Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Discussing Startups and Intellectual Property with the Boston Inn of Courts

On Wednesday I had the privilege of being part of a panel before the Inn of Courts in Boston. This is an organization of patent litigators that meets for continuing education and discussing the practice of their craft. For this meeting, they invited a panel of practitioners from startups and academia to listen to lay [...]

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In Sales, Questions are More Valuable than Answers

I spend a lot of my time helping people sell the software I write. For scalability, this often means teaching them how to sell it themselves. Some of these people are “sales guys”, account executives without the expertise required to implement the system, but often with a reasonable basis of technical expertise compared to a lay person. Others are technical pre-sales consultants, sales engineers, who have some of the expertise required to implement the system, and are there to be able to relate directly not just to the business case for buying the software, but to help technical stakeholders from the customer organization understand the software, and sometimes do demonstrations or implement proof of concept projects. Both roles are invaluable when selling complex software to large organizations. But in order for it to work, people like me, from the engineering and product development organization, have to teach them about the products, so they know what to say.

When I’m teaching people, which happens informally and formally, often times they want to know the questions the prospect will ask, and what answers they should give. The FAQ, as it were, so they can have the answers at the ready. And they don’t just want the technically correct answers, they want the answers that will encourage

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Lessons Learned from Startup Weekend

A year ago this month I attended startup weekend in Boston. The company that I helped to launch there,, is now a successful ongoing concern, with funding and a handful of employees. So I think that counts as a success story for startup weekend, and my conclusion is that it’s a great program and [...]

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Recommending the Franklyn D Resort (FDR) in Jamaica

I just got back from a week in Jamaica, and I’ve been talking off everyone’s ear about the experience. That’s because the Franklin D. Resort has exactly one thing going for it: every family gets a full time nanny for the duration of your vacation. Larger families, particularly with multiple age groups of kids, often had two nannies. The resort seemed especially friendly to large families, with big multi-bedroom suites and reasonable rates for additional children. For our trip they were also running a “grandparents stay free” promotion, which I think they do every January. If you are planning a family-oriented vacation, particularly with young kids, you have to consider the Franklin D. Resort.

So while I’ve been recommending the resort to people verbally, I wanted to take a moment to write down what I learned vacationing there, and what people might want to know before they take my advice and book their own trip.

Click through for the list…

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Toddler Science and Big Data

I’ve been spending a lot of time following my son Patrick around watching him explore the world. I’ve shared a few of his important discoveries with Twitter and with friends, under the tag “Toddler Science”. Key discoveries include that tissue boxes contain a finite supply of tissue and that cat magnets do not stick to [...]

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2010 The Year in Bookmarks

As you may have heard, Delicious is going away, or at least being sold off, or otherwise being destroyed by Yahoo. In the last 72 hours, I’ve tried out the two leading alternatives, Diigo and pinboard. Along the way, I got to wondering why I keep all these bookmarks around. I do often search back [...]

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Normal Accidents and Stock Market Crashes

In the weeks since the precipitous and brief stock market crash on May 6th, I have found myself answering questions about it from people outside the capital markets and discussing it with insiders on many occasions. While I have some thoughts about what went on, I’m often unable to satisfy people’s desire to blame a [...]

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A Timeless Way of Building or Why do all these houses suck?

Lately I’ve been looking at a lot of houses. I’ve also been reading A Timeless Way of Building (ATWB). The net result has been a deep dissatisfaction with the available housing stock in Arlington, and probably in the entire United States. So while I would like to recommend the book, it comes with the disclaimer [...]

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End of the World Insurance: the Financial Halting Problem

In computer science, the halting problem is very well known. The problem states that it is impossible to build a software program that can analyze other software programs to determine if they will eventually terminate, or halt. This is a useful problem to understand, because many software problems that look possible at first can be [...]

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Quick House Update

My last post ended with me losing the house due to being outbid. In a strange turn of events we may have won the bidding war without ever submitting the highest offer. I’ll try to provide more details at a future date, if it turns out they are interesting. At the moment we are still [...]

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