What’s Your Angle?

This post might bite me in the ass one day, but what the hell right?

Running your own start-up is not easy.  In fact, its insanely frustrating for many reasons. Try telling ‘regular’ people your idea over and over and for it to just go straight over their heads.  Either that or they’ll instantly think its crap because they don’t understand it.  Then they’ll wonder, “seriously, what do you REALLY do for work?”  You get to the point of asking yourself: “Why bother even mentioning it?”.

Worse yet, try pitching your start-up and/or idea to a tech blog.  I recently sent an email to a tech blog explaining what FantasySP does and why its a neat place to go for fantasy sports fanatics.  It really works and it really provides an incredibly useful service.  I even provided my Google Analytics stats.  The response?  “Nice, just trying to think of an angle…“.  An angle? Are you kidding me?  The angle is that it’s a bootstrapped profitable start-up with loads of cool features.

He doesn’t give a shit that the business is profitable with me working on it 20 hrs a week.  He doesn’t give a shit that I’ve coded a product that people use, to the tune of 700,000 pageviews in September.  Or that I’ve managed to keep costs under $300 per month and make approximately 10X that in revenue.  Or that my start-up outperforms some that have 10+ employees with over a million dollars in funding.  Or that I’ve done it all myself with no prior experience of the business world.  I can go on and on, but none of that matters.

But this is my fault for foolishly not knowing.

What matters is that my start-up needs an angle that they find interesting.  It doesn’t matter if your startup even does what it claims to do or if your profitable.  If I pitched some shitty idea revolving an iPad app and daily deals with facebook integration I bet they’d be at least following up my email with questions.  Why?  Because its on-the-surface buzzword bullshit that attracts them to write and bring in the pageviews.

If you want your product mentioned, then modesty is not going to work.  You have to play their game by overvaluing your product.  Make outrageous claims like its the next Twitter meets Groupon.   Lets look at a start-up like Color.  I mean, why the hell did anyone even write about that shithole of an idea to begin with?  Because Color is a product of arrogant bullshit from people who have been successfull before, and it will outweigh any logical thought or reasoning as to if it might work.

Everything about startup culture is complete bullshit. People would rather believe and write about pompous arrogant assholes who lie through their teeth about their product.  I bet half the time, the things written in articles are BARELY half-truths.  Why else would all of these start-ups go belly up within a few months?

I give people in the start-up world too much credit (which, if you knew me, is actually pretty remarkable).  People only skip across the surface, and I just have to face the facts and move along.  I’m no longer focusing on getting an investor on board, or trying to be mentioned in a tech blog, or trying to be acquired.  If these things happen, great, but I’m not about to waste my time when I could be improving my existing product.


Is it hard to use logic?

This is just one of those random thoughts I had.  As a programmer, everything I do involves taking complex problems and breaking them down into small pieces of logic.  I look for the simplest and most effective answer to a problem.  Pretty cut and dry, right?  But after being a programmer for almost 10 years now, I’ve realized that I apply this mindset to just about everything I do.

I can’t say this is necessarily a good thing because most people do not agree with many of my opinions and observations.  I often get remarks that I am being “too harsh” or “not giving them a chance” or “being judgmental” or “I don’t know all the facts”.  More often than not, I tend to be right. But why don’t other people see what I see?  I’m not overly smart.  I think I am just wired to think differently, and the reason is because I became a programmer.  Call it the programmers curse.

Here, I’ll show you…

Have to go food shopping?  Go at night, less people means less time to waste.  Shop for clothes?  Wait for a 30-40% off sale, then just get everything at once online with free shipping.  Need a new television?  Well, I’m certainly not just going to get the cheapest one out there.  Time to look at reviews and add a deal alert from Slickdeals and patiently wait.  Time to buy a new console?  Well, which one is easier to mod because I surely don’t see myself spending $60 per game.

Is it hard to be logical? Absolutely.  It’s extremely hard.  In fact, I would argue that its much easier to be illogical than to be logical.  To come to an illogical conclusion requires almost no thought and relies mostly on impulse and emotion.  An illogical person is not looking for the simplest and most effective answer to a problem.  They don’t care if they are right or wrong.  I think more people are illogical rather than logical.  But I don’t blame them; it’s hard.

