No shit. I used to work as a quant, and while I was an okay quant and mediocre trader at best, I survived for three years in the industry because of my kdb+ proficiency: the firm I was at spent a couple of million dollars on kdb+ only to find out that most people could not wrap their heads around kdb+ let alone debug it effectively.
My (former) colleagues were definitely smart people. In many ways, they were way smarter than myself. But I somehow could get a much better handle of kdb+'s idiosyncrasies, and my ability to stare at dense k/q code (usually no more than a dozen lines) and figure out what's wrong with it earned me the reputation as the "q guy" - and some level of job security.
The firm eventually phased out kdb+ completely after my boss and I left (the two proponents of kdb+).
The code is, well, not the easiest to understand.
That's what irritated me most.
What I'd like to understand is - what led the author to this particular conclusion? Is it the fact that this language is super expressive and concise? Is it that it routinely  outperforms its C counterparts even if it ultimately translates to C? Is the Z graphical interface so superior that it'll blow the pants off Cocoa and Quartz and X.org or Wayland or what have you? Why would one rewrite emacs or vim on it? I don't want some basic 4 line text editor - I would like to be productive. Why would Mozilla spend energy porting firefox to it? Or Google, chrome? Or bash?
Simply talking about the history of K/kdb+ and how brilliant its creator is simply doesn't help the reader understand why they should be excited about it. If that was the intention of this article, then the real points to make should've started after that line.
That would've been much more interesting.
 - No pun intended, of course
The download link at http://www.kparc.com/ asks for password, so I'm not sure whats going on with that.
Looking at his code on http://www.kparc.com/edit.k I'd like to disagree with that statement
There seems to be this strange idea going around that if we just get the right tool, everything else is going to change forever. I see this a lot with people trying to create IDEs that let non-programmers create programs without really knowing how to code.
But the thing is, most people just don't have anything worth coding. The problem isn't that the tools don't exist. They do, even if they aren't perfect. It's that making something that matters isn't an easy thing to do. And no tool can change that.
Am I missing something or should the author of this article provide more evidence on the type of attack?
I thought for sure that name was fake!
The USA really really needs to do something about this, if I'm (and many other aliens like me are) ever to believe a criminal conviction there has anything to do with reality.
Warning for those who don't use that license.
Pretty different from passwords as we know them (#3 means you can't simply store a bcrypt/scrypt'd code--you could build something complicated tricks to square "allow one word wrong" with not storing plain PWs: each word is 10 bits and what you tell the user is really their secret code + a parity/ECC word, and correction happens before a convnetional password check--that rabbit hole goes deep, though.) But if all this gets average folks remembering more entropy than before, that makes it kind of interesting.
On the study (which I admit just skimming), survey in 2010 suggested about half of Mechanical Turk users were located in the US (http://www.behind-the-enemy-lines.com/2010/03/new-demographi... who learned English at school would probably do better at memorizing a password in their native language. (I studied French many years in school, but I doubt I'd memorize a set of random French words as easily as English words.)
That is, md5 or sha256 checksum program that you could write from memory.
That makes it possible to bootstrap a lot of use cases and OS loading and hardening scenarios - even disconnected from the network.
An example 60-bit secret: rolmangrionepolemp (mnemonic: "role man grinding one political employment"). A bit of a mouthful, but memorizable.
This week, I logged in to their patient portal because I wanted to look at some previous blood test results. I was absolutely startled when I saw that my AST and ALT counts were pretty high, about twice the upper limit for what is considered normal.
But then I realized that I had that blood work done around the time I had started strength training and increased the amount of protein in my diet. A quick online search revealed that a single strength training session increases AST and ALT levels for up to seven days. Considering I had been exercises multiple times a week, it was completely normal for my levels to be elevated.
Now, why didn't the doctor simply ask me if I had been strength training? Such a simple question would have explained the abnormal test results and save me some distress.
