Tuesday, October 30, 2007

non-tech startup

Tom recently sent my this article on the best entrepreneurs under 25. On the eve of not qualifying for this age group, I've had a few thoughts:

1) Wow - quarter life crisis.
2) I'm impressed there are a few non-tech ventures on the list.

It maybe that I've been focused on the tech scene lately, or that there is no real community tied to other sorts of start-ups the same way there is with tech, but I was caught a bit off guard by it. It seems a lot of people spend a lot of time trying to come up with new technologies or more interesting combinations of old technologies, but I rarely hear about great new inventions - why is that?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day - a day where thousands of bloggers write about the environment, and hopefully this internet shout gets a few people to become aware of the world around them.

The environment is something I've been interested in since I was in grade school (in second grade I was named "class environmentalist") so rather than try and come up with something new, here are a few links:

Tree Hugger
My del.icio.us links

and lastly for everyone who complains doing something for the environment is too hard:
50 simple things you can do

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Internet Sharing

I moved into a co-op several months ago. It was freshly renovated by a developer, who walked away with a bundle and left us with limited reserve fund and a good sized monthly maintenance fee. As my neighbors and I have settled in, we've been constantly trying to figure out ways to save money while not sacrificing on services (ie getting rid of the doorman isn't on the list of possibilities - yet)

I've been thinking about various ways to try and save money and find myself intrigued by one in particular: shared internet.

Right now there are 42 units in my building. A few of them have very old tenants in them, who I doubt use internet, so I'm going to guess 30 units probably have a connection currently. I presume this costs ~$35/months (frankly I have no real idea, because Time Warner's website/statement provides no insight into the breakdown of charges between internet and tv) so I'm estimating the building spends ~$1,050/month on internet.

I have had little success in finding a internet provider in this area that is alright with multiple users. What I have found is a number of fairly confusing, very technical websites that seem to be implying the service I'm looking for (anyone have any insight into how much bandwidth 30 users would need? or where to find the right provider?) But from what I can discern this is availible for c.$200/months.

Once in the building, I think Meraki's product could work well with one repeater per floor (10 floors * $50 = $500 one time startup cost - spread over a year $40/month).

Based on these numbers, it seems that internet could be provided for $250/month. As such, the co-op could generate up to $750/month in additional revenues which could defray our costs. Plus the cost of maintenance (be it personal time, or hiring someone).

This is all very pie in the sky. has anyone had any luck with a similar setup? Or come across similar cost cutting methods for co-op living?

***update - no one had done it, so I figured why not try. Let me know if you have any tips***

Saturday, October 06, 2007

River of...

So I just tried to combine all the various feeds that my sites create into one "river of news". Hopefully this makes it a bit easier for those of you with readers... let me know what you think.

If you don't have my feed, consider adding it:

Subscribe to my RSS Feed

For those of you curious about how I mashed my feeds together, take a look at FeedBlender, they let you add a bunch of feeds and spit out one consolidated stream. I've added, Twitter, Tumblr, Blogger, and Netflix. This combination then goes to FeedBunner, where Flickr and del.icio.us are added in and where I also get tracking statistics.

as you may have noticed - this combination is causing some problems. I apologize for flooding your readers, I've figured out the problem and hope to have it fixed soon