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Honey! I just DELETED LinkPeek.com

During the day I am an ops sys-admin. During the night I am a husband, father of two, and a CEO of a bootstrapped start-up. After launch, my first project was to schedule regular backups of user data and archive off-site. My goal was to create backups but never need …


My top five suggestions for an independent developer creating a new product or service

1. Write everyday. Build a blog for the project and write about milestones, progress, and hurdles. Also keep a personal blog and write about hobbies. Read some theory about "copy writing" and search engine optimization. Write personalized email responses to customers. Great communication skills will have the most impact on …


Always attempt to scale vertically first

I spent the weekend fretting because one of my servers was basically being DOS'd by paying customers. During the outage I started thinking about the best way to scale and how I could make the code-base more efficient.

Linux top reported high load, in the 20's. Eventually I figured out …


The most valuable registration field: How did you hear about us?


How did you hear about us?


I first answered this question when joining Linode. I remember thinking "Wow, this is a great time to ask me!" because the real answer was still in my short term memory.


When I launched LinkPeek I applied this technique. After an amazing launch (thank …


Today I lost a customer

Today I lost a customer.

I added some new code to LinkPeek to accept coupons and I didn't think of an edge case. This ended up creating an uncaught exception in my server side code which ultimatly served the newly subscribing customer an HTTP 500 error page.

The damage was …


LinkPeek.com, webpage to image, was a by-product

tldr; When faced with pivoting or killing a project, take a good look at all possible by-products. Don't miss the hidden gem in a project's slag!

Last year I built yoursitemakesmebarf.com, a novelty web application which allowed anonymous link submission. The software would automatically take screenshots of submitted links …


LinkPeek.com Number One on Hacker News


I'm petrified of launching my web application


I'm petrified of launching my web application because I'm fearful that I won't ...
  • acquire users
  • support my users well
  • scale in a timely manner
  • react quickly to feedback
  • monetize the application

But most of all I'm scared that nobody will like me. I'm scared of failure.

Now that I got …


LinkPeek.com web address thumbnail api alpha release

Convert any webpage to an image.


How do I calculate the M in my MVP?

Is my idea too minimal?



© Russell Ballestrini.