Tim Hofmann – Cartoons, Coffee, Consulting

Tim Hofmann draws bad cartoons, roasts coffee beans, and consults small businesses at Clutterbomb, these are his good things.

Good things to read.

Walden, Henry David Thoreau.  I treat this book like scripture (except I actually read it.) His ideas on housing, education and work will be revelatory to anyone stuck in a modern rut.

Modern communication is terse. Reading Thoreau reminds me that a thought can be a big, craggy thing one has to hold on to with both hands and support with one’s chest to manage. Compare one paragraph of Thoreau to a day’s worth of your twitter feed and try not to feel doomed.

I copy passages out of Walden to practice my cursive handwriting. I read Walden when my striving muscle is exhausted. This book is awesome.

The Black Swan, Nassim Taleb.  Taleb is another non-conventional thinker. He takes common human psychological traits and explains why (and how) we repeatedly set ourselves up for disaster. This is another guy with really big thoughts. I’d recommend his latest, Antifragile, but it’s sitting on my shelf unread. Read the Black Swan and you’ll understand why Taleb would be OK with that.

Choose Yourself!, James Altucher.  Altucher reminds me a lot of Thoreau. His advice flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but he’s easier to read than Thoreau. His blog is fantastic for anyone who is struggling with work, business or life in general- I found him in 2010 and he helped me get up off the floor and turn my life around.

Good things to watch.

Eyelids, it’s great to spend time away from screens. It’s even better to spend (awake) time with your eyes closed. I never look at any kind of glowing screen when I’m in bed. Can’t sleep? Fine. Close your eyes and think.

Ren and Stimpy.  I watch this with my 3-year-old daughter. It’s brilliant and bizarre. If she can get through this stuff and internalize it as normal, nothing in real life will EVER faze her.

TV on Netflix.  No Commercials. ‘Nuff said.

Good things to use.

Pilot Metropolitan,  I’m a Fountain Pen Geek. The Metro is an outrageous value- a super-smooth writing pen that ships with a refillable converter for using bottled ink. I’ve paid 10X for pens I use less frequently. It’s a great intro to fountain pens for the curious.

Rhodia Paper, High Performance Paper. If your fountain pen is a racecar, Rhodia is the track.

Aerobie Aeropress.  Simple to use, this thing makes amazing coffee. It’s super quick and cleanup is a snap. It’s the anti Keurig.

Talk with Tim about fountain pens on Twitter, @manoeuver.

Trevor Page – Java Guru

These are Trevor Page’s good things.

Good things to read.

I’m a big fan of Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk, it’s the only business book I’ve read through twice. Gary’s writing style is very bold and exciting and the book itself is thin enough to get through in a day of solid reading. “Crush it!” is filled with lots of advice about our modern social media world and how you can go about taking advantage of it. A very entertaining and useful read for any entrepreneur.

Yet another great resource for entrepreneurs is The Great Business Project e-zine. This e-zine is packed with a ton of actionable advice, all from successful entrepreneurs. When you’re reading an article written by millionaire after millionaire, it’s hard not to listen and implement the strategies that worked for them!

Last but not least, keeping on the “resources for entrepreneurs” theme, I’d have to recommend that you read Web Copy that Sells. This book focuses on how you should go about creating/designing your website to sell your products on the internet. It goes in depth about what to include and what NOT to include in your website, as well as what kinds of writing styles will result in an increase in sales. All of their data is backed by years of studies and hundreds of thousands of dollars in tested, tried and true marketing strategies used on large samples of REAL people. It’s hard to dispute their advice when you just “know it works”.

Good things to watch.

I was really inspired after I watched the documentary I’m fine, Thanks. This documentary loosely follows the journey of a man whose dream is to create a film. He spent his whole life knowing that this was his dream, but never took action on it, until one day he woke up and realized that he just wasn’t happy. The documentary follows him as he travels across the US to interview other people stuck in the same situation he is – stuck in a 9-5 that they hate and are dying to get out of. An inspiring and eye opening tale for anyone who hates their job (and wants to do something about it).

Breaking away from entrepreneurial theme, I’d also recommend watching Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking. This three part series explores the universe, both the known and the unknown and blows your mind with how small we are really are in the grand scheme of things. I have a fascination for all things “space”, so being able to explore the brain of Stephen Hawking while he explains all the strange things that happen in our universe is very exciting!

The third documentary I’d have to recommend is called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. This documentary follows a gentleman from down under who is overweight with a plethora of health issues after he decides to do something about it. He makes a radical change in his diet to see if something simple can reverse all that ails him. On his journey he meets someone else with the same ailments and the story takes an unexpected and inspiring turn.

Good things to use.

Now let’s talk about getting things DONE! I’m a programmer, so the most important tool I use on a day to day basis is the Spring Tool Suite. This integrated development environment has a code generator so you can go from “zero to functioning web application” in under 30 minutes. It also has a performance measurement tool so that you can keep an eye on parts of your applications that are sluggish and fix them!

I subscribed to Netflix as a learning tool. I have a ferocious appetite for learning and I have been watching and digesting documentaries like crazy these days. Netflix has made this not only possible, but very easy as well. Just be careful you don’t waste time with all that reality TV garbage!

Last but not least, I use iTunes to discover podcasts. Podcasts are 100% what I attribute my success to. If it wasn’t for me finding the Smart Passive Income podcast (and countless others), I would never have taken the leap to start my own business and quit my day job. The amount of knowledge you can absorb listening to podcasts while performing other daily tasks (like driving to work or hitting the gym) is staggering. I try listening to at least one episode of a podcast every day to keep my wits about me.


If you’re interested in learning more about me, I teach Java Video Tutorials and run a programming blog on all things Java. I can be reached via and love to talk about all things programming and business!


Noah Sussman – speaker and front-end developer

These are Noah Sussman’s good things.

What are some good things you’ve read?

Software Testing Techniques by Boris Beizer. This was an exciting book (an in incredibly nerdy way) because it’s the first textbook I had ever seen that covers the algorithms involved in software testing, strictly from the perspective of a software engineer. In other words “this book has The Math.” It’s also written in a dry, sarcastic style that can be highly amusing. And since it was written in the 80s, the book is also an interesting look back at the history of software; which is a topic I really enjoy reading about.

A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge. Speaking of software history, I originally picked up this book because I had been told that one of the characters had the job title of “programmer archaeologist.” I loved it. This has got to be one of the best first-contact stories in the entire genre.

The New York Review of Books. I subscribe to the paper addition and pretty consistently read every issue. The quality of the writing is overall excellent, and the subject matter varies widely. They don’t write about tech all that much, but when they do it’s always interesting — for instance they once had a great article on how David Hockney uses the Brushes iPhone app.

What are some good things you’ve watched?

Hunter Prey is a fun new sci fi movie that I watched it on Netflix streaming.

Monsters is another Netflix streaming find. It’s one of those rare first contact stories that’s much more about us than about the aliens.

Futurama and The Simpsons. I’ve probably seen every episode at least twice.

What are some good things you’ve used?

My 11″ Macbook Air is the first piece of technology in years that gives me that feeling of “oh my god it’s really the future!” High resolution monitor with enough space to show two side-by-side terminal windows, four cores, adequate memory and it doesn’t weigh anything.

Lamy Demonstrator Fountain Pen along with Noodler’s Black Eel ink. I do a lot of longhand note-taking and also a fair amount of sketching and drawing, all in ink. I used to throw out a couple of boxes’ worth of dead disposable pens every year. Since switching to refillable pens, I think I’ve gone through 2 fountain pens in maybe 4 years — and that was because I lost my first one.