austin entrepreneur

What I Learned

Posted in Uncategorized by efalcao on October 16, 2007

I starting thinking about an Evenlevel post-mortem blog post. Each day that goes by it looks like we’re going to be able to relaunch with a different twist on things, so technically a post-mortem is not appropriate. Lets just call this “what I’ve learned…so far”

If you want to learn at the fastest pace in your life, start a company. I was one of the earliest employees at my previous job, and I learned so much; but I’m thinking that nothing holds a candle to starting a company yourself.

Ruby on Rails is developer bliss.

If you want to have fun coding, enjoy elegance and simplicity, there is no better framework.

Rails can also help you deliver a web application in less time

I can accomplish things in a minute with Rails that used to take me a whole day. It’s amazing how simple it is to build your data model and scope out all your controllers. The most time consuming part for me is still front-end (html + css) coding (actually, not so much the code, just settling on something that looks decent and is usable).

Outsource your IT infrastructure

Evenlevel is hosted on theplanet. This is fine, but for the next iteration we’re going with Joyent Accelerators. I spent too much time worrying about DNS servers, backups, etc. No More. Not only that, but Joyent costs less. I realize we weren’t going out and buying servers and colocating, but that was something we were going to eventually have to contend with. I really appreciate how you can scale with Joyent easily from day 1 (Just add more accelerators and BIG-IP load balancing).

Bootstrapping is really really hard

Save money or raise seed capital then quit your job. It is way too hard to burn the midnight oil or be a weekend warrior: Everyone suffers.

Tweaking performance pays off

Within a day of setting up nginx with gzip compression and page caching, Google starting crawling 10 times more of our pages. Two days after that, our search traffic quintupled. Not only did we reduce our bandwidth utilization and give our users a more enjoyable experience, but Google started loving us within a day.

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