Abstracting the blogosphere

Abpost .n. Abstract of a post

Archive for October, 2006

Why blog post frequency does not matter anymore by Eric Kintz

Posted by suntzu on October 27, 2006

Author has laid his view as to how just having good frequency of blog posting isn’t going to work out well for you.
Following reasons appeared as main reasons behind the above claim:

  • Traffic is generated by participating in the community; not daily posting – Traffic is generated by successful bloggers linking to you either in their posts or in their blogroll.
  • Traffic is irrelevant to your blog’s success– What matters most is whether you are reaching your target audience. Engaging with the audience you want to have a relationship with is a much smarter strategy than posting frequently
  • Loyal readers coming back daily to check your posts – No. Loyal readers subscribe to your blog via RSS feeds and have new content pushed to them. They will remain loyal because they have subscribed, not because you post frequently.
  • Frequent posting is actually starting to have a negative impact on loyalty: With too many posts, you run the risk of losing loyal readers, overwhelmed by the clutter you generate. It leads to poor quality content and also threatens the credibility of blogosphere.

A good post. Check it here.

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Posted in Blogging, Blogosphere | Leave a Comment »

How to Run a Useless Conference by Seth Godin

Posted by suntzu on October 26, 2006

Author makes an attempt to describe uselessness of conferences that take place all the time. Author isnt favor of running conferences in a typical manner. Such conferences are less impacting per individual and more of waste of time for organisers and those who attend as well. Unless something creative is attempted in organising conferences where environment becomes conducive for indidual contribution, hardly anything comes out of it. Author invites suggestions to run conferences in atypical manner though suggests none of his own approach.

No great a post. Skip it.

Posted in Startup | Leave a Comment »

“Skill vs. Luck in Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital: Evidence From Serial Entrepreneurs” – A paper at SSRN

Posted by suntzu on October 18, 2006

Authors have done extensive study and produced following stats.

  • Entrepreneurs who succeeded in a prior venture have a 30% chance of succeeding in their next venture. First-time entrepreneurs only have an 18% chance of succeeding and those have previously failed have a 20% chance of succeeding.
  • Entrepreneurs are much more likely to receive first-round funding at an early stage (60% of the time) if this is their second or subsequent venture than first time entrepreneurs (45% of the time).
  • Failed serial entrepreneurs are more likely than successful serial entrepreneurs to get funding from the same venture capital firm that financed their first ventures.
  • First-Timers or failed(s) benefit more from VC expertise and having experienced VCs certainly helps.
  • Serial Entrepreneurs end up extracting better terms from VCs.

A good paper. Read it your way back home.

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Advocating the use of code coverage By Eric Sink

Posted by suntzu on October 14, 2006

Eric is among those software gurus who believe that writing software can be more of science provided a strict discipline is taken towards creation of software. Code coverage is one such discipline which should be followed if you are in the business of software creation. This is without saying that you need solid unit testing infrastructure to fuel code coverage.

Code coverage is nevertheless a very daunting task and as you start to approach the 100% mark, things become more difficult as it takes huge effort to come up with enough unit tests to get all the way to 100%.

In his post he talks about what should be your code coverage goals be and how to achieve it. Another point worth talking from the post when he says “In my case, code coverage forced me to look at my code and realize that some of my coding practices weren’t very smart.”

Code coverage and Unit testing are tools and hence works as enhancer (not a replacement) for over all code quality. They provide us a way of increasing the quality of our code, but 100% code coverage certainly does not mean 100% code quality

A nice post if you are a software soldier

Posted in Productivity, Programming, Software testing | Leave a Comment »

The Enlightenment of Richard Branson @ FastCompany.com

Posted by suntzu on October 13, 2006

Author provides a quick analysis of Richard Branson’s success.

The approach followed by Sir Richard has been the same for all of his ventures. He looks on industries that treat customers terryfyingly badly and enters into that market with promise of providing entertaining experience for customers and offering them better deal along with. Many of the ideas that were implemented into his businesses have originated from Branson’s own wants and needs. One of the example given is of seatback videos [where you choose want you want to watch] that Bransons’ wanted to have but couldn’t make bankers to pay for it. But it was a wanting need that Bransons felt as if he himself was a customer, so he went ahead and ordered new Boeings with seatback videos.

The idea is to give customer’s a treatment that experience memorable with your service.

Author makes a point that is summarized above. Safely skip the original post.

