Tag Archives: github

Semerda.com Bootstrap launches on GitHub: Free for everyone!

Go and grab it!

https://github.com/semerda/semerda-com-bootstrap

Get Semerda.com Bootstrap on GitHub

About GitHub

GitHub is a distributed version control system similar to Mercurial with a free Mac client. GitHub makes it easier to collabortate with others and share projects with the universe. GitHub has grown into an application used by over a million people to store over two million code repositories, making GitHub the largest code host in the world.

Goal for Semerda.com Bootstrap: “To help ease with starting up new projects in Python on Django with jQuery, Twitter’s Bootstrap, Modernizr & Handlebars.js.”

If you have any suggestions how to make this solution better please Leave me feedback.

Cool things you will find inside

  • Plenty of internal documentation to why something is being done. Also utilize the “Ref:” URLs. They are there as a reference for the source of the content. Great for digging deeper into those specifics.
  • Settings.py split into Development & Production modes based on platform node. The base template contains the platform node wrapped in comment declaration so you can view source and see if you are running in development or production mode.
  • HTTP error 404, 500 & 403 handlers with associate Templates – these are bare atm so feel free to expand and contribute better versions. See Quora for funniest 404 pages.
  • If you add {% include ‘django_debug.html’ %} to your base.html Django Template footer you will see Debugging information in the footer of all your pages. Not recommended in Production mode.
  • Handlebars & Django Template consistencies to help use.
  • Custom Handlerbars Helpers to help with index counting in a grid table and generating Twitter Bootstrap buttons.
  • All JavaScript files are loaded using Modernizr’s yepnope, a asynchronous conditional resource loader.
  • Few custom Semerda.com JavaScript modules using the Modular Pattern. I’m a big fan of the Modular Pattern due to its encapsulation, namespacing and seperation of concern possibilities.
  • What custom Modular JavaScript you will find under /media/js/
    • semerda.com.common.js – highlight the correct primary navigation tab based on page visited.
    • semerda.com.analytics.js – wrapper for Google Analytics (GA) to automatically tag all links on page by parsing the DOM for href. Also uses “data-ga” attribute (where present) to push custom labels for GA event tracking.
    • semerda.com.browserstorage.js – for HTML5 supported browsers the JSON load uses either the browser local or session store to work with the JSON data. Default is always local store. Great for use with JSON/API call data you want to cache locally vs constantly making calls to the API – see /about/ page for this example in use.

Frameworks used

  • Django: Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.
  • jQuery: The Write Less, Do More, JavaScript Library: A fast, concise, library that simplifies how to traverse HTML documents, handle events, perform animations, and add AJAX.
  • Bootstrap, from Twitter: Simple and flexible HTML, CSS, and Javascript for popular user interface components and interactions.
  • Modernizr w/ yepnope.js: Modernizr is an open-source JavaScript library that helps you build the next generation of HTML5 and CSS3-powered websites. yepnope is an asynchronous conditional resource loader that’s super-fast, and allows you to load only the scripts that your users need.
  • Handlebars.js: Minimal Templating on Steroids: Handlebars provides the power necessary to let you build semantic templates effectively with no frustration. Mustache templates are compatible with Handlebars, so you can take a Mustache template, import it into Handlebars, and start taking advantage of the extra Handlebars features.

Thanks to

makinacorpus (Makina Corpus) for custom template tag code to get around handlebars mustache tags which are natively parsed by Django templating engine. Ref: https://github.com/makinacorpus/django-templatetag-handlebars

References

The following are blog posts I have written in the past which will help you when working with the code in Bootstrap Semerda.com.

A bit about the author Ernest Semerda

Bsc. Comp Sci & AGSM MBA. I Lead & Code for Coupons.com. Prior software architect at AMP Ltd, later CTO of Couponstar Ltd followed by an acquisition by Coupons.com, a $1B company. I am an Aussie entrepreneur & software engineer working on refreshing & innovative products in Silicon Valley like GTDfaster, Facebook ReadingList app et al.

This is my personal website: http://ernestsemerda.com/

I am responsible for the following properties

  • The Road to Silicon ValleyThis blog. A Blog which provides tools and resources to anyone wanting to come and work in Silicon Valley’s high tech industry. Experience is based on my own personal journey arriving in Silicon Valley on March 2009.
  • GTDfaster iPhone app – GTDfaster rests on David Allen’s principle of Getting Things Done (GTD). That a person needs to move stuff out of the mind by recording them externally into a trusted source. GTDfaster is this trusted GTD source. Also has a seperate posterous blog on GTDfaster.
  • Facebook Readinglist app – A popular free Facebook app to help you share, inspire & create a collection of books you have read, want to read or are reading. Start influencing your friends on Facebook today.

