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How to get 70 job interviews in 17 days

When I was but a wee lad, I dreamed of being a janitor for NASA. There's just something awesome about playing a part, no matter how small, of something that dares to push the world forward. While I no longer hold my old lofty dreams of working for NASA, I have had to recently look for jobs. For whatever contrived reason, the conventional thinking behind how people should search for jobs falls under two categories: networking and job sites. While those approaches work, a very useful metaphor for how you might view yourself is that you're a business. You sell your product (your time) for a salary (your revenue). You might argue, most wages in the western world are $20,000 USD to $500,000 USD. If you're a business, then it's probably also helpful to think about selling your product (time) like a business. Typically, different price points in business dictate different sales and marketing techniques. Below say, $10 a month, direct sales (sales where you sell to people on …
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What marketing might look like in the future

There once lived a wise, middle aged, bald prophet named Marc Andreessen. His job, was to profit from prophecy. Today, he is one of the most well known, and respected, venture capitalists in the world. He is famous for some of his sayings such as "if you want to see where a bubble is forming, follow the MBAs" in reference to the MBAs going to Wall St during the mortgage backed securities crisis of 2008 and the dot com bust in 2002. Arguably, his most famous saying is/was "software is eating the world". Today, it's a foregone conclusion that, software has broken the way a lot of industries fundamentally operate. I think it's particularly interesting, however, to think about what that means for marketing. I'm of the opinion that, very few companies really understand what they're doing and that modern marketing should not only look like engineering... it should be engineering.

One way to think about marketing is that there are two key components to mar…

Differences and similarities in web servers

If you talked to a new grad and asked them "how can I achieve concurrency in code?" There are two obvious answers: multi-threading and multi-processing. Factually, both approaches are schemes to map instructions to the CPU/bare metal. Although from the hardware's standpoint, they are very different, from an engineer's standpoint, many use cases tend to be fairly similar. This matters for web servers.

In fact, for a long time, those two methods (multi-processing and multi-threading) were the primary ways to map HTTP requests to a web server's hardware. That is, if a request comes in, a request will map to a process or map to a thread. In Apache HTTPD-speak, you can control which scheme you use. That mapping component is called the "Multi-Processing Module" or MPM. This is all fine and dandy if the requests don't do anything requiring blocking or asynchronous behavior and all requests are short lived. However, nearly all modern web applications requir…

Why you shouldn’t care about Brexit or Trump

It’s well known that the media is a business and businesses need money to survive. They make money from your eyesballs which generate ad revenue. Brexit, Trump, horrible business people, naked celebrities, the NRA, are all things that make money for the media because they provoke strong emotional reactions. You’re going to watch because you care. The fact that there are so many bad things going on is a good thing for media.
But is it a good thing for you? Most people, millennials especially, want to be fulfilled, want to make a difference. This is a gut feeling, but I want to say 1/50 millennials I know are on a clear path to doing the thing they were meant to be doing. Your attention is valuable. Your mind share is valuable. But I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody who’s ever been fulfilled by being angry about things other people want you to be angry about. So why would you end up spending that incredibly valuable resource, caring about things that aren’t going to make you happy or f…

Superficial impressions of business in China

I’m walking down a residential street in Tianjin. Food vendors hustle their wares for dirt cheap prices. A whole Peking duck for $3.80 USD? Sign me up for that! As I bring my spoils back to my girlfriend’s apartment, I can’t help but feel like I’m caught back in time while the rest of the country is moving in fast forward. 
I’m on my computer looking at valuations of companies in the healthcare/pharmaceutical space. $500M here, $300M there. Whatever your conceptions of speed or size are in the Valley, I assure you, they have nothing on China. The game being played in China is big and aggressive. And Clay Christensen’s “Innovator’s Dilemma”? Nowhere to be found. Alibaba does everything from B2B sales to B2C pharmaceuticals. Big companies just aren’t slow here. What about the startups? Even more fast and furious. 
As a foreigner, China is a daunting place. Almost every perception of what you think you know about doing business basically doesn’t really apply here. In the Valley, the prev…

China, the new America

(Hong Kong)
I’m sitting in Chicago’s physical connection to the world, O’Hare International Airport. Named after the famed lawyer who stood up against the gangster Al Capone (and his son, a fighter ace), O’Hare is something of a metaphor for America. The smell of big bold flavours, the giant steel beams painted white juxtaposed against polished glass, crowds of incredibly well-fed white people. I’m drinking a distinctly crisp Sam Adams and eating a burger in excess of 1500 calories. The man beside me is reading a magazine titled “Money”. I can’t help but feel a sense of freedom. Nobody can tell me I can’t eat this ridiculously delicious burger. This burger is MINE.
At the end of WWII, more than half of the world’s manufacturing capacity belonged to the USA. Coupled with the hard American work ethic, America has been the world’s police, largest economy, cultural powerhouse, technological leader and entertainment heavyweight. America stands alone, in the last 50 years, of being the singl…

A few things I learned while starting a company

I had just come out of a bathroom when I see a girl with her phone out. It’s got my face on it. Was she a stalker? No, I’m not good looking enough for that. It’s my Tinder profile as we had matched earlier. She’s cute, so I do the sensible thing and ignore her. She comes up to me, anyway, and strikes up a conversation. We hit it off. I wasn’t ready to start working for somebody else yet, so we did the obvious and sane thing: we started a company.

I’m in love. We work in only the best cafes and meet people way more important than we are on the regular. The first paying customer makes us feel like we’re on cloud 9. It’s like crack if I knew what crack was like and we get addicted. A few months later, we had been covered by almost every national media outlet, we’re revenue positive, had a team of 6, things were looking hard but doable. The only detail: we had a competitor valued at 400M USD and personally, I don’t believe in losing. Losing is for losers.

I wake up to the loud roar of publ…