The blog of Chris Peters · Web design, web development, and tech stuff · About Me

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Never output anything to a browser without using a formatting filter

Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities can be quite a serious problem if you’re not careful. And if you’re using a framework like CFWheels, you need to be extra careful to protect your output from rendering malicious content.

In this post, I suggest that you must always use a formatting function like EncodeForHtml, DateFormat, or NumberFormat when outputting any dynamic value.

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Balancing a day job and starting a business

Many (lucky) entrepreneurs like myself need to work a day job while trying to start their business. A start-up doesn’t usually rake in the money immediately, so the bills need to be paid somehow.

I’ve made a few observations lately about where I’ve gone wrong in balancing my priorities over the past few years and how I want to adjust the course. I need to get this thing going!

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The need to document your business with policies and procedures

One of the most influential business books of all time, The E-Myth Revisited,¬†extols the virtues of documenting your business extensively. If your business doesn’t have an operations manual, then it’s not really a business. A business without documentation depends on the owner’s presence in order to run. That means no vacation, no sick days, and no retirement for the founder. The business owner basically becomes a slave to his customers.

At first glance, I am intimidated by the idea of documentation of this type. Web design and development changes rapidly. It’s insanely hard to keep up. Sometimes it feels like once I’ve finally mastered a technique, a new tool or technique comes along to replace it. But then again, this very problem makes me a slave to those very things.

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REALLY networking

I’ve always gotten a bad vibe from people at networking events. Most people are there to be the smartest kid in the room, puff out their chests and prove why they’re great, or feign interest in hopes of finding talent to exploit. I suppose that none of this is surprising because most people are average and need to hide that fact.

John Sumser describes this problem and provides worthwhile solutions to counter it in his post, Networking Is Not Working. SURPRISE! The solutions all involve hard work, which most people are unwilling to do. Instead of spending time working hard on shipping a great idea, people schmooze to feel like they’re getting things done.

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Be a big spender

A piece of advice I gleaned from my Creativing Writing professor in college: be a big spender. When he was teaching us how to write creative works, he encouraged us to work hard on every piece that we wrote.

If you have a big idea, do it now. Don’t feel like you have to save your best stuff for later. And don’t put it off. If you get in the practice of coming up with great ideas, then you will find ways to outdo yourself later.

It’s funny how some lessons can stick with you years later.

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Social artifacts

If you’re into marketing at all (which I’m trying to teach you about), you need to be producing all kinds of social artifacts. There are a lot of tools out there that you need to be learning. A lot of them are online.

I will be sharing ideas about the more common social artifacts: video, audio, articles, presentations, blogging, and document sharing.

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