- Take a large group of people, let’s say 10,000. Send half of them a message that Team A will win the game this weekend. Send the other have a message that Team B will win the game this weekend.
- Whichever team wins, send a message to that group that you were right. Send no further messages to the group you got wrong.
- David’s CaringBridge Journal
- Honoring David Hussman at DevJam
- Obituary in Star Tribune
- Too Soon… by Anne Steiner
- Remembering David Hussman by Dan Bennett
- Dude, Mentor, Friend by Tara Swanson
- “I Dig The Great Minds Idea” by Ray Arell
- Remembering David Hussman at Mano a Mano
- Appreciating a Friend by Casey Rosenthal
- My Heroes by Robert Galen
- The Dude abides in Southwest Journal
- Coffee with Grief by Leah Cunningham
- To launch a new entrepreneurial venture, often with the backing of the parent firm or organization;
- To assist in the evaluation of potential investments where the entrepreneur has a particular expertise; or
- To provide functional expertise to assist with an existing investment.
All the screenshots are so narrow. We all had little, tiny monitors.
BigCharts Canada, FTW!
Virtual Stock Exchange ended up being bought by MarketWatch, who bought BigCharts.
Note the error on the Schwab image (page 10) where the URL is “datek.com”. 🙂
- Really missing espresso.
- Riding on school bus with Mazie.
- Wondering if Jim has had coffee.
- Wanting something…
- Pouting after Jim hurt my feelings.
- Maybe I should drink less coffee.
- Starbucks people are using wireless headsets.
- Stranded in New York Tweets
- Tammy declares that I cannot wear my new fishing shirt to work…
- iPhone Day via Twitter
- Finished cleaning most of the dog puke in minivan.
- Drinking amazing espresso…
- Sitting at my desk, sweating.
- I need a ship.
- Watching Charlotte’s Web with Mazie.
- At the Dolphin Show with Mazie!
- Having lunch with Mazie at Yum!
- Holy crap! Apple TV’s now show up as AirTunes remote speakers.
- Back in hotel room. TV doesn’t work in this room.
- Just calculated that I have 7,624,000 pixels on my desktop.
- Chase just ate half-loaf of banana bread off the counter!
- Just baked three loaves of banana bread. Yum.
- Mazie to Dad using iPhone…
- Updating Vista to SP1. Wish me luck.
- At a dinner with at least 10 doctors.
- Life Tip #845
- I wish time didn’t go so very fast…
- The question isn’t if…
- Feeling fairly stupid…
- Why is it so predictable…
- I sent this tweet four hours ago.
- Drinking from a jug marked XXX.
We all try to predict the future. Particularly in business, sports, finance, etc. I like to recall a story that Larry Kramer, CEO of MarketWatch, shared with me a long time ago.
Larry had spent a lot of time in finance, but before that had a deep background in sports. Sports betting is a huge industry and people try to prove that they have the edge in picking the winner of any game. So, anyone that can prove that they are a good picker will get attention, or be able to sell their upcoming predictions. Larry shared one of the strategies that he had seen many times.
At the end of three cycles you have 1,250 people that have seen you perfectly predict the last three games. You must be a genius! Will they pay you to get your prediction for the next game? You must have an edge.
So what is the lesson? When someone seems like a fantastic forecaster, make sure you aren’t just one of the people in that third set of people!
I spent a lot of my career in media and publishing on the web. During that time one of the things that I came to appreciate more completely was the unique journalistic voice that news organizations have. Being responsible for the websites of a number of these sites, I felt it was absolutely critical that whatever Content Management Systems (CMS for those in the business) and other publishing systems we had must allow the journalists to express that unique voice to the reader, via the website. To this end I coined something that I called the Two Second Test.
The Two Second Test is simple. You should be able to show any person the front page of a news website for just two seconds and they should be able to have a feel for what is happening at that moment. Is there big news? Did something great just happen? Something bad? You should be able to intuit it from just those two seconds.
