Category Archives: Rants

Quick Update

Fasting week…

  • Week of 16-22 April.
  • Monday, woke up in Elgin, made Mia breakfast, podcast school run – Tim Urban interview, omelette at WW, gym, office, nap, Jolp tinkering at Heleen’s, p18 submission.
  • Your Pitch Deck Is Wrong
  • “I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.” — Hunter S. Thompson

  • Tuesday, fasting day, walked to the office, Vox meeting, catch up with Nick at Mojo market, sunset walk, website tinkering, magnesium, potassium and sodium dinner.
  • I updated my last fasting post – higher doses of magnesium, potassium and sodium.
  • Nice read about OLPC history
  • Wednesday, the Jolp YC application was not successful – received the famous YC rejection email – amor fati, walked to the office, dev meeting, website tinkering, was feeling a bit slow from the fasting so I had a nap, late night promenade stroll.
  • Thursday, fasting day 4, work, gym, late afternoon podcast promenade walk, Green Point Park walk, big dose of collagen, game steaks and veggies at Hussar with Heleen – good refeeding after my fast.
  • Friday, gym – phone battery died – the gym is a strange place without podcasts in your ears, office, omelette for lunch with Nick, a drink at Van Hunks with Anton, Chris and Pierre, pizza at Da Vinci’s.
  • Saturday, omelette brunch at Bootleggers, La Vie with Paul and Shelley – good fun.
  • Had a good laugh about this again: Apple Unveils Panicked Man With No Ideas
  • Productivity
  • AfrikaBurn FOMO level: 2/10
  • Sunday, lazy morning, a cocktail at Hard Rock Cafe in Camps Bay with Georg, Caprice, Georg cooked a roast with veggies, La Vie, Maria’s going away dinner.
  • Jolp has 60 app installs now. Install the app!

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

What is the most important thing?

Camps Bay
  • Week of 9-15 April.
  • Monday, braai meat for breakfast, office, lunchtime walk, BIA machine, free smoothie at One Juice, photo processing, biltong shopping, wine drinking session disguised as a meeting at Nick’s.
  • Tuesday, 1g of asprin, office, Cool Ideas meeting, audio book promenade walk, nap, salad at Primi in Camps Bay with Heleen, we watched Lenny, Andrew, Steve and Me at The Theatre on the Bay – good show, always liked that venue.
  • Funny how quickly 10Mbps internet became slow. You must have at least 200Mbps now, kids. 😛
  • Teraco in the news – I remember adding the “Data Environments” part to the name. To be honest, I never really liked the Teraco name, nobody knows how to pronounce it, but it seems to work well enough.
  • Wednesday, gym, office, dev meeting, catch up with Ian, omelette for lunch, Kloof Corner hike with Nick (was not brave enough to walk with the tourists up Lions Head), sunset walk on Camps Bay beach – watch the sun set from my favourite spot, 20k steps, great salad at Col’caccios, cheese and wine with Wouter and Maria, time well spent.
  • Thursday, mobility routine, made an exotic mushroom omelette with emmental cheese, audio book walk to the office, stayed at the office till after dark, made a veggie Thai green curry with Heleen.
  • The Sapiens audio book is excellent.
  • Desire creates suffering.
  • Friday, wrote a blog post for the Jolp app launch, office, catch up with Warwick, health hacking meetup with Nick and Ian in Gardens, burger in a bowl at Da Vinci’s and some random blogging, watched Colossal at the Nouveau movies at the Waterfront – strange but interesting movie.
  • The Jolp mobile app for iOS and Android is now available. Install it!
  • Dear Mia, you kinda have your own app now, have a listen, hope you like it. (-:
  • Saturday, breakfast at La Vie, fetched Mia from a sleepover party, free smoothies, found Mia some new shoes, watched Ready Player One 3D at Cape Gate – very entertaining, Rossouw made an apricot oxtail potjie at Jacques’ house – which was excellent, we slept of over at Jacques’.
  • Sunday, photo processing and playing with Jacques’ dog, oxtail for brunch – ultimate keto collagen meal, helped Jacques with his gardening (urban farming project), we drove to Elgin – while listening to the Wood Wide Web episode using the Jolp app – I think Charlotte liked the story, wine tasting (and buying) at Oak Valley with Jacques and Marietjie, wine tasting at Charles Fox, late lunch at Old Mac Daddy Food Barn with some Oak Valley chardonnay – yum, afternoon walk with Mia, in bed early – Mia slept in the Airstream caravan, fun weekend, time well spent.
  • 2 days.
  • Adventure.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

