This pretty much sums it up. The computer is the ultimate post-industrial tool for creativity, playfulness and imagination. Don’t cede that power to someone else. Don’t be locked down. Build your own experiences. Code your own apps.
I am excited that Google App Engine has released multi-tenant support via namespace API. This should make it possible to white-label an appengine app (we have had several requests for this with modpoll) while avoiding forking, or spinning up a separate instance of the app. While there are disputes about what multi-tenancy actually should means from a feature perspective, if we can segregate db, cache and task queue as claimed that sounds like pretty useful start to me.
Here are my three own three P’s that I have used in the past and that may help you as a developer in a large company avoid zombification:
Prototype your idea. If you lack the skills to do so then you are very possibly in the wrong business. You don’t want to put yourself at the mercy of unpredictable forces and personalities that will mean the death or deadly dilution of the idea before it is born.
Prove that your software has merit. Get a small but influential group of people additctied to using it before seeking any official ‘buy-in’. Generate hard data. Wow the bean counters. Save money. Create data porn that no eyes can turn away from.
Plunder from existing frameworks and components. Resist the temptation to rebuild that which already exists in the world (even if you can do it ‘better’, more scalable etc) as this fact will not champion the project early on. Get it working first, optimize it later.
I feel for chargify in their need to update their pricing scheme. We are trying to do just that with one of our free products right now. Getting freemium price points can be tricky. It is easy to engage in some degree of wishful thinking in the value proposition of the paid offering to most users or to ignore the potential cost of acquiring a ton of free users and not enough paid users. Obviously these calculations can become easier if you can afford to launch with free and then add paid since you then have acquired a very valuable piece of information that can take some of the guesswork out of the value/feature equation – user feedback.
I have been listening to Solomon Burke today. Sadly, the eccentric showman credited for helping to keep the lights on at Atlantic Records in the early 60s has died. Burke had a subtle vocal style and wide eclectic influences that earned him respect from a range of artists. This has made his music wound tightly into the DNA of American Soul and Rock.
The creative process is often a solitary, tortured and somewhat mysterious act. I am always interested in learning how great artists (and great software developers for that matter) find a way to stimulate their creative mind, focus and produce their work. Aside from David Bowie’s new book ‘Bowie: Object’, there are a few other books by musicians on my list that interest me because of their promise to reveal parts of this puzzle.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am often talking about how important it was for me that I had the opportunity to participate in a great high school music program. You can understand then how excited I am to see Thunder Soul – Mark Landsman’s documentary about the great Kashmere Stage Band from Texas and it’s innovative leader Conrad Johnson. This is the tightest, funkiest highschool band I have ever heard. I can’t imagine anyone not coming out of this film and demanding better support for the arts in ALL of our public schools.
One of the funk bass greats has left us today. Marvin Isley was responsible for laying down the law for the crossover hits that kept the Isley Brothers on the radio for much of the 70s. Here are some great live Soul Train performances from 73-4.
I can almost always pick Ellis even when he is doing ‘strictly rythym’ percussive accompaniment as he does in the lead off here. We will miss his clean, hard driving swing and unpretentious playfulness but we have lots of great records to listen to and I am sure OP is glad to see him up there in Jazz Heaven.
I stumbled across this post on boing boing about the Mary Kaye Trio. I have heard this excellent singing group in various compilations but did not realize that she was the founder of the Vegas lounge show itself. These late night shows were credited with greatly expanding the success of the nascent casino industry by creating the party atmosphere that kept people awake and gambling the night away. I had no idea. I am once again humbled by the interweb. Mary Kaye was one impressive lounge singer:
She was a Spanish guitar virtuoso and played the first fender Stratocaster. The 1954 Mary Kaye model is one of the most valuable models in existence.
She is descended from Hawaiian royalty in the line of Queen Liliuokalani, Hawaii’s last reigning monarch.
In 1961, the trio were paid the $250,000 for a 22-week gig at the Sahara – that is $1,7M in modern dollars.
Still feeling like we have evolved to a higher plain of consciousness now that Celine rules the City of Lights? Then there is no hope for you.