Category Archives: English

For my family, not everything is fixed, here in my beautiful Hamburg.

UPDATE, 2019:

In summer 2019 I finally got the citizenship back, with an approval to keep my Israeli one. It was not done fairly by article 116 by the federal government, but by a special right that the state of Hamburg has, to give citizenship.
At the end also Hamburg agreed not on base of the historical reasons but by recommendation from the culture minister Senator Dr. Carsten Brosda, regarding for my educational activities in Hamburg, that are contributing the to research, dialog and telling the story, of these once Hamburg citizens.

I can assume that that gave a legal way to do what they’ve new that is right.

For my family, the battle is not over yet.


I would like to share a personal problem, a part of history that me and my family are waiting to be fixed. It’s about our history in Hamburg, and our status, because of cold bureaucracy.

[Explenation of the bureaucratic situation in German added to the end of this post**]

My father’s parents, Helga and Bernard, fled Hamburg and went to Palestine because of the Nazi government in 1936.
My Grandmother Helga was born in 17.1.1915 in Hamburg. Her father Georg was a wealthy man, also her mother. The family lived in Hamburg for several generations. Not Quiddjes at all.

The story is long and interesting. A book was written on Helga’s brother this year (sommer in Brandenburg by Urs Faes), and we are about to publish a book about her sister.

The story can be found in my blog:

The story of the Baruch family in Hamburg
The story of the Baruch family in Hamburg

https://baruchfamily.wordpress.com/english-content, and we have many documents and evidence about their life in Hamburg. I will be happy to expand.

Today 7 Stolpersteine for members of the family are embedded in the asphalt here in Hamburg.

My grandmother married my grandfather at 1936 to get a certificate to go to Palestine, escaping from the Nazis.
Her father Georg, sister Marion and brother Rolf, were murdered in Auschwitz and Minsk.
My grandmother gave birth to six children (One for each million, she used to say). One of them is my father.

Helga Baruch
Helga Baruch

Her husband, Bernhard came as a child from Poland to Hamburg and lived here for more than 10 years.

Both – Helga and Bernard came back to Hamburg:

After the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany, they came back to live in Hamburg. As an active community member, Helga she wrote in Stern Magazine and participated in many projects.

In 1967, Helga tried to get back her German citizenship based on Article 116 II GG.

She found out that she was not entitled to get back her citizenship because of law § 17 Nr. 6 of the Reichs- und Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz (RuStAG) of 22.07.1913.

Karl-Heinz Karch from the Green party Hamburg wrote me:

This old law states in § 4, that a child that is born in a marriage,
gets the German citizenship, only if its father is a German citizen.
And § 17 states, that a German woman looses her citizenship, if she marries an alien

This discriminatory law claims that a woman who married a non-German cannot get back her citizenship.

The authorities claim that she does not deserve to get back her citizenship according to Article 116 II GG. as they claim that the Nazi regime in Germany was not the reason for revoking her citizenship.

Finally, the authorities agreed to give her citizenship on a special term that she was not able to pass this citizenship to her offspring. (12 of Erstes Gesetz zur Regelung von Fragen der Staatsangehörigkeit (1. StARegG) from 22.02.1955).

My father’s request for a German passport, as given to all sons of German citizens after taken from them by the Nazis, was declined by the German embassy.
This is, as I understand, because of a racist and women discriminating law, that was abolished after the Nazi-Era, declaring that if the mother married a non-German, her children are not eligible for German citizenship.

My grandfather lived in Germany for years and ran away, like my grandmother, from the Nazis.
When the war was over and the Nazis were gone – they both got back their German citizenship.

We applied for German citizenship as allowed by law to families that lost theirs because of the Nazi-Era.
at the German embassy in Tel Aviv the request was approved, and then suddenly after few weeks, they send us a detailed answer about canceling the given approval, documents are attached. (The request was for one of my grandmother’s sons, and they are replying to him).

As I see it, this answer does not go hand in hand with the need to fix the wrongdoings of the past. German citizenship was taken from the descendants of a family with very long roots in this city.
It was taken from us because of an antisemitic Nazi-law.

