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The Insightful Optimist - Nº4

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In this issue, let's talk building an MVP of your product, my experience with different diets and how
 
February 18 · Issue #4 · View online
The Insightful Optimist
In this issue, let’s talk building an MVP of your product, my experience with different diets and how they worked or didn’t work and the inspirational story of Christian Wood.

Startups: building your MVP
Alright, let’s talk MVP’s (Minimum Viable Products).
What is it? It’s the most basic first version of your product.
Why have it? To test the initial customer, get feedback and validate the idea.
How to best create the initial MVP? Well, that’s what I want to cover in this week’s newsletter.
If youre not embarrassed by the first version of your product, youve launched too late.” ~ Reid Hoffman.

Get feedback and iterate quickly. This is the main reason you’re building it in the first place, so make sure that is what you actually do. Don’t fall in love with your MVP. Keep breaking it and changing it until you find the right solution to the actual problem. It’s easy to get distracted by all the things your product might ALSO do, but you should focus on the core problem. Look at it like this: If a screwdriver doesn’t manage to screw anything in, don’t try and see whether you can also cook or clean with it. Fix the damn screwdriver until it works.

Start super limited. Your MVP should only include the most basic functionality of your idea. Airbnb‘s MVP didn’t have payments or map search. Uber also didn’t have payments or tracking of your driver. And Twitch (back then called Justin.tv)? It literally was an online video stream of one guy’s, the founder’s, Justin Kan’s, life. Nothing else. Just 1 channel, super low resolution and no games (unless, of course, he decided to play one).
justin.tv's MVP
justin.tv's MVP
Build fast. Your MVP shouldn’t take months to build, but rather weeks. The quicker you get it out there, the quicker you get feedback and start making more educated decisions in solving the actual problem.
So, what are the best tools to build an MVP? Depending on your product type, it could be a website with a landing page, it could be interactive wireframes, even different Google forms. But the beauty of today’s world is that technology has advanced to a point where you can actually build a fully functioning app or website without knowing a single line of code, and that, my friends, is what I think is now a perfect solution to launching an MVP for your tech startup.
Yes, I am talking about the no-code movement.
In short, Low/No-code development platforms allow people that are non-programmers create software through graphical user interfaces and configuration instead of traditional computer programming. Today, you can create websites, web and mobile apps full of actual functionality without writing a single piece of code, thanks to platforms such as Bubble, Webflow, Glide, Airtable, Zapier and many many more.
What this means is that you can build a tech product’s MVP that is fully functioning, looks good and can start not only bringing customers, but revenue too. Whilst apps and websites built with no-code platforms can still be quite limited and most likely are still not scalable enough, it can be a perfect way to have a good product out there while you’re working on the actual full-on product in the background. However, it’s just a matter of time, as no-code platforms are quickly improving and we’ve already seen some companies managing to scale from MVP to full-on products while still using no-code. Just look at Honest Burgers and what they’ve managed to achieve. Tom Osman, a no-code wizard, has recently interviewed the guys from Honest Burgers to see how they’ve managed to do that:
How Honest Burgers Use Automation to Save $100k per year!
There are great resources our there on how to build no-code products and the best platforms to use, as well as leaders in the space that have the latest news and insights on what’s actually possible. Personally, I’d highly recommend subscribing to Tom Osman’s ‘The Trail’ newsletter as well as checking out MakerPad, who are the go-to place for learning all things no-code.
Now go build something awesome and share your results with me! 🔨

Health: my nutritional journey
In this issue I want to quickly share my persnonal nutritional journey. So I will cover what worked, what didn’t, why I chose specific diets and what the outcomes were.
THE “BROKE STUDENT” DIET
This one’s pretty common. You just left home to live on your own, you’re paying for accommodation, studies, commuting and beer. Whatever’s left goes towards what I can barely call food.
The Food: Frozen pizzas, noodles, pasta with ketchup, instant coffee with milk powder and cheapest biscuits you could find.
The Pros: Cheap and tasty. That’s pretty much it.
The Cons: Always feeling tired and having sugar crashes, developed heavy eczema (had that as an underlying issue already which was heavily triggered), stared having acne everywhere and greasy hair.
Takeaway: you don’t need to be rich to eat healthy, but you need to be educated. I could’ve easily filled my fridge with meat, eggs and veggies for the same price and it would’ve made a huge difference.
Pasta, tuna and ketchup burrito. My special.
Pasta, tuna and ketchup burrito. My special.
THE “HEALTHY MARKETING” DIET
I’ve now graduated, I’ve got a bit more money to spare and want to get healthier. However, I am highly uneducated when it comes to nutrition so I listen to marketing on what is healthy.
The Food: Granola bars, smoothies and juices (aka ‘liquid sugar’), sandwiches with wholegrain bread, sports drinks, low-fat and fat-free everything…you get the idea.
The Pros: Makes you think you’re healthy so at least mentally you’re being positive about the food you eat and that helps.
The Cons: Sugar and vegetable oils everywhere, so the cons essentially stay the same as in the previous diet. The only difference is it becomes more expensive.
Takeaway: marketing doesn’t care about you being healthy, it cares about you being addicted. How to get people addicted? Sugar. And how to get people to use sugar that want to be healthy? Hide it under products marked as healthy. Seriously. I struggle finding a plain chicken breast without it having sugar injected.

