Practical Thoughts on Geekiness from a Business Geek

Business Geek

A couple of weeks ago a friend and current colleague of mine called me a geek. My friend is a developer and he considers himself a geek. His name is Jose. I did not take this comment negatively, even though usually the term geek has some negative connotations.

Jose made me ponder my geekiness. Out of curiosity I did some research on the word and this is the definition of Merriam Webster’s online dictionary.


As you can see out of the three listed definitions two are related to an intellectual interest, and technology.

Some background information

To give you some background information on this conversation and what my professional occupation is. The conversation was about the mission, vision goals and strategy of a company group that the two of us work for.

Jose is a senior developer. He used to be the General Manager of a company that the two of worked for. This company belonged to a German company innovation group called HYVE. The two of us ran the group’s digital innovation daughter company together.

I was hired at that time to assist Jose and become the second local General Manager after a year. I have over 20 years of experience with companies of all types. My experience is cross-functional and I have worked as a management consultant for many years. The two of us complemented each other very well, he as the technical expert and myself as the business expert.

Our conversations and experience

The two of us worked through the challenges of the pandemic together especially the downturn in project volume. Over a period of two years we had many conversations about the nature of software development, team culture, strategy in software, etc.

We did many thinks together. He gave me the freedom to implement changes in operations, team communication and improve things wherever I saw fit. Together with our small team we decoupled us and changed how we worked. We changed processes such as time management, staffing and reporting, and then later our changes triggered interest from the headquarters and led to further changes there.

In addition to this, contrary to what had been done before we started acquiring customers on our own instead of waiting for projects to come from Germany. Jose and I foresaw a reduction in projects from Germany, and a growing competition for developers. Given this, we wanted to keep our team busy, working on interesting projects. We found that boredom was the worst for morale and especially developers need sources of intellectual challenge and growth.

Given this need for personal growth of our team and the analysis we did on our technology stack we focused on building a plan B. Consequently, we started looking for interesting new projects in different fields with new relevant technologies as a form of investment with spare capacity to meet three goals:

  1. Keeping our team busy
  2. Grow our teams technology stack with diverse projects
  3. Cover cost with a small margin

The current project

Later, when Jose was asked to join another project that was to create several technology companies around Blockchain and AI. He recommended me as the business expert within the group. He wanted to exclusively focus on coding or programming , his true passion.

Nowadays Jose and I belong to the core team and the two of us have continued with our conversations. We discuss different topics of our mutual interest and throw ideas and thoughts at each other.

Now after a year we are considering changing project focus. Given that I found a possible change not aligned with the initial direction I voiced my concern. I asked for clearly defining the groups mission, vision, goals and general strategy to align all core members perceptions and actions.

We are talking at the moment much about this topic and I asked Jose about what he thought that we all had in common. He said we were all geeks in a way or another.

Interests, passion and “geekiness”

Till then I had never considered myself really a “geek”. I have always felt comfortable working with people from IT, engineers, developers, etc. since I understood how they thought and approached problems, but I never had thought of myself as a “geek”.

Now, after thinking about it for some time I think of “geekiness” as a result of passion. Passion to me is a stronger expression of your of inner interests that lead to a fascination with one or more topics that you decide to dedicate your time to.

Business challenges

Business Geek Puzzles

I come from a third generation entrepreneur family. To some extent due to this I have always had interest in companies. I think though that my interest stems from more than just growing up in an entrepreneur family. In my case it has more to do with the intellectual challenge and the opportunities for creativity that they represent for me.

I still remember the first book about companies that I read, a book by Ichak Adizes, about company lifecycles and the challenges for leadership at each stage. All the things that had to be considered seemed to me like a large and fascinating puzzle to solve.

Technology as a means to an end

As you can imagine I studied business. College was great for me. My friends considered me a little bit of a nerd but I did not care. I enjoyed each lessson and was fascinated by company challenges and how people solved them and especially how they managed to do so with technology.

