KDan writes: I am not an economist. However, most people misunderstand money and its purposes and uses so badly that I feel compelled to write out my understanding of it. Perhaps because I am not an economist, this might help some. The first and perhaps most important mistake people make is to confuse money for wealth. The more I earn, the more I realise that wealth is not money, but the ability to generate money (and other things of value). This is akin to the difference between saying "I am a dancer" (i.e. I have the ability to dance) and "I was a dancer" (i.e. I once had it but I no longer have it). Being wealthy is equivalent to the first statement, while having money is equivalent to the second.
KDan writes: "Today, right now, what is the best path out of the corporate world and into startups? What would I advise myself to do, 5 years ago, if 5 years ago was today? Running your own business is an entirely different proposition than working for someone else. There are lots of things you need to learn, hangups you need to get over, habits you need to form, in order to have a chance at being successful. This is the "startup escape path"."
KDan writes: "I've written before that you should take notes while reading advice articles. The more I've practiced this, the more I've come to believe that this is an essential learning tool (and one that I haven't been using properly for many years). The difference in learning between taking notes and not taking them feels, intuitively, like it's at least tenfold, maybe a hundredfold. If you don't take notes while reading a non-fiction, "teaching" book, you might as well not have bothered reading it."
KDan writes: "John Postel made significant contributions many of the key protocols and RFCs that power the internet (IP, TCP, etc). Of particular relevance today was his stance against US government control of the top-level domains: John Postel transfered the DNS root authority to non-governmental servers, but was overruled by Ira Magaziner, Clinton's science adviser, and forced to reverse the change.
In the current circumstances, this blog post is particularly relevant."
KDan writes: This question pops up regularly on Hacker News. What will kill Facebook? Before that, it was "What will kill Google?" Before that, on Slashdot, it would have been "What will kill Microsoft?" Often, the question is asked with a combination of rage and envy. The questioner doesn't like Facebook, they want it dead, and they wouldn't mind if they were the one who came up with something that killed it. Aren't entrepreneurs charming? However, the question is fundamentally flawed. It's the wrong question. It leads nowhere. The only company that can kill Facebook is Facebook. Here's why.
KDan writes: I am the kind of person who takes 30 minutes to an hour to fall asleep, most nights. Falling asleep is an ordeal for me (unless I’m completely exhausted). Don’t get me wrong – it’s not an unpleasant ordeal there are worse things in life than lying in bed. But I truly envy those people who can just put their head on a pillow and drift off within moments. Oh, such bliss not for me. I will lie in bed, awake, forever thinking and rethinking whatever happens to be on my mind at the time.
Because of this, I always thought that power napping was not for me. After all, power naps are supposed to last about 20 minutes, and you don’t need to be a maths genius to realise that if it takes you at least half an hour to fall asleep, 20 minutes won’t be enough. So, therefore, I thought, since I can’t fall asleep quickly, I can’t nap.
Fortunately for me, I was completely wrong about this.
KDan writes: There are countless pundits and other tech gurus describing Google Wave as a disappointment, lately. Most of that seems to come from the fact that nobody seems to get what Wave is for. So they compare it to social media.
Is Wave the next Twitter? Nope. Is it the next Facebook? Nope. Is it going to replace Instant Messengers? Possibly, in some circumstances, but not any time soon.
I believe this is partly Google’s fault: they released Wave to geeks and hackers and social media folks first. But Wave is not a geek/hacker tool, or a social media tool, it’s a corporate tool that solves work problems (more on that later). On the other hand, they never claimed it would be a Facebook replacement or a Twitter killer. Google calls wave an “online tool for real-time communication and collaboration”. The way Google should have advertised Wave is: “it solves the problems with email”.
KDan writes: "Everyone wants their application to "spread virally". And why shouldn't they? Viral growth resolves at least part of the expensive and complicated headache of actually marketing your application, by getting the application to grow all by itself. So, then, the question that forms on the lips of any entrepreneur is: "How can I make my application viral?" This guide provides some answers to that elusive question."
KDan writes: "What could possibly go wrong? It seems like a fool-proof plan: start up with a close friend. You'll get along (obviously), and you'll get to share the exciting, fantastic, scary experience of starting up with someone you care about. It's not a bad idea, but there are a few caveats that you should be aware of before you proceed. When I started my first company with one of my closest friends, I expected things would go very well between us. We understood each other in ways that would take years to build up (and did take 10 years). We knew each other, and we knew we could rely on each other. We were prepared to have many surprises along the way — starting a business is always going to be a scary adventure.
What we weren't prepared for was that the main problem would come from us and the dynamic between us."
KDan writes: "From the article: "What would you say if I told you that from tomorrow onwards, your desk area will be reduced by half? One of the most obvious costs for any businesses is the money it pays to rent space. The traditional way of decreasing this cost has been to decrease personal space, first from individual offices to cubicles, then from cubicles to smaller cubicles, open plan offices, and then finally open plan offices with tiny desks. It doesn't have to be this way. At my workplace, we've experimented with some much better ways to organise our working spaces." This article presents an interesting alternative to hot desking and open plan offices."
KDan writes: "Hello. My name is ______ and I am not a douche." Notadouche is a nonsocial nonnetwork for nondouches. For people who hate douching around online, dislike wall posts and private messages, and love big fonts, notadouche is quick, painless, and slightly bizarre. It works like this: go to the site, enter your name, answer a few questions, and you're done! Is this the answer to social networking? Even though it only just came into existence, notadouche has already got over 10'000 users, and has spawned a tumblr blog, and is setting the twitter-verse aflame!
KDan writes: "There are many problems out there which are very easy to deal with in most situations, but can be very complex in edge cases. Here's the thing, though: sometimes, these "edge cases" can cover an entire industry. The obvious example to me, since this is the Woobius blog, is document control in architecture."
pyalot writes: "The swiss goverment has passed a law that would make it impossible to cirvumvent effective copy protection measures. I have created a page to inform and organize a resistance against this law. If we collect 50'000 signatures until the 24th of January however, we can force a national vote on this law. Help me in any way that you can fight this law. I was first made aware of this two days ago by this article on slashdot."
KDan writes: Please add a Safety Warning to the Maglite video article. As it is posted on your front page and hence approved by your editors you do have a legal responsibility to provide some form of safety warning, since the original video fails to do that. The result of following that video is a dangerous laser that *will* blind you the instant you stare at it, or even stare at a reflection of it.