From what I see in their answer, three points are problematic:

“since your mother got married to a Polish man in 1936, she automatically lost her German citizenship.“
So her citizenship was taken from her, during the Nazi-Era. The fact that a German citizen is losing her citizenship because she is marrying a non-German is a discriminating law that was already canceled, but for some reason, the law allows to discriminate you by the old law, if you were born or married a non-German in the wrong year.

She lost her citizenship because of a Nazi, “Arian blood” law.
She married before going to Palestina, and that was the only way to go to Palestina (As a couple) – Partially, they were married because of the Nazi anti-Jewish laws. They had to. To flee the genocide.
My grandfather lived in Germany for 13 years (before the war). Enough time to get a citizenship. He never got one (this is what they say) and it pretty much makes sense, as a Jew, he would never get one from the Nazis.

But last, is the overall point:

My family lived in Hamburg for hundreds of years. They were respectable people. One escaped, and everything he had including his nationality was taken from him. All the others were killed in the camps.

How, an erasing of a family, cannot entitle their direct descendants to get back what was taken from them – their right to be a citizen in their original Heimat.

I currently live in Hamburg. Working and in love with this city, their city, my city. But there is something missing, and I believe that its need to be corrected. I believe that this is a fight worth taking, to convince the Hamburg Senate to change their decision and give back what was taken from the family.

The Israeli lawyer that is handling German citizenships didn’t want to take this case because he “Needs my good relations with the German authorities”.
So, I am looking for a person who is not afraid, who see’s the justice in this case, and is willing to give it a good fight.

I will be thankful for any help and will be happy to add any more information.

Until then, me and my dog, in Hamburg, waiting.


Thanks for reading.
Sincerely,

Lior Oren.


Updates:

The opposition is trying fight this partially:

Opposition verlangt Neuregelung
Den Nachkommen vom im NS verfolgten Frauen, die im Exil einen Ausländer geheiratet haben, wird die deutsche Staatsbürgerschaft verweigert.

http://www.taz.de/Kein-deutscher-Pass-fuer-verfolgte-Frauen/!5561481/

Thanks Volker Beck, and good luck to us!


* After posting, I learned from Karl-Heinz Karch that the law is actually older than the Nazi era, and it is even more problematic:

“The problem you and your father are very probably dealing with,
concerning getting German citizenship, is not a racist Nazi-law, but
twenty years older, the “Reichs- und Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz” of
the German Empire, of July 22, 1913, which is in clear contradiction
of the legal equality of women and men.

This old law states in § 4, that a child that is born in a marriage,
gets the German citizenship, only if its father is a German citizen.
And § 17 states, that a German woman looses her citizenship, if she
marries an alien” 


** Some context for those proficient in German by Matthias Grimm: 

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/staatsangehoerigkeitsposse-wie-die-bundesrepublik-mit-artikel-117-eine-juedin-abwimmelt-a-549981.html

“Butterfields Antrag auf Einbürgerung wurde abgelehnt. Der Grund: Ihre Großmutter hatte im falschen Jahr geheiratet und im falschen Jahr eine Tochter, Caseys Mutter, bekommen: 1947. Auch das steht im Grundgesetz: Frauen, die bis 1953 einen Nichtdeutschen heirateten und mit ihm Kinder bekamen, können ihre deutsche Staatsangehörigkeit nicht vererben.

Artikel 117, der auch auf von den Nationalsozialisten ausgebürgerte Jüdinnen angewandt wird, schreibt ein antiquiertes Recht fort: Väter durften ihre deutsche Staatsangehörigkeit an ehelich geborene binationale Kinder vererben. Deutsche Mütter durften das nicht. Das geht auf das Reichsstaatsangehörigkeitsgesetz von 1913 zurück, das Frauen als bloße Anhängsel ihrer Männer sah.

Mit anderen Worten: Wäre Caseys Großvater deutscher Jude gewesen, könnten die Kinder und Enkel Deutsche werden. Da ihre Großmutter deutsche Jüdin ist und im falschen Jahr heiratete, wird der Enkelin, die sich als Deutsche fühlt, der deutsche Pass verwehrt.”


