Friday, April 29, 2005

LinkedIn Group delayed

Unfortunately, the 106 Miles LinkedIn Group has been delayed for a week or so -- technical difficulties, don't ya know. New ETA is Tuesday 5/3. Everyone who has requested membership so far, don't worry -- I'm on it. Thanks for your patience!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

May meeting details

The May meeting will be pushed back a week to Wednesday May 18th, because I have to be out of town on what would be our normal second Wednesday.

The topic will be, "The Dark Side: why engineers become PMs, marketers, and salespeople". 106 members Brendon Wilson and Jeremy Zawodny have volunteered to represent the first two roles, but I'm still looking for an entertaining speaker who left engineering to go into sales. If you are that person, please contact me!

Evite will be going out as soon as we nail down the venue. Hope to see you next month!

Hiring is Obsolete

Paul Graham will be giving a talk at 306 Soda Hall in Berkeley on why hiring is obsolete on May 2 at 6pm. The abstract reflects the entrepreneurial engineering way of 106 Miles attendees:
Most CS undergrads hope to get a good job when they graduate. But as the age of startup founders creeps downward, I foresee an alternative path for the most ambitious: instead of going to work for Microsoft, start a startup and make Microsoft buy it to get you.

This change will do more than make some young hackers richer. It will fuse recruitment with product development. Instead of applying for a job and then being told what to work on, you join the company as a complete development team, with a beta version. Results: (a) a shift in power from companies to hackers, and (b) an increase in the rate at which new technology gets developed.

Obviously this new model will be a better deal for the best hackers. But I think it will also be better for the Microsofts. The few tens of millions extra that they'll pay will be a bargain for what they'll get.
As a fun game, replace the word "Microsoft" in the above passage with any of your favorite Silicon Valley companies...

And then, as if he read our minds, on May 4 at PARC in Palo Alto at 7pm, Paul Graham will give a talk on how to sell a startup. I wonder how many people will be attending both talks next week as Paul circles the Bay Area...

Monday, April 18, 2005

Thanks to Mike and Russ and CommerceNet!

Last week's April 106 was held at CommerceNet's new office on the corner of California and El Camino -- thanks to them for being great hosts for us. Allan Schiffman, executive director of CommerceNet, gave a short introduction to ComNetOrg's new mission, which is helping entrepreneurial engineers.

Mike Rowehl and Russell Beattie (both of whose names I'd been mispronouncing for months! Rowehl rhymes with "dowel", and Beattie apparently rhymes with "hey hottie") led a discussion that induced more participation than ever before -- it was a very "engineer to engineer" chat. I had no idea how strongly people felt about mobile development! Russ and Mike emphasized the huge global potential market of the mobile space, while a not inconsiderable number of 106 members pushed back on grounds of the extreme fragmentation of said huge global market. A lively exchange was enjoyed by all!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Ten Commandments for Entrepreneurs

Allen Morgan just completed his Ten Commandments for Entrepreneurs, which touch on a lot of themes we've heard at the first several 106 Miles meetings. They're worth a read:
  1. Do your homework, and contact the right person
  2. Be on time
  3. Tease, don't overwhelm
  4. Know your audience
  5. Create the "Aha" early
  6. Explain the idea by analogy to, or contrast with, older ideas
  7. Go with 13 or less slides
  8. Know what you don't know -- and admit it
  9. Be like Goldilocks, when it comes to competition
  10. Control the meeting -- but be smart about it