Some photos on FB: https://facebook.com/hervalfreire/albums/10152327503600754/?... (planned on doing a blog post but got sidetracked building other things)
It has enough space to put in a pi,dac,amp into the middle box in the second picture (which is perfectly centred) then I'm going to build some mdf cabinets and put the speakers either side (with lots of dampening).
Going to keep (and make work) all the front switches, power output (top right rectangle) is going to be replaced with a backlit LCD display and the tuning dial (main face) is going to be kept but backlit with LED's that change color to indicate station/volume.
On the back, audio output (in case I want to use external speakers) plus HDMI and USB connections (so I can plug a monitor and keyboard in to do config without disassembly).
Case had so much internal space I was tempted to put a media PC in it but I have one already and a radio seems fitting somehow.
However if all you want is a working device, here's one for $60: http://www.amazon.com/iHome-AirPlay-Rechargeable-Wireless-Sy... And there are much cheaper choices if you stick to bluetooth.
For hacking things together, there is a $30 dongle that takes power and delivers 3.5mm audio: http://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-Receiver-Supports-Portable-WF-...
If you are semi-interested in locks, I really recommend listening to Schuyler Towne talk about locks. He's one of those people who is very passionate about what he does in a way that interest in locks really rubs off onto you in a really educational and relatable way.
Here's a longer talk about the history of locks by him from 2012. It's a great place to start.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqjacHSTd48&list=UUBDpLXSbLH...
The potential damage that one person can now cause online is real and substantial. All it takes is one malicious individual to rile up the online troops to doxx, smear, and ruin a person and their career. And there's almost no risk involved in participating in such an act -- you are anonymous and not held accountable for anything you do.
So while Kathleen's response might seem a bit excessive, I can certainly understand why she acted that way. She was being attacked by an individual who had all the voice and reach in the world, on a mission to destroy her literary work, using a platform that's frustratingly conducive to mob-creation but not debate. I might have done the same.
I don't know what the solution is, or even if one exists, but this is a real problem. We saw the other week how Twitter was used to volley targeted death threats, and how the individual on the receiving end felt genuinely unsafe for her life. And yet Twitter, Reddit, et al. are very blas about the severity of it all. You wouldn't want to hurt your growth rate, I guess.
Would would be the likely consequences for the author and her book?
The book's Amazon reviews are fine. The critical reviews there generally seem to be sane and rational, not trollish. As far as I can tell Googling a bit, the intense negativity seems confined to Goodreads and maybe some blogs. Taking a look at a few of the negative Goodreads reviews, it is pretty obvious that they are not legitimate  reviews. Most people reading the Goodreads reviews to actually try to determine if they would enjoy the book should have little trouble recognize the troll reviews and ignoring them.
In short, do these people actually matter?
 What I mean by "legitimate" is that the reviewer read the book, and is giving their honest opinion of the book itself based upon just its contents.
As an aside, this is why helbanning exists. To delete a comment or ban an account, (or in the case of the article, block an account) is a response, a different one to feeding, yet a response nonetheless. To deny a response in essence is to deny the troll validation of their existence.
It seems like for the past couple of years JSON-schema has been just below some critical treshold for it to take off. Why not define models with JSON schema instead of a custom format for each web framework? Why not use JSON schemas to build forms, validation logic and admin interfaces, like https://github.com/jdorn/json-editor does? Why not document your API by specifying the JSON schema a GET request returns? (http://raml.org/ sort of does this).
Seems like a chicken and egg problem where currently the tools are not yet nice enough to merit widespread adoption, but with widespread adoption they'd get to be really nice and cross-platform.
This hipster affectation that older things are always better is quite annoying. People complain about SNL in the same way: the current cast is always considered terrible. Yet, five yeas later we inevitably look back on the older era with nostalgia.
The current incarnation of The Simpsons sucks, because it's always sucked. You just only remember the good parts of the old episodes because of the fallibility of human memory. This selective memory makes the good old days seem better then they were.
By what I've come across, I think this site has the best in-depth analysis of the rise and fall of the Springfield empire, of the type that I was expecting from that article:
I'm pleased to see this aligns with my own opinion of a slight decline in quality around S9/S10, followed by genuine mediocrity.
