Category Archives: Uncategorized

Launch Festival 2016 Tickets for San Francisco event

launch festival 2016

One of the biggest startup festivals of the year LAUNCH is coming up next week in San Francisco.

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Are you feeling lucky? If so enter to win tickets to Launch 2016. The winner will get a pass to the event, a one-on-one with Jason Calacanis, a one-year RushTix pass which seems pretty damn cool, and lastly a Dining on Reserve pass.

Nice!

1. Launch Festival 2016

The Launch Festival is a creation of Jason Calacanis. Formerly one of New York’s own, he started Silicon Alley Reporter way back in the dot-com era v1.0. Remember that? After some huge successes here, he moved on to become a huge figure in the Silicon Valley scene & the bay area.

Past events have included folks like Paul Graham & Mark Cuban & this years event is shaping up to fill Fort Mason Center to capacity again.

Also: Why is everyone suddenly talking about Amazon Redshift?

2. RushTix Membership

RushTix is a membership based way to discover local artists, concerts & events in the bay area. As a member you get comped tickets to all sorts of cool events. Check it out!

Related: Which tech do startups use most?

3. Dining on Reserve

Reserve consolidates restaurant discovery, reservations, and payment all in one smartphone app. What’s more you can use it at restaurants in a few big cities, like our own New York, LA, SF, Philadelphia, Boston & DC. Not bad!

Related: Is data your dirty little secret?

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Best of Scalability, Speed & Performance posts

Russian_Dolls

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Twitter IPO

Why did the Twitter IPO filing mention scalability?

It’s been a while since the twitter IPO, and they’ve had their ups and downs. An interesting little side note in the IPO filing mentioned speed, performance & scalability.

5 things toxic to scalability

5 Things toxic to scalability

Still one of our all time most popular articles, this post garnered 20,000 views alone. Covering the five biggest problems web applications face around scalability.

Pitfalls

5 Scalability pitfalls to avoid

Another twist on a popular theme, some of the common pitfalls startups stumble over on scalability.

Hire generalists

Are generalists better at scaling the web?

If you’re hiring to scale the web, think twice before hiring specialists. It may be the generalists that provide the most comprehensive help.

Scalablity happiness

What one change promotes scalability happiness?

If there’s one thing that can help most websites with speed & performance, this has got to be it!

Is scalability big business?

Why is scalability such big business?

Scalability remains a challenge for many web startups. What’s the reason and does that make it big business?

Are ceos hiding scalability problems?

Are Startup CEOs hiding scalability problems?

Are their technology choices that amount to sweeping problems under the rug?

5 ways startups misstep on scalability

5 Ways startups misstep on scalability

Missteps abound, here are some of the biggest for startups.

Get more. Grab our exclusive monthly Scalable Startups. We share tips and special content. Our latest Why I don’t work with recruiters

Best of Scalable Startups Devops Content

strawberries

I wonder if I can blog about devops without first level setting on what the term means. Yes I’ll agree it’s used broadly, sometimes as a buzzword, sometimes as a catch-all phrase. Luckily I already wrote a post like that… What is devops and why is it important?.

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Fear of automation

There’s a lot of automation happening in the cloud. A lot more configuration management (chef, puppet, ansible) is in use. I’ve seen some platform as a service companies (Heroku & EngineYard are examples of these) argue that you can now spend more on devs. You won’t need an operations staff. This raises the question Is automation killing old-school ops?.

NoSQL taking over…

If you look left some startup is building on Mongodb, and look right and another is building on Cassandra. It makes you wonder, Are sql databases dead.

Death of MySQL?

While we’re on the topic of relational databases, it’s been six years since Oracle’s purchase of Sun Microsystems. Some are still worried, Will Oracle kill MySQL?

Big mistakes!

Mistakes happen in the datacenter. Sometimes *big* mistakes. You’ll cringe at When fat fingers take down your database but hopefully learn a few things about what not to do!

Hurricane lessons

Two years after a hurricane devastated lower manhattan we can still learn a lot. Real Disaster Recovery lessons from Sandy.

Db operations

Every startup has a database. You ignore that management at your own peril. I wrote 10 ways avoid trouble database operations

On resistance

Another week, another war story. Sometimes the job of an op, systems administrator or DBA is actually to say “no”. In this story the CTO was shouting, and tons of money was being lost every minute. Supposedly. So I wrote Does a devop need to practice the art of resistence?

