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Remembrance of Futurists Past

I just got around to reading As We May Think, Vannevar Bush’s famous 1945 article where he lays out a vision for the Internet, high level programming languages, Wikipedia, CCD-based cameras, and more. What a contrast to the popular futurist vision of flying cars and humanoid robots… So: how can you tell which of today’s […]

French Press Tip

I’ve been making French press coffee for at least 20 years.  About every third time, while pressing the coffee, a little bit spills onto the counter. The other day I tried it differently: I put the French press into the sink and pressed it there. 20 years of pointless, needless counter-wiping could have been averted […]

Reimbursement Form

Here’s some more tiny-business advice: you should have a reimbursement form. It’s not that I’m nostalgic for the “Good Old Days” when I was at UC Berkeley: I’m not suggesting you make yourself sign a loyalty oath.  It turns out that keeping track of expenses is hard; reimbursable expenses especially so; and a form is […]

Do Your Own Books – Wrap Up

Well maybe just a wrap-up for NOW.  Maybe I’ll bang on this drum more, later. I don’t know enough about John’s business to argue with him further.  400 journal entries a year sounds like <10 a week to me, which is less than an hour a week.  But if an hour a week is more […]

Reviewers Wanted for Tech Interview Questions

I’m working on a couple of tech interview questions and I’m looking to test them on people — ideally, people who do tech hiring and project management work.  So if you want to read my tech interview questions and give me feedback on whether they’ll help me find the people I’m looking for, please comment […]

Do Your Own Books : Far Too Much About Payroll

How to do tiny-business payroll quickly; calculate once a year and then spend five minutes a month writing checks. Also: Newton’s method applied to payroll deductions!

Do Your Own Books : Tiny Business Edition

In response to my earlier post, John writes: That works for single owner /employee businesses, but I’ve found it gets harder as you scale up. (either more owners or more employees). Aren’t payroll checks their own nightmare? It does get harder as you scale up.  This is “Sam’s business advice – tiny business edition”: when […]

Do Your Own Books – You Are Responsible

You’re responsible for paying your taxes. Seems simple, right?  Nobody else can be responsible, so it has to be you. Unfortunately this means you better stay on top of how much you’ve made and how much you owe.  The nice folks at the IRS and CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) — and in my experience, they’re […]

More Cthulhu-mas Hymns

To the tune of “Joy to the World” At the End of the World, Cthulhu will rise From sunken R’lyeh And he will eat all of us (And he will eat all of us) He’ll eat us up every one (He’ll eat us up every one) And if you are lucky, he’ll eat you first […]

Do Your Own Books

If you are self-employed or run a tiny business, you will have to ensure a certain amount of bookkeeping gets done.  The traditional approach is to stuff everything into a folder or envelope (bank statements, Staples receipts, check stubs, deposit slips..) and give it, sheepishly, to your hired bookkeeper/accountant at the end of the year.  […]