Comment On Rolling in the Money

Kevin Saff is not what many would consider “the ideal candidate.” He started his career as a C++ coder for a major manufacturer, but then quit to pursue a mathematics degree in Canada. That didn’t quite do it for him either, as he then dropped out to pursue something far more interesting: canoe from Calgary to New Orleans. But after 1,200+ miles of rowing, his journey ended in Minneapolis with a cracked boat and a frozen river. Temporarily, of course, as he plans to pick up and continue south someday soon. [expand full text]
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Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 22:52 • by Xenobiologista (unregistered)
247622 in reply to 247620
Sparr:
dsh:
Forte:
you don't row a canoe. you paddle it.
Thank you! As a paddler and rower I wish more people knew their vocabulary when it comes to paddles, paddling, oars, and rowing.
Does whether you row or paddle dictate the name of the vessel in which you are doing it? I am familiar with the difference in rowing and paddling, and I would typically say that paddling occurs in a canoe, but I cannot think of an appropriate term for the type of boat that you row (which may be the exact same shape and size as the canoe being rowed)


How about a "rowboat"?

I think most manually-powered boats are rowed rather than paddled - it's just more efficient because the oarlock is the pivot of a lever (load = the water, force = your hand). Competitive rowing uses these long, pointy, carbon-fiber things called racing shells, but I can't think of a generic name for ALL rowed watercraft.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 22:57 • by Brett (unregistered)
247623 in reply to 247464
strictnein:
If you look at craiglist there are always "idea" guys looking for programmers. And no, I'm not talking about the casual encounters section.


So I checked Craigslist for Oklahoma City just for fun and found this in Computer Gigs...

My sister and I are starting up a new business that we are certain will be a HUGE success. We need someone who is a computer genius to build the business site. It will be an internet business so web design skills are a must. We will be splitting all profits equally among us. We want to get this started asap, so please contact us for more details as soon as possible.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 23:42 • by eyrieowl (unregistered)
247627 in reply to 247593
Huai:

Google started out as a technology research project for founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin at Stanford as a PHD dissertation. They had technology developed long before a business model arose.


That doesn't detract from what I said at all. Yes, they had to have *some* technology. But they didn't succeed because they had the best technology. They succeeded because they had a business model to make money off of the technology. That's the story, that's almost ALWAYS the story. Or did you think, say...Microsoft is rich because their products have always been better than everyone else's...?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Google sucked, but it wasn't the best at the start. It's somewhat of a pet peeve of mine, the way people lionize Google as though they invented computing on the internet. The truth is that they (historically) have *rarely* been the first to the market with any major product, and when they get there, they are rarely the "best" out of the gate. BUT, they know how to capitalize on what they have, and they do a FANTASTIC job of iterating new features and complete versions of their products until the *do* have the best on the market. Without the business model to make money while they're working towards perfection, however, they'd never get the opportunity.

I'll also admit that it's frustrating to me that their product competitors who often have a better product to start off with are so complacent and don't drive new improvements into their products the way Google does (yes, Yahoo, I'm looking at you). It's a shame, b/c if Google is going to win, I want people to give them a good fight so they have to do even better, not for them to win b/c their competition stands still until they've fallen behind.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 01:15 • by Dave (unregistered)
247633 in reply to 247488
CaRL:
My cousin's friend wanted me to make him a quick web site "just like ebay, only for used cars". His expectation was that we would slap it together in a few evenings by email -- him providing the design ("make it just like ebay") and me turning that into code by clicking the secret "create website" button or whatever it is we developers do.


I've experienced the same thing with security software. There's all these viruses and things out there, all we need to do to get rich quick is create a security program, one-click, point-and-shoot (he used that phrase several times) and everyone could use it and be secure. No idea why no-one's done this before, it's so simple.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 02:29 • by k1 (unregistered)
247636 in reply to 247627
eyrieowl:
Huai:

Google started out as a technology research project for founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin at Stanford as a PHD dissertation. They had technology developed long before a business model arose.


