This article is more of a rambling tirade than anything else. The only things I learned from it are how much the author disdains Rand and Las Vegas.
I think the quote that demonstrates the author's slant is the following one about the Venetian hotel, and how "[o]nce inside, you have to follow the arcade of shops along a faux canal". This canal seems to conform to the dictionary definition of 'canal', and the author seems to be trying to exaggerate what he deems to be the flaws of Las Vegas. There are numerous other instances in the article where similar hyperbole is used, and I will not bore you with a list, but they show that the writing is more sensationalist than journalistic or academic.
Former Google SRE here. Trust me, many of the problems we faced were solved on whiteboards, during chats at lunch, or via email. Most of issues we faced were of a class that simply isn't covered on basic sites like Stack Overflow.
The interview described is pretty much exactly as I remember them. SRE is actually quite difficult to get into, precisely because you need to have fairly deep knowledge on a wide range of topics. The "ways in which you were asked to solve problems" are actually the best way to determine if an application actually knows about what they will need to know.
Then it should really make sense why they are purchasing a company that does login better.
Side question: What is long and convoluted about Google's account management? It's one account with a single login which works across all Google products. Seems pretty straightforward to me. It only gets a bit more complicated if you try to disable parts of your account, but that's not the normal use case.
When you're trying to use Google Apps for business, for one, and you go to email.MyURL.com and get redirected to a standard Google login screen where you now have to click a button to not sign in as your personal account, then come back and sign in as a business account, plus also add the "@MyURL.com" at the end (didn't used to have to do this), and you're doing that with multiple different accounts, it gets pretty tricky pretty in a hurry.
An extremely common use case is to have several google accounts, typically when using various Google Apps domains.
Instead of understanding that I'm the same person with access to all of the accounts, it makes me log into each one separately. For most products you can be logged into each one simultaneously, but the first one you log into is the "default". Analytics, for example, doesn't even support multi-login, so if that "default" account is not the one you want, you have to log out of ALL of them. WAT
Congrats to Paul and the rest of the team! I have been recommending CircleCI to all of my dev friends ever since my first experience with it over a year ago.
While waiting in the lobby of YC for the pre-event dinner, I got an email from Circle (actually, from Paul) that our repo was ready and all tests were passing. PASSING?! Whoa. As I read it, I looked up from my phone and Paul was standing in front of me. I wanted to give him a hug, but I settled for a friendly thank you and a handshake. =)
For us, it just worked. I'm a one-man engineering team at a startup, so I don't have the resources to devote to running an in-house CI setup. Circle took care of it for us, and their UI and features are just perfect.
Great news. Shopify is the one piece of ecommerce software we use that isn't completely maddening. (Having a fantastic API is a large reason why.)
I was struck by this comment, though:
"Using Shopify and Shopify POS together reveals our true
ambition: To be the first company in the world that fuses
all the distinct parts that are needed to run a complete
modern commerce business - all in one amazing product."
If anyone thinks they can run a complete business using only Shopify, they're sorely mistaken. It's only a shopping cart. If you want to actually ship items, you need to use one of their third-party apps or roll your own. Those apps are the reason that ecommerce with Shopify is still frustratingly difficult -- unnecessarily so.
I built a private app for fulfillment using their API and EasyPost. That was just a day project thanks to two very simple-to-use APIs.
Shopify's missing a lot more than that for retail. I wouldn't use their current POS app for running more than a flea market table or street vendor. It's just too basic even for the smallest store.
You can't handle hundreds of SKUs by paging through product thumbnails at checkout; you need barcode scanning, and from experience, iPads and bluetooth scanners are a real pain to work with. Shopify also has no real inventory management (figuring out what to reorder, entering in the new orders as they get delivered, tracking cost of goods sold and spoilage, printing price tags and barcodes, etc). The couple of reports they've built are inadequate for proper accounting.
I hope they get there eventually, but the number and complexity of features they need for a small shop to run their POS on Shopify means they're at least a few years out.
Agreed 100%. I was just touching the surface, and by "shipping" I really meant inventory management, purchase orders, and everything else involved in stocking physical goods.
It's clear the POS app is a test product for them, and I'm happy to see them experiment. I just wish they'd put a little more love into the core functionality. Even for ecommerce, Shopify is lacking some really basic things:
- Editing orders (e.g. marking an item canceled)
- Editing tracking numbers (fixing typos -- not allowed today)
- Allowing coupons to offer both a discounted price and free shipping (today they're mutually exclusive)
Edit: state, if you don't have showdead=yes set in your preferences then you won't see the hellbanned posts. I don't know about the posts that got them hellbanned in the first place, but the dead ones here are completely unobjectionable .
It's so true. I spend the majority of my time working for a company that sells physical products, and we roll everything ourselves. Managing fulfillment, integrating with accounting, and basic CRM among a medium-sized team is an enormous task that's completely underserved by Shopify (or anyone else for that matter).
Knowing a good handful of other small to medium-sized business owners I know we're not alone in this (as your comment points out), and it makes me all the more eager to open source everything we do. But first, there are bugs to fix.
+1 I've found that the major bottleneck in all this for SMB's is Intuit's Quickbooks- whose terribly unstable sync/integration capability requires 5 different 3rd party systems just to receive an online order via your e-commerce cart, fill a phone order, input a purchase order received by email/fax..
And that's before you even get to pick/pack/ship an item and sync to your company file in QB, drawn down inventory on hand, send tracking info to your customer and update your CRM...
There seem to be a handful of startup software co's in this space but none can handle the entire picture:
There are several services of varying levels of service, but honestly it's not that hard to write up a small script to fire off an email to get you to turn off the switch for a month. After multiple failures it assumes you are dead and sends a payload email to a trusted friend.
You can easily prepay up a good sum on most hosts, aws, digital ocean, etc. plenty of good low-cost mail apis too, like mailgun.
Yeah, there is a small risk, although, in all the years, it's been two instances where emails stopped going out and some people forgot to log in in that duration (nothing has ever gone out before its time).
You can customize your notification intervals to make them longer or more frequent, if you want. The risk isn't very big, though, especially if you remember to log in every first of the month, for example, just to make sure.