Posts made in April, 2014

Bandwidth Exceeded

Posted by on Apr 30, 2014 in Diary of a Startup | 0 comments

Woke up this morning to a nasty surprise – was down with a “bandwidth exceeded” notice. Oh noes! Emergency tech support and I scrambled. By emergency tech support, I mean Jefe. And by “Tech support and I scrambled” I mean Jefe did something productive while I mostly sat there next to him moaning about how this couldn’t possibly be right. We have an unlimited bandwidth plan. Calling and messaging the hosting support was completely unproductive at first. Jefe’s first inquiries about the bandwidth issue were met with some standard answers about reading the hosting FAQ. It turns out that “unlimited bandwidth” doesn’t really mean unlimited. It means something like whatever they determine is reasonable use. We didn’t have a chance to explain about how much we’d actually used – nope, the standard response was what was given, end of story. Absolutely zero effort on the hosting company’s part to clear up the issue. It’s not like the site has a lot of video or anything huge, so even with all the revamping of the site, backing up, etc., it still should have been considered reasonable under any business unlimited plan. Jefe checked into the Cpanel and found out that somehow a setting was switched down to something really low. A half hour later and it was set back to unlimited by someone at the hosting company who was able to verify that yes, something had been totally messed up....

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Product shots and ebook covers

Posted by on Apr 23, 2014 in Diary of a Startup | 0 comments

When LearningLawyer first started, we were using a little program that gave us a screenshot of the pdf. This was quick, but it didn’t look all that great. Sometimes, when you startup lean, you start with what you can do and go from there. During the big site overhaul, I’ve gotten into having real ebook covers for our products. It looks so much better (obviously). On the left is the new cover, and on the right is the best thing we had besides the screenshot. I really like the design of the new cover on the left. The underlying document is just as good as ever, but the packaging is so much...

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How to choose the right career

Posted by on Apr 20, 2014 in Diary of a Startup | 0 comments

Back when I used to have time to watch tv, Dirty Jobs was one of the few shows that I watched. I love Mike Rowe and his attitude about the dirty jobs that he helped people work. Below is a post from his Facebook page, which you should probably “like” if you haven’t already, because it turns out that Mike Rowe is a pretty entertaining guy.   Hey Mike! I’ve spent this last year trying to figure out the right career for myself and I still can’t figure out what to do. I have always been a hands on kind of guy and a go-getter. I could never be an office worker. I need change, excitement, and adventure in my life, but where the pay is steady. I grew up in construction and my first job was a restoration project. I love everything outdoors. I play music for extra money. I like trying pretty much everything, but get bored very easily. I want a career that will always keep me happy, but can allow me to have a family and get some time to travel. I figure if anyone knows jobs its you so I was wondering your thoughts on this if you ever get the time! Thank you! Parker Hall Hi Parker My first thought is that you should learn to weld and move to North Dakota. The opportunities are enormous, and as a “hands-on go-getter,” you’re qualified for the work. But after reading your post a second time, it occurs to me that your qualifications are not the reason you can’t find the career you want. I had drinks last night with a woman I know. Let’s call her Claire. Claire just turned 42. She’s cute, smart, and successful. She’s frustrated though, because she can’t find a man. I listened all evening about how difficult her search has been. About how all the “good ones” were taken. About how her other friends had found their soul-mates, and how it wasn’t fair that she had not. “Look at me,” she said. “I take care of myself. I’ve put myself out there. Why is this so hard?” “How about that guy at the end of the bar,” I said. “He keeps looking at you.” “Not my type.” “Really? How do you know?” “I just know.” “Have you tried a dating site?” I asked.” “Are you kidding? I would never date someone I met online!” “Alright. How about a change of scene? Your company has offices all over – maybe try living in another city?” “What? Leave San Francisco? Never!” “How about the other side of town? You know, mix it up a little. Visit different places. New museums, new bars, new theaters…?” She looked at me like I had two heads. “Why the hell would I do that?” Here’s the thing, Parker. Claire doesn’t really want a man. She wants the “right” man. She wants a soul-mate. Specifically, a soul-mate from her zip code. She assembled this guy in her mind years ago, and now, dammit, she’s tired of waiting!! I didn’t tell her this, because Claire has the capacity for sudden violence. But it’s true. She complains about being alone, even though her rules have more or less guaranteed she’ll stay that way. She has built a wall between herself and her goal. A wall made of conditions and expectations. Is it possible that you’ve built a similar wall? Consider your own words. You don’t want a career – you want the “right” career. You need “excitement” and “adventure,” but not at the expense of stability. You want lots...

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Pancakes, steakhouses, and website updates

Posted by on Apr 6, 2014 in Diary of a Startup | 0 comments

Many years ago when I was little, I ate in a remote pancake restaurant in Yellowstone. It had decor from the 1960’s, but not like what you’d see at Ruby’s or Johnny Rocket’s. Nooooo…this was actually from the 1960’s.  Turquoise and chrome, giant U-shaped counters with stools so the waitress could take your order and bring you pancakes while she stood in the middle of the U. I’m pretty sure the pancakes were cooked in bacon grease. My mom was in a huge health food nut phase at the time and she was mostly making stuff like tofu pizza at home. Bacon grease pancakes were heaven. Who knows if it’s even still there – Yellowstone had a big fire after I’d last been there. This pancake house had been built in the 1960’s, and since it was so remote and Yellowstone has “weather,” the pancake house was only open 3 months out of the year. Since it was only open three months out of the year, it was like in cold storage for the rest of the months, so it only aged in 1/4 time. There had never been any reason to replace anything, since in the 1960’s I guess people were still buildings things to last. The washing machine my parents bought in 1968 was still working in 2003. That was when American manufacturing was great, people. That restaurant looked awesome. Not to far from my house, there’s this steakhouse restaurant from the 1970’s. It’s like someone built it in the 1970’s, decorated it thoroughly, stepped back, congratulated himself on a job well done, and then admired his work for 38 years. He’s still admiring it, because I don’t think the steakhouse decor has ever changed. The restaurant hasn’t fallen apart, but the 1970’s was not such a great decade for timeless style. So what does this all have to do with a legal startup? Two or three years ago when I was thinking through LearningLawyer, I had the concept that I’d get a website built for the business and then, whoa! There’s the business. Done. Right? So wrong. Things update at lightning speed. It’s tough to keep up and do this part time. I’d like to be the pancake house (except…open 12 months out of the year…), but if I let a commerce site sit, I’ll turn into the steakhouse. The legal industry itself has a lot in common with that steakhouse. Ponder that. Young people aren’t eating at that steakhouse…...

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