Suits Versus Nerds

I’ve been working for a while on trying to develop a toolbox for the Suits I meet to understand the Geeks I work with. One of the most common process problems I’ve encountered in a mangement culture is a complete and total misunderstanding of how …

I’ve been working for a while on trying to develop a toolbox for the Suits I meet to understand the Geeks I work with.  One of the most common process problems I’ve encountered in a mangement culture is a complete and total misunderstanding of how tech works, what motivates technical people, and the value that technical teams bring.  The reverese is also completely true.

Ask any developer what the non-technical people in their organization do, and usually you’ll get an answer like:  

“There are non-technical people here?”

“The have meetings?”

or “I have no frigging clue.”

I’m designing a series of surveys (non-scientific) to suss out the nature of the most common problems and possible solutions.  If you’re a Geek, a tech person, a designer (still on the technical side of Suits versus Nerds) please help me out and take the survey.

Nerds Click Here

If you’re ALL Business, please help by taking the Survey for Suits!

Suits Click Here

Bucket List

I’ve had a long running mental list of things I want to eventually do, but I thought it might be fun to post a few examples. This is only an “includes but is not limited to” sample, my list is pretty much endless, No order of priority implied: Lea…

I’ve had a long running mental list of things I want to eventually do, but I thought it might be fun to post a few examples.  This is only an “includes but is not limited to” sample, my list is pretty much endless, No order of priority implied:

  • Learn to fly a plane
  • Get reasonably good at Parkour
  • Visit Antarctica
  • Vist Tibet
  • Go flying in a wingsuit
  • Become competively good at Chess
  • Get a Phd in Physics
  • Go on a non-religuous service mission
  • Release a Musical Album that sells at least 1000 copies
  • Publish a fiction novel that sells at least 10,000 copies
  • Visit the great wall of China
  • Perform a life saving feat in a medical emergency
  • Learn to Wind Surf
  • Go Skydiving
  • Free Climb a 100 feet vertically (just enough to be life-threatening)
  • Learn how to do Yoga Breakdancing.

XML, Violence, Nokogiri and Xpath

I love Xpath. It makes XML easy to use and easy to query. Gone are the days of parsing things with a SaxParser unless you’re really hard up for control of you text. Also, I love the Ruby Nokogiri Gem. XML is like violence – if it doesn’t solve you…

I love Xpath.

 It makes XML easy to use and easy to query.  Gone are the days of parsing things with a SaxParser unless you’re really hard up for control of you text.

 

Also, I love the Ruby Nokogiri Gem.  

XML is like violence – if it doesn’t solve your problems, you are not using enough of it.

– Nokogiri docs

But I do have to say that there is a lack of good examples and documentation for anything particularly advanced.  I found a working solution to my issue, but thought I’d paste here what I wanted to do versus what I ended up doing.

Given the following XML, 

 

https://gist.github.com/1577136

 

I’d like to grab two elements that include “Cover” in the tag, and then operate on each of them.

Nokogiri’s use of Xpath easily allows the first query expression like so: price_xml = doc_xml.xpath('Container/Set/*[contains(name(), "Cover")]')

I’ve selected all the elements (using *) in Set, and then used an Xpath Expression function:

contains, in order to specify that Adult must be in the name.  This returns two Nokogiri XML Nodes in Nodeset.

 

What I wanted to do was then select one of these elements based on a pattern in the tagname use my favorite tool, Xpath.

But I just couldn’t get Nokogiri to give it to me, and several solutions ending up selecting way more than the 1 element I wanted. (Because the nodes in the Nodeset still contain relationships with their parents)

https://gist.github.com/1579343

 

I’m cross posting this on StackOverflow as a question, just in case any Nokogiri Xpath enthusiasts want to recommend a solution that doesn’t resort to find()

 

 

Rails Rake tips

This is the Hay Magnum-Hay CCM-8 Max Wheel Rake. Now you might think it should have a name like: Hay Magnumator 8000 but it doesn’t. It doesn’t take long playing with Rake before you starting thinking of it like the Hay Magnumator 8000. By Rake, I…

longviewcart
rake tasks

Here’s a tip:
If some of these tasks are actually “private” tasks that only get called by other Rake tasks,
leave off the “desc” line in the task definition.  And Voila, your rake -T list will get a lot cleaner.

