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Preview: Tom Markiewicz

Tom Markiewicz



Thoughts on technology, investing, marketing, and entrepreneurship.



Last Build Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2017 21:19:14 +0000

 



How to Create an API for Your Application, Part 1

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 18:56:35 +0000

Despite being the lingua franca of the internet, APIs remain wildly inconsistent in both their structure and documentation for developers. While the promise of APIs has largely been fulfilled, their actual usage for developers day-to-day often remains frustrating. Since an API in and of itself is just the mechanism for a service to offer access (both internally and externally), there are no specific rules around its implementation. In order to provide some much-needed consistency, multiple options for API guidelines have been created. So just what is an API specification? Nordic APIs has a great article describing in detail the differences between an API specification, documentation, and definition. Check out their article for a much more in-depth discussion, but basically a specification describes the overall behavior of the API and how it links to other APIs. Documentation for the API provides examples, a detailed reference, and the specific API functions. Finally, while the specification and documentation are geared toward humans, the API definition is more for machine-readability. So what does this mean for developers? While it’s easy to get down into the weeds, at a high level I think it’s important to at least understand specifications and the options available. An



Nvidia on AI everywhere

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 23:14:07 +0000

Analogous to Marc Andreessen’s “software is eating the world”, Nvidia’s CEO Jensen Huang on the impact of AI: “AI is eating software,” Huang continued. “The way to think about it is that AI is just the modern way of doing software. In the future, we’re not going to see software that is not going to continue to learn over time, and be able to perceive and reason, and plan actions and that continues to improve as we use it. These machine-learning approaches, these artificial intelligence-based approaches, will define how software is developed in the future. Just about every startup company does software these days, and even non-startup companies do their own software. Similarly, every startup in the future will have AI.” The entire article is a good read and gives some insight into what the leader of the largest provider of GPUs is thinking about the future.



Apple Watch as Battery Enhancer

Sat, 06 Jun 2015 16:13:13 +0000

A possible hidden feature of the Apple Watch: Depending on how well Apple manages the Bluetooth link with the iPhone, the Apple Watch could then effectively function as a wearable spare battery pack for iPhone users if it ends up re-routing enough usage away from the primary mobile device to an auxiliary wearable. If that’s the case, Apple’s 2015 party trick could be more slender iPhones with battery life that appears improved thanks to a portion of mobile usage being re-routed to the Apple Watch while simultaneously making more money from its user-base. I’ve only had my Apple Watch for a few days, so I’m not sure this is the case. A full review is forthcoming though.



Defending iOS with cheap iPhones

Wed, 14 Aug 2013 02:04:38 +0000

Benedict Evans delivers a compelling argument on why a cheaper iPhone is essential for Apple: A new, cheaper, high-volume iPhone would have the potential to mitigate or even reverse this trend. Clearly, like current low-end Android, it would sell to a demographic with a lower average engagement and purchase rate and so the average iOS rates would drop. However, it would mean that iOS’s reach would expand significantly at the expense of Android. How would a $200 or $300 iPhone sell? Easily double digit millions, possible up to 50m units a quarter. This means that the financial value of a cheaper iPhone cannot be considered in isolation. A large part of its purpose is to defend sales of the high-end model. via Fred Wilson



Tactics to Spark Creativity

Mon, 06 May 2013 23:43:35 +0000

This study apparently validates my methodology while late-night programming: Moderate drinking can also relax inhibitions in a way that seems to let the mind range across a wider set of possible connections. It can also help a person notice environmental cues or changes that a sober brain would block out, Dr. Wiley says. In a 2012 study at University of Illinois at Chicago, students who drank enough to raise their blood-alcohol level to 0.075 performed better on tests of insight than sober students. Other research suggests watching funny videos can spark the positive moods linked to higher creativity. via Tactics to Spark Creativity – WSJ.com



Looking for a new Boulder-Denver StartupDigest curator

Mon, 29 Apr 2013 14:22:53 +0000

I’m looking for a replacement to curate the Boulder-Denver StartupDigest. If you’re actively involved with local startups and have interest, let me know and we can discuss. My startup, StatsMix, was recently acquired and I’ve decided I need to take some time off. After three consecutive startups and many years without a real vacation, it’s time for a little break to figure out what’s next. That’s why it makes sense to hand off curating the digest to someone else. Currently, I’m helping StartupDigest find a replacement for the Boulder-Denver area curator. The main requirement to curate a digest is being actively involved with a local startup. I have a comprehensive process and list of events I check each week and I’m happy to meet with you, give you all my resources, and help in the transition any way I can. If you’re interested, just email me at tom at thestartupdigest dot com and we can discuss.



Lean Startup Machine Boulder

Wed, 23 May 2012 17:59:48 +0000

Due to an extra busy schedule last week, I wasn’t quite able to attend most of the Boulder Startup Week events I wanted. But participating as a speaker and mentor at Boulder’s first Lean Startup Machine event on Saturday made up for it. Lean Startup Machine is a three-day workshop where attendees use customer development and lean startup principles to validate an idea for a new product or service. This included both existing teams as well as individuals who formed new teams on Friday night. The event was held at Scrib, a new Boulder coworking space, which was an excellent venue for the weekend’s team collaboration. On Saturday I gave a 30 minute presentation on startup metrics where I covered the basics plus some personal case studies from how we use metrics to solve problems at StatsMix. Here’s some pictures, comments, and feedback from attendees: [View the story “Lean Startup Machine Boulder” on Storify] Lean Startup Machine Boulder Storified by · Wed, May 23 2012 13:05:29 @tmarkiewicz "Track actionable metrics rather than vanity metrics." #lsmboulder #bsw12 #startupsExpertsVault #LsmBoulder The second workshop: startup metric by @tmarkiewicz Founder/CEO of @statsmix @DemingCenter @LeanBoulder http://pic.twitter.com/s6mEf7jpDanny Tran @statmix @tmarkiewicz "Have a metrics dashboard that your



Adapt to Your Customers

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:08:00 +0000

Tom Preston-Werner, founder of Github, on adapting to your customers and their requests: And that’s the secret. Don’t give your customers what they ask for; give them what they want. via Ten Lessons from GitHub’s First Year



Pixelate part of an image in Photoshop

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 21:45:25 +0000

I recently had to update some screenshots on the StatsMix marketing site and needed to remove some personal information like API keys from the image. I wanted to just gracefully pixelate the data, keeping the image looking nice. I’d done it before, but couldn’t remember what steps to take. After a some trial and error, I figured it out and decided to write these steps down in case I forget (again!) or someone else can benefit from this. Open Photoshop Crop section of image to pixelate Select Filter > Pixelate > Mosaic Set the Cell Size to 3 square Please note, I’m using a pretty old version of Adobe Photoshop (CS3) and these steps may not work anymore. YMMV.



The Black Triangle

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 17:40:26 +0000

Not sure where (or when for that matter) I stumbled on this article, but after cleaning up tons of tabs in Firefox I thought I’d share this: We came to refer to certain types of accomplishments as “black triangles.” These are important accomplishments that take a lot of effort to achieve, but upon completion you don’t have much to show for it – only that more work can now proceed. It takes someone who really knows the guts of what you are doing to appreciate a black triangle. It’s a convenient shorthand metaphor. So feel free to steal the term. And when progress seems a little slow because you are doing a bunch of hardcore architecture work, just remember – it’s a black triangle. And steal it I shall! I can definitely see myself using this metaphor in the future. via Tales of the Rampant Coyote: The Black Triangle