Paul Buchheit

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pages: 532 words: 139,706

Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta

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23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bioinformatics, Burning Man, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, death of newspapers, disintermediation, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, spectrum auction, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, X Prize, yield management

Sergey did all the talking”: author interview with Eric Schmidt, October 9, 2007. 72 “In exchange for sitting down with me”: Search, John Battelle. 72 Schmidt became Google’s “catcher”: author interview with Eric Schmidt, October 9, 2007. 72 “I don’t know what a catcher does”: author interview with Sergey Brin, September 18, 2008. 72 “He made us better understand”: author interview with Marissa Mayer, November 4, 2008. 73 “I’ll call you Monday morning”: author interview with Eric Schmidt, October 9, 2007. 73 He kept Page and Brin “focused”: author interview with Paul Buchheit, June 9, 2008. 73 Semel’s arrival aroused the righteous anger: Richard Siklos, “When Terry Met Jerry Yahoo,” New York Times, January 29, 2006. 73 “Terry brought two things”: author interview with Bobby Kotick, August 17, 2008. 74 “Semel did not know”: author interview with Ron Conway March 25, 2008. 74 “Help me with something” ... “they did not want to sell”: author interview with Terry Semel, July 10, 2008; confirmed by author interview with Eric Schmidt, March 26, 2008. 75 “Don’t be evil” : author interviews with Paul Buchheit, June 9, 2008, and David Krane, November 3, 2008; Search, John Battelle. 75 “Do you think Hitler thought he was evil?”

Google honors its engineers as creators, treating them the way the legendary management consultant Peter Drucker suggested a half century ago that companies should treat “knowledge workers,” said Hal R. Varian, Google’s chief economist. But an engineering-dominated culture has drawbacks. “In some ways, they have not done enough to communicate what they are doing internally or externally,” said Paul Buchheit, Google’s twenty-third employee, the one who coined their “Don’t be evil” motto and who left with three other Googlers to launch a social network, FriendFeed, in 2006. “Part of the culture is not to communicate. That’s what we did when we started Gmail. We put it out without an announcement.” In beta testing new products, Google does get feedback from users. But something else is at work here as well.

The venture capitalists finally persuaded Page and Brin to hire a headhunter to find a CEO, but the young founders were resistant, fearful that “a suit” would subvert the Google culture. They met with about fifteen candidates, all accomplished executives who were invited to attend TGIF, to share meals with the founders in the cafeteria, to sit in on staff meetings. Brin went heli-skiing with one prospective CEO who boasted that he was an expert at the sport. (He wasn’t.) “They thought everyone they had talked to was a clown,” Paul Buchheit said. “The candidates didn’t understand technology.” Omid Kordestani said Page and Brin “knew in their gut that they wanted a fellow intellectual.” The VCs feared the founders would find an excuse to reject every candidate, which was true. Marissa Mayer said she believes the CEO search was so protracted in part because “they were not convinced it needed to happen.” Mayer knew Page and Brin’s thinking.

 

pages: 468 words: 233,091

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston

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8-hour work day, affirmative action, AltaVista, Apple II, Brewster Kahle, business process, Byte Shop, Danny Hillis, don't be evil, fear of failure, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, game design, Googley, HyperCard, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, nuclear winter, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, software patent, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, Y Combinator

It’s irrelevant if the company fails, but if the company succeeds, that can be a big problem. The funny thing is that they won’t sue you until you’re successful, because why sue someone who is a failure? And this is particularly important if you start out at a big company like Google or Amazon, because they have a lot of time and money to spend on these kinds of things. C H A P T E 12 R Paul Buchheit Creator, Gmail Paul Buchheit was Google’s 23rd employee. He was the creator and lead developer of Gmail, Google’s web-based email system, which anticipated most aspects of what is now called Web 2.0. As part of his work on Gmail, Buchheit developed the first prototype of AdSense, Google’s program for running ads on other websites. He also suggested the company’s now-famous motto, “Don’t be evil,” at a 2000 meeting on company values.

