Side Rant: Other People

By Mike / On / In Meta

I’ve been blogging a long time. Longer than the word “blog” has existed. Back then it was just my web journal, and since I was talking about my private life in a public way, and that wasn’t something that had really been done before, I adopted a strict policy of never mentioning other people except in an indirect, anonymized way.

Later on I found myself involved in a lot of secret stuff where people didn’t necessarily want to be named. This is one of those platform things since back in Mac days. Some random Apple employee might see fit to do you a favor, but you’re not doing them any favors by calling attention to it, or them. I extended that courtesy to everyone I worked with.

That got me in a lot of trouble, though. I’d write about projects in a general way, not mentioning the team members or their roles, figuring they’d write in their own blogs if they cared. People started accusing me of stealing credit, or of thinking I was a one man shop, two ideas that were so absurd to me, I failed to even take them seriously until the damage was done.

So, sometimes, when I feel a bit of emotion toward one of my friends or colleagues, I’ll write a little bit about them. I never warn them about this stuff or run things by them. That’s another one of my little blogger’s quirks that might also be annoying, but it does come out of love.

How I feed my family

By Mike / On / In Meta

If you were ever curious what the Mayor of Appsterdam does all day, the answer is talk to people. A lot of that talking is in the form of answering questions. When I get the same questions again and again, or if the question is a particularly good one, I write about it here in this blog so I can refer people to it.

The faster I can respond to people, the more people I can talk to, and the more great stuff we can put together for Appsterdam. This also lets me spend more time teaching, which is really what I came here to do. My feeling is that my time belongs to the community, so I want to spend my time benefiting as many people as possible.

Which naturally leads to two questions I answer every day: “How do you feed your family?” and “Can you look at my app?” Good questions, and interesting answers, because it turns out, these questions answer each other.

I need to buy food and pay rent. You want some of my time to be your time. Hence, I make myself available as a consultant. I don’t have a lot of time, so rather than being picky about who I help, I set my rate to $1000 an hour. When I moved to Europe, that price became €1000 an hour.

That number usually shocks people. Has anyone ever paid me that? Yes. Have a lot of people paid me that? No. It’s a lot of money, though it’s not as dramatic as it sounds. If I go to a conference and give an hour-long presentation, for example, I’m there all day, but I’m only paid for an hour.

I really do want to help App Makers in Appsterdam make their products as successful as possible. That’s why we’ve built the world’s most advanced infrastructure for App Makers. So you can get lots of free advice to improve your products, your business, and yourself.

I also want to make myself available for individual mentoring to as many people as possible, which is why I’m introducing an Appsterdam discount. Appsterdam members can have an hour or two of my time for only €100 an hour. This reflects my feelings on how to price things: just low enough to make it an easy decision.

There are a couple of simple restrictions to qualify for the Appsterdam rate:

  • You or your company must be Appsterdam members.
    (Suspended until the membership sign-up page is online).
  • No contracts, NDAs, or other legal documents.
  • Our meeting must occur in the city of Amsterdam.
  • You pick the time and place. Lunch / Beer / Coffee is on you.
  • Limit 2 hours per member, per week.
  • Cash up front.

If you’d like to book time, contact Judy.I.Chen at Gmail with a time window and location. Once she schedules you, she’ll send you an invoice, which you will pay, in cash, at the beginning of our meeting. (This ensures I can deliver a completely honest assessment and escape cleanly.) Judy will then send you a receipt.