If there's one element to e-commerce, each of us owes a debt of gratitude towards it's programming or coding. Today on Ecomonics, we bring you some important insights into the backbone of every last business that uses a screen. Additionally, Stefan Mischook has enough accumulated experience to have gained an insight into the fundamentals of living a full life simplicity and avoiding carbs. Whether you ever see yourself learning a new coding language, you'd be making a mistake not to listen to this episode twice.
Published author, educator and web developer, recognized in the industry for many years, Stefan Mischook has been developing commercial software since the 1990s. He currently runs StudioWeb, a distance learning code teaching SAAS used by schools around the world.
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[00:00:00] Stefan Mischook: [00:00:00] I learned back in the day, when you're launching a new product or service, you've gotta launch it like a jab. It's gotta be out as quickly as possible with the least amount of expense as possible so you can find out whether the market will accept it or not. And then when you find one that hits, then you can go ahead.
[00:00:16] And the job in the same way, you're probing, probing, looking for weakness. And then it opens up the power punch, which is the big cross.
[00:00:25] Joseph: [00:00:25] You're listening to Ecomonics a Debutify podcast, your resource for one of a kind insights into the world of eCommerce and business in the modern age. This is Joseph.
[00:00:36] I'll be presenting a wealth of industry knowledge from interviews, with successful business people and our own state of the art research. Your time is valuable, so let's go.
[00:00:54] If there's one element to e-commerce, each of us owes a debt of gratitude towards it's programming or coding. [00:01:00] Today on Ecomonics, we bring you some important insights into the backbone of every last business that uses a screen. Additionally, Stefan Mischook has enough accumulated experience to have gained an insight into the fundamentals of living a full life simplicity and avoiding carbs.
[00:01:17] Whether you ever see yourself learning a new coding language, you'd be making a mistake not to listen to this episode twice.
[00:01:25] Stefan Mischook, good to have you here. Thank you for joining us today on Ecomonics.
[00:01:29] Stefan Mischook: [00:01:29] Thanks for having me.
[00:01:31] Joseph: [00:01:31] Absolutely. We were, we were glad to reach out to you because we wanted to make sure that we were covering a lot of different sides of the, um, not just the eCommerce world, um, but the, the digital world.
[00:01:43] So we can start with having you tell us about, uh, what you do and your business studio, web.com.
[00:01:49] Stefan Mischook: [00:01:49] Studio web is an educational platform that's used in schools all over the world and essentially teaches students how to code, but it provides a bunch of [00:02:00] tools that schools and districts and teachers need behind the scenes, uh, grading and tracking distance learning features.
[00:02:09] So we've been doing this since, I guess, around we launched a prototype in about 2010. And working with schools over the years, we've been refining the offering. And, uh, here we are today
[00:02:21] Joseph: [00:02:21] now. I mean, I've, I've been through college. And one of the things that was, I guess, an issue walking away from it was, there was two levels of quality work.
[00:02:33] There was professional work that people will you know, and want to, want to see you do and professional work that can get a person, a, a job and a career, but some of the work that I did in college, it didn't feel like I was really preparing myself for getting out into the world. So, um, what do you guys do to make this a education and make this, um, really get people ready to get out of school and into the, into the working world?
[00:02:59] Stefan Mischook: [00:02:59] Good [00:03:00] question. So I come from a, um, A background of, of, uh, where my father was a teacher, a vocational teacher for, for a long time. And many of my aunts and cousins we're a family teachers, vocational education has practical work oriented education. So traditionally that was like plumbing, electricity, and so forth auto mechanics.
[00:03:22] So, um, I also have a deep background going back to the nineties as a professional developer, having worked on many projects, my own and for other people. So what I've done with the studioWeb curriculum was design a set of courses and a platform that is vocational. So my goal is to teach students what they need to know so that they can get up and running as quickly as possible writing real world code.
[00:03:47] If you look at any particular language or technology, it's vast, you look at windows, it's huge, but to really be productive in windows, you just need to know, I don't know, 5% of it, 10% of [00:04:00] it and the same thing with programming languages. And so my job as the course creator course creator and a content creator was to not only make it easy and understandable, but also the teach to key concepts and techniques so that we can move the student forward through the process so they can come out with real skills.
[00:04:20] Joseph: [00:04:20] Now, before we get, uh, further into, uh, what you do. And some of the stuff that I, uh, I have taken a personal interest in doing research is that I want to draw a connection between, um, it is going to be very broad, but I'm sure we'll still be doing a number of people, a favor here, but a connection between, uh, programming and the eCommerce world.
[00:04:39] So from your perspective, how have you. Uh, really interacted with uh e-commerce and go as broad as you feel you need to go.
[00:04:48] Stefan Mischook: [00:04:48] Well, you know, I, I, you know, besides the StudioWeb platform, which is more or less B to B, a business to business platform where I deal with institutions, we also deal with the general [00:05:00] public.
[00:05:00] So that's all about eCommerce and there's different, you know, I've done e-commerce for digital product as it is now, whether it be streaming video courses, downloadable stuff, And also for physical products. So this is all wrapped into e-commerce and, you know, transacting with, uh, uh, backend processors, whether it be a Stripe or PayPal or your own, um, merchant accounts where you hook in through a provider and there's all of these different ways of approaching it, but that's all part of it in such an important part of, uh, You know, modern development, if you're going to look , but also modern business, especially with the Covid situation, I believe it's going to advance e-commerce, uh, within a couple of years by 10, 15 years.
[00:05:47] Cause everybody's going distance, distance learning, distance shopping. Of course the King of that is Amazon, but you see a bunch of small, independent shops. They're all getting into a company owners are all getting into e-commerce now. Cause [00:06:00] that's just the future of a business, I guess.
[00:06:03] Joseph: [00:06:03] Right. And so for listeners, one of the things that we're going to accomplish on this show throughout it's a, uh, long and fabled legacy is to remember that.
[00:06:16] It's not just about, Oh, I'm just gonna open up a shop, buy template and I'm gonna start, uh, dropshipping blankets or, or fashion or whatever. Um, there are a lot of industries and a lot of moving parts that are all working together to make this work and, and programming and code is one of those. So, I see.
[00:06:34] you linked me to an interview that you have done and I'm sorry that I got to basically ask you the same question. I know you've asked for tits hundreds of times, but what is code and part B um, what is framework? That's the one that I'm a little bit more keen on. Cause I get code, I had a coding class in high school.
[00:06:53] I had to make, um, a game of a blackjack as a final assignment. And by that, I mean, my friend did most of it. So like [00:07:00] I kinda understand code, but it's, it's the framework part of it. That I'm going to be more curious about, so let me have it.
[00:07:06] Stefan Mischook: [00:07:06] All right. So in a nutshell, and I won't go down the nerd path too deep.
[00:07:10] A code is just a written language, that is used to give instructions to a computer, tells computers what to do. Computers uh, speak a certain language if you will, or understand certain languages. And so you have to understand their, their language. So you have many different coding languages, like Java script and HTML and Java and Python, et cetera.
[00:07:34] And they're all just different ways of communicating with the computer giving instructions to the computer. That's what code is. So a framework is just, um, There are packages of code they're pre like they're like templates of code, if you will, in a simple sense, like cookie cutter template and are just a quick way for you to be able to get something up and running without having to re invent the wheel over and [00:08:00] over and over again.
[00:08:01] Joseph: [00:08:01] Oh,
[00:08:01] I see. So let me see if I, if I can, um, recite this back to you, um, So if I let's just say I wanted to build a website from scratch and I didn't get a Shopify template. And of course that template would be Debutify. Uh, but. I could get a framework and I can plug that in. And the framework would basically be the template.
[00:08:24] Stefan Mischook: [00:08:24] Yes, Debutify in a, in a very loose sense, not in a pure nerd programmatic sense, but it is a framework and every modern coder slash developer uses frameworks all the time and silly not to. And, and even though I'm a software developer, written commercial apps in eight, nine languages. Over the years, I'm a huge proponent of using frameworks and, and high level products.
[00:08:53] Iike Debutify, WordPress and whatever, whatever is out there whether it's Shopify. Why [00:09:00] reinvent the wheel?
[00:09:02] Joseph: [00:09:02] If anything, if there's a, if there's any way to improve on it, that would probably be. Uh, the, the better thing to do with your time.