That doesn't detract from what I said at all. Yes, they had to have *some* technology. But they didn't succeed because they had the best technology. They succeeded because they had a business model to make money off of the technology. That's the story, that's almost ALWAYS the story. Or did you think, say...Microsoft is rich
[snip]

I remember that I preferred google, when it came out, because the other "search sites" were too much portal-like: flashy; banners, menus, sections, logins, all that things. Annoying.
Google, instead, presented a simple logo with a simple textbox and a button. Neat. I just loved it.

CYA

P.S.: sorry for my poor english

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 02:36 • by Progeek (unregistered)
247637 in reply to 247627

That doesn't detract from what I said at all. Yes, they had to have *some* technology. But they didn't succeed because they had the best technology. They succeeded because they had a business model to make money off of the technology. That's the story, that's almost ALWAYS the story. Or did you think, say...Microsoft is rich because their products have always been better than everyone else's...?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Google sucked, but it wasn't the best at the start. It's somewhat of a pet peeve of mine, the way people lionize Google as though they invented computing on the internet. The truth is that they (historically) have *rarely* been the first to the market with any major product, and when they get there, they are rarely the "best" out of the gate. BUT, they know how to capitalize on what they have, and they do a FANTASTIC job of iterating new features and complete versions of their products until the *do* have the best on the market. Without the business model to make money while they're working towards perfection, however, they'd never get the opportunity.

I'll also admit that it's frustrating to me that their product competitors who often have a better product to start off with are so complacent and don't drive new improvements into their products the way Google does (yes, Yahoo, I'm looking at you). It's a shame, b/c if Google is going to win, I want people to give them a good fight so they have to do even better, not for them to win b/c their competition stands still until they've fallen behind.


Always gets my hackles up just a bit when Google is compared to Microsoft. There may come a day... but we aren't there yet. Microsoft got where they are today because of predatory practices... from their very first deal with IBM.

Google got where they are because they were the best darn search engine that people had actually heard of. I went the traditional route:
1) started with Yahoo
2) found out about alta-vista that actually crawled the web!!
3) spent years learning the best way to find stuff.
4) heard about google, entered a simple search the first time, clicked "I'm feeling lucky"... and never... looked... back...

Business model or not, I never heard about another search engine that worked as well. Google had the entire web indexed and before people started cheating page-ranking, searching was truly trivial. Technology met opportunity met groundswell marketing. I honestly don't even remember how I heard about google the first time... 99% sure it was from fellow geeks.

Contrast to Microsoft, people have always known better stuff existed... but, you know, it wasn't Microsoft. ;)

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 06:55 • by Bob (unregistered)
247652 in reply to 247620
Depends on the boat: rowing boat, dingy (although that can also refer to a small sailing boat) and scull are all valid names for vehicles that are rowed.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 07:33 • by rast (unregistered)
247656 in reply to 247537
Buck B.:
Maybe developers should set up a low-rent venture capital firm where regular people come in with ideas for websites, then get a percentage if the firm decides to develop it. This would also act as a public service to the developer community by more efficiently telling people their ideas are stupid.


That's a brillant idea! All you need now is some guy to code it for 2% of the profits.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 08:20 • by Fnord (unregistered)
The article is actually a sneaky advertisement for Venture the Void. They're advertising in the right places now!

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 09:41 • by me (unregistered)
247680 in reply to 247569
anon:
cconroy:
Also, I've heard that you can tune a piano, but you can't tune a fish.

Of course you can tunafish. Usually in a canning factory.

You can also tunefs

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 10:45 • by Code Slave
247711 in reply to 247620
Sparr:
dsh:
Forte:
you don't row a canoe. you paddle it.
Thank you! As a paddler and rower I wish more people knew their vocabulary when it comes to paddles, paddling, oars, and rowing.
Does whether you row or paddle dictate the name of the vessel in which you are doing it? I am familiar with the difference in rowing and paddling, and I would typically say that paddling occurs in a canoe, but I cannot think of an appropriate term for the type of boat that you row (which may be the exact same shape and size as the canoe being rowed)


You might be thinking of a "shell" which is a competitive racing row boat. You might also be thinking of a "York Boat", which is sort of canoe like, but much bigger and almost always rowed.

