To me, it seems that video conferencing has to become literally 100 times more common than it is today before people start using telepresence robots.
e.g., "No bulls hit!", with a drawing of a surprised or relieved bull. Or, "No bulls sit!", with a drawing of a crowd of standing bovine...
I can't find any outside references for the trademark registration however.
Current site: http://feefighters.com
Pandora has been bent over by content owners. They're not powerful enough to dictate reasonable terms.
Groupon is waging all out war to dominate. They're hoping when the dust settles they'll own one of the richest markets in the world.
The problem with many web 2.0 companies is that they don't have a clear revenue stream.
Many startups focus on getting acquired and moving on the next "big thing" rather than finding a steady revenue stream.
"Get Started with the Arduino - A Hands-On Introductory Workshop"http://www.oscon.com/oscon2011/public/schedule/detail/19300
When I gave the tutorial last year it was one of the highest rated at the conference.
Apparently as a speaker I can also mention that if you use the code 'os11fos' you can get 20% off the price of registration.
I am not sure why you are giving up at this point, but I can point out some mistakes you made that I don't think you see:
It's fine to bootstrap on five grand; but if you only have five grand? you will almost certainly need to keep your dayjob. I have been running side businesses for most of my life, but for nearly all of that time (until 2009 when prgmr.com really took off) I also had a dayjob.
Dayjobs are great. Someone else gives you enough money to pay your rent and keep yourself in personal computers, chairs, food, etc... and more importantly, someone else pays for your training. I've always worked as a SysAdmin, and I've learned a whole lot operating other people's fleets that I could turn around and apply to my own operations.
Most companies are okay with your side projects. be up front, most places have a form where you write down your own 'inventions' or whatever before they hire you... but again, if we are bootstrapping and not swinging for the fences, there's little chance of your employer becoming interested. To most companies, another couple hundred thousand a year is not enough to bother the lawyers about.
Note, the company will be bothered if it looks like you are spending effort on your project at the expense of spending effort on the stuff they hired you to do. Once I was asked to choose between my own business and my dayjob. (I chose the business... worked on my business for a few months then got a full-time contracting gig)
I've always cycled between a full time dayjob with benefits (get one every time COBRA expires.) corp to corp contracting gigs (for venture capital; I am in a capital intensive industry; corp to corp gigs allow you to spend pre-tax dollars on business equipment... but be /very careful/ with this- tax debt is not discharged through bankruptcy. Once you have enough revenue that paying taxes on all of it would be a big deal, get an accountant. Note I said revenue; this counts the money you are getting from the corp-to-corp contracting gig.) with the occasional month or two full time on the business mixed in.
Next, avoid loans as much as possible. you /will/ fuck it up. Over and over. It happens. Without a loan, you really only return to zero, and eh, you still have that dayjob, right? it's not that big of a deal to be at zero when you get massive checks every month. I mean, you can also return to zero with bankruptcy, but to make that worth the lawyer time, you need to get fairly large loans, which isn't as easy as it sounds. Getting $10-$20K in debit is irritating, can kill your business, and usually isn't worth the lawyer time and hassle of bankruptcy. And a loan doesn't always look like a loan; at one point I signed a contract for a year of bandwidth at $1500/month; this was back when I needed between 1/10th and 1/100th the amount of bandwidth that the $1500/month got me. I mean, I was launching a product that could have used it, if it really took off, but the product didn't take off, and I was full time on the business barely clearing rent, so I ended up with rather a large amount of debt. (I ended up paying it all off as a contractor... honestly, it may have been best to just fold the company at that point and declare corporate bankruptcy; maybe they wouldn't have come after me personally? I don't know. but my point is that leases should be looked at as debt.)
Spend dayjob money on rent at the place where you sleep. Spend the five grand on flyers and other business expenses. (though, five grand is a whole goddamn lot of flyers and business cards. $50 worth of businesscards gets me and my employee through a year, usually.)
If you only have five grand with zero income, the office fridge wasn't your big mistake, the office was. You can get an office once you have business income. Until then, use your garage or front room or what have you.