1. Boyd ( http://www.amazon.com/Boyd-Fighter-Pilot-Who-Changed-ebook/d... ) - Came up with the EM theory that gave the air force the analytical framework to analyze dog fighting maneuvers and aircraft. Known for authoring the OODA loop and leading the infamous Fighter Mafia that gave us the F-16 and F/A-18
2. Warfight ( http://www.amazon.com/Warfighting-M-Gray-ebook/dp/B00DPTK4ZE... ) Boyd' OODA ideas distilled into a book
3. The American Way of War ( http://www.amazon.com/The-American-Way-War-University/dp/B00... )
4. Engineers of Victory ( http://www.amazon.com/Engineers-Victory-Problem-Solvers-Turn... ) - a decent account of how middle level officers solve problems that allowed strategies to be realized
5. Makers of Modern Strategy ( http://www.amazon.com/Makers-Modern-Strategy-Machiavelli-Nuc... )
6. The German Army ( http://www.amazon.com/German-Army-1933-1945-Matthew-Cooper/d... ) - A great account of the rise and fall of the German army, including its innovations caused by the constraints imposed on it and its fall
7. Panzer Battles ( http://www.amazon.com/Panzer-Battles-Major-General-von-Melle... ) - a great account how the various battles fought by the German army and where they excelled and where their shortcomings are and vice versa for their enemies.
8. The Second World War( http://www.amazon.com/Second-World-War-Antony-Beevor-ebook/d... ) - Great "summary" of the Second World War, including the civilian dimension.
9. Panzer Leader ( http://www.amazon.com/Panzer-Leader-Heinz-Guderian/dp/030681... ) - a history of the development and deployment of the German panzer armies by the father of tank warfare himself.
10. Six Days of War ( http://www.amazon.com/Days-June-Making-Modern-Middle/dp/B004... )
11. The Yom Kippur War ( http://www.amazon.com/Yom-Kippur-War-Encounter-Transformed-e... ) - an account of the Yom Kippur War and how the Israelis were blind to the innovations of the Egyptian army that upended its defense strategy based on tanks and aircraft and also how a near victory for the Egyptians allowed them to negotiate a peace with Israel.
Now, I know he does not count as military professional, but as a 20+ year counter-terrorism and counter-intel officer who lays out clearly our policy is fucking us and how we will inevitably lose the so-called GWoT.
He wrote it anonymously, at the time. So if you like Snowden, you will love him. I would hope a reading list about the most important combat operation of the 21st century for USG armed forces would read harsh criticism in an attempt to win something so important.
It's also delicious.
I just finished "The Last Place on Earth", about the race to the south pole, and one of Amundsen's obsessions was with ensuring that he had an experienced arctic cook.
Chicken, too. There's a Portuguese dish called "arroz de cabidela", which is rice prepared with chicken blood.
"For the rabbit Justin Cetas "
Some lovely garden-path sentences :-)
These court battles are necessary to protect our civil liberties, and they cost money.
A "4th Amendment warrant" (to distinguish it from the extra-constitutional 3-months long FISA general "warrant") should be required for all content requests and the vast majority of metadata requests.
Congrats to ACLU, they've been having a winning streak lately in such cases.
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-party_doctrine
 GPUnet: Networking Abstractions for GPU Programs, OSDI 2014https://sites.google.com/site/silbersteinmark/GPUnet
I should caution also that not all of the libraries work as well with the latest or earliest GPUs, so the model of GPU you buy still makes a big difference. And it should be NVIDIA--the deep learning community has largely standardized around their hardware. This is a state of affairs that is constantly changing.
Pertinent self promotion: my company (http://www.ersatzlabs.com) provides a cloud GPU deep learning solution, which I'd argue is an even easier way to get started with deep learning, particularly in visualization and prototyping phases.
But anyway, if anyone's curious about deep learning and just getting their feet wet, I'm always happy to talk about it, my email is in my profile.
