Blog Redesign/Launch

I am happy to announce the redesign and launch of my blog - blog.stevemorin.com . I have to say it looks a lot nicer now.  I can't say it was a priority, but the shutdown of my previous blogging platform Posterous on April 30th motivated the redesign.    

You can expect some exciting new posts coming up with some exciting new technology I have been building.

The most innovative IDE I have ever seen - LightTable IDE for javascript and clojure

Rarely does anyone see true innovation in the tools used to build software.  In the software world, developers use software editors to create software.  These editors are called IDE (Integrated Development Environments) and most all work and function the same.  I have to take my hat off to Chris Granger and his Light Table project, he's basically taken a novel approach to usuability, reading and interacting with code. I hope that his work can become the standard ide for clojure. First check out his video.  I am supporting this project on Kickstarter and hope you will too. "Support Light Table"

You can also check out his blog post here.

 

Everyday

Everyday is a opportunity to do better, learn from our mistakes and failures.  It's owning up to them, giving up one's ego and reflecting to make consistent and permanent changes that's important.  It's taking every step to become better that matters, and making up for the mistakes you've made before you make another.

 

We can be our own worst enemies.  Failure to acknowledge our mistakes or shortcomings can bring pain to ourselves and others.  They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and it's true. I imagine most don't wake up and say "I am going to murder, steal or hurt someone today" but something you do could lead to those results.

 

I have recently also discovered it's the flaws that you can't see that are more dangerous than the ones you realize. I have been so focused on my short-comings, like spreading my self out too thin and having too many projects, to pay attention to things that I didn't realize were being overlooked.

 

I now realize the importance to take a step back, and to reflect on your self.  People often look introspectively but how often do we truly search out the things that we ignore or don't want to acknowledge in ourselves?

 

 

Learning from our mistakes is easier said than done. Habits are hard to break. It really only comes down to a few simple steps as I see it:

 

Step 1) Seek out your short comings hopefully before a failure.

 

Step 1a) Making good on a failure if possible.

 

Step 2) Implement consistent and permanent changes to fix any shortcomings that may have failed you in the past.

 

Steps 1 and 1a are by no means easy but can require the least effort of the three. The last step, consistent and permanent change, is hard.  Habits and behaviors run very deep and are very hard to change. Being a big proponent of self improvement I have picked (up from a variety of sources) a number of habits and tricks to help make changes stick.  Rarely have I seen techniques for lasting change succinctly described but I have recently read a excellent book called "Willpower:Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength" by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney.  Read this book, it's excellent and might really help you make permanent changes if your life.

 

 

Life is not always fair and more often than not we don't get second chances.  Do your self a favor, learn from your mistakes and live each day better than the last.

 

Programming is the Great Game - excerpt from the writings of Orson Scott Card

I have taken out two excerpts from How Software Companies Die -by Orson Scott Card

Why you might ask?  Ah because they are very insightful observations.  Do you get it? Do you see it?

"Programming is the Great Game.
It consumes you, body and soul.  When you're caught up in it, nothing
else matters.  When you emerge into daylight, you might well discover
that you're a hundred pounds overweight, your underwear is older than
the average first grader, and judging from the number of pizza boxes
lying around, it must be spring already.  But you don't care, because
your program runs, and the code is fast and clever and tight.  You won.
You're aware that some people think you're a nerd.  So what?  They're
not players.  They've never jousted with Windows or gone hand to hand
with DOS. To them C++ is a decent grade, almost a B - not a language.
They barely exist.  Like soldiers or artists, you don't care about the
opinions of civilians.  You're building something intricate and fine.
They'll never understand it."

"The only person whose praise matters is another
programmer.  Less-talented programmers will idolize them; evenly
matched ones will challenge and goad one another; and if you want to
get a good swarm, you make sure that you have at least one certified
genius coder that they can all look up to, even if he glances at other
people's code only long enough to sneer at it. He's a Player, thinks
the junior programmer.  He looked at my code.  That is enough. If a
software company provides such a hive, the coders will give up sleep,
love, health, and clean laundry, while the company keeps the bulk of
the money."

The inbreed microcosm that is Silicon Valley

There are so many interesting topics that I have been meaning to write about; the NYC start-up scene, a few interesting pieces on developing start-ups, and the latest and greatest about jQuery. 

No that's not why I'm writing my next post, it's this article. "So A Blogger Walks Into A Bar…" by Michael Arrington describes the godfather conspiracy theory of Silicon Valley. There is collusion among many "Super Angels" in the Valley to fix pricing and eliminate the competition, Y-Combinator. While this is possible, I would tend to doubt it--except the bit about them all being at Bin38. It's a great wine bar with a good scene and a dose of heavy hitters and beautiful women. "Why?", you might ask. Because these are all smart, lucky individuals who have a lot to lose and they have been doing business together for some time.


The drama is written on the wall. Articles are appearing on HackerNews and TechCrunch comments are running long. Expected sure-fire responses by Angels, like Dave McClure and Chris Yeh. But, this isn't the point. 

  • The San Francisco/Silicon Valley area is a small world.
  • Geeks love their soap operas too--the channel is called TechCrunch.  

Everyone knows the Valley is way too small, and word will get out. Reputations are big in this start-up world, and people know it.

  • http://tcrn.ch/d01Ar9
  • http://bit.ly/94U4mX
  • http://bit.ly/dzd9k3 
  •  

     

    There and Back Again

    I have been a fan of Paul Graham writings for years, long before Y Combinator was even a whisper, and he inspired me. He, along with the essays of a handful of authors, really made me appreciate for the first time the ability to write. Not just the ability to write, but the ability to write things that are persuasive, interesting and insightful.

    Why does any of this matter? Well the crux of it is that from a very young age I was dismissive of writers and the ability to write. I would tell myself that writing was a skill anyone could have, and that the only people who were worth anything were the engineers and scientists. They are the ones who make things, create and innovate.  

    For an individual who has from his teenage years read literally hundreds if not thousands of books, it took me long enough to "get it." I didn't really appreciate the skill of writing till I was in college. Now, with this blog, I am taking the first steps in what will be a long journey to becoming a good writer.

    For many years I have had a tech blog for my random thoughts, occasional code snippet or topics I found  hard to search for on Google. It's not enough. I want something more substantial--something that I can cut my chops on. I hope to dedicate this blog to the things I am passionate about: start-ups, business, travel, throwing events, parties and random adventures. I'll keep my old blog the way it is, largely code with very few words.

    Join me on this new adventure, and please write to me to help critique me. We all need feedback.

    See you soon, I hope.

    Email me: steve {at} stevemorin.com