I was reminded of this concept recently when Larry Kramer shared How 9/11 looked on a newly created Internet on that day. His article includes pictures of two framed screen grabs of the MarketWatch page from that day.
I looked at those in Two Seconds you knew something big was happening.
This might seem easy, but the vast majority of news websites even today fail this test. Pick your favorite sites and go to them, look for two seconds, and see what you know. Ask yourself if you know anything? Mostly you don’t.
Most organizations fail this test because of the constraints of their content management system. In order to make their sites work, they have dozens of templates, and they flow articles and blurbs from their CMS into various templates. They change the template for what is going on in the world, but they are always working in a template.
In order to pass the Two Second Test you have to give your newsroom a canvas to work on, not a color-by-numbers template. Along with that power comes risk. The newsroom could put something on the site that has a technical flaw of some sort. Having a strong operational connection between the newsroom and the technology team limits that risk though.
On this day, 23 years ago, we launched BigCharts.com. The time before and after that was fun, stressful, and filled with unknowns. It was a great ride. One of the defining experiences of my life. I love that the site is still around, serving charts for all that want! I’m sure code I wrote is still running on it. 😬
I bet that it is one of the very few sites that can show a graph of the Dow Jones Industrial Average back to 1970. I know because I was the one that backloaded that data into the database!
I love that the size of chart bigger than Large is still called Big! I remember the laughter when we came up with that obvious label.
It still is one of the few sites that will give you a historical quote, with the price info for a given day in the past, backing out splits.
I remember the up2.aspx page that we used for the load balancers to make sure servers were healthy.
Here is a team photo from June 9, 1999. It was a tech team dinner at Buca. What a great team!
I hope the site enjoys its 20s and is around for decades to come!
I also shared this on LinkedIn and hopefully we’ll get some old school BigCharts folks commenting.
The last time I saw my friend David Hussman we met at Red Wagon Pizza and enjoyed an extended evening of pepperoni pizza and several glasses of a delicious red wine. We initially sat inside to avoid some scattered rain, but then transitioned outside to enjoy a gorgeous evening, great wine and even better conversation. Like most times that David and I got together the conversation never had a gap and flowed all over the place.
I commented to David that he seemed remarkably well. It had been well over a year since David called to let me know about his cancer diagnosis. When he called he was talking weeks and months. Here we were drinking glasses of wine and laughing well over a year later. He was sharing stories of his recent trip to Italy with his family. It sounded amazing and I could almost be fooled into thinking that David wasn’t sick. But he definitely was.
I first met David when I was CTO for MarketWatch. One of the engineers on our team knew him and figured he could help us out with some of the things we were doing. I instantly liked David’s insight, his directness and ability to see through the messy stuff and get right to the problem.
David and I were able to combine forces several times over the next 25 years. We had what I would describe as a mutual mentor relationship. One of us would often ping the other with the vague request to get some “hang time” and talk through some topic that was on our mind.
David was always understated. His work to bring agile methods to companies was exceptional, and as a thought leader and speaker his stage was global. He presented at conferences around the world and brought a tremendous amount of energy and fun to the sessions. I enjoyed every talk I ever saw David give. There are dozens of them on YouTube if you never got the chance to see him present. I was really excited when he agreed to give the Keynote at Minnebar 9.
Often times I thought it would be fun to build something with David, maybe do a project or something. Both of us were always busy with family and work things that pushed that off. I tried to get him to join my book club at one point but he deferred, citing his busy travel schedule.
The last year I was able to connect with David on a more regular basis. A terminal cancer diagnosis provides some urgency. He approached his cancer with an amazing resilience. I can’t even imagine how hard such a thing is, but from what I could tell his approach to life made the time he got at the end so much better.
David was often referred to as The Dude, in an admirable reference to The Big Lebowski. He even coined his own law, Dude’s Law, that Value = Why / How. In life David always seemed to have a good handle on Why, and he kept his How pretty damn simple. The rest worked out as best as it can.
