Chris Pietschmann

husband, father, hacker, entrepreneur, futurist, innovator, autodidact

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Software is Written FOR PEOPLE

To most software developers it can seem extremely obvious that software is written for computers. After all it runs on the computer and tells the computer how / what to do. But this isn't the entirety of the purpose of software. Through and through, software is really written / built for PEOPLE. There is a movement in computer programming called "Clean Code" that pushes the idea that software is written for other developers. Clean Code is human readable and as such is more easily maintained over... [More]

Imposter Syndrome is Fake

Ok, maybe the title of this post is a little extreme. However, let me explain what I mean. Really, Imposter Syndrome is fake. It's just something you do to yourself. Think about it. Make a list of why you think you're inferior. Why are you an Imposter? Go ahead write down a list or think of it in your head. Ok, now that you have a list... Every reason you can come up with of why you're an imposter is based on comparing yourself to someone else. And, to make it worse you aren't comparing yourself... [More]

On Being an Expert

There are many definitions of what it means to be an expert. Everyone likes to be seen as an expert, but many don't feel worthy of the title. This feeling of being unworthy relates to the "Imposter Syndrome" where an individual feels inferior because they constantly compare their single self to everyone else's combined selves. While it's really not possible for everyone to be "THE" expert, it's an absolute constant that everyone is "AN" expert is some fashion. Are you "AN" expert? Yes.Am I "AN" ... [More]

My Top 11 Business Tips

I have quite a bit of experience in both failing and succeeding in my career, from working as an employee to being an entrepreneur. If you follow my blog you may not know this as I haven't really blogged about it. In quick summary: Back in 2007 I quite my day job and went all in on a side project I was working on to build a product to sell with Simplovation LLC. The product didn't sell quite like I had planned, so I had to get consulting work. I was a freelance consultant for quite a few years o... [More]

Follow You Own Path, Dreams and Passion

Many of us hear the negative insecurities and fears of others being projected towards us through the "you can't", or "that won't work" statements of negativity. These statements are rooted in these peoples own fears and insecurities. They are afraid of failure themselves, so they try to discourage you too. Don't listen to this advice from others. In fact, distance yourself from these people and find people who encourage you. "Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right." - Henry Ford In... [More]

Never Give Up

There is a statement that is very prevalent in our culture that "you only have 1 shot" at success. This promotes the premise that any failure is futile. This couldn't be further from the truth. We learn from failure. Failure is inevitable on the path to success, and every single person who has ever succeeded has failed at some point. It's what you do with failure that defines your chances at future success. I've blogged about failure on a couple occasions already, but it's importance can not be ... [More]

Software is like Automobiles and has a lot to learn

Recently I watched the documentary "A Faster Horse" which is a story about the Ford Mustang and the creation of the new 2015 redesign for the 50th anniversary of the Mustang. There was a quote from Henry Ford mentioned that Simplicity, Reliability, and Affordability as keys to the success of building and selling an automobile. Watching this documentary really got me thinking about how similar the automobile industry is to the software industry. There must be some things the software industry can... [More]

Find Your Passion

Much of success in life hinges on finding something you're passionate about. Sure, certain interests that turn into passions can be difficult to build a career around, but there's certainly ways to do it. No matter what your passion, you need to find it! Once you find your passion, you need to figure out how you can exploit that to build a career. What ever your passion may be, you will be able to find something related to it that you can build a career around. Building a successful career aroun... [More]

Failure is the cost of Wisdom

Everyone fails at something before they succeed. There is so much more to learn from failure than success. I've posted before about Failure being greater success than success pointing out how valuable failure is for learning, growing and future success. A huge benefit of failing here and there over time is Wisdom. Wisdom comes from experience, and more experience can be gained from failure than success. Sure success is great, but when you succeed all you learn is how to succeed under those singu... [More]

Be True to Yourself, First

There are many times in life that we get nudged in this direction or that so that we make other people happy by doing or saying what's necessary to get to that goal. We all need people to work for, be friends with, get along with that do require a little extra effort at times to keep them happy. This is a necessity of life, however, if you aren't true to yourself then you will eventually lose interested and fade off. Being true to yourself is being honest with yourself at the most basic level. E... [More]

Do your best and Own it

A couple years ago I posted some thoughts on "You are responsible for YOU" pointing out that you much take control for your own actions. I've been thinking about this a bit recently and thought I would expand on that thought and add a bit. You can't merely be responsible for yourself and your actions, but you much also "Own it." Own It To "Own It" means to not just take the responsibility for yourself and to start action, but to also take responsibility for the consequences of your actions. Whet... [More]

Tools Don't Make You Great

Every career and industry has it's own set of tools that are commonly used. Software Development is no different. These tools offer varying degrees of functionality that help people do their jobs. To a certain extent these tools do help people do better work, more work, faster work, etc. However, there is a limit to this affect. As a software developer targeting web and Microsoft platforms, I use Visual Studio every day. There are many features that have been added to this tool over the years th... [More]

