37Signals, ReWork, and ReThink..

I just finished the new book from 37Signals - "ReWork", and it was a reasonably enjoyable read. (It was actually the first book i read through the iPhone Kindle App, which is incredibly cool)(Would love to see that discussion at Amazon, deciding if they should support the iPad to sell books, or try to starve the iPad to sell the Kindle?.. but i digress..)

There are many, many 37Signal fanboys and signal vs noise has to be one of the more popular geek blogs out there.. but.. its really hard not to notice that what the 37Signal guys understand, more than almost anything is how to market to the current geek-hackernews-entrepreneur crowd. They hit all the right notes to appeal to their target demographic every time.

There are obviously many times when you disagree with them, (like saying that long hours at work is "making up for intellectual laziness with brute force", or their take on formal education, or the SalesForce.com bashing you often hear DHH talk about) but whats clear about all these times, is that they are still marketing.. picking a position, and hitting the headlines..

The Jason Calacanis, DHH interview that showed recently on "This week in Startups" was pretty cool (even though it seems like DHH fans hated it), and my favorite Calacanis discussion point was around the often touted "work fewer hours.. under-do your competition to win" line of thinking. (at around 1:27:31)
  • JC: If your strategy is to make the simple version of things, then you dont have to work as hard, but if you are going up against a big problem, like "im going to build a car company like Tesla" and go against the big boys, you not working 30 hours a week and taking fridays off cause you will get your ass kicked by the people who are, and thats where your logic breaks down.."
  • ...
  • DHH: Do you think Google succeeded because somebody worked 80 hours a week?
  • JC: Absolutely! 120.. they busted their asses.. Sleeping under their desks.. thats how Yahoo was built, thats how Google was built, thats how Microsoft was built.. Do you know the work ethics of these people?
Theres no doubt that they are smart guys.. but its mildly annoying to see the startup echo chambers treat their word as gospel, cause sometimes.. it just isnt so..

Portswigger rocks..

If you didnt figure that portswigger rocked for his elite "The Web Application Hacker's Handbook", or for managing to put out a tool ive never heard anything bad about (in an industry full of people who dont hesitate to say bad things..), you have to give him +1 for having the coolest ad that ever graced an infosec magazine..


  • New features
  • Same logo
  • More expensive


*Product not available at time of print. Actual release date depends on the motivation and morale of Portswigger's helper monkey, but it will probably be before Christmas (2009)

The Passing on of a Legend..

On Friday my great-aunt passed away. She was an amazingly wonderful, warm lady who's work and efforts have touched the lives of many.

When you remember her as the soft spoken, self effacing granny figure at family functions, you tend to forget just how remarkable a person she was.

Rhodes University published the following tribute penned by Paul Maylam. It's the sort of tribute that makes you recognize the difference between regular people (like us) and legends like her..

The world is truly poorer for her passing..

And now for something a little different...

Welcome to thinkst thoughts, my new blog home. There is a good chance you got here from the SensePost blog, where I've been pondering, posting & prognosticating for the past few years.

Add us to your RSS reader.. (aka. the elevator pitch!)

There is much broken in the info-sec industry, and there is much broken in general. There are answers waiting to be discovered, brand new questions waiting to be asked, and really important problems waiting to be worked on.

Thinkst Thoughts will be the home of such thoughts, tirades, tips, tricks and tech. tid-bits..

and so it begins...


PS. if you subscribe to the RSS feed, ill even promise to stop the annoying alliteration already..