Monday, October 10, 2016

An experiment

The word "blog" is derived from "weblog". The original blogs, back when the Internet was still steam-powered, consisted simply of a stream of notes and comments about whatever the author happened to be reading on the web. As a way of rebooting my sadly atrophied writing habit, I'd like to experiment here with reviving that form. Whether I end up producing anything out of it that's actually worth reading is secondary. One thing I anticipate is that many of the pages/posts/articles I read simply won't be worth commenting on, even for the sake of this experiment. (I originally expected to have at least a couple of links in this first post, for example, but really, I didn't find anything this morning that was worth the trouble.) And if they're not worth sharing, how much of my time are they worth to read in the first place? I'm pretty sure I'll end up motivated to spend less time browsing. At the same time, though, there really is good stuff out there, and I'm nowhere near ready to give up my Internet jones cold-turkey. As so often, the challenge is to separate the wheat from the chaff, the signal from the noise. Given that I'm already starting from RSS feeds and Twitter streams that I've at some point opted to follow, I'm not really sure yet how to approach that.

So if I indeed don't produce anything that's itself worth reading here, am I contributing to the problem? Since I'm pretty sure I've never written with enough consistency (never mind talent or insight) to build anything like a "readership", that's not something I'm going to worry about for now.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

In business!

Stationery, postcard, presentation kit — I'm in business!

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Script Debugger developer shares thinking on $199 price tag

I've been writing AppleScript since before OS X was around, but I've never been able to bring myself to drop $199 on Script Debugger, the acknowledged gold standard of AppleScript code editors that enables users to "explore, edit, debug, and deploy" scripts. In his latest blog post, the developer Mark Alldritt shares his thinking on pricing for the application. Mark writes:

I see Script Debugger as a tool that makes professional developers money by saving them a lot of time. Those that really need Script Debugger know it and would pay much more because of this simple equation. In fact, if I had more courage I would raise the price even further.

It's highly unlikely that I'll ever be a "professional" AppleScript developer. It may be that I'll ultimately recover my investment of time in scripting by streamlining some of my business processes, but any net savings are extremely indirect and nearly impossible to measure. Clearly I'm not one of those who "really need" Script Debugger. I'm more of a hobbyist and enthusiast who might "want" it enough to pay $50 or so. Mark's strategy leaves stingy old penny-pinchers like me out in the cold.

Of course, a couple hundred bucks really isn't that much in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps someday I'll draw a lucky Community Chest card and decide to splurge. Until then, I suppose I'll just keep gazing enviously over at my "pro" scripting brethren.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Working on the Swift Passage Trading Master Action Plan (MAP)

The Master Action Plan (MAP) — the process of bringing Swift Passage Trading to life — has been formulated in rough draft, and the project has moved from a "Formulation" to a "Concentration" operating state. I'll continue to refine the MAP as I go on, but the focus now is on execution. My commitment is to make progress on the MAP every working day. This is my "job" now, even though I'm not yet making a living at it.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

August Bootstrap B2B: Beyond Cost-Plus: Pricing Your Products on Markets Old & New

This month's B2B Subgroup meeting will be led by Christopher Hastings.

Other than adding up their own costs and adding a % margin on top of that, most businesses have little knowledge of how to price their products. We are going to look at a few of the best tricks and tips for developing your pricing model for your business. Whether you are trying to build a SAS subscription model or running a retail store and fighting prices on commodities, we'll identify some of the key considerations to know when pricing your products.

Our presenter Christopher Hastings has studied at both the Acton School of Business and the London School of Economics, building expertise in both entrepreneurship and international development. He is the founder of two startups, one focused on providing CPAs with the tools they need to counsel entrepreneurs (including on topics of pricing) and the other focused on location analysis for economic development. Despite having written textbook chapters on entrepreneurship and run budgets of 150MM+ supply chain projects, he is never happier than when working one on one with entrepreneurs to improve their businesses.

Twitter: @HastingsCJ

Date: August 23, 7:00 p.m.

Business Success Center
Chase Bank Tower
7600 Burnet Rd.
Austin, TX 78757

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

July Bootstrap B2B: "Smarketing"

Fernando Labastida will lead this month's Bootstrap B2B meeting.

Topic: "Smarketing: How to market an international company in the US on a shoestring"

When: Monday, July 26, 2010 7:00 PM

Where: Business Success Center
Chase Bank Tower 7600 Burnet Rd.
Austin, TX 78757

By use of white papers, case studies, press releases, blogging and social media, small international companies can implement the "Smarketing" methodology to enter the U.S. market: a hybrid of sales and marketing, in order to penetrate the fortresses corporate decision-makers set up to protect themselves from sales people, create buzz, and generate sales.

Fernando Labastida specializes in providing content marketing services for Latin American software companies wanting to penetrate the U.S. market. He's been a sales and marketing professional for the last 20 years, having worked for several Austin start-ups, including Powered, Vignette and Sunset Direct.
Twitter: @flabastida

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Valerie's first drive


Prickly Pear


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Notes from Prague

Found a notebook with some notes from my visit to Prague a couple of years ago that I'm not sure I ever transcribed anywhere. I don't know if this really has any value, but I don't feel like just throwing it away...

So far most of the old hangouts in Prague that I've gone back to have been disappointing. Radost at noon on a Sunday would have had a line out the door in the old days. Zvonařka is overpriced and has no personality. Domažlická Jizba was good, albeit on the expensive side. Austria seems to have gone upscale, as has U Vejvodů — I haven't actually eaten at either one yet. The Budweis place down from my old office is long-gone. Demínka was OK.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ike water line, Galveston

Hurricane Ike water line, Galveston

Ike water line, Galveston

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Starting to like the Business Roundtable

I'm starting to like the Business Roundtable. Last month the CEOs' club published a report demanding action on climate change and promoting renewable energy; today they came out in favor of healthcare reform. Of course they still represent the corporate interest — the energy report also promotes nuclear power and "clean coal", and the healthcare report is decidedly lukewarm about the public option (never mind single-payer), but still, what a contrast to the (coincidentally, mostly Republican) obscurantists and obstructionists on the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Converting work into conversation

I love this:
If I come right down to it, the reason why I'm not productive (in the "task finishing" sense) is that I prefer conversing with people about their interests over working in isolation. As a freelancer, this is a real problem. The way I push through is by constructing scenarios in which I'm drawing conclusions from the work that can later be turned into a new product, blog post, or business opportunity. In hindsight, all these tricks fall into the category of converting work into conversation.

(From David Seah's often-brilliant blog)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

To the moon!

Forty years ago today this nation launched a rocket that sent a man to the freakin' moon! That's the country I want to live in again. We sent a few more guys, and kept it up for about 3½ years. But then we quit, and we haven't accomplished anything that remotely compares since.

Great photos from the moonshot at The Big Picture.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

NYT: Obama Unveils High-Speed Rail Plan

Obama Unveils High-Speed Rail Plan - "Obama Unveils High-Speed Rail Plan"

Bill Holloway would have loved this. The plan includes a Texas-Oklahoma stretch.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Sense of urgency... not!

Not to reopen old controversies, but if Dubya can get hustled into the White House on the most dubious Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott, why is it March and Al Franken still can't take his Senate seat?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Bailout for bloggers

Someone had to do it: Leigh Caldwell makes the case for a stimulus package for bloggers.