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Showing posts from March, 2012

If You're An "Ideas Guy", You're Doing It Wrong

There's a disturbing trend that I'm seeing more and more of lately in Silicon Valley, and it's the commoditization of engineering talent in the minds of non-engineers. I'm not sure what they're teaching in business schools these days, but I keep meeting freshly-minted MBAs who "have a great idea and just need some devs to implement it". So lemme just throw this out there:

If you're an "ideas guy", and "just need a couple of engineers" to build your company, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG.

See, for instance, this recent TechCrunch article which blithely implies that engineers are "coding themselves into irrelevance", and before long, "the business founder [will have] the advantage that today's technical founders enjoy." Huh? Guess what - in healthy companies, it's not such an adversarial relationship. If it is, then you're doing something wrong.

There is no greater turn-off to a prospective tech co-founder…

Slim Shady and Medicare Reform

Couldn't sleep last night, and watched the entire extended interview with Grover Norquist on the Daily Show. It was mostly about tax policy, but towards the end they briefly touched on Medicare reform, since the Norquist tax pledge really has nothing to do with the economy and everything to do with policy reform. The claim from Norquist was that the Republicans' plan is a reasonable reform proposal because Alice Rivlin, former director of the CBO and the OMB, helped co-write it. Jon Stewart replied that he doesn't think Alice Rivlin is a reasonable person.

To the internets! I actually found the proposal from the Brookings Institution and read it. To their credit, there's a whole section devoted to why the proposal is a bad idea. It's illuminating. It all comes down to marketing. What used to be called "vouchers" is now called "premium support". To make a long story short (and a complicated issue way over-simplified), voucher programs would repla…

The Day The Internet Died

It all started innocently enough. Sally was enjoying a cup of sustainable coffee at the corner cafe when she spotted it. ZOMG. Cutest. Cat. Ever. An explosion of uncontainable fluff wrapped in a hamburger bun sweater with a toy iPhone 4S hanging around its neck. My friends have to see this, thought Sally. And thus it began. Not with a virus, nor a worm, but a cat. An insanely cute cat.

The picture that brought down the Internet was captured at 12:21PM on December 21, 2012 with a slightly abused white iPhone 4S. It went vintage before going viral, cause honestly, sepia makes everything better. And off it went.

Sally's Instagram auto-posted to her Facebook, where 237 of her closest friends (she has 1,649 friends, but I mean, at least 400 are just, you know, on there) immediately saw The Cat. Sally's above-average hotness meant that her re-share rate hovered around 10%, and sure enough, 26 of the initial viewers re-shared to their combined total of 4,013 friends.

The Initial Post…