Solving problems with startups

Interesting insider Q&A with Paul Sutter, co-founder of Quantcast. Via Hacker News: Q: What methodical process did you follow for your startup? Did you first test the market using tactics similar to the lean startup approach? A: Basically, make a list of known problems that you’re well suited to solving, rank them by criteria, fail … Continue reading Solving problems with startups

Startups: Not for the faint of heart

Early on during this startup adventure, a person I trust told me, “Watch out — startups aren’t for the faint of heart.” Looking back on my personal net income graph from 2009 to present, I can see what he meant. May 2009 is when I entered Dreamit Ventures to begin working on what would become … Continue reading Startups: Not for the faint of heart

The Startup Diet

Last summer, we got our company, Parse.ly, off the ground at DreamIt Ventures incubator program in Philadelphia. Since then, we’ve talked to a lot of founders about our experience in the program. Many founders are data-driven people who are looking for concrete advice about how to optimize their experience at these programs. One of the … Continue reading The Startup Diet

Software planning for skeptics

Engineers hate estimating things. One of the most-often quoted lines about estimation is “Hofstadter’s Law”, which goes: Hofstadter’s Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law. If you want to deliver inaccurate information to your team on a regular basis, give them a 3-month-out product development timeline … Continue reading Software planning for skeptics

In support of net neutrality

I wrote a letter in support of net neutrality and Title II classification of Internet Service Providers to the FCC. For background on this FCC vote, you can read this Arstechnica explainer. You can add your own comment in support of net neutrality to the FCC at the URL gofccyourself.org. To clarify some terms: “net … Continue reading In support of net neutrality

Parse.ly Culture: Ethics & Identity

In September 2013, my startup, Parse.ly, had just raised Series A capital, and had just begun growing its team rapidly, from a small group of fewer than 10 to over 40 employees now. In the past several years, I have run Parse.ly’s fully remote engineering, product & design team. Back in 2013, we had achieved … Continue reading Parse.ly Culture: Ethics & Identity

The value of money in a technology career

Michael O. Church wrote an essay awhile back called “Why programmers can’t make any money.” The post is no longer on his website — for some strange reason — but you can have a look at the archived version here. If you don’t wish to read his post, this quote will give you the summary. … Continue reading The value of money in a technology career

An async kind of pair programming

Can pair programming be done in a way that is compatible with async communication? Pair programming is described by the original c2 wiki as a process in which “two engineers participate in one development effort at one workstation”. It would seem the process is inherently synchronous, at least as originally described and practiced. I experimented … Continue reading An async kind of pair programming

The 3 Best Python Books for Your Team

Python is the core programming language used at Parse.ly. It also happens to be a quickly-growing language with wide adoption among open source projects. It’s no wonder it’s quickly becoming the leading language for software teams. I’ve written a couple of blog posts with original material for learning Python, including “import this: learning the Zen … Continue reading The 3 Best Python Books for Your Team