I learned the usefulness of technology to solve problems and how it made things more efficient. This realization made deep dive into software programs like Excel etc. which I considered a useful tool. Excel in fact for me has prevailed as one of the most useful investments of my time since it has been a great companion for almost 30 years now and helped me solve many riddles.

After Excel I developed a growing fascination with technology. In general and how it is used within companies for greater efficiency, productivity, etc. Not surprisingly, I continued learning many new tools and exploring programming through courses to implement automation and solving many challenges.

For me technology has always been a means to make life easier, more efficient and productive which has made me passionate about it.

People, culture and leadership

Still though the years prove to me again and again that the greatest puzzle are people, culture and leadership. I do not separate the three since for me they go hand in hand.

If leadership does not set the right direction and listens and empowers its people, you set the base for a specific culture. With direction I mean, defining a coherent mission, vision, goals and strategy. By listening, I mean asking employees and customers to get involved in the discussion.

People like to be taken notice off. To be asked for their input since they are spending their time at work. It is a way to show respect to the value that they are generating, and their experience. Especially, from experience I can say that this is important. Specifically, when you want to implement changes or are looking for support.

I am the first who values his own contribution. I appreciate when my input is asked for. Fact is, the golden rule has shaped always my behavior:

“Treat others the way you would like to be treated.”

Common sense to me.

Definitely a “Business Geek”

Physical Bookshelf

Well, when I look at my small physical library in addition to my ebooks and take into account the time a spend on reading, thinking and learning about companies and technology outside work, Jose is definitely right. I am a “business geek” with an always growing interest in learning how to use technology to solve problems and add more value.

On the other hand though if you look at my books in this picture on the right you will find a number of other interests too, but business challenges are definitely one of my intellectual passions.

I do not think that being “geeky” is bad at all. I actually feel lucky that what I do for work is also one of the things that excite me and tickle my intellect daily. More so because the more experienced I am, the more creative I can be. Making connections and finding solutions for possible challenges is just like a big puzzle. Fun indeed.

So who cares if others think that you are geek, it just means that you are truly passionate and experienced about a topic. Good for you.

Here is another of my hobbies where one could say that I am a little geeky, check it out if you are curious.

Open Source Sources of Income Easy Tools and Aids

Open Source Sources of Income Easy Tools and Aids Header Image

It’s no secret that Open Source projects have a difficult time being financially sustainable and search for sources of income. Fact is many projects struggle just to keep the lights on. This is often because project maintainers have to look for stable sources of income, which can be difficult to find. Sadly, this often leads to project abandonment. 

The way I see it Open Source projects face similar problems to startups, and often end up becoming startups. However, there are ways to keep your open source project financially sustainable, or at least try to do so.

In this article I will try to give you an overview of the methods that I have researched.

Different Financing Methods

You will find different approaches to financing. From common to less common and from commercial to non-commercial. Here is a simple list of these:

Non Commercial

  1. Donations
  2. Sponsoring & subscriptions


  1. Support contracts
  2. Licensing (Dual, Commercial, etc.)
  3. Specialized Hosting Services
  4. Bounties for Bugs and Features
  5. Saas: Software as a Service alternatives
  6. Affiliation
  7. Conferences
  8. Brand Licensing
  9. Selling merchandise and other products
  10. Tokenization (SourceCred, DevProtocol, CommonsStack)
  11. Crowdfunding
  12. Foundation Grants

The most common forms of financing

In open-source, the three most common financing methods are donations, sponsoring, and support contracts. Let’s take a look at each of them in more detail.


Donations are perhaps the most obvious way to try to keep your project afloat. You can set up a donation page on your website or use a service like Patreon. The problem with donations is that they’re often not very reliable. You might get a big influx of donations one month and then nothing the next month. This can make it difficult to budget and plan for the future of your project.

Sponsorship and Subscriptions

Sponsoring is another common method of open source financing. In this model, companies or organizations pay you to work on your project. This is usually done in exchange for some kind of recognition, such as a link on your website or mentions in your project’s documentation. The advantage of this model is that it can provide a steady stream of income. The downside is that it can be difficult to find sponsors, and you may have to give up some control over your project in order to get them onboard.

