CategoryStartups

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...

Value or Viral?

I can’t help but think that the startup world is a bit drunk on the concept of viral distribution. Distribution is a huge problem for startups, so I suppose that I can’t blame them. First of all, I want to point out that I think viral distribution freakin’ rocks. It’s amazing. It’s awe-inspiring. If you can build virality into your app, do it– and do it early...

RescueTime Improves… A little bit, and over and over again!

One of the frustrating things about iterative software development is that you never get to do a heroic launch (a la Steve Jobs). Your software starts off to be barely good enough for someone to endure. The next week it’s better. Rinse, repeat. If you’re good, someday you wake up and you’ve built great software. We’ve got a long road before this day, but we think...

Does a Business Guy have a Place in Software Startups?

[edit: I should probably have made a stronger point that I am talking about early early early stage startups. 2-5 people, pre-funding. Carry on!] There is a tremendous amount of venom loosed towards so called “business guys” or “idea guys” (as I’ve called ’em) in the startup community. They can’t catch a break. A big part of the reason is that we’ve...

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...

#1 Mistake by Coders who Are Doing UI Design

I think that common sense goes a long ways in UI design… But not all the way. It’s a learned skill like any other. I was reading up on calendar controls today (which I’m obsessed with, by the way) and caught a great post by the curmudgeonly Jakob Nielsen. Here’s the snippet I like best (he’s describing the top application design mistakes): “Affordance”...

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...

Every Piece of Startup Advice is a Lie (including mine)

Well, not all of it. That title was blatant click-bait. You’re here and I’ve won. Nyah! I’ve long been passionate about reading and digesting every tidbit of information about what it takes to build a successful startup. I’m an avid reader of people like Seth Godin, Paul Graham, Guy Kawasaki, the fellas at VentureHacks, Fred Wilson, Josh Kopelman, Andrew Chen, and more. As...

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...