Archive for May, 2012

What to Build When You Have a Choice

I’ve always been a builder.  As a kid it was computers, and simple electronic gadgets.  In high school it was my debate team.  Then in college I learned to build circuits and software. I moved on to more complex projects such as building CAD tools as an R&D Engineer at Synopsys, and then SaaS (software as a service) for consumers at Mint.com. I like to build in markets that I see are being underserved, where I have some level of expertise, and a ... Read more

How I Fell In Love with Building Software

Engineering is often an enigma.  In the following interview with Semil Shah of TechCrunch we chat about how I discovered engineering, then startup land, and how I'm trying to demystify it through mentoring and blogging. I originally joined Mint.com as a founding engineer because I wanted to learn how to setup a company, and experience the entire process of software product development (ideation, prototype, and launch). When I'm not building I'm doing yoga.  I have been practicing for 8 years now, and I've also ... Read more

Tech Buzz Words are Lost on Small Biz

CRM and Social Media are hot buzz words amongst the tech community, but if you attend a small business conference even in Silicon Valley the vast majority of attendees who are small business owners still do not even know what these words mean.  As a result they do not know how to incorporate them into their business practices. Their lack of knowledge and understanding is not because they aren't tech savvy or lack business acumen.  In fact many have been operating profitable ... Read more

Inspiring Figures

I was recently asked who my roles models in tech are.  As strange as it sounds I actually don't have any role models in tech.  I think of it as a very young industry, and its yet to be seen whether its leaders will lead inspiring lives outside of their careers.  To me someone is inspiring based on how they lived their entire life not just a moment or a single accomplishment.  Since inquiring minds want to know here are two ... Read more

Never Give in to the Dark Side

Most of us have watched Star Wars and know the story of how young Anakin Skywalker turns to Darth Vader.  Despite being the so-called "choosen one" the loss of Padmé causes Anakin to give into the dark side.  I see this trend in many bright and talented individuals, after hard times or loss they get angry or bitter and lose hope.  Allegory aside staying peppy in a world filled with pessimism is hard.  Yeah I know what you're thinking "thanks for sharing ... Read more

Building is Cheap, Selling is Expensive

There’s a LOT of talk these days about how cheap it is to build a product, specifically a software product.  So yes over the past 5 years managed hosting has driven down server costs and the need to hire a DBA.  Ruby on Rails has made prototyping quick and easy for the masses, and it doesn’t cost that much test out your product idea using a marketing channel like Google. Great. But for some reason people have completely discounted the other side of ... Read more