You will be sorely missed Dude! v5.6.50
Here are some additional items I’ve indexed remembering David.
Playing The .com Edition of Monopoly, of course. 😜 Hilarious tiles. Game starts with $1.5 billion per player. 💸 CBS MarketWatch has a tile, right next to Sun Microsystems!
Google and Amazon are not on The .com Edition Monopoly board. 🤷♂️
I had to buy Sun Microsystems in .com Monopoly. 💙
56k modem for the win! .com Monopoly. 😊
I’ve been cleaning through old files and found the copy of the April 30, 1999 issue of the Star Tribune that I had saved with the article about BigCharts being acquired by CBS MarketWatch. I couldn’t just recycle this before running it through the scanner. Phil sure had some hair back then. 😀
Funny that Phil actually did relocate to San Francisco area, just about 10 years later than this article and had nothing to do with BigCharts or MarketWatch.
Three years ago my friend, mentor and former professor John Riedl shared the news with our book club that he had been diagnosed with cancer. Melanoma. He spent the last three years fighting it. He did it all right, as the scientist he was. He was able to try never-before tested treatments. He adopted a vegan diet. He was strong and vital. He was optimistic, as always, and we were all optimistic for him. In the last month things got much worse very quickly. Yesterday I joined well over two hundred others in celebrating his life and spirit at his funeral. It was a perfect ceremony for a man that was loved and admired so much. I would like to share the story of how I came to know John.
Hackers v. Crackers
I started at the University of Minnesota in 1990. So did Dr. Riedl. 1990 was his first year as a professor in the Computer Science department of the Institute of Technology. At some point during that year the Minnesota Daily wrote a big exposé article on how bad hackers were. They were supposedly breaking into every computer system around, stealing credit cards and doing illegal things. I was fairly fresh from reading Stephen Levy’s fantastic book Hackers and I took great offense at this article. See, hackers are exceptional software developers (aka coders). People that break into computers? Those are crackers. A completely different type of software person focused on compromising systems, both technical and human.
I read this article and it got me all worked up so I sent a letter to the editor telling the Daily that they got it all wrong. Their hacker article was wrong and should have used the term cracker. This is clearly a semantic battle that never was. I don’t think anyone used the term cracker for people that broke into systems much after that point or even before, but I was principled.
The day after that letter ran I remember getting a phone call in my Frontier Hall dorm room. I picked it up and the guy introduced himself as Dr. Riedl, in the computer science department. He mentioned that he and Dr. Carlis were going to write an opinion piece on the article the Daily had published and wondered if I would mind if they quoted me. I have no idea why he thought he needed to ask, but he did and I stammered out “Sure” at some point. We chatted briefly on other University stuff and he ended by saying that “If I ever needed anything, feel free to stop by.” I said thanks and looked forward to reading the article.
Losing Unix Access?
A while after the article I was facing a problem. In 1990 when you took a Computer Science class you were given an account on the Unix workstations. However, that account was provisioned for the class you were enrolled in. So, I had an account but it was going to disappear when the quarter ended.
This was traumatic for me. You see, I had discovered Unix and it was like an entirely new world of technology had opened up. Actually, it wasn’t “like” that, it specifically was that! I had discovered IRC and was chatting with people around the world. I was FTP‘ing to servers at other Universities. I was building software on my own. This was amazing! And it was going to go away when my class ended. So, I went to see Dr. Riedl.