Does the propulsion method dictate the name... not necessarily you can paddle a dingy or you can row one.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 12:32 • by Calli Arcale (unregistered)
247737 in reply to 247606
Kevin Saff:
If I'd known Alex was going to leave so much intact I might have mentioned my canoeing blog as well:

http://kevinfloat.blogspot.com/

Someone speculated about the route I took from Calgary to Minneapolis. I did not take the long route through Lake Winnipeg, instead there is a tiny river called the Qu'Appelle, sometimes little more than a creek, that winds from Lake Diefenbaker to the Assiniboine River.

I paddled up the Red River for a week but I was running out of daylight hours and the water was starting to get too cold for dragging the boat over obstructions. So in Morris, Manitoba I assembled a bike trailer I had brought, and pulled the canoe behind my folding bicycle to Lake Itasca, which is the headwaters of the Mississippi.


*bows in the face of your awesomeness*

Thank you for sharing that link to your blog! I'm going to share it with some canoeing friends of mine. I have nowhere near the gumption (nor physical stamina) to attempt an adventure like that, so I really appreciate those who allow couch-potatoes like me to live it vicariously. ;-) Thank you so much!

Shouldn't be too much longer before the Mississippi opens up again and you can resume your quest. In the meantime, enjoy the Twin Cities!

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 12:42 • by Calli Arcale (unregistered)
247739 in reply to 247547
Forte:
Is there no way to reach the Missouri River from Calgary? Even if there were a lengthy portage, it would shave off hundreds of km compared to looping around way up north like that.


The portage would probably be several hundred miles. ;-) The area around Calgary drains towards Hudson Bay. The Missouri is part of the Mississippi watershed and drains towards the Gulf of Mexico. So to get from Calgary to New Orleans by canoe, you need to cross a continental divide at some point. This is why the Red River of the North is so handy -- although you have to get to Winnipeg first, the river will get you to Brown's Valley, and you can't beat that for divide-crossing convenience. It's so low that during spring flooding, it's not unusual for water to actually flow over the divide.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traverse_Gap

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 12:44 • by Dan (unregistered)
247740 in reply to 247586
Machtyn:
WhiskeyJack:
If it were me, the interview would have ended before it began, once I found myself looking up at a residential apartment building.


That's exactly what I thought when I read the line about a covering for the window. But... you can never be too sure. Apple started in a garage with 3 or 4 guys. There have been a few (stressing a few) companies that make it big from very humble beginnings.

Then again, the magical formula usually includes those few guys knowing each other well before-hand and not one guy trying to put a group together.


I responded to a job posting on a local mailing list for a lead position (the first tech hire for the company) where the guy wanted to meet in a coffee shop because he didn't have offices. The second interview was in his home.

Of course he showed up with a couple of binders full of data models, sample outputs and flow charts.

And he had a nice house, not an apartment.

The third interview/job offer was in a lawyers office with the investor.

Sometimes it all works out (giving my notice next week when the boss gets back).

</gloat>
<happydance>

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 14:02 • by BruceA
247759 in reply to 247636
k1:
I remember that I preferred google, when it came out, because the other "search sites" were too much portal-like: flashy; banners, menus, sections, logins, all that things. Annoying.
Google, instead, presented a simple logo with a simple textbox and a button. Neat. I just loved it.

CYA



Exactly. At the time, Yahoo! was trying to cram as much junk on the front page as possible, making for a very slow load on a dialup connection. And the search results didn't make a clear distinction between results and ads. Google solved both problems: It provided a simple, clean front page with just a search box, and it separated ads from search results.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 14:40 • by DaveK
247765 in reply to 247595
Bill Waite:
Davo:
Roy T.:
The funny thing is, someone asked me todo the exact same thing for him. Why do people keep expecting that programmers can make you millionairs! We are just tools! (like any employee is to a business)


LOL, in Australia tool is slang for idiot :)


Yeah, it's the same here in America, and another guy already made a joke about it.
Where I grew up in North London, there used to be a local tool-and-plant-hire firm which had been founded by a Mr. Bent. They had a bunch of minivans that you used to see round the local streets, with their slogan on the side:
Bent & sons Tool Hire:
Get your hands round a Bent tool!
I LOL'd.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 14:46 • by DaveK
247767 in reply to 247569
anon:
cconroy:
Also, I've heard that you can tune a piano, but you can't tune a fish.

