Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Case Against a Startup

Today was a very full news day, and so I actually had my pick of what to start out with here. I decided to go with this provocative blog post from Pmarca, a well-respected tech blogger, about why to not start your own startup. I wanted to talk about it because the startup route is one that I've considered for a while, and I only thought about a subset of the disadvantages he brings up. This is probably one of the best breakdowns of the situation that you'll find out there. The pros are what have always stood out to me: the chance to directly make a difference, not having to take nonsensical orders, being your own boss, the shot at a lot of fun, and an overall fulfilling career, on top of the power rush. I always knew there was great risk and lots of work, but I didn't think about the massive rejection you face (something I'm personally tired of), the difficulty of getting enough good talent, or the extent of the emotional rollercoaster, or the amount of time it'd take away from being with family. Still, I think I'd someday be interested in joining a well-calculated startup. If the people running the thing did their research, had their stuff together, had done enough research to know that it'll be profit, and all that jazz, I feel like I'd definitely be willing to take that sort of a jump. Of course, this is no indication of what I'll do after I graduate, because even I don't know quite yet. At least now I know I don't want to start a startup! I just don't think I'm built to be that kind of a leader, though I do want to rise to leadership positions in my career.

AMD is an underdog who I've been rooting for since I took Computer Architecture and learned the ills of the Intel-created x85 design. Unfortunately, they're in deep financial trouble and are looking at the very real possibility of contracting out most, if not all, of their chip fabrication and just focusing on chip design. That really complicates the decisions they have to make, and it's quite risky. I wish them 'good luck', because they're going to need it.

Remember how Blockbuster decided to only rent out Blu-ray in the vast majority of their stores? Well, an anonymous worker at a large retailer claims that many people have been canceling their HD-DVD player orders based solely off of this. That must be pretty scary for the folks at Toshiba who had already been seeing slow sales of HD-DVD players. Well, at least someone is on the verge of finally losing this insipid format war (where the consumers are the real losers).

Also, remember YouTube's little video editor? I had no idea that there are already several web applications out there that will do even more with your videos for free. Check them out here. I know I'm tagging it for future usage. Personally, I think that eyespot looks the cleanest.

Speaking of video online, it turns out that Google Video is no longer a repository for videos and is now just a search engine for videos on the Internet as a whole. Well, actually, you can right now, but supposedly that will be changing very very soon, and the searching itself has already been ugpraded. This definitely makes sense given that they already have YouTube, I just wonder how they'll handle the content that they've already accumulated. By the way, Google Blogscoped has a full report of their press day if you're interested, but it doesn't sound like anything useful was revealed.

Microsoft is rebranding their IPTV platform as Microsoft Mediroom and including richer PC-to-TV capabilities. If it's anything like Windows Media Center, then I hope that we start to see a lot more of it.

A new web 2.0 application based out of Austin (*sniff* home) called Thoof aims to bring forth yet another nonsensical name but incorporate fancy algorithms to provide users with personalized news content as determined by the community at large. It's going to face the infamous bias that Digg has though, in my opinion, in that it'll get overrun by young geeks (high schoolers to guys in their early 20s) and not provide the intelligent news that they intend on. More power to them if it does work, because it sounds cool, but I just think they're being a bit too idealistic.

Lastly, Yahoo CEO and co-fouder Terry Semel has stepped down as CEO and given full control to Jeffrey Yang, which has to make you wonder what exactly is going on at Yahoo that he feels he can no longer effectively lead it. Their stock only took a slight tumble today though, we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Massawyrm over at AICN has seen Evan Almighty and, true to his style, totally ripped it a new one. It killed a lot of my interest, but if you still want to see it then Yahoo has the 8 minutes of it for your viewing displeasure.

We actually have a couple of better shots of the Batpod now, but since I already showed you guys a picture of it yesterday (and a video), I thought I'd put up a new picture of the Mach 5 instead. I like it! It's very true to the series.

I didn't report on this because I didn't think that it was important at the time, but the controversial Michael Moore film Sicko (this time controversial for illegal footage shot in Cuba), was leaked to online movie pirates, and so Lionsgate and Weinstein Co. have decided to move up the movie's release in Manhattan one week to this weekend. A mildly smart and risky move since a flood of bad reviews could mean disaster, but I guess they figure that's better than people getting it online? People are going to get it online anyway though, so I really wonder how much this will help them.

The director of Bond 22 (only a codename, don't worry) has been decided: it's Marc Forster of Monster's Ball and Stranger Than Fiction fame. He's definitely a diverse director, so I look forward to seeing what he does with 007.

Indiana Jones 4 has begun shooting! Nothing else to say, it's just very exciting.

Legendary Pictures has picked up the rights to make a movie out of famed Blizzard third-person action franchise Diablo. I used to play the game so I know that it's not exactly heavy on plot, which makes me wonder what the Hell (no pun intended) they're going to do with this one. It's a battle between Heaven and Hell with nondescript characters. Then again, they were behind 300.

FilmForce has some great brand new clips (new as far as I know) from Transformers over here. I personally like the "Ladies Man" clip. Optimus is so cool! IGN also has a 3-D view of a set from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix if anyone is interested.

Lastly, I have a couple of trailers. One is for Michael Clayton, but I don't understand what's going on in the trailer at all. It's definitely a drama, and it involves lawyers, but that's about it. The other trailer is more my style and is for The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. It's a documentary about a guy who always loses but is trying to beat the reigning champion of the original Donkey Kong. It may sound stupid, but I've heard good things from SXSW.

I'm going for the TMI Tuesday this week since it's less racy than usual:

1. If you were to face the Wizard of Oz, would you want more courage, more brains, or more heart?
Definitely courage. I'm not concerned with the other two, but I do wish I was braver.
2. Have you ever gone to court for anything? What for?
3. What was the last thing you did that you previously told yourself you wouldn't do?
Have extended fantasies about my girlfriend while at work.
4. Did you ever have a summer fling while on vacation?
5. Have you ever done anything sexual with someone who's name you never knew?
Ummm, ew. No.


ZigZagMan said...

LOL...good answers..happy TMI! :)

Bunny said...

#5 - ew is right! Thanks for playing TMI!