Remote Work, you don’t have to choose between your career and behaving
like a human being. You don’t have to uproot yourself and embark on an
uncertain journey to seek a better life. The days of Wild West are gone.
The opportunity to move for work is a privilege, and the immense potential of those of us who are not willing to leave our lives behind is only beginning to be explored.
I write this, my grandfather is not doing so well. I very much enjoy
the opportunity to visit him and listen to his crazy war stories. About
the time he was running a public house as a 14-year old to feed his
family. Or how he stole german weapons and sold them to the resistance.
My Wife appreciates these stories too, and she “adopted” him as her own.
I am a public school teacher and not a web-designer. I decided to start a new business (…). After I found the “Add Payment” button I knew I could do it. I went public and started taking payments two days later. The new button simplified everything.
Simple Payments is a feature of Jetpack plugin and WordPress.com that enables you to sell products on your site. I had a privilege of being a part of the team that launched it in 2017.
Yes, there is WooCommerce with ample functionality, various payment gateways, plugins and options.
But starting with WooCommerce is not easy. The choice and configuration can be overwhelming, especially for someone that just wants to test their business. WooCommerce has a fantastic wizard now that simplifies the process considerably, but there is always a tradeoff between functionality and ease of use.
Simple Payments is designed for an easy start. No, there are no other payment gateways, no plugins, no automated fulfilment, no AI. Easy start, that is it.
But often, the start is the hard part.
PayPal is coming to India
As of now (feb 2018), PayPal is gearing towards entering the Indian market. Simple Payments is built on top of PayPal Express Checkout.
Launching soon for general users.
Testing with large merchants at the moment (BookMyShow, Yatra)
Accepting and payout in INR
Right now, you can collect USD and pay out to your bank account that will convert to INR
How hard it is to start with Simple Payments?
To start selling with Simple Payments, you need:
One of the plans:
Jetpack Premium (₹690/m, ₹6900/y) OR
WordPress.com Premium (₹575/m, ₹6900/y)
One form to fill out
Yes, that is it. One form. And in this form the required fields are:
Name of what you are selling
Price / currency
Email that will be connected to PayPal account
One more thing…
You don’t really need a PayPal account.
PayPal has a feature called “progressive onboarding”. That means, if you receive money destined to the email address that does not have PP account yet, money will be waiting for you to claim until you create such account.
Simple is also sustainable
Back in the day, I was running an e-marketing agency and we also did WooCommerce stores. Whenever something broke, API changed, etc – I had lots of work to keep it all running. Sometimes client changed API keys to PayPal, or a setting got deprecated. But with Simple Payments:
No payment gateway setup
No access token keys, app secrets, etc
Reliant only on 1 plugin (Jetpack) and external API (WPCOM) that is heavily tested every day
Auto updates and backups built in (JP „undo”feature)
No late night calls from your customers that something broke!
Successful Simple Payments sellers
This is a small gallery of successful Simple Payments sellers. As you can see, there are various business models.
WPCOM endpoint calls PP transaction/execute
Passes success message to your site
Sends you notification and email
Displays result to the customer
All data stored on your site
`jp_pay_order` custom post type
`jp_pay_product` custom post type
Simple Payments is designed to get you started. Don’t over-engineer your solution if you are not yet selling anything. Start simple, test your business and then scale with WooCommerce once you have more orders than you can deal with.
I was raised on Lego. My engineering skills were honed by building the infinity of stuff that can be assembled from these ingenious little blocks. I love how they are designed to be great fun for years without buying heaps of new sets.
Fortunately, I have great friends (adult ones!) excited by Lego as well and they together we embarked upon a sentimental journey to Legolland, Billund. (The original one).
To say that have amazing stuff there build from lego is a huge understatement. But, apart from Lego construction it’s a pretty rad theme park in its own right! There is a plenty of rides, water-related activities etc.
One trick that a friend found is that we have stayed in Lalandia – a closeby water park and had 2 day Legoland tickets, water park unlimited pass and a very neat skadinavian cabin/ house for the 4 of us. It was a great stay!
