Trust me, CO2 is good for you!
June 25, 2006
The worth of ideas
June 23, 2006
Every minute spent angry is sixty seconds of happiness wasted
The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in war.
80% of success is showing up - Woody Allen
The clock's ticking; 28% of my life has passed already.
June 10, 2006
To see things in the seed, that is genius - Lao Tzu

As some of us might already know, Greenhouse gases (i.e. CO2) create a blanket over the atmosphere; consequently, trapping incoming heat, from the sun, that were supposed to bounce back to space. The alarming rate at which these gases are being expelled into the atmosphere is increasing rapidly, thanks to humans. In about 60 more years, the world population is estimated to double, I can only imagine what is going to happen then...knowing that I will be dead by then is the only optimisitic view I can take.

Here, one of the world's largest oil corporation, Exxon is actually promoting Greenhouse gases:

Watch the video. These corporations often hire scientists to reach self fulfilling conclusions. The next time you read a newspaper article that cites a corporate source on a subject like global warming, remember this: Corporations dont care what happens to you or your grandchildren. What they care about are the short term profits (aka quarterly profits).

Consumers don't stand up for action when the issue seems debatable. That's exactly what these corporations are trying to do; keeping us confused so that our minds stay numb. With an army of lawyers, lobbyists and billions in cash, they are wining so far.

'Best consumers and workers from a corporate point of view are mindless consumers and mindless workers. Any corporate power is excessive. Corporations shouldn't have power; people - all of us - should have power.'
Most programmers design while they code, in doing so, they engage themselves in a brainstorming session developing theoretical solutions to problems itching their brain cells. Random ideas generate in my head while I am focused coding. The geek_entrepreneur's conventional approach to these random ideas is that they are essentially useless. It is easier said than learned; but yes, ideas are worthless. Unless, steps are taken to put them at work..

When I started programming my first commercial application, I kept adding countless potential features and turned it into a never ending coding story. Along the way, another idea struct me and I changed my course towards it instead. By now, I am almost finished coding its main functions.

Here's how I approach this issue: Don't be hesitant to make sharp turns along the way. If you have a better more marketable and practical idea, by all means pursue it. Keep the scope of the project limited initially. Make the decision to add more features only after primary work has been finished. Don't add Save As to menu before coding Save. This seems common sense, but is rarely practiced. Plan ahead, but keep the end in mind when you do so. Note to self: when an idea pops up, don't shove it under the carpet, explore it.

Ideas are not wortless. Failing to implement them makes them so.

For me, it is something more in the lines of 'every minute spent watching T.V is sixty seconds of coding wasted'. I eat, code, sleep, code, eat, code, sleep, and code. My mind is enclosed within curly braces, anything outside is a waste of my byte memory. I started coding my small application from its design phase to the finished product. I was 80% done within a matter of two weeks :)

Meanwhile, I got an occasional dose of neural activity on the right. I started jotting down ideas on Internet based advertisements. I learned PHP, SQL and VB Database programming in order to understand the practicality of my new found ideas. I have observed that learning new languages is a breeze once you are familiar with the basic C programming syntax. It is difficult, however, to adopt a new language; especially when you are making the jump from desktop to web based applications, and that is what I am doing at the moment. Web 2.0 might just be a fad, but so were personal computers when they first came along. Sooner or later, web applications will dominate the programming world. Good bye Microsoft, Hello Google!

I mentioned earlier that long projects tend to demotivate people. For instance, I am sure many of us would have dropped out of kindergarten if we knew it would take 18 years to achieve a friggin piece of paper. If you can read this, you probably didn't take that path. Winning one battle at a time won us that war.

While I still have your attention, I will explain how I have decided to enter the micro-ISV market. Instead of working my ass off on a project that would take forever (> 6 months) to finish, I will instead start small. I will keep the long term goal to develop the larger product in perspective while I develop a small scaled product. By small, I mean releasing a product that has a smaller market but faster to actually develop. I am done the actual designing phase and predict it will take about a week to finish coding it. I hope that I can put a presentable product out for the world wide web by New Year's eve.

My profits off this product will be low, but there are far more valuable lessons I hope to learn off it. These lessons would make my ride to success smoother and more predictable the next time I develop a product. Here's a list of things I expect to learn:

-Web Analytics
-Marketing strategies
-Public Relations
-Blog exposure
-Pay Per Click advertisements
-E-Commerce store - paypal account
-Web Hosting/Domain Registration
-Installation Package
-Customer Service

Hopefully, releasing a smaller product first will prepare me for greater battles ahead.
Two months into coding my product, it became clear that it would never finish. All of a sudden, the expression "80% of success is just showing up" began to make sense. Most programmers give up before they finish. I had reached about 2000 lines of fairly complex code before realizing it isn't a one man's job. I have noticed that most programmers begin to lose faith in their product's worth as it approaches the finish line. This is what happened to me. I consider my product, a collaborative software editor, to be extremely useful for software companies that require team of programmers to work together. I originally designed it to facilitate my own need for efficiently offshoring software development to Pakistan. There is a fair deal of competition out there for this sort of product, so running low on pizzazz is expected. Besides, competition is a positive sign for a healthy market for the product: so I should focus more on providing a viable product than potential market for it.

Most programmers design as they code. As it turned out, this became a problem. I began to add too many extra 'goodies' to the product; as a result, it not only became more complex but also extremely difficult to finish. Billionaire Jim Clark's advised on a similar matter: 'don't incorporate everything into the product, this is something engineer's never understand'. It just so happens, I am an Engineer. The product, as it stands right now, is 30% finished. I plan to get some outside help to code a few components, this will not only relieve tension off my back but also give me much needed time to research the products place in the market.

For now, I just want to get my butt into the market. Once I am there, I will find my way to the top.

[(Your Age)/(Average Life Expectancy)] x 100

I am 21 years old. Assuming I fit the average Canadian male life expectancy of 75.2 years, I feel a sudden rush of discomfort knowing that 27.9% of my life has already passed without making much strides.

As sad as it may sound, I rather take this pessimistic approach to life to help motivate myself to act. I am not afraid of death as much as I am of reaching 60. In business, a small positive return in revenues is considered progress. In life, as minisicule as it may be, a positive step forward is a change in the right direction. That is what I intend on doing: as long as I work towards my goals, I am making progress, however small it may be.

Lesson from Yoda: Consider yourself dead for as long as you breath but no one recognizes you.

"If you dont live for something, you'll die for nothing."

When you work under someone else, you are making about a fraction of the amount that your employer is. This is necessary for any profitable business to work or no one would go about starting a venture in the first place. Working at a minimum wage of $7 is likely to return your employer thrice as much in revenues. So in reality, you are actually losing $14 (7 x 3 - 7) an hour for the time you spend flipping burgers. Tired of watching my family's typical 9 to 5 job, around September 11th 2005, when Nadii left for Dubai, I began working on my first commercial product.

I figured that this is probably the best age to take risks. I have nothing to lose but time, which of course, we teenagers care little about anyway. So if you can work 8 hours at McDonalds to make your boss some $$$, why not work on something you love, build it, sell it and watch the money pour in. If you fail, try again.

So I began my journey with $0 savings. Did some software consultancy work, saved some cash to cushion my losses and began preparing to code, market and sell. My goal is to have a primary product out by March 2006.

This blog will, hopefully, crystalize my thoughts as the journey continues.