Last week, I crashed a Ducati Superbike. How I reacted to this unfortunate event taught me a lot about myself.

This story was originally published on Hooshmand.Net.

A few weeks ago I bought a Ducati 1098S.

Black Ducati 1098S, Glasshouse mountains, Queensland, Australia
Black Ducati 1098S, Glasshouse mountains, Queensland, Australia
My black Ducati 1098S at the Glasshouse Mountains, Queensland.

After half a year of riding the BMW R1200S, I found out something interesting about myself: a) I liked the sports riding position, and b) there’s nothing quite like a Ducati.

I was surprised to see how much I liked the sports riding position. At the age of 40, it still doesn’t hurt my back or wrists. …

It’s a great time to not own things and to rent them instead. Cars with GetAround, rides with Lyft, houses with AirBnB, and recently, you can rent a motorcycle online with Twisted Road.

The Harley Davidson LiveWire I rented on Twisted Road
The Harley Davidson LiveWire I rented on Twisted Road
The Harley Davidson LiveWire I rented on Twisted Road, in the Santa Monica Hills

In a nutshell, Twisted Road is a website that lets you rent out your motorcycles to other riders, or rent a motorcycle from a fellow motorcyclist.

The first reaction any of you might have to renting out your motorcycle to others is: NOT MY BABY! And with good reasons. I’ll address some of those below (see the section on the community).

But first, a brief history of Twisted Road.

Get Your FREE DAY’S Rental with Twisted Road!

Sign up to Twisted Road with this link and get your first day’s rental free. (I also get $25 credit, but you’re the winner here!)

In this review of Twisted Road…

What it took for us to reach what seemed like an impossible milestone — 100,000 monthly views. The hardest part has been overcoming ourselves.

Reaching 100000 monthly pageviews
Reaching 100000 monthly pageviews

I have a confession to make: I started writing this article on a long, long time ago, well before we reached even a tenth of our current traffic. Because I knew that if I started writing it like we had already reached this goal, I’d begin to act in all the ways necessary for it to happen.

And it did. This month we passed 100,000 monthly page-views on our website launched in late 2018, Discover Discomfort. This is a notable milestone for any blog, especially ours, where we didn’t start with any blogging experience, nor a razor-sharp focus. …

Launching a new online business — a complete process for The Salon Startup
Launching a new online business — a complete process for The Salon Startup

My partner (in many things) Jo Hyun is launching a new business, called “ The Salon Startup”. I wanted to analyse her startup process to show what it takes to open a new business online.

If you’re super keen to find out what the business is, Jo is going to teach independent salon owners (who are already skilled in some aspect of cosmetology) the basics of establishing, building, and growing a business. In other words, if you’re a pro at eyelash extensions, nails, or hair, then she’ll help you be a pro at getting customers, keeping them, and growing your…

There are lots of people out there selling “search engine optimisation” snake oil. They say “SEO doesn’t have to be hard” and sell you a big book of how to do it “easily”, with a ton of products, courses, or expensive consulting fees you should buy.

But SEO is really quite easy: it’s about thinking and communicating like a human.

In this guide…

  • SEO in one sentence
  • Why the sentence holds true
  • Your website has to be fast, so people wait for it to load
  • Your website has to be attractive, so people keep using it
  • The content has to be interesting and relevant

This article originally appeared on

SEO in one sentence, explained simply (facebook share image)
SEO in one sentence, explained simply (facebook share image)
SEO in one sentence, explained simply

SEO in One Sentence

SEO, in one short sentence, is as follows:

“A search engine-optimised website is fast, attractive, and rich in relevant, interesting content.”

This is true whether you’re talking about search-engine optimisation for a website, a video, an…

You might have heard people claim that even though people of a “certain country in Africa, Asia or the Caribbean” speak English as their main language, that they don’t speak it “well”. This is not just myopic and shallow — at best, it’s ignorant, and at worst, racist.

And if this is news to you, well, here’s a little colour for next time you visit somewhere like Singapore, Kenya, Nigeria, the Philippines, where English is both the primary official language and a social lingua franca, or even Uganda, China, India, where anyone who’s gone to school speaks English well — sometimes to an academic level.

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Background: Who speaks English?

Apart from England and the former British colonies, many African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries use English as the…

Being called a lao wai in China, agaanib in Egypt and wazungu in East Africa, and how it feels to finally be the same, but only as one of the “foreigners”.

On a private travel forum, there was a long thread in which women of varying ethnicity were talking about how difficult it is to travel while being black, Asian or some other ethnicity. They were saying how they found it hard to get service at restaurants or by taxis, how people would stare at them or would use local language racial slurs from afar — often enough that they’d learn them.

One woman talked about being arbitrarily shamed at Laotian border control for having tattered local currency, as if that wasn’t a common occurrence. “Black people never have money. If…

Hiring for operations is just as hard as for engineering. Here’s my introductory guide on how to do it.

Wind scooters lined up in Tel Aviv.

This is one thing everyone I’ve spoken to in the “marketplaces” industry agrees on:

It’s really hard to hire operations talent.

It’s also my own experience, after having worked for Lyft, Groupon and consulted to a few smaller companies in the space (like Wind, pictured above).

I learned long ago that there are only two priorities for high-growth online businesses that take up 90% of management’s time: a) sales (growing gross bookings) and b) recruiting.

In recruiting, there are two kinds of people marketplace companies need: engineering and operations.

It’s the need for operations staff that makes marketplace companies distinct…

Don’t solve problems. Listen, and help people.

Photo courtesy Linkedin.

Here it is again:

“Don’t solve problems. Listen, and help people.”

In my years of experience in many companies and many roles (including, for credibility’s sake, Lyft, Groupon, Bain, Accenture and a bunch of others as clients), nothing has served me better than that sentence. It has become my credo.

My early career as a suited consultant taught me about scientific management-style problem solving: Ask questions, form a hypothesis, gather data, design the solution and then pitch it to everyone, until the executives, clients and implementers all agreed.

It was hard work, and felt good, but didn’t necessarily create lasting…

Photo courtesy Peter Dench

There are informal economies filling gaps between reality and public or commercial services in every society.

New York once had its black cabs to fill the void between people who needed jobs and those who couldn’t get a taxi. India has “tiffins”, a system of local women preparing and distributing home-cooked meals for hungry workers. And in South Africa, unregistered money lenders known as “mashonisas” remain a popular source of credit.

But there’s nothing I’ve seen yet like Cairo’s “garbage people”. The Zabaleen (زبالين‎), derived from the word for “garbage” (zibaela, زبالة), are Cairo’s informal garbage collection and disposal system…

Dana Hooshmand

I write about intense language learning, skill development, and intentional culture shock at

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