Monday, 13 June 2011

Friday, 10 June 2011

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Fermenting: Broken Gnome – Belgian Dubbel Rye

My neighbors have a fantastic garden gnome. Turns out, it hit a rough patch a while back and needed significant repair. Immediately I knew this story needed a commemorative beer.

    This Belgian Dubbel Rye is dedicated to that Broken Gnome

  • 10# Belgian Pilsner Malt
  • 2# Rye Malt
  • 2# Belgian Biscuit Malt
  • 1.0 oz Crystal hops @ 60
  • 1.5 oz Crystal hops @ 30
  • 1.5 oz Crystal hops @ 15
  • Wyeast Belgian Ardenes (3522)

Inspired by J’s comment, I gave the brew-in-a-bag technique a try for this beer. So far, I’m extraordinarily happy with the process. Straight forward all around. Took about 4 hours total (30 min set up + 60 min mash + 60 min boil + 45 min cool down + 30 min cleanup).

Broken Gnome on Hopville

  • OG 1.068
  • IBU 22.3
  • BU:GU 0.32 (malty/sweet)

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Writing the Great American Startup

“The ‘Great American Novel’ is the concept of a novel that is distinguished in both craft and theme as being the most accurate representative of the zeitgeist in the United States at the time of its writing.” (wikipedia)

“My current theory is that programming is quite literally writing. The vast majority of programming is not conceptually difficult… We only make it difficult because we suck at writing. The vast majority of programmers aren’t fluent, and don’t even have a desire to be fluent. They don’t read other people’s code. They don’t recognise or use idioms. They don’t think *in the programming language*. Most code sucks because we have the fluency equivalent of 3 year olds trying to write a novel.” – wrook

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

To Do: Just One Project Today

First quarter, things were so crazy I had gone to blocking off specific days for specific projects. I had gotten into a comfortable rhythm with my schedule and was able to move quite a few things forward quickly.

Second quarter, things lightened up a bit and I went back to blocking off multiple projects per day in 2-3 hour chunks.

Then this week, two deadlines have me – unexpectedly – back to dedicating entire days to a project (and it’s only Tuesday!).

I had forgotten the sense of accomplishment and flow that comes with plowing through one thing, uninterrupted for 6 hours.

So, yes, I’ll be instituting 1 project / day on the calendar moving forward.

This is also consistent with both the Pomodoro Technique and the Cult of Done.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Are Groupon’s Investors Asking for a Public Bailout?

Over the past couple years, I’ve consulting on a number of projects (at least 4) in the same space as Groupon (et al).

This model of providing a heavily discounted coupon on local merchants just doesn’t sit right with me – for two reasons.

  • it applies significant downward pressure on the merchant’s overall prices (even more-so when the coupon distributor takes a double-digit percentage off the top.
  • it sends the wrong type of people (those only looking for a firesale) into the merchants doors.
  • the slashdot-effect this causes it almost always makes the customer-merchant experience less enjoyable.

Groupon’s S-1 filing has exposed the downside remarkable hyper-growth strategy they’ve pursued – $230,000,000 in the red.

With how many competitors on their tail? At least 10 in a mid-sized market like Minneapolis – and that’s not counting the ones that haven’t launched

It’s a hot space. An overheating space running the risk of exhausting everyone – fifteen minutes from now.

Before then, Groupon’s series G investors sure would like to get their return.

Where do you turn when you desperately need a huge infusion of cash just to keep the lights on and you’ve already executed a G-round?
The public market!

And if you’re already a public company?


“This IPO game isn’t about finding value, it’s about finding a greater fool” – Sucharita Mulpuru

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Spring in the Browser

Last autumn, inspired by a conversation with Jamie Thinglestad, I took a couple lunch hours and hacked together a tool that dramatically improves my web browsing experience.

Since then, I hadn’t used it much. Nor have I revisited it to polish it up. Jamie and I have shared it with a small handful of people – maybe you.

This morning, in frustration, I turned it back on. For the rest of the day – it felt like the sun had finally come out after a harsh, bitter winter.