Category Archives: starting a company

Dear Amazon

My open letter to Amazon in response to Amazon randomly cutting off and erasing purchases off a user’s Kindle (GigaOm reminds you that Amazon is just renting the books to you): Just wanted to let you know that I am … Continue reading

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To the Non-technical CEO: Thoughts about an early stage startup hiring a CTO

Open letter to the non-technical CEO looking for that magical technical CTO. At this stage, Only you can set absolute priorities (which features come before other features) Only you can determine relative priorities Only you can determine the MUP – … Continue reading

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Indifference to process leads to Mozilla contributor departing

Tyler Downer announced he was no longer contributing to Mozilla because the Mozilla bug triaging process was being sacrificed on the altar of “rapid release”. Tyler likes the idea of the Rapid Release, but rather the tools to handle bug … Continue reading

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Don’t jump into a project, wade in

When starting a new programming task (or company 😉 ), it is very tempting to just plunge in and start coding (or doing) right away. The release early-and-often mentality encourages this approach. Documentation becomes optional and design is seat-of-the-pants. Hard-lessons … Continue reading

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Checklist of things to do BEFORE starting your own company

Get incorporated as a California C corp ( $800 ). Reasons: Incorporating later can be time consuming/distracting. Procrastination makes for a harder job later. Enables taking any investment directly in the company, rather than as a personal loan. (i.e. company … Continue reading

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How to do “status meetings” right (aka avoiding “Death-by-Status”)

A truism in the start-ups v. “big” company battle is that start-ups have a big advantage because they don’t have to waste time in internal communication. Status meetings are quick and focused; not long-drawn out off-site affairs. However, many startups … Continue reading

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No sane business owner should depend on Google

Brad Feld reports that Foundry has switch to Google mail for their internal mail system. While he is pretty happy about the switch, he does have some major cautions for the rest of us (not as well connected types): We … Continue reading

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Handling a destructive Board Member

Steve Blank has a post about a problem an entrepreneur is having with a bad board member: I had coffee last week with one of my ex students. 30 months ago he raised a Series A venture round from two … Continue reading

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Glengarry Glen Ross reward structure or do you reward fire inspectors?

(In response to: What to do with hero’s? ) Do you have a Glengarry Glen Ross reward system: First Prize is an Cadillac El Dorado. Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired. In my … Continue reading

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reward systems

(In response to: “Should pay be tied directly to productivity?”) There are many people I know that enjoy being teachers. They found some cool new technology toy, language, library, concept or idea and they love to share it with others. … Continue reading

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