Computer Guy

Computer Guy
Sunset at DoubleM Systems (, Del Mar, California

Friday, December 26, 2014

Management, by Carlos Ghosn

Top guy at 3 big car companies on 3 different continents and languages, 140 billion in sales... how do you do it? I'm guessing Delegate! How can you apply his principles in your business?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), what"s your excuse?

92% of businesses do NOT use KPIs? That's just an amazing stat. I wonder what they do to stay in business without measuring their performance? 

It's a good thing that YOU are not in this group of 92%!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Startup CEO reading for 12.21.2014

Building a Minimum Viable Product? You’re Probably Doing it Wrong - Harvard Business Review
How To Pitch Your Minimum Viable Product To Peter Thiel - Tor Gronsund
Answering the Lean Startup Call to Adventure! - Moves The Needle, Brant Cooper

5 Tips of a Productive Developer - Quora, Jonathan Blow, video
Mind Mapping Software - MindNode
The Perfectionists Guide to Hacking Happiness - Zach Luz

TrackYourHappiness.Org - Zach Luz
Startup CEO Screwups - CB Insights
The 5 Tactical Skills of a Great Executive - Berkonomics

You’re the average 
of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
Jim Rohn

The U. S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, 

only the pursuit of it.
You have to catch up with it yourself.
Benjamin Franklin

We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

MPV comes before MVP

Way before you start on your MVP (Minimum Viable Product), it's a good idea to do an MPV (Major Premise Validation).

It's rather natural for a coder to start right in on building a product quickly so it can be shown to prospective users to get their feedback. But the feedback loop should start before you build anything.

What are the Major Premises (assumptions) at the foundation of your business? These must be validated before you code anything.

The way to do this? You've heard it before: Get Out of the Building! Talk with prospective users and tell them what you have in mind. See if you can get a true meeting of the minds. Is there any interest for the users to actually Pay for what you have in mind?

If you can't get any interest at the conceptual level, you will probably have a tough time getting any interest in a Minimum Viable Product because it will be built on a fuzzy MPV. You'll need to pivot.

It is this one step, Major Premise Validation, that could save a lot of grief later.


By the way, if I may, this acronym stuff is fun, but it's just technobabble to make the babbler sound like they have some secret sauce. In fact, Common Sense existed long before MVP. The saying that "there is nothing new under the sun" comes to mind. That phrase is in itself quite old, from the bible, one of the oldest and best-selling books in history.

Sometimes the technobabble comes not as an acronym, but in the form of a word that is repurposed and repackaged and repeated so frequently that it becomes part of a specialized language.  The word "pivot" comes to mind. And "fit". And phrases like "get out of the building". All basic common sense repackaged with the jargon du jour. The emperor has no clothes.

The name for the specialized language used in StartupLand is Startupian.  You probably have not heard that term before, and that may be making you feel a bit uncomfortable that there is a secret language that you need to know in order to succeed in this business. Don't be fooled, I just invented the words MPV and Startupian.  It's all just common sense.

Monday, December 15, 2014


The outcome (of your startup) is something like 

idea x product x execution x team x Luck

where Luck is a random number 

between zero and ten thousand.

Sam Altman
(President, Y Combinator)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Startup CEO reading for 12.14.2014

If not Now, When?

The 10x Product Launch Plan - Practice Trumps Theory

3 Qualities of a Great Leader - Berkonomics
    ( Laser Focus, Consistency, Maintain Forward Progress)

Why Products Fail - Practice Trumps Theory

Self Management Group - testing to evaluate new hires

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, Begin it.  
Boldness has Genius, Power, and Magic in it. 
Begin it Now!

What a man can be,
he must be.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Startup CEO reading for 12.7.2014

A great cup of coffee is the perfect companion while reading a chapter in your favorite book.
Click the "Company Library" link above for highly recommended reading, or look below for this week's selections.

The Lost Art of Software Testing - Scripting News

Startup Help - Spark59

Low aim is the biggest crime a man can commit.
Bruce Lee

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
Isaac Asimov

He who dies rich dies disgraced.
Andrew Carnegie

The true measure of a man
is how he treats someone 
who can do him absolutely no good.
Samuel Johnson

Achievement seems to be connected with action.
Successful men and women keep moving.
They make mistakes, but they don't quit.
Conrad Hilton

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Acknowledgements - updated June 25, 2015

This is a list of the people who have helped me, so far, with the product:


Technical Assistance:

Rob Bertholf, CEO/founder

Pavel Kingsep,
Moscow (elance)

Shiv Shukla, CEO/founder


Many CEOs:

Alan Frankel, CEO/founder

Alessandra Lezama, CEO

Asaf Benhaim, CEO/founder (exit)

Blaise Barrelet, CEO/founder (exit)

Brad Shoen, CEO (exit)

Charles Speidel, CEO

Chris Kenton, CEO/founder

Chris Rowan, CEO/founder

Dan Koziol, CEO/founder (exit)

Dana Nevins, CEO/founder

Garry Ridge, CEO

Greg Voisen, CEO

James Smith, CFO

Jerry Chamales, CEO/founder (exit)

Jerry Swain, CEO/founder (exit)

Joey Stewart, CEO/founder (exit)

Jonathan Friedman, CEO

Klaus Hofrichter, Founder

Kyle Slager, CEO/founder

Lee Jacobson, CEO

Lennart Johannson, CEO/founder

Marshall Goldsmith

Michael J. McCafferty, CEO/founder

Mike McKeever, CEO (ret.)

Olin Hyde, CEO/founder

Pawan Mehra, CEO (ret.)

Peter Davis, CEO (ret.)

Open Systems Accounting Software

Phil Kelly, CEO/founder

Phil Tauber, CEO/founder (exit)

Randy Biggs, CEO/founder (exit)

Randy Jones, CEO

Rick Cooper, CEO

Rob Strickland, Co-founder

Scott Robertson, CEO (exit)

Champion Accounting Software

Sean Curtis, CEO

Tom Brown, CEO/founder

Tom Dorosewicz, CEO/founder

Tricia Gregory, CEO/founder



Mark Kalina, MD

Mitch Russo,

Rand Mulford,

Scott Robertson


Thank you all for allowing me to
"stand on the shoulders of giants."

Michael McCafferty, CEO/founder,

Thursday, December 4, 2014

How to start a startup: Lecture 20 - Later Stage Advice

Sam ("Um") Altman, President of Y Combinator, caps off the How to Start a Startup series with things you should ignore when you start, but become important a year in.

Here's the link to the video:

And here's the link to the reading materials:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

How to start a startup: Lecture 19 - Sales and Marketing; Talking to Investors

Tyler Bosmeny, founder and CEO of Clever, starts off today's lecture with an overview of the Sales Funnel, and how to get to your first $1 Million.

Michael Seibel, founder of and Socialcam and Partner at Y Combinator, then goes over how to talk to investors - the pitch.

Dalton Caldwell, founder of imeem and and Partner at Y Combinator, and Qasar Younis, founder of Talkbin and Partner at Y Combinator, then perform an investor meeting role play to give you a taste of how it actually might look behind the scenes.

Three segments in today's lecture - Lecture 19 of How to Start a Startup.

Here's the link to the video:
And here's the link to the reading materials: