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Lazy, Messy, Backwards - Scott Porad, Start Pad, June 2009
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Lazy, Messy, Backwards - Scott Porad, Start Pad, June 2009






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  • Scott: Excellent presentation last night. Thanks for posting this. David Wiggs
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  • Hello!
  • Pet Holdings is the company behind the hugely popular I Can Has Cheezburger? and Failblog.org. A quick show of hands: Who is familiar with our sites? Is it part of anybody’s daily “coffee break” routine? Okay, last question: has anybody actually created a LOLcat or submitted a FAIL to Failblog?Well, if you’re not familiar with these sites, let me give you a quick introduction:Two points – humor and entertainment-- user-generated / user-driven model
  • Growing Really FastSmall Teammaximize resources and productivityFlexible and adaptHappy and successfulDidn’t design this philosophy intentionally,Lots of Agile and Lean
  • Minimum necessary to get what you need.Resources are limited.Corollary: wasteGet what you need is an important phrase
  • User-generated and user-driven modelAPI
  • Previous stuffOpen sourceFree Services – JS-KIT, GoogleAnalytics drugstore.comThink carefully about core competencies -- Joel spolsky, core competency … never outsourceBackwards example: S&S Toys
  • We rely heavily on partners:Wordpress, JS-KIT and WowrackTwo aspects to strategic partners: strengths and weaknesses
  • 2 Agile Concepts - Simplest Thing that Could Possibly Work - Minimum Marketable FeatureTwo examples - Recommendations - Farm Sites – e-mail us content – but we get them now
  • Another Agile concept: wait until the last responsible moment.there’s lots of stuff that MUST be done today, so focus on that.if it doesn’t need to be done today, then you might change your mind which will cause waste.
  • We do swarm: -- greater flexibility -- faster progressSuccess begets success
  • Being busy and making value / getting stuff done.
  • Comixed Builder or the Walmart Game Key: tight feedback loop.
  • Approval ProblemOTOH: E-mail system
  • We: ship brokenApple: prefers not to shipBut we can’t do both…if we did, we’d run out of money before we shipped.
  • Opposite: push off the things people tend to do too early
  • Martin: Firefighter vs. Fire Marshall
  • Hello!My name is Scott Porad and I am the CTO at Pet Holdings, Inc. Before PHI, drugstore.comBefore that, ESPN.com at StarwaveAnd before that I lived in NYC where I worked for Seth Godin’sYoyodyne Entertainment and a little company called Small World Software

Lazy, Messy, Backwards - Scott Porad, Start Pad, June 2009 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Lazy, Messy, Backwards Scott Porad CTO, Pet Holdings, Inc. scott@cheezburger.com http://scottporad.com http://twitter.com/scottporad
  • 2. Lazy, Messy, Backwards
  • 3. Lazy is about conserving resources.
  • 4. Messy is about progress over perfection.
  • 5. Backwards is about a solid foundation.
  • 6. Lazy
  • 7. Why do something that you can easily get someone else do to for you?
  • 8. Will your users do it?
  • 9. Can you get it for free?
  • 10. What about a partner?
  • 11. Why buy the deluxe when the basic will do?
  • 12. Why do today what you can easily put off until tomorrow?
  • 13. Why try to get a lot of stuff done when you could just do one thing instead?
  • 14. Swarm Example • 5 developers (25 dev days) • 5 x 1 week projects (25 dev days) • Do Lots – done in a week • Swarm – done in a week
  • 15. Minds Change on Tuesday • Do Lots: nothing ready to ship, wasted 2 days • Swarm: 2 projects ready to ship, wasted zero Being Busy != Being Productive Being Productive = Shipping Code Shipped Code = Opportunity to Gain Value
  • 16. Messy
  • 17. Why plan things out when you can fly by the set of your pants?
  • 18. Avoid the Global Strategy Tax
  • 19. Accept Imperfection
  • 20. Backwards
  • 21. Bring forward the things people tend to do last.
  • 22. Focus on Operations
  • 23. “It’s firefighters versus fire marshals.” Martin Cron
  • 24. Embrace Monitoring and Alerts
  • 25. Eliminate Single Points of Failure
  • 26. Implement Consistently
  • 27. Write it down
  • 28. Development Processes
  • 29. “Software is just a reflection of the people and processes that built it.” John Helm
  • 30. Scott’s Corollary: Operations is a reflection of your software.
  • 31. How We Roll Monitoring and Alerting Cacti (OS) and Nagios (OS) Servers Wowrack, Wordpress.com, Linode, MediaTemple Deployment ICHC Publisher (IH) Continuous Integration Team City (Free,$), NCover ($) Source Control Mercurial (OS) Code Review Review Board (OS) Test Automation Visual Studio ($), ASUnit ($), iMacros ($) , Selenium (OS) Development Environment Visual Studio ($), Zend Studio ($), CS3 ($), ReSharper ($) OS: Open Source IH: In-House/Proprietary $: Licensed
  • 32. How We Connect • Gmail, Google Talk and Google Docs (Free) • Skype (Free) • Tokbox (Free) • Campfire (Almost Free) • FogBugz ($)
  • 33. A Potluck of People
  • 34. “Your job is to make sure the site doesn’t crash. After that, do whatever you want.” Sean Nolan, 1999
  • 35. Vision
  • 36. A fish rots from the head.
  • 37. Knifepoint
  • 38. Elevator Pitch
  • 39. Roadmap
  • 40. Rinse, Lather, Repeat
  • 41. Moral of the Story Lazy = Conserve Resources Messy = Progress vs. Perfection Backwards = Solid Foundation Lazy + Messy + Backwards = WIN!
  • 42. KTHXBAI! Scott Porad CTO, Pet Holdings, Inc. scott@cheezburger.com http://scottporad.com http://twitter.com/scottporad