For Da and PG Contents FOREWORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix PREFACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi ABOUT THE AUTHOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xv INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xvii CHAPTER 1 MAX LEVCHIN PayPal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 CHAPTER 2 SABEER BHATIA Hotmail. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 CHAPTER 3 STEVE WOZNIAK Apple Computer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 CHAPTER 4 JOE KRAUS Excite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 CHAPTER 5 DAN BRICKLIN Software Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 CHAPTER 6 MITCHELL KAPOR Lotus Development. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 CHAPTER 7 RAY OZZIE Iris Associates, Groove Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 CHAPTER 8 EVAN WILLIAMS Pyra Labs (Blogger.com) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 CHAPTER 9 TIM BRADY Yahoo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 CHAPTER 10 MIKE LAZARIDIS Research In Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141 v vi Contents CHAPTER 11 ARTHUR VAN HOFF Marimba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 CHAPTER 12 PAUL BUCHHEIT Gmail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161 CHAPTER 13 STEVE PERLMAN WebTV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173 CHAPTER 14 MIKE RAMSAY TiVo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191 CHAPTER 15 PAUL GRAHAM Viaweb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205 CHAPTER 16 JOSHUA SCHACHTER del.icio.us . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223 CHAPTER 17 MARK FLETCHER ONElist, Bloglines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233 CHAPTER 18 CRAIG NEWMARK craigslist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247 CHAPTER 19 CATERINA FAKE Flickr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257 CHAPTER 20 BREWSTER KAHLE WAIS, Internet Archive, Alexa Internet . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265 CHAPTER 21 CHARLES GESCHKE Adobe Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281 CHAPTER 22 ANN WINBLAD Open Systems, Hummer Winblad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297 CHAPTER 23 DAVID HEINEMEIER HANSSON 37signals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309 CHAPTER 24 PHILIP GREENSPUN ArsDigita . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 317 CHAPTER 25 JOEL SPOLSKY Fog Creek Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 345 CHAPTER 26 STEPHEN KAUFER TripAdvisor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 361 CHAPTER 27 JAMES HONG HOT or NOT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 377 CHAPTER 28 JAMES CURRIER Tickle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 387 CHAPTER 29 BLAKE ROSS Firefox . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 395 Contents vii CHAPTER 30 MENA TROTT Six Apart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 405 CHAPTER 31 BOB DAVIS Lycos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 419 CHAPTER 32 RON GRUNER Alliant Computer Systems, Shareholder.com . . . . . . . . . . 427 CHAPTER 33 JESSICA LIVINGSTON Y Combinator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 447 INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 455 Foreword Sprinters apparently reach their highest speed right out of the blocks, and spend the rest of the race slowing down.

I’d like to thank many people for their willingness to make introductions: Jim Baum, Patrick Chung, Mark Coker, Jay Corscadden, Rael Dornfest, Jed Dorsheimer, Randy Farmer, Steve Frankel, Anand Gohel, Laurie Glass, James Hong, Mitch Kapor, Morgan Ley, Mike Palmer, Tom Palmer, Bryan Pearce, Andrew Pojani, Will Price, Ryan Singel, Langley Steinert, Chris Sacca, and Zak Stone. Thanks to Kate Courteau for creating cozy offices for me to work in; Lesley Hathaway for all her advice and support; Alaina and David Sloo for their many introductions; and Sam Altman, Paul Buchheit, Lynn Harris, Marc Hedlund, and Aaron Swartz, who read early chapters of the book. I owe thanks to Lisa Abdalla, Michele Baer, Jen Barron, Ingrid Bassett, Jamie Cahill, Jessica Catino, Alicia Collins, Caitlin Crowe, Julie Ellenbogen, John Gregg, Chrissy Hathaway, Katie Helmer, Susan Livingston, Nadine Miller, Sara Morrison, Bridget O’Brien, Becky Osborne, Allison Pellegrino, Jennifer Stevens, and Suzanne Woodard for their encouragement.

