I've integrated Disqus into my blog now because it seems like an interesting platform. I'm hoping it's really useful.
24 January 2009 at 00:27 Posted by Andrew
I've started a separate blog for the new venture I'm starting up with my friend Richard Achor.
Check it out!
23 January 2009 at 13:30 Posted by Andrew
When I was at GT in the EMSMOT program we formed teams and worked on building a venture around emerging technology and then going through the whole process of writing the business plan, the elevator pitch, doing the market research and financial projections... the works! It was a phenomenal experience! (My team won the business plan competition too...)
Since then I've been back in the land of Corporate Giants spending a lot of time thinking about replicating that experience on a larger scale and applying what I learned at GT to my current full time gig. I hadn't actually been able to do much on either front though... until now.
I've been talking a lot lately with an old friend from Orlando who works in Sound Effects Editing and has been in the Music/TV/Film business a long time and knows a lot of people. He and I are now in the early stages of creating a new venture! If I had the elevator pitch I would share it now but I haven't gotten that far yet. For now just know that it's related to the Music/Video production / distribution sector. We had a long talk last night (which I tried to record with Grand Central but must have done something wrong) and hashed out a lot of ideas. It was a very productive discussion!
In short... I'm REALLY excited about getting this up and running. I feel the old energy coming back and I like it! I know how much work we put into our project at GT and I know I'll be doing way more work on this because we had 5 people on our team then but I relish the chance to kick this thing into high gear.
Also, I have an idea for ANOTHER company that I just got today after reading an article on Original Signal. More on that later...
18 January 2009 at 21:45 Posted by Andrew
17 January 2009 at 21:09 Posted by Andrew
Watching my Aluminum G4 PowerBook age has not been easy. It's about 4.5 years old now and it looks pretty rough. My 15 month old yanked on the power cord and ruined two AC adapters. My 2.5yr old pulled a number of keys off the keyboard. The battery failed completely about a year ago and I haven't felt like replacing it. Again.
Still, it's a workhorse of a machine. I've got it on a desk now where it's hard to bump the AC adapter and cause an immediate shutdown. It's connected to an external monitor and keyboard to get around the missing keys. It's running Leopard and it's serving up web pages now so I can learn about developing FaceBook applications. It's pulling files off my Tivo and serving up home movies I edited with Final Cut back to the same Tivo downstairs.
Meanwhile the Dell they gave me at work is only 2 years old and has already had the main board replaed twice and still can't handle having 2 monitors hooked up without severe flakiness. That and I just hate using XP. Maybe the IT guys would let me install Ubuntu on it... not likely.
If times were better and I was raking in bonuses / raises and wasn't so concerned for my financial future I'd probably just replace it. Given all that's going on, though, it seems prudent not to. Now take that scenario and apply it to home stereos, HDTVs, cars, boats, luxury goods etc... and you can see why recessions feed on themselves and how depressions spiral in like hurricanes.
at 15:43 Posted by Andrew
You can get through your daily routine by focusing on just what has to be done to get through the day or the week. It's a survival tactic. It's also a long term disaster.
I think I've been doing this for some time now. It's been a very busy couple of years for us. We've had 2 new babies born and we've moved further into the suburbs. Those are all very stressful things so that was my rational for just surviving. Until now.
My upcoming birthday (2/14) will be my 33rd. I'm rapidly entering that dreaded phase in a lot of people's biographies... The Mid Thirties.
When I think back to 10 years ago this time I had just finished College and started my first Job. I had just gotten married for the first time. I won't go into any detail on that...
I went back to School in 2004 to work on get my MBA because I was determined not to still be a software engineer at the bottom of the food chain. Well, that was five (5) years ago and... I'm still a software engineer.
So where did I go wrong? Well, I stayed to focused on the short term. It was too easy to not think about long term plans. I tried a few times to come up with plans and they worked for a little while but nothing came of them. I graduated with my MBA. I completed the mentoring program at Work. I applied for jobs in management. I spoke at a conference.
But I'm still a software engineer.
So how do you break the cycle? You have to be BOLD. Opportunity is out there but you have to go get it. It's not going to land in your lap. Look at all the really phenomenal technology companies that we worship today. Apple, Google, Amazon... they were all bold plays that started out small. Here's my plan:
- Set a goal of April 1, 2009 to get the kernel of an entrepreneurial established. This will include a first draft of a business plan and the first set of presentation slides (in 10/20/30 format, of course).
- Set a stretch goal for myself of achieving a major milestone with that project by August 1. It's too soon to know which milestone that will be.
- Hash out with my team, in prose form, the nature of the business we're looking at creating. - February 1
- Market Research, Financial Projections, Strategy Assessment - March 1
- Finished Plan and Presentation (and elevator pitch)
We shall see! I'll post my progress on my goals here so you can keep me honest.
16 January 2009 at 21:59 Posted by Andrew
Lessons Learned: Sharding for startups
This is a really interesting concept to me. We used this time of partition when I was at FedEx only we had a Tuxedo routing layer that stored the shard routing in memory and persisted it in a Sybase database.
I can think of innumerable uses for this in my current work too but I hadn't really given it much thought until recently.
at 21:47 Posted by Andrew
at 21:29 Posted by Andrew
I've been thinking a lot about the next evolution in the Music Business. The transfomation of the industry by the availability of inexpensive recording / mixing equipment and the means to self-publish has completely transormed the audio side of the business in a very short period of time.
Now virtually anyone with a computer can record their band (multitrack even), apply serious effects, mix down and master a high quality recording. They can even collaborate with other musicians around the world. It's truly a complete reversal of the way the industry worked even just 10 years ago.
The question is - What Next? How will the next 10 years change the shape of the music business like the past 10? Will we finally see the demise of the big record labels, distributors, ASCAP etc? Will iTunes still be relevant / viable?
What about the video side of the business? Will it be as easy for bands to record / edit / mix video as it is audio? Will it take on a more collaborative form then the vintage 80's music video (do they even show those on TV anymore?) and if so how long will it take?
I've been bouncing an idea around in my head that my friend Richard Achor came up with. I think the right people at the right time could do very well to usher in a new era in music / video production and distribution. Hopefully, Richard and I can be some of those people...
at 14:05 Posted by Andrew
I'm really hoping that with the enormous sums of money that the stimulus package pours into the economy that sufficient capital finds its way to companies that are really ready to work on building the Next America, not just paving over the old one.
I hope that places like the plant Obama visited today really benefit from the spending and that renewable energy and other new relatively new industries finally get over the feasibility hump.
I guess I'm hopeful enough to see a lot of good coming from this - but cynical enough to see the myriad ways it could be wasted.