Wink. — Laravel Based Publishing Platform

Today, Mohamed Said launched a new blogging platform called Wink. that runs on Laravel.

Wink is a modern publishing platform carefully designed to only include what matters. Built on top of the world’s finest PHP framework, Laravel, making it easy for everyone to install and maintain on any cloud platform.

I love the minimal look to it too:


Check out the announcement for more information and if you’ve been wanting to get into blogging give it a try.

Future Planning

Yesterday, I came across this interview with Brunello Cucinelli who I had honestly never heard of and didn’t know much about but I was captivated by the interview and one part that’s had me thinking is the following quote on his business plans:

As for my business plans, I have three-year business plans and 30-year business plans but also three-centuries business plans.

In a world where it most people can’t plan what they are doing next week, he is looking ahead 300 years and trying to build a company that will last that long.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the now, and loose sight of the future. In the grand scheme of history, our entire lives are just a tiny moment and what we tend to think is so important just isn’t.

No One Knows What They Are Doing

It’s election season which means we spammed to death by political campaigns and all politicians claim to know the answer and their party knows the right course for the entire nation to take. 

Of course, the reality is no answer is black and white and we all live in a grey area where no answer can be 100% correct. Everything has tradeoffs and no one person or party knows the answer. 

When I think about this in business terms and making decisions based on long-term planning it reminds me a lot of the joke, “More fiction is written in Excel than in Word”.

No one knows what they are doing, we are all just trying to make the best decisions based on our gut feeling, our firmly held beliefs, and past knowledge. All of those can be wrong for the future.

A Printed Laravel Magazine?

For the past few years, I’ve been on an analog kick and I’ve been loving printed magazines like the ones in the photo above. These aren’t traditional magazines like you find at the newsstand, instead, these are made out of high-quality materials, over 150 pages, and about a quarter inch thick.

I’ve been internally debating for months if something like this would work for the Laravel Community? Because I’d want it to stand the test of time it wouldn’t focus on the code or tutorials that can be obsolete in a very short time. This would focus more on soft skills, interviews, and the community.

I’m estimating it will not be cheap to produce with the overhead will be printing costs, shipping, and paying contributors. As such, this will need to be priced on the premium end, around $40 per issue and maybe more after I’ve researched and went through all the logistics.

If this is something you would like to see come to fruition let me know by sending me $40 through PayPal. This will give you the first edition, shipping included, mailed out sometime in 2019. (I’ll add you to an email list and keep you updated) If I do not get enough interest to make this work then I’ll refund your money.

Love it or hate it the comments are open below and I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas about this.


Q. I like the idea but can’t justify $40 for a magazine.
A. I totally understand. This would be a premium product and might not be for everyone, however, let me know in the comments what you would consider as a better price.

Q. Is shipping included for $40?
A. Yes, that price would include shipping anywhere in the world.

Dear Siri, I have no confidence in you

I’ve tried to use Siri more and use it for common tasks but every time I feel like I get burned. Today is a prime example. I had my phone on my desk and AirPods in. When I went to get a cup of coffee I decided I wanted to listen to some different music.

Hey Siri, play 80’s music…


Really?! You couldn’t find any music from the 80’s? Jack McDade would weep.

I thought okay. I’ll try something else. How about, “Play some Drake”…


My phone was not on me at the time, it was sitting in my office so I couldn’t “open music”, but if I’m driving isn’t the whole point not to be looking at your phone?

I guess I’m expecting too much out of Siri but I feel like this small common tasks should be easy things for it to handle. Or maybe I’m just doing it wrong.


My Workspace

It seems like sharing your workspace is all the rage this week and since everyone else is doing it, I figured I will too. Before I get into sharing my space I should prefix mine with a note that I change my home office a lot. I’d estimate every 90 days or so, I rearrange it somehow just to freshen it up and make me feel like I have a new place.



I’ve been trying to put a focus on more analog tools so I’ve moved the computer off to the side to have more room for reading and writing. It’s been working pretty well and I have a typical office chair that spins so it’s easy to move my body toward the computer as I’m working.

The rest of my office features an IKEA bookshelf and hutch under the windows, then a comfy chair for reading or relaxing.


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It’s all pretty minimal but that is how I like it and try to keep it free from clutter.


My desk is an IKEA VÄSTANBY table and it has plenty of room. On the desk, I have an iMac on the left, a few books that I’m reading or want for quick reference, an awesome pencil holder made by my friend Jesse Schutt, a Midori travelers notebook, and Rhodia grid notebook. Above the desk is two paintings by Ninjagrl.


The computer on the desk is an iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2014) with a 4 GHz Intel Core i7 and 16 GB memory. It’s plenty for what I do and I’ve not hit the limits.  My secondary computer that isn’t shown is a 12″ Macbook and I honestly love developing on it. Something about having that small screen and only being able to focus on one thing at a time is freeing.


I just went all in on Apple Music (follow me @ericlbarnes) because the family just liked its integration into Apple products and I’m still trying to get used to it.  I have a very weird music taste and you never know what I’m going to listen too.  Lately, though I’ve been doing a lot of classical and jazz. Loving some Charlie Parker.

I typically just try to find playlists for focus music and just have it repeat all day. When the kids get home from school I’ll throw my headphones in so I’m disturbed by their loudness.

Mac Apps

I’ve been trying to stick with only a few core Mac Apps and these are the main ones I use now:

Editor Setup

I’m using Dracula for PhpStorm and the Operator Mono font.


VS Code is set up basically the same and I switch between each depending on the task at hand. On my MacBook, I also use VS Code but I prefer a light IDE theme.

This about covers my home entire home office space. If I missed anything or if you want to ask me about anything sound off below in the comments.

Book Review: How to Fight a Hydra

How to Fight a Hydra by Josh Kaufman is a book for artists, creative professionals, and entrepreneurs with advice given through a story of a warrior learning to face their fears, learning from mistakes, and persisting through a fight with a Hydra, a mythical serpent with nine heads.

I bought this book based on a recommendation and didn’t really research what it was about before I started reading. In the beginning, I started to think about Don Quixote and his adventures but it quickly turned into the meat of the story and I love the whole premise of the metaphor of doing battle against a giant beast because it honestly does feel that way when you are creating things.

The book itself is an easy read and I finished it in one sitting. It is 100 pages, but the book is 4×6 inches so it’s small. Here is a picture of it beside another typical business book.

In the end, this story reminded me so much of all the decisions I’ve made related to creating software, launching products, and of course taking the leap into the unknown.

Overall I enjoyed How to Fight a Hydra and would recommend it. The premise is a fun idea and the story keeps you engaged.