CategoryPsychology

No, You CAN’T retire rich at 30 if you sell your startup

I personally find the people who are in the software startup game just for the money to often be nearly delusional about their chances of success and the likely magnitude of it when it happens. Before I get into the details for founders, let me talk about options-hungry employees. If you are in it for the money and you aren’t a founder, you’re sticking your head in the sand. Full stop...

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...

How to Ask for an Introduction

I don’t know a ton of important people. But as a founder of a venture-backed startup with some amazing investors and advisors, I do know a few. With Nivi and Naval preaching the gospel of social proof (can I get an “amen”?!) and with fundraising posts and articles espousing the importance of introductions, it’s no surprise that about once a week someone asks me to...

Startups with Something to Believe In

I went to an informal Seattle startup CEO dinner a while back and it was an awesome opportunity to talk candidly about the problems that early stage products face. Someone remarked to me afterwards that a lot of people in that room had already “made it” (financially speaking). That’s one of the cool things about being a startup founder. There were plenty of folks in the room who...

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...

Reading the Lines, Not Between Them (PG & Coding Horror)

There’s quite a flap over Paul Graham’s recent essay. The attacking author quotes a comment on Reddit (always a good sign) as a good summary of the essay of why we should all be terribly offended. “I work with young startup founders in their twenties. They’re geniuses, and play by their own rules. Oh… you haven’t founded a company? You suck.” I kinda feel...

Exactly Why 37Signals is So Arrogant

Don Norman recently wrote a fine piece entitled “Why is 37Signals So Arrogant?“. As a student of link/click bait, I have to applaud him. Bravo! It’s right up there with Jason Calacanis’ post about firing anyone who isn’t a workaholic (his followup is a bit more measured). So I’m going to do one better than Don Norman, and tell you exactly why 37Signals is so...

Adsense is Broken

I love the idea of contextual advertising, and I think Adsense has been a boon to entrepreneurship across the world. But it’s clearly broken. Today we received some nice feedback about RescueTime: from A RescueTime User to team@rescuetime.com, date Feb 9, 2008 1:27 PM subject RESCUETIME APP FEEDBACK great site! put some adsense here and i’ll click it every time i come here! This is the 3rd...

Stealing Photos, Fair Use, and Business Models

I have a hard time getting high-and-mighty about the paparazzi crap that I see in grocery store lines, given that I can’t seem to tear my eyes away from the train-wreck controversies of online celebrities. I just…. can’t…. look…. away! Over the past two weeks, one of the big memes in the echo chamber is related to stealing photos… It seems a small a capella...

The Fuss About Macs, Priming, and Racism

Alan Steele (ex-Jobster colleague) tweets: “using a mac for the first time in many years. so far i don’t see what all the fuss is about. it’s just another desktop…” I tend to agree. A computer is a means to an end, and an XP Windows box usually gets me to my “end” just fine. There are certainly some differences among the platforms, but I think it mostly...