To-do list for Semerda.com Bootstrap

There is always a never ending to-do list. If you want to dd anything to it please feel free to.

  • Separate Handlebars Helpers into Standard & Twitter specifics.
  • Give SEMERDA prototype object a unique handle like jQuery does with $. Maybe use “$S”. This should shorten the calls a bit.
  • Throw in more Modernizr examples for Browser detection versus feature detection. Always aim for browser detection hence why we are using Modernizr here. We do not want to block users but gracefully degrade the experience where required.
  • Provide a set of minified semerda.com.xyz custom JavaScript modules. For now just use [Google Closure Tools](https://developers.google.com/closure/) to do the minification.
  • Add a real API vs calling /json/my_data.json dummy data.
  • Add some funny custom 404 pages. Inspired by Quora for funniest 404 pages.
  • Add Django Debug Toolbar – A configurable set of panels that display various debug information about the current request/response.
  • Add Python Modules examples and associated Unit Tests.
  • Add Django Middleware example and associated Unit Tests.
  • Cleanup/feedback from users – that’s you :-)

Go and grab Semerda.com Bootstrap and enjoy the ease of building powerful Python based apps. Semerda.com Bootstrap primetime: https://github.com/semerda/semerda-com-bootstrap

Enjoy!
~ Ernest

Startup School 2010 – the recap, highlights & lessons

Startup School 2010 was a success! both on the quality of the turn out of entrepreneurs, speakers and the organizers – Y Combinator and Stanford BASES.

The day started on a nice crispy Saturday morning 16th October 2010. Breakfast was provided to all those that attended while the Dinkelspiel Auditorium at Stanford University was prepared.

Startup School 2010 - at Stanford, Dinkelspiel Auditorium

The morning of Startup School 2010 - at Stanford, Dinkelspiel Auditorium

Startup School 2010

Startup School 2010

Schedule

The theater got packed out with many great minds of all ages – even entrepreneurs 12 years of age eager to start changing the world. The following are notes I took during each of the speeches + video. Hope you enjoy the content and find it as valuable and inspiring as I did.

Brian Chesky (Founder of Airbnb) speaking to an audience of entrepreneurs. Spot me in the 3rd row! :-) Photo by Robert Scoble

09:30
Andy Bechtolsheim
Founder Arista Networks; Founder, Sun Microsystems

Andy Bechtolsheim - Founder of Arista Networks & Founder of Sun Microsystems

Andy Bechtolsheim - Founder of Arista Networks & Founder of Sun Microsystems

Wow, what a great start to this day. Andy went over how Silicon Valley got to where it is today and then touched up on the following interesting topics:

  • The process in creating a business is in 3 steps: Discover –> Design –> Deliver
  • “Discover” phase has more value but typically less money is spent while moving to the right to “Deliver” has less value but more money is spent on it.
  • The Horizon Effect”, also a topic in psychology, outlines how the majority of humans only purse goals which are in our horizon, stuff we can see, instead of stuff we cannot see. Aim past the horizon like Christopher Columbus did when he sailed past to the horizon only to find that he would not fall off the edge of the world.
  • Great companies:
    • Apple – spends the least on R&D ($1.2b) and consumer research. They trust their gut instinct to deliver super products. They also have less products to maintain than most companies.
    • Google – expects to solve the impossible. Most of their success today is attributed to the 1 day per week given to their employees to brain storm & prototype new ideas.
  • Innovation is the never-ending search for better solutions.
  • Most successful companies have more than 1 founder.

10:00
Paul Graham
Partner, Y Combinator; Founder, Viaweb

Paul Graham - Partner of Y Combinator & Founder of Viaweb

Paul Graham - Partner of Y Combinator & Founder of Viaweb

Paul spoke of Super-angels vs. VCs and how the landscape has changed. I didn’t take notes during Paul’s speech since Paul made it available online here.