The Thing I Hate The Most

Somebody recently asked me what I hate the most?

I had to think for about 11 seconds…

I really hate it, when people send me calendar invites, via email, without first communicating some context about a meeting – what’s the agenda? does the day and time suit you? maybe you should just read the documentation? maybe you have the wrong person?

First COMMUNICATE with somebody, then figure out if a meeting is needed, then agree a meeting date and time, then – send the ical file… sending a meeting invite and then having somebody reject it seems super lame.

99.8% of the time I’m actually happy to manage my own calendar, but if you send me a calendar invite .ics, ical, it will live happily next to the item I already added. I guess there is a small chance I screw up the timezone, so if you are flying in for this meeting, please send a calendar invite. Thanks bro.

Yeah, I should probably not drink wine and blog, but that’s the point of the strong opinions series, you get to strongly disagree with me. (-:

ps. a close second is probably sending winmail.dat attachments. Don’t do that.

Part of my series on Strong Opinions.



When you get something done, just respond with: “done.”, quickly.

Somebody ask you to fix something small?, do it now, respond quickly. Somebody waiting for an invoice to get paid?, don’t pay it and make them check the bank statement, just tell them it’s done. Somebody ask you to configure something, do it, confirm with: “done.”.

This is different to responding to every email with a “Thank You”, that’s pretty pointless.

Get shit done, close the loop, move on. Don’t send extra fluff.

Part of my series on Strong Opinions.

Quick Update

Wax museum with a pulse, Bakoven and a Table Mountain hike…

  • Week of 2-8 April.
  • Monday, public holiday, hotel breakfast in Hout Bay, stopped at Oudekraal on the way back to Cape Town, Company’s Garden Cafe, Wellness Warehouse in Gardens, watched The Post at The Labia – excellent movie, photo processing, sunset promenade walk to Clifton with Heleen, extra hot vindaloo curry at 91.
  • Tuesday, bulletproof mushroom coffee, work, gym, Van Hunks with Georg and Anton, dinner at Nick’s.
  • Wednesday, Jolp iOS app testing, took Heleen some flu meds, walked to the office, lunchtime walk and salad, lots of audio book listening, website content pondering, blog tinkering.
  • Wheat domesticated sapiens, and not vice versa. Listen to the Sapiens book.
  • Thursday, mushroom omelette, bit of a blur of random work, gym, last minute Morcheeba ticket shopping, Theatre on the Bay ticket shopping, game steaks and veg at Hussar (Kudu, Eland, Wildebeest) and a bottle of La Motte Rouge – dining alone again – great meal, a whisky at La Vie with Anton, Werner and Anton.
  • Stoic training: co-parenting with an irrational person.
  • Liberty vs equality – the primary modern political debate.
  • I’ve been doing more dead lifts – lower weight, more reps.
  • Friday, mushroom coffee, mobility routine, work, I made an exotic mushroom omelette for lunch, drove to Hout Bay with Heleen, pizza at Posticino’s, Morcheeba at Kirstenbosch – wax museum with a pulse – rather average, martini at Harvey’s.
  • Morcheeba at Kirstenbosch review: It was nice to see the original vocalist perform. The pre-act was lame elevator music. Morcheeba kinda never got going – not bad – but boring and lots of slow tracks… then about half way in they say: everybody get up let’s dance – play one song with a beat and then go back to a boring song – which was my queue to get out of there. Maybe I was expecting something different after the recent Pixies show at that venue. But, I still have a phone, so I should probably be happy.
  • “Occured to me later that the crowd would probably be full of girls in their mid-to-late 30s and early 40s who had probably given up on all expectations of men by now.” — Paul, about the Morcheeba show

  • Saturday, Granger Bay market, Waterfront, watched 7 days in Entebbe at the VIP cinema – good movie, promenade walk, sunset bubbly on the big Bakoven rock with Heleen, failed at finding something to watch on Netflix.
  • “I only fear a life without meaning”. — 7 Days in Entebbe.

