Archive for April, 2010

Lessons learnt from start-ups

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

I came across a few very interesting set of “lessons learnt from my start-up” articles. (thanks Mathieu, Joel for the references) :


There are many benefits to having a distributed team, but two stood out in our experience. First, we could hire top talent without having to worry about location (in fact, our flexibility regarding location was very attractive to most candidates we interviewed). Secondly, being in different locations allowed every team member to work with minimal distractions, which is invaluable when it comes to efficiently writing good code.

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We would rather suffer the visible costs of a few bad decisions than incur the many invisible costs that come from decisions made too slowly – or not at all – because of a stifling bureaucracy.

Warren Buffett excerpted in “Startup lessons learned from Warren Buffett” [thx Derick]
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And yes, a partnership is never really equal.  There has to be someone who is somewhat more equal than others. There is nothing more devastating than a partnership were all the members have exactly equal rights and votes. This just does not work. Human society and all monkeys always have a single individual at the top  and with all others, even though they are almost equal, being not quite equal.

Slashoid is one-week old, already 30+ scoops published

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Slashoid has been launched less than a week ago, and more than 30 scoops have already been published. The current feedback includes :

  • Too much clutter before being able to publish a scoop (tags, ..)
  • Article publishing date/time does not work correctly
  • Impossible to delete scoops

These issues are all related to Drigg/Drupal, but we will take a look at them whenever we get some time, to check wether things can be easily fixed.

Why Mark Suster is wrong about not hiring job hoppers

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Why Mark Suster is wrong about not hiring job hoppers

So who in the hell should you hire? Hire the best. Hire people that can leave your startup at any minute if they wanted to because they’re so kick ass that they’re constantly getting contacted by interested parties. Then it becomes your job to ensure that you’re creating an environment that is equally as good as your people. Create a company that gives your people the most room for growth, creativity, a sense of ownership, and fun. And if you can’t hire the best then hire people with any level of experience (novice, intermediate, advanced) that have promise. Then help them become the best so that they can leave any time they want. Hint: they won’t. They’ll be loyal because you helped them become the best. Your goal should be to help every single employee get to the point where they’re the best in their field and are constantly getting job offers.

Who is preventing the release of Java 1.7

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Who is preventing the release of Java 1.7 ?

“He said it’s delayed as there are parties who are refusing to sign off JSRs they own and thus preventing the 1.7 release. It apparently has something to do with the cost of determining your Sun compliance.”

“The basis of the problem is the release process itself. The Java Community Process was meant to bring a more democratic process to JDK development, but it’s turned into an awful, bureaucratic mess, with too many people having too much of a say on what happens.”

CVS/SVN vs Git

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Take a look at a pretty old email from Linus on cvs/svn vs git.. (2005).

So one of the worst downsides of CVS is _politics_. People, not
technology.
The upside of centralization is that a lot of things are easier. Easier to
think about, easier to get a stupid and straightforward idea working. 

But if you have hundreds of developers, and you have a dynamic trust
network (I trust some people, they trust others, and we all tend to trust
people more or less depending on what they work on), the CVS model is
absolutely HORRID. It just doesn't work.

Android community: launch of Slashoid.org

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

With a few work collegues from Pyxis-technologies, we have decided we would use our 20% side-project time to launch an Android community.

The first visible part of our work is the launch of the Slashoid.org news website. The Launch of Slashoid post describes the intent of the website, and what we want this to be. Any kind of feedback and suggestions are more than welcome, and you can use our Slashoid Google Groups for this, for instance.

What is the next step ?

Well, we are a small team of motivated developers working from Montreal, and we would be thrilled to find partners in the area of mobile development. We can especially bring a lot of expertise in server-side application development, as well as in the agile stuff (tests, engineering practices, etc.), so we would love to collaborate on creating full-stack, mobile enabled applications. If you like the idea, do not hesitate to contact us to android@pyxis-tech.com

Finally a free/Open Source video codec !!

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

As I mentioned in a previous post, the acquisition of On2 by google was unclear, and nobody really knew what google would do with this.

Well, it is now clear : google will open source the VP8 codec !

You can expect to hear a lot about that in the next few months.

HTML5 and video codecs

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Some interesting links regarding video on the web :

Git reviewed by a non-fanboy ;-)

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Here is a pragmatic experience report of using git by a non-fanboy.

“The transition will work much better if several of your employees are already familiar with Git and can help you evangelize the idea and provide support to reticent users.”

“Looking back, it took me a while to warm up to Git (quite a while), but now that I’m here, I really enjoy using it.”

Additionally, the post includes really useful links to learn more about git.