business Posts

What is a "data product"?

"Run your data team like it's a product team" was a common refrain at the DBT conference for the last two years. What does that mean? I am still figuring that out, but I have had an aha in the last few weeks about what a "data product" is, exactly.

Your standard software development process requires two main components to deliver the Things - a software developer and her wits. She takes those wits and expresses them into a text editor, and thereby makes something from truly...

On FinOps

Just thought I'd drop myself a line here and remind me about that time that I was getting FinOps certified, because it's so much more interesting than I would've thought.

Basically, back in the old days, there were data centers and if you wanted a new resource in one of those data centers you had to go through a procurement cycle involving finance and probably a procurement team. You'd buy the resource and that would count as Cap Ex in your P&L or whatever. It'd get installed and then you...

Micromanagement

My wife is a Glennon Doyle podcast listener, and on a recent trip she put her on for a little while. Plenty of good stuff, but the phrase that's stuck in my head right now is

The intention doesn't matter. What matters is the impact.

One expression of micromanagement is the inability to sit and let your teammates (possibly) make a mistake on their own. The way I caught myself doing this just now was an innocent question being asked between two teammates for which I knew the answer. ...

Starting a new team in a remote company

This is one of the aspects I didn't consider. A bit of background:

I'll have been here at Platform.sh for 5 years this July, which is crazy because it's now the longest I've ever held a single job in my life. Last summer I was poised to propose that we start a new team here around Data and Analytics right as someone else, much higher up then I, proposed that we start the exact same team. I raised my hand to start this team.

Prior to this I was leading a team of 15 in charge of...

My current understanding of our AWS CUR bill

Hello, me. This post is to jot down what I think I know about the AWS CUR bill at this point in time. There are entire companies built around helping other companies understand this bill, so this should be considered a primer.

There are several columns that matter in this giant bill, and many dozens that do not matter, and about a hundred or so that fall somewhere in between. The ones that I know about so far that really matter when you're trying to decode a bill AT SCALE are:

Prefect looping - .map() it

So I'm back in the writing code game after 4 years off. I started a new position about 2 months ago as "director of data engineering" at Platform.sh. It only took ten years longer than originally planned but I have finally unlocked the "some kind of engineering mgmt at an actual tech company" badge.

I'll get into what I'm doing maybe later, but right now I want to leave a breadcrumb for my past self regarding looping over tasks in Prefect.

I'm just kind of tinkering with pulling info...

Thoughts on sales engineering - setting expectations

I really enjoyed my time as a Solutions Architect, and wouldn't mind at all doing it again someday. The job of a Solutions Architect, or Sales Engineer, or "Presales" is be the technical person in the sales discussion on the part of the vendor who's trying to sell the technical $thing. The sales rep's main responsibility is to manage the sales cycle (a separate post entirely) and depending on how technical the product that your company sells, it's possible that knowing how to answer...

Two kinds of managers

[This was partially inspired by this excellent article that I read Saturday morning.]

I manage two teams. One of them has been through a lot of changes in the last 12 months, basically taking a rather sharp turn in responsibilities and day to day work. This was always the plan because I believed that there was no better team to take over this particular process than ours, but when it came down to actually implement the changes clearly it was not what some members of the team had signed up...

What is Business Intelligence?

My brother in law is a recruiter. He historically recruits salesfolks for companies "in the BI space". I tried to help him out many years ago when I was still on the road playing music, but had absolutely no background to do anything other than plow through the spreadsheet of contacts that he had and try and get a response. Like most witless recruiters. I had no idea what BI was.

Years later, after starting a new job at ABM I still had no idea what BI was. It was something we needed,...

The music / business idea I haven't seen tried yet

Prologue

I have a lot of friends in successful working bands that all have one thing in common - a fairly useless website. Pretty much every band I know, with a very few exceptions, treats their website as a tour poster. Most of them have some kind of "store", but frequently they're stocked with leftovers from last year's road merch. You often have to go through PayPal to checkout. I don't know of anyone short of Radiohead that actually lets you download digital goods directly from...

