Category Archives: startup

Posts related to startups, new ideas, and personal thoughts around either “the next big thing” or things that may help you find it.

Instagram Engineering

I’m a big fan of startups and generally lots of different technologies — particularly cool stuff I’ve never even heard of. One business that’s been kicking ass and taking names is Instagram. Their engineering prowess is impressive, if, for no other reason, they explain it in a fundamental, easy to understand way for those who have been around technology for a while and understand a lot of the core competencies. One could make the argument, though, that by telling the planet what your back-end looks like, you open yourself up to easy competition. Granted the details are missing and like anything else It’s not as easy as it looks, but just knowing what tools work well together is a HUGE migraine you won’t have to worry about. At any rate, Instagram engineering irregularly posted these design snippets to a Tumblr blog.

A few days ago, Instagram, after a mere 2 years in operation was acquired by Facebook for a paltry 2 billion US dollars. I don’t know if they’re headed toward corporate assimilation, or if, as Zuckerberg claimed, they will stay independent. I’m not taking any chances that the very cool write-ups they did will eventually be wiped from the Internet. What follows are all the entries (as of today) from for the simple fact that I hate digging for cool articles that have been removed.

Good luck guys. I hope it was a good decision.

Continue reading Instagram Engineering

Can intelligence be taught?

Is intelligence something you are born with or can it be nurtured? I’ve debated this concept in my head for years. Without an internal counter viewpoint, or empirical research to substantiate one concept or another, I’ve formed what I think is a reasonably common sense driven opinion from a one-sided argument.

Tommy MacWilliam, a 3rd year student at Harvard, may not answer my question. But, he does offer a unique perspective on one of the things that smart people do.

Am I running out of time?

You know the feeling – the feeling of being left behind in the race for achievement. Of falling back in ‘the game’. For some people, the game is keeping up with the Joneses: marrying a good catch, living in a nice house, driving the right car, having a good job, kids that do well at school. For others, it is enjoying life’s pleasures – the best vacations, the most enjoyable parties, with the most exciting partiers. Then there are people who are forever pursuing harmony and peace in their lives, resolving the discordant threads one by one, and for some the game is living up to their personally defined objective definition of personal development.

For most, it is a combination with a common thread: Am I moving up in the world at an acceptable pace, or am I running out of time? Am I maximizing my potential?