lloyd tabb

Looker’s Founder, LiveOps’ Founding CTO, Netscape’s Free Electron

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Pen-handling at Looker

“Miss Goldstein, please take a memo for me…. Colleagues, it has come to my attention that we are spending too much money on our secretarial staff, particularly as in the creation of memos. We’re going to need to limit the number of memos we can each send…”

Can you imagine living back then? Having someone literally type up your (non-e)mail for you?

My mother was a executive secretary. She was an amazing writer. But when she wrote, she spoke for someone else.

Too many companies do the same today with engineers. A product manager dictates what should be built and engineers go code it with little input on what should be built or why it being built. The product manager changes his mind frequently and whipsaws the engineers from one feature to another.

At Looker we’re following a different path. Engineers and analysts interact directly with our customers and prospects. Our...

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Great Software is an Act of Empathy

“Who ever wrote this software had me in mind when they wrote it, and they must love me.”

I first had this experience programming on CPM way too long ago. At that point in time you had a couple of choices in trying to write programs that fit into 64K of RAM (K, not Meg, not G); you could write in assembly language, or your could write in Basic or you could write using Microsoft’s crappy, expensive Fortran or C Compiler.

Basic sucked. Compiled programs were big and slow. C and Fortran programs barely worked. There was just too little RAM. Compilation took 5 minutes, even for a small program. I could not yet figure out how to code in assembly.

Enter Turbo Pascal

Ordered from an ad in Dr. Dobb’s Journal (the Hacker News of the time), it arrived on a single 5.25 inch floppy disk. The whole program fit in 160K.

Turbo Pascal was amazing. It compiled almost instantly (inside a...

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