Showing posts from November, 2007

Quickies #4, Hiring Talent

Now enjoying my status as a sage of the industry, which is to say I am older than 20, but alas, not a billionaire, God fuck-it; people are all the time asking me for nuggets of wisdom from my vast experience at the top.

Quickies from marcf #4: More on hiring talent.

K.D asks: "Marc, my company is growing and I need to hire people across the organization, how do I go about recruiting the right talent".

Answer: "K.D. hiring the right people into your organization is important. Don't start hiring too early or you will lose money on a cash flow basis and you won't be able to sustain growth without more VC money and dilution. Don't hire too late, you will lose out on your opportunity. Employ pay-as-go if you have the luxury.
But most important: HIRE "A" PLAYERS and tap their network. In the classic dictum of the industry: "A players attract A players, B players attract C players".

At JBoss we had 3 cultures interwoven:
1- an historical JBoss …

The Brotherhood is Displeased

Academic politics are so vicious precisely because the stakes are so low.
-- Henry Kissinger
Since this is Thanksgiving Sunday and I have nothing better to do but relax by writing this blog entry, I will take the time to respond to Jim Jagielski's answer to my ApacheCon blog entry where I basically compared it to an aging Star Trek convention. Jim finds fault with the fact that I failed to notice the goings on of the Brotherhood. Jim thinks I oughta follow what the ASF does because I owe them for the success of JBoss. Jim asks me to consider a sponsorship of the ASF, now that I have got some moollah.

Clearly, those that I feel I owe, I also feel I have already taken care of by way of the JBoss equity cap table, which included people who worked at JBoss, members of many OSS communities, as well as some members of the ASF. JBoss, and now RHT sponsor various Apache projects. We paid for coders; not politicians, or should I call them Aparachiks. The idea of funding aparachicks offends my…

Quickies #3, protecting IP in OSS

Now enjoying my status as a sage of the industry, which is to say I am older than 20, but alas, not a billionaire, God fuck-it; people are all the time asking me for nuggets of wisdom from my vast experience at the top.

Quickies from marcf #3: What IP is there to protect in OSS?

B.D asks: "marcf, my open source project is starting to enjoy a measure of success, I am thinking of going professional with it, I am thinking about business models. How much thought should I put in protecting my Intellectual Property?"

Answer: B.D. protecting IP in OSS is extremelly important. The only "private" property that exists in OSS are 1- brand 2- URL. Both are obviously related but really you need to protect your brand name, in other words REGISTER your trademarks, use them, declare they are yours and enforce the trademark, meaning protect against infringement. Other products, specifically based on your product should not include your name. Consultancies will be able to say they …

My iMac dies

My 2 month old iMac died on me earlier last week. It is a shame because I liked the machine ok and I always dread a visit to the mac store. Genius bar appointment must be made 2 days in advance. I like a machine when it doesn't get in the way. This hardware breakdown, something to do with a power supply, constitutes getting in the way.

To add misery to hardship, my trusted VAIO decided to crap out on me at the same time. SONY has a whole new slew of laptops with solid state memory. They are pricey. The upside to all this is that I have forced myself to get into the iPod touch. I have no choice and this works surprisingly well.

It is basically the iphone but slimmer and without the phone or camera. I like it. I use the landscape mode to type text (including this blog) and the real estate is tiny but functional. Sometimes i wish for 4 times the real estate for a touch enabled tablet. But then as i type this text i realize i actually enjoy the keychain feel like i did on the PSP, th…

American Gangster.

Saw American Gangster earlier this week. This recommendation came in via my in-laws and it is a great movie. It unfortunately glamorizes heroin way too much, which reminded me of how pulp fiction started an epidemic back in the early 90's. Denzel is great. I specically loved the part where he explains that the secret to his success is "a product that is twice as good as the competition, at a price that is half that of the competition."

Particularly enjoyable to me was the scene where Frank Lucas explains to a fellow dealer fhat he is going to have to change the name of the heroin he distributes to something else than "Blue Magic" and should really use "Blue dog shit" because the first one is his trademark and that there has got to besome limit to what people can do with your brand name.

Whodathought. Heroin kingpins and OSS entrepreneurs have something in common.

Beowulf, 3D worked

Saw Beowulf yesterday. I was very pleasantly surprised that the technology works.
We are going to see a new kind of film making. Expect a lot of nudity. The violence and gratuitous gore get to be to much in 3D.
The final battles are out of this world.

I like the fact that the majors are pushing this systemically. The future of movie watching seems very exciting indeed.
I want it on my game console. I want a home version of this type of screen. I want a 3D rendering machine that enables me to fight the storm troopers in the long corridors. I will settle for a star wars 3d redux. I will pay 30 dollars to do this every week. I will come with 4 kids.
Someone will make a buck of selling personalized eyewear. Great one. Go see it as soon as you can, you have never seen anything like it.

