Month: February 2009

YouNoodle: Valuations for dummies

We were talking to a guy about his web site and he claimed it was worth millions of dollars. Since his site has zero profits on very little revenue and low traffic (and is declining in traffic), we thought it was a joke. But he proudly showed us a “YouNoodle”: valuation certificate. They really give a printable certificate complete with a gold seal, suitable for framing, I suppose.

Sure enough, YouNoodle says his site is worth millions. I’d never heard of YouNoodle (for good reason, I guess). It’s a site for early stage startups to get in contact with investors and people who can help the startup. They ask you a few questions about your startup, presumably so that would-be investors can take a look at your startup to see if they’re interested. But they go a step further (too far) and determine your valuation, a real dollar value, in 3 years.

As if the concept for determining future value wasn’t ridiculous enough, the questions they ask are “How do the founders know each other?” and “How much money do you expect to make in the future?”. Those are good questions for potential investors to ask, but you’d have to have absolutely no understanding of business or economics or reality, for that matter, to conclude that those questions actually determine value.

Incidentally, YouNoodle values this blog, which makes no money at all, at $7 million! Is it 1999 all over again?!?

Note the fine print:

bq. YouNoodle’s model is based on rigorous quantitative analysis of historical data and the application of the latest relevant theory.

“Rigorous quantitative analysis” means they asked a few questions and did no analysis at all and “the application of the latest relevant theory” means they used whatever theory they like best at the moment.

And note the even finer print:

bq. You should not rely on Startup Predictor for any financial decision and should always seek
the assistance of a professional for any tax, legal, accounting or investment advice.

In other words, this number is completely fictitious so don’t blame us if you’re stupid enough to believe it and make financial decisions based on it.

Continue reading “YouNoodle: Valuations for dummies”

Hudson's half-birthday

Hudson is 6 months old today. Gay and Havana made him half a cake (that he can’t eat) to celebrate.


The next 6 months should be a lot more interesting than his first six which consists of a regular cycle of sleeping, crying, eating, crying, diaper-changes, crying.To be fair, Hudson cries very little.

In the next six months he should be crawling, eating regular food, jabbering, learning to walk with the help of furniture and maybe even be walking on his own (“Havana was walking before her first birthday”:

Hudson’s progress: “5 months”:, “4 months”:, “3 months”:, “2 months”: and “1 month”:

Gay got a Kindle 2

Amazon updated the Kindle, so Gay finally got her very own. I “got mine”: for Father’s Day and Gay got hers for Valentine’s Day, I guess.

Gay's Kindle 2

I wish this was the Version 1.0 model, mine looks like a device from the 1970s compared to Kindle 2. They fixed the most annoying things that Kindle 1 had, improved the screen and made it much thinner and more comfortable to hold.

We can even share books that we each buy between our Kindles. Hopefully we can stop collecting piles of books around the house and stop buying and building bookshelves!

My first iPhone app

I finally got around to trying to build an iPhone app. I had to learn Objective-C so I spent Sunday reading _Programming in Objective-C 2.0_ (for “free” on “Safari Books Online”:, that service pays for itself many times over!) and today I launched XCode and had the beginnings of the app done. Apple could make it easier to learn and XCode could stand a lot of improvement, but two days to get something basic accomplished in a new language and on a new platform is not terrible.

Once you get over the hurdle of understanding the concepts and idioms of the iPhone SDK (probably a lot easier if you’re a Mac developer, which I’m not) it starts to go quicker. The SDK docs are pretty good and have good examples. Objective-C is a much simpler language than C++, which is a good thing, but it also does a lot of things differently for no good reason that I can see.

Valentine's Day

For Valentine’s Day dinner we pulled out a bottle of wine that we got in October 2007 during our visit to Portland’s wine country. This was a 2005 Black Cap pinot noir.

BlackCap Pinot Noir

Black Cap is the wine made by the son of the founder of “Eyrie Vineyards”:, Oregon’s first vineyard and essentially the pioneer of pinot noir in Oregon. “He died a few months ago”:, unfortunately. If I recall the story we were told correctly, Jason’s dad wouldn’t give him the job of winemaker at Eyrie so he made his own wine to prove that he could do it. Today, he is the winemaker at Eyrie, so I guess it worked. 🙂 “Here’s an article”: on Black Cap and Jason.

Anyway, it was a very good bottle. We generally don’t spend much on wine since I (we) don’t really notice much difference in wines once you get above $15-20/bottle, but on special occasions when we do have a good bottle we appreciate them more.

Deschutes Hop Henge IPA

The other beer I had this weekend was Deschutes’ Hop Henge. I haven’t read anything about this beer yet, but it tastes like a Double IPA that was also dry-hopped. The aroma is wonderful and it’s got a nice bitter bite with a soft lingering bitter aftertaste. Another great great beer from Deschutes.

Deschutes Hop Henge IPA

Dogfish Head World Wide Stout

I finally had my first World Wide Stout. This beer is unbelievable. The label reads “A very dark beer brewed with a ridiculous amount of barley”. It takes six months to age too. It’s an 18% ABV beer, which makes it 30% more alcohol than wine and even more potent than the 14% “Raison D’Extra”:, but less than their “120 Minute IPA”: So one bottle is like drinking 3 glasses of wine. It’s almost irresponsible to call this a beer. Plus, it tastes more like a port than a beer. I shared it with Gay and we drank it out of wine glasses. It took me an hour to drink my half!

Dogfish Head's World Wide Stout

I haven’t had a beer like this since Sam Adams Triple Bock back in early 1990s. It’s a great beer for sipping, and I loved every sip of it.

I’m either in love with Dogfish Head or they put something else in the beer… last night I dreamt that I visited the Dogfish Head brewery.

DirecTV pixelation problem solved

For anyone Googling for a similar problem they’re having with DirecTV…

We have two DirecTV receivers and on one of them we were having a lot of pixelation, i.e., digital artifacts, on HD channels. It would get so bad it was unwatchable. This happened for months. I called DirecTV and they always shipped me a new receiver and it always solved the problem for a while. But the problem always returned eventually.

Continue reading “DirecTV pixelation problem solved”

Six Super Bowls!

After playing the toughest schedule in the NFL and finishing 12-4 (the Cardinals had one of the easiest schedules and finished 9-7), the Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII, 27-23, and became the first team to win 6 Super Bowls (Note: they were also the first team to win 3 and 4 Super Bowls). I can’t believe it took 25 years to win their 5th and only 3 more years to win their 6th.

Continue reading “Six Super Bowls!”