Think about some of the toughest problems or topics that people seem to fight over.

Politics?  That reeks of illogical people who really don’t care what the truth is.  We have a debt problem.  What’s the most logical decision to fix that? Cut spending and raise taxes?  For who?  The rich? Some argue that the money companies save from tax breaks eventually trickle down to us poor folk. They create jobs. Is their logic flawed?  Are they aware of the wealth breakdown in the United States?  Is it time for a change?  The real facts are out there waiting for you to soak them in.

Religion? Again, this is another area where it seems largely devoid of logic.  Think of the simplest and most effective answer.  Take a step back and learn about human history and the laws of the universe.  Most people won’t end up at the conclusion I come to.

What about technology?  This is a very tough area and there are a lot of illogical loyal users out there.   I’m sorry folks, but I just can’t bring myself to buy a $600 iPad when an iPhone or Android is essentially the same thing.   I am not loyal to a company.  I use a Macbook for work and a PC at home.  They both work well for me.  My web browser? I used to love Firefox, but they fell behind in innovation and features to a 2 year old browser.  Do I stay loyal to Firefox? Hell no, logic dictates I use the fastest and feature rich browser out there.

Relationships are by far the hardest to use logic with.  I don’t even to go into that one do I? 🙂  Oh hell, why not?  What I do drives my wife crazy because I can’t just blurt things out or make seemingly simple decisions and move on.  If she does something overtly illogical, I want to try to figure out why she did it.  She will look at me and say: “WOULD YOU STOP THAT? ARE YOU JUDGING ME!”.  I’m not judging. I am analyzing.  I just want to know WHY.  See what I mean?  I can’t help myself.

What about in the business world?  I see people over and over making the wrong decisions. (Surprise surprise right?)  I assume there is logic behind these decisions, but perhaps they are too lazy to REALLY delve into it to fully understand the problem?   Perhaps they are just looking in the wrong place for advice?  The stats are there, so why don’t they listen to them?  I wish I knew.

Again, don’t take this article the wrong way.  I am not saying I am the smartest or the most logical person in the world.  I am not saying everything I wrote in this article is the truth.  There are times when my logic is wrong.  All I am saying is that I try to be as logical as I can be.  But is that the best way to go about things?  You know, when I think about it…sometimes being illogical seems like the logical thing to do.


The Social Web is Using You

The term “social web” sounds great.  A lot of people use social websites like facebook, digg, twitter, reddit, etc.  Every year more and more social websites create buttons for websites to allow users to vote, like, digg, tweet, etc for their site.

While that sounds good at first glance, after a closer look all they are doing is cluttering up websites, slowing them down, and ultimately using us to further control the web.  It’s a harsh truth to realize and some people will refuse to believe that social websites are a growing plague on the internet.  There is TOO MUCH voting going on.  With facebook’s release, web developers have NO CHOICE but to add the button.  How could we possibly ignore 400+ million users of possible exposure?

To Facebook this is a big deal to spread their empire, but to me it’s just another friggin button that I need to consider adding.  If you think about it, it’s no different from any of the other buttons!  They all do the same thing.

The tech websites HAVE to cover it because it’s a facebook announcement.  ReadWriteWeb, Arstechnica, TechCrunch have to create their top 5 articles on what “LIKE” means for the web because they can’t ignore the 400lb gorilla.  The seemingly limitless web is being controlled by a select few websites and there is nothing you can do but accept it and try to make the best of it as you can.

I did NOT want to add the facebook button to FantasySP, but I have no choice and neither do you if you want more traffic.  We are at their mercy.

apple rant

Thank you for DRM free music Scott Ambrose Reilly

I read a post today at c|net saying that Scott Ambrose Reilly is moving on from’s music division. I of course had no idea who he was until I read the article. Now that I know who it is, I have to say thanks for all he has done.

