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Build your own Startup Death Clock (asmartbear.com)
94 points by grep on Nov 1, 2010 | hide | past | favorite | 14 comments

Yay! Jason has reinvented the burn-up chart.

That probably sounded snarky, and I apologize. I guess my point was that these very simple things keep getting reinvented time and time again.

Awesome concept. It is absolutely worth writing about again and a great idea for a blog entry. I also agree that everybody with a startup who isn't break-even yet should be doing this. It's such a simple and trivial thing, yet so immensely powerful. Part of the problem with such simple and powerful advice, as I just demonstrated, is that people too easily discount it because it sounds facile.

I could argue with the detail in the math and the actual calculations made, but the point is the important bit.

You need to compute and track when you'll run out of cash, and how fast you're running out of cash.

You need to focus on doing stuff that makes you run out of cash more slowly, preferably negatively.

What gets measured, gets managed: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1667248

I've recently started to apply this explicitly to my email backlogs and my filing backlogs. Both are improving rapidly, and I'm looking to see what else needs to come on board. Maybe it will only last while it's novel, but it's working for now, I'll surf the wave.

"Depend upon it Sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully"

-- Samuel Johnson

Cool, I'm totally going to make one of this for my startup.

Of course it might be a little pointless since we're already out of money ...

Yes, if you do this and it gives you a date in the past, then it's time to re-think your business model.

Or find some funding and/or bootstrapping projects.

Indinero offers an accurate Death Clock, definitely a great motivator.

How do you know it's accurate? Have you calibrated it? :)

Offtopic-ly, avoid using motion blur to deface private details: in many cases it can be undone. Moderate pixelation is also fairly recoverable when the font is known.

It’s usually best to blank it completely (with a bar of solid color) or to add noise into the distortion.

I may be mistaken, but I think he just blurred it out for the blog post. Within the company, he may actually show the details.

I’m saying he didn’t blur it enough. Someone could take a standard image deconvolution package, give it a good estimate of the point spread function, and probably recover at least the first and last digits of each line.

It’s probably not very important in this case, considering his general openness, but I thought I’d bring it up just to remind people.

I was actually wondering about that - thank you for the specificity of which approach to take instead.

Well, there's an idea for a startup — burn-up charts featuring a "Death Clock/Countdown". Could be useful for small teams getting started — and the site could gradually expand into other related services.

P.S. burnupcharts.com is still free...

I couldn't resist: http://startupdeathclock.com

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