About this episode
In this episode, we'll discuss his love of the mountains and playing video games with friends, learning multiple languages, using social media to attract new clients, and his hopes, that as a community, we continue contributing and sharing knowledge.
Matthew Munger: Hey Kabarza, thank you for joining me today.
Kabarza: Hey, thank you for having me.
Matthew Munger: Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself and who you are?
Kabarza: Well, people know me by Kabarza on the internet and I'm a Webflow developer. I have a small team of other developers and a few designers. We develop cool Webflow websites for clients, and I have experience in teaching Webflow as seen on Flux Academy. And next I will do something with Slater.
Matthew Munger: And where are you located?
Kabarza: I'm located in a small town called Forheim. It's a town in Germany, close to Nuremberg.
Matthew Munger: And what do you like about living there?
Kabarza: Well, definitely not the weather. It’s way too cold and yeah, and it's not sunny enough. But the mountains are beautiful. I really like the mountains. So when we go out, that’s what I go for. No climbing, just go to the mountains. I kind of have that need to stay on top of the mountain and just see the view, enjoy the view.
Matthew Munger: So I guess there are some good roads to get up there.
Matthew Munger: Now you're not originally from Germany. Do you wanna talk about where you’re originally from?
Kabarza: Yeah. So I'm originally from Iran. My family and I, we moved to Germany in 2016– January, 2016– as refugees just with the rest of refugees, as you've probably seen it on TV. But we basically started this without even knowing that we will land in Germany. We just left without a destination and here we are. I'm living in Germany now.
I didn't take my laptop and we just left. I just left with a backpack and a bunch of clothes, and we didn't know how long it's going to take us. And we didn't know where are we going to go. We just knew that the destination was Europe, but where exactly we didn't know. It took us 15 days from Iran all the way to the first town in Germany. And we did it. And even now we are living in the same town pretty close to each other, so things turned out good.
It's been quite a journey, but it's been always moving forward and going to the next step. Wanting to move up the ladders and just having that as a vision and also wanting to just not settle, for me, that's been basically the mindset. And Webflow has been, actually, the main part there to help with that.
Matthew Munger: I'm so happy that Webflow has been able to play a part in your journey. Other than the mountains, are there any places you like to visit or things you like to do?
Kabarza: I enjoy visiting the cities, some museums here, connecting with people. I'm still pretty much connected to basically now two universities here, doing some Webflow projects with them, but also connecting with people over there. So, those are things that I really enjoy, and I'm still doing it.
Matthew Munger: What does your workspace look like?
Kabarza: Well, first of all, I’m trying to commission one of my siblings to create a 3D space that we can create a website based on. Both of them do 3D design. So, just to visualize it for you with voice, I have an L-Shape standing desk, and I have two main computers.
One of them is a MacBook, a 16-inch MacBook connected to a monitor. And the other one is a gaming PC connected to two monitors. And I have a camera, I have lights, mics– multiple ones all connected to the desk. And it's a motorized desk, so an L-shaped one. So everything together goes up and down.
So that's one of the coolest things I’m doing with my workspace. And I'm always changing small things here and there. I notice it helps me to stay a bit more motivated and just maintain a higher energy when I change things in my space just a little bit.
I have quite a few toys around me and objects that I don't use a lot. But if I name a few, one of them is the portal gun from Rick and Morty, one of the shows that I absolutely love. So I have that portal gun. It's a bottle opener. I didn't know it's a bottle opener, but I bought it just because it looked cool. The next one is a shoe sole, but it's not a normal shoe sole.
So I did a six month internship at Adidas, and there I had the chance to work with Google and EA Electronic Arts and Adidas on that shoe sole. So it is a shoe sole that you can buy and it has a chip inside it. It's a Google chip that can track, basically, movement and things like that. And we worked with EA to connect that to the FIFA app. So you theoretically buy that, you put it in your shoes– whatever shoes you already own, you put it there– and you run and you play soccer, football with it. And the data will be synced within your game in your app.
So that was one of the funnest things I've ever worked on with these, like, really cool companies. And I still have one of those very early, first versions that we were working on. Not functioning properly, but it has a lot of good memories attached to it. So I keep it, actually, closed at my desk.
Matthew Munger: That's cool. I also see– is that a Saturn rocket and LEGO behind you?
Kabarza: It is. I built that with my son when we were on vacation in Italy. Well, I have to say I did the most part. He's four, so I'm not expecting him to build this, but it was so much fun doing this together. And this is one of the coolest things about being a dad. I'm buying all these, like, LEGO stuff and I'm not sure if I'm buying it for him, or for us, or for myself.
Matthew Munger: Yeah.
Kabarza: But we both ended up playing with it. So is a Saturn V. It has multiple stages. Even inside it, it's pretty cool.
Matthew Munger: Do you have any hobbies or interests?
Kabarza: Well, I do play video games.
Matthew Munger: Yeah.
Kabarza: I do play League of Legends, and Apex on my gaming PC with friends over on Discord. That’s what we do every night when I have time to do it, but sometimes I can't. But outside of this, in the real world, I do also like doing laser tag. I played very competitively with my siblings and friends. I try to be on top of the leaderboard and it's pretty fun.
Matthew Munger: What do you think is something that would surprise people to learn about you?