[00:09:10] Stefan Mischook: [00:09:10] Exactly. As I tell people, I said, you have plenty of opportunity to write code don't invent opportunities
[00:09:16] they'll come up.
[00:09:17] Joseph: [00:09:17] Yeah, that's fair. So you also offer two business courses, complete freelancer and complete entrepreneur. Um, now there are few of those out on the market in book, audio, video form. There might be a few of them in VR by now. Not that I have seen them myself, but, um, what's distinctive about yours?
[00:09:35] Stefan Mischook: [00:09:35] I, um, you know, I take it, I take it from the point of view of, um, my own personal experience.
[00:09:44] Going back to the 1990s before I wrote code, I was a business owner and import export. Rare fish and frozen food, water purification products. And so in all my courses, it's very much me. I don't go out there and do [00:10:00] our research about what everybody else is telling you it's all based on my own experience, going back to that time.
[00:10:05] S o the freelance course, um, provides everything somebody needs to know about freelancing in the web space. It goes beyond that. Um, It's it's again, it's just based on my own personal experiences and I've been mentoring people for many years now. So based on, you know, actual progress, the entrepreneurial course, again, it's just based on my own personal experience and experiences of my friends.
[00:10:30] And it's all tied in, I think the key difference it's all tied into my technology background because any modern business has to leverage technology just to be competitive. Doesn't mean you have to become a programmer or a coder. But you have to understand the technology landscape so that you can leverage this to have an advantage in that in the, in the game, in the market.
[00:10:52] And so all my courses, my entrepreneurial course, and of course my freelance course they're they're centered around business, but [00:11:00] it's all tied into the reality of, of, of modern business, which is technology supported to huge extent. Does that make sense?
[00:11:09] Joseph: [00:11:09] It does and, you know, one thing I can say to back up from my own personal experience too, is that early on, I was really excited about doing a web comic, uh, which still exists, but it's not my place to promote it.
[00:11:22] And. I had the choice between putting in the time to put the website together myself, or pay somebody a thousand dollars to do it for me, I later on figured out how much the template would have been and how much time it actually would have taken. It was some of the worst thousand dollars I've ever spent in my life.
[00:11:42] Like even a small amount of understanding and practice can save somebody thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars.
[00:11:52] Stefan Mischook: [00:11:52] Yeah, 100%. You, you hit a nail on the head. I, uh, um, I I'll just tell a quick little story, a good friend of mine he owns a travel tourism [00:12:00] business all online, of course, and he does a pretty good volume and multi-millions a year.
[00:12:06] And one of his skills, he said that has been so valuable to him, which is knowing basic HTML, coding, and basic CSS coding, because it allowed him to be able to communicate with his, um, his contractors, his web developers and designers in a very effective way, saving them a lot of time and money and just understanding the process.
[00:12:28] So exactly, exactly.
[00:12:29] Joseph: [00:12:29] Mm. And then also I can support that too with this one. And then I'll move on to the next question, which is, um, when I was applying to this job I had I've freelanced in the past. I've done, I've done editing. I've done publishing and I've also got my performative side too. So while not everything was necessarily at like my, my number one strength, having a good, full, broad understanding of all of these did give me a lot more of.
[00:12:56] of an edge when other people might have [00:13:00] excelled in one thing, but had no proficiency in anything else. Uh, there's a, there's a great saying about, well, it's supposed to be everybody thinks of it as a Jack of all trades, a master of one, uh, or sorry, master of none. Uh, which is not actually correct the way it's supposed to be is a Jack of all trades master of one.
[00:13:20] So as the more proficiencies you have, the more you can keep up where, um, you might lag behind versus having like no proficiency in it at all and then being really good at one thing. And then you kind of turn into a burden at times.
[00:13:33] Stefan Mischook: [00:13:33] Well, yeah,
[00:13:34] that's, you know, one of the things I teach modern entrepreneurs have to have broader skill sets, um, so that they can, that's how you have to have that to be able to operate the business.
[00:13:46] So you can communicate with different people. So you have an inkling on what's going on, doesn't mean you have to be an expert in everything, but you have to have a broad set of skills much more so than if you're, if you're working for somebody. So this applies to any type of business, whether it be online [00:14:00] or a.
[00:14:01] A traditional business. You need those? Yeah, 100%.
[00:14:05] Joseph: [00:14:05] Excellent. Uh, you wrote a book it's called a Web Design Start Here, uh, which is still available on Amazon. And one thing you've been keen to mention is that the content is evergreen. So programming is a, it's a dynamic and ever changing industry as we've established.
[00:14:20] So, uh, how did you accomplish an evergreen status for this book?
[00:14:25] Stefan Mischook: [00:14:25] Um, I do that because, well, Things do change, but, um, the web, um, the web stack, the web technologies, they went through rapid changes quite a bit in the nineties, but it really started to settle down. And maybe early 2000 mid two thousands. And that's just a normal evolution in the industry.
[00:14:49] You look back at the car industry, you look at the wacky cars that they had come up with in, you know, 19[?] It's crazy stuff three wheel cars, but they sort of settled on a particular [00:15:00] design now, which is you know, across all the brands, right. We know what works, what doesn't work. The web has reached that stage in the mid two thousands, the web technologies, HTML, CSS, how servers work, all this kind of stuff.
[00:15:38] Hasn't changed few little changes here and there on the top end, meaning on the more obscure stuff. But when it comes to the foundational stuff, the stuff that you use, 99% of the time, hasn't changed in several years now. So when I wrote the book [?] on the fundamentals, I also avoided any hot frameworks of that time because frameworks will come and [00:16:00] go.
[00:16:00] But the core language and the underlying tech doesn't change. And, uh, and also there's a lot of S. Um, this experienced based lessons in the book best practices and how to write code, how to structure your projects, that kind of stuff, uh, was for a beginner but nonetheless, so that's how I did that and still
[00:16:21] it's what's been a few years now and it's still 100% applicable today.
[00:16:26] Joseph: [00:16:26] Okay. Well, a great answer to that. It's interesting that you brought up cars because you're right. There was some pretty, um, uh, elaborate, uh, And frankly dangerous, um, uh, early phases for that. And I also, in my mind, I'm picturing, um, the, the design process, uh, with aviation and other people at a certain point would attach like huge flaps to their arms and they just ran for it.
[00:16:52] Stefan Mischook: [00:16:52] yeah, those are great video views. See them on YouTube those are fantastic.
[00:16:57] Joseph: [00:16:57] Yeah. D do you ever, um, do you [00:17:00] ever wonder if, because things become, um, uh, solidified that it might. Uh, hinder our ability to re-examine the fundamentals. Uh, it's it's this is a, this might be a bit of like a nebulous question, but imagine if, say for instance, the car, as we understand it is, um, fundamentally people picture like a four seater, but then if you think about how often cars are on the road, usually it's one person in the car.
[00:17:26] Maybe two, and then you had to go through this whole effort for carpooling. So if I were to imagine, like, what a future, even more efficient future for the automotive industry, it would be like single Seaters and people just have this little box that they, that they get into and maybe like fit their groceries, uh, just under their seat or something like that.
[00:17:44] Stefan Mischook: [00:17:44] Yeah. Yeah. I could see that. I think I'm. I think the market will kind of see that happening and allow that to happen. Um, yeah, I think you're slowly starting to see that evolution with the EVs, the electrical vehicles and I [00:18:00] think that the big game changer in that regar and it's just a guess is, is, is when autonomous cars become.
[00:18:06] 100% reliable. I don't know when that's going to happen. Then all of a sudden you may, for the first time, not need a steering wheel or maybe, you know what I mean? I don't know, but
[00:18:14] well, I would love for, I would love for, for autonomous cars because, uh, I'm, I'm blind in my left eye, which I actually like, um, it took me a long time to get used to it, but being artistically minded.
[00:18:26] Um, if I, if I watch a movie. Uh, and I, and I shut my, uh, my, my dominant eye and it filters the screen in front of me. So it'll go from like, Oh, Robert Downey jr. Portraying Tony stark to Tony stark. Junior portraying Tony Stark to Tony Stark. So it's, it's, it's a negative that I've spun into a positive, but the reason why I bring this up is because I am at a huge disadvantage on the road.
