.

    Here’s what the newsletter looked like in MailChimp:

    But of course the proof is in the pudding. Here’s what the email looked like in Mail (how I wanted):

     

    In a nutshell

    It took me only a few hours to create and upload my very first Applingua newsletter to MailChimp. Designing it took very little effort and adding images was just a simple matter of drag & drop. If you’ve ever properly worked with emails before, you know how much of a nightmare they can be. I expected poorer results from the MailChimp export, but, apart from the one or two incorrect fonts, I was more than pleasantly surprised.

    I will definitely be using it for my second newsletter next month.

    Update: Promocode Available

    equinux have been kind enough to provide an exclusive promo code for my blog readers. Simply buy using this link for a massive €10 off the total price! Thanks Guys!

    Oh, by the way, subscribe to Applingua’s Newsletter

     

  • A life without Steve Jobs

    There’s naturally quite a lot of sentimentality going around today. I usually shy away from public mourning, something I feel the likes of Twitter and Facebook have exacerbated, finding it often mawkish and lacking any sense of perspective. The crux of it is, today is unlikely to be any different for the vast majority of us and it’ll be much the same tomorrow.

    But what about yesterday? What if Steve Jobs hadn’t returned to Apple in late 1996 and Apple had gone bust like so many industry experts at the time predicted? For most people who own an iPhone today, their life probably wouldn’t be any different. I cannot say the same for my own.

    I got my first Mac in April 2000, thanks to my progressive parents. Yes, you had to be progressive, or barmy, to spend £1249 on a Mac at that time. I was the luckiest 13 year old around, owning a laptop was almost unheard of outside of the business world at that time (for those who are interested, it was the iBook G3 366MHz “Graphite SE” edition).

    From that day on I was hooked. There were probably times when I should have been out cycling round the block a few times, getting fresh air, but were actually spent on Yahoo Mac Chat Rooms discussing how many USB ports I had or whether my graphics chip could handle Nanosaur at full res.

    Over the years I’ve anticipated every one of Jobs’ captivating keynotes, often spending hours deliberating with fellow fans what would be released. Hours, not wasted, but savoured. And as the years went on, so did my experience and what I could do with my computer. At 14 I was making websites on my Mac for several small businesses, making money other 14 year olds could only dream of. Of course that money was spent on more RAM or a new monitor for my new PowerMac. At 17 I got my first job repairing Macs at Apple-Juice and at 22 I moved to Munich, Germany, to get a dream job at equinux, a Mac software company. At 24 I went on to start my own company, a Mac and iPhone app translation agency, Applingua.

    It’s true to say I didn’t know Steve Jobs. I was never even lucky enough to get to see him speak live at MacWorld or WWDC. It’s also true to say I didn’t know what he was like behind that illuminated camera and according to many accounts, I’m not sure I ever wanted to either. So far-reaching were his decisions both at Apple and the tech-world as a whole, that it doesn’t matter if you knew the man personally or not. Almost every piece of tech you use today from your phone to your TV has, at some point during the design process, been influenced by Steve’s Apple in some way.

    Choosing to be a geek, an Apple Geek no less, has brought me to where I am today. From fan-boy chat rooms at 12 years old to running Applingua, where I get to work with other Apple Geeks on a daily basis. Even as I write this, on my MacBook Air, I’m sitting at a desk opposite a good friend who I got to know working at that Mac software house, equinux.

    As the Mac software developers Panic put it, “it’s not an exaggeration to say that everything we have today – from our apps, to our employees, to our office, to our houses, even to FaceTime moments with our kids and favorite songs fading in on an a rainy walk home – is thanks to Apple.”

    This is my thank you, Steve. Thank you for changing the way the world approaches technology. Thank you for indirectly providing me with at least four separate jobs. And thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet some amazing people along the way.

    Thanks Steve.