248: TZ Discussion – MinMax

Justin and Jason discuss why they like recording discussion shows on Friday afternoons, PayPal dispute resolutions, Jason’s friend who lost his business and is now teaching himself how to code, how to determine whether your programmers are lazyhow Fog Creek compensates their developerswhy Treehouse is eliminating managers, how to inspire developers to hit deadlines, using the minmax algorithm as a game strategy, why there’s so much hate for Soylent, Bitcoin and Tesla, why Justin only bought 0.01 Bitcoin and 1 share of TSLA, a method for identifying asymmetric investments, why Jason thinks Soylent haters are thinking about it all wrong, why Justin is worried about GMOs and why Jason just can’t seem to get worried about it, some Christmas present ideas for Colby – like a programmable quadcopter, an heirloom chemistry set or maybe some synthetic biology, how coaching Colby’s 4th grade math team is going and how the Catalyst kids are about to start programming their own games, a La Critique of CastFeedValidator and JustAddContent, the first 3D commercial game powered by asm.js, a map of the best medical prices, the new science show Futurescape with James Woods, the Neurogrid analog computer that can simulate one-million neurons using only 5 watts of power, the new SciFi show Almost Human, the British show The Wong Mans, the awesome video show This Week in Engineeringhow Google has started caching email images, and how a 6,000-page report on CIA torture has been suppressed for 1 year by the Obama administration.

  1. 2 thoughts on this show.

    First, I was very sad to hear that Jack’s restaurant failed. I only got to play on Cobalt with him for a couple years, but he is such a hard working, great guy. It is awesome that he is now getting a second life of sorts with database/programming work, but it still sucks things didn’t work out for him. Also, I didn’t realize he was in his 40s. I always thought he was younger than me. I guess it just shows that when you have the right mindset you can rebound from really tough setbacks.

    The other thing I was going to mention is that 6 hours a day of ‘in the zone’ hacking is way on the high end. I think that I have been able to just barely get there but only after I started working at a small startup with very few other distractions outside coding AND I still have to work 70+ hours a week to get about 40 hours locked-in coding. If you work at a company with more than a half dozen devs or if you have a lot of other responsibilities, forget about it. At Wells Fargo I would be lucky to get 1 full hour of solid coding in during the day.

    Great episode. Keep up the weekly show schedule!

  2. You should check out the Tyler Cowen book Average is Over – the part on the growing importance of self-motivation and concientiousness is quite in keeping with your friend Jack’s story

  3. Chris Lorenz says:

    Hey Jason and Justin,
    Anyway you would accept donations other than PayPal?

    On a similar note I saw this site the other day https://subbable.com/. It is a crowd funding site designed for recurring show/podcast. That site seems to be focused on youtube but something similar would be great for your show.

    Great podcast as usual. So great to have you back on a weekly basis.

  4. Jon says:

    Hey Jason,

    You were speculating how you might run a company with little to no management. Check out Valve’s employee handbook: http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/1074301/Valve_Handbook_LowRes.pdf

  5. Wow you guys are “on fire” with the new podcast frequency – I love it and I am going to have to free up some more time to stay synched up! 🙂
    It’s great to hear that Colby is spending more time coding than watching TV.
    “One-Brain” LOL – this will warrant a new entry on the wiki (eventually)!
    Thanks for resuming “La Critique” and kudos to the authors for stepping forward and volunteer their apps.

  6. Jason says:

    @Philippe Monnet – Thanks! It’s great to be back on a more regular schedule, even if it does require more work on our part. At least now I have something of an outlet for all of the ideas flowing relentlessly through my brain. I guess it serves as kind of an idea sink for me. 😉

    Yeah, I thought Sandy’s nicknaming of us as “One-Brain” was pretty clever. 🙂

    Oh, and on the Colby-computer topic, after returning home yesterday from a day at baseball camp, Colby explains to his mom (in a manner as if he hadn’t eaten for three days), “Mom, I’ve been away from my computer for SIX hours!” LOL