The lonely pretty girl syndrome and invite-only websites

Added on by Eduardo Mourao.

When it comes to dating, women from ages 25-30 have many options. Due to our social setting, men usually will relentlessly approach those girls at bars, workplaces. Most of them will not settle with a single partner until they think they are ready. Time passes and they eventually are ready but there is a problem.  The horde of men that once approached young women eventually settled with one and are in a long-term relationship now. Yes, this also happens to pretty boys, but given that men are socially more motivated to 'get girls', the prettiest girls seems to be the more affected by this behavior. Specially because the average girl will sense they have a slight disadvantage and will try to settle faster than the most popular ones. (obviously a complex matter, you can read more about it here.)

The lonely pretty girl syndrome is exactly what happens to many startups/websites. You have a good idea, maybe a decent execution and decides to deploy an 'invite only' version of your website. Those are the consequences:  people who you managed to get a little attention will move on, desire is a very limited thing, specially for services. When you finally invite those people they won't sign up. There was a very small number of users that really wanted to use your service, but you dismissed them along with the horde of curious hipsters, who just wanted to see the website, tweet they have an account and move on with their lives. I can only come up with three reasons for startups doing invite-only websites: 1) They are testing if there is a market. There's no product, that's just a screenshot. 2) Their implementation is crap; 3) They want to give a sense of exclusivity, add some kind of 'desirability', which is probably a very bad idea.

Today I was presented to a new website which seemed pretty nice. It is somewhat similar to Hacker News, but with an improved interface. The articles posted there were also pretty similar those you would find on HN. So I decided to submit a post I wrote weeks ago but I couldn't - that's a invite-only website. The same thing happened months ago: I tried to create a blog in website called 'subtle' but it is a 'curated' website and I was probably rejected, weeks later I ended up getting an email asking with I was still interested, even though I said 'yes', I never really created any blog there, I had just signed up to squarespace, which is great and makes me very tasty meals.

Hope you had fun reading my non-sense. 

Hand-to-mouth living from a credit card company perspective

Added on by Eduardo Mourao.

​Days ago Financial Times published a nice article by Gillian Tett about how the hand-to-mouth living is harming the 'recovery' of the US economy. In general, hand-to-mouth living implies that you fully spend your income to keep your current 'status quo'. It also means that the economy would work in cycles that cannot be detected by medium-term censuses.

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No upvotes on Hacker News: Still awesome!!!

Added on by Eduardo Mourao.

I started to blog again a few weeks ago. I try to write some useful info like How to land an airplane if you are not a pilot or This is why you should never use Oracle DB those are not very interesting topics but, anyway, I always submit my post to Hacker News hoping at least 10 individuals would read it. Surprise: even thought I do never get one single upvote, I always end up with 100+ readers. This is really awesome. So, next time you write something, make sure you submit to Hacker News, even if you don't get upvotes, people will still read it.  (The last three peaks on the graph below are submitted links)

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This is why you should never use Oracle DB

Added on by Eduardo Mourao.

I've been using and maintaining large oracle databases for more than 12 years. I'm a  fan of oracle databases. Oracle:

  • Is incredibly fast when dealing with complex queries;
  • It is easier to maintain than competitors when HA is necessary;
  • has a rock solid performance and management makes it almost stupid-programmer proof;
  • It's cool: all software can be freely downloaded from oracle.com;
  • seems to be committed into supporting cloud solutions;
  • is really great in support (at price).

But there is something about oracle you should know before choosing it as your database server...

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How to land an airplane if you are not a pilot

Added on by Eduardo Mourao.

At the flight school people always ask me:

"Can I land a plane? I have X years of flight simulator experience."

Short answer is: history shows you will probably die. Probably not because it is difficult but because you don't know what you don't know. Flight simulators distort important aspects of landing airplanes: your awesome 200 degrees/3D vision, the muscle mechanics of flying and the notion of distance. In fact, flight simulators are harder than the real thing. Yet, many in the flight school I teach landed without the need for intervention in their first flight. I landed an airplane for the first time when I was 11 years old. With a bit of luck you can do this by yourself. So, in case of an emergency, this is what you could do...

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