I never had a healthy relationship with money, it always felt more like an addiction.

Like a professional addict, I spent all my days in search of plastic gold, and whenever I would find some, I’d waste it all on …, well …, stuff. I honestly don’t know where it all went.

My life plan was simple: build an insanely successful company and until then, spend all that I earn like there’s no tomorrow.

I’ve been doing this for more than a decade.

It has worked out great so far, minus the insanely successful company. At this moment I’m slightly…


For as long as I can remember I’ve had one problem with my weight — there was too much of it. It never had a serious impact on my life, but at 110kg and 190cm (242lbs and 6'3" for you Yanks, Liberians and Burmese) I had at least 25 extra kilograms (55lbs) of joy around my midsection. This labelled me as clinically obese. I wasn’t happy and wanted it gone. So I did what any self respecting nerd would do: I started looking for answers on the internet!

Eventually I found a blog post advocating the paleolithic diet. I was…


Six months ago I started using the “don’t break the chain” system. Three months ago I wrote a blog post about it. Time for an update! Read the original post first, if you haven’t!

If you repeat any thought or action multiple times, your brain creates new neural pathways and makes it easier to think the thought or perform the action in the future. Whether you’re learning a new foreign word by repetition, repeating “I love myself” until you start believing it or practicing a physical movement until mastery, rote repetition changes your brain. …


A bit more than a year ago (2012/11/13) I started a journal entry with the words: “I am going to figure out how productivity works!”

Fast forward to today and I think I have almost cracked it. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s rewind.

The first 26 years of my life were extremely unproductive — I took on too many tasks, tried to do all of them at once, ran out of energy, procrastinated, got upset at myself, lost motivation, ate junk, drank red bull, worked throughout the night, multitasked, got something done, crashed, slept in and repeated ad…


Last week I finished Code Complete, a classic book by Steve McConnell. Published in 1993 and updated in 2004, it’s one of the best platform-agnostic programming books ever written. While all of its 960 pages contain a lot of wisdom, two concepts struck a chord with me.

First, most of your programming time is spent reading code:

Code is read far more times than it’s written. Even during initial development. Favoring a technique that speeds write-time convenience at the expense of read-time convenience is a false economy.

If you ever had to read someone else’s code, you know how it…


I love Ubuntu. I really admire how Canonical took a great Linux distribution and turned into something humane.

There’s just one problem with it: it sucks, but it’s not their fault. Let me explain.

I’ve used Linux as my primary OS for over a decade. I know how it feels to edit XF86Config just to get 3D acceleration working. I compiled the kernel more times than I care to remember. I hacked the code of Fluxbox because I didn’t like how the desktop switching worked. Back then a full reinstall took two days to configure. Good times.


I used to suck at setting goals. A lot.

At some point I had a new goals almost weekly. “From now on I will go to the gym 3x a week”, “I will only eat ice cream on weekends”, “Maximum one glass of wine with dinner”, etc. These usually lasted a week, only to be tried again months later. It was a vicious circle.

Then I learned of a technique called inevitability thinking — instead of setting goals and thinking of ways to solve problems, create conditions so that what you want to happen happens automatically.

In the words of…


During a recent RSS reading session I found an article called “You Can Learn To Be The Next Steve Jobs: Nine Ways To Become A Visionary”.

While I was expecting a typical rant about having passion, looking years ahead of the competition and thinking outside of the box, it actually had some solid advice. One of the nine points especially stuck out for me:

No 2: Do a daily brainstorming session on ANYTHING. Eventually, you’ll apply this to your business but start with whatever is outside your window or something you see on your commute. Pick a question and start…


For a while I was thinking about starting a blog. Now, finally, it’s done. Welcome!

I built this site to write about things that interest me, to share (hopefully brilliant) ideas with the world and to engage in conversation with people who have similar interests as mine.

Some of the things I might write about are:

  • Start-ups and entrepreneurship: how are my start-ups doing, potential trends in this sector, business in general.
  • Health and productivity: I’m constantly struggling to manage both in my life. If I find something worth sharing, I’ll write about it.
  • Technology: new and exciting things in…

Marius Andra

Web developer and entrepreneur from Estonia, living in Belgium. Co-founder of apprentus.com

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