3 Ways to Improve the Phoenix Tech Startup Scene: A Developer’s Point of View

Having been a part of the Phoenix tech and startup communities for a while, I've noticed some unfortunately trends with folks trying to build their own tech startups. I've outlined a few of them in my latest article on Medium, along with my suggestions for how to work to resolve them, both from the technical and non-technical perspectives.

Here's an excerpt:

The Service Mindset

Being an entrepreneur is tough. I get it. I continue to struggle with the ups and downs and financial implications. Yes, I take side work when necessary to help pay the bills and get paid for my time. What I don’t do, however, is expect immediate payment for all of my work.

It’s an old principle: your time on a project should yield some sort of payment. Makes sense as long as you’re thinking long term enough. If you start a venture, dedicate time and energy to it, and see it through some level of success, you will receive back from it at least what you put in. This whole philosophy proves to be an issue to those that don’t see short-term gain for their effort spent on a start-up.

Unfortunately, I’ve witnessed far too many developers slack on or entirely leave projects that didn’t yield an immediate reward. This leaves the founders hanging, often with partially-built code and sometimes out some cash that they paid to complement any equity.

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Barrett Honors College Thesis

Back when I was getting my undergraduate degree at Arizona State, I was responsible for writing a Thesis my senior year to satisfy the requirements of graduating from the Barrett College. I recently dug it out of an old file and though it'd be fun to post it...

Titled NetSynthesis: User-Initiated Synthesis of Biological Networks, the project was (to modern standards) a basic AJAX application that allows users to map protein and genes based off a given query. After making a search, the system would return a "Did you mean..." type of result. After the user selected the keywords to actually search for, a full search would be conducted.

Here's the abstract. The full paper can be downloaded here.

NetSynthesis is a prototype that allows users to synthesize their own gene-drug, gene-disease and protein-protein interaction networks through queries to a specialized database of Medline abstracts. While NetSynthesis delivers high quality results, users have to wait for a substantial amount of time for all results to be displayed. A new interface is created that utilizes PHP, Java, HTML, JavaScript, MySQL, and AJAX technology to deliver a highly dynamic and robust user experience. Users can now receive partial results when the NetSynthesis process modules retrieve and extract all relevant results.

The NetSynthesis prototype includes a Query Expander, which is designed to provide a list of related terms for the keywords specified in a query. User a combination of synonyms, terms found in definitions of MeSH terms, ancestors and descendents, NetSynthesis provides a substantial list of alternative keywords for a user to choose from before submitting the query to the processing modules. Once the user selects which keyword to include in the final query, results are then displayed to the user. In this fashion, results may be viewed by the user as the system continues to look for more results. This new interface can benefit biomedical researchers in conducting their research.

New Book in the Works

Myself and Adam Mann have decided to write a book with a working title of "The Bootstrapper's Guide to Creating Apps". This guide will give a mid-level overview of the app creation process, from identifying target demographics, through the design, testing, and development process, and finishing with app deployment for both Android and iOS.

We're in the process of building the first chapter, which will be available for free download when complete. Sign up here to follow our progress and thanks for the support!

You are not an Entrepreneur...and neither am I.

Through my experiences of starting a few (soon to be successful) technology companies, I’ve run into a lot of self-proclaimed “entrepreneurs” — individuals who pride themselves on the fact that they’re attempting a new venture, or cultivating a new idea. I applaud anyone willing to take a risk and try to build something new, but that doesn’t make just anyone an entrepreneur.

Read the full article on Medium