Quit Early and Quit Often


Steve Jobs with thoughts on life and failure

The case for Uber in Miami

Uber should launch in Miami in the spring. Here’s why:

The need:
Anyone who lives in Miami knows that the transportation here SUCKS. The train is extremely limited, taking the bus takes forever and is inconvenient and a lot of customers complain about yellow cabs not showing up, driving like maniacs, drivers ripping people off, cabs being really dirty, etc.

Other factors:
– Parking is hard to find
– Parking is expensive
– Gas is expensive

Main areas to target for routes (in order of importance)
– South Beach
Coconut Grove
– Miami International Airport?
Coral Gables/Kendall?

Target Users
– Young Professionals – Downtown Miami is experiencing a revival as young professionals and families move into residential towers that once sat mostly vacant amid the housing glut. Not everything is within walking distance.
– Commuters – You’d be surprised at the amount of people who drive from the suburbs to South Beach and/or the downtown area. Uber could be the solution to many parking woes and getting to events faster as well as those who want a safe way of getting home after a night out.
– College Kids – Miami has around 8 colleges with several campuses located throughout the city. I figure most of these kids would be more prone to use the service towards the end of the week.
– Tourists – Miami draws over 12 million visitors annually from across the country and around the world.

Big Events
Miami Music Week and Ultra Music Festival – the world comes to Miami for the biggest week in Electronic Music March 16-25. 150,000 people alone attend Ultra and there are many events throughout the week.
Miami Heat and Miami Marlins home games – The Heat are gearing up towards the playoffs and tend to fill up/if not sell out most of their games. This has obvious benefits for surrounding businesses in the downtown area. The Miami Marlins have finished construction of their new stadium in the downtown area. The consensus in the Miami Herald is that the parking “really stinks.” Thousands of people might be looking for a better alternative coming the home opener on April 4.
– Spring Break – Thousands of college kids and tourists flock here in March and April to enjoy the great weather, beaches, shopping, etc. Mostly self-explanatory.
– St. Patrick’s Day – Also self-explanatory.
Calle Ocho – The biggest block party of the year in Miami.
Sony Ericsson Open Tennis Tournament – The best tennis pros in the world converge on Key Biscayne for this annual tournament.
Miami Beach International Fashion Week – The largest Latin American and International fashion event in the U.S.
Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition – One of the biggest delights for kids in Miami is experienced every March when the “The Fair” comes to town.
– Easter Weekend
Miami Wine and Food Festival – Ranked as one of the top ten wine festivals in the nation, featuring an array of culinary and wine events.

and plenty more…

The Miami Herald
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Miami New Times
Miami Today
Miami Sun Post
Diario Las Americas (for Spanish speakers)

Hacker News

Other Blogs and sites

a) Reddit/digg
b) Craigslist postings and forum
c) Yahoo/ Google Groups

Other stuff to get the word out:
– Word of mouth is huge here. So many events, clubs, bars, restaurants, etc. rely on this and also could have openings to partnerships. Facebook/Twitter daily guerilla marketing is important.
– Hello Celebrity endorsers (Miami is full of them)
– Have an exclusive from a large local publication
– College newspapers (University of Miami, Florida International University, etc.)
– Tents at many of the events listed above
– Radio stations

The transportation in Miami is ripe for disruption. The hospitality and tourism industry is huge here in the spring (this is the high season going into the summer) and many of these people rely on transportation during this time. There are many problems such as how long it takes to hail a cab, drivers ripping people off, etc. that Uber can solve. But, Uber can also help solve other problems such as the drunk driving here as well. Uber will bring many benefits and could be wildly successful in a city that is craving a change to its transportation.

How technical do you have to be?

I think a lot of MBA’s will let out a sigh of relief when they read this post.

Many times I’ve wondered: how technical does someone have to be to start a web company?

