Review of the StayGo USB-C Hub by @TwelveSouth

In today’s Geek Journal, we take a look at TwelveSouth’s StayGo USB-C Hub.

My work setup consists of a 2018 MacBook Pro plugged into an LG Ultrafine monitor, via USB-C, fully embracing the world of USB-C’s as you can see. But even for the avid new technology-minded folks like me, I often do have to resort to plugging in a device that is beyond what Apple offers in its modern line of laptops.

I have a Canon camera that I often take with me on scenic escapades, as well as the “old-school” USB-A dongles I often interact with, such as the one I use to plug in to my Tesla as part of its security camera. Sometimes when I am out on-site at client locations, their security protocol dictates that I plug in to their network via Ethernet believe it or not.

Having avoided numerous third-party hubs because of their bulky forms, I was given a review hub by TwelveSouth, a company I have a deep affinity for, for many years. Famous for their amazing leather cases that have kept my IPhone from damage for so long, as well as their laptop stands and other accessories, I was excited to receive a USB-C hub that combines a premium aluminum case with the compactness you need as a road warrior.

Equpped with a convenient cable tucked within the case shell, you can take this hub with you as a one-for-all solution for all of your peripheral needs. The hub gives you:   3 USB-A 3.0 ports.    1 USB-C port, with pass-thru 85W USB-C PD charging.    SD and Micro-SD card slots, with the ability to access both simultaneously.    Ethernet port.    4k HDMI port.   I also have an iPad Pro that I take with me on the road, which is also equpped with a USB-C port, so i can leverage the power of multi-port connetivity on my iPad as well, which comes in very handy. I present on the big screen using my iPad and Keynote, and to be able to leverage HDMI, gives me the ability to travel light at times.
Equpped with a convenient cable tucked within the case shell, you can take this hub with you as a one-for-all solution for all of your peripheral needs. The hub gives you:3 USB-A 3.0 ports.1 USB-C port, with pass-thru 85W USB-C PD charging.SD and Micro-SD card slots, with the ability to access both simultaneously.Ethernet port.4k HDMI port.I also have an iPad Pro that I take with me on the road, which is also equpped with a USB-C port, so i can leverage the power of multi-port connetivity on my iPad as well, which comes in very handy. I present on the big screen using my iPad and Keynote, and to be able to leverage HDMI, gives me the ability to travel light at times.

For those of you who really hate the idea of carrying around multiple dongles, this is the peripheral for you. For me, I have survived more or less without the need for dongles, until I did start to need them more and more, and this is where this becomes the one conduit I can rely on.

Quality is second to none, and being someone that owns about 9 different TwelveSouth products, including the TimePorter which is my favorite bed-side accessory, you won’t be disappointed with the s StayGo USB-C Hub..

It currently retails for $99.99, but when it comes to such a central and pivotal device that you throw into your backpack, don’t get a knock-off hub, get something that will last, and provide you with power and mobility, all at the same time. A solid thumbs-up from me!

Twelve South StayGo | USB-C Hub for Type C MacBooks, Laptops and iPad Pro with included 1 meter desktop cable + stowable travel cable for Home, Office & TravelTwelve South

Better Product Decisions With Experiment-Driven Product Development

Product Managers are always asked upon to justify their product decisions, why invest company resources in a roadmap. In order to back your decisions, you need to be able to prove that it is indeed what the market is asking for, and you are addressing a need. As a product manager myself, I have continually started to rely on a framework that I have become to grow fonder of, and that is Experiment-Driven Product Development, or XDPD for short.

While it should be the de-facto mindset of product managers, XDPD frames your team’s development through the framework of experiments to uncover the premises which can be based on prior knowledge, assumptions, feature ideas, or claims being made about the product or its users. You start off by development questions that you want to answer, the foundation upon which you would then develop your hypotheses, a statement denoting what your answers might be.

You would then begin to design your experiments in a way that you can prove causality for your hypotheses by selecting a method in which you can run and measure your experiments. The outcome of such exercises would then help you make your decisions, whether it is worth pursuing or abandoning.

