Posts by Karl L. Hughes

Inviting Innovation in Small Organizations

When I joined Packback a year ago pretty much all we did was innovate. There were only four of us then, and we had very little in the way of established process. Most of our meetings were more like open brainstorming sessions than times to actually get things done. That may sound like chaos to you, but […]

How Riding Divvy Saved Me $622 Last Year

It’s no secret, but I love Divvy (here’s me talking about how I ride them, even in the winter), and here’s why: It enables me to own one less thing (a bike) In a place like Chicago that has mild summers, it’s perfect for warm-weather commuting Biking is a great form of cross training for […]

Why the Textbook Industry is Ripe for a Technological Revolution

I’ll admit that I’m a bit biased in writing this, but my interest in publishing started long before I joined a company that’s setting out to change the way textbooks work. When I was in Engineering Entrepreneurship in college one of the fundamental principles we were taught to observe was the move from physical goods […]

The Risk in Sending Your Startup’s Technology Offshore

To the non-technical startup founder, offshore outsourcing seems like a godsend. For pennies on the dollar, you can get programmers in India, Vietnam, South America, or the Ukraine to put together your software product in just a few short weeks, so why would you even try to go through getting a technical co-founder or raising […]

Want to Stay Employed? Be Indispensable

Most people who get fired deserve it. They almost never think that they do, but it’s true and here’s why: they didn’t make themselves indispensable. Employers don’t have an obligation to keep employees on the books. In fact, I believe that good companies cut waste regularly – including personnel. When an employee isn’t delivering your company […]

Why I’ve Decided to Give Up Alcohol…For a While at Least

Three years ago I started to change my relationship with physical things. Up until that point, I think my aspirations were pretty typical of a middle class college student: graduate, get a decent job with a big company, save money, buy a house, retire at 65, etc., etc. But for some reason, I began to […]

The Myth of the Hero

A lot of people assume that when you want great talent, you need a hero; someone who will rush in, destroy every barrier, and magically carry his team to victory. Unfortunately, heros like this are mostly mythical beings. Here’s why heros are an unrealistic myth I play for a couple casual beach volleyball teams here […]

Presentation: Intro to Object Oriented Code Design

On Friday, March 14th I’ll be giving this presentation to the developers-in-training at StartupInstitute here in Chicago. In this presentation I’ll be covering the basic terminology of object oriented programming, examples of how they work in Ruby, and a coding challenge. The presentation slides are available here: If you have any questions or you’d like […]

On Leaving Uloop for Packback Books

This month marked the end of my first startup experience and the beginning of my next one. I decided to leave Uloop after two years as their director of news, and take a position with Packback Books as their fourth full time team member and lead software engineer. Parting ways with my friends and colleagues […]