Author Archives: Abe Diaz

A night at #StartupGrind with John Cook (Co-Founder of Geekwire)

via Instagram
Last Wednesday I had the chance to participate in #StartupGrind Seattle. We had the pleasure to have John Cook that night, for those who know, John is the Co-Founder of GeekWire the very famous Seattle tech news hub.
I gotta say John was very funny and insightful. Some items stuck with me like these:
  • Always be open to personal feedback. Especially the hard ones.
  • “If you are not having fun, you are doing something wrong” – self -explanatory no?
  • Don’t surprise people – when breaking  big news or internal company conflicts, always give the chance to talk or give a heads up to whoever will get impacted.
  • As with life (e.g. marriage), find partners/founders that complement you; ones with skills you don’t possess.
  • Learn how to fight (again, just like in marriage). Understand that even when things blow up, you will have to come down and do it quickly.
  • Collect a good set of mentors, including parents and colleagues in different industries.
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How Dominion made me like board games again

via Instagram
I recently attended a potluck event with friends and got introduced to this little game called Dominion. Now, hear me out i don’t think i have liked board games since i was a kid. I hated playing monopoly for 4 hours to then just stop and see nobody win. That was not what i felt with this game. We played with an expansion deck but the dynamics made it a bit hard for the players, we went back to the original game and then “it was on!”. The flow was faster therefore more enjoyable. I don’t know how i hadn’t seen this game before but I’m glad I did.
If you are interested here is the original one: Dominion

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2014 A big year ahead

I tend to not post about personal topics but this one is self-explanatory and almost required.

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A year of Blogging 2013 Review

Crunchy numbers

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,700 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

In 2013, there were 27 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 85 posts. There were 10pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 4 MB. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was March 20th with 109 views. The most popular post that day was iPhone/iPad Simulator for Visual Studio at NashDotNet.

How did they find you?

Some visitors came searching, mostly for visual studio 2012 iphone simulator, abe diaz, and visual studio 2012 iphone emulator.

Where did they come from?

Most visitors came from The United States. The United Kingdom & India were not far behind.

Who were they?

Your most commented on post in 2013 was This is one way to never miss a sale – AT&T Developer Program Blogs

See you in 2014

Thanks to WordPress for the stats!

Please LinkedIn give this little app some love.

CardMunch from LinkedIn


I recently saw an article in Lifehacker about clever ways to use your phone’s camera. I saw it mentioned CamCard and while this is a good app I really like CardMunch much better. I like that I can snap a picture and throw away the paper. I love that i can send an invitation to connect via LinkedIn from the app too.

Now, what I don’t like is how it feels like LinkedIn has abandoned this little app to the ether. I’m officially begging for some updates like:

  • Saving the pictures to a local folder in the camera roll automatically.
  • Emailing the info and pictures to yourself or others.
  • Emailing the info as a vcf.
  • Decreasing the amount of time it takes to submit and recognize a card. (This has been a sore point for me).
  • Better management and searchability of Notes.
  • Etc…

These and many other reasons made me write this and unofficially reach out to LinkedIn for some feedback.

What other apps do you all use for Business Card Management and Networking? Leave a comment.

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Santa was good to me :-)

I just wanted to share my awesome Christmas gifts this year with you all. Hope this is the beginning of new adventures.
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A Year of #Travel Visualized

This is the only reason I link my TripIt account to all my travel reservations. The ability to go back and use that data in any way, shape or form I want is very freeing. I remembered last year seeing this visualization and decided to spend a full year logging all flights and hotels inside of TripIt. This is the outcome of that journey:

2013's Travel Summary

2013’s Travel Summary

I wish it was in miles but this is all I got for now. As you can see I got that that SEA-ATL flight down to a science.

Distance flown by air segment

Distance flown by air segment

If it wasn’t for this chart I would have forgotten I stepped in Denver and Dallas this year too.

Number of air segments by airport

Number of air segments by airport

I think you can easily tell which frequent flyer program i like the most 🙂 I wish I would have made it to Platinum at Delta but I guess it wasn’t meant to be this year. I do have to give props to the people manning the social accounts for @delta and @DeltaAssist they have responded to my tweets very quickly and helped me book alternate flights when needed.

