Friday, 31 July 2009

Disruptive Innovation: raison d'etre of the startup world?

A friend of mine directed me to this video. It is quite short and graphically represents a theory about disruptive innovation.

When you listen to this, it quickly feels like someone is describing the strategy used by most successful startups.

Recent great names like 37signals (with their simpler web based products) or Freshbooks (with their Accounting package) have pretty much all chosen to attack the market with a simpler , lower price, highly scalable product offering.

Right now, they seem to be at a cross-roads section, where they tend to increase the complexity of their product, in an effort to serve more users and generate stronger revenue figures.

What kind of choices will they make, moving forward ? Spin-off of smaller structures or brands? Up their market ?

Let's how far the theory applies...

Monday, 27 July 2009

Google Page Speed does not think Google Adsense javascript is optimized for caching.

Today, by chance I ran Google Page Speed Firefox on one of our sites with Google Adsense.
Strangely enough, Google seems to think Google AdSense for search is not optimized

Obviously caching of Ads would not be really useful but should not Google Page Speed analyzer know better ? Or Should Google AdSense for Search specify a proper expiration tag?

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Google Maps and TouchNote mashup: Google Maps get physical!

This is a physical mashup between GoogleMaps and
Let me explain. You've certainly had to organize the following mini-events:
"We've moved! Change of Address"
"House warming party at the Johnson's!"
"Let's all meet up in Wimbledon!"
When my friends at TouchNote released their API, I cooked up this little mashup that allows you to use GoogleMaps as a starting point for a customizable printed card. It does not get more unique than this!

GoogleMaps Touchnote mashup

This is all free of course [up to the point where you want to receive this special printed card as every start-up has to make a living] and this is a really nifty product.
Your friends and relatives will be impressed!

To make it a no-brainer for you to try it, here is a promocode GOOGLE-MAPS-30 that gives 30% off the card order (excl postage) and is valid until 31st December 2009.

Give it a try now!


Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Wicked bug in MySQL "non nullable" column

We pulled our hair off on that bug for a while until we figured what was wrong with MySQL in that instance.
In a InnoDB database, we have a table tbl_demo with a integer column "rank", non nullable and defaulting to 0. We have an after insert trigger in this column. The trigger calculates a derived value and updates the column "rank".

When we upgraded MySQL from version 5.0.51a to version 5.1.30, the UPDATE statement started to fail. After a bit of trouble shouting, we released that this is actually a bug of MySQL which in the earlier version was not enforcing the column definition. This was working whereas it should not have ever worked....
Anyway, the proper way to have this work on both MySQL 5.0.51a and 5.1.30 is to write the SQL Update statement as follows:
update tbl_demo set rank=IFNULL(new_value_for_rank,0) where id=123;

The use of the IFNULL makes the code work with the bug fix in MySQL.
A simple workaround for quite an annoying behavior....