3+ years ago, 98% of the online digital music user base blindly and without question bought music from iTunes with Apple DRM so they could play in only Apple products. Smart business decision by Apple. ::cough:: monopoly, illegal business activities ::cough:: Of course the customers didn’t care because they had no choice. Not only that, but consumers are nothing but stupid, uninformed, lazy sheep.

Other services were out that offered music DRM free. was the first commercial music service that was DRM free and you could select the bitrate of your choice. Absolutely brilliant and ahead of its time. Of course they were sued and forced out of business (surprise, surprise). Nevertheless, it showed the way mp3 music is meant to be distributed. I never thought a major retail outlet would ever offer DRM free at reasonable prices.

Then came online music library. When I heard the news that they would be opening an online music library with no DRM at 99 cents a song I was completely amazed. How in the world did Amazon pull that off and get music labels to agree to it? What businessman had the ability to convince music labels this was the wave of the future?

Meanwhile iTunes still had DRM.

Amazon changed the game so much that it FORCED Apple to provide a DRM free alternative to customers, albeit at a cost to the consumer. Prices were over 99 cents for DRM free music on iTunes and no one seemed too outraged about it.

Meanwhile I thought to myself, only a fucking moron would ever buy anything from iTunes. I still believe that and have always thought that. I implore everyone to buy their music from Amazon whenever possible.

While I may have gone off-topic (can you blame me?), I want to come back to my original point of this article. To thank Scott Ambrose Reilly, because to me, he is the person we can thank for DRM free music today.


Lost is a Travesty

I was doing my daily rounds of sites that I visit and noticed that The Big Lead had a post about Lost.  My hope was that they were going to make fun of the nonsense and explain how many times they laughed out loud.  Like when Hurley was doing yet another slow-motion scene.  But of course not.

Much to my surprise they actually praised the show.  TheBigLead apparently loves the new Ben and says:

What a travesty that there are only nine episodes left.

There is no sarcasm here either folks, they were saying that line with a straight face.  It’s absolutely stunning that a character can be villain for 4 seasons, then in the span of 2 or 3 episodes viewers see Ben become a good guy and they think nothing of it.  AMAZING.

I’m not going to waste my time to say all the reasons why Lost was completely ruined into a pile of dogshit.  Suffice it to say that there is not one character on the show who maintained his character through 5 seasons.  I guess when you like a show so much, you ignore all of the negative aspects of it.  Exactly like being a sports fan.  You say things like “your team got unlucky, the refs made bad calls, next year will be our year, Sanchise, etc etc”.

So in the end The Big Lead, you’re  just proving what it’s like to be a typical biased sports fan.

All I ask is that you watch season 1 of Lost again.  Look at the tone of the show and the direction they are going with the characters.  Take note of the eerie feeling you get while watching, what was once a great show. . .LOST.

apple rant Uncategorized

The Death of iTunes Apps

By now everyone has heard of the iTunes commercials and the phrase “There’s an app for that”, but how much staying power does it really have?  Just yesterday Google released Google Voice as a standalone web application that can be used in the browser.  For some of us, it’s hard to imagine why this might be better or worse than the current system Apple uses.  But hear me out…

Typically when you want to buy or download an application for your iTouch or iPhone, you head over to the app store icon and browse around.  Once you find something, click ‘install’ or ‘buy’.  These apps are then placed on the main screen and can be opened whenever you’d like.  While this may sound super easy, it also causes problems.

Apple controls each application that is approved or disapproved.  Sometimes it takes them up to a month to approve an application.  Other times they deny applications because it might infringe on their built in phone features.  Such as the case with the Google Voice app.  However, the biggest problem is the fact that each phone brand needs to have their own framework for applications.  There is the Google Android, the Blackberry, and iPhone which require each application to be developed specifically for that phone.  To make matters even worse, there are rumors that the reason Apple does not have flash support on their phone is because they were afraid developers would use that instead of their SDK to develop applications.   There has to be a better way?

