I have recently learned that there is indeed a reader of this blog! (Hi Mike!) So now I feel obligated to inform the blogosphere of the recent Tubes news. Tubes has moved to the Bay Area, and Scott went with it. Maybe it’s the other way around?
Why move? Not a whole lot going on in Sacramento/Davis for startups, and there’s tons more opportunity to meet the right kind of people (collaborators, investors, single women , etc) in the city, South Bay, etc.
So what’s new? Tubes is a good idea worth doing, many good ideas worth doing, so expect to see more of it very soon. One thing that didn’t work was managing a distributed team of loosely committed developers. Why that didn’t work and why they weren’t committed I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure I never had the team right. If you look at success stories from Google to eBay to Craigslist to Facebook, we never even remotely resembled the structure of those companies in their beginnings. Maybe I just wasn’t following the right formula. I think we’ve been close a couple of times, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
Another thing that didn’t work was the Symfony framework, for a few reasons. For one thing it’s slow as fuck (unless you do a lot of optimization), and to build an effective app on Symfony you need dedicated people who are intimate with the framework. I stayed on the functional and interaction design side of things, because while I’m comfortable with PHP/MySQL, Symfony freaks me the fuck out. From the Symfony team came some very intelligent backend design work that will be carried over into the current system, so that’s a positive. Since the nth crash and burn, I’ve gotten involved with coding along with a good friend who’s been in and out of Tubes since the very beginning. If it weren’t for him, I might have never gotten into web development myself, because he got me my first web development job at Rabbit Semiconductor.
Tubes is being built with the standard LAMP toolset, using a basic, typical and custom MVC design pattern. When we need to grow, it’ll be easy for a good developer to acclimate to the system because it’s a regular PHP app.
We’re a small team now, just two guys building the app and a program manager with nothing to do (except bitch and moan incessantly, but for good reason).
Losing really sucks, it’s been a difficult transition to come to the full realization that what I did was a failure. But I also realize that it’s just part of the game. Historically some of the most successful athletes/actors/musicians/entrepreneurs are some of the biggest failures in terms of how many times they’ve struck out. It’s a numbers game, you can apply it to business, to baseball, to dating, you name it. So don’t just quit. Take a break, reassess, absorb what you’ve learned and then come back faster, smarter and stronger. I am committed to building Tubes, and as Ralph Waldo Emerson puts it:
“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen”