Posts By: vansunder

Twitter Bots: A Programming/API Learning Exercise

If you’re on Twitter and have a Wolfram Alpha style question, such as “What is the distance between Los Angeles and Lisbon?” or “How much rainfall does Honolulu get?” then the Dear Assistant Twitter bot is what you’re looking for. The Next Web alerted me to this cool little bot, but more importantly, they alerted… Read more »

Google Reader is Dead, Long Live RSS

I’ll be the first to admit that I was a bit upset today when I heard that Google was closing down Google Reader along with a few of their other services. Reader is really the only one of those services that I care about though.  While I’ve seen a lot of people blogging about how… Read more »

There’s No Third Chance

Some people say that there’s no second chance to make a first impression. According to a study commissioned by Compuware, when it comes to buggy apps, you might get a second chance, but it will also be your last chance. Period. In the study, they found that only 16% of people would try a buggy app… Read more »

Features First, Polish Later

ArsTechnica had an article today showing some early iPhone prototypes that illustrate a point that is important for first time entrepreneurs to remember. Your early attempts at designing your product should focus on function, not form. I’ve included one of the photos here to show how Apple approached this with the first iPhone. If you… Read more »

The Misconception About Benevolent Dictators

We constantly hear about the advantages of benevolent dictators in the business realm. We hear about how the Bill Gates’ and Steve Jobs’ of the world create great companies by making all the decisions and creating great products. That’s a load of garbage. People like Bill and Steve weren’t benevolent dictators. At least no more… Read more »

Transforming the Ordinary

People think that to make something exceptional, you have to start with something exceptional. I found a video by Nick Bertke that proves that isn’t the case. Nick was traveling across Australia and recording footage and audio all along the way. He took some unusual, but mostly ordinary sounds from his recordings and stitched together… Read more »

Suitcase Startup – Overwhelming

It’s time to check in with Chris Bradley of Publicate halfway through his Suitcase Startup quest. This installment was a whirlwind. The major feeling I got from it was that Chris is overwhelmed at the enormity of everything he needs to do to build his startup in a very short time. That issue is exacerbated… Read more »

Increasing Productivity On Side Projects

I had a few minutes to take a quick break today, so I skimmed through some more of the ebook of Quora’s best answers of 2010-2012 that I talked about last week. The answer that jumped out at me this time was from Kah Keng Tay, who is an engineer at Quora. It was in… Read more »

Simplification With Feeling

Design is a passion of mine. There’s something about a product that is designed really well. Some people think that great design means stripping a product down as much as possible while still allowing it to work. I think that’s almost right, but not quite. I think the right balance is to strip something back… Read more »

Be Present

Our lives are very busy. We’re constantly trying to multitask in order to cram more into the limited time we have. I’m guilty of it as well. I’ll try to spend time with my kids, but check my email or answer a twitter message I received. Inevitably, I’ll knock over a drink and end up… Read more »