Anyhow, if the other business owner called you rather than sending a lawyer letter, he's willing to talk. Call him back and explain the situation. Be open about your numbers (this isn't always a good idea, but in your case, you have nothing to lose by letting him know you are not worth suing.) Ask him if you can work something out. This is the advantage of not having any money; Sure, just about anyone could sue you and put you out of business, but there'd be no profit in it; lawyers only work for a percentage of the winnings if they think the winnings will be large enough to give them a better total expected return on their time than working hourly. The guy isn't going to sue you unless he's mad enough to pay a few hundred dollars an hour just to put you out of business.
Of course, if he's a competitor, it probably won't work out. but otherwise, maybe it will. worth a shot.
If it is national, you should just change your business name.
As far as the other guy needing to work, that should have been figured out before. I take it you must be independently wealthy to be able to self fund for a long time? You are fortunate, but it's not realistic to assume this is true of everyone. Obviously his debt is related to not getting much if any income after 7 months of working on this venture.
I think your advice is very premature to say the least. You have not successfully executed yet. So you don't have working advice to give. It's strange when this happens, but seems kind of common. So many business books written by guys who don't have experience creating or running successful businesses. A lot of wild eyed speculation presented as fact.
Here is some advice. I see in your explanation you have a list of blaming other people. It's the cofounder's fault for not working more and wanting to earn an income after 7 months. It's the other guys fault for having a trademark. But if the cofounder worked with no salary longer you'd still have run into this trademark issue. The thing is, if you suspected your product had any chance of working at this point you'd not be giving up on the trademark. You know that the business is failing for other reasons, yet you come up with this other stuff. It's a denial of reality. Figure out why the company really failed. It wasn't the cofounder or the trademark that did it.
Now I know you are reading this and getting ready to press reply and type, "Bugsy you big dummy, didn't you see that I accepted blame? The title of this article is 'How I messed up'." Right, about that. Let's look at your numbered list of the four ways ways you are taking responsibility. #1 says your cofounder is to blame. #2 says the trademark is to blame. #2 says your cofounder situation is to blame. #4 says your cofounder situation is to blame. So you don't actually admit to doing anything wrong. Saying "I made a mistake depending on all these other morons!" is not taking responsibility. It's blaming others, while not even taking responsibility for blaming others.
Was there a product? Were there customers? Was there growth? None of these questions are addressed at all in this essay, and these are the real questions to have been asking. If the company has a viable product, a customer base, and is making sales after 7 months, the co founder wouldn't be walking away due to becoming destitute after 7 months of no income, and the other cofounder wouldn't be abandoning the business over a extremely minor branding issue.
Lesson #2: at the age of 24, if you don't have even $5,000 worth of savings that you can afford to blow and need to borrow that amount from family, you should probably take a step back and think long and hard about your financial priorities. Depending on your location and your education and/or skills, you can probably earn $5,000/month, if not substantially more, working for someone else. Yeah, that's not as cool as starting a business, but opportunity costs are greatest at your age. What's really not cool: wasting away your twenties and having nothing to show for your efforts once you hit 30. Sure, everybody in StartupVille is always one venture away from a big exit or a $100,000/month business, but when you go to conferences and meetups and see thirty-somethings who have no net worth because they've been swinging for the fences since they were 20, it isn't pretty. Bottom line: at your age, in the absence of substantial existing savings or alternate sources of income (a trust fund, etc.), working on anything that requires you to "work for free" for any length of time is likely to be really, really harmful to your finances in the long run.
It would sound like your mistakes point to a lack of research. It sounds like your co-founder isn't a friend, so you didn't know enough about him to get started with.
Finally, this isn't legal advice, but don't give up on the trademark situation yet. Especially if you haven't launched. I'm not so sure the other party would be willing to pay lawyers for a lawsuit, especially onsidering there isn't much to get out of small bootstrapped startup. Also, if you haven't launched, then you dont have very much to lose. You haven't established a brand yet, so perhaps this might be the best time to tweak with this. And of course, you'd want to improve on your branding research this time.
There's no way anyone can make that choice but yourself. Many people will say "don't give up" but there is little to be gained if the business is going under and you start throwing more money - or other people's money - down the drain.
On the other hand the business shows promise but needs more time and funds, none of which you have right now.
