Mar 19 2012

Retweet February 2012

From time to time I just blast tweets about software development, project planning, team dynamics, or whatever else comes to mind. Here is a synopsis of recent tweets and rants. If you want to follow the conversation follow me at techknow and/or juixe.

Software Development

  • Kids lunch snacks sound like Java interfaces, Uncrustables and Lunchables.
  • 99% of software is hardcoded defaults.
  • Software will shape the future.
  • I don’t count lines of code.
  • Code less, debug even less.
  • Every few years JavaScript goes through a renewed renaissance.
  • Sometimes life does not compute. #dividebyzeroerror

Team Leadership

  • Success is a dish best served with champagne.
  • Don’t let circumstance beyond your control control you.
  • Just because it’s widely accepted that Steve Jobs was difficult to work with and a genius doesnt mean you have to be difficult to work with.
  • Negativity is like cholesterol, to much of it can kill you.
  • Most important lesson in my life: Learn to appreciate what you have and do not agonize about what you don’t.
  • Corporate titles mean nothing, that is why I put Chief Creative Business Developer Principal Program Scientist on my business card.
  • The biggest lesson one can learn is to listen.
  • The universe doesn’t hate you, it doesn’t even know you exist.
  • Try harder. Do better. Go further. Think Bigger.
  • Forget stopping to smell the flowers, I stop to reach for the stars.

Product Placement

  • I’m going to start a search engine for ego searches and call it egoogle.
  • Google is a giant keyword router in the cloud.
  • Android uses food related codenames for its different versions, such as ice cream sandwhich. I hear next release will be named leftovers.
  • Why is Gingerbread still the most popular/common version of Android In new phones? It’s like two releases behind latest version.
  • I think it is safe to say that G+ is a successful flop. I would compare it more to MySpace than Facebook.
  • Missing Feature: I wouldn’t be surprised if the Kindle reader would allow you to tweet a quote right from an eBook.
  • If Apple would design single family homes it would cost over $1 million and only be 800 sq/ft but I would want one really bad.
  • iPhone or iMole: whatever data or contact or image you have on your iPhone some hacker, service, API, law enforcement, or app will access.
  • In today’s day and age, no person should be executed for tweeting and no person should have to go to jail for downloading a song.
  • Blue Ivy Carter sounds more like a brand name of vodka or energy drink put out by Jay-Z than the name of his kid.

Cash Angels

  • Who needs $3 million to run a WordPress-powered tech blog? At these valuations my blog is definitely worth $10 million.
  • Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are modern day alchemists turning virtual goods into real cold hard cash, IPOs into billions.
  • A frothy market is a tasty market.
  • The future is in crowd financing.
  • It’s raining stock options in Silicon Valley. #makeitrain
  • All the people of Palo Alto rejoice at news of Facebook IPO, in a few months their rents will go up 30%.
  • To much Facebook IPO analysis on my feed. If you aren’t a preferred investor you ain’t making money.
  • 1. _________. 2. $#%#%$*(&. 3. ?????? 4. Profit.

Question

  • Can software refactor the world?
  • How can people wave their constitutional rights be agreeing to a terms of service they didn’t read or understand?
  • Breyer’s or Dreyer’s?
  • Who will be the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs of 3D printing?
  • Forget “where’s the beef,” where’s the 100 Mbps broadband?
  • Who is Waldo?
  • If corporations are people does it mean a man can marry a corporation?

Equations

  • Principles > Politics
  • Generous > Gorgeous
  • Cheddar > Chatter
  • Worrier < Warrior
  • Sex On Fire > Heart On Fire

Apr 18 2011

Retweet March 2011

From time to time I just blast tweets about software development, project planning, team dynamics, or whatever else comes to mind. Here is a synopsis of recent tweets and rants. If you want to follow the conversation follow me at techknow and/or juixe and I’ll be sure to follow back.

Software Development

  • Worst than coder’s block is coder’s shiny tech infinite loop.
  • I got 99 problems and a bug ain’t one.
  • I’m a rockstar ninja guru mofo byte code copy editor.
  • If you could Myers-Briggs test your code what type would your code be and what type of developer would that make you?
  • Are you test driven or bug driven development?
  • Spiderman had his spidey sense and I have my buggy sense and it is tingling.
  • Software bugs can byte my shiny metal ass.
  • Code is a continuum.
  • Mo data, mo problems.
  • Let there be APIs.
  • “Hello, World” is a programmer’s first program. Blog engine is a web developer’s first web app. Consultant’s first product, time management application.
  • Duh, #debugging.
  • Code is never complete.
  • Code less, debug less.
  • I’m a bandwagon programmer!
  • This is not the code you are looking for.
  • I break for bugs.
  • My code runs more than you.