Photos copyrights:

HAMBURG / 30.04.2015

Der junge Israeli Lior Oren an seinem Lieblingsplatz im “Park Fiction” oberhalb der Landungsbrücken – 30.04.2015 – Hamburg . Er arbeitet in Hamburg und kam mit seinem Hund “Schwitzi” aus Tel Aviv nach Hamburg . Teile seiner Familie wurden in Hamburg deportiert .

[CREDIT: WWW.LARSBERG.EU  – Lars Berg, Von der Tinnenstrasse 13, 48145 Muenster, Germany, mobile +49 179 1379630, Bank: Dresdner Bank  Konto: 06 009 372 00, BLZ 400 800 40, IBAN: DE09 4008 0040 0600 9372 00 BIC: DRES DE FF 400, Finanzamt Muenster-Innenstadt, Steuernummer 337/5017/1774, USt-IdNr. DE247738150 – Verwendung nur gegen Namensnennung, Beleg und Honorar entsprechend aktueller MFMPreisliste zzgl. 7Prozent MwSt – Bei der Verwendung ausserhalb journalistischer Berichterstattung (z.B. Werbung etc.) bitte vorher mit dem Autor Kontakt aufnehmen. Es wird grundsaetzlich keine Einholung von Persoenlichkeits-, Kunst- oder Markenrechten zugesichert, es sei denn, dies ist hier in der Bildbeschriftung ausdruecklich vermerkt. Die Einholung dieser Rechte obliegt dem Nutzer. Es gelten die unter WWW.LARSBERG.EU aufgeführten AGB`s. – NO MODEL RELEASE – ]

Dresden: World War 2 Tour and Jewish History

I was about to go to Dresden for a small vacation, and did as I always do before I go to any European city – Research for my “hobby” – world war two history of the city.
It’s a hobby I carry for a long time, no cure known to science.
I was very much surprised to find out that Dresden has a black hole in its memory, and it’s like the whole story of WW2 is only the bombing of the city and nothing before.
I tried to look for WW2 tours and Holocaust tour – Nothing.
I promised myself, that I will write a small guide with as much information as possible for whom will look for the same information that I couldn’t find on the Internet before visiting.

 

1. Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse 5) tour.
If you don’t know the book, it is a short and easy read. It’s based on true events that occurred while the author of this book served as an American soldier in WW2, imprisoned and jailed in Dresden during the allied bombing of Dresden.
The guide, Danilo, is a very smart and informative person with lots of knowledge about Dresden during the war. Try to take from him as many details that you can on this subject, the tour is following the book, but Danilo holds much more information.
http://www.nightwalk-dresden.de/kurt-vonnegut-tour.html
11229386_10154229580089988_1668305659283630527_o

 

2. The Jews of Dresden during the war – Free map and audio tour.
On the place where once stood the old synagogue now standing two landmarks – one is an active synagogue and one is the communities management house (On the right side), there, you can get a free map called: “Audioscript: on the persecution and annihilation of the Jews in Dresden 1933 – 1945”.
With this map, you can go to their website (www.audioscrip.net) and stream a guided tour (If you don’t have sufficient cellular internet, you can also download the mp3 files before from any wifi (home, hotel) network.

 

3. The deportation point of the Jews of Dresden.
On the Neu Bahnhof, there is a sign saying that from there went trough the deportation trains of the Jews of Dresden. This information is false.
The real point is 200 meters from there, behind a wall, in what looks to be a private parking area, half on the street.
This area behind the station is not nice, so come there during the daytime.

Deportation Place Of Jews Of Dresden
Deportation Place Of Jews Of Dresden

Deportation Place Of Jews Of Dresden
Deportation Place Of Jews Of Dresden

You can see the old rail where the wagons stopped. The wooden end of the rail is still the original one.
The building on the side is a mystery to me. I think that its a synagogue because of the Star of David and thecrown like metals above it.  I couldn’t find any information about it (I added this entry to Google maps), but it looks like they were deported in front of the synagogue?
Information  given by Lydia Wellmann (thanks!)

Hey Lior, the building on the side that was a mystery to you is the old main entrance of station Leipziger Bahnhof in Dresden (station from 1857) (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:DresdenLeipzigerBahnhofehemaligerHaupteingang(2009).jpg). The maagen david was made by someone out of some piece of string or something…maybe to remember the deportations? I don’t know. It’s nice though that you made it a synagogue ? there should be more of them over here in saxony.

