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I Accidentally Blogged For A Year

I wish I could say I did this intentionally. I wish I could say I set goals and willed myself to blog consistently for a year. Nope. In fact, the only time I tried to do a post every day, as part of a bet with Wesley Zhao, I failed miserably. But the first post I made here was on February 26th 2011, and it is now February 29th 2012. I’ve posted here 83 times in that span, or an average of one post every four days. So I guess it’s official: I accidentally blogged for a year. Continue Reading


29 Feb 2012, 4:27pm | 1 comment

Programming Is Like Dancing

The problem is this: I’ve built a lot of software projects over the 10 years. Every single one of them that is more than two years old does not exist anymore. Ones that were built more than six months ago are in varied states of disrepair.

In other words software projects steadily degrade and finally disappear completely over time.

I really don’t like this. As programmers we dedicate our lives to producing these projects. But what’s the point if they are just going to die so quickly? I mean I don’t need everlasting immortality, but dammit I want the stuff I build to at least outlast me! Without that it almost feels like we’re wasting our time.

Other professions don’t have this problem. Take being an author for example. A book isn’t like a software project. Once you write it, it is and always will be there, ready to be read. A book doesn’t break because the API it’s hooked into changed its spec.

We can still read Plato today 2,400 years after it was written. I guarantee that no software we write today will still be in use after 2,400 years.

What’s the point of doing all of this stuff if it’s just going to disappear so quickly? Continue Reading


28 Feb 2012, 8:59pm | 14 comments

We’re Running Completely Blind

Patrick and I had a big realization yesterday: We don’t know anything.

I’m talking about Airtime for Email. We know that people are interested in it. We’ve had almost 100 businesses sign up since launch. We know it’s a validated idea – we have paying customers. Knowing that kind of thing just tells us that we should keep working on Airtime. But the problem is that we have no idea WHAT we should be doing. Continue Reading


23 Feb 2012, 7:17pm | 5 comments

Design Your Website Like A Trash Can

Trashcans

This kind of trash can, specifically

You’ve all seen these. On first inspection they’re nothing special. But whoever designed them did so very carefully. Continue Reading


15 Feb 2012, 8:31pm | 5 comments

Beware the Irrational

“Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the ‘transcendent’ and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.”

 - Christopher Hitchens


15 Feb 2012, 12:30am | leave a comment

 
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