CategoryMy Life

Rethinking “F@#$ You Money”

Now that I’ve stepped down from RescueTime, I’m pondering my next thing (whether it’s a product role at a very early stage startup or spinning up my own for the 3rd time). I figure it’s a good time to be introspective and consider my motivations. Why do startups? For me, it’s more about having the choice to work on the stuff I want to work on, work with cool people...

Guide to Evaluating Startup Ideas

A great developer I once worked with was kvetching at lunch one day. He’d been working at a well-funded startup for about a year and had come to terms with the fact that the startup was really a pretty dumb idea. He’d wasted a year of his life and had a pile of stock options that weren’t very interesting. His last two jobs had been similar. He asked me a question that, at the...

Speaking Tomorrow at the Six Hour Startup Conference

Tomorrow I’m speaking on a panel at the 6 Hour Startup Conference. It should be good fun and (hopefully) informative, so if you’re spinning up a new company (or pondering it), you should come on by. Here are two things I won’t be doing at the conference: Pitching my own company Reading bullet items from a PowerPoint deck Here’s a great quote from a great blog post about...

It’s not what you say… It’s what they hear

Long ago, when I set up this blog I read a few primers on blogging. One of them suggested that you have a picture of yourself on your blog. There were lots of good arguments for doing it, so I dutifully hunted among my photos for a picture of myself. Turns out that I didn’t have too many (I tend to be behind the camera rather than in front of it). I did find one that I liked. It was on a...

Come See me Speak at the Churchill Club

This Wednesday, I’ll be participating in a really interesting panel discussion entitled “Silicon Valley Fights Back Against the (Information) Monster it Created”. The panel is moderated by Matt Richtel (New York Times Correspondent). Here’s the description: Intel launched no email Fridays. So did US Cellular. Some managers at Genentech urge employees to check email only...

Half-assed Startup – How to Start your Company and Keep Your Day Job

Someone posted an interesting “Ask YC”, asking: “How to start becoming an entrepreneur while still being an employee?” Having done this twice (started a company that eventually turned into a full-time startup), I settled in to reply. Before long, it was clear that my response was long enough to justify a blog post. I’ve done two part-time-to-full-time startups (one...

Zeno & Software

Everyone with a fine liberal arts education should be familiar with Zeno’s Dichotomy Paradox (props to Steve Leroux for helping me remember his damn name). “Suppose Homer wants to catch a stationary bus. Before he can get there, he must get halfway there. Before he can get halfway there, he must get a quarter of the way there. Before traveling a quarter, he must travel one-eighth;...

Silicon Valley versus Seattle (and Everywhere Else)

There has been a lot of chatter lately about alternatives to Silicon Valley. There is no denying that Silicon Valley produces more startup success than any other town. But is it cause or effect? Does SV add some secret sauce to the startup recipe or is it simply a place where a lot of geeks tend to congregate? For starters, it’s a good idea to read Glenn Kelman’s outstanding post on...