Month: June 2016

Two Week Code Pushes: Fast or Slow?

I just finished reading a TechCrunch interview with Andrew Anker of Six Apart about their excellent new service, Vox. It’s a nicely conducted interview about a well-designed product that I think will be very successful, but this line struck me as a bit odd:

“Very early on in Vox’s development, we created a two week rapid iteration cycle where we made sure to push code religiously every two weeks. By doing that, we made sure that we were building a design cycle that was always two weeks away from fixing any problem.”

Do bi-weekly code pushes qualify as “rapid” these days? Even at Disney, we generally didn’t take much longer than that, and at Newsvine we push every single day. Multiple times even. We like the rapid pushes so much, in fact, that we even set up a machine to triumphantly speak out the filepath whenever someone pushes out code: click for a sample.

Maybe it’s because I’m impatient about site improvement and problem solving, but Andrew’s statement — if it were applied to me — would advocate a deliberate slowing down of the push cycle (perhaps for the better).

Does anyone else agree? With web technologies the way they are today, do you consider religious code pushes every two weeks a fast thing or a slow thing? Are scheduled infrequent pushes (meaning, much less than once a day) preferable to your development habits?

Buying in a Softening Real Estate Market

That’s a lot of “For Sale” signs! This condo conversion near the Newsvine Global Headquarters has been on the market for about six months now.

Up until last month, I had been happily renting a great condo in the Lower Queen Anne area of Seattle. I had owned another condo until 2003 but sold it because of an extremely loud construction project breaking ground next door (another condo building). Rent was extremely reasonable at about $1300 a month, and when compared to the payments on a presumed purchase price of about $360,000, it was a comfortable living situation for someone who had just taken a 50% paycut to start their own company. A couple of months ago, however, the owner of the condo decided to move back to Seattle from North Dakota and hence, back into the condo. I was given plenty of notice and looked feverishly for a place to buy during the following two months, but the Seattle real estate market just didn’t produce anything I wanted for under a half million bucks.

During the last couple of weeks of my tenancy, I found an extremely nice place to purchase. It was a condo in the newly converted Queen Anne High School building. It’s a historical building like no other in Seattle and the unit I put a deposit down on had a great view of the Space Needle and was well situated in the building. Truly a one of a kind if you place great importance on historical significance in your living quarters. There were two problems with the unit, however, which caused me to bail out only a few days before my 20-day contract-binding window: it was just over $400k for 655 square feet and it wasn’t going to be ready until January or February. So even if I was able to rationalize living in such a small place, I’d have to move into an apartment for a few months while I waited for the unit to be done. Moving once sucks. Moving twice really sucks.

It was a tough decision to bail out, but since that day several weeks ago, I’ve noticed some things in the Seattle real estate market which have convinced me I made the right decision:
Read more…

Moda Condos: How To Piss Off 1086 People With 1 Click

Mike Industries Poll

Given the situation in this blog post, would you ever sell the list?

So I woke up yesterday morning to an e-mail in my inbox from “Moda Condominiums”, an upcoming condo project in Seattle. I had filled out a form several weeks ago at the Moda website indicating I was interested in some information about the place.


I replied to the sender and asked how they could possibly make the mistake of taking private information and publishing it publicly like that. If I had received a response or apology, I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog post, but there’s been nothing but radio silence so far.

It’s bad enough when a friend forwards you a joke e-mail and there are 50 people CC’d, but this list has some serious value attached to it. 1086 qualified real estate leads looking to purchase a condo in Seattle? What’s that worth? $25 per lead? $100 per lead? $25,000-$100,000? Real estate and mortgage leads are extremely expensive/lucrative and everyone on the exposed list can only hope one out of the 1086 people doesn’t find a buyer. In fact, it’s likely that some people on the list are real estate and mortgage people.

This is going to sound unethical (and it almost certainly is), but if someone offered me $100,000 to simply forward them that e-mail, I can’t say with 100% certainty that I wouldn’t do it. And I can say with 100% certainty that at least one person on the list would. I’m just being real here.

Note: Until I hear otherwise, I’m going to assume the responsible party is Moda’s sales and marketing firm “Urban Pacific Real Estate”. If this is not the case and someone comes forward indicating otherwise, I will gladly post a retraction.

UPDATE: According to Jared, a list like this is worth at least $20,000… or $20 per lead. Good info Jared!
UPDATE #2: Well, it looks like Geoff George ( and is the first Mortgage spammer to commandeer the list for his own personal gain. He just sent an e-mail pitching his firm to all 1086 recipients. He *also* put everyone in the CC field (unbelievable) and included his phone number as well.
UPDATE #3: Iolanthe Chan-McCarthy of Urban Pacific Real Estate has just sent out a public apology to everyone on the list and to me personally as well. Apology accepted. You’re not off the hook, but at least you’re honest and you’re owning up. No apology from Geoff George yet, but Iolanthe has reportedly contacted him as well.

The High-Def Holy Grail

Oh happy day. Happy, happy day. Tonight, I dropped $799 on the new Series 3 Tivo and I couldn’t be happier. See scientific diagram below:

Yes, there are similar products like Media Center PCs, cable company PVRs, and Myth TV, but if you’re willing to spend the extra cash, nothing beats a Tivo. This thing is spectacular and after only a few hours with it, I couldn’t imagine going back. If ever there was an interface worth $800 a pop, this is it. For more info/motivation, check out the New York Times’ David Pogue’s text or video review.

UPDATE: Oh this is just too great:

  1. Wake up this morning.
  2. Read Kottke’s “don’t you dare miss this” review of Eyes on the Prize.
  3. Search for Eyes on the Prize on Tivo Central’s web site.
  4. Hit record.

And we’re done. Didn’t even touch the TV. Now all I need is a contextual menu plug-in with “Find this item on Tivo”.

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