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Philipp Nowinski
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Wow! We released the successor of our #TYPO3 frontend toolchain called "SGC: #Gulp Toolchain CLI" just today!

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Mein Kollege +Philipp Nowinski  hat seine erste EP released und man kann nun auf Spotify, Google Music, iTunes und co einmal reinhören. Im Idealfall natürlich auch kaufen ;)

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"Das plötzliche Interesse an Frauenrechten ist gespielt und nichts als ein vorgeschobenes Argument, um den eigenen Rassismus zu legitimieren. Die Verharmlosung sexueller Gewalt ist allgegenwärtig und tief in die - ja, auch die deutsche - Gesellschaft und Kultur eingebrannt. Die Kölner Angriffe von Männermobs auf Frauen wären eine sehr passender Anlass, um sich dieser Tatsache zu stellen und herauszufinden, weshalb ein großer Teil der deutschen Öffentlichkeit sich erschütternd wenig um sexuelle Gewalt schert - außer sie kommt von "nordafrikanisch oder arabisch aussehenden" Männern."
Sascha ‪#‎Lobo‬ trifft es mal wieder genau.

Wenn man die Neonazi-Profile weg blockt, dann ist Google Plus ja wieder einigermaßen erträglich :-)

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Was Beatrix von Strolch kann, kann Die PARTEI Bremen schon lange...

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Disclaimer: I'm just gonna go on a bit of a rant here.

Someone asked me the other day if the fact that elementary is making it as a company makes me prideful. And you know, mostly it just makes me relieved. It's been a really long and hard road to get here and a lot of personal financial sacrifices have been made. And I'm really just grateful that somehow we're miraculously just making it.

I started elementary in my bedroom in Elk Grove, Ca during my sophomore year of high school as a design concept not that long after getting hooked on +Korora Project. I went and downloaded and printed out the Gentoo manual and built my custom Gentoo install and spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to get it just right. I poured hours and days and weeks into learning how to make icons with Inkscape and Gtk theming and finding all of the greatest software I could. I started working on mockups and concepts for what a great DE would look like and how it would behave and the features it should have. Defining a visual style for elementary that went from super white to deep black to solid blue. Glossy. Matte. You name it, I probably had a mockup exploring that style. And of course I had family members telling me I was wasting all my time on it.

But then +Joey-Elijah Sneddon started writing about the stuff I was doing. He thought it was something and he believed in me and his writing attracted enough attention to get developers interesting in building some of these concepts. And so we had Nautilus-elementary. That was the start of the software. And then there was Dexter and Postler and Lingo and all these little python apps that had this pretty unique design (at the time). We ditched the menubar super early and said, "Hey this is the future".

And then for our first release, we tried to fund raise. Because at this point our web servers were something people were paying for out of pocket. And we just wanted the servers to be self sufficient. We had ads on the site, but it wasn't paying the full bill. So we tried selling CD pre-orders. And the pre-order went really well actually. We raised like $2k. But then you know, we were young and had no experience and couldn't follow through on producing the CD's. So we had to contact all these folks who pre-ordered and try to refund them. And a good number of people told us to just keep the money, which was super cool of them.

But then we had some people saying that we were scammers and trying to rip people off and that really sucked. We were just some inexperienced kids trying to afford web hosting and do a cool thing. That really bummed me out. And then not much longer someone really prominent in open source (who I won't name) said to me, "Do you really think elementary is ever going to be something?". He wanted me to bail on it.

But on the other side of the fence, +Jason Smith took the time to teach us some things about distributed development and how to be a better code shop and ensuring quality. I think he believed in us. That we had potential. And since then, I think our code quality has become a lot better. We're still learning, but someone once said we had higher standards than their workplace and that made me feel really good about how far we've come.

And so you know, time goes on and eventually the ads started to pay for the website so we didn't have to pay out of pocket. And that was super rad, but I never liked having ads. They're ugly and intrusive and they steal attention away. And this was before people started thinking about privacy and tracking and stuff like this in a big way. I think nowadays we're all pretty sick of ad-based revenue models. I think they're downright unethical to be honest. But that's another rant. The point is, I wanted to get rid of them. But I didn't want to lock elementary down in terms of price. Because I've always been a very strong believer that someday we're going to achieve the mythical Star Trek economy where everything is just freely shared and people work on things that they love and it's all very idealist but I want to do my part to achieve that dream dammit.

So we actually had like a lot of discussions on IRC and on the phone and we kept coming back to the idea of the pay what you want model. We saw that +Humble Bundle had amazing success here. Like damn if we were as successful as them we could hire the whole team and it would be awesome. We can ditch the ads and also support all the people working on elementary OS. Because you know we're basically all out of high school now and trying to do something with our lives.

And okay let me back up for a bit here and talk about my crazy job history. Okay so my first job was at a department store that has since gone out of business. Then I worked at a Mountain Mike's Pizza in Elk Grove when I did my first college semester. Then I worked at a Mountain Mike's pizza in Roseville when I moved in with my girlfriend. Then I got a job at Canonical. Holy crap a real job. It was super amazing not being poor. I've never made as much money. I literally had more money than I knew what to spend on. My savings account was amazing. And the hilarity of it was that I was making $2k a month. Which honestly isn't that much. But it's the most money I've ever made! It was incredible. If I could make $2k a month again, I would be so happy haha. #PoorPeopleProblems . And then I lost that job for probably several reasons. I was only contracting at the time. So I didn't exactly get fired or quit. I just didn't get another contract. Anyways, after that I lived on my savings for a bit and did some other contracting work here and there, but I fell back on restaurant stuff again and I started managing a pizza place back in Elk Grove and now we're basically caught up to where elementary and pay what you want and that.

