Never register a domain name with your hosting provider

A smart developer I respect recently asked my why I didn’t just register my domain names through my hosting provider. I hoped he was joking, that he knew why this was a horrible idea. He did not, and I know some other smart people who register domains with their hosting providers. Education is needed. The problem is simple: conflict of interest. Should you ever decide to switch to a different hosting provider it’s in their best interest to prevent you from moving your domain.

An unexpected benefit to being an adventurer

The edges Sandy were upon us last night and Dachary commented about how I wasn’t taking the storm too seriously. It’s true. I’ve been pretty chill about it. But here’s why: we’re adventurers, and are pretty much good to go on a worldwide adventure at a moments notice, and it turns out that our “life on the road” kit makes a pretty damn good disaster kit too. If the power goes out we’ve got a JetBoil propane stove with a backup canister.

Creating an Interview Worksheet

Once again, I’d like to pick your brain. I’m working on an “Interview Worksheet”. It’s a simple form that you’ll fill out while interviewing someone, and prepping for an interview with them. There is, of course, a section for questions you want to ask them, one for taking notes during your discussion, and one for the common “How would you rate yourself on skill X” questions. But, I’ve also got a section where you can quickly rate the person on various attributes that you tend to look for.

There's always more to learn

My mother was an incredibly talented artist. For most of my life, she made here living teaching private students, and getting them ready for entry into art colleges. Once upon a time a student of hers got her a present. It was a Horse-hair calligraphy brush, a solid ink stick (add water and rub), and an instructional book on Chinese calligraphy. She was very worried about giving the gift though. She didn’t want to instruct a teacher she greatly respected by giving her an introductory how-to book.

Don't talk about what your product is

It’s really important, not to talk about what your product is. Nobody Cares. Talk about what the customer feels, wants, dreams of, etcetera. That’s what they care about. – Amy Hoy Speaking on the Ruby Rogues Podcast #72

The Entrepreneur's Notebook (part 1)

Part 1 of 3 See also: Part 2 - Tips for more productive note-taking Part 3 - Searchability, Notebook choices, and backups “Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.” - Francis Bacon, Sr. I contend that the best thing you can do to improve your entrepreneurial skills is to practice thinking like one. What follows is my favorite technique for doing just that, and if you choose to emulate it, I guarantee you’ll end up with more business ideas to work on than you every imagined you had in you.

The Entrepreneur's Notebook (part 2)

Tips for more productive note-taking Part 2 of 3 See also: Part 1 - Introducing the Entrepreneur’s Notebook Part 3 - Searchability, Notebook choices, and backups So, you’ve decided you want to try keeping an Entrepreneur’s Notebook, or maybe you already do, but want some tips on making it more useful. Excellent. What follows are the techniques I’ve found to be most useful in my entrepreneurial notebooks. If you’ve got some tips of your own, please drop me a note or leave a comment.

The Entrepreneur's Notebook (part 3)

Notebook choices, and backups Part 3 of 3 See also: Part 1 - Introducing the Entrepreneur’s Notebook Part 2 - Tips for more productive note-taking What about backups and searchability? This is one place where the digital age is unquestionably superior. Dropbox, iCloud, email… there are myriad ways to back up your digital writing, and text is easy to search. On the mac, Spotlight gives you great search across every document you’ve ever written and searching within a document is easy in any text editor.

Appcelerator: extortion is just part of the job...

Appcelerator was recently caught extorting one of its free users, and then that users client for £5000, and then others spoke up to say it’d happened to them too. Initially it looked like it could have either been a bullshit company policy, or just a salesperson lacking in morals. In the end, it turns out to be both, but the response by the CEO is why I would strongly encourage you to never use an Appcelerator product (free or otherwise) for your project.

Cheshire [Definition]

Cheshire: the collective noun for sidecar motorcycles (alternately known as “hacks”) owing to the extraordinarily high probability of generating smiles in the people they pass relative to all other vehicles. Usage: “Upon encountering a cheshire of sidecars one should strongly consider playing the lottery.” or “Wow! There goes a cheshire of hacks.”