David Kadavy

David Kadavy is bestselling author of The Heart to Start & Design for Hackers, & host of Love Your Work

Posts from the Best-of Category

This split keyboard may be the biggest thing since your standing desk

February 11, 2014

UPDATE, September 2, 2017: For the past couple of years, I’ve had readers asking if there’s an alternative to the UltraErgo Wireless Split Keyboard that I now love. Apparently it’s discontinued. The answer is still that I no of no better “truly split” alternative than the Kinesis. Happy to hear other suggestions in the comments.

UPDATE, March 10, 2016: A few months ago, I switched to the UltraErgo Wireless Split Keyboard (thanks to commenters stcorbett and cfc).

Here’s the UltraErgo (left, with its tiny USB dongle), next to the Kinesis (right).


The UltraErgo is objectively better than the Kinesis Freestyle2 on nearly every dimension that matters to me.

The UltraErgo is not without compromises, though. A few potential “cons:”

Since portability is a huge factor for me, this keyboard is a clear winner for me, but if you’d prefer a keyboard built for a Mac, you may prefer the Kinesis.

Here is the UltraErgo as I use it. There are two “slant” settings, and I prefer it on the lowest one. Notice that there are “battery” indicators on the UltraErgo. The keyboard comes with a mini-USB (?) cable for charging (?) the keyboard. I never had to use this, but I did it anyway, and that was months ago. The keyboard came with no instructions nor manual.


Here is the UltraErgo ready to be put in my backpack (I just keep the tiny dongle in my USB port), next to my Kinesis. You can see the flaps that deploy to slant the UltraErgo. The difference in size and weight is night-and-day in a backpack.


Now, back to the original post:

Standing desks are everywhere these days. More and more office workers are switching over to standing desks, to prevent the health problems associated with sitting. keep on reading »

Permission to Suck

November 02, 2012

My friend is one of those people who swears she “can’t” meditate. She can’t sit still that long. She can’t think of “nothing.” The times that she tried meditating, she kept thinking of things, and got frustrated.

It probably doesn’t help that my friend was once a soloist in one of the top ballet companies in the world. She has been trained to achieve perfection, and can’t accept any less. keep on reading »

Mind Management (Not Time Management)

October 16, 2012

An audio version of this post is available here.

Productivity is less about time management than it is about mind management. We all have the same number of hours during the day. How effectively we spend those hours really depends upon how well we can manage and harness our fragile mental energy. keep on reading »

The 10-Minute Hack

February 28, 2012

The hardest part of doing most things is just starting. We often think about how big of a project we have ahead of ourselves, and that’s what makes it hard to start. I know when I was writing my book, it seemed like most of my day was spent fighting the agony of just getting started. It was hard to ignore just how big of a project it was. keep on reading »

Designing with White Space: Why 1+1=3

September 01, 2011

One of the most often overlooked factors of design – by beginning and even professional designers – is that of the delicate use of white space. By really considering the way that white space works, you can communicate more elegantly, and create design that has a more “clean” look. By really considering the way white space works, you’ll be less likely to use extraneous ornamentation such as rule lines, and you’ll be less likely to change fonts and colors just to differentiate pieces of information in your design.

keep on reading »

Why You Hate Comic Sans

January 25, 2011

Everyone loves to hate Comic Sans. The child-like handwriting font is so infamous, there is a movement to try to ban it. Mention its name to the common layman (aside from a preschool teacher), and you will likely get a chuckle, mention it to a trained designer, and you’ll get a look of disgust. But what exactly makes Comic Sans so horrible?

keep on reading »

Design for Hackers: Why Monet Never Used Black, & Why You Shouldn’t Either

September 28, 2010

Monet’s paintings evoke a sense of energy and life, they leap off the canvas with color and contrast, but Monet somehow managed to avoid using the color black for nearly his entire painting career. By avoiding black in your own designs, you can replicate some of this dynamism. keep on reading »

Design for Hackers: Why You Don’t Use Garamond on The Web

August 12, 2010

Amongst designers – especially print designers – Garamond is considered one of the best fonts in existence. It’s timeless, and very readable. But, because of the limitations of current display technologies, it’s not a good font to use in web copy – even with the advent of font embedding methodologies such as TypeKit and Google Font API. keep on reading »

WordPress Optimization: How I Reduced Page Load Time by 75%

April 21, 2010

Note [February 11, 2013]: Since writing this article, I found administering my own server to be a bit over my head. I got sick of getting hacked, having to update WordPress, and trying to manage my own CDN. So, I’ve been experimenting with various hosted WordPress solutions. These are like hosting companies, but they keep your WordPress installation up-to-date, fast, and secure, for a slightly higher rate than working with your own server.

I have hosted various sites on three different WordPress hosts over the past couple of years, and have finally settled on WPEngine. They are reliable, have great support, and serve things up fast. I’ve lined up a special WP Engine promo code with them that will save you some money.

I’ve also written a WP Engine Review, and you can use their speed test to see how your site performs. I’m a member of WP Engine’s affiliate program, so if you sign up with them, I will get a commission.

WP Engine does cost a bit more, so if you’d prefer something cheaper (though not as fast), I’ve written a tutorial on the Design for Hackers blog on how to create a WordPress blog on Hostgator.


I heard rumblings last year that Google would start altering their rankings based upon speed of page loads. This was confirmed a couple of weeks ago on the Google Webmaster’s blog, and – while they say that their new speed standards will only affect 1% of searches – you can bet that portion will rise in the future. keep on reading »

Lump In Mouth or Lip? Maybe a Mucocele

January 29, 2005

Right before New Year’s, I noticed a lump inside of my lower lip. Now, being the hypochondriac that I am, I was naturally petrified that I had Oral Cancer. Why? I’m certainly not at risk. I don’t have a family history of Cancer. I’m 25, not a smoker or chewer, and am otherwise healthy. Because any Google search for “lump in mouth” or lump in lip will likely have even a reasonable person convinced that this is a sure sign of Oral Cancer. keep on reading »