The 5-Minute Pomodoro Technique

The pomodoro technique is like the magic bullet.

It's just a small blender

You can do anything with the magic bullet.

You use it a few times.

Then you forget about it.

The 3 Main Reasons the Pomodoro Technique Fails

  1. They interrupt you
  2. You spend 10 minutes focusing
  3. Twitter

In the “traditional” pomodoro technique the rules are:

  • Work for 25 minutes
  • Break for 5 minutes
  • Work for 25 more minutes
  • Break again for 5 minutes
  • Work for 25 much more minutes
  • Break for 5 minutes
  • Work for 25 minutes of overtime before penalties
  • Break stuff for 5 minutes

Aka 4 Pomodoros.

Although I like calling them Pomodorus or Pomodori

As mentioned before the problem starts with

Focus

Under normal conditions (75F, 2nd cup of coffee, headphones) you can focus in 10 minutes.

The one the only JV

That’s before starting the pomodori clock.

In reality your first pomodorus takes 35 minutes

Interruption

5 minutes in to your first pomodoro. The phone rings.

Or they tap you on the shoulder.

Or they call your name.

Focus lost.

Restart.

Twitter

After the interruption you need to focus again.

But you don’t this right away.

You check in at twitter.

10 minutes later you start work again.

10 minutes to focus.

Pomodori starting….now

The birth of the 5-minute Pomodoro Technique

The 5-Minute Pomodor is Cool

The rules are:

  • Work for 5 minutes
  • Break for 1 minute
  • No warmup focus minutes
  • No twitter, facebook or “The Others”
  • Repeat for 2 hours
  • 10 minute break aka Check Your Email

Ideal conditions:

  • Night owl workers
  • Early worm workers
  • 1st or 2nd cup of coffee
  • Noise canceling headphones (with The Social Network soundtrack)

No warmup focus:

  • Pretend this is your last day on earth
  • Your last task you will ever do
  • Think a dog is chasing you
  • You need to get it done

10 minute break:

  • Bathroom break or
  • Refill your coffee or
  • Check your email
  • Update your Basecamp/Pivotal Tracker/Trello or boring MS project management with ugly Gantt charts

The Birth of the 5-Minute Pomodoro

The Miami Startup Guide

It has been a year since I posted The Essential Guide to Miami Tech Scene

This is an updated 2014 Miami Startup Guide in just a few sentences:

When you see a list like this:

  • Muller
  • Neymar
  • James
  • Messi

You don’t need details. You believe they are the top players. So here they are:

LAB Miami

Boris Hirmas and Co

@therealwifi

Ed Toro

Wyncode

Venture Hive

Susan Amat

Refresh Miami

Brian Breslin

Live Ninja and Waffle Wednesdays

Knight Foundation

Bryce Kerley and Ruby

Adam Culp and php

David Bisset and Wordpress

Ernie Hsiung and @myqroft aka Design

@bunsen

1sale.com

Pfunk Media

Pabla Ayala

Rokker Labs

Tito Gil

https://www.facebook.com/groups/refreshmiami

Everybody Should Learn How to Make a Mash Tun

If you are not learning to code then you should learn plumbing.

Read this to learn why you should not learn to code.

Ohhh plumbing.

I didn’t know you had to learn some plumbing until I did my homemade mash tun.

This is an industrial mash tun

Now you have an idea what I am talking about.

What is a Mash Tun?

A mash tun is a container that converts malted barley into liquid malt.

This liquid malt is boiled, fermented and boom you have beer.

There is a little bit more process and science about it.

Here are some cliff notes:

  • Barley is grown
  • They harvest it
  • They take the barley grains and germinate the seeds up to a point
  • This is called malted barley. This process convert starches into fermentable sugars.
  • Boring chemical stuff here…blabla
  • You put malted barley into a mash tun
  • You add hot water
  • Some stuff happens here. Chemical reactions…blabla
  • Now you need to get the liquid out of the malt
  • Now you have liquid malt
  • This goes into a pot
  • You boil it. Add hops and a bunch of special ingredients
  • After boiling you cool the “wort”
  • You add yeast
  • Yeast ferments the wort
  • Wait a few weeks
  • Boom…beer…heaven on earth.

How to make a homemade Mash Tun

I guessed that you didn’t have the money or the space to buy an industrial mash tun.

Homemade beer aka homebrewing is usually done in batches of 5 gallons.

This produces about (40) 16 oz bottles of beer.

The reasons of homebrewing are beyond this article.

