The ups and downs of a startup developer.

I left the house without my cell phone today. Bummer. No checking email during the dead periods today.

I parked my car near the Path train as usual, grabbed my iPod, threw on my headphones and started my one block walk towards the Path…turns out my iPod was out of charge (guess I had left it on all night in the car). Bummer. No music on my commute to the office today.

I got to the office, logged into my computer and started hacking away on some code. Ryan comes in shortly after and within five minutes asks me what just happend to the server. I do a quick check and sure enough, everything is broken. Dig a bit deeper and find out our core mongo directory is completely gone for some unkown reason. Bummer. No database.

I do a restore from backup and get the system cranking again fairly quickly, but it came with the cost of a few days of data and client setup work. Bummer. Lost work.

The rest of the day will now be spent building tools and processes for better backups and better safety nets. Bummer. No more progress will be made on that code I started this morning for at least another day or so.

…throughout this, I’m bracing myself for a *very* tough Falcons game tonight (I’m very worried about how the defense is going to hold up against Manning and the Broncos)…so I’m expecting to be nervous (and possibly frustrated) most of the night…

From the outside looking in, it probably sounds like I’m having a horrible Monday…but the truth is, all things considered it’s been a great day.

1. System crashed, but recovery was quick and ‘fairly’ painless. It revealed some glaring weaknesses that I can/should fix without much pain right now, and it will make our system much stronger over time. Better to hit this problem now, near the start, than latter when it costs us a ton of money.

2. The phone and music stuff is just a nice to have habit thing…sometimes it’s nice to get out of a routine and look around a bit more.  On the plus side, I got to overhear some really great conversations on the Path and Subway instead. And I’ve got a charger at my office, so I’ll have music for the trek home anyway.

3. Chris Dixon decided to give a shot at powering the search feature for his blog and turned it live today.  This alone negates any frustrations or struggles I’ve had throughout the whole weekend! (proving yet again, sometimes a small personal win can turn the perspective on a whole day around).

4. I got the pubgears system restored and running smooth enough to still be able to head out and have an insanely delicious Petey’s burger for lunch (if you haven’t discovered this place yet, you are missing out!) – again little wins, big attitude adjustments.

So life is good once again…there are many challenges yet to face and conquer but I’m looking forward to the encounters with a smile…and now I’m about to head home and see what kind of night the Falcons have in store for me!

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This is the personal blog of Kevin Marshall (a.k.a Falicon) where he often digs into side projects he's working on for and other random thoughts he's got on his mind.

Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at

If you have comments, thoughts, or want to respond to something you see here I would encourage you to respond via a post on your own blog (and then let me know about the link via one of the routes mentioned above).