Ignored By Dinosaurs business feed business Two different flavors of monthly metrics https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/345-two-different-flavors-of-monthly-metrics <p>Supposing a hypothetical organization that sold a product whose feature set and COGS closely followed a typical CSP like Amazon Web Services. That organization allows its customers to change products at will but must manually invoice a significant percentage of those sellables, therefore it needs a robust system to track changes to those sellables and ensure that they are properly charged at each turn of the billing cycle.</p> <p>I’m picturing reporting format that reports on 2 different types...</p> Wed, 26 Apr 2023 04:47:02 -0400 FinOpsLand - Reservations https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/344-finopsland-reservations <p>First day of my job at my current employer (almost 7 years ago now) I crack open the company handbook to start onboarding. I remember it saying something like “Reservations are the lifeblood of this company” and thinking “wow, what does that mean?”</p> <p>I’d had a job prior to this one that had some Stuff on AWS so I was familiar with the concept - something something pay upfront get reduced prices - but it as far from the lifeblood of the company. It was something the IT head took...</p> Sun, 19 Feb 2023 03:27:36 -0500 SQL is easy, Data is hard https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/342-sql-is-easy-data-is-hard <p>I've been kicking around this thought for a year or so now - to the outsider a career in data looks like a technical path. The data practitioner learns SQL, how to query data stored in a database somewhere using SQL, and if you know <em>enough SQL</em> you can answer any question whose artifacts are stored in that database somewhere.</p> <p>The reality is that SQL is the very last mile. SQL is code, and so it looks to the non-practitioner like the act of creation, like code written in any imperative...</p> Sat, 18 Feb 2023 02:27:55 -0500 Dispatch from FinOpsLand https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/341-dispatch-from-finopsland <p>I had a really organized map of things in my head I’d like to tell my younger self about FinOps last night. This morning it is gone. Let this be a lesson to me - jot some notes down. It was a primer course, from the point of view of a data person who was placed in charge of a FinOps practice - how to think about FinOps, what data are you going to need, what do the terms and costs mean, etc.</p> <h2>So what is FinOps?</h2> <p>Well, it’s the driest sounding topic that I’ve ever found incredibly...</p> Sat, 11 Feb 2023 03:55:03 -0500 Who’s hiring all these B players anyway? https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/340-whos-hiring-all-these-b-players-anyway <p>I read <a href="https://tracy.posthaven.com/part-ii-the-failure-points-from-$5m-to-$100m-in-arr">an article</a> earlier this week about lessons learned between $5MM and $100MM in ARR. To the layperson - this means growing a small company into a larger company, as measured by its yearly revenue.</p> <p>One of the points in the article (maybe more, I don’t remember) was about hiring, and it referenced the old adage</p> <blockquote> <p>A players hire other A players. B players hire C players…</p> </blockquote> <p>While this sounds like one of those BS businessisms that some capitalist dude came up with, I absolutely...</p> Sat, 14 Jan 2023 04:10:55 -0500 What is a "data product"? https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/337-what-is-a-data-product <p>"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.</p> <p>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...</p> Wed, 21 Sep 2022 12:20:35 -0400 On FinOps https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/333-on-finops <p>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.</p> <p>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...</p> Mon, 24 Jan 2022 09:25:11 -0500 Micromanagement https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/329-micromanagement <p>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</p> <blockquote> <p>The intention doesn't matter. What matters is the impact.</p> </blockquote> <p>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. ...</p> Tue, 31 Aug 2021 07:39:14 -0400 Starting a new team in a remote company https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/325-starting-a-new-team-in-a-remote-company <p>This is one of the aspects I didn't consider. A bit of background:</p> <p>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 <em>job</em> 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.</p> <p>Prior to this I was leading a team of 15 in charge of...</p> Tue, 16 Mar 2021 09:17:13 -0400 My current understanding of our AWS CUR bill https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/324-my-current-understanding-of-our-aws-cur-bill <p>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.</p> <p>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:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://docs.aws.amazon.com/cur/latest/userguide/Lineitem-columns.html#Lineitem-details-U-UnblendedCost">line item...