This week I did a live AMA with Twitch celebrity @roxkstar74. We talked for 4 hours about startups, life, drugs, hiring and pretty much anything else you can think off.
You can read it here or watch it on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKxyHAB948s
We should be going live now. So people should see us in just a couple seconds here.
Oh my, I'll check Twitch.
Oh, yeah, let me know. Hopefully, chat if you can hear me, if you can hear, do you prefer Peter or Pieter?
Peter or Pieter?
I said Peter, Pete or Pieter, but that didn't--
Oh, Pete. Oh yeah, dude. No, it's funny 'cause in Dutch, yeah, exactly. And then it gets to like, people, like my friends would say Pete very, but it's, I don't know, my mom told my dad, my dad called me Peter. And then my mom said, we're not gonna call him Peter 'cause then his friend's gonna say Pete. And Pete, she felt was like, kinda like a cheap name. She wanted like Pieter. So I guess Pieter works, yeah, but.
Gotcha. I can actually relate to that. When I was a kid, so I go by Dan most of the time. When I was a kid, if anyone called me Danny, my mom would scream at them and say, "That's not his name." And just knock it down. Yeah.
Amazing. Okay, let me check in and follow, if I could see your live.
It looks like we're up. I am seeing people saying yo. All right guys, how's the stream delay? Are we okay? Can you guys hear Pieter over here as well as--
Excuse me Dan, Dan, Dan. Fuck, let me check Twitter. I'll retweet it anyway 'cause then people come in. Okay.
Everything's good. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah I got--
I'll look, so yeah, of course.
Yeah, I gotta, yeah, you already retweeted it. Appreciate that by the way.
Yeah, see wassup, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Beautiful. Cool, cool.
Can I make you bigger? Full screen. That is cool. Cool, man, yeah.
Nice. Missed the Dan and the man. Oh, shit, I shouldn't say Dan, I should say Daniel. Daniel Pieter.
No, no, no. Well, okay, if you wanna do it that way. I go by Dan these days. But yeah, yeah, yeah.
Yeah, appreciate it.
All right, on here I go by Rox, but yeah.
Yeah, they have a lot of names for me. They made a command that just randomly goes through things. Should we stay in Sci-Tech or just chatting? Ah, I think let's stick in Sci-Tech. I think this counts as science and technology given who we're talking to of course.
I don't know, what's your optimization strategies for Twitch? I used to go and just chatting 'cause more viewers, I think. When I code, it's more in Sci-Tech but maybe it changed. I'm gonna need to know more about this.
My niche within Twitch is startup stuff. So generally I get all the coders who like startups. So this ends up being the category, but yeah, I've been told and I did an unnecessary amount of research on this for no reason, but generally, just chatting is actually like the hack when it comes to Twitch.
Yeah, yeah, exactly, , heck yeah.
'Cause people always think that it's meaningless, but once you have a following, then it's people getting to talk to you. And so it kinda like separates you from the work and that's what kinda gives it an edge over stuff like YouTube in a lot of ways.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Super interesting. All right, cool. Hello everybody. Hi guys. Welcome. So yeah, I imagine most people already know what we're doing here today.
Yeah, so what's your experience? So a few, I think it was a few weeks ago, I was on CM Griffin stream, like just chatting in the chat books. And then I said hi to CM Griffin. And 'cause I watch his stream a lot cause he's life coding and stuff and it's fun to watch. And then, I don't know, it is like in evening. I will go on Twitch 'cause I don't watch TVs, I just see what's going on. It's nice to see people making stuff. And then CM Griffin, I think said he went into your stream, Dan, a Roxkstar stream, yeah. And I think he said like, "Dan is a fan of you." And I was like, whatever. And then I went into your stream and then you had like a breakdown 'cause I said hi in the chat, and there was guy, some fan or something. And then he started crying and apparently he cries a lot, it was really funny and I clipped a few of them, but it was really funny. And yeah, and then we talked and then I asked, do you want me to be in your show or something? So maybe it's fun. I don't know if you have people in your show. Maybe this is the first time, but.
Yeah, no, very, very rarely. I've had other streamers on. Sometimes we'll do like combination things. Normally, I keep it primarily educational, but honestly not too long ago I did actually ask around and see, would people be interested in hearing from other startup people, other hackers, if you will. Pretty much got a resounding yes. So this is something I've been planning on doing for a while and never really got around to. So when you asked, I was like, oh man, this is perfect. And of course, my community is now very familiar with you as I have sung your praises so many times on the stream and will continue to do so.
Yeah man, thank you. It's very cool 'cause your community seems cool. Cool audience, yeah.
Yeah, yeah. It's truly an amazing thing. Never would have expected that live coding on Twitch would have been such an amazingly wholesome, exciting thing.
Yeah I do. But just to slower you, when you were saying like in the last, that stream was like, you moved to, was it Seattle or Detroit?
Yeah, I moved to Seattle for about a month.
Yeah. And you were like alone in Seattle. You didn't have friends I think. And it was really difficult to ground there. And especially with corona 'cause you cannot go outside and stuff. And then the thing that got you true was Twitch 'cause you had this, all these people, you started streaming and you started getting all these friends on Twitch or people watching you and you were like, wow, this is like really helping you, yeah, like socialize kinda in the corona times, right?
Yeah, yeah. It's been unreal. And I think that's kind of the wonderful thing 'cause people say, once you get to a certain scale, you can't be so close with everybody. Like the community itself becomes more of, you become almost a TV show for lack of a better word.
Yeah, dude, so Twitter is like the kind, it's very difficult.
Yeah, yeah. I saw your Twitter and at one point when you were like, oh just tag me to ask about the AMA. I was like, I wonder how many tags he gets a day. And I just started scrolling and I was like, oh, there's no way he'll ever see this.
Well, it's kinda good and bad because like you'd naturally grow. I mean, that's an interesting question, but then you get all the weird shit from having a lot of followers or like being mini internet famous in like a niche. Like it's nice, but then you get all the weird stuff, you get weird messages, you get a lot of haters. But you always remember the haters, you remember the negative more of course, but you gotta love the good stuff too, but you don't even see it because you get good stuff. So it's just like, you see the 5% like people really hating you and everybody gets that when you get to a certain level, you have the same problem. You maybe you already have one hater in a few, in a year, you'll have like 100. But that's part of it. And then, so it's really good and bad. It's really, it's exactly like everything alive. It's kinda like pros and cons, but like you cannot keep your DM open because the messages you get is too weird. You get like, you cannot share your location too much because you might get weird shit IRL. So at this stage, it gets really weird. So I'm kinda like, okay, maybe I'll just tweet a little bit less because I don't need it to grow much bigger. I just relax a little bit. The coolest thing is that you can meet all like you have, like you can meet all these people on the internet that are cool, to do similar stuff as you, and they can help you, teach you stuff. For example, like, yeah. Like when I was coding, Twitch people on chat would teach me stuff. Like they would tell me what to do, give me tips on the graphic design and stuff like border radius, I'm at a book shadow, all this stuff. So yeah. But you're right, man.
A blank text, what the fuck!
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It's crazy, the stuff that people in this community make.
People are so much faster than us 'cause like, or I don't know you, but when I'm coding and I make so many mistakes and then they see it immediately. Like the moment I type, they're like, oh dude, you forgot the trailing bracket or some shit. And I'm like, okay. Yeah, so it kinda saves time actually to code live.
Totally. Yeah, I know. I think the thing is it's always, the more generic role of the people who are less in the moment, the people who are more outside watchers will always be able to see the details better.
Yeah it's like the duck, what do you call it?
Yeah, pretty much. Yeah, that's what I'm sending. Dude, I do it myself. Like when I have a problem while I do rubber ducking, but I also like give myself advice as a friend, in any matter, I will speak up loud. I think it was you speak to, you speak up loudly to yourself. Like when you have a problem. And then you give yourself advice as if you were friends. And it's kinda interesting 'cause you get out of your brain and you give completely good advice that maybe you wouldn't have solved their problem if it was only in your mind, you know?
Totally. That was a lot of how I got started on Twitch. Was I was struggling to like even stay productive. And so I told myself, well, if I had to say out loud everything I was doing, maybe I'd be more productive. And so I came to Twitch and there was nobody watching me. But I was just saying everything out loud anyway. I was just saying like, okay, we're gonna have to do this, let's look over here, let's go here, what's next? And I had to ask myself the question, which meant I had to answer it. And that ended up leading me down a really good path. And then, got very lucky and ended up here.
That's so good, man. And dude, I mean, I have so much respect 'cause I've done it too. I did it this, no, last year, yeah, the 2020 during corona. I also streamed a little bit more and I've been streaming all enough. Like not like amount you did, but like since 2016, I think. And the amount of stress, people have no idea how intensities you put the stream on and people could see your whole screen and they could see what you're doing, they could see what you're coding. And then, you know when you code normally without stream, you code a little bit, like I code a little bit and then I go talk to somebody, I walk around and I lie down. Dude, lying down is really important. It's like, what the fuck? And then you come back. And you go shower over there, but you go outside, walk the dog or something. You can't do those streams. You sit there, and because if you cancel the stream, you lose all the viewers. So you need to keep going for like four hours at least, I guess. That's usually how long I would stream. And then dude, I click the stop streaming button in OBS. And dude it's like, my head is like, dude, I thought it was the labs, but my head is like flushing after a stream. It's like, this call would be, is like 0.1 intense. But like streaming like one like full 100%. Yeah.
Yeah, it's a lot. I think part of, at least I've tried to tell myself, part of doing a good job is not freaking out all the time, but I've had to like accept a lot of things. Like I've had to accept not like not being perfect. Everybody always says like accept good enough. So I try really hard for them good enough content, especially because unfortunately my streams aren't always going to be that interesting. 'Cause startups aren't always that interesting.
The same with most of my stuff I do is really boring. It's like moving a CSS red circle and call them after thing. So, I don't know, that's what I'm making now, a red bubble. So, yeah.
Yeah, sometimes it can feel like, if you're like stuck on something like that for like 40 minutes. Well, normally you would be annoyed, now you're anxious. Now you're worried.
Yeah, but you see the viewer, well, I had the viewer widget thing or I would check it. And you see the view is dropping when it's not like . Like in the beginning, when you make a new project or new feature on the stream, everybody's watching like, 75 people are watching whatever. And then once you get to the noise, do the work, or I say do drop off. So it's just true. So yeah, people like to see quick, fast development, but I mean, we are already fast compared to most people and even, we're boring.
Yeah. I think the thing that gave me the most anxiety in the world was I was watching like how to like run a good stream, like tips for streaming, all of these kinds of things. And somebody said, audio is the most important. Like, if you have 10 seconds of dead air, you will start losing viewers. And that gave me so much anxiety because I was like, you know what? I think you're right. And I hate that you are, it's brutal, yeah.
It's super and I guess awkward. I had that, I was playing a YouTube video. It was something about like the history of remote work, I was like, guys, you need see this video. It's about like the Intel CEO in 1981 talking about remote work and we're all gonna live in everywhere. I was like, let's watch it, but let's stream. But then, you're sitting there and you're watching a video and I know Twitches do that, so it's fine. But it's just awkward when you just sit there you're just like, that was a good video. It's just like silence, it's like awesome cringe. It's just cringe alert, you know?
Yeah, oh God. Feeling like you're cringe is the worst.
Like just sitting in the moment and be like, I am actively producing cringe. This is my nightmare.
And there's like 50 people watching you making cringe content and yeah. Its, yeah, it's funny, man.
At some point, you just gotta embrace it. I think that's--
No, but I mean cringe is part of life, like this video years ago. But all the cringe moment, a Korean series and it's like, yeah, it's part of life. It's just, it's crazy as good, it's crazy as authentic I guess, but this is cringe.
Yeah, I know, yeah, exactly. Yeah, I know, honestly, everything is. Like if you can't get past those like small moments, you'll never get around it. And I think the cool part is like at some point, and this is an interesting take I've heard is to some extent, you are the content more than the content is the content. And so what's interesting is you say like, okay, obviously, you play a YouTube video. You're not doing that much. It feels like a lot of drop-off and it is, but what's even more interesting to me is that a lot of people actually still stay. A lot of people actually still do.
And I think that core part is more important to appease to, in the long term, because that core part of like 20 people can become like 2000 people later on who actually care about you and your stream. And if you keep trying to maintain this like 100 people, it's gonna be in your, you're like trying to keep their focus and you might be developing the wrong audience.
Right? It's like trying to appease to the masses, never really works. It's better to have less viewers than yeah.
Yeah, it's like what a lot of people talk about with the difference of top of funnel, bottom of funnel. Are you just acquiring people or are you keeping them? And you care much more about getting one person in the bottom of the funnel than you do about getting 100 at the top. 'Cause if 100 people come in and watch this stream and then zero of them come back tomorrow, then this was great for today. But it hasn't changed my channel at all. But if I do something very solid, if we keep this very engaging, if I look at chat and I'm very careful with each of these things, if I get 10 people in, but five of them stay, that's huge. 'Cause even when I'm at the scale of 20, 30 people, if I got one new consistent viewer every day, I'd be huge by the end of the year I think the stats go, if you have 100 consistent viewers on Twitch, you're already in the top 1% by far. Yeah. So Twitch is still a relatively small platform against most people's beliefs. And we're lucky science and technology is a relatively underserved community. At least with like--
And dude, life is still shit, right?
Yeah. It's okay, but it's just not the same. I think like we said.
I think that the biggest red flag I have of streamers when they stream, they do the multi stream. They stream to YouTube live and Twitch and Periscope. And I'm like, dude, you don't understand it, all these platforms are clearly different. They've clearly different people. And Twitch especially is very unique with their memes and their like culture and stuff and stickers, you can't just multistream, it's not gonna fly man. Like, and I think Periscope just shut down. So yeah.
Yeah, yeah. It's actually really interesting because there's a trade-off. It's a question of, so when it comes to content, there's like parallels to marketing and then there aren't, but with content, the idea is like, there are some people on YouTube who will never come to Twitch. And if I never put out anything on YouTube, I've missed all of those viewers forever. Without a doubt. Now, if I only stream on Twitch, I'll only get Twitch viewers, but I can do a lot more there. I can build a stronger community but you still want to have people coming in from all sides. So how do you even that out? Some people recommend just like putting out content--
Yeah, clips, right? You can take clips from streams, put them on YouTube. 'Cause that's kinda what YouTube is good at. Yeah, I think that works. Yeah.
Yeah. That's like the start of it.
But dude, it's kinda annoying, there's all these bathrooms. Like you kinda just wanna have your own site with your own RTMP stream, whatever it's called. And like, yeah, then you have to build all of that stuff again. It's just annoying. Like, I mean, I make a platform too, like for nomad. So, I do the same thing, but like, philosophically, platforms are really annoying. The fact that you're tied to a company that they can do whatever they want. Like I'm tied to Twitter. I have a love for audience in Twitter. I cannot move Twitter to Instagram. I can't move these people. I can't move them to YouTube easily. I need to let you ask them like, hey, go subscribe to my YouTube or whatever. So it's like, it's kinda annoying. I think they want it. They're trying to push a law now in America so you can like transfer your social graph to different platforms or something. That's kinda nice, but yeah.
Yeah, it gets very confusing. And I've heard that's simultaneously the pro and con a lot of the time. Is like take your story, take product turn. On one hand, a lot of your growth early on was tied to that.
Which is really good in that it gave you that opportunity and really bad in that it might've enforced that you have a very specific subset of people who might've had very specific needs that might not be representative. And so like people who use Twitch a lot, might have different needs than the generic viewer.
Oh dude, it's clean to front. Twitch is, that's why it's kinda fun to be on Twitch also. It's completely different people. It's like, and you realize you're only known in a subniche, like you've known him on Twitch, I've known him on the start in Twitter a little bit, but it's like only in there. And there's millions of these niches. So everybody's kinda famous in some niche somewhere. It's super weird. And, yeah. Although I do feel Twitter, I don't know, Twitter is so weird. Like most people I know are on Twitter but it's because I'm on Twitter. Most people I meet like normal people, I guess, what are normal people? But the people I meet randomly, I'm like, do you have Twitter? They're like, what? This like really old, like Twitter is like people still use Twitter, like nobody's on Twitter. It's like.
Yeah, there's this sort of discrepancy. I think this comes back to like weird psychological concept, but people tend to view the world only as they see it. We kind of all have our own bubble. And so like, if you only use Twitter and you never use Facebook, I would very much expect you to say the phrase, who's on Facebook? No one uses Facebook anymore. Because like human beliefs is like, I am everyone, is the unfortunate reality. And so I think that's the case. I didn't use Twitter for the longest time. I only made it like, I think a couple of years ago. And I ended up really enjoying it. It's my favorite social media now.
Dude, me too. I started like, dude, I wasn't on Twitter until like 2008 with my YouTube channel. And I used it in a completely wrong way to do that. Automated tweets. So a new video would get uploaded, I'd automatically tweet, I'd automatically retweet shit. It was all like just dump a link here of a new YouTube video and that's it. I think I bought followers then to about like 10,000 followers on. Like fuck it--
You beat me.
Yeah, and it was a pandemic show and dude, and then I don't know what happened in 2014, I did the startup thing. So I made my own personal thing. And I would tweet my blog posts and stuff. And I would wanna go back in a time machine. Why did I go on Twitter? I think Hacker News, because Hacker News was on Twitter. Like I remember Dustin Curtis, D. Curtis, he was famous and he was on Twitter. And he wrote at the end of his blog posts, like I'm on Twitter now, blah, blah. So I picked it and I'm like, okay, I was going to be in Twitter. And I don't know. But I never even knew why I was on twitter. It was just like, it wasn't planned or anything. It was just like randomly going to Twitter, and yeah.
Yeah. It's really interesting to find how we join these networks 'cause you're always aware, but the actual process when you're not just like being marketed to like, it's not like I clicked an ad to get to Twitter.
Yeah. And then like once you get big of a platform, then I'm thinking back about joining it, like how did you think it was gonna be? Was that the purpose? That usually is not the plan. Usually when somebody gets big, it's not the plan. It's really random Because if it was plannable, everybody would be doing it. It's kinda like, yeah.
Yeah, well, I think that's where you get the magic of execution is the only thing that matters, right?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
But I like Twitter now 'cause it's kinda like, we had the whole politics stuff and then I knew everybody who wrote politics on Twitter. I also banned them from my websites now, politics people. Just left and right, you can both fuck off. 90% is in the middle and we just wanna chill. I've done the same on Twitter. And now it's just like everyone is posting updates, like the things they make. Like I think it started last two years. People just share what they're making and it's really healthy and fun. Kinda like a change log, you know? Or like arts and crafts class where people just share, look, I made this button, look, I made this drawing, look, I made this CSS thing And yeah, it's super chilled. Like I don't even see any, I don't see, well, I just said haters, but this is kinda years ago, but I don't see so much negativity on the timeline at least, I just see people making cool shit and stuff. So that's nice.
Yeah, I think that's something one has to do intentionally.
Yeah, actually, filter man, yeah. But then it can get better, yeah. I think chat has some questions, right?
Yeah, yeah. I have my mods writing them all down, was waiting for a good lull here. But yeah, I remember when I joined Twitter, it was because I was going to GDC that year, Game Developers Conference. Only year I ever went. Yeah, 'cause I studied game dev back in college. And yeah, fun times. But I remember, I was just told by one of my friends, he was like, game devs are on Twitter. I was just like, okay.
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, yeah. And then that whole scene became extremely political as well. And then the UX design scene became extremely political. And then you have the indie makers who are pretty chill in generally, like the indie entrepreneurs are just like, okay, I'm making this thing and yeah. They're chilled. Somebody in the chat, politics is why I left Twitter, but I'm considering making another one blocking politics. Yeah, so I have a little trick for you, which is, well, there's only few people I can tell my secret. So I made a script so you can mute people on Twitter. But then there's something in Korea, I'm in Korea a lot. And in Korea they have Twitter too. You use Twitter a lot because the character limit is much longer. Even when the character limit was 140, one Korean character would also be only one character in those 140. So Korean and Japanese Twitter, you can write almost like a mini blog post because one character contains like much more letters. So Korean Twitter has a thing called Blunble. So you can block a person, then you unblock the person and really quickly, they automatically unfollow you. So if you have a hater or people that are a negative and they keep going on every update you post, you do block, you do unblock and they're gone. And they don't see you anymore. So what I did, I wrote the script that when you mute people, it downloads the mute list, people that are muted and then it blocks and unblocks them. So all I have to do, if there's some negative stuff, I click Mute and they unfollow me and I never see them again. And they never see my content again.
That's huge. That's amazing. Yeah, I've gotten very into slight hacks on social media. We've written quite a number of scripts on here to forcibly do things the APIs won't let you.
Truly. So we got a question here earlier. Are there ever fears?
Yeah, and it works in US too, it works anywhere. It just works in Twitter, yeah. Block, unblock, called Blunble, B-L-U-N-B-L-E. So I wrote a guitar script for it.
I can put it on the--
Yeah, yeah, feel free to post in chat.
So our first question was, are there ever fears that someone who will use your product will find out who you are, see your stream and think this is so boring, I'm out, or think, how is this product ever gonna get completed or how will it ever work? So ever worried people are gonna watch you and then kind of judge your product based on your build of it, think that they're gonna think less of it?
Well, yeah, no, of course, yeah. No, so I tweet more than I Twitch. I hardly Twitch now, but I usually tweet like even source code and stuff and updates. And yeah. And I think I made it kinda like my joke thing where people on Twitter, like I will self deprecate that I can't code, that I'm pretty bad and I'm not great, but I will exaggerate how bad I am just for effects, just to make the point that it's not about the code, it's about the market fates or the entrepreneurship parts of the company. Like you started demand for the product just to show that everybody's too much in their own ass with being in enterprise code or like you need to code it in the proper way. And then, so I leverage kind of that as marketing in the last few years to show that it is not important. Like I have this tweets about Remote OK. Let's see, it's called like in extra PHP. So I wrote Remote OK as a single PHP file for a very long time. And, dude, it's just mainly on Twitter with this tweet, but this went really viral because people are like, like this is pretty much showing how bad it is. And then using it as marketing. But people fall for it 'cause they people to go through the website and then I post a job and then I make money. So it's all like a marketing scheme.
Yeah, what's that old saying, all PR is good PR.
Yeah, 100%, yeah. And most people in the tweet are pretty positive. Like yeah, cool, good job.
Yeah, truly. Yeah, I definitely think we've embraced that a lot. I think one of the most fun things for me is when I show somebody one of my websites and they're a dev. And they just start saying, this isn't aligned, this doesn't work. Like that's not beautiful. And I'm like, hey, I made this in a day and I am never touching it again. It's perfect just the way it is 'cause I needed it to just say those words and look kinda good. And it looks kinda good and I just 80-20 rule it. 'Cause I can spend 20, like several more hours getting the CSS perfect or I could not. And that's something I think I really appreciate.
