CategoryRescueTime

Widgets!

RescueTime will never be a purveyor of widgets (as a primary business), but there’s no denying that widgets are a damn good way to spread the word about your product, assuming that anyone actually wants to install them. A widget that displays exactly how you spend your computer time may be creepy to some. As an old skool fella who is a bit more privacy-focused, I never really thought that a...

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...

Google Owns about 13% of my Life

I just posted what I thought was a pretty darn interesting post about Google’s dominance in my life. By my count (and, with RescueTime, my count is pretty damn accurate), 13% of the time I spend in front of my computer is taken up by Google products.
Note that this is COMPUTER time– not just my online time.
Check out the post!

New RescueTime Design and Features are up and Live!

Launching a big batch of new stuff is ALWAYS hard. It’s a lot of work and you’re generally making a substantial bet on some of your own instincts. Since the launch (a few hours ago), feedback has been pouring in. Much of it is positive, but some is negative– which I think is par for the course any time you change a utility someone is used to. If you’re a RescueTime user...

Design’s Place in a Startup

A reader took the time to shoot me an email with a few questions about design and startups… His questions were interesting enough that I thought they might be worth blogging about. So here goes: Question #1 – What is the priority balance between programming and design/UI? In my opinion, it totally depends on your startup, and where the core of your innovation lies. Take a hard look at...

Startups: Launch Early, but Launch Small?

One of the recent YCombinator dinners that we attended featured Joe Kraus (who founded Excite and then later JotSpot, which sold to Google). Like all YC guests, Joe had piles of startup wisdom… One of the things that stuck out to me (which I’d never heard much) was when he said, “when we launched JotSpot in beta, we launched it to too many people.” Huh? Too many users...

Arrived in Silicon Valley

Joe, Brian and I have arrived in Silicon Valley unscathed, despite the monsterous storm blanketing the region. The trip was rainy, but thankfully the snow was fairly painless except for about a 10 mile stretch at the Oregon border. We’ve settled into our furnished apartment and have shuffled it around to be dramatically more office-centric. Not a lot of people know this, but RescueTime was...

Evaluating New Product Ideas (focus on Tractability)

Evan Williams (founder of Twitter, fellow corn-fed midwesterner-turned-dotcommer, and someone I get to meet via YCombinator!) has a fabulous post on how to evaluate new product ideas. To sum up his excellent post, here is the matrix he came up with: Tractability Question: How difficult will it be to launch a worthwhile version 1.0? Obviousness Question: Is it clear why people should use it...

Bootstrap Design for Geek-Powered Startups

One of my brethren at YCombinator sent out a request to the 2008 Winter Founders list a request for information about design services for his startup. He and his co-founder, like many YC founders, are hackers. In my career I’ve been a web designer (although I’m only moderately good at it), I’ve hired web designers (for a consulting firm I used to run), and I’ve hired...

Big News for Me and RescueTime (see you in Silicon Valley)

I’ve posted a lot more detail and accompanying thoughts over at the RescueTime blog… To summarize: RescueTime has been funded by YCombinator, one of the most prestigious seed-funding outfits that’s out there (in geek circles, anyways). If you aren’t familiar with it, here’s a bit of info. YC was founded by Paul Graham (startup guy, writer, and crazed Lisp advocate)...