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Listen to Grandpa

When I was a teenager I worked in my grandfather’s company for a while. I wanted a motorbike and was up for anything.

I unloaded trucks (not very heavy, I was a slacker then), moved boxes back and forth, changed price tags…. Not too much, but it gave me a small salary that for my teenage self was quite a fortune.

The thing is I became friends with an employee. He was only 1 or 2 years older than me, and we managed the same level of idiocy.

One day, my grandfather called me into the office and told me: “Javier, owners can’t be friends with employees“. I never forgot that phrase.

I didn’t understand that, but in those days grandparents were respected, so I accepted the advice without complaint.

But I didn’t follow it.

Some time later this guy was fired. I didn’t know why, I was just a teenage wanker and no one shared business decisions with me.

A few weeks after that, while I was walking around town (sadly still without a motorbike), I met this guy by chance. I was happy to see him… but he wasn’t.

This is the grandson! This is the grandson!“, shouted to his friends, all of them with more hair on their balls than me. I received very eloquent insults and almost some blows. Luckily I was faster.

Bastard. I thought we were friends.

What’s the moral of all this?

  • If you still have your grandfather around, listen to him. Truly. They just know.
  • Learn to take the blows that life throws at you.
  • Be faster than others.

Business Idea

Nowadays we text a 3 words message to a friend, then we text another sentence to another one, an emoji to your beloved partner… The first one answered and you thumb it up just to let him know you agreed. All that while watching a kitten video. All that in less than a minute.

Around 1992 (still a teenager) I corresponded by letter with about 15 people throughout Spain.

They were all girls my age and one older man.

I don’t remember anything inappropriate about that man, but in this day and age he would have been thrown in jail and the key thrown in the river.

Anyway. This is the story…

I sent an SMS text to post on Teletext a poem (which I wrote when I had a crush on the smart girl in my classroom) along with my physical mailing address.

(If you’re under 40 maybe it’s all Greek to you… Let’s just say I posted an ad on TV)

I was showered with letters.

I already knew, instinctively, how to gain an audience for free.

We all know.

Perfumed, with photos, with petals and leaves, drawings… And, of course, handwritten.

Each letter was a unique work of art created exclusively for you. Think about it.

Isn’t it f*cking AMAZING?

You write the letter, put some cologne on it, put some drawings (little hearts and lips, the emojis of the time), fold it, put it in the envelope, put the stamp on it, take it to a mailbox and… you just wait. And wait. “Will she respond?“. And you go to the mailbox and there’s nothing, just your parents’ stupid bills. And another day. And… at last! a letter for you!

What an indescribable feeling.

You run to your room as if you have just found an incredible treasure that you don’t want to share with anyone.

You smell it. You touch it with your fingers to try to find out what is inside because you are so impatient that you can’t wait to get to your room.

Oh, this looks like a pendant!
Aha! there are so many sheets in here!
Uhm… this smells like Lucía

I miss that.

Handwritten letters

Thanks to this nostalgia, years ago I came up with an idea…

How about a social network where people don’t communicate by chat or messages but by letter?

Logically, publishing your physical address on the internet is crazy. That’s why this app is necessary, to act as an intermediary: you send the letter to me, and I send it to the real recipient, thus protecting people’s privacy.

I didn’t get to run it even though it would be quite simple. You could have an MVP in a week.

But this is not the idea I wanted to tell you about, but another one that has already been validated in a company in the US that generates more than $3.5M a year.

Writing handwritten letters for individuals and companies.

You receive an order consisting of a text and an address, and your job is to handwrite the letter on paper of the selected quality and mail it to the indicated address.

As simple as that.

You can even start from Etsy with almost no investment.

But, Javier, this business is not scalable.

Very well seen! But this is where the magic comes in.

There are, of course, robots that write with a pen, imitating handwriting.

Like the one used by that US company, Handwrytten, or Swiss Post with RoboPen.

Although it is always more appreciated something that has been handmade, and not simply that it looks handmade.

And let’s not stop at handwriting, let’s give free rein to the imagination: invitations for children that look as if they were written by children (please, don’t employ children), including a printed photo or a business card, perfume…

Extra ball, something that will surprise you: famous copywriters have started switching their email newsletters to letters.


Still no money for marketing?

Maybe I’m spoiling you, but read on…

Product Hunt

Product Hunt is trending in Silicon Valley with millions of visitors per month.

It is a very simple but powerful idea: people post their products or projects and users vote for them.

And, yes, you can post your project for free!

The best projects are also published in their newsletter, which also has thousands of subscribers.

Maybe you have to invest a bit of your time in creating a specific post for this platform, but the audience you can gain deserves it without any doubt. And it’s free!

And it’s not the only platform you can use, there are hundreds! Many of them specialized in certain niches.

Victoria Wu, founder of Trickle, explains how she went from 0 to 1500+ users in 10 days thanks to these platforms.

She even gives us a priceless table with all these platforms (176+), ready to start clicking, clicking, clicking and start gaining audience. For free!

And what about possible business ideas on this type of platform?

Is there such a platform in your country? Maybe you know a niche in which this type of applications would fit?


Software development these days has become a horrible tower of Babel, where diverse microservices coexist in the same interconnected ecosystem where surprisingly everything fits together perfectly.

Being able to see what is happening at every moment and in every microservice is crucial. Especially when something is not working.

Telemetry data (logs, metrics, and traces to see the path of the user requests along all the microservices) is a very powerful tool to shorten bugs fixing times.

I really love Datadog. They do that job very well. But not all the clients are willing to pay for it.

So sometimes you have to waste a lot of time and energy researching through hundreds of messy log lines.


Not anymore!

I have discovered an open software alternative: HyperDX.

Of course, it is not as powerful as Datadog, but at least it has the basics, for me, as I said: logs (with metadata and an easy query language) and traces.

The frontend is built on NextJS and uses MongoDB, ClickHouse, OpenTelemetry (to aggregate data from your services), and Vector (a data platform to collect, enrich and transform logs, metrics and traces… from Datadog).

It is fairly new but looks very promising.

I have started using it in my projects and it is making me very happy. That’s why I want to share it with you.

Product of the week

You wake up in the morning, have to go to work, open the closet to choose clothes, and… “oh my god, I have nothing to wear”.

But your closet is full of clothes!

We waste a lot of time choosing what to wear. Too much.

Women, specifically, spend 17 minutes a day, or 4 hours a year, or 6 months in their entire working lives just deciding what to wear.

Male chauvinist!

Hey! Not my words!

It’s the result of a Marks & Spencer survey of 2,000 men and women.

But it doesn’t stop there… according to the survey the choice of clothing often leads to arguments with a partner, being late for work or that great date, or destroying your morning mood.

Suit and tie help. It greatly limits the possible combinations. But I still spent time on it.

And then came Steve Jobs (and his impersonator Elizabeth Holmes), Mark Zuckerberg, and many others always wearing the same clothes every day.


Why not? That solves everything!

Socially it is not well seen to be seen every day wearing the same clothes. But what better excuse than “Steve Jobs did it too!“.

I started to implement it and since then I only buy blue jeans and black t-shirts.

I save 17 minutes every morning, 4 hours a year, and 6 months of my working life.

It’s priceless!


“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks”.

Winston S. Churchill

Did you like it?

Don’t complain, it’s free!

If you want to join the starters club give me your email and I’ll think about it:

If you want to invite me to a party, offer me a profitable business, give me money, or buy me beers… you can write me at

Otherwise don’t bother, my time is worth gold. Or copper, it depends on the moment.