Mike Gyi

UX/Product, ex-architecture, ex-TW, community addict, building https://www.townspot.uk
May 11, 2024

Cautiously blind

They say it's all about the execution when building a startup...with the caveat that this has to be on the right idea. An idea with a strong product market fit. You find this by launching prototypes and talking to potential customers. Strong emphasis on the latter. I've made the mistake in the past of over-executing on an idea that was...
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December 20, 2023

How I learnt to speak Spanish (Part 3)

Alas, I entered the barren wasteland of intermediate purgatory. It was lonely. It was hard. It was tedious. It was frustrating. If you've been there, you know it sucks. So how did I manage to get out? How does one peep their head above the parapet and into full-blown language fluency? I'm not there yet, but I'm a lot closer than I've e...
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August 14, 2023

How I learnt to speak Spanish (Part 2)

A heavy realisation that I was indeed rubbish at Spanish is the theme of this post. The aforementioned Fake English Confidence in Part 1 was in full force when I arrived in Barcelona in March 2020. I thought I'd assimilate like a duck to water. I was wrong, again. During lockdown I was by myself in an apartment with my friend's dog Rub...
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July 28, 2023

How I learnt to speak Spanish (Part 1)

It all started back in 2013 when I lived in London. Pre-Brexit London was full of Spanish people and the architecture office I worked in, Squire and Partners, had a large Spanish contingent, it was all kinds of fun. Whilst working there I decided to plan a 5-month trip to South America, leaving in March 2014. This was to take a break f...
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November 29, 2022

Articulation for the nation

Why write? The point of this post has already been thought of by many others. So what's the point to make a point over and over and over again? Many people have thought what I'm writing now, but have they written it? No. Is that important? Probably not. However, I'd argue the articulation of a point is the point of writing. For yoursel...
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November 21, 2022

Alcohol isn't your problem

Being British, I'm a huge booze monkey. It's embedded in our culture. I've realised how much this is true since living in Spain and seeing our culture from afar, from an objective viewpoint. My first foray into trying to avert my booze monkey-ness was in January 2012 when I was a Dry January pioneer. That might sound ridiculous as lots...
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November 17, 2022

Sending Block

I've been messing around with Twitter recently as it's going through a mesmerising moment, for good or for bad. Whilst gaining more confidence to write on there, due to testing out the controversial blue tick, I've noticed that I’d picked up a writing block. That and also finding out that dhh writes so many essays because he has a lot ...
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November 17, 2022

My Space vs. Your Space

[written in 2021, found in my drafts yesterday, see this post for an explanation of its tardiness] Finding my space, this space, has felt like a relief. I'll try to explain why. This space is opt-in. It's only one step removed from the other platforms, but this makes all the difference. You've now entered into my non-shared corner of t...
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November 17, 2022

My impossible dream

[written in 2021, found in my drafts yesterday, see this post for an explanation of its tardiness] I talk a lot about my impossible dream to people close to me. Unfortunately, this was inspired by Alex Ferguson's impossible dream to knock the team I support, Liverpool, off their perch. However, I think my dream is better than his dream...
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November 17, 2022

Testing 123…Cultural Difficulties

[written in 2021, found in my drafts yesterday, see this post for an explanation of its tardiness] One of the biggest things I have learnt is that the foundation of our relationships are built upon: 1. Verbalised communication 2. Non-verbal communication (assumptions) In both of these, your childhood environment and country's culture p...
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March 15, 2022

I am my mother's son

This photo from 2010 makes my heart sing. It's my mum in the local paper. It only took me 12 years to try and replicate you Mum, but there you go. Local news legends! Who'd have thought?! Well, she did, she kept telling me this would happen. Wise woman. Read more about my lovely mum in my post My shining light
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February 3, 2022

Social Purring

I've been back and forth with social media and have finally found the balance that I needed. Recently, I went duke nukem and muted every single Instagram account apart from accounts like Barcelona Secreta, an excellent source to know what's going on around me in the physical world. So, instead of scrolling, I now put down my phone, and...
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October 15, 2021

Burning Out 🔥🧠

Just as Mental Health Day arrived last Sunday, I'd burnt out. Completely. Then, yesterday, I almost got bazooookered by an ambulance whilst crossing the road on the phone (unrelated, but the timing would've been all kinds of ridiculous). The burnout hit me like mild depression, no joy upstairs, it was pretty horrendous. Like a good foo...
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June 25, 2021

📚 How To Live by Derek Sivers

Hello, My last post for LinkedIn took me a long time so I had a writing break. Now I'm back! Marvelling at someone else's work. The majestic Derek Sivers spent 2-years writing How To Live: 27 conflicting answers and one weird conclusion. I'm a fan of his positivity and have used his advice to guide some areas of my life. So when I rece...
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May 19, 2021

Town Spot: The Story So Far...

Town Spot is my "localtech" dream to connect people with where they live and tackle loneliness. Simply put, it's a super digestible WhatsApp message sent every Sunday with local listings and happenings, currently covering Kentish Town in London (pop. ~13,000). I started Town Spot to receive feedback like this: “"I have felt more connec...
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May 7, 2021

The Tragedy of Time

The topic of mortality has bubbled within me for a few years and resurfaced last week because of this year’s Oscar award-winner Nomadland. I watched it last Saturday, alone (not advised) and the story evoked a raw sense of time, life, and death. It left me stunned—I thought: “"Wow, time truly is a tragedy".” Why time? Well, the length ...
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April 28, 2021

Just a thought...

A few years ago I was in Scotland visiting my Uncle at Findhorn when I overheard this: "A thought only lasts for 90 seconds" Curious, and struggling with bad thoughts at the time, it struck a chord. I still have no idea whether it's true or not, even a quick Google search doesn't provide many answers. However, it's a stark reminder tha...
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March 23, 2021

Hacking Google Maps

Hello again, I hope this isn't too much of a personal question, but what's the longest time you've ever spent on Google Maps? Last summer I spent 4 hours conquering the great city of Barcelona. It was a thrilling way to spend a Monday evening 😉 I'd just moved to a new city and had no idea about good places to eat and hang out so I deci...
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March 17, 2021

My shining light

Hey again, To start, I want to share my inspiration with you before I spout my random thoughts about life. Julie Gyi—what a special woman. My mum died in 2017 after a 2-year battle with Sarcoma, a rare type of cancer. She was a talented writer and spent a large part of her career as an English teacher. From what I could gather, and by ...
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March 15, 2021

Is this thing on?

Hello World 🌍 I hope this feature of hey.com will allow me the space to create. If so, I'll write about: • Learning languages • Digital Product Development • Town Spot (my current pet project) • Personal Development By personal development, I mean that I'll try to express coherent life observations. For example, I had the idea of writi...
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