The building is now abandoned, and homeless and drunk people live there.
I hope to get more information about WW2 in Dresden and really hope that this city will stop hiding and denying these times in its history, invest in rebuilding the more modern history part than just the ancient ones.
I will be happy to get any more information on this subject if you have – please write me!

Getting a German Driver’s License for English speaking Residents

This is what I know so far from my current experience as I am going trough this process right now, I wish I had all this information when I looked for it before, hope it will help others in the same situation.

  • You need a first aid course and an eye test. I wont expend on these because there is enough information on this subject.
  • Theory (about 250 Euros inc registration).
    • You have to have 14 lessons. All in the Fahrschule. Each 90 minutes, with a break (in my case).
    • 2 lessons are a must, but all the others – you can do some twice and it will count: Since the schools will give every day / few days one / two classes, they teach from 1 to 14. Because most of the people cannot come to every class, they might waste time on waiting for the lesson they missed to be given again. So you can skip lesson 3 and do lesson 1 twice – It will count. You cannot do that with lessons 13 and 14.
    • You can do the test in English.
    • The lessons are in German. I heard only once on a school that gives English Theory lessons (in Munich), but for us in Hamburg – you have none. Some schools offer help with questions after the lesson. 
    • Most of the apps are in Germans, and the English apps got only the questions in English (1000). There is no learning material in English in these app. Also explanations for the English questions – are the German explanations. 
    • The only learning-book in English costs 90 Euros (!).
    • The English of the questions in the test is horrible, it takes few times to read and understand them, be prepared for the weirdest English.
    • If you fail the test, you can take another one two weeks after. 

​So 14 lessons, 2 of them a must, the others can be repeated, lessons are in German, test is in awful English, The only English book is expensive and NO app gives you English learning material, just English questions.  

  • Practical (about 38 Euros per lesson). 
    • Few must lessons like: night driving, autobahn…​
    • You can learn in English.
    • The test is in German, but once the tester know that you are an English speaker – He will use only certain words that the teacher will train you with them. (simple, nothing to worry about).

You get a one year time between the theory test and the time that you can take the practical test.

Good luck!

 

* This information is based on personal experience and is not professional advisory. Please check with the Fahrschule for changes of the above information.

Why I will never fly with Turkish Airlines again

I used to fly with the star alliance company Turkish airlines a lot. People told me that cheap tickets will be expensive later, I still don’t agree. I fly low and normal cost companies, and sometimes, as it may happen, problems occur – The question is how good is the service and response of the company to these events.

The story is long, you can skip to the end but I promise an escalating chain of events where Turkish Airlines failed to give a service, response and continued to ignore and hope that everything will go away. Well – you won, Turkish Airlines, this is my final act, for what happened to me in Ataturk airport.
But at least this story will stay on the Internet forever, so that everybody will be able to google your name and read that deciding to fly Turkish Airlines, is wrong.

My main suggestion is – never fly with a company that is not a member of a modern country / commercial zone. The Europian laws are protecting you, also the American, and more countries like Israel, Australia etc… But no one has control over Turkey, and Turkish Airlines know that, and they are using it to avoid giving you the expected service.

PART 1 – The flight.

I went on the flight back to my home in Hamburg, from Tel-Aviv to Istanbul (TK0811), and had a connection of two hours, waiting for my flight to Hamburg (TK1665).
The boarding to flight 1665 was suppose to start at 11:05. I came to gate 222 on time, sat and read a book.
As people continue boarding, I waited for my group – D – to be called. At the gate, there were lots of people waiting.

At 11:40, I noticed that a woman is yelling, I asked an officer what is going on. He said that she missed the flight.
I asked how come – and he said that the gate was closed quick.

Then it hit me – I also missed the flight. No one called group D (this woman was also in this group) and no one called my name.
Why should someone call me? They shouldn’t, but, I always hear that they call people’s name at airports. I was at the gate, and the minimum that they should do when closing gate before time is to try to make sure that all the people are on the flight. They do that even when people are late.

