I like this heuristic, and have a few which are similar in intent to it:
Here's how I'd measure the health of any tech company:— Jeff Atwood (@codinghorror) October 25, 2018
How long, as measured from the inception of idea to the modified software arriving in the user's hands, does it take to roll out a *1 word copy change* in your primary product?
How long does it take, measured from initial expression of interest through offer of employment signed, for a typical candidate cold inbounding to the company?
What is the *theoretical minimum* for *any* candidate?
* To get a fully credentialed machine issued to you
* To get a fully functional development environment on that machine which could push code to production immediately
* To solo ship one material quanta of work
(For bonus points: break down by ambitiousness / form factor.)
How long would it take the CEO to acknowledge receipt. (Would it be by their designate?)
* who their manager is
* what their title or role is
* what their primary project as of today is
* Until the first responder responds
* Until the second responder responds
* Until someone says the local equivalent of "I am in charge of the incident."
How long until someone offers to help?
How long until someone factually helps effectively?
How long until it launches into the hands of customers who perceive it as a generally available offering?
How many minutes from first keystroke to first person seeing it in production?
(I'm being very generous to the software industry here. *sigh*)
These questions don't *really* test for speed. They test for *repeatable competence at scale*, which is another thing entirely.
More from Patrick McKenzie
For candidates: evaluate prospective employers accordingly.
For startups employing e.g. engineers: given that your candidates should evaluate you accordingly, be *extra special* careful to operate like professionals with regards to e.g. interviewing, offers, and negotiation.
"Can you be more explicit about 'abusive' here?"
Not without violating a confidence, but as someone who has been on hiring side of table and is a capitalist, there are *clearly* things you could do which would be "sharp operating, but we're all sharp operators" in some contexts.
Hiring employees is often not one of those contexts. The nature of the relationship, the asymmetry in power, and the social contract strongly counsel you to be a lot better there than you are minimally required by law / contract.
A thing which aesthetically frustrates me is that a lot of the things I've heard companies do here serve *no legitimate business purpose.* In some cases it's getting tens of dollars of advantage. TENS! On an engineering candidate!
On a serious note, it's interesting to observe that you can build a decent business charging $20 - $50 per month for something that any good developer can set up. This is one of those micro-saas sweet spots between "easy for me to build" and "tedious for others to build"— Jon Yongfook (@yongfook) September 5, 2019
Every year at MicroConf I get surprised-not-surprised by the number of people I meet who are running "Does one thing reasonably well, ranks well for it, pulls down a full-time dev salary" out of a fun side project which obviates a frequent 1~5 engineer-day sprint horizontally.
"Who is the prototypical client here?"
A consulting shop delivering a $X00k engagement for an internal system, a SaaS company doing something custom for a large client or internally facing or deeply non-core to their business, etc.
(I feel like many of these businesses are good answers to the "how would you monetize OSS to make it sustainable?" fashion, since they often wrap a core OSS offering in the assorted infrastructure which makes it easily consumable.)
"But don't the customers get subscription fatigue?"
I think subscription fatigue is far more reported by people who are embarrassed to charge money for software than it is experienced by for-profit businesses, who don't seem to have gotten pay-biweekly-for-services fatigue.
I have some thoughts:
As somebody who bootstrapped ~4 companies, I feel like I had to make some clearly suboptimal decisions early in them for lack of what is, in hindsight, not all that much money. But there's a huge gap in the product space for investment options.
It's weird: you can get $25k from Amex trivially, and angels are very willing to write a check for that much, but you have to make representations about your goals/ambitions/market/etc which don't really apply to everyone.
And so you see the traditional angel/VC ecosystem fund companies where honestly the returns are probably not there, and this is knowable pretty early, but the chase of them will wreck what could have been a perfectly happy business.
(To make the math work for traditional VCs the company has to at least have a market-appropriate shot of $100 million a year. There are a lot more $10 million a year companies than $100 million a year companies. That is *not* a bad terminal outcome for founders/employees.)
