hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    5 Feb 2011 Ask
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Rate my app: adore.ly - like your Facebook friends anonymously
4 points by fjing28 1 hour ago   1 comment top
1 point by olivercameron 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is actually a pretty neat idea. One problem I see is 99% of Facebook apps in this genre are complete spam, meaning you could get grouped in with them and ignored.
Ask HN: my startup got acquisition interest, what's next?
40 points by anonymous_dude 10 hours ago   21 comments top 11
10 points by a5seo 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I sold a 100% bootstrapped site in the low 8 figures recently. Here's my advice: hire a lawyer with many many acquisitions under her belt. Don't hire a banker unless they've sold companies to the other strategic buyers in your space. Get another buyer interested asap (I had good luck doing this via Linkedin). Nothing will motivate the best price and closing like a competitor in the wings. You'd be surprised how many deals fall thru during due diligence, so keep your head... The deal isn't done till you get the wire transfer. Don't take an offer unless you would be truly happy with just the cash. Earnouts and stock are very very risky and not dependent on your actions. Don't reveal anything that could hurt you until they give a term sheet and you "go exclusive" AND I strongly encourage you to have a break up fee. You can tell them revenue and user data before you sign a term sheet, but I'd be careful about naming customers or revealing how your technology works until there is a penalty for them walking away, leaving you with lawyer bills.
6 points by johnrob 9 hours ago 1 reply      
This is an easy one - ask your lawyer. If you don't have one, now is the time to get one. Choose a firm that has a reputation for startups.

Startup lawyers know everything about acquisitions. They see them first hand from a unique vantage point: CEOs tell them stuff they won't tell investors, and vice versa. They are the only people that know the whole picture.

8 points by ericHosick 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Here is how my first acquisition interest played out:

VC: "We want to buy your company". Me: "Umm. Okay. But, I am still developing". VC:"No worries. Come down". I do (plane flight). Show up in this big office. They make me wait in a huge room at a table that could seat 20. One guy walks in with a thick printout, throws it on the table so the printout slides to me and says "This is how we value a company. Read it." I read it and the value of my company would be based solely on revenue.

What I learned: Don't let them put you in the defensive position. If there is a strong fit then revenue and metrics shouldn't play much of a role (at least initially). If you are taking the time to meet them face-to-face then I don't think it is too much to ask for a ball park figure.

Hope this helps.

5 points by jsavimbi 9 hours ago 3 replies      
a) No, NDA's may hurt you in the sales process, as it binds you both. The only thing you need to protect is your IP which can be done through patenting if you want to go that way, but basically it's the execution they should be interested in, not the underlying tech. However, when it comes to facts and figures, you should talk that over with your business lawyer as whatever you represent may become binding.

b) No. Never tell a car salesman what you're willing to pay for a car. That becomes the starting point from which he'll only go up. In your case, the reverse. I'd hire an independent auditor to valuate your business, giving you a high, low and median selling point from where you can intelligently negotiate.

Your diligence needs to be done as to whether or not they're actually a good fit to buy (qualified?) and research them to see if it looks like they may be interested in your company from more than just a buying perspective, because they could just be shopping you and there's no need to disclose everything.

3 points by scottkrager 9 hours ago 1 reply      
If we are talking anything 7-figures or above...find an investment bank/broker.

Sure you'll end up paying them a hefty cut...but you won't get screwed.

Plus, if you're getting interest from one large company, there are probably others interested as well and a good broker can run an auction for you to get a much better deal than trying to do it alone.

Selling your company isn't something you should do by yourself in my experience.

3 points by ksowocki 8 hours ago 1 reply      
this basically explains it all (from TS founder, David Cohen):


2 points by brudgers 9 hours ago 0 replies      
First question is, Do you want to sell?

If not drop, then drop the distraction and get back to work.

If maybe, decide if you really want to go work for the big company and if so, hire a pit bull to work out the deal on your behalf, then get back to coding in case it does not go through.

Flirting can lead to marriage, but it can also lead to a case of the clap. If your product is strong, there are "plenty of fish" as they say.

1 point by lancewiggs 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Keep talking, but don't let them distract you from the main work of building the business.

If you really want to have an exit then you need others involved as well - other buyers and smart experienced people to help with valuation and legals.

DEcide what you are worth - and use gut feel (your number) and someone that can give you a quick and dirty valuation. If you actually have revenue or even profit then this stuff is easier, but mainly it's doe by comparing you to other deals.