I went to his office and explained my predicament. His response? He put me on his graduate research team. This is the team that eventually became GroupLens, but I don’t think it had that name at that time. I went from hoping to get an account somehow to getting 24-hour access to a lab with dedicated machines, and a permanent account on a handful of SunOS workstations. I was in heaven! I was also a clueless freshman that couldn’t do much beside help with testing the stuff the grad students were working on. While my friends were going to parties on the weekend, I was heading to the graduate lab in the CSci building to explore the systems and software, and very importantly the pre-web Internet. I spent hours there just learning and learning. (To be clear, access to the computer lab was clearly not the only thing that kept me out of the social scene on the weekends. 🙂)
Go and Build Things
I learned so much in the CSci lab and loved being able to ask grad students questions that probably drove them a little crazy. It turns out I liked that a lot more than going to my other classes. Both Dr. Riedl and Dr. Carlis recognized that I knew the technology, but didn’t seem to be ready for all of the college experience. They both opened the door that maybe I should go and work in industry for a while. Maybe I would come back to the University, or maybe I wouldn’t. And that is what I did, and I never did end up coming back.
I lost touch with Dr. Riedl for a while. To be fair, we were both crazy busy. He took a break from the University to start NetPerceptions and had a wild ride. I was busy building BigCharts and then growing MarketWatch. Years later, after he had returned to the University I reached out to get lunch and we had a great time catching up. We stayed in contact for a long time after that. He graciously invited me to speak at the University of Minnesota a number of times, including being the keynote speaker at the Computer Science departments annual open house. He also gave a nice quote for me when I received the Forty Under 40 award.
In late 2007 I got an email from him about a book club. 17 years from when we first met, wow. He mentioned that he was part of this small book club of geeky guys that liked to read about technology topics, and strayed off topic as they wished. Honestly, I wasn’t much of a reader at the time but the idea of reading books with a group that included John Riedl was far too much to pass up on. I joined without hesitation.
John was a voracious reader I realized. That shouldn’t have surprised me given his scholarly and scientific background. He was also a great person to discuss books with, as are Tom, Erik and Dan, the other members of the club. I count myself truly lucky to have shared a book club with John for 6 years. I’ve come to recognize it as a unique experience. Reading informs oneself, and reading together over the course of many years, brings you together and allows for raucous and challenging conversations. As Tom said in a reference to the club and John, “For years to come I’ll read something and think ‘John would really like this.'”
The world is worse off without John here. He was a brilliant man, mentor and teacher who had such an impact on my life. And you know what? I wasn’t alone. I’ve heard many stories like mine of people who’s lives are substantially better due to their interactions with John. At his funeral, the common refrain was how much of a mentor he was. My condolences are with his wife Maureen who I got to read a handful of books with as well in our members + spouse meetings, and his children Eric, Karen and Kevin who I really only know through the annual Christmas letter, but all seem to be incredible individuals in their own right. No surprise there.
One of my favorite mashups we ever did at MarketWatch put realtime news on a live timeline. Cool stuff.
HumbleFinance produces really nice looking, smooth and interactive charts in HTML5 using Canvas. Very nice. At MarketWatch we had been trying to do this several years ago but it was really hard to get the user experience we wanted. I think browser technology has finally reached the point where you can do this stuff right. (via Daring Fireball)
I was catching up on my Daring Fireball feed today and saw that John Gruber had put together a longer post on Microsoft’s earnings shortfall. It’s a worthwhile read, and I think that Gruber is correct in suggesting that Microsoft has begun a very difficult time and is going to be there for a while.
Today that is simply no longer the case. Microsoft has lost all but a sliver of this entire market. People who love computers overwhelmingly prefer to use a Mac today. Microsoft’s core problem is that they have lost the hearts of computer enthusiasts. (Emphasis mine) Regular people don’t think about their choice of computer platform in detail and with passion like nerds do because, duh, they are not nerds. But nerds are leading indicators.
Now, let me be particularly cautious here. This is combustible territory I realize. A couple of months ago I was asked by a couple of people for my opinion of what Microsoft should do to change direction. After considering it for a while I came up with a simple two step plan that would make me think that something big had happened at Microsoft.
