I've got thoughts. And mom always said to share.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

This blog has been moved to thesunrising.com

Thanks for stopping by :)


Thursday, May 17, 2007

"Stay on target....staaay on target"

I love that line...know where it's from? Star Wars, Episode IV (the first one, ifyaknowwhatImean). Every couple days I open up my RSS reader to find hundreds of technology/startup oriented posts. I'm usually hit with momentary nausea before I dive-in and wade through all the noise out there. It's particularly disconcerting as I'm starting a "Web 2.0" company myself...I look at all those companies and think "wow...in a way, I'm competing with all of them for something that's becoming ever more scarce: attention."

But then I recollect stories from Founders at Work, I think about friends who are at or have their own startups, and I remember: stay on target. All of a sudden all those Tie Fighters and Death Star gun turrets fade away...I feel a sense of calm and focus on my product.

I firmly believe that at the end of the day, a great product that fills a real need, and if necessary, a clever distribution mechanism (notice I didn't say "marketing strategy"...ideally, the product markets itself), gives a company a fighting chance at success. There are many other things that can go wrong, but reduce anxiety and stress by not worrying (too much) about what else is out there.

Now, take a deep breath...ahhh....doesn't that feel better? Alright, back to work. :)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I *hate* Vista

I wrote the following into Microsoft's feedback form this morning. Thought to share (btw, I realize this is becoming more a personal blog than a guide on how to start Web 2.0 companies...and I don't think that's going to change; look out for a re-design soon).
I *hate* Windows Vista. Hate it. I've been a long time Microsoft user (over 10 years) and have usually enjoyed your product innovations. As an Internet professional (Product Manager at Tier I companies), I've had high expectations for your products, and they've usually delivered. But I hate Vista. What specifically prompted me to write this email? Vista re-started my machine last night to install updates. On it's own. I had open programs that I hadn't saved/closed and I lost a TON of work. Plus I can't use an external monitor cause the Control Panel gets confused as to which one is which, programs often crash for no reason, sometimes when I close/open my laptop it resets the screen resolution...and more. This is the last Microsoft product I buy. You've lost a customer for life.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Random quote about Founders

Was blazing a trail with two buddies of mine this weekend up around Mount Tam north of SF and one guy was like "do we know how we're gonna get back?"

My reply: "founders don't look back until going back is the only way forward."

(Eh...at the time it sounded hot).

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Looking for a technical co-founder

It was recently pointed out to me that I should advertise on this blog that I need a technical co-founder. I thought I'd been pretty obvious about it, but let's just be totally explicit: I need a technical co-founder. Here's the deal:

Are you looking around, thinking "I want to start a company too"? Have you been waiting for the right partner who has truly innovative product ideas and knows how to execute on them? And are you an all around technology rockstar, ready to step up and take ownership of everything technology-related for a startup, including:
- Platform development (Ruby on Rails, MySQL)
- Architecture
- Linux systems administration
- Working knowledge of HTML and CSS


About friendput: well, let's just say it's *not* a social-network and our revenue is *not* advertising based. The site is currently in alpha and so far, people dig it -- including potential investors.

About me: I've got a CS degree from Stanford but haven't coded in 5 years. I've also got product experience at MySpace and eBay, so I know what I'm doing (mostly). Oh, and I was an actor for awhile. For more check out: http://www.linkedin.com/in/sundeep

About you:
- Team player, team player, team player
- Clear communicator
- Hard worker
- Love technology
- Love building new things
- 2+ years building consumer facing service-oriented websites
- Familiar with the Ruby community (a player, perhaps?)
- Know how to leverage open source code to speed-up development time

Interested? Even a little bit? Contact me…it'll be worth your while: sundeep -at- friendput -dot- com

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Alright, let's get personal

When I started this blog it was with the intention of helping out would-be entrepreneurs who want to start a company but don't know where to begin. Though I still intend to write posts on that topic from time to time (stay tuned for advice on how/where to incorporate, etc.), I've also realized that there's a lot I want to say about what I'm going through on a very personal note. Not just "here's what you should do", but "here's what I'm dealing with"...when I wrote my acting blog, I got good feedback on both types of posts (instructional as well as personal), and I'm hoping the same will happen here. So, without further adieu, let's. get. personal. Ready?

THIS IS HARD. Holy WOW this is hard...I've been doing this for three months now (I basically started the first week of February), and it's so frustrating because I don't have a lot to show for my time. I mean, I have a basic site up thanks to friends, and I've got a development team based out of India iterating on the product, but I feel I've spent the majority of the last three months (1) trying to hire / find the perfect technical co-founder (including my search for the development team in India) and (2) trying to convince investors this is the next big thing (which I believe it is!). I was stressing the importance of finding the right partner in an earlier post -- before you jump from wherever you're at -- because it's a long, tough process and I think better handled while you still have a paycheck coming in (note tinge of regret there). You should know that it's extremely frustrating not finding the perfect person/team, especially when the clock is ticking on your time and money. Anyways, that's it for now...I'll write another post about the fundraising game soon.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Step 2: Get a prototype up

Just as Realtors will tell you that the three most important things when looking at a property are (1) location, (2) location, and (3) location, any entrepreneur will tell you that the three most important things when starting a company are (1) execution, (2) execution, (3) execution.

So you've got your partner, great; next stop is a prototype. I'll skip everything in between (vetting the idea, figuring out how it's gonna make money, etc.) because in today's development environment, it's easy enough to just try things out without all the up-front planning. If either you or your partner are technical, that means y'all just start coding. Yes, mockups are extraordinarily helpful, and functional requirements that go with those mockups are great too -- but don't spend ages on perfecting either as they're gonna change later regardless (again, if you've done this before you probably don't need to read this blog). As you work to put together your prototype, it may be helpful to look at other sites out there you'd like to emulate.

As I mentioned earlier, you'll probably want to develop in Ruby on Rails. For hosting, you may wish to try mediatemple. As an FYI, I used Fireworks as my graphic software and PowerPoint as my "spec writing" software.