Names from appendix ii:
Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group (BSAAG) [FinCEN (lead); CFTC; DEA; DOJ Criminal Division; FBI; FDIC; Federal Reserve and others]
Digital Economy Task Force [Thomson Reuters and the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (lead); FBI; ICE-HSI; Secret Service and others]
Electronic Crimes Task Forces (ECTF) and Working Groups [35 Secret Service field offices (lead) and others]
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) [intergovernmental organization with 36 member countries, including the U.S. Treasury as the lead agency of the U.S. delegation]
Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) [OCC (rotating chair), CFPB; FDIC; Federal Reserve; and others]
Interagency Bank Fraud Enforcement Working Group [DOJ and others]
International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center (IOC-2) [DOJ and others]
Terrorist Finance Working Groups New Payments Systems Ad Hoc Working Group [Department of State and others]
Virtual Currencies Emerging Threats Working Group [DOJ, FinCEN and others]
First, I really don't like the angle taken, then the question of abstraction (why we do it, how) and choices made by languages designers (and variations in their idioms) are so vast that you really can't treat the question through a <1000 signs blog post.
Some quick points:
- You don't code for the machine, you code to be read by another human (possibly you) in the future. I insist, you will be read regularly and frequently. Thus, your code needs to be clear, precise, and concise. This must be the first thing in mind when coding: program what need to be done in a way that a fellow stranger could understand.
- Abstraction is a way to keep a structure of code clear when the interactions become complex and/or abundant. If you can avoid them when still being crystal clear in your code, do it. Direct speaking is always better than convolution.
- The main requirements when you code are often one or two of: quick to develop, easy to maintain, extensible, efficient (you control your big-O and _WORST_ exec times), correct (no bug. at. all.), real time (when X happens, Y is done between n s and m s during p ns)
- So, know when performance is a goal, and know when it's not. Choose your language, your techs, your team considering these goals.
- And yeah, C89, C99 and the C++es have a very high overhead of abstraction: clarity, concision, and sometimes performance (all abstractions can't be inlined). Think of it.
One needs to measure the program doing the real work. And in this case for the C program you might find that bash forking is the actual cost not the C code running through the loop.
JRuby and PyPy are starting to do things with their specialisation tricks that mean that the overhead of abstraction is 1000 loops before it goes away.
A performance benchmark running for less than a few minutes is a joke. Startup variance alone will dominate the results.
Observe what happens when you make a method virtual, for example.
YC's goal in selecting Startup School participants is to get a mix of deeply technical people and popularizers. The combination of those two skill sets makes a great startup.
When I saw you at Startup School I was like, "Hey, it's cperciva! Maybe he'll find a co-founder who can sell and together they can make Tarsnap take over the backup business!" That would be a good thing for the universe.
Tarsnap is a great example of a better technology that should be backing up most of the world's data. It would, if you teamed up with the right popularizer to get the word out and close deals. It hurts me to see Tarsnap backing up only a tiny fraction of the world's data, while companies with great salespeople back up most of it badly.
Still, I think we delivered for some people who were inspired to bring their better technology out into the wide world.
Also: I hear you about power outlets. My current MBP runs Emacs for 8 hours so I've lost touch with that need, but I'll bring extension cords and power strips to future events.
"Perhaps my expectations were misaligned"
The comment about the power outlets, leading the piece, seems like the clearest example of misalignment. I'm not able to speak for YC, but I think the point of startup school is to help people (hackers) who might not have read every PG essay but have some interest in startups learn how to start startups. Power outlets and other stuff you'd find at "cons" aren't really the point.
I didn't attend this year's startup school, but have attended a few prior, and I can say that the talks, while not completely filled with new information, helped me understand what it's like to be a startup founder. Now, as a current startup founder, I feel like as I've watched the videos this year and talked to one of our employees who attended, I feel empathy with the talks. They don't add to a huge trove of new, previously unearthed knowledge for me, but I don't really think that's the point.
