Do it because you love it.

Toronto is a funny town. There are so many people from the financial sector that want to get in to technology and the startup scene because of the potential for reward and the perceived prestige. I’m not sure when failure became prestigious. Most of the ideas I’ve tried to commercialize have failed. One idea (which many people contributed to) has generated close to $10 million dollars to date. Four other ideas failed to get off the ground. This is not amazing success, and certainly not crazy financial success for roughly 20 years of effort.

Don’t join or create a startup because of the prestige or the reward. Those companies don’t ever seem to really succeed. 

The success that I have seen (primarily in others) is after they have spent 6 years on average persevering towards their vision because it is something they actually believed in.

Do it because you love it.

"If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization."

Weinberg’s Second Law

The Drone That Will Change Graffiti: An Interview with KATSU

So now we’re going to see police drones attacking graffiti artists drones?

Let's get rid of employee non compete agreements once and for all

Nothing to add. Keep your employees by treating them right. 


This morning Governor Deval Patrick will make it clear he is seeking an end to employee non compete agreements in our state*

Employee non compete agreements are not enforceable and are deemed illegal in California. Yet the opposite is true in MA. They are used and enforced. And because of this they…

Visual JOIN

Very cool model for explaining joins.

So the US blew through their 65,000 H1-B visa’s in one week?

According to Techcrunch, that’s what happened.

I’ve always felt that I could acquire and train all but the most unique of technical skills (security, hardware/systems scalability engineers) but that in fact, leadership and experience is what is lacking.

Don’t get me wrong, there is serious demand for technical talent. What is, more seriously, lacking are people with technical skill, experience and management chops.

What we have is a bunch of MBA’s being taught management techniques from the 50’s and engineers that aren’t taught much about business. We’re simply not getting efficiency because the systems are flawed. We don’t know how to manage, train, motivate and inspire the talent we have because we don’t know how to measure their productivity. Since we can’t measure actual productivity we measure time in the office, hours and whatever metrics we have at our disposal using outdated, factory model criteria.

I know dozens of people who can put their shoulders into company and move it. I know hundreds of people who can show up everyday and wait for management to lead them, while doing just enough to make sure everyone keeps their jobs.

Do we have a technical problem, or a cultural one?

The decline of the mobile web


People are spending more time on mobile vs desktop:


And more of their mobile time using apps, not the web:


This is a worrisome trend for the web. Mobile is the future. What wins mobile, wins the Internet. Right now, apps are winning and the web is losing.

Moreover, there are…

The HFT Debate

It seems to come down to what you feel the purpose of the markets is:

a) A place for businesses to raise capital, build their  enterprises, provide employment


b) An information system that allows financial players to make money on transactions

It seems that those of use who believe the former are at odds with those that believe the latter.

"Pay is increasingly correlated to output, albeit an output that is no longer easily measurable in material terms."

Mark Fisher (Time-Wars Essay)

Michael Lewis by Scott Locklin

Scott Locklin is a very well educated, very intelligent man. However, I think he misses the point of both journalism and Michael Lewis’s book.

The book is meant to tell a story, entertain and explain a very technical process to the layperson. There are billionaires who made their money on technology and Wall street veterans that don’t understand HFT short selling and latency arbitrage. 

The whole idea that this stuff is all so technical and banks are too big to fail and all that nonsense is a myth that the industry simply wants to perpetuate.

The global market ideal seems to be to hire smart people to push the envelope up to and past the ethics and the intent of existing laws, make your firm billions, make your multi-million dollar bonuses, scapegoat an employee or two (bribe them to go to prison), then rinse and repeat.

All under the (newish) guise of supposedly bringing liquidity to the market (when in fact volume != liquidity).

But, I thought I should present another perspective by spreading Scott’s opinion.

What I felt he got wrong about journalists (he’s right, so much journalism is sensationalism and B.S.) is that we need journalists to influence for greater good and inform of us what is going on in the world. There are many excellent professionals with journalistic professionalism. Sadly, I doubt many of them are reporting on Wall street for large publications. If they were, and did their jobs, they might lose that same job.