Tyler Tringas

Digital nomad. Builder of products: @StoreMapper, @SolarList

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Play the Long Game because it’s fun

Ok screw it. You are going to think I’m a big nerd but I’m posting this anyway.

Early this year I left my apartment in Brooklyn. I put all my stuff in storage (for the third time in as many years) but this time using NYC startup Makespace. They deliver boxes to your house, pick them up, and you can request individual boxes be hand-delivered to you anywhere in NYC (or now shipped to anywhere).

I jetted off to Southeast Asia for a few months. I didn’t have a return ticket at the time but looking ahead, I thought I might cut my return very close to a friend’s wedding. So I packed one of my Makespace boxes with a pressed tuxedo, cufflinks, polished shoes… I called it my 007 Go Box because James Bond is always showing up in random places and he still has perfectly pressed, tailored and climate-appropriate threads in every situation.

3 months later, I fly...

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More by Tyler

Storemapper: Bootstrapped to $50,000/year in 2 years (with live metrics)

Two years ago I launched Storemapper an embedded store locator service that runs on any website or ecommerce platform. Today around 500 brands use Storemapper to help their customers find the closest place to buy their stuff.

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The service has grown from bootstrapped to over $50,000 per year. It’s not cool like a billion dollars, but not half bad for a side project. Today I want to share some data, stories and things that did and didn’t work.

Thanks to Baremetrics, which offers one-click SaaS metrics for Stripe, you can see the real metrics for my business on this live dashboard.

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NB: Stripe processes about 70% of our revenue so all top line numbers are 1.5x more than you see in Baremetrics. (they have since added support for non-Stripe data, numbers on live dashboard are accurate)

36 hours in a first class cabin

Two years ago, August 2012, I was doing freelance work for...

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Evolution, mountains, careers and superjumps

This is a post about career and life decisions, but first, evolution.

Survival of the fittest gets all the credit in evolution. But if that was all there was to evolution, we would all be slowly converging towards a single super-fit species. Evolution is only so powerful thanks to another equally important component: mutation. As a species slowly grinds away towards slightly better fitness, occasionally, a member of the species mutates, and radically changes. Most of the time the mutation is a failure, but sometimes the complete shot in the dark yields a much better adaptation that ultimately creates an entirely new species or comes back to dominate the original one.

A good metaphor for understanding this interplay is that of the fitness landscape. Imagine a mountain range, with peaks and valleys and each mountain is a random height. Traversing this landscape, height = awesomeness,...

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You Don’t Have to Do Anything

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I want you follow me down a strange and interesting thought experiment.

We all have things that we have to do. Much of the precious minutes of our short lives gets spent completing those things we have to do. For many of us, have-to-dos represent the majority of our time. For some us, nearly every waking minute is spent getting things done that we have to do.

But we don’t HAVE to do those things. There is no element of Newtonian physics that requires you to go work on Monday. No part of string theory compels you to reply to your emails. You don’t have to pick up your laundry from the dry cleaners. You could just leave it there.

So I want you to start making a list of everything that takes up time during your week. You can use this week if you’ve already got your schedule, or just a typical week. Start making the list of all the things you have to do and about how...

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Better Disconnecting and Pull Notifications

Reading the excellent, Hidden in Plain Sight by Jan Chipchase. This paragraph in particular caught my attention.

Additionally, free time, and the freedom to use time autonomously, has increasingly positive connotations. This seems to suggest that as society becomes more hyperconnected, the ability to disconnect and stay disconnected will become a more significant sign of status. If it’s increasingly difficult to switch off—to not pick up the phone, to take a three-week vacation—then switching off will become a privilege for the few who can afford to do so.

This is so spot on. The Instagram feed, constantly updated with the cool non-work things you’re doing, is the new status symbol.

A few years ago hyperconnectivity was a status symbol, think the bluetooth headset, Can you hear me now? Now in a world where everyone is always on 24/7, the ability to disconnect is becoming the...

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Correspondence

I have devoted a lot of attention to dealing with email. A ruthless system of getting to Inbox Zero is an essential skill for the modern adult to fight back against the tyranny of Other People’s To Do Lists.

This approach has one fairly serious drawback. I don’t correspond with anybody. I’m talking about long-form, non-urgent, well thought out communication directly with one person. Like writing a letter. I’m just blasting through any and all emails as fast as possible.

We post to Instagram and Facebook about our experiences. If we’re feeling longer winded we write a blog post. It’s efficient. Why send updates individually when you can write a public post once and send it to everyone. But there is a justifiable backlash to posting. It’s efficiency makes it impersonal. Enter SnapChat. It’s the opposite of a post. It’s 1-to-1 and...

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Automate your life and eliminate BS

I am an obsessive automator. We all only have one life to live and it should not be spent doing repetitive nonsense. Here are a few of my favorite ‘hacks’ and services that make my life better.

Clean up your email Inbox

  1. SaneBox gets crap out of your inbox automagically. As soon as you install it, all of your unimportant emails will be moved into a separate SaneLater folder that you can look at once a day. Only your important emails will sit in your inbox. It has several features around email automation, but another favorite is automating follow-up. If you’re sending a pitch that you might need to follow up on you can bcc 2weeks@sanebox.com and it will remind you in 2 weeks if you do not get a reply. Fantastic. Sign up for it here.

  2. Mailbox app helps you quickly deal with the remaining important emails from your iPhone. My remaining inbox is a task list that I try to get through each...

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Solar energy will be F-ing huge

Let me convince you right now I met with a friend who recently moved from an energy efficient technology startup to a different sector. He commented on how pleasant it was to be going after a “big market”. When you go after a big market, even before your business plan is airtight and before you have traction, investors will give you resources and time to figure it out.

The implication is that startups selling clean energy systems and energy efficiency products are going after some tiny, lifestyle business market barely worthy of a Shark Tank episode.

We have pitched A LOT of investors building SolarList and it is shockingly common to hear that solar is just too small of a market. “We’re used to hearing numbers with a B guys.” Initially we were dumb-founded, the opportunity of radically shifting our electricity consumption infrastructure feels so obviously enormous that we didn’t have...

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