Melvin Tercan

I make things.

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The Artist

Art when really understood is the province of every human being.

It is simply a question of doing things, anything, well. It is not an outside, extra thing.

When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and he opens ways for a better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it, shows there are still more pages possible.

The world would stagnate without him, and the world would be beautiful with him. for he is interesting to himself and he is interesting to others. He does not have to be a painter or sculptor to be an artist. He can work in any medium. He simply has to find the gain in the work itself, not outside it.

The Art Spirit, R. Henri (1923)

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The Emancipated Employee

When I started college 10 years ago, everyone around me was destined to become a manager. Since that’s what all people with higher education are supposed to do, right? They manage the less fortunate people. At least that’s what we were told. If you wanted to make it in life you had to move up the ladder and become a manager.

But the manager is increasingly becoming an endangered species in startup land. Being a manager is almost becoming a dirty word, something you’d rather not be associated with, so a lot of managers in startups stumble over themselves to come up with more creative titles. “So, you’re a manager?”, “A manager?? No, no, no, I’m just a people hacker.” Product managers will excuse themselves and quickly tell you they manage products, not people.

At the forefront of the demise of the manager are successful startups in the likes of GitHub, Angellist, Valve and Supercell...

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Developing An Eye For Design

I have never really considered myself to be a designer. In my head, designers are people who suffer and cringe everyday by the bad designs that surround them and are obsessed with creating the one, perfect design, but are always depressed because they are too mortal to live up to their own divine standards.

My dad would often ask me to design a new menu or brochure for his restaurant and I would often fiddle with Photoshop enough until it “looked nice”. When I designed websites, I did the same thing with CSS. I blatantly copied gradients, emboss styles and 1px drop shadows because I thought that was just how it was done. Look at what others do and copy it. ????? Profit.

I don’t think I was particularly bad at designing, it often did end up looking nice enough. I just never felt that I knew what I was doing, unlike programming where I always had full control. I could...

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The Immortality Paradox

Let’s assume you’ve been stranded on a deserted island with a finite resource of food. When this food runs out, you’ll die, but you don’t know when. You have two options: sit around on the beach and enjoy the sun until you die. Or.. take on a huge effort to cut every tree on the island and work your ass off to build a house to live comfortably for the rest of your life.

What would you do? If you’re anything like me you would choose option 2.

But then in retrospect, you only had food for 10 days and because you chose option 2, you died sweating in the forest while you could’ve enjoyed the sun at the beach in your last days.

Would you do things differently if you would know you would die in 10 days?

I’ll bet the answer is yes.

While we all know our lives are finite and tomorrow is definitely not promised, we tend to live our lives like we’re immortal and mostly ignore our impending...

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Here’s to the PHP Misfits

Ever since I was a teen I’ve always been into computers but I was always more interested in setting up a business of my own. I wasn’t particularly interested in the nits and grits of developing applications and I could already assemble my own computer with parts, so what more did I need to know about computers, right? I just needed to sell them. Which is why I chose to study Marketing instead of Computer Science.

Flashback to 2004. I was eighteen and was running my own computer webshop with proprietory e-commerce software for a year now. During that time, my best friend Alex was studying ‘Graphimediatechnology’, a typical buzzword study where he attended a lot of courses related to developing front-end media applications.

One of these courses was PHP and I had heard about it before. Wasn’t that the thing that made websites dynamic? I was eager not to rely on the proprietory shopping...

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Why You Should Celebrate Every Annoying Moment of Your Day

After spending a lazy Saturday morning in front of the television Veronica and I decided to do something worthwhile of our time and so we decided to visit one of the beautiful nature resorts that surround our little town.

We had our mind set on Mt. Diablo, a mountain that’s known for allegedly having one of the largest view sheds of the world (they say you can see Mt. Shasta from up there!). It was only a 20 min drive so we could make it easily in time to catch the view before sunset. We got to the entrance of the park and after grudgingly paying an unexpected fee of $10 to the park ranger to enter the State Park we could finally start our mountain journey. Except, after doing 5-10 sharp turns, Veronica (of course) got car sick – and we had to turn back after having spent only 5 mins in ‘wild nature’.

This wasn’t the first time she got car sick (I honestly think it’s a Colombian...

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Now Might Be A Good Time To Buy Facebook

While some were more bullish than others, the consensus around the Facebook IPO seemed to be very optimistic. In fact, there was so much demand for the stock, that Facebook easily got away with pricing their IPO at $38 (up from $24-$35). By doing so, they’ve been able to happily raise $18.4 bn in the process.

Nothing seemed to stop FB to become the biggest IPO story in history, until, you know, it actually opened to the public. While showing some 10% upticks it fell mostly flat during the rest of the day and closed a mere $.23 higher, thanks to heavy Morgan Stanley bodyguards who bought LOTS of stock to prevent loss at the first day.

As we all know, imposed market interventions don’t play nice with basic equilibrium laws, so predictably, FB started to tank on Monday. While FB closed on Tuesday at a -18.75% loss since the first day of trading, people already started to look who to...

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The 1 % Chance Of Success

My father always told me that the Right Way to accomplish anything in life was to become either a lawyer or a doctor. While I knew early on that I didn’t want to become either of those, I’ve spent – no, wasted – 6 years of my life trying to get a college degree. Just to be a part of the Right Way. In reality, I didn’t care too much about college, I was spending most of my time trying to get several businesses off the ground. You can’t be successful at two things at a time so both my business endeavours and my study suffered from a lack of time and attention.

When I finally made the decision to drop out of college 3 years ago, my pursuit of success – and with it, the life of uncertainty – had begun. I chose to work fulltime at a young internet company. It was the best decision I ever made, the last 3 years have been the best of my life. But I had to give up a lot of things.

I had to...

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Google+ Is Not The Underdog, It’s The New Internet Explorer

Did you notice that you hardly speak out internet addresses to someone anymore? You used to say “hey check out double u, double u, double u, dot, facebook, dot com” but now, people only need to know what they vaguely should look for in Google and they’re done. The ubiquitous verb ‘to google’ has passed the meaning of search; Google is the internet.

It’s a bold statement, but yet, it doesn’t end there. Since the launch of Gmail in 2003, Google has proven to be also capable of conquering other existing markets by developing (or buying) superior products and offer them for the best price: free.

Because of the superiority of their products and the free availability, millions of users (and even businesses) rely now on Google for a lot of things they do online. And they keep relying more and more with Google releasing successful products like Chrome and Android as well. Google is,...

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