Simon Sunde

"Fail early and fail often."

Purpose

Every day we wake up and go out to do things. These things often have to do with our jobs, hobbies or businesses. We do these things day after day, week after week, year after year. But why?

Sometimes it’s ’cause we have to. Other times it’s ‘cause we really want to. It can be driven by curiosity, passion or necessity.
However, one abstract and inexpressible substance is to be found in every single thing we do. That’s our purpose. That’s our why.
A person’s purpose isn’t always easily found. But when it is, it makes everything seem clear and can produce enormous amounts of enthusiasm, courage and optimism, that’ll last a lifetime (if not longer).

What is it?
Purpose is often defined as some sort of goal, that we aim for and try to reach in everything we do. That’s purpose all right, but it goes deeper. It has wider implications. It has higher meaning. It has greater impact.
It’s our guiding star, when we’re navigating through opportunities and self-discovery. Without out it, we wander into a meaningless void. Never fully understanding where we’re going and why we do the things we do.
Because as said “purpose” is your essential “reason why”. It is your motivating force, your invigorating energy, your inner fuel that fires your engines. Purpose is what drives you to do what you already do – and want to keep doing.

Gathered here are three things I find crucial for discovering, as well as maintaining one’s purpose:

Forget Prestige!
In my opinion one should never do anything just because of the prestige. Don’t worry about what other people make of you – the only thing that matters is what you, your friends and family thinks.
If you do anything well enough, you’ll make it prestigious. Many things we consider prestigious today, used to be anything but at the beginning. It’s because someone took “nothing” and made it “something” we now consider it prestigious.
The first example that comes to mind, is the Beatles. Everybody once laughed at the Beatles, because their music were so obscure and weird (at the time) – But they kept going and then one day someone took the chance and recorded their first album. Ever since they’ve been one of the most record-breaking and prestigious bands ever in history.

Success
There’s two main misassumptions about success that troubles me:
The first one is how we think we know what success is. However, the truth is, that we adopt these perceptions by others and considers it success. I’m not saying we should give up on our ideas of success, but we should make sure that they’re our own. Success should be an individual measurement, based on what a person is pursuing in life.
The second is the destination. Most people believe that when they reach, what they consider to be success, they’ll be happy. What really happens, is when one goal is reached, another is immediately set – which basically means that we might be successful, but we’ll never reach true success and therefore never reach true happiness.

Boundaries
There will be situations in life when you’ll be faced with decisions that put your values at odds. In order to be true to your purpose (and yourself), you’ll need to be able to set boundaries. You need to know where you draw the line and remembering your values. Every time you compromise with believes, you compromise with your purpose (which means your success and simultaneously who you are).

If you have anything to add, please share it in the comment section below.

Hands-on w/Google Glass

Google Glass – the controversial wearable that everyone sneer at, until they try it themselves. Then they’re suddenly awfully nice. Today I gained an understanding of why that is. Personally, I’ve been eager to try them ever since the first demoes were send out to developers.
However the odds wasn’t really in my favor, considering they’re only available in the US.

If I should try to describe the experience, when wearing Google Glass, I would compare it with having the screen of you mobile phone in the top corner of your eye. It performs hands-free tasks, like browsing the web or taking a picture and upload it to social media. Furthermore it’s powered by this instinctive software, that lets you know if your flight is being delayed, how the weather is going to be, an the route for the airport – all that, without even asking. It has no speaker, but communicates to the inner-ear through a bone conducting transducer, which personalizes the sound. So no one can hear what you might be watching or listening to (which is pretty cool).

Other specs (for the geeks):

    Titanium frame
    Adjustable notepads fits any face.
    Photos – 5MP
    Video – 720p
    Wi-fi – 802.11 b/g
    Bluetooth
    12 GB of usable memory, synced with Google cloud storage. 16 GB Flash total.
    Battery: one day of typical use.
    Display: equivalent of a 25 inch high definition screen from eight feet away.

On the software part, it’s all still very beta. That’s actually how i got to play with this $1500 bad boy. I was a participant in a prototype evaluation. A Communication & IT student (like myself), is developing an app he calls ‘Reader’ as a part of his Master Thesis: Augmenting the reading experience with Google Glass. Twitter: @jacob_funch

Watch the introduction video here: Reader for Google Glass

When I heard Jacob was looking for participants, I signed-up immediately. To help a fellow student. That’s important. Sure. But I would be lying, if I didn’t admit that I also did it to satisfy my ginormous tech-geeky side as well.
Below you’ll see a happy guy. I almost forgot to take them off, because it felt so right. So long Google Glass – until we meet again.

Captured happiness.

Captured happiness.

7 Free Apps For The Best Summer Ever

please note, that all of these where free when this post was written, but there is no guarantee that they always be.

1. Word Lens (Android and iOS)
Let’s kick this one of with one of the coolest little things: Word Lens lets you instantly translate from English to Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, or Portuguese (and vice versa) – All you need to do, is pointing your phone camera at some text, and it’ll translate instantly (no wi-fi required)!