But dude, I tweeted today about it even. I feel it's way more, what's the word? Dark or predatory or conspiratorial than we think, because all this stuff about development, you have to do it a certain way. It has to be complicated. Design has to be perfect. It has to look like Google or Facebook. It has to look perfect and stuff. All this stuff is keeping individual small indie devs down or any designers, any entrepreneurs. It's like saying, if you open a bank, for example, banks may be bad example. But if you open a bakery, you start small, you learn how to make bread and stuff. If it's pretty much on developer, Twitter and the internet, it's like, you will show your breads. And people are like, low, what the fuck? Like that's not even bread, like at expensive bakery on 45th Street in Manhattan or something. It's like, people are comparing everything with the big companies, big tech. And that makes everybody like, we have probably elephant skin, but most people don't, the first thing they make, it just gets shut down because they used the wrong code, it's the wrong design, it doesn't look professional, blah, blah. Man, that's not how you do it. Like if you look at the first page of the first version of Google, it also looks shit. So all the first versions look shit. So everybody's trying to make their product or website or whatever, the first version look like a big company, website or product. And that's not gonna fly. And I think that's secretly kinda not on purpose, but kinda like to keep everybody in the enterprise working or freelancing for clients so they can never get out because they never develop the skills or focus of entrepreneurship. And the skills are focusing on entrepreneurship. It's much different than being a freelancer or enterprise because it means not looking at engineering, but looking at the customer side, like what should we build? How are we gonna get market fits? How are we gonna get the customers and users paying money for this product? How are we gonna get revenue? And with enterprise, it's clearly different. It's like, how am I gonna get, follow this back or something, right? Like it has to do this, this, this, this whole list. It's nothing. The customer is very far away from there. The customer is like... Like maybe you're making the dashboard for bakeries. Okay, the actual customer is like very far. Now the end customer is the person buying bread. So they're not even involved in the dashboard for the bakery. I'm going too far, but you know what I mean? You're very isolated. So it's very different enterprising and being solo entrepreneur or being an entrepreneur in general. They're completely different things. And just because we code and we design, doesn't mean that we are engineers or, you know what I mean? It's a different thing.
Dude, that's how I code, that's how I code. And like right now, I'm building a instant messaging feature for Nomad List. And I built it in like three hours, the basic version. And it works. You can message people and people can message you and it works. And now I slowly improve on it. And it's just AJAX. I'm not saying that's the best way. I'm just saying it's the best way for me to keep it simple. And, yeah.
Yeah, I think, going back to your bread example, if you start a bakery with bread, here's the thing. If people want bread, if people really like your bread, they will come to your crappy shack. They'll pay in only nickels if that's all you accept. They will find a way to take the thing that they like from you. And then you can get--
Especially if it is artisanal.
Yeah, and you can get a cash register later. You don't need the cash register. Every other business can have a cash register, but you know people are coming for your bread and they will take a little bit of the pain on the way of the annoyance and still say, holy crap, this tastes so good at the end. And that's how you know you have something.
Yeah. Exactly, and the rest is aesthetics. So the nice front porch of the bakery logo interior is still aesthetics and you don't need those aesthetics, you need the core product, which is nice bread. And even the aesthetics of the bread itself can be shit like artisanal breads might look really funky, but that's, in a good way, it looks real, it looks weird, it looks non-manufactured. And that's the whole beauty, what people like, and artisanal websites, people like too. They like weird small team solo devs websites, like look at my website. They like that. And they pay for it. And companies like it too. Companies like to have a direct line to the person making a website. Like people posting jobs, for example, my Remote OK, my remote job boards. They really like, they can go to way bigger boards, like Indeed or all those big competitors, but they still go to mine because they can email me like, hey, this feature, can you make this maybe? Or can you make like a, like now they want like a dashboard where they could see all their jobs. So I need to build that. And I guess sure, I'll go think about that and build it next month and they're like, wow, super cool. Because they're used to corporate where if you ask them, like, sorry, sir, at this moment we will not be blah, blah, blah, blah. Or maybe in Q five, we always joke about Q five 'cause it doesn't exist. You know, like Q four, like the fifth quarter.
I know, that's great.
But, so yeah, people hate, man, people really dislike corporate. And of course we all use corporate products. We use Google, we use the big grocery store, but our artisanal is make that your unique advantage, 'cause yeah.
Yeah. I think, and a lot of the time, I think what you're kind of touching on is like sort of a white glove service combined with like the ability to move fast. Like, you can cater to a need because A, things are simple and therefore it can move quickly. And B, you're willing to cater to them. Both of those things are false for any giant company. And so you don't need the giant front end. You go to a restaurant, nobody says, let's go to the fanciest, most dollar signs looking restaurant. They say, let's find the hole in the wall with a menu made in Windows Vista.
Dude, this is so true. And that, man, you're right, there's so many parallels to life. Like if you go on a date, yeah, you can go to Michelin star place, but it's actually fun. It's kinda like more like kinda like, what the fuck are we doing here? Like the most fun date is like pizza, sitting on the floor with a shitty bottle of wine or something. Like the most authentic cool experience are kinda usually very simple, like on decorate. So what we do with my friends now when there's a birthday, we make a drawing, but we're all like, a bar now corona. So we make a drawing online on something called aggie.io. Aggie.io. So it's kinda like Photoshop, but you can draw, everybody has their own letter. So we just make like really cool drawings for each other's birthday. And it's like, best gifts we ever got or given, or write a bullet or more, Just something real like people, I think, everybody's desperate for authenticity. Twitch is the same reason. Like you crying in Twitch is the same reason. People are desperate for, everything is fucking, here we go. So, I'm cursing, but everything is I think fake and everything's manufactured. Sorry, I'm European, so we say fuck more than Americans.
You're more than welcome to go for it.
Okay, yeah. Every fucking thing. And people are really still like clamoring for authenticity and radical honesty and like, yeah, I think that's the starts ups in life. Yeah.
Yeah, 100%. And I think the real thing is like, the fact of the matter is like authentic or not, it's just about people actually like what you have. If the food's good, the rest didn't matter. You went to the restaurant because you wanted good food, you got good food and you'll be back. Right?
They might get a few less people, but every single person that gets there is gonna sing the damn praises because it's the best steak they've had in years. And I feel like you have to view products like that. It's either like they love it or they don't. And that's just reality. And if nobody loves it, okay, then you know, you didn't invest in it.
My friend told me this about dating . He said, 80% of people don't like me or something, but the 20% that does like me, they really, really like me. They're like, you know, the same thing. It's like, don't try to appeal to everybody. And yeah, I think there's one caveat which is like artisanal products. Once the founder has been doing it for like 10 years, they get sick of it and then they need to sell it to private equity or they need to exit. They need to grace anyway, IPL, or just like, after 10 years people get bored. So, the artisanal breads use these stats showing up in Walmarts, And then it becomes packaged. And now it's not artisanal anymore. And that's just the product life cycle or business life cycle. And I think that's part of it. But that's another good trick I think, because you need to realize that everything that's big now, that's in a supermarket so that's a big service used to be small ones. It used to be small in indie and artisanal. It didn't just start big. Like, unless it's Amazon and starting a new Amazon AWS service. If it's something else that like Whole Foods started really small. Whole Foods was like in the '60s, it's like a hippie store, they only sold vegetables. It was like a vegan store. And then they started selling meat too, blah, blah, blah. So everybody started small. So if you wanna get big, you need to start small.
Yeah, I always think of like Coca-Cola as a company. You think of them. Yeah, yeah, there you go. You think that they only sell coke, but then, oh, they also sell Dasani, they also sell Sprite. They also have all these things.
Yeah, you use conglomerate, yeah.
Yeah, but then you start to look into what they really own and you'll find they own like very obscure sodas that you would never have heard of. And every time that they get one new kind of soda that exists, that's like, some specific like from some other like, it's still like some soda from Africa? That's like pomegranate flavor, that's very common there, but we've never heard of it. And they'll buy one local brand of that because they agree that this is a segment and they're gonna win way faster because they just trust that you're right. And so the thing is like, you have to be right at the small scale before anybody's gonna be right at the big scale. And then you either just win on being authentic and the best, or you went on just selling out and saving somebody else a bunch of time and letting them fill in the blanks.
Yeah. Yeah, totally man, yeah. I think what Coca-Cola does smart day, they buy a brand cause they know the brand's juicy also own like vending machines or something when they supply to them. So then they can take over the vending machine instead of like, Coca-Cola, Dasani, vitamin water. And they're like, okay, now it's kinda, it's like buying access to the market, but yeah.
They make you sign contracts too. Like most big companies have a contract with either Coke or Pepsi. And they're not allowed to have the other ones.
Of Coca-Cola, I can't talk about it. Represents . Nice
Amazing. That's like almost sign language. Yeah, cool. All right, I'm gonna pop back to--
Hey what's up, Milky Dev, I know you.
I see comments here. Oh, you know, Milky now, good, good. Milky is wonderful.
I've been a follower of Milky Dev.
Good, good. Yeah, Milky is amazing. A wonderful guy. Easily, basically my brother in streaming. He and I have done a ton together. Super, super great guy. He's getting into startups soon.
Cool, yeah. Lemme switch my AC 'cause it's getting too hot.
Go for it, go for it.
This place is getting very warm.
All good. Astro, do we still have a list of questions? Have I missed anything? Let me see. Somebody said, I stopped streaming my live code because my Twitch audience didn't align with my side projects, audience slash customers.
Yeah, that makes sense.
Yeah, I wouldn't have actually, at least in my experience, I wouldn't worry about that at all. Because I think in general, the reason most people come here and my stream like working on helping local businesses, I talk about referrals and all this stuff for posters. But nobody particularly comes because they're like, oh, holy crap, I love local business. Like, oh my God, gotta save this one next door. Most people come, you know, I'm in Sci-tech. They come because they're programmers and they kinda just have interest in startups. So I wouldn't view your content or like your public profile as being so tied to what it is you do explicitly. I would tie it more towards what you do generically. Like, you all don't only talk to nomads and remote people, you also just talk about startups.
Yeah, man, you're right, man. I've had this before and I think actually does it to, like , this other entrepreneur guy, he told me like , you have to reinvent yourself. Because early on, when I got famous a little bit on the internet, it was because I was no, like I was teaching nomads and I made Nomad List and stuff. And then I became some kinda nomad's famous person. And dude, it felt so cringe that I was that guy 'cause the digital nomading was cringe in itself. Just like it was too weird. And I didn't even wanna be that guy, but I became that guy. And then you have no choice. So it was like, how can I get rid of this thing? And the only thing the way to get rid of it is by becoming something else. So it's like, okay, I'll just go share about entrepreneurship, like an indie solo development and solo entrepreneurship and stuff. And then I did that and then was in protocol lab. Then I became that guy. So then I overrode the nomad thing with the indie solo developer thing. Yes, so you gotta keep reinventing yourself, keep changing, yeah.
Yeah, it's such a weird progression, but I think it is really interesting because like you said, it's like we were talking about earlier, sort of that progression of like the people at the top versus the people at the bottom. Like the cringe is mostly at the top, but once you get to the bottom, like you just have real people and then nobody actually cares too much. And then you actually have like a community of people who get to know like you for you, get to know you for like the things that you're actually good at, the things that you like, the things that they like. And so, it's a tough start. But I think you win once the filters finish. You win in the long term for taking the pain in the short term. It's still so weird that nomading was cringe, but I definitely know what you mean. It definitely was like a weird concept.
It was just bad, when I came into that scene, I made the website because it was cringe. I was like, ah, I can fix this because it was all these blogs and these courses about like how to move to the other side of the world and live your dream lifestyle on the beach. It was just total bullshit. I knew it was fake. I knew it was just not gonna make you happy. And I knew those people doing it. And it was all like, dude, it was a whole Ponzi scheme. It was like a pyramid MLM scheme of people selling courses. And then they would discourse with teaching some more courses. It was fucking insane. And it was all this, and all digital nomad was dead. People promising fucking fake dreams to everybody and making money on it. Dude, but absolutely not my people I wanna hang with. And I actually, I was about to quit. I flew back home. I was like, yeah, this is just, this is not my kind of people. And it was not many people back then either, it was like 40, there's like a few 100 maybe in Asia, it was just like Freddy and John , Thailand or something. Maybe there was like 30 Mexico or something. It was very small. And then I flew back and I saw a guy called on Instagram. He was a Singaporean British guy. And he was making his own SAS service. He was making money with the SAS service like really cool. And he was traveling with it and I was like, wait, wait, I did that last year, but you're doing it like in a really cool way with making cool products and stuff. And I was okay, I'll just go back and I'll try it again. And I'll try develop cool companies and make startups. And yeah, so he kinda inspired me to go that route. And then funny thing is he quit nomading, he got a day job for two years, three years. And then he got inspired by me and he started doing the 12 startups that I did. And now he has a successful business, new business. And he is in nomad again. So it's kinda like, in both ways, we inspired each other, but yeah, it was a lot of cringe back then. And I hope I reduced that a little bit. Cringe seems to be the keyword in this conversation. Yeah, interesting, I don't know.
Yeah, I know. I think it's a really interesting story. I think part of what's and I don't know, you know better than me, but I think at least the , is part of what attributes to the like cloud that you've gained over time is not only that, like, obviously you are founder, engineer have done all these things, have built Nomad List and have built Remote OK. But also like the interest in that industry, like a lot of it just comes to you.
It's all super personal man. It's all like, dude, like fundamental personal problems. Like if you travel, it's very lonely. So how do you solve that? Well, you can solve it by meeting people, but how do you meet people? And nobody else is doing remote work and traveling as a remote worker? Well, then you can make a website that promotes that. And then more people will become it. And slowly, this literally what it is like a lot of my friends became nomad through the website. And then now they're my friends, because before there was no people, there was not a lot of people doing it. And my website is not the only thing that's pushed, but it pushes a lot of people into it. So it's a personal ego thing to like, I wanna have friends when I'm living somewhere remotely. So it helps that. So it ties very much into personal things. Yeah, for some philosophy.
Yeah, I know, I think you in and of yourself have contributed to the growth of that industry. A significant--
Yeah, I'm still, yeah.
Yeah, super interesting. I think it's a thing with a lot of people. Yeah, yeah.
Well, who would have though it?
In good and bad ways.
Yeah, yeah, for sure.
Yeah, it was super interesting. I found when talking about like the nomad stuff, where it was traveling isn't a great idea, but being home all the time on your laptop is. And so it was like almost halfway there. So if you could find a safe way to get somewhere, or at least somewhere where you could like quarantine for a while, then you could totally pull off nomad. But like, they were like, in the US like, we're not allowed to fly anywhere.
Dude, I track everybody's, well this sounds Zuckerberg, but I track the movements on Nomad List. Like I see the general movements. And dude, all the Americans, they moved to Mexico. It's the same, they moved to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico city, Puerto Escondido, Tulum. And then all the Europeans, they move to Portugal. What'd you call it? Like the Mexico of Europe. And that's why where I am now, they almost list amount of stuff. And then, well, Asia was closed. So the Europeans and Americans, they would go to Asia. Definitely a lot of your Europeans 'cause it's so close to Asia. Who would be in Bali now or in Thailand or whatever, Malaysia, they're now in Portugal because all the borders are closed. And then also a lot of Americans started moving to Texas because from California. So there's already this huge relocation wave going on just in front of us. And that's exactly what I've been thinking about for the last six years that would happen. So it's super cool.
Ahead of the game.
It's just absolutely, yes.
You called it more than anyone else could have called it. Yeah. And now you have the data. I'd be interested to hear actually, this is a question I wanted to ask you for a while. Do you do anything with your data? Are there people that ask you for that? Like are you working at a scale that that's, like, you just made two statements, I don't think most people would be aware of.
Yeah. Okay, so I have, like, I think big data was bullshit. But I have like about 140,000 trips. So people have entered, it's 140,000 trips over the last few years. So if you go to Nomad List, and like, I just added the feature, you can go to the trend step on every city and you could see, like, I could show you on here. Trends. Or do you have a screen shared on this thing?
I believe so.
Or do you have at your screen?
Yeah, go ahead.
So if you go to nomadlist.com and then you go to Canggu, for example, Trends, you could see a chart. Most interesting thing is Playa Del Carmen. I think it's the sixth. Yeah, and then there's Trends. Let's see. Fuck, why is it so slow?
That's because I'm streaming for me if you're looking at my streaming.
Really, your internet gets slow from streaming? Okay, yeah.
I can tell you the whole story, but it's actually just a CPU thing.
So it's not my website.
No, no, no, it's not your. I haven't set up a bio yet. I'm not gonna be able to, do you want me to share your screen on whereby.
Oh, fuck, whatever, yeah, anyway.
Who cares? Yeah, so you can see like I have it here. I can switch my screen. Yeah, here.
So this is Playa del Carmen. So you can see, like this is 2019, there was a drop here 'cause of corona. And then now it's like bigger than ever. See, so.
And what's the scale on the left for this? Like how many trips is that? Is that 10s, is that 100s?
It's the estimated.
It's 1400 arrivals this month.
It's estimated nomads. Then this one. See drop corona and then back up. Bali is opening up again, so see here. So we're going back up.
So is this public data?
It's public. Yeah, so public, it's on the website. Yeah, so you can, so Thailand is still not recovering because they didn't open their borders yet. A lot of people are going to, I think South Africa. But look, just before corona, everyone was going to Cape Town for some fucking reason. I don't know. So yeah, there's definitely like data. Is pretty close, but they're slowly opening up a little bit now with special visas. So yeah, especially this year or last year, it's very interesting to see the data being affected by like real world stuff, right?
Yeah, so that's like 140,000 trips.
Interesting. And so do you do anything with this data, or just leave it up there, it's on trends and you never really touch it, nobody's offering to buy it?
Yeah, I also made like a page like fastest growing places, which in Nomad List. Let me just show you. Great. Yeah, so fastest growing remote work hubs. And the table is kinda fucked. Let me do dark mode. Dark mode is okay. Dude, dark mode is such a pain to make it like make your layout look good now in both light and dark. So you have like fast-growing remote work hubs now. So 2020, growth is kinda fucked because it's only the 1st of January. So it estimates it. But here, you see the growth over the years of all these places.
So you can pretty much like, so Medellin is doing really well now, Canggu, Playa del Carmen, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Cape town. This place went down like Ho Chi Minh. I don't know, it wasn't popular anymore. It went down, now it's back up. Yeah. So I pretty much like I try to, I guess, instead of like doing some kind of big data research, I just make a page in PHP and just like share the data quickly and with calculations. Life with the live data. And I mean for nomads, I can predict where the nomads will be in which month based on their planned trips and based on the trips from last years. So okay, if you wanna be in a busy place with a lot of people, you can socialize with like remote workers in February next year, or well, February of this year, sorry. In a month, then I can say okay, let's see, you can do, let me show you again. You can go to Filters, you can click February. And you see in February, there will be, nomad scored 90%, so there will be a lot of people. Yeah, you can kick like Warm. Many people in February, fast internet. Yeah, many in people February, so here. So now you have 23 nomads checked in, in February expected. And because nomad is like only like 5% of the user base of the entire nomad market because 94% doesn't pay for our websites. It's just like how it works. This is just like an estimate. But this means Bangkok's pretty busy. Medellin, Singapore. See Mexico city, Ho Chi Minh. Yeah, so I can pretty much tell people like where to go and where they're gonna meet like other people like them, like remote workers in their place.
Interesting. Weird question, do you have a newsletter for anything like this?
No, because I hate email. That's kind of personal. So I do subscribe to some newsletters but like, they're really good. Like Scott Galloway's newsletter. I really like it. It's that NYU professor, Scott Galloway, Professor Scott Galloway. And he makes a cool, interesting newsletter, but I don't know. I wouldn't know what to sent, what to email, I guess like top places.
Yeah, I think it would be interesting only because you have this data. I subscribed to a lot of like marketing trend emails. And that's very interesting for me because I do marketing stuff for all of our stuff. So I always want to keep up on that. I feel like it would be interesting that you have the data, so it might be very trivial for you to make a very short newsletter. That's like places to look at this month and you can just plot down the top three and their stats.
Yeah, I've read a ton, yeah.
There you go.
Okay, nice Newsletter, top places. Yeah. Yeah, I'm really alerted to emails. So I'm like, okay. People that are my users most of them so, like they don't wanna get too much email, but yeah.
I was thinking of doing like a sub stack type newsletter. So right now I have, I moved my blog to ghost. And when I write a blog post now, I can sent it out to my subscribers. So I have like, I think 9,000 subscribers and I sent out like blog posts. And so that's what I do, do now. So that's kinda nice.
Interesting, cool. All right, let's take a look. Astro, if you're still here, can you give me a post of the questions that we have so far?
Do you have to have a grid of the, or a sidebar to work on for streaming start doing it? I'm asking this because we have day jobs. You might have never very good in getting ready for project audience wise. I mean, bad idea is good too. Anything, yeah. Taking actions is always good.
Yeah, half of my stuff is completely random nonsense BS that's like only adjacently even related to my project. Sometimes I'm just like, let's go scrape some Instagram accounts or something. And then it's just an hour and a half people making jokes where they're like, oh, is this just how you fill your funnel for your dating profiles? And then that's it, that's the whole stream, but it can still be entertaining. And I find, especially in Sci-Tech, a lot of people just come 'cause they like code. As long as you can be educational and explain what you're doing, really doesn't matter what you're working on honestly. People watch--
I mean that's why I watch CM Griffin because I still have a clue of what he's doing, but it's always some interesting stuff. And then there's a race card on a screen for some reason, he has a race card, he's programming. I have no fucking clue what's going on, but it's just fun to watch. And actually I figure out what's going on and maybe I should share my websites here so people know what the hell I make.
Yeah, I sent along your Twitter, which I believe has most of them in the top. But yeah. Cannot hurt.
Yeah, do we have more questions?
Yeah, do you work in big spurts or do you do a little bit of work every day?
So it really depends if it's a new project or a feature like existing project. So with existing probably like Nomad List, Remote OK, I do like little features, I work a little bit. You know like daily bug fixes, like a bug report or there's an error and you have to check and you have to fix. But if it's a new website, I go into these long, yeah like eight hour or whatever, just I'll drink coffee or go stay up at night is what we used to do way more, because you could go on this hypermania creativity, motive nights and just create crazy shit and have crazy ideas that are, your brain is blocked anymore by reasonableness. So, any idea flies and you make creation. That's creativity I think at night, and evening and night. So it depends on nature of the work. So bug fix and maintenance stuff, that's like very short. You'd take like 10 minutes to fix a bug. Usually five minutes, but new features, yeah. New products, yeah, like long, like you have to go really deep into the problem, but once the problem is already solved, it's just like shaving it. Like what do you call it? Like a diamond, like just like etching it.
Interesting. And now do you have any tools in particular, like websites that you use to sort of keep track of what you're doing or like things you couldn't live without, anything like that?
I've tried to reduce the amount of tools.
Oh, I'm not sure.
And my BFF. TweetDeck, no, I don't use TweetDeck. I'm trying to stay off Twitter more. I'm trying to reduce the amount of interactions on there. So yeah, I don't know. TweetDeck would be like too intense, like all these decks to follow all your meds and stuff. Like I would do that maybe a few years ago, but not anymore, just now I need to reduce the in boots and yeah.
What else do I use? Let's see what I have opened, Sublime, Telegram. Telegram is very important in my life. Telegram is where all my friends are, I know in America, everybody's on iMessage or WhatsApp. And Europe, everybody's also on WhatsApp, but a lot of the kinda more nerdy scene, more rebel scene is on Telegram. And not because encryption, nobody cares about the encryption anymore. It's about the interface, it's just really good, it's really fast. They have really good stickers. Sticker is really important. The feature sets just really, like the app is way better than WhatsApp. It's just, yeah, I would recommend everybody to try Telegram. Telegram is my life. All my server alerts, I get through Telegram. So every error that happens, PHP error, goes straight to Telegram. So yeah. What else?
Do you use any tool for that? Is there like like a Zapier?
Telegram has a web book. PHP like file. File gets contents. It's like a URL, to open URL, and it opens the Telegram URL with an error in a message. And then the message goes into the check group where I can check it and then I can fix the error. So that's the whole error reporting system. It's like few lines of code.
It's just Telegram. That's like your whole--
Amazing. And so up until now to clarify there, the reason that works is because you are the pretty much only developer on all of this outside of maybe a few people maintaining servers?
