The 5 Minute Tech Break


Welcome again to our musings on life, love and the occasional CTO insight.

It's also dear reader, an opportunity to get in touch with any questions, feedback, complaints, hugs about life as a CTO.

In the meantime, enjoy the read and we promise to take only 5 minutes of your life, strictly no more.

Jason & Andrew

Book We've Been Reading
Disrupted: "Ludicrous Misadventures in the Tech Start-up Bubble"

That subtitle captures precisely the tone of this fabulous read, which I consumed in a one weekend session.  Dan Lyons is a mature early employee in a fast growth, inbound marketing juggernaut called Hubspot (indeed they've become so ubiquitous, that your marketing team are probably eulogising right now about their magical powers). He captures the madness, momentum, smoke and mirrors that accompanied their race to an IPO.  

One Amazon review… “Dan Lyons goes deep inside a company that uses terms like 'world class marketing thought leaders' to show us how ridiculous, wasteful, and infantile tech start-ups like this can be” ... captures it as well as any.  

Top read and a big recommend [AW]

Web Summit, Lisbon, Pastel de Nata … what’s not to like?

If you’re not already aware of the tech phenomenon that is Web Summit, then let me alert you to it now.  From humble beginnings in Dublin during 2010, it's an event that now perches itself alongside the Tagus in the magnificent city of Lisbon, welcoming the global great and good from tech to debate the big Qs.  It's truly the Glastonbury of Tech, with endless stages, talks, discovery.  After each frantic day and night, we retired to a cute AirBnB, strolled through gorgeous botanical gardens and consumed far too many pastel de natas at Careca.  If you get a chance to visit the summit, city or both then do it. Great experience and some fab tech to debate and discover. [AW]

Efficiency Tip

I used to bookmark loads of articles that I never got round to reading. Always seems to be higher demands than reading low priority, albeit interesting articles. Once in a while, I’d sit down and catch up to find that many had become irrelevant and trying to absorb intermittently didn’t work for me. 

Breakthrough arrived via a plugin to Chome (there is one for Firefox as well) that sends articles direct to your Kindle. Allows me to catch up easily on the commute, as well as being formatted in a more convenient style. 

Plugin here but final admin note;  I normally use “Preview and Send” option, as it can occasionally miss the whole article! [JN]

Bitcoin Bubble Truely Burst?

If it looks, walks and sounds like a duck, it probably is a duck. 

We can look now at bitcoins meteoric recent price rise and reassure ourselves (unless we invested at the peak) that our suspicion it looked like a bubble appears to have been true, from the perspective of a 30% fall during the last month and 75% over the last year. 

There will be many a speculator feeling sore but I think we’d be foolish to let this roller coaster ride distract us from the fact that, the underlying technology has some great applications ... as long as they don't have the same environmental impact as bitcoin’s proof of work. 

Also, every digital currency has some correlation to bitcoin, which will make it harder for those applications to gain any traction but … this is more likely to be a “watch this space” moment, than a potential death knell  [JN]

Quote we’ve enjoyed

“Marketing wants perfection, they want a beautiful product that’s shiny. Technology wants to go quickly, learn, iterate and improve and use that for feedback, as opposed to picking the perfect solutions. All that matters is the bit at the bottom, two to three days of work; get it live, react and respond and keep it going”  
John Hurley, Ryanair CTO

Did someone say launching a Start-Up was fun? 

So dear reader, we launched a pilot for CTO Academy earlier this year and received sufficient encouragement to roll out a full fat version.   We've been iterating and improving ever since but boy oh boy, it doesn’t matter how many startups you get involved with, it never ceases to amaze me how chuffing challenging it is.  

Perhaps more so these days because (and if you repeat this I might have to kill you) we’re both of sufficient maturity, to be increasing the average age for startup founders!   

Yes, it’s “fun” (that’s what I have to say, right?) but all-consuming.  You wake each morning gazing at every possible metric for the signs of life and momentum that justify your current existence (and pay check).

Thank you all who have purchased, subscribed, engaged or just added one unique visit to those metrics, we love you all.  Things are going well, market feedback is great, just need to keep improving the offer and keeping the family sweet … particularly as I told them I’d NEVER get involved in another start up again, ever.  This is an article I wrote about the uncertainty of startup life.

Disappointment of the week

In a week when UK politics has been imploding, there are so many candidates for this award but, the unanimous verdict at CTO Academy HQ this week is …. House of Cards, Season 6
That's it for now, thank you for getting this far. 

Love to hear from you about anything and feel free to tweet at us @ctoacademy

Have a great rest of the week.
Amazed and flattered and delighted that CTO Academy has hit the ground running.  Over the next few weeks we plan to deliver more personal thoughts, CTO insight, Q&As, giveaways, and more.  No spam, ever. Just great stuff.