If you drink Miller Lite, stop reading. Go away now!

Building your own mash tun requires some skills:

  • Familiarity with hand tools
  • Basics of plumbing
  • Persistence

Here are some pictures of what the mash tun looks like:

1/2 inch tee inside cooler

Metal hose used as filter

Ball valve outside cooler

Hand Tools

I was clueless about hand tools.

I used to call them those things you use to hang frames

My ignorance took me so far.

To build a mash tun you need the following:

  • Screw driver, flat and phillips.
  • Pliers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pipe wrench pliers

If you have never used these tools my recommendation is to go to the local hardware store and buy a set of tools that has one of everything.

Basics of Plumbing

To build your mash tun you also need:

  • A cooler. About 50 quarts
  • A brass MIP nipple 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inch
  • (3) 1/2 inch brass barb MIP adapters
  • A 1/2 inch FIP tee
  • A stainless steel washing machine hose
  • (2) stainless steel hose clamps
  • A 1/2 inch brass ball valve
  • No. 18 rubber washers
  • Teflon tape

There are a lot of videos out there about building your own mash tun. These videos usually are a 5 min super simple video. I also watched the 15 minute extremely detailed video.

MIP Brass Nipple

MIP Brass Nipple

I had no clue what MIP or FIP was.

MIP means Male Iron Pipe. Which means the threads are on the outside.

FIP means Female Iron Pipe. The threads are on the inside.

When I went to Home Depot I picked up a Brass MIP Nipple. Went to pay and the cashier said I couldn’t buy that item. There was lead on it.

I went to find the Home Depot “expert” and he said “It looks like this has lead. We cannot sell this. Actually I need to pull all this from the shelf”

Then he said “Buy the galvanized one”

I went home and did some research:

  • Apparently “lead free” means that it should have less than 0.25% of lead
  • Galvanized with brass don’t really match. Apparently.

Went to the home depot website and saw that the brass nipple I tried to buy was indeed lead free, cause it had less than 0.25% of lead.

I guess the “expert” at Home Depot had no clue about this.

When I went back to Home Depot. They put the stock back on the shelf.

The Brass MIP barb adapter

This one looks like this:

Brass MIP barb adapter

(3) of them.

One goes into each side of the hose and into the brass tee.

The FIP brass tee

FIP brass tee

The brass tee looks pale compared to the brass adapter.

It has 3 sides. All female (with the thread inside)

One side goes facing the hole, inside the cooler. After removing the plastic valve (whatever was there before).

The other two sides. Each goes into a barb adapter, which goes into a side of the hose.

Stainless steel hose

Stainless steel hose

This hose is used as a filter. Since all the malted barley goes inside the cooler with hot water. The outer shelf stainless steel hose is used as a filter to let only the liquid malt out.

Cut both ends with a hand saw.

Ideally you should have a work bench with a vise.

Clamp the hose between the vise and use a square hand saw to cut the ends.

Otherwise it will be a pain. Like I did. I cut them by the end of a table with a small hand saw and my hands hurt afterwards.

The hose has these:

  • A steel connector on each side
  • Stainless steel outside
  • Plastic inside

You only need the outside stainless steel.

After you cut off the steel connectors, you need to get the plastic hose from inside.

Following the videos. I did this:

With a plier take the plastic hose and pull it, while holding the stainless steel shell.

That didn’t work.

What did work:

I took a towel. And held the tip of the stainless steel shell. (If you do it with your hands you will stab your fingers).

Then with a plier I pulled the plastic out.

This took a minute.

I also followed the method of inserting a rolled stainless steel wire inside the steel hose. Wrapped the wire around a pencil and kept pushing the wire inside the steel hose. The wire inside the hose helps with the weight of the barley so it doesn’t crush the hose.

The ball valve

Ball valve

This has the threads inside. I guess it could be called a FIP brass ball valve.

When you turn it while looking inside, you will see there is a small ball that opens and closes.

This goes on the outside of the cooler.

No. 18 Rubber Washers

The Washer

After a lot of trial and error, assembling the inside and outside of the cooler.

It would not stay tight.

I mean. When you turn the valve it should not move the whole assembly (nipple plus tee inside).

Something annoying at Home Depot was that these “experts” don’t know much about anything.

I asked for “gaskets” and “orings” and “washers”. I had to show them the nipple and specifically asked them what I wanted to do. Then they pointed me to an aisle.

When it is time to DIY things are different. Some things just don’t match.

