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106Miles Blog

Updated: 2017-06-29T10:08:47.770-07:00


106 Miles has Moved!


And we've shifted format to a meetup. Links:

Rands in Reboot


We had to cancel last month's session, but on April 30th Michael Lopp aka Rands in Repose will be our guest. We'll be discussing the ever-fascinating topic of herding kittens aka engineering management.

Please try to make it to this session if you can, because I'd also like to propose some changes to the software and processes we've been limping along with all this time. And bring friends, we need some fresh blood, bwahahaha. See you there!

Rands in Repose at 106 Miles


Hi! Remember 106 Miles? Did you miss us? :-)

On Wednesday March 19th, Michael Lopp aka Rands in Repose will be our guest. We'll be discussing the ever-fascinating topic of herding kittens.

Please try to make it to this session if you can, because I'd also like to propose some changes to the software and processes we've been limping along with all this time. And bring friends, we need some fresh blood, bwahahaha. See you there!

June 106 Miles


Before we take our traditional summer hiatus, we'll be meeting on June 13th. The topic this time will be a question I'm getting asked a lot lately, namely "How hard is it to become a webdev anyway?" Everyone knows that it's super cheap to start a new company... IF you're a webdev! We'll have representatives from Ruby on Rails (Zachary Taylor of Insider Pages), PHP (Andy Baio of Upcoming), and CSS/JS (Ernie Hsiung of LittleYellowDifferent).

May 106 Miles


106er Naval Ravikant (who has spoken in the past about mergers and acquisitions) recently introduced a new kind of incubator, Hitforge. On May 9th, come hear him explain his Darwinian, engineer-centric approach to growing hot new businesses.

April meeting CANCELLED


Due to a series of unexpected events, we are going to have to cancel this week's meeting. Very sorry for any inconvenience to the members!

April 106 meeting


The April meeting of 106 Miles will be on a special date this month, April 25th, to coincide with friends who are in town for the MySQL conference. Our speaker this month will be George Schlossnagle of MessageSystems, OmniTI, and PHP -- and his topic will be "Growing a tech business without taking money". Here in Silicon Valley we sometimes forget the option of just treating technology like any other business -- so it's good to get the perspective from outside the bubble.

Next 106: February 15th in Menlo Park


This month's 106 Miles will be in Menlo Park on Thursday, February 15. The topic is
When is the right time for a startup to hire a product manager?
We will also talk about product development practices that work. Invited speakers are: Invitations will go out in a few days...

Scott on Options


106er Scott Johnston -- who was one of our panelists last month -- just produced an impressive blog post about stock options. Everyone who is thinking about joining a startup from a big company should read it before our meeting tomorrow!

Be our guest!


This is the first time that we've allowed 106 members to bring a guest to a regular meeting! We figured that due to the topic -- "Everything you wanted to know about jumping from a bigco to a startup -- we might have more interest from non-core-members. If you're not a 106 member but are super interested in this topic, let me know and I'll try to squeeze you in.

ps One of the items on my New Year's resolution is to update

Bouncing emails


Can the following users please contact me on the 106 Batphone (aka to update your email addresses: Dave Hodson, Mike Rubin, Benjamin Grant, Ches Wadja, Brendon Wilson. Thanks!

Pictures from the November 106 Miles.


Meng Weng Wong took some beautiful pictures at Thursday's meeting. Thanks to everyone who attended, and all of our speakers!

The next 106 will be on December 13; the topic will be what big company engineers need to know before jumping to a startup. Watch here for more details...

Hiatus is over!


After all those years of back-to-school, autumn is now inextricably associated with new beginnings in my mind. So now that the frost is on the pumpkin, we're very happy to announce a new session of 106 Miles on November 16th!

The topic this time will be "Shades of grey: mergers, acquisitions, living deaths, and every other exit that is neither an IPO nor bankruptcy". We're going to have three panelists from our illustrious membership, including Scott Johnston of Kintana and Jot; Adam Rifkin of KnowNow; and (hopefully) Mike Speiser of Epinions and Symantec. Between the three of them, they should be able to answer all your questions about what REALLY happens to startups after the honeymoon is over.

I'm springing for the extra good pizza this time, so I know you'll want to be there!

July 27 in Portland for OSCON


After a hiatus, 106 Miles will resume in July... in Portland, Oregon at OSCON 2006.

The session Entrepreneurship For Engineers: From Open Source to New Venture will be moderated by Joyce Park, and held on Thursday, July 27, 7-8pm, in room E142. Here's some more:
Have you ever wondered what it takes to start a tech business besides coding skills and a product idea? 106 Miles is a Silicon Valley organization that helps engineers learn how to take the step towards becoming entrepreneurs. Our mission is to help geeks understand the world of business plans, co-founders, potential funders, partners, executives, employees, and exit strategies.