[00:18:48] And so is my girlfriend, the two of us combined have the vision of one person. So if they put like a, like a, like a one, like a two person steering wheel where we both hold onto one side and we have coordinate and we work together, [00:19:00] then sure I'll think about it. But otherwise, a self driving car would be a huge game changer for me, because it would actually give me the freedom of travel that so many people.
[00:19:09] Joseph: [00:19:09] get
[00:19:09] to enjoy
[00:19:11] Stefan Mischook: [00:19:11] so you're, you're literally blind. Totally. A hundred percent blind in one eye.
[00:19:14] Joseph: [00:19:14] I am, I am. It's it's significantly blurry. I am legally allowed to say that I'm blind in my left eye. When I look through it, it's like I'm under water.
[00:19:23] Stefan Mischook: [00:19:23] Really?
[00:19:24] Joseph: [00:19:24] Yeah. Yeah.
[00:19:26] Stefan Mischook: [00:19:26] That's interesting. Did that were you born with this or it was an injury?
[00:19:31] Joseph: [00:19:31] Yep. Well, I was born with it and I thought it was normal. I thought everybody was like this. We I'm left handed. I write with my left and I see it with my right eye. And I just, I always thought everybody was like that. And most people will have like a stronger eye on one side or another, but yeah, it wasn't until like high school, I realized that, uh, uh, it was actually, um, It was something that set me apart and we didn't want to, like, I don't have to spend forever on this.
[00:19:58] I enjoy talking about it, but, [00:20:00] um, I, like I said, I I'm happy to have it now because it gives me a new way to perceive things. And it gives me an ability to have to view things in a way that other people can't do unless they squint, which would make them look silly. So I've taken it and I've run with it.
[00:20:17] Stefan Mischook: [00:20:17] That's that's very interesting. Cause I, my major in university was psychology. You got the left right brain. And if you look at the modern data, I wonder how much it, how much it impacted your, your brain's development and your cognitive capacity. That's very, that's interesting.
[00:20:34] Joseph: [00:20:34] I asked about that. I, cause I was curious about that myself and, you know, my, uh, my, my girlfriend she's a stroke survivor, and she also has to rely heavily on her right brain.
[00:20:44] So both of us, um, the reason why we get along so well, is that we're both artistically inclined. We're both visual learners. So I, there is some, uh, some, some credence to it. And if anybody in the medical [00:21:00] industry wants to reach out I'd be happy to, to conduct some surveys and experiments. I've, I've gained I've guinea pig'ed for worse causes than that.
[00:21:07] all right. Well, thanks for that. Thanks for the tangent. I actually appreciate being able to talk about it again. Wasn't the plan, but that's how these things go.
[00:21:16] Stefan Mischook: [00:21:16] That's cool.
[00:21:18] Joseph: [00:21:18] So this next question is going to be about the, uh, the benefits of, uh, of coding. Uh, one of the benefits that you mentioned about becoming a coder is that you give, it gives people a deeper ability to understand applications and how other people's, uh, work results in the end user experience.
[00:21:32] And to draw a comparison from my own life is I did background acting for a number of years. It's how I met my girlfriend. And when I'm on set one, like one shot we did, it was a scene where somebody is just like walking through a subway, having a conversation. It took us eight hours to finish that scene between the time we showed up, uh, had our wardrobes confirmed, uh, all the different [00:22:00] angles, lunch.
[00:22:00] It was eight. It was eight hours. And so when I sat down in the theater and I watched 1917, I was blown away by the amount of work they must have put in to making that movie possible. If, if anybody who hasn't seen it, it's like this movie that takes place all in supposedly one shot but there's tricks to it.
[00:22:20] Uh, but the coordination that they put into it is, is mind boggling. So to bring it back to, uh, to, to, to your side of it is that there is. A lot of good that comes from, even if you don't get a job, you know, being a coder, knowing it, uh, still helps out a lot. So can you expand on that for us?
[00:22:37] Stefan Mischook: [00:22:37] Sure. I, I first I remember, I still remember when I first identified this back in the day, when I first started learning how to code, you start understanding how coders think, and then you're going to start understanding how their applications work.
[00:22:52] Because coders are going to design and engineer their apps, the way that they, and the way that they think. And so I remember when I [00:23:00] started learning how to code, I started just understanding how they laid out their apps, you know, whether it be Photoshop or Word or something. And it was just, it became easier for me to navigate for the program.
[00:23:10] I know it sounds really strange, but it was really something that I still, it still strikes me to today. I remember that. So it's just getting into the mind of the creator of the application, uh, when you learn how to code beyond that, you know, uh, just in terms of understanding processes and understanding how to organize information, um, that can have a tremendous impact on other aspects of your life.
[00:23:36] Because a big part of coding is just breaking down complexity into simpler components and then stitching them all together in a logical manner. Does that make sense?
[00:23:46] Joseph: [00:23:46] It does. Yeah. Um, one thing I was wondering just from my own experience in high school is that when we did, we took a programming class, uh, before we got into like the actual hard coding, the first thing they showed us was pseudo code.
[00:23:59] And I've always [00:24:00] wondered if pseudo-code is actually something that people do or if my teacher was just kind of out of the loop, is pseudo pseudocode something that you, that you do?
[00:24:08] Stefan Mischook: [00:24:08] Um, yes and no. Sometimes psuedo code. Yeah. I guess if, when you're architecting something really quick, you're putting together, I'm trying to avoid jargon.
[00:24:18] Uh, when you're putting together the basic blueprint, if you will, you might use like what you could classify, perhaps a pseudo code to[?] to say, it's like leaving markers, say, okay, I'm going to use this type of thing here. And I'm using this kind of cause it's it's creative. And so instead of trying to write out the, the, the actual raw code which itself could be time consuming.
[00:24:41] You just write a little pseudo code is, which is like a representative of it. So it depends, you know, how people design. Applications, whether they use pseudo-code or not, or how they there's different approaches. So it's, it's, it's legitimate. It's legitimate.
[00:25:00] [00:25:00] Joseph: [00:25:00] Okay. Fair enough. Um, I noticed that, that there was a language that, uh, that stood out to you, which was a Ruby.
[00:25:07] Um, but it's heyday is over and don't worry I can empathize with you. Like, I haven't really had a chance to ask somene about a coding language and having a sentimental relationship. But I do know from when I was growing up, I was cutting my teeth on on flash, uh, which used, which is still around, but it's certainly not applied the same way it was.
[00:25:31] Um, cause a lot of us, we cut our teeth on it because it was an animation program. Whereas now there's lots of other animation programs and other, uh, dynamic ones. But, um, Well, why was, why was Ruby special to you?
[00:25:45] Stefan Mischook: [00:25:45] It's a bit of a running joke because, uh, I haven't, I haven't personally done much work with
[00:25:51] ruby. Ruby, we did one site monitoring app with Ruby. Now it's a running joke because in 2006 and seven at the height of Ruby [00:26:00] mania, um, I wrote a, I wrote a controversial piece on my blog killer PHP. And I was just making fun of Ruby for fun and this, and I was defending PHP. Cause at that point, uh, the PHP community felt embattled by Ruby.
[00:26:18] And I said, I, and I looked at Ruby and it's got a lot of good things. That language has a lot of good things about it. No, no doubt. But I found there were some fundamental problems with it, uh, which I won't get into here. Cause it's nerd talk that I felt that it will never really supplant PHP where at that time PHP was considered a garbage language.
[00:26:38] And because in the past it was a pretty shaky language. So I wrote this piece and it went for the time, it went viral at the time, and then other forums would refer big, popular coding forums at the time would refer to it and they had to shut down like the thread cause people were going to, it was just like, it was like, it was like pre Twitter, but people are going [00:27:00] totally insane.
[00:27:18] Depending on the circumstance, you they're all designed to do something particularly well. And so that's really how I feel, but my joke is, and I make fun of people who are language zealots by having this joke where I say Ruby is terrible, or, you know, you shouldn't, you should use this and this, but except for Ruby.
[00:27:38] And it's just, it's just my little dig, I'm having fun because my real belief is that Ruby has its place. Uh, as any other language, it just depends on circumstance. Does that clarify that?
