Archive for the ‘Successful Startups’ Category
I recently gave a talk about the philosophy I have for setting up a dev shop. The slides are below. It might not make sense without the narrative, but since a number of attendees asked for them, I thought I would share with everyone.
Often, I get e-mail like this:
Hey, Scott…I have an idea for a web site. It’s a flibber that does a gibber. Do you think it’s a good idea?
The answer is, “maybe”.
First of all, I’m certain it’s a great idea. Most ideas are great, even the evil ones. I love ideas! But, what I think this person is really asking is, “do I think it’s a good business?” or, more specifically, “do I think it will make money?”
I have a friend who is seriously considering opening a boutique. Nevermind whether or not you think opening a boutique is a good idea. Just know that she’s really passionate about it, and really wants to do it, and that my job (and yours!) is to support her dreams.
So, she is in the planning mode. She’s been in the planning mode for the longest time. Forever, it seems.
You know the thing about plans, right? The plans are worthless, but the planning is priceless. But, at some point, the planning has to stop, and the action has to begin.
Guest Post Week concludes with Dan Shapiro
Dan Shapiro is a friend who I’ve come to know through the Seattle startup community. Dan founded the mobile software company Ontela, which he merged with Photobucket, and is now in stealth mode with a new startup named SparkBuy. (Follow them to get an invitation to their beta.) When I asked him to write a guest post, I wasn’t expecting what I received—an ode that humbles me.
I was talking to a CTO candidate some months ago. He seemed terrific and came highly recommended, with only one concern – he hadn’t been at a single job for more than two years. To his immense credit, he knew that was a yellow flag and, when we were talking about his resume, brought the subject up.
He did it in a great way too. He pointed out the strength and depth of his experiences, and then said, “the one thing I regret about my career so far is I haven’t had an opportunity to really build a long term relationship with a company”. He then explained the course of his career arc, and proceeded to dispel all my concerns. There was a few acquisitions, a bankruptcy, and similar circumstances that explained everything. Except one thing.
What do your new employees do on their first day?
Fill out paperwork? Collect up office supplies? Fiddle around with the customizations on their computer?
At Cheezburger, our new developers write and commit code to our production software on Day One. Yes, you heard that right…we throw a newbie into the fire before they even have time to know what hit them.
I would strongly encourage you to aim for this goal with your new employees on Day One. The result will be happier, more empowered employees with an attitude of ownership and a focus on productivity.
I regularly receive questions from readers about my experience working on the web, at Cheezburger, and so forth. I enjoy it when people reach out to me, which is why I make all of my contact information—including my phone number—available on my contact page. If you have a question for me, on- or off-topic, please don’t hesitate to send me a note.
The CEO of a startup recently asked me (via e-mail):
What would entice a developer to join a new startup? If you know anyone I can email to get advice etc., and that includes you, I’d love the opportunity.
Earlier this week, a group called the Seattle Collective organized a presentation with Dave McClure of Metrics for Pirates fame. The slides from the presentation are below.
I’m a fan of Dave, and I’ve seen his presentations before, but I always am inspired or learn something new. (Perhaps this is because Dave packs in the content—he covers 66 slides in the same amount of time ordinary mortals would cover only a dozen!)
How was I inspired this time?
An update from yesterday…
I talked to Jennifer Cabala of Seattle 2.0 about some of my professional experience—how I got my start, on getting a successful product to market, and what I will be speaking on at Seattle 2.0’s event for technologists, Deploy 2010 on June 24th. You can read the whole interview here.
I presented at the SMASH Summit on the keys to the success we’ve had at Cheezburger. The slides of the presentation are below, and in summary the presentation goes like this: Read the rest of this entry »
At SXSW I had the pleasure of meeting Chrissie Brodigan, one of this blog’s loyal readers. Chrissie has an amazing and diverse story ranging from historian to news reporter to user experience designer.
After the event, she and I were exchanging e-mail messages when I asked, “after all your diverse experience, [why do you think] web sites or apps succeed?”
I loved Chrissie’s response, and she’s agreed to let me reprint it below: Read the rest of this entry »