Yeah, but the error is actually. So Daniel in the chat, he's in a group too, and he's the server guy. So like part-time. So if he sees a lot of errors, he jumps in and he does a quick fix when I'm not available or something. But I think error reporting doesn't have, like, I used to use , but it's got really tedious and too complicated and stuff, and I think there's nothing wrong with just a basic, for the area you get in just with the PHP to a chat service and you get it in the group, like what's wrong with that? Like good enough for me. I think it would be good enough for a team too. So, yeah.
Definitely. All right just a sec, I got our questions list up here in a second. I got something.
And this name is a hacker, amazing.
Yeah, hackers are good.
Yeah, for sure. Yeah, I'll my inbox, you're right.
Yeah. Hacker is always around--
I promise you now I'll get like message him with Telegram group. Like yo, what's up? I'm a hacker.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm gonna just start throwing it, like throwing errors in the console on Nomad List. I'm just gonna be like, hey man, how's it going? How've you been? Hope things are good.
I mean, dude, the 100%, all these things are true. And that's I guess, I mean, that's I guess why companies go from artisanal to corporate. Because you get so many hack attacks or legal attacks or attacks in general. So yeah. It's true.
All right. Any comments on visas with the whole nomad? Is that a thing that you have to worry about? Is there like a--
Yeah, so I'm in a good space now because I'm in Europe and I'm European and Europe is just like US. You can move to every State. So every country in Europe is pretty much like a US state now. So we live in the United States of Europe. And you can work in any State and you have people working at any country. You don't need or even. So you're legal, you can stay forever. The borders are open. They've been open I think since 99 years .
Still there, Pieter?
Oh, sorry, yeah, . Yeah, I'm here. Do you hear me? Yeah, we're back, okay. So Europe, you can move to everywhere if you're your being so you can live everywhere, you can work everywhere, so you don't need a visa, that's nice. And I don't think enough Europeans take advantage of that. I mean, now you shouldn't maybe, but after corona, you can live anywhere, you can work anywhere. So yeah, so I'm a legal resident in Europe. So I can stay forever pretty much as if it's a situation.
That's honestly magic. You can't really do a ton with an American passport these days. And actually--
Well, inside Europe, you can. Sorry, inside America, you can have in any state. You can live in 50, 51 States.
I guess that's yeah, that's the comparison. I used to be like super into like travel and like credit cards and everything, I still am honestly. And there's like this whole tier list of which passports are the most useful and like which citizenships get you the most places. Super interesting.
Yeah, but dude, US passports is on the top. Just like European passports. Yeah, so you can go anywhere. I mean, now it's fucked, but .
We lost hard there, yeah. 100%.
Usually you get 90 days, I get 90 days. And I think in terms of like remote work, governments are starting to, I think they have been talking about for ages now, they're finally starting to do a little bit, like there's all these little countries that are doing remote work visas like Bermuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Georgia, not the state, but the country, all these kind of countries are starting to get remote work visas. Portugal is attracting a lot of foreigners like Americans do with something called the D7 visa. It's gonna make it very easy to move to Portugal. So it's getting easier and easier to relocate or to move definitely for tech workers. Yeah.
Awesome. Yeah, I'm sure, and that's gotta be a huge thing for those smaller countries, especially, like country of Georgia getting a remote work visa. That's gotta be like nomads coming to them I would imagine is a non-trivial amount of tourism.
Yes, spending man, it's so much money. And like, I spoke to a guy from Spain here who said exactly that. He lives in , which is like these islands off the coast of Spain, very popular for tourism. And they calculated that they get 20 million tourist visitors a year. They calculated that for the same one I'm spending, it's 20 million tourists or it's 100,000 remote workers. So they could have 200 times less people going to them and making the same amount of tax money as tourists with 200 times less of the annoying stuff of tourism. Like people were rolling suitcases, people were partying, drunk or whatever. Like there will be 100,000 remote work people to do maybe other stuff, but it's 200 times less people with more money for the government. So man, that's huge. That's like, economically, if you think about that, that's gonna change some stuff.
Yeah, I mean, it literally comes back to what we were talking about earlier. I mean, even with your company, you look at the top of funnel, but all that really matters is who's at the bottom at the end of the day. And even with--
Low voice, high quality.
Yeah, they're high quality people.
I don't think anybody likes to wear as many more. The classical tourism is it's just very damaging to places. I know 'cause I'm from Amsterdam and the entire center is fucked by tourism. It's just not, it's like, I don't know about America, like it's Times Square. Everything becomes Times Square, same happened in Barcelona, same happened in London with Leicester Square and stuff. So that's not interesting. That's not what travel should be about. I think more and more people wanna, like Airbnb pushed us. They wanna live like a local, I think that's the future. Like being part of a local environment, even if it's for like a month or two months or three months, but not like a two day weekend trip to Barcelona for $10 in an airplane in Europe, It's low quality, low cost tourism, but there is a much higher cost. Ecological costs, cultural costs, that's just not good. Yeah, it's just not good. It changes places in a bad way. And I think any foreigner you will have in a place will change it, but having people that can work from other, for example, going to a place because it's less volume, will change it less. Yeah.
Yeah, it was very interesting to me when I started moving around towards the beginning of quarantine. And I was just moving between Chicago. I think I lived in like four apartments.
Yeah, that's pretty fucked, yeah, I remember.
And even like just getting to live there for a month, I ended up being surprisingly able to get to know places, get to know people in the area, like got to know like a bunch of the restaurants. Like I became friends with the owners and everything. Like, people were sad when I left, And you couldn't have done that in three days and you couldn't have done that from a hotel with a bunch of luggage. It's just like, I think the difference is you had to find that lower half of the file.
That's like a dehumanizing aspect to that where you see people as like, okay, you're in a new place, you're just a few days. And as the service people, we'll give you food and blah, blah. But man, there are people you can talk to them. You can get to know them, but you get to know them only exactly after like you stay there for a month for longer. And that place really become interesting. And I think that's really the cool part about, like that's what digital nomaders should be not these goats, some are really cheap and like all the bad stigmas, but the good thing should be like living like a local and being part of community Skynet and yeah.
100%. The tough part is that's idealized, but I think it's gonna take time before that actually becomes the reality for a lot of people. 'Cause I think for a lot of us right now, like, well, even when I was nomading, granted it's quarantine, but I moved around areas and then I still sat in my room.
No, but everybody does. I mean, this is another like a stigma where it's like, oh, you're supposed to go outside and like see everything. It's bullshit. No, it just lives somewhere. And then you realize that living, like I could live in Seattle now or in Chicago, or you could live here in Portugal. Dude, it's the same thing. Like I woke up, I make coffee, I sit on the couch, you sat on the couch, you sat on that chair. And then I met a friend, we had some food. So does it really matter where you are? It's all the same pretty much. So don't feel guilty about that. Yeah, it's just, yeah.
That's a good note. It's a good note.
What's your, I'm curious, what is your time spent look like right now? You mentioned, you've reached like pretty big milestones recently and everything. Is it a lot more emphasis on Nomad List these days? Are you still working on those projects?
So I promised Daniel, he's my server guy and like best friend here. I promised him that I would start working from 1, January on Nomad List. I failed because I was just sitting on the couch. It's like, what am I gonna do with my life? Like, there's nothing I can do. 'Cause you can't go anywhere 'cause there's corona. And then, like my friend Marc was working on his laptop. So I was just like, fuck it, I'll go work on my, but then I committed to code. And then Daniel found out, he's like, "Dude, why are you committing code? You're not supposed to work. And I'm calling out Nomad List, but I'm gonna finish Nomad List. Like it's almost done, the instant messaging stuff that I'm building on now. And then I'm gonna focus on Remote OK. And I'm gonna try and hire a developer. Like I told you, I'm hiring a developer for those websites to develop new features, but also for like fix the bugs and stuff. So I can stay away from those websites because I feel like they're kinda done maybe. And I feel like I need to go away from them to come up with new ideas for like new businesses. But if I always stay in those businesses, I'm never gonna get like the radical new ideas. So I feel I literally need to not touch them anymore and have a developer touch them instead. And then, I don't know, do some stuff in my life, like go skydiving or go do something, do something good, get that new experiences, like traveling is very difficult now, but just lots of other stuff you can do. Learn to make sushi or whatever, but I need to do other stuff to figure out new problems, to become a different person and then build new products. And I built a few new products last year, like a QR menu, a creator, ideas, AI based on GPD tree. So generating business ideas. So I do build new stuff, but I think if they're not the ones that I wanted, the big ones, yeah, they're not, like it took me years to make Nomad List, for example. So it might take me another few years to make something again that's really cool. So, but I need to get away from the code.
Yeah, so that's an interesting question. What would you say are your goals like coming into this year? Are you just looking for the next project and you wanna just move everything else to sort of maintenance mode or kind of offshoot it? Like, do you want to keep growing Nomad List? Do you view this as stopping that?
Yeah, I think it can naturally grow now 'cause everything is kinda like you just sign up. So there's a few things that need to be fixed. But generally, the site works. Over 800 people a month now sign up paid, which is a shitload. And it used to be like 200. For a very long, long time, it was 200, and I was like 800. So, I think that's the first nomad way of starting. I think people can do most of the things they wanna do on the sites and it kinda functions. It doesn't break apart when you do something. So that's good. So yeah, I think it can keep writing if you put a dev on it. Yeah, pretty much. I think it can keep running. And because the market grows, it just automatically grows with it.
Right, so you're not looking to buy yourself, put in more to try and actually grow it? Like, I know that you're generally a fan of never market anything, just let it be kinda natural and organic. Do you still stick by that?
By Facebook ads.
Yeah, honest question. Like have you bought Facebook ads for this? Is that something that you'd ever do?
Yeah, we tried, didn't work. I can try again. I think you get the wrong users. Like we got really shitty users. Like I have to size the community. So the membership is like, you can go through the site, you can see all the places, you can filter like where you wanna go, where fast internet works. A lot of people whereas the climate that you like, and then you can go there, and then you want it not be lonely. So you go into the community, you chat with people like who are there, you meet up in real life. Like we did over like 400 meetups or 500 meetups or something in the last few years. Like 100 meet ups a year. So people go for drinks, people go for dinner, people meet their boyfriend, girlfriend on the site, all that stuff. They make friends. I believe that part of the site works. I forgot your question.
So, for you, is this is--
I figured that. I just figured that. Sorry yeah, so you get the wrong users. Because right now, you get like organic users who come to the site and they pay. And if I put more people into it, it's like Facebook, like apart from ads, but Facebook in general has kinda like groups. So they solve as kind of by putting everybody in different groups maybe, but I don't have that. I just have my site. So everything gets dumped into the same slack chat, into the same community. So, which is already a lot of moderation work. Like I have a paid moderator to keep them friendly and not fight about Trump all the time. It's a bad growth now on my side, Trump. Yeah, because I had both people that either they shouted about Trump, anyway, it doesn't matter. But if you get more people in there, you get a lot of randos. And I feel like for community, that's very dangerous randos. You kinda wanna, yeah.
I see, that's super interesting. So your community is so tight knit that you actually can't afford to have bad users?
Yeah, it's hard to scale community.
That's the problem. So the only scalable part of the website is the, so I have two membership now. Premium membership, which is like the community and the site. I have a light new membership. I added like during corona 'cause I was like, okay, nobody could travel. So they just wanna like maybe filter cities for in the future when you wanna travel. So I made a light membership without social features, which sells really well too. So that part I could scale maybe. So yeah, the site is almost like a chime mirror. Like it's like two things. It's like a database and a community and the community. But the thing is the community makes a lot of money in terms of memberships. Like people like to buy the premium membership and they like to join the community and yeah. 'Cause it's a hard thing to scale, like it's much easily to scale like a job board, like Remote OK, like on the site. It's much easier to scale 'cause you've been probably by B2B, Facebook ads or something for that. So, yeah.
And so how do you decide, like if you're gonna focus on growing a current project, if you're gonna go start something new?
I think it's just like how I feel. And like we all have, like how do you feel about your website? Like how do you feel about, I think what you saw was like, I think it was the cycles, like economic cycles and then it's like psychosocial cultural cycles. For me, 2014 was a big year. Like a lot of things happened. Like I launched all these websites and I got famous on the internet. And so that's like about seven years now. And I think things do go in seven year cycles. And I know like a lot of other people that started back then, they are now kinda like either selling their website or just shutting it down or in a . And I feel like you need to have a really long breath to keep going. I have the long breath for sure 'cause I don't wanna give up and I'm really happy. And dude, it's never made enough this much money, it's never had so many signups this month. So it's like, that's a good thing. And we're just on the edge of corona ending. And then the , wherever like shitloads really gonna relocate. So I kinda just get the fuck out. I need to kinda stay on, but I think the site is ready for that. But, yeah.
All right. So as far as you're concerned, you're just kinda letting the growth come and moved it from there?
But I think I need a break to find new ideas. I think you have the same trap you have with nine to five jobs where if you get stuck into something, it's very hard to get out of it. So, yeah.
It's in your nature. I mean that's how you got to where you are now.
Dude, I'm kinda hyper guy and I wanna like, I think ADHD is bullshit, but people will tell me, oh it is. I don't think it exists. I think it's a big pharma conspiracy, but I think people just have creative rings, but it does mean that I need to, I get bored quickly, so I need to make a lot of new stuff. And that's, a lot of conspiracy like to make new stuff. It's the most fun part. Growing stuff's kinda boring to be honest. Like it's not that fun. Like making new stuff, it's really super. You know it, it's super exciting. Like making something out of nothing, it's just wow, it's like one of the best things in life. It's like creativity at a score, at it's maximum expression. Like you have so many in your brain, you can put it on paper or on a website or on the, you know like you manifest something, it's fucking insane. It's magic.
I quote on this channel so often, people would come up with these like super, super complicated ideas. And these things that will take a year to do. And I will yell at them until it's a two week version of the same thing. And just MVP it down because it's so much more satisfying. And that's my biggest concern for people. Well, there's a lot that says launch on BP early, it's better for your company and totally agree, totally subscribe to that. But I feel like motivationally, is the much more interesting way to look at it. And if you don't launch early enough, I feel like you start to wait too long to see anything satisfying and you'll fall off on the project.
Yeah, but I think it's fear or failure. And it's, I think planning is procrastination. Planning is procrastination. Thrilling task but I think it's true for many times and everything you're scared of, you're gonna like try and prepare more for it and like, ah, I'm not ready yet, I'm gonna launch later. No, just launch, now you realize it's shit, and then you need to do it again. And as everything. Everything in life is like this, every skill, it's just your shit in the beginning. And you're gonna read everything about it to figure out like, oh, if I just read every article about this, maybe I'll be really good, but you won't until you do it, but doing it is scary. I know 'cause everything I do is scary and I'm still bad at it. So, you know, yeah, fear. Fear is life and planning is procrastination.
There you go. If Pieter Levels is afraid of starting something new, then you can be too, and it'll just be okay. Someone asked, why don't you stream more?
Yeah, so dude, the streaming thing, very interesting. I felt it was so intense to do, but it was really, dude, it was super fun. I loved streaming it, but it was so intense to do. And I felt like I couldn't have a personal life anymore. So you can't have, like if you're streaming, like you need to ask your girlfriend, is it cool that I stream? 'Cause today's my stream time, I need to stream for four hours . Dude, your girlfriend's woken in the back. Now she's also, her privacy's fucked too 'cause 100 people are watching here. So that's not respectful of her privacy for example. But let's just add like, what if you are streaming, but your friend wants to meet or something? I don't know, it becomes like a job. Like I think the whole, it's not a criticism of you 'cause I love watching streaming. It's just for me, I like to have the freedom to just lie on the couch and then do some codes and then meet a friend and then, do fun stuff. And I feel like, maybe the pay off of streaming right now is not high enough. Like I already have an audience. I already make enough money. I'm already famous enough for what I want, didn't really wanna be famous, but okay. So I already have all those things, so what am I doing for intrinsically 'cause it's kinda fun. Yeah, but what am I doing? Like, yeah. You know what I mean? What's the core motivation here? Maybe a stupid question, I don't know.
I mean, I think why is the most important question.
Without a doubt.
I think it makes, dude, it makes 100% sense for you. So I don't know, you're always true, but I know you're building startups and stuff and you're, I don't know your revenue, but I assume that you're using Twitch also to market your startups and your apps and to get them more used and more revenue. And then it makes total sense. I think so, yeah.
It has. I'll say this much. The funny thing I've learned about Twitch is that the benefits end up being all the things that you don't expect. And very few of the things that you do expect. So I wouldn't say Twitch has gotten me customers. I wouldn't even say Twitch has gotten me very many users. What Twitch has gotten me is very interesting connections and very interesting conversations. And a lot of just generic support. Like I went and posted on Product Hunt for our product. I wouldn't have suspected it would do very well. It's a very generic sounding product. And there's a dozen of them that have gone on there, but it got 200 plus up votes. And the reason that happened is because like five of my other streamer friends who are like on my stream team only devs, all and everyone in discord, just tagged everybody and said, hey--
Nice voting ring, Dan.
It goes for you.
Yeah, yeah, I had an incidental voting ring. But like, without Twitch, never it would have happened. I would have like had to go pay for some votes or some other nonsense and it wouldn't have worked. But I had never--
Yeah, don't do that, don't pay for followers.
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah, never pay for followers at all. It's all bad news bearers.
That's what it means. Exactly, that's what it means. So then it makes sense. Yeah, then it makes sense, I think.
I think it's just support. People care about you doing well. And that's normally not really true. Normally, it's just you and your laptop, but now there are--
No, 100%. And I actually really had this audience that like they go, they've been on your journey for years and they know who you are and what you're doing and where you came from. And exactly, that's the same reason I'm on Twitter and stuff. Dude, I love Twitch. It's just, it's so much effort to be on a camera for hours. It's so difficult, man. That's why I respect you so much, it's so difficult.
It doesn't have to be as much as you're making it. I will tell you that for sure. A lot of the biggest Sci-Tech streamers, stream for, I wanna say maybe two hours about once a week.
That's it. A big thing I read, biggest tip--
I thought daily, I thought you need to do 40 hours a week.
Like Andy Milonakis.
Exact opposite. You will watch any video that's like top 10 tips for streaming, and they always say, Twitch is not a game where you grind. You don't win by grinding. You win by doing the exact opposite 'cause I'll tell you this much. Here's the thing about Twitch. You don't get Twitch viewers from Twitch. Twitch is very, very bad for discoverability.
No, I tweeted, so then I got viewers.
Exactly. So you got viewers from Twitter. They're gonna come for that hour and they're gonna enjoy it. And then you can hang up and they're happy to see you. There's this guy, Coding Garden, very, very popular Sci-Tech streamer. I think he does twice a week, couple hours. And 250 people show up every single time, every single time. And you know why? It's because he's got a crazy YouTube following and a very solid Twitch following and a great community. And you have those things, maybe not as concretely, but you can stream for an hour and a half. Hell, you could stream for 45 freaking minutes, and people will absolutely come show up because you have people from Twitter or something.
I averaged like this year, last year, like 75 viewers or something, it was pretty good.
You're already in the top 1%, you've never been on Twitch. That proves that it wasn't Twitch.
Yeah. Interesting. And What's the objective of this?
That's like the interesting part for me is actually--
No, it was social media. So weird philosophically. Like, why are we on social media? Do we do it for the likes, the views or the money, is it marketing, is it to make friends, is it to meet people, is it to get famous, is it vanity, what is it?
I think most things are vanity, hot tape perhaps. I think that's like the true answer. But you know, I live by the view of the contribution system, which is that most answers are not a single thing. It is the amalgamation of many things. I think the reason I came to Twitch at first was productivity. Now, the reason I stay is because Twitch makes it fun to do boring things.
True. Good point. Good point, dude, that's a really good one. Yeah, 'cause I'm like, if I'm fixing some bug, like it's kinda boring, but then if I Twitch, it makes it a little more interesting. Yeah, that's a good point.
Suddenly we're all solving a problem together. We're all excited about it. We're all, I make a mistake and everybody just starts yelling at me and it's like, we all get to laugh about it. When you're sitting down by yourself, doing nothing, you don't get that laugh. You're just like, oh, I'm dumb.
Yeah, man, that's it, yeah. Good point man, yeah, very interesting.
That's probably the biggest reason I do it.
I think for me, like I had a therapist, I have a therapist now like last year and we've been talking a lot. And I think for me it was, I wanted it to be successful to solve my insecurities. Like thinking like I'm not good enough. That's very common for entrepreneurs. And now at a point where I'm like, no, I'm good enough, like, intrinsically I don't need to have achievements. I'm intrinsically good. But that makes you way less ambitious 'cause you're not trying to solve this insecurity. Look at how much success I have. Look, I'm actually a cool guy. Like no, if you're already feeling you're happy, you're cool. Then you don't need all that stuff anymore. It's almost like, yeah, I knew this was gonna happen. I remember this saying that as like 20 year old or something like I'm not gonna get a therapist 'cause it will my fuck ambition. And I think, man, it's true. If you're ambitious, you're a little bit fucked up.
There's a very destructive irony in the fact that diamonds only come from demolishing carbon with an astounding amount of pressure. And the thing is, not all carbon survives. Not all of it becomes diamonds. Most of it just gets demolished. I try very hard to push people away from the like what I will call a toxic ambition. Oh God, please go to therapy. Oh God, please go to therapy, guys. Jesus Christ. But no, there's just, so I used to work. I worked for Microsoft and then I worked for Facebook. And I felt that when I got to Facebook, because it was like, I started to feel like I was good enough, like first time in my life.
Cause you worked for Facebook.
Well, anyway, no, but I finally felt like I was good enough. And then I didn't know what to do next because all of a sudden, like there was no strict next level up. Like normal company.
Dude, Amsterdam, it's so common.
And so, that was why I got into startups. 'Cause I was like, all right, I need to feel insecure again. I need to like be mad at my success again. And you know what? I feel like crap like a lot of days now, but I'm probably, I'm inching so much closer to things I would never have achieved, but I don't think that means I need to feel like crap. I think that feeling like crap is just probably a sign that you're in the right direction. And so you just gotta learn to deal with that.
Suffering. But like if you don't have suffering, if you constantly get depressed, it's also a thing, you need suffering. Like suffering, very relative suffering. But here in Portugal, we go, like me and my friend, we go for a walk like every second day and we go to the gym every other day. So we'd lift weights and stuff and we go for walks. And we just went for a walk today and we were walking up, this is Portugal, this mountain and stuff. We were walking up these mountains, and were like, oh fuck, why are we walking? This is horrible, I hate this. As like very relative suffering, but that makes sitting on the couch so much nicer. But if you only sit on the couch, you're gonna get depressed 'cause like you're not gonna enjoy the couch anymore. It's just very simple. But yeah, it's exactly the same thing.
Yeah, it's a huge thing. I found that working on startups makes you like really, really, really, really self-aware in like uncomfortable ways where you start to recognize stuff like that. Like you notice very quickly like, oh God, I'm comfortable playing games for four hours again. Like, oh God, if I don't go to the gym for three days, I'm okay with that. That shouldn't be a thing. And all of a sudden in time.
Yeah but, all these tech people, Sci-Tech people are like also self-development people. They're all like tracking and everything. Yeah, it's considered a territory, which is another hole like rabbit hole of like, that's not gonna make you happy either. But yeah, go to the gym or do sports every second day. It is gonna make you happy here.
Yeah, you gotta find ways.
Exercise is very important, yeah. And dude, I'm not a sports guy at all. I've never done sports much. So doing like gym stuff, it's really good for my brain.