To some extent, I'd liken them to the YC dinners themselves. The point of the YC dinners, in my view, is not so much to give the inside baseball of what it's like to be a silicon valley startup founder... instead sometimes you hear anecdotes that so tightly align with what you're currently going through that you think, "Wow, I'm dealing with that exact thing. And these guys are actually successful now!" It's some sort of helpful external validation which is so often lacking in early stage startups. It helps you keep going, for sure. Startup School talks are like the open source / public version of a YC dinner. The office hours are like the open source / public version of YC office hours.
But back to Startup School itself, I don't think you missed out... I don't even think your critique is invalid, I'd just caution the blanket statement at the end:
>> I would hesitate to recommend it to any other startup founder. If you're considering launching a startup and you need some "inspiration" to push you into going ahead, then by all means attend. For that matter, if you're looking for an audience to practice your "elevator pitch" on, you could certainly do worse. But if you're already working on a startup? Your time is probably better spent staying home and writing code.
Sure, I didn't go this year because I had just gotten back from a week in NYC that was particularly unfun for me, not to mention we're in a totally different place than when I've gone in years past (employees and stuff).
If you feel like you're struggling, and you want to do something that actually could result in an impactful company, there's a whole lot of things worse than going to startup school. For me, it was extremely instructional especially before I had launched my startup. After I had launched, it provided some catharsis / empathy that I really appreciated.
It's definitely not a wasted day. That's for sure.
A great example: Jessica's "Startup Monsters" talk is one I go back and re-read at least every 6 months.
Hearing talks like that, and, when you live in a place like Utah, being able to socialize with other people who you could work with forever (we hired someone we met at Startup School) is an extremely great reason to attend. Maybe it wasn't for you, Colin, but I think it could help a lot of people... especially anyone considering launching a startup. And for people who've already launched a startup, if you feel like you're having a hard time, it'll help, I think. It compresses a lot of the essay reading / knowledge gathering into an 8 hour block, combined with meeting extremely great people. For already launched startups, it's a refresher course, with a dollop of community building.
And it's on a saturday... so it's not eating away at your precious work week. Maybe you don't need it, but I think a lot of people will benefit.
(BTW Colin, I've always loved your contributions to HN, and I hope you take this as additional perspective from someone it helped.)
I thought that "Startup School" would be more like the "How to Start a Startup" lecture series that YC is running at Stanford.
Instead, it was just a bunch of celebrities talking about their startup experiences; a concentrated shot of survival bias. There's nothing practical to learn from the Startup School talks.
As for inspiration, I guess some people might be inspired by celebrity speeches like those, and I don't want to begrudge anyone that if that's what they got out of it, but I'm much more inspired by new products. (Especially imperfect products that make it seem easy to improve them.)
The Office Hours are the best part. Throw away the talks, let PG give a keynote, and turn the whole thing into Office Hours.
The event was ok... but really lacked anything you couldn't find elsewhere. I was particularly annoyed that they didn't even try to sort the companies or founders or attendees into discussion groups, make connections, or even foster conversation after the event. In fact, it was almost like they were working against that, by whisking away all of the speakers and interviewers imediatly following the event and during the one intermission....
------------------------------------------------- My complaint letter:
I really enjoyed ~87.3% of startup school,but wanted to pass along a few thoughts on how future events could be better.
1) Introduce the interviewer - not just the interviewee.I had no idea who Aaron Harris was until 2/3'ds of the way through the interview.
2) Don't choose startups at random.Everyone had to apply to be at Startup School - you should use those applications to chose which startups get to present at office hours.
2A) Don't chose 3 startups at the same level of growth.I run a b2b saas startup in its early growth stage.the three startups chosen for office hours we're all in the early development stage.
2B) Don't choose 3 b2c startups.I'm sure I wasn't the only enterprise b2b company in the audience.
Office hours was the section that fell flat with me.None of the companies interviewed we're in my companies stage of development (all earlier),and none we're business to business.
