Wow, it's been quite some time since my last published article - "Build your first iOS app with ReactNative, tips and tricks!"

After almost two years filled with lots of challenges, finally, I'm glad to share some good news that may be helpful for you as well.

1st of January 2021

Since the end of 2019th, I've decided to start my 1st of January with something better than a hangover. So what I did - Yearly planning.

2020 gave me some hints about what is the correct path of personal growth, based on those results I focused my three main goals for 2021 on Work / Life balance Improvement, Personal and Business Growth, Signing the right partnerships

Having the overall idea for the year made me feel comfortable which was an expensive mistake. Due to that fake comfort zone effect, I've wasted the first quarter of the year with bad decisions... So here comes the first lesson in this article:

Transparency saves time, that saves money!

Bad times are part of our lives, let's move the focus of this article to the more positive moments of 2021!

Gero's Group - Q2 to Q3

Although the start of the year was exceptional when Q2 started, somehow the picture became clearer.

In the last few years, I've invested a lot of resources into the R&D (Research and Development) of a project called XTrade. The project is still far from mass launch but in Q2 of 2021, we've finally managed to release the proof of concept foundation. That opened the door to unlimited opportunities in the world of automated commodities and stock trading. I don't want to spoil more and rather leave the surprise for the right time!

The second month of Q2. With a close friend of mine, we've decided to start investing in a Tech Incubator here in Sofia, Bulgaria brutally reusing the Silicon Valley series name - Aviato. As a proof of concept for that, we've decided to dig deeper into the world of RPA (Robot Process Automation). Knowing the vertical an idea quickly came to mind.

What is better than social media during a pandemic? Exactly! We've created an Instagram account @i._provoke. But why?

Back in 2020, I've noticed the birth of an interesting new trend - the "Motivational Quotes" Tsunami. Promotional pages were popping faster than mushrooms in a rainy forest. Seeing that I told myself, let's try to flavor the process with a piece of software. The project idea was pretty simple - Auto Follow / Unfollow. The proof of concept which was developed does not provide targeting but even pure automation gave strong results and positive vibes for further R&D investments.

A little bit of stats and IG stories:

In review, the RPA was started on the 30th Follower. With push ads investment over a single weekend that combination of simple marketing and software grew over +300%. Which marked the initial R&D of that vertical as successful!

Q3 - Toptal's magic

Back in 2020, I successfully signed a contract with Toptal. But only in 2021, I experience the real thing of it. What happened? As a Team Lead people expect weird things from you. Nothing wrong with that, but you should find a way to always be prepared for those weird requests. Here comes Toptal.

Although being a contractor may sound scary having you backed by a solid partner makes the Sales, Communication, and Delivery process pretty simple and smooth. Right ... the story!

At the beginning of Q3, I got the pleasure to meet the team of JungleScout. Even though I was a contractor the team adoption process was very smooth and simple thanks to the mutual professionalism and the remote team flexibility. That participation gave me the possibility to fully understand the importance of good leadership within development teams.

Here are two great quotes:

The workplace doesn't matter. By that, you can determine if a person enjoys their work process or not.

Be kind even in tough moments. Kindness answers with kindness.

Q4 - The needed evil

Don't get it too serious. At the beginning of the year wind downtime, a new idea was born.

What if we can create a WordPress plugin that serves dynamic content as static and work for every website, completely Open Source? Target was unknown back then it sounded too weird to be possible. But no matter what, investment was allocated and executed shortly after that. The results?

I'm glad to say that the last planned operation of the year did not disappoint by delivering initial results of 30% overall WordPress website optimization. That by itself gave us even greater possibilities, planned for the beginning of 2022!

In conclusion of the year 2021

Be private, show results!

Thank you for reaching the end of my yearly review! Hopefully you found it interesting and meaningful.

Wishing you a successful new 2022!