Games and Facebook are Cool but Boring Software Runs the World

Mostly all tech news speaks about are either the latest consumer features of your favorite Mobile Operating System (iOS, Android, Windows Mobile) or all the cool startups. There certainly have been a lot of startups over the years to make it big. To name a few: Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Uber. However magical and exciting these consumer companies and their software products appear to be, they still don't fundamentally make the world run. Yes, some of these have fundamentally changed the way ... [More]

Apple Watch NOT Insanely Great, Not Yet

Today is the day that Apple has opened preorders for the Apple Watch. There's a lot of conversation about this new product, but we must all remember that it's the very first version of this brand new product. It's not just the first version, but the first version of a brand new product category for the company. This all adds up to a v1 product that has a lot stacked up against it for being all that great. Version 1 products are best when they are released as an MVP (Minimum Viable Product).... [More]

Community Engagement: Who do you follow? What do you share?

Some people have other people they follow in one manner or another. Some of the most commonly followed people in an industry are the "rockstars" of that industry. However, there are some people who refuse to follow others as they feel it might hinder their ability to think uniquely; think different. Although, if you don't follow anyone then you are turning yourself into a loner; an island. What's the best direction to take? Should you be a loner who works and thinks independently, or should you ... [More]

Public Domain or at least Open Source Licensing Eventually

Most copyrighted products are proprietary and closed source; such as books, software programs and all other types of copyrightable materials. The reason for this, and a very good one IMO, is to allow the author(s) to make a living on what they've created. While some are open source from the start, most are proprietary; which makes sense. After all, you wont be able to create future products if you can't afford to pay the bills. When to Set it Free However, there comes a time in the natural life ... [More]

There is no product unless you first ship it!

Just as there is no business without something to sell; you do not have a product until you ship it. What to ship? How to ship? When to ship? Where to ship? There are many questions that need to be answered before shipping a product. However, one thing always remains true:A product only succeeds if you ship it. It may be difficult to determine when/if/how/where your product fits. However, you can always reiterate and improve the product for the next release. Every product isn’t as great at... [More]

Programming is the Reading and Writing of the Future

"Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you hot to think." - Steve Jobs "Learning to write programs stretches your mind, and helps you think better, creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains." - Bill Gates   In the future #Programming will be like #Reading and #Writing are today. — Chris Pietschmann (@crpietschmann) September 13, 2013 Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn co... [More]

Overnight Success is Hardly Overnight

Every so often there are news headlines declaring that some person or company is an "overnight success." No personal reputation or business is ever built up overnight. It's a physical and social impossibility. Every time there is an "overnight success" reference there is a person or company that has been working for 5, 10, 15 or more years. They have had many failures over that time, learned from them, and have forged success by persevering through hardships of some kind. Success is hard work. S... [More]

Failure Is Greater Success Than Success.

Our society has a tendency to constantly focus on failure. Success is often short lived and generally only achieves "15 minutes of fame." "I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." - Michael Jordan Failures can easily overshadow successes. It is important to never let those failures convince you to quit, for failur... [More]

You are responsible for YOU

It is easy to point fingers and pass blame to others. Although, ultimately, at the end of the day you are the only one responsible for YOU! No matter what good or bad decisions you've made at home, at work, in life; you are the only one to blame. Take responsibility and own your actions. For once you fully take responsibility for yourself, and only then, will you achieve a greater level of freedom. Many people will attempt to control you out of fear and/or for their own agenda. They will only su... [More]

Urgency is not Panic, unless you let it be

When you are caught up in the urgency of getting something done it is easy to be blinded by the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) that is causing you to rush and possibly make mistakes. After all, the deadline is fast approaching! Almost every time urgency is accompanied with rushing. Although, it doesn’t have to be. The next time you get into an urgent situation, make sure you "Stop, Relax. Now, GO!" Reflecting on the current situation allows you to remain in control while still getting t... [More]

Execution is Most Important to be Successful

A quote you likely hear a lot is "It doesn't matter what you know; It's WHO you know." Well, when you compare the "what" and "who" it is generally true that the "who" is more important. After all, if you don't know who to sell to then it doesn't matter what you build or do. However, something that is implicit in that quote is that you know how to execute. Execution is probably the most important thing to succeed in both life and business. No matter how much you know, if you can't execute an idea... [More]

Automation is Essential

There are many tasks that are performed repetitively. Some of those tasks often get outsourced. However, in the end someone is responsible for performing those tasks. Automation is the process of setting up some kind of process to perform repetitive tasks with minimal effort from the person responsible. Any time there is a task that is necessary to perform repetitively you must (in today's ever shrinking and increasingly competitive world) consider if that task is worth automating in whole or in... [More]

An Hour Saved is an Hour Earned

Time is the scarcest resource we have. More scarce than land, More scarce than water. More scarce than money. This is one of the reasons that life is so precious. "A penny saved is a penny earned." - Benjamin Franklin This famous quote from Benjamin Franklin can also be applied to Time. We only have so much time. We need to choose wisely how we spend it. An hour spent reading useless Facebook status updates is one less hour spent with your family. An hour spent watching TV is one less hour spent... [More]