 

Thanks to Erik Debill for his nice post on Rake and some Advanced Tips for using it.

Judge Not lest Ye Be Judged – Gigabit Google Challenge

UPDATE: So the BIG news I had was about Gramercy Private Equity’s prize offer. See below the fold for details. Google is rolling out its experimental Gigabit Broadband Fiber networks across the country in lab like experiments. One of the early loc…

UPDATE:  So the BIG news I had was about Gramercy Private Equity’s prize offer.  See below the fold for details.

Google is rolling out its experimental Gigabit Broadband Fiber  networks across the country in lab like experiments.  One of the early locations is Kansas City and Think Big Partners, a local Incubator that has sponsored a Business Plan competition worth $100,000K.  The Gigabit Challenge.

I’m honored to be a part of the judging panel with some very esteemed folks from  both local KC Enterprises like the Kauffman Foundation, and National players like Silicon Valley Bank.

Continue reading “Judge Not lest Ye Be Judged – Gigabit Google Challenge”

childless white men at work – hipmunk.com

Every now and then I look at meaningless numbers posted from Alexa.com about Travel companies and user growth etc. But I always love the descriptions provided: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/hipmunk.com Statistics Summary for hipmunk.com Hipmunk.co…

Every now and then I look at meaningless numbers posted from Alexa.com about Travel companies and user growth etc.

But I always love the descriptions provided:

 

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/hipmunk.com

 

Statistics Summary for hipmunk.com

Hipmunk.com has a three-month global Alexa traffic rank of 15,128, and approximately 62% of visits to this site consist of only one pageview (i.e., are bounces). Visitors to the site view an average of 1.2 unique pages per day. The site is relatively popular among users in the cities of San Francisco (where it is ranked #1,325) and Seattle-Tacoma (#3,117). Compared with internet averages, Hipmunk.com appeals more to Caucasians; its audience also tends to consist of childless, highly educated men earning over $60,000 who browse from work.

 

 

 


 

Travel needs 2ndary APIs

> They have my email address, they know my identity. They even know WHETHER I READ THE NYTIMES travel pages or not > > Shouldn’t they know Im not a Ritz Carlton kind of guy? >> > > > > >

> They have my email address, they know my identity. They even know WHETHER I READ THE NYTIMES travel pages or not
> > Shouldn’t they know Im not a Ritz Carlton kind of guy?
>

> > > > > >

Startup Bubble Peaking or Popping

With all the talk about the Startup Bubble, one thing that is commonly lost is that we are MEASURING the wrong thing. If we’re talking about the Startup Financing bubble, then by all means, it’s likely to peak, or even pop, and soon, for sure. But…

With all the talk about the Startup Bubble, one thing that is commonly lost is that we are MEASURING the wrong thing.  If we’re talking about the Startup Financing bubble, then by all means, it’s likely to peak, or even pop, and soon, for sure.  But today’s startups don’t require the same amount of capital to get going that the 1st DotCom Bubble’s startups did.  It’s easy to bootstrap with low cost Cloud Computing, Software frameworks that let developers get apps or sites up & running in 1-3 months, and a new clean startup philosophy to focuses on Customer Development and Iterating (pivots) over large scale tech investment.  These days, you never hear the phrase “If you build it they will come”.

This graph is from WallStreet Journal post in 2010 this time last year.  Of course it can’t/couldn’t continue.  I’ve read at least 10 posts in the last 2 weeks about the investment market peaking for Startups, and at a minimum that the Valuations are beginning to stablize or even decrease.

Now I’m glossing over an important point: which is

Nevertheless, the global economic slowdown, which already has begun according to America’s recession arbiters, will hurt sales at companies both large and small.

There is a lot to be said for this theory, but when you’re labor costs are 1 developer, 1 business development/sales guy, and 1 designer (most of whom are under 25 and don’t have families) then it doesn’t take a large amount of Revenue to keep the growth going strong.

It’s true folks, there is less money being sloshed around today than there was a year ago, and that’s going to have an impact on your next Round.  Blogger’s typical end this kind of post with “Better go get that money now!”

I’m with Fred Wilson.  Pay less attention to the money issues, and go build your damn product.