Little Geeks on the Prairie

A maverick is an un-branded range cow or steer. It is also the name used for sports teams at Minnesota State University — Mankato. That’s where the Cringely Startup Tour stopped recently to visit Maverick Software Consulting and find out where’s the beef. This Maverick (the consulting company) has come up with an amazing business model for software consulting services — one that employs American programmers yet meets or beats the cost of using programmers in India or China. But it is much more than just a price-competitive service: Maverick Software Consulting also gives prospective technical employers a newer and better way to directly recruit good programmers.

Maverick was founded by Martin Hebig and Chuck Sherwood, […]

Dragging Our Asses to Boulder

Update — Those who want to meet the Cringelys can come to, an electronic Comic Book startup, at 1601 Pearl Street, Suite 200, Boulder, CO.  This is at 4PM on Saturday. If you can. please bring a small unwrapped toy for my kids to distribute at local hospitals and shelters.

And yes, I DID have the RV checked-out and serviced before we left Charleston.  Stuff happens.


That’s the catalytic converter from my RV.  It literally fell off when I hit a puddle during a rainstorm last week in St. Louis.  It dragged for a quarter mile or so before I got a clue there was something wrong.  When I took this picture I’d already found a […]

When Cookies Fail…

As we cross America on our Startup Tour there are any number of assumptions I’ve made about both new companies and child behavior that are being challenged. My kids are clearly anarchists and determined to topple me from power for one. As for the companies, I’m amazed over and over again how little money it can take to start a good business and how many founders find themselves running companies almost despite themselves. A good example of both lessons is Front Porch Forum (FPF) from Burlington, Vermont.

Here is part of my interview with FPF CEO Michael Wood-Lewis. I’ll be back to say more when he’s finished talking:

“My wife and I moved to Burlington, VT from the big city in the late 1990s […]

Meet Us in Kansas City

We’re well into our Startup Tour, visiting young companies so far in New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, and Missouri.  Today we head to Kansas City and the Kauffman Foundation, one of our sponsors. That I’ve been slow to post the promised tour videos or write about these companies comes down to air conditioning failure, driving 4,000 miles, air conditioning failure (again), swiping a tree and tearing-off our retractable steps, air conditioning failure (yet again), and hitting a pothole so deep that our exhaust system literally fell off in the road.

Ah, the RV lifestyle!

We also learned a great truth about Travelocity when booking hotel rooms for the camera crew: did you know that when they […]

Some Rules of the Road: 200 Nominations in the First Week!

Just a week into nominations for the Cringely (NOT in Silicon Valley) Startup Tour we have 200 companies signed up to vie for the 24 positions. My hope to reach 600 in eight weeks, then, is very possible if I keep up the pressure and perhaps define the rules a little better. That’s what this column is for.

Non-U. S. companies are out. We’ve had a few Canadian companies enquire and one even claimed to be from Vancouver, WA instead of Vancouver, BC. No, that won’t do. This is a U. S. competition, but that doesn’t mean the next season won’t be international. In fact I can almost guarantee it will be.

Remember this […]