</a></li></ul> Mon, 15 Mar 2021 07:23:19 -0400 Prefect looping - .map() it https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/322-prefect-looping-map-it <p>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.</p> <p>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 <a href="https://prefect.io">Prefect</a>.</p> <p>I'm just kind of tinkering with pulling info...</p> Sun, 22 Nov 2020 04:42:33 -0500 Thoughts on sales engineering - setting expectations https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/321-thoughts-on-sales-engineering-setting-expectations <p>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 <code>$thing</code>. 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...</p> Sat, 07 Nov 2020 02:02:42 -0500 Two kinds of managers https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/320-two-kinds-of-managers <p>[This was partially inspired by <a href="https://medium.com/@bellmar/why-is-this-idiot-running-my-engineering-org-c6e815790cdb">this excellent article</a> that I read Saturday morning.]</p> <p>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...</p> Mon, 10 Aug 2020 16:13:54 -0400 What is Business Intelligence? https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/271-what-business-intelligence <p>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.</p> <p>Years later, after starting a new job at ABM I still had no idea what BI was. It was something we needed,...</p> Sat, 27 Feb 2016 10:43:00 -0500 The music / business idea I haven't seen tried yet https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/156-music-business-idea-i-havent-seen-tried-yet <h3>Prologue</h3> <p>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...</p> Wed, 30 Oct 2013 15:26:50 -0400 After the age of scarcity https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/202-after-age-scarcity <p>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 -</p> <p><em>I'm tired of content</em></p> <p>I got to thinking. Commerce and economics. Supply...</p> Thu, 24 May 2012 12:53:06 -0400 On the music business, generally speaking. https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/37-on-the-music-business <p>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.</p> <p>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...</p> Sat, 07 May 2011 05:00:00 -0400 What really killed the music industry... https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/162-what-really-the-killed-music-industry <p>Well unsurprisingly, even after several <em>minutes</em> of Google searching I'm unable to dig into the real article on this one, only countless verbatim reposts on countless web-scraping sites.</p> <p>Anyway, <a href="http://www.torontosun.com/entertainment/music/2011/03/15/17616986-wenn-story.html" title="Steve Jobs killed music: Bon Jovi - Music - Entertainment - Toronto Sun">here's an example</a>. 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.</p> <hr /> <p>Some time in the early 80s record companies and stereo manufacturers (then known as HiFi) found...</p> Tue, 15 Mar 2011 05:00:00 -0400 KaBOOM! https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/198-kaboom <blockquote> <p>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.</p> <p>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...</p></blockquote> Thu, 30 Dec 2010 05:00:00 -0500 Net Neutrality and the Golden Goose https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/159-net-neutrality-and-golden-goose <blockquote> <p>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.</p> </blockquote> <p>~From a <a href="http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/12/carriers-net-neutrality-tiers/" title="Mobile Carriers Dream of Charging per Page | Epicenter | Wired.com">Wired article</a> earlier this week. <strong>READ IT</strong></p> <h2>Now here's why this matters...</h2> <p>It's not about Facebook or YouTube. Those seem on the surface like silly...</p> Wed, 22 Dec 2010 05:00:00 -0500 Facebook may rule the world, but you still need your own website. https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/158-facebook-may-rule-world-you-still-need-your-own-website <h3>I was having this conversation on Saturday...</h3> <p>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.</p> <p>I'm kicking myself for not having a canned...</p> Mon, 20 Dec 2010 05:00:00 -0500 justAnotherReason https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/18-just-another-reason <p>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...</p> Mon, 09 Mar 2009 13:05:22 -0400 recordingTechnology. https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/97-recording-technology <p>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:</p> <hr /> <p>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...</p> Thu, 05 Mar 2009 01:13:00 -0500 preamble. https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/7-preamble <p>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...</p> Wed, 04 Mar 2009 14:59:10 -0500 introduction. https://www.ignoredbydinosaurs.com/posts/9-introduction <p>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...</p> Wed, 04 Mar 2009 14:41:30 -0500