We'll structure the answer to "About Amado" using what we learned in Journalism class: answering Who/What/Where/When/Why/How, though I'll switch up the order. 😄


Amado is a service that sends affirming, fun, loving messages to folks you want to receive them, on an unpredictable schedule. It's meant to be a reminder of the positive impact you have on others, and their impact on you.


This was an idea I had for a birthday gift for my romantic partner. It was a hit, and many people we told about it reacted strongly to it.

A lot of tech products make certain communications easier; in practice I find we feel more isolated. Karen showed me this article that mentions research with a provocative question: when was the last friend you made, and how did they transition from acquaintance to friend?

I liked the idea of building a product that didn't mine your data for ads, didn't try to trap you inside of it (the "ideal" Facebook or Twitter user scrolls the feed looking at ads endlessly; that's what their products are trying to turn you into), and could bring some love or mirth into someone's day.


I'm Pablo! My partner who inspired Amado is Karen.


We live in NYC 🗽

I've done some work to make the app localizeable. I haven't put in translations yet, I'd like to do so — there's no reason my family in Guatemala or friends in places like Germany shouldn't be able to make these for friends 🙂


I started the small codebase that became Amado in September 2018 (the codebase calls it affirmations). I've been hacking away at it on nights and weekends in the meantime. This is my first full-fledged web application; I've done a lot of work on other webapps, but not launching my own.


I'm using the Phoenix web framework, hosted on a DigitalOcean droplet.

Like many Phoenix apps, I'm using Ecto, but also using a bit more raw SQL than is probably expected. It's what I'm most comfortable with.

I skipped some of the trendier frontend frameworks like React or Vue in favor of Vanilla.js, using techniques from posts like this and this. A bit more on why I like to write sites like this is here and here.