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Photos by Sonja Langford
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It was Y2K in Vietnam. I had my first sip. It was bitter. Have you ever tasted watered-down Vietnamese coffee? I hated it.

I hated coffee.

Fast forward a year later, I found myself in an American household for a study abroad scholarship. As a result of jet lag and having to wake up very, very early to share a bathroom with my host sister, I found myself extremely drowsy at school. Drinking coffee daily was the solution to my problem.

My first real job after college was with Threadsy — a startup in San Francisco. I still remember the first time I saw Rob Goldman tinker with a kettle-like contraption. …

get a boost to your productivity

I finally gave in and upgraded my Mac to OS X Yosemite (to use XCode 7 Beta for a react-native app build, more on that later).

After I upgraded, I noticed a significant lag on the UI, especially during applications switching and Mission Control. After a google search, the common solution seems to be using “Increase contrast” setting.

So I did. But I’m still unsatisfied. Before following the tips below, make sure you’re using “Increase contrast”, or at least use “Reduce transparency”. Both are in System Preferences > Accessibility > Display.

Here are a few things I did to noticeably speed things…

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photo by Jeff Sheldon
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As a designer, I believe having a diversified view of the world is a great first step to improve one’s chance of solving its problems. It’s one of the most important factors of empathy: the ability to share and understand others’ perspectives and feelings.

If you’re part of the startup industry — maker & entrepreneur — newsletters like Mattermark, LAUNCH Ticker, Sidebar, Hacker Newsletter, The Changelog, etc… are all great channels. But what’s about non-tech news?

Below are my 3 favorite daily newsletters to stay informed and exposed to topics outside of the tech/startup world.


The Quartz Daily Brief is the most important and interesting news from around the world, in your inbox. …

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Recent visit to where I grew up. (Duc Hoa, Long An, Vietnam 2015)

Have you ever wondered what it takes to go from negative of nothing to something? From wondering if you’ll have food for dinner, to shipping products that make people’s lives better? I’ll loop you in.

Growing (and writing again)

I should have written more. Shamefully, my last entry on tumblr dated back to 12/2012, with something about drinking more water (something that I’m not good at). I’ve been moving around a lot the past 14 years. Between then and now, I’ve lived and traveled from Vietnam to Louisiana, to San Francisco, to NYC, then crossed the border to Vancouver, BC.

Thus the silence. But silence will fall. …


T. Nguyen

Founder/CEO Farm boy turned entrepreneurial product designer & hacker. Built @Caarbon, @AxiomZen, @ZenHubHQ, ex @Etsy, ex @Threadsy

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