Stanford’s eCorner + Inspiring talk by Brit Morin

I read about Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship Corner a couple of hours ago in an article. It seems to be a great resource for digital entrepreneurship that generously offers over 2000 videos and podcasts featuring entrepreneurship and innovation thought leaders. I watched the newest video — “Inspiring Creativity with Great Content” by Brit Morin.

Brit Morin is a young female entrepreneur who bootstrapped her own media company –Brit + Co– 4 years ago. Her company now has ~100 employees and has raised ~$30M so far.

A few points from her talk that I found interesting:

  • Once again, we can see how small bootstrapped tech startups can go from 0 to multi-million dollar valuations in no time.
  • It might seem easy to start a business like this, but it’s certain that it couldn’t have been so successful without Brit’s experience working with large Silicon Valley corporations and without her connections.
  • While investing in the product and the engineering team might seem like the right decision in the early stages of a startup, it is usually smarter to invest in sales and marketing.
  • Entrepreneurship could be more difficult for a female, but it also has an advantage: being different!
  • The maker movement is only going to get more popular over time. It makes sense as we’ve begun to notice advancements have made us mechanical, instead of creative, and that has negatively affected our physical and mental health.

New Web Trends: Just Because You Can, Should You?

I came across a well-written article in Smashing Magazine a few days ago: Responsive Design Frameworks: Just Because You Can, Should You?

In web and UX design our ultimate goal is to make users’ web experience easier, but apparently, many of us have forgotten this primary goal.

Take flat design for example – flat design is supposed to make the UI simpler. I see many websites in which all UI elements have solid background colors, trying to be “flat”, but there are tons of elements mixed and blended together, with various opacity. It just makes the UI a lot more confusing. I’m a fan of flat design, but I believe it’s not necessarily better than realistic design for every website. (Check out Flat vs. Realism, if you haven’t already!)


Thanks to CSS3 transitions, we don’t see any sudden change in color or opacity anymore! It’s all smooth and transitioned. But is it always a good thing?
Almost every website has different hover color for links than default link color (a:hover in CSS). Why is it so? Basically, because when user rolls over that text, you want to let him (or her) know it’s a link. Many websites now change the link color on hover with a transition, which defeats the whole purpose. because it’s not easily perceived anymore! I usually prefer to set my CSS3 transition (if there is any) like this:

a:not(:hover) {
	-webkit-transition: color 0.7s;
	-moz-transition: color 0.7s;
	-o-transition: color 0.7s;
	transition: color 0.7s;

Furthermore, most of new websites use a CSS responsive design framework, like Bootstrap. They usually use the full package, and then use 20-50% of it, while overwriting half of what they actually use. So it just increases page size and load times. 😐 I used to work for someone who really liked Bootstrap, so I used it a lot. But now I use it only in projects that have a tight deadline, and usually customize the package so that it only includes the stuff I need.

It’s a blessing that web coding languages are improving so fast and browsers are more consistent now (I opened one of my recent web projects in IE and it worked smoother than Chrome! How crazy is that!), but we need to pay more attention to UX now. As they say, “with great power, comes great responsibility”!


What is Nowruz? (Norooz)

Nowruz was last week and none of my Canadian colleagues knew about it. Let’s see what Nowruz is:

Nowruz (Persian: نوروز‎) is the name of the Iranian New Year in Iranian calendars and the corresponding traditional celebrations. Norooz is also widely referred to as the “Persian New Year”.

Nowruz is celebrated and observed by Iranian peoples and the related cultural continent and has spread in many other parts of the world, including parts of Central Asia, Caucasus, South Asia, Northwestern China, the Crimea and some groups in the Balkans.

Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in Iranian calendar. It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical Northward equinox, which usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed. As well as being a Zoroastrian holiday and having significance amongst the Zoroastrian ancestors of modern Iranians, the same time is celebrated in parts of the South Asian sub-continent as the new year.

The moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year and Iranian families gather together to observe the rituals.

Originally being a Zoroastrian festival, and the holiest of them all, Norooz is believed to have been invented by Zoroaster himself, although there is no clear date of origin. Since the Achaemenid era the official year has begun with the New Day when the Sun leaves the zodiac of Pisces and enters the zodiacal sign of Aries, signifying the Spring Equinox.

The term Norooz in writing, first appeared in Persian records in the 2nd century AD, but it was also an important day during the time of the Achaemenids c. 548–330 BC), where kings from different nations under the Persian empire used to bring gifts to the Emperor, also called King of Kings (Shahanshah), of Persia on Norooz.

The significance of Norooz in the Achaemenid empire was such that the great Persian king Cambyses II’s appointment as the king of Babylon was legitimized only after his participation in the New Year festival

The UN’s General Assembly in 2010 recognized the International Day of Norooz, describing it a spring festival of Persian origin which has been celebrated for over 3,000 years. During the meeting of The Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage of the United Nations, held between 28 September – 2 October 2009 in Abu Dhabi, Nowrūz was officially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


How does Facebook Sharer select Images?

Today one of the clients said when he shares his product in Facebook, the image shared next to the link is a wrong image. It was actually another image in that webpage, but it wasn’t a picture of that particular product.

