Showing posts from July, 2014

This Tiny Burrito Shop has Legs

Velo Burrito is a small business in Montreal.  It started as a very part-time vegetarian burrito delivery service where the burritos were delivered by bike. (VĂ©lo means "bicycle" in French.) It relatively quickly grew into a full-time restaurant. They began as a green business and, presumably, intend to remain such.

The three founders were working as bike messengers by day. One of them already had ten years experience as a cook. Another had a background as a musician who had gone vegetarian while touring with his band. Touring is also part of what made him a fan of a good burrito.

They discussed the concept for years and then one day one of them announced they were going to the grocery store that day and launching that weekend. Initially, they only delivered burritos two nights a week. One article seems to suggest they later went to three or four nights a week. Then, earlier this year, they finally opened up as a restaurants with 20 tables.

Below are some quotes from other a…

A Quiet Little Victory For Me and for HN

Today, I have been reading the comments in this FPP on Metafilter: "I don't want to be a girl." and I read the initial link in it by the same name. Some people are stating that they assume all women feel that way at least some of the time. They are talking about how awful it is to be a woman and many of the facts they list are absolutely true. But I am staying out of the discussion because I have never felt that way. I have never felt like "I do not want to be a girl."

Meanwhile, a piece I submitted to Hacker News is currently on the front page. In the midst of all this, I have just had a pleasant exchange with the new-ish moderator of Hacker News, Dan Gackle. I would feel worse about the number of times I have emailed him in the short time since his identity was announced except the Hacker News policy is "please email the mod and not post these types of questions publicly." So, basically, it's their fault if I bug him. I am just doing as I was t…

A Decade Late and Millions Short

About a month ago, the article My startup failed, and this is what it feels like... was discussed on Hacker News. It was written by a young female founder, Nikki Durkin, who made it through the Y Combinator program and then, later, saw her start-up fail. It has been great food for thought for me personally.

Here are some quotes from the article (emphasis added in bold):
We rebuilt the 99dresses product and launched it in the US.

signed a $1.2 million seed round with a group of investors ... and the next day my two “co-founders” decided to tell me they were leaving the company without even a hint of warning.

We rebuilt 99dresses again and launched it in the US

Our Big Pivot
We discovered a very clear set of problems that explained why our product just wasn’t working in the US market. I rang up the team in Australia, and told them, quite bluntly, that we needed to chuck everything out and approach the problem from a different perspective.

In an attempt to save ourselves we made o…

An Open Invitation to the Women of Hacker News

The founder of Cards Against Humanity claims in his blog that he is being falsely accused of rape: This is a blog post that’s incredibly confusing and painful for me to write. See also the Hacker News Discussion.

I am sorry to see this on Hacker News. Obviously, I am sorry for the effected parties, Max and whomever the woman is, though I really don't know either of them. But I am also sorry for the way it impacts the community dynamic on Hacker News.

Hacker News is generally a good place to go for intelligent discussion of interesting subjects. It is also a space in which to network if you are in certain kinds of work. (For a small subset of people, it is also the funnel into the Y Combinator program.) But it is a mostly male environment and topics like this seem to mostly bring out the worst in people and I think it makes it harder, not easier, for women to cross The Gray Zone on Hacker News itself.

Because it is a business space in which mostly businessmen often wheel and deal, …

A Tale of Two Women and Hacker News

Just a few days back, I tripped across the fact that a woman on Hacker News had been banned some months ago. She had very high karma for an openly female member. In fact, as far as I can tell, she held the number one slot for a woman on HN. I looked through the comments and the like and I understood why she had been banned. I didn't feel it was without cause.

I checked out her blog. She had hair with wild, unnatural, obviously dyed colors. She swore a whole lot. She had previously written some very foul-mouthed things attacking Paul Graham, startup culture and similar -- basically attacking everything people on HN value. She came across as very, very offensive and disrespectful.

I found myself uncomfortably correlating her foul mouth, hair color and so on with my negative view of what went down. I kind of swear a lot too, though I try to keep it kind of pg-13-ish online. It hit a nerve for me personally but, also, I just don't like being judgmental in that fashion. I don't…

Frist Psot: A Tutorial for Posting an FPP on Metafilter

This is intended as a tutorial for people on MetaFilter who want to do their first FPP on the blue and are feeling a little intimidated. This isn't intended to be an explanation of a "right" way to do it. (You can get some tips on that kind of thing on the Wiki.) This is just how I did it (on one specific occasion) and the process I went through.

I am posting in hopes that demystifies it a bit for people having some trouble. I think it would be great if others shared their process because different strokes work for different folks. I think process is something that trips a lot of people up and that's what I hope to address here. One of the things I am including is screen shots of both the form you fill out and the final post showing which pieces of the form correlate to which pieces of the post because I found that especially hard to understand at first.

This is the post I did that I am going to use as my example (and here is the actual post on Metafilter):

This pos…