Lots of inspiration coming from NYC

Posted: May 8th, 2011 | Author: Gordon | Filed under: education, technology | View Comments

For people that don’t want to be clueless “business” leaders of tech companies (good article about that on Yishan Wong’s site) or the “Whartonite seeks code monkey” type.


Got Nostalgic After Seeing Lala Music Mover

Posted: December 5th, 2010 | Author: Gordon | Filed under: technology | View Comments

Before upgrading one of my old computers from Win XP to Win 7, I looked through my programs and saw Lala Music Mover. It was really good to me while it lasted :(

Here are some screenshots.

Learning HTML/CSS

Posted: November 26th, 2010 | Author: Gordon | Filed under: design | View Comments


<title>Learning HTML/CSS — Baby Steps</title>
<style type=”text/css”>
body {
background-color: #C2A7F2;
font0family: sans-serif;
h1 {
color: #2A1959;
border-bottom: 2px solid #2A1959;
h2 {
color: #474B94;
font-size: 1.2em:
h2, p {
margin-left: 120px;

<h1><img src=”cover.jpg” “alt=book cover” />  Learning HTML/CSS — Baby Steps</h1>

<h2>Just started learning HTML/CSS today</h2>
<p>This is an example from a book called “Learning Web Design” by Jennifer Robbins. I took the photo from http://www.learningwebdesign.com/</p>

<h2>Is it any good?</h2>
<p>I like it a lot so far. The examples are fluid and easy to follow. Jennifer transitions logically from topic to topic.</p>

<h2>What’s next?</h2>
<p>Hope to finish this book as soon as possible and then get into deeper front-end design work. The final goal is to start doing back-end work too so that I can pull a simple interactive site together.</p>


Pictures (Europe + Roadtrip)

Posted: September 12th, 2010 | Author: Gordon | Filed under: random | View Comments

Pictures from Europe and the roadtrip are now up on Picasa.

Summer’s Over!

Posted: September 12th, 2010 | Author: Gordon | Filed under: random | View Comments

And a lot has happened in just a few months.  After graduation, I went backpacking in Europe for a month with @fondac (London, Paris, Madrid, Seville, Tarifa, Tangier, Barcelona, Lyon, Geneva, Lausanne, Bern, Lucerne, Zurich, Milan, Florence, Rome, Prague, Munich, Berlin, Copenhagen, Malmo, Amsterdam, Brussels, and then back to London). It was very much a whirlwind trip. Many times we didn’t know where we’d be the next day or where we’d be staying that night. At any point in time we probably had one or two days planned in advance on average.

In August we drove from Florida to California. Along the way, we stopped in New Orleans, Austin, El Paso, Phoenix, San Diego, and Los Angeles. The driving wasn’t too bad because we spread the trip over eight days (if you drive like a machine you can finish in three days).

Fast forward another month to September and I’ve just finished my first week at Google. I met lots of incredibly smart people and learned a ton in just a few days. After having limited access to computers for much of the summer, it feels great to be interacting with technology again.

One Year of Free Amazon Prime for Students — Better Than It Sounds

Posted: July 13th, 2010 | Author: Gordon | Filed under: uncategorized | View Comments

The free Amazon Prime deal for students is better than it sounds.

I’ve been a paid Prime subscriber for the past two years and I felt cheated when I heard about this offer. On a whim, I signed up for the offer anyway and was pleasantly surprised.

Once you signup for the offer, your existing paid subscription is cancelled, you get a refund for any unused months, and you get the free subscription starting today.

Usually, I assume that companies are trying to screw me at every corner. This was really a surprise.

Hello from Amazon.com.

Your Amazon Prime membership has been canceled, per your request.

Since you received benefits on a small number of items, you will be issued a refund of $52.93 for the remaining months of your membership. If your membership charge has been completed, your refund should be processed within the next 2-3 business days and will appear as a credit on your next credit card billing statement.

You are welcome to come back any time and sign up for Prime again. Please know that we value your business, and we hope to see you again soon at Amazon.com.

To signup visit: http://www.amazon.com/prime

Best regards,

Amazon.com Customer Service


I’ve been blogging for a year now

Posted: May 31st, 2010 | Author: Gordon | Filed under: uncategorized | View Comments

And it’s been a great journey. It started out as a curiosity and then became part of my life, and I think I’m better for it.

Book Review: Mastering the VC Game

Posted: May 4th, 2010 | Author: Gordon | Filed under: venture capital | Tags: , , | View Comments

I purchased Mastering the VC Game after Fred Wilson blogged about it at avc.com. I thought the book was entertaining and well-written. Having followed vc blogs for quite some time now, I can’t say that there was a lot of new information in the book, but  I did think that it brought clarity to some issues that I didn’t completely understand.

For example, in valuation there is a common misconception that the higher the valuation, the better the deal is for the management team. The problem is that entrepreneurs often forget to factor in the size of the option pool set aside for future employees. To account for this, Bussgang introduces a metric called the ‘promote’, which is the (founding team’s ownership percentage)*(post money valuation). Even though the book’s explanation is nearly identical to the explanation on Bussgang’s blog a year ago, it made so much more sense this time.

The reason for this newfound clarity is that the book introduces topics in a natural way. Bloggers often have trouble doing this and can seem random and haphazard. So when the ‘promote’ is explained in the context of an entire chapter about valuation, suddenly it makes sense.

Another reason I was able to appreciate the nuances in the book is that I’ve been following vc/entrepreneurship blogs obsessively for two years now. What I most appreciate is that the book was able to touch upon so many pieces of information that I had to internalize bit-by-bit over two years. In just a few hours, you can get a broad overview of vc, dive into interesting stories, and get surprisingly detailed information that isn’t widely available except in blog posts.

This immediately reminded me of Rework by the guys at 37signals. I was really disappointed by that book and thought it was a waste of time. It was incredibly repetitive and at some points I felt like I was re-reading a combination of the 37signals blog and Getting Real. Bussgang’s book is still derived from blog posts, but rather than being a rehash, it brings clarity to a scattered body of knowledge. If you’re interested at all in vc/entrepreneurship, and especially if you’re new to blogging, I highly recommend the book.

Lala iTunes Credit

Posted: May 4th, 2010 | Author: Gordon | Filed under: economics, technology | View Comments

Wharton Behavioral Lab

Posted: April 7th, 2010 | Author: Gordon | Filed under: economics, productivity | View Comments

The Wharton Behavioral Lab is where professors survey students for research projects. I had to participate as a requirement for my marketing class, but anyone can be involved. You take 4 or 5 surveys, get $10, and then go home. As soon as I went in though, I wanted to get out. I didn’t care about the studies they were doing, and figured they were controlling for biases anyway. I did an honest job of trying to fill out the surveys faithfully but there was too much incentive to just click the middle box for everything. I got out in 20 minutes and got $13.25, or effective hourly rate of $39.75 (incremental $3.25 was for my role in an imagined negotiation).

An easy fix would be to require people to stay for the entire hour. If that were the case I would probably just read the questions and answer them to avoid twiddling my thumbs for 40 minutes. I’m glad they didn’t figure this out though. Otherwise I’d still be there now.