The proper way and the good-enough way

I am an entrepreneur-developer. I build the products that I imagine. It is cool, but you’re constantly facing an internal battle. On one side you want to “do more faster”. On the other, you want to have something done properly (who require 50 to 100% more time).

I always followed the entrepreneurial side of my conscience and it worked… for a while. When your product grows and the codebase expands, it start to get unstable. It starts cracking. It becomes trickier to add stuff. Or to fix old stuff.

Then the worst nightmare of every CEO happens: “we need to rewrite the app/platform/codebase… it’s impossible to deal with it anymore… the team is not happy and it’s leaving… etc”. The five minutes of terrors are followed by imprecations, mystic invocations and blame of incompetence. An initial estimation of 3 to 6 months is given, who then becomes 9. Followed by other 3 months of fixing.

To save time during the development, you pushed for the good-enough solutions, and now you need (you cannot do otherwise) invest a lot of time to do it again. In the proper way this time (hopefully).

This year thank to Luca, Juan and Luca (awesome iOS engineers) and other great engineers, I learned why it is really important to not sacrifice quality. In the short term you’re slower implementing features, but in the medium/long term you’re not forced to do big rewrite your codebase.

The overall velocity is higher. Doing things properly, you actually do more. The engineers are happy, because they work well. Business people is happy, because they’re not forced to pause the business for half year. It becomes easier to recruit engineers when you’re building start-of-art technology. And it’s also easier to retain them too.

Your job as an entrepreneur/CEO becomes picking the right things to do. Your job is to understand what is a priority and what can wait. What has to be done and what can be not done. This way you’ll let the engineerings do their job properly, not the good-enough way.

This article was written by Claudio Carnino.
He is the founder of Fanchimp, a tool to help online businesses do marketing on social media.

Relationships in the age of startups

Today I learned how much are important relationships. I say that because I am inequivocably bad at them.

I was talking with an entrepreneur that I respect earlier today. I know him just a little, but I can breathe the difference with a lot of other wannabes. You know why? He cares about talking with you. He is able about to create relationships without trying to sell.

Is renown that what you should do when you try to enter in a new startup scene is to help people. You shouldn’t ask, you should give. But is so rare to find someone that is able to do it.

It’s very common that you talk to people that try to help you, while trying to sell you something. That is not real help. That is selling stuff, wrapped with bacon. You recognise the taste immediately.

Create relationships is something that I have to become better at. It’s something that I have to embrace as person, not just as entrepreneur. I will try to put a serious effort in caring more about others, because I think it’s the first step in helping others.

This article was written by Claudio Carnino.
He is the founder of Fanchimp, a tool to help online businesses do marketing on social media.

Phablets, pain and iPhone 6 Plus

Today I learned that I was probably wrong about phablets (oh… I hate that word). I always thought that such big smartphones where just a stupid idea. But now that also Apple made the iPhone 6 plus I had to reconsider my mind.

I always thought that such a big devices were uncomfortable to carry around, would have made developers, designers job much harder and the app quality would have decreased…
This year I joked with Android dev friends (I am an iOS dev) that if Apple would have made a big iPhone the name would have been “iPhone 6 M” as “the iPhone for morons”.

Then Apple made them for real.

The surprise was that the iPhone 6 plus has got a lot of attention. I had to change my mind when I saw from whom this attention came from.
A lot of people who I respect and who knows a lot about products wanted the 6 Plus. People like Kevin Rose, Sam Altman and Mike Suster. I mean, they are heavy league of product minds.

Probably it’s the fact that people don’t necessary wants to have a smartphone and a tablet to carry around. Or maybe is that they think that Apple will delivery higher quality than a Samsung device. Or maybe it’s just like cars. People like to have it big, because it’s more manly.

Anyway, I have ordered my iPhone 6 NOT plus, suckers.

This article was written by Claudio Carnino.
He is the founder of Fanchimp, a tool to help online businesses do marketing on social media.