[00:27:51] Joseph: [00:27:51] Oh, yeah. Yeah. I mean, I can only, I only got, uh, so much of the sense of it going through Instagram, but, uh, well, I mean, I, I, the, [00:28:00] the core of the question was if there was any
[00:28:02] particular code or language that, uh, you have a bit of a personal relationship with or any sentimental attachment to in the same way that like if not for Flash, which is now animate, but I will, I was still call it Flash. I wouldn't be the person that I am today because Flash was something that I can get my hands on very young
[00:28:20] and it gave me a means to express myself creatively where I could not count on school to do that by, by far. Yeah. 20 minutes in art class. Yeah. Yeah, that'll do.
[00:28:33] Stefan Mischook: [00:28:33] Yeah. Action. Script was a great, we used to do back in AAS two and three. Um, for me it was Java. I really cut my teeth as a developer in the nineties as a Java developer.
[00:28:44] I haven't, I created my own web framework at the time, just for myself. It was a great tool, but yeah, for me, it was Java. I still, to this day, As strange as it sounds well, you know, I have an affection for Java, although I would not personally [00:29:00] recommend Java for most new projects because it's too heavy and verbose there's, some languages are quicker to write with and some are slower.
[00:29:09] Java's in the slower category, even though it's a fantastic solid language, just takes forever to get anything done.
[00:29:16] Joseph: [00:29:16] Yeah. I don't even know if RuneScape is still on Java,
[00:29:20] Stefan Mischook: [00:29:20] Minecraft, Minecraft. It's a Java.
[00:29:23] Joseph: [00:29:23] Uh, yeah, that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. The, the, the 16 bit architecture of that. Um, so this next one, this, uh, this is a record.
[00:29:32] I haven't asked a question based off a meme before, but anybody in marketing understands the, uh, the power that a meme can have, so this totally counts as a question that is worth asking, but. You're familiar with the, uh, the learn to code meme, uh, which got, it's got a little heated. Uh, so for those who, uh, aren't, uh, aren't too versed in what happened.
[00:29:52] Um, the, the very simple explanation is that. It was this implication that if somebody lost a job or if an entire [00:30:00] industry went down, that they should get into programming, which the, there, there, there is somewhat of a sentiment there of, you know, time is times are changing. Uh, if you can learn to code, then, uh, you'll, you'll be better.
[00:30:14] But then it turned into a disparaging term or somebody said, well, yeah, you're, you're, you're not good at your job just learn to code. So from, from, from your side, from your community, how did you guys take this?
[00:30:24] Stefan Mischook: [00:30:24] Ah, you know, it's like I heard about it. Yeah. And it was, for me, it was just an inconvenience.
[00:30:29] Cause I, you know, I'm teaching code and I believe that people should learn to code because I think it's a great skill. But if you, you, you got, you got blacklisted if you used it, you know, so I, it was like a storm trying, you don't want to get caught up in it's. Uh, You know how it is to today. Anything could get people angry.
[00:30:49] Well, even in the past, I remember people would get into screaming, matches over like MacOS versus Windows. So, you know, it is that it is what it is, you know? [00:31:00] I don't know. Is it still is still a problem now can you say, learn to code yet or is it still on the blacklist? I don't know.
[00:31:05] Joseph: [00:31:05] Well, I mean, we said it in context at least like two or
[00:31:08] three times. So we'll, uh, we'll, we'll find out, but yeah, I mean, I, I observed, I observed that meme culture. Um, Pretty in depth than most memes these days, they don't, they get like two weeks in them every now and then a meme will survive and it'll become a fundamental, but I don't think that one is, is going to stick around.
[00:31:28] And well, I mean, one of the things that I'm learning just from talking to you and from the research is that coding, getting into coding is not as prohibitive as people think, I guess when they think coding, they immediately think that this is a, this is a nerd thing. This is a high tech thing. This is this, isn't just using a website.
[00:31:46] This is making a website. So, a lot of people can be intimidated by that.
[00:31:50] Stefan Mischook: [00:31:50] Yeah. You know, I think one of the reasons is because, uh, um, there's a lot of information out there put out about coding, but a lot of people who teach it don't [00:32:00] know how to teach and coming from a family of teachers, I can tell you, teaching is a skill, it's a talent.
[00:32:06] And if you have someone, a person who puts out a course in quotes, um, but doesn't know how to teach. And then what happens, uh, people try the course and they get very frustrated because they don't understand and they figure oh coding's not, for me, it could be, but I think there's a 97% chance it's not you, it's the person putting out the course who doesn't know how to teach.
[00:32:32] And, and I don't mean there's some good ones out there don't get me wrong, but that's just a fact that it's a matter, you know, so it's, it's a personal issue, pet peeve cause it it takes people off a path that it could be very beneficial to them, unfortunately, if, but they run into this landmine skill, a skill, their skill and everything that you do, you know, and teaching is no exception.
[00:32:54] Joseph: [00:32:54] Well, I think it helps too, that you're doing a lot of advocacy, you know, even just the, the, the video that you [00:33:00] had shown me about your, your interview on, I think it was like Breakfast Television, which is a morning talk show here in Canada. Um, Breakfast television doesn't skew to generation Z. I don't think it's, it's, it's it's skews.
[00:33:13] Yeah. To, to, to parents. Um, and so when they see that either they might think, Oh, maybe I can do that. Or they think, well, you know what, maybe my kids can get into that. So advocacy is, uh, one of the key things is to, to talk about it and to, and to share it with others and you know, where we're, we're even, uh, I think I'm, I'm, I'm glad tha
[00:33:34] we're doing some of this today as well.
[00:33:37] Stefan Mischook: [00:33:37] Yeah, well, you know, I too came from it, uh, came at coding from a, um, I was, uh, I was a trained graphic designer. I was not, uh, I failed grade 10 math twice. I'm not exactly a logical person naturally. And it was a bit of a challenge for me cause at that time I had to learn from books and on my own, but I just kept at it.
[00:33:58] What it does, it [00:34:00] teaches you to perceive the world in a different way and a more, I think, a more accurate way, just like if you learn a second language, you start seeing, you know, each language, whether it be French, English, Spanish, they have words or the, that recognize phenomena or aspects of our, of our world in a different way.
[00:34:18] So it gives you a different perspective on things. I don't know if that makes that's [?]
[00:34:22] Joseph: [00:34:22] It does, but let me see if I can, uh, restate your position. So I only speak English and I know about like four words in Italian. Uh, one of which I can't, uh, say live. And one of the things that I do know about the English language is that.
[00:34:40] Us English speaking population, some people can be very direct and forward, but there's a lot of nuance to the English language. And there's a lot of like inference and people saying something and not quite meaning what they say and, which is something that I don't very much like or appreciate because I have such a [00:35:00] creative mind that I need people to be direct otherwise.
[00:35:04] I will try to understand what a person is saying, and I'm going to go off on all sorts of different possibilities. But when I think I, and I don't know this, this is, I guess this would be more an assumption, but my assumption is that people who speak to each other in Italian really are direct because there isn't that history of inference.
[00:35:22] It's just saying what it is that you think and communicating it and also communicating the, uh, the, the emotionality of it too. And, uh,being, and just being open with what it is that you want to say. Um, because over time when we use languages, we're conditioned to expect words, to have certain effects on certain words, the ones we don't need to say.
[00:35:45] But there could be very powerful and very harmful words. Uh, then in one context can be painful and another context can be intended not to be painful, but there's history to it. And so it hurts anyways, so I can understand. From that side, from that point of view, I know it kinda, [00:36:00] uh, opened up a few threads there, but I think I got what you were trying to say.
[00:36:04] Stefan Mischook: [00:36:04] Yeah. Like, you know, like I, I know French fairly well and French is kind of like Java in the sense it's very specific. Uh, it's verbose is very specific, but you know, it's easier to understand the context and the meaning of the language. Whereas as you said, English is very contextual, very loosey goosey.
[00:36:23] So it's easier to learn English but it's much harder to master because it's contextual. There's a lot of implied meaning to things and yeah. So, yeah, I understand.
[00:36:33] Joseph: [00:36:33] Okay,
[00:36:34] great. I'm glad we can, uh, find the commonality there. Um, so one of the things that, um, that I've picked up, uh, again, from your research, but also talking to you, is that.
