March 6, 2009
I attended this months SpringStage Startup Happy Hour and came to a conclusion after I spoke with a handful of startup employees and owners: Businesses and startups are hiring.
Update: I failed to post justifying information when I wrote this post. I have had individuals contact me regarding 7 positions since the economy started to take a crap in September. Three for rails development, one for PHP, two for product manager, and one for iPhone development. All of these positions came to me through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and SpringStage.
A few reasons why…
- Bootstrapped technology startups have low costs thanks to Amazon Web Services and co-working environments
- Marketing expenses create more value because word of mouth is faster and presence in large social networks is free
- if a > 12mo old startup hasn’t fallen through the cracks by now, they’re doing pretty damn good
- Mobile application platforms are now mainstream
- Investors are still investing
If the number of startups looking for good talent in the Dallas area is anything like the rest of the US then it seems to me it won’t take long for our newly unemployed to get back on the saddle.
November 2, 2008
As I began working this evening I realized I haven’t backed up my laptop in a few months. In fact, three months ago I backed up to a system which recently crashed. I lost data and freaked out a little and losing my laptop hard disk right now would be bad. After hearing about someone’s laptop being stolen I can’t procrastinate any longer. So what am I going to do about it?
Well, after purchasing two 500GB USB drives and a Time Capsule, I’m going to connect some cables and CLICK FOUR TIMES. Then every month I’ll CLICK FOUR TIMES, swap out one of the 500GB “archive” drives, then take the other off site. For less than $500 and 52 clicks a year I will have “secure” historical backups of my laptop.
This does NOT happen in IT.
With a business of 5-50 employees and non-Apple systems, secure offsite backups will cost anywhere from $3-30k worth of software, hardware, media, and/or bandwidth. There are valid reasons for the costs, however, once a solution is in place you maybe looking at paying for a full time employee which will cost much more than four mouse clicks.
While seemingly far-fetched, there are few differences between backing up my laptop and backing up a business; let’s keep in mind that no matter how much data is involved, the process of securely backing up, storing, and restoring data is the same. The backup life-cycle consists of transferring data to offline media, archiving, restoring, and retention. Upfront costs are typically associated with how much data you have and the recurring cost correlates with your retention and archiving policies. What a business adds in complexity is gathering data for backup, as the data may reside on multiple servers and/or desktops. The second complexity a business adds maybe proprietary software which requires additional licensing to efficiently backup data without downtime.
Unfortunately at this time there isn’t a four click backup solution for IT in small or enterprise businesses. Backups are costly and complicated. Moreover, while you can deploy Time Machine for all Macs, not every machine is a Mac and servers typically run Windows or Linux. So, while Apple has done a great job of solving the task of backups by integrating the service into their OS for free, they have not solved what is still a significantly difficult task in IT. Apple is poised for the enterprise yet continues focusing on consumers. Considering all the new avenues Apple has ventured in the last five years – Aperture, AppleTV, iPhone w/Exchange support, iLife/FinalCut/Logic, iTunes, iWork, MobileMe, Shake, and Time Machine — I have to ask myself why Apple remains out of the enterprise?
September 29, 2008
In the last 6 months I have received and/or completed surveys for the following:
- Purchasing a new car (2 total; Dealer – Auto Nation and BMW Assist)
- Sun Microsystems CommunityOne event
- Nine Inch Nails (yes, the band — I purchased the new album by naming my price)
- PayPal ‘Phone Handling Opinion’
- Microsoft Feedback Program
- Notified me ahead of time I would receive an opportunity to give feedback
- Sent notification from an email address with a domain I recognized
- Feedback questionnaire resided at a domain I recognized
- Questionnaire site promoted company’s brand and assured me I was at the right place
- Questionnaire gave me the opportunity to leave free-form comments
March 8, 2008
Putting together a Half-Baked Web 2.0 get together ended up with some entertaining startup ideas. I can’t remember them all, but here’s a brief summary.
Idea: Sharing content, all original – give back revenue like metacafe
Tag Line: screwing up on an epic scale or doing it wrong all day long
Marketing: Viral via browser plugins / xgames, cheap cable (extreme crashing)
This idea was not funded because it was agreed the brand would live up to it’s name.
Idea: Coaching for your alter ego [in second life]
It was noted this was “coaching” and NOT “psycho-therapy”
The judges determined this was a perfect boot strap idea and could be started immediately and did not require funding.
Idea: Pursue digital attackers after they strike (identify theft, piracy, corporate hacking, etc.)
Logo: A pirate and cross bones, attacking a pirate
Marketing Plan: Free unwarranted security audits (an example of what we’ll do)
Revenue Model: Old fashioned contracts. If you don’t pay…we’ll get the money from you anyways!
This idea was funded for fear of the consequences of NOT being funded.
Idea: A peer-to-peer system for trading carbon credits
Logo: A green circleMarketing Plan: guilt free environmental exploitation
Revenue Model: Transactional feesThis idea genuinely made fun of carbon credits.
It was not funded, as a carbon credit has yet to *really* be defined.