Abstracting the blogosphere

Abpost .n. Abstract of a post

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)

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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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Testing Concurrent Programs

Posted by suntzu on October 5, 2006

In a recent article titled “Testing Concurrent Programs, Brian Goetz writes about testing concurrent code and explains why it is not for faint of hearts. The first step toward testing the behavior of concurrent programs is to isolate concurrency to well-defined portions of the code, such as into workflow managers, resource pools, or work queues.

Enforcing thread-safety of objects inside those concurrent constructs is the responsibility of the application. The best way to achieve thread safety of objects interacting with concurrent program elements is to make those objects immutable. If an immutable object interface is not feasible, Goetz suggests making such objects effectively immutable:

Goetz also makes a few suggestions for testing classes whose states are modified by concurrent threads. The most interesting suggestion is to take into account the probabilistic nature of concurrent errors in testing

A good post.  Must read

Posted in concurrency, Design, People, Startup | Leave a Comment »

Four Ways the Internet Is Transforming Small Business – by Brian of Smallbusiness20.com

Posted by suntzu on October 4, 2006

Author attempts to describe how internet has changed ways of doing business, ways of doing sale lead generation etc.

Author has listed four points about how internet caused business transformation

  • Internet makes market more efficient. It connects people with niche needs to people selling niche products. So, even small businesses can flourish which would not have been possible without internet. The other way to say this is – Internet disproportionately favors small business.
  • Changing Nature of business shopping. 20 years ago, the whole sales process involved you talking with humans from generating leads to materializing them. Its isnt anymore. Consumers have lots of information already available from websites, blogs, reviews etc. and materializing leads is what your sales person has to do.
  • Changing ways of knowledge creation and retrieval. Web2.0 got it right by providing an incentive for knowledge creation to users thereby creating huge and vast knowledgebase in short time.

Author has made a thoughtful post. A nice to read post

Posted in Business, Web 2.0 | Leave a Comment »

Impact of Massive Multiplayer On-line gaming (MMOG) on social networks

Posted by suntzu on September 29, 2006

The author starts by categorizing the places where social networking takes place. First is your home and second is your work place. He (actually Howard Schultz of Starbucks fame) identifies another space which is besides your home and work. He further analysed why Massive Multiplayer Online gaming is going to occupy the third place since MMOG satisfy the following parameter

  • Neutral Ground: players are not obligated to play; joins and quits are not significant events i.e. total freedom
  • Leveler: Social status is irrelevent
  • Conversation is Main Activity
  • Accessibility & Accommodation: Activity occurs 24*7*365
  • The Regulars or Loyal gamers: Regulars or so called devottes (or loyal gamers) are those who give the place its character, and attract new individuals.
  • A Low Profile: The population of online games follow a parabolic curve. I.e. the loyal gamers/devottes remain while many move on to higher profile games.
  • The Mood is Playful: Playful and witty attracts crowd. Rarely are players overly serious which make an ideal evironment for social gathering
  • A Home Away from Home. MMOG possess a homely atmosphere, spiritual regeneration, feelings of being at ease and wormth

Over all an interesting post. worth a read

Posted in People, social netwo, social networking | 1 Comment »

What’s Hot at Demo @ techcrunch.com

Posted by suntzu on September 28, 2006

Author gives an interesting peek into what all has been happening in DEMO conference. Around 67 exclusively selected companies are showcasing their products in this conference. Author has shortlisted his favorites falling under various categories. The abstracts for each individual companies are so exciting, that the author leaves you with no choice but to explore that individual company further.

Some of his favorites are:

  • Pluggd is demonstrating a new technology called HearHere, which uses speech recognition and semantic analysis to let users search inside audio files for key words and related terms that are displayed on a heat map for skipping to relevant parts of a podcast.
  • Pixsense uses a patent pending compression algorithm to compress multimedia files up to 85%
  • Adaptive Blue offers an interesting Firefox extension for social bookmarking.
  • NanoLearning is an easy way to make educational games or training modules in Flash.
  • JaJah is mobile product that lets users make very low cost VOIP calls through their mobile phones

And the list continues……

An informative post worth reading from start till end. 🙂

Posted in conferences, Startup | Leave a Comment »

How Rotten Tomatoes Survived @ Startup-review.com

Posted by suntzu on September 27, 2006

Author does a case study for a Web2.0 start-up called Rotten Tomatoes that deals in movie reviews.

Author suggests following factors were responsible for its survival of dot com bust:

  • Idea of movie review was quite new when it launched. It was innovative and hence attracted good traffic because of it.
  • Founders soon realize that SEO is the key to get traffic. Loyal users are not enough. They re-devised their site to dedicate a mini-site for each movie review. This helped boost natural search ranking.
  • Though many people suggested founders to diversify into other but connected areas, founders decided to just one thing i.e. movie reviews.They decided not to loose focus rather keep the focus of quality of site and quality of user experience.

Nothing interesting in the original post. Skip the post. Save on time 🙂

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