[00:36:44] You've gone through chapters in your life. Uh, things have been significantly different for you over the course. You've talked about some of your, your, your hands on positions, labor positions, uh, your, your, your coding. Um, and now you're, you're [00:37:00] the more of like an architect of the business operation.
[00:37:03] Stefan Mischook: [00:37:03] Yeah.
[00:37:03] that's how I'd best describe it.
[00:37:05] Joseph: [00:37:05] Yeah. So, what compels you to, um, to make these shifts from, from one industry to the next?
[00:37:14] Stefan Mischook: [00:37:14] I'm an eclectic by nature. I've always been like, I have a deep martial art background. I did martial arts. We're nearly 30 years and I did many different styles and I just, uh, would jump from style to style system, to system school, to school because it's, it just entertains my mind.
[00:38:04] So, and I find that this is also prevalent across disciplines. So like simplicity and design aesthetic design, which you're familiar with as a graphic designer, as an artist, um, that also translates in coding as well. Same principles translate. So I look for these universal principles. I've been looking for these for decades now.
[00:38:27] They're kind of like my infinity stones and universal principles are true. So I cut across all disciplines. So that's why I just jumped around as this, my. This is how my mind is that's how it's structured. Does that make sense?
[00:38:44] Joseph: [00:38:44] It does, but I can't resist asking you what those a universal principles are or if you've, if you sorted them out by now.
[00:38:53] Um, but I'll I'll if I can just fire one off of my own is that one of the things that I value is bravery. And one of the things I've always [00:39:00] noticed that didn't where things don't work out for me is when I'm not brave enough to speak out. Like if like one friend group that I was hanging out with things have started to get a little bit more tense each week after week we would have hang out and I would never say anything.
[00:39:15] And then eventually I just lost the friend group altogether. And I feel like if I was braver and I pushed back against, um, against some of the discourse, we might have been able to resolve things, but. I let little things go to the point where they stacked up and then, and then it was lost. Conversely, the times where I was sticking to my guns and I was, and it was going through something, even when I wasn't clear I was going to make it out
[00:39:40] the other side is how I ended up here, you know, talking, uh, talking with great people and doing great work.
[00:39:48] Stefan Mischook: [00:39:48] yup. Yup. I can see that. It's a, well, I'll give you a simple example of simplicity. In, in design simplicity is, is, is, is it's such an important thing. [00:40:00] Uh it's you know, you can translate that into minimalism.
[00:40:02] Same thing with coding, the best coders, write very simple, easy to understand code in fighting arts and martial arts the best exponents the best martial artists, the best fighters have very efficient, clean motions. And in fact, when you get into the higher levels, which you're trying to do is continuously refine and refine your motion so that, um, it's like a sculpture.
[00:40:28] it's not a painting. You're pulling away the, the unnecessary, the excess. Coding's like that as well. You want to pull away all, you want to have simple code. You want to simplify, streamline. Keep it in saving with great design, of course. So that's just one example of simplicity to strive towards simplicity.
[00:40:48] Joseph: [00:40:48] Okay. I'll offer up one more or, and then, uh, I'll, uh, I'll move on. Cause I've got some other stuff that I'm keen to talk to you about, but another one for me is value. Um, one of the things I actually, I do, I learned this from, [00:41:00] uh, some of the games that I play like in, in, in strategy games where we have to.
[00:41:06] Carefully manage our resources to get more out of what resources we have at our disposal versus what the opponent has a it's chess. I should say, chess would be one example of this, the ability for, if you take the, um, the it's been a while that you take the Rook, the piece that can go all over the place, if he's in the corner
[00:41:25] uh, his potential value is diminished because all of the potential places the Rook can move are not utilized versus having the Rook in the center where now the Rook has full range of motion and can move all over the place. It puts extra burden onto the opponent's mind to keep track of what that particular piece can do.
[00:41:46] Stefan Mischook: [00:41:46] Yup. Yup. Well, the same thing, I'll go back to fighting analogy in boxing and, uh, striking arts, the jab, you know, you're throwing, you're flicking out the job that's used kind of like the, the pawn or the rook you're flicking it out there. You're [00:42:00] probing with it it doesn't require too much commitment.
[00:42:04] It's low energy. You control the guy that you're [?]. It has multiple uses. And that's how I launched my products back when I had physical products, I learned back in the day, when you're launching a new product or service, you gotta launch it like a jab. It's gotta be out as quickly as possible with the least amount expense as possible.
[00:42:23] So you can find out whether the market will accept it or not. And then when you find one that hits, then you, can you go ahead and the jab in the same way, you're probing, probing, looking for weakness, and then it opens up the power punch, which is the big cross,right or the hook. Does that make sense?
[00:42:39] Joseph: [00:42:39] It does
[00:42:40] Yeah. I mean, it's, um, one of the things that we've, uh, talked with other guests, uh, about prior to is the difference between, uh, coming up with a very simple, like white label brand to sell a product and just to see if it takes and if it takes then to go for a fully decked out a website with a [00:43:00] J with a, with copy the blog with community engagement.
[00:43:04] And so. But if you go for the, for the cross right away, as you say, there is no guarantee of its success because there's no openings and there's no strategy
[00:43:15] Stefan Mischook: [00:43:15] and, and, and, and potential a huge loss. That's, you know, that's why a lot of businesses fail is because they just, they figure, Oh, we got the, we got the, we got the product, we got the new iPhone and they launch with everything.
[00:43:27] And then they find out crickets, they got nothing. And so you just want to get it out quick. So yes, 100%. Okay. Great.
[00:43:35] Joseph: [00:43:35] I've got a couple of a minor curiosities that I've picked up from your Instagram, that I'd love to hear you expand on. So I've watched your IETV video on a building versus buying and you make the case that, um, if let's say I were to buy a franchise, I wouldn't be an entrepreneur.
[00:43:54] I would be an operator because the franchise isn't mine it's something that I've taken and, uh, [00:44:00] and really, I probably wouldn't even be able to make my own because I have to adhere to the rules of the franchise as well as make sure that the operation is familiar. Cause if people will see the inside, it does like they go into a McDonald's and they see it's run.
[00:44:14] Like, I dunno, a donut shop, then they won't make that association in their head. Um, so. If it just, let's just say that you could buy a franchise, just even for the fun of it. Is there anyone that you would want to get your hands on?
[00:44:31] Stefan Mischook: [00:44:31] It's a good question. Um, I personally wouldn't want to do a restaurant cause I know people it's a hard business to be in.
[00:44:38] It's like you have to be there seven days a week, nothing wrong. I have nothing against restaurants. Uh, I eat too much. Um, I don't know. I would just, I would, I would just look out. The current market, see what's hot, you know, Lulu lemon, if they franchise, I don't know if they do. And that would be something I would be interested in maybe cause it's [00:45:00] you don't have perishable inventory.
[00:45:02] And, uh, and I don't know, I would, I would look around, see what's hot at this point in time, but generally I try to find something that's emerging as opposed to something very well established, uh, simply because more, more opportunity for upside there.
[00:45:20] Joseph: [00:45:20] Yeah. And I think, uh, I can think of one brand that's kind of doing both, which is A&W they've been around for awhile, but they've gone through a revitalization.
[00:45:31] I would make the case within the last six to seven years. And now all of a sudden A&Ws are popping up all over the place. So that to me seems like a good balance of those two facets, something that has a legacy and they, and they've done really well with their product. They know what they're about, but they're also, um, adjusting to the, um, well, just the modern food eating industry.
[00:45:55] Stefan Mischook: [00:45:55] Yeah. How about Five Guys? Five [00:46:00] Guys burger. I dunno, they did. I bet I've been I've had my my COVID 15 here. Put on some weight and so my friend is like a big Keto guy. So it's like a, I go to Five Guys Burger, they laugh. When I say I'm here, I'm on a special Five Guy's diet. They laugh at me. I get the burger without the bun with the lettuce wrap, no carbs.
[00:46:20] So it's pretty tasty. Yeah,
[00:46:24] Joseph: [00:46:24] we got a, we got a five guys, uh, down in a, I assume it's still there. I haven't been in downtown Toronto, uh, in some time now. Um, but Five Guys, I liked that one a lot just because it has a bit of a, that showmanship to them. Um, it gives me that same feeling that Honest Ed's, used to give me, may it rest in peace.
