Hello! This is a micro-blog by Ahmad AlNaimi; a software craftsman, curious experimenter, and founder of a one-man laboratory Burkan Labs.


Today we launch the first version of Azzemble, a hassle-free tool to help you socialize in the real world.

Azzemble allows you to share your immediate plans with your Facebook friends and let them know where to meet at the touch of a button. Going for dinner? Create an event and tell people where you’re going. Bored? checkout what your friends are up to and join them.

Azzemble targets the messy (and sometimes intrusive) nature of our communication tools, such as Whatsapp. With current tools, it’s a hassle to cherrypick a large number of invitees, organize a single short-term conversation, and tell your invitees who’s coming. Azzemble is one abstract layer on top of that; it allows you to seamlessly coordinate your immediate activities (not you long-term events) and choose who you want to receive a push notification, and who receives a “silent” invite.

Azzemble is also the cure to the awkward conversations you have with old friends you randomly cross path with. You know how that conversation goes… “Oh we should totally hangout sometime!” but you never actually do. Not because you’re not interested, but because you do not want to immediately lockdown your calendar… supernetworkers, rejoice!

I’m building this with The Great Nirav. A superb product manager and strategist. Stay tuned for more features!

Book Summary - Hooked

I truly enjoyed reading Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal. The author masterfully analyzed widespread apps and websites to understand why people keep coming back. The topic touches upon many disciplines: marketing, user interface design, user experience, growth hacking and – most importantly – human psychology.

Click here for my book summary. Obviously, the summary does not do the book justice since it skips impressive analysis and stories. An audio version is also available.

I highly recommend this book especially for product managers, designers, and makers of all types. 5/5.

Plates 2.0

I took two months off between my resignation and graduate school, and I used most of that time learning Swift and Android’s SDK by re-implementing Plates. This was back in June, and even though I (almost) completed the work on both of them in August, I’ve been procrastinating the release. Until now (for iOS, at least).

The new iOS Plates is much snappier, smoother, and comes with offline synchronization. I am still struggling with iTune Connect to delete the old version (for some reason I’m getting an error) and also trying to convince Apple to upgrade my seller account to Burkan Labs rather than my name.

Anyway, check it out here.

Timeless Tunes

I have been developing an obsession for Arvo Pärt – a minimalist Estonian composer who consistently arranges simple notes to beautiful patterns.

My favorite is Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in Mirror). If you listen to it with full attention through your earphones, I promise it will make everything around you go slow motion. Perhaps a bold claim, but BBC Soul Music seem to think just as highly of it.

I am also a fan of combinatorial creativity. As such, a hat tip goes to Beats Antique for a fair attempt to remix Fratres.

There’s an old documentary about him. This guy is a genius.

Next Stop: MIT Sloan

I visited Boston in 2011 on a business trip. One sunny day, while wandering around, I stumbled upon a small stand selling t-shirts. In a standard impulse buying behavior I decided to buy a light grey MIT shirt. I only wore it once; it didn’t feel right as an outsider.

Last month I received official admittance to MIT Sloan to pursue a two-year MBA. If you were to tell me, three years ago that Boston would be my next home, I would have laughed it off. I still can’t believe it.

Life is choices, opportunities, and grit. I am forever indebted to those who helped me throughout the process.