Support Contracts

Another option is to offer support contracts for your project. In this model, companies or individuals pay you for help using or developing your software. This can be a great way to generate income, but it requires quite a bit of work on your part. You need to be able to provide timely support and have a good understanding of your project’s code base.

Other forms of financing

Licensing (Dual, Commercial, etc.)

Some open-source projects choose to release their software under a dual license. This means that you can use the software for free, but if you want to use it commercially, you need to pay a fee. This model can work well if your project is popular and has a lot of users. The downside is that it can be difficult to enforce.

Specialized Hosting Services

Another option is to set up a specialized hosting service for your project. This can be a great way to generate income, but it requires quite a bit of work on your part. You need to be able to provide timely support and have a good understanding of your project’s code base.

Bounties for Bugs and Features

You might also give rewards for bugs and features. Companies or individuals may pay you to fix defects or develop new features on your project in this manner. This can be a lucrative business, but it comes with a lot of responsibilities on your side. You must be able to offer timely assistance and have a thorough knowledge of the source code base.

Saas: Software as a Service

This approach offers the option to use the Open Source project as a hosted online service. This approach pays a fee for its use without having to deal with any IT infrastructure or maintenance costs. This is a good way to generate income, but it requires quite a bit of work on your part. You need to be able to provide timely support, and have the necessary people and IT infrastructure setup. This service usually brings with it legal responsibilities.


In this approach, open-source projects can have an affiliation with the organization. The project gets some financial support, but not full funding. This model is a good way to get started, but it’s said to not be sustainable in the long run, though companies like Mozilla, affiliated to Google, having established it as their default search engine is a clear example of its potential for income.


Conferences are another great way to generate income for open source projects. You can either organize your own conference or participate in someone else’s. This is a great way to get exposure for your project and meet other like-minded people. The downside is that it can be expensive and time-consuming to organize a conference.

Brand Licensing and or Certifications

This is the process of licensing your project’s name and logo to other companies. This can be a great way to generate income, but it comes with a lot of responsibility. You need to make sure that the companies you license to are reputable and will use your project’s name and logo in a positive light.

This approach can be done once a project has a large user base and requires for example specialist consultants who could be certified as for example “Linux” Specialists, etc.

Selling Merchandise and other products

You can also sell merchandise and other products related to your project. This is a great way to generate income. You need to be able to promote your products and have a good understanding of your target market. Examples of this are for example companies who sell T-shirts, mugs, etc. and others which supply ready to use specialized products with their software installed.


This is a process of funding open source projects with the help of cryptocurrency. In this approach, people can contribute to your project by buying tokens and or becoming a part of it in some instances.


Crowdfunding is a great way to generate income for open source projects. You can use platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to raise funds for your project. 

The downside of this approach is that it can be difficult to reach your funding goal unless you already have a follower group or community of users that can be interested in it. 

Things that are often funded are for example games, technological gadgets, art, etc. Check out for some insight.

Foundation Grants

These are usually donations from foundations of government institutions. There tends to be some formality involved in addition paperwork. Examples of such are:

Implications to be considered for project owners

When one receives money either through a sale or through a donation one usually has to declare it and pay taxes on it. It is unfortunate but this is usually expected.

Here is a screenshot to show you what I mean from the sponsoring tool by GitHub:

Screenshot from GitHub Sponsor

Some countries have more tax and others have less, still the paperwork a project owner or contributors who receive funds have to be considered but in essence they are these four:

  • Taxation of received funds
  • Necessary legal implications
  • Surrounding administrative complexity, paperwork and cost
  • Book keeping of fund allocations for payments etc.

In essence, once you receive money you will have to pay one way or the other part of it.