Airlines I travelled on

Airlines I travelled on

Well that’s it for now, see you all Up in the Air next year 😉

PS: Build your very own chart like this thanks to @gem_ray at

A flood of love, grief and crowdfunding

On December 4, 2013 life tragically changed for Caran Johnson commonly known as @scancouver by her followers. She had the unfortunate experience to live tweet her husband’s death on a car accident. I won’t go into detail as the media has already done that (and more) but what I made me pull the trigger on this post was what happened independently behind the scenes.

As many rushed to twitter to post horrible comments on the topic others started, shared and funded a campaign to fund the funeral arrangements of Caran’s husband in HOURS. No, it didn’t go viral, heck it was almost buried along the other tweets but still over 400 supporters participated. The goal was reached in hours and in fact it was over funded which was nice to see. This truly speaks to the power of community and the tribe leaders out there. 

Some Background info into the campaign: With sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo charging close to 5% in fees I was pleasantly surprised to hear of a $0 fee website for this type of campaigns. YouCaring was the place where the actual campaign (seen here) was hosted. I assume taxes still apply but the money should certainly help this family. Props to Marissa for spearheading this and my feelings go out to the Johnson family.
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Recap from #Braindump at the HUB

Yesterday I attended #braindump at the Hub, to discuss Windows Azure, Win8, WinPhone and Xamarin development. With a focus on app development and getting local developers to publish (on any Appstore). The event had very good speakers and a diverse set of characters in the audience. I wish more people has attended but for me it was a great kickoff to a new project.
A nice surprise was meeting Chris Risner (@chrisrisner) who’s content I have been following for quite sometime. We had a chance to talk about mobile services and some of the challenges in marketing and exposing WAMS to other developers.
I also had the chance to chat with Jeremy Foster (@codefoster) on the pros/cons of XAML vs. WinJS for Win8 Development. He shared a very nice gallery of examples called CodeShow. I think this was the turning point for the current project and the move to WinJS. I’m glad I was able to attend his session 🙂
I was happy to see the guys from Xamarin show off some of the new embedded solutions and (repeatedly) answer the questions from the crowd on how to “develop iOS and android apps from inside Visual Studio”. I gotta give it to (@bryancostanich) for his patience with the crowd and hope to see some more awesome tools in the future.
Lastly I met Matt Harris Co-Founder of SendWithUS one of the few partners of the SendGrid team. His session was very personal, he evangelized on what had started as a personal quest for better email management and ended up being a company. It is hard to believe this is the outcome from 11 months of work from a 7 person team. I liked his product but more so his passion, it is hard to find people with that determination.
Abe’s Insight: I’m still in awe with some of the gaps in knowledge from the technical audiences I interact with. The fragmentation in platforms has been there from the beginning (this is not news). We have been developing iOS apps, Android apps and lately Win8 and WinPhone separately; the search for that “one IDE to rule them all” should be over by now…seriously. It is all a business driven decision, going the HTML5 route vs the Native one is not a matter of user base and numbers but one of product development and how an app should be an extension of your company/product/business.
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On Tribes and Leaders

I have to thank Alan Stevens for being my hippie guru and inspiring me to dig deeper. It all started at a talk at CodeStock (back when he had the long hippie hair) and many subsequent ones at DevLink too. Listening and talking to Alan has served as a personal reboot and mental reminder that leadership is all about connecting. Eating together as a family, not backing down on your choices and recognizing the team’s strengths; seem pretty obvious but as they say “common sense is the least common of all senses”.

I finally got to reading and finishing Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin, and while the book is purposely abstract on the methodology to “become a leader” it highlights some of the key points to “building and leading tribes”. I feel dejected when I see so many people intentionally avoiding risks and opportunities to the tune of “I’m safe where I am”. I have been blessed by opportunities early in life that helped me curate some skills (or at least the ability to observe them in perspective) but more so to have a support system that always pushes me to do more and not be afraid to lead when the opportunity strikes.

Being a fan of him and his other books like Purple Cow, Permission Marketing and especially Linchpin; I found Tribes to be a breathe of fresh air with a short request… don’t just follow, find a tribe and lead it.

Like Seth says “Go, make something happen“.

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