Andy Trattner

June 18, 2022

A Remote Team Bonding Activity

The Playbook: 1. Grab a drink, hop on Zoom. 2. Watch this together (or this). 3. Doodle and chat for an hour like we did today! 4. Export videos to share. Notes: • Depending on team size and time constraints, can leave watching videos for folks' own time. • Optional: implement quadratic voting to determine top 3. I would make a spreads...
Read more

May 16, 2022

Adblock Plus

For the past year, I've been removing Google from my life. It started with Hey instead of Gmail, which was a huge upgrade. Then on all my devices, I switched from Chrome to Brave, set DuckDuckGo as the default search (although I would strongly consider Ecosia too), used 1Password instead of the built-in manager, swapped Calendar for Ta...
Read more

April 16, 2022

It's Dangerous Playing Hardball

Notes on the Blog I hugely appreciate everyone who replied to the post on fundraising learnings! It's my first in a long time (ever?) to spur an "I really found this content valuable and worth sharing" reaction. I'm so happy to have written something useful and interesting. Given that my current identity centers on work, and I'm now ob...
Read more

April 15, 2022

What I Learned from Friends & Family Fundraising

Last week, I exceeded my goal of raising $200k for Senseg. It was quite the leap to go from tinkering in the metaphorical basement to having other people deposit their life savings into my company's very real bank account. At the beginning of March, I didn't have a company, let alone said bank account. Fundraising helped me grow, commi...
Read more

March 16, 2022

A Tale of Two Business Cultures

The United States has a highly developed culture of business. Folks think transactionally, and the system is geared towards economic growth. There are reasonably many regulations and relatively good enforcement. And yet...why did I know that Delaware was the best place to incorporate before I understood what it really meant to make som...
Read more

March 3, 2022

Lex is OK

It's a beautiful rainy Wednesday here in Vilcabamba. I just finished listening to Lex Fridman interview Thomas Tull. "Thomas Tull is founder of Legendary Entertainment, Tulco, part-owner of Pittsburgh Steelers, and guitarist for the band Ghost Hounds." (FYI Legendary is behind the Batman Dark Knight Trilogy, Jurassic World, many more.)...
Read more

February 26, 2022

The Road Previously Travelled

Ankur Moitra told me that innovative mathematicians will spend many of their formative years laboring to reproduce known results. Junot Diaz told me that it would be more productive for my writing career to endure a shitty, tough job for four years rather than to obtain a degree in writing. Both of these experts understood how grapplin...
Read more

February 14, 2022

What I Learned From Marketing My Work

A few days ago, I blogged about making my chess books free. What started as an innocent post quickly became an epic journey to the top 10 of Hacker News. This whole process was very surprising to me, both in the moment and even still now. I began by drafting an email saying "hello folks, the books are free pdfs now." Then I thought, wh...
Read more

February 11, 2022

Teaching and Enjoying Chess

I decided to make my chess books free! Please upvote this HN post because it will help others find these resources. They are very short, concise reads. Great for parents, newbies, and dabblers. No chess background required. Sharing on your socials or directly with folks you know is extra credit, and much appreciated! (tweet) Thanks to ...
Read more

January 31, 2022

Come Visit Ecuador!

Hey world. Be like Wendy. Visit Andy. Take a peek, here's what it looks like -
Read more

January 22, 2022

An Evergreen Home Activities List

1. Sleeping 2. Meditation 3. Yoga 4. Exercise 5. Slow walk, stargazing 6. Mindful minimal eating 7. Journaling, musing 8. Writing, blogging 9. Creative hobby (painting, music, pottery, long G45+ chess game, flow) 10. Reading a book 11. Cooking, gardening, cleaning, rewarding mindful choring 12. Making a gift, writing a letter, deep con...
Read more

January 21, 2022

El Gordo Sano Is Dead

I joined Sukkha Wasi to help organize and grow the business. After a successful first month, average revenue went from $200 to $500 per week. We achieved profitability, but we also discovered limits inherent to our team and the local market. What would be the best path to $1000? Perhaps we could set up shop in a more central location, ...
Read more