Of course you can tunafish. Usually in a canning factory.
My parents used to get me to tune a piano that my sister gave them. Then I thought "I really must do something nice for Doc", and got a job in a sardine cannery in Monterey, and now I smell of fish.

Long live John Steinbeck!

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 15:14 • by pink_fairy
247777 in reply to 247767
DaveK:
anon:
cconroy:
Also, I've heard that you can tune a piano, but you can't tune a fish.

Of course you can tunafish. Usually in a canning factory.
My parents used to get me to tune a piano that my sister gave them. Then I thought "I really must do something nice for Doc", and got a job in a sardine cannery in Monterey, and now I smell of fish.

Long live John Steinbeck!
Are you saying that, to tune a piano, you need a Beckstein, but to tune a fish, you need a Steinbeck?

My girlfriend asked me once "Kiss me where it smells of fish."

So I took her out for the day to Grimsby.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 15:18 • by pink_fairy
247778 in reply to 247739
Calli Arcale:
Forte:
Is there no way to reach the Missouri River from Calgary? Even if there were a lengthy portage, it would shave off hundreds of km compared to looping around way up north like that.


The portage would probably be several hundred miles. ;-) The area around Calgary drains towards Hudson Bay. The Missouri is part of the Mississippi watershed and drains towards the Gulf of Mexico. So to get from Calgary to New Orleans by canoe, you need to cross a continental divide at some point. This is why the Red River of the North is so handy -- although you have to get to Winnipeg first, the river will get you to Brown's Valley, and you can't beat that for divide-crossing convenience. It's so low that during spring flooding, it's not unusual for water to actually flow over the divide.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traverse_Gap
OK,, that's insane, but I'll store it in my memory bank.

Does it work for punting?

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 15:25 • by pink_fairy
247781 in reply to 247637
Progeek:
Microsoft got where they are today because of predatory practices... from their very first deal with IBM.<snip reason=everything else makes sense/>
This would have to be the first time that the egyptian plover ate the crocodile, then, wouldn't it?

Ignoring the actual history of the original deal ... which, as usual on the Web, is shrouded in ignorance here.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 16:12 • by chrismcb
247794 in reply to 247637
Progeek:


Always gets my hackles up just a bit when Google is compared to Microsoft. There may come a day... but we aren't there yet. Microsoft got where they are today because of predatory practices... from their very first deal with IBM.


Ok, I'll bite. Care to explain how a company of a handful of people used predatory practices on one of the largest corporations of the time?

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 16:16 • by chrismcb
247795 in reply to 247583
Eyrieowl:


You, sir, sound like someone who didn't actually know that there was a better search engine available for YEARS called alltheweb.


You seem to be implying that alltheweb.com existed years before google came around. If you mean that alltheweb started one year after google did, then yeah it has been around for a while.

One of the BIGGEST reasons Google won, it was SIMPLE. A Text box and two buttons. The rest of the website was a name, "search the web using google" "google launches" and a copyright notice.
Altavista, yahoo, and yes even alltheweb (when it started) had way to much text.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 16:56 • by Progeek (unregistered)
247800 in reply to 247794
chrismcb:
Progeek:


Always gets my hackles up just a bit when Google is compared to Microsoft. There may come a day... but we aren't there yet. Microsoft got where they are today because of predatory practices... from their very first deal with IBM.


Ok, I'll bite. Care to explain how a company of a handful of people used predatory practices on one of the largest corporations of the time?


Yes, to you and the other poster, I glossed over a lot.

The point is, Microsoft got their original foothold as the only OS shipped on all IBM PCs. (Which I think you'd have to admit was a business strategy they continued taking into the realm of predatory practices once PC clones exploded onto the scene.) They weren't the best. They were the one that marketed best to IBM. They continued to not be the best. They were the ones that gave clone makers too good of a licensing deal to pass up... if only they were the exclusive OS for that maker.

