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,, 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

Core Python

When I describe my programming background these days, I say that I code “primarily in Python, JavaScript, Clojure, C… and Zig!” I put Python first in that list for good reason. This is a post about the core Python language, but also the ways in which Python is evolving its single-core and multi-core CPU performance. … Continue reading Core Python, Automattic: the long view

In 2009, I quit my first programming job after college to work on a startup. That startup eventually became I’ve written about’s startup beginnings and evolution elsewhere on this blog, including: “The Startup Diet” “What One Does” “Startups: Not for the faint of heart” “Why Startups Die” “Shipping the Second System” It is … Continue reading, Automattic: the long view

Managing software teams: the definitive reading list

Frederick Brooks once wrote: The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination. In his classic essay, “No Silver Bullet”, he also wrote about software’s “essential” complexity: The complexity of software is an essential property […] Hence, descriptions … Continue reading Managing software teams: the definitive reading list’s brand refresh

Here’s how’s original 2009 logo looked: has some fun startup lore from its early days about how we “acquired” this logo. I wrote about this in a post entitled, “ brand hacking”: Our first logo was designed as a trade for another domain I happened to own. It was the dormant domain … Continue reading’s brand refresh

Shipping the Second System

In 2015-2016, the team embarked upon the task of re-envisioning its entire backend technology stack. The goal was to build upon the learnings of more than 2 years delivering real-time web content analytics, and use that knowledge to create the foundation for a scalable stream processing system that had built-in support for fault tolerance, … Continue reading Shipping the Second System

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