January 11, 2022

Too Much (Birthday) Chocolate

I don't celebrate or broadcast my birthday. I've participated in midnight parties, but never my own. From a solar-powered Kuti Kai cabin, dark amidst the mountaintop crickets of Vilcabamba, sleeplessly emailing this to the world is the closest I've come. Like so many good things in life, I'm doing this accidentally. The blog has been o...
Read more

November 18, 2021

A Year in Ecuador

It's my one-year anniversary of moving to Ecuador! I remember very clearly this day last year, busing from Guayaquil to Machala in the morning, eating a chicken sandwich and drinking hot coffee in a little plastic cup as I insulted all the locals complaining about the loud music and explained to the lovely grandma lady next to me that ...
Read more

November 17, 2021

A Clandestine Visitor

We have a mascot at Sukkha Wasi! Today Reiman named him Clanny. Clanny has been visiting for months now. He comes down from the neighbor's place in the back to enjoy our public water bowl along with a generous food source in Maya. For the past few weeks, I've been trying to lay down some rules: no jumping or barking or begging, the kit...
Read more

November 16, 2021

Embracing The Practice

I want to commit my foreseeable future life to a single grand project: excelling at a job, developing a romance, running a restaurant, or writing a book. The ambitious part of me says, "Let's do something super big and important!" I also want to re-evaluate my life priorities on a daily basis. The neurotic part of me says, "We should p...
Read more

November 11, 2021

Advice on Starting a Blog

1. You should do it. If you haven't ever considered it, then consider it. If you have considered it, and thought—even for a split second—that it might be worthwhile, then trust will be! Proceed to step 2. 2. You should merely do it. You could spend your first writing session googling "best blogging platforms" or you could spend...
Read more

November 6, 2021

Precarious Propositions

After drinking and spilling this morning's coffee, I washed the dishes. Clearly, the coffee had yet to kick in... Given the design of our little corner wash station and the limited elbow space available, perching a glass mug on the outer rim of the sink was not a good idea. I paused my washing and took a step back to admire the situati...
Read more

November 4, 2021

All-In on Sukkha Wasi

In my last post, I mentioned owning a business would be the next step to keep my funemployment going strong through 2022. A few people asked what business I was talking about... This is Sukkha Wasi, la Casa de Cultura! It's a tea house + pottery studio + tai chi dojo + restaurant. My adopted Korean-Ecuadorian mom, Maya Choi, started Su...
Read more

October 9, 2021


I'm in a liminal phase, between my anniversary of leaving tech work last September and moving to Ecuador last November. I'm contemplating what form my future funemployment will take. Ideally, I'd like to have more creative output. Pragmatically, I'd like to have more customers. The biggest thing holding me back has been my land. Althou...
Read more

October 6, 2021

A Move-in Mango

I'm celebrating! Not only did this ripe deliciousness come 3 for $1, but also I finally feel happy and comfortable in my new home today. Here's what it looked like on August 1: Thanks to my excellent maestros, Angel and Monfilio, here's what it looks like now: On the first night, I accidentally locked myself in the bedroom. No matter h...
Read more

September 2, 2021

Loving Hey

I woke up to this inbox in gmail: And this one in Hey: My blog was previously built using Jekyll hosted on Github Pages and some google forms. Images had to be downloaded and moved to a specific folder, then embedded in the code. That code had to be tested locally then pushed to production via command line. I enjoyed total control, but...
Read more

September 1, 2021


One year ago, I stepped off the tech work treadmill and opened myself to opportunity. I was flaring after a year of focused labor to better understand my professional identity. I’m pleased to reflect on my year of funemployment. It was difficult and ambiguous in many ways. Especially that first month, after accidentally resigning (i.e....
Read more

September 1, 2021

Waking Up With Love

Love is unconditional generosity. When you cry with profound joyful gratitude in the act of giving and receiving. More than emotion, love is action. Over time it compounds into goodness. Seth Godin tells us how to "make things better by making better things." With our precious little time here, why not turn to loving more deeply? Make ...
Read more

March 4, 2021


Seems like a cool thing thing. Thanks Jason and DHH and co.
Read more