Really not trying to cast all of that as evil... I wish I could get away with some sweet business deals like that. Today we view their business savvy through monopoly-begrudging eyes and some call it "evil". I don't necessarily begrudge them their early successes. In fact, in the DOS/pre-windows days, I really liked a lot of their software. MS Word was much more intuitive to me than WordPerfect, etc..

The bottom line on the MS to Google comparison, Google got where they are not because they pre-installed on all PCs, and not because they were the default home page on browsers (they weren't) and not because of some huge marketing blitz or other sweet bundling deal. Google became popular because it was simple and it really really worked.

About the only business savvy involved was figuring out how to keep money flowing in without a huge portal site. But it was the simple basic interface that made it useful as a tool... the business side was related to long-term viability as a company.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 17:38 • by pink_fairy
247806 in reply to 247800
Progeek:
chrismcb:
Progeek:


Always gets my hackles up just a bit when Google is compared to Microsoft. There may come a day... but we aren't there yet. Microsoft got where they are today because of predatory practices... from their very first deal with IBM.


Ok, I'll bite. Care to explain how a company of a handful of people used predatory practices on one of the largest corporations of the time?


Yes, to you and the other poster, I glossed over a lot.

The point is, Microsoft got their original foothold as the only OS shipped on all IBM PCs. (Which I think you'd have to admit was a business strategy they continued taking into the realm of predatory practices once PC clones exploded onto the scene.) They weren't the best. They were the one that marketed best to IBM. They continued to not be the best. They were the ones that gave clone makers too good of a licensing deal to pass up... if only they were the exclusive OS for that maker.

Really not trying to cast all of that as evil... I wish I could get away with some sweet business deals like that. Today we view their business savvy through monopoly-begrudging eyes and some call it "evil". I don't necessarily begrudge them their early successes. In fact, in the DOS/pre-windows days, I really liked a lot of their software. MS Word was much more intuitive to me than WordPerfect, etc..

The bottom line on the MS to Google comparison, Google got where they are not because they pre-installed on all PCs, and not because they were the default home page on browsers (they weren't) and not because of some huge marketing blitz or other sweet bundling deal. Google became popular because it was simple and it really really worked.

About the only business savvy involved was figuring out how to keep money flowing in without a huge portal site. But it was the simple basic interface that made it useful as a tool... the business side was related to long-term viability as a company.
Ummm ... no, they didn't. They were not the only OS shipped with IBM PCs. As I imagine you are aware, they weren't even the original choice. They certainly weren't seen by IBM as even a medium-term OS provider.

This might fit your definition of "predatory." It doesn't fit mine, unless you count vultures ... and frankly the 1980s IBM was crying out for vultures.

Sometimes, kid, "predatory" is just another word for "successful."

And so what? I take your main point: Google is successful.

So what?

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 18:27 • by Mr Repetitious (unregistered)
247812 in reply to 247795
chrismcb:
Eyrieowl:


You, sir, sound like someone who didn't actually know that there was a better search engine available for YEARS called alltheweb.


You seem to be implying that alltheweb.com existed years before google came around. If you mean that alltheweb started one year after google did, then yeah it has been around for a while.

One of the BIGGEST reasons Google won, it was SIMPLE. A Text box and two buttons. The rest of the website was a name, "search the web using google" "google launches" and a copyright notice.
Altavista, yahoo, and yes even alltheweb (when it started) had way to much text.


Hotbot was good - it was simpler than the others at the time, and gave half decent results.

Google took it a big step further - to a really slimmed down front page, and good results.

To those of us (most of us) who were very lucky to be getting 2KBytes/s from our expensive dialup connections, having the front page load in seconds was incredible. Altavista with all it's crap took a minute or two.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 19:54 • by Fnord Prefect (unregistered)
247829 in reply to 247548
ultraswank:
When Google launched they almost immediately killed competitors like Alta Vista and HotBot because they were so vastly superior.


