Angelo Stavrow [dot] Blog

Missives and musings on a variety of topics.

“Follow the fucking money. When a VC tells you what's good for you, check your wallet, then count your fingers.”

Evergreen advice.

Elsewhere is a series of interesting things I came across during the week, published every Sunday.

(Well, except last Sunday. Had a little bit too much on my plate then.)

  • Ed Zitron predicts that companies currently offering a hybrid “work X days per week from home” structure will eventually return to the “everyone back to the office” thing.
  • I'm not very familiar with Jonathan Richman, but what struck me about this interview is that Richman uses no digital technology whatsoever. No phones, no email, correspondence via lettermain. Then again, he's got an assistant to handle such things, so...
  • “As we live our lives ever more publicly, we have come to prioritize arguing—the flashy, viral, gotcha kind—over learning,” according to this op-ed. It's all so tiresome.
  • I have yet to go to the lengths of deleting social media as G. Keenan Schneider did, I do recognize that Twitter et al. encourage a “reply first, think later” model of discourse — pretty little hate machines powered by “enrage to engage” algorithms.


I've been wanting to theme my blog, and is going to make that much easier. 😍

Hoping to find out what's happening with the Dark Sky API so I can make a weather app that 1. provides “feels like” temperatures based on Canada's humidex, and 2. doesn't stalk you across other apps and the web.

Elsewhere is a series of interesting things I came across during the week, published every Sunday.

  • I guess one way to creep out your customers is to show them how you use AI against them.
  • “When people asked how you were doing, no one expected you to say 'Fine.' Instead, they asked, 'How are you holding up?' and you’d answer, 'Well, you know.'” Nailed it.
  • Untools collects a set of approaches for better thinking. Forget the software, and focus on the process.


I will always love blog-posts-as-replies.


Blog post signatures —that is, something that’s added to the bottom of each and every post— yea or nay?

Elsewhere is a series of interesting things I came across during the week, published every Sunday.

  • “On the last day of class, I ask my students to turn those theoretical lenses on themselves, to find cogent answers to three questions: First, how can I be sure that I’ll be happy in my career? Second, how can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse and my family become an enduring source of happiness? Third, how can I be sure I’ll stay out of jail?” [HBR]
  • “[...] the memes, and their furor over people who disagree with them, are not really about mental health, they’re about enforcing identity categories that help define us in this era of capitalism when everything feels completely out of control, especially as our lives are increasingly dominated by this vast categorization and surveillance machine we call the internet.” [PE Moskowitz]

And a video: The Brutalism of Montreal


I'm trying to publish an update to Thought Detox once a month. Sometimes that just a small update; this month, I'm just adding some minor haptics and VoiceOver feedback.

Uploading to the App Store now!

On the run-up to launching the Thought Detox app, everything was exciting. I was thinking about how to price pre-orders! I was wrapping up public beta testing! I was creating a press kit and reaching out to journalists! I built1 a marketing site!

And it was great. I also committed to posting about how things are going with the business on the company blog (also available in newsletter format). Initially, that was a weekly update — now it's twice a month.

It's been interesting to contemplate how this correlates with my mood. I've been watching monthly sales fall off a cliff since launch week—entirely expected to anyone that's launched stuff on the App Store, though a bit more drastic than I imagined. Interestingly, it's created this weird fork in my mood: on the one hand, it's hard to feel motivated when it feels like no one really wants what you're building; on the other hand, it's motivating to think about how to adapt it to what would be more useful for people.

This month has felt especially tough. Despite dropping the price of the app, sales continue to be pretty dismal. I'd started working on a sync solution to (eventually) also get this app in the hands of iPad and Mac users —thinking this might boost sales— but it's been less than interesting work.

It's a slog.

When what used to be fun starts to become a chore, it's time to re-evaluate. Is it actually worth continuing? If so, do you need to reset your expectations on the thing? Matt put it nicely in a post:

I started seeing how even this pure thing can eventually feel like work — not in the invigorating, satisfyingly-exhausted sense of the word, but in the futile, misaligned-with-my-life sense.

Rem acu tetigisti.

On Sunday, I gave it a think. I was looking at sales numbers as a means of validation, when the reason I publish these every month is to share with the indie developer community. I was looking at the product roadmap as a way to improve sales, when it's a way to share what I'm working on with customers. I started thinking about the app as a means for reaching profitability, rather than an end for helping people.

I set aside the syncing work this week, and instead started adding some haptic feedback to the app. It's closer to the goal of making the experience delightful. I'll also add a bit of additional VoiceOver feedback when a thought is released for the same reason.

I was originally planning on writing this week's post on the cool apps and services I use to run my bootstrapped app business. That, again, is misaligned with the purpose of building Thought Detox. So I scrapped that, and instead this morning I wrote about the ways people use the app.

It felt better.

I feel better.


[1] The site was designed by Christina, who's available for projects!