Archive for September, 2007


When you know just enough to be dangerous

I’ve always been amazed by the number of books that promise to teach you how to program in just a few days or weeks. I recently stumbled across a book at Amazon entitled: Sams Teach Yourself PHP in 10 Minutes. 10 minutes!!!

Why do we think it is possible to learn JAVA in the same time it takes to make a pot of coffee?

It has taken me years to learn how to program and I am still learning new things every day. Imagine if we applied this same thinking to other skills. I’ve never seen a book on how to learn to play the piano in 10 minutes. That’s because everyone knows that learning to play the piano takes countless hours and years of practice. No one should expect to become an expert overnight.

Why are people in such a rush?

Let’s stop spreading this lie that you can learn everything you need to know about programming just by reading a $20 book. You can’t. Sure, you might be able to gain a superficial familiarity, but not the deep understanding that is required to build a real application. Books like this are a great way to explore your interests. Just realize that by the time you finish the last page, you probably know just enough to be dangerous.

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We’re funded!

I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for a long time!

I’m happy to announce that we have closed our series A round of funding for EventVue. Our angelic investors include Brad Feld, David Cohen, Dave McClure, Wendy Lea and several other incredible people. It’s exciting to have such an amazing group of people join us as we revolutionize the conference industry.

To our investors: Thank you for believing in us. We promise won’t let you down.

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Shut up and listen when smart people are talking

When we first got accepted into TechStars, we planned on building an event registration system. Thankfully we had some awesome mentors who encouraged us to focus solely on social networking. They pointed out that there are plenty of other companies already in event registration and it would be really tough for us to compete with them. On the other hand, we had a decent chance of becoming the best in the world at providing online communities for conferences. We were a little hard-headed at first, but after Brad, David, Noah, Eric and Todd all gave us the same advice, we finally sat up and paid attention. We are really grateful to these guys because they saved us from wasting a lot of time this summer.

Later this summer, Eric Norlin began pushing us to start thinking more like conference organizers. He kept asking “How are you going to decrease my cost or increase my revenue?” This time we listened. In fact, we decided to address his question head on. Now our entire revenue model is an answer to that question: We only get paid when we are successful in driving more registrations to a conference.

I’m going to share a secret: Very little of EventVue was our idea. Instead we borrowed from the insight of dozens of conference organizers and mentors. That’s what entrepreneurship is all about. It’s learning to listen to the right people. One of the most important skills for any entrepreneur to learn to listen.

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