Matt Gornick

Two types of meetings

Posted in Uncategorized by mgornick on April 28, 2010
There are two types of meeting.  Those that move your product, idea, or mission forward and those that are a waste of time.  

Luckily, I was in the former today.

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Great talk today from Kevin Wolz on ‘Saving the World’

Posted in Uncategorized by mgornick on April 22, 2010

This afternoon Kevin Wolz of iFoundry gave a great talk on 'Saving the World: My Philosophy, My Story, and My Summer.'  Kevin did a great job of bridging the gap between engineering and nature and how he is trying to unite his two passions.

His presentation was a real eye opener with 'the average food travels 1500 miles to get to your plate!' as well as the small food garden he built in his dorm room to grow food for the summer.  Definitely impressive stuff.

Learn more about his quest for a better and more sustainable food ecosystem at his blog: http://kwolz.wordpress.com/

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Interesting: ranking tech companies by revenue per employee

Posted in Uncategorized by mgornick on April 21, 2010

http://37signals.com/svn/posts/2283-ranking-tech-companies-by-revenue-per-employee

I would be interested in seeing the profit/employee.  This is still an interesting look at revenue and business models.  Your startup or business might not be as popular as Twitter, but you can reasonably generate more profit per employee than a lot of companies out there.

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Trying out Inbox Zero

Posted in Uncategorized by mgornick on April 21, 2010
Trying to get my inbox back in control via Inbox Zero and Gmail.

Anyone have success or any tips?

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IlliniCrime.com Helping Students Stay Safe at #UIUC #iphone #webapp

Posted in Uncategorized by mgornick on April 21, 2010
As students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, we've been noticing a ton of Crime Alerts recently and so Blaine Fahey and I decided to put our computer science and analytics skills to use and help students better understand the crimes that are happening around UIUC and allowing students to take that information mobile via their iPhone/iPod Touch.  Check out IlliniCrime.com

Right now we're in beta, but if any UIUC students/faculty have an iPhone and what to try out our app, give us suggestions, and write a review feel free to contact me.

Some of the things we're working on are:
1. All the recent crimes sorted by most recent on the iPhone
2. Advanced search between time ranges or locations on the website
3. Possibly a 'heat map' that shows all the crimes on a Google Map where the most recent is 'hotter' than older crimes.

Hopefully, people can find use of this app to take safe routes home or seek out public transportation.  Stay safe UIUC.

For more information about safety tips visit:

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3 Tips to juggle a startup and school

Posted in Uncategorized by mgornick on April 21, 2010
I've spent 4 years as a computer science undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign while being the co-founder of several startups as well as the CEO of my most recent startup, OrangeQC.  Juggling working with customers, building a startup, as well as handling class work and studying can be challenging, but is definitely doable.  Here are some tips that I've used to work on a startup and still do well in school:

1. Be smart about classes: Most classes are never set in stone.  Projects, groups, amount of work are all negotiable and all you have to do is ask.  I got the college to approve getting course credit for working on my startup company.  I also sought out classes that would allow me to work on independent projects that I really wanted to work on (like this).  Seek out classes that will allow you to do what you'd like and if they don't exist talk to your advisor and start an independent study course or have it cross referenced with a different course.
2. 168 hours organization: Everyone has a constant 168 hours in each week; how you manage those hours is what sets you apart.  Plan out your courses, assignments, etc. on a calendar (Google Calendar, iCal, Notebook, whatever) and see what time you have that you can allocate to working on your startup.  I've found it very helpful to mark down all my classes and seeing how much time I actually have.  I've used free time to work on my startup, talk to customers, and brainstorm new ideas.  You can't change what you don't have control over, so try to get in control of your time/calendar.
3. Seek out free resources: Many universities have courses and resources that are free to students, but might be obscure.  Many students might be reluctant to start a business because they don't have servers, office space, or materials when in reality they can get most of that for free just by asking.  Universities have become more accepting in student entrepreneurship and thus are much more open to helping students get what they need to get started for free.  I know that we were able to get free servers and office space for OrangeQC just by talking to the right departments and just asking.  

I hope you can find some of these tips helpful in starting your business.  Now get out their and hustle!

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Pecha Kucha Night Champaign-Urbana

Posted in Uncategorized by mgornick on April 16, 2010
Pecha Kucha Night Champaign-Urbana

This is going to be a great event. There are tons of great talks tonight and I'll be talking about entrepreneurship and startups

Be sure to attend.

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Entrepreneurship Conf in Chicago this weekend is looking good

Posted in Uncategorized by mgornick on April 14, 2010

Minogi and iFoundry at UIUC are hosting a Creative Entrepreneurship Conference at the University of Chicago this weekend.  This looks like an amazing event.

Check out the agenda:

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Social Hedging – More to come…

Posted in Uncategorized by mgornick on April 6, 2010
social hedging – a trick of minimizing risk and maximizing utility in a social or life setting

I had a great talk with the founder and CEO of EatCU.com about the concept of social hedging.  I want to gather some social hedges and start posting them again.  If you have some examples or new ideas, I'd love to have a guest post on your social hedging strategy.

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Notes and Presentation from Rework College

Posted in Uncategorized by mgornick on April 6, 2010
Thanks to everyone who attended my Rework College talk this afternoon.  We had a great turnout and an amazing Q&A session.

Here is a copy of my presentation: http://prezi.com/awr5_k5rf1rn/
Here is the book I reference, Rework: http://www.amazon.com/Rework-Jason-Fried/dp/0307463745

Here are some notes and links from the event:

– Its not about creating tons of 16 hours days, but finding ways to optimizing the time you have.
– find a balance to do everything you want while fulfilling your academic obligations
– if CEO's that manage billions of dollars can spend 1.5 hours a day doing yoga, than I can squeeze a few more hours out of my day

Tips, Tricks, and Social Hedges
1. Classes – Ask to get classes you want substituted for required courses.  Ask to work on your own project.  Ask to form your own group.  The worst the professor can say is "No" and you're no worse off.
2. Calendar – Record every event and when that day comes up decide what is the most important thing is.  Study group vs. rock climbing?  You'll know what is most important on that day, not planning a week in advance.
3. Make a list of things to accomplish for today.  Do them.  Its simple but extremely hard to follow.  
4. Speed Reading – I wish I learned about this in high school.  Learn it or at least get started.  Read faster and remember more.  Roshan Choxi recommended this book

5. Between time – if you're driving, walking between classes, etc. load up an iPod with Audiobooks, Podcasts, etc. 
Public Domain Audiobooks – http://librivox.org/
Audiobooks – Audible.com

Pick classes where you can work on a side project you will do anyway.  
I took a Database course at UIUC because I was interested in it and I could work on a project I always wanted to do.

Do More with Less
Stop worrying about "What if".  
What if 1 million users signup?  
What if someone offers you $10 million for your company?  
What if someone copies your product?  
Many of these things cannot be predicted and when they happen you have the best information at that time. 
Stop worrying and start building

Legal/IP/Accounting – find someone to worry about that for you
Slow down your burnrate – buy for $1 and sell for $2
Build the core of your product.  
Focus on less features and instead build a better product.  
Many features are fluff and filler for a lack of a great and usable product.

No "just idea" guys.  Need people who can produce a product or sales or something tangible to the business.  Everyone must be a producer.

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