Open Source Project Owner and Contributor Types

In Open Source projects you can find mostly these different types of owners and contributors which can be divided into legally ready for receiving funds and others which are not:

Legally prepared to receive funds:

  • For-profit companies
  • Not-for-profit companies and institutions
  • Individuals who are set up as freelancers

Legally not prepared to receive funds:

  • Individuals who are not set up as freelancers
  • Individuals who are under age

The first group is usually able to open a bank account, have a PayPal account and can receive official direct payments. The second group has some limitations in this area but there are solutions that can help them do so. Nevertheless, they will have to become freelancers, create a company, another form of legal institution or channel the funds in case of minors through their legal tutors.

Simplifying Receiving Funds

In order to simplify receiving funds nowadays you have various digital options, some are solutions, services or software add ons for your repositories. I will go through a few marked in pink below just to give you an idea. The others require also talking about business models and are beyond the scope of this post.

In addition below these examples you will find the link to the entire list that I have collected from different internet sources. The list is organized by the categories I have mentioned above. This list is one I will be exploring more in detail myself with my team of colleagues for our projects.

Non Commercial

  1. Donations
  2. Sponsoring & subscriptions


  1. Support contracts
  2. Licensing (Dual, Commercial, etc.)
  3. Specialized Hosting Services
  4. Bounties for Bugs and Features
  5. Saas: Software as a Service alternatives
  6. Affiliation
  7. Conferences
  8. Brand Licensing
  9. Selling merchandise and other products
  10. Tokenization (SourceCred, DevProtocol,CommonsStack)
  11. Crowdfunding

Available Online Tools and Solutions to Simplify Receiving Funds

Donations and Sponsoring

The tools come in different flavors so to say. In a way you could say that there are two main approaches and then there are some innovative and different ones. 

The more common are recurrent donation and subscription platforms and one time small amount donation platforms. 

Examples of the first are, and Examples of the second are and

Then you find a full service solution run by in the (USA) where they will deal with all the necessary paperwork, legal setup etc. and you can function through them. 

Then there is GitHub’s solution that they are rolling out right now:

Screenshot GitHub Sponsors landing page

There is one additional approach that I found different but interesting and easy to use:

It is basically an online platform for social project funding which includes all types of Open Source as well as other public goods and non-profit social projects. The platform is about giving in crypto currencies such as Ethereum.

Screenshot landing page

Another slightly different approach is the one of They come in the form of Grants so to say. You create a project and description where you include links etc and people can fund you with money which then gets replicated via a fund through a quadratic funding formula. 

Essentially the more people fund you with amounts, no matter the size, the more funds you receive from a pool of grants for open source projects on the platform. These grants have different rounds during the year. Here is a link to this product:

Screenshot GitCoin Grants page

There are quite a few more so check out my compilation of resources.

Bounties for Bugs and Features

Is a platform where freelancers essentially offer specific services or “gigs” as they are referred to which are paid for using Ethereum. The Bounties are specific jobs that those freelancers do custom to the customer who hires their services. More than a Bounties platform it looks like a Freelancer hiring platform.

Screenshot Landing Page

Was an easy and approachable platform. You signed up with your GitHub account, added your repositories and could install an app on your repository. This then allows you to be paid for issues which were requested to be solved. Unfortunately this platform seems to be inactive though one can log in and check it out as to how it functions. Their video tutorials also give you an idea, but they seem outdated.

Screenshot IssueHunt Landing Page

Is an interesting platform with different options in addition to their Bounties, such as Grants, Kudos, Quests, Hackathons, etc. The Bounties can be set up by anyone who can create an issue in a repository, though that person is the one funding it. It can be thus used for users for example who want a specific feature, or bug resolved which they then fund if the issue gets done. If one were to make use of this site one can indicate this on the Readme and then advertise it from there.

