Snapped this when we were in San Francisco a few months back. If you go there, take a bike ride to the Golden Gate. Really nice route alongside the water.
Now thinking that early games rock. Get a proper run at the day with a big beaming smile across my face - all day long!!!!! Well done Ireland! #rwc11
Got the top panel - full keyboard - replaced on my MacBook yesterday. And for good measure, I got them to stick in more RAM and update the OS. I should have done this ages ago - my machine is screaming along again - woohoo!
So my kids really did have my best interests at heart. Moral of the story - Pinot Grigio is not necessarily bad for Macs! Lift and sip!
A glass of Pinot Grigio - great for relaxing but terrible for keyboards! My kids seem determined to kill my old MacBook Pro. A few weeks back they knocked a glass of water over it and then last Sunday, it got the wine treatment! Got lucky with the water spill - no damage. The wine though has fried 5 of the keys and now I have been forced to plug in an old dell PC keyboard. Good god - how do people type on these things? There is life in the old dog still. Replacement top panel ordered. Should be back in action before the end of the week.
You know how the story goes “we started in a garage, made our own desks (most entrepreneurs at this stage seem unfamiliar with the concept of opportunity cost), lived on Pizza working 24/7, made up some silly story to make our eureka moment sound interesting, pitch, pitch a little more pitching, met a guy with a sack full of cash, grew to 10,000,000 users and we lived happily ever after”.
Over the years, I have read book after book where the early days are described in the same cherry coated manner. Even when guys / gals have made it and they start doing the talk circuits to encourage the next generation of would be entrepreneurs to take flight…they still gloss over the detail. It drives me nuts.
To me, this is the entrepreneurship equivalent of pre-marriage courses delivered by celibate old men. It offers zero insight into what really lies ahead.
As far as I can work out, there are two possible explanations:
1. All successful startups really do mirror the hockey stick growth curve and their development story matches perfectly;
2. Entrepreneurs “edit” their real stories. The hockey stick is a retro-fit.
I love a good hollywood story line as much as the next guy but when it comes to the reality of entrepreneurship, I think that we are doing a huge disservice to those who have already taken the jump or those about to.
For sanity’s sake, we should forget about the hockey stick and focus on the oar! Well a rowing boat actually. You see, if my path is anything to go by, the rowing boat analogy is closer to the reality for most.
You can row for days, even weeks making great progress. Blue skies, all seems well - is that a hockey stick on the horizon! But then things change, the winds / currents turn against you and you are pushed back. Days maybe weeks of slow or no progress and then your fortunes turn again. The skies clear and you push forward.
This has been our reality for the last two years working on learnpipe. After months of solid progress, we’re now caught in Google powered currents that are not going where we want to! (Hence my need to rant today!!!). As it always does, conditions will change in our favour again and then we’ll continue to push forward.
If I am ever honoured to stand in front of an audience who gather to hear my story, I promise you this. One slide will cover the win, my real journey will be covered in detail.
Yet again I sat down this evening brimming with belief that Ireland could smash the French in Bordeaux.
The first half was just an irritation - typical of two sides trying to impress.
The second half was excellent. Ireland started to play and we saw brief glimpses of what they really are capable of.
But yet I sit here totally annoyed. Not with what I viewed on the pitch but the constant undercurrent of low self belief that is pervasive in Ireland. How many times did Hook and Co. on RTE say “no one really cares who wins”.
For the record I care who wins EVERY time that Ireland take to the pitch. And I absolutely believe that every Irish rugby fan and player cares who wins.
Winning is an infectious habit - the more we make it happen, the more it happens.
The most wonderful thing about the celtic tiger was that Irish people developed self-confidence. As far as I could tell, it was the first time in our short history that the we could hold our heads up high and say “we rock!”.
And you know what has been the biggest disappointment of the financial collapse? How shallow that self-confidence was. Not a wet week into the crisis and we were already on the ropes.
Ireland is a fantastic place where the vast majority of people are winners. They rarely moan about the personal burden that they have to carry or the incompetent leadership who shafted them. They push on trying to make the best of a difficult situation.
So can those who speak on our behalf - channel our views, represent us - please get the message. Winning is important….always!
And for the record….we still rock. Nothing important has changed. Nothing!
The 10 Golden Principles of Successful Web Apps - Fred Wilson
I love the FOWA (Carsonified) series of videos on Vimeo. Really valuable / practical advice for founders.
Key messages from Fred Wilson’s talk:
1. Speed is not just a feature - it is the MOST important feature. If your app is slow, you’re dead.
2. Instant utility = app needs to be instantly useful to user. Long setup time, people won’t do that. Gave example similar to learnpipe model of crawling data with feeds / other data options.
3. Village Voice = software has to have a personality. Needs character. Gave example of Twitter’s fail whale. Showed some media savvy - that people connected to - started seeing whale on t-shirts.
4. Less is more. FB launched with a tiny feature set. Do one little thing but you do it all the time. Example of delicious - simple functionality that you use over and over again.
5. Make your application programmable - others can build on top of it (read write api’s are essential)
6. Personal - allow personalisation for everyone = help them feel ownership. Avatars, Backgrounds, etc.
7. RESTful - getting at good url structures - urls that are attractive to humans (they know what it links to) and last for a long time. Twitter = good, LinkedIn = bad. Urls that google will find.
8. Discoverable - virality = mentioned this blog post: http://redeye.firstround.com/2009/11/lets-just-add-in-a-little-virality.html
9. Clean - not busy pages - lots of space - NOT too much functionality…etc.
10. Playful - game dynamic to get users to do what you want. Think about weightwatchers! Goals + rewards = gamification. Make this part of your application.
You’ll get Fred Wilson’s blog post with his slides on: http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2010/03/10-golden-principles-of-successful-web-apps.html
We’ve got a couple of twitter profiles for learnpipe.in that you will be interested in following:
This is our official twitter profile for learnpipe.in. We use it to post updates, tips and tricks, news, etc. for learnpipe in India. http://twitter.com/#!/learnpipe_India
If you offer training in India, this is a great feed to subscribe to. We tweet all general questions that are posted to learnpipe.in via this profile. Subscribe to this and you will uncover some great opportunities!