Scripting News for 4/3/2007

Thanks Bush 

I watched the presidential press conference at 7AM Pacific this morning. It was tough to watch before coffee. That man has no goddam personality, charm, or ability to seduce.

Anyway, if I were a Democratic strategist (the president often drops the last syllable, pretty disrespectful) here’s what I’d recommend:

1. Pass the bill, send it to the president.

2. He vetoes it, as he’s promised to.

3. Pass the bill without the withdrawal bit he objects to.

4. He signs it. (One can only hope.)

New Democratic talking point: Okay Mr. President, you can have it your way. We tried, for now. In the fall we’re going to look at how you’re doing, and if the “surge” isn’t working, we’re going to ask the Republicans in Congress to get with us and pass a new Iraq withdrawal plan that’s veto-proof.

Of course, both parties are using the troops as a political football, leaving the American people wondering how we’re going to get out of Iraq. The Republicans, by August, should be completely fed up with Bush. Let him have his victory now, without continuing the fight, let him run around saying how he saved the troops from the Democrats. While he’s fighting a war with the other party, it’ll become clear to everyone else that he’s not taking responsbility for the war in Iraq, which of course, the Republics (sic) started.

One more thing, schedule another Bill Clinton appearance on Fox, asap.

OPML Editor updates 

I think we’re ready for a few changes in the OPML Editor.

1. There’s a new official way to get updates. This has been well tested and there have been no problems. This update is recommended for all OPML Editor users.

2. There’s a new test version of the full Mac download.

3. And one for Windows. This one has been most problematic, because there’s probably a crashing problem with Vista, but it’s hard for me to tell because there’s been limited testing, and I’m not running Vista myself.

If you have data to share please either post a note on the mail list or in a comment.

There is a known workaround for Vista, if you write-protect background.html in the Appearance folder, the program should launch without a problem.

Joshua Allen uses the OPML Editor on Vista. Hmmm. I guess that’s not the problem.

Fun at 10 

The most fun thing about this blog turning 10 is seeing other oldtimey blogs that are still up and running.

Like Bill Humphries. Now there’s an original!

BTW, there’s no such thing as “belated” when the matter is 10 years of blogging. I figure you got at least a couple of years left before it’s belated. :-)

It’s also nice to get kudos from people I used to work with but don’t work with any longer.

Le Monde blog post about “dixieme anniversaire.”

Not that I care 

Over the last few months I watched as the Technorati rank of this weblog sank precipitously.

A long time ago, it was #1. Then it was in the top 10. Then, at the behest of Jason Calacanis, they changed they way they calculated rank, and it fell consistently to the bottom half of the top 100.

By the middle of March it had dropped below 350.

I told myself “No big deal, that’s not why you write.”

True.

But then why I am I enjoying the resurgence of this blog, when viewed through Technorati?

This morning, on the rise, it broke the 200 barrier, at 199. Who knows where it will stop!

Heh.

Okay, maybe I do care.

Just a little. :-)

Rick Segal 

Rick, as always, has good advice for entrepreneurs.

Rule #1: VCs never say no.

Rule #2: And entrepreneurs tend to hear yes when the VC means no.

Rick says you should pin them down. And never tell the VCs which other VCs you’re talking to, until you get a term sheet. Good advice. Financing is a negotiation. If you were buying a car, you wouldn’t tell a dealer which other dealers you were talking to, would you? Remember, they do this for a living, they know a lot more about it than you do. And they know when you’re bluffing, maybe even when you don’t! :-)

I go further in my advice to entrepreneurs. Even after you get an offer from a VC, very carefully find out if their vision of the company agrees with yours. If it doesn’t there’s a pretty good chance you’re either going to end up working for the wrong company (the one that agrees with the VC’s vision) or out on the street looking for a job, with your idea tied up in a company whose vision you don’t agree with.

I’ve seen this happen too many times — the entrepreneur feels his or her vision has been ratified because the money has come in, but the VC was thinking something else. The VC often wins this struggle. Better to figure this out before you become partners.

14 responses to this post.

  1. Tested new OPML Editor fresh install.

    1. Unzipped OPML.zip to fresh new location.
    2. Ran OPML.exe
    3. Registration dialog appears.
    4. Registered new user (never used before)
    5. Outline appears saying ‘it worked! etc’
    6. OPML Editor immediately crashes (same as before).

    Windows XP – IE7 installed.

    Reply

  2. Re: VC: Beware of VC’s who lead you on for months and months, requiring lots of time and effort in presentations and reports only to find out that you might have been educating them all along – for their gain, not yours.

    I have seen and had it happen three times now.

    No more mister nice/smart guy.

    Thankfully, in hindsight, I do not believe that any of the VCs I have met even offer to bring anything of value to the table apart from their cash.

    If your gut tells you the VCs you are talking to are a waste of time (despite oodles of cash), you’re probably right.

    Also – West Coast USA VCs are a TOTALLY different breed to East Coast VC. Look around, but remember all those meetings you’ll have to travel to!

    Reply

  3. OK, I know, I know, forums … right.

    But there are only so many “cool, handsome biker” ads. I can cope with in one day. So I’m asking here … ;-)

    I get the impression that the OPML Editor has a scripting language (UserTalk?) built in. Where’s the best place to learn about this and see some examples?