I tried to find a way to specify the images that are going to be shared in Facebook. I found a good answer in the stackoverflow website. I’m going to quote that answer here.

Follow the instruction provided below:

Facebook has a set of open-graph meta tags that it looks at to decide which image to show.

The keys one for the Facebook image are:

<meta property="og:image" content=""/>
<meta property="og:image:secure_url" content="" />

and it should be present inside the <head></head> tag at the top of your page.

If these tags are not present, it will look for their older method of specifying an image: <link rel="image_src" href="/myimage.jpg"/>. If neither are present, Facebook will look at the content of your page and choose images from your page that meet its share image criteria: Image must be at least 50px by 50px, have a maximum aspect ratio of 3:1, and in PNG, JPEG or GIF format.

Can I specify multiple images to allow the user to select an image?

Yes, you just need to add multiple image meta tags in the order you want them to appear in. The user will then be presented with an image selector dialog:
Facebook Share Screenshot

I specified the appropriate image meta tags. Why isn’t Facebook accepting the changes?

Once a url has been shared, Facebook’s crawler, which has a user agent of facebookexternalhit/1.1 (+, will access your page and cache the meta information. To force Facebook servers to clear the cache, use the Facebook Url Debugger / Linter Tool that they launched in June 2010 to refresh the cache and troubleshoot any meta tag issues on your page.

Also, the images on the page must be publicly accessible to the Facebook crawler. You should specify absolute url’s like instead of just /yourimage.jpg.

Can I update these meta tags with client side code like Javascript or jQuery? No. Much like search engine crawlers, the Facebook scraper does not execute scripts so whatever meta tags are present when the page is downloaded are the meta tags that are used for image selection.

Adding these tags causes my page to no longer validate. How can I fix this?

You can add the necessary Facebook namespaces to your tag and your page should then pass validation:

<html xmlns=""


It worked for me. The only problem is that when Facebook gives the option to choose the image to share, it only shows the first 3 images I gave it. I couldn’t find any way to solve that so far.

New website coming soon

Two years ago I created this personal website for myself. At that point, I was so busy with university courses and there wasn’t enough time for me to create the website I had in my mind.

Now here I am! After receiving my B.Sc., I moved to Calgary (Canada) and I’m working here.

I’m still pretty busy, but not as much as before. I’ve got many ideas for my new website. This one’s gonna be the ONE! and there’s gonna be tons of content, unlike the current website that’s almost empty!

I’m doing the preliminary planning for this website. It’s gonna be exciting!

Energy-efficient houses

Due to increasing environmental concerns and expansion of our horizons in the field of environmental pollution research, we are more environmentally aware than ever. That is why the energy-efficient houses have become a topic of significant interest nowadays. Within moments, I’m going to briefly introduce some kinds of them to you.

Eco house which is sometimes defined as “A house that is overtly environmentally friendly”, as its definition indicates presents an environmentally low-impact home designed and built using materials and technology that reduces its carbon footprint and lowers its energy needs. As you might know, carbon footprint is generally defined as “the total set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an organization, event, product or person.”. Building an Eco House requires a wide range of effort, from using solar panels to implementing two or three layer glasses filled with gas in between to prevent heat loss. We even consider the material transportation distance in order to minimize the carbon footprint caused by burning fossil fuels in the truck engine.

A Zero Carbon House which is also called Zero Energy House is a single family dwelling with a very high energy efficiency rating. Such houses need a very low amount of energy to provide the daily needs and functions for the family occupying the home and have a yearly net carbon footprint of almost zero.

3-Liter House is an energy standard for the need of heating warmth of a house. For the heating in such a way no more than 30 kilowatt-hours heating warmth per square meter of building effective area is being used annually. That corresponds 3 liter to fuel oil per square meters and year. Since for the examination of this standard and energy consumption determination no obligatory standard exists, the promise delivered with the designation “3-Liter-House” is rather an optimistic approximate value.

There are lots of names for energy-efficient homes, such as the three I mentioned above. They all have common features. In some cases, in order to qualify for subsidies, there are maximum values which may not be exceeded.

Note: Some of the information above is collected from and

Cloud computing

I always love to predict what’s gonna happen in the future. Don’t get me wrong, It doesn’t mean I like to become the next Nostradamus!
Web is one of the major things I’m interested in.
Now as an experienced web developer, I’m going to share a piece of its future with you. Listen (or read!) carefully.

Nowadays, Internet and IT are growing and changing so fast that its future is not much clear to anyone. But I’m sure Cloud computing is going to be spread so fast in the next decade and replace almost all client-based softwares and applications. You will no longer need to install huge softwares. You just have to install a good web browser and enter a website address, or maybe install a light weight app. then you can use Photoshop, Word, Excel, Autocad, etc. with all of their features online. So much easier than what you have to do today.

Our children will use cheap desktops and tablets and they’ll be able to do whatever they want by making a small online payment to a website and use its online services.

So if you want to be the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, read more about Cloud computing and its features, then try to build a new web application which can take some old offline applications’ place.
I bet you’ll succeed, if you just do it right.