The Joy of Starting Something New

Daan Debie / August 16, 2021

5 min read

I don’t really know how to say this, but: I’m going to try and blog again! After building this site, I didn’t even know how to begin actually writing again. Looking for inspiration, I studied some famous tech people’s websites but came up empty trying to find examples of "first blog posts" there. Most people like to just dig right in with some on-topic tech content it seems…


My first blog post on my new website.

Previously on…

It’s been nigh on 4 years since I last wrote something on my old crib (by the time you’re reading this, I’ll have most probably redirected everything from there to here). I don’t really know why I stopped blogging in the first place, but it probably had something to do with life/work/… getting in the way (or me letting it get in the way anyways).

So what has been going on?

After working for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines for 4.5 years I got a dream position at, a new startup co-founded by a friend, focusing on Agriculture & AI. As VP of Engineering I help build both the tech and the team and I’m loving it to bits!

Keeping with the theme of this post, it’s really exciting to start something so brand new. I’m actually employee #1 which gives me ample opportunity to have a major impact. There are no pre-established rules, processes, dynamics. For the first couple of months, it was just the 2 co-founders and me figuring out what to build, how to build it and then actually building it while at the same time trying to grow the company. And now, 5 months after I started, we’re 12 lifeforms strong and growing!

And after my previous job veered more and more into organizational politics instead of tech, it feels great to be building an actual product again. It’s both amazing and terrifying to code most of an MVP all by yourself in 5 months 😱

If you’re interested in bringing positive change to the food system, you can join us

The Excitement of New Things

Interlude: why is it that I find starting new things so exciting? I often wonder about this.

  • I’m probably one of the few people not actually terrified of starting a new job
  • There are few things that give me more energy than starting a new side-project
  • Even as a gamer, I often spend more time trying out  new games than actually finishing them (don’t worry, I also have a Humble Bundle backlog and a PSN profile full of games that you don’t know about yet 🙄)

I think it comes down to wanting to learn new things as much as possible and I guess I just love exploring the unknown.

But I’m gonna be honest: the challenge is to stick with things. For each side-project I finished, there are many left in the dust. They were never time badly spent, because each time I learnt something new. But I think there is value in finishing things as well.

I hope that a different approach with this blog will make it easier for me to stick with it.

Doing Things Differently

I want to sound off this rambling first blog post by sharing how things that are (going to be) different with this website:

  • I ditched my old domain for some place simpler and more elegant: I paid a pretty penny to get a domain of only my first name and an extension that didn’t look too ridiculous and I love it. It feels a bit more mature as well
  • Always looking to learn new things, I chose to forego a traditional static site generator for a more hand-built experience. This site was built on NextJS, React and Typescript. And I actually designed and built the theme myself using ChakraUI. I did get a lot of inspiration from other people’s websites (see below)
  • I’m writing my posts using MDX instead of regular markdown. For this particular post there is not actually any difference, but MDX will allow me to create more tailored and interactive experiences in the future, should I need/want it
  • In terms of content, I plan to have a different approach than before:
    • I’ll try to write shorter posts and consequently (hopefully) write more often
    • I’m allowing myself to write about other stuff than tech. This blog is meant to express myself more than to advertise myself. This means I’ll probably write about non-tech topics like movies & tv-shows I’ve seen, games I played and maybe even reflect on politics once in a while 😬 Once this kind of content arrives, I’ll make sure it’s easy to see and skip it 😉

Acknowledgements of Inspiration

When building this website, there were a few websites that inspired me and/or helped me with actual solutions to coding problems (yay for open source!):

See you next time!

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