I visit ApacheCon.

Apparently ApacheCon is in my own backyard this year... I guess my invitation got lost in the mail. I found out about this from my good friend over at Interface21, Neelan Choksi. See here, for an episode where Neelan, forgot to pay his respects the last time he cruised through my neighborhood. This morning, Neelan graciously invited me to lunch, letting me know that ApacheCon--the annual high mass of the distributed Apache development community--was going on at the Omni downtown.

So I met him for lunch, and we decided to go to ApacheCon afterwards. Funny that it took a Spring guy to invite me to this. Walking in the place, I get a feeling of deja vu, like time has stood still. It's a lot of the same people, just older. Developers are complaining that this is not a user conference, it's a developer conference. I see familiar faces and not so familiar faces. I meet people I had never met but always knew of, like Mark Brewer of Covalent and Craig Russell of JDO fame. Some people a…

Watching Star Wars from my Kids Eyes

A friend of mine recently mentioned that he was re-watching all of the Star-Wars with his kids. "You know they get the good and evil thing with Anakin". I thought it was a wonderful idea and I went to buy all 6 episodes at the local Target store.

I asked my friend: "What order do you watch them in?". He said "the original order, you start with number 4 and so on, you do 4-5-6-1-2-3".

We had watched Episode 4 back when my twins were 2 year olds. When Darth Vador appears the first time, it is truly scary and both boys poopped their pampers at the same time and I thought to myself: "Hmmm, I either just traumatized them for life or they are immune to everything".

This time around I started again with 4-5 and stopped midway to restart with 1-2-3-4-5-6. The problem with the historical thread is that it is very annoying and confusing for the kids. My 5 year olds are lost in the Anakin thread, "wait he is this big bad guy and now he is this ki…

Quickies #2, raiding JBoss employees

Now enjoying my status as a sage of the industry, which is to say I am older than 20, but alas, not a billionaire, God fuck-it; people are all the time asking me for nuggets of wisdom from my vast experience at the top.

Quickies from marf #3: Raiding JBoss employees

A. Z. writes: "marcf, can you help me recruit some of your ex-employees?"

Answer: "A., I can't do that, contractually"

The next day A. Z. responds: "marcf, here is a list my HR director has compiled from your linked in profile. He wants introductions to the following..."

1- What part of "I can't do that" do you not understand?
2- And I want a 20 year old with big boobs, but that ain't happening either.
3- I don't work for you, I don't know you, you never did shit for me in the past, I don't owe you.

The old me would have told you to "SMD", now do me a favor and piss off.

With lock-ups expiring soon, this is inspired by more than just A.Z. You all kn…

Quickies #1, hiring developers

Now enjoying my status as a sage of the industry, which is to say I am older than 20, but alas, not a billionaire, God fuck-it; people are all the time asking me for nuggets of wisdom from my vast experience at the top. This wisdom is worth about 20c a piece. So, in the generous spirit of OSS, here is a "Quicky from Marcf".

Quickies from marcf #1, Hiring good developpers

S.D asks "Marc, how do do I hire top developpers"?

I have one word for you, S.D.: "SHOW ME THE MONEY".

S.D responds, "but my company is really HOT right now, you know, people wanna work for us".

I respond "Are you sure? Because if you have any doubt, then you are not, and I have 2 words for you: "SHOW ME *MORE* MONEY".

Ok, Bye, Thanks.


PS: feel free to suggest "quicky" topics, I got a few in the pipeline, but I welcome input.

Meeting with Carl Cox

For Halloween night Carl Cox came to Opera (ATL club). Those of you that know anything about electronic music will know the name, for those who don't know he is a bit of a legend and, at 45 years old, has been a stable fixture on the world scene. Dave Williams, the promoter and an investor in Opera invited me to dinner with Carl, I couldn't pass it up.


Dave introduced me as a blogger and the first thing that struck me about the conversation was that Carl was answering the question as if it was a press interview. It didn't bother me at all, au contraire, I could ask almost anything. Warren, a local promoter, mentioned "you will get a million hits on Marc's blog", I thought to myself "more like a couple thousands" but hey! behold the awesome power of the iblogger!

Conversation started with the business of music. Carl gets his music through contacts, still like in the old days. He mentioned he had 200 CDs in his suitcase that he had "no …

Icahn defines "CEO"

"The CEO is the fraternity brother type who is great to have a drink with. He's a survivor and maybe not all that smart, but he works his way up the ladder in the corporation. And if you're a survivor, you never have someone beneath you who's smarter than you... You have someone a little dumber than you underneath, and eventually we'll have morons running everything ... which we're getting closer to."
-- Carl Icahn