In addition to these posts, I wrote a blog in Finnish about my year in San Francisco back in 2014. It lives on it's own page at https://hamatti.org/unelma.
Look around you. Of all your things, how many of them were a result of a thought-out process? And how many are just a result of an accumulation that started when you were a teenager?
For me, getting into minimalism was kind of a way to hit the reset button. I was 29 at the time and almost everything I owned was just a continuation of accumulation. Especially coming from a poorer family (we were not very poor but definitely had to count the money when deciding what to buy), many things were bought because they were affordable.
Last week I had an interesting conversation with a friend. We started talking about minimalism and getting rid of excess stuff as she was moving to a new apartment. The long-winding discussion led to a topic of how I have changed my perception of the cost of things. Back in the day I was mostly measuring everything by their monetary value: do I have enough euros or dollars in my bank account to make this purchase. As I got older and my salary increased, suddenly very few everyday items became out of reach. That's why my house started to fill with stuff that I thought I needed but didn't actually even spend another second thinking about my needs.
Now I consider other aspects than money: I think about what I need to get rid of to make the new purchase fit into my backpack and I need to think about the lifetime expense of owning something. Suddenly I'm not filling my house with 5€ trinkets just because they were on sale. Or buying a new tv just because I was able to financially pay for it.
An average US household has 300,000 items. I would argue that it's a lot. But looking at my own childhood in Finland, it's actually not surprising. We tend to gather a lot of stuff. And there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for it: space has a tendency to fill itself.
How many times have you packed something and noticed that there's still a little bit room in a box or a suitcase? And then you started thinking what more could you fit in since you have all this extra space. I have found myself thinking about that a lot. When I started decluttering my stuff, I caught myself multiple times thinking "I'll give myself this box for board games, everything that doesn't fit in has to go." Once you start going down that path, you will eventually fill every space you can find.
I’ve been programming PHP for most of my life, almost 20 years now. While PHP has many downsides, horrible history, and terrible reputation, it has improved a lot with PHP 7 and modern frameworks like Laravel that make it really enjoyable to develop.
However, I still wish that there would be a “PHP2", a rework of the original one boldly breaking the backward compatibility and fixing some of the underlying weirdness.
About a year ago I learned about minimalism from Youtube videos and the two dudes who call themselves the Minimalists. In the end of June last year, I wrote a blog post about the first steps in my journey. After having a fruitful discussion about the topic with a friend on Wednesday, I decided to write a follow-up based on my experience and learnings from the past year.
A lot has happened in a year. Last summer I got rid of a lot of stuff I didn’t really need: started with excess clothes and TV and the snowball kinda started rolling from there. I moved to Helsinki in April and did two new huge rounds of decluttering.
My journey as a minimalist started a year ago. For quite a while I had been a fan of the Tiny House movement and sometime last summer I ended up watching Youtube videos about minimalism and quickly found out about The Minimalists.
Until that point, I had lived with a lot of stuff. Back home, we had a nice house full of stuff. The garage was unusable because of the amount of stuff. All the closets were filled with boxes and piles of stuff. It was the life I knew. So when I grew up and moved to my first own apartment, I brought with me a lot of stuff. And for 10 years, my small studios were filled with things I never used. At some point, I moved three or four times without even fully unboxing my moving boxes. It still took a long time — and the help of amazing Youtubers — to realize that I could get rid of that stuff.
Continuous improvement, life-long learning, staying on top of your game are all things very close to my heart. It's not always easy though: sometimes your life (personal and professional) takes a detour and you end up in a situation where your skills get rusty.
I was in that position almost 3 years ago. I switched my full-stack developer career to community management, moved to Turku and worked on a non-technical job for two years. I wasn't ready to let go of my technical competences however. So I did what every knowledge hungry youngster does: I started inviting people smarter than me to tell their stories and share their wisdom.
Engagement and churn are topics that companies have to think about all the time. How to optimize the on-boarding to keep your users in the platform, how to make your product either addictive enough or providing enough value to get them return.
A customer who doesn’t know enough: either about the field they are working on or your product, uses your product less and is a churn-risk every day. On the other hand, a customer who is a power-user and expert in what they do get more value out of their tools and are willing to invest in them.
_One of the things I learned early on was that everybody has to eat. Most people eat lunch and it means taking a “mandatory” break from work and the busy-ness of business life. I’ve used that knowledge to my advantage by making a lot of connections by asking people for lunch. They don’t have to make room for meeting me and people are often happier when they eat.
Here are some of the ways you can build your networks or strengthen your community with food.
This blog post is a recap based on a talk I gave in Fraktio's Perjantaipresis in February 2018. You can watch the recording here.
Communities are fantastic, I love them. We have had communities for as long as humans has been in existence but in the past few years, it has become a buzz word. With the Internet and tools like Facebook, Twitter, Discord and Slack providing access to everyone globally, it’s no wonder these communities have started to pop up.