Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Read the following... rape. How am I going to explain rape to a 6yr old? It's ...

Learn how to do mindless reading, for the new generation of mindless kids.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Health insurance" for the healthy 50 to 74 yrs old. Those with chronic illness better just pray.

It says 12 mons prior and at least 12 mons consecutive of no diagnosis of having been ill. What the fuck? Who the fuck are they selling this to? They probably only cover fever and colds.

This is no insurance, it's a scam. It shouldn't be called insurance, perhaps pre-need health plan, that's backed by mutual fund investments. That's if there's a mutual fund to it, this looks like outright expense insurance to me.

I think getting a life plan backed by mutual fund, and also a pension plan/retirement plan is way better; or even invest it in "stable" bonds. Get multiple plans to cover different types of expenses later in your life. But don't get any of these Health BS insurance plan now. It's a scam.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Ok, think we're set.

How to Start a Sucessful Bootstrapped Web App Business

How to Start a Sucessful Bootstrapped Web App Business

After recording 87 episodes of TechZing it occurred to me that we now have a goldmine of audio information about how to start a successful bootstrapped web app business. I’ve assembled our best shows on the subject into an 12 hour audio seminar!

If you are really serious about going out on  your own, leaving your day job, and starting your very own successful web app business you owe it to yourself to listen. Each show is an interview with a guest about their successful business. As they tell their story each entrepreneur teaches us valuable lessons. I’ve grouped shows into over arching themes to make them easy to navigate.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Why you need to start a starup? You Will Have The Time Of Your Life -- i know i did in the past 10yrs.

This post has been ruminating with me for a while. It's not a sudden "a-ha" moment that made it form, but a collective group of "a-has!" over the past few months. Consider this the uplifting post to counter last week's "The 11 Harsh Realities Of Entrepreneurship". Just because it's a harsh reality, doesn't mean you shouldn't be an entrepreneur. The best time to start a startup is not tomorrow, not next week, and certainly not next year. The time is right now, at this very second.  Here's why:

You Will Have The Time Of Your Life

I put this first, because it's the reason that will motivate you the most to start a startup. Doing this may be hell at times, but boy is it fun. It's an adventure that you will remember for the rest of your life whether things go very well or things go poorly. They used to say that everyone should try to be a rockstar at least once in their lifetime. I'm going to add to that and say that in-between being a rockstar and something else, you should be an entrepreneur at some point just for the adventure. Writing this article makes me realize how much I truly love doing this - the uncertainty, the victory, the failure, the connections with customers, the press,etc. I couldn't see myself doing anything else and if this is truly for you, you will eventually feel the same.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Before and after my only annual haircut.

The Humble Programmer

In a society in which the educational system is used as an instrument for the establishment of a homogenized culture, in which the cream is prevented from rising to the top, the education of competent programmers could be politically impalatable.

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E.W.Dijkstra Archive: The Humble Programmer (EWD 340)

I absolutely fail to see how we can keep our growing programs firmly within our intellectual grip when by its sheer baroqueness the programming language —our basic tool, mind you!— already escapes our intellectual control.

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in one or two respects modern machinery is basically more difficult to handle than the old machinery.

Two opinions about programming date from those days. I mention them now, I shall return to them later. The one opinion was that a really competent programmer should be puzzle-minded and very fond of clever tricks; the other opinon was that programming was nothing more than optimizing the efficiency of the computational process, in one direction or the other.

The latter opinion was the result of the frequent circumstance that, indeed, the available equipment was a painfully pinching shoe, and in those days one often encountered the naive expectation that, once more powerful machines were available, programming would no longer be a problem, for then the struggle to push the machine to its limits would no longer be necessary and that was all what programming was about, wasn't it? But in the next decades something completely different happened: more powerful machines became available, not just an order of magnitude more powerful, even several orders of magnitude more powerful. But instead of finding ourselves in the state of eternal bliss of all progamming problems solved, we found ourselves up to our necks in the software crisis! How come?

There is a minor cause: in one or two respects modern machinery is basically more difficult to handle than the old machinery. Firstly, we have got the I/O interrupts, occurring at unpredictable and irreproducible moments; compared with the old sequential machine that pretended to be a fully deterministic automaton, this has been a dramatic change and many a systems programmer's grey hair bears witness to the fact that we should not talk lightly about the logical problems created by that feature. Secondly, we have got machines equipped with multi-level stores, presenting us problems of management strategy that, in spite of the extensive literature on the subject, still remain rather elusive. So much for the added complication due to structural changes of the actual machines.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Get comfortable with Firing - people in your startup

Get Comfortable with Firing

I’m the kind of guy who intensely likes and appreciates other people. I form bonds easily and make fast friends with those around me. In nearly every aspect of life, this has been great, but it’s made for some tough times in building my startup.

I haven’t always been as careful with hiring as I should have, and I’ve been extremely reluctant to let employees go, even when it’s been clear for a long time that the fit isn’t right. One of my biggest fears has always been the well-being of the employee, but in every case so far, folks who’ve left or those we’ve let go have landed on their feet and are happier in their new roles than the old.

When things aren’t working out between a startup and an employee, it’s better for both of them to end the relationship. I shouldn’t have felt bad for letting people go – they’ve gone on to find better fits, and frankly, for as long as things were going sour, my reluctance to act likely held them back as much as it did the company.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

starting your first company: how googleable are you?

Things you should do when you are just starting up:

- make sure you have the right team.  if you are doing a consumer web startup, you *need* someone on the team who is native web product person.  if you are doing real tech, you need someone who is true native techie.

- hire a good startup law firm (i like gunderson) and get standardized incorporation, vesting etc docs.  it's worth it.  (but try to only pay $5K or so with promise to pay more later when you get funding etc).