I switched to Google initially because their front page didn't suck. No ads, no unnecessary crap - just search.

Having a better search engine helped, too, but the main reason was presentation.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-05 20:07 • by Duke of New York (unregistered)
247830 in reply to 247800
Progeek:
They were the one that marketed best to IBM.

What you call "marketing" I call "developing a product that lots of people will actually want to buy," as opposed to something that impresses engineers, but not really anyone else.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-06 00:28 • by Hmm (unregistered)
IBM was looking to get into the PC market because it was way behind. Apple was making a ton of cash. They created a computer based on third party components, except the CMOS. They didn't have an OS. MS was a software tools company at the time. IBM approached them through Gates' mother. Gates actually told IBM to talk to the creator of CP/M which was a very popular OS at the time (see Kaypro). The CP/M guy snuffed them because of IBM's NDA. IBM came to Gates and he said he would provide an OS. A car drive and 50k later, MS gave them an OS which IBM labeled PC-DOS.

The predatory practices didn't really come in until Windows. The most notable was charging vendors per computer sold rather than computer sold per OS.

PS: Compaq came into being by reverse engineering the CMOS making the first PC Clone. They needed an OS and thus MS-DOS (the unlabeled OS was born).

If you want a good show on the history of the PC (microcomputer), check out "Triumph of the Nerds." It's pretty good but makes no mention of Commodore, Atari, Trash 80's, etc.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-06 01:02 • by Duke of New York (unregistered)
Actually, if you want to know the history, you'd do well to read Wikipedia's article on Gary Kildall. Talks with DRI did move beyond the NDA problem, delivering DOS wasn't as simple as a "handshake and a drive", the role of Gates's mother is exaggerated/fabricated. And Bob Cringley likes to make things up.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-06 01:53 • by Melnorme (unregistered)
So nobody caught the subtle "Limbo of the Lost" reference?

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-06 02:29 • by Uhh (unregistered)
247881 in reply to 247515
Schnapple:

OK, so honest discussion question:

You're someone who is not a programmer, but you have a brilliant idea. And just for fun let's say it really is a brilliant idea. Like, it's the next Google.

But you don't have a lick of programming chops. And you know for a fact that you can't learn how to either (and again, just for fun, let's say that this is actually true - you're the kind of person who just doesn't have the mental capacity to learn programming).

And you don't know anyone at all in real life who can program.

And you have no money whatsoever or hope of being able to pull down venture capital.

But you have this idea that is going to make Google look like a cakewalk.

Is it really that insane of an idea to try and see if you can find a programmer willing to turn your idea into gold with the premise that you won't be able to pay them until you can make money, but once the idea is making money they'll be paid very well?

And is it really that much of a stretch to think that you couldn't find someone willing to do this? Someone who's got programming chops but is financially secure? Someone willing to do this in their spare time (see: FOSS)?


Yes, it is ridiculous and much of a stretch.

If your idea is gold, then you go ahead and bet money on it. Get funding for it - standard sources are 3F - Family, Friends and Fools; then hire whatever employees you need to implement the idea, pay them a standard salary, and become a millionaire. That's how it works, that's how it worked for google, facebook, apple, walmart, and everyone else.

Finding good employees for a startup is difficult, and finding good investors is difficult - but both these things are achievable. However, hoping to accidentally get both these things in one person (i.e., a good programmer that also is willing to invest a significant chunk of money=time for some stake in the potential enterprise) is simply naive.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-06 06:42 • by Wongo (unregistered)
247898 in reply to 247515
Schnapple:
You're someone who is not a programmer, but you have a brilliant idea.


That in itself is a stretch already...

Here's my Top Ten:

- You don't write symphonies when you're not a musician.
- You don't find cures when you don't know medicine.
- You don't unify quantum physics with physics when you can't read an equation.
- You can't invent the switch if you never heard about electricity.
- You can't win a tennis tournament if you've never played before.
- You can't do a Top Ten if you've only got six items.