The underlying process in creating your hypotheses is that you need to justify why those hypotheses are important, why you need to know the answers to those, and this framework helps you shift the focus from assumptions to the step beforehand, and as the author recites, it seeks to reinforce the basic tenets of Lean while bringing rigors and a different perspective to the approach.

This quarter I found creating a horizontal table where I develop my questions, then hypotheses, followed by how I would measure them. The author of the book makes use of experiment cards, but I simply overlay on a whiteboard the columns for more contextual vision.

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I would recommend you give this framework a try on your next product, and see how it works for you and your team. And don’t forget, take a look at the book that guided me this quarter on product development.

Why i moved from mint to @CoPilot

Last week I made the move from Intuit’s Mint to one of the new and exciting startup apps, @copilotmoney. Powered by machine learning, CoPilot lets you track your account spending and other behaviors to give you unique insights to help you effortlessly understand and manage how you spend, save, and invest your money.

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Transactions are organized automatically so they’re as easy to search, sort, and filter as your email inbox.

But being a mint user for so many years, why make the move to this app? Well mint hassles me with advertising everywhere, spam emails me, and trades my information to others, in a opaque manner. It’s intuit and it’s their nature. Granted I didn’t have to pay for it every month, but is my financial privacy worth the trade?

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Hesitant to shift my years of memory muscle to a new platform, getting all the connectivity errors with mint was my last straw and so I tested the water with CoPilot and was pleasantly surprised. Granted it is only an iPhone app, and I am paying a little bit every month, but at $2.99 it is certainly a fraction of what I would pay for coffee in San Francisco.

PRIVATE AND SAFE, LIKE IT SHOULD BE.

Copilot protects your information with bank-level security and has read-only access from your financial institutions. We treat your personal data like we’d want ours to be treated, which means never selling or sharing it with third parties. Ever.

It is simple to use and on-board, it is fun and cutesy, clean and dynamic dashboards without the bloatware you get with mint. More so, no pun intended, this is a good investment because I know the folks at CoPilot are working on an amazing product that will only get better with time, the more people back the smaller guys over the Gmail of the financial world, Mint.

I am looking forward to seeing what they deliver in 2020 and beyond, including hopefully iPad support, and perhaps web support. For me, the experience thus far was almost flawless, only one banking institution didn’t have connectivity for, but everything else it found, including even my Australian bank.

Why not give it a try for a month, and if you like it, as I am sure you will, you can finally ask Intuit to delete your account and get out of their cobwebs. Get a free month on me, by using the following link.

Moving to @Fastmail from Gmail and Office 365, Two Years on

Moving from Gmail and Office365 to Fastmail and why you should do it. I made the move two years ago, and fastmail is hands down the best mail service for iPhone, macOS and ipadOS.

I wrote an article almost two years ago, outlining my reasoning for moving to Fastmail, and I wanted to update the internet world two years on, how it has fared. Well, truth be told, it has been surprisingly smooth riding for me.

Using Google Apps, syncing with Apple Mail and iOS had been a pain in the ass. The way Google interprets IMAP meant I couldn’t truly get push emails. And yes there are ‘exchange’ settings to enable it to give you push emails, but it has a lot of downfalls, such as one calendar only. Secondly, as a product of Google, your privacy is certainly compromised.

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So I moved to Office365, and while it had initial promises, I wasn’t able to sync my contacts and their photos properly. Using their Outlook app, it was well very clunky and had its own contact universe, rather than the native one. So that didn’t work either.

On the advice of a work colleague, I switched to Fastmail thinking why not, what do I have to lose. And you know what, it ticked all of my boxes, being a fickle Mail user:

  1. IMAP works perfectly as it should. My iPhone, iPad and macOS mail get email via push.
  2. Calendar and Contacts sync via push as well, flawlessly.
  3. No advertising on my web-mail client. In fact, they maintain your privacy and don’t sell your data.

It’s simple, nothing Microsoft or Google couldn’t have achieved if they didn’t try a little, but hey, they dropped the ball and two years later, nothing has changed. So my recommendation is to give fastmail a shot. It;’s affordable, fast, integrates with your existing ecosystem, and you are supporting the smaller companies.

And if you are going to try it out, use my referral code to get 10% off your first year with them!. Click here to get 10% off