Today I learned…

Few years ago, it was probably the last year of high school, I went to “La Fiera del Libro”, one of the most important book fairs worldwide. I was with my school mates (actually I remember just my friends there). In one of the booth we found a 60-years old very charming man.

I don’t remember how we got to the point, but at a certain point he told us “My dad used to say me that if you don’t learn at least one thing new every day, you have wasted that day”.

I got impressed by that sentence and it got stuck in my head. It became my inner motto. I have hunger of knowledge from always and this is a rational way of expressing why.

So from today (from this beautiful last day of my Cretan holiday) I decided that I will start to share “Today I learned…”.

PS: the goal for tomorrow (when I will have again my holy-good-and-fast internet connection in London) is learning if it’s correct to say “what I’ve learned today” or “what I learned today”…

PSS: it appears that are both correct. It mostly depends on the context.

This article was written by Claudio Carnino.
He is the founder of Fanchimp, a tool to help online businesses do marketing on social media.

Confidence Is a Bitch

Confident kid

Confidence is what make people believe in you, in your vision, in your future success. Without confidence, it’s hard for people to believe. That’s completely rational: if you don’t believe in what you’re saying, how can you ask to others to believe in it?!

Confident kid
He’s so confident, that you’l not notice that he’s eating sand.
(He’s starting to regret it, though)

All the greatest entrepreneurs and leaders use their confidence to gather people around problems and opportunities, guiding them to create something new, something amazing, and something that no one else has ever achieved.

That’s great, because if smart people with deep knowledge of their market/space use confidence it’s a good tool. However, as soon as someone who’s not that smart or with scarce knowledge about the space he’s into, this tool transforms itself in cockiness, arrogance and failure to learn. That will finally lead you to auto destruction, misery, hunger, apocalypse, etc. Maybe too much? But we’ve understood the point.

The problem here is that when you’re confident and sure about something, you stop to seek other opinions and to listen to critics to your plan.

 

What to do about it?

I’ve repeated this error at different times, and I continue to do it, despite all my efforts to avoid it.
Lately I’ve found a technique that seems to work. Continue to be confident about what you’re saying, but keeping to welcome negative feedback and constructive critics.

When someone make you a critic, just reply something like “That’s interesting, I believe that this thing work this other way, but I’ll dig deeper into the topic and I’ll let you know in few days. Ok?”.
This way, you’ll force yourself to consider the opinion of other people, think about it when you’re alone, so without your pride at stake.
This helps me to reevaluate my ideas, without making me feel insecure.

 

Now,

what do you think about it? I’ll consider every comment in the comment box.
Else, if you don’t agree, you can slap me in the face. In this case, I’ll get back to you in just tens of a second.

This article was written by Claudio Carnino.
He is the founder of Fanchimp, a tool to help online businesses do marketing on social media.

How to get a shitload more chances of succeeding

In the first 4 years of my startup life, despite my own rookie errors, I saw many other entrepreneurs doing something that I didn’t understand. They were creating a company in order to be able to create a product, which to me seemed absurd. I always thought the correct way was to create a product in order to be able to create a company, not the other way around.

A company trying to create a product
A company trying to create a product

Then, on a beautiful day, I saw an interview of Fred Wilson, which confirmed to me that I was right. You have to create a minimum team to start with, build the product and test it against the market. If you have good feedback, a real demand for your solution and cannot keep up with this demand, then you start to build a company with the people, the processes and the structures that compose it.

Continue reading

This article was written by Claudio Carnino.
He is the founder of Fanchimp, a tool to help online businesses do marketing on social media.

How to get the most out of TechStars For a Day

I’m just at the beginning of the flight back to Chile, from Boulder, where we were invited to participate in “TechStars for a day”. It was a great experience and we got a lot out of this event.
I’m not going to explain how to get into the program, because I don’t know if I’ll be selected and it will just be BS.