Yeah, well the mental health gain, like it's so nice--
Dude, that's the best thing. Well, you do it, 'cause you look in the mirror like damn, look I have muscles. Like, yeah, I'm sexy. But like, the real thing is like, your brain is healthier. Yeah, your brains and also sex here, I guess. So, yeah.
Yeah, I know. I definitely stand by that. I'm definitely, I still can't tell to this day if I'm doing it because I want to be stronger or if I'm doing it just because it makes me feel better. But yeah, I didn't go to the gym for like 18 months I think. And then I moved into this new place because there's a gym on the seventh floor and that was it. I was like, that's what I need. Is I could just go downstairs, go to the gym, come back up.
I know that 'cause I watched the stream. I watched like a clip in Chicago I think. Or it was in Chicago I think, I watched your stream. I don't know, it was a video of you, but I think it was a clip with you showing Chicago like the towers.
Yeah, that was my old place. I was at a higher. Confirmed fan, congratulations. What a concept. Yeah, I know, it's a beautiful city. And that was like really, I realized very quickly like the effect that it had on my mental health. Being able to look at something beautiful every night, like watching it--
In Chicago or Seattle?
In Chicago, I also was in Seattle for a month, but now I'm in Chicago again.
Do you like being on like really tall floors? I mean like high floors?
Yeah, it is pretty nice. For me--
I was living very high in Korea, like also like kinda skyscrapers. And I was like, it's a little too high. Like I wanna be nowhere to the ground. Like, so if there's a fire, you can jump out.
I don't really mind which floor it is. The higher floors have better views so I prefer that. But in general, I really just cared about this because it was quarantine. And I was like, I haven't gone to the gym in forever. And now quarantine is gonna make that even easier. If I wanna go to the gym, if I wanna like be able to play pool and have a nice time during quarantine, I'm gonna need stuff being in the building.
Dude, yeah, and you know what? Maybe this is boring for your fear is congratulation. But like the gym being far away is actually kinda annoying 'cause you start skipping more. I also have a gym in this building and it's way easier if we just go. And having a friend that goes with you is very important. Like, 'cause then you have accountability kinda. 'Cause yesterday, he didn't wanna go and I was like, dude, come on, don't fuck up. We've been going every second day. He's like, okay, I'll go. And then next usually it's me, I'm on the couch like I don't wanna go. But yeah. But even the mental health part is really, yeah.
Yeah, environment too. Like having a friend, having it in the building, I find that like, and that's another reason for Twitch, accountability and environment. I haven't even given myself a schedule on Twitch 'cause I've been too scared to do it. But I did the research, I figured out what time of day would be optimal to get the most viewers, to do whatever. And my day is very whatever, but I really like know that I need to do that because the accountability is gonna be huge. But like your environment is so non-trivial. Like if you don't have a place where you can be productive, this place has co-working spaces. So if this environment ever becomes unproductive--
Dude, that's like the modern shit, man.
Grab my laptop, take it downstairs. It's just a normal high-rise.
And it's like a private apartment. Private company doing apartments.
Yeah, it's just a normal, high-rise apartment in Chicago. I mean, there's a reason I live in the freaking living room. This is my mattress.
Wait, you're still in Chicago or you're in--
I'm in Chicago, yes.
No, no, I was in Seattle for a month. That was just October. Yes, I know I'm added in Seattle for a month.
Okay, now, I get it, yeah, yeah.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, okay, okay. So like the only reason I'm willing to have a freaking bed in the living room, like me and my co-founder, we live in a one bedroom apartment. He has the button.
Oh, you live with him now?
Yeah, yeah, he's in his bedroom right now. And I live in the freaking living room. But it's still so much better than any other living situation 'cause I have a nice kitchen, I have a dishwasher. So things that I don't have to worry about. Like we can cook easily. There's a grocery store, a four minute walk away. And there's a freaking gym in the building. There's a pool table in the building. There's working space in the building. And these things like add up so, so, so quickly. And I'm not paying, like the reason we did two people in one bedroom is 'cause I'm not paying much more in rent than I was in a crappy basement apartment with two roommates and one bathroom with no dishwasher. I read, I don't know if you read a lot.
I read a hacker news.
Oh, you're a hacker, there you go. I read "Atomic Habits" by James Clear. Yeah, classic. And he talks a lot about that.
Should make systems.
Yeah, yeah. But also just environment being a thing. And I try to really like respect that, which is why like me clicking Start Streaming is the environment. Now people are watching me, now people are talking. And I have a to-do command on Twitch. Whenever you come into my stream, you run the to-do command, you find out what we're doing that day. And if I forget to set it, somebody runs it and I go, "Oh crap, that's for the last stream, hold on. And then everybody knows what we're doing. And now I've like committed to that. It's probably not even up to date for this conversation.
I used my friend's site. So my friend who is here, Marc, as a cycle dip, wip.co, which is like a community for, it's purpose is for Nomad List, but for indie makers to track their progress together. So it lets you like slash to do, and slash done, it's the same thing, wip.co.
Sorry, just lost you for a second I think.
Oh yeah, yeah. I said wip.co. It's his website. But it's like indie maker community with the other one. And Marc is in the chat.
So you can pretty much see what everybody's shipping and stuff. Can I see it on the stream? I don't think you're sharing the browser on the...
Oh, sorry, hold on, I have it on the wrong monitor. Shared. Come on. This is why I gotta do one, Pieter. There we go.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Dude, this dark mode is bullshit. Office website.
Well, I have an extension as well--
So, if you go to home, so you can see all my tasks, but if you go to a home, you can see everybody's, it's like, yeah, maybe dark mode off.
Dude, this guy's kinda famous, Swizec, maybe you know him. He's kinda--
I'm gonna get a lot of crap for this light mode, but it's okay, we'll keep going.
Yeah, this is what it is, light mode, yeah. So this is pretty much like a community, it's based for communities. It's not very expensive where everybody's like, if you scroll down, you see what everybody did today. So it was like a share to-do list. You scroll down, fuck this shit, yeah. You see all the time, like everyone is building, like make their stuff like two hours ago.
Oh, that's so interesting.
And it's very granular. Like even the smallest tasks I log, I also log on life tasks, if I go work out or work or something. I can see what I'm doing, I can see what everybody's doing. Andrey Azimov, my friend. Yeah, so this is what I'm working on for example. Or this Marc's team, but you see what I'm working on.
Yeah, yeah, super interesting. Oh, this is the Sheet2Site guy.
Yeah, Andrey is my friend.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. That is like to this day. Funniest thing I've ever seen. I love that thing. It's such a, oh yeah, yeah I know, I like this a lot. This is like get commits for your life, but it's also public.
Dude, yeah, well also for startups, it's mostly, Andrey use rules for life stuff, but mostly it's like get committed for startups. But like nothing good.
Beautiful, yeah, I know, that's--
Do you like comments on what you're making, do you get like help and stuff? I know, kinda similar to your to-do commands.
Yeah, yeah. It's kinda like a forcing function. Yeah, I love things like this. I find that they're so hard to actually get to commit to, but it's always about commitment. I think like what you said.
This is all in the chat. So it's like, it's personal Telegram. So it's like, if you're already in a Telegram ecosystem, it's just like, it's a bot and you do switch it on and it automatically puts it on the website. So in that respect, it's very easy to commit to it because you're walking outside, you just do a slash done, or you make a feature, slash done. And there's a Telegram desktop app, which we use. So you just use slash done there. But yeah. It's just any, just like for you Twitch, we have this. Kinda keeps you accountable.
Yeah, no, productivity is the biggest problem in the world, but everybody's got a productivity app.
Yeah. But I think the community aspect of productivity is saying, so just like you with Twitch, with an audience, just like this thing where if you ship together, you motivate each other. Just like, me going to the gym with Marc who made this website together, keeps us both accountable. And yeah.
No, it's a huge thing. That's actually part of what I've tried to push as like where I hopefully see this community going in Twitch is I try and say, what would I do? Like a big stream like this. I always say like, look, if you're working on startups, if you want to be working on startups, if you want to have conversations like this, if you need suggestions, you need excitement, you need productivity, whatever. Like just come to discord, talk about it. And we'll be there, we can talk all the time. Start your own freaking stream. Like the amount of people that I have that are other streamers that I'm like, please come into my discord and talk to people about what you do. Because more people will come to you and like raids on Twitch or another huge thing. It's a lot of that community stuff like you talked about earlier.
Well, that's how I know you. I know you through CM Griffin.
It's really funny how that happened 'cause CM Griffin, like Chris didn't know you. I knew you, you tweeted about Chris on a day when I happened to be showing my friend your tweets. And I was like, "Oh dude, holy shit, Levels is on Twitch?" That's insane." And then I told Chris, I was like, "Dude, do you know fucking Pieter Levels just tweeted about you." He's like, "Wow, who's that?" I'm like, "What do you mean? Who's that?" And I like went off on him and he was like, "Oh, that's cool." And that was the whole conversation. And then like, a month later, one of my mods, Astro, God bless her. Was like, Dan, emergency. Peter's in Chris's chat right now. And I was like--
Dude, I always feel weird about like being here, IRL. 'Cause now I break the illusion.
Yeah, now, everybody's gonna know that you're only so cool.
I'm just a normal guy.
Heaven forbid. No, I knew this was gonna be great when you started coming into chat once in a while and you were just like post something at all, caps, run the cry command, and then just leave.
I came in and you were like, you were reading out baby oil ingredients. So I was like, and they wrote about baby oil is used for what? For your body. I was like, no, it's for .
Yeah, I remember you said that and I was like, "You know, this is gonna be the greatest day of my entire life." Like this is just gonna be--
I still don't know why you were reading baby oil stuff, but cool, man
Yeah, I know. I have a, so like some of the stuff that you do to keep engagement up, like they get channel points. So for like talking in chat a lot, being around the stream a lot, they just get like arbitrary points and I can give them things they can redeem. And so one of the things they can redeem is a dramatic reading of their choosing as long as it's not like complete garbage. Yeah, so that was that. And then we did one on our cool theory and some other stuff, which was pretty fun. But yeah, that comes into like the, we were talking earlier like that sort of the just chatting side of things. Where like you have to just be you sometimes, just present a personality as opposed to just a product. And that's what a lot of people, that's what gets you that bottom of the funnel. That's what gets people to say like, oh, okay, you know. I like to think of a lot of people come to me because it's me unless because they're particularly interested in local business, which is probably better for me 'cause that means I can move to another project, people still be there.
Cool. So daily schedule wise, like is your day to day consistent? You okay? Everything exploding.
Yeah, sure, one second. Where's my fucking phone?
Aren't I on the phone?
Oh, it's fucking on the computer, yeah, yeah. Dude, I was gonna give you subs, but my credit card bounced. I was secretly gonna gift you subs.
And then it says like, oh, you need to verify the $2 payment. Twitch changed their payment methods. So I now need to verify it on the bank, but they don't understand, this is not a normal bank. This is a Bank of Singapore. This is gonna take three days for this $2 thing to show up. So now I cannot gift you subs. I was gonna gift you secretly subs. Oh my God. These fuckers.
Man, I appreciate it. But absolutely not necessary then. Your presence here is . Yeah, surprise. Hey man, you being here is by far the best surprise I could have asked for it. Like I've been following you on Twitter for like so long. Literally, I want you to know, the reason I saw your tweet for Chris, one of my very close friends was like really deep. We got into this really deep conversation and he was like, "What do you want to do with your life? Like who do you want to be?" And I was literally trying to think of someone, oh, fuck you, fuck that. Oh my God. I feel so attacked.
It feels weird to hear 'cause it's nice. But I was like, I'm such a fucking imperfect person to be. I guess it's just the illusion of internet.
Well, I think you misunderstand my view. Like I know that I went off on this whole , and I was like, here's why this guy is so cool. But it's like, we're all just people. And like I never said, I don't wanna be a person. I never said I wanna be this perfect guy. I don't expect you to be the guy who has 18 energy drinks and codes for 16 hours a day. I expect you to be a guy who--
Oh, I take the energy drinks, fuck sugar.
Of course, classic. But no, I was literally like, you know who I would wanna be. It's like, I love what this guy does with projects. I love this guy's--
I agree, I know, I know, I was just being ready to almost like, it sounds so weird to hear those things. But yeah, I understand. I had the same thing, I had with Patrick Mackenzie, way back, Zac, and it was 2011, he would require updates about his business, appointment or reminder. I mean, that was like, dude, that was like a small scene like the bootstrapping scene in 2011. Was like, MicroComp this conference. Like Rob Walling, Patrick McKenzie. He works at Stripe and . All these people were making small apps when it was absolutely unpopular to do that. And I was looking up to them like crazy. I was like, wow, I wanna be them. And they're so cool. And yeah, just insane that, yeah.
Yeah, and it's not to say like so much like, oh my God, I want to be everything about this man. God, I need an EU visa.
Which means like you wanna have your own business. Yeah, exactly.
I subscribe to a lot of the beliefs that you have that I don't think a lot of people do. Like the way that you talk about becoming more interesting, I've never seen anyone else in the world say that. And I think it's 100% true. Like one of my favorite takes in all of life. And if people don't like it, like you shouldn't have to do marketing if it's right. Like organic is proof that you're right. And a lack of organic is proof that you're wrong. Like these are the kind of like things that you--
Yeah, feed back, yeah.
And the reason I say, I wanna be like you is I'm like, oh man, I want to implement those beliefs in my own life.
And sort of like view those things there. And a lot of people don't. And I'm in the other side of startups. I'm in a fucking accelerator. Every single day, people tell me to go raise $2 million. And I hate it. And I'm trying every bone in my body not to do it. We're doing like fucking pitch competitions at this point to like get money just so we don't do that. Well, hey, we just won a couple of days ago, we won like a grant from YC for doing their build sprint thing. Hey man, free money.
But you don't need free money, you can get revenue.
That's true. That's the sentence.
Get out while you can. Kick it out. You can own 100% of your company in 10 years and you'll be a millionaire. But if you don't, you're gonna have to raise more and more money and you can't get out because you gave away the shares of your company. You only own 10% and now you're fucked.
Yeah. That's the magic of the pitch competitions. Is it's just--
Do you want to be rich? You know, like.
Yeah. Yeah, it's a weird thing. Like a lot of people are millionaires on paper and have $0.
Oh man, yeah. So many circles out here. Man, I cannot even name names, but of course I'm not gonna name names, but a lot of people you know that are famous in startups, they're absolutely not rich. And that's why they're still active on Twitter and on social media and doing stuff. Because if people disappear then you know they're rich because they don't need to do anything anymore. If they're still built, if they're still actively, yeah, I mean maybe 'cause everything is fun or they want more money, but a lot of people are just not, it didn't work out because they made the wrong choice. And a lot of that as related to venture capital choices, which is raising money, being acquired, but not actually making money on paper because you get stock and stock is useless. Like people try to acquire my company so many times with stock, that's unsellable. So one company wants to acquire me for $8 million. Wanting to acquire Nomad List. And for stock in their company. But you can't get rid of the stock. I was like, can I sell it? Girl in my bank, they're like, well not right now. Maybe on the second market or something like NASDAQ, whatever. Second market like not the public market. So, bullshit. So don't trust them and don't trust, yeah, I think, yeah, you don't need , man. You have Twitch. You don't need, you know, I mean, man, just, you know, I hate all these people projecting, but I think I'm just right with this. Like you don't need to raise money, man.
No, yeah. I don't think you need to. I think it's a tool that a lot of people use and I think it kinda comes back to what we said earlier. Like--
Only eight million, yeah. Only eight millions only. Yeah, it seems it's a small amount of money, dude, what the fuck! The average savings in America is negative. It's like minus 5,000 or something, dude.
I guarantee you just can. But dude, I'm just being trolled.
Yeah, you are being trolled.
I'm totally . Maybe I'm so used to Twitter saying that kind of stuff, but yeah.
No, no, no. This is a very, very--
No, I'm just sensitive, I'm just so used to getting bated and I always buy it. So, yeah.
Yeah, now, this is a very, very, another great thing about Twitch. Everybody's pretty positive. And if they're not, I have a ban button and then they leave forever. And it's super great. And I have like several months
Yeah, exactly. Thank you, Ian, and thank you, guys, I appreciate it. Yeah, that was the old meme. Was raise money via Twitch subs is the .
No, but really, you could do that. Like it would actually be a cool idea. If you really need money, I don't think for your money, you could just get your audience to invest in some way. I don't know how, but here in America. So there's new laws now, it's much easier. You can even do in AngelList. Something, , I put something else. Displays. There's crowdfunding websites for investment.
Exactly. Yeah, you can do that. And I still don't think you need it. And yeah.
Yeah. Again, I think it's vanity. I think it really is.
Dude, you mean raising money's vanity?
Yeah, yeah. Dude, 100% I've been saying this like, I think Angel investing is vanity. I think Angel investing is a social amazing signal that you're rich. Is it socially acceptable? Because people put it in a bio, like I'm an angel investor. And it's like, oh look, I'm rich. I mean, which angel investor is not rich. It's like, yeah.
Yeah, it's always been a weird feeling. I think, you know it always amazes me. I will talk to someone that will have no revenue, no real concept of what they're doing. And then they will say, I am halfway through a $750,000 seed round. And a long time ago, I was like, that is amazing. Like I imagine being that successful, that's like so huge. That's life changing. And now I look at that and I'm like, like you have achieved something that could very well amount to nothing.
Yeah, but it's not your money. It's money of the business. You can't spend the whole shit, you can't buy a hot tub. You can't buy a house from it. It's your business money and your business is not yours anymore. So it's not your money, it's their money. And you can spend it on the business. It's like, if I give you like a suitcase full of million dollar notes, but with like a birth cage around it with a lock, you kind of use the money. It's like, oh look, you're a millionaire now. No, there's a million dollar in your house, but you can't use it. You're gonna use it for business stuff. And you're only gonna spend this on Facebook ads anyway, like these days, over half, it goes straight to Facebook ads, that's it. It's insane.
No, 100%. I mean, literally we got that small grant from that YC competition and immediately I was like, all right, well, founders expenses plus marketing. This is a few months. And that's literally what it's gonna be. And now granted that's because when we're not perfect with organic we're more committed to this one idea. So we play the game of, okay, prove my landing page conversion rates, prove each number along the way. And that way I know I can prove mathematically. Okay, I'm good. And at that point I can pour money on, but so many people will raise so much on like an idea. And then it's just like, you have a bunch of probably nothing. Hold on, my headphones just died. I gotta go grab a new battery.
Yeah. Cool, what's up Twitch? Now I need to attend you. Cool emojis. Five, yes. Let's go, welcome raiders. Oh dude, give me raiders. Dude, you've been raided I think with . Holy shit.
Oh my God, hello.
They've raided you.
It's definitely Prime. There's no chance it's not Prime. Who is Prime?
Who's Prime? Prime is basically--
Sorry man, I'm from Twitch.
Prime is the only reason. No, no, no, Prime is the only reason I'm a streamer. The Prime Agen is one of, yeah, yeah, I actually, I have a command dedicated to him. I wrote that command.
His username is what? Prime?
The Prime Agen. So it's T-H-E, the, Prime, P-R-I-M-E and then A-G-E-N. Yeah, I recommended him to you last time you were here. Dude, thank you so much Prime for the raiding.
This one follower and it's me.
P-R-I-M-E and then A-G-E-N. Yeah, he spells it wrong. it was like the enemy in some video game from like 2018. And I think--
Dude, I know this guy. Yeah, he works for Netflix or something.
That he does. Yeah, I know.
Yeah, I watch him too, yeah, super cool. Yeah, I love The Prime Agen. And his school keyboards.
He does have a cool keyboard.
And he's super hyper, which is nice.
Yeah, no, my first two day streaming, what just happened here, happened. Prime raided me when I had zero viewers and dropped 100 people on me on like my second day I was streaming for a project.
Prime's a cool guy.
He is quite literally the only reason I'm here. I like it.
Wow, super cool guy.
Thank you, Prime Agen. Thank you for raiding.
Yeah, seriously, man. he's been the source of like all of my motivation, encouragement.
Dude, look, I know, dude, look, man, I played two of the dinosaur game. Dude. Yeah.
That was, yeah, I did cry that day. That was the first cry. Also, thank you all.
I had like a 3D effect graphic card . And was attached to the card, like with the .
That's amazing. Yeah, he was the source of the first cry, which was day one. By the way, thank you guys for the follows. I do see them. It's much appreciated, everybody. Yeah, really quickly, for everybody just coming in who doesn't know. Thank you, Prime. Yeah, this is Peiter Levels. Founder, creator, engineer, extraordinaire of Nomad List, Remote OK. And many, many, many--
I'm typing in the chat so people can see.
Other things, yeah.
Yeah, I made like startups without funding. And now I'm on a dance stream because I was in a chat and then you went crazy and now we're doing AMA.
So yeah, Pieter and I have been a big fan for quite a while. And so now we're doing this AMA and getting to talk to somebody who is where many of us could only hope to be. But I mean, Pieter has written a book.
And you all will be very soon.
There you go. Pieter wrote the book.
Bitcoin's gonna go up.
Dude, it's unlike 35 grand.
Dude, It's insane.
No, but that's really the problem. I think we're all gonna be rich with Bitcoin not off of our startups. It's like the joke of it.
Every time I see Bitcoin and people start talking about it again, it's insane. But yeah, no, for anybody who just coming in, we've been gone for quite a while, probably still will, we got a still a number of questions. Let me know if you get tired at any point by the way.
No, I'm cool, man.
Yeah, yeah, me too right here.
I'll get some water okay, I'll be right back.
Yeah, yeah. So Peter is the author of also the bootstrappers handbook. He calls it make, you can run the make command in chat. I would super, super recommend it. We read it on stream a bit, but this guy is absolutely amazing. A personal hero for quite a bit of time. And so having him here is such a treat. Basically, the authority on all remote work, the authority on all digital nomading and founder of most of the companies that have anything to do with that. So we had some interest from chat on hearing from people. Never expected to have someone so cool, but here we are. Welcome back.
So I'll pop back to our list of questions here. This is probably a good one for new people coming in. So I mean, you're all over the place. You got the gym, you got everything going on. Yeah, man, listen, I'm sitting on a fricking yoga ball right now. So my everything is killing me. Yeah dude, I live on the yoga ball. I'll just put it to you this way. I get a lot of very specific comments from new people to the channel.
Dude, I literally get this comment from Marc, my friend when we go to the gym. I also sit in a yoga ball like that. It's just nice to sit like that.
Yeah, it's very comfortable. I bought it for nomad.
Okay, if you're confident of your masculinity, then.
Extremely confident. Every time somebody--
I'm for it.
Yeah, that's all you gotta have is that confidence. Every time somebody makes that joke, I just put on another button down and shave a little bit to feel better about myself. We're good.
You wear a wig, just being more comfortable. Wear a dress.
Yeah when in doubt. Yeah, for fun. For fun, for masculine reasons. I actually bought it because it was a chair that I could put in a bag because nothing has failed. This was actually for the whole nomad strategy. 'cause I was moving around so much. It was tough having furniture. So I just didn't, so this was my answer to a desk chair.
Yeah, it makes sense. Yeah, it's very Google 2005.
Yeah, yeah, I feel like--
, He's good, yeah.
Yeah, all right. Thank you so much Prime again. Best of luck, Prime and his wife. And I think his kids as well all have corona.
Jesus Christ, man, dude, get well soon. What the fuck. Fucking corona.
Supposedly they're doing all right, thank God. And his parents are around helping them out, but yeah. Pray for Prime. Hashtag pray for Prime. But you know--
Prime lacks manners.
Prime lacks . Amazing.
