In Defense of Capitalism

I saw John Mackey of Whole Foods speak at inc. Magazine’s GrowCo conference (highly recommended), and have read his book Conscious Capitalism since. In both, he began with the premise that capitalism is viewed negatively in the U.S., that companies are viewed as greedy and are a cause of social problems. He continues with a defense that shows that capitalism has raised the standard of living, increased life expectancy, and generally improved people’s lives. Please read the book for the details. I agree with all of this, which is not difficult as it is fact based. Continue reading

Developers in Support? – Maybe Not

I once had a boss that insisted that developers act as support for at least a month on all newly released products. The idea was that they would get direct feedback from the customer. This would allow them to better understand the real world use cases, and share the pain of any errors. I believe this approach has a fair amount of merit. I have learned a lot from my customers. In general, I release a version 1.0, and from there, customers determine future feature releases. It doesn’t always work this way, but customers have pretty good ideas about what they want. (Thank you for that insight captain obvious). Continue reading

Living the Dream

As the title of this blog hopefully indicates, I am a developer who lives on an island, a tropical island to be precise. North Caicos is a quiet island in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). Roughly a million people spend a fair amount of hard-earned money to vacation here, including the random celebrity or two, and I get to live here half of the year. A number of fellow developers have said to me, “You’re living the dream.” The photo in the header was taken from my back deck, so yes, life is good.

There are two questions that people ask me right away:

  1. What’s it like living there?
  2. How did you manage to make it happen?

The second question has a lot of answers which I’ll talk about in other entries, so let’s get to the fun part first. North Caicos is a relatively small (40 square miles), lightly populated (1500 people) island with an amazing beach, and hardly anyone knows about it. The photo below was taken during the middle of a beautiful day in tourist season. The most people we’ve ever seen on the 1 mile stretch are 20. Yep, 20.

Empty Beach Continue reading