• First Roaster Meeting

    I had a clear vision of what I wanted to create and started emailing coffee roasters. This was the first one that got back to me.

  • COVID-19 outbreak at daughter’s school.

    Last night we learned of case(s), but the school wants all students in class today. The emails said it’s safe because the floor with case(s) is quarantining.

    This is not my Daughter’s school.

    All parents picking up their kids must wear masks. It may make people feel safe, but if the parent has the Corona so does their kid. Kids don’t have to wear masks in class, but they do when they walk the halls.

    Communities handle the pandemic as they perceive the health threat and its impact on the economy. This is how one school in Berlin is handling it.

    Would you send your kid to school?

  • How to set up HubSpot Sales on Outlook in the Browser.

    This post I’m sending to my sales team. It’s a step-by-step how-to guide on setting up the HubSpot sales app on Outlook.com in the browser.

    The HubSpot App allows us to:

    1. Add New Contact from Email Address
    2. Insert Emails sent and received to that contact in HubSpot
    3. Track email opens and clicks.

    NOTE: If you’re not on my team, make sure your Microsoft admin has integrated HubSpot into your Microsoft 365 account.

    Step 1:

    After you create a new message click on the three vertical dots on the bottom.





    Step 2

    Click on the HubSpot Sales – Sales Tools

    Step 3

    Log in to your HubSpot account and pin the HubSpot app to your sidebar. Every time you create a new email you will see the app. 

  • We now have 3 pilot partners, but not so fast

    We now have 3 pilot partners, but not so fast

    Focusing all my attention on sales is paying off. We are starting to see a true “product-market fit”. We now have three worthy pilot partners wanting to work with us. These new partners are charities, not businesses. The problems that charities want solved are different than those of businesses. The app we built during the pandemic lock-down solved the business problems of our first pilot partner. This means we need to invest more time and money into building something new.

    We now have 3 pilot partners, but not so fast
    We need to find more partners to reduce the risk of building the wrong product.

    Believe me, I’m itching to get started working on wireframes. Building stuff is what I love to do most of all. It is very tempting to say, “One partner proves there are hundreds more. Let’s build it fast before someone else does!” But I will never make the same mistake I made with our last partner.

    We need to find more partners like the ones who said yes to reduce the risk of building the wrong product. Or, worse yet, something no one wants. We need to justify the investments we will need to make to update our current app. We also need to confirm that this can one day become a sustainable business.

    I will continue to focus on speaking with charity partners. Learn more about who they are and what they want. We need to be more certain it’s worth investing more time and money in launching a pilot.

  • One is None. Two is One. Three’s Company

    After months of building a team and web app, it became clear that Gvbck was losing its pilot partner. Because of the nature of the product, it would be impossible to launch without one. It was a frustrating setback, but it taught me a valuable lesson; never launch a product with one partner.

    One is None. Two is One. Three is the beginning of a company.

    If the partner goes away, you’re dead

    If that one partner goes away, as in our case, you don’t have another one to fall back on. The product is dead if you can’t find another partner fast. You will find yourself recalibrating all your focus from building to selling overnight. Without a partner, you don’t need a product. With a new partner, you might need a different product. All that work could go to waste. Which brings me to the second reason you never launch a product with only one partner.

    One partner makes you an agency

    A pilot partner gives you an opportunity to learn what problems your product solves. If you only have one partner, you only know what problems that one partner has. With one partner you are acting as a volunteer agency. How do you know if other people have the same problem? With more partners, you learn which problems are important to more people.

    Fool me twice, shame on me

    Luckily, we found another launch partner pretty fast. It’s tempting to get back to work on finishing the product for launch, but I’ve made the executive decision we must have 3 partners before we start building. Three partners who want us to solve a specific problem. Two partners down, one more to go.


    One is None. Two is One. Three is the beginning of a company. Looking forward to announcing who our three partners are soon.

  • My Temporary Office

    Amazing how much work I get done. Here my setup: iPhone, paper, pen, OneNote, Trello, Slack, Safari, VoiceDream, Instapaper, Grammarly, Coke Flavored Tic Tacs & Starbucks Coffee.

    Managing people in Brasil, Berlin & Boulder on an iPhone from a bench. Writing all the website copy with Boulder, while brazil Develops user account to connect to charity selection

  • Nice! 26% opened in under an hour.

    People seem to have liked the Coronavirus free edition of the newsletter. I had a 26% open rate within the first hour. This one was a bitch to write so this feels great that it was well-received.

    This is also encouraging that I could the move the newsletter to Fridays. Doing the newsletter on Wednesdays breaks up the week and destroys the momentum that I build on Monday and Tuesday. Think I’ll make this official in the next edition.

  • Corona Free Newsletter

    The newsletter is three days late because I’m publishing this week’s edition with no articles mentioning COVID or Corona and I’m also stopping to play Monopoly Jr. and Barbies with Ms. Barba every few hours.

  • Magical Moments

    A magical moment. family comes home asking me to make that spaghetti I made months with the bacon and cheese and pepper. We cook together … I drank wine alone. Glad I bought a lot of pancetta for New Year’s Eve.

    BTW: Its called Spaghetti alla Gricia

  • Alone time

    I took full advantage of being alone while the family stayed in the Black Forrest. Using the regional train system I started exploring the region around Berlin. Who knew you could take a Regio train to Poland from Alexanderplatz?! One of my 26 resolutions this year is to take 6-weekend family vacations. Wait till Mrs. Barba finds out I’m renting a cozy tiny house with a fireplace deep in the forest for us in February.

    Photo: Found a quiet spot under a North American tree to be present. I’ve got so much to share in 2020.