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Comment Advice from a software entrepreneur (Score 1) 176

I started a business right out of school with just a vision and my CS degree. We are still in business today, 10 years later. The secret to success for me was twofold: * I went into business with two equal partners. They compensated for my weaknesses and were able to provide initial sweat equity for the business. There are also some do or die trials early in a startup and its easy to give up if it's just yourself but harder when you would also be letting your partners down. * We had a strong network of mentors who connected us with potential customers. I read a number of the comments in this thread and I have some thoughts: * You don't need a full business plan. You can pay someone to write that to get VC if you need it down the road (worked for me). However you do need a plan. How will you finance initial development? Can you name your first customer? How large is the potential market? What is the minimum viable product? * You absolutely can run a software business without having ever been employed in a software company. I figured it out. It's not an easy road though. * You must be an excellent salesman. If you are not, pick a partner that is or you are going to be handicapped. I've seen so much crapware sold for big bucks because the salesperson was talented. I also believe salesmen are born, not raised.

Comment There are different kinds of VCs (Score 1) 205

Not all VCs are alike. If you are pitching to a group, some may be more interested in your business acumen while others will be more interested in your technical ability to stay ahead of the competition. VCs usually have more options with a business with great tech but poor management than one with great management but poor tech.

Submission + - Hedge Fund manager shows how easy it is to manipulate shares of Apple (

An anonymous reader writes: In early trading on Tuesday, shares of Apple dropped down to about $437 a share, the lowest Apple has traded at in over a year.

But a curious thing happened just about 3 hours into the trading day.

Hedge fund manager Doug Kass put a tweet teasing the idea that Apple was going to announce a stock split on Wednesday during the company's shareholder meeting.

Shortly thereafter, with Apple trading at $449, Kass put out another tweet saying that it's about time he sell off some of his Apple shares.

But just one hour later, as Kass continued to sell off his shares of Apple, he tweeted out that the rumor — which he effectively willed into existence — was baseless.

Comment Re:Agile is not Easy (Score 3, Interesting) 491

Agreed. Agile really was designed for frontend applications where the majority of the work is in the user interface. Games, web sites, iPhone apps are great candidates for Agile/Scrum. But I would never Scrum a prison door controller or a missile guidance package. Some things you have to get right once or not at all. Secondarily, Agile is not a one-size-fits-all. A consultant cannot set up the process for an existing team. Every company takes the form and modifies it to produce better outcomes. Sure the book-Agile is bad, but I love the Agile we run in my shop.

Comment Some advice (Score 1) 708

1. Contracting: Assuming you are in the states, be prepared to give 30-40% of your earnings back to the government. As a self-employed person, you get taxed twice, once as business income, and then again as personal income. This is why contractors typically charge $80-120/hr. They only take home $50-72. Also, don't expect our "business friendly" government to help you out in the insurance department either. If you can qualify, you may be looking at $1000+/mo to insure your family.

On top of all that nonsense, you still have to find work, and it's unlikely to be steady. You may have a huge flood of work, and have the opportunity to work 60-70/hr weeks and make a huge payday, or just as likely, you may have to float yourself for 3 months on what you've saved up. Your best bet here is to get into a software niche and build up a loyal staff. This will not only provide steadier income, but also allow you to hand pick people that you enjoy working with.

2. If you get along with people and have leadership skill, then yes. You should know by now whether people tend to take their lead from you or not.

3. An MBA is a great way to network with other people who are aiming towards executive-level positions. This will pay off in 3-5 years as some of those people land those positions and you can ride their coat-tails, or they can ride yours if you are the lucky one.

4. I'll let others take a crack at that.

Comment KeePass (Score 5, Informative) 198

KeePass satisfies all of your criteria:
  • Open Source: It uses an OSI-certified license.
  • Multi-user: You can throw the database on a Samba, NFS, etc. share and it will merge changes between different users that have the DB open at the same time.
  • Secure: Supports multi-factor authentication.
  • Linux-based: Works with Mono.

Submission + - California Pulls Plug on $2 billion court computer system (

An anonymous reader writes: The California Legislature has pulled the plug on an IT plan to combine all 58 county court systems — but not before $500 million was blown on the project. The entire project was nothing more than a simple web-2.0 CMS — but nonetheless ballooned into a $2 billion boondoggle. One subcontract went so out-of-control that it had 102 change orders and a 10x cost-overrun.

Submission + - SPAM: Kickstarter for science

Grayhand writes: Finally a Kickstarter type site to fund science projects. If the government wants to cut funding it's up to us to keep hard science alive.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Arizona attempts to make trolling illegal. ( 1

LordofEntropy writes: "Though unlikely to pass any First Amendment test. Arizona's Gov. Jan Brewer has a bill on her desk that would in essence make "trolling" illegal. The law states "It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use ANY ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL DEVICE and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person.""

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Is iPad Beneficial For Children? (

hypnosec writes: With the wide array of electronic devices available in our everyday lives, it appears that children have formed an attachment to a different kind of toy. According to the latest survey, 77 per cent of polled US, UK parents believe that iPads and other tablets are good educational tools that boost kids' creativity. Meanwhile, researchers in this field explain that it is a matter of balance — and a child's access to tablets and other similar electronic devices should be monitored. Specialists warn that using tablets in excess could cause attention deficit disorder and even autism, particularly at a very young age.

Comment iPads are easy (Score 2) 260

If you are using iPads, besides enabling parental controls, you might also want to prevent access to the home button. I've seen this done at a few well put together installations. A few pieces of plexi-glass and some silicone adhesive will do the trick. If you use some other opaque framing material, you can even make it look like you paid many more thousands of dollars for custom technology.

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"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982