Angelo Stavrow [dot] Blog

Missives and musings on a variety of topics.

My 9-to-5 role is engineering lead for a mobile platform team at a fintech company. The team is incredible, the leadership is human, the work is challenging, and the opportunities are valuable. We serve microbusinesses —a group near and dear to my heart— and I like the product so much that I’m also a customer (note: that review is out of date; the mobile app is significantly updated now).

And for all the great things about my day job, I usually can’t wait to work on my side projects.


My day job is about executing on business decisions. The tools and frameworks I use are business decisions. The deadlines and deliverables are business decisions. This is, of course, a good thing for keeping the business going (and growing).

But there is rarely delight in working with business decisions.

My side project is about executing my craft. It is all about delight.

Using Nova instead of VS Code is delightful.

Using Tower instead of GitHub Desktop is delightful.

Using Kaleidoscope instead of FileMerge is delightful.

Working in pure Swift instead of React Native is delightful.

Taking the time to obsessively perfect an implementation instead of meeting a release schedule is delightful.

Using Obsidian, Day One, and Things instead of Jira and Confluence is delightful.

Using sharp tools instead of business decisions is delightful.

At work, the delight comes from people, from relationships, from a mission. In my side project, the delight comes from working like an artisan.

I refer to my business as a code atelier and my work there as craft.

I’ll concede that this might not be a great business decision.

But it is delightful and energizing because it makes building things fun.


We’re barely a month and a half into 2024, and I feel lucky to be working on things that energize me. The work is hard, the goals are big, and the focus is… getting there.


I need more sleep.

I miss the idea of working out of the office more than I actually miss working out of the office. I’m too distracted in an open-concept workspace to get anything done. I’m glad I don’t have to.

Four day work weeks, three day weekends. Maybe that’ll help me finally get on top of all the goddamn laundry and chores.

I’m looking forward to the spring so I can take morning walks again. Montreal sidewalks can be treacherous in the depths of winter.

I’m trying to figure out what my core beliefs are. This is different from your values in some fundamental way. They develop in different ways, or something. I’m still working on this, obviously.

Read-it-later services are the digital version of that stack of books on your nightstand that you’re never going to read, but with less clutter.

Amazing how the pendulum swings from “I’d rather be doing X than wasting my time doing Y,” over to “it felt good to finally get Y done,” and back (cf. laundry and chores).

Another word for failure is learning.

Habits would be way more helpful if life had more routine. It’s all well and good to work on your habits, but the most important one to develop is the habit of adapting to change.

No, seriously, fuck laundry.

Another pendulum: feeling like you’ve got this v. feeling like you’re barely holding it together.

I love people. They’re messy and they’re confused and they’re generous and they lie and they make art. They’re simultaneously capable of awesome and awful things—every single one of them. That’s fucking wonderful, when you really think about it.


On Monday, I launched a new project under the [Dropped Bits][0] umbrella: a community for entrepreneurial knowledge sharing and support. I call it Two Common Cents Club, and you can find it at [][1].


I don't get a whole lot of phone calls, but most of them of no personal interest to me, so I'm going to start screening everything. I'm thinking of updating my voicemail greeting to reflect that, and figured I'd share the template I'm drafting for feedback.


A couple of new things grace my desktop —physical and virtual— and I’d like to tell you about them.


Toying with the idea of a newsletter (again). Probably something related to personal finance.

I guess if you’ve already bought the domain, it’s a little more than “toying with an idea”, though.


I’ve joined Instagram again. Let’s see how this goes.

Apparently the catalyst for Apple releasing new HomePods was me buying a bunch of HomePod minis three weeks earlier.

The first snow in Montreal has always been just a little bit magical for me. Especially these huge, fluffy flakes — definitely worth taking a lunchtime walk to enjoy.


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