Second Chance

We (the people) should create a crowdfunding campaign that would finance best world thinkers and scientists for at least a few months (years if needed) to sit together and try to play with an idea of creating a new human society from scratch. Something like “Manhattan project” but for creation instead of destruction. We could even try to make this whole project as a documentary series to actually cut costs. Who knows, there could be some scientists interested in joining this experiment for free.

Since it might be hard for people to think about redesigning society on earth, we should imagine that we are creating a new society somewhere else. We could present a story like this one…

We’ve discovered a habitable planet (called Second Chance) and you, scientists and brilliant minds, are the ones that are going to populate it. You’ll start your space journey in a month and it will take you 3 months to get there. You have enough food, water and power to sustain yourselves for at least 6 months after you land. You have access to complete human knowledge database and don’t have to worry about copyright and patent laws. You will receive shipments of machinery and resources needed to rebuild the society every six months because we only have one spaceship capable of that kind of travel, and you are going to use it to get there. Every shipment will contain enough food and water needed to supply all of you, but not your offspring. You have to take care of them on your own. Cargo hold is 100×100 meters big and 30 meters high. Start by deciding the things you are going to take with you. Please leave your egos on Earth. Good luck.

RULES on Second Chance:
– Preservation of human life is the most important thing!
– Every human should have food, water and shelter.
– No exploitation of planet’s plants, animals and other resources.
– No single person should have power or value higher than any other person. In other words, there is no boss and every decision should be backed by majority of you.
– No ownership of any kind. Imagine everything you have as something you have to return if you don’t use it.

– Complete sustainability. Creating food and energy without using animals or planet’s non renewable resources. Yes, everyone is vegan, deal with it.
– No inequality. Doesn’t matter who you are, who your parents are, your sex, race or religion.
– People are educated and population growth is controlled based on managing available resources. Not enough food? Use condoms.
– No marketing/propaganda/lobbying because you don’t need multiple variations of products or services that have the same purpose.
– aberrant behaviour should not be punished. You need to take care of every human, even if he/she murdered someone. No prisons! Create institutions that will take care of those people and try to figure out why they had that kind of behaviour… or send them back to Earth.

The whole experiment should be hands on. We could actually buy some land on Earth and have them go there and start rebuilding society pretending that it’s another planet :)

What do you think? I would totally pay to finance something like this. I would even donate 100$ a month to keep it going. It probably needs some tweaks, but this is just from the top of my head. Feel free to send suggestion :)

random blob about education and parenting

We live in a world where you choose your school and occupation thinking about profit. My parent’s chose my high-school education because they thought I’ll have a nice job and profitable future. I’ve flunked my first year because I knew deep down inside that being a road traffic technician is not something that I want to do nor something that would make me happy. Five years later I got the degree they’ve wanted me to have.

During high school I still had some time to pursue one of my interest – computer programming. I was actually a national high school champion in software development as a representative of a school that had nothing to do with software development. I think that should have raised an eyebrow or two… but nothing changed. I didn’t get invited to a quality IT college and no one ever talked with me about it.

After high school I made a choice to study computer science. I barely got in only to find out that most of my teachers are people with ZERO life experience in the field I was passionate about. I was a smart ass and I’ve bruised a lot of egos during my college years… and thanks to that I barely passed classes like programming :) After my bachelors degree I’ve lost all hope in traditional education in Croatia solely on its inability to evolve and highly uneducated and unprofessional ego (instead of passion) driven professors.

We have a saying of nailing the nails that stick out the most :)

Now I do what I want without thinking about money and yet I make more money than I would ever make in Croatia, unless I was the president… which is something that I would actually consider :) The thing is, I’m not driven by money, I actually have a pretty strong opinion about money but I’ll leave that one for some other post.

When I applied for my first real IT related job, I didn’t even tell them that I had a college degree. I got hired and by doing that, I’ve proven my point that in IT you don’t need the degree. The only thing you need is knowledge and in some cases you can get a job just by displaying genuine passion.

Coming back to my parents. The only thing they had to do was to listen to me and let me excel in things I’ve loved. The only thing I ever wanted from them was someone to talk with who wouldn’t judge nor punish me for being ME. Fear and lies should be completely unknown things to any normal family if you ask me.

If you punish your kid after they open up and admit something “bad” they’ve done, you are programming them not to trust you and they may never open up to you again. You can scar your children or the relationship you have with them just because of your bad reaction to them breaking a remote or stealing candy from a local store.

People often say that I oversimplify things… yes, I’m a simple person and I’m only educated enough to keep it simple :P You don’t have to agree with me but arguing won’t make anyone learn anything. Stop and listen to each other and learn about the things you are talking about.

