Sunday, 14 February 2016

Forget about Parse, they say

The Parse service is shutting down.  

“Learn a lesson about being too dependent on others.”
“Don’t outsource your key technology.”
“Learn to do it yourself.”

Well, I do know how to run databases and application servers. From bare metal, right up to publishing public APIs.

And you know what, I’m not going to do that anymore. 
The same way I know how to change the brakes on my car, but I don’t. I prefer to hire someone who can tell at a glance if the tolerances are off, or if my brake pads are wearing unevenly. 

I’ll focus my energy and effort where I have expertise. 

As for the services I use to run my business .. aren’t I worried about outsourcing critical infrastructure to others?

No.

The same way I don’t try to a) generate my own electricity, b) manufacture the computers we use, or c) use my carpentry tools to build desks for my team. All critical infrastructure, but I feel good leaving them in the hands of experts — whom I will gladly pay very well to perform those services for me.

Database sizing, hardening against attacks, building a 24/7 support team to feed the server. Umm…no thanks.

Gotta choose my battles.

Friday, 12 February 2016

The Customer Paid

The Customer Paid

Nothing is free. No matter the product or service, it must be paid for.
It could be cupcakes left on the counter at your office, extra pitchers of beer at the local pub, lifetime email access or storage of all your digital family photos.

You may not have been asked to pay cash out of your pocket, but make no mistake, it was paid for.

The rule is quite easy to remember... Either you are a customer, or you are the product.

In my list above, the cupcakes are easy to figure out. Obviously someone in your office either bought them, or bought the ingredients and made them.

Beer at the pub? The pub bought that keg from the brewery, but eats the cost, instead of passing it along to you. Perhaps the nachos cost a little more this week instead?

The free web services are no different. It costs real money to set up and run all those computers required to store all the email jokes, love letters and photos for millions of customers. Who pays for that?
In the case of a company like Google, they charge other companies to show their ads while you use their web pages. 

For an advertising company, the more they know about who is viewing, and potentially interacting with their ad, the more valuable it is to them. 

So Google reads your email, sees you're planning a group camping trip, and suddenly you're seeing ads for canoes show up everywhere you go on the web.

So, yes ... you did not pay for the email. Your personal data paid the bill for you.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Bat in your crease

Forget about Parse, they say

Will the recent notice of the impending shutdown of Parse, I wanted to offer my own take. I have built a couple applications using Parse as the data back end to the business. 

As a vendor, Parse is super easy to use, powerful, and huge. 

They sold themselves to Facebook three years ago, and just gave public notice they'll shutdown in a year. 

The pundits say: "Learn a lesson about being too dependent on others.”

“Don’t outsource your key technology.”
“Learn to do it yourself.”

Well, I do know how to run databases and application servers. From bare metal, right up to publishing public APIs.

And you know what? I’m not going to do that anymore. 
The same way I know how to change the brakes on my car, but I don’t. I prefer to hire someone who can tell at a glance if the tolerances are off, or if my brake pads are wearing unevenly. 

I’ll focus my energy and effort where I have expertise. 

And in this context, my expertise is in the logic of my apparently. 

As for the services I use to run my business .. aren’t I worried about outsourcing critical infrastructure to others?

No.

The same way I don’t try to a) generate my own electricity, b) manufacture the computers we use, or c) use my limited carpentry skills to build desks for my team. All critical infrastructure, yes, but I feel good leaving them in the hands of experts — whom I will gladly pay very well to perform those services for me.

Database sizing, hardening against attacks, building a 24/7 support team to feed the server. Umm…no thanks.

Gotta choose my battles.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Increasing value

Always ask for the sale.

If you think your pitch was lacking, or premature, or fell on deaf ears, ask for the sale.

If you're certain you misread the client, ask for the sale.

If the client says they need time to consider, given them that time ... after you ask for the sale.

Why? Why not?

You are selling something that will bring value to the client, right?

If not, why are you wasting their time (and yours)?

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Disappointed with Black History Month?

Disappointed with Black History Month? Probably because you're not in the target demographic. 

It's meant for first-timers. BHM newbies

Once you've learned or seen more, it's your turn to do more. 

⋅ Organize next-level discussion that start where the BHM talks stop.

⋅ Introduce concepts and strategies beyond the binary spectacle of Good vs Bad hair.  

⋅ Do all of these things in a month other than February. 

And most of all, stop complaining that others are learning or exploring something new. Have compassion. You weren't born with the knowledge you currently have, were you?

Friday, 5 February 2016

What is a mullet

The definition of a mullet: business in the front party in the back. (c) Julia F, 2016


Thursday, 4 February 2016

... every single day

Yesterday I caught myself uttering a phrase I have used many, many times before... Perhaps you have as well? I was describing some banal process flow something-or-other to a co-worker and casually mentioned, "Wow! I learn something new every single day."

I'm not even sure if he heard me say it, or if like an uncomfortably large portion of what happens in this place, it simply slid through from left to right ear.

Nonetheless, I will take up the challenge and see if indeed, I can learn something every single day.

Stay tuned.

Oh yeah, what did I learn on Day 1?

I am an eternal optimist. It's an incurable disease. It's airborne, and also highly contagious. Anyone who has ever been exposed at any point in the past, is liable to contract it again.

And this is a good thing.