Posted in Business, Companies | 1 Comment »

Ten Questions with Polly LaBarre By Guy Kawasaki

Posted by suntzu on October 12, 2006

Guy Kawasaki’s blog is running a blog post where he interviews Polly LaBarre on her new book “Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win

Guy, with is great ability of asking questions was able to dig out some of the key aspects of the book. The books is about identifying killer traits of people running amazing companies (Polly calls them Mavericks). There is a section where Guy asks “What’s your assessment of Steve Jobs?”. The answer to the question gets dragged more towards Pixar story

One of the big lessons of the book is that generosity begets prosperity. Mavericks are fierce competitors, but they’re also remarkably generous. They don’t believe that for them to win, others have to lose.

In short, the leader who figures out a way for everybody to win is the leader who wins. The leader with a zero-sum mentality gets zero.

A great blog post. Must read if you want to know all about forward looking companies and those running them (Mavericks)

Posted in Books, Business, Companies, Startup | Leave a Comment »

Ruby For Rails by David A Black – Book Review

Posted by suntzu on October 10, 2006

In his blog, Rob Sanheim wrote a review of “Ruby For Rails“. He rates this book above the esteemed PickAxe (ie Programming Ruby: Second Edition) book.

Some of the highlights of the books:

  • Modules and classes, control flow, exceptions, variables and methods
  • Role of self and how scope works in Ruby
  • Core libraries, regular expressions, and metaprogramming
  • Dynamic Ruby in chapter 13: “Ruby Dyna is a killer. This chapter has
    • covered Singleton classes and misconceptions around it
    • eval’s family of functions are fully covered
  • Procs and lambdas are explained well along with their relationship with blocks
  • Callbacks such as method_missing, included, and inherited are covered
  • Chapter 14 and 17 are the most Rail heavy section covering its domain model and technique for exploring Rails sources.

Some of lowlights of the books:

  • Auther is a bit verbose in some sections of the book
  • Reader is expected to have some background in Ruby programming
  • Expecting more meat in chapter 17: “Techniques for exploring the Rails souce code”

All in all, read the post if you want to get into the Rails development

Posted in Books, Programming, Startup | Leave a Comment »

The irony of large numbers @ Forbes.com

Posted by suntzu on October 9, 2006

Author points out a tendency with Big Technology companies and Venture capitalists when it comes to incubating a great idea. Authors says that unless an idea holds potential to generate 30 or 40% returns, it never gets real preference by Big Company or by VCs. Such acts lead to non-creation of a technology that could do good to many people.
Author picks up the case with two independent enterpreneuers who believed otherwise. It shows how these two guys successfully nurtured an idea or concept, what was orginally dropped by Giants due to lack to not so lucrative market or not enough returns, and ended up impacting many people and reaping the huge humanitarian payoff. Author insists such people are the true mavericks of technology because they worked for goodness not gold.

A good post. Do read for examples given.

Posted in Business, Companies, Startup | Leave a Comment »

Behind every great product. The Role Of The Product Manager

Posted by suntzu on October 7, 2006

Martin Cagan‘s article on “The Role Of The Product Manager” hits right on the spot when he explains roles, resposibility and traits of a product manager.

At the end of his discussion, he gives hits on where to find these set of species (no not in the MBA schools as they rarely focus on product management). Look out for product manager having critical personal traits (elaborated further in the article):

  • product passion
  • customer empathy
  • intelligence
  • strong work ethics
  • integrity
  • confidence
  • good communication skills

Behind every successful product, there is a person with great empathy for the customer, insight into strenghts of his teams’ capabilities and a zest to deliver superior value to the marketplace with strong effort.

A must read for people invoved in product development. A good article for recharging your battries

Posted in Business, Companies, product management, Startup | Leave a Comment »

Homegain success analysis @ startup-review.com

Posted by suntzu on October 6, 2006

Author takes the case of Homegain – a leader in online marketing for real estate professionals and quotes the following reasons behind its success:

  • They relied on fresh customers. Though there werent many repeat customers, it still survived because there were fresh real-estate agents croping up [due to real estate boom] who wanted to leverage any available tool to outperform existing traditional real estate agents or atleast arrive in the bracket of top 20% successful real estate agents.
  • They did not try to alter or define new way of doing real estate business. They kept its focus on simple lead generation for first few years.
  • They made strong partnerships in short span which helped secure enough data to serve consumer. They made associations with local agencies to incorporate additional data.
  • They observed the shifts in customer focus in time and added new services accordingly.

Author makes a good analysis. A nice to read post.

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