  • Sunday, up before 7:00, Table Mountain walk with Heleen – pipe track, up Kasteelpoort, coffee by the reservoirs, a glass of wine at the cable car station, 20km hike, 27k steps, burger in a bowl at Da Vinci’s, nap, sunset braai on Heleen’s deck, took some glutamine and three types of collagen, slept like a baby, time well spent.
  • I now have a Cable Card. I’ll have to go for more hikes soon.
  • 9 days.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Breakfast for lunch, Easter weekend, War Dogs…

Waterfront Walk
  • Week of 26 March to 1 April.
  • Monday, made an over sized paleo breakfast, walked to the office, myog with Michael, tea shopping, sunset promenade walk, cooked dinner with Heleen.
  • Two pizza teams, best way to make progress.
  • Worth a watch: Inside the mind of a master procrastinator
  • Tuesday, mobility routine, mushroom coffee, gym, over sized paleo breakfast for lunch, I read the startup playbook again, walked to the Waterfront with Nick.
  • New hobby. Breakfast for lunch.
  • Mia had the mumps. She turned 12 this week.
  • I started listening to Sapiens on Audible, good listen.
  • The Octotel automation system now has 292 users.
  • Wednesday, bulletproof mushroom coffee, walked to the office, dev meeting, lunchtime walk, dinner at Syriana – which was a bit average.
  • You are happier when you do different things.
  • New record for Instagram likes: 39 – Cape Town rain.
  • Wish I was as confident in decision making as when I was younger.
  • Thursday, mobility routine, gym, work, drinks with Jonathan and Ian at Roxy’s, burger in a bowl at Da Vinci’s, Van Hunks with Georg and Al.
  • Octotel in the news – plans to pass 100k homes.
  • Friday, helped Al install a router, rainy day, walked through the company gardens, breakfast for lunch at Jarryd’s with Heleen, catch up with Michael and Nick at Tiger’s Milk in the CBD, promenade walk with Heleen, Strolla, sundowners at The Radisson, watched The Darkest Hour at the Waterfront Cinema Nouveau – not bad.
  • We’re busy testing the Jolp iOS app. Should be available in the next few days. Go like the Jolp social pages.
  • Saturday, gym, last minute hotel booking, drove to Hout Bay, Chapmans Peak Hotel, beach walk, brain food at Mariner’s Wharf, ate a Lindt dark easter egg bunny, watched War Dogs again – epic movie, 10 hour sleep.
  • God bless Dick Cheney’s America. Great scene.
  • Sunday, hotel breakfast, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Monkey Valley visit, Smitswinkel Bay stop, drove to Simon’s Town via Cape Point, mussels at Bertha’s, wine tasting at Cape Point Vineyards – cool venue, hotel pool deck nap, epic sunset views, beach walk, pizza at Posticino’s, a Famous Grouse, time well spent.
  • Sense of relief not worrying about going to AfrikaBurn this year.
  • YC announcement is on the 18th at 07:00 SAST.
  • Successful Easter weekend – feel like I managed to escape Little Tel Aviv and experience a few diverse places. Nice little reboot. Time well spent.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Delete all the apps…

  • Week of 19-25 March.
  • Monday, podcast listening school run, gym, found my passport, office, a glass of wine at Michael’s, dinner with Dirk at Mykonos Taverna, more than one Johnny Black.
  • Tuesday, walked to the office, Knead omelette, dev meeting, late afternoon nap, sunset promenade walk, phone chat with Mia, curry at 91 with Heleen, Harvey’s.
  • Nikki launched a very good looking new gin.
  • Wednesday, public holiday, lazy gym session, Clifton was a bit windy so spent some time on Moses Beach, sushi at Nuri.
  • Would you date yourself?
  • Thursday, major backups day, La Vie with Aiden and Bill, No Name bar with Aiden and Georg, Alexander Bar.
  • “I’ve hit the 100g sugar mark.” — Aiden, about his sugar sweet spot when going out.

