The One Overflowing With Numerical Talent

Quick Intro

The point of this series, specifically the focus of polymaths in their 20s, is to highlight the fact that there’s hardly a secret behind the most Herculean historical figures: daily habits compound & our twenties is the first decade where these life-long habits are consciously & deliberately selected. And for the majority of this series, this thesis held true; our previous protagonists certainly had above-average intelligence, but nothing quite alien.

John von Neumann, entry #18, however, shatters this ideal: he was simply blessed with extraordinary intellect. A child prodigy that breezed through life into an adult prodigy, von Neumann spent…

A Framework For Defining Geometric Objects In Space

Tensors Are The Facts Of The Universe — Lillian Lieber

As the popular saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention — and when it comes to math, nature never ceases to provide us with a source for this necessity. Any experienced engineer can confirm: a very real necessity for engineers of all disciplines is to precisely model physical objects & quantities, regardless of perspective or frame of reference.

Assuming you’re familiar with nothing further than pre-calculus, your mental model for graphing, & in general geometrically representing objects, goes to the good ole’ Cartesian Coordinate system. With it’s ever familiar…

The One That Radiated Her Way To x2 Nobel Prizes

First Principle: Never Let One’s Self Be Beaten Down By Persons Or Events

Quick Intro

When history judges a legacy it over-weighs the tail-end of ones journey, often overlooking key starting circumstances — our tiny sample of polymaths is no different. As we’ve seen, the majority are born into wealth & opportunity, with the wind beneath their sails; a tiny handful of others, however, face one or many lifelong uphill struggles.

Perhaps no one else in this series broke glass ceiling after glass ceiling, shattering the misconceptions of their times, like Madame Marie Curie. The eminent polymath scientist, she faced obstacle after…

Outlining User Types & Preparing User Stories

Originally Published —

What Came First The Product Or The Community?

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter & the early 00–10s startups reasonably argue that the product created a medium for a community to come together & flourish; yet the most recent decade of startups would likely present evidence that a community exists prior to a sticky product. Like most rhetorical questions, the true, right, answer is likely nuance — somewhere in the middle.

Thankfully, one of the core principles of any successful product design process is to simultaneously address both of these pillars in tandem, as an effort to reduce uncertainty. Regardless of which came…

Searching For The Mandelbrot In Higher Dimensions

Previously, we covered the history & the basics of iterating complex numbers in hopes of generating fractals. Starting from scratch with Julia Sets, we worked our way through defining & plotting the eminent Mandelbrot Set — arriving at the ground-breaking heart of fractal geometry:

The Mandelbrot Set Is A Dictionary Of All Julia Sets

The Mandelbrot Set visually communicates how varying starting constants, iterated ad nauseam in the function Z² + C, converge to Julia Sets (beautiful, connected patterns) or “blow up” into Fatou Sets (dis-connected clusters). …

Shaping The Early Community & Understanding Their Needs

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Undoubtedly, one of the hardest lessons any product veteran learns from launching countless projects is that the fastest way to guarantee failure is by building something that no one cares about. This is why the very second deliverable holds a special place in in this design process: it’s the first user-facing item; aka, the first time we’re actively shaping the early community & leveraging it for actionable feedback.

While the previous Competitor & Inspiration Analysis exercise aligned all internal stakeholder goals & assumptions, the Market Research Survey tests that these same principles hold true for potential, external, early-adopters. …

The One Chained To The Ground Yet Gazing At The Stars

Originally Published —

Quick Intro

The Greatest Wisdom Is To Get To Know Oneself

Today, we take the authority associated with the world of science for granted; in the 16th-century, however, there was perhaps no other institution on the planet that held a monopoly on ideas & truths quite like the Church. Challenging these pious ideas, regardless of conviction or legitimate reasoning, was literal heresy.

So it’s hard to highlight just how much courage entry #16 in this series exhibited; a less-spoken part of the legend, Galileo Galilei demonstrated extraordinary resilience from both financial & legal pressures throughout his life. …

How Nontechnical Founders Can De-Risk A Startup

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A product is destined to fail or succeed before a single line of code is ever written. There are, of course, numerous (famous) exceptions to this rule, but after operating a development agency for a long ~seven years now, I can confidently confirm that it’s relatively simple to accurately predict the success of a future product launch with only two data points:

  • The size of the early community
  • The quality of the design prototype

If that seems like an exaggeration, rest assured, it’s not. At SetDev, we’ve come across hundreds of first-time founders & have had the privilege of building…

Or How To Start The Product Design Journey Aligned As A Team

Originally Published —

The starting point for the entire SetDesign product design process, the very first deliverable, is none other than the Competitor & Inspiration Analysis. While it’s a design deliverable pieced together by a single designer, it’s paramount that all stakeholders/teammates participate as the exercise is absolutely communal & collaborative. While we’ll break down the How & the What shortly, it’s best to first understand Why we start with the C&IA (competitor & inspiration analysis); we’ll expand on each reason below, however, there are at least three high-level reasons for making this the product design origin:

  • Triple-Checking Business Viability By Gauging The…

From Gaston Julia to Benoit Mandelbrot

Captivated by the motion of waves & mesmerized by the perfectly-imperfect symmetry of leaves, it’s crystal-clear we’re a pattern-seeking species. Externally, studies have proven that we use patterns to weigh our environment of danger — a disruption in our daily routine (particularly back in hunter-&-gather societies) signals to our conscious that something is off. Internally, patterns are inscribed in our DNA; in an energy-conservation effort, most biological processes are duplicative & are therefore likely to generate a visual form indicative of patterns.

In math, the branch of math centered around the study of continuous, patterned, yet irregular scalar symmetry is…

Jesus Najera

Owner @ SetDesign, NightKnight & CryptoSpace | Product Designer | Hobbyist Mathematician | VR Developer | MS in Finance @ UF

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