Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

I’ve heard a lot of criticism about standups recently, so I’m going to try to do a more critical analysis of the pros and cons, and hopefully make a compelling argument that they’re a valuable thing to do. I’ll also cover some points on how to make them more productive.

A “standup” is a daily checkin with the members of your team that typically lasts 5-10 minutes. Traditionally everyone should be standing, hence the name “standup”, which is meant to ensure that people don’t get too comfortable and the meeting won’t go too long.

At a standup, a team of…

by Gregorio Cioppa and Betty Staccoli


The purpose of this project is to provide a program able to access Google Trends data in an easier and more standardizable way. In order to do this, it has been coded as a tool providing details of searches around a specific word provided by the user. These details include evolution of the searches over time, list of countries where the word has been googled the most, list of related topics and queries. This will represent the “base” MVP.

It has been possible to expand and add more flexibility to the “base” version, achieving…

by Robert Smith

Dial-A-Newscast (929–209–6415)

As a radio reporter, my passion is audio and I wanted to explore the ways that python could be used to distribute audio files.

This project created a telephone number that you can call at any time of day to get the latest, updated NPR newscast. To accomplish this, I needed the following skills:

— Web-scraping to find the latest newscast

— File manipulation to remove the embedded ad

— Twilio functionality to answer the call and feed the audio

— A Flask web-app that could be running at all times to provide the call content


by Dylan Berkenfeld and Morgen Lerner


The purpose of this Python code is to automate the process that is used to create a weekly financial market update. So, as an analyst, you could run this code at the end of every week and create an automatically populated PowerPoint Presentation. For the purpose of this document, we have provided an update on general market data (e.g., S&P 500) as well as an update on the FAANG stocks. However, this focus could easily be changed for various purposes.

A few notes: Please ensure that you pip install all of the required installations…

There are a lot of great blog posts and books out there about how we should all say ‘No’ to more things in order to focus more on what really matters.

This seems pretty obvious to most people. But why is it so difficult to actually do?

I think it’s because most people don’t actually know how to say ‘No.’ They don’t have the words or the script, and so they fall back to saying ‘Yes’ because it’s socially polite or because they feel some responsibility. Saying ‘Yes’ is easier than saying ‘No.’

So here’s a handy cheat sheet on…

“Smoking actually has a few things going for it,” was the last thing I expected to hear a massage therapist friend tell me. She takes care of people’s bodies for a living, but here were her points:

  1. Taking smoke breaks throughout the day forces you to stop what you’re doing at regular intervals.
  2. This means you have to get up from your chair, step outside, and actually move around for a little bit.
  3. For the 7–10 minutes that it takes to smoke a cigarette, you’re essentially meditating and focusing on your breath.

Now before you ask, no I don’t smoke, and I definitely don’t recommend anyone start.

But I have started taking random 7 minute “smoke breaks” throughout the day to just stop what I’m doing, stand outside, and think — and I’m really enjoying it. I think others might enjoy it too.

I have an idea I’d like to share with you called the Friends of Friends Fund.

One of the biggest problems for VCs and startup investors is getting into the best deals.

Because startup returns are distributed on a power curve, there’s a huge difference between getting into the best deal, and getting into the 10th best deal. It’s sort of like the same thing with Google search results, where the #1 results gets 45% of all the clicks.

In other words, the best venture funds tend to be the ones that are able to get into the best deals…

In order to do anything great in this world, you have to be wrong.

I don’t mean actually wrong, but I mean that others will tell you you’re wrong, and you have to be okay with that.

Otherwise if you only follow advice based on what most people think is right, you’ll generally get average results.

Society and the people in it tend to be a regulating force, pushing behavior towards the mean. Society doesn’t want outliers. If everyone was an outlier and didn’t follow social norms, society would break down.

But outliers are also what accomplish amazing things. They’re…

Because I teach programming, I get a lot of people who reach out to me for advice on finding a CTO or lead developer for their startup.

Most of the time, I can’t be very helpful. Unfortunately the best developers are in really high demand, so they’re likely to already be working at a well-paying job at an exciting company.

I know all this from first-hand experience, which eventually led me to teach myself how to code in the first place.

But I do have some advice for entrepreneurs looking to hire their first CTO

1. As a CEO at a startup, your most important job is finding and keeping the right talent on the team.

So make it your job…

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

I just got back from my first Vipassana retreat, and I wanted to jot down some thoughts and reflections on how it went down, what I learned, and what I’d recommend for others who might be asking themselves “Should I consider doing a Vipassana Retreat?”

I’m going to be breaking down this essay into two sections:

  1. What it was like
  2. What I learned

Read What it was like if you’re interested in attending and are curious about the experience. If you’re not, skip to What I learned to get the complete rundown of my insights from the process.

1. What it was like

First of all, what is Vipassana?

Vipassana is…

Mattan Griffel

Award-Winning Faculty at Columbia Business School. I write about startups, technology, and philosophy.

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