  • Friday, watched The Aviator again – good movie, watched Minority Report again, sunset walk, brain food and bubbly at the Mojo Market, watched Take Your Pills on Netflix.
  • Video of Heleen’s Heavy Chef talk from last week.
  • Two tricky questions from the YC application…

    Please tell us about the time you most successfully hacked some (non-computer) system to your advantage?

    Please tell us in one or two sentences about the most impressive thing other than this startup that you have built or achieved?

  • Saturday, reading, nap, gym, sunset promenade walk, watched Enemy Mine (1985) again – I watched this more than once as a child, somebody must have had this on VHS tape at some point.
  • a16z – Meaning in Products, Business, Life. The search for meaning. Curiosity creates meaning.
  • Sunday, moar backups, exported 31k photos for Mia – all Mia’s photos from 2005 – she asked for photos on her laptop, gym, made a big bacon and eggs breakfast for lunch, afternoon franeuring walk through Green Point Park, flushed my Pocket reading queue (of 66 articles), sunset walk, zaatar humus shopping, blogging with a Singleton, time well spent.
  • My full digital footprint from the last 20 years fits in just over 1TB… the stuff I care to keep, mostly photos and email backups.
  • Podcast queue zero, audible zero, pocket zero.
  • I deleted all the time wasting apps off my phone again – I pretty much just have my RSS and podcast app to keep me entertained now.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Android ROM, Downsizing and video making…

Camps Bay
  • Week of 12-18 March.
  • Monday, gym, office, I got an Android phone for testing the Jolp app, nap, post-sunset promenade walk.
  • Tuesday, up early, misty morning, took a walk around the neighbourhood, Bootleggers, nagged Bienne to listen to two Radiolab podcasts, worked at home, extended sunset audiobook promenade walk.
  • The adventure will provide.
  • Wednesday, gym, office, dev meeting, omelette for lunch, watched Downsizing at the Waterfront VIP cinema with a Johnny Black – arrived exactly on time, after all the ads – interesting movie – bought some Sunbird Rooibos tea, helped Heleen with her Heavy Chef presentation making at La Vie – well, not sure I actually helped, but I had a White Russian.
  • I think I’m finally happy with the Jolp website.
  • Started taking Glucosamine. Seems like a good idea, so far.
  • People who extend their fingers outward to scroll down on their laptop trackpads really need to ponder some basic ergonomics. Your screen is not your trackpad.
  • Thursday, gym, work, tinkered with an Android phone custom ROM – installed the Jolp Android app, Heavy Chef at Workshop 17 – Heleen’s presentation went really well, Harvey’s, gluten free pizza.
  • I installed LineageOS 14.1 on a Samsung Galaxy S3 (Android 7.1). Install KingoRoot Apk > Install TWRP app and flash new recovery image > copy and Open Gapps images to /sdcard with adb via USB cable – reboot with vol-up+home+power and install both. That only took me 2 hours to work out. Android is special.
  • Jolp for Android is now available.
  • You get what you celebrate.
  • Friday, fetched Mia after her camp, afternoon at Dirk’s new house, 1kg ribs at Da Vinci’s with Mia, Moro gelato in Long Street, time well spent.
  • The most important thing for startups: progress.
  • Saturday, we walked to the Granger Bay market for breakfast, book shop – found Mia two books: Ready Player One and Atlas Shrugged (that should keep her busy), watched Black Panther at the VIP cinemas – it was okay, clothes shopping for Mia, sunset promenade walk with Mia, ribeye steaks at The Shop (used to be Buzbey).
  • Sunday, fruit salad breakfast, backups, Mia played camera operator and we recorded a 1min Jolp video – featuring my retro ZX Spectrum tshirt from Camden Town, some iMovie tinkering, some website tweaks, some YC application editing, Glen Beach and Camps Bay beach walk with Mia – 10k steps, pizza at Col’caccio Camps Bay, Mia finished reading Ready Player One, productive Sunday, time well spent.
  • We overestimate what we can accomplish short term, and we underestimate what we can accomplish long term.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Aimless walks, dining alone, and triangles…