Perspectives & mandates

Ops & devs look at the world in different ways. I argue that’s because the business asks them to do very different things. Devs are tasked with bringing change, through new code & product features. Ops are tasked with continuity, stability, uptime & performance. That often means resistance to change. So I wonder Does a four letter word divide dev & ops?

Database as a service?

You’re looking at Amazon Web Services, and wondering, should I use their RDS database service or build my own MySQL? Here are 10 use cases for RDS or MySQL.

On High availability

99.999% uptime you say? Is there a myth of five nines that we’re still struggling with?

Open Source

Many custom Oracle applications could just as easily run on MySQL. But if you’re going to migrate from Oracle to MySQL, prepare to bushwack. Open source is a jungle!

What you don’t know can hurt you…

If you’re a manager or CTO, beware Beware what ops doesn’t tell you mysql.

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Is Hunter Walk right about operations & startups?

The.Rohit - Flickr
The.Rohit – Flickr

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Hunter Walk blogged recently about the importance of building great operations teams. And while he was speaking primarily about business operations, the startup technical operations teams are equally difficult to get right.

1. performance & scalability

As your grows like Birchbox, your customer growth curve may begin to look like a hockey stick. That’s a good problem to have. Will your web application be able to keep up with the onslaught of traffic those customers bring?

Getting performance and scalability just right, will mean fewer site crashes during those key moments when all eyes are on your site.

Also: Is top operations talent hard to find?

2. Operations is key to architecture

Developers will always have strong opinions on architecture. However they may be heavily influenced by their own mandate, features, deliverability & deadlines. So it’s no surprise that they may sometimes choose to build on ORM’s, the middleware brought to you by Hibernate, Cake PHP, Active Record & the like.

And while these technologies seem a necessity in todays modern architectures, they play havoc with your long term scalability. Strong technical operations teams mean a better vision in this area. Heading off your reliance on these technologies will mean managing technical debt before it takes down your country.

Read: Are generalists better at scaling the web?

3. Operations informs strategy

Did you build in those operational switches to turn off the heaviest code, when your site gets overloaded? Operations strategy can help you see these problems on the horizon before they overwhelm you.

Have you considered building a browse only mode for your site? If you’ve ever visited Facebook or Yelp after hours you may have been greeted with the message “We can’t save your comments. Please try again later”. A small innocuous message to end users doesn’t disrupt their enjoyment of the site terribly. But from an technical operations perspective it’s huge. It means teams can perform backups, upgrades and maintenance without interrupting day-to-day activity on the site.

Related: Is scalability a big business?

4. Operations means resilience

We only learn real disaster recovery lessons from storms like Sandy. That’s because resilience highlighted best when it is a real & urgent need.

In technical operations, getting backups right & testing your recovery plan all form key steps in your path to excellence. Get them right before you need them, and ensure repeatability.

Read: Is high availability a real possibility?

5. Operations means technical strength

At the end of the day, getting technical operations right, means you can move from strength to strength. It means building on a solid foundation the likes of Google, Facebook, Foursquare & Etsy. It means you can evolve & grow with your customers, and meet their needs confidently.

Check out: Do startup CEO’s underestimate operational costs?

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Is Amazon RDS hard to manage?

iRobot1

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I once rented an apartment while traveling in Europe. Unfortunately I didn’t speak the local language of French. So when I got there I had trouble coordinating.

After about twenty minutes of frustration, I found someone who could help. They spoke some broken English. So I would speak very slowly, then they would translate. That back and forth continued, until finally we understood each other.

What would normally be effortless 5 minute process to checkin, became a thirty minute long and drawn out affair. This is essentially what managing RDS feels like. If you’re a day-to-day devops or sysadmin it can be limiting to say the least.

1. Missing command line

If you’ve been administering unix & Linux for some time, you’re using the command line. It’s the lingua franca of systems administration. There are many command line tools that help you manage a MySQL database, from top to innotop, percona-toolkit to mysqltuner. Without the command line your hands are tied. You’re left trying to breathe through a straw.

Is there a plus side to RDS? Yes of course. For those who aren’t schooled in operations, don’t manage servers 24×7, web interfaces are a godsend. They simplify things, and present a field of options to choose from. What’s more they are better dashboards for exposing management to business units.

Related: RDS or MySQL: 10 Use Cases

2. Entrusting someone to your backups

Backups are delicate piece of your infrastructure. Done wrong, and you’re missing data. What’s more when you go to recover, you need options.