APIs add new things to the toolbox. For example: Treasury, which lets an app/platform store, move, and track a business’
I've been a small business owner and can talk at length about SMB banking, and will later, but let's put on the software developer hat right now.
Lots of software talks about money, keeps records about money, does calculations about money, but can't *touch* money.
This is extremely frustrating when you're building SaaS apps for businesses, because you have total control over your UX right until your app needs to touch money... at which point all data about it lives in a silo you can't access.
So you generally push work to the operator.
For example, suppose you’re writing a business-in-a-box system for electricians, including an invoicing feature.
You need to be able to read bank transactions to reconcile. You probably can't. The owner can. So you ask the owner to do mind-numbing work a computer does better.
It sure would be great if your business customers had bank accounts you could actually introspect and operate on their behalves! You could just get the list of incoming payments and match against the invoices.
There is some software to write but it is not rocket science.
In that spirit, here's some quick Things Many People Find Too Obvious To Have Told You Already.
Your idea is not valuable, at all. All value is in the execution. You think you are an exception; you are not. You should not insist on an NDA to talk about it; nobody serious will engage in contract review over an idea, and this will mark you as clueless.
Technologists tend to severely underestimate the difficulty and expense of creating software, especially at companies which do not have fully staffed industry leading engineering teams ("because software is so easy there, amirite guys?")
Charge more. Charge more still. Go on.
The press is a lossy and biased compression of events in the actual world, and is singularly consumed with its own rituals, status games, and incentives. The news necessarily fails to capture almost everything which happened yesterday. What it says is important usually isn't.
Companies find it incredibly hard to reliably staff positions with hard-working generalists who operate autonomously and have high risk tolerances. This is not the modal employee, including at places which are justifiably proud of the skill/diligence/etc of their employees.
More from All
So this is a FISK ... thing.
It's a floppy disk fax machine! You can fax floppies to other people who have these things.
Apparently you can connect it to external drives, computers, or printers?
So I'm gonna do more research into this thing and how it works, but while I'm here, some of the other stuff I got today. Some 3.5" floppy disks. Single sided, double density ones! These were some of the very first 3.5" disks and basically nothing used them.
I also got this book: AutoSim, the Marketing Laboratory.
It's some software to help you sell cars, apparently! it was weird and cheap, so I got it. I'll of course image it.
OK, so there's a physical problem with our eyes: We move them in short fast bursts called "saccades", right? very quick, synchronized movements.
The only problem is: they go all blurry and useless during this
having your vision turn into a blurry mess every time you move your eyes is obviously not a good idea, so our brains hide it from us. Now, imagine you're an engineer and you have this problem.
You've got some obvious solutions you could do.
1. make the vision go black during movement. (Some VR games do this!)
2. just keep showing the last thing we saw prior to movement
both are good options with different downsides, but OH NO. this is assuming everything makes sense and is chronological and (regular) logical.
Your brain does neither of these options, really.
first, it basically puts your visual system on "pause". You're not seeing blackness or even nothing, you're just not seeing period.
then when you finish your saccade, it shows you what you now see at the new position. and then it pretends it can time travel.
Brown's article at Buzzfeed starts off pretending it's some kind of really off-the-wall notion that Hillary Clinton paid for the creation of the Steele Dossier that was then used to justify the FBI's spying on the Trump campaign & transition team.
After that awful start, he swerves to making accusations that the Epoch Times is connected to the 'cult' Falon Gong.
You can read the article here:
Brown insinuates with no real evidence whatsoever that the Epoch Times is 'Falon Gong-linked'.
The 'evidence' he supplies in his article to 'prove' @EpochTimes is 'Falon Gong-linked is this:
1) the Epoch Times' extensive *news coverage* of China's attempts to wipe out Falon Gong with intense persecution directed at the group since 1999.
2) a reporter *shouting a question in 2006* at then-President George W. Bush about China's persecution of Falon Gong members.