Team Dynamics

  • Passion is not a fruit, it’s a seed.
  • Pitch your passion.
  • Self help gurus first help themselves.
  • If you are waiting for tomorrow you will always be waiting.
  • In the evening be exhausted, in the morning exhilarated.
  • Great ideas don’t join country clubs.
  • Inside a large risk is a large reward, you just need to know how to unwrap it and then monetize it.
  • Meetings begets meetings
  • It’s not how the ball is pitched to you, it’s how you hit the ball, duh #winning.
  • Replace “what if” with “when and how.”
  • The way you think of a problem affects the way you think of the solution.
  • Everybody lives in there own bubble, expand yours.

Product Placement

  • I’m confused as to which photo service we are all supposed to use this month, flickr, picasa, twitpic, instangram, picplz, plixi, color, etc
  • Color app seems like Bump for pictures.
  • Why is the director of the FBI emailing my AOL email account from a io domain?
  • 3G forecast: partly spotty with chances of AT&T fail.
  • Out of all of Apple’s products, Jobs’ best revenue generating product must be the iPhone earbuds. At $30, it has $.50 of material.
  • I’ve lost count, would Google Circles be Google’s third or fourth social networking attempt?
  • Outlook should have a Save As option to save as a Word document.
  • What Google giveth Google taketh away with one change in their algo.
  • Ikea has made a killing by selling designer cardboard.

Quotes

  • Standards are paper. I use paper to wipe my butt every day. That’s how much that paper is worth. – Linus Torvalds
  • Seeing companies promote their Facebook fan page in advertisements reminds me of when companies promoted their AOL keyword. – @bencasnocha
  • Every software package expands until it can send email. – Zawinski’s Law
  • One great rock show can change the world. – School of Rock

Questions

  • How many tweets does it take change a light bulb and start trending?
  • Do you live in the moment or in a hurry to get to the next moment?
  • Is #SXSW the equivalent to #Woodstock but for social media experts and tech hipsters?
  • Forget Scientology, what Hollywood religion is Charlie Sheen practicing where he is a warlock and lives with goddesses?
  • If William of Occam worked at Gillette how many blades would Occam’s razor have?
  • Is Chris Brown the next Dennis Rodman?

The Valley

  • There is a “lifestyle business” bubble.
  • To VCs, startup founders are like dogs to be sorted by pedigree.
  • Is it a bubble if you can’t afford to invest in a seed round?
  • Everybody is scared of a little bubble.
  • Forget about building a better mouse trap, think about building a better people trap.
  • Some party like a rock star, I party like a VC.

Technologist

  • Single sign-on is something that should be native in the browser.
  • Love thy neighbors, like thy Facebook friends, and retweet they twitter followers.
  • People like liking.
  • Tell me what smart phone you have and I’ll tell you everything about you, especially of you have it unlocked.
  • Terms of Service do not void your constitutional rights.
  • Love thy neighbors, like thy Facebook friends, and retweet they twitter followers.
  • If there ever is a a zombie attack just remember that the Googleplex has the biggest brains, Hollywood and Washington not so big.

Tweeple

  • Mr. Zuckerberg, tear down this walled garden.
  • Mr. Jobs, fix my iPhone.
  • I think Aaron Sorkin should write a treatment for a movie based on Stuxnet.
  • Jeff Bezos to serialize his brain and store it Amazon’s cloud and allow developers to access it via an API.

Japanese Earthquake

  • My heart goes out to the Fukushima 50 and all the search and rescue workers.
  • I have the same feeling, level of disbelief and sense of magnitude, about Japan now as I did about New York after September 11.
  • Earthquake + Tsunami + Nuclear + Meltdown = (Me Praying for the People of Japan)^8.7
  • Wow, the Japan quake at 8.9 is 700x stronger than the Haiti earthquake.
  • There is no match to the “shock and awe” that Mother Nature can produce in matter of minutes.
  • I <3 Japan
  • Stay strong Japan! If there is any country that can recover from two nuclear bombs, multiple Godzilla attacks, and a 8.9 quake Japan can.

Mar 21 2011

The Great Hacker News Lifestyle Business Flamewars of 2011

There was a great flame war over at Hacker News about what entrepreneurs should aspire to when they start their business, a lifestyle business or a VC funded multi-billion dollar valuation company like Facebook, Zynga, Google, YouTube, etc. It all started with a angry rant by Justin Vincent about how VC “holds us back from our true potential.” He rambled on to say that the idea of being the next big thing is keeps us, entrepreneurs, occupied and keeps them, I guess VCs and tech pundits, in business. My favorite line of the article is the following…

If every developer was to focus on the very achievable goal of building a lifestyle/micro business – the entire house of cards would crumble.

Another choice quote is…

The absolute truth is that each and every one of us can build a business that can support us. We don’t need to build a million dollar business to survive. We just need a regular paycheck.

If I could paraphrase the rest of the article, Justin believes that not all startup founders will have a multi-million dollar exit in so instead of shooting for the moon we, as entrepreneurs, should shot for Milwaukee, that is a $10k/month small business. So, if you know you won’t come in first in the race, complain that the Olympic commission is corrupt, that the judges take brides, and instead go play Wii Sports because you there you will get a participation badge.