Relying on Amazon’s process, means your hands are tied. Done right it will be push button simple. But done wrong and you could have a big mess.

Over the years I’ve been in a lot of fire fighting situations. Everyone is running around yelling, and looking for the extinguisher. You may want any of a number of tools at your disposal. Dumps, hotbackups, cold backups, snapshots. With RDS you’re handing over all your trust & confidence to another party for that.

Pushbutton is great if you’re not comfortable with server operations, but if you are it’s a huge limitation.

Read: RDS or MySQL: 10 Use Cases

3. Can’t tweak operating system

On Linux servers, there are a number of operating system dials that can be useful to performance. One is the IO scheduler, which controls on Linux writes to disk. Another is choice of filesystem. For example you may want xfs or ext4. Furthermore there are tweaks in MySQL that can take advantage of the right filesytem, to simulate raw or unbuffered IO. These can give you a much needed bump in performance as well.

Also: Does a four letter word divide dev and ops?

4. Slow query log limitations

Slow query log is essential. It is your most essential tool for sleuthing scalability problems.

In the early days of RDS, the slow query log file itself was not accessible. You could only use the slow query table logging, which would slow down your server. That meant you couldn’t leave it on perpetually.

Recently Amazon has made the file available, which is a step. But still you have to jump through hoops. With command line you have everything right where you need it. With RDS, you have to first download the file to your desktop, copy it to another server where you have the percona tools installed, then analyze it there. From there you have to open a mysql shell remotely to the RDS box, to run explain plan.

That is lots of hoops for an essential activity like performance tuning.

Read this: Do managers underestimate operational costs?

5. Managing parameters & security the Amazon way

Amazon has attempted to standardize management of servers. Security is managed with groups and RDS is no different. That’s great if you want all your servers setup the same way, but what if you want to tune just one server. You then have to configure multiple groups. It’s again extra steps.

MySQL systems settings are no different. As a regular daily DBA activity, you use SET GLOBAL my_parameter=my_value; But with RDS you are doing a number of obfuscated steps, through a dashboard.

Check out: Why I ask clients for a deposit

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Why tracking can make or break your content efforts

social index

I’ve become a social media fiend in the past year. Mostly because it’s working. The number of prospects & leads I get each month has been steadily rising. Here’s how I track. I hope it will help you too!

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The image above displays the results of my social media efforts. It’s what I call my “iHeavy social index”. I’ll have a followup post that goes into more detail about how that works.

1. Start measuring your time using social media

Let’s think about this carefully. Why not write down everyday, 1 hour on twitter, ½ hour on Google+, ½ hour adding links to buffer or hootsuite. The more you track the better idea you’ll get of how you’re spending your time. So try to be honest. Mine for this past month was 27 hours.

Read: Why twitter is the best way to reach journalists (and email sucks)

2. Track your time spent creating content

Writing content should be easier to track. For me idea time is two hours and writing time is another few. Last month I wrote five piece of content so 25 hours total.

Read: How to hack disqus, discover experts & new blogs

3. Monitor your total conversion value

If you’re a services business like mine, you’re sending people to your website, but don’t have widgets to sell. So how do you track revenue?

The answer is you still need to value conversions. For me, a visit to my pricing page has a value, as that indicates someone who is zeroing in on a service provider, or at least doing some comparison shopping. What’s more a newsletter signup has a value. But how much?

Suppose a new client is a $5000 piece of business. How many newsletter signups might bring you one piece of business? Consider that people who get your newsletter are already in your inner circle, probably share your insights, and talk about you from time to time. Let’s say for arguments sake 50 newsletter signups will bring you one piece of business. Then a newsletter signup is worth $100.

Some other conversions that have value for a services business, about-us, pricing, download whitepaper, testimonials and so forth. Last month my total conversion value was $4350.

Read: Why a killer title can make or break your content efforts

4. Add it all up

This past month my conversions value came in at $4350. Since I spent 52 hours total on content & social media, my efforts yielded a value of $84/hr.

Now I admit there is a lot of estimating going on here, but the point is, track what you can. If you think your numbers are a bit high, adjust your conversion values (view pricing page or newsletter signup for example) downward.

You *could* also compare the above to actual revenue, but that is likely to be shifted in time. In other words social media that was effective in February, might yield a new client in March, and an invoice paid in May, so 90 days off or more.

