Cover photo for Harry Moy
Summer is now over, although the sun is occasionally poking out through the clouds. The football season has started, but so has autumn, London's worst season. 🤓 What I've been doing • After getting my bike, I’ve learnt to love cycling around London. I’m convinced there’s no better way to get around the city than to cycle. And yes, it is safe. • Finalising a couple of new updates to Nearly - private threads and a much requested feature, photos. • I've picked up BJJ again and although my flexibility and mobility still aren't great, I'm having a blast. • Reminding myself how to navigate the London dating market. The abundance only makes it more difficult.  📚 What I've been reading • The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Edmund Morris - this is a thicc boi, but boi is it is good. Teddy has become a dream dinner party guest thanks to his ebullience, vitality and principles. Unfortunately, he died 104 years ago. ““It is not often that a man can make opportunities for himself. But he can put himself in such shape that when or if the opportunities come he is ready to take advantage of them.”” 🔮 What's coming up • I've realised that my thinking has become murky. Clouded. So I'm making an effort to write more to achieve clearer thinking. • In October, I head to Princeton, New Jersey to visit a friend and then NYC to spend a week there. So in preparation for that, I'm having a quiet few weeks.
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August 2023 - Life Update

Hello from rainy London. While the rest of Europe has seemingly been on fire for the past few weeks, it's been typical wet and windy weather here in Britain. 🤓 What I've been doing • We released an update to Nearly, allowing users to share threads with others and improved performance of the app as a whole. A lot of work at the moment behind the scenes is improving app reliability and our growth strategy. • I've become a cyclist! Thanks to a government scheme, I save 40% on the cost of the bike and pay monthly. The amount I save from not taking the Tube for one week covers the monthly cost 🤯 • After training with my PT for a month, I've reached 240kg on the leg press. I'm pretty confident that by the end of the month, I'll be able to at least get 300kg for one rep. 📚 What I've been reading • Men and Rubber, Harvey Firestone - This book is ~100 years old, but is still relevant today. It's about how Harvey grew Firestone Tires to being on the largest tire makers globally. Harvey prioritised deep-thinking and did not have time for those who came to quick and ill-judged decisions. “"Quick decisions that have not behind them a long train of thought are exceedingly dangerous. Personally, I do not want to have around me the kind of man who can give me an instant decision on anything I may bring up, for, if he has not had the opportunity to give the question serious thought, then he is only guessing. And I can do my own guessing!"” 🔮 What's coming up • This month, the development work on Nearly focuses on reliability. I'm re-architecting the push notification system to make it more scalable and reworking the views and view models for testability. • The football season starts up again this month. Today, I go to a friendly match and then on Sunday to Wembley for inaugural game of the season. When the season stops, it feels like there's a large gap in my life!
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July 2023 - Life Update

Hello! July is here and the vibes are great in London. I'm dropping Zyns, listening to the Social Network soundtrack and building. 🤓 What I've been doing • Earlier in the month we launched Nearly officially, which involved a Product Hunt launch. Feedback was great and we're now working on lots of smaller UI tweaks based on what users have told us. To get these out, we had a long fight in the App Store review process. We won. (Mainly because we caved to Apple's demands). • Despite it being not far away, I visited Paris for the first time. I got there via the Eurostar, a train that goes from the centre of London to the centre of Paris. No faffing at airports. Paris was delightful and I'll be visiting there many more times in the future. I even got to practice my French and surprisingly managed to get by with my child-level of French, which encouraged me to practice French further. • I started training with a personal trainer and already I'm seeing improvements. There are so many small tweaks that we can make to our form to make it better and make marginal gains in lifts. • For the first time in a while, I went to the theatre to see a musical about former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (my favourite PM). While it didn't put him in a positive light, it was very funny and I highly recommend seeing it while it's on its UK tour. 📚 What I've been reading • Prisoners of Geography, Tim Marshall -  A book about how where a country is and its regions determine its fate. Consider the US, a country that has abundant natural resources that's not dependent on the rest of the world, allowing it to develop a strong domestic industry during the first and second world wars. • Ultra-Processed People, Chris van Tulleken -  Over the past few decades, obesity rates have sky-rocketed. And that's because of ultra-processed foods. Foods that while aren't much higher in calories than single-ingredient whole foods, are designed to make us eat more and more so we don't feel full. Not only do we want to eat more of them, but they also suppress key hormones and generally fuck with our bodies. Avoid them where you can. 🔮 What's coming up • Looking into additional revenue streams, my flatmate and I  get a free car parking space where we live but we don't use it. So we rent it out and make a couple of hundred pounds a month now. And that's got me thinking, what other passive income streams can I build?
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April 2023 - Life Update

