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Fumbling To Success: How Founders Do Things the Wrong Way

Success image from Demetri Martin’s “This is a Book” For some reason, Founders are very open about all of the things they did “wrong”. Whether or not things worked out in the end, everyone has a narrative about how they bucked the trend, ignored advice, or just plain screwed up. I recently asked 53 founders […] read more...

Reasons to start a company

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Everybody Else is a Moron, and Other Reasons to Start a Company

PEOPLE ALWAYS SAY THEY WANT TO START A COMPANY. Nobody ever spends years wishing they could run a company, or track key performance indicators over several quarters for a company. I don’t think I’ve ever even heard someone say that their dream is to lead a company. People are focused with the starting part, myself included. There must be some sort of God complex […] read more...

Karel the Robot

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CS198 and Section Leading Your Life

  THE LEFT ONE! NO! NO! THAT’S TOO FAR LEFT! SECOND FROM THE RIGHT. SECOND FROM THE RIGHT NEVER FAILS! PICK THE MIDDLE ONE! The Stanford CS106 Section Leaders are having their weekly staff meeting, and the Door Prize is being awarded. A web app containing face-down cards is projected on the screen and the […] read more...


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Grocery Delivery Faceoff – Amazon Fresh, Instacart, WalmartToGo, Safeway

tl;dr: Use Amazon Fresh for your grocery delivery, or Instacart if you’re a hipster. Disclaimer: I have friends who work at Instacart, but I have no loyalty to them, or to any friends really. Over the past several months, our household has parlayed our addiction to Amazon Prime into an addition to convenience delivery in […] read more...


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3 Decades of Mac Memories, Year by Year

Last week marked the 30th anniversary of Macintosh, the adorable little machine that coined the phrase “Please insert Disk 1. Please insert Disk 2. Please insert Disk 1.” While they didn’t always have the cachet and widespread adoption of today’s Macs, these little machines touched my life in small ways in each of the last […] read more...

Lifestyle Business

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How to Insult an Entrepreneur

“You are making a major mistake,” said the prominent startup exec who was trying to convince us to give up on Context Optional and be “acqui-hired” by his well funded and highly praised startup. To be fair, it was something that we approached them with, when we were basically out of money and looking for a mercy killing. However, as our talks continued, […] read more...


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scanline – Command-line Document Scanning for Mac OS X

I scan pretty much everything — bills, old photos, mortgage documents, tax stuff, etc. It can be tedious, but it makes finding things much easier when you need to remember whether you filed in 83(b) election in 2006 or what exactly the previous owners disclosed about the condition of the roof. Having a good scanner […] read more...

Oh, the Founders You'll Meet!

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Oh, the Founders You’ll Meet!

Today is your day. You’ve got your degree! You’ll start your career as an interviewee. You’re ready to go. You know all your stuff. But maybe you’ll find that that stuff’s not enough. The people you’ll work for Are the Valley’s elite. So get ready to hear of the Founders You’ll Meet! Here’s Scotty Farnocky, […] read more...


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How to Foster a Company Culture Without Really Trying

If you ask most founders why they wanted to start a company, you’ll likely find that a big part of it had to do with building a team. The notion of creating a place where people can have fun, build a career, and create something great rings true. The culture that develops within a startup […] read more...


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Don’t Under-Pivot (How SpotDJ Became Context Optional)

Ah, the “pivot”. It’s not a failure if it’s merely a complete change in what you’re doing. You’ve heard about lots of high profile pivots, like Groupon (originally for charity fundraising), Flickr (originally a game), and PayPal (originally a type of stone fruit). But did you know that Context Optional wasn’t originally the Social Marketing […] read more...