I have attempted to start several different businesses but I have always had one foot on dry land, playing it safe. I have never made the level of commitment that comes with asking someone else to join your cause or asking someone else to bet their money. I’ve played it safe and I have reaped few rewards for the effort.
Going all in means making a bigger commitment. Putting someone else’s livelihood or someone else’s money on the line changes the dynamic. By yourself, it’s easy to sit in your ‘office’ for a few years, make excuses, and hasten your eventual return to the workforce.
Once other people are involved, success becomes a necessity.
Preparation will only carry you as far as you will allow it to. You can turn your report in early, beef up your servers, or load up on carbs before the race. However, if you have not thought about potential counter-arguments, practiced your response to a server crash, or learned how to alleviate cramps during the race – the preparations that allow you to push through the high-pressure moments – then the work you did get here may be wasted.
Deadlines are one of the most effective tools in getting a product out the door and into the hands of customers. The more real the deadline, the better.
Arbitrary dates that don’t involve any outside pressue – “I will finish this website by June 20th” – are easily pushed back. Effective deadlines include an outside source of pressure: a discount to a client for late work, a date when you are leaving for vacation, an app that runs during the NCAA Tournament.
Having a deadline forces you to cut the bells & whistles and get into the hands of the public asap.
I have fallen behind on my goal to read 2 books per month, but Tribes by Seth Godin was the perfect thing to get me back on the wagon. Tribes is written (like many of Seth Godin’s books) as a series of very short segments. Each segment is 1 to 4 paragraphs long, and I imagine the book was at least started by compiling some of his blog posts.
I have followed Seth Godin’s Blog for a few years now and have always found him to be very insightful, but I find his writing to be a bit staccato. None the less, I thoroughly enjoyed the ideas contained in Tribes and have already suggested it to several of my friends.
Tribes : We Need You To Lead Us is a manual for anyone who sees that the world is changing, wants to build a tribe around their idea, and wants to lead the way. Godin provides insights in how to grow your tribe, why tribes are the most effective marketing stream, and how to lead in the face of a world that wants to keep the status quo.
We are running on Amazons AWS Cloud (EC2, using EBS …) and got to the point where we wanted a little security for our data. The first step in this process has been to implement auto snapshots of our EBS Volumes (aka the hard drives that are attached to our servers).
The general idea is to create a Bash Script that can create an EBS Snapshot, then run that Bash Script via a Cron Job on a daily / weekly basis. This assumes you have Bash and Crontab installed on your server. You can find a bit more discussion about this at the ServerFault Post that I created to help me arrive at my functioning answer.
Before you start you will need the Volume-ID (vol-xxxxxx) of the EBS Volume that you want to snapshot, your AWS Public Key and your AWS Private Key. This can all be found via your AWS Console.
1. Connect to the server via Terminal / Putty.
2. Type echo $EC2_HOME and hit enter.
3. Type echo $JAVA_HOME and hit enter.
4. Type sudo find / -name “ec2-create-snapshot” (this one might return multiple values)
5. Make a note of the values that steps 2-4 return.
6. Create this bash script (type sudo vi yourscriptname.sh) #! /usr/bin/bash
7. You should be able to execute this scipt by typing bash yourscriptname.sh into the terminal. Jump over to your AWS Console and find your new snapshot.
8. Then open your cron with contab -e and add this line: * * * * * (bash ~/your/dir/yourscriptname.sh) #Call Bash
9. Save your cron and you should be set. You probably don’t want this running every minute, so change your cron to fit your needs.
The next step will be to move these Snapshots off of AWS, or at least to another zone on AWS. If something were to happen and our AWS Zone was to crash badly, it wouldn’t do us much good to have our snapshots saved in that same zone.
The local library where I grew-up, a branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, is threatening to move out their historic location and build a new, $12 million building. This would be a loss to the community for many reasons.
I have never had the pleasure of using a 3D Printer, and I imagine the software takes some learning – but you have to believe that as companies like MakerBot keep pushing forward, prices for more basic models will start to come down. $1,750 for a 1st generation MakerBot is still pretty hefty for an introductory purchase.
I imagine that when I look back on my life, 2012 will be a standout year. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Lived & worked in Costa Rica for 4 months
- Visited Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument, and Grand Canyon
- Showcased Mosaic at Techweek 2012 in Chicago
- Joined the team at Box Score Games
Moving forward into 2013 there are a few new practices that I am putting in:
- Start work at 9am
- Work with my team to build Box Score Games into a successful business
- Build App Administrator into a viable system and offer low-cost mobile apps for festivals, expos, and special events
- Read 2 books per month
There are plenty of ways to get Android on your TV — from smartphone docks, to dongles and even the officially sanctioned Google TV. But most of them are missing something, be it a simple way to control them or access to the full Play store.
What could be easier than an remote control with 64+ buttons?