3) I guess its OK to leave the attendees to fend for themselves...but it could work a lot better if you used the intermission to have groups cycle through quick talks with the speakers, or with YC partners. That would also add more value to attending the conference.
3A) The speakers should be more public during the break, and during the social following the event.
I'm Looking forward to future startup schools, and I hope this advice is helpful!
All the Best,Jason
While I disagree with you, your post is important, and I'm glad you wrote it. Those who are undecided about attending SuS in the future whose expectations match yours can decide against it if they read your post. Then, one more space will be available for someone who may have gained a lot, but wasn't accepted.
1. YC Hacks Hackahton Goal: Idea (0 People) - Founding Team (2-3 People)People who wanted to build products. It was all designers and engineers with ideas working together for two days to build a product. The end goal was light pitches of products to prominent people in the startup community. Lots of design, building, and engineering.
2. Startup School Goal: Founding Team (2-3 People) - Small Team (6-10 People)People who want to run startups. After you've got your product, startup school answered questions like: Where do you go from there idea? What keeps you going? what pitfalls are you going to encounter? What types of people are you looking to work with? etc...
From your post, it seems like you were expecting YC Hacks. I would suggest going to that next year.
Every Startup School there are a few good talks (Andrew Mason's and Reid Hoffman's were two I liked), plus office hours, which are engaging - but again, these are all uploaded online. I'm not sure how office hours participants are selected, but doing that would be an obvious reason to attend.
The real reason to attend Startup School is to meet a fairly interesting, relatively accomplished, friendly crowd of folks. There's a business bent to the demographic - everyone is interested in startups, but most people I meet are technical. If you really want to, there's the chance to talk to some of the YC partners. Some of the speakers will stick around to answer questions. Last year one of the Airbnb cofounders stayed to answer questions for a while.
To get the most out of it you definitely need to introduce yourself to random people. You certainly shouldn't pull out a laptop. I never sit down with friends because sitting down next to a stranger is a great opportunity to introduce yourself.
Over the past three events I've met a few people I've kept in touch with; that alone makes it worthwhile. It also makes a lot more sense if you're local to the Bay Area - it's a great excuse to meet up with friends in the area.
An example of this reinforcing itself is the idea of having a laptop for IRC channel usage, however, if no one else in the audience is on IRC what's the point? Even if there were sockets there the only people that would be on IRC are the like minded, when the whole point of the exercise is to get out of whatever bubble you're in.
The successful superficially tech founders are actually really good at both games, but bridging those two worlds is a far rarer skill than it looks, and contributes to the scarcity of successful startups, but also the rarity of good technical management in large organisations.
Wouldn't it be cool if there was an event where people have 60 seconds to pitch what they're looking for, and if you're looking for the same thing, go talk to them after all the pitches?
Guilty as charged.
"We launched with one server in a colo facility. Oops!
I had forgotten about that, but it was certainly one of the better moments. Perhaps it's just my elitist engineer bias, but I find stories of technical screwups to be far more enlightening (don't do this, kids!) than stories about dealing with investors.
For that particular event a journalist passed on the way out and we had an amusing conversation making fun of how poor the battery life is and how Google doesn't provide any power to keep them alive at events. Good events for hackers/developers have power wired to every seat. Bad events, well you can see the write up here.
Personally I've been watching the videos online. I think the information is incredibly valuable because it's from people who have some of the most experience in the world at advising and working with startups. Even more useful if you have no experience and no prior education on what it is like to start a new venture.
i'd also traveled for startup school and would say it was just worth it for me. if i'd been local, it certainly would have been worth it, just for meeting people like the guy who created tarsnap with whom i shared a power outlet until the ushers scolded us. =)
(to be fair to the ushers, the cords were in the aisles, which could be a hazard)
one of the lytro engineers taught me a bit more about light field photography, and an arduino hacker and i chatted about locomotive robotics. on the other end of the spectrum, there were discussions about ad tech business models. so to me, it seemed to be a good mix of people with all kinds of technical skills.
