Product Market Fit

Dec 31, 2016

I’ve built the right thing to do the right thing in the right way. Obviously product/market fit, right? No. I now think about product/market fit very differently than I used to.

The Erlang Response Time Stretch Factor For 3 And 4 Servers

Dec 11, 2016

In a previous post I explored a few variations of equations that express the M/M/m queueing theory response time “stretch factor,” and tried to indicate some areas where I wanted to dig into the relationships between these formulas a bit more. In this post I discuss the divergence between the official Erlang C formula and Neil Gunther’s heuristic approximation to it. I introduced this before thusly:

At \(m=3\) and above, the heuristic is only approximate. What does the Erlang form reduce to for the first of those cases? Does it result in the missing term that will extend to 4 and beyond too?

Better Than The Golden Rule

Dec 8, 2016

The so-called Golden Rule is well recognized within Western culture, although most other cultures have similar concepts. Can you do better? I think the answer is yes, and it’s good to try.

The Queueing Knee, Part 2

Dec 4, 2016

Last week I wrote about the so-called “knee” in the M/M/m queueing theory response time curve. In that post I examined one definition of the knee; here is my analysis of the others, including the idea that there is no such thing as the knee.

The Queueing Knee, Part 1

Nov 30, 2016

The “knee” in the M/M/m queueing theory response time curve is a topic of some debate in the performance community. Some say “the knee is at 75% utilization; everyone knows that.” Others say “it depends.” Others say “there is no knee.”

My Budget Audiophile Stereo System

Nov 24, 2016

You probably know that I like to be pretty minimalistic, and don’t accumulate many belongings. Yet for the few material things I value, I try to find the best balance of cost and quality. I enjoy music a lot, so I treated myself to an upgraded stereo system.

6 Steps to Better Security and Privacy

Nov 24, 2016

I wrote previously about securing your digital life. Technology and digital threats are advancing so fast that we’re almost inevitably all going to be attacked in some way. Here are a few more steps I’ve taken recently.

Remembering Alan And Harry

Nov 21, 2016

Harry Weller died suddenly this week. Harry was one of the greatest venture capital investors in history. He led NEA’s investment in my company, VividCortex. Harry was an advocate and mentor to me, but he was more: in both life and death, he reminded me of Alan Rimm-Kaufman, a boss and mentor who died a handful of years ago.

Excel Hacks To Ignore Missing Data

Nov 20, 2016

I’ve done quite a bit of work with Excel over the last few years, and I’ve found a couple of recurring problems when there’s missing or error data in ranges. I’ve had to work around this enough times that I thought it was worth sharing the solutions I’ve used.

Forestry, a Static Site CMS

Nov 4, 2016

Forestry is a content management system that runs in your browser. On the backend, it integrates with a static site generator such as Hugo, letting you edit your static website in your browser just like any other content management system. I am writing this blog post with it on my iPad, using voice dictation.

The Response Time Stretch Factor

Oct 30, 2016

Computer systems, and for that matter all types of systems that receive requests and process them, have a response time that includes some time waiting in queue if the server is busy when a request arrives. The wait time increases sharply as the server gets busier. For simple M/M/m systems there is a simple equation that describes this exactly, but for more complicated systems this equation is only approximate. This has rattled around in my brain for a long time, and rather than keeping my notes private I’m sharing them here (although since I’m still trying to learn this stuff I may just be putting my ignorance on full display).

The Square Root Staffing Law

Oct 29, 2016

The square root staffing law is a rule of thumb derived from M/M/m queueing theory, useful for getting an estimate of the capacity you might need to serve an increased amount of traffic.

Life on Mobile: The Last Mile on iPad

Oct 28, 2016

I wrote previously about how I run much of my life on iPhone/iPad, and how I switched from Android to iPhone. Why do I still have a laptop, if I can do so much on mobile devices? What holds me back?

Life on Mobile: The iPhone Apps And Services I Use

Oct 22, 2016

In my last post I talked about the transition from Android to iOS and some of the experiences I had during that journey. Once I switched, I found a rich ecosystem of iPhone and iPad apps I use daily. Some of them are central to my workflow and professional life, and I use them across all my devices, including my laptop/desktop systems. In this post I’ll talk about those apps and how they enable me to run the bulk of my life (and my company) on a phone screen.

Life on Mobile: From Android to iOS

Oct 20, 2016

I’ve been living an increasingly mobile life lately, by which I mean laptops aren’t my sole or even primary computing device anymore. For the last two years I’ve been doing more computing on mobile devices than laptops or desktops. I’m writing this post on my iPad Pro. At the same time, I’m a heavy user of old-school technologies: command line, LaTeX, terminal-based editors, etc. I find it interesting that my life is increasingly possible to run on a mobile device, while at the same time my laptop remains absolutely indispensable. As I thought about this, I found myself organizing the last few years’ worth of lessons into distinct categories, which I’m strangely compelled to write into blog posts. So, here goes! In the first edition we will follow Baron on his adventures as he transitions from Android to iOS.

Five Surprising Secrets of People Who Always Win

Oct 13, 2016

Are you a winner? Or are you going to let life get you back on your heels and make you into a failure? Because remember, if you lose, it means you’re a loser. By definition.

Here’s the surprising truth about what winners do and how they do it, and how you can too.

The Four Types of Core Intellectual Property

Oct 8, 2016

If you ask people what their company’s core intellectual property is, my guess is most responses would focus on technical things such as trade secrets, recipes, source code, and algorithms. But I’ve come to believe this definition doesn’t encompass a company’s most valuable intellectual property at all.

Meeting The Challenges of Monitoring In The Cloud

Sep 9, 2016

I’ll be visiting MIT’s Tang Center on October 10 in Boston to talk about monitoring. Join me!

Gluten

Sep 4, 2016

I’m not saying I’m gluten-sensitive. I just know that when I eat things like pizza, bread, pasta, or the like, I suffer. And gluten-free alternatives are disgusting. But I’ve figured out how to make the breads I love, such as pancakes, waffles, and muffins, without pain. Here’s my recipe.

What Women Tell Me

Aug 6, 2016

Women tell me things that men rarely, sometimes never tell me. I failed to notice this for years, but the more I listen to women, the more I want to learn from them.