Why I’m starting a personal tech blog

Note – I’ve merged a couple of blogs and this post was from another site.
Welcome.

 

Supercalafragilisticexpialadocio.us is for technologists, like myself, who enjoy the challenges that come with taking interesting ideas and bringing them to a wide audience.
Currently I’m the CTO of a “lean” startup – http://betterlesson.org.

 

The work I’ll be posting is done in the context of startups. Startups are great. The definition l’ll use of “startup” is informal. By my definition, a startup is the adventure of working to make a sufficiently new idea self sustaining.

 

Building a laboratory and having a fair shot at a large audience is no longer a barrier to entry.** Often, technologist’s education is almost entirely from peers on the Internet – piecing together technology that yesterday may have been out of reach.  With low barriers to entry comes a tremendous amount of competition.  What differentiates is not only technical skill, but ability to successfully navigate the technology world. Propaganda, pain, tunnel vision, and joy dot the fast-changing technology blogosphere. Execution is tough when the more ambitious ideas you have would be obsolete by the time you finish them. When do you keep exploring? When do you settle on a technology and dive in?

 

I plan to dive into technology specifics, so this post is to set the tone. If I stray from my own ideas, tell me. I need your help.

 

  • Technology alone is not enough:
    • Make sure you love something you consider to be not technology. Loving code and assembling lego blocks works for some of the best – but for mortals, having other interests can serve as a compass to guide the “why” you do what to do.
    • Courage is not only in tackling cutting edge technologies, but also in shepherding the transition to new technology for the larger world we serve. Yes, I believe that world domination is a goal of every startup. But domination means we want to serve as many people possible, and do it well. “Don’t be evil” is a mantra I reflect on in this context.
  • Be open:
    • Isolation is dangerous. Open source, open communities, and open style of development keep you healthy. Some “enemy” may occasionally out-calcuate you because you showed your hand. But you’ll lose a few games of poker in order to win the innovation game. Chances are if your idea is something some one _can_ steal simply by sharing the idea with them, then some one else is going independently invent it anyway.  Don’t live in fear that some one might be doing something newer or better.
    • Your reputation is important, but if some one can trash your idea easily it’s either because the idea is actually bad, or they are simply wrong.
Looking forward to sharing the adventure.

 

Cheers,
Jonathan

 

** at least with sufficiently modern computer and a high speed internet. 

 

Amazon: from cloud computing to cloud forest

Cloud computing. A great idea, unlocking new markets, new opportunities for internet startups to have access to computing scale and power. Head in the clouds? Like clean electric cars, the electricity still comes from somewhere. Maybe the cloud isn’t puffy and white – it might just be black.

At a recent O’Reilly Ignite Boston, Tim O’Reilly gave the company spiel, mixed with a little extra enthusiasm and praise for technologists – a population thought of as family at O’Reilly, if not flock. The latter half of the talk uncovered the motivation for the emotion. Reminding me of Dennis Hopper Californian dramatics, he pleaded to do something that mattered. What mattered? The environment and education. Work on that, do something that matters.

Mr Big O. recounted ( or perhaps therapeutically re-lived what could be interpreted as post traumatic stress disorder) a meeting with the chief researcher for still partly secret International Report on Climate Change of a UN agency. Tim’s question was on humanity’s chances of surviving. The answer given: “we’re fucked”. Don’t trust the UN? So thinks the pentagon too.

Even if climate change isn’t “real” – the game still has to be played out because just maybe we are heading to the land of FAIL. Yes, Fuckdom. Not fuckdom like, “hey, I like to scare people”, but fuckdom like inheriting the worst code you’ve ever seen which depends on closed source. There’s a better chance of climate change being a big problem than you’ll ever succeed significantly in a start up. Personally, I want to maintain the legacy app called Earth….

Well, so speaking of startups, try out CO2 Stats. Simply place a widget like Google’s analytics on your site. measure C02 emissions based on available data about the servers and the clients (that’s you). Optionally you can have them automatically purchase carbon offsets for you, or, as in the case of this site – advertisers pay for your … gasses.  

And if you don’t like C02stats – do you have a better idea?