The Forest at Night. Photo by Matheus Bertelli. https://www.pexels.com/photo/green-leafy-trees-during-milkway-577584/

This letter is meant for anyone who cares about their world and wants to take action at the local scale. Please feel free to reuse and repost, with credit to the original author.

To My Neighborhood Homeowners Association,

Fireflies have long been a staple of the summer nights of my childhood. I remember galaxies of blinking lights dancing across the slumbering lawn. My siblings and I would catch them in our hands, their light streaming through our fingertips, and then send them back to the night sky with a wish.

Over the years the summer nights have grown darker and…


A dance festival. Photo by Wendy Wei. https://www.pexels.com/photo/purple-fireworks-effect-1190298/

The Firefly Music festival is the highlight of so many of my friends’ entire years. As a place of fun, friendship, and music, it is a jubilant four-day festival with music spanning pop, rock, rap, EDM, and hip-hop.

While Firefly is only in the name of the festival, I believe the festival can play an important role in getting young people involved in environmental action through its namesake.

The firefly population in the United States is quickly going extinct in large part due to habitat loss, with a 70% decrease in the number of fireflies in the last decade. …


Defund the Police is an emerging movement to take funds from the police and place them in education or health services and let communities take care of their safety. I don’t think we should do away with peace-keeping bodies entirely; I still think we need a nation-wide organization of people dedicated to community safety.

However, I think we are at an inflection point in the country’s history. Now is the time to radically rethink what peace-keeping can look like, from the tools, incentives, and mindsets that this organization would have. …


Photo by Kelly Lacey: https://www.pexels.com/photo/4552841/.

I love the UX and product design community, composed of people who love black turtlenecks, Macbooks, chunky glasses, all of us filled with the confidence that good design can change the world. It is because I love this community that I also need to call all of us out for the quiet part UX design and Information Architecture plays into both racial and socioeconomic oppression.

Every year I end up paying for TurboTax because I can’t figure out how to navigate through any of the free software…..and I’m literally someone with a degree in Information Science and Design. Paying $180…


Tools for the New Entrepreneur in the Age of Social Distancing

A woman showcasing how to design clothes. Photo by Gustavo Fring. https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-white-button-up-shirt-holding-white-printer-paper-3984860/

The Coronavirus has deeply impacted the norms and routines of our lives. It has robbed some of their lives, many of our jobs, and all of us the ability to be physically close to grieve. Yet amidst this upheaval, the pandemic has also sparked an incredible surge of creativity and ingenuity in many to start businesses that make us feel close even when we need to be far apart.

I do understand that starting a business during a pandemic is not for everyone. Taking care of your mental health means stepping back and focusing on yourself. But for those who…


Tools for New Businesses During COVID-19

A woman working on her laptop. Photo by Andrea Picqadio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-white-t-shirt-holding-smartphone-in-front-of-laptop-914931/

This article is a part of the series “Entrepreneurship During COVID-19”

In Part 1 of “How to Build a Great Website Fast” we chose a name for our hustle, created a compelling tag line, and found an interesting cover photo.

In this next section, we will go through the process of how to best showcase your services, create a short bio, talk about the importance of the Subscribe button, and connect your website to a domain.

Showcase Your Offerings

You want your website to quickly tell people what product or services you offer. …


Tools for New Businesses During COVID-19

A man works on his website. Photo by Burst. https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-books-business-coffee-374016/

This article is a part of the series “Digitize Your Side Hustle: Making Money in the Time of Corona”

You have decided to take one of your side hustles public, to build a community around your ideas and make some money while doing so. One of the things you will need is a basic website. Websites help people find out about your services and forces you to understand what the core value is that you deliver to customers.

In this article you will learn how to use Wix, Pexels.com, and Domain.com to set up the structure of your website, and…


A Systems View of Start-up Development

A post from a Hacking facebook group

Recently I saw a post in a “Hackers” Facebook group where a person posted an idea to find collaborators. Instead they were berated because they could not code. This post’s response, pictured above, highlights two problems in the current startup ecosystem:

  1. Developers often believe their skills are the most important aspect of a startup’s success.
  2. Non-technical people do not have a good way to show the work they contribute to the creation of a successful start-up.

This article is a call to shift the current startup ecosystem from a tech-oriented mindset to a System mindset in which product development is…


A Reply to Sequoia Capital

Different patterns of energy management in crises: contraction versus adaptation

Sequoia Capital, a prominent venture firm, recently shared a letter with entrepreneurs about how to weather the challenges of the coronoavirus. In it they encourage founders to decrease headcount to increase efficiency:

“Given all of the above stress points on your finances, this might be a time to evaluate critically whether you can do more with less and raise productivity.”

Investors want the companies they bet on to stay alive. They care little about the people that compose them. When a person helps your company grow, your duty as a founder is to help them flourish in kind.

But this…


This content is released under a Creative Commons Attributions license. Feel free to use these ideas, but please attribute.

Current online systems are constructed from the top down. Developers and designers craft and build websites which people then use. This structure gives companies power in two ways. One way is from the aggregation of user data that enables companies to more effectively market to users. The second is from the “lock-in” effect where users become increasingly tied to platforms because they have invested time and energy adding their content to them.

People have little bargaining power against these companies because…

Rachel Aliana

Interaction Writer and CEO of Adjacent

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