Recently I switched from my old Macbook (first unibody version, late 2008) to the new Macbook Air. The main difference in terms of specs as far as I’m concerned is the disk, as the cpu and memory are virtually the same. The old Macbook had a 5400 rpm Fujitsu drive, the Macbook Air has an Apple TS256C SSD.
Technology ecosystems – most business markets, actually — have network effects. And that means that the only rank to have, as an ecosystem, is first place. Best in the world.
- San Francisco Bay Area – startups
- Hollywood – film
- New York – finance
- Detroit – car industry (disregard the current state of affairs)
- Cleveland – well…
[the crowd 'boos']
Derek Smalls: But nobody rocks like…
[looks on the back of his guitar where he has placed a reminder of the name of the town they're playing in]
Derek Smalls: Springfield!
If you are on Twitter, there is a chance you follow the Dalai Lama or have seen one of his cogitations retweeted by his ever-growing following. If you're like me you may think he actually runs a factory of fortune cookies, or that he wrote an advanced phrase regurgitation algorithm.
Generalizations almost always have exceptions. In this case, the exception is perhaps the majority of instances. If you are going to make the claim that the best option for an engineer is to join a startup, you’d better have compelling arguments.
- Startups change all the time. You will work on dead ends, and it will be frustrating.
- You may have to take off you engineer hat. Sometimes the company needs customer support. Or extra marketing, or sysadmin/operations. Or sales. Sometimes you have to first sell things you don’t have, and then build a crappy, I-hope-nobody-sees-this-code prototype.
- Your skills may become irrelevant if the company pivots. Say you are an expert in information retrieval and the company morphs from a technology vendor to a user destination site. You will be asked to make the website prettier, to optimize load speeds or to write blog posts.
- You will have stability. If you are hired by Oracle or Google to improve the garbage collection algorithms of the JVM or optimize where to display certain types of ads, chances are you’ll be able to work on this specific problem for long enough to accomplish something.
- You will work reasonable hours that will allow you try being a “well-rounded person.”
- You won’t have a lot of impact on whether the company lives or dies. Whether this is good or bad depends on your personality.