Read: Why generalists are better at scaling the web

5. Get real with yourself

If you’re spending more and more time on social media & just hoping, you may be spinning your wheels. Looking at numbers like this forces you to face the hard facts. If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something new.

Remember too, social media can have a residual affect, where people start talking, or your name gains visibility. If you’re getting more business though, folks should surely be checking you out on your website.

Freelancers: Why saying “no” requires such a delicate balance

Get more. Monthly insights about scalability, startups & innovation.. Our latest Are SQL Databases Dead?

5 Things I Learned From David Maister About Trust & Advising Clients

trusted advisor david maister

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If you’re a freelancer, consultant, or service provider of any kind, you can surely gain a lot from reading David Maister’s book The Trusted Advisor. There are so many ways we can improve, let’s take a look.

1. Consider Traits of People You Trust Already

It may not come naturally to put yourself in your clients shoes. But you can surely stand in your own shoes. So consider what traits the people you put your trust in have…

o don’t panic or get too emotional
o understand us without a terrible effort
o correct us & criticize gently
o are on our side & have our interests at heart
o don’t try to force things on us
o feel we can depend on them
o help us separate our logic from emotions
o remember the things we have said
o help us put our issues in context
o always provide fresh perspectives

Right out of the gates, Trusted Advisor is offering us some of those very characteristics. The first chapter alone is worth the purchase price.

Also: Why AWS Summit Is Free & Oracle World is $2650

2. There’s An Equation For Trust

It may sound surprising to consider a calculation for trust. Let’s take a look.

Trustworthiness = (credibility + reliability + intimacy) / self-orientation

These are all words we know well, but to truly understand them, Maister lays them out very nicely for us. He takes an interesting approach. Our credibility is the words we use, as we describe what we’ve done. Reliability is the actions we take, arriving on time, doing what we promised to do, delivering etc. Intimacy is about emotions, empathizing with your clients needs. And lastly Self-orientation, which may be the toughest one, which involves putting your client first.

He then turns it all on it’s head. How are people have have poor marks in one of those areas characterized? Poor marks in credibility, a windbag, who is all talk. Low score in reliability, that person is irresponsible. How about bad marks in intimacy, they are thought of as technicians. Ouch! And how about if you score badly in self-orientation, devious is your cross to bear.

Read this: Why Scalability Is Big Business

3. Your Client May Not Want Your Advice

“One of the biggest mistakes that advisors make is to think that their client always wants their advice.”

Does that sound counterintuitive? I think as an engineer particularly, that may be hard to wrap your head around. I was just hired, so the client must want my advice and solutions, right?

Ultimately yes, but first they may want someone to listen to them. Listen, understand their position & discuss. Really to empathize with what they’ve been going through. The more you can do that, the more confidence they will have in your solving those problems & be ready for you to take action.

Related: When You Have To Take The Fall

4. What Good Listeners Don’t Do

We’re all trying to be better listeners, at least I hope we are. I’ve seen lots of lists of things listeners do. What about what they don’t do? Let’s turn things on their head.

If we’re a good listener we don’t…
o make judgements or jump to conclusions
o give our ideas first
o interrupt
o respond early
o try solving a problem too quickly
o take calls or text during meeting

We’ve probably all fallen prey to one of these mistakes, so we all have work to do!

Check this: Why AirBNB Didn’t Have to Fail

5. Take Responsibility

You’ve heard the refrain, but it’s not easy to do. Taking ownership means assuming the pain & worries of your client as if they were your own. As I learned in one engagement, sometimes it means taking the fall.

Read: Why devops talent is in short supply

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Why AWS Summit is free but Oracle World costs $2650

ellison exadata

Attending Oracle World a half dozen times in the past decade, I can say it’s quite an event. All of Moscone center plus local hotels & many streets are taken over to host the event. As an author of Oracle & Open Source on O’Reilly I’ve snagged comped tickets, otherwise the conference would be far out of reach.

Amazon has their AWS Summit, which it turns out is free. What does this highlight about the very different cultures & business models of the two firms?

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1. Two iconic founders

We’re hearing about Jeff Bezos in the news constantly these days. With his purchase of Washington Post, and his huge play in cloud computing with Amazon Web Services, it’s hard to avoid him.

