[HOT7] Dennis Gurnick

After a while I continue with the Hot7 posts dedicated to special people in my life. This post is entirely in English since I didn’t want to translate Dennis’ answers to preserve the juice in them.

Dennis Gurnick is definitely a remarkable man, a master of sarcasm. At a very young age he left Canada and after episodes as a student, developer and consultant in USA and Belgium love brought him to Slovenia. Having worked with Intera he’s now a freelance developer and consultant with high entreprenurial aspirations. Dennis Gurnick

We “met” on Twitter at the time of the last Olympics when I was extremely amused about curling (and curling catches attention of every Canadian). After some chatter we kinda started do stuff together; only some of what was started was also actually finished. The greatest pending stuff of all is TheCrappr, a place to vent and flush your frustrations. We also got a first angel investor – his mother bought the domain.

But what actually was done are two Android apps where Dennis did all the bits (and I did the pixels) – Moj Tehnik and The Blamr. The first is a cute app that was made for Mobitel’s Android competition – you can read the Tehnik blog, check out your mobile consumption, find info about Mobitel’s support and download other Android apps. The Blamr was done during one night immediately after we submitted Moj tehnik to the competition. With The Blamr you can take a photo and then paste on it another photo of let’s say your friend from a gallery or contacts and so blame your friend for what happened on that photo. App still needs some love and will keep you posted about updates.

Dennis is ultimately the author of the single best quote I ever heard from a developer: “I was told to wait. But the curiosity brought the best out of me.” – and delivered a working prototype for Space invaders for Android although the client hadn’t given out anything but the idea. Respect. 1. What’s your drive in life?

Positivity. There’s not enough of that going around. It’s not a mission, just a frame of mind.

2. What’s your motto?

I recently posted on twitter: “Motivation supersedes limitation” which sounds too clever to be my moto. I’ll go with “Cool beans”.

3. Who are your idols and role models?

Lately, I’d have to say Ben Goldacre has my complete attention. If the question is about what person has consumed me the most, I’d have to say Peter Gabriel. Specifically, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is my opioid.

4. What does money represent to you?

If my feet are cold, I buy socks.

5. What’s your best idea you ever got and what were you doing while getting it?

The most obvious answer would require clearance at the Matrimonial Level. In terms of business, getting into — and subsequently, out of — IT Consulting in the US and EU was cool beans. People are really amazing creatures. Diving into the “big people’s” pool (aka: leaving Canada) opened my eyes. On the down side, it requires some sacrifice re: family so I’m not sure I’d call that the “perfect” idea. I’m now transitioning into a more entrepreneurial mindset. That’s not the right term though is it? It implies some success. It’s a bit of a nervous period but I fortunately have some über-cool folks and mentors alongside. So, stay tuned.

6. Where would you invest 1 million €?

Definitely in any eco-tech that deals with sustainability at the John Q. Public levels. Although, that reads a bit too altruistic, doesn’t it?  So, if it was limited to Slovenian innovators, I’d give it all to Pipistrel.

7. Name five things that are must read, must see and must do.

Must read

1. Bad Science by Goldacre.

1. Predictably Irrational by Ariely.

1. Great Expectations by Dickens

1. Gödel, Escher, Bach by Hofstadter.

1. Fabric of the Cosmos by Greene.

Must see

1. Child birth.

2. New York City.

3. Northern Ontario.

4. Anywhere “off the beaten track” in Slovenia.

5. Every Futurama episode.

Must do

1. Parenthood: the ultimate start-up.

2. Make something. A product, a service, whatever.

3. Learn a language. Start early if it’s Slovene.

4. Invest time and energy in FOSS.

5. Pukkelpop.

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