The advantages of being a student entrepreneur

The other day I had the opportunity to have coffee with a student entrepreneur from Virginia Tech. This is the second such meeting in a month and I hope it’s a sign of future trends. Over the past two semesters, I’ve met with three entrepreneurs, all at the end stages of their undergraduate education, and all were pondering this decision – take a “regular” job or start my own business. In my opinion, the decision is a no-brainer. Follow your

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Small Business Backup System Using Amazon S3

My friend Thomas Myer has a great article up on the Amazon Web Services Developer Connection on Building a Small Business Backup System Using Amazon S3. When you run a small business, you’re usually running too fast and hard to think about data backups. Then something terrible happensâ??a hardware failure, an employee or contractor gets sloppy and kills a month’s worth of workâ??and you realize that you better slow down and figure out a few things. If you’re like me,

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Forbes ranks Virginia the Best State for Business

Virginia has been named the top state in Forbes’ Best States for Business for the second straight year. Virginia finished in the top ten in four of the six main categories (business and living costs, job and income growth, business climate, educational attainment, venture capital investment, and quality of life) examined by Forbes. Virginia’s top attributes include an incentive environment that is the fourth-best in the country, according to Pollina Corporate Real Estate, a commercial real estate consulting firm, as

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The Danger of the Web Office and Google Presentations

You never really realize how dependent you are on the Internet until it goes down for an extended period of time. In my case, I’m referring to the 4 hours I was without access yesterday. Of course, there were many items on my to-do list that could be accomplished without the Internet, but I instantly began to focus on the tasks that needed it. Luckily, I still rely on many off-line applications for my email, documents, and the like; so

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Entrepreneur Resource List

Andy Forbes has compiled (and regularly updates) a great list of entrepreneur resources (PDF). The list is geared towards the Washington DC region, but there is a wealth of information here that goes beyond the area. The list has been generated with input from the community, specifically from the Netpreneur mailing list (another great resource). Disclaimer: EvolvePoint is listed.

Google CEO gives $2 million to Virginia Tech

The Roanoke Times reports that Google CEO Eric Schmidt has given Virginia Tech a $2 million gift to the College of Engineering. Apparently, Schmidt grew up in Blacksburg and was the son of a professor. The longer I live here, the more successful former residents and alumni I read about. Schmidt, who received master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, spoke at Tech’s commencement in 1999 at Torgersen’s request. He’s given to Tech before, establishing the Wilson

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OpenOffice to the rescue

Speaking of writing, OpenOffice.org saved my butt today. A large Microsoft Word document I was working on ballooned to over 300M, making even the autosave feature take over 10 minutes (I’m not exaggerating). Finally, in frustration, I opened up the document in OpenOffice.org Writer, finished my editing, and then saved it back to Word. The new file size? 1M and everything ran smoothly. I have no idea what I was doing wrong to have Word behave this way, but thank you OpenOffice

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Paul Graham on why writing is harder than programming

If it wasn’t obvious from one of my recent posts, I’m doing some writing.  And when I’m engaged in an activity I tend to read more on the subject for inspiration. As I was taking a break procrastinating by skimming my feed reader, I saw a new post by Paul Graham on why writing is harder than programming. I love his comments that With hacking, you never have to worry how something is going to come out. Software doesn’t “come out.”

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Improve your writing with readability statistics

I stumbled on a great tip this morning for improving your writing while reading a post on Michael Stelzner’s white paper blog. In the post, he refers to an analysis of an HP white paper by Eric Rosen. While an interesting before and after study of how to use better written language in a white paper, what really caught my attention was a set of images after the comparison (you can see a sample to the right). These readability stats looked like they

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Project Time Tracking Tools

Om Malik has a post on project time tracking over at the Web Worker Daily blog. His post is only a question to the readers regarding what they use for time tracking their various projects, but the comments are filled with great suggestions including: Web: FreshBooks (http://www.freshbooks.com/) Basecamp (http://www.basecamphq.com/) Tick (http://www.tickspot.com) SlimTimer (http://www.slimtimer.com) Harvest (http://www.getharvest.com) 88 Miles (http://www.88miles.net) 14dayz (http://www.14dayz.com/site/) Time Tracker (http://www.formassembly.com/time-tracker/) Side Job Track (http://www.sidejobtrack.com/) 1time (http://www.1time.ie/) myHours.com (http://www.myhours.com/) Desktop: On the Job http://www.stuntsoftware.com/OnTheJob/ Timeless Time & Expense

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