Robots, signals, playful people, and pigs

September 29, 2004

Jason Fried hangs out at the co-op for a couple days. Today we’re driving up to Vancouver to visit the Flickr folks, if they’ll have us.

In other news, I’m excited to hear about the Bloglines Web Services. Being able to get feed information, subscription information, and actual entries programmatically has got to be useful for something.

As I look at it more, though, I realize I wish it had one additional feature. I was hoping that you could get entries from blogs regardless of your subscriptions (for example, the recent entries of any weblog in the system), in a clean and consistent format. Pretty please, Mark?

Your ideas are Flickr’s ideas

September 22, 2004

There are a couple companies out there that I’m truly inspired by. They tend to be small companies that combine existing ideas into solutions to problems that exist in the real world. This is much better than simply building technology for technology’s sake, inventing new standards, protocols, funky gadgets, whatever. I want to build applications that people use because it makes our lives fitter, happier, more productive in some tangible way that you can feel and not just rationalize in your head or justify by number of dollars won.

That’s why I really liked Stewart’s recent post about innovating by recombining existing ideas. In particular:

A lot of innovation goes on in our offices, but one of the reasons the results are good is because we have no fear of recombinant idea folding. Our egos don’t get fed from being recognized for inventing cool shit and then taking all the credit for it, but from playing the game large, on the field with everyone else, part of the ecosystem; we have no ‘not invented here’ syndrome.

His post is in response to a glowing review of in this Sun Times article:

The goal of Flickr is obviously to turn your online photo library into a resource, not a limited set of features. And boy, are they good at it. No other photo-hosting site offers you so many ways of tossing pictures into your online library, or letting other folks take a look at ‘em.

The Flickr folk succeed, essentially, by stealing damn near every single great idea that’s floating around on the Internet.

They essentially give you the tools required to mess around with photos and integrate them into your life/website/computer, in the hopes that your life will change by having your photos closer to you. Just as our lives changed by having our words closer to us.

Coming up with new ideas is essential for a company of course… but I think it might be a better strategy to come up with the idea that is of the “how can this particular behavior or human need be supplemented, made easier, or evolved into something more interesting” type rather than the “how do we represent something in this particular technology” type, or the “what can we build that makes use of blogs and social networks” type, or even the “how can we make money from this hyped up thing” type.

The secret of Basecamp

September 17, 2004

“Instead of making a half-assed product, just make half the product”. – David Heinemeier Hansson

at the Building of Basecamp workshop, Chicago, 17 Sept 2004

Andy Harbick has a beer with the robots

September 15, 2004

Todd Gehman is an infectious enthusiast

September 14, 2004

Todd starts hanging out at the Robot Co-op and is happy to hear that we work above a pub.

And I designed our first logo. Beautiful ain’t it?

Okay, not sure if we’re going to launch with this one exactly as is. I may need to get a designer photoshop out the yellow paper first.

Work on the prototype is coming along quickly. I’m building it using my PowerBook and a fresh install of David Heinemeier Hansson’s Ruby on Rails. Two enthusiastic thumbs up on both Ruby and Rails so far.

24 hour party people

September 13, 2004

Who loves you baby? Isn’t that the guy who built internet exploder, rocking out at Daniel’s show?

Hired based on your blog

September 10, 2004

from Michael Hanson

I’m a big believer that in the future, you’ll be hired based on your blog.

I know there are some high profile examples of the opposite – people getting fired for blogging – but I think more and more clued in employers are going to snatch up talent that is willing to share their thinking process with the world.

Interviewing a candidate that has a blog is like getting the ultimate screen on the problems the person is interested in, how they learn and think, and how well they communicate. Conversations can start in the middle of things, picking up the line of thinking where the post left off.

So what’s it like when you land a blogger in house? At MS, Scoble was the first person I’d met who fit this new role of “getting hired based on your blog”, and in the short time he’s been there (OK, in the short time I was there too) I saw him have a huge impact inside that enormous company. Somebody probably hired him to change the external perception more than the internal practices. But by directing external support and interest toward internal innovators starved for oxygen, he’s done more to help that place than the millions spent in paid marketing.

If you are a blogger with any interest in these open positions get in touch.

New Hire - Systems Engineer/SDE

September 10, 2004

Update: This position has been filled

We’ve had a ton of interest in the open positions and are swamped with resumes.

We’ve just filled the Systems Engineer position. We talked to a number of candidates and landed one with great experience and enthusiasm – both as a developer of web applications and as a “builder” of systems.

Thanks for the interest.

Pear Apple

September 7, 2004

There’s a pear and three apples on our new desks. Things continue to roll at the Robot Co-op.

Open Positions

September 6, 2004