Technology

The New Kid On My Block

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of BeatsMusic by now. I’ve been playing around with it on and off for the past week — username @jnassi on BeatsMusic — and I find it having enough promise to keep using it. You can read lots and lots of reviews elsewhere about the service and the mobile app.  I haven’t spent enough hands-on time with BeatsMusic yet to give it a full review, but it did deliver a result like this:

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I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell!

Where am I going with this, though?

BeatsMusic headquarters is my neighbor. I can step out of my front door and see the employees hard at work. I stood behind them in line at the local coffee shop after they pulled all-nighters leading up to the launch. I cleaned up my dogs’ poop from their parking lot.

So I wish them luck. It’s the neighborly thing to do.

BeatsHQ

The view from my front door.

I’m A Free Agent

Remember how one of my New Year’s resolutions was to blog once per day? Yeah, me too. That worked for eight whole days.

So what have I been up to since then that’s keeping me from writing? Lots of things, but there’s one that really takes precedence over the others:

I quit my job.

I left my role at Twilio a week and a half ago. It was a decision that I reached with a huge mix of emotions, after long consideration. I felt overwhelmingly that I needed a break from work, some serious downtime to reset myself. I’m taking a couple of months off, a bit of a sabbatical, before diving into anything else. I haven’t decided what my next move is going to be, which is something that I’ll be exploring during my time off.

I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity I had to work at Twilio, to collaborate with such brilliant, creative, dedicated individuals. I’m extremely proud of the work that we did as a company, and what I was able to accomplish in my two and a half years there.

I can’t wait to see what comes next for them, because I know all of the people there are going to keep kicking all kinds of ass. The best is yet to come for Twilio. I wish them all the success in the world.

Stay tuned to this space for what comes next for me!

TimeOut

Modern Conveniences

As time marches on, the simple things in life get more and more convenient. At least if you live in the “first world”, especially in a city like San Francisco.

Yes, this will be a post about the extreme amount of laziness that one can partake in if you can afford it. No, I don’t think I’m entitled to it. I worked for it, I can live without it, but you can be damned sure I’m going to enjoy it when I can. They say that money doesn’t buy happiness, but I say that money absolutely buys convenience.

To give you an idea of the things that I have available to me at my fingertips in this day and age, in this city:

  • My dry cleaning is picked up from a locker in my building, taken to a facility somewhere else in the city, and returned to a locker in my building a couple of days later. I don’t have to go to a dry cleaner, much less iron my own clothes — no one would want to see the outcome of that endeavor. Thanks LaundryLocker!
  • I had Chinese food delivered for dinner last night from a place that doesn’t do delivery! I punch in our order in an app, and some dude on a scooter goes to the restaurant to order for me, wait for the food to be ready, and then drives it on over to me. Thanks Postmates!
  • A personal stylist in Chicago picked out some new clothes for me, based on my measurements, boxed them up, and shipped them out to me to try on. I keep what I like, I return what I don’t want or doesn’t fit, and I only get charged for the things I keep. Thanks TrunkClub!
  • I received a couple of checks in the mail. I deposited them into my bank account using my phone, without having to go to an ATM or a bank branch. Thanks WellsFargo mobile app!
  • I did leave the apartment, driving around San Francisco for some things my wife had to take care of today. Whenever we needed to park on the street, I didn’t need to scrounge around for quarters for the parking meters. I was able to pay for my parking meters just by punching a bunch of numbers into my phone. Thanks PayByPhone!

That’s just in the past 24 hours. And that’s just barely scratching the surface of what’s available to me.

We truly live in an amazing time for being lazy, and I for one am grateful for it.

Already Out Of Ideas?

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For a whole lot of people who made daily/weekly/regular blogging part of their New Year’s resolutions yesterday, many of them are going to be scratching their heads already, struggling to come up with ideas to write about.

And, yes, I am one of those people.

Here are three resources to use for blogging inspiration:

  1. The Daily Post @ WordPress.com. The good folks at Automattic, which is the company behind WordPress.com, are heavily invested in getting you to publish on their platform. The first step to you publish on their platform is to get you creating content! What better way to get you creating content than to give you daily suggestions for posts?
  2. Plinky. Formerly a standalone site, now part of the Automattic family, Plinky is another source of suggestions. They operate differently from The Daily Post, in that the Plinky model is to provide you with prompts that can be responded to directly within Plinky. That being said, you can use the Plinky prompts as inspiration for a blog post in lieu of a Plinky answer.
  3. No One Cares What You Had For Lunch. Or any other number of books that have been written to form the cottage industry about bloging.

Or you can do what I just did, which is transform your lack of ideas into a post about how you’re out of ideas. How meta of me.

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 18,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Proud

One of the many reasons I’m proud to now be working at Twilio is the way the team honors those who came before us.  Check out what the team added to the website last night.

Packing Up, Ready To Go

How many boxes does it take to pack up six and a half years of employment?  It turns out that the answer is two.

I finished packing up all my things from work today, with tomorrow being my last day at SugarCRM.  I also spent a good portion of the afternoon cleaning up the files on my laptop, removing personal files and accounts.  When it’s all said and done, the only things left are one more message in my inbox, one more meeting with my boss, an exit interview, and a going-away lunch with the crew.  I’m ready to put it all to bed.

This isn’t the first time I’ve left a company, but it’s the first time where I feel like I haven’t wrapped everything up cleanly, with a clear transition in place.  When I finally left Netscape/AOL, it was because my business unit was closing down, and there wasn’t anyone left to hand things to.  When I left Sun Microsystems, there were other people doing the exact same job as me — albeit in different product lines — but they certainly knew what to do in my absence.

However, with SugarCRM, there isn’t an immediate replacement coming in to do my job.  In fact, my job has been a mixed bag of responsibilities, sort of a jack-of-all-trades position.  I pretty much molded it to me after taking on the current role, and my varied experience with the company was my calling card.  I’d seen it all, so I could cover anything that came my way.  While there are other people in the company who could certainly fill my shoes, they’re in other critical roles that would leave just as big of a hole if they were to leave.  Institutional knowledge goes a long way when you’ve been there for nearly the entire life of the company.

On the other hand, that won’t be my problem once tomorrow afternoon rolls around.  I’ve tried to tie things up, leave things in an okay state. Inevitably, there will be things that fall through the cracks. Hopefully, it’ll all be a memory in a couple of months.