Entries for April, 2011


Posted by roy on April 1, 2011 at 06:09 PM in Ramblings | 1 Comments

I really don't want to like Far East Movement, cause they seem like the douchey guys at the club I love to avoid... but their songs are way too catchy, especially the new one:

Posted by roy on April 6, 2011 at 10:27 PM in Music | 4 Comments

Saw this Notebook quote on a FB status, and it made me chuckle.... as it defines EVERY GIRL IN THE UNIVERSE. I'm pretty sure the quote just catapulted into my top 5 favorites. 

Allie: Don't touch me! I hate you! I hate you! Get out! Leave! Go!... No, no, just wait a minute, we're not really breaking up are we? This is just a fight we're having and tomorrow will be like it never happened right?

Posted by roy on April 11, 2011 at 10:54 AM in Ramblings | 5 Comments

I really like the Miami Vice trailer (yes, this movie is old). 

Posted by roy on April 16, 2011 at 08:54 PM in Ramblings | 2 Comments

Posted by roy on April 23, 2011 at 05:32 PM in Music | Add a comment

This is such a timely article. (emphasis mine)

Why Build a Services Business in the First Place?
There are at least two types of tech services businesses in my mind:

1. Service as a bridge to a product business - One of the best ways for young startups to finance their business without any dilution is what I call "customer financing," which is mostly only possible in businesses that target businesses rather than consumers. Customer financing often comes in the form of your company agreeing to build a product with a "sponsor" customer or two and helping them with the rollout / implementation. Often in this strategy you end up giving them the product for free and bill them only services fees. You own the IP you create.

The benefits for the customer are: a mostly custom-built product addressing one of their internal needs, the focus of a very talented young startup focusing on their business need & free product - potentially for life.

The benefits for you are even more clear: you get to build a product raising significantly less external money (if any at all) and therefore no dilution, you get a customer who will help you figure out the real requirements for your business and you have your first real reference client lined up, which should help with future funding and with future sales.

If you set out to build this kind of business you just need to be sure you don't become a permanent consulting business by default. The "customer-financed" type of tech service business is never frowned upon by VCs - unless you've been doing it for 2-3 years with no product business to show for it, by which point they assume you're the second type of services business.

There's another reason why a product person would want to start off in services: the overhead for creating a viable engineering/product process is significant. You've got the process costs: technology decisions (what stack do we use?), defining process for bug tracking/project management, and figuring out how communication will work (for remote workers). For the most part, Agile sets a nice framework for this, but you'll still need to tweak to serve your team. Don't forget people costs: training and salaries. Ramping up a developer takes at least a month - expect this to be even worse if you're bringing on a bunch of people on board for the first time. 

The past few months at rykorp, I've been making the investments necessary: we're now getting to a point where things are getting more automated and less involvement is required from me. I've been lucky to find fantastic developers who require little management - and now the product process is getting less burdensome for me. Of course, my clients are the first to take advantage of this: but soon I'll be able to leverage it internally for rykorp products. 

Although the product business is a huge one, I am also working on rykorp because I strongly believe in providing services for small businesses: there's nothing like working on a critical project for a nascent business and watching it come to life. 

I expect by 2012 to see a 20%/80% mix of product/service revenue; I'd be perfectly ok with that mix, since my goal for the services business is to make it as hands-off for me as possible. 

Posted by roy on April 24, 2011 at 11:54 AM in rykorp | Add a comment

does anybody else basically treat a deluxe breakfast as an unassembled sandwich with a side of hotcakes?

Posted by roy on April 26, 2011 at 10:45 AM in Ramblings | 3 Comments

A fresh, positive, new song always puts me in a fantastic mood. Productivity... through the roof!

"Cause I, I've been on my grind... I can only grind... for so long." - Asher Roth

Posted by roy on April 26, 2011 at 12:19 PM in Music | 2 Comments

All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it's just not that good. It's trying to be good, it has potential, but it's not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this.


Posted by roy on April 28, 2011 at 12:55 AM in Ramblings | 3 Comments

Posted by roy on April 29, 2011 at 01:47 AM in Music | Add a comment

"The creative adult is the child who survived." - Ursula K. LeGuin

The emphasis on science/mathematical education (i.e. calculus, physics, chemistry) is Cold War-based thinking: let's create as many scientists to build the Bomb (and its derivations) as possible. It's outdated. 

Posted by roy on April 29, 2011 at 10:09 AM in Ramblings | Add a comment

Haven't been in months; maybe it's time I pick it up again. 

Posted by roy on April 30, 2011 at 10:07 AM in Ramblings | Add a comment
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