Funding a start-up company

I’ve been doing a lot of research into running a start-up recently, and a name that always pops up is Paul Graham. He runs the Y Combinator, an early-stage venture funding company, and has written an extremely informative article on funding your start-up. I love the analogy he gives about how the different stages of financing your company works like gears on a bike; you should get just enough funding that enables you to drive your company to the next stage. This makes a lot of sense to me. Inc magazine also had an interview with him which I enjoyed.

dhclient and resolv.conf

For some reason, when I get onto a client’s network and run /sbin/dhclient on my hacked-together-linux notebook, dhclient gets an IP address via DHCP, but doesn’t update my /etc/resolv.conf with the local name servers, so names don’t get resolved using DNS.

I haven’t figured out a fix for this yet, but a temporary work-around is to have a look at the lease in the /var/state/dhcp/dhclient.leases file. You should see a line like “option domain-name-servers;”. Just put that IP address in the /etc/resolv.conf file (ie “nameserver”).

Financial models need more complexity?

A post over at the New York Times is arguing that one of the main causes of the financial crisis was inadequate quantitative models – models that tended to understate risk because they failed to provide a realistic model of the way the world works – neither incorporating risks such as a failure of liquidity, nor the complexities of human behaviour.

I certainly agree that the current stable of models which are in widespread use are inadequate given that the competitive market has made the spreads on trades so tight that there is no longer any buffer to cover the many short-falls in the models. Back when vanilla options were an exotic trade, the trader would incorporate plenty of fat in their options trades. Intense competition, a market that has steadily grown over the past 20 years (notwithstanding small glitches), and increased familiarity with the trades has served to camouflage the risks the traders were running in their options books.

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