a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by mk
mk  ·  47 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 9, 2020

These last two weeks have been busier again work-wise. Product launch and stuff. It feels like work again, which is mostly good. I've been offering feedback and advice to a few people on their own efforts. I don't like to talk about startups much. I think that's because of some of the culture and cults of personality associated. Startups are 99% about the founders, and there's a humble grind that gets lost in the noise. All the books about startups are useless. I'd advise anyone that wants to start a company to toss all those books out, and to spend the time building. At best, those books are PR for the author. You either work at something when it makes no sense to anyone but you, or you fail. I've seen this play out several times in a number of ways now. There will be at least one point where your effort no longer makes sense to anyone but you. One of my YC batchmates has been grinding at his product since 2017 and it's now starting to pay off. It's a wonderful thing to witness. It has nothing to do with the money. It's like climbing a mountain, or placing in a triathalon, or playing a piano solo in a concert hall. He's been working to build something of value, and people are starting to take notice that he really has. It's a joy to watch. I'm so happy for him.

More progress on the painting:

I figured out a trick last night regarding shading. Sometimes I feel like painting is a collection of tricks.

I have also continued to build my custom RC car. The pace has slowed since my office isn't in my garage atm, but it's moving along. My next effort is to turn a sheet of lexan into a body with a heat gun. I've already used it to modify the angle on the roll cage. I didn't realize how quickly heat guns get hot. I almost destroyed it immediately.

Finally, I have the long-term goal to create an iOS app. I believe that I am going to write the service in Python using the Django framework. I have a Django droplet deployed on DO at any rate. Happy to take advice. I've done some looking to see if there is an open source Swift/Django app out there without much luck. Not a big deal, but I love to learn by poking around with something that already exists.

veen  ·  47 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I'd advise anyone that wants to start a company to toss all those books out, and to spend the time building.

Someone recommended reading Founders at Work to me yesterday, which I'm sure you've heard of, not because it tells you how to found a startup but because the advice is so wonderfully contradictive. It supposedly shows by example that there are no good ways of doing things, that really nobody knows what the hell they're doing anyway, so just do what works for you and figure out a way to combat your blind spots.

I have the luxury of working half to most of my week on a sort-of-startup. I'm saying sort-of because it's a government-funded pilot project to develop a new mobility app to compete with Uber and Google Maps, so it's a startup with a safety net. It's wonderful to still be at the stage where we can be so nimble and change course today if we have to.

mk  ·  47 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I haven't actually heard of it. To be honest, I eschew that literature on principle. I agree with that conclusion, however. IMO you can arrive at the same from reading biographies, and you get history lessons to boot. :)

That sounds like a daunting and fun challenge! The buddy I referred to is beating Google at speech recognition.

goobster  ·  47 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I worked within the TechStars business incubator when I was starting my marketing consultancy. I saw 3 whole cohorts go through the program, and the start of the 4th cohort.

The owner of TechStars was a client of mine, and he had his business housed in the same work loft as TechStars. So I wound up being the "in-house marketing consultant" for all the TechStars founders and projects.

I got to see a number of big name projects in their very infancy. The best ones always had 4 people at the core of the project as co-founders. One person is too myopic. Two people argue. Three people just kind flail around each others' orbit.

But once you have 4 people, each person has a 'reasonable' amount of work to do (<70 hrs/week), and there are three other people you can "team up" with to tackle specific problems, depending on their area of expertise. ALL of the 'winning' projects from TechStars had 4 people at the core.

Although, once launched, those projects would quickly lose two founders, and gain employees instead. There always seemed to be two founders who had little interest in running a company; they wanted to build shit, and not be confined. So they'd be bought out, or become silent partners and pursue other interests.

It was a cool environment to be in.... got to hang out with Sir Mix-a-lot, even!