(two weeks ago, a customer asked if I could quickly code a competitor to Google, "only better". Feeling humorous, I said "yeah, but it will cost $2,290". Believe it or not, she balked at the price, and argued that we could just "use open source software"...)

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-06 12:25 • by Hmm (unregistered)
247941 in reply to 247858
Duke of New York:
Actually, if you want to know the history, you'd do well to read Wikipedia's article on Gary Kildall. Talks with DRI did move beyond the NDA problem, delivering DOS wasn't as simple as a "handshake and a drive", the role of Gates's mother is exaggerated/fabricated. And Bob Cringley likes to make things up.


NO LIKE READ, LIKE TV!

jk. I'll def check it out. Also on Gates' mother, she set up the meeting. That's the opportunity everyone is looking for. Without that, it never would have happened. You can't really exaggerate that. Also whoever cares, Kildall was the creator of the CP/M OS I was talking about. I couldn't remember his name.

Captcha of the day: damnum - that's what I say when I get a defect in production. Damn .. umm...

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-06 14:06 • by Jay (unregistered)
247960 in reply to 247898
Wongo:
Schnapple:
You're someone who is not a programmer, but you have a brilliant idea.


That in itself is a stretch already...

...

- You don't find cures when you don't know medicine.

...


True, but only a partial answer.

Suppose you were a brilliant medical researcher. One day an "idea man" comes to you and says, "Hey, I've got this great idea on how to make a fortune: Let's find a cure for cancer, and then sell it to cancer victims! I don't know anything about medicene, but if you'll do all the work of developing the cure, at your own expense, I'll let you keep 10% of the profits, while I'll keep the other 90% for coming up with the idea." I'm sure you'd thank him for his brilliant (or brillant) suggestion and show him to the door.

But suppose instead the idea man said, "Hey, I've noticed that there's all this money being poured into cancer and AIDS and heart disease research, but I find that nobody is working on a cure for Foobar's Syndrome, and there are 5 million people with this disease in the U.S. alone. I don't know anything about medicene, but I did some research and I find that a Dr Plugh did some very promising work on this back in 1920 and a Dr Zork who claimed to have positive results from treatments he developed in the 1930s that nobody ever followed up on after they died and I've gotten hold of all their notes, and I'm building a database of patients who would be our potential market and I've identified over fifty doctors who have worked with these patients, and I've had conversations with two medical schools who are willing to let us use their research facilities, and ..." Now even if he doesn't have the technical knowledge to help find the cure, he's bringing something real to the table.

As a software geek, if someone wanted to hire me to develop some new product and he knew nothing about software development but knew the application area inside out or was skilled in marketing or had some other valuable skill, I'd cetainly be interested in trading my programming skills for his knowledge or skills in other areas. Whether it would go from "interested" to "yes I'll do it" would, of course, depend on all the details.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-06 15:52 • by Franz Kafka (unregistered)
247972 in reply to 247830
Duke of New York:
Progeek:
They were the one that marketed best to IBM.

What you call "marketing" I call "developing a product that lots of people will actually want to buy," as opposed to something that impresses engineers, but not really anyone else.


As I recall, MS didn't develop DOS 1.0, they bought it from a guy for $60k after the fact. BillG promised the moon, then scrambled to make it work because it was really that big of a deal.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-06 16:23 • by Duke of New York (unregistered)
247973 in reply to 247972
Franz Kafka:
As I recall, MS didn't develop DOS 1.0, they bought it from a guy for $60k after the fact.

You recall wrong. Although Microsoft did buy 86-DOS from another company, it also hired the developer of 86-DOS to adapt it to the PC hardware and make other changes.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-06 21:51 • by Kelly (unregistered)
“I'm outsourcing most of the work to the Philippines. They’re willing to work on a royalty basis. You can transmit the technical requirements to them, change my words into code they can understand.”

Isn't this the business model of most IT shops these days? And as far as "change my words into code" that sounds like management material.