After the age of scarcity

I was listening to RadioLab the other evening during the WNYC pledge drive. During the part of the show in which they were actually driving pledges they announced one of those perks for donors of a certain level, I think they called them "lab partners". It entitles you to some stuff, some interactivity with RadioLab producers, and the obligatory "exclusive content". The very first thing that popped in my head was -

I'm tired of content

I got to thinking. Commerce and economics. Supply...

On the music business, generally speaking.

It occurred to me over cooking lunch for my boys just a minute ago that, a week before my 33rd birthday, I've been in the music business for half of my life. I'd like to share a couple of things that I've come up with.

First of all, to get anywhere in this business, to get anywhere sustainably that is, takes a really long time. There is no short circuiting this process, short of selling your soul to the devil. Even bands like the Black Eyed Peas who are on top of the world right now in...

What really killed the music industry...

Well unsurprisingly, even after several minutes of Google searching I'm unable to dig into the real article on this one, only countless verbatim reposts on countless web-scraping sites.

Anyway, here's an example. I don't hate on Jon Bon Jovi, but I do hate on the misrepresentation of facts. Steve Jobs didn't kill the music industry, the music industry killed the music industry. Here's how.


Some time in the early 80s record companies and stereo manufacturers (then known as HiFi) found...

KaBOOM!

As business models go, there are currently two dominant ones: either people like your product enough to purchase it or they don’t care enough to buy it but will overlook its deficiencies if it’s “free” in exchange for their personal browsing and purchasing info sold to advertisers. The former model is Apple’s, the latter is Google’s.

Apple sells emotional experiences. The price is what users pay to be delighted by Apple’s stream of innovations and to be free of the...

Net Neutrality and the Golden Goose

Just a week before the FCC holds a vote on whether to apply fairness rules to some of the nation’s internet service providers, two companies that sell their services to the country’s largest cellular companies showed off a different vision of the future: one where you’ll have to pay extra to watch YouTube or use Facebook.

~From a Wired article earlier this week. READ IT

Now here's why this matters...

It's not about Facebook or YouTube. Those seem on the surface like silly...

Facebook may rule the world, but you still need your own website.

I was having this conversation on Saturday...

I'm hanging with my new musical buddy George Kilby. He's decided to upgrade his website so we're doing a consult to get a feel for what direction we're going to move him in (pardon my grammar). He said something at one point about a friend of his who'd decided to totally forgo having their own website in favor of just managing their presence through Facebook and a couple of other social sites.

I'm kicking myself for not having a canned...

justAnotherReason

So Eminem's old producers sued Universal over royalties. For those of you who have never been signed to a record contract, they are shadier (pardon the pun) than you probably imagine. The whole point of getting a record deal is to try and make some money off of selling your recording, right? Well, over the last decades, the industry (and by industry, I mean the lawyers and label heads in charge of finding ever more inventive ways of scamming inattentive rock stars (which is generally...

recordingTechnology.

Now, this part won't be any news to anyone, but will mainly serve to help organize the thoughts in my brain. First, the old way:


The old way involved the "record industry". The record industry used to exist because recording was very expensive. It was expensive to record a song, it was expensive to reproduce the recording of the song, and it was really expensive to warehouse, distribute, and sell the recording of that song. Thus a whole industry cropped up to take advantage of the...

preamble.

When in the course of your bands business, it becomes necessary to cast off your old, crappy website and the confusing, unnavigable interface which you present to the world as your first impression, and to assume the powers of PHP, CSS, XML, RoR, and other technologies not yet invented in the pursuit of a highly compelling online experience, a more meaningful dialogue with your fanbase, and the glorious rewards of possibly higher merch sales, a decent respect to the opinions of webmasters...

introduction.

When in the course of your bands business, it becomes necessary to cast off your old, crappy website and the confusing, unnavigable interface which you present to the world as your first impression, and to assume the powers of PHP, CSS, XML, RoR, and other technologies not yet invented in the pursuit of a highly compelling online experience, a more meaningful dialogue with your fanbase, and the glorious rewards of possibly higher merch sales, a decent respect to the opinions of webmasters...