sudo fry rolls /* This blog is actually mobile-friendly! */

San Francisco stories (no.5)

Not your kind of people

Supermoon observers

POV of an outsider

On one hand, I got to meet exceptional individuals on my trip to San Francisco and the Bay Area. These people are the ones in the driving who push the limits of technology, constantly on the forefront of innovation, trying to have a shot at the impossible, and keeping the wealth flowing in. No exaggeration: they left me in awe of their intelligence and talents. Oh yes, there are way way more talents to tap into outside of Silicon Valley - but these superhumans are a totally different breed, seriously…

On the other hand, there are homeless folks roaming almost every street we walked/drove by, and many of them are mentally ill. One night, when I was waiting for the BART in SF centre to get to our place in Oakland, an old man came around, kept saying a lot of gibberish to everybody nearby - amongst which I made out the part where he said he was a vet in ‘Nam (funnily enough…). He then proceeded to sing a song that I could not really understand either, danced along with it in a deranged way, spoke some more gibberish and walked away. I had a glance into his eyes and found them… well, soulless. It would have made a great photograph, but it was just all really sad so I hesitated and decided not to take the shot. Ever since, I have been reading more and more about the homeless and mental health problems of San Francisco - fascinating stuff.

All of it was just like a dream - SF is now 8 timezones away. A jet lag is like leaving your heart and soul somewhere else. It is time to readjust.

From High Wycombe, England

San Francisco stories (no.4)


What to do in San Francisco:

After TechCrunch Disrupt Day 2, go to a random drink where you talk about travel startups, hotel pricing algorithm, your dream Arduino builds, chatting up with girls about your tech stack.

I can’t imagine doing the last bit in many other places I’ve been to without getting weird look, and people slowly walking away from this nutty Asian guy.

It's time to just do it

Next destination: San Francisco

3 months ago, the reaction would be “Yeah, let’s go to Disrupt SF!”, now it has changed to “Holy shit, it’s next week…”

We’ve now got a solid platform, with an upcoming iOS app that we have always wanted to build reaching launch date, and (positive - woot!) feedback flooding in from beta users and early adopters. In the past 4 months, I have written a lot of thousands of lines of code in at least 5 different programming languages, and currently on an over month-long GitHub streak with 70 pull requests within the last 7 days alone. Recruiters who spams me with LinkedIn messages about “new exciting challenges”, please take note: if something can pique my interest, it needs to be that Esplorio-level challenging and addicting.


There is still a crazy amount of work to do. The more we get finished, the more new stuff there is. However, it is safe to say that I am having the time of my life right now, and the best is yet to come.

Let’s hope all the long hours and all those “Okay, I’ll stay back to finish this, maybe one fewer day/night out/game…” moments will eventually pay off. See you again soon, San Francisco.

If you are going to attend TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2015, you can find us showing off all the awesome things we’ve built in the Startup Alley on the 21st Sep. Otherwise, I’ll stay in town with my team until the 30th if you fancy a catchup

PS: Fun fact. While I’m writing these lines, Esplorio servers are under attack by Chinese hackers

CNN Conference 2015 - Hội thảo du học Chuyên Ngoại Ngữ 2015

Vietnamese post - CNN Conference có gì hot?

Series các câu hỏi nổi bật nhận được trong những ngày qua về CNN Conference

“Chưa chán à?”


“Làm gì ở đấy?”

Đến xem chơi.

“CNN Conference là gì?”

Hội thảo du học hàng năm của trường Chuyên Ngoại Ngữ

“Hội thảo của Chuyên Ngữ có gì hay hơn các hội thảo khác?”

Các hội thảo khác, dù nhiều tiếp tế súng ống đạn dược hơn, nhưng thông thường chỉ có thể tập trung sâu vào một mảng du học lớn. CNN Conference được chạy bởi CNNers, và thiết kế cho CNNers. Mà đã là dân Chuyên Ngữ thì có đặc điểm là đi đến nước nào cũng có.

Có về lần này mới biết trend của các em bây giờ là không chỉ apply nhiều trường trong 1 nước như kiểu ngày xưa mình làm, mà còn trải applications ra các nước khác nhau. Và hiếm có cái hội thảo nào bao được hơn 10 quốc gia trong 1 ngày.

“Học sinh trường ngoài có đến được không?”

Có chứ, đến chơi nhé?

“Phụ huynh thì sao?”

Đương nhiên là ok rồi.

Muốn đi phải làm gì?

Đăng ký ở đây rồi 7h45 sáng có mặt

RSVP ở trên facebook cho vui

“Tóm tắt lại trong ngày có gì?”

Sáng có panel discussion hay ho của đại diện 1 số quốc gia, chiều đến có đủ các booth của 10 nước, tha hồ nói chuyện với các bạn/anh chị du hí và du học sinh cool cool.

Sau đây là poster hoành tráng nhưng Facebook resize lại còn 1 mẩu bé như con kiến, xin được trả lại công lý cho nó:


… and here goes bonus round 1:


… and bonus round 2:


#muchhappi #socri

Spread your wing and fly.

Why we go on a road trip to Italy to rebuild Esplorio

Because we can.

As a kid, I have always wanted to become a “computer engineer”, but “What the hell does such an engineer do?” - I wondered.

Now, I have the answer for that little guy.

Bellano view from morning jog

“Kid, in the future, you will sit outside of a retreat home under the Sun, holding a beer in your hand, looking out to one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy with faraway snow-covered mountains on the other side, while building an application powered by a dozen virtual machines elsewhere in the world.

Why, you ask? Because you can.”

Building a start-up company has always been about exploring the possibilities - this first Esplorio road trip is the very embodiment of that. We have the freedom to choose a life outside of the restriction of the cubicles, and we did it. Almost everybody we have met on the trip is very surprised when we tell them we are here to work. That is understandable because people come here to enjoy the beautiful scenery, relax, eat, drink and to take a break from their busy life. However, we came here to not only enjoy life or celebrate our recent successes, but also to get some inspiration and remind ourselves that anything is possible. This much fun while effectively rebuilding Esplorio codebase inside-out from the core, and all of it costs less than having an office in London? Yes, please!

Besides, travelling while using Esplorio makes us understand our own product even more, think about how to improve it, discover more use cases and get insights on different problems. What’s most satisfactory to me is that this kind of trips validate our ideas and the whole reasoning behind what we are building.

Amongst the Esplorio board of directors, so far we have had:

~220 commits made to codebase
~10 pull requests merged (with a few more pending)
~1500 lines of new code
USD???000 worth of stuff into our warchest while still on the move
82 new designs reviewed
~2100km travelled so far
5 countries
140mph top speed on road
189mph top speed on rail
1 Trademark & Copyright violation handled
1 wrongly booked train
1kg of Bistecca
12 kebabs with multiple types of pork
3 Pizzas/person
4 Gelatos/person
2 bottles of Prosecco
5 litres of beer
1 litre of dangerously cheap Limoncello
1 Call of Duty game played
1 surprise ice-cream van
1 very fun dog
1 very fun cat

(inspired by @timfernando and @essasaulat’s Slack message today, bar the trade secrets)

Yep, the future is good, kiddo.

dalla Bellano con amore