And how you can do it too, if you set your mind to it.

Empty auditorium — photo by Merch HÜSEY on Unsplash

Picture this: you are attending a workshop. You are sitting in a room with twenty people, most of which you haven’t met before. The facilitator opens by saying,

“Before we get started, let’s go around the table and have everyone introduce themselves.”

After gazing around the room, in a way that reminds you of the Eye of Sauron, he casually stops at you. The physical reaction is immediate. Your heart starts pumping faster, and you feel how your face turns red. For what feels like an eternity, you sit there, paralyzed.

Until he smiles and says, “I can go first.”

Enter Glossophobia — Fear of Public Speaking

What I would tell my younger self if I could travel back in time.

Match almost burning out — photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

So, you have decided to pursue that business idea you’ve been pondering for so long and build a SaaS. Good for you!

To develop your own software can be one of the most rewarding endeavors out there, especially when you get that initial traction and your first customers. Finally, all those evenings and weekends you spent on endless problem-solving instead of watching Netflix are paying off.

But beware — while it’s easy to realize your software concept in theory, it might be just a little bit more demanding in real life. …

I’m just gonna [insert lame excuse to postpone here]

Wingsuit flyer taking off from a cliff
Wingsuit flyer taking off from a cliff
Wingsuit flyer taking off —

Are We Ready? Will It Fly?

Questions along these lines are not just relevant; they are vital — as much in the SaaS products space as in wingsuit flying.

But while they prevent us from taking the leap before we can deliver, they can also seriously hamstring our confidence.

While I have yet to toss myself off a cliff wearing a flying squirrel suit, I can confidently say I have some first-hand, hard-earned experience when it comes to launching products.

Experiences that have rendered me cautious and, according to my wife, way too perfectionistic for my own good.

Perfectionism vs. Good Enough

I have spent my entire 2020 building and…

Boost your productivity by committing to writing things down

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

If you want to be genuinely productive, you need to focus 100% on what you are doing. With tasks perceived as fun and interesting, that shouldn’t be too hard; since you enjoy doing them, the focus comes for free.

But if you need to deal with something you don’t feel like doing, like a not-so-interesting work task, then the game changes completely. Depending on how strong your self-discipline muscle is, your mind will start to wander, and it will be harder to stay focused.

How can we deal with this? Often, the biggest hurdle is that we haven’t yet decided…

On how good intentions can backfire and the dark side of Agile

Image found on

In the beginning, the Agile movement was mostly about a set of values and disciplines aiming to help software development teams to build small to mid-sized products. The focus was on craftsmanship, close customer collaboration, and to bridge the gap between developers and management.

The primary measure of success? Working software. And the ability to keep a sustainable pace to keep delivering.

To boil it down to a single word: Trust.

Today, most managers and developers still subscribe to the ideas in the manifesto, at least in theory. …

Or how to use parameterized translations inside parameterized translations

Photo by Iza Gawrych on Unsplash

“What? Isn’t the application available in Swedish?”

I was talking to my accountant on the phone, but I could literally hear him cringe none the less.

Earlier that week, I had shown it to my stepfather and gotten the same reaction from him. And come to think of, didn’t my buddy Mike make a remark about this as well?

So far, my application had been English only. With a global aim, it felt natural. And these days, most people are comfortable enough with the English language, so there shouldn’t really be necessary to translate it, right?

Think again.

Of course…

Photo by Kyson Dana on Unsplash

Every once in a while I stumble upon some piece of code that makes my WTF-o-meter go straight through the roof.

After a quick review I go, “this would be so much cleaner and faster if I used the this-or-that pattern instead. No wonder this code has become a performance bottleneck; who wrote this piece of crap?”

And, of course, the individual responsible for that abomination of code is usually myself.

So, in the spirit of the Boy Scout Rule, I start to refactor the code.

Only to later discover that what led me down this less elegant path in…

Wooden LEGOs, borrowed from

If you are a developer, chances are that you see meetings as a necessary evil. Your daily tasks are generally about writing code, or participating in peer-to-peer discussions that result in you writing code. And that’s what you like to do.

When you start working on something more serious, you typically need at least half an hour to dig into the problem, and even more to get in the zone. And it’s not unusual that you need several days to get done with a task.

This way of working is called the Maker’s Schedule, and the smallest block of time…

For many years, my answer to that question was that “I am a developer.” Later, this evolved into “I am a solution architect” and “I am an application development strategist.”

On a side note, I must — very shamefully — admit that these little title upgrades made the ancient, primitive, status-hungry part of my brain very happy. Whenever I received or gave myself a promotion, the needle on my status-o-meter went up, and I felt special. …

What gets measured gets… well, invoiced.

Some ten years ago, I worked as a freelance web developer. Or — to put it as I preferred to define myself at the time — I made a living by running a small web agency.

Regardless of the label, I did web development, design, and some strategic consulting. And I had a product: my own content management system (CMS) called, *drumroll*, Sitereactor.

The bulk of my revenue came from collaborations with real agencies. Thanks to them, I got to be involved in projects I probably never would have landed on my own. …

Fredrik Holm

Founder of Flowmine: Building SaaS products and consulting in web development, solution architecture, and agile transformations.

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