So long story short, I'm in my early 20's and I'm getting paid dogshit to manage this pizza place which the owner is totally neglecting and it's just going downhill and I'm trying to do my best to keep this thing from dying. And the whole reason for taking this job in the first place was so I could spend less time on a serious job and more time on school and elementary. So I've got a full load of classes as this time as well. I literally work, study, eat, and sleep. Meanwhile, I've got elementary over here trying to figure out how to pay its bills as well. And we're constantly having discussion about ethics and the future and how elementary can be a force for change and we decide that we're going to go ahead and try humble's model and that's where we release Luna with the text entry field that let's you change the price and the link that says "free" and we risk everything and holy shit it works. I mean it doesn't work well, but it works. It works enough that we remove all the ads on the home page. They're on only the blog. Then we remove them from the blog. It's self sustaining. Now finally elementary pays for itself in (what we think) is a completely ethical manner. It's totally Marxist: "From each according to their ability".

You know, but of course we get pushback about how we're huge douchebags and fuck you, you greedy piece of shit and all this. I'm reading this on my lunch break at the pizza place while I've got my head phones in re-listening to a lecture because I've got a test after my shift and I'm just hoping I have a job next week because I have no savings anymore. Like yeah fuck me, I'm rolling in dough right now guys. Lemme dive into my giant money pit real—hold on I've gotta help out off the clock because we're short staffed and I can't really afford to pay myself for this.

Anyways, that restaurant tanks because it just get falling into disrepair and the owner didn't give a shit. Also, I'm living back with my parents at this time and they lose their house and tell me I can't come with them like literally a couple weeks before the move date. So I was actually homeless for like a week and luckily was able to couch surf until I got into these low income apartments. Are you getting the irony here? So here is like the period of my life where I'm seriously the poorest I've ever been. Like I'm living somewhere I feel unsafe every night and I can't afford stuff like Internet. If you saw the interview I did with +Bryan Lunduke where I'm outside a Starbucks, that's when this was. I'm at Starbucks because I don't have money for Internet at home. That's what's going on here.

So anyways, I get another restaurant gig because it's like easy part-time work and I don't want to give up working on elementary. I still believe in it and I'm not willing to sacrifice working on it and I want to put as much time into it as possible. elementary is my primary work and everything else is a side job. Money be damned. And oh yeah I stopped going to college when I moved into the low income apartment because I needed to get a refund from the classes I registered for to pay my deposit.

And so we get to Freya and we're trying to figure out what's up with the Luna payments flow that makes it so ineffective. Why aren't we having massive success like Humble? Why is it that 99.9% of people are downloading for free? Humble is making millions. We can't afford to pay a single person a barely livable wage. What's going on here. So we spent some time exploring other funding models like BountySource and Patreon and revisiting the payments flow on the website and we come up with this new flow that is even more heavily based on Humble and we think it totally rocks and addresses some concerns people had with the old flow and we have it up on our beta subdomain because we're testing and that's public and people see it and start telling us how we're greedy pieces of shit again because we did a controversial thing and removed the link that said "download for free". You could still type in "$0", but there was no easy peasy link anymore. You had to actively and very consciously type in $0.

So we wrote up a blog post explaining the design change and how the Luna flow was not effective at all and how we've streamlined it and made it better and clearer and you know of course public outrage. We're super awful people. And I have to walk from my shady low income apartment over to the Starbucks to read about how I'm a greedy piece of shit before I go work my shift in the kitchen.

And then I totally lucked out, man. The Universe smiled down upon my and the CEO of this restaurant I'm working for decides that he has 4 stores now and he wants to have a part-time designer in the corporate office. So he sends out a memo to the staff and of course I apply and this is great, I get the job and I'm working less hours and making more than I did. Enough to move into the place that I'm at now. So I have a little studio apartment in a decent area of town and I'm still basically paycheck-to-paycheck but at least I don't have to worry about getting mugged or anything and I have even more time to work on elementary and it's great.

And so I tell the CEO (his name is Eric Schnetz, by the way and he is a really solid stand up guy, seriously) about elementary and stuff and he thinks it's really interesting and after a while he like starts asking me why the hell I'm working for him and you know he really really believed in me. The greatest compliment he ever gave me was he said that I reminded him of himself, younger and that he knew I was gonna make it some day. Like dude, if you can do one thing for a person, believe in them. That feels damn good. Because there's too much hopelessness in the world, you know?

And I'm so glad we stuck to our guns on the new payments flow for Freya, because shortly after it came out I quit my job there. elementary hired me and one other guy. And it's less than I was making there haha, but it's livable. I'm not back in the low income. I'm in my same little studio. I'm doing okay. And I can look back right now and see all the crap I went through just trying to make it and get elementary off the ground and try to do it in a way that still allowed people to get it for free and not bend on my principals and try not to make it about money. And I'm finally at a point right now where I feel like it's gonna work out and I'm doing what I love and I want to keep growing the company so that other people can feel like that. I feel like elementary is a lifeboat and I want to pull everyone I can out of the water so they don't have to struggle anymore just trying to keep their heads up.

So when someone tweets at me how we're greedy pieces of shit for trying to turn a buck, it really upsets me. I really hate that thought. Because that person has no idea how much some of us have gone through the shit just trying to make this work and how hard it is not to compromise and not to give up.

Anyways, something something thoughts and feelings don't reflect my employer or whatever. I'm just happy to be making it. And my mission is to help other people make it. That's all.

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Unser Bericht vom Philipp Nowinski zur code.talks 2015 ist jetzt live. Wie letztes Jahr einfach genial! #codetalkshh
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