Archive for April, 2009

The Obsessive CEO

April 27th, 2009

Memories were being relived as I dug through years worth of archived email in a quest to find a reseller / hosting account. I once had lofty aspirations to create my own web company and quickly became the obsessive CEO.

The plan was to sell domain names, web hosting, and deliver websites to my clients – a one-stop-shop of sorts. I’d frequently obsess over the idea and smatter my coworkers, and friends (actually, anyone that would listen) with my fantastic ideas. I was obsessed. By obsessed, I mean, I obnoxiously sent out weekly (sometimes daily) emails containing mindmaps, and reams of links – all while maintaining a wiki bursting with my exceptionally mediocre ideas. :) I purchased reseller accounts, hosting plans – nothing was stopping me! Now that I think of it, obsessive tendencies probably run in my family – to this day my Mother vacuums her house three times a day, sure there were 11 people in our family and things got messy, but three times a day!! Try watching TV with the vacuum running three times a day It’s enough to make you quit TV and take up programming. Anyhow, during the time of my obsession, a couple senior coworkers gently suggested that I need more experience. I remember thinking:

Man, I’ve already been through school, I have an freak’n edumacation. I’m building sweet programs. How much more experience do I need?

Of course they were right. Since then, every year / month / day has brought heaps of new knowledge and experience – experience is one of those things that can only be acquired with time. My idea of the one-stop-shop crumbled when I realized that I couldn’t compete with discount hosting like GoDaddy / Dreamhost. I also realized that I enjoyed working in teams on large web applications rather than solo projects. Today I’ll occasionally meet an obsessive CEO, I’ll offer some advice, and smile. Good ideas tend to be self evident – they don’t require wikis and link farms to convince people. If you can execute your idea (develop it yourself) then your personal passion and drive will contribute to it’s success or at least provide you with irreplaceable experience – even if it is a hair brained idea.

If you’re interested, I still have the reseller account which offers reasonable domain discounts. Thanks to all my friends who tolerated me through those growing pains. :)

Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: Musings, Personal Tags:

The Wattage Dilemma

April 20th, 2009

Steph and I lived in Japan for a year. Our apartment had a single breaker rated at 1500 watts – use any more and you’d lose all power. Our apartment came with an air conditioner to tackle the oppressive summer heat, a dehumidifier, and kerosene heater for the humid winter months. Japan is humid! Now, the A/C took 1740 watts, our dehumidifier 800 watts, coffee maker 800 watts, and kerosene heater 500 watts. Keeping the power on for a given day was a feat – the A/C used more power than we were allotted! Japan was full of ironies.

Some of our pictures from Japan.

A video of our messy apartment:

Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: Personal Tags:

Running a Half Marathon for Diabetes

April 16th, 2009

I’m running the half marathon for diabetes in Calgary on May 31st . This cause has a personal connection – one of my younger siblings has diabetes.

My training up to this point has been terribly lax, I’ve been running 7km in about an hour. At this pace it’ll take at least 3 hours to break 20kms – Ouch!

If you're interested in donating (or better yet, joining the run too), then follow these steps:

  1. Visit The Canadian Diabetes Association
  2. Search for Adam Kahtava
  3. Donate

Anyhow; life isn't just about geeking out. I've got to run. :)

Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: Calgary, Personal, Running Tags:

More Thoughts on Blogging

April 14th, 2009

A couple more factors that have shaped my blog subscriptions.

Content matters, design doesn’t: Subscribers read your blog through RSS readers. Content is key, twitter widgets, plug-ins, and badges are self serving – they matter more to the blogger than their audience. If readers desire a more granular need-to-know-you level of information, then chances are that they already stalking you. If you’re a graphic designer then aesthetics do matter.

Debriefings on local events without a unique personal voice are lame (actually, anything without a personal voice is lame): Most subscribers skim, they seek out information and move on. Well written articles with a unique personal voice continue to draw me in. Information about the number of people who showed up, what you ate, or the decor of the venue are minor details. Seriously, I’ll email you if I’m interested.

Subjectivity is interesting: Reading / writing / learning is about considering alternative views and new opinions, there’s always a degree of subjectivity – nothing is absolute.

Some authors are always right, which is always wrong: A blogger’s blog is their domain, but it’s distasteful when an author defends their posts in an attempt to save face (to appear right all the time). Sharing opinions publicly is about collaboration, and validation, not being right or wrong.

Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: Musings, Personal Tags: