On Happiness and Realistic Expectations

expectation vs realityIn general I’m known by my friends as a smiling person. Once a colleague asked me: “Why are you always smiling?” Then I smiled and answered him: “Because I have low expectations!”

Just think about it. What is frustration? What is dissatisfaction? What makes people complain so much about the difficulties they have? What is the reason so many people complain about their lives in general?

I believe in an extremely simple explanation: Frustration is the result of the difference between our reality and our expectations.

We can even express this as a Math formula:

Frustration = Expectations – Reality

The bigger the difference between our expectations and our reality, the more frustrated we will be. There are two ways to reduce this difference:

  1. Reduce our expectations
  2. Improve our reality

In general people tend to try to improve their reality instead of reducing their expectations. This is particularly true in our consumption-driven society in which success is measured by the accumulation of material goods.

There is nothing wrong about people trying to improve their reality. The progress and economic development of a nation are the result of the joint efforts of a population in which each individual is trying to improve his own life.

However there is a problem when many people have expectations which are not realistic. By definition only a few people will become rich. Only a few people will become famous. Only a few people will be able to achieve all their goals.

Being realistic does not mean not trying to be rich or not trying to be famous. Being realistic means being aware of your chances. It means being conscient about the difficulty involved in reaching your goals.

I think that this lack of realism is what makes most people fail. Because they underestimate their challenges, they do not work hard enough. Because they think it will be easy to reach their goals, they do not prepare well enough.

Thus reducing our expectations does not necessarily mean changing our goals. It means being realistic about how difficult it will be to reach our goals.

Keep your goals. Be realistic. Smile.

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The Iceberg Illusion: Hidden Success Factors

Do you believe in luck? Are successful people luckier than the average person? Did they have more opportunities? Did they have access to things most people don’t?

I don’t believe so. I think that what makes people successful is their attitude. If you work hard you can win despite the obstacles. Most successful people faced the same challenges that the average person does. Their “secret” is illustrated in the picture below:


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On Italian Food and the Evolution of Software Architecture

I really like this picture. Besides being funny, I think it is also a nice metaphor. There is no such a thing the “right software architecture”, in the same way that there is no such a thing the “right Italian food”. You may choose the food according to the occasion, and choose the architecture according to the requirements. In particular, architecture choice depends on non-functional requirements. Bon appétit!

Software Architecture

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KashKlik at Pitch Tonight

Yesterday I had the pleasure to present KashKlik at the Pitch Tonight event at the Google Campus at Tel-Aviv. I explained the vision of KashKlik’s marketplace and how it solves two problems:

1) KashKlik enables advertisers to use Influencer Marketing, providing automation, scalability and measurable results.

2) KashKlik enables influencers to monetize their audience through the promotion of pay-per-click campaigns.

Below is the video of my pitch, followed by questions from the panel (in Hebrew):

About Pitch Tonight:

Pitch tonight was founded in 2011, with the goal of bringing business opportunities and tools to young entrepreneurs in the pre-seed and seed stage. The program focuses on high profile events, connecting investors, industry experts and entrepreneurs through valuable, relevant content.

The Israeli branch was founded in 2015 by Gil Shourka, Yisrael Gross, Nogah Senecky, Ariel Zaretski, Omri Ben Simon and Jonathan Gilat.

Previous Pitch Tonight events have been featured on Yahoo Finance, MarketWatch, The Boston Globe, Chicago Business News, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Dallas Business Journal, TheMarker, Epoch Times, Telecom News, The Israeli Channel 2 and more.

Panel members included:

Roy Povarchik, Advisor for startups on social media, content marketing, growth hacking and community building. Roy is Co-Founder of Stardom.io, and Co-Founder of Humans of Startup Nation.

Kfir Pravda, CEO of Pravda Media Group, a B2B demand generation and MarTech company. He loves good stories, good design and good whisky.

Mor Sidi, Director of Growth at Playbuzz. Mor has extensive experience in leading top-tier R&D, product and marketing teams, and holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from NYU.

Dan-ya Shwartz, Data Scientist at Alooma. Dan-ya is a Growth Hacker, data freak and music geek, experienced in conversion optimization and product management.

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Adaptable Designs for Agile Software Development

The Agile Café Meetup in Israel organized a special event about “The Architect Role in the Agile Era”. I was glad to be invited to give a talk about Adaptable Software Design.

Title: Adaptable Designs for Agile Software Development

Abstract: This talk introduces the concept of Adaptable Software Design, and explains why adaptability is essential for the development of complex software systems using Agile methods. The concepts are illustrated through practical software architecture approaches such as micro-services.

Bio: Hayim Makabee was born in Rio de Janeiro. He immigrated to Israel in 1992 and completed his M.Sc. studies on Computer Sciences at the Technion. Since then he worked for several hi-tech companies, including several start-ups. Currently he is the CEO at KashKlik, an innovative influencer Marketing platform. Hayim is the author of a book about Object-Oriented Programming and has published papers in the fields of Software Engineering, Distributed Systems and Genetic Algorithms.

These are the original slides of Hayim’s presentation:

Here is the video of the talk (in Hebrew):

Please see here my previous posts on Adaptable Software Design.

Feel free to share your comments below.

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How I lost during 7 years. And then I won.

chess-pieces-pawn-kingMy father started teaching me chess when I was seven years old. He never let me win, as most people normally do when they play against small children. He would always play seriously, making me understand that my purpose was to learn, and not to win.

Of course as any seven years old boy I wanted to win. It would be an amazing victory for me to defeat my own father. But I also understood that he played much better than me, and that I still had a lot to learn from him.

So I kept playing, and kept losing, and kept asking to play again. The years passed, I still was not able to defeat my feather, but I learned a lot and played much better than most my friends at school.

Finally, at age 14, it happened for the first time ever: I won a chess match against my father. And I knew that I really won, it was clear that I played better than him.

Of course we continued to play together, and now as we played my victories became more and more frequent. By age 15 I could play as well as my father, and then we started playing with a clock.

So this is a story about a boy that played chess with his father during seven years without giving up. But it is much more than that. It is a story about persistence despite failures.

My father taught me much more than playing chess. He gave me a life lesson about how to work hard to reach my goals.

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New Year Resolutions: On Dreams, Goals, Plans and Actions

It is again this time of the year in which people are making their New Year Resolutions. I found very appropriate to share the picture below: it reminds us that the most important thing is not having dreams, but being able to translate these dreams into concrete goals and then defining a plan to achieve these goals and finally taking action. Having good intentions is nice, but what will really make us succeed is our ability to execute.

Happy 2017, may you have a productive year full of achievements!


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