The New Funding Landscapehttp://www.paulgraham.com/superangels.html

10:30
Andrew Mason
Founder, Groupon

Andrew Mason - Founder of Groupon

Andrew Mason - Founder of Groupon

  • Initial site was a WordPress blog where Andrew would copy and paste group buy requests from ThePoint.
  • Early hiring advise:
    • Avoid titles (unless required for hiring purpose) and
    • Don’t create too much structure.
  • How to defend yourself against competition:
    • Build an awesome product and
    • Never get out-innovated.
  • Lessons from Groupon’s journey:
    1. You’re building a tool, not a piece of art. Don’t be blinded by the vision.
    2. Recognise and Embrace your constraints.
    3. Have a Growth plan.
    4. The best tools aren’t always that cool – email is worth 10x more to Groupon than Facebook/Twitter followers.
    5. You will probably fail – failure is real but you don’t have to fail.
    6. Quit now – signs are always pointing but you get to decide.

I highly recommend you watch the videos below of Andrew talking about Groupon since it’s both educational and entertaining (plenty of humor).

Video part 1 of 2Andrew Mason – Founder of Groupon @ Startup School 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fw6GxABcdy4
Video part 2 of 2Andrew Mason – Founder of Groupon @ Startup School 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIUlweek0FM

11:00
Break

11:30
Tom Preston-Werner
Founder, GitHub

Tom Preston-Werner - Founder of GitHub

Tom Preston-Werner - Founder of GitHub

12:00
Greg McAdoo

Partner, Sequoia Capital

Greg McAdoo - Partner of Sequoia Capital

Greg McAdoo - Partner of Sequoia Capital

  • “Leverage” is very important to demonstrate value in attaining VC funding.
  • Read about Achates Power “Fundamentally Better Engines” and how they did what GM couldn’t do in 20 years with half the staff.
  • Key points on the success of startups getting VC funding:
    1. They thought differently.
    2. They don’t throw money at problems, but ideas.
    3. They built simple easy to use products.
    4. They stay closer to the customers.
    5. They do more with less.
    6. They ship something early.
    7. They put a price on it early.

12:30
Reid Hoffman
Partner, Greylock; Founder, LinkedIn

Reid Hoffman - Partner of Greylock & Founder of LinkedIn

Reid Hoffman - Partner of Greylock & Founder of LinkedIn

  • There is around 7 +/- 2 of sites people have in their mind. Your goal is to be one of those 7. Search is in the 7.
  • Competition is the noise you need to get above. One way to do this is to make sure they sux and you don’t.
  • Release version 1 of your product asap to test your hypothesis early and to prove your ideas. If you are not embarrassed by version 1 you have released too late.
  • Build an intelligence network early, from investors, co-founders etc to help with testing your hypothesis (pivot).
  • Make social features available for when new customers ask – “who else is here that I know”.
  • Don’t plan for more than 6 months forward since the consumer internet changes rapidly.
  • Hire people who cohere as a group and learn quickly.
  • Solve your venture’s hardest problem of distribution e.g. how to get to massive size. And then you are on your way to success.

If you are on LinkedIn let’s connect. Just let me know who you are.
My LinkedIn profile is located here: http://www.linkedin.com/in/semerda

12:55
Lunch

Ron Conway
Partner, SV Angel and former co-founder of Altos Computers

Ron Conway - Partner of SV Angel + Ron's good friend McHammer

Ron Conway - Partner of SV Angel + Ron's good friend MC Hammer

  • Provide a service where users are happy and then monetize.
  • Entrepreneurs build and innovate companies and investors should be lucky to be a part of it.
  • Never forget its your company, the founder’s company.
  • Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur.
  • It takes guts but anyone can do it.
  • It’s crazy to start a company with 1 founder. It’s all about building a great team. And if you are a founder you have to build a great team some day so why not build it the day you start the company – the 1st hurdles to get over.

There is more in the videos below where Ron outlines his journey and the journey of great friends from Napster, Google, Facebook and Twitter.

Video part 1 of 2Ron Conway – Partner of SV Angel @ Startup School 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvmYGK2Jhck
Video part 2 of 2Ron Conway – Partner of SV Angel @ Startup School 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjaI43_u3dk

Adam D’Angelo
Founder, Quora and ex-CTO of Facebook

Adam D'Angelo - Founder of Quora

Adam D'Angelo - Founder of Quora

  • It’s ok if something doesn’t scale as long as it strengthens your position.
  • Facebook leanings:
    • Good infrastructure early on saves future development time to correct it.
    • Get as much start-up experience as an employee so that later you can climb your own mountain with this knowledge behind you.