I asked the officer what can I do, and he directed me to the Turkish Airlines office at another gate – here is when everything in Turkish Airline’s service went wrong:

PART 2 – The Turkish Airlines Airport tour:

I ran, got to the service point and explained to them the situation. They said that they can’t help me and I need to go to the transfer office. He said that there is a new flight at 14 (it was 12) and I should hurry. I begged for him to issue a new ticket at his desk, I didn’t care to pay a fee – He did not agree to help

I ran to the first floor, before transfer flights security point, to the transfer office.
I explained to the situation, They said that they can’t help me and I need to go to the ticketing service. outside (!) after passport control.
The guy at the transfer service told me that I will need to pay a “penalty fee”.

I ran to passport control, to the other side of the terminal, incoming flights, almost outside.
I needed to wait to my turn although I explained to the women in the booth that it is urgent. She didn’t want to help.
When my turn finally came, she said that I need to pay 1000 (!!!) Euros (From Istanbul to Hamburg – while the ticket from Hamburg to Tel-Aviv and back costed 460) for a new ticket.
I told her that it’s impossible, and I just need a change, and the transfer office told me just to pay a penalty and not for a new ticket. She didn’t care. She told me to go to check in area and talk to the supervisor.

Again I needed to run, knowing that the next flight is leaving soon.
At checking B-15, the supervisor of Turkish Airlines in the Ataturk airport told me that he is not allowed to issue new tickets. He told me to pay her and “maybe” I will get a refund from Turkish Airlines “Or stay in Turkey”.

I had no other choice. I needed to get on this flight (And they knew it and took advantage of it).
I went to one of the private flight ticket offices and asked how much is a ticket to Hamburg.
For the same flight, he gave me a ticket in 450 Euros. For the flight that Turkish Airlines, which I needed help after a gate failure, wanted me to pay 1000 Euros.

I bought the ticket. went through checking again, passport control, security…

They didn’t have the special meal I ordered for the original flight, so I also didn’t eat the whole flight after everything that happened.
when arrived in Hamburg, they lost my luggage. Took another day to get it back.

PART 3 – The customer service:

So I sent a letter to Turkish Airlines, with the above chain of events.
I got a letter that the flight from Tel Aviv came on time. Completely ignoring my complaint, that was not about it at all.

Since then, I am calling each week, asking on twitter, updating the tickets, each time promised that I will get an answer, but nothing, no one is calling / emailing back.

So after two months I decided to write to the CEO&President of Turkish airlines Mr. Temel Kotil.
The answer I got was again from the service center, but this time at least I got an answer:

“We received your message which was addressed to our CEO&President Mr. Temel Kotil, Ph. D.
According to our investigation referring to your message, it was determined that you had applied late to the check-in counter for the related flight and the check-in staff tried to assist you and had printed your boarding card. However, as you did not apply to the boarding gate for the related flight, the late application procedures have been implemented and your ticket was changed according to the ticket’s rules.”

Now, it’s not even a “my version vs theirs” – They don’t even know what flight I am talking about:

1. “you had applied late to the check-in counter for the related flight” LIE – The check in was in Tel Aviv, the problem was with the connection in Turkey – This is a generic message that they send to anyone, but its not fit with connections. Even if I came late to the flight in Tel Aviv (I didn’t) it has nothing to do with the connection to Hamburg since I landed on time with the ticket – in Turkey.

2. “the check-in staff tried to assist you and had printed your boarding card.” – in Tel Aviv, it has nothing to do with that.

3. “you did not apply to the boarding gate for the related flight” – ignoring that the gate closed before time.

4. “the late application procedures have been implemented” – this peocedure is about trying to locate the passenger – They didnt implement any.

5. “your ticket was changed according to the ticket’s rules.” I think that this is a joke, If you read my letter, you can understand clearly, that the whole problem is, that NO ONE CHANGED OR HELPED ME TO CHANGE MY TICKET. I needed to buy a new one from an external agent at the airport.
So, I wrote them back that they ignored my complaines. They wrote me back something the same as the first letter.

I tried to talk with so official organistions, in Europe and in Israel – None can help because it happened in Turkey.
So my advise to you, even if it a well known star aliance company, avoide flying companies that dont have to apply to commercial flights costumers rules. It doesnt worth it.