    Does it have all this? http://frontier.userland.com/manual/userTalk

    Reply

  4. Posted by DaveD on April 3, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Regards to “Democrat” or “Democratic”…

    I’m guilty of the same thing as Bush. Not because I’m trying to be deliberately disrespectful, bbut because I really thought that was what it was!

    (1) It’s the “Democratic Party”, but their URL is http://www.democrat.org?

    (2) While it’s true that Bill Clinton is a member of the “Democratic Party”, during elections most people speak of “The Republicans and the Democrats”.

    I’m not a bigot, and would never use the N-word. If I have to speak of race, I try to use the most respectful terms I can. I’ve always felt that anything less would likely make people turn a deaf ear to my words.

    So let me ask you Dave – is my second point at all accurate? Don’t most people refer to the members of both parties as “The Republican and The Democrats”? Hopefully I’m asking respectfully. :-)

    Reply

  5. Posted by DaveD on April 3, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    One more quick post. The first two paragraphs from the Wikipedia entry on The Democratic Party:

    The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, the other being the Republican Party.

    Since the 2006 midterm elections the Democratic Party is the majority party for the 110th Congress; the party holds an outright majority in the United States House of Representatives and the Democratic caucus constitutes a majority in the United States Senate. Democrats also hold a majority of state governorships and control a plurality of state legislatures.”

    [emphasis mine]

    So. It’s The Democratic Party, consisting of members called Democrats, who create a group in the Senate like the Democratic caucus.

    I’m so glad that’s straightened out. Now I really can say for sure whether to say “Democratic strategist” or “Democrat strategist”!

    Peace.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Bryan Schappel on April 3, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    There are so many things that pain me about the Iraq debacle but this bill is a “line in the sand”. The American people have been allowing Bush to have his way for five years. In the face of all opposition Bush and his sycophants have continued this war.

    If the Democrats capitulate and send the bill up without the timetable then the spin will be that the Democrats are spineless. For your plan to work requires the Democrats to actually be able to get a message across. This is something that they’ve lost the ability to do.

    The last elections were a referendum on the war. Bush lost. He needs to be held accountable. He so much wants to drag out the war until his term is up.

    I’m surprised that Bush has the respect to not call the Democrats “demon-crats”. Perhaps we should be grateful for miniscule blessings. ;->.

    Reply

  7. To say the Democrats are spineless is incorrect. They don’t have the power to force the President to do what they want him to do. If the people wanted the Democrats to have more power we should have elected a veto-proof majority for the Democrats.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Bryan Schappel on April 3, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    I’m not saying the Democrats are spineless just that the spin will be that they are.

    Reply

  9. I think ultimately spin will result in a collapse of the government.

    Bob Schiefer had a great closing comment on this week’s Face The Nation.

    He pointed out that in Vietnam, the Democrats lost the presidency because the government was spinning all the time. Then we threw the Republicans out for the same reason. Ultimately we elected Carter simply because he promised he wouldn’t lie to us. Which seems like a horribly low bar, but at the time, was a good reason to vote for him.

    It could be that the next president will be a replay of Carter.

    Reply

  10. How about an upgrading cheat sheet for us Mac users?

    Reply

  11. Posted by Stuart Woodward on April 3, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    FYI In getSpecialFolderPath:

    local (username = string.nthField (sys.unixShellCommand (“who am i”), ‘ ‘, 1))

    “who am i” returns only the first 8 characters of the username which leads to a truncated folder name which can’t be found if the user’s name is longer than 8 characters.

    Reply

  12. I spoke to someone from Google about the Katrina damage you mentioned the other day. I was confused because I couldn’t see the difference either. They explained that only New Orleans had been updated, all the neighbouring counties were still showing the pre-Katrina pictures that had caused the upset, whether there had been damage there or not.

    Reply

  13. Posted by Stephen Bove on April 6, 2007 at 10:45 am

    re: advice for entrepreneurs and raising money…

    After years of helping people raise money or trying to do it myself, the only truth I believe in is:

    “In business, never put yourself in the position where you need other people’s money to succeed.”

    Except for the few times when miracles occur and other people trust you with their money when you *need* it, “raising money” for a venture that has no chance of standing on its own legs is a sack full of heartaches (and maybe even a house of financial ruin for the founders).

    Start businesses that can succeed on their own with the capital you and your co-founders can invest by yourselves. If, after proving your concept, you decide to opportunistically “buy money” for acceleration of growth, you are *choosing* to raise money from a position of strength and will have a range of prudent options. In this case, sometimes venture capital and it’s extraordinary high cost is a smart alternative to private investors or commercial loans.

    Just my two bits…

    Reply

  14. Posted by Prem on May 8, 2007 at 7:46 am

    The same experience as kosso’s, except no “it worked etc!”

    New OPML Editor fresh install.

    1. Unzipped OPML.zip to fresh new location.
    2. Ran OPML.exe
    3. Registration dialog appears.
    4. Registered new user (never used before)
    5. OPML Editor immediately crashes (same as before).

    Windows XP – IE7 installed.

    Well! :(

    Reply

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