Camps Bay
  • Week of 5 to 11 March.
  • Monday, breakfast with Mia, school run, gym, hair cut at Yogi’s, office, sunset podcast promenade walk.
  • Tuesday, office, podcast walk home, epic nap, dined alone at La Vie.
  • Why Having the Balls to Dine Alone Makes You a Better Human
  • Go for walks
  • Wednesday, gym, tinkered with some design things – triangles, epic sunset, braai at home.
  • Thursday, up early, worked at Bootleggers, helped Bienne setup a router, office, walked home, nap – was tired for some reason, sago pudding, some Jolp tinkering.
  • Friday, gym, office, dev meeting, catch up with Warwick and Giles and Piazza St John, La Vie with Nick and Tom, promenade walk with Nick, burger at Hussar – more alone dining.
  • Jolp went from 40 to 80 FB likes this week. Go like the page! and check out the Instagram content.
  • I’ve been listening to The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin, pretty cool.
  • Saturday, very lazy gym visit, took an extended flaneuring walk – while listening to two Alt-J albums – Clifton 1st to 4th, Glen Beach, Camps Bay Beach sunset, 20k steps, gluten free pizza and a nice wooded Chardonnay – dining alone again, watched The Shape of Water – again – at the Labia – with some Jamey, unframed ice cream, time super well spent.
  • I solved the Camps Bay Col’cacchio noise problem. Always bugged me. There is a small outside balcony by the bar.
  • They don’t serve White Russians at The Labia. Seems like the perfect match.
  • Stating the obvious, but the future is here – phones are pretty rad. Went for a long walk listening to music and an audio book, took photos, ate a pizza, took an Uber ride, watched a movie – with just a phone in my pocket.
  • I think, the reason I’m not that interested in AfrikaBurn this year, is that I’m not learning anything from it anymore.
  • Be in the soft zone.
  • Always optimise for learning, but make time to appreciate the things you have found.
  • “Triangles are my favourite shape.”

  • Sunday, slept late’ish, woke up with the Argus coming by, Bootleggers around the corner for some Jolp tinkering with Heleen, burger in a bowl, epic nap, post-sunset audio book promenade walk, processed some photos and notes with a Chivas while watching some Netflix with one eye.
  • Why podcasts can change the world
  • Tune of the week: Tessellate – Alt-J

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

The See Below Problem

After getting way too many people reporting problems in lazy ways, I now have this template. Feel free to use it. Hash Tag What Would Derek Do. #WWDD

The See Below Problem Response Template:

I’d like to help, but you are getting this standard response (yes, I cut and paste this), because I’m finding it hard to work out the details of the problem you are reporting.

You probably spent a few minutes investigating this problem already, and you have an idea of what the cause might be. I often get emails forwarded to me with a one line top-post saying – “see below, go fix!”, which I then have to reverse engineer and harvest for details, many layers deep, to try and begin to understand the problem. This is far from productive, so please help by sharing your understanding of the problem and your theory on what might be causing the problem. Here are a few things to ponder:

* Please describe the problem like I’m a 5 year old.
* Please use accurate and specific names for the various systems or services.
* Please make sure you have read all the documentation related to the system you are using.
* Please feel free to include screenshots and error messages, but also include the text versions of any service IDs, line numbers or customer details – so I can cut and paste these when searching.
* Please make sure you put all of this in the body of the email – subject lines are for subjects.
* Most important: write your questions and comments in a way you would like to receive them.

