You Can't Outsource Product

One of the many tricky things about building a web startup is that you can't outsource product. As a web startup, your web or mobile app is your company, your sole purpose for existing. Why do you think you can outsource it?
Read more »

Link Blogging With Postachio

I've really been enjoying my Postachio blog for link blogging (disclaimer). Whenever I find a great article, I clip it into Evernote in my link blog notebook that is tied to Postachio. This gives me not only a public link blog, but also a (private) full text index inside of Evernote. The full text search is pretty amazing, since it doesn't rely on me tagging everything correctly, and also saves the content even if the original article is changed or goes offline. Why link blogging separate from this long form blog? Well, the two activities are very different, and I want different things from the output & display as well, so I use different tools for each.
Read more »

Vancouver's Talent Are Like Raw Resources

I had a brief clip air on Global TV BC this evening, commenting on the news that Facebook is opening a temporary office in Vancouver. Here's a link to the written article. Thanks to Greg for tracking down the Global TV News Hour clip (starts at 15:20).
Read more »

The Flickr Question

It's that time of year again, when I face the same question: my Flickr Pro subscription has expired, and I need to pay so that all my photos are accessible online. But maybe I should self host? Is paying for a Flickr Pro subscription still worth it? Don't get me wrong - I think the "Flickr deal" is still fantastic: about $2 per month for unlimited storage of all my photos. From a pure storage perspective, even Amazon S3 would cost me more than that.
Read more »

Working with Contractually

I've been working with Contractually for the past 2 weeks1. I've always loved Martin's vision for Contractually2 – both the concept of moving past "digital representations of paper" to more fluid, data-native documents, as well as modernization of the legal business.
Read more »

StartupRiot Seattle 2012

I'm just getting back from 2 days in Seattle. In general, I'm trying to spend more time there, getting to know what's happening in the Seattle community and seeing if Vancouver can connect more regularly (Cascadia!).
Read more »

Calendaring & Meeting Tools

As I'm sitting here manually adding blocks of "break" time to my calendar around meetings I've booked, I'm getting a little frustrated.
Read more »

Best practices for tracking QR Codes

My friends at Common Craft have a book called The Art of Explanation coming out this fall, and it will include QR codes. In the book, there are multiple references to Common Craft videos, and Lee wanted to make it easy for people to go from reading a page in the book and then easily viewing the referenced video. These QR codes link to the explanation videos on their website. Since there is only one chance to get the codes right before they get printed, we talked about different ways to generate & track QR codes1.
Read more »

Static Site Generators Lightning Talk at HTML5 Vancouver Meetup

I gave a quick 10 minute lightning talk at the HTML5 Vancouver Meetup group about static site generators (SSGs).
Read more »

Northern Voice 2012 - Web Literacy

I attended day 1 of Northern Voice 2012, including Moose Camp, which is a block of time that is run unconference style.
Read more »

Setting up a new MacBook Air plus Lion

I've long used Norse Mythology to name my computers. The tiny but powerful 11" Macbook Air got named after Skidbladnir, Freyr's collapsible ship.
Read more »

The Posts that You Don't Write

I had a great discussion yesterday where the phrase "the post I didn't write" came up. This is a fantastic phrase, and led me down the route of examining why and when I don't publish posts, and thinking about why others – especially in the context of working for an organization – don't publish posts. In one instance, I still haven't finished writing my post discussing the Northern Voice web literacy session. The "I haven't had the time" excuse comes up all the time, but the things we make time for and the things we don't say something. I think my main worry is that I won't do the topic justice.
Read more »

Reactions to Microsoft Surface

I used Storify to collect a number of the reactions that have been ricocheting around the web in response to Microsoft's announcement of the all new Surface tablet. I am puzzled by their pre-announcement, happy to see more competition in this space, and really hope they succeed in shipping.
Read more »

Node based static site generators

My first experience with node.js was following the 'hello world' tutorial on the front page, which I then extended to experiment with writing in Markdown and creating HTML pages on the fly. Not quite a static site generator, but a fun experiment in learning during the Mozilla Polyglot Hackathon.
Read more »

The New Hack Stack

In the past, the starter stack for web programming was LAMP. The 'P' originally stood for Perl, and then became mainly PHP.
Read more »

