Archive for October, 2003

New Whitepaper Available on ColdFusion Security

There’s a new whitepaper available on the ColdFusion Data Sheet and White Paper section of Macromedia’s website entitle “Building Secure Internet Applications with ColdFusion MX 6.1”. The description reads:

“This whitepaper examines some of the security risks associated with Internet applications and describes how ColdFusion MX 6.1 provides powerful, yet easy to implement features that address them.”

The Cult of the NDA

There’s an interesting post on Dispatches from the Frozen North entitled “The Cult of the NDA” which starts out like this:

“To all those entrepreneurs with innovative, unique business ideas who want to capitalize on them before someone else does, I have one piece of advice: Get over it.”

I found this post to be particularly entertaining because the number of NDAs I used to have to sign at my old job. I guess I still sign my fair share, but nowhere near what it was like in the late 90s. The best part of the article deals with NDA misconceptions. In particular:

Misconception: If others find out about my unique idea, they could bring it to market first, and steal the advantage from me.

Reality: Surprise, surprise, but the rest of the world is not watching your every move waiting to pounce on anything you do. In fact, large incumbents generally don’t take much notice of the startups until after a startup begins to have some success in the marketplace.

The article talks about how amazingly difficult (if not impossible) it is to actually come up with a new idea. I guess I shouldn’t say it’s impossible since occasionally new technology becomes available that enables new processes and ideas, but I think by now, pretty much all ideas are basically a variation on an idea many others have already had.

The article also suggests doing the exact opposite of asking everyone you meet to sign an NDA. Why not publicize your idea? Get some feedback? Try to learn something about what your building from others before you actually start building it? Do you think if Dean Kamen had done this a few years ago, the Segway would have ever been brought to market?

So here’s an interesting (but not unique) idea. The next time you want to start something new — whether it’s a project or a company — rather than trying to come up with a new and unique idea, why not just improve upon an existing product or business model? That way, you can learn from other’s mistakes, and be sure you are entering a proven market. I imagine it’s easier to gain market share than it is to actually build it where it never existed.

CFFORM – An Informal Poll

Yesterday I wrote about server-side validation and error handling versus client-side validation using JavaScript. I got some awesome comments, many of which contained some pretty valuable insight. Now on to a related topic: CFFORM.

From what I’ve been able to gather, you either love CFFORM or hate it. If you love it, you love it because it saves you time, and because you might not know JavaScript very well and would rather build applications and make money than take the time to learn a new language. If you hate it, you probably know JavaScript pretty well, and prefer your own way doing validation. What are your thoughts on CFFORM? If you like it, what do you like about it? If you don’t like it, is it the implementation or the concept? In other words, if it were completely re-factored, would you consider using it, or will you always prefer to use your own code?