There is another option - suspend business operations, if possible, and rebuild your funds through a "normal" job or consulting. If the business is viable you should be able to relaunch at a later date in a stronger position, perhaps with better partners. If it isn't, you can try again with a new idea.
Knowing when you stand and fight and when to retreat to fight again another day is essential.
If nobody knows your brand, why can't you re-brand? Did you buy a bunch of useless merchandise, or can you personally tweak some logos in Photoshop to a new name.
What is your partner's role? Sounds like he must be the coder / designer.
More than a plan, it sounds like you need a great mentor.
(I assumed this was a web startup, but you made flyers, so now I'm not so sure.)
As was suggested some day ago here, and as I did when I created my social web company (that had a successful exit), a good thing to do is to create an adsense based site, SEO optimized, in order to live out of adsense.
The legal nonsense aside, I'd have started your company while you both still had jobs and worked on it during your off hours. If things began to pick up and you got some user traction, I would have then spent the $5,000 where it was needed. For one thing, if you had done it this way you'd have come across your co-founder's money problems earlier.
You only planned to do this for another 60 days. So the only question that matters is whether you can get customers in that timeframe.
I'd continue to work on your business with whatever materials you have on hand. Maybe you can sell your domain and LLC to this guy to cut some of the losses, but even if not just tell him it will take two months to take care of the paperwork.
If he is a total dick and still sues, just shut down your company like you were planning on anyway. In exchange for being unreasonable, this guy will have paid a bunch of money to sue a company that no longer exists, and alienated the holder of the exact-match domain for his business in the process.
Admittedly, that's easy to say for someone who's got the money to start companies left and right. What I'm trying to say though, is that while your company didn't work out, and it's quite possible that it looks like there's nothing to salvage, you have a team (or maybe only the two of you, but you keep on referring to 'we') and you'll have another opportunity soon if you keep your eyes open.
Not saying that you should or should not give up, that's your call. Only that it sounds like a challenge that's no different from the one many other startups faced.
Have u launched yet? You said you were headed to profitability. What about the original idea as others have mentioned here?
Here's another one:
Plan to dedicate more than 7 months to said startup.
Our company went completely under (Chapter 11 stuff), we lost all staff and had legal threats from all sides.
After a few weeks of misery we decided that we don't feel like dying. We went all-in and turned it around on a shoe-string budget in a matter of months.
Keep refusing to die, and you'll be fine - it just won't be easy!
Here's your next written business plan:
1. Build something you can show off - a product, a demonstration of your service, whatever.2. Show it to anyone who will sit still.3. If 2 out of 10 people are not trying to buy your stuff or hire you by the end of the demo, pick one from a,b,c below:
a) show it to different kinds of peopleb) revise it and show it to more peoplec) take whatever you've learned and can recycle (code, art) and go back to #1 above.
There are tests that are applied. Also, simply having a similar domain name may not be a problem unless you're directly competing with the guy or you're passing off. There are many limitations to trademark.
I faced the same problem as you ten years ago. I received a cease and desist letter from a large multinational. I handed over the domain name, rebranded the business and I'm still here. So it doesn't have to mean the end of your business.
Explain to the other company that you agree and will change your name shortly. Start thinking of a new name and get some more clients to get some cash. If you have a good business, than it can also work without a name.
It is sad to have wasted so much money just because of the name. But look for marketing solutions where you don't need to pay anything. If you already had some clients, propose some advantages if they get you more clients. etc.
I have no idea how people begin startups with $10K. I seriously don't understand it. It's nothing. A good developer's time will cost you more than that for just one month.
That is directly from the USPTO. In other words, if you have a company named "A" that writes software and I have a company name "A" that makes shoes.. I can't sue you for trademark infringement.
A website doesn't matter.. it's the type of business that matters.
I have the workplace for work. While I share an apartment with my brother, I have my kitchen to cook, my bedroom to sleep in, my living room for entertainment. I'd like a quiet place to go to write, or maybe get back into programing, or whatever.
My only real option is to get a place with an extra room, and that's not in the cards for me right now. So, my problem? A place to get away and do "my thing." Sure, most would just as soon do it in their homes, but, it would be a luxury I'd consider.
... Hey, you asked.