Meanwhile Larry Ellison recedes somewhat into the background. Last I heard he won the America’s Cup Yacht Race, but only after various cheating scandals subsided & a crash besides. But the story of Oracle has always been a wild wild ride.

bezos reinvent

If you’re interested to learn the sordid history of Oracle corp, look no further than Mike Wilson’s The difference between god* and Larry Ellison. Hint: God doesn’t think he’s Larry Ellison.

Also: Why Oracle Won’t Kill MySQL

2. Two billion dollar companies

If you look at the two firms as I did on February 7th 2014, you’ll see their Market Cap’s are close.
ORCL at 167.26b and AMZN 165.83b. Recall though that Amazon has only been around since 1994, while Oracle’s been tormenting us since 1977!

Related: Are SQL Databases Dead?

3. Two sales-heavy conferences

Both companies have conferences. Oracle’s Open World is a week long affair bring countless success stories and case studies, but all vetted carefully to present a strong & compelling marketing message. Less technical, these sessions speak to the high level strengths of the platform and components.

Amazon’s Re:Invent conference though a smaller one-day affair, also uses a similar model. Bring a lot of marketing muscle to bear, and sell sell sell.

They are both wonderful for what they are, but often gloss over the technical details. They understate difficulties, and troubles as well as Implementation challenges and costs too. Though through all this they make great networking events.

Read: Why AirBNB Didn’t Have to Fail

4. Fat margins or Thin?

There are two sort of big models for selling software.

First there is the Oracle model, send in a high profile sales team. Wine & dine the client, sell hard. Win them over, and get ’em on Oracle. Sell them with add-ons, and software lock-in. Once that’s complete it’s too painful to leave Oracle. That’s when you squeeze. Customers may learn too little too late. For customer businesses, shareholders may begin to regret their decision to go with Oracle. Or it may be buried at the bottom of a balance sheet.

One things for sure, shareholders of Oracle surely benefit from Larry’s model. You become a multi-billion dollar industry unto yourself, and even the likes of spinoffs like Salesforce.com and competitors like Workmarket can’t slow you down much.

Amazon’s model is quite different. Here you kill your competitors by squeezing your own margins. Your company culture is about austerity as opposed to exhuberance. And you win by being first to market, and relentless price competition.

Check this: Why High Availability Is So Hard to Achieve

5. Who wins in Bezos’ world? Customers!

An Oracle Openworld package for 2013 would set you back $2650.

AWS Summit is free. That’s right, it will cost you zilch to attend. Contrast this with Oracle World, which besides also being largely a marketing conference that sells to customers, and which is in part funded by marketing budgets, it is by no means free.

Customers win big in the world Bezos is creating.

Check this: Why High Availability Is So Hard to Achieve

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How to deploy on Amazon EC2 with Vagrant

vagrant logo

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Why do I want Vagrant?

Vagrant is a really powerful tool for managing virtual machines. If you’re a developer it can make it push-button simple to setup a dev box on your laptop. It manages the images, and uses configuration files to describe specifics of your machines.

In the amazon environment, you can deploy machines just as easily as on your desktop. That’s pretty exciting for those of us already familiar with Vagrant. With that I’ve provided a simple 7 step howto for doing just that!

Also: Are SQL Databases Dead?

1. Use the Mac OS X installer

Fetch your download file here:

Vagrant Installer Downloads

Run the installer. It should do the right thing!

Also: Why Oracle Won’t Kill MySQL

2. Install the vagrant-aws plugin


$ vagrant plugin install vagrant-aws

Also: Bulletproofing MySQL Replication with Checksums

3. Fetch a vagrant box image

Box images vary depending on your “provider” which is vagrant-speak for the environment you’re running in. For aws, they’re some simple json files that tell Vagrant how to work in that environment.

The creator of the plugin has provided a dummy box. Let’s fetch it:


$ vagrant box add dummy https://github.com/mitchellh/vagrant-aws/raw/master/dummy.box

This command is straight out of the readme. What does it do? Take a look:


$ cd /var/root/.vagrant.d/boxes/dummy/aws

$ cat metadata.json
{
"provider": "aws"
}

There’s also the info.json file which looks like this:


$ cat info.json
{"url":"https://github.com/mitchellh/vagrant-aws/raw/master/dummy.box","downloaded_at":"2014-01-14 17:42:33 UTC"}

There’s not a whole lot going on here. If you’re deploying VirtualBox VMs with Vagrant, you’d see a VMware4 disk image. But with Amazon, it stores it’s own AMIs on S3, so Vagrant simply fetches them and runs them for you.

