Self Incubation

I’ve been using the term “Self Incubation” a lot lately and I thought I’d jot down my thinking on the term so folks can get an idea of that I mean. Here is how I define the existing terms used by startups. I know most of these words are so buzzy that they don’t really have a definition, but I have to start somewhere so I can explain “Self Incubation”.

I’m having some difficulty defining what funding is. Here’s my thinking so far. If funds are used purely for living expenses then I’m not counting that as funding. If funds are use to purchase services, equipment or pay salaries then it counts towards the funding limit. Right now I’m setting the magical funding limit at ten thousand dollars. (Should this be closer to one hundred thousand?)

Boot Strapped – NOT FUNDED. I use this term when I think of a company or project that funds itself with little or no funding. If you start out with or end up contributing more that the “magic limit” (above) then I put you in the next category.

Self Funded – If you (or you and people you know) are funding the company or project.

Funded – You use other peoples money in a formal arrangement.

Incubated – The company or project is supported by a larger experienced organization until it can fly on it’s own.

Accelerated – Given a crash course in survival then pushed out of the nest. Usually with a nest egg these days.

Self Incubated – Learning enough yourself to be able to provide your project with the support it needs to survive. This includes not only product development (programming) but marketing and establishing a launch plan and a growth plan.

I’m thinking that the majority of companies I’ve seen and talked to lately are actually in the “Self Incubating” category. Gone are the days when you need to find experts to help you with each part of developing a company. May people are using the resources all around them to construct a path to success. The lean startup movement is more about learning than anything else. These ‘Self Incubated’ company are creating minimal viable programmers, minimal viable marketers. minimal viable mangers and so on.

The Good Old Days of Easy Traffic

I bought a small site in 1998 for $100.00 just to keep it alive and worked on it for about a year off and on and the traffic just kept building. No social media campaigns no marketing of any kind. At some point I added adsense to the site and started making pretty good side money from the site. Here’s the stats from 2004.

Page Views

This made me think that getting traffic was easy. Wow have times changed. I wish I know then what I know now.

CastFeedValidator Update


CastFeed Validator

As some of you may remember several years back I was working on the new feed format for podcasting call the ‘CastFeed’, but I’ve since given up on that idea (actually I have a better idea now – no feed).

Anyway I’ve circled back around to the CastFeedValidator and given it a new coat of paint and made it basically a podcast feed validator. It makes a quick pass to see if the RSS Feed validates then goes ahead and tries to see if I can brute force it into displaying the information it contains. I’m planning on working out some type of rating system to help people refine their feed. For example I would give them bonus points for having a square feed image and more points if it’s 1400 x 1400 which is the size that iTunes currently likes.

It seems that creating a valid feed is more and more important now that there are more and more programs needing to read these feeds. We no longer live in a world where it’s only iTunes looking at these RSS feeds. Each podcast client has to parse these feeds and make sense out of them. Also the data contained within them is getting more exposure as well. Many podcast feeds are pretty sparse with their data. Having a way to take a quick look at what is in there let’s people see how they look to the rest of the world.

Looking for Valid Podcast Feeds

I’ve developed a tool to validate podcast feeds and I’m looking for a podcast feed that actually validates to use as an example on the site. I’m having some difficulty finding one. Also I’d like to find a feed that really takes advantage of all the data fields as well. If you know of a podcast feed that does validate please let me know. You can test feeds out with my tool at

Slap on a Bootstrap Theme

By now there must be thousands of bootstrap themes available, however you might not always know if that cool looking new responsive is based on bootstrap. From my observation lately about half the one I run across are based on bootstrap.

Here are some that are available just to get you started.

metro-bootstrap from talkslab based on Twitter Bootstrap. Simple bootstrap from Twitter with Metro style.
Bootswatch A great collection of free bootstrap themes.

Metro style web framework

Simple and flexible HTML, CSS, and Javascript for web apps that wants to use the “Windows 8 App Store” style, without the need to run on Windows 8.


BootStrap – Layout Tools

Description Price Review
BootTheme is an Online Web Designer and Theme Generator for Twitter Bootstrap. Design web page, Generate theme and Preview result instantly. Lite Version Free This one seems a bit awkward.
LayoutIt Create your frontend code simple and quickly with Bootstrap
using our Drag & Drop Interface Builder.
Free Beta This one seems easy to use and has just the right amount to stuff.



Bootstrap Candy Coating

Description Price Review
You can generate Twitter Bootstrap themes using the Adobe kuler / COLOURlovers color schemes with a new tool I found called PaintStrap. They claim that the themes will be beautiful, but from what I’ve been able to see it’s just and easy way to generate themes. Some are better looking than others. However this looks like a very useful tool to be sure. Free The tool works pretty well, but having thousands of combinations to choose from makes it hard. And going back and forth to other sites makes it a bit or work.I never got a good result there.
Lavish Generate your own Bootstrap color scheme from an image and customize to your taste Free I found this site when I already had an image so I generated a theme in two minute with Lavish. See the color scheme I generated