There's a question here. How do we do a main project fatigue? That's a good question. Yeah, so we kinda talked about it. Like I could do my project for like five, six years, like Nomad List. Remote OK is like four years or something. And yeah, you get fatigue after many years. And it goes kinda up and down. And I think if money is a very good to keep working on something because if you see the money going up, you're like, fuck, I hate this site, but it's making shitloads of money. So I'm gonna work again on it. And then you love the site again. But that's why I think open source projects and like projects that don't make money, they just die off 'cause money is a really good intrinsic motivation to keep working on stuff. If you see money rolling in, you're like, fuck it, I'll keep working on it. I think that's why capitalism works because intrinsic motivation is very limited. Dude, that's like six months. After six months, you hate everything you do. And you know, you need to have some reason as you're still working on it. And if you have paying customers, if they're paying your bills, then fuck it, I'll go to work, I'll fix this bug. But if they don't pay me, dude, I'm not gonna fix this bug. 'Cause I hate this website 'cause I worked on it for six months. But then when you're working on it again, you can get motivated again. And yeah. And then after five years, six years, you can, or area, you can hire people to take over from you. Like I'm doing that now, I'm hiring a developer. I just hired a customer support person. So I don't have to do, 'cause I hardly had customer support, but I still have some left. So hiring people or sell, you know you could sell your company. You can sell your company for about usually four times the annual revenue or profits, I think profits.
It is revenue actually. Yeah, 'cause a lot of companies definitely don't have profits.
Well, I think the venture capital startups, they sell for like, the IPO for like 20, like the profit equity thing is like 20, 40, or something. I don't know. But anyway, if you have a bootstrap startup, you can use it and sell it for four times annual. I've heard five. Yeah, I mean the best way, but like more realistic is actually two not five. Like if you go to empireflippers.com or if you go to FEE international, like the biggest startups of companies or websites, dude, you'll get two or three. Like they give me like something like 3.7 times annual revenue or something. So it's very low. These boottraps companies, five is honestly ordinary.
I've heard as high as seven or eight when you're talking for valuation, but not for actual sales that have happened. So I think it definitely depends on how you view that number. If you're looking for literally, what am I gonna sell this for, then I think you're much more correct.
Yeah, I think it depends if you're a venture capital If you sit back, you can go 10, 20 or something. But if you're a bootstrap company, four times, .
It just bubbles like crazy. It's absolutely insane. But yeah, for motivation for, I think on the smaller scale, you won't have that external motivation unfortunately. A lot like, 'cause if no money's coming in, where do you get it? And I think, and this is the thing that me and my teammate talk about a lot. You have to be able to make what you do exciting. And there are a lot of answers to that. Twitch is a big answer that I found recently, but something that I've done recently or like a mental model I've tried to apply that I've heard is you have to treat yourself like the main character. And if you're the main character, everything you do is hyped up. Every meal you eat is the best meal you've ever had.
Oh, like a movie.
Every feature, exactly. Every feature you build, changes the world, changes the game.
Yeah, I've been doing it for a year or two. I do crazy shit , but yeah. 'Cause I'm like, it's a movie. Also, it's like a simulation anyway. I'm getting more convinced simulation is all fake. So that helps a lot because nothing is real.
There you go, There you go.
There you go.
Really happy with that blue pill. But I mean, things are just hard in here.
Yeah, but I think, yeah, I don't know, it's just, the older you get, the more it starts feeling like a dream. Or I'm going insane, but yeah, I do think life feels more and more like a dream. Yeah.
Yeah, I think also like, and part of that is like making little wins, really big wins, like got your first user, got your fifth user, got your 10th user, finished work for the day, achieved all the goals that you set out. And like really fricking read atomic habits. Like they will always talk about like reward systems and everything. Like you can make your brain, make it a big deal, but like here's the thing, it's not just like celebrate small wins. Like pretend every small win is the biggest fucking win. Like everything, like literally we got $10,000 from YC a couple of weeks ago Thank you, a couple of days ago. Sorry, I've been corrected. And we like, got some nice meals, went downstairs, grabbed some candy. it felt pretty happy about it. And that was like a big deal. And two weeks prior, we had like something really cool happen where like now we have a standing meeting monthly with the head of admissions at YC. And like these are big wins. And so those are easy to celebrate. But what was harder to celebrate was like MVP is done. What was harder to celebrate is like finish the experiment we were currently running, but you have to choose to make a big deal out of those things. Because if you don't, then they won't be a big deal. And so you literally have to like trick yourself.
So I used to do lists for that to trick, like I used to do like the the yellow Post-it Notes and I write a task and I put it here and I have this whole grid of like tasks. And then I put it on my laptop and I work on it. And then when it's done, I do this and put it here. And it's like done. And that's like the feeding and I wouldn't even finish the task because of the task, I would finish it because I wanna have like a stack of yellow post-it notes as done. And it's the same way I use this WIP, W-I-P site. I do like stage done just to get like the dopamine feeling of like you finished the task. I don't care about the task itself. I care about the feeling of finishing a task. It's like a heck.
Yeah, totally. And you have to like, as cringe as it sounds, you have to like hack your own brain here. Like you just won't, like cause you are asking unreasonable things of yourself. Like you are asking yourself to work for extensive periods of time with no real encouragement and no real external motivation. So you have to fake that until it just works. Like you have to just pretend that it's there and convince yourself that it's there. My brother used to, every time he took a sip of water, he would audibly say the words, "Water is delicious," until he stopped drinking soda.
Wow, water is delicious.
Water is delicious. And you just gotta keep that. Maybe not cocaine, but thank you, Chad.
Okay, I thought of getting bubbled water like sparkling water, it's actually nice.
Tastes like acid to me.
It depends on which one you get.
They're all bad.
We have so many. No, yeah, no, Perrier. Maybe, I don't remember Perrier. I haven't had one in like years.
It's too expensive.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I remember when I worked at Facebook, they had like coconut water and I don't even like coconut water. I don't think anybody does, but I would drink like four of them a day just cause I knew they were like $3 a carton. I wanted to feel like I was getting my fill.
I have diabetes.
Yeah, there you go, whoops, have us in the best of us. No, but it's tough. And so I think that comes into like day to day a lot. It's like, you have to like, I forget what, oh, here's what my brother used to say. This is like either Garden Coding saying, or my brother just said this piece, said, "Motivation is like showering. If you don't do it every day, you start to stink." And yeah, I really respect that perspective. And you have to treat it that way. Like you can't motivate yourself once in a while. You can't like be like, oh, things have been hard for a bit. I'm gonna take a day off. Like, that's good, but that's not consistent enough that you're really gonna feel it.
So Andrey Azimov, the SheetSite guy, he's my friend. He calls it muscle. So for example, we were in Bali like a year ago and we were at some party. Some cool like techno party and some big beautiful dude is saying like beautiful villa. With lights and like rice fields around us. And I think the team was like ropes. So everyone was like beautiful Japanese ropes or something. I don't know, it was crazy shit. And I was like dancing and he's like, dude, you're dancing muscle. I'm like, what are you talking about? It sounds really weird. And I was like, he's like, dude, you forgot how to dance. Like you need to train your dancing muscle. Yeah, your party muscle. Your party muscle is gone. Because you didn't train your party muscle. So it causes muscle. So shipping muscle, party muscle, these are all muscles. They atrophy when you don't do anything, it's all like a muscle.
Yeah, yeah. And I think that that's actually an even more key point. Is that like, it's not just, it gets stronger when you work on it. It gets super weak very quickly if you stop.
Yeah, but also it gets really quickly strong. And if you start, like you can reactivate the muscle relatively fast. And then as the, I think the compounding effect where if you do something more and more, it starts compounding. And yeah.
Yeah, that's part of the reason like that comes back to what I was saying earlier. Like that's why I try and yell at people to come into my discord because part of the benefit of community is you can become each other's external motivation to some extent, like getting all like, yo, let's go. Like, that's huge for you. Like hell yeah, man. Super proud of you. Like that feels really good. And so you can just say like, hey, I did this today. And then we can be like, yes, that's amazing. You know like, a hype squad.
And someone says, negative people group. We were like, when something good happens to you. They're like, fuck you. And this is very common. And it's like one in 10. People are like, there are not positive people in a group achieving something. Often, it's like your old friends. Your old normally friends who are like, you're like, dude, I reached this thing. And they're like, whatever, fuck that shit. And you need to get rid of those people.
Yeah, I think that comes back to the like, and this is a much harder thing to talk about. But like I found that, it's obviously, it all comes back to, they're like some amount of jealousy.
It's harm sent. They're not happy with their own situation, but they're not gonna improve it with that attitude.
Yeah, I think, and this is like a weird hack. If you wanna get over that imposter syndrome for yourself, like if you find yourself, cause it's a very human thing. Like a lot of times you hear that your friend did something very successful and your first thought is like fuck. And that is terrible.
I only have them with things where I'm not improving myself in that arena.
So like, if I'm really bad at cooking and I hate that I'm bad at cooking. I'm not improving about it. And then somebody cooks for me and be like, fuck you, you know, 'cause I'm jealous. But if I know that I'm either don't care about cooking or I'm improving with it, then I'm like inspired by how did you do that? Like they teach me how to cook or something. You know what I mean?
Yeah, so there's only two ways I found that you can take it, which is either fake it till you make it. Where whenever somebody does something really impressive, you say to yourself, I could do that. And you believe it to be the case. 'Cause if somebody's done something like three, five years ago, if somebody told me they were working at Facebook, I'd be like, oh, holy shit, fuck you, man. Like, that's insane.
Yeah, I also would be, fuck you, but for a different reason. Fuck Facebook.
There you go.
No, exactly, yeah.
But now that I've been there and I can say that I've done it, now I have no imposter syndrome about it. So people are like, I just got to Facebook. They're like, hell yeah, dude. But the thing is you have to fake it before you've actually done it. So before the day I got to Facebook, what I wish I had done is convinced myself I could, because if I believed that I could, I would see other people doing it as validation that it's possible. Instead of other people succeeding where I failed because if you haven't failed, you're just not there yet. And you're going to be. And so when somebody cooks some amazing dish, you're not gonna feel as bad if you say to yourself, oh man, you know like, I can totally cook that.
Yeah, and dude, if somebody wins around you, you can ask them, do you know how you do it? And they're probably gonna tell you, they're gonna tell you how to get there too. You can share this experience. So it's like, but if you're gonna be negative, dude, you're not gonna learn from that. And you're not gonna get there ever. So, if somebody, yeah, be inspired and ask them for help, ask them how to do it too.
Yeah, it can be really tough. Like imposter syndrome is like beating your own brain and shit like this is near impossible. It's such a Herculean task. And it's trivial to say right now like just think differently.
No, no, no very difficult, but yeah, you can. You know who did, Andrey. Andrey came up to me and started like, how the fuck do you do all this stuff? Like, how can I do it? I was like, I don't know, like make a site. He's like, I cannot code. Like I need to learn to code. So he started learning to code from scratch every night in Bali, in a co-work space with coffee. And we sit there and he would ask us some questions, but mostly he would just figure shit out himself. And he made his first site in like a week. And we helped him a little bit. But he did. And now it's like what? Two or three years later? And he makes $10,000 a month with his own business. So he was never jealous. He was always like inspired and wanting to do it also. And now he did it. So yeah. Super positive.
Yeah. So I wanna jump here just a little bit. I wanted to ask earlier because this is something I've always been curious about. So you're nomading around. And like, we talked about like daily motivation. We talked about, what kind of--
Yeah, , I think it's a misconception. And it's like a public misconception with nomading that people move really fast. I think it doesn't exist. Like people do it in the beginning. When they start traveling, they go for like two weeks or two weeks somewhere. But mostly now we stay like for months. And like last year I stayed for eight months in Korea, for example. And for two months in Chiang Mai and two months in Bali. This year was weird with corona 'cause you had to move kinda, we were tryna flee corona in Asia and then it came to Europe and then we tried to flee it in Holland. We moved South, but generally it's very slow relocating. It's very much like, okay, maybe based on the seasons, like where's it warm? Where is it warm in the winter? There we wanna go for example. Yeah.
All right. So then your schedule is probably more consistent than most people would expect. Like at this point in your life, what is your day-to-day look like? Like where do you actually spend your hours?
So I have an interesting sleep cycle. I wake up like around 11 or noon and I go to sleep around three to 4:00 a.m. And it doesn't matter where I am. Like if I moved time zones, I will slowly again deviate towards that or deviate, I would say converge. And if I don't find it, I've had it my whole life. And I realized it's just, like the study is not as sure as genetic predisposition. That different people have different sleep cycles. So some people are more like early birds and some people are night owls, but the night owls get a really bad rep in society for it. But the shitloads, there's enough, just as much night owl as serious as early birds. But the early birds are like, wow, so good for you. Like amazing. You're so motivated that you wake up early. It was bullshit. Like the night I was at work until evening into the night, they do usually creative work. And then they go to bed four or whatever. So if you're a night owl and you're watching, it's fine to be night owl. It's perfectly fine. And if you can make your own hours, as a freelancer, if you have your own business, that's optimal because it will increase your life expectancy even. Like living in the wrong, waking up in the wrong sleep cycle, that's not good for you, it means you have consistently bad sleep. Consistently, you're tired. Consistently, your body cannot recover. Consistently, you have higher odds of disease later in life, including dementia and Alzheimer's. So this is like crazy shit. So yeah, that's a big part of my daily routine is waking up. And I don't wake up with an alarm. I don't have an alarm, I just wake up whenever I wake up. And so that's very nice. So I wake up, then I have some coffee, I shower, then I have some coffee and I don't have a schedule. So this thing was like on my schedule. So I set like an alarm. Like I need to go in the Twitch thing. I don't really have calls, everything's on chats. I drink coffee. And my friend Marc, seriously, we hang out a lot. Like this morning, he was like, you wanna go outside? I'm like, cool, let's go. So we walked outside and we went for a walk to downtown. And we keep having to dodge like people with corona, well, we might have corona. So we have to mask and we try to like run away from people and not go too close, but we still go downtown and stuff. This is like a small little beach down here. Kinda like San Diego. It feels a little bit like San Diego, yeah. Or like Venice Beach kinda. So we walk around, we just chat. We still don't work. We both have the work done. And then today, we went to a restaurant here, which is logged on. Cause corona, only hotel guests can go here. So there's nobody, so it's safe with corona. So we sat there and we did some work. I worked on my instant messaging feature for Nomad List and he worked on his stuff, I don't know what he does. And now I'm doing this call and then after this call, I'm gonna do some more coding, listen to music. And also, yeah, we do. We on voice chat, on Telegram, we sing songs to each other with all of our friends. We are like making songs all day, it's very strange. It's hard to explain, but we sing songs in Dutch and we sing songs in English. That's the day. So that explains the guy on the right. I'm the Levelsio. The other guy is Dan.
Hello, I'm here every day.
Marc, we look similar. We look genetically homogenous.
Oh yeah, definitely.
And it's weird, right?
Yeah, I just cut the beard down to this length too. That's really funny.
Dude, me too, yeah. I was like, I grew a beard 'cause I'm in the Mediterranean and I'm like, you need to have a beard here or you don't, you're not bars the seniors. So I normally don't like beards, but yeah, I need to. I need to take it seriously. But anyway, so my daily schedule, there's no schedule. It's pretty much just like very free. And when I have an idea, I think it's great for idea making like you walk around, just do random shit and then either you just call me, you go to your laptop, open it up, start coding quickly. It's very unstructured. Super unstructured.
Really quickly. That's honestly amazing. I appreciate that so much. I think honestly I relate a bit 'cause I only have like maybe one or two meetings in the morning just 'cause I also have a team that I need to sync up with. But outside of that, pretty, pretty flexible, which is why I'm able to do Twitch a lot, which is really helpful. Really quickly, I think we got some new people in. I gotta run to the bathroom for two seconds. Do you wanna just give everybody a quick overview again of your background?
Sorry about that. Yeah, that's super interesting. I think there's actually like some economic theory about that where it's the maximal point of revenue is--
Yeah, there's lifetime value.
Yeah, yeah, like it's the point at which like... Like how many people will pay more or how many people will pay up to a certain price and then like the moment that--
Price sensitivity chart. The price price elasticity.
Yeah, and so there's some point where you win.
And you can try it. Like I have enough traffic so I can change the price. And within a day, I see like for example, if I double the price, my sales will go down like over doubled, like triple or something. So that implies that there's some kind of sweet spot of pricing where I can set it, that I have enough, I optimize the revenue and I do that all the time. I change it all the time to see did the market change shit, are they finally prepared to pay more? And then no, still not. Okay, let's put it back, put the price back down.
Yeah, I mean, you could even pull it off like 5% a day.
Yeah, the problem is the psychological barriers like $99. If you go over 99, there's a big drop-off. People are like, I'm not gonna pay over $100 for a website, B2C. With B2B, with Remote OK and my job boards, dude, the sky's the limit. You can charge crazy amounts of money and they generally keep paying it because they use the business cards. They're not consumers. So like, I charge, like every week, I charge like $1,600 for a job post. Which is insane, all this is the SQL inserts. And I don't mean it in a smart way because it's a business. So it's worth it, people pay for it. Like a recruiter costs like $3,000 often to hire, to get somebody placed, they get $3,000 for it. So it's worth it. But it's a lot of money compared to a B2C business where people will complain that something is over $99, which is understandable. I do that as a costumer, but yeah, that's difficult at B2C.
Yeah. That's gotta be tough to get around that psychological barrier because that probably means the distance between like you paying 99 and you paying like 150 is very different than one would think like 99 to $100. If you see that huge drop off, that means that you staying at $99 ends up being way more efficient for much longer.
Exactly, yeah. And all they can do is wait for inflation to make $150 the same psychological vibe as $100. And it's gonna take a while. Or you can improve the website and that's what I'm doing. Of course always, make it more valuable. And then, yeah, I feel now it is kinda like a lockdown effect where, or lock-in effect kinda where I have a really high quality group of, and high amount of people, members on a website and very high inflow of members, like 800 a month now. Where it feels like okay this is a community, more and more people are willing to pay for it. It's almost like a perpetual effect. Like a lot of people are paying for it. So the more valuable, so more people will pay for it. And just like stuff like making friends when you wanna work remotely dating. Does a dating app build into Nomad List like kinda like Tinder. And people are using it to find girlfriends and boyfriends and stuff. So that's really cool. And I think that's actually really valuable. Like this is like life-changing. Like finding a partner is life-changing. And you can pay a website to do that. And you can't do that in Tinder because Tinder is, you cannot see if somebody is in nomad or remote worker. And it's so integral to dating that you kinda, you're in the same place. So that's like one of the really big problems with nomads and remote workers, that they want the same kinda lifestyle. So, okay, now you have the website where you can find those people. Okay, that's money, just like yeah. People pay for that.
Do you charge extra for the dating service?
No, it's all in the premium membership, yeah. But maybe we need a third plan. Maybe we need to suck more money out of it, yeah.
Tinder gold, but Nomad List gold where you get boosts, you get all these things, that's amazing.
No, it's actually good, .
I think there's a, like one of your talks I watched was like the concept of take the thing that like starts being successful, and then branch off of it. Like the fact that you've built a dating app into Nomad List is just so like, it's just such a quintessence of exactly what you're talking about. I think that's such a perfect example. Do you do anything to like maximize, actually getting stuff done? Like are you a big productivity, hacker, everything, or does it just kinda come easy to you?
I think, this year was really difficult 'cause I lost, I got depressed and got anxiety and I lost all the motivation to do anything. I think a lot of us did with corona. And then doing therapy helps, keep going to the gym helped. But I feel there's intrinsic excitement I have, when I have it, like now I have it, because I'm happy and stuff and I feel good. There's intrinsic motivation to like I just love like making stuff, like I come from music, I used to make music. I was an electronic music producer. So it's just so fun to... Man, and also in Twitch you see people making music or making start-ups or whatever. They're making something, illustration. It's just so, like it's almost envious. You could envious how, they don't realize how great it is that they have the ability to have a passion for something. That a lot of people don't even have a passion. And you know when you're depressed, you're lost. All your friends are like, oh, this is how it feels to not have a passion. Like nothing is exciting. But if you have passion for something, it doesn't matter what it is. Especially if it's creative, dude, that keeps you alive. That's like, what are you doing today? You eat, you go to the toilet, you sleep, maybe you have sex. You work, you do errands. Maybe you raise kids, all this stuff. I don't know, the magic in life is creativity, I feel like. And if you can, like I said, manifest something from your brain to assist and being in the moment doing it, it's just, you lose sense of time and reality. And it's just super exciting. It's doesn't matter if it's gold or music or whatever your passion is fucking clay, I don't know. I have a friend, Strange Parts, like streaming now, Strange Parts. A. Scotty from Shenzhen is an American guy or Canadian guy, I think. And he lives in China and he makes, I guess, live now I'll show you. He makes electric ship stuff. And dude, he has this passion that's just like beautiful. Kinda famous guy, he made his own iPhone in China. This guy, Strange Parts. So that's his whole, where like his whole, what do you call it? Like a workroom.
Workshop, sorry, yeah. And so now, I think he's just gonna make a robot today. He has a camera just like this. So you can see the electric chip when he's working on it. But yeah, he's live now, Strange Parts. Super cool guy. And so this second example like he sold, like I watched him like, why you doing this? This is the same that you do. It's because he likes doing it, that's all. And this is beautiful. I know it sounds almost cliche, but this beautiful creativity thing. And I think that's, if you get in touch with that, we all get in touch with that as kids. As kids, we're drawing, we're playing with clay and stuff. I think that's sorry, very long answer. But that's a core intrinsic motivation. Just expression, just making stuff. It's just super fun.
Yeah. I think that's like part of the really interesting world of software is that you kinda get to the point where a lot of people feel, like a lot of companies will ask you to be passionate about what you do. Just the level of making it, which when hiring for a job, kinda ask. Kinda super ask. But when actually doing stuff for yourself has such absurd benefits.
Dude, companies are psychopaths. They are completely sociopath, sociopathic, psychopathic. Like I know 'cause I went to business school. I have an MBA there. They don't have any loyalty to you as a human, especially on an America where there's less labor protection done in Europe. There's no loyalty from companies. So why should you be loyal to companies? Fuck companies. Man, you know what fucked me up about it? Like American corporate culture is a startup culture. It's this whole, we're family, we're like happy family, team photos, team activities. Dude, that's really creepy, that's a lock-in gimmick. Because if you get fired, you lose your whole social life. That means you can't negotiate salary because you have no negotiation power anymore. It's a reductionist negotiating power because you're too locked into the company through a company culture being so good and stuff. Dude, companies are sociopaths and you should treat them like that. They pay you money, you work for them. That's it. And man, in startups, they really try to abuse that and feel like, and it's very dodgy and dark because nobody talks about that. They don't show that. It looks all positive, but it's not positive, it's kinda creepy. Company is not your family. Company, they pay you, that's it. Unless you're an owner, you get shares because it's co-op. And yeah, right?
It's interesting. 'Cause like, I don't know, it's such a great line. 'Cause ideally--
Well, it's so good marketing like, oh we have like amazing Skippy balls. You can sit on and you know, whatever the fuck with ping pong tables. And I know that's two for the sake. There's more shit now. Benefits are good. Health care, dental, but yeah, they do try and lock you in and you should be passionate about your own career trajectory not passion for the company. Who cares about the company? Like, I mean yeah, you should do the things that are good in your job, in your job description. But I don't know, yeah. I'm not a communist, but I do believe in co-op and the concept of like that there should be some kinda like shared ownership and revenue share, profit share or something. It's unfair that a capitalist owner, and I'm a capitalist for sure, but that a capitalist owner, capital owner and a company owner takes all the, reaps all the rewards. They should reap a lot of rewards because they did all the risk taking as entrepreneurs for sure. But once employees get into the picture, I believe it's fair at a day, reap also the rewards of the results of the company, not just salary. I would be for a system where you can get less salary, but you can get shares in a company or something. I mean, that's what startups do. That's kinda like equity, but you don't see it in normal jobs. Like you work in supermarkets, you don't really get ownership of the supermarket. I don't know, I feel it should be more fair.
