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The “B” Word

The “B” Word

You know it’s serious when KQED is inviting PhDs to talk about the “B” word.

Bubble.

Of course, the starting point during every bubble conversation is what happened 14 years ago in 2000 during the dot-com bubble. Any time you compare current market to 2000, you start with a lost argument. What happened in 2000 will not happen again, not in that same manner at least. The Valley learned its lesson and will not make foolish decisions (let’s hope).

And yes, the numbers are not there yet, but the perception is.

In 2000, there were 261 Tech IPOs with a median age of 5. That’s a lot of IPOs in an infant industry trying to rush to market; maybe VCs forced them or the founders wanted out. In 2013, there were only 43 Tech IPOs with a median age of 9 years. Fewer IPOs and more mature business models. Do you see the difference? It’s a clear indication that startups and VCs are not rushing to IPO.

Let’s not bother with the first day pops and EPS, that’s all relative.

I think there is one person here we can all blame for this bubble talk. In fact, we all love to hate him. He is this T-Shirt wearing, Harvard dropout who happens to be the CEO of Facebook.

With his high profile acquisitions; Instagram, Whatsapp and Oculus, he has created an environment of “eyeballs-more-valuable-than-revenue.” One of the indications of a bubble is no revenue but high evaluation based on the future revenue probability. But that reason alone isn’t enough to call it a bubble, at least not yet.

Economists spend every waking moment trying to understand markets and predict the next bubble or recession. Yet, most of the time, either they fail or their warning falls short. Let’s not do their job for them.

Keep calm and geek on.

Photo Credit: Paulina Eli

It’s about time, Box

It’s about time, Box

Finally, last week Box filed S-1 with SEC to go public. It’s about time.

I use Box every now and then to store important documents. I am not a customer, just a free user with 50GB storage, out of which, I have used 145MB.

Box doesn’t make money, this wasn’t news to me. I knew this back when I prepared its 2011 tax return. In fact, it has long been speculated that Box is deep in red but the IPO news played out like an alarm clock going off. Overnight, every tech blogger out there turned into a financial analyst trying to warn the masses of the impending doom. That’s what I love about the internet, it’s free amusement for the knowledgeable and trivial anxiety for the gullible.

In the sea of startups, there is only one startup out there that has focused 100% on one thing and just one thing. That’s Box and the focus is enterprise cloud storage. Do one thing and do it right. Once the core product is nailed, they will have have all the time in the world to diversify their offerings.

After the IPO, things will get quite tough for Box. Wall street likes to see increase in revenues even if that doesn’t translate into profits. So far, that’s one thing going in the right direction for Box.

I promised myself that I won’t use the word “bleeding” in my post while talking about Box and won’t mention Aaron Levie’s ownership percentage in the company. I think I have succeeded, temptation has nothing on me.

But, I really suggest you read this Quora response by the man himself about his ownership percentage.

It takes lot of persistence to survive this long, I wish all the best to Box, its employees and investors.

Photo Credit: TechRepublic

Improving Twitter Experience

My Twitter experience had been on a downward slope and I never stepped back to wonder why. So I did and came to the conclusion that I am just too overwhelmed, maybe it’s the noise in my stream or maybe it’s the information fatigue. My Twitter screamed re-tweets, links, digital beggars, and sponsored tweets. It’s not what I signed up for.

Twitter

I was following 800+ people/business/sites. I had to re-think why I am following businesses, what are they giving me in terms of information other than spamming their coupons. Why the hell am I following Starbucks?

First step was to unfollow all businesses including sites that I can access through Flipboard. Second was to unfollow people who I don’t remember why I followed in the first place. That includes lots of CPAs who keep re-tweeting IRS tax tips, bloggers who are now calling themselves social media gurus, the unimaginative wave of marketing newbies a.k.a growth hackers, and people who say RT≠ Endorsement. Seriously, what else can a re-tweet mean?

Cleaning out the house never felt so good. I am now following less than 100 people and my Twitter experience has improved significantly. Give it a try, if it worked for me, it will work for you too.

How to Create Ruby on Rails App Development Environment on Nitrous.IO

How to Create Ruby on Rails App Development Environment on Nitrous.IO

This how-to guide is to help One Month Rails students create an online app development environment on Nitrous.IO instead of one on their computer. You can use this guide to compliment Lesson 7, which deals with creating a new app. By the end of this how-to, you will be able to preview your newly created app.

If you are not One Month Rails student, it’s still a valid guide. Just don’t name your app “omrails.”

Let’s start.

Assuming you haven’t read my earlier post, Nitrous.IO is a Web Integrated Development Environment (WIDE). You will not need anything more than the free account that they provide when you signup.

Login and click on Boxes and then New Box. Here’s the page you will end up at:

Set up Nitrous.IO box

Make sure Ruby on Rails is selected, Name your box and select the region. I am in California, so I selected US West. Leave the Memory and Storage as it is, that’s just the default setup. Click “Create Box.”

Provisioning Nitrous.IO box

Here’s what Nitrous.io WIDE looks like:
WIDE Nitrous.IO box

1 – Click X to close the chat window.
2 – Click X with arrows to expand the Console a.k.a the command line.

Believe it or not, you are ready to name your new app and start working on it.
Nitrous.IO console to create a new app

1 – Rails version 4.0.0
2 – Some Rails commands.
3 – Command to create a new rails app is rails new omrails (omrails is the name of the app)

That’s it, you are done creating your new app. Click X with arrows to go back to the Main screen.
Nitrous.IO Start rails server

1 – New app you created; click on the directory to see it’s structure.
2 – To see how your app looks like, you need to start rails server. In order to start the rails server, you should be in the app directory. Go to the Console and type the command cd omrails <enter> and then rails server <enter>.

Your rails server has started, it’s time to preview it.
Nitrous.IO Port 3000

1 – Click on Preview and select Port 3000

A new tab will open up and you will be able to preview your new app’s homepage:
Nitrous.IO Rails on port 3000

That’s it. We created a new app, started rails server and previewed the app.

FYI: Nitrous.IO has an excellent Support page. Happy learning.