Another data point: a friend who wanted to move from Microsoft to NYC had multiple job offers within a week of posting his resume to an NYC tech mailing list.
If you're interested in speaking more, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Even if you're not interested in Art.sy, I'm happy to intro you to other NYC startups you might be interested in.
 Here is a link to the Quora thread of all NYC startups that are hiring: http://www.quora.com/Startups-in-New-York-City/Which-startup...
Once you're in NY, drop Hackruiter a line. They're YC alums [EDIT: and apparently YC funded again as recruiters] and based out of NYC, doing recruitment for startups (mostly YC alumni themselves). They got me my current contract and they're all-around great guys that, as both recruiters and engineers, understand the scene as well as anyone. They also run a weekly meetup called BrainDump, which is about as techy as a meetup can get (in a good way), and a mailing list "LinkedList".
They seem to be all about meeting smart, motivated people and making meaningful connections, as opposed to just playing matchmaker - so even though you're not looking yet, I bet they'd be up for a chat. Heck, if you're interested, I'll point them to this thread.
But thanks to things like the Mythical Man-Month, engineering is a field where people would rather have 1 incredible engineer than 10 mediocre engineers for the same price. So for someone with talent and the right reputation, there's arguably no better field to be in than engineering.
So basically, if you're good at what you do, engineering is one of the hottest job markets in the country. (In NY, the hotness is particularly exaggerated, because the startups there are the companies most likely to want to keep their teams small, and hire the best - and they have to compete with the financial sector, which provides large numbers of engineers a steady job with high pay.)
If you're not good at what you do (or even if you just want to get better at what you do), don't assume the hotness of the market will get you a job. The market is hot for engineers, but I'd say it's only hot for good engineers, again, due to the Mythical Man-Month effect.
But don't be discouraged. Just by being proactive getting internships and participating on Hacker News, you're probably better than 80% of the applicants your age out there. That's why so many of our answers are assuming that you're a good candidate - because odds are, you probably are. :)
 If you haven't read this, take a few moments out this summer to do so. It's a quick, breezy and incredibly informative read. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mythical_Man-Month
Stop using Craiglist. If you're going to use a service, use Indeed, Authentic Jobs, the 37 Signals job board or something else. "Inside Startups" is a great newsletter that lists jobs weekly.
Ideally, though, you want to meet people in person. There are multiple parties, events, and meetups every week.
To start, go to any of the tech meetups listed on Meetup.com. Garysguide.org has a lot of events listed as well. (Those Meetup groups have email lists, watch them for job postings.) Get business cards and follow up with people.
You're going to get offers faster than you expect. Decide what you want (big company, small company, front-end, back-end, python, ruby, etc), and learn to say "no". Before saying "yes", ask other nerds about them (at the Meetups, for example).
Just kidding, but yeah, if you're good and you're in NYC, you'll be slurped up by the startups here. Everyone has problems hiring in NYC.
When you are ready to start looking, change your LinkedIn profile to say you're a <whatever> consultant located in NYC. You will start getting contacted by headhunters within a few days.
Eventually I bit the bullet and just dove right in, not afraid to break things. I had figured out more in 10 minutes than I did in a whole hour of passively looking through the code.
Find the core and work your way out.
The edges depend on what kind of application you're talking about. A web app will have different edges than a GUI app, and so forth.
Find the main method or equivalent, and follow the trail of instantiation. Usually you'll find that configuration takes place somewhere in this code path, which is another place to come back to later and start connecting the dots.
When all else fails, identify and follow a single trail of execution all the way through the code. Find another and follow it. Pretty soon you'll start to get a sense of where to find the core of the code.
Identify the presentation classes and work back from them to identify the business logic.
Identify the data access layer (either file or database) andlook at the app in terms of what it's pushing into and pulling out of the data.
There are some code analysis tools out there, though I've never managed to quite fully grasp them, using them to look at the code can sometimes help you get a sense of the structure. One that is tantalizing, for java, is SA4J aka Small Worlds:
There are others out there. There used to be a copy&paste detection tool in sourceforge... I might be thinking of this one:
Add comprehensive logging:
Add a log statement for all method/subroutine/function/procedures, and then run the app while watching the logs, to get a sense of what gets called, when.
