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Archive for October, 2008|Monthly archive page

Back to basics

In meetings on October 10, 2008 at 10:03 am

Tim Bray rewrote his keynote for FOWA yesterday based on how he’s feeling: scared. The economic downturn has him worried as he doesn’t know what is going to happen (how arrogant to assume he did know what was going to happen beforehand). I find the motivation for this type of talk to be lacking in humility – but he is onto something in the body of his talk.

He’s talking about how capital investment is not going to be approved anymore in organizations as times turn hard. But alongside that is the opportunity for those who can build things to satisfy core needs. We are used to luxury discretionary services. What we need to do now is to build tools that deal with the essentials and the revenue will be more based on small payments rather with tiny margins. 

Tim told a ‘story’ that I heard several times in the halls yesterday (a meme as it were): The only user who you will totally please, and delight, is yourself. And the fact that other people may have the same needs means there may be a market for that same need satisfaction. So aim to satisfy your self and you may end up creating a mainstream application. He also cautioned would-be entrepreneurs to stay away from the venture capitalists, saying they did not add much in the good times so they will be worse in bad times.

Tim advises anyone who finds themselves with time on their hands to skill-up, learn new things, contribute to open source projects, blog, twitter, network and make a name for yourself. “If you don’t care enough about the web to make it better; they why would I want to hire you?”.

Suppose I’m wrong – he says. Well nothing he’s said is still not true … so back to basics for us all then. Funny though, Tim went back to form and assuming he was the only keynote speaker told the audience we could now go and get coffee.

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Less of me

In meetings on October 9, 2008 at 10:05 am

Oh there you are. Where have you been. Me? Oh I’ve been doing stuff. Lots of work things that I can’t particularly talk about and some personal stuff that I can.

There’s now less of me that there was none weeks ago – three and  a half stone to be precise – thanks to LighterLife which despite the branding does cover men as well. I think I’ve done the easy bit – losing the weight; the hard bit (maintenance) is still to come. But I feel much better and its reflecting in many aspects of life.

I’m at the Future Of Web Applications Conference at the atmosphere is electric. I’ll blog any interesting insights that come during the next two days, but for now I’m just enjoying being at an event that I choose to be at rather than one that I am required to be at.

Earlier this year I held a hack session at home during the Olympics – only three were able to make it (I chose a particularly bad weekend when many people were leaving for holiday), but we had a great time and learned a lot. The tangible results are at Inigo Surguy’s website and we are inspired to do more similar events.

Next month there’s a SWIG UK event at HP Labs in Bristol which I’ve helped organise. Sign up now if you are interested as there is a finite number that can be accommodated.

That’s all for now except to say that I haven’t disapperaed off the web between blog posts – I’m also twittering which for the uninitiated is a micro-blogging system that has some interesting social artefacts. See you there, perhaps?