The tone in article reminded me of something that Jason Calacanis complained about millennials. In This Week in Startups #47, Calacanis said…

Participation means nothing, your fulfillment means nothing, nobody cares if you are fulfilled, nobody cares if you participated. You were lied to. There is no trophy in life for participation, except your tombstone.

Things got a little heated in the Hacker News comments for this article. Paul Graham, who goes by pg on HN, said that if every developer worked on their lifestyle/micro business “the whole world would crumble, because we wouldn’t have any technology bigger than could be built by lifetstyle businesses.” After this, things got a little more interesting when Alex Payne, username al3x on HN, said the following…

There’s a middle ground between web application “lifestyle businesses” (like duping credulous customers into overpaying for a time-tracking tool styled with this month’s CSS trends) and trying to start the next Facebook. … There’s nothing wrong with being a small software company. People have been doing it for decades now. It’s boring, but there’s nothing wrong with it. Don’t expect anyone to celebrate you for doing it, though.

At this point some “lifestyle” business operators took offense, most notably Amy Hoy, username ahoyhere, took offense in the above statement since she is mentioned in the original article and has a time tracking application that uses the latest JavaScript and CSS trends. After that Amy went on a dogmatic crusade against what she called the “dominant paradigm.”

In one side of the argument you have people that believe that as long as a business covers operating costs and brings in anywhere from $10k to $100k a month and you don’t have to do much to run the company you have the leisure of a lifestyle business. Such a lifestyle business affords you time to spend with family, participant on your children’s school activities, join a community organization, take time off to travel, in addition to being your own boss and making your own rules. I can’t knock someone for having a gig like this. People in this camp might subscribe to Tim Farris’ book the Four Hour Work Week and in the folks behind 37Signals who wrote Rework. I remember Jonathan Coulton describe on an episode of This Week in Tech (TWIT) about his music business. Jonathan has a strong following as a singer/songwriter in the self-described geek community. On that TWIT episode he said something to the affect that if you have 1000 followers willing to pay $30 for a premium experience or content then you can make a decent living (he probably doesn’t live in California).

An income of $10k/month pre-tax, pre-health insurance for a family of four and a home mortgage in California is not a “lifestyle” I would like to aspire to. Ramen profitable is only profitable if you in college. Some critiques of the Four Hour Movement rightly ask that if someone can bootstrap a business with only working four hours a week, how much more profitable will the business be if they spend more time into it? The truth is that there is a generational gap in the way of entrepreneurs think and a bubble of some magnitude in every aspect of the industry, including in the “lifestyle” businesses.

I can’t find the source but recently I read a tweet where someone said something to the effect, “You know there is a bubble because every tech conference is sold out.” The conference circuit is one popular business with “lifestyle” crowd, in particular the tech, startup, social media conferences. You know there is a conference bubble with the large number of regional and national conferences, seminars, webinars, master classes, ninja training dojo summits, product mastermind madrasas available online. For example, 37signals runs a one day workshop for 37 people at $1k, that is $37k for one day’s work, especially you can reuse the same material many times over for different batches of students. I’ve been involved for the past several years as an organizer for a non-profit which puts on a one day conference for students that nets $50k in profits.

There is nothing wrong with running a small business, especially if you can get paid by non-technical folks for a calendar with last year’s JavaScript and CSS trends or for a one day training on how to use Twitter and Facebook. I mean, if someone would pay me $1 for adding up any two single digit numbers to support my lifestyle I would outsource that shit to India and work from some mojito island somewhere. But there is something to be said about aspiring to build something great. I want the narrative of my work to speak for itself; I’ve worked in some great companies that have had lofty goals such as understand the human genome and possibly curing cancer. Those goals can’t be meet with someone working for four hours a week and $10k/month.

This country will move in the opposite direction in the socioeconomic standard that we have enjoyed if we listen to such advice, if we don’t strive to build the best businesses we can. These millennial web 2.0 designers might not even remember how there was a time before 1999 were their predecessors could have charged anywhere from $30k to $100k for a website design. Economic pressure has pushed the price of a web design down to $300-$1000 for a awesome design from some kid in Russia. Even now, these small time “lifestyle” operations are under threat by solutions from the developing world, where $3/month can afford developers there a very lavished “lifestyle.”

One of my favorite quotes from Robert Frost is the following.

By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day. – Robert Frost

I believe in hard work, not easy baked cookie cutter one trick unicorn project that some folks are calling a business. You got to put in the time, differentiate your product, and think big if you want to be a successful business. It is widely known that somewhere around 50% of small business fail after 5 years, don’t let the reason you fail be because you didn’t take opportunities when they presented themselves.

In the end, everybody is free to run their business as they want and the invisible hand of Google’s search algorithm will be the judge.


Dec 29 2010

TechKnow Year In Review 2010

It is that time of year where we reflect on the accomplishments of the passing year and look forward to the one to come. Here is a window into the past year in technology through this year’s popular posts on TechKnow Juixe.

Programming Rants

Products and Features

Tutorial and Resources

Patents and Trademarks

Code Conversations

Retweet 2010

Random Thoughts 2010

Year in Review