[00:46:43] Uh, for those of you who don't know, which is probably a lot of you, Honest Ed's was this a big, almost like Vegas billboard, a store that, um, was run by a former, show business mogul and it's gone now everything is turning into a condo in Toronto. That's okay. That's life,
[00:46:58] Stefan Mischook: [00:46:58] but they played good music at, [00:47:00] um Five Guys.
[00:47:01] And I think they, they always played seventies and eighties music. So I found that anyway.
[00:47:06] Joseph: [00:47:06] I'll have to take your word for it. It was always packed when I would go there. Although all those free peanuts being crunched, it was a little, much,
[00:47:13] Stefan Mischook: [00:47:13] no more peanuts now. Post COVID peanut. No peanuts.
[00:47:17] Joseph: [00:47:17] I, yeah. Fair. Oh, I don't know if it's fair enough, but I guess we have to accept that and move on.
[00:47:23] So I was reading through your blog and, not having done much coding myself, I did my best to understand it, but one of the posts that, uh, struck me is that it's not always advisable to switch over to new technology for a company. It's a fascinating insight because it's, this is the first that I've seen somebody make that case.
[00:47:44] And I can already understand some of the building blocks towards the argument, which is about, you know, things have leveled out, um, things have taken shape. Um, but can you give us the rundown of it over here? And then my followup to it would be is how would you determine when to [00:48:00] switch technologies?
[00:48:01] Stefan Mischook: [00:48:01] Good questions.
[00:48:03] Um, first of all, you make a good point. Um, The technology trend has flattened out. So the stuff that's coming out new with exception of the new cloud hosting, um, Platforms out there, but beyond that, but in terms of the raw coding languages and frameworks, there's nothing truly groundbreaking. I, in my opinion, in the last so many years.
[00:48:28] And so when you're doing a switch over to a new tech, a lot of times, it just a lateral move, you know what I mean? It's not, there's not going to be a huge leap forward. And whenever you implement a new technology, It comes with a lot of costs. You got to learn it. Every technology has its problems is idiosyncrasies.
[00:48:50] If I didn't, I don't know if I pronounced that properly, you get my idea. They all have their issues. You may look at the shiny new car. Oh, that's a beautiful car. Look, it's so much better than my car. [00:49:00] And then you, you buy it and you realize that it's better in some areas. than your car, but in other areas it's not as good.
[00:49:07] And, and so there's always trade offs. Typically there are some exceptions, there's some exceptions, that's the first thing. So, um, the second thing, any new tech by its very nature is, um, is gonna have, it's gonna have flaws and bugs. It's just the way it goes. I never buy a first gen anything, whether it be.
[00:49:26] Uh, the new version of an iPhone, I wouldn't buy, I wanted to see the second version of that, that new design. Not, not, I love Apple products. It's just, they got to work out the kinks, you know, so, yeah. So, so I don't see the, the, the risk of the learning curve and the potential immaturity of the new tech, uh, is not worth the incremental reward at this time.
[00:49:53] Joseph: [00:49:53] and I wouldn't underestimate the point about, uh, not adopting right away because [00:50:00] the key advantage that at least I've down from people getting it on something right away is to be part of that initial conversation where there is a lot of hype and there's a lot of excitement. And if you can stick to that momentum and be part of the development process, it does give the person a chance to even have an influence on, on it.
[00:50:18] Whereas whereas something is structured, it is in is pretty concrete foundation yeah, there might be some, some changes to it, but as you've said, using your sculpting analogy, it's. It's more or less worked out. And what's crazy to me is that, and this is the best that I can do to, uh, to, um, associated with this is that I don't really buy very many things right away, uh, with the exception of video games that start in Z and end in elda and even the, even that wasn't a good idea because I bought the game on day one and it was running terribly.
[00:50:54] They hadn't, they hadn't refined it. They hadn't patched things. Uh, there was frame rate drops all over the place. I [00:51:00] couldn't visit a town. And this is a video game we're talking about here. And I, and I complained, I said, Nintendo, I want to play the game, not a, not a, not a slideshow of the game. And I had to get it refunded.
[00:51:13] And I was like, geez, iPhones. I get, but video games now.
[00:51:20] Stefan Mischook: [00:51:20] Yeah. Yeah. It's it's it's, you know, you prove the point. What was the second part of question? I forgot all of a sudden if you remember.
[00:51:26] Joseph: [00:51:26] Well, I would have forgotten too, but thankfully I have them written in front of me. Is it, how would you determine when to switch?
[00:51:33] Stefan Mischook: [00:51:33] Uh, it's a good question. Um, when there is a key functionality and a new technology that is not easily reproduced in established old tech, um, And that's a judgment call. That's a judgment call. Um, I was, I won't go into any coding examples, but yeah, you have to, basically it has to have this new technology has to have a very, very significant advantage, which is something it has to be able to [00:52:00] do something that the older established, uh, reliable tech cannot do.
[00:52:07] Joseph: [00:52:07] Okay.
[00:52:08] Good. Good answer to that. Alright. So I got about a
[00:52:11] couple of um
[00:52:13] this is some personal development questions, um, lifestyle stuff too. Um, cause it's not just a, about the, um, uh, but about the job it's about being in the right state of mind to do it. Um, you've talked about the principle of minimalism and you're
[00:52:29] uh, and your fundamental principle of simplicity. Uh, that was a question, but in the interest of simplicity, where are we going to go with the answer you gave to it earlier? Um, so the other question that I have is about, uh, you talked about the Python pounds, which refers to the weight, gained, uh, sitting at a computer all day coding, uh, which we've touched on just a little bit, um, So, can you tell us about a diet and exercise routine
[00:52:54] what you've done, that's worked well for you and what you would suggest other people adopt?
[00:53:00] [00:52:59] Stefan Mischook: [00:52:59] Yeah. Um, first and foremost, uh, intermittent fasting. Uh, intermittent fasting is basically these there's many ways to do it, but, you know, see your physician, et cetera, et cetera. So what's worked for me and several other people is that my last meal of the day is like a, is a supper.
[00:53:19] And then I don't eat again until the following afternoon. Intermittent fasting has been huge in terms of me, uh, maintaining and pulling off weight, that's first and foremost, because. What that does is it allows you to still eat the food you want, you know? Cause I don't believe in restricting yourself in terms of the type of food.
[00:53:39] Cause you're never gonna, you're never going to be able to be disciplined enough, most people won't any way to be able to stop eating the food you like to eat. So intermittent fasting is a nice way of [?] of getting around that and you can still eat what you want, but you just eat less.
[00:53:55] So that's number one, number two, drink lots of water. Um, we don't drink [00:54:00] enough water. I'm guilty of that because that helps your body clean itself. And number two is, uh, implement into your life, put into your life. I would suggest habits of routines that encourage mild, consistent exercise. So it could be the walking an hour every day at lunch or something like that, or doing pushups
[00:54:24] when you step away from your desk, do five pushups. Just want to have it. So it's integrated into your normal day to day activity, because if you join the gym and set up two hours a day, most people won't be able to be disciplined to do that. But if you slowly incrementally add little healthy habits in terms of diet, in terms of exercise, et cetera, you'll be in a good state, but this is nothing new.
[00:54:47] And it's, everybody's doing this kind of thing, but that's what has worked for me. Oh, boy, I've fallen off the wagon on occasion. And one thing I'm doing now, as I mentioned is I, I cut out carbs and sugar. It, uh, when I eat [00:55:00] bread and sugars, it knocks me out. It really fatigues me. Uh, but if I don't eat breads and sugar, my energy levels are pretty good.
[00:55:09] Joseph: [00:55:09] Yeah. I mean, sugar is a, it's like a risk reward proposition. It energizes a person very quickly and then it. You had to pay for it later. So it's almost like taking a loan out on your, on your, energy
[00:55:23] Stefan Mischook: [00:55:23] 100%, 100%. Especially as you get older, you become more and more sensitive to that.
[00:55:29] Joseph: [00:55:29] Hmm,
[00:55:30] Stefan Mischook: [00:55:30] yeah. So it's, um, that's what I do now.
[00:55:33] Everybody's different. Some people are allergic to peanut butter, some people aren't. Um, so you have to figure that out, but I think the broad advice is moderation. And, uh, intermittent fasting now work. I, you know, George Saint Pierre, he is a famous MMA fighter from George Saint Pierre., JSP. You ever heard of them?
