I’ve moved this blog……….go to www.chrishulls.com

•January 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’ve moved this blog to:


This site will be soon be out of date

Why Rookie Founders Should Enter Business Plan and Developer Competitions

•November 27, 2008 • Leave a Comment

trophy1I got the good news this week that I won the SlideShare Credit Crisis Competition which I entered last month with a few of my coworkers. We are now the proud new owners of a brand new iPod Touch, which we are going to use to test some of our company’s cool mobile applications.

While this victory was more of an amusement than anything else, the $300,000 me and my company won from Google a couple months ago was anything but trivial, and doing contests has been one of the best decisions I’ve made as a rookie startup CEO. If you are like I was (clueless, poor, and no track record), do it. Win or lose, and regardless of any potential monetary prize, a contest could be what gets your startup off the ground.

Here is a bAuito Rickshaw in Indiarief chain of events that can show you how contests have helped me:

I started my company in 2007; I was clueless and had a crappy team. I outsourced to India and failed. I spun my wheels for the good part of a year.

This past spring, I entered the Berkeley Business Plan Competition, and the Stanford e-Challenge.

At an event mixer, I met Dilpreet, a software engineer turned Haas MBA student, who started helping me with the competition. I also met Jesse Gibbs who helped us with our marketing.

android_adc1After about 2 weeks, Dilpreet decided he was more useful as a tech guy than as an MBA, and we started work on an entry for the Android Developer Challenge. Continue reading ‘Why Rookie Founders Should Enter Business Plan and Developer Competitions’

Why I’m Excited About Barack Obama

•November 10, 2008 • 1 Comment

Obama PosterIf you know me, you know I’m not a fan of the two party system.  I’m hugely skeptical of both the democrats and republicans (check out my presentation on the financial crisis for an example).  With Obama, I was worried that he was all talk and no substance (what exactly is change?), that his cult of personality was building unrealistic expectations, and that he really was no different than your standard politician.

Anyway, the day after the election, I remained my cynical self and made some sarcastic remark about being surprised that winter was still here, that the world still had hunger and war, and that I hadn’t woken up surrounded by twenty virgins in heaven.  This whole thing was part of an AIM chat with Shawn Collins, my occasional running buddy and graphic designer, and he put me in my place with a simple response:

[12:50] sh0wnxx: why don’t you try to enjoy the excitement of what’s going on before it passes you by. Who cares about 2012 right now or even 2009. Its the day after the election.

He made a good point.  We finally see America rebuking the legacy one of the worst administrations in history, and instead of showing some excitement, I’m still being an asshole.  So, while I don’t think I’ll ever apologize for being a skeptic, I’ll admit, I am excited about Obama, and here is why: Continue reading ‘Why I’m Excited About Barack Obama’

The Argument: “The stock market proves democrats are better for the economy than republicans”

•October 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Splitting time between liberal Berkeley and Marin, I’ve been frequently hearing a propaganda piece that goes something like this:

“Democrats are better for the economy because the stock market goes up more when we have a democratic president”

New York Times

Source: New York Times

Now, I don’t want to get into the debate about which party actually is better for the economy, but I want to discuss why this argument is juvenile and exceptionally flawed.

The image at left, from a particularly insidious NY Times article, pretty much sums up the 2-step logic, which goes like this:

Premise/Assumption: The stock market has historically gone up more for democratic presidents than republican ones

Conclusion: Therefore democratic presidents are better for the economy than republicans

There are quite a few questionable implicit assumptions in the argument (i.e. the more the stock market rises the better the economy is doing), but there are two that particularly bug me:

There is no time delay between policy changes and stock performance Continue reading ‘The Argument: “The stock market proves democrats are better for the economy than republicans”’

My Committment to Balanced Blogging

•October 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I have an exceptionally dry sense of humor, and I will always be a bit of a dark cynic; it’s just who I am. But, for this blog I’m going to strive for balance: every pessimistic post will be matched with an optimistic one, for any anti-republican posts there will be just as many that are anti-democrat (there is more than enough to go around on both sides).

I’m going to keep a scorecard to stay accountable. Call me out if I don’t stick to it.

The Credit Crisis and my Foray into Blogging

•October 19, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a blog for years now—I’m about opinionated as it gets—but I’ve never taken the leap and I’m not the type to do something halfway.  Anyway, three things came together to finally compel me to stop being lazy and start writing:

First, we have the election and housing bubble—two things I’m very passionate about.  I’ve been ranting about the housing bubble for years (since a number of my old high school buddies making $40K a year started buying $700,000 houses), but now when I talk about being a housing cynic people assume I’m the guy following the “sky is falling” trend.  Too bad I didn’t start my blog a few years ago so I had some proof.

Second, I’m starting to realize that writing a blog could enhance the brand of “me.”  I’m not saying this in a narcissistic way, but as some of my favorite people down in the South Bay (Guy Kawasaki, Dave McClure, Robert Scoble) have pointed out, a blog is a great way to standout from the crowd while showing some intelligence and personality.

Third, it all catalyzed when I saw this contest on SlideShare to do a presentation on the financial crisis.  It was that chance to make a scathing presentation that lots of people would see that I was waiting for, so I spent a Saturday putting together my entry, which you can see below.  I was pretty pleased with how it came out, and I decided it was great material to start my blog with.

So for my first content, here is my presentation on the credit crisis.

If you don’t go through the pres, I can sum it up pretty quickly.

•    These collapses happen all the time
•    People from all walks of life hold responsibility
•    Nearly all politicians are at fault, from all parties
•    Many people did see this coming
•    Democrats, stop just blaming the Republicans
•    Republicans, stop just blaming the Democrats

Hope you liked it..more to come