Moving from selling services to selling product

Moving from services work to having a successful product is probably one of the hardest things to do. Well, perhaps no harder than doing any startup from scratch, but the benefit in doing it from a services company is that you have a built-in way to bootstrap yourself.
Read more »

What I'm obsessed about

Brad Feld is finding a lot of noise in the system, saying he is noticing:
Read more »

Vancouver tech needs to wake up

Brent Holliday writes about what is needed for BC's technology industry to succeed, which is itself a follow on to Jevon's StartupNorth post on Canada's next 5 years. I have some further thoughts on the five areas that Brent discusses:
Read more »

Octopress all the things

I need to migrate my old blog posts off Posterous. I need to migrate my Drupal off Drupal. All will likely end up here.
Read more »

Cataloging city neighbourhood assets - Love My Hood

I'm the host at the iQmetrix offices today for the Open Data Hackathon put on by Jesse Heaslip and company. I'm also a judge at the endy of the day, so I'm mainly hacking on a few things of my own.
Read more »

What is an unconference?

Mitch Joel laments the 'Death of the Unconference', saying "This past month, I've seen a handful of events that are billing themselves as unconferences when, in reality, they're just very shabby and cheap events."
Read more »

Build more startups in Vancouver

Last Thursday, Jesse Heaslip wrote 'Two Problems with (Vancouver's tech community) and Three Ways to Fix it'. If you don't know Jesse, know this: he's crazy-irrational-passionate about the Vancouver tech community. For proof, I offer the fact that he organized 40 tech events that were attended by 1600 people in 2011. Talk about impact!
Read more »

I want to vote with my dollars that the Vancouver tech community is important

Allen Pike posts about how important homes for startups are and what his experience has been like here in Vancouver. Here's the closing sentence:
Read more »

Reinventing the wheel one directory at a time

I just saw this GrowLab post about an initiative to get local companies to get listed and link to a directory of Vancouver companies.
Read more »

What Support / Feedback Service Should You Use For Your Small Company

Let me start by saying that it feels like we're actually in a golden age of great online support & feedback tools. I'm sure there are more than the ones that I'm listing here. Also, at different times, I've recommended each of these tools for a specific purpose - many of them have broad feature sets.
Read more »

Help startups by getting sh*t done (or get out of the way)

I agree with virtually everything stated in this article. Some particularly good parts to expand on:
Read more »

Focus on the extras on your site, rather than what platform it runs on

Any platform you choose really only needs to support two things:
Read more »

Struggles of an infovore that likes to share

Since mid-September, I've gone through several rapid changes in how I share links, how I blog about them, and how I tweet those links.
Read more »

We DO need another RSS Hero

I wrote a couple of weeks ago asking whether Google's changes to Google Reader were going to destroy an entire ecosystem.
Read more »

On coworking: you cannot make a profit selling community

I saw this via Dave Pollard on G+ and nodded my head most violently as I read through the whole thing.
Read more »

Ship Your First Version (Fail Money)

I had a great off-the-mic talk with Eric Woodward. We're really aimed at the same thing, just that I try and encourage people in public and crush their dreams in private.
Read more »

We failed at making the Vancouver 2010 Olympics an Internet showcase

There, I said it. I really needed to get that off my chest. It's 2010. We don't have hoverboards, but we sure as heck should know how to run large scale interactive websites.
Read more »

Global mobile content $ > music + movies + gaming all put together

In 2009, Portio Research counted the global value of 'non messaging' premium content (music, gaming, news, etc) downloaded or consumed on phones and sold to them worldwide, to be worth 85 Billion dollars. Yes, 250 times bigger opportunity for any content owner like say a Disney or TimeWarner or Turner etc to make money today, on ALL phones, not those few iPhones that are in pockets of some 4% of Americans and less than half of one percent of the rest of the world. Understand how enormous this number is. Just 'premium' mobile data income (I am excluding messaging) is bigger than ALL internet content revenues, and all internet advertising income - added together! (Morgan Stanley said they totalled 64B dollars in 2009). Mobile content alone, is worth more than all global cinema box office revenues, and all global videogaming industry software income, and all global music industry income - PUT TOGETHER. Again? Mobile data paid content industry is bigger that music, hollywood and videogames, all added together. Its that big. And some crazy journalists count free downloads on App Stores and think this is the mobile data opportunity for the industry. Now in our zoo we are obsessing about the standard field mouse rather than the elephant.
Read more »