Screenshot GitCoin Bounties Page
Screenshot GitCoin Bounties Page

Tokenization (DevProtocol, SourceCred, CommonStack)

Their project description is the following:

“ SourceCred (in the most basic sense) is a technology that makes the labor of individuals more visible and rewardable as they work together in a project or community. The goal of SourceCred is to use this technology to make rewarding labor as nuanced as human contribution often is. We hope to be one piece in the puzzle of a healthier future where systems serve community members, where financial maximization isn’t the end-all be-all goal, and where wealth actually flows to those who are creating the value in our world.”

They essentially have developed a software which you run as an instance on your repository and which then assigns Credits or “Cred” as they call them, based on an algorithm that analyzes contributions interlinkages of generated “value”.

This “Cred” is then rewarded through their own project specific Crypto Currency “Grain” to which funds can be assigned.

Then later external parties can purchase Grain and fund issues of their interest, etc.

In a way it is like creating your own project economy with its own currency.

Screenshot SourceCred Landing Page

The project’s leading introduction line is:

“Decentralized funding where creators and backers work together to drive project growth and are equally rewarded.”

Their vision statement is:

“Empowering all creators for sustainable challenges. Decentralized funding, Social tokens, DAOs and everything you need for a sustainable creator economy is here.”

They attempt to provide the necessary infrastructure tools for a fair creator, backer ecosystem. The way I interpret it, it does not exclude closed source projects. Their focus is to speed up creating a system where creators and backers work together and get both rewarded.

Screenshot DevProtocol Landing Page

The Commons Stack stands for an organization whose vision states:

“We want to create a world where public goods are valued fairly for the benefits they deliver. Our current economic system frequently exploits the environment, and undervalues open-source software, open research, and other altruistic efforts addressing the collective needs of our society. We aim to change this.”

Their intent being also mentioned as:

“To advance the design of commons-based economies, we need an open-source ecosystem of token engineering tools and a robust token engineering methodology.”

Their Commons that they are working on is a library of Open Source components whose aim is to help project owners incentivize work towards common goals, providing accountability, help with governance and communication through feedback on what they call one’s Commons.

Commons standing for your Open Source project and the common good for the community that it represents. The idea from what I have understood is that of creating DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) for each Open Source project.S

Screenshot CommonsStack Landing Page


Under this category you find the usual suspects and some specific to Open Source projects in addition some additional which you can find in my list.

Here is the link to the complete list.


As you can see there are many options to simplify generating income. It is a matter of what you need. I would take some time to check them out and study them since depending on your situation they may be appropriate or not. Still you never know what that extra knowledge can bring you in the future. 

Nevertheless, these are just a part of making your Open Source project sustainable through contributors, users, etc. which still remains the most difficult and keystone for becoming sustainable and able to grow long term.

In the next weeks I will test some of these or our projects and then write about for anyone who can use this information. The company group for which I work expects all its members to write about their experience while working on our projects. Anything useful that we learn we are to share it either through blog posts or repository documentation. I think it is great and a way of supporting the development of the Open Source ecosystem by adding value to the community.

If you are interested in the Open Source Guide repository we are creating here is the link and if you are interested in what projects we are currently working on, here.

What is GPG? Why and how to use it?


The company I currently work with, our team decided to use OpenGPG keys. OpenPGP keys are also known GPG keys.

The intent is to avoid any security issues from impersonation attacks to the Nautilus Cyberneering code repositories. We host our repositories on the well known GitHub repository platform where this is one of the two options for increasing security through commit signing.

I wrote this post to explain what GPG is and how to use it since there are likely also other users who do not know it, nor have never used it before. The post was published on Nautilus Cyberneering’s corporate website today.

It is a quick read and simple overview of OpenPGP keys functioning, benefits and use.

Anyone interested in more digital security can benefit from reading it. Learning about OpenPGP keys easy and there many user friendly applications out there.

If you want to learn more

It is always good to learn more about them since OpenPGP keys can be used to encrypt, certify, authenticate and sign.

If you are more interested about how to use it check out our GPG – Bootcamp repository on GitHub that I was asked to create. If you see any errors or mistakes please feel free to comment on GitHub.