THE “LET EVERYONE KNOW I’M A VEGAN” DIET
Because the previous attempt at being healthy didn’t amount to anything, the next natural step was going vegan. Why? Because at that time everyone was raving how going vegan doesn’t only help the planet, but will make you the healthiest person you’ve ever been. Now, full disclosure, it might work for some people, but it definitely didn’t work for me.
The Food: pick any food and add ‘vegan’ to it. Vegan burgers, vegan sausages, vegan bacon, vegan cheese, vegan cookies, vegan crisps.
The Pros: in the first few months I actually did feel better. I lost a bit of weight, I seemed to have energy and overall felt lighter.
The Cons: I came crashing down after a few months. No energy, always feeling bloated, couldn’t concentrate, had a fuzzy mind and started getting more sports injuries. It’s actually known as ‘The Vegan Trap’ and is a common occurence on which I am not going to get into, but this is a great precedent to look at: https://daveasprey.com/carl-lewis-vegan
Takeaway: making something artificially vegan is simply making it junk food. Highly processed, factory made products are bad for almost anyone, including people who are vegan. The only way to avoid this is essentially living on organic vegetables, but then you’re dealing with malnutrition unless you fill yourself with 20 different types of supplements on a daily basis. Doesn’t sound natural, but again, that’s just me.

THE “PESCATARIAN” DIET
So what’s the best way to get best of both worlds? Get your salads in but also get your meaty proteins without actually being a meateater? Fish. I went full on pescatarian.
The Food: all fish and seafood together with what essentially would be a vegetarian diet: tofu, beans, vegetables, fruits, dairy and grains.
The Pros: this led to me feeling the best I’ve ever felt before. I got my proteins and other nutrients in and still kept the light feeling. My concentration was getting better, my allergies were slowly but surely going away and overall I felt good. As time went, I’ve also realised that I was allergic to soy, oats and beans and removing those from this diet made it even better.
Felt good, looked good
Felt good, looked good
The Cons: There weren’t too much cons apart from the fact that I was still eating dairy, lectins and grains leading to inflammation. I had an injured back at that time so having any inflammation would lead to severe pain, so while this diet felt pretty great, I still felt it could be better.
Takeaway: personally, I think this diet really works and has a nice balance of your proteins and fibres. Also, fish is usually less contaminated than meat like chicken, which is usually filled with hormones, steroids and sugars.

THE “KETO-VORE” DIET (current)
While I loved the pescatarian diet, as I’ve mentioned earlier, inflammation was a big issue for me still, so I had to look at how to reduce that as much as possible. This is where I started leaning towards combining a Keto diet with intermittent fasting. There’s simply too much to cover if I were to go deeper into what they are and how they work, but if you are curious I’d suggest following people like Dave Asprey, Thomas DeLauer and Ken Berry.
However, the title says Keto-vore, so that’s a combination of a ketogenic and carnivore diet. In short:
Carnivore diet: a dietary lifestyle prioritizing meat as the only essential food source. It’s a sustainable, practical diet from which our ancestors naturally thrived.
Ketogenic diet: a dietary lifestyle prioritizing fat as the primary fuel source, as opposed to carbohydrates or protein. When utilized correctly, your body enters an advanced metabolic state called KETOSIS in which body fat is converted into KETONES which are used for fuel over glucose.
Keto-vore diet: low or no carbohydrate intake and the fats come mostly from fatty meats, such as ribs, bacon, brisket, pork chops etc.
The Pros: no weight-gain, never really feeling hungry, increased brain activity and concentration, reduced inflammation, no energy crashes, regenerative boost to recover stem cells and many many more.
The Cons: can seem quite restrictive in the beginning and most people go through what is called a ‘Keto Flu’, which essentially your body going into shock when trying to get into ketosis. This only happens once and not everyone gets it, I didn’t, but usually you get a fever and an upset stomach for a day.
Takeaway: Combined with intermittent fasting, this is the best diet I’ve ever done and I don’t see that changin any time soon. I get to eat as much organic grass-fed and grass-finished meat as I want, I don’t gain weight, I build strong muscles, I’ve never had so much motivation and concentration, I don’t get energy crashes anymore as it’s a slow energy release process and most importantly: no inflammation, so I pretty much don’t experience any pain anymore even after all my health issues.
Do I think everyone should be eating a keto-vore diet? I believe everyone could certainly benefit from trying it, but I also understand that there are a lot of people who thrive on being able to enjoy sugary desserts and carbs and are absolutely fine. Everyone’s wired differently and I am simply sharing what works for me.

THE “DON’T TELL ANYONE I’M A CARNIVORE” DIET (potentially)
So naturally this would be the next step from a keto-vore diet, but I am yet to try it. It definitely has its own benefits and I’d highly suggest following Dr. Paul Saladino if you want to know why, but this interview with Joe Rogan is a nice introduction:
#1551 - Paul Saladino - The Joe Rogan Experience | Podcast on Spotify
Basketball: the story of Christian Wood
I want to tell you the story of Christian Wood, the current Center playing in the NBA for the Houston Rockets.
Christian Wood going undrafter in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Christian Wood going undrafter in the 2015 NBA Draft.
The photo above is of him on the night of him going undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft. The kicker? His girlfriend left him that same day.
Whilst he did manage get a minimum deal with the 76ers, he would only show up sparingly in 17 games that season our of 82.
In the last 5 years he has been:
  • Cut by the 76ers to make room for Elton Brand
  • Waived by the Bucks so they could sign Pau Gasol
  • Let go by the Pelicans to free up a roster spot
  • Cut by a team in China before even playing in a game.
  • Signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Pistons

“Most guys would fold or say this isn’t for me after maybe the second or third time being waived by a team,” Wood said. “And maybe even quitting after being cut from an overseas team. But after that, what’s really next? I would just say, ‘Just have that resilience and never give up with you. You made it this far. You bet on yourself. Just keep betting on yourself.’ ”

He has now signed a $41M/3-year contract with the Houston Rockets and is averaging 23.6 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.
Christian Wood in a Houston Rockets uniform
Christian Wood in a Houston Rockets uniform
Ignore the noise, never give up on your dreams and bet on yourself. It’s you vs you. Always. ❤️

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