You can try to go a step further, and log all returns (and the values returned) but that can be a more challenging task. On the other hand, figuring out where to insert those log statements will also force you to engage with the code, so it's worth it if you've already picked the other low-hanging fruit.
Speaking of engaging with the code; don't underestimate the value of refactoring the code as a way of learning your way around it. It's much more engaging and less likely to induce highway hypnosis if you're actively working the code instead of just skimming it.
Obviously you use good revision control, and ideally keep a pristine install of the code alongside your experimental working working set, to compare behaviors.
Don't be afraid to throw away the refactored code if you find you've bogged down (and keeping that clearly in mind can help you avoid analysis paralysis).
Good luck, Jim!
1) Pair Program w/ someone Senior - best way to learn is to ride shotgun, literally.
2) Fix bugs first - trace a single feature, take things apart
3) Use the Source - Make sure you've got the source to both the primary product any any 3rd party/open source libraries. You should be able to chase any line of code down to it's source.
4) Draw Diagrams or Make Tables
5) Don't Hesitate to Break Out the Debugger
6) Use source control "blame" - find out who wrote the code and talk to them about it
1. set breakpoints
2. right-click on an identifier and "Go to Definition"
3. search in entire "Project" or "Solution"
I've found helpful on Unix systems:
U1. grep -R ...
U2a. ls -lR > lslr.txt[if tree is big, this is slow]
U2b. view lslr.txt in an editor[no longer slow, even if tree is big]
This should take you around most high level areas of the system and in my experience show you just how nice or complicated of a system you just inherited.
For example: filter[fields][type]=comment&filter[fields][username]=pg
...the second result there has a null discussion field. Getting the submission title &etc. would be nice.
If searchyc is toast, can we migrate it as opposed to simply the deadpool? There've already been some offers to host.
I'm hopeful that they're simply exploring options, and that it won't come to actual death.
(Hmm... It seems I'm very "optimistic", this morning. More coffee!)
Disruptive startups can't get funding and there are many people who would like to fund them with small investments of, say, $50.
Here's a solution. Part One: Companies register as public companies on Malta, which is EU, on the cheap (relatively). They aren't listed on any exchange but can privately accept bids for shares from anyone. E.g. 10 shares for $50.
Part Two: A site which offers any company/group/idea the possibility to list (ala Crunchbase) but then for those companies that incorporate publicly in Malta, there's a pre-built mechanism for them to field and accepts bids for equity. There's a very small transaction fee for this.
I've registered the domain OpenStarts.com but it's yours along with the business plan if you want it. Just email me. A quick deck is here: http://c25571.r71.cf1.rackcdn.com/OpenStarts.ppsx
Then come back. I'll bet you'll find you're more excited.
a) building these things makes the world more productive, businesses more agile,
b) you can take inspiration from a wide range of sources (science fiction, journals, movies, video games, old inventions),
c) there's very exciting stuff coming to market right now. Microsoft's Kinect, Nintendo Wii (and whatever their new console will be), lots of interest in 3D displays, while stuff like voice-recognition and natural language interfaces and data visualization is finally getting really good
So many combinations of the above to be discovered, and so many industries to benefit.
Many immigrants to the US go back to their home country for surgery and similar health services. It's cheaper and often better. Why can't non-first-generation-immigrants take advantage of the same services easily? Ie. why can't you easily go to countryX and cheaply get your teeth fixed?
Another thought -- there's a special kind of burnout when you realize that the "problems" most new products/services solve not really problems -- they are just about moving money around more easily or in different ways, or convincing people more effectively to buy more things they don't need.
How do you define a good idea? "One that makes money" is pretty weak. Some people can motivate themselves purely on the money something will make; the rest of us need to dig a bit deeper when looking for worthwhile projects. One that solves a particular problem you have, for other people, is also pretty weak if your personal problems are all trivialities. "I travel a lot, and it's hard to find shoes that are still comfortable at the end of a long flight."
I showed your post to my wife and she really thought I wrote it.
Please reach out to me and we'll talk. You can find my email on my about page. Cheers!
Read everything James Altucher has written: http://www.jamesaltucher.com/
He's been around the block a few times, but wears his heart on his sleeve.
Put yourself into the shoes of someone else and fix their biggest problem. Can't think of one?