Thanks. Happy to help, just need a solid starting point, please.

Quick Update

Kirstenbosch, potatoes and cognitive load…

Promenade Walk
  • Week of 26 February to 4 March.
  • Monday, gym, office, car wash, visit to Paul’s dad’s house, office, audio book promenade walk, epic nap, had a bit of a battle with the home wifi network – swapped the one hotspot and disabled our free wifi service after 17:00.
  • Tuesday, office, podcast walk home, mini-nap, promenade walk, cooked 3kg of potatoes.
  • Resistant starch potato diet, Joe Rogan podcast # 1037 – fibre only diet.
  • I’ve been pondering cognitive load. I think our prefrontal cortex can probably only really perform around 4 new useful things per day – above the noise of small habit tasks.
  • Wednesday, gym, office, chatted cashless payments with Jaco at Knead – from a past life, tested a new wi-fi router, potatoes, sunset promenade walk, 91, Harvey’s.
  • Thursday, potatoes, walked to the office, BIA machine, lunchtime walk, sunset promenade walk, some Jolp tinkering.
  • BIA: 88.6kg, 17.5% body fat.
  • Friday, gym, office, dev meeting, fetched Mia, took Mia to WP cricket trials, lifesaving club visit, catch up with Dirk in Stellenbosch, dinner at Posticino with Mia.
  • Saturday, Granger Bay market – Moro ice cream, Waterfront – finally found Mia a phone cover, found a thunderbolt Ethernet dongle, back to the market for lunch, epic nap, backups and upgrades, sunset promenade walk.
  • Sunday, Mia made breakfast, chilled morning at home, ribs at Hussar Mouille Point, watched Goodluck and The Kiffness at Kirstenbosch, time well spent.
  • Jacques showed up with a batch of gluten free snacks. The JP diet.
  • Go Like and Follow and Follow a project called Jolp.
  • Tune of the week: Fokofpolisiekar – Komma

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Lions Head, Kalk Bay, brain food and burgers in bowls…

Lions Head
  • Week of 19-25 Feb.
  • Monday, breakfast with Mia, school run, gym, had a car window fixed, office, sunset Lions Head hike with Tom and Heleen – watched the sunset from the top – I should go hiking more often, burger in a bowl at Da Vinci’s, time well spent.
  • Tuesday, work – mostly ISP onboarding, afternoon catch up with Shawn, La Vie, workshop, phone chat with Mia – she took two wickets with her bowling in her afternoon cricket match, a night cap at La Vie with Dirk and Nick.
  • Octotel now has 30 ISPs on the network. 60k homes passed in about 2 years. 44 vehicles on the road. Doing over 1000 installs per month. 1000+ buildings connected.
  • Wednesday, work, catch up with Joseph and Heleen at Jason bakery, brain food (oysters for breakfast) at Sea Breeze, office, sunset promenade walk with Bienne and a glass of wine at Lily’s.
  • Thursday, work, gym, after work nap, sunset promenade walk, burger in a bowl with Georg.
  • Remember to eat enough protein.
  • Friday, office, dev meeting, fetched a Radiolab tshirt, catch up with Warwick and Giles, audio book walk home, worked a bit at La Vie and published a blog post, in bed early.
  • I’m busy listening to Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, and reading 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos.
  • Saturday, tinkered with a Jolp project, gym, more creative writing, epic nap, sunset audio book promenade walk – aimless walk, mexican food at the Mojo Market, time well spent.
  • Sunday, more Jolp tinkering – what nerds do on evenings and weekends, oysters at the Roundhouse – but had to leave because of an unreasonable manager, drove to Kalk Bay, late lunch at Harbour House, sunset promenade walk, poke bowl at Nuri, time well spent.
  • Unless you enjoy dealing with unreasonable management, I’d suggest you avoid the Roundhouse restaurant.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.