I hope this is information is useful for you and makes your online and digital life more secure

Humans and the Planet: Forests disappearing

Forests disappearing

Photo by David Geere on Unsplash

It is a more than evident fact that humans are having an effect on the planet. One example the forests of the world are disappearing. Fires, logging, human settlement expansion, converting forest into pastures for cattle are just a few causes for it. The one thing they all have in common is that these are the result of conscious human acts. Sad to say forests are just one example.

What drives this destruction?

Sad to say, most often then not it is for short term monetary revenues of individuals and companies, to satisfy our lifestyle. Forests are converted into a quick source of income, living space, etc.

These short term goals do not grasp the long term repercussions that they have and the fact that these acts of destruction likely have negative effects on our own future as a species.

“What we are doing to the forests of the world, is but a reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”

Mahatma Gandhi

When I read this quote by Mahatma Gandhi, I thought that it captured the essence of the problem. We are living in a world where we as a species are creating a world through destruction and not through living in harmony with our surrounding.

We are playing god in a way. We are consuming the resources without replenishing them. We are polluting the air, the water in our strive to develop, to expand and to live as a species. But what about the others species? The plants the animals? The insects? We trample their existence, in our eagerness to develop through genius we are just demonstrating our ingenuity, that we are nothing but blind to the obvious.

The world is our home, we do not have the right to destroy it since we are not the only living beings and without everything that comprises nature its plants, animals and insects, we will not only impoverish our own existence but likely endanger that of our future generations.

It is a paradise, a treasure trove worth saving.

Photos by Baciu Cristian Mihai, Kishore Ragav Ganesh Kumar, Daniel Seßler, Florian Schneider, Niels van Altena on Unsplash

The world our responsibility

Humans as a species have been gifted with the conscious intellect to inflict change and to create. Humans can take an idea and make it reality which is creating an abstract thought and make it material, like gods.

“Great power involves great responsibility.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

The world is our playground but we forget that this power bears with it an incredible responsibility. Our intellect can create both good and evil, and our steps as a species need to be taken cautiously. The first thing however we need to learn is respect, and take care of the treasure trove of our planet.

Would you not agree that this world is worth it and that there is a different way to live and to grow? Respectful of the planet?



Why bother to learn a programming language?

You are staring at a screen right now and it has been made with such languages. You use it every day, so why not learn a little more about them? They are used in your everyday life and they make it easier for you to do your work, browse on the internet, send an email, etc. They are essentially key to everything we do online, on a computer, on your mobile phone, etc.


Photo by Javier Esteban on Unsplash

Where to start?

If you want to check it out, start by those most used online. There is so much information online that you can easily learn more about them. They are:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript

Another language worth starting with for its readability and ease of learning is Python. It is similar to JavaScript in several ways and it is used also in many other fields not related to the web, like statistical analysis,etc. ….. besides you can learn to do some really fancy things with it, and possibly open new job opportunities.

Here is a good place to start with:

Otherwise you can look for some courses online:

As for me, I am going for it.



5 Common Excuses for not Doing a Business Plan

5 Excuses for not doing a business plan you can avoid!

I have often been presented with business ideas for which no serious business plan had been prepared for. When I asked whether they had done a business plan, the excuses I most often got were almost always the same. If any of these sounds familiar, let me walk you through as to why you do need a plan and refer you to some other useful articles and resources.

5 Excuses for not doing a business plan picture

The Excuses

1. “I am an expert, I got a great idea, I got contacts, etc …”

It is possible that everything is true and that you are all set up for success, but I know from experience that sometimes too much confidence can be the greatest blindfold. Continue reading

This Website

With my articles I want you to save time, learn something new or read something interesting.

To give you an overview I will start creating content about:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Management and business in general
  • Creativity
  • Learning
  • Helpful tools
  • Canary Islands
  • Social Media
  • Webdesign
  • Programming
  • Current ideas
  • etc.

Some of these are new for myself too, so that I will share what I learn. In other areas I know more from my experience, work or because I am passionate about them.

Well then, welcome and enjoy.