Its far too easy to borrow money for college. Did you know that there is more outstanding debt for student loans than there is for Auto Loans or Credit Card loans ? Thats right. The 37mm holders of student loans have more debt than the 175mm or so credit card owners in this country and more than the all of the debt on cars in this country. While the average student loan debt is about 23k. The median is close to $12,500. And growing. Past 1 TRILLION DOLLARS.
A very interesting read on simply pursuing happiness.
A couple of great quotes:
Forget about your life expectancy. After all, it’s calculated based on an average. And you never, ever want to expect being average.
What you should prepare for is mess. Life’s a mess. You are not entitled to expect anything from it. Life is not fair. Everything does not balance out in the end. Life happens, and you have no control over it. Good and bad things happen to you day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. Your degree is a poor armor against fate.
Finder has always been the piece of OS X that has just felt wrong. This might be due to years of Windows use, simply over thinking it, or perhaps it really is just a turd.
For the last year or so, I had been using TotalFinder. TotalFinder is a big improvement over Apple’s built in Finder. However, I found it to be a bit flaky, especially on Lion.
I recently came across another alternative, Path Finder and it has been an absolute joy to use.
Here are some of my favorite features:
It consistently just works.
Document previews in the footer
Great breadcrumb navigation
Dual (side by side) views
Path Finder brings a ton of additional features (git,terminal/iterm, etc) to the table, but most importantly it just makes working with files simple. At $40 it is not exactly cheap, but for something you will use a couple of times a day every single day, it really ends up being a steal.
The best way I can sum it up is, simple practical design tips all in a convenient beautiful little package.
Reading this book will not make you a great designer. It probably won’t even make you a good designer. However, it will help you avoid some big mistakes and keep you on the right path until you can hire proper design resources for your product/project.
I have worked at home for most of the last 8 years. One of the things I try to do is get out of my home office once or twice a week.
I attended my first Princeton Tech Meetup last night. One of the things that really impressed me was the number of people who attended (nearly 100 in just month #2). In addition, I was equally impressed with the number of people who were starting business (or looking to start companies).
With no local co-working facilities, I was thinking it might be a good idea to try to setup ‘shop’ once or twice a week in Princeton.
So for the next couple of weeks, I am going to start working at the awesome Small World Coffee on Thursdays (say 10 am to 4 pm).
It is open to everyone, but you will probably get the most out of it if you are in one of the following buckets:
Entrepreneur (or want to be one)
Enjoy building new things
Developer/Hacker/Designer (or some other creative)
If you are semi-local, please feel free to stop by (also feel free to ping me at email@example.com to make sure I will be there :).
In addition, if you are looking at starting a new business and want to talk to someone about how to simply get started, please stop by.
This week’s, how the hell did I not know about this sooner vim moment: q:.
I primarily use vim via terminal these days. One of the nice things in MacVim is the ability to arrow through previous commands (just ‘:’ then up and down arrows). Since arrows do not work (which is kind of great) navigating and reviewing recent commands didn’t appear to be easily possible….and of course, I was really wrong. :)
You see, programming isn’t a job for me…it’s a passion. I contribute to open source projects, not because I am awesome, but because programming is awesome. Think about it: with a computer, you have the power to make almost anything you want, as long as you can think out the logic.
In the short term, you always need to do what’s best for your family/etc. However, in the long term you are missing something awesome if you are wasting your time doing something you don’t love for a career.
If writing software is simply a means to to an end you are missing a major opportunity to really enjoy life.
Don’t you hate OSX’s launchctl? You have to give it exact filenames. The syntax is annoying different from Linux’s nice, simple init system and overly verbose. It’s just not a very developer-friendly tool.
With Lunchy you can start and stop services with ease. Example:
lunchy start redis
Tip. If you use ZSH and want to stop seeing this message:
PageKite is a hosted TSL (SSL) (Transport Layer Security) service. Or put more simply:
A very easy way to share your local development server with the world.
Previously I had used the following similar services:
ShowOff - a beautifully packaged service with abysmal support. I had to cancel my account on principal.
LocalTunnel - free service which works pretty well for the price. I find the lack of a dedicated address very frustrating (not to mention the errant requests to old addresses).
Back to PageKite:
Pay for only what you use is a nice touch
Easy setup (at least on OS X)
And my absolute favorite feature: It Just Works.
I have been using it for all of 60 minutes, but so far it appears to be very solid. In addition, the founder of PageKite appears to be dedicated and engaged.
If you need a dedicated ‘tunneling’ service, I would recommend checking out PageKite.
 Bjarni corrected me in the comments that PageKite uses TLS instead of SSH which allows it run in places SSH may not be an option (Windows, Android, etc). It is also available via OSS if you want to run it on your own.
 LocalTunnel is also OSS, so you could host your own instance, but as I have stated before, I have zero desire to actually ever manage a server on my own again.
This goes in the top 10 of the dumbest things I have ever heard:
27 million people is not too shabby, but it’s nowhere near the scale you need to make a massively large business.
Instagram may prove me wrong and end up being a huge financial success…but I doubt that is going to happen.
The first thing that comes to mind after watching that video is they are scared. What if they get it wrong? What if people are really just using them because they are free? What if no one wants to interview them anymore?
What’s even worse are the number of people who look up to this ‘lottery’ business model.
Build something of value. Charge money for it. Build it some more. Have the guts to say I built something and it is worthy of your time and money in return.
We are committed to making myBalsamiq known for its uptime, but clearly we have a long way to go. We are learning, and I feel very sorry that our early adopters have to pay for our inexperience. :(
They go on to offer an extremely generous credit for the downtime as well. However, to me that is secondary. All I think users really want to hear is that you are honestly sorry and that you will make your best effort to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
…price should be a consequence of value. When creating products, we should first focus upon the customer, what they need, and how we can provide value. Then, we should learn what our solution is worth to them and charge accordingly.
Less customers is OK. I don’t get this obsession (especially in the startup world) with massive scale.
Find a group of customers and serve the bejesus out of them and grow from there.
I recently wrote an eBook about UI design and needed to find a way to sell it, so I compared five such services: Quixly, FetchApp, Pulley, E-junkie, and Gumroad. I’ll tell you which one I picked at the end… but in the meantime, here are the results of my research.
Great write up by Smashing Magazine on where to sell your digital goods.
Was it the right decision? Only time will tell. In my view, $600,000 in the hand is awfully nice compared with having to work in the business over what could be years to possibly make more — or not.
Obviously, the exact amount varies, but the question is still valid: If paid a ‘fair’ price would you sell?
I love what I do and would probably do the same thing either way…still the goal is to have cash in bank. In the end, I don’t think you can really prepare for that type of situation (well, except skipping a reality TV show).
A couple of people have asked a similar question recently, ‘what have you done to grow KickoffLabs’.
There are a variety of things we do around blogging, commenting, tweeting, advertising, etc.
But the one constant is support. We treat every support request as an opportunity wow and delight our customers.
In many companies, support is used as a training (*cough* proving) ground for new employees. Spend a little time there, don’t screw anything up, and you can move into a more coveted role.
This is the wrong approach. You need people in support who want to be there. Who love to be there. You need people who want to do nothing other than delight customers.
You might be saying to yourself, “people like that don’t exist”. Bull Shit! These people do exist. The problem is support is way too often under funded. It is the place (especially in tech) companies like to drop entry level employees.
No one in your company interacts with your customers more than support. No one in your company is as likely to leave a lasting impression as your support staff. And no one in your company is as likely to cause you to lose (or keep) a customer as someone in support.
Do you really thing this person should likely be one of the lowest paid members of your staff?