Neither of these two steps I’m going to suggest are things that average consumers would notice, or even really care about. My point, agreeing with Gruber, is to do something that will get the nerds to take notice. However, before proceeding, let me come clean that I have been a huge Microsoft advocate. MarketWatch.com is one of the largest financial websites on the Internet, and is entirely built on Windows technology. I’ve advocated with people the benefits of Windows development environments. I’ve even been quoted in Microsoft case studies. With all that said, I can’t imagine using Windows in a new company, and I haven’t seen an early stage company using Windows for years now.
Unix Has Won
My first suggestion for Microsoft is to wave the white flag on the NT kernel. Dump it. Dump it and replace it with a Linux, BSD, Mach or other Unix-type kernel. I’m not going to get into arguments about the benefits of the NT kernel and its VMS lineage. This isn’t a point of threading models or memory management. My point is both a technical and cultural one. It seems unnecessary to continue to shoulder the burden of the NT kernel. Move to an open-source Linux kernel and stop carrying all the water yourself.
What happens with Windows? Not much for the user. Microsoft should do what Apple did when it made Mac OS X. Wholesale change the kernel but keep the user experience pretty much the same. The engine is new and different, but users don’t need to know that. Meanwhile, the nerds of the world can enjoy a native shell with the thousands of Unix executables available native on the platform.
If you’re saying to yourself “Jamie, the kernel is not Microsoft’s problem!” you are likely right. I’m not suggesting that blue screens of death are regular and that the kernel is broken. I’m suggesting that Microsoft needs to adopt a new culture, a new perspective on software. They need to force themselves onto a new path that acknowledges what has happened in the open-source world for the last 20 years. Adopting an open-source Unix style kernel would send a very clear, and very loud message that things have changed. That the future is going to be different. A new path is being broken.
Stop Fighting the Web Browsers
My second suggestion rings similar to the first, but is in a different area. I’m not going to suggest that Microsoft should abandon Internet Explorer. They can and should do what they can to make a great browser that works amazingly in Windows. Internet Explorer should be that. However, they should immediately ditch the rendering engine in IE and move to one of the open-source ones. WebKit, Gecko, anything other than Trident (or MSHTML).
The nerds of the world, the ones that build the websites that everyone uses, know intimately how bad Internet Explorer is. At this point, IE’s lack of compliance and its adoption of web standards is so poor that I would argue they are impeding the progress of the web. Ask any web developer and they will tell you how they could make amazingly better sites if only they could rely on the major browsers to behave well. By and large Firefox (Gecko), Safari (WebKit), Chrome (WebKit) all do. Even Opera (Presto). But Internet Explorer? No way. Microsoft has created a problem for everyone else, and they need to fix it.
Again, changing the rendering engine won’t be noticeable to most people (although when sites work better and load faster they will notice that). This is another move that would signal to the leading part of the technology market, that Microsoft “gets it”. That they have woken from a long slumber and are going to do it right now.
Two Steps, That’s it…
With those two moves Microsoft could wake me up, and I think a lot of other people too. They would embrace the open-source movement. They would stop positioning themselves as them against everyone else in the entire world. And, on top of it they could save money by owning the maintenance of less software, and they would have products that worked better.
Of course, I doubt these things would ever happen. But then again, I also didn’t think Macs would ever have 2-button mice or use Intel chips, and that all came true. Microsoft isn’t a bad company, and they aren’t going away. But they do need to recapture the hearts of people who are passionate about this stuff. This is my recommendation for how they can do that.
Apple’s Two Steps
Friends that have known me for a very long time know that I used to be a Mac guy for many years, and I gave up on Apple completely. I was a Mac user on System 5, System 6 and System 7. I really loved my Macs. But, I bid the platform farewell after experiencing one too many operating system failures. I never looked back and used Windows NT and it’s follow-on versions for a many, many years.
A couple of years ago I converted every computer in the house back to Macs and that is pretty much all I use now. What made me come back? Two things.
