Scanning Crains NY Business recently, I saw an article on ‘starting up’ in 54 hours. It’s the brainchild of Marc Nager, Clint Nelsen and Franck Nouyrigat called Startup Weekend. Startup bootcamps seem to be the current extra-curricular activity of choice these days. Wharton is also getting in on it with their Innovation Tournament. Then there is the 48 Hour Startup and of course let’s not forget the 3 Day Startup.
So what’s my beef? Truth be told I admire the ambition, the optimism, and the openness of these efforts. And for sure these bootstrapping marathons do introduce entrepreneurs to future colleagues and partners, get them asking the right questions about financing, customers, revenue, competition and so forth.
My problem with these events is they frame startups as something you *can* do quickly. As if it were a Lego set or pop-up book that gives instant results and gratification. Sure startups are 21st century tech-driven business that provide innovative products in a very short development cycle but a lot of the day-to-day running of the business are still very mundane 20th century sensibilities; not unlike running a mom and pop store, a laundromat, deli or sandwich shop.
I’ve been getting more than my fair share of calls from recruiters of late. Even in this depressed economic climate where jobs are rarer than a cab at rush-hour, it’s heartening to know that tech engineers are in great demand. And it’s even more heartening to think that demand for MySQL DBAs has never been better.
My reckoning was confirmed by a Bloomberg news report about stalwart retailers suffering from a dearth of talented engineers. Bloomberg cited Target’s outage-prone e-commerce site as a symptom of, among other things the market’s shortage. One of the challenges old-timers like Target face is having to compete with Silicon Valley startups as a fulfilling and ultimately, financially rewarding place to work. Continue reading The Mythical MySQL DBA→
First things first. This is not meant to be a beef against developers. But let’s not ignore the elephant in the living room that is the divide between brilliant code writers and the risk averse operations team.
It is almost by default that developers are disruptive with their creative coding while the guys in operations, those who deploy the code, constantly cross their fingers in the hope that application changes won’t tilt the machine. And when you’re woken up at 4am to deal with an outage or your sluggish site is costing millions in losses, the blame game and finger-pointing starts.
If you manage a startup you may be faced with this problem all the time. You know your business, you know what you’re trying to build but how do you find people who can help you build and execute your ideas with minimal risk?