The casino was air-conditioned like a mega-church in Texas on Earth Day. That combined with the adderall sweat and alcohol diuresis, left me as dry and brittle as the shuffling fossils mindlessly slapping the slot machines all around me. I looked down at my phone and saw a half dozen missed text messages from my project manager. He had been holed up in his hotel room for the last three days jabbering incoherently into Skype with the devs that were left at home. They had broken something. I wasn’t about to get involved. It wasn’t my commit. I didn’t have time to play release engineer anyway, I had work to do. This town was crawling with internet marketers, affiliate hustlers and, my target, some of the shadiest email marketers this side of Belarus. I looked around the lobby of the hotel. I knew I had to get out of this desert Disneyland to find who I was looking for. This place was built for waddling mid-westerners on expense accounts. The guys I needed to talk to only spent money on two things: clean IP addresses and strippers. I pushed my way through the revolving doors into the blistering heat of the desert. Scanning the valet lines and taxi queues, I saw a white 1971 Cadillac El Dorado convertible with an obnoxious pink mustache hanging from the grill. That was my ride.
blakemasters: Here is an essay version of my class notes from Class 13 of CS183: Startup. Errors and omissions are mine. Credit for good stuff is Peter’s entirely. Class 13 Notes Essay— You Are Not A Lottery Ticket I. The Question of Luck A. Nature of the Problem The biggest philosophical question underlying startups is how much luck is involved when they succeed. As important as the luck vs. skill question is, however, it’s very hard to get a good handle on. Statistical tools are meaningless if you have a sample size of one. It would be great if you could run experiments. Start Facebook 1,000 times under identical conditions. If it works 1,000 out of 1,000 times, you’d conclude it was skill. If it worked just 1 time, you’d conclude it was just luck. But obviously these experiments are impossible. The first cut at the luck vs. skill question is thus almost just a bias that one can have. Some people gravitate toward explaining things as lucky. Others are inclined to find a greater degree of skill. It depends on which narrative you buy. The internal narrative is that talented people got together, worked hard, and made things work. The external narrative chalks things up to right place, right time. You can change your mind about all this, but it’s tough to have a really principled, well-reasoned view on way or the other. Read More
Playing Angry Birds on a second generation iPad with a cracked screen, I found the sullen hacker that was my guide in Las Vegas. He looked like a brony with a gluten allergy. "Come on," I barked, "get up." He looked over the swollen lids of his eyes. He seemed to want to say something but got distracted by the scream of a bird he flicked across the screen. "What’s the WIFI password in this dump?" I asked. "Guest123" the brony mumbled. "Seriously? I’m at a hotel hosting a major tech conference with a password like that? I wouldn’t connect to that hornet’s nest with my worst enemy’s Blackberry." I snatched the iPad from his hands. His swollen, greasy fingers didn’t have a chance to challenge me. I opened Safari and was greeted with a hundred tabs of ads for shitty apps. “Jesus.” I thought, “I asked for a hacker and they send this noob.”
Correspondingly, (car z) is defined to be the Saviour of the world. (Source: kingjamesprogramming)