Dennis Crowley is a co-founder of foursquare. He didn’t start coding when he was 14. Here is his answer from Quora:

Well, dodgeball was the project that got me coding (tho this was the super early version of the dodgeball city-guide in 2001). There were things I wanted to make, no one else was going to make them, so I learned out of one of those “Learn ASP in 30 days!” books (ps: original version of dodgeball was ASP pulling from MS Access).

At ITP / NYU, my buddy Shawn Van Every started teaching me PHP / MySQL and I eventually learned PHP by re-writing / resurrecting dodgeball.

I’m a pretty lousy coder – I actually only know scripting languages (I’ve never had luck w/ C / Java / etc) – but I know enough to hack together prototypes which is often all you need to get started and get from 0 -> 10k users etc.

Here’s to the Crazy Ones

There’s Only One Thing in Life You Can Control

I wanted to share my favorite excerpt from Mark Cuban’s book: How To Win At The Sport Of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It.

In sports, the only thing a player can truly control is effort. The same applies to business. The only thing any entrepreneur, salesperson or anyone in any position can control is their effort.

I had to kick myself in the ass and recommit to getting up early, staying up late and consuming everything I possibly could to get an edge. I had to commit to making the effort to be as productive as I possibly could. It meant making sure that every hour of the day that I could contact a customer was selling time, and when customers were sleeping, I was doing things that prepared me to make more sales and to make my company better.

And finally, I had to make sure I wasn’t lying to myself about how hard I was working. It would have been easy to judge effort by how many hours a day passed while I was at work. That’s the worst way to measure effort.

Effort is measured by setting goals and getting results. What did I need to do to close this account? What did I need to do to win this segment of business? What did I need to do to understand this technology or that business better than anyone? What did I need to do to find an edge? Where does that edge come from, and how was I going to get there?

The one requirement for success in our business lives is effort. Either you make the commitment to get results or you don’t.

Enough with all of your negativity

“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” – Denis Waitley

News Flash everyone: The Recession ended in June 2009.

Wow. I am so bored with people and the media drowning me with the same thing: no one is hiring, the whole country is struggling and trying to get a job is like jumping on a sinking ship. Where’s the positive attitude?! The digital revolution is definitely hitting its stride. I’m sorry, but there are tons of technology companies hiring (and its definitely not the only industry). What happened to doing whatever it takes to get what you want? Why are people so afraid of doing the work? I think a lot of college graduates feel as if they are entitled to a job with a degree (and I went to Cornell). No one cares about a piece of paper. What makes you different? What skills do you bring to the table that make you indispensable? Figure out whatever it takes and then do whatever it takes! Its simple, but definitely not easy. Get out of your comfort zone, and don’t wait until tomorrow to do it. Get started NOW.

Many disruptive tech companies are ignoring all the noise and growing tremendously. Don’t believe me? Foursquare grew 3400% last year! These are the companies that will come out on top. I want to be a part of that! So don’t tell me it’s next to impossible to get a job in technology (or any field for that matter). And don’t tell me I don’t deserve my dream job at the company that I want to work for. Yes, it has taken me longer than usual. But, it will be totally be worth it. The juice is always worth the squeeze.

While many companies are indeed experiencing a hiring freeze, I’m finding that’s not as much the case for entry-level positions. We’re always needed. Maybe the competition’s a little bigger and a little more qualified because of layoffs, but that doesn’t mean I, or anyone else, should give up. Again, I pose the same questions: What makes you stand out from the crowd? Take the time to carve out a compelling argument. It is possible, but be willing to do the leg work.

A lot of my friends have been looking for a job much longer than I have, sending out hundreds of applications but hearing nothing. You absolutely cannot send out hundreds of applications and expect to hear anything back. I have gotten better results in the month since I started this “campaign” than I did in all the months combined after graduation.

Enough with the negativity! Embrace the changes in the industry with a smile, look ahead to all the cool things we can be doing and the creative and brilliant people out there who want to help. Things will keep growing, but finding your dream job will take longer unless everyone starts thinking a little more positively.