Related: Intro to EC2 Cloud Deployments

4. Configure Vagrantfile

Create a directory to hold your vagrant metadata. This would be the name of your machine:


$ cd /var/root
$ mkdir testaws
$ cd testaws
$ vagrant init

Edit the file as follows:


Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
# config.vm.box = "sean"

config.vm.provider :aws do |aws, override|
aws.access_key_id = "AAAAIIIIYYYY4444AAAA”
aws.secret_access_key = "c344441LooLLU322223526IabcdeQL12E34At3mm”
aws.keypair_name = "iheavy"

aws.ami = "ami-7747d01e"

override.ssh.username = "ubuntu"
override.ssh.private_key_path = "/var/root/iheavy_aws/pk-XHHHHHMMMAABPEDEFGHOAOJH1QBH5324.pem"
end
end

If you’re familiar with the Amazon command line tools, you’ve probably setup environment variables. Otherwise these may not be familiar to you, so lets go through them:

Your access_key_id and secret_access_key are two pieces of information Amazon uses to identify your instances and bill you. Those are unique to your environment so keep them close to the vest. Here’s how you create them or find them on your aws dashboard.

The keypair_name is your personal SSH key. You may have one on your laptop which you use to access other servers. If so you can upload to the amazon environment. If not you can also use the dashboard to create your own. Whenever you spinup a server, you can instruct amazon to drop that key on the box in the right place. Then you’ll have secure command line access to the box, without password. Great for automation!

Next is your AMI. This is an important choice, as it determines the OS of the machine you’ll spinup, and many other characteristics. You can go with a Amazon Linux AMI but I quite like the Alestic ones from Eric Hammond. Trusted & reliable.

Looking for an ubuntu AMI? Try this ami locator tool.

Check this: 8 Best Practices for Deplying MySQL on AWS

5. Startup the box

Starting an instance once you’ve configured your Vagrantfile is pretty straightforward.


$ vagrant up —-provider=aws

Related: How to autoscale MySQL on Amazon EC2

6. Verify in the Amazon dashboard

Jump over to your amazon dashboard with this link. If you’re logged in already, that will take you to your EC2 instances. You should see a new one, based on the parameters in your Vagrantfile.

Read: Why devops talent is in short supply

7. Login to your Amazon instance

Last but not least, you’ll want to login. Note I’m explicitly specifying my SSH key here. Your path may vary…


$ ssh -i ./iheavy.pem ubuntu@ec2-50-220-50-40.compute-1.amazonaws.com

Also: 5 more things deadly to scalability

Get more. Grab our exclusive monthly Scalable Startups. We share tips and special content. Our latest Why I don’t work with recruiters

What I learned from Ryan Holiday

trust me ryan holiday

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Picked up Ryan Holiday’s Trust Me I’m Lying, Confessions of a Media Manipulator recently. Boy is he good at what he does. This book reads like a howto on free PR & marketing. It also of course serves to protect those who might want to be a bit more informed.

1. Yellow journalism is back

A brief dig into the history of journalism uncovers a festering mess. Before newspapers like NY Times were sold by subscription, most were sold on the street. That meant the echo of a screaming headline had to sell the paper. Sound familiar?

Apparently these yellow papers always had screaming headlines, lots of pictures, “anonymous” sources plus frauds & faked interviews. Anyone seen this before on the interwebs?

Also: When there are conflicts of interest in consulting

2. The medium sets the bar

The nature of the medium sets all the standards, journalistic integrity be damned! Since time is money, the impulse to check facts is damped or in many cases completely absent.

Blogging demands newness. Nothing new, then it must be invented. Take the presidential election campaigns & nobody candidates as prime example.

Also: When you have to take the fall

3. The economics of blogging is horrible

Search engines and readers alike reward newness with their attention. This puts a constant pressure on bloggers to publish even if it’s crap.

”In a pay-per-pageview model, every post is a conflict of interest.” -Ryan Holiday

He quotes Henry Blodget’s formula that writers need to generate 3x their salary in pageview generating ads to break even. Apparently that comes to 1.8m pageviews per month. Wow!

All this drives up the frequency of posts. It also pushes the average length of a post online down to 335 words. Not exactly a medium for thorough analysis.

Read this: Are SQL Databases Dead?

Get more. Grab our exclusive monthly Scalable Startups. We share tips and special content. Our latest Why I don’t work with recruiters