I love swimming in various weird places, so swimming in a Cenote was a dream of mine ever since I swam in “Blue Hole” in Jamaica.
In Mexico, Yucatan peninsula is made of porous limestone. That means, that water just sinks through rock and all the water bodies (lakes, rivers) are underwater. It also means that sinkholes are very common there. Cenotes are just that – sinkoles filled with water.
Few years back, I visited Japan with my friends. My intention was to “tick off” the country, because I’m not a great fan of whole Anime culture and it didn’t seem like my cup of tea.
But instead, I was blown away by the incredible mix of old and the new and recently I find myself wanting to go back there. This is my subjective top 5:
Japanese food is not really about sushi. The variety of food is much greater than you would expect and everything is delicious (except for nanto – fermented soy beans…)
Things to try
Bento box – my definite fav. This is a neat lunch box, sold near offices and this is what Japanese people really eat. This boxes have a cute assortment of dishes
Proper Miso soup
Conveyor belt sushi – the cheapest variety there is and Japanese people consider it subpar quality. More modern ones let you order from an iPad and automatic conveyor belt brings you your sushi
Takoyaki – battered octopus pieces deep-fried in waffle iron. Literally, very hot!
Omu – Rice ommelette with, well, almost everything inside
Tuna – tuna is a big thing in Japan and it tastes like heaven in any form
I fell on love with old Japanese tradition. Enchanting red temples inside a lush green forest are just spectacular. Respect for tradition is an important thing in Japan.
Things worth checking out:
Splendid temples in Kyoto
Holy Deer in Nara
Little temples anywhere
Tsukiji Fish Market
Just sheer out-of-context weirdness
Things worth checking out
Alcatraz ER – a prison/hospital themed cafe. Weird fun!
Dog / cat cafe
Japanese toilet seat. Really!
Any “supposedly european” dish. It will be the weirdest european dish you’llever have
Japanese are very modern, but the tradition still lives on in day-to-day struggle.
Lost in translation
Kaizen – Philisophy of never-ending improvement
Mottainai – Regret concerning waste. Or resources, but also unnecessary action or a word.
Ikigai – A reason for being, something that drives you
Komorebi – Sunlight filtering through trees
Shinrin-Yoku – Visit to forest for relaxation / “forest bathing”
Yugen – A profound understanding of the universe that triggers a string emotional response
Majime – Reliable person who gets things done without drama
Onsen – Hot spring/spa. I highly recommend convincing a friend to jump into a “electric stimulation” bathtub. So much fun!
Pachinko – Hydhly addictive pinball machine. In Japan there are whole floors of these machines. I cannot express weirdness of it. You have to see it.
A long time ago, I stumbled upon photos of this incredible phenomenon in the vastness of interwebz. In Northern Ireland, there’s collection of these weird hexagonal bazalt pillars. As you can imagine, there are competing explanations for this incredible natural phenomenon.
One includes a Giant, Finn McCool (name almost as good as McLovin’) building a bridge to scotland, to fight another giant.
Another, completely bonkers explanation suggests that while basalt was cooling, cracks formed at the top and then penetrated lower and lower while the mass was cooling.
Its pretty easy – and totally worth it to get there from Belfast. For 12 pounds you can get on route 252 from Belfast to Bushmills and then you can walk or take a city bus to “Giants Causeway – The nook” stop. That stop is right beside the causeway. You can consult schedule on Translink site.
Alternatively, there’s plenty of tours going there from almost any part of Ireland.
A nice walk
This is a stunning place with a lot to offer. I highly recommend taking the Causeway Coast walking trail which is part if the “Ulster Way” . Its about 5 hour walk and its definitely worth the effort. On the way you can see:
Giants causeway on your own, without bus full of people getting in your photos
Balintoy Harbor, where they filmed Game of thrones
Carrick-A-Rede bridge, phenomenal rope bridge to a fishing island