Our special guest for OSCON is Bob Lisbonne, a venture capitalist with the well-respected Sand Hill Road firm of Matrix Partners (and the man who Open Sourced Mozilla!). He will answer all your questions about the venture funding process, how a VC evaluates teams and ideas, and in particular how Open Source fits into the world of venture-backed businesses. He will share stories of companies that use Open Source software, extend Open Source software, Open Source software developed in-house, and reverse-engineer proprietary software.
See you there!

Followup to May meeting


Many thanks to Eric Brewer for a revelatory 106 session on technology for developing nations. The thing I appreciated the most was a peek at how he applies the same principles of product design to the non-profit area as he did to the for-profit area.

A lot of attendees wanted to keep track of Eric's work, which you can do at the following URL:

If you'd like to contact him directly, I also have his email address.

May Topic: Technology for Developing Nations


Tomorrow... in San Francisco (not Silicon Valley)...

On Wednesday, May 10th in San Francisco, entrepreneur Eric Brewer will be leading a discussion of "Technology for Developing Nations."

Email 106 Miles invites if you're interested in attending... and remember, since this is the San Francisco locale, if you're not on the list, they won't let you in the building. See you there!

Make that April 13.


The speaker needed us to change the next 106 Miles to Thursday, April 13, instead of Wednesday, April 12 as originally planned. Invitations will go out Real Soon Now (TM).

Next two topics


Who says 106 Miles does not plan ahead? We have now lined up our next TWO speakers and topics! On April 12th in Menlo Park, we will be discussing "Old School vs. New School Venture Capitalists". And on May 10th in San Francisco, Eric Brewer will be leading a discussion of "Technology for Developing Nations". Get on the list now!

106 Miles in SF w/ Dave Winer


What: 106 Miles meeting in San Francisco
When: 3/8 @ 7pm
Who: Dave Winer and all of you wonderful peeps!

Need I say more? ;-)

Invites to come soon. Hope to see you there...

My dark secret


Brendon Wilson, a longtime member and guest speaker last year at the "why do engineers become PMs?" session, has uncovered my secret shame [hangs head].

Lost little lambs


Hans Jacobsen and Barry Holroyd, please send me email with working email addresses. Your emails are bouncing, and unless I hear from you within a month I will delete you from the list. Thanks!

February meeting


Ooops, I forgot to post this!

This month we're hoping to have a good old-fashioned cage match about whether stealth mode and closed alphas are dead. In the blue trunks, taking the "release anything even if it sucks" position, is Kevin Burton of Tailrank and formerly of Rojo. In the red trunks, taking the "sometimes a premature release isn't the best thing for the company, especially if your product is bigger than one webpage" position, is Chris Messina of Flock. Come and cheer on your contender!

PM seeks engineer


Here's a super cool thing: a 106 member with lots of experience in product management and marketing seeks an entrepreneurial engineer for possible venture formation! Mr. Blueshirt has an MBA and a EE degree, and I can personally attest that he's totally aligned with the goals of 106 Miles. If you're an engineer and interested in meeting our PM friend, send email to and I'll introduce you!

New year, new city


Happy New Year, 106ers! For our first session of the New Year, we're going to hold the session in San Francisco on the 11th. We're trying to see if there would be enough interest to justify spawning a monthly 106 meeting in the City, and Noam Lovinsky of Skobee has very kindly agreed to act as co-host to us Valley types. Our guest this time will be Evan Williams of Blogger and Odeo fame. Watch for the invite!

Brian Dear rocks the house


I just wanted to thank last night's guest, Brian Dear of EVDB, who raised the bar for all 106 guests now and forever! He was frank and informative about his experiences, brought Eventful schwag (black T-shirts!) for all attendees, and did the most amazing preso of 50 lessons for entrepreneurs from the greatest geek movie of all time (The Blues Brothers, of course).

It was a rousing close to what has been a completely amazing first year for 106 Miles. In a few short months, we went from just an idea to an organization with a regular meeting, a blog, and a LinkedIn group. Most importantly, several hundred of us entrepreneurial engineers (and friends-of-ours) have found each other. I know a couple of companies have formed, lots of early-stage engineers have been hired, and 106 members have learned a lot from each other. It's so very gratifying to feel the entrepreneurial energy in the room after a strong session like Brian's.

As we announced at the meeting, we're taking December off so people can go to holiday parties. Please save January 11th for our next meeting!