USA To-Do list

Updated: Looks like I’ll have to go back to finish what we started :)

– raise $500k (got $240k)
– get in the ocean for the first time
– surf for the first time
– go to a strip club (never been)
– rock climbing

+ visit gay bar (in your face homophobes) :P
+ visit my friend in LA
+ party every weekend
+ launch our product! Go WhoAPI!
+ drive an automatic (to LA and back)
+ jump into outdoor unheated pool on Christmas
+ survive Oakland at night
+ sleep in sketchy hotels
+ create good friendships
+ sleep on the floor
+ get in the car with people you’ve just met and leave with all of your organs
+ visit Google HQ
+ visit Facebook HQ
+ visit Twitter HQ
+ Drive over the Golden Gate bridge
+ eat no-complaint sushi (survived and didn’t complain… thanks Kyoka and Yui)
+ dubstep/techno/trance club
+ participate in a hackathon
+ bowling
+ eat a spoon of wasabi (earned $10 for it)

How I quit my job for a US company in Croatia to join a Croatian company in US

There I was, Croatia. The land of high unemployment, enormous taxes and extremely good food. It’s a perfect place to start a company and run a business. Run it to the ground, that is.

After many attempts I finally got a good job. It was a good job because it was for a USA based company called iOLAP that just opened their business development center in my hometown. They came here in search of cheap but smart workforce with a culture similar to theirs.

They gave us more than most of Croatian companies would give to their employees. We had free drinks (coffee, tea and even beer), free professional certifications, some games to unwind (foosball and XBox), and most important, regular paychecks.

After my first year there I’ve received a 50% raise due to my skills and peer reviews. I felt appreciated like nowhere before and felt like I was a part of a big family.

So, what happened to make me leave? That’s probably what they were asking themselves when I resigned. Despite their harsh reaction to my decision, I kind of hopped they’d understand that it wasn’t an easy decision to make as I had a lot more to lose then they did.

I used to work on and off for a small web development and hosting company called GEM Studio. One of the owners is my brother and the other one is a childhood friend. After five years of building their company, they created a startup called WhoAPI and sold GEM Studio to the biggest hosting company in Croatia. While I was working for iOLAP I also did some iOS development for WhoAPI, and my boss at iOLAP didn’t like it very much so he said that I should stop working for my friends.

There I was, overly ambitious developer stuck at a somewhat easy job with daily tasks that I could complete within a few hours. I was promised some iOS development for the company and a lead position on an upcoming project, but time passed and company Mac’s were sold so I might have lost that spark that made me a happy employee. I started making work related scripts and projects just to keep myself busy, but sometimes when you are working with unambitious and unmotivated people you just blend in and become one of them.

Then I heard some great news from my friends at WhoAPI. They received an investment and were invited to join the 500 Startup accelerator program in Silicon Valley. I felt so proud for the guys as they worked really hard for it and deserved a break. Then a few days later, 5 days before their departure for US, my brother called me for a drink after my shift at iOLAP and as soon as we sat down in the coffee shop, he asked me: “So, do you want to come with us?”. It might sound that it was an easy decision to make, but it actually wasn’t. I was thinking it over and over but I just felt that I already knew the answer to his question.

I’ve resigned over an email and it felt like a bad breakup with the girl that you really care about. I said that this was a too big opportunity for me just to let it go. If I didn’t accept it, I would probably be thinking about it for the rest of my life. I just had to resign. I felt like shit for letting my boss down as I sometimes felt that he was more than just a boss to me.

Now I’m helping my guys out on a journey of their life and I’m starting to feel like a part of the old crew again. We just launched the new version of WhoAPI last week and are already working on improvements. We’ll have pitch opportunities next two months and I’m hopping we’ll raise enough so we could maybe prolong our stay in US and eventually move our headquarters here.

Trip to 500

WhoAPI has landed! The trip was great but it drained us. Some of us were awake for more then 30 hours. We were almost denied the access to US because we didn’t bring any proof of our invitation to 500 Startups. Luckily, we had a cached email from someone at 500 Startups crew and it was enough to get us in.

We rented a car right away and went to a hotel in San Francisco. We stayed there for two nights and then headed for Mountain View. We didn’t know that it was that hard to get an apartment here (failed the credit check) so we switched hotels every night for the next three days.

Today, after almost a week of hotels, we’ve finally found a place for all five of us. We are moving in this Monday. The apartment is unfurnished so we’ve ordered everything we need from IKEA. It looks like it is cheaper to buy furniture from IKEA then renting it from the local furniture renting companies.

The people at 500 are so F-ing awesome and that motivates me to work even harder. The only problem right now is that we’ve arrived 3 weeks later then most of the teams and we still don’t have a permanent residence.

I hope there are some clubs here in Mountain View so we can let loose and prepare for the next week, when we plan to code like crazy :)

Aquired by WhoAPI

After a year and a half of working at iOLAP I’ve received an offer from WhoAPI that I could not refuse (not the scary Godfather kind), so I went with my heart and quit my daily job to work at one of the most famous Croatian startups.

WhoAPI recently received an invite from Dave McClure to join the 500 startups family in Silicon Valley and now we are running around like crazy trying to get all of the paperwork needed for our trip. We are staying there for at least 4 months and I bet we’ll have a blast there.