Some mental garbage collection from my snowy morning run:
Purpose is foundation
Teamwork is strength
Results are currency
Complainers are derelict
Learning is tinder
Gumption is spark
Mastery is elusive
Profit is a byproduct
I screwed up during my job hunt in 2015.
I backed out of a job offer I'd already accepted days earlier. The timeline played out as follows: I rescinded the offer before I officially started, but the other party had already bought me a laptop, told his team about me, and told his board about me. Maybe not such a big deal if you join a BigCo, but at a 6 person startup, I definitely left the Read the article >>
Like many web engineers who have built teams as their startups have grown, I do not have an MBA. If you are like me in-so-far as you value management practice over theory, you probably learned to bootstrap & scale as a leader without one.
That hasn't stopped me from developing my own theories. Reading this quora thread on why many engineers detest their management reminds me, I have Read the article >>
Since I am in NYC and my team is in Mumbai, I usually wake up at an ungodly time to go for a run and then take calls with the indian team.
I like to call my morning calls my "punch me in the face" wake up calls. When you're a web startup moving as fast as we are, capturing a billion+ person market, building a product across 9 time zones, shit is bound to break. Daily. From speaking with other Read the article >>
As a startup CTO, one of the most challenging parts of my job is being on call. As the teams technology lead, I am responsible for all aspects of our technology, and that covers DevOps.
When the site is experiencing abnormally high load, and you get paged, it's time to jump into the fray. Into the hot seat. Where every second counts. I often chat with DevOps engineers at meetups, each has Read the article >>
I'm often introduced to folks who have been doing consulting/tech/corporate/academic work for a while, and are looking to start a tech startup. They have an idea, and if they're good, a network of potential investors/mentors. Hopefully they have done their research on their market, finished up some initial customer development and have a paper prototype. The problem is: they don't know how to build Read the article >>
Software development is a somewhat abstract process and, often, estimating the path from feature ideation to completion is an exercise in guesswork. An unfortunate fact of life as a web engineer is that building blocks involved are often undocumented, unsupported, incomplete, and/or convoluted. If, like me, you work in a distributed environment, your different team members surely have different Read the article >>
After 4 years of building, fixing, and managing software, I've come to realize that the default state of everything is failure.
Chances are that your fancy feature doesn't work when you first ship. That new process probably has plenty of holes in it. Everything is a work in progress, and your world is in perpetual beta.
In startup life, there are TWO worlds you live in. One that celebrates Read the article >>
As an aspiring guitarist, I've noticed that music, like other forms of creative art, painting, drawing, or design, require high amounts of passion, enthusiasm, and resolve. More and more, I've found the same about development -- developers do their best work when they are working on something that they are personally passionate about. Software engineering is a fundamentally creative practice -- Read the article >>
When we first started StepOut, I used to get really stressed out by the dissonant signals that come from the day-to-day of running a web startup. There's just so much shit that can go wrong when you're shooting to build a $100mm+ company.
Lately, I've come to view dissonance as part of the process. You can't scale a company without it. It's kind of like in music when the composer creates Read the article >>