Just launched another fun project called What Color is Twitter? Predictably, you can find it at: http://www.whatcoloristwitter.com. Here’s a widget you can embed if you want to know every 10 minutes what color Twitter is.
Great infographic from Mashable on the current state of tech & services that make up the average startup’s arsenal. Almost as cool as the spying features you get with http://builtwith.com/, it’s a good validation of the things most of us take for granted. Some surprises (Evernote? Omnigraffle?), but generally a good gauge of what’s out there, what’s hot, and what others are doing. If you’re stumped, just go with Google…
On April 1st, two friends and I launched a humorous art project called TweetForger. It lives at www.tweetforger.com. The idea came about when we were discussing the immense stock that people place in 140 characters. People use the medium to discuss their lunch, and yet the same platform starts revolutions and ends careers. There has been a proliferation of clients, platforms and ways to interact with Tweets, and we were very interested in how people consume that information.
Most important to me was the work behind the scenes. It has been a serious technical challenge to build something this quickly (~60 hours) that could scale well and retain its lightweight structure. It’s a validation of the technical skills I’ve been trying to develop but, even more, it’s the satisfaction of seeing a fun project come together in a few weeks and actually make people laugh.
I had a great professor in business school who used to quote that to us all the time. It was only later I found out there’s a second part. The whole quote goes like this:
Out of chaos, revenue; Out of discipline, profit.
That stuck with me, as it really does hold true across industries and time. Perhaps a look at the ad tech landscape (below) can highlight why there is such a tumultuous upheaval constantly taking place. It’s an ongoing arms race rife with the kind of nuance and industry jargon that ends up making people rich. I wish I understood more, but this is certainly an interesting view of the landscape. Here is the graphic, in all of its dizzying glory:
OMG. What an awesome tool. I just discovered Twilio and I am totally addicted… I mean, I had heard about how easy and powerful the tool is, but wow. The community is intensely helpful, and the documentation makes it easy to follow along and create powerful voice & sms interactivity for your applications.
I’ve got a meeting with Bartek Ringwelski, the founder of SkillSlate, this week. We chatted briefly at the Hunch Lunch, but I’m really curious to hear about how he and his team are attacking the problem of fragmentation and (un)sophistication in the urban labor market. My first startup, Fresh Maid Cleaning, attempted to fix this for one vertical, and we tried to do it by intermediating the channel.
I’ve been playing around with a lot of the static, boring features I built in the original version of Brio Limoand trying to upgrade and improve as many as I can. There is so much kick ass stuff you can do with Rails and by leveraging the prolific community around it.
I’ve never been great at learning a new skill in the abstract. This is especially true for programming and design, as I find that undertaking a concrete task helps crystallize my thinking and brings issues forward that I would have trouble identifying in a vacuum. Perhaps this is why I moved so easily through Rails Tutorial, as there is a specified project, and Michael presents many real-world examples throughout.
Once I finished this tutorial, I decided to make something on my own. The first of these is a full-featured internal reservation system for my friend’s limo company in Aspen. Hopefully I get a few free trips out of it, but the satisfaction of building something people use is really the best part.
The idea for this post came to me after I saw the GroupMe / FastSociety dueling presentations at New York Tech Meetup on Tuesday. There was an article lauding the antics of the FastSociety guys in SF Gate (here), but I totally disagree. I think it smacks of insecurity (or immaturity) to go out there and bash competitors at a friendly public event.
Writing about startup rules is something like trying to create an organization for anarchists - it’s antithetical to what they’re all about. If they liked rules and conformity, they probably wouldn’t have chosen to start something new in the first place. Anyhow, these are the first five things I thought of, and my humble rationale as to why. I’m sure everyone has a different list, and I’m certain wiser people than I have probably written about it, but it’s a useful thought exercise nonetheless. This list is a work in progress, and I’d love some feedback/comments on what else belongs on this list (or doesn’t)…