WordPress now supports AMP

WordPress announced today that the wordpress.com service now supports the Accelerated Mobile Pages (“AMP”) initiative.

Accelerated Mobile Pages are just like any other HTML page, but with a limited set of allowed technical functionality that is defined and governed by the open source AMP spec. Just like all web pages, Accelerated Mobile Pages will load in any modern browser or app webview. AMP files take advantage of various technical and architectural approaches that prioritize speed to provide a faster experience for users. The goal is not to homogenize how content looks and feels, but instead to build a more common technical core between pages that speeds up load times.

There is also a WordPress plugin available for self-hosted installs.

I haven’t dug into the AMP documentation, but I do find it funny that we have failed so bad at creating websites that a new standard is needed to speed it up.

VAT MOSS

Ghost announced it will be moving its company headquarters to Singapore. John O’Nolan one of the founders said, “we’ve wasted tens of thousands of dollars and months of development time [on VAT MOSS] when we should have been making the products we set out to build”.

In the latest issue of The business of Digital Products, Rachel Andrew, a founder of Perch, said that her experience mirrors Johns.

“At the time we became aware of the full implications of the legislation we had an almost ready to ship marketplace for Perch Addons. It still hasn’t launched, partly because our time was burned up getting ourselves ready for VAT MOSS and partly because we would need to make sure that we coped with the situation for anyone selling through our system.”, Rachel said.

The tax situation in America on software companies is unclear as well. I work for a distributed company and I had the task of building out our online store. Anywhere we have a presence, an employee, we have to charge tax. Then it depends on the state on how its charged, some are charged based on county inside the state, others are just the entire state. Not to mention the big confusion around if SaaS apps should charge taxes–most don’t but probably should be. If you’d like to find out more about American software taxes a good place to start is this post on Nexus by Ian Landsman.

The moral of the story. Hire an accountant and pray you don’t get audited.

Sunday Seven #2

Welcome to the Sunday Seven issue number two. Every week I bring seven interesting links that I think are worth checking out.

Beer drinking and writing release notes with the Medium team →

How a tweet turned into an invite to see the inner workings of the way release notes come about. Of course this is all fun and games until everyone starts doing it, then it becomes annoying.

Why Does Pessimism Sound So Smart? →

Despite the record of things getting better for most people most of the time, pessimism isn’t just more common than optimism, it also sounds smarter. It’s intellectually captivating, and paid more attention to than the optimist who is often viewed as an oblivious sucker.

The Useless Agony of Going Offline →

At the end of the experiment, I wasn’t dying to get my phone back or to access Facebook. I just wanted to get back to being better informed. My devices and the Internet, as much as they are sometimes annoying and frustrating and overflowing with knuckleheads, help me to do that.

Sneaker Wars: Inside the Battle Between Nike and Adidas →

Besides being an interesting battle I found this crazy – The Jordan brand alone has more than 20 times Adidas’s share of the American basketball-shoe market.

Zoolander 2: Joyless and Offensively Stupid →

You don’t need to go to the theater to get the full experience of Zoolander 2. Simply get your hands on a copy of the original, watch it, and then yell a bunch of unfunny topical lines every time somebody tells a joke. [..] It’s a film that has no real reason to exist, and it spends its entire running time reaffirming that fact.

NOOOO! Please say it isn’t so.

Migrate notes from Evernote to Apple Notes →

This method seems much more user friendly then the way I had to do it. If you are looking to move from Evernote give this a go.

The Old People’s Guide to DJ Khaled →

After reading about Snapchat last week I decided to give it a try. A few hours later I had three friends, no messages, and no idea what I was doing. Thankfully Ian told me to follow this guy who made no sense. Now at least I know how to translate. 🔑

Business is not a popularity contest

In the book The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau, he interviews a lot of entrepreneurs and shares insights in how each one got their start. One interview that I found inspiring is with Naomi Dunford and here is what she said about business:

Remember that the goal of business is profit. It’s not being liked, or having a huge social media presence, or having amazing products that nobody buys. It is not having a beautiful website, or perfectly crafted email newsletters, or an incredibly popular blog. In larger businesses, this is called accountability to shareholders. Business is not a popularity contest.

It’s easy to look at others followers, retweets, and shares and compare ourselves, but when it’s related to business none of that matters. Sure it helps, but it isn’t the goal. The goal is profit.

Good Intentions

I meet you through an acquaintance and that first meeting was so inspiring.

Just as I started to get to know you, an urgent task was handed to me. I thought I could finish it really quick and come back just where we left off.

A few hours passed and you waited so patiently. Of course, I hadn’t forgotten about you, but it’s working hours and fires have to be put out. I left you hanging and I’m sorry.

At the end of the day, I saved your info with every intention of looking you up again. But the next day I was too busy, and the next, and the next. I was selfish and I’m sorry.

Years later as I was cleaning out my Pocket I found your info again. I had no memory of that first meeting or the friend that introduced us. All I could do is trash it and I’m sorry.

Happy Valentines day to all the links I’ve promised to read and never did.

A $50K Russian Truck

Would you like to go wherever the hell you want? Using its self-inflated tires, Russia’s SHERP ATV can give you that pleasure. It will climb over obstacles as tall as 27.5 inches, swim with ease, turn like a tank and look awesome in any situation for only $49,000 worth of Rubles.

I have nothing in my life I could use this for but I want it anyway.

via [TruckYeah]

Developers – Have a Backup Plan

As developers, we know that backups are important. We backup our computers, databases, servers, and use version control. Everything is backed up for that “awe crap” moment that is inevitable.

This mindset is so engrained into our workflow we don’t give it much thought. It’s just the way it’s done.

Backups shouldn’t end at work. This same methodology should be applied to your money. Having an emergency fund, with money you only use in a true emergency, is vital to life. Just as we plan for failure for our code, life is going to have hard times and it should be planned for.  Continue reading “Developers – Have a Backup Plan”

Work Ethic from the Wright Brothers

In our ever-connected world unplugging is hard. It seems like we are trained to amuse ourselves every waking hour. We have lost the ability to be bored and let our minds wonder.

The Wright brothers, who pioneered flight, at the turn of the century have an inspirational story. When they started dreaming about flying they weren’t the only ones. One of their competitors had government funding and resources available that the brothers couldn’t compete with.

In today’s time, it would be a bootstrapper against a VC backed company. A huge underdog. This didn’t deter the brothers and they kept true to their goals throughout the whole process and didn’t pay any attention to what this other company was doing.

One area of their story that stood out to me is their work ethic. Throughout their whole career, they never worked on Sunday. Always using it as a day of rest and rejuvenation.

Another example is during a showing in France the flyer arrived all torn up from shipping and it had to be rebuilt. A wealthy man allowed the brother to use a big room in his business as a workshop and even gave him men to help with the rebuild. These men could barely understand English and was more of a hindrance, yet, Mr. Wright kept the same work schedule as the other workers. When the lunch whistle blew he took lunch. When the end of day whistle blew he went home. Neither brother ever worked on Sunday and it seemed like they knew all the pieces would come together at the right time.

If the Wright brothers facing the monumental task of being the first to fly can take a break, don’t you think we should too?

These stories adapted from The Wright Brothers by David McCullough.