Yeah, I know, my brother is a game designer and he works at a company that does profit sharing. So everybody gets a cut. So how successful the game is directly influences how much they get bonus wise.
Yeah, cool, yeah. Yeah, that's nice.
It gives them much more ownership over what they do. And I think--
Then it makes sense to say, okay, are you passionate about the company? Yeah, I'm passionate because we're gonna make money. I'm gonna make money too.
I think the thing is, the question is always, how do they make you care? And that's the big thing. And some people will care on the mission. Super ideal. But a lot of people that talk to me, talk to me because they say, well, you're working on local business. I'm passionate about local business. I wanna help you. And people offer to do stuff for free for me all the time because of that. But ideally, if I were to hire somebody, I would want someone who gives that much of a crap 'cause I know I'm gonna get way better work out of them 'cause they're going to feel that--
That makes sense. But I mean, they don't have passion for your company. They have passion for that general industry.
But that's fine. Especially for remote work. So yeah, that's fine.
And so I think that's like the more ideal version of it where you want to care about the company only as much as you care about the problem that they solve.
Yeah, and that means you can work for whatever, Nomad List, and then if you don't like it anymore, not that the same stuff, but you can go to . 'Cause they both got in the travel space. That makes sense. So it's good for your career. Yeah, for sure. But yeah, dude, nobody should trust companies, please, please put it in your head, don't trust companies. They're not loyal to you. They'll be loyal to them. And I'm a company owner. I say it is. I hire people now. So I don't give a fuck about you. I just want my work to be done. And I think that's a very healthy relationship. I don't give a fuck about you. I pay money. It sounds very European rude, but I mean it in a good way, like it means that no, there's nothing hidden. It's the transaction of work for money. That's it.
Super interesting. Yeah. It's really crazy how this stuff falls through and the way that you see bigger companies like taking advantage of that culture. But I think there's a right way to do it or at least a more ideal way to do it, but it's definitely harder. So I'm not surprised that anyone does it any particular way.
Someone in the chat, Astro Kenyon now says, it's actually a super tactical like if you immerse yourself in a family culture, you will feel weird calling out shitty behavior. You'll do more for less because you're afraid of disappointing the people on your team. Yeah, 100%. Your negotiation power goes down.
That you care differently. And in a--
, if you can have fun with your coworkers. For sure. Yeah, nobody says that. Nobody doesn't say that. I think it's the requirements of care was there's nothing wrong with caring. Yeah, I agree, yeah. Dude, being of course a little bit exaggerating extreme. But just to make my point. Even if the company succeeds, if the company feels risk is only for a business owner. If you're working in the valley, if the business feels is working, you could just join another company. But the business owner's whole life is a business. This is true, yeah. But that's the, man, but I'm an entrepreneur. And I'm happy to take the risk because my personality likes that. And I also like to reap the rewards, but then if you hire people, they should also reap the rewards I feel like. The broader point if the company's being psychopaths is obviously correct. Yeah.
Yeah, that's the classic saying, HR is not your friend. Like that's the classic version of that.
Oh, true, HR is evil. Like if you go to HR, you should go to an external party. You should sue them.
Always sue, always sue.
My friend got laid off from his job and then he was talking to his friend and the friend was like, "Dude, you should immediately sue." And I was like, what? Like why? He was just normally laid off. This is Europe. In Europe, you're immediately, yeah, it's very pro-labor, so that's kinda good. Also not good, but yeah.
Pros and cons. Well, I think also like, your company is still mostly you. So I'd be interested to see if you're able to like implement those theories 'cause like you said during this call, like I think it's tough to do it right. Or do it in a completely positive light. But I think that there's also like a unique sort of privilege in that you're so small still and like it's still you mostly so that you can very much hold to those. I'd be very interested to see if that continues to be the case as your projects grow larger.
Yeah, me too. I think automation is very useful in scaling, so you don't have to hire necessarily much. And I think that people that are higher, I wanna give them the life that I have. So I wanna pay them well, I wanna pay them a lot of money for not a lot of work so that they have a lot of freedom to do whatever they want and they can still work, but they also have got the freedom of like living however they wanna live. And yeah, so paying. So I would say I pay probably double or triple what the market rates are just to give people to like chilled life. I think that's much more useful than a free laptop or a team retreat, or this and that. Or like, you should lose money, go do something with it and yeah.
Yeah, 100%. The best job I ever had, I still feel like to this day was when I worked at Intuit and my boss said, "My goal is not to keep you working for this company. My goal is to get you wherever you want to be and help be a part of your growth." And so when people said they wanted to leave the company, he said, good, where do you wanna go? Okay, you're going to need to know these things. Let's change up your job so that you're working on that stuff. So you're ready for your next adventure. And that was huge. And so like we had an intern who wanted to work on PM stuff like through some college program. And I brought him on his marketing and he was like, clearly only somewhat doing what he wanted to. I met another friend who was working on his own company who said, I really need PM help. I said, would you take an intern? He said, yeah, I'd take any help. And I literally went to the kid, still working for us as an intern. And I said, I'm literally going to help you get a second job right now, if you can take the capacity, because I know that this is what you care about. And I don't want you to feel like you're only working here for us. I want you to feel like you're working here because it's going to help you get where you are. And I know that's gonna help you get where you are. So I'm going to help you get that position. And he's been doing it for like two months. And I still feel like, it was a weird decision and a rough decision.
Yeah, it feels good, man, though. itfeelsgood.exe
Yeah, dot JPEG--
Dude, do you know Ghost? Ghost.org, the blog platform?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Yeah, so this is my friend, John. He made Ghost. And for some reason, we're friends. I don't know why he's friends with me, but he missed me and we hang out. But humble brag. But, so my server guy, Daniel, so John was looking for a dev ops guy or something, a girl or whatever on gender. And I said, why don't you ask Daniel? And then I told Daniel to message John. And then he applied and John rejected him. And then I think he tried again and now he's the dev ops guy or something for Ghost. And he met me through Twitter at the end, like five years ago. So he was a little British kid from a small town university who Dmd me some codes to fix my bug. I had no idea who it was. And then we Skyped. He was this little baby kid in uni. Then he graduates. Then he became a nomads and then he worked for me. And then now he's working for Ghost. He's the dev ops guy for Ghost. So this is crazy, it's exactly the same. Yeah, it's all like helping people around you. Yeah, I don't know. Maybe it sounds kind of obvious for everybody else, but it just felt nice. It feels nice to do good things. That sounds so bad too but you know what I mean? It's nice. If people they work for you, you help them.
If you don't say it, it doesn't happen. So, you know what? Even if it's obvious, it's worth saying every time. Also somebody said, hire me, with a laughing face. For reference, our friend, Pieter, over here is actually looking for a new dev.
Yeah, I'll put the job post.
Yeah, do you have the link?
One sec. It's on my own website.
Of course. What was that? RemoteOK.io. Hhere you go. So feel free to apply there. If you want a personal introduction. If I know you, feel free to DM me on discord and I will manually forward your resume over.
There you go.
And you can work on cool websites. So I had millions of users.
Very cool projects. So I've heard at least.
Thank you, man.
No, but I mean. Would definitely recommend. I have a couple of people I'm gonna send your way afterwards.
Yeah, we will see. All right, I wanna be sure that we get to some of these questions 'cause we have--
Yeah, let's do some questions--
Our list is growing. So I'm gonna--
80 people are watching still, nice.
Oh, yeah, yeah, people are hanging out and thank you for everybody who's followed. Thank you for the everything.
Dude, I need to get more water.
Go, go, go. Yeah, thank you guys so much for all of that. I do see it. Trying to focus on the AMA obviously, but does mean a ton. Yeah. We are big startup nerds here. Thank you guys. Thank you everybody.
I need go to the toilet, I'm so sorry.
No, no, you go, you go. Oh, should I go again? I've been drinking so much water. I'm gonna pee again. I'm gonna pee again. On a scale of one to 10, oh, should I go to the bathroom? Maybe I shouldn't go to the bathroom. Oh God, so many messages, it's a great stream. Great guy, you're brought on. Thank you, yeah, no, this is literally. One of my favorite people on the planet. A scale of one to 10, how good has the last three hours felt? Solid 10, a nine at one point 'cause I really had to pee. I still have to pee. Even though I went, I already have to pee again. Let's go, let's go. Should do more of this, thank you. Don't know Todd Valentine, but I will happily look them up. Pee in the bottle on stream. That does not feel like a good move. Where am I based? I'm in Chicago. I forget where Pieter is right now. He moves around too much to keep track of. He told me earlier, he might be in Bali. Now he was in Bali, I don't remember. He's based in the world. He's in Portugal, that was it, thank you. Yeah, we do have all the questions in a list. So we do have everything ready to go in just second here. I'm gonna pee very quickly. Yeah, just 'cause this is the only chance I probably have where it's not gonna . Nobody leave 'cause we have like 10 questions in a row that we're gonna ask pretty soon. They are all really interesting. Astro, if Pieter comes back before I leave or before I get back, feel free to just tag him and then tell him what the next question is. I have it highlighted. Even if it's a little bit of meme release the crack and never say that again. I'll be back in two seconds.
Well, we're both gone. Fuck, we're gonna lose all the viewers. Oh my God. Okay, what's up, Twitch? What's happening? So what's going on? Let's read the chat. Yeah, it's being recorded I think. Bottom stream if you can't decide. Dude, if you wanna know a cool story, Google the fortune pee bottle story. I think pee bottled date things story. Do you know dating codes, oftentimes you just look like similar mannerism. Fuck, I need to do the switch. Oftentimes. Me or him? Or he does have a weird face. I kinda have a weird face too. Interesting. Rox, you're doing such a great job. What else? Salary range. Yeah. Well, I pay really good, I pay well. Kind of selflessness that Daniel's boss did is what really counts. What the fuck? Is that John or Nolan writing on anonymous accounts? What's the stream about? Is the AMA with me and Roxkstar? Flake Webby says also with most startups fail. I think it's like 99% of startups fail. So as a business owner, the risk is exponential. It makes sense for you to be the one to get the most rewards. Yeah, that's true. I agree. What else? I started the business degree before I became a developer and one of my professors did his PhD thesis on corporate . How the corporate structure forces companies to behave in a psychopathic way to earn the highest returns across. Wow, super cool, yeah, 100%.
Sorry about that. I also took the opportunity to go to the bathroom again.
Nice, yes, if you have to? I don't think you should say I don't give a shit about you, you just need to give enough motivation . Sorry, I'm Dutch. You know what I mean? Non-native English speakers will say extreme stuff not because they mean it, but because they have not the ability to speak proper English. So it's harder for them to do nuance I think. And then Dutch people are really blonde. So putting those two together, you get kinda extreme expressions.
I think it's funny honestly. I love to hear it, but yeah, that's good. Everything with a grain of salt for sure. All right, let's see, what was our next question? Oh, did you answer the psychedelics one yet?
Do you believe in doing microdosing of psychedelics?
Yeah, it's interesting, so I've done mushrooms. Can you talk about that on stream I guess?
Yeah, you can talk about your experiences.
There's this site called .org. Where they're not legally allowed to talk about the case or they say like the person that's not me and it's like an acronym, and they keeps saying, the person that's not me did mushrooms last week, but it's them. So they don't wanna admit because then the FBI comes.
Oh my God. That's a really funny.
Yeah, yeah, it's like the TPNME, I don't know, it's some acronym. Yeah, I did mushroom. Mushroom is really interesting, really fun. I did throw up on the wall though, and then there was vomit everywhere, but we were loosening the vomit, so the vomit was behind the TV, but how can you vomit behind the TV when I vomited there and TV is there? but my friend was like cleaning behind the TV. So there was no vomit, we just hallucinated vomit. But now we don't even know if I actually vomited. Dude, it's like. Yeah. I think what's, I think the psychedelics most interesting with therapy now. So if you do like CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy or something, with your therapist, and then I think you do and and psychedelics. That's interesting 'cause like going through, for example, I had therapy and it was like about insecurity. Where does your insecurity come from? You go back to moments in your childhood or whatever, when you were a teenager and you go through those moments again to rewrite it, to re-experience them kinda. Just like thinking about them and then, I don't know, writing it down, like really slowly going through that. And yeah, that's not . No, I know. And then using psychedelics 'cause a lot of people have a hard time opening up and then if you use a glaze to open up, that's probably a good strategy. The microdosing, the supplement stuff, I don't know. I think it's kinda, it's again, it's like it's the same as venture capital and the same as like artificial engagements and artificial stuff. Like the best thing in life is pure intrinsic motivation to do stuff. So you could, like I know a lot of people take Adderall to code and stuff and work, but if you need Adderall to get motivated by your project, maybe you're working on the wrong project. You know what I mean? It's again, that feedback loop and same as buying Facebook ads. If you could use it from Facebook ads, but not organic traffic, maybe your price is not good enough to survive without Facebook. You know what I mean? Maybe it's artificial growth, maybe it's not real growth. Just like if you have a farm with cows, if you inject them with steroids, they're gonna grow maybe more. You're gonna get big cows, but are they gonna be good for you? Are they gonna be healthy? You can also make a pure, nice farm with nice, happy cows and the meat's gonna taste better. So I'm generally more of the non-microdosing, non-supplements thing. So, yeah.
Yeah, I'd definitely subscribe to that. I try to even avoid caffeine in and of itself.
Yeah, no, that's 100% of drugs. So yeah, I'm not consistent here, but I need coffee. But I don't do a lot of coffee. No, I do like one or two a day.
Sure, do you do anything to like, I mean, I think we talked about this a little bit. Do you focus on productivity at all? Like do you do any hacks or anything or does it for you just really come down to simple motivation?
I think automation is a huge hack. Like automating anything in your startup from the smallest things, just make everything so you don't have to do manual stuff anymore. So I don't know, automatic invoicing, automatic user deletion, automatic moderation, automatic, anything you can think of, automate everything. And have checks that check if the robots are doing the right work, and when they're doing it and everything, but that means you can. And if we make an MVP, we're essentially already automating from the start. We're already making something automatically that runs automatically. So going from there to full automation is not difficult. Mostly, everyone can be like a page with a button and a Stripe integration where you pay. So like if you saw a lot of ads on your website or these app packages, like I made like an advertise page where you can place your own ads. Last week, Shopify used it on Nomad List. Shopify placed their add on Nomad List and also Remote OK. But also on Nomad List, and it paid like, I don't know, $1,500 in this little page, we have a strap checkout book. So, automate everything. Like I could also do it over email, but then it would have taken like 10 emails and a PO order form or whatever, you know? So yeah, automate everything, I'd say.
Yeah. So do you struggle to get work done in a day? Like, the number of hours you put in or anything or is it all pretty trivial for you?
No, not really. No, I mean, unless if I'm depressed, which I was like last year. Where it's really, but even then I shipped like, even then I shipped. So even if I'm fucking depressed, I'm like, I know that I need to do something to get out of this depression. I need to feel better, I need to do something. And so I will still, I think that's why I get out of the depressions because I keep going even if I really feel really fucked. So I still try and ship like a few features, like tree task or something. 'Cause I know that system, that kinda like atomic habits, that system keeps me on the rails. And if I get off the rails, then I'm not gonna get back on easily. So yeah.
Right. Do you keep up with like current events at all? Like, are you watching news? Like with all the nomading things, do you keep track of like different countries and everything?
Yeah. So I'll Telegram all these groups where like channels where they post often. Like there's one like, dude, Telegram is such a weird place. It's like hard to explain. It's like this, there's so many weird chat groups on all the political spectrums where you can just go in and you can look a little bit. It's like going into a bar and just see weird characters and weird things being posted. And you're like, okay, this is crazy, I go away here. So I love there. I check Dutch news, really like I'm not in Holland a lot, but I check this way, I'm born this way, I grew up this way, I studied like this way, I've been like 27 years, 28 years. So which is kinda weird like I think it's different for Americans. But like if you're a non-native English, even if you go abroad, you'll still, I mean, no, 'cause I have friends in for example in Asia, Americans and they still check the American news, but the whole world checks American news. So that's a hard question, but like I will check Dutch news for some fucking reason, even though I don't live there, but just like, okay, what's going on in Holland? Like to still feel connected or something, it's weird. It's like weird thing. Experts, do I feel like news is a very bad, especially these days. News is a pretty bad influence. And it's built to make everybody angry. It's divisive. It makes political left strong and political right strong, but there's no center anymore. So I think if you can, don't follow the news, like just absolutely don't follow the news. Like why would you, like, yeah. It's entertainment and it's not written for your benefits, it's written to make you consume more, to make you buy more, to make you angry and then buy more and to make you depressed. It's absolutely not good for you and you don't need it. You absolutely do not need news. Like what's the things you would've missed if you didn't follow the news in the last 10 years? Like what's something that really would affect you that you would miss? I think corona. But then you would see people walking in mask. You're like, what the fuck is wrong? And somebody would tell you. So news will arrive at you anyway. Yeah.
Yeah, no, 100% agree. Although I've been educated slightly on that concept, which is that it is in and of itself a privilege to ignore the news because generally the privileges that it doesn't affect you at all. And like with politics and all of that. So I also don't pay a lot of attention to it, but I think it, I do wanna add the caveat that it definitely depends on who you are. Like I know that I've never been affected by like anything at all, but like some of my friends--
I disagree 'cause if there's a, let's say you live in South America in a favela, and there's a flood coming, you will learn about this flood, not from your smartphone, but from people around you saying there's a fucking flood coming. I think it's not that different, but yeah, that's probably a political conversation, but I think that the privileged word to put in there is it's too easy of a cop out to say like, I think news everywhere . Doesn't matter which political, which social stratum you're in, everywhere it's abused. Even in lower income areas, news is even more horrible than for privileged people in the West. Look at Myanmar, there's genocides happening because of news. Because of news being spread. So I think generally just news is a net negative. I think having objective neutral reporting, like Reuters or associated press, that's okay, that's good. 'Cause they tell what's really the story. I think that everything is an op ads. It's very, it's one of the biggest now. Every article is now an opinion. And that's not good, man. Yeah.
But it's scary to even speak out about it because people will get angry on Twitter and stuff. So I've tried to avoid even talking about, but you asked about news, so I'm like, yeah, I'll answer you about news. I think news is net negative, I feel we don't need it.
Yeah, it's a hard game. Like anything with an opinion is like by definition, like propaganda or with some message and then just like fake news, it doesn't have to be fake. It just has to have an opinion. And then it immediately is bad for you. I had a lot of conversations about that one. Like what is true anymore? Like associated press is as close as you may be.
That's cool, yeah. And I checked who owns Reuters and it's Thomson Reuters and they're owned by a family. I think the Thomson family or something. And they are generally loaded as fuck. They don't have a lot of influence in the state. It's almost like, what do you call it? Samaritan task for them to bring news. So I feel like they are pretty objective.
Right, yeah I know, that's definitely a thing. Yeah, I can go super deep on that one, but yeah, absolutely. Yeah, that's a lot of the reason I don't keep up with it is 'cause I just don't trust any of their sources. And so it results in a zero sum game. So yeah, I agree with you. It's never gonna bring you any joy, that's for sure.
I also read The Economist. The Economist is kinda like long form articles. Feels quite neutral. So yeah.
That's a good one. I think I've heard you talk about this one before jumping to another question here. What are your thoughts on just like education in general? Do you feel like it's worth it to go to university? I know you have strong opinions on bootcamps. Should people be quitting university to just go full time and learn everything on the way? What do you think?
Okay, so I'm generation, I'm millennial. So I'm not Generation Z, but so you should always doubt what people older than you say. And I'm talking to probably Generation Z that go into university and Generation , soon going to university. It's generation A, it's crazy. You should never trust what we're saying, but what my dad said was that university is mostly about discipline, like showing that you have to discipline to follow through in something. Like it's not about the content so much, it's about that you can have a dedicated effort of like four years or three years or wherever, like in Europe, three years as a bachelor and then with one year or two years for a master's degree. So it's not a post-grad, it was like a, yeah, undergrad and master. But having, even if it's all bullshit, it's probably always all bullshit content, but just having the discipline to go through that and be able to finish that. I feel it's a stunt, but like okay, you can finish something. And I got kicked out of high school and finishing stuff was really difficult for me. So that's why it's funny that I'm doing, that's why I had to do these start-ups because I couldn't finish, I had the same problem as everyone else. So I think it's good for the goal set, and good for like social, like, dude, dating, like as a guy, you learn how to date in university. Like you're dork in high school and then you learn to go on dates and ask people out. I think that's really important. And which is funny. A lot of my nomad friends are like Generation Z. This guy, Lynn Nielsen is 19 and he already has, he's a Ruby freelancer, and he makes I think 10k a month. And Travis is a nomad and he already has investments. He has ETFs, he has Bitcoin. You guys, whole lives at the stage of like a 35 year old and he's 18 or something, 19. And so I feel like, and this guy never went to university, but he's got everything done, but then I'm like, wow, this is crazy. So it's possible. It's solely. So, man, I don't know. I say, if you don't go to university, do something as just as impactful, which probably for me, it would be traveling. Go traveling for four years or start a business, but make sure that you do a lot of crazy experiences. Yeah, they make you unique.
I think that's a really good take. I like that a lot, 'cause I think that that's, like college teaches you how to be a person. And so if you don't go to college, you have to find that elsewhere. So the right answer I would never say is like, don't go to college and then sit in your room and do free code camp for four years or even like a year. But I like that perspective, go elsewhere, go somewhere.
Yeah, dude, but go travel and go date people, go swimming and do skydiving. I don't know, what the fuck, do whatever. Yeah, but you know what? The beautiful thing about what I remember about university is that you have this student's room or you're on campus, like, dude, I studied at a lot of different university. I studied in Korea for half a year. I studied in Amsterdam. I started in Rotterdam in Utrecht. So in four different cities, two countries. I went to like study trips to Eastern Europe and crazy shit. I was partying in my suits with the owner of the stock of shades of Bulgaria, just crazy shit. That's what you do when you're in university. You do dumb shit like that. But mostly what I remember is that like, you have a lot of free time and you're sitting on your couch and you're probably hung over from last night and you're sitting on your couch with your roommate. And just like, yo, what are we gonna do? Like I don't know. Just like this kinda stoner vibe. But then this vibe is so pure, man. It's so like, it's such a good place to come up with new ideas or do something like rebellious, I guess the system in terms of ideas. Or like entrepreneurship or it's just, man, it's an out of society kinda environment where you can come up with crazy shit. It's very hard to do that once you're in society. Once you're in the real world, it's very hard to get out of the real world. You know what I mean? It's like, 'cause you need to show up every day somewhere and you have a job. If you don't need the , like, do you really show up at your lectures? Dude, I didn't show up at the lectures? I just, I didn't even show up at the group classes. I just stayed home a lot of times or was doing something else or we were organizing a party or we were building a YouTube channel or whatever the fuck, we were driving on a car and a hike somewhere with rented chickens. And we got fish, we were making a music video and we got a octopus. Just like crazy shit. We need to do all this crazy shit that you should in days and feel like. And to get out of your system. And also... There's less acceptance of crazy shit in the real world.