 

pages: 666 words: 181,495

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy

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23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business process, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, discounted cash flows, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, El Camino Real, fault tolerance, Firefox, Gerard Salton, Google bus, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Googley, HyperCard, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, optical character recognition, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Potemkin village, prediction markets, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, search inside the book, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, trade route, traveling salesman, Vannevar Bush, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

(If a page was full of information about winter sports, for instance, Phil would extract keywords like “skis,” “ice skates,” and “hockey pucks.”) Jeff Dean pitched in to merge Phil with the AdWords technology, while another team tried to build all of this into a complete self-service system for advertisers. As it turned out, Harik and Shazeer were not the only Google engineers working on a project that analyzed content and extracted keywords that could be used for ads. Paul Buchheit, one of the first twenty-five hires at Google, was creating a web-based email system, and he had an idea for analyzing the text of emails so Google could run ads alongside them. By early 2003, he already had a pilot project working that served ads alongside email. Buchheit’s technology wasn’t used in the Google publisher project, but “it was a great proof of concept,” says Wojcicki. (Buchheit’s name appears on the patent, along with Harik’s and Jeff Dean’s.)

At Intuit, a group of employees had compiled a set of corporate values that could be shared both inside and outside the company. Campbell convinced the executives at Google that they should do something similar. On July 19, 2001, Stacy Sullivan, who had come to Google to run human resources, pulled together a group for that purpose. They gathered in Charlie’s, about fifteen of them from various parts of the company, including David Krane from communications, Paul Buchheit and Amit Patel from engineering, and Joan Braddi, VP of search services. Marissa Mayer was there, as was Salar Kamangar. And Campbell. Page and Brin were not in attendance. Charlie made smoothies. It was an unusual meeting. Sullivan explained the format. People would identify Google’s values, and she would write down the good ones with a marker on a giant pad she’d set up on an easel. Some of them were straight from the conventional playbooks of management and self-realization, such as “Play hard but keep the puck down.”

Some of them were straight from the conventional playbooks of management and self-realization, such as “Play hard but keep the puck down.” That was a riff on the twice-weekly roller hockey games that the Googlers played in the parking lot—since no one wore padding, there were frequent reminders not to emasculate anyone with a hard rubber disk. (Minor injuries were nonetheless common.) Another one stipulated, “Google will strive to honor all its commitments.” As Sullivan scrawled these nostrums on the big pad, Paul Buchheit was thinking, This is lame. Jawboning about citizenship and values seemed like the kind of thing you do at a big company. He’d seen enough of that at his previous job at Intel. At one point the chipmaker had given employees little cards with a list of values you could attach to your badge. If something objectionable came up you were to look at your little corporate values card and say, “This violates value number five.”

 

pages: 199 words: 43,653

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

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Airbnb, AltaVista, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, en.wikipedia.org, framing effect, game design, Google Glasses, Inbox Zero, invention of the telephone, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Oculus Rift, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QWERTY keyboard, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Toyota Production System, Y Combinator

With both Pinterest and Instagram, tiny teams generated huge value — not by cracking hard technical challenges, but by solving common interaction problems. Likewise, the fast ascent of mobile devices, including tablets, has spawned a new revolution in interface changes — and a new generation of startup products and services designed around mobile user needs and behaviors. To uncover where interfaces are changing, Paul Buchheit, Partner at Y-Combinator, encourages entrepreneurs to “live in the future.” [cxxxix] A profusion of interface changes are just a few years away. Wearable technologies like Google Glass, the Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles, and the Pebble watch promise to change how users interact with the real and digital worlds. By looking forward to anticipate where interfaces will change, the enterprising designer can uncover new ways to form user habits. *** Remember and Share - The Hook Model helps the product designer generate an initial prototype for a habit-forming technology.