Lots of on point lesson to learnLots of tips&tricks if that is what everyone else wants to call it!Just awesome overall for me as I'm doing my 4th startup, I still learned new things and gained wisdom!
It seems worth going to once, if you don't already know/follow "startup ethos" but otherwise, It doesn't seem very useful from a practical standpoint.
It was pretty cool to see some startup "legends" in real life. There where definitely interesting "geeks" in the crowd, if you went to the trouble of sniffing about.
I think you're right in assuming that one of the most important (perhaps the most important) aims of the event is recruitment for YC. Given that YC are organising this event, giving out free food and generally going to a lot of trouble that seems pretty obvious going in though. They're not a charity, they seem like a nice bunch of guys running a business.
I met a great group of people (including you Colin!) and got to hear about some interesting projects people were working on. While the talks weren't terribly interesting or teach me anything I didn't know already, I felt the people aspect more than made up for it.
Maybe Startup School should have a hackathon type project for 1-2 hours, that's completely optional for people to participate in.
I think that startup school has an implicit and very powerfull message:Startup successful founders are common people and not divinity
it was a fantastic event with nuts and bolts business and hacker types talking about how they actually got companies/products off the ground and then operated them.
point is ..need more of those!@nickpinkston on twitter was one of the organizers > that team brought in all the right presenters.
I won't be attending this year, unfortunately, but I went last year and thought it was a great time.
Over the years there are a lot of cool people with whom we interacted but then have lost the connection. Startup School is a great place to meet them again, and learn all new things they are doing.
I watched some of a Startup School video, maybe themost recent one. Ron Conway was interviewed, andthere were other speakers.
And I just read Jessica Livingston's talk
What Goes Wrong, 10/25/2012
and from the post by Randell in this thread at
I will start with Livingston's
"Making Something People Want is Hard"
Here's a suggestion of another way:
Step (1) Problem.
Pick a problem where there is no doubt that thefirst good or a much better solution will result inenough eager users/customers to make a financiallysuccessful business. That is, we want a problemwhere plenty of people want and will like thesolution very much. Here we want no doubt. Maybethe ideal such problem would be a safe, effective,cheap, one pill cure for any cancer.
Step (2) Solution.
For the solution, to exploit Moore's law, etc., stayin information technology and there do some originalresearch.
Step (3) Implementation.
Write the software to do the data manipulationsspecified by the research.
So, the result should be a solution to Livingston's
Livingston also warns about co-founder disputes.
"Not making something people want is the biggestcause of failure we see early on. (The secondbiggest is founder disputes.)"
So, here's a solution to the second biggest "causeof failure" -- be a solo founder.
But Livingston also has
"single founder and it's hard to do a startup as asingle founder."
Here she loses me: There are a lot of successfulbusinesses, small to giant, that had solo founders.So, I'm lost on why it is such a bad idea for a solofounder to try to get a company going. Sure, oncethe company is growing rapidly, then take on, say,an office manager, a guy to run the server farm, aprogrammer, a marketing guy, etc. as needed.
This would be so nice in sending emails in an automated fashion.
Also, it is awesome to provide full functionality to test without jumping through signup hoops.
i'm making a small web-based smtp/imap client for an internal app and there's a lot of crappy email in mailboxes that i'd want to clean before dumping them into the browser for display.
It does make me wonder though, what happened to plain text emails? I had to abandon my favourite email client (mutt) purely because I received too many html emails. And I'm not just talking about marketing emails. Those I don't care about. I'm talking about work emails from colleagues.
It'll be interesting to see how much adoption it gets because I don't think it's the solution most people really want. IMO, something simpler like a Markdown / Bootstrap for email is the real solution -- something that takes a simpler syntax or simple HTML and compiles it into "email compatible" HTML.
The thing that really sucks about email design is that you are stuck with HTML circa the early 2000s. An abstraction layer that took care of those annoying details seems like the real way to go. Curious what others think.
The preview window lacks a way to scroll the view (you can do it in the mobile mockup but the desktop view has no scrollbar and using keyboard to scroll down is unconvenient)