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Books & Articles I wrote.

Thursday, October 06, 2005



Given a binary operation, an idempotent element (or simply an idempotent) is something that when multiplied by (for a function, composed with) itself, gives itself as a result. For example, the only two real numbers which are idempotent under multiplication are 0 and 1.

A unary operation (i.e., a function), is idempotent if, whenever it is applied twice to any element, it gives the same result as if it were applied once. For example, the greatest integer function is idempotent as a function from the set of real numbers to the set of integers.

Source : Wikipedia

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I finished reading StartUp last night by Jerry Kaplan.

I have to say i really enjoyed reading it and there were a hell of a lot of lessons to be taken from it. He has stories of backstabbing from some of the best known companies in the world, although i have to say that during some of the stories where it was indicated others were trying to drop them for someone else, they were seeminly doing the same (when working with ATT whilst partnered with IBM without mentioning it, yes being pissed when IBM tried to do something with Apple). However, I don't blame them as it seemed they were likely to be dropped at some point anyway and so needed to watche their own backs - dog eats dog.

I know there is a lot of writing on the web and that Jerry Kaplan is currently persuing a legal case, but I avoided reading much of that so i could get a clean story (albeit his interpretation).

I don't get the impression of sour grapes at the end though. I actually get the impression he felt more for the employees than himself. I also think he got a lot of luck, but as people often say, you make your own luck, and for his company to survive as long as it did was quite exceptional. Also, I dont think it was as simple as his company losing the money (as i saw someone had pointed out). It always was pretty much a do or die company - there really is no middle ground when you are talking about changing how people use certain technologies. They lost the backing and from that point forward there was no way back. Had they got the backing, it would probably have been the complete inverse.

My impression of Jerry Kaplan however was of someone i think i would get on with quite well. In fact some of the events (such as his cat and father dying struck a chord with my own life - albiet slightly differently). He also came across as being quite an honest guy - there was even an email address to contact him through (i have already tried to contact him through linkedin).

If anything however, it was a timely lesson on what to do (and what not to do) when building a business (i am trying to do so). It also seems John Doerr is is every book i read now (he is even in my current title, "Amazonia"!!).

Does anyone want to fill me in on anything i have missed on may not know/understand? I'd also like to know what some of these people did after GO and EO were closed in July 1994 (around the time i was doing my Waves and Optics exam at Uni.).

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Started playing with groop.us

"... a web service to visualize your social context based on the tags you have used. It shows your areas of interest and relates people with similar interests to groups to foster the creation of a shared understanding about tags and resources."

The UI is quite bizarre, but first impressions are that it may be quite useful for those know know how it works and have the time to understand its implications (oh, and work with delicious).

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