 

pages: 270 words: 64,235

Effective Programming: More Than Writing Code by Jeff Atwood

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AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, cloud computing, endowment effect, Firefox, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, gravity well, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Merlin Mann, Minecraft, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, price anchoring, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, science of happiness, Skype, social software, Steve Jobs, web application, Y Combinator

Regardless of whether money is changing hands or not, you should love discovering some small gem of a community request or bugfix on meta that makes your site or product better, and swooping in to make it so. That’s a virtuous public feedback loop: it says you matter and we care and everything just keeps on getting better all in one delightful gesture. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Jeff Atwood@codinghorror “I’m pretty sure the customer is not always right.” 12:23 AM – 8 Nov 11 I Repeat: Do Not Listen to Your Users Paul Buchheit on listening to users: I wrote the first version of Gmail in one day. It was not very impressive. All I did was stuff my own email into the Google Groups (Usenet) indexing engine. I sent it out to a few people for feedback, and they said that it was somewhat useful, but it would be better if it searched over their email instead of mine. That was version two. After I released that people started wanting the ability to respond to email as well.

 

pages: 397 words: 102,910

The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet by Justin Peters

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4chan, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Brewster Kahle, buy low sell high, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, don't be evil, global village, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Lean Startup, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, profit motive, RAND corporation, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

But some malign entity had altered the code to show users the stories of the entity’s choosing.66 That malign entity turned out to be Google, which specialized in projects that appeared to be for the public’s benefit, in keeping with its unofficial corporate motto: “Don’t be evil.” In Bubble City, Swartz opined on this hollow-hearted promise. “Don’t Be Evil was some hacker’s PR ploy that got out of hand,” Swartz wrote. “Paul Buchheit, the guy who made Gmail, suggested it in an early meeting and Amit Patel, another early Googler starting [sic] writing it on whiteboards everywhere. A journalist saw it and the rest was history—but don’t be mistaken, it was never official corporate policy.”67 How could it be? Moral Mazes had taught Swartz that companies cared first and foremost about their own survival and self-perpetuation, and evaluated their business strategies based on those criteria.

 

pages: 624 words: 127,987

The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume by Josh Kaufman

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Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, hindsight bias, index card, inventory management, iterative process, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, loose coupling, loss aversion, market bubble, Network effects, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, place-making, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, side project, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, telemarketer, the scientific method, time value of money, Toyota Production System, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, Yogi Berra

If your assumptions don’t hold true, you’re able to cut your losses without losing your shirt or your dignity. SHARE THIS CONCEPT: http://book.personalmba.com/minimum-economically-viable-offer/ Incremental Augmentation Pick three key attributes or features, get those things very, very right, and then forget about everything else . . . By focusing on only a few core features in the first version, you are forced to find the true essence and value of the product. —PAUL BUCHHEIT, CREATOR OF GMAIL AND GOOGLE ADSENSE Once your MEVO is selling and you’ve proven that your CIAs are valid, you’re in good shape, but you’re not finished. If you’re committed to making your offer as good as it can be, you’ll need to keep making small changes that improve the offer if you want to stay competitive and attract more customers. Incremental Augmentation is the process of using the Iteration Cycle to add new benefits to an existing offer.

 

pages: 836 words: 158,284

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss

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23andMe, airport security, Albert Einstein, Black Swan, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, Dean Kamen, game design, Gary Taubes, index card, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, microbiome, p-value, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, placebo effect, Productivity paradox, publish or perish, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Thorstein Veblen, wage slave, William of Occam

Clocky Moving Alarm Clock (www.fourhourbody.com/clocky) This patented alarm clock jumps three feet from your nightstand and runs away while beeping to get you up. You can only snooze once. Wakerupper (www.wakerupper.com) Wakerupper is an online phone reminder tool. Schedule reminder calls to ring to your cell phone at specific times. REVERSING INJURIES REVERSING “PERMANENT” INJURIES Hacking is much bigger than clever bits of code in a computer—it’s how we create the future. —Paul Buchheit, creator of Gmail I recently went to a new doctor and noticed he was located in something called the Professional Building. I felt better right away. —George Carlin Less than half of my MRIs and X-rays from 2004 to 2009. The French explorer and marine biologist Jacques Cousteau was once asked how he defined a “scientist.” His answer: It is a curious man looking through a keyhole, the keyhole of nature, trying to know what’s going on.