The github code review problem / Product before code

The remote / GitHub code review problem:

A part of any developer’s workflow is the code review, the main tool these days to do that in a team is the great feature of the code review with GitHub. (Usually, with the pull request).
The feature is amazing. Code comparison view, line by line comments, tagging, mentioning – it’s like fucking developer’s social media. It’s great, but we have lost an important part in this new workflow tool – we lost the product.

We have three well-known methods to review a code:

  1. Not to review a code.

Next:

2.   The pair programming:
Our code is great, and we know how it can be even better, when having a second eye on it in a pair programming session. It is really the best way. Some love it, some hate it (I personally, know that it will achieve the best results, but most of the time still prefer to fire keyboard signals with my headphones, in my “zone”).
It is also known that it’s something that not all companies or developers will accept. Most of them won’t. It’s costing more money on dev-time and does not save the same 50% of fewer bugs.
It is also not comfortable. You need to sync time. Sometimes somebody is sick. Sometimes you’re better alone. It’s perfectly fine. I am sure that most of the beautiful pieces of code in the world were written first by a lonely developer. (I hope that he/she was sitting in an airplane, avoiding screaming children, noises with earphones full with Volbeat music, which is exactly what I am doing now).

3.  The code review:
The middle way, between the pair programming and the no review, is the good old code review.
In this way, you don’t waste money on double dev-time. You get your “zone”, but you still get a second eye on your code.
You both look at the branch / PR, but also look at the feature, as it is already open in the developer’s browser. You try it, and play with it to understand what the code should do. You have immediate communication with the developer so you can ask/react to the feature and get a reaction back immediately.
Reviewing a code without seeing the feature/bugfix at work, is just testing a car only by its blueprint. No practical test before passing it to QA or even – pushing toward an acceptance test.

Now we got lazy. We check the pull request, we don’t sit together and explain. It is rare for people to actually pull the branch to their computer. They don’t need to anymore, so they won’t try the feature. This is how we lose the best power of the review – deploying a great, working feature. A beautiful code is great, but worth nothing without a working product.
I see this change and how it hurt us. Open source projects and private projects, getting more and more bugs that would never happen with a real feature review. It costs money, and it’s a downgrade to a dev-process that advanced so well in the last years. We have such great tools – don’t let them lead the human brain. They are just tools.

I say – review, with your locale tool. Try the feature, or a feature that uses this piece of code.
We should not become just coders, masters of beautiful abstractions and a code that looks like a poem. We should also never forget the reason we write it – the product is paying our salary – the final result of our masterpiece.

3 lessons learned from the establishing of an in-house growth hacking team

3 lessons learned from the establishing of an in-house growth hacking team

In this article I’m going to talk about the “hacking” part, too many posts are there for the growth:

After doing some research on this new buzzword – “Growth Hacking”, we agreed this was something we needed. The problem was, that most of the articles and experienced guidebooks about building this kind of a team were directed at content centered companies, blogs, shops etc. We needed a growth team for a well-established product, big and full of features – We needed something between an onboarding team and a marketing team.

Looking back, once we established the team, gained some losses and earned some wins, I can summarize my conclusions of the process into 3 main lessons that focus on the ideas and developing part of the growth hacking team:

“Hacking” is not about code. It isn’t code you are hacking. I repeat – hacking, is not code hacking.

We know that a crucial part of this type of a team is the existence of a well-experienced developer who knows the code – but this doesn’t mean he hacks code.

What he does, is hack the product.

You find a hack to the user journey. You “hack” through the everyday thought process of your product team who define “what is our product”. You hack thought processes, you take an idea and put a “what if” after it.

Your code, as a proud developer, as an expert, senior, veteran or a superhero developer – should always be perfect.

The implementation process can have shortcuts, they’re even necessary. You don’t need instructions, controllers and angular philosophy kind of code for each new testing feature, but your code should be perfect.

No need for “doSomthing()” named functions please, but this is necessary for EVERY feature that you haven’t tried yet. Every new feature is a test. And building huge perfect architecture for something you don’t even know how will behave, is a waste of time and money.

A growth hacking company is a company that thinks of a feature -> hacks it -> tests it -> builds it -> and improves its features. But that’s an entire different subject for a different post.

Growth isn’t marketing, its product.

