Daddy Warbucks : You lock the orphans in the closet.

Miss Hannigan : They love it!


If you’re using a development framework to interact with data (Rails, Django, Express, whatever), you’ve most likely had to make smart choices on how cascading deletes work in your system. And often in large systems, you’re forced to make a compromise…

You could have your app and framework manage all those deletes keeping close control over validation and object lifecycles, which is ideal but often poor in performance for large records sets. …

Finding Lead in Chicago’s Water

Be careful out there folks with public water. My daughter and I found lead in a public water fountain in Chicago’s Lincoln Park.

This experiment also helped us learn something about feeling like a nobody when trying to get something big accomplished.

P.S. You should follow me on YouTube or Twitter.

Recently, (I hope you saw), I launched a thing I’ve been working on like crazy, Locomotion! But… despite a ton of interest,

kind words about the product, lots of social media love, folks haven’t purchased Locomotion as much as I had hoped. That’s a result that can easily lead to a feeling of disappointment.

How do you deal with that?

A couple years ago I got my wife rainbow-colored roses.

This last summer was my daughter Addison’s first dance recital.

That’s a big deal for a 5 year old and her parents! Tons of practice, both sets of grandparents coming, and one giant crowd of people to perform in front of.

The performance was awesome. But afterwards, I had the responsibility of picking her up from the “green room”.

The green room was just a small gym located near the entrance of where the recital took place. Everyone would drop their kid off, then proceed to walk down a long hallway to enter the auditorium and find their seat. …

It’s been over a year in the making, but today my family would like to announce our latest adventure: FilmHope.

Are you the type of person who doesn’t measure anything? Do you buy your clothes without sizing them up? If someone asks says something costs $5, do you just give them whatever wad of cash you have? Do you show up to everything whenever you darn-well-feel-like-it?

Of course not. So why do so few people measure and optimize the performance of their YouTube videos? Because it’s been so difficult.

Until today.

Toady, my family is announcing the launch of FilmHope…

Hey. I know I’ve been radio silent here for awhile. I’m sorry about that. But I’ve needed the focus to get a new product built. If you’re interested, let me quickly tell you about it.

Do you do any stop motion movie making? If you don’t, it’s probably because it’s so darn difficult.

Stop motion is beautiful, but it’s insanely tedious. Move something. Take a picture. Repeat. Over and over and over, until your fingers bleed or you give up.

So… what if I told you, you could remove the whole taking a picture part? Instead, what if you could…

Photo by Pankaj Patel

How good are we at actually running our businesses and organizations over email and Slack?

In 2005, researchers from New York University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign devised a series of experiments to understand how well people can communicate using email.

In one experiment, they had participants pick from a list of sarcastic statements 10 things they thought would be easiest to send and understand over text. They wrote their emails of humor and hit Send.

How well did the receivers of those emails understand that the statements were sarcastic?


Photo by Joao Tzanno

One of the hardest struggles anyone has in their business is telling others what they sell.

It’s harder than coming up with ideas. We’re full of ideas. It’s harder than finding a big market for your business. More leads won’t help if you can’t talk to the few people who’ve already found you. And we all know how hard building really great products is, but you’re probably building the wrong product anyways, if you haven’t figured out how to talk to anyone about it first.

But, I have a strong feeling you don’t even realize you have this struggle.


Photo by Steve Jurvetson

With a few minutes to spare, I was looking for a last minute gift for a friend and decided they’d love a donation made in their name. I picked a favorite nonprofit of ours here in Chicago, went to their website, clicked Donate, then, saw I needed to complete at least 28 form fields to make a donation.

So, I typed in a new URL. I filled 8 form fields. I was done.

I’ve been building websites since 1999, and one of the things I see over and over again are lost opportunities like this.

A huge culprit and…

Almost two decades ago, a young filmmaker landed on the Hollywood scene with a movie that became a big deal, winning awards, and making princely sums of money at the box office. But after that debut, as many critics and fans would argue, every movie he made was worse than the one before it. It got to the point, no one would make a movie with him anymore. His career was over.

So where does this creative genius go from here?

There’s a “YouTuber” I watch closely.

He builds props from random scraps of wood he’s been hoarding. His movie…

Nathan Kontny

Y Combinator alum. Created Draft ( Watch: Previous: Highrise CEO, Rockstar Coders CTO

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