Tuesday, May 30, 2006

self.location = Place("Onset, MA")

I think Rob did a better job describing our trip across the country than I ever could, so I'll just let you read his version.

I'm staying at my parent's place on Cape Cod now, so assuming there's enough advance notice that I have time to get there I'm now officially on the lookout for amusing things to do in the greater Boston area. Alternatively, if anyone's looking to hang out here at the beach, just let me know, I have no plans for most of the summer, so we can probably work something out ;-)

Today I set up my temporary office, and read some email, but I was mostly either recovering from the weekend's insanity and unpacking. Tomorrow I officially get to find out how this whole "working remotely" thing works. I mean I've done the "work from home" thing before, but that's always had the safety net of "I'll talk to you about it the next time we're both in the office", which is really less useful when the next time I'll be in the office is two months away...

Sunday, May 21, 2006

5 Days To Go

It's coming down to the wire on this move thing, so I spent much of the weekend packing. I discovered a few things.

First, I hate packing. This is not a surprise.

Second, I underestimated by a long shot how many small boxes I needed. The vast majority of the stuff I need to pack consists of books, and anything other than the smallest boxes I bought end up being way too heavy if you fill them with books. I think I've gotten all the books done now, but it sure would have been nice to have some small boxes for other things...

Anyway, I've finished most of the easy parts (books, DVDs, CDs), the rest of the week will consist of the less fun parts (computers, clothing, excavation of the massive pile of crap that's sitting in my bedroom).

5 days to go!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

ETL Website and Mailing List

I've been spending some time working on ETL lately, and it's inching up on a release. It's not quite there, but it seemed close enough that it was time to move it out from behind my cable modem and into the public view. So thanks to Paul Querna we now have a public subversion repository, a web site and a mailing list. There are still a bunch of broken links on the website, those will get filled in with content as we get around to it, but it's enough info to get started.

Anyway, enough screwing around with moving subversion repositories and writing web sites, time to get back to finishing up the last few features before the next release.

Oh, and for those of you wondering about the domain name, that's totally Paul's fault ;-)

Monday, May 1, 2006

On Startups

Paul Graham's latest article is up, and as usual it's worth reading. It's based on a talk I saw him give at the Y Combinator Startup School this weekend, and he talks about the hardest lessons for startup founders to learn. It's good stuff, I'll have to keep it in mind if I ever get around to doing the startup thing.

Speaking of startup school, the thing that really struck me about it was how the various speakers disagreed on a lot of the points.

Joe Kraus (formerly of Excite, and now Jotspot) was pointing out the advantage of being able to claim that Jotspot is a "Wiki Company", because it lets you ride the wave of hype around wikis these days. On the other hand, Ann Winblad stressed how you need to redefine the area you're competing in so that all your competitors are being measured against your new yardstick.

Paul Graham, among others, stressed that money was not the most important thing, and that if enough people love your product the money will follow, while Om Malik came right out and said that money was the most important thing. Kraus also weighed in on that side of the money issue, pointing out that if you go beta without your business model then you're not really in beta, people will use lots of thing when they're free, but you'll never know for sure if they'll pay for it until you make them.

It wasn't all disagreements though. Everyone seemed to agree that you can start a company with far less money these days than you've ever been able to before, and everyone stressed exactly how difficult the entire startup experience is.

Anyway, it was an interesting day of talks, even if I had to hear Mark talk for half an hour about the same stuff I'd already heard a dozen times over lunch while I worked at Bloglines ;-)

Honestly, the whole thing did make me wish I was doing the startup thing, at least a little bit. I'm not going to, of course, my job is too damn cool to give up right now, but who knows, maybe some day I'll have a killer idea and give it a shot. It could happen...

Packing Progress, Part 1

So this weekend, among other things, I managed to clean out my closet (which sounds much more impressive before you realize that all the stuff I cleaned out of my closet is now on my bedroom floor) and pack one bookcase full of books. From this point on nobody is to ask me any questions that require me to refer to a technical book, because virtually all of my technical books now require some moving of boxes to access, and we all know how much I hate moving boxes, especially boxes full of books...