Hi! I'm Dana.
I live on the road, moving between countries every three months. Everywhere I go, I immerse myself in the local culture. This is how I keep feeling alive.
I like to learn languages (I speak over ten, though not all of them fluently — I at least can get by, which is the most important thing for me), practise fighting sports (Jiu Jitsu, boxing, or whatever a good coach is teaching), ride motorcycles where I can, and do whatever else tickles my fancy (dancing, horse riding, and other things).
I'm also a coffee nerd, former start-up/tech guy and consultant, and generally a nice guy.
More broadly, I'm a lifelong learner. I like other people who try new things, are passionate learners, and are humble. Is this you? I'm always up for meeting kindred spirits. Get in touch!
I'm an expert in (and/or just really passionate about):
- Culture and languages. I have lived in dozens of countries and more than ten languages (and counting), though some are always rusty. I write about language learning and culture on Discover Discomfort.
- Riding and fixing motorcycles (at a hobbyist level) plus anything on two wheels, like my 2.5kW electric bicycle. I write about this stuff on my motorsports-related website, Motofomo.
- Tech operations. This was my day job, and helps me in running my own company. I've spent my entire career in tech ops and finance, from ground operations (which I did even at senior management level) up. I bridged the gap between reality and the boardroom for companies in ride sharing, scooter sharing, and drone delivery.
- Digital investment. These days I focus more on building and investing in online businesses, from affiliate sites to advertising-focused content sites to apps. I write a lot about it on this blog.
- Writing for the web. I'm a good writer; millions of pageviews (and people who tell me) attest to this.
- Coffee. I don't write about it much, but I can talk your ear off about it. I no longer home-roast because roasters these days are just so good.
- Weightlifting. My "total" was slightly north of 1,000 lbs the last time I checked. I've been doing it for years and have written a bit about it.
- Jiu Jitsu / MMA. I'm very early on the path to becoming a total weapon. Right now, I'm more of a slightly blunt pocket knife. Useful, but not epic!
- Trying to fix or hack my way through anything with either hard tools or code.
Here are a few things I've written on this blog that are good and/or popular:
- Create Happiness in Face-to-Face Customer Service using Data: a guide to how I put together many tools to create a 360-degree feedback loop for increasing service NPS at Lyft
- "That's no Tech Startup; That's a Factory": explaining why tech companies are often surprised by how hard it is to get physical operations to work
- Preventing and Managing Cafe No-Shows: a guide to getting staff to actually show up for critical work days
- How to buy a Yamaha R1, one of the greatest motorcycles of all time, and How to buy a Ducati Monster, one of my personal favourites
- Life lessons from David Goggins' "Can't Hurt Me" — My favourite motivational book
- How and Why I Turned Down my Dream Job for a Life of "Discomfort", which is the story of how I turned down a million-dollar opportunity to try to create a better world.
My vision (as well as the vision of Discover Discomfort) is for all of us to be able to see the world through the eyes of others. We try to help achieve this by writing language and culture guides to places that need more understanding, like the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Central Asia, and Latin America.
If you want to get in touch, please do so via my contact form.
Dana Hooshmand's Brief Resumé
You can find my profile on LinkedIn, though I've de-activated that as I'm sick of the social media side of it. But in brief:
- 2018+: Founder/owner, Disco Media. Manage and grow portfolio of advertising and affiliate websites.
- 2018+: Operations Consultant, 100Nxt. We bridge the gap between investors and ground operations, working to make rapid growth and expansion of operations-heavy businesses into reality. I don't do this much anymore.
- 2016-18: Head of Ops, Lyft Retail (San Fransisco, US). Built the retail arm from idea into concept, including establishing the culture and building the tech stack myself (our engineers were busy!)
- 2014-16: Interim COO for a private family office, Hong Kong/Beijing ($1B USD AUM family office/PWM firm)
- 2013-14: Founder, Pilgrim Coffee, a cafe-finding community app. Sunsetted.
- 2012: Full time Chinese student, Beijing. Got fluent, more than I'd ever need to be (and yes, I still speak Chinese).
- 2011-12: GM, Revenue Operations, Groupon China, Beijing. Made sure the deals made the page and that the vendors got paid.
- 2008-11: Consultant, Bain & Company (Australia, Singapore, Thailand). Stayed up all night making urgent slides for meetings that were usually postponed.
- 2007-08: Analyst, Accenture (Australia). Learned how to buy a suit. Attended many well-catered training sessions.
- 2000-2006: Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Engineering, Monash University (Australia) — Honours, First Class. Slept my way through Engineering, but fought tooth and nail to get through Law.
- Languages spoken (Business fluent): English, Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, Persian, Italian. I can get by (colloquially) in Korean, Egyptian Arabic, Hebrew, and Swahili. In progress: German, Russian, and Japanese. In the future: Hindi? When? I don't know!
How is this site built?
I have built this site on various technologies since I first started, but most consistently it has been built with Ghost on DigitalOcean. I keep reverting to the base theme, Casper, though I make a few modifications.
If you want to make a site like this, then the easiest way is to do a free two-week trial with Ghost.
If you want to do it the cheapest way and aren't intimidated by things like Ubuntu servers in the cloud, then see what you can do with $100 in DigitalOcean credits. Good luck!