Hello! 2023 is flying by, it's Q2 and it's finally getting (mildly) warm here in London. March was a quiet month, but I had no problem with that. 🤓 What I've been doing • I've moved! From one side of the Holloway Road, to the other side. I've moved about a fifteen minutes' walk away to Finsbury Park.  • For the past couple of weeks, I've been struggling with a chest infection. I've not been able to exercise for fear of making it worse. I'm realising just how much impact not moving your body can do. • When not working my day job, tweaks to Nearly have been top of my mind. It's strange how fast priorities change when responding to user feedback. What you'd think should be the next feature, may not be something users need right now. And that's what we're  discovering. There are quite a few UX changes we need to make that users are asking for. • But if there is one thing I do make time for, it's football. I went to quite a few games in March and at one point went to three matches in four days! 📚 What I've been reading • Liar's Poker, Michael Lewis - The book where Michael Lewis burst onto the scene. It's about his time working for Solomon Brothers and exposed the culture of investment banking during the 80s. The chairman of Solomon Brothers said to Lewis after the book was published, "Your fucking book destroyed my career, and it made yours." 🔮 What's coming up • Like March, April is going to be quiet. Head down, building.
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March 2023 - Life Update

Hello! It’s been a while. After spending February in head's down mode in Here* (apart from my birthday and a mini-trip to Ireland), I’m here at the beginning of March ready to sync with the start of the month. 🤓 What I've been doing • Here is now Nearly, and it’s in beta! After toiling away and fighting with SwiftUI and iOS's APIs, it’s arrived. We’ve rolled it out to a few users and now the fun begins. It's surreal to see people using a product you've made. I can't describe the feeling, but giddy comes to mind. • For the first time, I visited Ireland. I guess it’s because it’s so close that I hadn’t visited before? Well, I’m not sure why I hadn’t been, because it’s stunning. After a couple of days in Dublin, we rented a car and drove for miles across the Irish countryside. Driving on the right (left) side of the road made me feel like I was at home. • I turned 28 and celebrated it with friends in Nottingham. Often my birthday becomes a serious time of reflection, and after getting over being in a mood about my age, I realised how good I have it right now. • Last time I wrote about learning Elixir. This was a distraction. While I know it’s something I’ll come back to later, it doesn’t help in the immediate term with work on Nearly. Instead, I’m focusing on Swift to make Nearly a best in class app. • My gym offers combat classes, so I’ve taken up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It’s quite weird having somebody you’ve never met before strangle you on the first class. But that’s all part of the fun. Recently, I had my first sparring session and I had a blast. It's oddly meditative in that you have to pay complete attention or you're on the floor in a chokehold. 📚 What I've been reading • Red Roulette, Desmond Shum: I visited China in 2015 and have a lot of interest in the Chinese state. This book tells an insider’s account of the inner-workings of China and its corruption during its meteoric rise in the 00s. If you’re curious about China, give this a read • The New New Thing, Michael Lewis: Michael Lewis doesn’t miss. He’s written some of the most captivating stories of our times, like The Big Short, The Fifth Risk and Moneyball. And about twenty years ago, he • Wanting, Luke Burgis: A book that dives into Rene Girard's Mimetic Theory. The idea that we imitate what our desires come from what other people desire, so we simply imitate them. It's a book full of examples of this, but I don't feel it warrants its length. 🔮 What's coming up • I’m moving! To somewhere a few roads away. So I’m staying as a member of the North London metropolitan elite for a little while longer. In fact, I’ve moving further up north! • And because I'm moving, I've very little money (deposits are very expensive rn!). So my head's back down building.
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January 2023 - Life Update

