A while back I was reading about a drop shipper and his business.  He is currently very successful and makes over $75k a month in revenue with a net of about half of that.  One thing stuck out to me.  He would frequently test new products in the market using his business model.  He would invest some time and about $5,000 in advertising.  If it didn’t take off after the advertising money was gone he would abandon the product altogether.

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I rolled up to YCombinator HQ about 2 hours before the event. I noticed a couple other stragglers that showed up early as well and we awkwardly stood around on opposite sides of the street. After about an hour of reading a book on my iPad I finally encroached on a group of hackers in a buffalo stance. Everyone touted their latest contributions of awesome apps, scaling adventures, and AWS horrors. After a while we were issued name tags and ushered into the barebones new home of YC. I grabbed a seat right behind the founder row in the front. A guy that I had met outside and I started chatted in more detail as we waited.

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Apart from the SEO implication of adding WWW to your site requests, CloudFlare seems like a pretty cool tool.  A free CDN seems too good to be true.  I like new and shiny things so I was chomping at the bit when Dreamhost said they have one-click CloudFlare support.  Most of the content I host is static-ish so I thought I’d give it a try.

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I recently had the great fortune to visit YCombinator for their “Work at a Startup” event. I lived in the bay during the first dotcom bubble before returning to lower California. I always enjoy going back and tapping into tech energy. From the plane ride, to billboards, to bar chatter, to pedestrians, everyone is chatty about the next social network, app, or this mythical cloud thing I keep hearing about. But where my trip really shined was at the YC event.

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One of the trickier things when working in a small team with no IT department and no SCM is how to promote code to your Dev/Staging/Production environments.  On one of our projects we use a private Github repository and have an EC2 instance running Fedora so I was looking for a way to deploy code almost auto-magically.  Github has some post push hooks you can use but we have DB scripts that need to run as part of the deployment process and I want to be able to test builds locally before going to production.

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