Category Archives: Startups

Building a Successful Business is Not ‘Winning the Lottery’

If you’ve ever done something risky like leaving your job to start a company, there was probably someone who tried to talk you out of it. You especially get this if you come from a blue-collar background with unions, steady paychecks, and lots of savings bonds on your birthday. Disclosure: I’m definitely overreacting to a […]

Also posted in Business, Life, Soap Box | 1 Response

Winning Is Better When Everyone Else Is Winning Too (Yelp vs Heroku)

I was 11 or 12 when I got my first taste of Monopoly at summer camp. I loved that game — and I think it was my first taste of business. A game that, like life in a lot of ways, was based partly on luck, partly on wit, and much of it on social […]

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Jefferson vs Hamilton + 200 years: AWS vs Heroku

This post might be written out of frustration, but I wanted to put this out before the heat of the moment fades away. Amazon had a power outage in its Virgina data center last night due to a storm, and services like Netflix, Instagram, Pinterest, and Heroku have taken a hit. You could throw a […]

Also posted in Ops, Tools | Leave a comment

Facebook Ads Are Effective, Just Not Relevant, Yet

… and that’s partly the fault of the advertiser, and partly the fault of Facebook. A friend of mine was crapping all over Nasdaq:FB — not because he’s rolls with popular opinion, but because he decided for himself that Facebook is wildly overvalued. My friend is a disciple of Warren Buffet — and anyone who […]

Also posted in Ads, Business, Offtopic | Tagged , , | 3 Responses

Startups, College, and Blue-Collar Ideas of Risk

At the start of this year I left my gig at Yahoo! (before the meltdown) to go off on my own. Most people who have taken “the plunge” (I’ve taken it once before) are met with a series of doubts and feelings of disbelief from family and close friends. “But what will you do for money!? […]

Also posted in Jobs, Life, Soap Box | Tagged , , | 6 Responses

Professor Thiel, I Have A Pitch for You

An article posted on Reuters today has announced that Peter Thiel, a famous opponent of the traditional university education — proposed, and is now instructing a course in entrepreneurship at Stanford — CS 183: Startup. If you’re not familiar with Thiel, read up on him. He’s a serial entrepreneur whose resume is way too long […]

Also posted in Life, Soap Box | 3 Responses