Damian Sowers

What Russian trappers and startup founders have in common

I recently watched "Happy People: A Year in the Taiga" on Netflix and saw a lot of similarities between the resolute lifestyle of these Taiga trappers and startup founders. (highly recommend the movie)

These Russian trappers are completely self reliant, living off age-old trapping methods passed down from previous generations. This . . .

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December 19, 2013

Thank you for your hard work

otsukaresama desu

There are a few common ways of saying thank you in Japan. One of these expressions means "Thank you for your hard work." Or, in Japanese: "otsukaresama desu."


We have no short, equivalent way of saying the same thing in English.

Our culture either doesn't respect hard work as much, or we respect the type of . . .

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November 06, 2013

A business is not like a baby. It's more like Weekend at Bernies.

Business Metaphors

People love to compare businesses to babies. Recently, Richard Branson said that a business is like a baby turtle.

I have tons of respect for Richard, and the similarities between the fragility of early businesses and babies are undeniable, but there is one important distinction to make here: A startup is never alive, in the sense that it . . .

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October 11, 2013

Sacrificing Everything For My Dog

How I Became a Programmer

Nobody will bat an eye if you’re making big sacrifices to give your children a better life. This sacrificial behavior is hard wired into our DNA and it’s expected of every parent. In fact, evolution depends on this behavior.

However, if you tell somebody you’re restructuring your life to make your dog happy, there’s a good chance they will . . .

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June 25, 2013

Finding work/life balance as a consultant living in Lake Tahoe

Do you love where you live? Does it amaze you and keep you curious and engaged?

The Tibetans say the secret to happiness is building up all three legs of the Tripod of Happiness. The Tripod of Happiness is about having something to do, someone to love, and somewhere to be. I think a lot of people don’t truly satisfy the third leg of this . . .

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May 02, 2013


Cover image credit: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110517.html