Time flies when you’re writing Podcast Nuggets and here I am, on my third one already. I have been thinking about the fact that I listen to some quite old ones so instead, going forward (possibly after this one, ahem) I will try to make them more recent. Reading about how I have just listened to this great podcast about a new product called Windows 3.1 will get stale quite quickly :-) Let the podcast reviews begin…
I’m often drawn to these kinds of topics because secretly, deep down, I want to write a book. As ever though, there were lots of good snippets of information here:
- It seems that the publishing industry is kind of stuck in the past, making it hard to innovate ways in which writers, editors and publishers work more effectively, leveraging information technology. I.e. the speakers mentioned using source code control and pull requests to make changes to books.
- In writing a book, there is a lot of control over how much help or assistance you get. For example, using (or not) an editor, publishing yourself, handling marketing etc.
- Get your book out there early so that you can get some feed back and iterate over your work.
- It can be positive to have multiple authors for a book, especially if you are unsure of the process.
- Jesse often likes to take what other contributors have written when collaborating and put it back into his own ‘voice’ to keep that consistency.
This is a first for this series of podcasts, for me, so I was interested to see how I felt about it. Oddly enough, it is also a very recent one which is nice. Anyway, what really struck me about this speaker is how knowledgeable and authoritative he is. Everything he said in terms of content and delivery was so very, very polished. Have a listen and see if you agree. He said many interesting things, but principally, these are some of them that stuck with me:
- Find a niche. People worry that it will reduce the market for their skills, but he doesn’t think this is an issue. This whole idea of specialising is something I have heard John Sonmez say alot, too.
- Take things in steps. You need what he calls a ladder of products so that people can grow in confidence with what you offer. That is, have a scale of offerings from relatively cheap like $10 e-books right up to high end services.
- Build a mailing list - you need to be able to grow closer and communicate with your potential customers.
Having spent a few hours listening to these today, I wanted to write about this one because it is in part inspirational and also contains lots of great tips.
This podcast is about Sticky Albums which is a company that works with photographers to produces ‘apps’ which can then be passed onto customers and that contain lots of photographs. Think of it like a phone based album of photographs with branding.
One thing that surprised me is how it is implemented. I have read about HTML apps on phones but never really seen an example. This is one. Instead of creating a native app, the customer ends up with a link on their home screen that points to a website, which is a really, really neat use of that.
Nate also talked about another competitor he had in the early days that had a fantastic product and website. He really thought that that would be it - he would be out of business, but instead, fast-forward three years and that company contacted him asking if he wanted to buy them out! It turned out that in that time, they had only managed to get 10 customers which is a clear example for the need to not just focus on your product, but think of sales too.
He also speaks about the importance of word of mouth, how billing for a whole year gives him team time to showcase the benefits of his product and how when he hires people, he makes sure that they have a specific skill he needs. All in all - another good episode.
I’ve heard Clojure mentioned a few times but never really knew much about it until this episode. Here’s the low down from this episode:
- Basically, it seems to be a functional Lisp like language with some side effects.
- Carin’s company use it in production and from what I understand, it is able to be used for web-based work, which is pretty interesting.
- She’s about to publish a book (see link above) which would be handy for those situations in which people feel they can pick up this language (and paradigm shift) in a weekend (most can’t!). Funnily enough, she likened it to running a 5K and being ready for that in two days. Having worked up to that, if you are unfit, it’s a real no-no!
- There is a good community around the language but it appears in terms of frameworks available, they seem to be quite light weight.
- Lastly, if you are thinking about trying it out in your company, consider using it for testing existing code first, and see if it sticks.
Scott said some quite funny things in this episode and the more I listen to him, the more I like his approach to stuff. He is definitely the dev equivalent of Columbo!
I’ve heard a lot from John and about John but there still seemed to be some new stuff in this episode. It’s a first for me to listen to this series but I think I really like the interaction with the guests and presenters, so will listen to some more. Here’s what I took from this episode:
- Both John and the presenters felt that Computer Science departments aren’t catering for this kind of knowledge (about how to be successful in the profession etc.)
- They said that Joel’s own companies don’t score 12/12 on his own test.
- The most important message from the book is to keep striving to learn more and improve.
- The importance of having a brand. He gave an example of where a Supreme Court judge earns about $225,000 a year but Judge Judy….$46 million. The difference is brand.
- Fill your mind with the knowledge of other people - read good books. John doesn’t read any book without a number of recommendations. When he speaks to successful people, he always asks what one book they would suggest he read.
Overall, it was an enjoyable episode so I will be subscribing for sure. That’s it. Hope this has been helpful.
Hi! Did you find this useful or interesting? I have an email list coming soon, but in the meantime, if you ready anything you fancy chatting about, I would love to hear from you. You can contact me here or at stephen ‘at’ logicalmoon.com