It's too late to say Happy New Year as we are many days past the 7th of Jan. The new year offers a good time to not only reflect, but also see friends and family. I was very fortunate to get to do that over the festive break. And I hope you did too if you celebrated it. 🤓 What I've been doing • Visited Tallinn and Helsinki, and unsurprisingly they were both pretty cold. The first few days I spent in Tallinn, a quiet city with picturesque castle fortifications around the Old Town's centre. And then I hopped on a ferry and went to Helsinki, for the third time. Helsinki is one of my favourite cities and quickly reminded me why: it's clean (it's difficult to find litter), there's seemingly no crime, there's no homeless people and everyone looks happy and healthy. It might just be a utopia. • Finishing off the beta for Here, I'm now tweaking with APNS (iOS's notification system) to get push notifications working. I'm using AWS Lambda and a Python library called PyAPNs2 to send the notifications. But I'm now fighting some certificate issues. • Learning Elixir, it's one of Stack Overflow's most-loved language and the Phoenix web framework (SO's most loved framework) uses it. From what I've read it's got what I need to support the back-end for Here, which currently is some miscellaneous JavaScript (which I hate) and Python (which I love, but I question its scalability) functions. I've bought a small course and I'm having a blast with it. Switching mindsets from object-oriented programming to functional programming has been a challenge though. • Participating in Dry January, after reflecting more on the past year, something I'd been thinking about is energy. And it made me realise what energises me - exercise, work, friends and sleep. So as I thought of what gets in the way of that, alcohol was front of mind. Dry January is an opportunity and excuse to be sober for a month and remind myself how good it is.  📚 What I've been reading • The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz: A book by a former tech CEO and now founding partner of Andreessen Horowitz. There are excellent lessons throughout the book about starting a company and scaling it up. But what I took most away from it was how unsure Ben was of himself at times. We see tech CEOs from the outside-in and think they've got it together. In reality, they don't. Often they're just getting by day-to-day, and ensuring there is a next day is the main focus of the early-stage startup CEO. • Thinking in Bets, Annie Duke: On the Friday of the week I'm publishing this, I'm at a poker night. I have very little idea how to play poker, besides reading The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova a couple of years ago. So now I'm reading all kinds of material about poker and decision-making. There's a lot to learn from this book about how to think, and although it uses poker as an analogy many times, you can apply many of its lessons to your personal and professional life. 🔮 What's coming up • It's my birthday in the first few days of February, and I'll be spending it in Nottingham at a friend's house with many other friends • Monk Mode, January is a good time to get my head down and work on my projects
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December 2022 - Life Update

I missed writing this in November. But admittedly there hasn't been much going on in my life (am I boring?!). I'm visiting friends and family back in the West Midlands, where I grew up and will be here until the 27th. Coming home for Christmas is a special feeling, but it's the only time where I can see myself being here for any extended period of time. 🤓 What I've been doing (and haven't) • Continuing to build Here, it's a challenge switching between writing Java code (my day job) to Swift (for Here). I enjoy writing Swift, but realize that I'm still out of my depth. • Visited 🇬🇷, a few friends and I spent a week in Crete. My two highlights from the trip was driving on dodgy unofficial roads to get to a secluded beach and sampling Cretan wine at a vineyard with a breathtaking view of Crete's mountains. • Didn't see Kendrick 😭, Trains strikes meant I couldn't make it to the concert. • Visited 🇺🇸, I hopped on a plane and went to Audacy music festival in Fort Lauderdale. Knowing I'll be visiting the States often, I've signed up for Global Entry. Having TSA precheck meant airport security was a breeze, it's a no-brainer to get it and I'm not a U.S. Citizen! • Fell completely off with weight-lifting, while I'd still go to Barry's often, I had no consistency in lifting heavy stones. 📚 What I've been reading • Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu - The first in a trilogy of books by Chinese author, Cixin Liu. This was recommended by a friend who is a big sci-fi fan and I had a great time with it! Because the book is set in China and has a revolutionary element to it, I learnt more about the Cultural Revolution and 'Struggle Sessions' that occurred during it.  • Unfinished Business, David Goggins - David Goggins saying David Goggins stuff. It feels like a sequel to Can't Hurt Me rather than a standalone book in its own right. 🔮 What's coming up • I'll be visiting 🇪🇪 and 🇫🇮 just after Christmas. It seemed like a good idea at the time when I booked it, but I'm unsure I'm ready for how cold it'll be! • Writing my 2022 review. I don't often publish reviews, but I will this year. It's fun to look back on previous reviews and see how different or similar the years have been.
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How I'm feeling healthier than ever before