- talk to everyone you can about your idea.  collect feedback, criticism, maybe garner some allies along the way (even advisors which can help build your credibility).

- if you don't already, read all tech blogs everyday.  Techcrunch, gigaom, business insider, mashable, rww, etc.  read vc blogs like fred wilson, mark suster, and eric reis.  go back and read back articles too.

- start blogging & tweeting if you don't already.  don't over think this.  your blog posts don't need to be shakespeare - just do minimal viable blogging.  document your startup adventures, thoughts on tech, respond to others blogging/tweeting - whatever.  just get out there and write.  

- go to all good startup events and talk to everyone

- how googleable are you?  if you aren't winning the first page of google when you type in your name, that means you aren't doing a good job building your web presence.

- try to work out of an office with other early stage startups.  good energy.

- apply to ycombinator, techstars etc.  no brainer to at least apply.

- if you don't code, don't try to teach yourself and code for your startup.  partner with someone who is great at it.  programming is an art & science and takes years to get good at.

- if you really want to do a startup, be ready to spend the next 5 years of your life doing it.  if you aren't ready for that level of commitment, don't do it.

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Watching the Facebook movie in the office. The way it should be watched in a startup environment.

Brand new precious...

Visiting Harm's crib. Though, no game console with pretty girls playing.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hello baby franee

I’m Really Not Crazy; I Just Want to Help Some Kids

Two weeks ago, billionaire Peter Thiel was savaged in a widely read Slate story that called him a “hyper-Libertarian” with an “appalling plan to pay students to quit college.”

It wasn’t the first time that Thiel has been dumped on by media observers. The 42-year old—who made his first fortune as a PayPal cofounder and now oversees a New York-based hedge fund, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, and sits on several startups’ boards, including Facebook—has numerous interests that make him an easy target.

The newest of these, and the overwhelming focus of Slate’s scorn, is the Thiel Fellowship, a program that plans to give $100,000 to 20 applicants under age 20 to “stop out of school” and pursue any entrepreneurial ambitions they might harbor.

Slate called the idea “nasty,” and an effort for Thiel to “clone” himself, and though it seemed that Slate grossly overstated its case, I didn’t particularly understand the need for the program, either. Thiel tried to explain it to me yesterday. Our conversation, edited for length, follows.

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If we are just considering the round ones, then they are round by definition. That statement is a tautology.

Interviewer: Now comes the part of the interview where we ask a question to test your creative thinking ability. Don't think too hard about it, just apply everyday common sense, and describe your reasoning process.

Here's the question: Why are manhole covers round?

Feynman: They're not. Some manhole covers are square. It's true that there are SOME round ones, but I've seen square ones, and rectangular ones.

Interviewer: But just considering the round ones, why are they round?

Feynman: If we are just considering the round ones, then they are round by definition. That statement is a tautology.

Interviewer: I mean, why are there round ones at all? Is there some particular value to having round ones?

Feynman: Yes. Round covers are used when the hole they are covering up is also round. It's simplest to cover a round hole with a round cover.

Interviewer: Can you think of a property of round covers that gives them an advantage over square ones?

Feynman: We have to look at what is under the cover to answer that question. The hole below the cover is round because a cylinder is the strongest shape against the compression of the earth around it. Also, the term "manhole" implies a passage big enough for a man, and a human being climbing down a ladder is roughly circular in cross-section. So a cylindrical pipe is the natural shape for manholes. The covers are simply the shape needed to cover up a cylinder.

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Programmers are like bees. And running a software company is like beekeeping.

The environment that nutures creative programmers kills management and marketing types - and vice versa. Programming is the Great Game. It consumes you, body and soul. When you're caught up in it, nothing else matters. When you emerge into daylight, you might well discover that you're a hundred pounds overweight, your underwear is older than the average first grader, and judging from the number of pizza boxes lying around, it must be spring already. But you don't care, because your program runs, and the code is fast and clever and tight. You won. You're aware that some people think you're a nerd. So what? They're not players. They've never jousted with Windows or gone hand to hand with DOS. To them C++ is a decent grade, almost a B - not a language. They barely exist. Like soldiers or artists, you don't care about the opinions of civilians. You're building something intricate and fine. They'll never understand it. BEEKEEPING Here's the secret that every successful software company is based on: You can domesticate programmers the way beekeepers tame bees. You can't exactly communicate with them, but you can get them to swarm in one place and when they're not looking, you can carry off the honey. You keep these bees from stinging by paying them money. More money than they know what to do with. But that's less than you might think. You see, all these programmers keep hearing their fathers' voices in their heads saying "When are you going to join the real world?" All you have to pay them is enough money that they can answer (also in their heads) "Geez, Dad, I'm making more than you." On average, this is cheap. And you get them to stay in the hive by giving them other coders to swarm with. The only person whose praise matters is another programmer. Less-talented programmers will idolize them; evenly matched ones will challenge and goad one another; and if you want to get a good swarm, you make sure that you have at least one certified genius coder that they can all look up to, even if he glances at other people's code only long enough to sneer at it. He's a Player, thinks the junior programmer. He looked at my code. That is enough. If a software company provides such a hive, the coders will give up sleep, love, health, and clean laundry, while the company keeps the bulk of the money.

Programmers are like bees. You keep them from stinging by paying them money. More money than they know what to do with. And when they're not looking, you take away their honey.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On the startup career path

Perhaps most importantly though, thinking about startups as a career makes it easier to really commit. It's too easy to half-ass it if you are going to do one and be done with it. There are just too many fall-backs, and you can fall into traps that kill your startup from the inside.

If you're on the startup career path though, this is it. You become a real member of the small startup community, and are, at least in my book, immediately respected for drawing that line in the sand.

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