Getting real about design inspiration

So, here’s the deal. Some startup founders at Curebit.com decided to copy a design used by 37signals’ Highrise product for their own app. They did this in a less-than-gracious way, by simply copy/pasting the code and even leaving in some hard links to the original code. The story on VentureBeat tells the full story. The … Continue reading Getting real about design inspiration

Why NYC does, indeed, need HackNY

On Fred Wilson’s blog post about Raise Cache and HackNY, someone asked a very legitimate question: Why are we raising money to benefit CS students from top programs around the country? Why are we raising money to help companies like Business Insider and bit.ly hire interns? The event looks like fun but I’ve been trying … Continue reading Why NYC does, indeed, need HackNY

import this: learning the Zen of Python with code and slides

It’s hard to find me gushing more unapologetically than when I talk about the virtues of my favorite programming language, Python. Indeed, my life for the last 3 years has been dominated by the language. In many ways, pursuing a startup and enduring the associated financial hardship was partially because I had become frustrated with … Continue reading import this: learning the Zen of Python with code and slides

Engineers don’t become engineers

And, sadly, our top engineering graduates don’t always become engineers. They move into finance or management consulting — both of which pay far higher salaries than engineering. I have seen the dilemma that my engineering students at at Duke University have faced. Do they take a job in civil engineering that pays $70,000, or join … Continue reading Engineers don’t become engineers

Upcoming: standing desk setup, Python training, Groovy/JavaScript articles

I’ve been quite busy with work lately, so haven’t had time to send a few posts toward my blog. However, I have been working on some spare time and work-related projects that I’d love to share with everyone here. Among them: Lifehacking through standing desks. I have created a standing desk setup for my home … Continue reading Upcoming: standing desk setup, Python training, Groovy/JavaScript articles

Groovy, the Python of Java

I was a bona fide Java programmer for 5 years before I started working on Aleph Point and Parse.ly. I truly believe that Python and JavaScript are fundamentally better languages than Java for a variety of reasons born out of experience with each of them. (Note: Before this gets marked as flamebait, please notice that … Continue reading Groovy, the Python of Java

What One Does

One of America’s greatest strengths is social mobility. There are several cases of an individual starting with nothing and persevering to become rich, powerful, and influential. Success stories of this kind have become an important part of American business mythology, especially in the world of entrepreneurship. They are strong motivators for individuals embarking on companies … Continue reading What One Does

The danger of feature-driven design

I recently re-read Douglas Crockford’s JavaScript: The Good Parts. I have been writing more and more JavaScript lately, especially object-oriented JavaScript plugging into existing frameworks. Re-reading the book has definitely been a useful exercise — I think when I first read it approximately 6 months ago, I didn’t fully understand it. But now, I do. … Continue reading The danger of feature-driven design

Persistent Folders: Or, why ideas don’t matter, and execution does

I’ll start off this post with a somewhat controversial claim: I invented Dropbox. I’ll show why this claim doesn’t matter later, but for now, I’ll assure you that it’s true. How many of you out there use Dropbox? If you don’t, you should — it’s an excellent tool. In its free version, it provides you … Continue reading Persistent Folders: Or, why ideas don’t matter, and execution does

Chase’s completely insecure and broken “secure” document exchange system (aka securedx, secure-dx)

A few days ago, I got a call from my girlfriend, Olivia. I was so deep in working on my startup, Parse.ly, that I hadn’t checked my bank account statements in several weeks. We just went into private beta last Thursday, after DreamIt Demo Day. She noticed some suspicious charges, and so I looked into … Continue reading Chase’s completely insecure and broken “secure” document exchange system (aka securedx, secure-dx)