Go to a non-nerd party and ask around, "What's your biggest problem?".
Undeveloped ideas are not interesting, developed ideas are.
I encourage you to take your time, to think about problems that you see discussed here or on Reddit, and find the problems those problems create, then you're headed in the right direction.
If you want to chat about ideas or creativity, my eMail is in my profile. Don't be shy!
the process of finding things you like takes time. be aware of your state through the process and learn from it.
solve the problem correctly once, and you wont ever have the problem again.
I use the "divide and conquer" strategy. I look for others who have similar management authority and get them to see a mock of what I'm suggesting. If they won't listen to you, they will often listen to someone else.
Then encourage them to get feedback from family and friends. Chances are if your assessment is correct then your client will get the feedback not only from you but from others whom opinions they respect. In the end this is about all you can do.
Having clients means often having to do your best within the parameters that they set for you. They are the ones paying and you are the one working after all.
The other thing that is very concerning in your post is that you think this one issue is so bad that you don't want to be associated with it. The truth is that this is going to happen over and over again in your career and you are going to need to learn to make the best of it.
Nothing says you can't be associated with a project and also discuss, on your resume or web site, how if you were allowed to make the decisions you would have done things differently. I think if you take this approach you can gain credibility with future customers so that it might make it easier for your opinion to count more.
Distancing yourself from too many projects in the long run will make you appear inexperienced and eventually may damage your reputation much more than being associated with a project you are not completely happy with.
Best of luck to you.
You might also get some good advice on other aspects of the design while you do it...
It may seem cheaper to grab a copy of wordpress and host it myself, but then who will manage backups and updates (especially if myself or my staff aren't familiar with wordpress)? It may make more sense for me to spend $49 a month on a host which takes care of the details, so I can simply push content onto the site.
People say that "If you're not paying for the product, you are the product," and there's something to that.
The amount of money needed to get a normal IMAP account with SSL is quite small, and worth it if you ask me.
http://runbox.com/ and http://gandi.net/ are good options for those who want paid secure accounts hosted in Europe.
If your team consists of three John Resig-like JS ninjas, then the benefits of using CoffeeScript may be slight, or even cancelled out entirely by the extra step of compilation or the concern that future versions of CoffeeScript may break your code. But if your JS skills are beginner-to-intermediate, then I'm quite confident that you'll be more productive after a week or two of using CoffeeScript. That's based on my own experience, and the experience of many developers I've talked to.
It's not a magic bullet, and there are certainly tradeoffs, but all in all, I'm of the opinion that CoffeeScript is what most devs should be using. And the benefits are especially pronounced in a team setting, where having shorter, more readable, more modularized code makes communication much, much easier. In pg's words: "Succinctness is power."
(By the way, I've also waxed about this subject at the Programmers Stack Exchange: See http://programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/72569/what-ar... and http://programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/72699/should-...)
Let's take a step back and discuss what you're doing, though. Shorting a stock is a way of betting that it will go down, but it's not the only or necessarily the best way. Remember, taking a short position in a stock has potentially unlimited downside, depending on your margin arrangement: the stock price can always go up, and if your margin gets called, you could end up losing a lot of money.
Two other relatively easy ways to bet against a stock are to buy-to-open put options (limited downside) or sell-to-open call options (unlimited downside).
A put option is the right to sell a particular stock at a specific price before the expiration date of the contract. So, if you own a put option, you can sell stock for some amount, no matter what its present market price is. So, if the price of a share is very high right now, and you think it will go down, you can buy puts, wait for the price to go down, and either exercise or (more commonly) turn around and sell the puts. The maximum amount of money you can lose is your initial investment: the value of the puts can go to $0, but no lower. On the other hand, you're highly leveraged: if you buy barely out-of-the-money puts on a stock for $1, then the price of the stock drops by $10, your puts will potentially go up in value by $10 or more (the price of options is strongly influenced by the volatility of a stock and by its recent history), so you could make 10x your money.