[00:55:54] Joseph: [00:55:54] Yeah. I mean, I've only because I occasionally listen to Joe [00:56:00] Rogan.
[00:56:01] Stefan Mischook: [00:56:01] Okay. So he's very one of the most famous MMA fighters in history and he's from Montreal. And he used to train at my gym and I ran into him maybe six months ago at the. The country club gym. I was a member of, and he told me about that. He was saying intermittent fast, but he talked about Don Rogan as well.
[00:56:20] Works for him.
[00:56:22] Joseph: [00:56:22] There was another, I guess I can't remember his name, but he was like an MMA trainer. His name is Faraz and I'm sorry that I can't remember the full thing, but to your point about during like five pushups, when getting out of the chair, uh, his case was if people go to the gym, And let let's just say, hypothetically, that they can, they're committed to it.
[00:56:39] And they've been going every, every week consistently and they go for a few hours and they can, they kill themselves. And then they're in pain for a few days and they can't do anything versus doing a little bit each day over the course of the day. What ends up happening is by the time that you've gotten to the end of the month, you've [00:57:00] probably done more than how much the guy at the gym did because the total volume has exceeded because there's less recovery time.
[00:57:06] There's less downtime.
[00:57:07] Stefan Mischook: [00:57:07] Well, it's exactly. That's, that's how I teach structure code, by the way, the whole StudioWeb application, the way the application structures around that principle, a frequency of exposure is more important of time. So what does that mean? If you expose your body or your brain. Which is part of your body, by the way, uh, to a certain stimulus on a regular basis, your brain will start to say, okay, this is important
[00:57:33] I better, I better, um, habituate to it for lack of better terms. I better adapt to this, there we go. So whether you're learning something new, a new concept, or whether you're training your body, the more frequently that you can expose your body to visit in moderation, the more quickly your body or your brain will adapt.
[00:57:52] Joseph: [00:57:52] I think I was, I was thinking you were going to use the word climatize, but, uh, your your word checked out, probably more so than [00:58:00] mine. Uh, the other concept, uh, in terms of personal development that I wanted to ask you about, um, is what you referred to as cognitive load. Um, if I understand it correctly, it's the mental exertion needed to make decisions.
[00:58:13] Um, and I'd love if you can give us a breakdown of it. Cause I think that's going to help people a lot to, to understand how this works and what they can do about it.
[00:58:20] Stefan Mischook: [00:58:20] Well, going back to the mind, your brain is part of your body and like your body. If you overtrain it, it breaks down and it takes time to recover.
[00:58:30] Um, the brain has a certain capacity as well. Uh, so when you're learning something new, you want to, you want to stimulate and push it, but you don't want to overdo it and burn yourself. Um, there's also cognitive load in, in the moment where if you go to a website and if it's too busy, there's too many distractions
[00:58:48] there's too much to take in. Uh, it's it's it's it's the brain is just overloaded with stimulus and it, you don't, it's hard to get your message out. So [00:59:00] one of the things, one of the oldest practices in web development and web design, whether it be for just a standard application or our eCommerce site is you want to have.
[00:59:08] Uh, you want to design your site. You want to design design it so that the person doesn't have to think or has to think, uh, as little as possible. So you want to reduce cognitive load. And there's actually a very famous book from the nineties and it was a super best sellers called don't make me think.
[00:59:27] And that's all about cognitive load and it's a concept. I, I, I that's from psychology and you just want to reduce, uh, the amount of sensory input coming in. If you, especially, if you're looking to sell, sell, sell a message, if you will.
[00:59:43] Joseph: [00:59:43] Yeah. And that's something that we're going to have. We definitely have to look out for, I mean, I think as far back as when billboards started getting put up the idea of people being on the road, but also being distracted while they're trying to drive and, uh, not getting into an accident was [01:00:00] a telltale sign of things to come.
[01:00:02] And now it's, out of hand. I mean, there's so many things that I can just between my PC and my phone I can between games and YouTube. There's a lot of time that I can lose very quickly. So it does, it does take a lot of discipline.
[01:00:19] Stefan Mischook: [01:00:19] Yeah. It's um, reminds me of many years, years ago, I heard, um, Howard Stern of all people.
[01:00:26] He said the difference between people who are successful and not successful is that people are successful can edit. And, and, and he's talking about focusing your message and so forth, but also focusing your time and is also reducing cognitive load. That's why I'm a minimalist as well, because what you'll find is if you have less clutter in your environment, um, it will calm your mind.
[01:00:48] Joseph: [01:00:48] Yeah. I mean, we're a luckily, luckily for me, I just got into a new apartment less than five days. So it's a, it's a starting point for us and we're keeping it in mind because [01:01:00] it, it, it was good to have like a restart and a refresh of now that we entered the place and, you know, the walls are all white.
[01:01:07] And so he's like, okay, Let's stick to this color scheme as best we can try to get things that are also black and white. Keep the, keep the color information down to a minimum. So I think, I think it might help if people, need to like reset and then start building little by little what it is that they actually need.
[01:01:24] Stefan Mischook: [01:01:24] Yeah. Well, I'm, I'm sort of faced with the same situation where I came in this place. Uh, my new place and the previous owner had, uh, hired, definitely hired interior designers and they remodeled a place, but there's this wall, that's just, it's a, it's like a rock wall and it's just taking it's own it's too much.
[01:01:43] I rather, like, I don't want to have a huge wall that sort of locks me into a particular style and you know what I mean?
[01:01:49] Joseph: [01:01:49] I see
[01:01:50] Stefan Mischook: [01:01:50] you want to have something plain and simple, and then you can, you know, it's like a page, you know, in design. If you have a nice, simple layout, you can, you can create the [01:02:00] mood of the pages by adding one image.
[01:02:03] But if you have a real busy layout, then it becomes very cumbersome to, to, to create the emotional message in that page. Does that make sense?
[01:02:13] Joseph: [01:02:13] Especially,
[01:02:13] especially. Yeah, it does. And it really depends too on what they're trying to convey, you know, if it's like an outdoor living, um, and they want to promote relaxation, they're trying to sell lavender then
[01:02:24] yeah. Just like a, an image and a couple of colors is all you really need.
[01:02:27] Stefan Mischook: [01:02:27] Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I learned that with the big red couch, I once bought a giant Italian red leather couch. And at first it was the coolest thing ever, but after a couple years I had this giant red bright red couch in my room. I was like, ah,
[01:02:43] Joseph: [01:02:43] do you notice like your blood pressure increasing over time?
[01:02:45] Because of that? I just,
[01:02:48] Stefan Mischook: [01:02:48] I mean, it got me angry started head budding my couch, a bull reference. It's a no for me, accent pieces should be colorful and your major pieces should be a neutral.
[01:03:00] [01:03:00] Joseph: [01:03:00] I agree with that and I will definitely be applying that. All right. So I got a, let's see what I got here. I got two more questions for you.
[01:03:09] One of those, really more of a package than a question, but, um, the other one is, uh, I want to get your position on education. Um, this is something that we've got to talking about at the beginning of it, and I want to circle back to it. Um, so as I went through your Instagram, um, you had posted an image of a job application, uh, that paid minimum wage.
[01:03:28] Basically, uh, but what one of the qualifications was a master's degree um, so. I want to hear your position on it and, and if you can weigh in on, on both sides of this, uh, that would be, uh, optimal at least for my purposes. So what would you like to see change or what in the postsecondary education or I guess really at the education system altogether.
[01:03:54] And then what do you encourage students to keep in mind when they apply and go through the system?
[01:04:00] [01:04:00] Stefan Mischook: [01:04:00] Okay. Um, so we're talking, I assume we're talking about college level. Uh, not K through 12, not the, uh,
[01:04:07] Joseph: [01:04:07] I mean, if it, if there's a reason to bring it up, then by all means, but I defer to your expertise. Okay.
[01:04:12] Stefan Mischook: [01:04:12] Okay.
[01:04:12] Um, what, you know, Like anything like any other market, um, you know, in the 1980s, uh, if you had a degree, it was, it was money in the bank because there wasn't too many people doing it, I guess, and relative to today, but now there's so many art history students and there's so many, uh, philosophy students and, you know, there's a supply and demand situation going on here.
