Monthly Archives: September 2005

Ruby on Rails Development

rails.gifI was having a conversation with Eric Molitor (a Dallas programmer who is into Battlebots) today and we were talking about development in Rails.  I explained how our IT services company hired a programmer to redevelop the help desk and trouble ticket system in PHP.  The process took almost six months and the resulting product worked, but was too heavy (three months later and we have not launched the new system).


I then explained that one of our managers overheard our conversations about Rails and Ajax and decided to read a book on the subject.  Eariler this week he took the help desk and trouble ticket specification and wrote a fully functional application in Ruby on Rails with a few touches of Ajax.  Imagine a framework that can be learned overnight and allow smart programmers to develop great applications very quickly?  Want to guess why everyone is so excited?


So what is so great about Rails?  Basically, it is easy to rapidly prototype and launch an application.  We were able to see what worked and what did not work.  Eric agreed, but explained that Rails has scaling issues.  I assume he is correct on this point; however, by the time scaling becomes an issue you likely will have the time and resources to resolve the issue.  Why spend time and money creating very scalable applications that may never see the light of day.  Get them up and running now…

Web 5.0 – Not getting enough attention!


Josh Hallett did another Web 2.0 post today you can read here.  Interestingly he detailed the Google search results of Web 2-4:

Web 2.0 – 9,230,000 results
Web 2.1 – 19,700
Web 3.0 – 38,300
Web 4.0 – 16,100

I was wondering how many references to Web 5.0 there might be.  The results?  You will have to Google it for yourself.  FYI, these Google results won’t really tell you if the author is actually discussing Web 4.0 in the ‘Web 2.0′ context (but it is fun anyway).  The better part of Josh’s post is the scene from There’s Something about Mary check it out here

*Oh, the picture at the top of the page is from Josh’s blog header.  I always liked it so I decided to post it.  When I was growing up my Dad was president of a Wind Power company called Kenetech Windpower – they built and ran those wind turbines in the Altamont Pass (you know they ones that kill all the birds). 

Got a Web 2.0 Idea? Need a Partner?

I had lunch with a lawyer/investor/angel who has an idea for a Web 2.0 application/business and he asked me how we could work together.  This blog is dedicated to "Web 2.0 initiatives in North Texas" so I thought it might be a great time to let everyone know how we might work together to create initiatives ourselves. 

Most of the people who approach M | Ventures usually lack money, resources and/or time.  We can easily provide the various resources that you would need to get your idea off the ground whether you need programmers, consulting, equipment, bandwidth, servers, office space, phones or perhaps a little capital.  But that is not really the most interesting aspect of the ‘help’ we can provide; the most interesting/useful things are:

  • Partners who are spending day and night playing with the Web 2.0
  • Partners who are talking to most of the movers and shakers in the space
  • Partners who have been there and done that before

The lawyer/investor/angel has plenty of resources, including more capital than we have.  He assumed he just needed some Web 2.0 programming talent, perhaps someone with Ruby and Ajax developers.  He suggested that he might hire us to develop his ideas into software for a fee.  At the end of the day anyone can hire coders with Web 2.0 skills, but we believe that what we offer is far more valuable than a few coders – we believe that we can help create great businesses.

What is our standard deal?  Assuming we like your project we will help you develop, launch, and grow your idea into a business.  In most cases we simply split everything 50/50.  How can you get our idea to us?  Just blog about it and tag it with Delicious with the tag "mvenidea".  If you are wondering if we are going to work with the lawyer/investor/angel I will let you know if he decides to take us up on our offer…

Web 2.0 Visualizations? Jargon-filled and Unreadable?

According to Barb Dywbwad from the Social Software Weblog, that is exactly why Tim O’Reilly’s and Dion Hinchcliffe’s visualizations are not simple enough.  Ironically Barb’s answer is to create more jargon-filled and unreadable graphics that I liked enough to reblog here.  Check out her post here.



Welcome to Google, no actually it is Googol, nevermind Google is fine.

Some interesting ‘did you know‘ facts about Google:

  • Brin and Sergy didn’t know HTML when they started Google
  • Google is a misspelling of the intended name, Googol

These tibits from Marissa Mayer a product manager at Google.  I guess the fact that Google’s interface is so simple stems from the lack of HTML knowledge.  Want to work there?  Toss around ideas like Ajax and Ruby on Rails, and you better have a PhD from MIT or IIT.  [via]

Ever use elfURL? The Web 2.0 way to shorten URLs.

elfurl_logo_4.jpgI just blogged about this on Weblogs Work, but I thought I would reblog here.  On a whim we had a coder spend a few hours creating a URL redirection tool that would do more than TinyURL.  From my perspective TinyURL is a great idea.  If you have a long URL you just go to tinyurl and the tool will create a short URL for you.  This allows you to email links without fear that the link will be broken by the email client.  I decided we could extend upon this idea with some Web 2.0 features with a service called elfURL.  Here is what I came up with:

  • elfURL should shrink giant URLs.
  • elfURL should provide statistics on the number of times the elfURL has been clicked.
  • elfURL should deliver those statistics via RSS.
  • elfURL should automatically create delicious tags for the links.
  • elfURL should automatically create Rel-Tags for the links as well.

Since July (when we launched elfURL) we have only had 12,894 visitors to the site and created only 688 links.  I think TinyURL has created 11,000,000 links.  Wonder what we are doing wrong?  Also, we created an elfURL Konfabulator widget, but have not released it due to lackluster demand for the free service.  Comments/thoughts would be appreciated. 

Ben Barren Aussie With That Certain Something…

So I stumbled upon Ben Barren’s blog today.  Here are a few of the titles of his most recent posts:

  • Meta-Real Estate + PacMan Game Theory
  • Take me to the Moon Google, with NASA anyway
  • The 2.Out of Cash Jessica Alba Casting Couch
  • Rules of Blogging + Social Networking
  • The Usual News Corp + Yahoo Media Suspects
  • When is Big, enough?
  • Scobel links Wifi + Search

Anyway, I don’t know what it is but his posts are more interesting than mine on the very same subjects.  First his titles are better, but I can’t really figure out why they seem to hold my attention moreso than my own.  Check it out for yourself (oh and don’t bother with RSS, just visit the site here).  Just leave comments here if you have any ideas…  Thanks!

Microsoft picks HD-DVD instead of Blu-Ray

Now maybe I can get our show on HD-DVD!  (FYI – if you didn’t realize, you cannot watch HD content on your existing DVD player)  Microsoft’s last minute decision should hasten the deployment of the HD-DVD standard and provide another nail in the coffin of Blu-Ray. [via]

1999 versus 2005 Web 2.0 Meme


[via] [also, what is Web 2.0]


“Cash is always king”

cashisking.jpgFred Wilson does a regular post called "VC Cliche of the Week" and this week’s is a winner.  CASH IS KING!  He is dead on, check out his post here

"The single most important financial metric for any startup company isn’t revenues, margin, headcount, or profits. Those are all important, for sure. But the number that matters most is the cash balance."

I learned this lesson the hard way in my first venture backed deal.  NEVER RUN OUT OF CASH!