I started writing in Substack in the last couple of weeks.

Catch up on some of the thoughts I’ve shared there:

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Photo by Oziel Gómez from Pexels

I recently wrote a list of 158 books that I read in 2020. While it is an extensive list, and I felt myself a little stretched, reading, on average, a book every 2.3 days. A goal of 70–100 books is more manageable and leaves more time to think and process.

However, I wanted to highlight the books that helped me better understand the year that is 2020.

Here’s how to better understand 2020:

A Splendid Exchange by William J. Bernstein, to understand that trade is a universal human condition and everything that we had with US/China trade has happened before many times over.

Energy and Civilization…


Photo by Radu Marcusu

The 2020 is almost over, and what a strange year it has been. Despite all the pain and suffering, being alone for the most part of it, and deprived from travel, it was full of other adventures — adventures of a mind. A sedentary lifestyle forced onto the globe with a lockdown, brought unexpected pleasures, reading.

So I am finishing the year with a full baggage of wonderful books, all in all a hefty total of 158 books.

There are favourites, and there are some that I didn’t finish (not listed). There’s a couple I’ve reread once more. There are…


There’s probably just one good thing that came out of the pandemic lockdown— more time for books. The year started off with non-stop travel—exhaustive but exciting trip to Japan at first, then a quick visit back home in Toronto, then off to Iceland, and then… it was over. Me, my books, and anxiety of what’s about to come.

I’ve made a few personal pledges — such as, read more female authors. I couldn’t find many recommendations for that online, so I had to parse through and do my own research. That work is far from being complete.

In first 4…


A 2019 has been a joyful and fulfilling one for reading. Through travel, living in a different country all by myself, and having time at home around holidays I was able to read, or rather listen to, 95 books.

To accomplish this, all while traveling, a few tricks made that possible. I have subscriptions to 2 audiobook services and a Libby app with access to Toronto Public Library digital books, plus listening to them during commute, in the morning and before bed, or while casual walks or cleaning up.

I also listen to most books at 1.25x speed. It is…


A photo of Lumen Museum with a backdrop of Dolomites, during Red Bull Illume award ceremony, celebrating creativity and grit of sport photographers.

When I first had a chance to get my own camera, back in year 2001, I didn’t know then that I have found my life-long passion. I was simply fascinated by the camera, ability to capture everything, and be able to share that with people around me.

So when, two years later, in early 2003, I took the time to create a photo community on Livejournal, a precursor to 500px that I had established about a half a year later, I realized something — despite photography being my total and unequivocal passion, I did enjoy seeing other photographers succeed just…


Photography, no doubt, is experiencing a tectonic shift. Consumers move in waves from point-and-shoot cameras to just using iPhones and Android phones. The shift affected DSLR sales too, shifting the power to smartphones. It seems like this war, for our wallets, and our convenience, is won. Just reading up on all the technical and software intricacies that goes into the latest iPhone is mind-boggling. The software, in an iconic phrase of Andreessen Horowitz, is eating the world. It is now easier than ever before to just grab a phone and get an amazing picture, without knowing how it’s done. …


We all know reading is important, but for those charged with leading, inspiring, and invigorating others, it’s essential.

Reading, after all, is one primary way people learn about new ideas and acquire the hard-won wisdom of the eminent leaders and authors who’ve come before them. It’s a means of expanding your perspective, enabling yourself to think bigger, and improving the accuracy of your mind’s eye. There’s a reason that the world’s smartest people and most capable leaders all cite reading as an essential component of their ongoing development: it makes them smarter and more effective.

One can see the impact…


There are a couple of announcements that happened at WWDC that really inspired me to write this post. No, it is not the dark mode or updated Memoji. This obscure feature seemed so small and inconsequential that only a couple of articles were written on it, and yet, I hope that it inspires a whole new industry of treasure hunts!

I’m talking about support for readable/writable NFC stickers. In iOS 13 iPhone will be able to read and write on NFC tags. These small, cheap (as little as $0.5 …


The last 12 months I was on the incredible journey to discover and grow business in Asia. It all happened when I joined Skylum a year ago and discovered the thrill and difficulty of building a real, working business in Taiwan, China, and Japan.

Luckily for me, I had great support, and despite working remotely and away from my team, we were able to really change the dynamic and business in Asia for Skylum.

In just one year we had a blast — from exhibiting our cloud technologies at RISE, Asia’s biggest tech conference, to exhibiting our consumer apps at…

Evgeny Tchebotarev

Chief Growth Officer at Skylum, maker of Luminar AI. Before: founder of 500px (a16z backed, acquired in 2018).

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