Category Archives: Tech

Profit Center Based Work

When it comes to work that will build a great career, Patrick McKenzie has great advice:

Profit Centers are the part of an organization that bring in the bacon: partners at law firms, sales at enterprise software companies, “masters of the universe” on Wall Street, etc etc. Cost Centers are, well, everybody else. You really want to be attached to Profit Centers because it will bring you higher wages, more respect, and greater opportunities for everything of value to you.

The gist is that you want your role at the company to correlate with revenue generation.

If your role leads to more revenue, your role will always be in demand.  Sales functions have so much money allocated into them with the expectation that it is an investment. Back office tasks (HR, accounting, etc.) are essential, but they do not generate gross revenue and are always on the chopping block.

Developer Education

As an avid tech news reader, I’m able to follow industry discussions about hot new start ups.

For example, startups such as Snapchat, Pinterest, etc. have garnered a lot of hype. As a technology enthusiast, what is my duty to try out new apps / sites?

Is it enough to know about them? Is it enough to have tried them? Is it enough to know how to recreate them?

iOS Simulator

When previewing a site on my iPhone (1136 x 640), I wasn’t satisfied with using my iPhone 5 or a Chrome browser Window Resizer app.

Turns out it’s super simple to use the iOS Simulator with Xcode on OS X (version 10.8.5).

Select Xcode > Open Developer Tool > iOS Simulator


You’ll be presented with an iPhone to navigate within. Select Safari and you can use a site like localhost:3000 for development.


An Evening with Vincent Laforet – NYC Talk

Earlier this month, I attended a talk at Adorama in NYC that provided great context to Vincent Laforet‘s career. As a photographer who saw the writing on the wall, Vincent transitioned his career from still photography into motion picture.


Vincent’s presentation was statistics heavy and illustrated the amount of content (image and video) that gets produced every day. The future holds even more consumer made content that reduces the role of big media as tastemakers. Also, viewer attention span keeps going down over time.

When Reverie came out in 2008, I assumed that Canon reached out to him to produce it. The reality is that Vincent was at Canon and happened to come across the 5d mk2 prototype. Vincent was rejected several times, but Canon eventually let him borrow it. And history was made.

Vincent said that he takes most (95%) of his photos on his iPhone. As someone who shot for the NYTimes and is a Canon Explorer of Light, I’m surprised he doesn’t use his DSLRs more often. It makes sense since convenience is king, and we always have our phones.

Another point that was brought up during the talk was Constant Photography. Instead of taking THE photo at THE right moment, you could just take a film of ALL the moments and cherry pick the photo that you want. Why would you need a photographer when you have a videographer that does both?

What I got out of Vincent’s talk was that passion and being open to change are important. Vincent could have kept working as a photographer, but changing to a Director/DP was a risky move that paid off in the long run. As a new DP, he doesn’t know everything, but he is able to hire great people with complimentary skills and get it done.

Github All the Things

socialite by cameronmcefee (

socialite by cameronmcefee (

As Github continues to take over the world, I wanted to share a couple creative ways Pull Requests have been used.

  1. Job Offer

    In January, Carrot Creative made a job offer via a pull request. When I found out about this at Flatiron School, I was ecstatic for Adam Jonas, and I was wondering if this was Carrot’s standard way giving job offers. Apparently, it’s not standard practice, but it’s awesome nonetheless.

  2. RSVP

    Gust is having a Ruby concurrency talk with José Valim in March. Their RSVP page had a simple message: send us a pull request.

    The instructions were super easy for any developer. Fork their repo, create a file with your contact info, and send them a pull request.

While these could have been handled by e-mail or one of the many channels of communication, using Github to do it is simply cool.

Google Chelsea Free Wi-Fi: Mapped

Google is notorious for providing their employees free lunch.

Beginning today, certain Chelsea MTA subway stops have free Wi-FI.

Per Transit Wireless (the company Google teamed up with to offer the Wi-Fi), the following locations have Wi-Fi:

Let’s looked at these MTA stops mapped along with Google’s NYC headquarters:

Probably not a coincidence that these stops are the only MTA ones near Google.

Excel Format Painter: Double Click Hot Tip

Format Painter in Excel 2003

For all those who live in MS Excel (myself included), here’s a nifty tip paraphrased from AccountingWeb:

Double Click the Format Painter to lock the Format Painter. Paste the format into as many cells as you want then hit the Escape Key.

When I found out about the Format Painter several years ago, my mind was blown. It’s one of those small things that once you learn, it becomes essential. This tip lets you paste the cell formatting into as many cells as you want without having to go back and click the Format Painter icon before each paste.

I’ve tried double clicking on Format Painter in both Excel 2003 and newer versions (2007 I think), and it works.

It’s the details that count.

The Man in the Arena

Posting this bit by Theodore Roosevelt so that I can find it easily. It’s not a new quote (it dates back to 1910), but it’s so true. Critics are just that.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.