This is what my taskbar looks like on my Mac today. These are my most frequently-used programs. I just noticed a bunch of things missing:
– iTunes – Word – Excel – Powerpoint
These are things I’ve had there forever. And now I use them so little they didn’t make it on the list. Interesting. Office, like Windows, is becoming less and less relevant. Where is Microsoft going to go?
Over the years I’ve noticed that most of the time that I’ve spent building a startup – any startup – has actually been spent surviving. The ideas that have worked have usually come out of left field, by accident, or a result of a side project. They’ve never been things I’ve started out with. What’s allowed me to act on those ideas – given me the possibility to – has been the fact that my start-up wasn’t already dead or dying. It was surviving.
And I’ve noticed this with most entrepreneurs I know. The thing that works is rarely the first thing. But somehow they find a way to stick it out – some way to pay the bills, to keep the team together, to keep things running – until they stumble upon the stuff that works.
Inspired by this experiment where some folks ran blank banner ads to test the CTR (click-through rate %) of empty white-space or solid color ads on the google display network, I figured testing this on Facebook would be fun.
So I did. I ran this ad below, which comprised of whitespace with a black border on Facebook for 48 hours. The bid was $3.00 just to ensure it ran.
In the last month alone, we had 2 cases of IP theft from internal staff. The last time something like this happened was over 7 years ago. It’s a pretty rare thing, and funny that two incidences should happen together. I am sharing these experiences to share how we are dealing with them, and to collect feedback on anything else we can do.
As part of learning Rails, I’m picking up both front-end and back-end dev. I just made the craigslist front-page writing my own CSS/HTML in Bootstrap woot woot! #soexcited
Learning to code feels good. The first few months are painful, but slowly as you start to get good enough to actually do something, its gets so much fun. Like YC’s Paul Graham says – we are Makers. We make beautiful things. There is boundless joy in being creative and building things, designing things, making things.
When in school, we’re cooped up together for 10 – 12 years in a self-enclosed bubble. The consequences of our actions don’t have real impact – they don’t immediately benefit or hurt you, make you homeless, or put food on your table. And so, very much prisons, children develop a brutal hierarchy based on things such as popularity that don’t have much consequence in the real world.
Most of the successful people in the real world today were nerds back in school. Nerds are good at getting things right, and doing them well. And in the real world, that matters.
Paul talks about how life was hardest for him between the ages of 11 – 17 in an American school. The message is clear to all nerds: it only gets better. If you’re in school right now, know that it is the hardest, most vicious period of time you’ll go through in life. So chill out, and take it in your stride.