A new beginning

April 30, 2019

It's been a long time since I wrote anything on a personal blog, and I must admit I missed it. This is an important year for me, almost critical: I left my job a few months ago, started my own company with Francesco, I'm slowly getting back into filmmaking and I've got other projects ready to start. I'm also dedicating more time and energy to my mental and phisical wellbeing, which I somewhat neglected lately.

With so many things on my mind, and so many exciting projects going on (or about to start), I felt like it was time to start a blog again.

I also completely revamped this website. Lately I've been taking programming a bit more seriously and I'm having a lot of fun with React, so I've built this site with GatsbyJS, which is a super popular framework based on React. I've also built my company's website with this framework, and I'm pumped to launch that today as well: please welcome Superlinear.

What follows is a post I wrote about starting my company, and you can read it on Superlinear blog as well. Enjoy.

After making the hard decision of leaving our day jobs in late 2018 to go all-in on our side projects — more about this in our Indie Hackers interviewme and Francesco were still very confused about our identity as software makers. Almost everywhere, we’ve always been known as the “Boxy Team”, given that our first Mac app “Boxy” sold more than 40k copies, and Boxy Suite is now very popular as well. Even in Bending Spoons, the amazing company where we worked for around 2 beautiful years, we were known as the “Boxy Team”, a name we have then embraced completely.

But having an identity that is strongly tied to a product, while cool at first first, can be very uncomfortable and problematic. In a way, it makes your feel constrained by your own product, and it makes communication weird as well: when you announce new projects, you’re still the “Boxy Team”, right? So, why should the Boxy Team work on other things? Does it mean we’re not focusing on Boxy Suite? More confusion ensues, and since we like making lots of things, we had to make a change.

We soon realized that having an actual company with its own identity is not just legally required and financially adviseable, it’s also a new tool we have to start acting like a software house, which we are, and not just “those 2 guys who met on Twitter and then made Boxy”.

So, we’re thrilled to finally, officially, introduce our company:

Wait, what the hell does that even mean? Here’s a handy definition:

superlinear (comparative more superlinear, superlative most superlinear)
  1. Above a line
  2. (mathematics) Describing a function that eventually grows faster than any linear one

So, as you can see, it’s all about growth.

Our biggest challenge is, in fact, growing. Surely in financial terms, since we’re paying our own salaries now, but also, and especially, in personal terms: by working together for years, and launching a company together, me and Francesco are increasingly challenging each other to grow as people, to design our lives in the best way possible, and to constantly learn from each other. If I had to give one suggestion on how to be sure to have great business partner, I’d say one thing: make sure he/she is smarter than you in many ways, and therefore you can inspire each other to become better all-around, every day.

This is also why we recently decided to spend one month in South East Asia, in a “company retreat” that I can confidently say is being fully repaid by the amount of ideas we had, and the increased productivity we gained. It really felt like finally starting to reap the fruits of our work, enjoy the world with the money we’re making, and propel our business forward by working side-by-side in exciting environments.

Here’s a picture from our first day in Bali. We still have to discover the best spots near Canggu, but I like how we look super excited to finally be there in this picture (and a little tired from the flights).

It’s been a “Hardcore Retreat”, as we called it: soon after arriving in Vietnam I got an ear infection, for which I had to visit a hospital in Ho Chi Minh, and I fell from my motorbike in Phu Quoc, getting my elbow and knee badly scratched and having to visit a hospital for that reason as well. Oh, and I also broke my iPhone, so no more Face ID for me! Would I do it all over again? Of course, where’s the ticket? Bali has been especially awesome, exactly like they told us it would be. It is indeed a near-perfect place to be: great for work, amazing for leisure, very laid-back, and full of friendly people.

Are we digital nomads now? Indie makers? These definitions always felt too tight for us, and we just know one thing: we want to do our best work, and enjoy life at the best of our abilities. Let’s keep growing.

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Fabrizio Rinaldi

Hey, I'm Fabrizio 👋

I'm the co-founder and designer of Mailbrew and Typefully.

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