Category: Start up

Go head and piss people off!


I know I do. All the time. Apparently I am very skilled at that. But that’s only because I am doing the right things – and I care! You see: “doing the right things will almost inevitably piss people off”. Just loved Tim Ferris’ Benefits of Pissing People Off blog post.

[…] if you are really effective at what you do, 95% of the things said about you will be negative. Keep your head on straight, don’t get emotional, take the heat, and just make sure your clients are smiling.

Howdy startup!

You are just getting started

“how easy it is to look at a marketplace and see nothing more than a list of must-have features. If you’ve got user profiles, you need a messaging system. If you’ve got a site, you need an FAQ, support section, and a blog. If you’ve got activity, you need activity streams, RSS, and all that jazz. If you’re selling stuff online, you need a reviews section, after all, all of the big players have them, right? You’re not a big player. You’re just getting started.”

HackLab TO, Startups, Pricing, Bosses

Welcome to HackLab TO in the National Post!

The only kind of hacking that HackLab.TO and many of the more than 170 similar spaces active around the world are engaged in is the repurposing kind. Described as the “fourth R” — following reduce, reuse, recycle — repurposing involves “taking existing technology and using it in sort of new or perverted ways,” explains 25-year-old Honeywell. “The focus is on do-it-yourself technology.” Virtual spaces, as popular as they are, simply do not cut it when it comes to reincarnating laser engravers and creating controllable LED signs.

Stewart Butterfield Flickr co-founder “We had it all wrong in the beginning

No battle plan survices contact with the enemy“. And that includes your software pricing. Run over and get “Don’t just roll the dice: a usefully short guide to software pricing.

21 Things that Great Bosses Believe and Do: My favourites:

  • (8) Reward success and (intelligent) failure, but punish inaction.
  • (11) Eliminate hiring and reward practices that reinforce cultures where “the best you can be is a perfect imitation of those who came before you.”
  • (12) Hire people who make your squirm.
  • (18) Kill a lot of ideas, including a lot of good ideas.
  • (21) Innovation requires selling your ideas.  The greatest innovators, from Edison to Jobs, are gifted at generating excitement and sales.  If you can’t or won’t sell, team-up with someone who can.

Gameness, vaccines, turtles, life and startups

On Offensive Play by Malcom Gladwell in the New Yorker […] those who select for gameness have a responsibility not to abuse that trust: if you have men in your charge who would jump off a cliff for you, you cannot march them to the edge of the cliff.

Does the vaccine matter? The Atlantic

The women agenda: NYT reader submitted photographs from around the world illustrating the importance of educating girls. Some great shots!

From Science Friday: Michael Musnick is a citizen scientist who studies wood turtles in the Great Swamp — a stretch of wetland about 60 miles north of New York City. He found turtles dying in the railroad tracks and proposed a solution to New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority: tiny turtle bridges.

There are close to 1.7 billion Internet users in the world. The network by the numbers.

Norwegian photojournalist Jonas Bendiksen spent six weeks living in the slums of Nairobi, then Caracas, Mumdai and Jakarta. His Foreign Policy photo essay is enlightening!

Best young entrepreneurs of 2009 from BusinessWeek and yes the list includes women!

Interview with Ken Segall, the man who named the iMac and wrote Think Different.

Anatomy of an Entrepreneur

I think that entrepreneurs are made of 99% perspiration! But the Kauffman foundation for entrepreneurship has a better idea. The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur released in the summer by the Kauffman foundation fprovides insights into high-growth founders’ motivations and their socio-economic, educational and familial backgrounds.

A team of researchers led by Vivek Wadhwa of Duke University, Raj Aggarwal of the University of Akron, Krisztina Holly of the University of Southern California and Alex Salkever of Duke University surveyed 549 company founders of successful businesses in high-growth industries, including aerospace, defense, computing, electronics and health care. I found what they unearthed fascinating – and at the same time not really in line with how I viewed entrepreneurs:

  • Founders tend to be middle-aged and well-educated
  • These entrepreneurs tend to come from middle-class or upper-lower-class backgrounds and they were better educated and more entrepreneurial than their parents
  • Not typically college dropouts!
  • Most entrepreneurs are married and have children – I don’t know how most of them do it since I can barely find the time to play with my dog!
  • These entrepreneuers had an early interest in starting companies
  • Their motivation for becoming entrepreneurs includes building wealth, owning a company, startup culture and capitalizing on a business idea
  • The majority of respondents (75.4  percent) had worked as employees at other companies for more than six years before launching their own companies. Nearly half (47.9 percent) launched their first companies with more than ten years of work experience.

The report makes for an interesting read. I wonder how the statistics actually break down when comparing male to female entrepreneurs. Wondering if the motivations could be different.

Keep the light (faith)

More tells the story of an inventor who lives in a drab, colorless world. Day by day, he toils away in a harsh, dehumanizing job, his only savior being the memories of the bliss of childhood. But at night, he works secretly on an invention that could help him relive those memories and spread their joy to everyone in his despair-filled life.

When he finishes his invention, it changes the way people look at the world. But his success changes him, for with it, he loses an important part of himself.

Just keep moving…


Which Way Home shows the personal side of immigration through the eyes of children who face harrowing dangers with enormous courage and resourcefulness as they endeavor to make it to the United States from Mexico while illegaly riding freight trains.

A great documentary by Rebecca Cammisa:

it’s not like you can just ride a train into America, get off, high-five your buddy and be on your way. The trains only take you so far; at some point you must cross the border via a river and then somehow survive days out in a desert without the necessary food and water. More than half the people riding these trains will die before they reach their goal — either by falling off the rooftop by accident (most fall asleep and roll off), robbed and murdered by gangs, shot by border police or suffer their fate in a desert where the odds of death by dehydration are extremely high.