Here comes another year, not like the last one
2006 has been a good year in some respects, shitty in others. Family issues haven't gone well (nothing to do with me though). Startup issues haven't overwhelmed us, which I suppose should be seen as a win as the bodies start piling up (cf RawSugar). Tinfinger's burn rate hasn't got above a smoulder all year, which can be seen as a problem, but all it does in retrospect is delay our shot until '07. The opportunity is still there, perhaps even more so. Amazingly, no one launched anything that remotely resembled what we plan Tinfinger to be, despite my early blog entries which laid much of our plans out in full.
I remain confident that Tinfinger is still a proposition worth working on, because I see that the work we have put in will pay off eventually. It's a piece of piss to build a social network site, since it's just a bunch of forms and an empty database. Social network platforms are the new CMSs, it's stupid to even try making a new one. You could buy one off Scriptlance for $100 or less. That includes social news, which is just a social networks where you can enter in new URLs. The value, the distinctiveness, of most startups comes from having your own database - not AP's, not Reuters' - and having your own distinctive algorithms. For cash-strapped startups who can't pay Lexis-Nexis or whoever to rent databases, there are ways around this, you can use copyright law to your advantage to make a base from which you then develop your own unique flavour.
The key, assuming you don't have any sugar daddies (which if you're not in the Valley is almost guaranteed) is to keep the burn rate low as you grow. I can only now see that we have got our systems to the point where we actually need more iron, better connectivity, more capacity.
Tinfinger is perhaps more ambitious than is strictly healthy for two dudes. Tony's always looking for the quick fix, the more efficient method, the get rich quick scheme. I have faith, possibly misguided, in the virtue of hard work for its own sake, because I think it will teach us lessons that we need to learn to succeed. We are reinventing some wheels, but it gives us an appreciation for how valuable those wheels are. It's kind of the difference between reading a car manual or having built your own car from parts. Wait, where am I going with this again?
Oh yes, we're getting the engines warmed up for some sort of chequered flag jobby. A few burnouts to heat the tyres up and we should be cooking with gas. Hmm, creating analogies whilst intoxicated is like skinning a rabbit with your fruit salad, or something.
The Carlton Draught cans are lining up before me in a maroon wall. That was a simile, those are safer. I think.
The point of this post, if there was one, which there isn't, so this sentence peters out into nothing. Not even a verb!
Oh wait, yes, that was the point. Tinfinger is supposed to be about people. It seems to me that many of the other Web 2.0 sites are based on technology... no, I lost this train of thought too. Bugger.
In the words of Geordi LaForge: "We lost a lotta good people." Vale Vera.
Bah, now I'm getting maudlin. Happy thoughts! Sunshine and lightness! Who knows, who knows. Not me at the moment, that's for sure.
I used to be a better writer than this. Before I opened my first beer of the evening. When is it that a journalist-turned-programmer is supposed to have his best years? Is it in his early 20s, like physicists? Or in his 40s like poets?
Now the fireworks start. Sounds like gunfire in Iraq. For five minutes, I can pretend I'm in Baghdad or the Gaza strip waiting for the mortars to hit.
I suppose it's not liveblogging if I only post this at the stroke of new year's, but ah, wtf.