reasons to be an entrepreneur

April 8, 2006

Here's an interesting article about 5 reasons to be an entrepreneur. I agree with all of these reasons, but the list is hardly exhaustive. Some time soon I'd like to do my own list, but since I'm actually trying to do some work right now I'll write and post that later.

Really quickly though, here's my reason #0: It feels good to be the fucking boss. When my friends, most of whom are either in grad/law/business school or working in finance or consulting, ask "how is it that you guys are making no money, and yet you have employees?", I get to tell them "cause I've paid the cost to be the boss!" Recently, a friend send a prank email to the feedback link on our startup's site. He asked me today: "did you get the technical question I asked you?" with a smug ass grin on his face.

I told him that I didn't read the feedback emails, I had my employees do that. His response: "Oh. That's pimp." Damn straight.


MBA starting to look pretty good

April 7, 2006

I want to get an MBA. And before you reader's out there rip me a new asshole: Yes, I know that 99% of MBAs out there are useless and pretentious douchebags. MBAs never shut up about "value-adds" and "push-backs" and "managing expectations." MBAs always laughingly tell you about how they "can't stand Cambridge" because of the terrible time they had at HBS (Harvard Business School). Every time an MBA opens his mouth, I have to suppress the instinct to immediately club him like a baby seal.

There are some advantages to having an MBA. MBAs on average (at least from a good school) make 170% of the salary they made before getting their MBA. Also, you get a nice diploma you can hang on the wall of your office and make your parents proud!

But I couldn't really care less about those reasons: I fully expect never to have to work again after this startup, and I already have a degree from a school with a name that Asian parents drool about (and that degree says "with distinction" bitches!). The reason I want to go to business school is that business school is a fucking joke. B-school is basically like college, except as far as I can tell, the work isn't as important, and there's less of it. The real point of business school is to go to all the social events and make friends with other future rich ass business people. And by "go to all the social events" of course I mean "go to all the social events and get wasted."

I have a friend at a top rated business school. My co-founder and I went to a happy hour at the bschool this afternoon. The happy hour was basically 300 people in a room getting drunk. What the hell am I doing at a startup??? I should have gone to bschool.

(If this post is a little disordered, a little rambling, and not very funny, its because I had a few beers at said happy hour, and am not my usual charming, intelligent self.)

BFC: the saga continues

April 6, 2006

Had a conference call with BFC today. The first impression I got from the call is that they are extremely desperate. They are in competition with several big players (think Google) in this space, who I assume are killing them, and they are trying to convince everyone and anyone to build on their platform in order to stave off the marketshare walking out the door. What really takes the cake is I spent months trying to get a callback to figure out a way to work together with these guys.

The second impression I got was that they are slow. Really fucking slow. When I asked what the next steps for a partnership was, they said they'd call me in a couple weeks. When I asked when their more advanced developer kit was coming out, they said "sometime in Q3 or Q4, or maybe even '07." This isn't Microsoft. It's worse.

They had some good ideas, and I think we'd love to take advantage of their platform, but I have some serious doubts as to whether it could ever work. We're worlds apart: when I say new features, they think how many months, and I think how many days. It's like I said to my last girlfriend, "maybe we're just too different, baby, I think it's not gonna work out." Oh wait, that's what the bitch told me.

the startup’s secret sauce

April 5, 2006

For anyone who wants to know what the secret to our success is, listen closely. It's Soundic radio. This is the best internet radio station I've ever listened to (and I've gone through a lot). Since starting the startup, I've gone through pandora,'s stream, digitally imported, lastfm, and just playing random music from winamp. But I keep coming back to Soundic radio to sustain these marathon coding sessions. Why? Because while the music selection is pretty good, its not exceptional. The reason I keep coming back to Soundic is that its a Swedish based station, and all the DJs speak in their weird foreign language. I like this for two reasons:

  1. I hate listening to DJs. Not understanding them means I don't have to listen to them.
  2. They make me think of cartoon characters. No joke. 

Last post ever…

April 4, 2006

My co-founder and I set into motion this week a plan that will hopefully eliminate my need for this blog entirely: we're going to try working a schedule. 10 am to 7 pm, 7 days a week (with exceptions of course: Rosh Hashana, Mike Arrington's birthday, etc).

I stopped working at 7 today, and went to the gym, for the first time in months. My friends have all been telling me that since I started working on the startup I've become a skinny shadow of the stallion I once was. I'm developing body image problems, but that's a story for another time.

After the gym, however, I didn't know what to do. I actually had nothing to do. What do normal people do after work, if they aren't married, don't have kids, etc?

I genuinely don't know the answer. If anyone does, please tell me. I actually wanted to go back to work (my co-founder, I just found out, did). Instead, I sat on my couch and watched MTV's 8th and Ocean, a gripping reality TV series about two apartments of people trying to make it in the modeling industry. Most of their day seems to consist of sitting on the beach. Being a workaholic isn't starting to sound that bad anymore…

BFC: maybe sucks less than I thought?

April 4, 2006

Ironically, someone from BFC emailed me hours after my last post. Because I'm generous, I'll give them one chance to redeem themselves before I go all ninja assassin on them. Silent and deadly, baby. Oh wait, that was just gas.

Why are big companies incompetant?

April 4, 2006

Why are big companies so incredibly stupid that they won't get back to people who are practically begging to buy things from them? It's a question that has haunted man since the dawn of time, when United Rock Corporation refused to sell rocks to several neanderthals who wanted to buy rocks.

We here at nameless startup have been trying to purchase a commercial license for a service from a Big Faceless Corporation for six months now. We've emailed the general sales emails. We've posted on developer message boards. We've emailed people at BFC who work on the product, and people who don't who are friends of people we are friends of. But we've gotten 0 responses (other than the initial response that told us we needed a commercial license; the same guy later seemingly refused to answer any future emails).

Obviously getting this commercial license isn't key to our business, otherwise I'd be at BFC right this moment laying waste to everyone in sight with my elite ninja skills. As it is, it's a minor irritation. I hope everyone at BFC contracts the plague.

word of the day

April 3, 2006

I invented a new word today to describe the irritating quirks in IE to our design guy: fuckularities.

As in:

Internet Explorer is such a crappy browser, it's full of fuckularities.

everybody has their hands out…

April 3, 2006

I just got a call from my alma mater, asking for a $25.00 contribution to the Alumni Fund. Here's how the conversation went:

girl: Hi, I'm calling on behalf of the _____ Alumni Fund. I wanted to thank you for your contribution last year (extorted from me!), and let you know that blah blah blah. I was wondering if you'd like to give a $25.00 donation this year. 

startuprant: Uh, I'm broke (true), and being evicted from my apartment (not true).

girl: Oh. (awkward silence as she feels bad for me)

startuprant: I'm just fucking with you, I actually started my own company, but we are completely pre-revenue and I have no money.

girl: Oh I see…

startuprant: But this is gonna be huge, so you should call me next year. Same time.

girl: Uh, sure…

startuprant: Have you heard about Writely? They just got bought by Google? We're making moves all over the street like that, so call me next year and I'll hook you up. Write that down 'call him next year'. Seriously, write that down now. 

Dumb places get a little dumber…

April 3, 2006

I love the idea of rural brain drain. Even though, Phil Greenspun cites no statistical evidence whatsoever for this, I'll buy it. Eventually we'll have two Americas: one on the coasts, populated by people living in "cities" and intellectually masturbating each other over how smart they are and driving electric cars, and another one in the middle, populated by people who fuck cattle. I only hope that when the time comes, I'm somewhere in the middle.