The Theory of Constraints (Or Why Bottlenecks Matter)

When I read about how to make programs that I write run faster, the most common advice is “find bottlenecks and eliminate them.” That sounds good on its face, but why is it true? That’s a question that I’ve thought about for a long time. Why not ignore the bottlenecks and make the normal parts of my code super fast. Shouldn’t that have the same overall effect?

For the past week or so I’ve been reading a business book that I found through a Hacker News thread called The Goal. Written by physicist turned business  “guru” Eliyahu Goldratt, the book, (as far as I have read) tells the story of a manager named Alex Rogo who turns to an old college professor for help saving his factory from being shut down. Continue Reading

23 Jun 2011, 5:42am | 1 comment

My New Side-Project: DomainPolish


In the midst of all of the other stuff going on TechStars, my internship at Artsicle and a few other things many of which I will be blogging about in the near future, I just managed to finish a little side-project of mine called DomainPolish. The basic question that DomainPolish attempts to answer is: why doesn’t everyone have their own domain name, personal website, and custom email address? Domain names and hosting are so cheap now, and they add so much to your personal brand and online identity that I see no reason why everyone shouldn’t have them.

That’s why I created DomainPolish. You sign up, pick a domain name and then I go out and register it, set up email on it, and then you get a simple form to fill out (that you can change at any time) where you put in your name, a bio, a profile picture and optionally a resume, Twitter account, and LinkedIn account and that becomes your personal profile on whatever domain name you choose. It’s a simple easy way to set up a professional web presence and own our own internet home.

I hope you like it.

20 Jun 2011, 4:36am | 4 comments

Battle In The Boardroom: Why Groupon Probably Paid Off Its Early Employees

After Groupon made its books public yesterday for its IPO, it has faced a firestorm of criticism from the blogosphere. Many of those concerns are well founded. Over the past year Groupon has effectively pursued a hyper-revenue growth, profits be damned, spend $10 to make $5 business strategy. They have an army of employees cold calling every business in the country trying to drum up business. From what I’ve heard their merchant experience isn’t exactly spectacular given that they take 50% of the profits, and almost all of the customers produced by a deal don’t come back. And that’s just a tip of the iceberg.

Those issues aside, one of the big questions that many people have asked is why on earth Groupon took 810 million of the last 1 billion dollars it raised and gave it to early employees through stock purchases. That sounds reckless and stupid on its face. It could even seem familiarly suspicious to a Madoff-jaded public. But let’s put ourselves in Groupon’s shoes and figure out why executing those kind of stock sales might make sense.

Continue Reading

3 Jun 2011, 4:26pm | 12 comments


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