This is extremely important. Especially when you “sell” the idea and need of this team to management:

A good amount of money is spent on this team, and it’s expected to bring quick results. Easy money. And where is the best place to look for this money? At the cashier’s table.

Our natural go-to strategy is the checkout pages, homepage and the packages pages, all and all – they’re just versions of landing pages and should be tested by marketing teams. If your marketing teams are busy with acquiring traffic for landing pages via facebook, twitter and Linkedin campaigns but don’t test internal pages on your website as a testing ground, your hacking team can do some tests there to inspire them – but this is not where you can help.

You also don’t need developers to create blog posts.

Your hackers are product people, not marketing:

  • They should be looking for ways to make the user convert, after using the product, but first – make the user use the product.
  • Make the user understand that he might get more if he pays, but while using it.
  • Create the WOW moment a paying moment also.
  • Look at the graphs of user behaviors while using the product and assume things they can try.
  • Go back to the graph. Make it grow, use unconventional ideas to do that.
  • The team should fail. fail and fail again.

When we just bootstrapped the team, one of our first tests, was a simple, stupid “share your results on facebook / twitter”. It is not a new, or brilliant idea.  But we needed to test it ourselves. It was fast and easy.

The success we got from this “in product” non-designed test, was better than any result we got from similar tests we ran on checkout pages than our growth hacking team did. The added value of more traffic, branding awareness, and user satisfaction is just a side dish to the sales.

We didn’t use the traffic we already had and try to convert it – we brought more, gave them good onboarding, invited their friends.

Growth hacking is not online marketing – Test the product.

Create a test, not products. A growth hacker shall not maintain a feature

Here is the tricky part for a developer:

A developer in a growth hacking team is a product enthusiast guy or a girl. Seriously, it’s the developer who will give up some dev happiness (e.g. – building some nonstandard stuff), for the sake of a great product.

But as long as a growth hacking team doesn’t have a clone team that will continue maintaining their work, it cannot assume that its features will be maintained. They should be built in the easiest way to plug out of the system once the test is over. After that, maintaining a good test that should become a feature is a company decision.

It is tragic to see something you worked on go down. Especially when it shows good results, but that’s something you need to accept, and wave goodbye to it, giving it to somebody else and just hoping he / she will treat your feature with respect and love as you did.

There are some exceptions to the above. If a test performs really well, if it’s a really simple and non-maintainable code (does that exist?) or if it is your domain (no one should have only one job in a company, narrow responsibilities are narrow-minded) – all the above can be maintained features after testing.

All in all, it is important to know that even the goals and the ways of the growth hacking team is, in fact, a hack. A good one, an out of the box thinking to do things differently than the company has been doing until now. And that’s all it is – an out of the box team, and so should be each one of its members.

And remember: First rule of growth hacking – always talk about growth hacking.

CSS nesting html elements limitation – ~~useless info

It appears that different browsers are limiting the number of nesting elements in an HTML page that a single CSS rule can use.
It looks like each browser has its very own different limitation.

While testing performance I tried to nest big amount of divs, 1000 of them. I gave each a following number (yeah, produced with javascript i++ and copied the result from the devtool), and tried to apply a single rule to it.

div .div998 { color: blue;}

It didn’t work. I tried to debug the HTML, thinking that I might have some problems with not closing elements or a wrong class, then began to change the class in the CSS rule to a higher container.I reached to the point from which the CSS won’t apply, the browser limitation.

Look at the following jsfiddler (looks like this is too heavy for embedding, so I removed the embedded code, please use the url).
Please leave a clean playground:

http://jsfiddle.net/Lhd8ny8w/5/

You can play with the class number to find your browser’s limitation.

With chrome (chrome OS version 41.0.2272.41) the limit is 509. With my Firefox 30 the limit is 198. If you change the rule to 510 or higher, you will see that the rule won’t apply. change it back to a lower class, and it will apply.

I am afraid to check IE’s limitation.

You can play with that on different browsers, there is no standard defined that I could find in the specs, and each browser has its very different limitation.

As its a bad use to have so many nested elements, it is still good to know, since lots of markup today is generated aoutomagically, by js or magic backend and sometimes we won’t notice that its so big, and try to understand, frustrating, why our style rules won’t work.