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A quick introduction to React

Although it's easy to roll your eyes at the JavaScript frontier — especially when the next great thing is introduced every week — be careful not to lump React in with “all the other JS frameworks.”

Startups: How to set a realistic timeline when building a software product

“Sure, we'll have that done in three weeks.” says the engineer. The marketer rolls her eyes, of course, and expects it in five. Eleven weeks later, it's delivered (and it's not very good). After an additional seven weeks of ironing out the basic bugs and UX kinks, marketing finally feels comfortable promoting it. Why didn't the engineer just say “about 20 weeks” and aim for delivering a tad early?

Seven reasons why a Rails, Redux, React, and React Native stack is fantastic for new startups

Here are the reasons why I'm all-in with this software stack.

Life Coaching

Most of us — if we are fortunate (and whether we like it or not) — have people in our lives who help point out our blind spots and teach us new things. Significant others, friends, colleagues, kids, parents, sports coaches, teachers, music instructors, etc. are often the people that pour into us and/or remind us that we’re human. (Seriously, we have many people to thank!)

Introducing Prota Ventures

Along with our first set of portfolio projects, my partners and I are excited to unveil Prota Ventures, a venture-building and early-stage investment firm based out of Seattle, Chicago, and Jacksonville.

Adding Webpack with Hot Module Replacement to speed up Redux/React/Sass development within a Rails5-app

Piggy-backing on my previous post "Rails5, ActionCable, Redux, and React: Walking through an example chat application" I was curious how difficult it would be to spin up a webpack server with hot module replacement (HMR) alongside Rails (i.e. firing it up on another port) to speed up development of the Redux/React/Sass parts of the app.

How to conduct free and low-cost experiments to validate your new business idea

Entrepreneurs are always tempted to build their products secretly in a cave. This, however, is rarely the most effective way to succeed. According to common Lean wisdom, the better route is to get the idea in front of customers early and often, smartly collect feedback, and iterate rapidly toward product-market fit. But, as anyone who has ever tried it knows, this is easier said than done. How do you actually validate an idea? How do you best design experiments? Who do you ask to participate in them?

Summarizing the science behind ketogenic (low-carb) diets

After publishing The Science Behind Fat Metabolism a couple weeks ago, I received a tremendous amount of helpful feedback from scientists, medical professionals, and other health experts. Cheers, Internet. I appreciate the feedback and refinement. I’ve updated the article accordingly and will continue to do so as more comments are submitted. I also got a bunch of questions about low-carb dieting, hence my attempt in this article to summarize the underlying science. As always, if you read anything below that needs changing, let me know and I’ll do so quickly.

How (and when) to select advisors for your new venture

Like all entrepreneurs who have been in the game for awhile, I too am forever grateful for advisors who have helped shaped the course of my career and the ventures I've co-founded. However, finding the right advisors and formalizing the relationship properly is often a confusing process. I've fallen into many traps (as both a founder and an advisor) that are avoidable with — you guessed it— the right advice.

The Science Behind Fat Metabolism

The concentration of glucose in your blood is the critical upstream switch that places your body into a “fat-storing” or “fat-burning” state. The metabolic efficiency of either state — and the time it takes to get into one from the other — depends on a large variety of factors such as food and drink volume and composition, vitamin and mineral balances, stress, hydration, liver and pancreas function, insulin sensitivity, exercise, mental health, and sleep.

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.