Feb 28

Personal Health Record battle is heating up. From Microsoft to Google
, and also RevolutionHealth (disclosure: I am the engineering manager for the PHR in RevolutionHealth), all trying to figure out a way to create a electronic health record system that can be managed and used by consumer, physicians and hospitals. After working on this product for awhile, I am not sure if we get to the point that we can change consumer behaviors yet. No matter how easy we can make PHR for users to use, it is still extra time that consumers needs to spend on managing it. Consumers need to see  great benefits before they are willing to manage their health records online. In fact, consumers probably don’t want to spend time to manage it. They just want to have access to it online. They will not want to import or export data between service providers. Service providers should do that for them.

Feb 7

I recently found this website CrimeReports.com. This website contains crime data overlaying on top of a Google map. So you can see what crimes happened at where in your neighborhood. What a great site! The best part is that their business model is not ad driven. Police department pay them to publish the data. What a cool concept!

Feb 5

Why does it always be so hard to upgrade to a new version of anything? There is always something that will break. I recently did an upgrade rails from 1.1.6 to 1.2.6. for a simple app. Lot of stuffs broke and it took many hours to fix them. Crazy!

Feb 1
  1. Improve search by using delicious. You are not going to beat Google search doing the same thing that Google does. Do something different. Use users submitted link as part of the ranking algorithm. delicious contains tons of links. Find an algorithm that can take advantage that.
  2. Integrate Flicker to Microsoft desktop.
  3. Combine MSN and Yahoo into single one portal. Kill MSN.
  4. Integrate Yahoo Answer to Microsoft desktop
  5. Integrate Yahoo Music and come up with an iTune killer
  6. Create SSO platform that will work for all websites
  7. Buy ebay.
Feb 1

One of my good developers resigned to day.  I asked her about the reason of leaving.  She told me that she wanted a more stable company and the company that we are working for is high stake, high risk and she doesn’t really know if it will last.  I asked her if there is any other reason such as work environment, job satisfaction and salary.  She told me no.  As a manager, I can do what I can to improve the work environment, job satisfaction and salary.  There is one thing that I can’t promise is if a startup will success or not.  So I can’t really do something for her.   Software development is all about getting and keeping good developers.  A lot of people want to put emphasis on process.  However, software development is not a factory process even a lot of people want it to be.  It is a creative, research and learning process.  It needs people who are creative, able to learn and explore and attach new problems.  My question for the day is how do you keep good people?: