Portland Startup Weeking Coming Nov. 16

The next Portland Startup Weekend is coming up on Nov. 16, 2012.

Startup Weekend is an intense 54 hour event which focuses on building a web or mobile application which could form the basis of a credible business over the course of a weekend. The weekend brings together people with different skillsets – primarily software developers, graphics designers and business people – to build applications and develop a commercial case around them.

Read the Full Story.

Entrepreneurs – How to Maintain Focus

In this special guest feature, serial entrepreneur Wil Schroter from Fundable writes that focus is about isolation, tracking, and calibration.

We’ve all been there. You have a thousand action items running through your head, you can’t focus on the task at hand, or worse yet – you can’t even pick where to begin. Focus is key to get the most out of your work hours, but it’s easily lost without a system to maintain it.

Here are a few ways I stay on task and focused to maximize efficiency.

Learn from my ADD

I have extreme ADD, so this is a significant problem for me personally. By the time I finish typing this sentence, my mind will already be thinking about what I should write two sections later. You can only imagine what it’s been like to run 8 startups over the last 20 years.

To combat this, I’ve developed a system to streamline my focus and take advantage of a mind that constantly wanders.

Get it all out

To gain some cohesion and direction out of the chaos that is my mind, I start every morning the same way. I open up a blank Word document and type everything I can think of as quickly as possible until all of my thoughts are out. Once I can see each task and thought on a screen in front of me, I can begin to make sense of it all.

Getting ideas out of your head is the first step toward focusing on fewer things. Many items can’t be responded to immediately, they are just thoughts you want to collect and store for later. When I’m done with my mental dump of ideas, I highlight a few that I can take action on right away and put them into a little post-it note on my monitor.

Isolate One Item

No matter how hard I try, my mind is still wandering throughout the day. I found that if I try to limit my “most important items” to a handful of items, I still struggle. Therefore, within that handful of items I pick just one item that I’m going to focus on, no matter how small.

Being productive isn’t about how much you can take on, it’s about how much you can get done. Therefore, I’d rather have one item that is absolutely going to get done than three items that I’m still working on.

Track Progress

I’ve found that if I don’t track my completed items, I lose sight of my progress altogether. Progress is the key to calibration. If I’m not adding things to my “done” list, my system is broken and I can tell I’m off course.

The “done” list is also critical to understanding whether my system works at all. If by the end of the week I only two items completed, chances are I need to refocus my time and effort. It’s so easy to get distracted throughout the week that unless I have a constant reminder that things aren’t getting done, I’m in bad shape.

Productivity is Power

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to work with lots of incredibly smart people in many different industries. What I’ve learned, however, is that very few people can distinguish being busy from being productive.

I believe that the key to increasing your abilities is to be militant about your productivity, and for me, that means having a system that constantly guides me toward real output every single day. And for someone that struggles to keep focus by the minute, this is no easy task!

$99 Supercomputing Coming Soon – Parallella Project Reaches Kickstarter Funding Goal

(function() {if (!window.CLIPBOARD || !window.CLIPBOARD.widgets) {var elem = document.createElement(“script”);elem.type = “text/javascript”;elem.async = true;elem.src = “//clipboard.com/js/widgets.js”;var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(elem, s);}})();The Parallella Kickstarter project has surpassed its funding goal and will go forward a product. As reported here, Parallella is Adapteva’s open-source development platform for low-power parallel computing. With a mission to “bring supercomputing to everyone,” Parallella development platform will be offered for only $99 dollars.

Congratulations go out to Adapteva Founder & CEO Andreas Olofsson and the rest of his team on this unprecedented accomplishment. Read the Full Story or check out our RichReport podcast on Parallella.

Why VCs Continue Funding Big Data Startups

Over at TechCrunch, Alex Williams writes that VCs can be expected to continue investing in Big Data Startups for years to come.

This week, Splice Machine raised $4 million to develop its SQL Engine for big data apps. MongoHQ raised $6 million for its database as a service. A third startup, Bloomreach, announced $25 million in funding for its big data applications. These three companies provide examples for why the investor community will continue to invest in big data startups for many years to come. All reflect a changing dynamic — the rise of the big data app and the need for a new data infrastructure. These two converging trends now drive funding for a widening number of startups that make data functional inside and outside the enterprise.

Read the Full Story.

Video: When is There Too Much Disruption?

How much disruption can a market take? In this video, TrueCar founder and CEO Scott Painter describes what happens when you drive prices too low.

A nationwide advertising campaign, highlighting customers who saved thousands of dollars on their car purchases, got car dealerships to wake up to the fact that TrueCar’s service was resulting in cars being sold at a loss. What happened next nearly buried the company.

Read the Full Story.

Inktank Startup Partners to Bring Infinite Storage to the Cloud

Today the Inktank Startup announced a partnership with Canonical to integrate Ceph distributed storage into the next version of Ubuntu 12.10 to be released on the 18th of October. According to the company, Ceph can now be quickly provisioned via a Charm in Juju, Canonical’s open-source service orchestration management tool, making it easier than ever for Ubuntu users to utilize Ceph storage.

The Ceph project combined with Ubuntu, the proven cloud OS, is helping solve one of the biggest challenges in computing today by delivering cloud storage that is infinitely scalable, while being flexible and self-managing,” commented Kyle MacDonald, VP of Cloud at Canonical. ”We see a lot of interest for Ceph, because as a storage backend for OpenStack Volume (Cinder) it can scale easily and provides the needed redundancy to keep the data safe. Canonical has partnered with Inktank to offer enterprise support for Ceph, as well as to provide multiple provisioning options to ensure the storage solution is easy to deploy across different environments.”

Read the Full Story. In related news, Inktank also announced a partnership to integrate Ceph with Metacloud’s enterprise-class OpenStack-based private clouds.

GPUs Power Startups Dream of Gesture-Based Remote Control

Nvidia’s Gary Rainville writes that eyeSight Mobile Technologies is working to improve on the TV remote control with something that’s impossible to misplace and never runs out of batteries: your hand.

Using a device’s existing 2D camera, eyeSight’s software enables a person, with the wave of a hand, to answer a phone via speakerphone, silence an incoming call, turn the pages of an e-book reader or control a presentation from a tablet set on a podium.

Read the Full Story.