In the past few months, I’ve reached the best shape I’ve ever been in. And I’ve still got plenty left to go. As I reach my late late 20s, (I’m officially over 27.5 years old now) I’ve become more thoughtful about my health. There have been many times when I’ve been told, “just wait until you turn 30”, which has been plaguing my mind recently. But you know what? Fuck them. When I’m 30, I will be even healthier than before. So what have I been doing? And how am I improving? To start, I’ve been avoiding seed oils where I can. Seed oil is high in omega-6 and having an imbalance between omega-3 and omega-6 levels is shown to cause inflammation. It’s no surprise that the rise in seed oils in our diets correlates with the rise in heart, kidney, liver and many more diseases. The problem is that seed oils are in almost everything. Whatever you eat, it likely contains sunflower oil, rapeseed oil or one of the many sinister seed oils there are out there. By paying attention to these nefarious oils, I’ve become conscious of the ingredients in my food. Rather than looking at the nutritional contents, I read the ingredients and asked myself, “should this have this many ingredients?” And by doing that, I’ve cut out most processed foods from my diet. As a Brit, I’m exposed to alcohol everywhere. It’s part of our culture, and I used to be a fiend with it by often drinking a couple of pints a few nights a week. But now, I drink much less, and I’m on the road to cutting it out completely. The benefits are crazy. Not least the fact you save a lot of money here in London, but you also get better sleep, skin, concentration and more. The turning point was listening to a podcast with James Smith, an online PT, who said that he cut out alcohol because he enjoyed what he’d do in the mornings. Mornings he’d otherwise not get had he drank the night before. I have felt smug waking up, after sipping on lime and soda the previous evening, feeling fresh in the morning. It’s nice not having to drink poison to have a good time. In July, I started doing Barry’s Bootcamp, a HIIT class that combines strength and treadmill training. At first, I could barely last on the treadmill. I’d often have to go on the slowest speeds, but slowly my cardio performance got much better. And now I notice my resting heart rate is lower (a measure of athleticism). I combine classes with gym training, with the gym accounting for most of my exercise. It’ll take a lot of convincing to believe cardio exercise is better than strength training, but it’s certainly better than no cardio. None of these habits are ones I plan to drop anytime soon. I like the idea of doing health experiments, so here are a few I’m looking at: - Daily ten-minute meditation to improve mindfulness and heart-rate variability - Cold water swimming for conditioning and blood circulation - Jiu-jitsu for mindfulness, cardio and self-defence - Probiotics for gut health, we know so little about the gut apart from that it’s super important for our health - Cutting caffeine so that my energy levels aren’t dependent on if I’ve had coffee or not I’m unsure how these experiments will pan out. Meditation is something I’ve tried before and have struggled with. But that’s the beauty of experiments. Some work, and some don’t. If they make me feel even the slightest bit better, it’ll be worth it.
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October 2022 - Life Update

We may be halfway into the month, but the idea sprung into my head and I since I haven't written in a while, I thought why not get it done? So here's the first of my monthly life updates. 🤓 What I've been doing (and haven't) • Building Here, an ambient messaging app, with Jon. In-app messaging and location discovery is working, so now it's various design and performance tweaks before the beta kicks off in London. • Reallocated my investment portfolio and sadly stopped making angel investments for the time being. Now I balance my portfolio between bonds, medium risk ETFs, dividend-paying stocks, and cheap high-risk bets (ie crypto) • Still yet to find form with weight-training in the gym. Instead I've been doing a lot of Barry's Bootcamp, and I've seen my cardio performance increase significantly. I'm in the process of changing gyms to reduce the friction of going. • Continuing my break from dating. Too time-consuming, draining and the risk of getting hurt is high. It's sad that several of my friends feel the same way. 📚 What I've Been Reading Admittedly my reading habit has slowed down recently but I am currently making my way through a few books currently.  • Discipline is Destiny, Ryan Holiday - This book is filled with examples of how living a disciplined life and staying on track is what leads to the outcomes we want. Sometimes it's easy to give in, but reminding ourselves of where we can go if we stick with it and not give in to temptation is the key to growth. An important read in a world of short-term dopamine. • No One Is Talking About This, Patricia Lockwood - A poetic book that starts in a non-narrative style which paints a portrait of the always-on world in which we now live, but later explores grief through tragedy. Beautifully written and at times, very witty. • Breakfast London - I asked a work colleague for brunch place recommendations in Soho. So she gave me the literal book on brunch spots in all of London. Slowly working my way through both the book and the spots. 🔮 What's Coming Up • I leave to go to Greece for a week in a few days. I haven't had proper time off in a long time, on my trip in Lisbon in May I spent a lot of time working. Although, I'll probably do some work in Greece. • When I get back from Greece, I can work off the pounds I'll no doubt gain during Barry's Hell Week. Seven classes, seven days. • During the week of Hell Week, I'll also be seeing Kendrick Lamar, which'll be my first time seeing him live ever. Excited isn't the word. • Writing a follow up piece on Why I Love the Internet. There's plenty more for me to expand on from the past year. Speak next month! “"We must master ourselves unless we’d prefer to be mastered by someone or something else." - Ryan Holiday, Discipline is Destiny”
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Why I love the internet

