Hello, this is the (optional.is) quarterly newsletter. Mostly the thoughts of Brian Suda.

02024Q1 REYKJAVIK: The start of each year is marked by a burst of internal activities, from paying taxes and compiling annual reports to strategizing for projects and refocusing efforts. But as Bruce Lee said: Be Water My Friend. We flow and react to what comes our way rather than be too rigid in what we expect.

Due Diligence as a Service

This year kicked off with two projects. We provide help to companies and investors to do due diligence before investing in companies. One that crossed our desk at the end of the year was to take an existing company’s SDK and build a simple ‘Hello World’ app to test the difficulty and assess the capabilities compared to what they pitched. The other project is to spend a month and build a web/app prototype. We’ll be focused on the backend APIs, CRM, front-end and possibly some of the app. After that, they'll evaluate the next possible steps for the product. Having something in hand you can use on a daily basis is worth 1,000 Figma mockups.

⏳🌿 Long-Term Plants

A timeline of the evolution of Ginkgo, Magnolias and various insects.

Ginkgo trees are called living fossils. Over 290 million years ago, they thrived even before dinosaurs. Today, there is only one species left and it is endangered in the wild.

The magnolia is another ancient plant. They evolved to be pollinated by beetles, because they had to wait 10 million years for modern pollinators like bees and 100 million years for butterflies to evolve.

Both of these plants co-evolved in an ecosystem that doesn't exist today. Magnolias and ginkgo lost their original pollinators a long time ago, but they continue to survive all the way to the present.

Q4 Writing

In Q4, we published 1 article and 5 weeknotes, and stayed on track with the newsletter cadence of one full ◍ Quarternotes newsletter per quarter and one ⪮ Good Morning episode each month

NFC Business Cards

⪮ Good Morning Newsletter Season 2

s02e10: Flags, Music and Symbolism

s02e11: Stop, Look and Listen

s02e12: City Scale Models

📰 Newsletter archive: https://optional.is/newsletter/

🗓 Weeknotes: https://optional.is/required/category/weeknotes

🚨🆕🚨 We are now publishing all our newsletters as RSS feeds as well.
📡 Feeds: https://optional.is/feeds/

⪮ Good Morning Season 3

⪮ Good Morning Season 2 screenshots of all twelve episodes.

Season 2 went off without any major incidents. People continue to enjoy the format, so we're going to continue to iterate, such as adding additional links per topic and an optional image for each section.

If you're not signed up, be sure to subscribe to ⪮ Good Morning for a monthly dose of 4 interesting topics.

📰 Monthly Inbox Delivery: https://optional.is/newsletter

◍ Newsletters 2.0 iOS app

Screenshot of the Newsletters 2.0 iOS app

It has been in the works for a while now. We've re-worked the old Newsletters iPhone/iPad app to make updates easier. We removed some features, like spotlight indexing and global search, but managed to add new features like merging lists (for newsletters that switch sender emails) and list-wide image blocking/allowing.

Newsletters is a free download for a limited time only. The price is expected to go up to $1.99 this spring.

Good Morning

We publish a second newsletter. Monthly episodes, 4 links, all interesting stuff, no self-promotion.

💌 Subscribe Now


Print ready A0 annual wall calendar PDF. An open-source project to download and print at a local print shop yourself. Get organized and start planning.

Newsletters. An iOS app to help you read newsletters like this one in a collected and threaded format. Free for a limited time on the App Store.

Triagemail: Get unread email under control. An iOS app to check any email account. With only 4 options, get through all your unread email fast so you never miss anything important. $1.99 on the App Store.

Adventure Mazes! You can now order paperback books of our mazes. Join our monthly maze mailing list and enjoy the side quests.

Prototypes to Products.

(optional.is) works with teams to realize their ideas. From workshops to prototypes to products, we're there to help. With over 10+ years experience working with small to enterprise companies, we have a unique perspective on what's possible.

Contact us and say hello. 👋🏻