Category Archives: Business and Technology

Book review: Principles

Book cover for Principles by Ray Dalio

It’s up to you to decide what you want to get out of life and what you want to give.

As I read books from my morning reads, which are business and personal development books, I’ve started the habit of capturing notes from them. When I finished Principles by Ray Dalio, there was a lot to capture and digest. But if there was one key takeaway, it was the lead-in to this post. I’m a firm believer that life is full of choices, and it is the choices we make that shapes the life we live. But I would be short-changing Dalio’s efforts if there was only one key takeaway. There are many, many pearls of wisdom contained throughout the book.

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So you want to do a startup

Starting a company is hard. Having been there, and still going through the process, I sometimes wonder why anyone would want to do it. People will question your decisions and doubt you. Customers will reject your product and your ideas. There are long hours working day and night for little pay. Your life is turned into a roller coaster of ups and downs. It’s challenging, to say the least.

However, when things are clicking, there can be nothing like it. Building a product that solves a problem, satisfying customers’ needs, and creating value make it all worth while. These are the things that keep you coming back for more. They’re the goals every entrepreneur strives for. But achieving these goals is not easy, and sustaining them is a near impossible challenge.

So why on earth would anyone ever want to “do” a startup?

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HTTP Status Error Codes for REST APIs

I’ve been both using and building REST APIs in my software development work. One of the more confusing and controversial topics regarding REST APIs are the meaning of HTTP status error codes. By error code, I’m referring to those code that are of the 4xx or 5xx variety.

After doing a bit of research and reading the standards, I’ve distilled things down to the 5 basic error codes that I feel should be a part of every REST API.

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Transhuman

There’s a new term that I expect will soon become a regular topic of conversation – transhuman. It sounds like a new gender category, but it isn’t. It’s far from it.

Transhuman is the integration of technology into humans. It’s similar to genetic and cell technologies like CRISPR or stem cell therapies but much more invasive. A transhuman refers to someone who has integrated technology into their body in a way that substantially augments either their mental or physical capabilities, or in many cases both. Perhaps you’re more familiar with the term cyborg, the mix of man and machine, although becoming transhuman doesn’t necessarily require embedding a machine in one’s body.

While it sounds like an amazing thing to happen, and in some ways it can be, it’s also quite scary. Here are some of the benefits that could result from being transhuman and why I also thing it could be a cause for alarm.

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Rebooting Startup Lessons

I set a goal five years ago to blog regularly about my day job running a software company. I setup the Startup Lessons category and managed a handful of posts that year before things stalled. Since then, most of my Startup Lessons have been about related books or riffs on interesting posts.

So after a lengthy hiatus, I’ve decided to reboot Startup Lessons. My (new) goal is to write at least one post a month sharing what I’ve learned running a business over the past 15 years.

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My prescription for fixing the Post Office

The United States Post Office (USPS) has been in the news recently, and not necessarily for the right reasons. They’re asking for $89 billion dollars as part of the pandemic bailout packages coming out of Congress to remain solvent. President Trump’s opinion is that they need to fix their operations, starting by charging more to deliver packages (specifically singling out Amazon deliveries). There have been other opinions as well, but you know things have jumped the shark when John Oliver dedicates an entire segment to the topic.

It should surprise no one that I have an opinion on how to fix the post office, too. For whatever reason, it’s something I’ve thought about for quite some time. And while I can’t describe my solution as eloquently or deliver it in the same manner as John Oliver, I’m going to lay it out anyway. Here goes.

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Setting up WordPress for local development

I recently transitioned my local LAMP development stack from Wampserver to Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). You can read about why and how I did it in this post.

One of my primary use cases for having a reliable local LAMP development stack is WordPress theme and plug-in development. In this post, I am going to go over the process I use to install WordPress locally, set up the installation, implement version control, and deploy to a hosted server/production environment.

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Migrating from WampServer to WSL on Windows

Having a good local environment is important for doing development work, especially web development. It both saves time and makes deployment to production environments easier.

I’ve used WampServer in the past for local development. It’s served me well, but it seems to have stagnated since I upgraded to version 3.0. I had looked into switching to Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) over a year ago, but it felt like it needed to mature, which it has. So, in this post, I am going to outline the steps I took to transition my local development environment from WampServer to WSL.

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Do the right thing

The time has come. It’s time for the ‘gig economy’ companies and others exploiting employment regulations and independent contractors to step up to the plate. They need to face the facts, admit the truth, and reclassify these workers as employees. It’s time to do the right thing.

I wrote a similar article, What’s Bad for the Hive, a couple of months back. Little did I know back then that the world would change so dramatically since then. I’m going to do my best to keep this rant short, so you may want to refer back to that post first for a little background before wading into this one.

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Lessons Learned in Crisis Management

As with just about everyone, I’ve been unsettled, stressed, and concerned about the news of the Coronavirus over recent weeks, days, and hours. While I have my opinions on the virus and how events are being handled, they are just that – opinions, which I’m not going to share here. I will keep those to myself since I am neither an epidemiologist, scientist, or statistician, and I definitely did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

What I’ve found interesting is how the crisis has been handled by our government leaders, at all levels. Leaders aren’t made during good times, they are forged during times of crisis. These are my observations and lessons learned.

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