Kabarza: One thing is most people don't know that I have a son and they are surprised when they know that. I don't know why. But yeah, I have a son.
So I do speak four languages. That's pretty fun. But what's also really crazy about it is that I dream in English, surprisingly. But it's been confirmed that I do also talk in English when I'm dreaming, even though it's not my first language, it's my third language. I learned it when we basically moved to Germany, five, six years ago, I started learning English seriously. But I think I'm thinking in English, also subconsciously, and that's why I'm also dreaming in English.
Matthew Munger: Right.
Kabarza: But also crazier than this, for me at least, it's that I don't speak any language at a very, like, high level native– I don't know if you are familiar with the European leveling, but at the C2 level, like a university level– because I never used any language to go that far. Basically, I know four languages, but just fluent enough to hold a conversation, write an email, things like this. Explain something, understand, I don't know, science from visas, things like this. But not good enough to probably write a scientific paper.
Matthew Munger: Yeah. Most of us probably couldn't do that in our native language anyway. Can you list all the languages that you can speak conversationally?
Kabarza: So Kurdish is my mother tongue. I speak that with my family, with my son. Then Persian, also known as Farsi, that's my second language. I learned it in Iran in school. I do speak that, also, fluently. I teach Webflow, also, in Farsi, so I'm pretty fluent in that too. I can also write in them and read.
I do all of these things. It's not that I'm bad at them, it's just not C2 level. I'm probably C1, and that's what frustrates me. But then, coming to Germany, I started learning German. I knew just a little bit of English to probably ask for an address or something like this, but not anything serious to hold a conversation.
But I started learning English alongside with German at the same time, going, basically, to school half of the day to learn German, and then the other half to learn English, and just hoping to not mix them.
Matthew Munger: What is your day-to-day role and how do you describe what you do?
Kabarza: So I do have a small team of other freelancers around the globe, helping me develop websites with clients. Every day for me is waking up and trying to see if a teammate needs immediate attention, they are stuck somewhere, or they need help with something. I respond with that. I spend my days sending a lot of voice messages and Loom videos to teammates to explain something or review something.
But I'm very much involved in the processes myself. I do actively work in Webflow, developing and sometimes writing code with AI and working with clients, having meetings. I do all the sales calls with clients, I absolutely enjoy that. Like, my marketing is basically tweeting and writing posts on social media, on LinkedIn. That's how I get new clients. So that's also a part of my day-to-day. Basically clients, teammates, a little bit of social interaction.
Just four years ago before entering the web industry, I was doing photo and video for clients, things like that. That's what I was mostly involved in, and I had no idea that one day I will end up doing what I'm doing today: Building websites, not just interacting with them, creating a web product, falling in love with that. And I just continued doing that, starting with a local shop, ending up now doing full on products,
Matthew Munger: What keeps you going every day? What excites and motivates you to keep going down this path?
Kabarza: Technology in general. I'm just super interested in tech, what's happening– if it's AI or just other pieces of tech, if it's software or hardware– I'm absolutely interested in that. And in the future of tech, more specifically. And by that, also the future of humanity.
I learn a lot about these concepts and where we are going. If it's AI or even prior to this big AI wave, I was always interested in, “Where are we going? Where are we as humans in a hundred years?” That's what is basically keeping me up at night.
Matthew Munger: Yeah, that's very interesting, because technology and innovation is very much a mirror for humanity. Yeah, it's a very interesting lens to view the world through.
I'm curious to know: What is a resource that you think more people should know about?
Kabarza: So No-Code Supply would be on top of my list. That’s where people should go and just see great websites, learn about, like, small pieces of code here and there. They can learn just a lot. The second one– probably Webflow University. People should go there if they haven't been there or haven't checked it out. It's a place to get a good laugh and also learn a lot.
Matthew Munger: Yeah, those are two great resources. Who in the Webflow community inspires you?
Kabarza: My first and biggest inspiration– Ran Segal,l for sure. I learned a ton working with him. Corey, on the Webflow team, I am always checking on what he's working on. Keegan, also very inspiring. And right now, everyone on Edgar Allan's team and Slater. I'm following the work there closely. I'm working on a few things there with Mason, just starting that, and it's just absolutely amazing people. If you are not following them, you should absolutely check them out.
Matthew Munger: Yeah, absolutely. What is some advice that you would like to share with the community? Something that’s been impactful in your life?
Kabarza: I'm not sure if it's as much of an advice, but I wish for the community to continue this path of just sharing this knowledge together. It's been such a warm and loving and nurturing community where I just feel so much welcome to ask a question and just know that somebody will care to answer, not just on a surface level, but deeply and actually give me an answer.
That’s one of the biggest strengths of this community we have. Just that people are willing to share so much, and I really want this to continue. And I hope that I can, in some ways, contribute to this even a little bit.
Matthew Munger: Alright Kabarza, how can others in the community reach out and connect with you?
Kabarza: I'm pretty much active on Twitter. So Kabarza underscore, that's my Twitter until Twitter will give me Kabarza back. Or X. That’s what we are calling it now, right? So I'm active on X.
Matthew Munger: It’s spelled X, but it's pronounced Twitter. That's what I'm going with for now.
Kabarza: I like that. Let's go with that.