First, Apple bought NeXT computer and adopted it’s Mach-based kernel and underlying operating system. They didn’t change the user experience in a major way, but underneath it was all different. A real operating system, that didn’t crash.
The second change was to abandon the Motorola PowerPC processor. Intel was clearly the way to go, but it seemed unlikely that they ever would.
I bought my first Mac again when Mac OS X 10.3 was out. It was still on the Motorola chip, but I took a flyer. Shortly thereafter they moved to Intel chip and I’ve not looked back.
My point in telling this is to highlight how, for me at least, these two changes made all the difference in the world. Perhaps the two changes I’ve outlined above could do the same for Microsoft.
Earlier this week Split Rock Partners did a press release regarding my entrepreneur in residence (EIR) with the firm. The first question friends of mine have asked is “What exactly is an entrepreneur in residence?” Wikipedia highlights an EIR as:
The EIR role is often designed to fill one of three primary functions:
That is a great recap of what I will be doing with Split Rock. The partners have given me a place to office and the opportunity to get and give early feedback around potential business ventures.
A couple of other items about EIR roles. There are other “in residence"programs. For example, artist in residence seems to be a fairly well established. I’ve also seen writer in residence as well as journalist in residence pop up. Lastly, just to be clear, the EIR role is a partnership. I’m not an employee at the firm, and this isn’t a “job”. It is a formal collaboration and a vehicle for us to work together.
I am excited to work with the partners at Split Rock and will make the most of such a unique opportunity!
Jamie Thingelstad joins Split Rock Partners as an Entrepreneur in Residence
Former Dow Jones executive will focus on emerging opportunities in digital media
Minneapolis, MN, July 27 – Split Rock Partners, a venture capital firm focused on emerging software and internet services companies, is pleased to announce that Jamie Thingelstad, former Vice President, Chief Technology Officer of the Wall Street Journal Digital Network, the consumer division of Dow Jones & Company and Chief Technology Officer of MarketWatch, Inc., is affiliated with the firm as an Entrepreneur in Residence (“EIR”).
Mr. Thingelstad was founding Chief Technology Officer of BigCharts, Inc. through its acquisition by MarketWatch in 1999. BigCharts was a pioneer in delivering real-time financial information via the web, and provided financial tools offered by the majority of top financial services firms at the time of the acquisition.
MarketWatch was subsequently acquired by Dow Jones, and Mr. Thingelstad continued to take on progressively larger responsibilities within the Dow Jones organization. In his last role, he served as Chief Technology Officer of the Wall Street Journal Digital Network, a leading provider of financial and investment news through sites sites such as the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and Barrons. During his tenure, the network properties grew substantially in audience, and introduced several new product offerings. Prior to that Mr. Thingelstad was Chief Technology Officer for the Enterprise Media Group of Dow Jones where he oversaw the development efforts for Dow Jones Newswires, Dow Jones Indexes and other business services offered by the company.
“Jamie is an accomplished entrepreneur and brings great insight into the intersection of the internet, new media, and the implications for next-generation business models,” said Michael Gorman, a Managing Director at Split Rock Partners. “As a pioneer in digital media, he is intimately familiar with the unique challenges and opportunities presented by the convergence of new technologies, consumer behavior, advertiser objectives and industry economics. We look forward to applying his insights to the process of identifying the most promising opportunities taking advantage of these dynamic trends.”
As an EIR with Split Rock Partners, Mr. Thingelstad will be evaluating opportunities defining the next generation of digital media, the increasing opportunities in social applications on the web as well as the continuous evolution of the web as a platform.
