Sunday, September 7, 2014

Alarming stats in economic development conferences in Quebec

When I heard that the ratio of International Startup Festival tickets bought from Montreal related people is rising and has reached 50%, my was first question was who are does people?

  • The increase is mostly due to economic development related organisation you see everywhere like: EQ (Emploi Quebec), CDL (Centre Local de Developpement Economique de ...), SDEVM, Fondation du Maire, SAGE, CEIM, CRSNG, NRC/CNRC, NSERC, RealVenture ...
  • consultant firms like:  Pwc, KPMG, Fasken Martineau, Deloitte, ....
Its the same behaviour you see everywhere, another good example is (Salon Haute techno et Média Sociaux).

We in Quebec are heavily subsidizing organisation that are suppose to help SMB but now it seems we reach a point where indirect/direct economic development is just too big for the market its suppose to serve. Quebec society has to stop increasing graht to those organizations, a better move will be to help startups directly who are struggling financially. As mentioned in my post on "Strategie Québecoise de l'entreprenariat: what's in it for startups", most money to strength entrepreneurship is drain by inefficient organisations who just see government as a cash cow.  

I think some organisations have reach the level of parasite state, I might be wrong but its what I see from data, sorry. 
Les Parasites

Friday, September 5, 2014

Hire personality, train talent or Hire for Skills, Not Attitude?

I am annoyed everytime I am contacted because someone is looking for skills either for my or my network. I use to remind them this principle "Hire personality, train talent". Lately I got challenged about that idea about innovation and been pointed to forbes article "Want Innovation? Hire for Skills, Not Attitude" which was quite interesting. 

Here are the highlights of the argument: 
But, attitudes will only get you so far, and when real change is needed —innovation, for example — then attitudes are not likely to be enough to get you to where you want to go. In such situations, you need skills, and lots of them.
Hiring for skills, instead of attitude, changes everything. For one thing, if you do it right, and that means hiring the best obtainable, rather than simply settling for the best available, you’re going to be looking at a team of ambitious high-performers, not a team of happy-campers. 
So, here’s a new mantra: For everyday work, hire for attitude, train for skills; but when big change, such as innovation, is envisioned, then hire for skills (because you need them) and figure out how to deal with the attitudes (because, all too often, they come along with the skills).

Saturday, August 16, 2014

standalone cheap hardware principle = development principle you should apply every-time at any cost and how

Dev principle: 
Been able to develop in standalone mode on cheap hardware is a hard requirement

Why? To be efficient, you need simplicity (their is always a layer of abstraction who breaks like: internet, vpn, remote desktop, grid, file server, wiki, hardware, ....

  • Split data/code dependency (need to work on a grid, cloud or supercomputer)
  • add small testing dataset to your code base
  • Data dependency should be avoided at any cost
But I need access to my data on a file server and can't mount it?
  1. commit small anonymised data (MAT: Metadata Anonymisation Toolkit) or
  2. transfer file:
    1. scp @machine:/somewhere/abc.txt .
    2. rsync @machine:/somewhere/abc.txt .
  3. Use sshfs (warning: recommended for browsing & not recommended if you need to access lot of data from use scp or rsync instead)
    • use your favorite linux distribution like ubuntu
    • You are stuck on window, use a virtualbox
    • apt-get install sshfs
    • sshfs @machine:/somewhere somewhere -o sftp_server=/usr/libexec/openssh/sftp-server

Enjoy working a a cheap unconnected hardware and be so much more efficient (time is your biggest asset). Its a win/win for you and your company. 

Software coder protection principle rule #1: keep your tools at any cost and how

Your value is linked to your tools so never break that link. Why? Ask yourself what can you do without your tools? Answer: less stuff + way slower+harder to be a serial-entrepreneur.
Most company will force you to break it and use proprietary argument to support it and make you sign contract to make you their property.

As a founder, you define the rule & vision so:

  • You need to make the distinction between business IP and generic IP
  • Generic IP don't need to be kept secret
  • Most software company are leveraging generic IP (open source)
  • Contribution to open source is good because:
    • Helps attracting talent
    • Leverage the community
    • Makes better employee (not invented here syndrome/disease)

So what should you do:
  • Split your code always into 2 parts: external/internal
  • external contributions to existing project is much better to make this rule not breakable by investors
  • Leverage/contribute/create your own open source projects now if you haven't done it already
  • Info about opensource licences you should include
  • Make it a rule to contribute

So the protection rule #1 of software coder is:

  • Make opensource part of your software since its inception/creation

If you don't follow this rule, when you will leave or get fire from your own company, life will be much easier if you have your tools to move forward on your next projects.