Quora is a great Q&A product with quality content.
You can find me on Quora here: http://www.quora.com/Ernest-Semerda

Dalton Caldwell
Founder, Picplz; Founder, Imeem

Dalton Caldwell - Founder of Picplz & Imeem

Dalton Caldwell - Founder of Picplz & Imeem

  • Don’t be a cannon fodder. Work on things you love. Life is too short.
  • Key before you start your own music startup:
    • Artists are poor so they won’t pay you,
    • The market is totally saturated,
    • The economies are challenging with required payments to labels every quarter and lawyers waiting for you to become big so they can sue you.

If you want a good laugh and learn heaps about the risks of starting up a music venture then you should watch Dalton’s music business review (videos below) of his 6 years of building Imeem, what worked and what didn’t.

Video part 1 of 2 – Dalton Caldwell – Founder of Picplz & Imeem @ Startup School 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pshTi9dk7Bw
Video part 2 of 2Dalton Caldwell – Founder of Picplz & Imeem @ Startup School 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TphryAOyY40

15:55
Break

Mark Zuckerberg
Founder, Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg - Founder of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg - Founder of Facebook speaking with Jessica Livingston (Y Combinator partner)

  • Facebook’s mission is: Give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.
  • Mark stated that he acquires companies primarily for the excellent people. “Past handful acquires were a success so why not more.”
  • The goal is to build Facebook as the McKinsey of Entrepreneurship.

In the video below Mark speaks with Jessica Livingston (Y Combinator partner) on the initial days at Facebook, about the new movie Social Network and answers popular questions about Facebook.

Video part 1 of 2 – Mark Zuckerberg – Founder of Facebook @ Startup School 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjVACXklxJk
Video part 2 of 2 – Mark Zuckerberg – Founder of Facebook @ Startup School 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjuMARuv5sg

Brian Chesky
Founder, Airbnb

Brian Chesky - Founder of Airbnb

Brian Chesky - Founder of Airbnb

  • If you have an idea put it up there online, no matter what it looks like. You need the feedback early on.
  • Inventors of Obama O’s: Hope in every bowl! and Cap’n McCain’s: Put a maverick in your morning cereals – when the times were tough and money was required.
  • Had many unsuccessful launches but persistence got them through. Paul Graham stated “you guys won’t die, your like cockroaches”.
  • Michael Seibel from Justin.tv introduced Brian and his co-founder to the Y Combinator methodology and eventually to Paul Graham. Initially, Paul didn’t like the business idea. That changed quickly.
  • Brian used a classic motivation / psychology approach that Anthony Robbins teaches: “Whatever you focus on expands (you get)”. So he decided to focus on revenue by printing a positively inclined graph depicting revenue and pasting it on the bathroom mirror. This way it was the 1st thing he saw every morning and the last before going to bed to dream. It worked!
  • Paul Graham advised: “Go to your users”. So Brian and his co-founder flew to NYC, Washington DC and Denver and knocked on people’s doors to sell their service – “do you know how much your bedroom is worth?!”.
  • Then, David, Barry Manilow’s drummer posted his apartment for rent while he toured with Barry Manilow. This changed the direction of AirBnB and the 1st “wiggles of hope ~ PG” appeared. AirBnB launched version 5 of their product and started to be Ramen Profitable.
  • Today, AirBnB is in 8200 cities, 166 countries and traffic has started booming in the last 5 months.
  • AirBnB is now a “Community market place for space”.
  • All this started with an airbed in a living room to solve an accommodation problem.

The following videos are titled “Powerless and obscure” – 1,000 days ago (October 2007). How Brian started AirBnB and it nearly fell apart only to survive after the 5th launch. Very inspiring and educational.

Video part 1 of 2 – Brian Chesky – Founder of Airbnb @ Startup School 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOytubycHOg
Video part 2 of 2 – Brian Chesky – Founder of Airbnb @ Startup School 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZ1fC6kAg5k

I also got to meet Brian the following day during Y Combinator Open-Day at AirBnB headquarters in SF.

Me with Brian Chesky - Founder of Airbnb @ AirBnB headquarters in SF

Me with Brian Chesky - Founder of Airbnb @ AirBnB headquarters in SF

In Conclusion

And that wrapped up an amazing, day at Startup School 2010.

My top 3 take away (learnings) from Startup School 2010 were:

  1. Find a solution to something people are hurting (strongly need) and they will pay you for it.
  2. It’s all about the “Experience”, not the technology. You are selling the experience not the technology.
  3. Build an awesome product that makes your competitor’s version sux.

Now it’s time for action!

Ernest