Posts by Karl L. Hughes

Working Hours, Burnout, and Pacing

Running at a small business or startup can be taxing – both mentally and physically – especially when long hours and tight deadlines are the norm. At different stages of a company’s life, different levels of commitment are required, but no matter what you’re working on, it’s not productive to keep grinding away month after month without giving yourself a […]

20 Reasons I Love Distance Running

My race season is finished for the year. I’m not one of those sissies who won’t run outside in the winter – I love a good snow run – but I’ve done three half marathons this year, had a couple minor foot injuries (okay, one was major), and lost about 20 pounds. I’m due for […]

Contentment Comes from People not Things

It’s so easy to get caught up in the race to have more and more stuff. Whether you’re a tech junkie like me, a collector of glamorous shoes, a classic car buff, or an avid video gamer there is always something out there that you simply must have because (A) it exists and (B) you want it. I’m […]

Packback at the 1776 Challenge Cup

Last week, Packback was invited to pitch at the Challenge Cup event hosted by 1776 and held at 1871. After the first round of one-minute pitches, we were invited back up to be one of two education startups to give our full pitch in five minutes. Normally Mike and/or Kasey would have handled this, but due to some scheduling conflicts […]

What to Expect from a Developer “Bootcamp” Program

If you’re in the startup community, you’ve probably noticed the rise in short-term developer training programs. Some of them promise to make you into a proficient app developer in less than 6 months, and some are a bit more realistic in their approach. Why have these programs taken off lately? The quick pitch for most dev bootcamps is […]

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 […]