Yeah, that's a very good way to put it. Like, it's a microcosm of no one cares. So you can just kind of do anything. And you can get a lot done. Like you can be, like I, within the same week, was pitching my startup at startup competitions at my school. And then going to like random events where I was riding around in a shopping cart for like three hours, pushing friends around and like staying up until 5:00 a.m. Talking about complicated, emotional struggles. And you can't get that on free code camp.
Exactly, staying up until . Yeah, exactly. And that's it. I just wanna say, yeah. You know, there's a difference, so actually in high school, I was kicked out of high school. Then I had to finish to get a shitty high school diploma at another school. And then one year I took off because I wanted to be a successful music DJ and producer. Didn't really work but I had this music career. I felt the difference between being not in university and just being like a human in society living somewhere, but not having a job. And my friends were at university. And dude it's like, I felt like I'm like a loser and I felt like a deadbeat. That's the word, deadbeat. And if you're a student and you're fucking around and people say, why are you fucking around? And you say, I don't care, I'm a student, I'm studying. I'm at university, so I can do anything. But if you don't have anything to show, it's kinda difficult. Like you are kinda like, it feels like a deadbeat. That's what I remember feeling. And that's what I mean with university. You literally, yeah so Michael calls him and you have like a wildcard. So I go to university, so it's cool.
You can truly get through, do anything. And I think that that's like--
Who can hate the university people? Like the old people, grownups cannot say like, why don't you get a job? It's like, no, I'm at university. So I'm sitting in the shopping carts, driving through the streets. I'm at university, I can do.
I think it's a very big trivialization. And that happens a lot in software to just say like, you could learn that all online. And you're not wrong about the material, but you're wrong about the humanity.
Dude, if the philosophy behind and your identity, like, what are you gonna do if you don't have a successful business? Now you make a million dollars. Okay, now. Like, okay, what are you gonna do? You have an identity? That comes from philosophy, that comes from your university days kinda. Yeah.
I think you need that time.
Yeah, I think it definitely shaped me, but it definitely shaped me, but I do feel that the content was absolutely bullshit, but who cares? It was a little outdated content, like I did business school, it was all outdated. It was all like, yeah.
Well, that's a whole other thing.
I had no idea about business, but yeah.
Yeah, right. No, it's a whole thing, but yeah. At least for me, I definitely recommend going to school. Just 'cause like I'm a completely different person now than I was four years ago. And I don't know if I can call myself a successful entrepreneur by any means of the word, but I can at least say I am way, way, way better off than I ever would have been because I went. And I learned so many more lessons than free code camp could ever teach you. So yeah, I would say to go for all the other reasons.
I would say go to uni or travel the world with your laptop and try and build little startups and learn free code camp or whatever, and meet a lot of people. Talk to a lot different people. Be open and it's normal to feel nervous. It's normal to be socially awkward. It's normal to be scared of everything. But have a lot of different experiences. And I'm still trying to do that. But man, it gets harder when you get older, your brain starts to avoid newness. And there's a psychological trade called openness to experience and that's reduced with age. So you need to actively train it. And it's so easy when you're 20, it's harder when you're 30. So yeah, have fun. But you can go anywhere. You can go to Uganda, you can go live there. You can go live in Japan or in Uruguay or Chile. Or if you're a European, you go live in New York. You always wanna live in Brooklyn, go live in Brooklyn. It's fucking expensive though but yeah, try. I lived in Brooklyn just to be able to say I live in Brooklyn. Like it's so cool. You can go, you can live anywhere. And everywhere is kinda same. You have the internet. Most places you can now live $4,000 a month, not the big cities, but a lot of other places outside American and Europe, you can live for $1000 a month. The world is your oyster. What a time to be 21.
For real. No, it's amazing. All right. We got a handful more questions still on the backlog here. Main project fatigue. I think you talked about that. Starting to work on these things--
By the way. Just so people can--
Yeah. We got a command that we've been posting. All good, all good. No, no, shout yourself out 101 times. We're here to talk to you. Someone asked if you use Vim or anything other than Vim, you said you are a Sublime guy, yeah?
Blank text, Yeah.
Do you do any marketing?
Yeah this, this is marketing, yeah.
There you go.
Twitter is marketing, but the marketing is not marketing. So marketing that looks like marketing is bad marketing. And marketing where you don't realize, that's the good marketing. But it's not even sneaky. It's just like, yeah, I'm telling you now that this is marketing, like now you know me, now you go to my website and you'll tell somebody about it. And now this might be a new chain of like 1000s of people finding out because it's like . So that's how it works, yeah.
There you go, yeah, I know, I definitely, I think I have personally been responsible for probably a dozen people buying your book at this point, just from the stream. 'Cause I talk it up all day, every day. So you mentioned you're hiring one dev, are you're hiring anyone else, are you like building a team. Like, are you hiring marketers or anything, or is it really just this one person?
Yeah. First there's the dev. Oh, I'm hiring yeah, but that's very different. I'm hiring immigration lawyers. So my new project for this year is called Rebase. So I have the domain in rebase.two. And rebase, Marc came up with this, Marc from Web chat. Rebase is where he came up with the name. So a lot of people with remote work gonna want to relocate, but they need the legal stuff to really get like being able to live somewhere like an American who's trying to move to Portugal or an American trying to move to Bali. They wanna work there for legally. Then how do you get a work permit? How do you get the residency stuff sorted out? So I did that for myself cause I'm Portuguese resident now, and now I'm resetting the lawyer. So kinda like I got a fee, but then there's next plan is like to make kinda like Stripe Atlas for relocation. So you do everything online. You pick the country you wanna I relocate to and you fill out the forms online. And we take you through your process or I take you through your process, but with a lot of automation. Automatically fill out all the forms, put the lawyers in between there and then get you a residence permit, a work permit or a visa, all that stuff. So pretty much like an immigration agency for the 21st century for the remote workers. But I'm hiring lawyers for that, like immigration lawyers.
There you go. I might know a couple of those 'cause my co-founder has needed some visa help in the past. He is actually . One of my teammates is currently in Spain. Cause his paperwork was wrong. Yeah, he had to head out of the US unfortunately, 'cause it was a day late and some paperwork.
And he's Spanish?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's tough but there you go. So it's a big problem. That's an interesting one to solve. Do you read many non-fiction books?
I barely read, yeah. I was reading about, I read the book, "Feeling Good" about CBT this year 'cause I didn't feel good. And it's like by the guy who I think he invented almost like cognitive behavioral therapy. Which is just like you have your worrying thought and you try to fix it with a better thought, alternate thought or anything. Like I'm a loser. Like what's the evidence that you're a loser? There's not a lot of evidence. People think you're a loser and I'm not really okay, then alternate thought, I'm not a loser, I'm pretty cool. And then you override it. So I read that book. I read a lot of books about philosophy and stuff. I read books about death last year. But, generally, I don't really, yeah. I feel like secretly, nobody really reads. Everybody's just virtue signaling that they read books. It's so hard to read these days 'cause everybody's attention span is like fried. Like I can barely read five pages, three pages. So I'm just honest about it. Like yeah, it's hard for me to read books.
I'm a 100% the same way. I literally tell people I can't read. Which is funny because then people think I'm dyslexic, which is not true. But yeah, I know, it's really, really tough. The only thing I can even get through is audio books. And even then, it's only if I listen to them while I'm doing other things, so I will listen to audio books while I work out. And I've done that like once or twice. Yeah, yeah, that's the only thing I can make.
Why don't we just admit that book suck?
Book suck, yeah. It's really hard.
And most books are just not interesting enough. And most books are just way too long. And most books already say everything they wanna say in the first 10 pages.
The TLDR is the magic part.
Yeah, dude, there was some statistics about e-books. Like it's really dire, like only 5% of books are read. Like after five to 10, it's crazy. It's very low, people don't read the books. And then people are like, refinishing books shouldn't be the point. No, I agree. But come on dude. Like also with the Zoom calls, everybody has these books. You can buy books, buy it full now. There's a company.
Yeah. It was the New York times article this week that shows like it's just for virtue signaling. It's just like, look out how read I am. Like, fuck off. Like no, I don't read books.
Yeah. That's my virtue signaling, is I have my posters in the background that are my own company.
I think if you read a book when you need it. Like when you want something specifically, read that book. I would do that, but yeah. And I understand people that read fiction books, like fantasy and stuff. But I don't know. I played Cyberpunk 2077 on Stadia last night. But even that takes effort for me to keep playing. I'm like, is this useful? And then I told my therapist, like I can't play Cyberpunk 2077, she's like, but you feel better, you've relaxed from it. You feel better. You work better after from playing the game. I'm like kindness. She's like, okay, that's a good reason then. So you should keep playing this game. So I have to force myself to play games. So, you know what I mean? It's fucked up this brain, but yeah.
No, it's totally real. I mean, I might literally. Christmas gift, I gotta switch. It's still in the box.
Oh, dude, see. We're all fucked, I haven't opened it.
Yeah, I know, but it's like, ah, the guilt.
I seriously say, YouTube. Like I cannot play games anymore. And there's shitload of videos about it. Like with tragic music. Like I used to be so obsessed with games. It was my whole life. And then one day I'm just not phased by 'em anymore. I don't see the point. Like yeah, kinda.
I had to change the kinda game I play. Now, I only play games that are basically like, the joke is a walking simulator where it's basically like TV. Like you're kind of walking through a story. Maybe you make decisions, but like, that's it. And I can still enjoy that because that feels like I'm . Exactly, but I can't like go play fricking World of Warcraft anymore. I don't have hours and hours to dedicate to Super Smash Bros. anymore.
I think that's it. I think when your real life becomes more interesting or interesting just more valid or something, then games become less like, we would play when I was a kid. And you would fly a helicopter. You had a helicopter in your villa and you'd fly the helicopter. But now, you can like potentially rent a helicopter. Maybe you could actually fly it. But when you were a kid, you could 'cause you had to ask your parents. They're never gonna let you fly a helicopter. That has a money for it, you can't fly a helicopter, fuck off. Shoot with kids. I think that's the difference.
Yeah, no it's been very successful for me too. I feel much better playing games like that because it doesn't feel like I'm putting in just arbitrary hours. Like with World of Warcraft, when I was fricking 14, I put in a 10 hour day running all of these daily quests that were exactly the same thing I'd done the day before. No questions asked, and a bunch of the same raid. Yeah, you would grind. I can not grind at all anymore. I used 100% arbitrary.
What's the point?
What's the point? Exactly.
So you go up in the ranking. Look, I think the difference, if you do a company, at least when you grind, there are some chances you'd make more money, your company gets more successful. So you get money and you get status. That's why you do it for you. You become more successful as a person and you make more money and you have impacts, cultural impacts. And that's kinda like exchangeable into, you can buy fluids, you can go to a nice restaurant or you can buy a nice TV or something or status. Status helps in everything in life. Maybe you can do dating better. You're more attractive for example. This job works. There's real returns there. And with the video game, dude, I love video games but it's hard to convert those returns to real worlds. Like it's really nice to lose yourself in Minecraft, making beautiful city. I do that. But then the city doesn't exist. I mean, I love it. But it's, yeah.
Or like lack of permanence is much more prevalent now. And I think that's why part of it is like, I need to only view it as momentary entertainment as opposed to progress. Like this has to be equivalent to me watching a YouTube video. And if it feels that way, I'm totally cool with it 'cause I'll never feel bad about it.
That's it. But I do miss the vibe where like if you gave me Cyberpunk 2077, like when I was a kid, that would be my whole world. Like school would be this much. And then this would be Cyberpunk 2077. I need to go back home to play this game. And now it's like, Cyberpunk is this and this is my life. And I'm like, okay, a little bit of Cyberpunk, drive around a little bit and I can shoot some people and then I quit again.
Dude, I got 175 hours into fallout for. But I haven't played that game this year. I haven't played, like I've probably played less than 175 hours of all games combined in the past 12 months. It's such a difference. And I really can't. The grind is only a thing when you don't have that satisfaction elsewhere. And when you start to find that satisfaction in any other place, and we start to feel good about working on projects suddenly, like games just kinda suck.
Dude, that's a positive angle. Like I did, I really felt bad about it. I was like, fuck, I can't play games anymore. You're right, it's a positive angle. Yeah.
Yeah, no dude. You're just too happy. Like real life is making you so satisfied that now you can't lose, like video games are built to try and simulate what you actually have now. This is a win. This is a huge win when you get to that point. When you say the phrase, I'd rather work on my side project than go play Minecraft. Let's go, like that's a high five moment. That's a big deal.
Yeah, you're right. But that means I should fly helicopters more then.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Or go into a helicopter. I don't know about that one. I'm not the biggest helicopter guy.
You're right. This year, my plan was to do more IRL activities. I mean, and it's just difficult with corona but yeah, I went carting last week. It was fun. I flew out of the , I was like . And then there was mud everywhere, so that was nice.
Yeah, man, that's definitely--
I finished last.
It's not for the place though. No, I think that's probably the only reason I do a lot of stuff. It's like, I like to view my life as I'm in the business of opening up doors for myself and I just want to become more capable of doing things or having opportunities placed before me. And like, that's the reason I was so excited when like we got that monthly meeting with the like head of admissions at YC. I know how much like you don't like them, don't wanna do it.
No, dude, I love YC. I'm critical of venture capital, but I love YC, Y Combinator is I pretty much do everything that Paul Graham pushed in 2005 to 2010. Like there was like a legendary time in startups. And the whole bootstrap community follows that, which is Paul Graham is in intrinsically very bootstrap mind and very indie-minded. Like the amount of funding they gave was very low. It was 25k, 47%. It's very low compared to everybody else. They're very lean operating. That was the ball gray mindset.
Yeah, it's a lot more now.
No, I mean they're great, yeah.
So like when we got that monthly meeting with the head of admissions at YC, like that was a huge moment for me because it meant that we had without a doubt opened up that door. It meant without a doubt, there is now a reasonable expectation that I could end up in YC. As opposed to being a pipe dream, it's a thing that I can do. Actually streaming. Even this conversation that we're having right now, the moment that you said the words, can I do an AMA on your channel or whatever? I was like, this is potentially something that will open up the door for me as someone who could actually become successful as a streamer. Because like, and I've had, I've been so lucky here. And I've gotten so much farther than anybody could, but like, I told you earlier like that 100 viewer goal, like hitting that 1%, it's obviously gonna take a lot of force. And I told you, Twitch doesn't do it by itself. But I also don't have a lot of time. And so I could go off on--
But dude, do you know why you win? Because you're a nice guy.
Well, thank you.
No, 'cause you're a humble, chilled, nice guy. And it's very likable. And that's because of your personality, which you've developed yourself and like we've all done. And that's very unique. So if you're likable, you get a lot of stuff. Everybody wants to help you. People wanna help you that are above you. Wanna give you a hand. If you're arrogant ass hole, you're not gonna get anything. If you be arrogant and negative, dude, you would be nowhere. No, it's all with your personality. It's you're authentic and real. And it's a very important thing, man. And yeah.
I appreciate that. That means a lot, especially coming from you. But like the, I guess what I mean to say is like all of those things could be true, but I could still have a Twitch stream with zero viewers. Like being all of those things doesn't mean that I inherently am going to succeed at such things. It doesn't mean that I'm going to magically garner viewers.
Oh, no, you need like shitless persistence and lucky timing and stuff. This is the thing, you need so many things stacked to get anywhere. And yeah, my life's difficult. Like you need to get anywhere. You need to, yeah, do a lot of things and be a lot of things and have timing and luck and try a shitloads of times, yeah.
Yeah, but like, the fact that we're even talking, like the fact that we are having this conversation, it was a moment for me where I said, okay. Maybe there is a non-zero amount of me that could actually be some amount of a person in public. Some amount of a person that people care about talking to at all. And it's not that I never thought that was possible, but it wasn't a reasonable expectation. It wasn't a door--
Yeah, but it's nice, man, it's nice to do it as . It's nice to, I don't know, maybe it helps you. And I never, I don't say yes to infuse anymore. And my inboxes are closed. I don't do it anymore because I hate people asking me for it. So if you would've asked me, maybe I would have hated it too. So it's better to not ask for stuff and then you get stuff. I feel like, and the, dude, there's an archetype of people who try to career their way by asking everybody for shit. Like really persistent, like whining, like, come on, I'll interview you, , come on over. Really annoying people. And they don't succeed a lot 'cause nobody wants to give them stuff, they take stuff. They only take, take, take. And man, it's a lot of people like that. And yeah, you're not like at the school.
I wouldn't say I'm 100%. Not like that. That's actually something I've had to learn to do. It's like, ask when I actually do need help. 'Cause I'm so used to no one asking.
But it's fine, yeah. But whining to get stuff is unacceptable. And a lot of people do that. And like whining in famous people's DMS and stuff. I don't know if that works out. Yeah.
But like, I've been lucky enough throughout this, like effectively over the course of the past month, Twitch bought me a new computer.
Yeah, that's amazing, man.
Which is insane, like absolutely unprecedented. And it took like months of convincing for me to ever even say the words like, okay, I need help getting a new computer. And like actually put that as a goal.
So that's like 3k a month.
So that's like $3,000 a month.
What you made with Twitch.
Oh, no, no, no. So it's not like consistent revenue. It is purely like when you gift subs, that's very much a one moment thing.
The last 30 days was like 2000, 3000?
I was trying to raise 1000 for the computer. And then I ended up getting like 1400. So I got 1400 within like the month of December, I guess.
And the ads and stuff?
Ads, nothing. It's basically all donation. Like it's until you're very big, there's no real concept of revenue. It's all just people being kind. And even then, it still is. So in terms of actual, legitimate, monthly recurring revenue that comes from actual subscribers, I have maybe 25 or 30, which is like 25 or 30 times 2 1/2. So I'm making less than $100 a month consistently. But inconsistently, there are some crazy months.
You know, it'd be cool, so what would I do a lot for reviews, I share my revenue on my website so you go slash open on my websites. I share the full charts user growth live revenue straight from Stripe, which is a marketing tactic. And also it's nice to be transparent because it's all like smoke and mirrors and other companies. It would be, I don't know, it would be interesting if you would share on Twitch, if you go through your revenue, I think it's a nice marketing trick, it's nice for transparency. I don't know, it's kinda like my, we're in different scenes, but I'm kinda in the indie maker scene, and I mean the open transparency scene where we will share our revenue in Twitter. You could try to make them Twitch too with your startups, with your, like just everywhere, all your revenue together. I don't know if you know Ali Abdaal. He's a YouTube guy. He's a medical doctor from UK. He just shared his revenue, like he makes 25k with being a doctor and training. Peanuts for doctor and then he makes like 300k for courses, 150k from YouTube ads. Anyway, he puts it all on the video and stuff. And then the video gets a million views again. Then he says like, I share this revenue because I want more views. So I'm gonna share my revenue. So it's kinda like honest, but it'd be cool if you would do it Twitch maybe, just a suggestion. Yeah.
Yeah, I know, I've actually been thinking about specifically that a lot because I saw all of your open pages and I thought that was very interesting. And it's the only reason it's weird is because my numbers aren't revenue, they are effectively donations. And so it feels like a weird number, like emotional-- Yeah?
Yeah, people would buy him like he said, you could buy me noodles like ramen. And you had like ramen or something. Yeah, so it doesn't really matter.
Yeah, I think there's something I'd like to do. Yeah, I know, it's definitely, that was, I think the computer was the first time I started doing that. Where I wasn't like leaving subs or bits or anything untracked, like I literally had for an entire month in the top left corner, here's exactly how much money I have been given this month.
Yeah, I think that's much more powerful than the subcount, 'cause I see someone like, so that's like 2000 times five divided by Twitch fee, like fuck that. Just, yeah.
Yeah, for reference on Twitch numbers, the easy way to think about it is every sub costs five bucks and you get half.
Yeah, 250, right?
So you get 250 for pretty much everything. Bits, donations, everything else, you pretty much get 100%.
It's so small, man. Like I see streamers that I watch like music streamers as well, like DJs and stuff. And then they make like $1,500 a month, which is nice money, but it's like, for all the work I do, I'm like, holy shit, like you only have 300 subs, no, 600 subs. 600 subs is $1,500 a month, right?
Yeah. Yeah, that's crazy. Yeah, it's kinda low.
I mean, I think that's the interesting part is I think I'm uniquely positioned where subs are just bonus points because majority of my content is just my work. And so I don't really give up anything to stream. I don't really give up time, I'm not really putting in work. The work I'm already doing is inherent. So all Twitch is just like bonus points. Now granted, does it pay for my food? Yeah. Did it pay for my new computer? Yeah. And did it pay for like--
Dude, you're getting there? So I think you're underestimating the potential maybe, but yeah.
It's weird. I have a very small, very kind community. And I think I'm very lucky in that. It feels weird when I think about growth though, because it feels like--
No, I feel like such a prick. But yeah, that's why I like never asked for anything like that, but most of it.
Do you have like a discord?
Yeah, yeah, we have a discord.
So my thing started kinda similar. Like this was way before discord, this was like Slack in 2014. Slack had just started then 2015. And I made a Slack for nomads for my friends 'cause we were traveling as nomads. And I had made Nomad List also, and then I put a link on the site to join the Slack and then should those people come in and then people started spanning. So I charged money to voice spam. I charged $1 in a typeform and then $5 and then $25, $50 and then became the nomads' membership. But it was first, it was only access to this like Slack, like a discord. So I don't know if that's I don't know, maybe there's a different way maybe because that's like six years ago and it feels kinda weird to monetize your audience like that. I think there's better ways to do it, especially because people are more about like donations and veterans style, veteran style stuff, then pain to exit community of a stream, it doesn't really work. I would say, ask your audience what they would wanna pay for. That's what I do, . I ask like, what would you wanna pay for? And they're like, well, I wanna get a visa. I wanna move to Portugal or something. Okay, you pay for that. Maybe just a product.
Yeah. I definitely, some people have approached me about like doing like some lessons or like educating some on like, having conversations or like doing, like, 'cause I used to do like interview prep streams to help people get big tech jobs 'cause like I worked there. And so it's like that doesn't help me at all anymore other than like content production. But like that was something I considered. But I don't know, it's always felt like a weird thing. Like I'll say this much, I am very open with the stream about how much I make. Like as of right now, I get $1,200 a month from my company. And I live off of that. And that pays my rent and that pays my food. And it's even lower right now because we signed a lease where we get three months free. So I actually have, I'm not paying rent for the next three months. So now I only get--
It's because of corona.
Yeah, they have like some better deals right now, just in general. And so like I'm not paying rent for the next three months, which means I just don't get that money now because that's how companies work when it's like you need to care for every cent. So like the money I make from Twitch is like a significant portion of my income weirdly enough. But yeah, it's just the whole thing with it being donations, like producing paid content, I feel, I'll put it to you this way, I feel like I've gotten more by asking for nothing, and just being myself, than I would ever get by asking for something and trying to produce something paid.
No man, yeah, just do your thing. And I think you're doing really well. And it's a cool channel you have here. And it's a really cool audience. So yeah, man. Keep doing it.
I am absurdly lucky to be here and I'm certainly lucky to be even having this conversation with you. This is, I mean truly, truly thank you so much, Ian, and thank you so much again, Ghost, but truly--
Doesn't add to the cry counter, 'cause it doesn't.
No, no, no, 'cause people were spamming it. So it's now purely held by Astro who is my mod and head of everything. Yeah, and that's why it has fractions in it is because she judges the decimal point. People used to ask 'cause people think it's a bot, and they're like, how did he cry a quarter of a time? But it is all just in Astro's heart. But yeah, I mean, I would never in a million years have thought that I would be having a conversation with you, much less on Twitch, much less like for so long. It's just all of this.
