July 20th, 2005

classic cylon

RIP James Doohan

James Doohan, known as Scotty in the original Star Trek series, died today from pneumonia
and Alzheimer's disease. He was 85.

"You canna change the laws of physics, Captain!"
classic cylon

startup seed capital and founder debt

Paul Graham, author of Hackers and Painters, remarks in his essay on starting a startup that only a few tens of
thousands (of US dollars) are needed to start a startup. In his opinion, this is enough to
build a prototype. I'm not sure I agree. Depends on what you're trying to build. Or in
the case of a business that requires a significant amount of infrastructure to be successful
(such as a search engine), the prototype may not encompass a sufficient amount of what the
company would need to do to secure additional funding, a robust user/customer base, etc.

He discusses various other topics related to software on his web site. It is
interesting to read about people who are so enthusiastic about startups. I don't think I
have the stomach for financial risk that some of them do. PG makes a comment later in the
essay that a lot of people aged 26 are broke, so one might as well go broke trying to start
one's own company. I don't know if that's true, but if it is, I don't know that I'd recommend
racking up even more debt, or going into business without some kind of nest egg.

OTOH, he acknowledged the trend I am sensing that companies are starting to look at
acquiring startups as a more effective means of getting competent people than hiring them
individually and setting them to work on some in-house project. In his own words, "Want to
get hired by Yahoo? Start your own company."

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