“I am excited to explore how new technologies can build upon the foundation of traditional media, while creating new opportunities to meet the needs of consumers and businesses in unanticipated ways,” said Mr. Thingelstad. “We are still at an early stage in the transformation of digital content production, delivery and consumption, and in that transformation lies opportunity. I am pleased to partner with the Split Rock team given their track record of partnering with entrepreneurs to translate the potential of breakthrough ideas into leading companies.”About Split Rock Partners
Split Rock Partners, with offices in Minneapolis and Menlo Park, seeks emerging opportunities in healthcare, software, and Internet services primarily in the Upper Midwest and West Coast. Split Rock was formed in June 2004 by the teams responsible for healthcare, software and Internet services investments for St. Paul Venture Capital (SPVC) and continues to manage SPVC’s portfolio in those sectors. Split Rock closed a $275 million inaugural fund in April of 2005, and a $300 million second fund in May, 2008. Representative companies backed by Split Rock’s team include Atritech, Disc Dynamics, EBR, eBureau, Entellus, Evalve, Gearworks, Internet Broadcasting, HireRight, LowerMyBills.com, MyNewPlace, QuinStreet, and Tornier. Additional information about the firm can be found at www.splitrock.com.
We recently converted my home office to hardwood flooring from carpet. Doing this required that the room be emptied, including a big filing cabinet. I decided it was time to do a filter through that filing cabinet and found some fun things from a many years ago. One of those items was the BigCharts Partnership Portfolio from 1997-1998. This was a printed, high-gloss, portfolio item that we shared with clients so they could see how people were using the products. It’s pretty fun to see all these screen shots of sites (many of which are long gone now) from a decade ago. I scanned a copy so others could enjoy.
Some highlights that gave me a chuckle:
Markets are recovering by websites are not. Much of the web just not working…
NYTimes.com, WSJ.com, Marketwatch.com, Economist.com – all are loading very slowly or not at all.
Just got whiplash from the market.
This year marks something that will not happen again until 2014, when Mazie turns 9. Father’s Day is the day right after Mazie’s birthday! Father’s Day is always the 3rd Sunday in June. After 2014 it won’t happen again until 2025, on Mazie’s 20th birthday. Now, I know what you are all wondering. When will Mazie’s birthday be on Father’s day? Never. It gets to the day before, and then flips back away because Father’s Day moves back due the third Sunday thing.
I love being a Dad and as the years pass I realize more and more that it’s the most important thing in my life. Your job changes, your hobbies come and go. Your family is always your family. Your kids are forever your kids. Taking this summer off has provided a luxury that I’m so lucky to have. To be able to spend all my time with my family. Completely unrelated, I was reading The Soul of a New Machine today and this passage seemed so fitting for the day (p. 279).
During that summer, West suddenly remembered bike rides he’d taken with his father on Sunday evenings, and he found time to reassert that tradition with his oldest daughter. Suddenly, it seemed, he realized that his children were growing, and apparently he intended now to guide them on their way. He said one evening: “That’s the bear trap, the greatest vice. Your job. You can justify about any behavior with it. Maybe that’s why you do it, so you don’t have to deal with all those other problems.”
I like to think that I’ve kept my priorities in order, but I think the “bear trap” reference is appropriate. Its good to remind myself what is important and where priorities lie. I’m grateful to have this summer for that, and to have Father’s Day every year to reflect on it.
See also: Father’s Day 2006
Last night was my absolutely amazing farewell party at the Bernard’s house. The gang put together this awesome going away video for me. It’s just great. Thank you so much everyone. Who would have ever thought reading “twitters” could be so funny! There is an amazing, completely unexpected and inexplicable cameo at the end. But don’t skip to it! Sit back and enjoy…
That is just great. I’m speechless. 🤩
Links to most messages read:
Today I’m closing a very long chapter in my career. This is my last day at Dow Jones/MarketWatch. This transition has been in the works for a while. It was announced in January and over the course of the following months I’ve been able to wrap-up some projects, transition others and most importantly work to get my replacement hired and up-to-speed. I’m happy to leave on a Friday, and have a new CTO start on Monday to take the organization forward. My replacement will be in New York which I think will be immensely helpful. I’ve been able to do a lot from Minneapolis, but moving to New York isn’t in the cards and it was time for me to do something different.
