Posts tagged with business

(Swype is the $100 million exit that makes it easier for Android smartphone havers to type)

  • hippie
  • wanted to be able to talk with dolphins
  • lives in Nevada City, CA. (So do Joanna Newsom, Mariee Sioux, and Terry Riley … what’s up with that?!)
  • meditates
  • once he had invented one thing it was easier for him to get financing for the next one
  • working alone for … 7 years?! … before he came to Swype


Technology. It’s not synonymous with computer programming.

(via the now-defunct @anonymous_HFT)

Technology. It’s not synonymous with computer programming.

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Albert Wenger, one of the owners of tumblr

At minute 31:

  • Google did not invent keyword advertising
  • GoTo, later renamed Overture, out of IdeaLab, invented it
  • and were acquired by Yahoo
  • Google improved upon the keyword search idea, turning keyword search into a viable business model
  • They realised there needs to be such a thing as a quality score—i.e., you don’t myopically give the ad space to the highest bidder. Long-term revenue maximisation required asking what the users want, and not p***ing them off.

It’s strange to me when internet advice-givers tell you to "Just build something—anything. Get moving. Get going." It’s like they’re the same people who tell you that taking risks is costless—that it’s always worth it. There are a lot of failed businesses cluttering up the past. In the case of internet start-ups you can actually look them up on Crunchbase.


To say “analysis-paralysis” is bad is not to say that doing random stuff is good. Doing an inch-deep reflection of hype should be even worse.

I’m not saying sitting on your duff is the same as thinking things through. Real thinking, real research, takes a lot of energy and time. But I think that can be a reasonable investment if it keeps you from wasting your life on a business that’s dead before it starts, or that will end up making your life something you don’t want it to be (e.g. if biz is a net evil, or your role in it is not how you want to spend your life).

I don’t know what’s a reasonable timeline to spend researching a business idea but if I were doing another business I wouldn’t go forward until certain bars had been cleared: basically similar bars to what an investor would want to see before putting their money in.

Tyler Cowen says that super hackers will benefit from improving computer technology and reap the high wages of the post-recession economy.

I’m sorry to say I too have used the lazy robo-programmers metaphor. That was uncareful non-thinking on my part.

Trying to be more logical, what should we really conclude from the assumption that observed ↑ growth in “computer stuff” will continue apace?

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@bos31337 Running a startup (MailRank) on Haskell (por jasonofthel33t)

Even though this is an advanced talk, there’s still something here for business people who know very little about software but are interested in web startups.

Namely, at Minute 20 BOS ticks off the things that a web app needs to do, like:

  • load balancing requests,
  • proxying data off…
  • for his Haskell code to bang on…
  • in the cloud,
  • receive requests from a Windows desktop software written in C#
  • coördinate those with what he already had,
  • store the data (thus evaluate a database appropriate for their problem),
  • worry about server throughput,
  • connect (bind) his (main) Haskell code to the database, to the server, to the webapp,
  • evaluate server software,

This surveys the moving parts in an internet-based business.

There are many important fields where one can’t rigorously prove results but there’s wisdom to be had, so I don’t think that you can’t know things you can’t prove.

Economics as a science is basically about modeling, and if all you knew about the economy was what can be modeled you would know very little. … One spends a lot of time understanding these models, and then what? Does that make you a valued counsel for a large company or government? Only insofar as you can argue better, generating a spread argument that others can’t easily dismiss. … [S]uch tools are used are often used to obfuscate and deflect common sense criticisms as being nonscientific, when such people are speaking about constructs and relationships with more rigor than is empirically warranted. I think it’s pointless to get into such debates…. That’s not a search for truth, just a way to more easily convince yourself you were right all along.

… Perhaps we simply need more granular data than is available, so like the germ theory before the magnifying glass, we simply can know what’s driving things. Clearly national income accounting has failed spectacularly relative to original expectations as to what it would show, like measuring one’s health via a thermometer: correct at extremes, but pretty useless in between.

Maybe things like the good life or happiness or an optimal fiscal policy will forever remain things that are achievable, just not in any rigorous way. Or maybe someday we will discover the equivalence of an economic magnifying glass.

Eric Falkenstein


179 Plays

BHP Billiton from The Economist

  • the cut and thrust of dealmaking
  • putting finance types in the C suite rather than engineers
  • diversifying as mines are both very large and financially volatile

I thought up a cheap model for success in work. Let me know what you think of it, will you?

∃ three components (besides luck) to success in the workplace: skills, relationships, and hard work. I’ll define by example:

(hard) Skills

  • "He’s the only person who’s been here since Project Bumbocat."
  • "She’s the only Rails developer."
  • "I spent a month of late nights writing shell scripts and now I get to kick back for 50% of my work days.”
  • Knowing about polymer flooding and Velle derricks.
  • Able to repair the broken photocopier/toilet/server/air conditioner.
  • Locksmith.


  • Your contacts can invest a lot of money in something you tell them about.
  • You are well-liked by coworkers.
  • You easily develop rapport with clients.
  • Your contacts can get you a conversation with someone important.


  • Dressing to impress.
  • Getting up at 5am every morning.
  • Calling more clients per hour.
  • Staying later than your co-workers.

How do I want to combine these dimensions? Not as a △ (symplectic) but as three independent directed, zeroless, ordered, metricless dimensions ↑↑↑.

As with most models this isn’t even an “According to me” theory. It’s a hat that I’m trying on and—hey, how do you feel when you try it on?