Yeah man, I do. I love Twitch. I mean Twitch, my homies, it's, I wish I was more, dude, I'm a Twitch consumer as fuck. Like it's the app I open shitloads of times in a day and I just tune into stuff and it's fun to watch. Maybe I'll go back 'cause you said I should just stream like few hours per week. Maybe I'll do that. Yeah. Yeah, why not? I think if I do it, I wanna do like new, like this year, I wanna do new parties anyway. Like I like to make new products from scratch on Twitch. That's the most fun. And I did that with Google Maps. It's on YouTube. If you search , maybe I can put it in the thing again. It was super fun. I did it in the co-worker space in Taiwan for like, where the fuck is this video? And it's just really, really fun. Let's check the link. There it goes. Yeah, here you go. This one. So I built it in Taiwan and then I launched it in Los Angeles. And then I filmed in LA. Two different neighborhoods. LA is very interesting in terms of how different neighbors are. Like hipster neighborhoods or tourism neighborhoods and stuff. I went to Hollywood, hikes and stuff to find the tourist spots and stuff, I don't know, but it was really fun. So yeah, that's like fun to stream and yeah. But I kind of think, 'cause last year was like spiritually, mentally crazy year for everybody else and for me. So I kinda figured out like, what's the new direction. I'm slowly figuring it out. New direction for what products I wanna build. And what I wanna do with my life and stuff. And where I wanna live and all these things I need to think about 'em. Yeah.
Hey man. Yeah, no, that's what I was actually about to say. I stream thinking. I stream my thought process. I stream my planning. I stream every time that I'm writing new marketing copy because there's a lot of scenarios where actually having some input is extremely valuable and you don't get that in you and your laptop.
Yeah, I feel like streaming can be therapy where your audience can, yeah, they all say something like you'd probably do this, or you should probably do this and maybe their right. Like I feel, like if you have an array and you get the most common value, that's juicy, I mean, it's this populism But it's, I feel it's populism as fuck, but it feels on the radar to take the most common value answer. Like if most people say, so one answer is probably that, I feel like not always, but in terms of getting advice, like Google Maps works with this, like Reddit works with this. Google Maps, you tag a place, and if enough people afford to start, it should be getting bigger and bigger. And usually it's a very honest depiction tag about a certain area in a city. So what it means like if all your audience says like if you advice them, they're probably right. If they get the same advice. Although it's kinda hard.
Even it can be like sometimes advice like is not just a trivialization of like a task. Sometimes it's not just like, what should this message be? Should it say this or this? Sometimes it's like very emotional things. Like I'm known for crying on this fricking stream all the time, which is normally a happy thing. But not always. Sometimes I'm just having a really rough day and I'll be like trying to get through some work and it's a real fucking trudge. And you know what? Every single time that happens, my entire, and I'll just be like, man, I'm just not feeling it today. Like my entire chat will light up and I'll just be like, hey man, like take the time you need, like, dude, you're killing it, like we love you, we're here for you. Like, you're totally, you got this.
Internet can be good.
Yeah, yeah, I know. You just need like one or two really good mods to make sure that all the bad people.
Dude, tell me about the fucking mods.
Hey man, I'll tell you this much. Like that is one of the things that I've come to appreciate the most. Like Astro, my head of everything, gives her time completely of her own accord just because she appreciates like--
So this is a random policy question and it's sensitive. People don't pay them off in Twitch, right?
Nope. I mean, at some point you do. At some point, once you get to such scale, a lot of people do. But no, most mods are like, my first mods are my friends. And they would come hang out whenever I was streaming and they would just ban people atAnd then slowly over time, people who hung out here all the time, people who really enjoyed my stream, some are like, hey, I appreciate you. Like I'm here because I like your content. I would love to help out.
That fucked up the whole with the SIMPs, I don't know if you're allowed to talk about it in Twitch.
Well, you can't say those words basically on stream, is kinda how it works now. The words that you were thinking of.
I didn't say anything, I'm so sure of it. I mean, like if you pay, if people pay, I don't even know that this is, okay. If people pay the moderators, you would have a much more honest vibe.
Yeah, yeah, I know.
I mean, yeah, I don't know what I'm not allowed to say, but you would have a more transparent relationship.
Yeah, I know. Well, so here's the thing. You got to remember, this is very largely like the way that moderators come up and it is kind of inherent to the job. Like the phrase is not, I'm looking for work. The phrase is I want to help. And that's something that I've seen only on Twitch, not just in moderators, but across the community that is unequal. That does not exist anywhere else is the amount of people that just want to help. I've had people randomly make me UIs. I've had people make me logos. I've had people make me videos. People offer to edit stuff for me of their own accord, because they're just like, hey man, I like doing these things. It's fun for me. And I like you and I wanna help you with that. It's unprecedented. And that is something-- Yeah, I'm really trying to tap into that now because like part of my new year's stuff is like, I wanna actually put effort towards growing the stream. But again, I don't have a lot of time. And so I wanna finally take some people up on their offer where they keep saying, I wanna help. And I'm gonna say, okay. Like if you want to make a Snapchat for me and post to it, when I go live just like a two second clip once in awhile, am I asking a lot of them? No. Would it be asking a lot of myself? Yes. 'Cause I'm never gonna remember to do that and it's like, I wanna do, like, okay, lemme makes some TikToks or something. Like all that kinda stuff. And a lot of people use me now as an excuse to learn stuff. So I'm like, okay, you wanna go learn node? Great, here's a little side thing. I never have time to make that I've been thinking about, go do that. And then projects, I don't even have time to build or get built. And again, I only have, you know, only, this is pretty big for like the community.
So, you're like a cult leader.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Building a cult here.
Yeah, building a cult.
That's just true, yeah. Dude, it's so cool to step into different scenes. Like I feel like I'm stepping a little bit out of my indie maker scene here in this conversation and going into your scene on Twitch as different and there's some overlap. Yeah, it's pretty cool. Pretty cool to see.
Yeah that was the thing I appreciated most when you said that you wanted the AMA to be both ways. Those are really cool--
Yeah, man. Yeah, I know, it's yeah. Dude, I mean, maybe your next , you know?
I don't know about that--
I had a conversation, you don't wanna be next but yeah. It's really cool to see. So yeah.
I want to be the start-ups guy on Twitch.
Good, yeah. Do that, yeah.
That's like my goal statement. And it's a very big undertaking, but I realized that's kind of like an underserved niche here.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I can pull about 75 to a hundred people from Twitter into Twitch on the stream, which is nice. And then I checked out. I remember, yeah. I was also on Sci-Tech category and I remember the other life quarters, like there would be max 200 something. Still really small if you look at like... Like now I see Strange Parts, that electronic chip guy, 161 viewers. Still like relatively. 1400 viewers, Andy Milonakis gets like 3000 viewers, all that kinda IRL streamers. , He's a drag race. That guy who was in , it's amazing. I don't even like drag race, it's just fun to watch, 6,000 viewers. So that's like, you know, we're not doing bad, but it's like, ten times bigger than a coding stream. 10 to 20 times bigger. So I feel like there's some opportunities to grow there.
Yeah, and I think that's like, well, you gotta also acknowledged like remember, like 100 people and you're in the top 1% of Twitch.
You are in the top 1% of Twitch because you have an audience and your audience will follow you. That's huge. Like 100 people might seem like a small number when you have 100 times that.
No, I understand. Twitch is a different feel, yeah.
Yeah, and those are people who are actively watching you do shit for a long time. That is like the big, like the highest level of commitment that can exist realistically, outside of doing the damn work themselves.
You're right. And maybe that's it. And also, we need not forget, startup was not that big actually. Like I have a 100,000 followers on Twitter now. And I feel that's like a lot of people. It's like most of the people startups that are actually doing stuff, they're probably, they follow me all day. He has to have followed me or something. Like it's at max, like a few 100,000 people. They can't all be entrepreneurs. So like how many entrepreneurs are there in America? How many entrepreneurs are in America? 20, okay, that's quite a lot. But entrepreneurial, like two startup founders. How many startup founders are there in America? I didn't even notice no numbers about it. Yeah, I mean, we see law because we end up seeing, but it's actually, we're the only ones from our friends probably. I don't know anybody from my friends who's doing a business.
It's the bubble. It's the I am everybody effect. I'm so used to only talking to startup people. It's weird to me when people aren't in startups. That doesn't mean a lot of people aren't in startups, that just means that's my bubble. But that is not in any way representative, but here's the thing. You can never compare, here's something I've come to accept. You can't compare science and technology to your average stream because your average stream is pure entertainment. Like watching somebody play Apex is just like exciting, it's hype-filled, it's constant, it's colorful, it's loud, it's fast.
Yeah, and the game helps. The game is exciting. And then usually the personalities are very exciting, yeah.
We have to be interesting.
It is so difficult.
Now Prime. Prime proves this wrong a good bit because Prime manages to be excited. You go watch Prime. And he has like hardstyle, hardcore music going the whole time. Constantly coding and people come.
Yeah, but dude, he's on some fucking next hybrid. Like the people call me hyper. Dude, he's hyper.
He's like, okay yeah, okay, so, yeah. Function, okay, variable. Yeah, what are we gonna do?
Right. I can't do that.
Oh, but you can. You totally can.
If I don't want to.
There you go.
Hey, I wanna be myself.
Yeah, and you don't have to do that. That's the point. Like you can be like clearly, you are you, people like you for you, people will come to you for you, but you can't expect to get the numbers of the people who do do that without doing that, because that is much closer to just pure entertainment. And that's just reality. Once in a while, I try and have a Prime S stream where I will mimic that energy the whole time. It is exhausting, but it works.
I mean, I do it probably when I was three months. Wish I'd do it. Well, I play like techno music. It's already gone hardcore and then, yeah. Yeah, it's interesting, man. I feel like the final part like it's interesting. It's like how we're moving, and I've said this for fucking five years. I feel like we're moving towards a more radical honesty world where people are more open and transparent about life and about the personalities on the internet. It's becoming more like we're less embarrassed about everything. We're all fucking imperfect and we will boo at B and have sex. And some of us, we get drunk and we throw up in the bar toilets and these things happen. And I feel like that's kinda against the Instagram five. Instagram is so still artificial. And I feel people are kinda done. I think definitely Generation Z is done with artificial. And yeah, I don't know. I feel like there's a big sub trends where old is part of where like realness, authenticity. Like I said before, and yeah.
Yeah. And I think that's like, how do I put this? You're a 100% right. And yet, like those viewers will, like that's why somebody like you or I can still garner 30, 100, 200 viewers. But all the same. Entertainment being in its purest form is always going to be that more exciting, more aggressive thing. And so we can garner an audience. And that audience will have a size that is reasonable and respectable and very satisfying, but all the same. We're never gonna be the NFL. We're never gonna be like the League of Legends Championship Series. And that's totally okay. The fact that I have like 25 viewers sometimes, like makes me shit my pants to this day with happiness. Like that's amazing. And relative--
People like you. You say this kinda shit more, yeah. Dude, Andy Milonakis, he's on Twitch. I watch him a lot. I love Andy. And he says, I could act a lot more like Greek God and stuff. And XYZ, I think he's naming, and all these people were like, . But that wouldn't be me, I'm just Andy. And he's just sitting in this chair and just chilling. And he gets consistent like 3000 people. But Andy is like, I could get 15, like 15, like 15,000 people if I did more depth, but I don't. Yeah so, same thing.
Yeah, it's just a choice. Like it's part of your brand at some point.
Yeah, it's just about quality. I agree.
Rich asks, do you enjoy Portugal? Why Portugal? Dude, it's so random that I'm in Portugal, but I was in Asia and then corona happened. I was in Chiang Mai and then we were in Penang in Malaysia. Penang is really nice. Street food and stuff. It's like this old colonial kind of city with Portuguese looking buildings, Portuguese buildings in Asia. I think it's Portuguese. Anyway, I was eating there with my friends and then corona happened. It was in China and then it was in Malaysia. And then it was in Penang. And we were like, we gotta get the fuck out 'cause we didn't know if it was like a plague. It might've been really bad. And it actually was pretty bad. So I booked flights to Singapore and then to Holland to get the fuck out 'cause I was like, okay, Asia is wrecked and Europe would be clean. Well, those are the wrong choice 'cause Asia State's kinda clean. They were able to lock down, and Europe and America got fucked. South America got fucked. And the death rate is so fucking low in Asia. It's insane, I should have stayed in Asia, but the West clearly fucked us up. Anyway, so all the borders got closed. And all the people, all the nomads kinda that were in Asia, they was, like half were like, fuck it, I'm gonna stay. But I was like, okay, what if shit goes wrong here? I'll be really far from safety. So I went back in half. 'Cause I almost kinda went back to home to America, Europe. And then Portugal came up 'cause Portugal, it's kinda warm. And corona, you wanna kinda, if you can be outside, it's good. So you wanna be in place kinda warm as long as possible. So we went to Portugal. After six months being in Holland in lockdown, I went to Portugal and now I'm a resident here. So I became a resident, became a tax resident. So I pay tax here. It's all legitimate stuff. And I have a rental house here. But kinda random. And it means, I'm on the beach here. So it's like one minute from the beach. Half minutes from the beach, amazing. I can see the sea from my window, just really chilled to see the sea. Like I said, San Diego. Yeah, it's like Mexico for Europeans, but then way more safe with good infrastructure, no corruption, just like a real European country. And it's very affordable 'cause then the economic crisis, so it's very cheap, way more cheap than Spain. Yeah, people are really, really nice. So yeah, I can recommend it. So all the most popular nomad place now in Europe is Portugal, Lisbon.
There you go.
There you go.
Oh man, I miss seeing the ocean. I lived in San Diego for a few months way back. I miss it, the weather. Oh my God, it's like fricking 15 degrees here every day. Like not even. And it's just, I never wanna go outside.
It's Fahrenheit or the Celsius, what? 15.
50 or 15?
It's like zero Celsius. It's no, it's below zero Celsius. It's far below zero Celsius.
Mine is nine. Dude, that's Holland now as well. Yeah, that's where I'm from. Yeah, I mean. So here is Portugal. Sure. And the day it's about, I mean, not good, but 50 to 55 or something, Fahrenheit. So 11 Celsius. So pretty good. And it's still kinda sunny. The sun is kinda warmer. I can almost count.
You got it.
It's almost Spanish.
Sounds good. There you go.
I speak basic Spanish, but now I need to override with my Portuguese.
Is the food that good?
Comida is food. At least in Spanish. The food is good, man. It's a lot of fish. I live like, they catch the fish fresh so we can eat like crab and like lobster and stuff fresh. So it's pretty nice. You can go surfing, but it's kinda cool. So you need to wear a wetsuit. So I don't know.
Oh, I think that's probably the biggest thing I miss is having enough money to really like experience food in places.
Well, but the thing with Portugal is really affordable. It's like Asia. So it's like a meal can be, a meal in Holland, in Amsterdam will cost 40 euros now. A meal with a drink like 30 euros, which is like 40 US or something I think. Here it can be like $10 the same meal. So it's the average wage in Portugal now is something like $600 a month. So that means the cost of living is something like five times less than in US or Holland or Germany. So it's so super cheap, but then it's a very developed country. It's fucking weird because of the economic crisis. They want foreigners to come in. So if foreigners come, they spend money and then people get wealthy again. And so it's good for the economy if foreigners come. And then they're very happy that foreigners come here.
Full circle back to the tourism conversation.
Exactly, that's it, money. Yeah.
All right. We have like one or two last questions on this list that I wanna make sure we get through. Somebody asked how old you are.
There you go. And this is kind of like the same question twice. How much dev do you need to know to start a startup? And did you know your code upfront or did you learn as you went?
Dude, I learned as I went. And I could do WordPress. So like WordPress, you edit the teams and stuff, but I couldn't do it very properly and I couldn't do PHP very properly. So I had to learn on the spot when my practice took off. And if you go way back machine, on nomadlist.com and you see all the versions, like it goes from looking really shit to slowly better. And I didn't know how databases worked. I didn't know SQL when I started. So that's how much I knew. I put stuff in text files. I put stuff in, and then in JSON text files, I learned JSON and code. The loading time with Nomad List in 2015 was 32 seconds.
Because it would pull the whole data from the Google Sheets, put it in JSON. Dude, it's saying, and now it's like 600 milliseconds, so it is nice. But I learned lo in the spot. And just in time learning. And I think that's a good way to learn for sure.
Definitely. I think that's a huge way to really enforce that concept of MVP. Like if you wanna launch early, it's really easy to launch early would you have no idea what the hell you're doing? 'Cause you're like, well, here's a piece of garbage, but it works. I'm proud of it now, it's going up. Did you have users with a 32 second load time?
Yeah. Yeah, they still went through the website, but I think this was like only for a few days, but generally it was a really slow website. It was famous for being slow. For a long time. Like it took like seconds to load like four or five at least, yeah. It was insane.
It's just a giant table.
Yeah, I just learned like you shouldn't put logic on the clients. I mean, when the PHP script loads, you should have everything already ready for . And then show it too. Like this kinda course of aesthetic. But like you should do at least a less possible database stuff when a client close the page. Like do that with later with AJAX or whatever, but don't let the page load as fast as possible, I learned. So it took a few years to learn.
Huge. Yeah. No, it's yeah. That's still my favorite part of my current MVP is it's only a front end, so I can't have those problems.
Fuck it, yeah.
It's just truly hilarious. All right, that is actually, that is the end of our list of questions here. We did it.
Clap for yourself.
Yeah, yeah, I can't clap. There's noise canceling on the microphone. So like.
Yeah, dude, right, yeah, yeah, yeah. I noticed that. You won't hear anything. It's really funny 'cause if I clap at the same time, then my voice gets all robotic and shit. So it sounds really funny.
It feels pretty good. This is insane technology.
Yeah, dude. , right?
No, this isn't the mic at all. This is actually software.
No, I mean, this is GeForce NVIDIA.
It's Krisp. This is a software called Krisp with a K.
RTX had an audio thing now, right?
Yeah, I think so. This is the one that . Yeah, there you go. This is the one that discord uses. And you just have to refer like one person and you get it like free for two months. So this has been really big. So like my roommate's been walking around, cooking stuff and everything. You haven't heard any of it. So, pretty solid.
Hey man, yeah, good.
I would definitely recommend. Yeah, cool.
Hey, thanks so much for having me. And it was really fun. I hope it was fun for you too and for your viewers. We still have 50 viewers, so that's kinda good.
That's insane. Most of the time, like all of the drop-off happens within about a half hour. You and I have been going, I don't know if you realize this, we've been talking for four hours.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, we said we were gonna make it like Joe Rogan, right?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And so that was--
We just need to get high though. We need to smoke weed, man.
Right, right, right. Yeah, I know--
Maybe next time.
Yeah, yeah, I'll go buy some mushrooms or something.
It's legal in Chicago?
Weed is legal in Chicago, yeah.
It's legal here too, so we could smoke on the, is it TOS?
TLC. Oh, is it TOS? That's a good question. Well, I don't smoke either way, so I probably would, you're more than welcome to. I've definitely seen people do it on stream. I've seen a lot of people try and hide it. So I don't know. But yeah, generally what a doubt, just assume it's TOS. You don't wanna get wrecked. Twitch has abandoned people left and right these days. Everyone's getting YMCAd. Yeah.
Yeah. I understand though. Like we're banning people on my website because they're being outrageous against TOS. So it's part of the thing.
Yeah, yeah. I'm definitely gonna cut this up and put this on YouTube. I'll probably chunk by like topic and everything. And I'm sure people will find that interesting.
Yeah, cool, man.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, before we finish up here, anything that you need to shout out? You're hiring, that's probably the biggest one. What do you got?
Yeah, so hiring. Yes. And do I have a command yet?
There's one for just Levels.
Yeah, so if you wanna follow me on Twitter, check out my website, nomadlist.com. Once corona ends, I would all invite you to, see if you can do your job remotely. Ask your boss if you can work remotely. After corona too, if you can continue doing it. And then, talk to your friends, your family, your partner, whoever, if they would like to consider. If you're already happy where you are, you should stay there. But if you think, okay, maybe I wanna live close to the beach so I can go surfing. Or maybe I wanna live near where my hobby is. Maybe your hobby is like Anime. You wanna move to Tokyo or to Kilto or whatever. Or your hobby is Thai food. You wanna learn to cook. Maybe you can move to Chiang Mai for half a year or whatever. It's all possible with remote work. And it's all possible with information on my website, nomadlist.com. And you can get a remote job or a remoteok.io. And that I hope you'll consider it because I feel like where you're born isn't necessarily where you are supposed to end up. And because we have this giant globe planet, and I feel like the less nationalism we have and the more we go around the world and meet different cultures and stuff, the more we realize we're all the same. And I think that's the most fundamental reason to travel or to live in different places. And that's kinda my mission to make you all do that. So peace out.
There you go, yeah. Beautiful ending. I will also say he also has a book that you can read. We've read it on stream a little bit, very solid. If you're interested in startups, if you're interested in making things very quickly, it just covers the easy and potentially right way to do it. Or at least the way to do it, that you risk the least and have the most upside. I swear by a lot of the things in there, a lot of our community really loves it. So definitely pick up a copy if you're interested in this stuff. And join Discord if you wanna talk more about it, we're always around. We do a lot of startup things in there. And yeah, all right.
Does your audience have a name? Are they like believers or are they like . And what does as a name like monsters.
Yeah, I've only ever called them one thing once--
That was it, yeah.
They're Roxkstar, yeah. Thank you, Roxkstars.
There you go. Wonderful. All right. So to finish us off very quickly, as you're familiar with raiding, we're just gonna go find a different--
Dude, can we raid Strange Parts?
Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Can you message? Can you put a message in that, I also raided with you or something. Is it possible?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Here we go. All right, so everybody, here's what we're gonna do. Everybody listen up. We're gonna need you to do this for us and in thanks for Levels spending his time here. We're gonna go through with this raid and I'm going to give you a specific message. Dude, what do you want it to say? Just like raid courtesy of Levels or something like that?
Raid courtesy of levelsio.
Raid courtesy of levelsio. So we're gonna skip the free real estate this time and we're just gonna do this, all right. Get your slash me in there. Raid courtesy of Levelio. Everybody start copy pasting it in chat right now. So I know that you have it. And then we get in there. You've got about maybe 40 seconds here. When we get in there, you're gonna span that. You're gonna absolutely span that.
I mean, somebody clip it.
We have to see this shit.
Oh yeah. No, no, no, don't worry. In fact, here's what I'll even do. I will open up that Twitch channel right now. Hopefully it'll load in time, which I cannot promise. But there we go, there we go. Keep getting a mixture. Make sure you do the slash me before it gives out the color so that we can get the wonderful rainbow. It will be truly, truly beautiful. And let's see if we can get this Twitch stream loaded up before it dies. Unlikely.
Dude, it didn't start shit, it's amazing.
Yeah, yeah, it's really, it's a CPU thing, but regardless, whether or not we get it in time. Oh, we just might. Thank you guys so, so, so much for watching. Thank you Pete for hanging out.
What's the time limit?
It's five seconds. So thank you everybody. Appreciate you. Have an awesome night guys. Bye-bye.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, I see it. I see it.
I'm getting ads.
Strange Parts: [Computer] Roxkstar raiding with a party of 50. My goodness, welcome. Raid courtesy of levelsio. You're here Levels? Are you roxkstar74? I don't actually know. Welcome everybody. We are programming a, well, follow me in the link between our telepresence robot, which is sitting behind me.
P.S. I'm on Twitter too if you'd like to follow more of my stories. And I wrote a book called MAKE about building startups without funding. See a list of my stories or contact me. To get an alert when I write a new blog post, you can subscribe below: