Archive for June, 2007

Sage advice in thinking about the Amazon EC2 / S3 disaster planning

Monday, June 25th, 2007

Artur Bergman (who has recently joined O’Reilly radar and gave a kick-ass talk about his experiences in scaling live journal at foo camp.) offers some sage advice for those people that are comptemplating using EC2 and S3.

Artur seriously knows his stuff, and he lists some points that you should consider when using EC2 or S3, but the principles hold for any other webservice. To cut a long story short, read the small print of your service agreements and figure out your worse case scenario and how you can mitigate those risks.


Monday, June 25th, 2007

The Wellington Inner City Bypass, in all its (ahem) glory, is now properly represented on ZoomIn and Smaps. We’re working on our regular update of all the map tiles for New Zealand, but we figured that a major change to the State Highway system, that also reorganised the one-way system in an urban area, was worth getting right straight away.

New map tiles showing the bypass

We thought we’d taken much longer than we would have liked to get this done, but since changes to the one-way network on the surrounding roads kept on happening right until a couple of weeks ago, we thought it was best to get all the changes done in one go. As it turns out, it looks like we’re the first major mapping system to show the bypass: Google, Multimap, Microsoft and Yellow Maps all still have the old configuration. I can understand why it’s taking them a while: it turns out that we had to do a lot of manual editing of the streets data, and our local knowledge came in handy.

While Karo Drive is now visible on the maps, we haven’t updated our addresses database yet, so you can’t search for it. That shouldn’t be a great hardship, since at the moment there seem to be no actual addresses on Karo Drive (Martha’s Pantry is the only business there, and its address is on Cuba St), and the relocated heritage buildings there and on the adjacent Tonks Grove will remain empty for a year or more. Some would argue that Karo Drive doesn’t deserve to be listed as a “place”, since it’s a means of getting between places rather than somewhere to be, but I couldn’t possibly comment! In any case, we’ll be including Karo Drive and Tonks Grove along with all the other street changes nationwide in our next database update.


Friday, June 22nd, 2007



Starting a company means giving up…

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

Just found this blog post by Mark Fletcher that nails what it means for a person to start a company.

As an employee climbing the corporate ladder at a company, it’s all about getting more. More responsibility, more control, a larger salary, a bigger title. However, the exact opposite is true when you start a company. A big part of starting and building a company is about giving up. A founder is in a weird position. When you first start a company, everything is yours. You own all the stock, you make all the decisions. This point of creation is the only time this will be the case, however. Forever after, the founder must give up more and more control to other people and more and more ownership to employees, investors, etc. The founder must do this for the company to be successful, but at the same time this is the opposite of what many people are used to doing.

I don’t look at it as giving up, I look at it as working together. Its better to have 20% of $100M than 70% of $1M.

To be successful, you got to build a team of people dedicated to achieving a common goal. By working together anything is possible. Look at Rod Drury, in developing Aftermail, he built a team of skilled people that came together and executed brilliantly. After the sale to Qwest, Rod rolled a lot of his team onto his next project – Xero and their kicking ass now.

Food for thought!

CHQ graduation next week

Thursday, June 21st, 2007


On Tuesday DeNada, Star Now and Karactaz are graduating from CHQ. (We missed the cut off this year, but we’ll be good for next year.)

It great to see such great companies flourishing. They will join companies including Optimal Usability, Virtual Katy, Spikefin, Calcium Communications, Innaworks and SilverStripe as Creative HQ alumni.

Here are some information about the companies.

Star Now

With over 500,000 members worldwide and clients including the BBC, MTV and high-profile reality TV stars, chief executive Cameron Mehlhopt says has no intention of slowing down.

“ gives talented entertainers like actors and models the chance to manage their own careers, be their own agent and sell their talent to casting agents and directors around the world,” he says.

“The UK is our main market, however we are expanding our local profile and planning to officially launch into the USA and Australia in the coming year.”


Karactaz was founded by Dylan Coburn in 2002 to sell creative services, especially animation products and technology.

The company has received multiple international awards for television commercials and advertising campaigns, and has a strong and growing export market.

“We’re fast becoming a major player in global animation – original property development, production services and proprietary technology,” says Mr Coburn.

“Now we’re developing our own in-house software product ‘Karactaz Eclipse’ to transfer the techniques created for short-form work into long-form forms like television.”

De Nada

DeNada is the first fashion company to graduate from a New Zealand incubator.

Co-run by Nada Matthews and Stewart Island-based Jo Learmonth, deNada launched a new concept in fashion and retail with the opening of their Featherston Street store.

The collection of street-styled and urban garments in sizes 8-16 is extended to include off-the-shelf garments in curvy and tall, catering for different body shapes.

Jewellery, accessories, good coffee and a boutique selection of low-fi and café style music are available to listen to and buy.

It’s going to be a great party. Last year seeds of Summer of Code were planted… Who know’s what will happen this year ?!?!