[01:04:39] And I'm not taking away from the study of these, uh, these in, in these fields of themselves, but always suggest is that you strongly consider the financial implications of going into debt to study something if there's not any jobs that will justify that expense. Cause you don't want to be caught with student loan debt.
[01:04:58] I'm talking about U S audience. [01:05:00] Um, So I just pointed that out because you know, it shows you, you know, you go years and years of school and that's what comes out of it. At 15, I forget it was $15 an hour or something, you know, it's, I don't know. Is that, is it worth it? Yes. And that's all I'm saying. Um, whereas if you
[01:05:20] you gotta, you gotta let the market, you gotta let the market guide you in your choices in that regard. That's what I teach people. Even within the context of coding and eCommerce and whatever you got to let the market, you may find a particular specialization. Super great like action, action, script flash.
[01:05:37] It's super fun, but you know, there's not much of a demand, you know, so you probably better off keeping that as a hobby and concentrating if you, if you're interested in employment into something else, but you know, originall university was not a place for people to go and develop work skills. It was a place for the wealthy to go and [01:06:00] explore whatever disciplines, you know for, for their own purposes.
[01:06:05] Um, but it kind of morphed into that. Um, so I would just say that to people who are looking at university really look at where the job opportunities are, because you don't want to come out of it four or five years later with debt and four or five years down the tube, when you find out what you did, doesn't have any, uh, financial value and there could be intrinsic value, but no financial.
[01:06:29] So, and I would, I would like, you know, You know, I think, I think it would be the students would be better served if schools would really emphasize this kind of financial and pragmatic awareness.
[01:06:45] Joseph: [01:06:45] So I, I can, uh, I can take a perspective from the art side cause I did go to college. Um, I took the, uh, the Humber school of comedy, um, to, to learn the, the comedy industry, uh, which I'm reluctant to bring up unless [01:07:00] I, uh, I produce laughter so you know, I'm good, but the.
[01:07:05] We all knew going in, we weren't going to make money off of it. We know what the industry is about, and yes, people can get some money of it, but it's usually like a platform to get to other things, you know, you do stand up, then you can learn to write a TV show and I have two observations based off, um, what I'm hearing and also my own experience.
[01:07:23] And one of them is that I think that the reason why a lot of people have gotten into, you know, the, the liberal studies is because they come from a wave of, um, conservative leaning households where people weren't in dire straights, they didn't necessarily need to treat their job as like a means to survival.
[01:07:44] They wanted to, and I'm, and I'm including myself in this. Um, we understood intrinsically that we could take chances. And we said, okay, well, you know, let's, let's take these chances. The second point is that. [01:08:00] The ability to derive any value from those skills is relative to where you are physically. So the, the, the crafts and the little tips and tricks that I learned, um, in the performative side side would be completely washed out
[01:08:19] in the heart of the community, because there's a lots of people who are naturally better than me at it, no problem in admitting that. But I take that to an area where no one has brought those skills to, it, it goes from a detriment to an asset.
[01:08:34] Stefan Mischook: [01:08:34] 100%. I that's a very good point. And, uh, like for instance, like my major in the university was psychology.
[01:08:42] I never completed it cause I went off in my, I had to choose between my business and psychology. So, but to this day, that background, um, has been invaluable to me. And it goes back to what we had discussed early on in the podcast, having as an entrepreneur, having [01:09:00] a broad range of skills is valuable. And one of the things I preach in my coding courses by the way is great communication skills, great writing skills.
[01:09:09] I tell people you're better off to learn how to write better and how to communicate better than to learn a new framework or to learn a new language. So I agree with you 100%. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that the arts are our useless, not at all. I'm just saying, consider the implications of your choices.
[01:09:27] Maybe you can study it on the side. Maybe you can study it through, uh, in, you know, maybe you're a part you're from a part of world doesn't cost you anything then fine, but just, just be aware of the implications, what you're doing, but again, I'm not taking away from it. If you can write well structure, thoughts
[01:09:45] well, whether it be through psychology or, or, uh, whatever discipline philosophy, et cetera, et cetera, or just, you know, doing comedy or film these days is the best time in history to be a creator. Before the platform, best time in history, you [01:10:00] can get a, uh, just what your, your phone, or just a very inexpensive camera.
[01:10:04] You can film beautiful quality content and have a huge audience. I totally encouraged best time in history being an artist. So don't get me wrong, but I'm trying to say is I'm not, I think it's great, but it just
[01:10:17] Joseph: [01:10:17] so good. Yeah. I mean, I, I, you know, I, uh, I come from that background and I didn't, um, I didn't feel that you were disparaging, uh, it whatsoever you just being, you know, just being honest and upfront is that
[01:10:30] you know, learning basket weaving might not necessarily lead to a, a, a full time job.
[01:10:36] Stefan Mischook: [01:10:36] Yeah. And if you want to learn it fantastic. And maybe it will come in handy later on, but maybe don't go into debt for 40 grand to become a basket weaver, that's all.
[01:10:45] Joseph: [01:10:45] Yeah. Fair enough. I agree with that. Alright. Uh, last, uh, last order of business is for people who are interested in getting started, uh, hopefully that we've, um, created a compelling case today that, uh, Understanding, [01:11:00] coding, learning, coding, um, learning backend.
[01:11:03] This is all going to help, uh, us eCommerce entrepreneurs, um, navigate this environment better. It's going to give us an edge and for some people you might have a knack for it and it would be worth, uh, worth doing. So uh, Stefan, what would you recommend would be some of the first baby steps that people can take getting into programming?
[01:11:41] Cause you learn best by by doing. When I wanted to learn, how to fight I just jumped in the ring and I fought. And in, in, in a one, one, three round fight was worth six months of training hitting the pads and same thing with coding. You know, one built website is worth more than doing 10 tutorials. So just jump into [01:12:00] it.
[01:12:00] Um, learn your basics, do a couple real sites for people, basic things, or even for yourself, and just get out there if you want to do e-commerce just throw something up quick. Going back to that other principle, we talked about, get it out there. You learn so much by doing, don't be afraid to do it. And, uh, and write code, write a lot of code.
[01:12:20] Uh, and just like training, expose yourself daily to a little bit, even if you're not feeling it one day, just do 20 minutes. Just to 20 minutes, sit down, write out some code. Be confused. You're going to be confused at first, but just, just do it. There you go. In a nutshell. Yeah,
[01:12:37] Joseph: [01:12:37] I can back that up too. I mean, I, you know, I've taken some tutorials.
[01:12:40] I've, I've, I've learned some stuff, but, uh, when it came to my, uh, my venture into podcasting, I just, I jumped in, I was so excited. I was so compelled to do it, that I just, you know, the learning just came through experience. So, uh, you're, you're you're right on the money.
[01:12:57] Stefan Mischook: [01:12:57] Yeah. Yeah. You get, you get the insight.
[01:13:00] [01:12:59] Uh, you get the, eye, you know, it's like again, same thing when, after you've been in the ring, you fought 10, 10, 15 opponents, you start getting a, a level of understanding about the dynamics of, of a fight of an opponent that you don't get, you can't be, even if you're told about it, you don't really comprehend it until you jump in.
[01:13:19] I'm sure you have that with podcasting. I'm sure you have a perception of what's going on and the dynamic of the conversation that I don't have because I'm not a professional podcaster.
[01:13:31] Joseph: [01:13:31] Well, you know, with respect to, uh, to your time and the time of all my guests, I'm glad I didn't get to do a show like this until 10 years had gone by.
[01:13:39] And I'd had a chance to, to learn and figure out what it is that I'm going to do and what I'm doing.
[01:13:45] Stefan Mischook: [01:13:45] Yeah. Well, it shows exactly, exactly.
[01:13:46] Joseph: [01:13:46] I appreciate that.
[01:13:49] All right. Well, uh, that's a, that's all we've got to today. Stefan, once again, you have my sincere gratitude.
[01:13:55] Stefan Mischook: [01:13:55] No, I appreciate. It was a, it was an enjoyable conversation.
[01:13:58] Thanks for reaching out
[01:13:59] Joseph: [01:13:59] And
[01:13:59] Stefan Mischook: [01:13:59] to [01:14:00] you as
[01:14:00] Joseph: [01:14:00] well.
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