In many of these videos you see that people use the “Coleman Xtreme 5”. And they say “Save the original washer that goes inside or…you are doomed”

In Miami. Around the Home Depot or Lowes hardware store. I didn’t find the cooler with the “spigot”.

I even asked if they had the “cooler with the spigot” and they replied “the what?”. To which I said “the square cooler with the plastic valve”. They looked at me as if I was from mars.

Then target had this whatever brand square cooler “with the spigot”. So I got that.

I followed the videos.

Whatched them over and over again.

I tried to put the original washer from the cooler but this wouldn’t keep the whole thing tight.

Metal with Metal Leaks

After some research I learned the (plumbing) obvious.

Metal with metal leaks.

You could go like this:

Metal with plastic with metal.

And.

Male metal and teflon tape with female metal.

Put teflon tape around all male metal fittings

This worked for me:

On the outside:

  • On the outside of the cooler I used the original washer from the outside
  • Followed by a rubber washer
  • Teflon tape on the outer side of the brass nippler
  • Then ball valve
  • Then teflon tape to the male side of the brass adapter
  • Which screws into the ball valve

On the inside:

  • Teflon tape on the outside of the nipple
  • (3) rubber washers
  • One stainless steel washer
  • One more rubber washer
  • Nipple screws into the brass tee

On the hose:

  • Teflon tape to the brass adapter
  • They go into each side of the hose
  • Clamped
  • Screwed into each side of the tee

All fittings are tighten with hand tools.

There are also things here and there that are only learned by experience:

  • How to hold the tools
  • How to mix tools
  • How to connect things

It took me about 2 weeks to get out of my ignorance and I am pretty sure I know a few things more than most humans, including those that work at Home Depot.

Next Step: DIY Mashing

Twitter Business Model and the End of Freemium

Warning: Stop reading if you don’t use Twitter

Twitter New Business Model: Make Money

Most of you read the Twitter book.

Sounds like the Facebook movie. Without the Nine Inch Nails soundtrack.

Twitter valuation is at $40 billion.

They posted a revenue of $250 million in the first quarter of 2014.

Although they posted a net loss of $132 million.

For those of you that don’t know what net loss means. It is the result when expenses exceed total revenue.

Simple math…

$250 + $132 = $382.

Which means their expenses were $382 million. Their revenue $250. So they lost $132 million.

Ouch.

Twitter New Business Model: The End of Freemium

Twitter will roll out a new business model.

Similar to Google for Business.

Twitter will deploy a $50/year/user campaign.

But that’s not all.

Twitter’s short term plan is to close freemium.

The End of Freemium

With about 200 million users. From which 60% are spam accounts.

They are hoping to make money out of 40 million users. About 20% of the total user base.

Simple math…

40 million users x $50 per user = $2000 million aka $2 billion

That’s $2 billion a year!

Twitter will remain (NOT) AD-Free

Simple math…

Apparently Twitter’s financials are:

(in millions)

  • $382 expenses per quarter
  • $250 revenue per quarter

Their Basic (not free) plan will make them $500 million per quarter

$250 + $500 = $750

$750 millions in revenue per quarter.

Twitter Analytics

YES!

Finally.

Twitter will deploy a “Premium” service for $100/year/account.

And they estimate that 1 to 5 million users will buy into it.

That’s between $100 to $500 million a year in revenues.

We are talking big bucks here.

$2.5 billion in revenues per year!

This is a ginarmous change from revenues in 2013 of about $660 million.

This will bring the stock from $40 up to $500 and probably even higher.

Major league.

Rolling from Fremium to (Not) Free

Since the majority of twitter accounts are spam or fake accounts.

Twitter will roll out the (Not) free within 6 months in phases.

It will notifiy users that Twitter will close the free service with a landing page to pay for either “Basic” or “Premium”.

It will also allow users to export their tweets for a fee…cha-ching.

This new business model makes sense to me. I use twitter as much as I use Gmail.

Would I pay $50 for a Basic account?

Yes.

Would I pay $100 for a Premium account?

Heck Yes!

Twitter was free and we took it for granted.

Now is time to pay up!

Vim and Let Die

When you were young and your heart was an open book

You used to say vim and let vim

Vim and Let Vim

You know you did, you know you did, you know you did

But if this ever changing world in which we’re living

Makes you give in and cry

Say Vim and let die.

No more Voodoo Editors

What does it matter to ya

When you got a job to do

You gotta do it well

No more IDEs

You gotta give the other fellow hell

Say Vim and Let Die

Rock the Vim