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Rails, ActionCable, Redux, and React: Walking through an example chat application

I spent some time over the holiday break wrapping my head around Rails with Redux. This will be an interesting stack to consider.

Building a new web product: How to best setup engineers AND creatives for a win

Pre-launch startup operations are always chaotic. That being said, equipped with your idea, team, market analysis, customer personas, early validation via surveys and interviews, and a brief overview statement (yes, do all that first), there is something simple you can do to setup your engineers and creatives for a win.

The Dark Triad: Why we love to empower Machiavellian Psychopathic Narcissists

Psychiatrists identify the Dark Triad as a set of mental illnesses, where those most severely affected usually end up in jail. Those with more mild cases, however, often become very successful.

How to boil down vision and mission into an overview statement for your new business

At this point in your idea-to-launch journey you probably think you have a solid elevator pitch, but you'll be surprised what happens when you attempt to put that in writing. For the sake of you, your team, and your early advisors (which I'll talk about more in an upcoming post, subscribe to my newsletter for updates) — especially when it comes to a foundation for building your product — it's a good idea to boil down your vision and mission into a single paragraph and include, in broad strokes, your main features. This is critical to keep everyone on the same page as you move forward.

How to maximize learning from pre-launch customer surveys and interviews

Your job as a wild-eyed entrepreneur with the next big idea is to start validating your idea early and often, long before any code is written or designs are sketched up.

How to identify “ideal” early customers

So you have a solid idea, team, and market analysis under your belt, now it's time to accelerate the validation process. It's time to start selling. At this point you've made some noise with a set of friends that — let's be honest — are mostly there to support you. As long as you don't charge too much (or annoy them too much), they will likely be your customers. But, they are not the early customers that matter.

How to evaluate a market for your potential startup

So you have an idea, and you're in the process of convincing one or more people to co-found your company with you, now what? The next step is for you to do a much deeper evaluation of the market than you have probably done thus far in order to determine whether you should proceed.

How to compose a co-founder team

The number one reason why investors write checks to fund an early-stage startup is because of the team; most specifically, because of the CEO. Your startup will look very different in the not-so-distant future, so the insane people who give you money are really betting on you.

How to generate startup ideas

Ok, so you spend time looking at the green grass and mythical creatures over in startup fairytale land. Awesome. Now what?

How to create, grow, and fund a tech startup: an operational framework

Throughout the course of co-founding, advising, and investing in startups over the past couple of decades, my partners/advisors and I at Prota Ventures have developed the following practical operations framework to help founders through the early stages of startup life.

Clarifying the 5+ roles of a “Front-End Web Developer”

Anyone who has looked for a job in this area understands there is widespread confusion about who does what when it comes to designing user experiences (UX) and building user interfaces (UI) in a web browser.

How to build a simple email sign up form with Ruby on Rails

Continuing our Introduction to Web & Mobile Development tutorial series, here we'll learn how to build a simple email sign up feature. Unless you have strong business reasons to require users to only sign up via an Oauth provider such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc., it's best to at least allow your users to sign up directly with an email address.

How to merge HTML, CSS, and JavaScript into your Rails app

Continuing forward in our introduction to web and mobile development tutorial series, here we'll learn how to merge into our Rails app the basic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that our UI designer (Tim) quickly built for us.

How to setup a Rails app for Test-Driven- and Behavior-Driven Development with Rspec and Capybara

Continuing forward in our introduction to web and mobile development tutorial series, here we'll learn how to prep our Rails app to begin writing code in a Test-Driven Development (TDD) and Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) paradigm.

How to design and prep a Ruby on Rails model architecture

Moving along in our web and mobile development series, here we'll discuss the process of prepping Ruby on Rails models before receiving HTML views, CSS, and initial JavaScript files (i.e. the “cutups”) from your designer to merge in to your app.