What we need is an open source way to develop applications to work on any mobile phone with a browser.  It turns out we already have that folks, and your using the protocol right now, HTTP.  There are a few developers out there who hate using Apple’s SDK to build an app when creating a mobile site will work just fine. Sean of GetClicky is one of them.  The truth is that websites create applications to work in the browser, then have to recode them to work for each cell phone SDK.  What was built for the web browser, should remain in the web browser!

There are plenty of examples of mobile sites that work across every single cell phone platform.  Why bother spending time learning Apple’s SDK to offer things that can be easily implemented with regular HTML?  Plus HTML5 coming up in the next few years to add an even richer interface experience.  Each cell brand should have their own unique call requests to gain access to the phone’s contact list, dialing, and anything else they might need.  If cell brands are concerned that they won’t make money this way, why not have developers pay to gain access to some areas of the phone?

In the end, the death of all mobile app stores are exactly what we need.


5 Reasons Why Mashable is a Bad Influence for the Web

Very recently Mashable created a post on their site indicating 5 more reasons why “Internet Explorer 6 Must Die“.  (Yeah, no shit!)  I was so inspired by their post that I decided to create 5 reasons Mashable is bad for the Web.  Mashable has so many bad habits incorporated into it’s site that I fear the rest of the web industry will think it’s okay to follow their footsteps.

It’s unfortunate that no industry leaders have stepped up to say how much their site blows the big ones. (Or perhaps I’ve missed them?) I implore everyone to post any site that rips on Mashable in the comments section below.

Now, onto my top 5 reasons . . .

1. It takes Over 30 Seconds to Load

For those of you unfortunate enough to have been linked to a Mashable story (my apologies), you’ll notice that it takes a LONG time to load.  Precisely 38.98 seconds according to Google Chrome’s developer tools.

Speed Kills. As in kill me now.

Keep in mind that I am using the fastest browser possible at rendering javascript and web pages in general.  Also keep in mind that my internet connection is Optimum Online Ultra, which is 101mbps and my CPU is a quad core.  If my computer has trouble rendering this website, then I fear for our little ones.

2. Mashable Loves Advertisements

In case you haven’t noticed, Mashable has 15 advertisements on their homepage.  I have never come across a website with more advertisements than this, and I hardly even leave my house folks.  I’ve tried!…(To find a similar banner ridden site.)  Basically what Mashable is telling people is that it’s perfectly fine to have this many advertisements and completely kill the end user’s experience.

According to their traffic numbers and apparent influence on the modern web, you don’t give a shit.

3.  They Report Funny Videos Too, LOLZ

If you thought all Mashable did was work hard to uncover stories about Google’s security breach in Gmail and the drama in China, then you are sadly mistaken.  Lucky for us all that they are able to uncover recent gems such as “Ninjas Perform Most Deadly Nexus One Unboxing Of All Time” or “Hilarious FarmVille Parody Ad Tells It Like It Is [VIDEO]” and, of course, “Nosy Boyfriend or Girlfriend? There’s an App for That“.

This is the hard hitting journalism we expect from a website that reports the latest trends and news from social networking and social media sites.

4. Digg, Tweet, And Facebook THAT ONE!

Just when you thought the advertisements on Mashable were the worst thing about, they totally redeem themselves by including a Tweet button, Digg button, and Facebook button.  Not those small crappy ones either, Ohhh no.  We are talking those oversized ones that take up way too much room than they should.  But just in case that didn’t get in your way, as a backup plan they have a “share” button and an “email” button just underneath.  And, JUST TO BE ON THE SAFE side, they included a “Become a fan of Mashable on facebook” widget and a “Google Connect widget” on the right column of their site.

Mashable, Just Trying to Spread their plague.

That’s Mashable for ya, going the extra mile every time.  All for us.

5.  Google is Happy, Internet Explorer is Sad

You may find yourself reading an article and all of a sudden you encounter some ridiculous smiley face.  It’s like when I mention things like Apple or Google these faces randomly appear so you know what your supposed to think about them.  What the fuck.  How did the faces start popping up here?!?!  Vista , iPhone , Mashable .

Though I have to admit, it totally works when I mentioned their site.


And please people, for the love of all that is holy.  If you absolutely HAVE to go to their site, use their mobile version instead.