This is what they do, one way or another. Any red state that hasn't collapsed yet, will.
Kansas ran an experiment in Republiqan economic theory, implementing all the tax cuts, deregulation and government service eliminations Republiqans have been pushing for. *Everything* collapsed. Duh.
This is what they do. They came this close =>||<= to doing it to America.
It still could happen to the nation as a whole, rolling through states, and then having Fascists re-seize control in Washington and implementing feudal-type monarchical disregard for everyone who isn't a Noble Lord. That's their goal.
Texas wasn't a mistake. It was a trial run.
I didn't include Flint, only because it wasn't state-wide, but Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are very close to collapse. So is Florida. And I'm sure you can all think of other red states that are on life
Now, imagine what will happen when multiple red states collapse at the same time, all needing massive federal bailouts.
Imagine Republiqans control the House, Senate and White House at that time, and have neither the competence nor the desire to help.
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When you procrastinate, you are focusing too much on the big tasks.
Focus on the small tasks & build up.
Ex: instead of focusing on getting the entire blog done, do 1 paragraph.
You will strangely want to complete another paragraph...
Bonus Hack: Song
Have one song that gets you hyped up.
Promise yourself after playing the song 2-3 times, you will immediately begin.
No questions asked.
The song amps up your emotions & you approach the task with energy.
Bonus Hack: Game
Turn mundane tasks into a game.
Use your creativity.
If you’re a gamer, break tasks into levels & kill each boss.
If you like music, reward yourself with a song after each completion.
Challenge: Aim to do some pushups or pullups after each crossed off goal.
My storytelling newsletter will give you practical tips to level up your mind & level up you life.
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Legacy site *downloads* ~630 KB CSS per theme and writing direction.
3,370 unique declarations
44 media queries
36 unique colors
50 unique background colors
46 unique font sizes
39 unique z-indices
PWA *incrementally generates* ~30 KB CSS that handles all themes and writing directions.
730 unique declarations
0 media queries
11 unique colors
32 unique background colors
15 unique font sizes
7 unique z-indices
The legacy site's CSS is what happens when hundreds of people directly write CSS over many years. Specificity wars, redundancy, a house of cards that can't be fixed. The result is extremely inefficient and error-prone styling that punishes users and developers.
The PWA's CSS is generated on-demand by a JS framework that manages styles and outputs "atomic CSS". The framework can enforce strict constraints and perform optimisations, which is why the CSS is so much smaller and safer. Style conflicts and unbounded CSS growth are avoided.
#cphftw #sthlmtech #helyes 🇩🇰🇫🇮🇮🇸🇳🇴🇸🇪
- Join & start community initiatives to meet people
- Learn from these people about how special the Nordic tech scene is
- Share this with the world through The Nordic Web
- Realise the real value is in the data, particularly in building network
- Use network to raise a fund
3) In fact, it looks all very strategic, but the reality is anything but.
My lack of vision and goals during this 5 year period was _criminal_
Any movement from one step to the next was never pre-planned and was instinctive, or worse, accidental.
4) While I am embarrassed to think of my headless chicken self, there's also part of me that thinks that none of this would have turned out where it did if I had of been deliberate and strategic about this.
5) In fact, I think my genuine love for the Nordics and the ecosystem is the MAIN reason to explain how I raised my fund & managed to move from step to step.
My story is a good example of how passion can be more powerful than strategy in the early stage of an idea/company.
To celebrate, here's a list of some of the cool things it can do: (thread)
Load any classic Winamp skin just by dragging it onto the main window. (Shoutout to @stuk for JSZip which lets us decompress .wsz files in the browser. https://t.co/k9gKnA6G1B)
Drag local audio files into the playlist to queue them up.
Visualize your music with the bar or line visualizer.
Adjust the fully functional EQ to pump up the bass.
(Shoutout to @epistemex for cardinal-spline-js https://t.co/NIXjit7zY4)