Life at Powerset

— October 11, 2006 at 09:51 PDT

I just took a look at my posting history on this blog and see that I haven't posted anything in a whole month. I've been at Powerset for two months now, and definitely have a serious case of startupitis. While I'm working my keister off, I'm also loving it bigtime. I haven't been this engaged in my job since my OpenDoc days at Apple. But between work stuff and working on my RubyConf presentation, I haven't had much time for blogging. I'm hoping the situation will change in about a month: I'll be done with RubyConf and will have a new Rails developer starting to help me out with my workload.

Speaking of that, I can now share that awesome Rails developer Kevin Clark will be joining Powerset at the start of next month. That will make two full-time Rails developers at Powerset, and both of us are speaking at RubyConf this month. I'm really excited Kevin is joining us - besides being a great guy he's got a lot to bring to our team.

While I haven't been blogging, lots of others have been. There was a little blogstorm over Powerset last week giving us a lot of unexpected (and probably premature) publicity. Check out the Technorati search to see 400+ blog postings in at least four languages from all over the planet. Our CEO Barney Pell has a nice recap of the blogstorm, and our product architect and resident genius Lorenzo Thione talks a bit about the inevitable destiny of search. So now that it's in the open, I can say that what we are building is a new search engine using natural language processing. I can't talk about our products yet, but when I can I will.

The whole blogstorm thing was a little weird to experience. It was very distracting, but also exciting. The frustrating part was having to sit back and watch while skeptics ragged on my company for being nothing but hype and vaporware. Of course people are completely justified to be skeptical at this point, since we haven't told anyone what our products will be or shown anyone a demo of our search technology. But I have to say I'm amused at how many bloggers felt they had to say something, so we got a lot of criticism of how lame our public website is, and how foolish it is to compete with Google or do natural language search. It's like watching CNN do one of those live reports where they have no facts. "We know for a fact that shots may have been fired. And now, 23 hours of baseless speculation..."

I think the fact that I went to work at Powerset demonstrates that I believe in the company and its potential. I had a lot of options open to me, but I chose Powerset. Every day I'm convinced I made the right choice. Having the time of my life? You bet!

With luck (and Kevin's help), I'll have some time for more Rails writing soonish. I'm already planning an article to talk about some of the things I've set up to help manage our internal Rails development process.

2 commentsbiz, powerset, sightings

  1. gustav2006-10-11 13:56:13

    I'm really looking forward to your launch!

    For interest's sake, are you and Kevin doing any rails over at PowerSet?

    Ciao man! Gustav

  2. Josh Susser2006-10-11 14:54:18

    @gustav: I'm looking forward to it too! :-)

    I'm doing Ruby and Rails full-time here, and that's what we hired Kevin for too. Right now we're using Rails to build tools for our internal use (and quite a few of them, at that). I can't talk about our products now, so you'll have to wait until our beta to find out what we're building them in.

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