2. Duolingo (Android and iOS)
Ever wanted to master a new language? Here’s how it’s done the awesome way: Duolingo let’s you learn Spanish, French, Italian, German and Portuguese (hey, that’s the same as Word Lens! cool).
They have received many awards and a good rep. for their app, and that’s because they know how to keep things interesting. The learning process is set-up like a game, where you gain XP, levels and challenge your friends (just my kind of an app!).

3. Hipmunk (Android and iOS)
We’ve seen these thing a hundred times: an app that helps you find and book your travel all together. Hipmunk is just like that – and then it’s not at all. It stands apart with alternative options, like Amtrak or AirBNB. With an added twist Hipmunk lets you sort listings by “agony” scores – combination of price, time and layovers.

4. Viator (Android and iOS)
Whether it’s New York or New Delhi, everyone wants to travel like the locals. Due to their global network of expert travelers, Viator offers “insider” deals and different activities and tours at a discount, around the world. They promise to let the users “skip the lines” – and who wouldn’t want that?

5. Roadtrippers (Android and iOS)
Are you one of those free-spirit-minded people, that thinks the journey is more important than the destination? This app is for you. It takes the roads less traveled – but in a cool and exciting kind of way. You simply type in your starting point, your destination and then aaaaall the thing you want to see in between. Then Roadtrippers navigate in-app and point out what you missed. Furthermore you can add your discoveries for others to find along the way.

6. Day One (iOS)
When you’re out and about, it’s important to keep track of all the new discoveries and memories you make along with your travel/vacation – meet your new log-buddy, its name is Day One.
It lets you keep a journal and/or travel log in one neat and simple designed app.

7. Lumosity (Android and iOS)
When we’re on vacay, we tend to forget all about our everyday obligations, such as work and studies. Nevertheless, we need to keep challenging our minds, to keep them in shape. Lumosity is a series of mind strengthening games, developed by neuroscientists (that’s brain guys). It gives you scores and daily challenge – and to be honest, it really addictive!

Get started on programming

Ever wanted to create something, but didn’t knew how to or maybe you didn’t had the tools for it? That’s how I felt before I learned programming. It’s no secret that I’m yet still a grasshopper in this field. Nevertheless I still feel a slight obligation to help others, like myself, getting started.
In the previous post How I learned to think I introduced you to two different sites, Codecademy and Team Treehouse, which had the same objective: Teach the world how to code!

Codecademy is free and based on learn-by-doing with simple instructions. You work at their terminal environment, so you don’t have to install anything – which is ideal for newbies! Should you get stuck on a task, fear not, they have a great Q&A forum, which is categorized by tasks.

Team Treehouse costs 25$/m (for the basic package) but have some different specializations than Codecademy. Treehouse is based on video tutorials. Which means that you have to install the required software, in order to participate (which mostly is very easy and straight forward).

Personally I recommend Codecademy for beginners, due to its cool work environment and understandable projects (and its free of course!). But it really comes down to what you want to be able to do. Do you want to create web and home pages, iOS, apps or something complete different? My advice is, that you sit down and try to determine what you specifically want to do. This will help you narrow down what programming languages you should look into.
Due to the sites offer different lectures in different languages, this might help you determine which site is right for you.
eg. Team Treehouse offeres lectures in iOS development – Codecademy doesn’t.

I wish you all good luck and happy coding!

How I learned to think

NB: I’ve divided this post into two sections: the first is this one where I tell the story of how I got into programming and the second one is “Get started on programming” where I’ve made my best version of a guide to get you guys coding.

I typed my first lines of code, little less than a year ago. However, a series of events went on before hand, in order for this to become a reality.

As a 90’s kid I grew up with the Gameboy, PlayStation and the internet (as we know it). All of these objects where yet to shape, not only a childhood, but a whole generation and their objective from which they perceived the world.
I was mesmerized by these machines. How could you fit so much, into so little? And I was told it all was based on 1’s and 0’s – unbelievable.
Growing up I wasn’t very fund of sports. My mind was (and partly still is…) deeply buried in the wondrous world of my imagination. Back then I was already developing – but only in mind. Nevertheless this strong urge of creating kept me going until I found my way into programming.
It started with a little HTML/CSS and BASIC, but it was not until i took the Computer Science course at my first semester at the university, things really took of.

“Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer… because it teaches you how to think” – Steve Jobs

We were introduced to a programming language called Python. To those of you who are not familiar with Python, its a high-level programming language. Soon we were creating our own little applications – and I was hooked.
However, the course was coming to and end, but I needed more. That’s when I discovered awesome sites like Codecademy and Team Treehouse. Both devoted startups with the objective of learning the world how to code.
I believe these services are a great resource as a starting point, for those aspiring to get started with programming. I completed Codecademy’s Python exercises and found them quite alright. And I certainly see no reason for you to pay your hard-earned money, on private teachers or seminars, when the information is only a couple clicks away.
Therefore, my last words to you is this: Start programming today! Make the world a better place to live, ‘cause the power of creation lies with the many, not the few.

See how to get started on programming in my next post here!