"But you did meet in a public place, right?" My mum nervously asked when I told her about my two-day trip in June 2021. She was asking because the people I drank, laughed and watched football with, I had never met in person before. I knew them from the internet. Her "stranger danger" alarms were blaring, and I understood why. Meeting people from the internet was something that only recently became more accepted. Before the internet, it would have been difficult for me to find so many people that would say "ooooh" at somebody mentioning they used a niche programming language to build a compiler. Now it's not difficult, provided you go in with positive intent. What is positive intent on the internet? It's about having a mindset that is open, friendly and not aggressive. Instead of bickering with people to prove you're smarter than them, block and move on. And rather than keeping to yourself, speak to people. If you see a tweet you want to expand on, reply constructively. Don't insult or demean. Most importantly, see the avatars on the screen as real people. People you can build relationships with like you would in real life. Back in 2012, I was on a Google+ Hangout (those were the days) with a popular YouTuber. He later left the session, but many of us stayed on. From there, I spoke to a guy called Tom in Pennsylvania. We had similar interests and exchanged Google Talk details so we could continue talking to one another. We watched the Euro together later that year over Skype; we're still friends to this day. Positive intention mixed with luck results in serendipity. Serendipity is a positive event happening by chance. The internet, in the words of David Perell, enables us to create a 'serendipity vehicle'. By that, he means a blog or a YouTube channel that we have to put work into. Although a small one, my newsletter has been the catalyst for a few conversations in Twitter DMs, which I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Later, without needing a vehicle - serendipity happened for me. In early 2021, I took a punt. I read about On Deck, "Stanford for the Internet", and saw their writing fellowship. A few months before, I started a weekly newsletter and wanted to improve my writing. So I took a financial gamble, threw in over a grand and gave the fellowship a go. While on the fellowship, I could have focused solely on the curriculum and not spoke to my peers. But I remembered 'positive intent'. And it was life-changing. I had powerful conversations with people worldwide, such as Manish in Dubai, reminding me that failure is not the end. And George in California telling me the story of building his business (it's like the Shoe Dog of cars!), Josh in New York blowing my mind as we bounce ideas off one another and Tom in Bolton improving my DeFi knowledge. All of these conversations have changed my perspective in one way or another. And for the better. That alone made me feel like I had won a 10/1 with On Deck. Some of those conversations blossomed into the real-life conversations that worried my mum. And hopefully, the others will too when freely travelling around the world is allowed again. The idea of going to cities around the world and meeting people I first spoke with on the internet is a mind-blowing one to me. We live in a remarkable age. There are many people on the internet that are seizing the opportunities before them, they’re building business empires. But more importantly, friendships. And for me, it's inspirational. During the peak of the pandemic, my ex-girlfriend and I broke up. It devastated me. But with it came a new lease on life. Before I was resigned to a life that looking back, I would have ended up miserable. Without much to do and wallowing in sadness, I searched for comfort on the internet. I refined who I followed on Twitter by focusing on people, not brands. From there I talked to people, discovered more interesting people and have a refreshed perspective of social media. My Twitter experience, in tandem with On Deck, flipped my outlook on the road ahead. Never in my life have I felt as happy and optimistic as I do now. And that's thanks to the internet. If you're not already, I highly recommend getting involved on the internet. Tweet, blog, YouTube, whatever. Put yourself out there. You never know what kind of opportunity may come your way.
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Inputs and Outputs

In May, I spent a a good few weeks in Lisbon with friends. The trip was a co-working trip. I can work remote, so I thought why not go to a sunny country and work from there with my mates? I had an excellent time. Alongside hanging out with friends, I skydived, watched a lot of Portugese football, sunbathed on a beach for the first time in years and ate a lot of good food. But I also drank a lot, slept little, smoked and some of the food I ate wasn't the healthiest. When I arrived back home, that continued. I'd be drinking, eating deep-fried food and sleeping little. Not only that, but very rarely did I exercise. A few weeks after getting back, I was in a shitty state of mind. Worrying about things that didn't need worrying about, feeling nervous, anxious. I wasn't a good person to be around. So I took a step back and thought, "maybe if I put shit into my body, I get shit out". Also known as 'garbage in, garbage out' for software developers. Where if rubbish data is put into a system, its output will be rubbish. I've learnt the same to be true for my body. I took action.  Cutting down on alcohol felt like the simplest thing, because it also meant that I'd sleep better. Two birds, one stone. I started cooking food at home (no seed oil garbage) and took it into work. Diet fixed. Next was exercise, with three gym sessions and a Barry's class per week. After a few weeks of doing this, I was back at the top of my game.  All it took was a couple of weeks of discipline and my mental state has improved dramatically. I'm a better son to my parents, a better friend to my friends and a better teammate to my work colleagues. I've learnt a valuable lesson from this experience, and one that if things do go south again that I can think back to.
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