Hacking .NET and Startups

New Change in the Windows Store TOS: Any App with the Word “Metro” in the Title is Insta-Failed

August 14, 2012 14:35 by Aaronontheweb in MarkedUp, Microsoft, Windows 8 // Tags: , , // Comments (0)

I thought this was an interesting side-effect of Microsoft’s decision to surrender on the trademark dispute around “Metro,” so I figured I would reblog this from the official MarkedUp blog.

original link: The MarkedUp Blog - New Change in the Windows Store TOS: Any App with the Word “Metro” in the Title is Insta-Failed.

And here’s an excerpt for you:

So imagine our amusement today here at MarkedUp HQ when Erik reviewed the Windows Store “Before Your Sell Your App” guidelines and discovered this gem in the section regarding how to name your Win8 applications* (emphasis ours:)

Note  Make sure your app name doesn’t include the word metro. Apps with a name that includes the word metro will fail certification and won’t be listed in the Windows Store.

Looks like our friends at MetroTwit and other popular ported WP7 applications (many of which include the word “Metro” in the title) are going to have to undergo a similar rebranding to “the New Windows UI” or whatever we’re calling Metro now.

This news makes me glad that I only stick to application names that mock the old-school way Microsoft named products!

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Today I am Leaving Microsoft and Starting my Own Company

August 10, 2012 04:36 by Aaronontheweb in MarkedUp, Microsoft, Startup // Tags: , , // Comments (10)

I’ve spent my last two weeks at Microsoft wondering how I was going to write this blog post.

Microsoft recruited me off of Hacker News two years ago. In the Summer of 2010 I was still brushing off the ashes of my first failed startup when I wrote a blog post about some of the challenges the .NET community faces with respect to adoption among startups, which subsequently got a ton of attention on Hacker News and inside of Microsoft.

Ultimately, this was the start of an amazing two year journey at Microsoft as a Startup Developer Evangelist. I relocated from San Diego to Los Angeles and built a new life, met scores of wonderful people, worked with some of the absolute best startups on the planet, and honed my skills as a technologist and software entrepreneur exponentially further than they were when I attempted my last startup.

I love my job; I love my team; I love the developers / startups / accelerators / investors I’ve worked with; and I learned reams of applicable real-world stuff from people far more experienced than I. However, it’s time for me to do something different.

Today, August 10th 2012 is my final day with Microsoft. It’s been a life-changing experience and I have few regrets about what I’ve been able to accomplish with my time here.

It’s not easy to leave something when you (1) kick ass at it and (2) love doing it, and few people ever make that leap. But I’m going to, because I don’t give a single iota of shit over the risk of failing at something new. I’m much more afraid of getting comfortable and never trying anything dangerous at all. You only live once.

What’s Next?


MarkedUp - Analytics and Insights for WinRT Developers

Starting on Monday I am assuming my new role as the Founder of MarkedUp, a new startup company which will provide Windows 8 and WinRT developers with analytics and insights on how they can make their applications better.


I couldn’t be more excited to pursue something new and to have a chance to do something I’ve wanted to do since I graduated: build a company that ships products made by developers for developers.

I love the .NET ecosystem and our team at MarkedUp is committed to delivering tools and services these developers will absolutely love. We have the right tools, the right people (more on that), and the right expertise to deliver a kick-ass experience which will help WinRT developers build better apps faster.

If you’re building a Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 application then you should sign up for beta updates from MarkedUp and follow MarkedUp on Twitter.

We’re based in Santa Monica and we will be hiring additional developers soon. If you’re interested in hearing more about what we’re working on email us at team@markedup.com.

Parting Thoughts

The past two weeks have been humbling for me. I spoke individually to all of my co-workers and the startups I worked with closely about my future plans for MarkedUp, and the outpouring of support and genuine excitement for us has been beyond my wildest expectations. I couldn’t be more fortunate to have met and worked with such terrific people.

While I’m sad to no longer be on the same team as my amazing co-workers and manager, I am absolutely thrilled to be pursuing my own startup and betting on the success of Windows 8 independently.

I’m going to work my ass off to build a company developers love and stands the test of time.

Money, exits, and glory do not mean jack shit to me if they aren’t the byproduct of delivering exceptional value to customers and building a team that is absolutely in love with its own work. This is what I am now setting out to do – wish us luck!

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Los Angeles Azure 101 Event - 12/16/2010

December 13, 2010 09:04 by Aaronontheweb in Microsoft, Azure // Tags: , // Comments (0)

Just a quick post for any readers in the Southern California area who are interested in learning more about Windows Azure. My team is putting on an event at Microsoft's Los Angeles offices on Thursday morning from 9:00am to 1:00pm and its intent is to help introduce Azure to any curious developers who've never had a chance to play around with it before. These guys are all top-notch Azure experts and will be able to answer your questions better than I ever could :p

Register or learn more:


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Quick Interview about BizSpark at DEMO 2010

September 14, 2010 06:52 by Aaronontheweb in Microsoft, Startup // Tags: , , // Comments (0)

I'm attending DEMO 2010 this week up in (somewhat) sunny Santa Clara, and during the early parts of last night's social media lounge event some members of DEMO's social media team shot a quick interview with me regarding Microsoft's BizSpark program. If you're not familiar with BizSpark then you should watch my interview as it gives a pretty good overview of what the program is about, in my humble opinion :p

If you're interested learning more about Microsoft BizSpark or if you'd like to get involved, you should message me on Twitter or send me an email!

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Powered by Microsoft

September 2, 2010 14:22 by Aaronontheweb in General, Startup, Microsoft // Tags: , , // Comments (1)

I alluded to a change in my employment circumstances in my previous blog entry, and now that I'm an official Microsoft employee as of Monday I feel extremely comfortable making this information public.

My role is Developer Evangelist for the BizSpark program; Microsoft recruited me for this position after they read .NET Culture Shock: Why .NET Adoption Lags Among Startups and the rest, as they say, is history. I've relocated to the Santa Monica area and my immediate task is to work on increasing goodwill towards Microsoft and the .NET platform among the startups in southern California; it's a prospect that is exciting, daunting, challenging, and mind-blowingly awesome all at once.

If you're involved with startups in SoCal then I will make it my mission to meet you and find a way to help you should you require it. If there's anything I can do to help you, please feel free to contact me.

As for the blog - it's not going to change much :p . If anything, I'm going to have more content as a result and it'll be from a much higher altitude than it was before.


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My name is Aaron, I'm an entrepreneur and a .NET developer who develops web, cloud, and mobile applications.

I left Microsoft recently to start my own company, MarkedUp - we provide analytics for desktop developers, focusing initially on Windows 8 developers.

You can find me on Twitter or on Github!

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