Simon Willison’s Weblog


Sunday, 20th October 2013

How many cups of coffee can a venture capitalist drink in one work day?

When we were raising our seed round we quickly realised that lining up four “coffee” meetings with potential investors in a single day wasn’t going to be sustainable... so we switched to tea and other lower-caffeine drinks. At one meeting I even had a hot chocolate.

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How could we using couchbase with binary document as value?

There’s a system called cbfs that acts as a distributed blobstore on top of Couchbase server——it looks like it is currently under active development.

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Did you submit a proposal for a conference before you actually learned/understood the topic you’ve proposed to talk about?

I’ve submitted proposals for talks on subjects which I have familiarity with, but need to research more thoroughly before giving the actual presentation. Preparing to teach others is an excellent way of learning a topic yourself.

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Is it possible for anybody to be expert in all areas of software development, that includes database, backend, web frontend, mobile apps, and graphic design?

It isn’t possible for someone to be expert in “all” aspects of software development—that would include everything from writing safety critical control systems for nuclear power plants in Fortran to high frequency trading algorithms on Wall Street. The world of software development is simply too big for that now.

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Is it realistically possible to work for a startup like Medium with little to no coding and programming knowledge?

Yes, but not as a programmer. If you have other skills you might be able to land a job at a startup that makes use of those.

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Why was the popular Silicon Valley incubator named Y Combinator?

From this interview with Paul Graham

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Outside of hotels, what are some good SF venues to host small conferences?

There are plenty of tech companies in SF with good facilities who might host a small, relevant conference, often for free (as a venue sponsor).

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