I've been reading "The Psychology of Computer Programming" from 1970 and am surprised how little has changed.
"The Psychology of Computer Programming - Chapter 3

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-08 05:19 • by richard bankert (unregistered)
Jeff seems to be a good candidate for the circle of friends Kevin has up here in Calgary and abroad. But, at least calvin's game does have some exposure.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-09 04:03 • by Kevin Campbell (unregistered)
This isn't 'wtf', this is just a sad story.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-09 22:21 • by BeenThere (unregistered)
I had one of these interviews. The only difference was that they didn't actually tell me I would be working for commission until my first day on the job.

We had negotiated an hourly rate for some freelance work that I was going to do for them. They were a real (albeit small) consulting company that wanted to branch out into games.

The interview was brutal. Three of them sat in a semi-circle around me and barraged me with logic puzzles for 45 minutes. It was stressful, but I'm good at that kind of thing and it went fairly well.

They told me what the project is, I quoted them a rate, they agreed and asked me to start showing up evenings.

On the first night one of the guys said, "Yeah, about that hourly rate. We're not going to be able to pay you until we actually release the game."

Wow. I got my ass out of there.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-10 14:11 • by JohnB (unregistered)
248482 in reply to 247607
dsh:
Forte:
you don't row a canoe. you paddle it.



Thank you! As a paddler and rower I wish more people knew their vocabulary when it comes to paddles, paddling, oars, and rowing.
And poles and poling (with punts).

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-10 20:50 • by Lazy (unregistered)
248551 in reply to 247553
Jeff has a point!:
Jeff definitely has a point... a Chariot should never be able to defeat a howitzer. I mean that's just ridiculous.


Not if you're Italy.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-14 19:14 • by Annekat (unregistered)
249517 in reply to 247606
That game looks awesome. The music is kinda bad. But seriously, seriously, he should have a better quality video up. Is the game really that blocky and blurry and dull looking? I doubt it, I think it probably is great. But the video is horrible! I would never sign up, just based on that video. And perhaps he should link to the review itself, as it seems positive.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-15 12:21 • by sammyF (unregistered)
249562 in reply to 247473
You only get uncomfortable about it as long as the same exact thing doesn't happen to you. After that all you can do is warn other people and wrap yourself up in deep cynicism.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-18 16:57 • by mjmt (unregistered)
250321 in reply to 247567
And time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-04-03 15:40 • by Leeroy Jenkinz (unregistered)
253551 in reply to 247488
CaRL:
My cousin's friend wanted me to make him a quick web site "just like ebay, only for used cars".
<SNIP>


I had a similar experience. Some tard who wrote a business plan for a company that was to be "just like EBay, but with barter" as his MBA capstone project, and wanted me to invest in / build / lauch this fiasco.

Somehow he must have slept through the lecture on why the concept of money evolved in the first place.

On second thought, it sounds like great fun assembling a collection of 97 different frick'n beanie babies to trade for that Willie Mays rookie card some granny found in her attic. Damn! missed opportunity!

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-05-06 14:07 • by Mike (unregistered)
260128 in reply to 247529
Ideas are a dime a dozen. There's not a programmer out there who doesn't have a half dozen ideas, some of which are even good. Most of them aren't. Having ideas isn't enough- you need to be able to implement them. Or if you're really sure about the idea, pay someone to implement them. But you aren't going to find anyone willing to do all the real work, take on all the real risk, do so for free, for an idea that has about .000001% chance of actually being anything. Oh, and give up most of the money if the odds do hit. Where's the advantage for him in that?


Well stated. These offers come often, and in the beginning when I was just a wet-behind-the-ears code monkey, I took one or two, just to learn the lesson you stated above.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2010-09-04 04:38 • by dgghua (unregistered)
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Re: Rolling in the Money

2010-09-04 04:38 • by dgghua (unregistered)
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Re: Rolling in the Money

2013-11-14 12:12 • by The Distant Future (unregistered)
This /did/ sound interesting, but these days the website's a cringeworthy compilation of spinning text, ancient GIFs, marquees, and one beautiful piece of colored ASCII art, all appearing to be a message to an Uncle that, "Secure Your Site Man :-p
Nothing Personal With You
nothing is Deleted


Just a Security Reminder For Your Site "

Yeah. I was looking forward to this, too!
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