The past 10+ years have been amazing. This chart is a great representation of all the twists and turns that have occurred over that period.
This is a tough day. It’s filled with a lot of emotion. I’ve found myself reflecting a lot over this week. Remembering a lot of past colleagues, all the great projects and even some of the bombs. It’s been amazing to see an organization grow and change through so many events. I’m incredibly proud of everything that has been accomplished by such this great team.
I’ll be taking a respite this summer and enjoying a great number of trips with my family. Stay tuned right here for news on those travels!
There are a few points in the history of BigCharts and MarketWatch that I’m especially proud of. Perhaps one of the most prominent ones, and most public, is the inclusion of the BigCharts BigArchitecture (the name we retroactively gave the COM-infrastructure behind MarketWatch and BigCharts) in the scalability demo at the Windows 2000 launch event. The video is a fun watch.
We had been working with Microsoft pretty extensively at this point in part because we were trying to run our stuff on Windows NT 4.0 and it was horrible. We were having immense problems. We decided to throw a “Hail Mary” and upgrade to the unreleased beta of Windows 2000 Server. It worked! Our problems, which I can’t even remember now (anyone?) went away, and our sites stabilized.
Microsoft knew about the success we had had and was looking for the scalability demo for the launch. They called us about 10 days before the launch event to see if we could do it. We sent one of our systems team out that night. When he got there, Kristian Meier called me on my mobile saying “Dude! Do you know what they want me to do?! This is awesome!” We really hadn’t had time to brief him before his flight.
They made images, installed 500 clients, a bunch of servers, some databases and loaded it all up on trucks to drive from Redmond to San Francisco.
Microsoft only gave us two seats on the floor for the event. Chris Tersteeg and I attended. The screen that they had MarketWatch on in the auditorium was immense. To this day I don’t think I’ve ever seen a screen projected bigger. They brought MarketWatch up live during the talk and at one point the page refresh kicked in. The whole screen went blank and Chris and I sat there with our heartbeat stopped waiting for the page to redraw. I don’t think there has ever been a more anxious page view to the site.
There is a funny editorial aside here. The newsroom was of course covering the launch of Windows 2000 and the theme of the coverage was that it was generally a non-event. We had a headline, above the fold that morning, called “Windoze 2000 Launch” and there was a picture of a guy sleeping next to it, if I remember right. Microsoft of course called me with panic since this wouldn’t exactly be the kind of headline you would want on the screen during the launch event. I called our editor to see what we could do. He appropriately suggested that we hope something new happens to take the headline off the site, otherwise, pound sand. Luckily some new news broke!
The demo was awesome in person. Seeing 500 client machines drive huge traffic to your code base was great. After the launch event we called it a day, rented a convertible and drove around the valley for the afternoon. We also made a stop at Fry’s to pick up some toys.
What a great event. Thanks to everyone who made it a reality!
I sent this tweet four hours ago. Your getting it now, in the future, from me in the past.
One of the tweets highlighted in my MarketWatch Farewell Video!
Why is it so predictable that the one button Mazie would be most obsessed with on my MacBook Pro is the POWER button.
One of the tweets highlighted in my MarketWatch Farewell Video!
Feeling fairly stupid having trouble migrating to WP 2.5 built-in avatar support and ditching Gravatar plugin. Ugh.
Avatar success! Magic is:
<?php echo get_avatar($comment, '50'); ?> and it does everything, entire IMG tag.
I cannot even begin to express how much I love the Search Regex WP plugin. It has saved me hours!
A little overwhelmed by how much cleanup work I need to do on my blog. Not WP 2.5 related, just years of messy junk.
Changed my whole permalink structure and have done everything I can to make it right. Wondering how much of a hit I’ll take from Google.
One of the tweets highlighted in my MarketWatch Farewell Video!
The question isnt if, but to what extent, I’m addicted to the Internet.
One of the tweets highlighted in my MarketWatch Farewell Video!