Mar 13

Inspirations for Starting a Technology Company

5-year-rocket-matter-badge 150x150I always had the ambition to one day start my own company but to be perfectly honest, at the same time I questioned whether or not I had the cojones to do so.

That was over five years ago now, and starting Rocket Matter was one of my top five decisions of all time. But getting there took some guts.

One of the first people that helped me over the hurdle was my dad. He’s run businesses before, isn’t scared of anything, and is an eternal optimist. He showed me personally that it’s possible to do it, and his conviction is that if you offer a great product with great service, it’s really not that difficult to make some money at business. Continue reading →

Feb 13

How to Build a Monster Tech Community in South Florida: The Business Plan Competition at FAU

Growing Technology Companies in South FloridaThere’s a lot of us techies in South Florida, and we’re all swirling around trying to become the next big tech location on the Map. One of the most promising developments I’ve seen so far is what’s happening with the Adams Center from Entrepreneurship at FAU.

Specifically, they’re hosting a business plan competition that’s awarding $200,000 of investment money to winning new company ideas. They’ve apparently received hundred of entries. One of the keynote speakers will be Bernie Marcus, Founder of Home Depot. Continue reading →

Feb 13

30 Awesome Websites Presentation

On Tuesday I co-presented a talk called “30 Sites in 60 Minutes” which surveyed 30 of the coolest, most useful online applications.  

My co-presenter was Ernie Svenson, aka Ernie the Attorney, an expert on helping attorneys go paperless, and to be quite honest, he did most of the work.

The talk was presented on Tuesday, February 5th, for ACLEA, an organization of bar executives and other involved with continuing legal education.  Not included in the slides, due to separation of concerns, was my own company, the world’s best legal practice management software, Rocket Matter.

Jan 13

Upcoming South Florida Technology and Startup Events

There are two events coming up for South Florida tech that are truly amazing: Code Camp and SuperConf, and they’re both in February.

Code Camp

South Florida Technology Events

Bring your dog! Just don't tell them I told you to. It's probably not allowed.

Hey South Florida software developers, especially those of you currently on the .Net stack, heading in that direction, or just want exposure to the latest patterns and practices: you get free breakfast and lunch and get to enjoy a mammoth multi-track conference. Register here for FREE!

What: South Florida Code Camp
When: February 9, 2013 7:30 am – 5:45 pm

Sample topics:
* Sniffing Out Success: Identifying Smells and Anti-Patterns in Your Code
* Is Your Website Ready for Responsive Design?
* UX Design Principles.

Register for South Florida Code Camp.


The other event coming up that looks to be awesome, especially for those in South Florida involved with Web Design + Dev: SuperConf in Miami. Here’s a description from their website:

SuperConf is not just a web technology conference. It’s an experience.

Design. Development. Entrepreneurship.

These are the things that have been propelling mankind forward since the beginning. SuperConf is a study of that intersection. We celebrate by launching startups, providing workshops & having world class speakers share their insights with hundreds of technologists over two days of perfect weather in Miami.

What: SuperConf
When: February 21 and 22, 2013

Register now before it’s sold out!

Jan 13

Finding Good South Florida Technology Startups and Investors

South Florida Technology Startups and Investors Come TogetherSouth Florida is teeming with technology. It also has a lot of money sitting on the sidelines which could be deployed to young startup companies.

The challenge is to find both good young companies and good investors.

I know for a fact that quality investors are ready to go. And I’ve seen some promising startup activity. The question is, is there enough smart startup activity right now?

What makes an investor good or bad is the subject of a whole book. And the same goes for startups as well. That’s something to be explored in-depth in later posts.

In a nutshell, what I’ve found is that there are investors in South Florida who understand technology. Continue reading →

Jan 13

On the Northwestern Gator Bowl Win

I know it’s just football, but sometimes a good sports performance can really inspire you.

Case in point: this weekend my wife and I took the kids to see Northwestern win its first bowl game since Harry Truman was president. What a great way to start the year.

I gotta think one of the reasons we love watching sports are those moments when people face their demons in high-pressure situations and overcome what seem like insurmountable obstacles. Continue reading →

Dec 12

Finding Amazing Talent and South Florida Job Creation

Finding Amazing Talent and South Florida Job Creation

Now this is talent!

In 2012 my legal software company, Rocket Matter, created seven new jobs. We’re not venture backed so we created them organically out of our own profits and growth.

I have to admit: all this South Florida job creation feels really good.  We accomplished a lot this year, but what I’m most excited about is not only that we can provide good opportunities for new people, but we brought high-caliber people on board.

We hired a lot of people directly from our local university, Florida Atlantic University (FAU).  Some of them already completed their degrees, others celebrated their graduations while working for us.  They are young, vibrant, highly intelligent, and looking for that awesome first opportunity. They use words like “epic” and “snap” correctly without sounding like idiots. Continue reading →

Jun 12

Review of Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts: A Freaky Episode of History in Vibrant 3D

My review posted Amazon.com:

A lot of times when you think of Nazi Germany, you think of harsh black and white footage with goose-stepping soldiers and huge amounts of swastika banners and flags. “Beasts” does away with all of that, rendering Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 in crisp full-color detail, with such amazing description history pops right out of the page.

If you’ve read Devil and the White City, one of Larson’s other books, you know what I mean when I say this guy renders history in 3D. I’m a big fan of Laura Hillenbrand and David McCullough, but because Larson picks events that are limited in scope, he’s able to portray them even more vividly, if you can believe that. What he also does is force you to discard what you know will happen after the events took place. I found that when I read this book, I was experiencing the rise of the Nazis firsthand, and that I suspended my awareness of the horror that occurred after Dodd’s tenure. Continue reading →

Feb 11

Getting American Kids Fired Up About Math and Science

This is the only surface picture ever taken in the outer solar system, taken on the same day Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston broke up.

Today I was asked by Florida Atlantic University to speak in front of a group of 300 of Palm Beach County’s bright middle and high school kids in a couple of weeks. My task: to inspire future engineers.

It’s something I’m excited about, can’t wait to do, but I am completely aware that getting people as psyched as I am about science and engineering isn’t easy. As far as math and science is concerned, in my opinion, much of America has its head in the sand. Science is viewed as geeky. Boring. Dry. Uncreative.

When I worked in New York, I had a Chinese friend from Shanghai. She told me that in her high school, the cool kids were the ones that were good at math and science. That’s a hard concept for me to to get my head around. When I think to my high school, the cool kids were usually those who organized keg parties in the woods. Continue reading →

Oct 10

In Support of NPR

Let’s be clear: I don’t have a problem with what Juan Williams said. Then again, I’ve never been the victim of profiling so who the hell am I to judge.

That said, this whole media circus illustrates why I favor NPR in the first place. Who gives a damn. The reason I listen to NPR is because I don’t like to hear invective, finger pointing, vitriol, or an attempt to discredit people when I’m trying to understand what’s going on in this noisy world.

I like the fact that I get to listen to loonies on both sides of the spectrum (yes, they bring in peeps from the left and right). I like the fact that they get smart people (for the most part) for in depth commentary and analysis that’s missing in the sound-byte. I like the fact that they don’t play to my emotions, notably fear and suspicion, when they report.

If you like your news polarizing, then stay away from NPR. But if you like nuanced reporting that’s not afraid to interview libertarians, liberals, or conservatives, if you don’t like to be shouted at when you consume news, if you can handle hearing what someone else has to say without cringing, then tune in and listen.

And if you’ve been listening for years and have never became a member, make a pledge today. The loonies wanna cut their funding.