It’s good to have a blog

Ok one last post before I go to bed. I just wanted to write down how good it feels to have a blog again. This will be my third one (after and, helping me work through another new phase of my life.

What's different about this blog is that I know I won't have any readers for maybe another 6 months, until I quit my day job. Still, writing things down is still suprisingly fulfilling!

It's also cool to have a new website to care about...I'm basically creating a new, more current online identity for myself...good stuff.

I'm loving this startup thing, every minute of it.

Google Analytics Hooked up

When did Google buy Urchin? I must have missed's been so long since I've had a website I cared about. Anyways, I set up Google Analytics for this site, we'll see how much good info I get out of it (once I remove the password protection, of course).

I was reminded of this by blog coverage of the AIR app someone built recently

Book: “Founders at Work”

I am reading Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days, a collection of interviews to founders of some pretty famous companies, and some that failed famously like Visicalc.

The most interesting thing about the book for me is to see how clueless some of these people were when they started. But they made up for it by being young, single (i.e. could work 18 hour days, nothing to loose, etc) and persistent.

Still, I have definitely learned a few lessons from it, I recommend it.

Also, the link above is an Amazon Associates link. My first source of revenue? :)

Starting to look into the startupping blogosphere

This reminds me of when I first looked around for parenting blogs...too much information and hard to tell what's good and what's not.

Anyways, I found this wiki article pretty useful: Startup Checklist

I used "startupping" in the tile because I found this: which seems useful. The OPML feeds are good as well, although there seems to be a lot of mediocre stuff in there.

Anyways, a good starting point.

I also found these good links: - serial startup founder Mark Fletcher (lots to read there, I gotta get back to it) - this one is good for instance
A curious find: - the startup blog of Joe Kraus while he was starting JotSpot (now part of Google). Cool!

Ok I'd better stop looking around...I need sleep

Looking for branding help

I just sent this email to a few friends of mine who work in advertising (most are pretty high-up and senior). I'm sharing it here for record-keeping and because it might be useful to someone (file under: how to ask for help) ;)

Hey there friends who know advertising!

As you may know, I am in the process of starting a little tiny software company of one person. I know enough about this person to know that brand strategy is something I could really use some help with.

I need to develop a corporate identity, a design style-guide, corporate values and all that good stuff. Basically I'm pretty much at the "blank slate" stage (I don't even have a domain yet!), but I do have a head full of ideas about the company, the products I'll be building and what I like and dislike about the World and other people's brands.

So, I'm looking for someone to help me. I don't know much about the process but I wouldn't mind if the first session was held over dinner at my house. :)

One little tiny insignificant issue is that I don't have very much money to spend on this, at all (my budget is a meager $300, which might cover one of you for what? 10 minutes?). So here's what I'm thinking: do you know anyone (friend / at work) who seems like a talented up-and-coming person with a bright future ahead of them who wants to get into brand strategy and needs some practice? Or do you have any contact at your alma mater for professors who teach this kind of stuff? I would make for a pretty good senior project I think. Or I could contact a "branding" professor to see if they can recommend some star student that just took their class?

Don't get me wrong, I would absolutely LOVE (yes yes yes!) to have one of you senior peeps help me out, but I don't like to shortchange friends and would feel guilty unless I could return the favor somehow. Which makes me think of two more options: one is: you help me with this, I help you with something you need (I'm pretty good at the following: programming Flash/Flex, managing people to get stuff done, coming up with processes to increase productivity and general workplace happiness, counseling for career development in tech, evaluating tech business plans ideas, interviewing people, advising about tech investments, baby-sitting, cooking...I'm sure I could think of something else).

The second option is for you to treat this as an investment in my startup: you donate work and get equity back, so if I'm successful you'll be too. This is a deeper involvment than what I was thinking when I started this email, but it might be the right thing to do, since branding/marketing questions will come up over and over in the next years I'm sure, and I can only "wing it" so much. So this would be more of a counseling role / contracting sometimes / angel investing with your time kind-of gig. Think about it, and if you're really stoked about this option, let's talk.

Ok thank you for reading this far. This is all very exciting, I get to have a brand that's my own, whoo-hoo!


Website protected

Ok I just learned about .htaccess and used it to password protect the entire site. I feel better now, I'm not ready to have people at work know what I'm doing with my nights and week-ends...yet.

Ten Rules for Web Startups

I just came across this link by the founder of (I'll write more on him someday): ten rules for web startups

It's encouraging to see other people (and successful ones at that) thinking along the same lines as I am. Narrow, Different, Casual, Picky, User-Centric, Self-Centered (bad choice of words IMHO), Greedy, Tiny, Agile, Balanced. All attributes I'm striving for.

Setting up the server

Thanks to the awesome guys at Plus9 finally has a real home on the network. No more using my living room's mac-mini with a DynDNS and a flaky wireless router port redirect!

Having my own (virtual) computer "in the cloud" is really exciting. I was up until 1am last night installing Confluence, Perforce Server, Apache, MySQL, PHP, WordPress, the UtomBox theme...all the good stuff.

Now plus9 has a code depot, (the beginning of) an external website, an external blog, and a wiki intranet already full of good stuff. I have some stuff over at Google Docs, but I'm ok with that (for now at least).

Next I need a TODO list tracker (I have one in mind) and a bug tracking system. I wonder if I can score a license of Jira...let me check with the Atlassian guys.

Whoo-hoo, this is getting real!