Our t-shirts & business cards for TechStars For a Day Boulder
Our t-shirts & business cards for TechStars For a Day Boulder

Continue reading

This article was written by Claudio Carnino.
He is the founder of Fanchimp, a tool to help online businesses do marketing on social media.

Vuoi gestire il gruppo SecretCities della tua città?

Ho creato ultimamente diversi gruppi su Facebook, tutti quanti legati a SecretCities.com, l’evoluzione naturale si SecretLondon (qui per dettagli).

Ho creato e amministro Secret Turin – La Torino Nascosta personalmente. Ho anche creato i gruppi di altre città, per le quali sto cercando un co-amministratore, in modo che queste possano crescere meglio.

Quindi se vivete in una di queste zone e volete aiutarmi, lasciato un commento così ci si accorda.

Secret Rome – La Roma Nascosta
Secret Venice – La Venezia Nascosta
Secret Florence – La Firenze Nascosta
Secret Naples – La Napoli Nascosta
Secret Genoa – La Genova Nascosta
Secret Catania – La Catania Segreta
Secret Bari – La Bari Nascosta
Secret Bologna – La Bologna Nascosta

Secret Palermo – La Palermo nascosta
Secret Cagliari – La Cagliari Nascosta

Mi raccomando confido nel vostro aiuto

This article was written by Claudio Carnino.
He is the founder of Fanchimp, a tool to help online businesses do marketing on social media.

How-To: Server LAMP su Ubuntu con un 1 click

Dopo aver letto questo micro tutorial (ben fatto, tra l’altro) ho pensato di semplificarlo ulteriormente e postarlo a tutti. Quindi dopo aver fatto una corretta installazione della nostra distribuzione Linux, in questo caso Ubuntu (o Debian), passiamo ad installare un server completo di Apache2, MySql, Php5 e phpMyAdmin.

Vi basterà aprire un Terminale (Applicazioni->Accessori->Terminale) e digitare le seguenti righe:

wget http://blog.tugulab.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/ubuntu_lamp.sh
sudo sh ubuntu_lamp.sh

Vi basterà lasciare come nome utente root e inserire una password ogni volta che viene richiesta. phpMyAdmin chiederà su che tipo di server configurarsi, voi confermate su apache2.

Voilà, ora basta che inseriate i vostri file dentro la cartella /var/www e avete il vostro server LAMP pronto!

Per visualizzare le pagine del vostro server andate su http://localhost/
Per visualizzare phpMyAdmin per getire il vostro database andate su http://localhost/phpmyadmin/

Per ogni suggerimento ditemi pure!

This article was written by Claudio Carnino.
He is the founder of Fanchimp, a tool to help online businesses do marketing on social media.

Aiutiamo Serena

Faccio da eco a questo appello. Spero possa servire almeno un pò…

La mia cuginetta, Serena Quaranta, di 2 anni, è affetta da encefalopatia epilettica, una malattia che praticamente dalla nascita le ha impedito di condurre una vita normale, dati gli attacchi di epilessia da cui viene colta numerose volte ogni giorno.

I suoi genitori l’hanno portata ovunque in Italia, ed i medici hanno alzato bandiera bianca, la speranza ora è negli Stati Uniti, ma ovviamente per affrontare un viaggio del genere servono soldi, soldi che i miei zii non hanno. Hanno quindi creato un blog con la speranza di raccogliere quanto necessario per curare Serena.

Ovviamente non vi chiedo di mettere la mano al portafogli, se non ne avete la possibilità, ma col cuore in mano vi chiedo di diffondere il blog http://www.sorrisoperserena.altervista.org, se magari qualcuno è in grado di creare un banner da diffondere per la rete ci farebbe un grosso favore.

Grazie mille anche solo per l’attenzione.

Chiunque vuole avere maggiori informazioni (anche la conferma che non si tratta di una bufala) può contattarmi all’indirizzo epetrelli@gmail.com

Grazie di cuore.

This article was written by Claudio Carnino.
He is the founder of Fanchimp, a tool to help online businesses do marketing on social media.