If you sell call contracts, you're selling someone else the right to buy stock for a given price---and agreeing to be the counter party if the options get exercised. If you think that a stock is going to go down, but everyone else thinks it will go up, you can sell call options contracts. Then, if you prove to be right, you pocket the money you made selling the contracts and you're done. Of course, if the stock goes up a whole bunch and you don't have shares to cover it, you could be forced to buy shares at a much higher price than the contract, and you'll lose money. You can see how in this case the downside is unlimited.
So: shorting gives unlimited downside and leveraged upside (you pay someone interest to borrow shares that you sell and then later buy back and repay when the stock has gone down). Buying puts gives limited downside and leveraged upside. Selling calls gives unlimited downside and unleveraged upside (you make what you sell the contracts for, and nothing more).
(These are rough approximations to the truth, and if you're going to engage in short selling or writing naked calls, you'd better learn a hell of a lot more than reading one post on the internet from some random guy who can't even spell his username correctly.)
Buying puts is a far, far safer way of betting against a company, and you don't need a margin account to do it. If I were you, I'd strongly consider doing this.
(I regularly buy puts and calls as a way of making leveraged short-term trades. In fact, pretty much all my short term trading is options, and my long positions tend to be longer term. I do not regularly short or sell uncovered calls, however, because these are frankly dangerous pastimes.)
If you don't get what the authors are saying, that's probably a sign that what you're about to do is gambling. If you want to gamble, great, but it's important to understand when you are gambling, and to understand whether your grasp of the odds in any way correlates to reality - and that's the big challenge in learning to trade.
Secondly, you should look at a good broker like Interactive Brokers: they offer a paper trade account for free, and a wide range of information on their website. Their software is excellent. If you find either their software or the information for individual investors on their website tough going or enormously intimidating (e.g. suddenly you realize that you're running an application that quite literally runs on money...), then that is also a sign that what you are about to do is gambling on unknown odds.
If looking at these things dissuades you, then you will have learned something useful along the way - and hopefully it interests you enough to go look at other resources that teach a much better way to interact with the market.
I use Schwab, they have a great trading platform, easy to use, and easy accounts to set up.
you have to wait about a week after the IPO until the options start trading.
I think the best you can do is find some tutorials but even in that department there's nothing to be crazy about.
So far it looks like the prime way to learn about it is to experiment (well I guess that's the best way anyways).
Or just download some sample projects from github and look at that during your flight, haha.
4 hours is not that much anyways, so you might just as well give up on it.
I also made a subreddit a long time ago, but also to no avail: http://www.reddit.com/r/ProductManagement/
There's a lot that goes through #prodmgmt on Twitter, but that is too ephemeral in nature.
At this point (combined with being vice president of the Utah Product Management Association(, I've come to these conclusions:
- Many (not a majority!) PMs are completely unaware of what they don't know, so they don't go looking for answers
- Many PMs psychologically need to be in the middle of everything (it's part of the reason they want to be PMs), which sucks down massive amounts of time, leaving little time left for book learning.
- Many PMs are thrown into the job with no real understanding of what a PM should do. As a result, they do the two things they understand, leaving the other 20 boxes in the Pragmattic Framework empty (and there isn't much need to learn about them as a result).
I know I'm bagging on PMs, but i actually think most PMs genuinely try their hardest and most of those are reasonably good.
There's one other critical piece that I think hurts more than all of the above: PM is a poorly defined role, ranging everywhere from bizdev to project management to business analyst to development manager. It is really hard to get two people to agree on what a PM is, so it is equally hard to find content that is equally interesting to all.
If you do find a good community, please let me know!
I'm by no means an expert, so there may be a better set of tools out there but these have worked well for me.
Looks like a cool little tool. add an api like flickr to show pictures and you'll get more users.
Fck Miami is showing as trending on Twitter, but the Google News tab is by default viewable, yet lacking any content. the tabs should automatically show the feed from the "trending" source.
live updates would be nice without having to refresh the page. or at least how facebook does it, where they show a counter of most recent updates, and you can click to update the page.
It might not be a million dollar business, but if you optimize your layout and place some ads, you could be earning $xxx per month.
I can't speak to monetizing this, as I've never used ads before. I wonder how much a website like this could generate...anyone?
Do you think I should sort based on recency instead of using google and twitter's rankings? As in, when something sneaks into Twitter's top 10 it sits at the top of my list?
Thanks for the feedback.