Reach out to other likely buyers and let them know that these guys (named or not) are sniffing around.
The code words used by big companies are that your are 'in play' and you want to court the decent buyers before creating an auction situation.

Control the process yourself once you have the buyers lines up. Give them consistent information, deadlines for tabled offers and then start playing them off against each other. YOu'll get a great understanding of how they operate and can choose the company with the best money AND fit.

Before you share anything too private then do make them sign an NDA - you should have a stock one, and the negotiation process to get them to sign will be a good telltale.

Oh- and the unsolicited offerer should always come to see you - at least at first. No acquirer is too important to come to see you.

1 point by neworbit 8 hours ago 0 replies      
If you have someone on your advisory board who has been through this before, even in an unrelated space, spend quite a while talking to them. Possibly offer them a slice to come in and help you get this done at good terms.

If you don't, consider finding someone as a last minute advisory board member explicitly for this purpose.

1 point by iamchmod 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Get an outsider who can give you concrete unbiased advice on your process. An attorney is ok, but generally an investment banker who specializes in your size company is best. See the threads listed in previous comment.
1 point by kno 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Get a Lawyer!!!!
How to 'impregnate' potential co-founders
5 points by brentiscooper 3 hours ago   5 comments top 4
7 points by zb 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Don't use that metaphor, for starters.
1 point by brentiscooper 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
Okay, so perhaps this metaphor ruined my first post. Just trying to contribute. Perhaps I'll just post links from now on :/
1 point by ahi 33 minutes ago 0 replies      
2 points by mcotton 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
cheap wine?
I pitched YC, was rejected, just closed a multi-million dollar round.
173 points by ycreject 1 day ago   47 comments top 20
162 points by joshu 23 hours ago 1 reply      
a decent chunk of the energy for writing delicious was in response to getting rejected by google years ago...
41 points by zhyder 21 hours ago 2 replies      
A friend of mine got rejected from the current YC batch, but raised $1M from prominent investors less than a month after the YC interview.
38 points by smoody 1 day ago 1 reply      
totally agree with the 'if at first you don't succeed' aspect of this post, but you have a different co-founder and a different concept now, so your prior rejection, while interesting, is not really related to your current situation.
7 points by Mz 14 hours ago 1 reply      
To quote Randy Pausch: "The brick walls are not there to keep us out, they are there to give us a chance to show us how badly we want something."

They are all in your head anyway. I've been thinking about the Harry Potter thing of how they get to the train station for wizarding school by running straight at the brick wall with confidence, which carries them through it and to a different world, where a train awaits to whisk them off to a magical place, a place to learn yet more magic. I think it's a great metaphor. The brick walls aren't really there. Just go at them head on, believing they aren't really there.

Oh, and there's no spoon either.

Best of luck.

10 points by edge17 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I know one company that was rejected by yc that is happily investor free, profitable, and doing quite well for themselves.

I know another guy that was rejected from YC and just sold his company to another company all of you have heard of.

YC is great, but it's one of many paths. Every time I read, "YC rejected me but....." it sounds like "Harvard rejected me, but somehow my life didn't end."

Sometimes you wonder how a company managed to exit with their idea but people count for so much. I have friends that, if they had the dumbest idea in the world, I would put my money down because betting against them is a losing game. If it sounds ludicrous, is because you've never had friends like that.

3 points by azharcs 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Just because you are rejected by VC's or YC doesn't mean anything. Even best of the VC's make mistakes, here is a firm which missed companies like Apple, Intel, Google, Paypal, Ebay etc...


4 points by pedalpete 1 day ago 1 reply      
Congrats on closing a round of financing, but have you had your YC rejection in the back of your mind all along?

If you had pitched with the same co-founder and same idea and still got funded, you could have given PG a big 'told ya so', but different idea, different co-founder, is really a different sitation. Plus, I'm sure YC doesn't invest in many ideas/people that they wish they could, as they have to make selections on very little details.

Out of curiosity, what stage are you at with the new company? Did you close your round with a working prototype? moderate user traction? existing customers?

Again, congrats on the funding. Best of luck with the new biz.

7 points by thewordpainter 23 hours ago 2 replies      
i don't mind rejection. in fact, i kinda thrive off of it.

when YC has told us no in the past --> just sparked the fire that much more.

my personal motto: doubt me...please do ;)

1 point by InclinedPlane 22 hours ago 0 replies      
2 points by jmtame 22 hours ago 0 replies      
i'd be interested in talking to you, can you e-mail me? it's on my profile
3 points by bdclimber14 1 day ago 0 replies      
I believe YC applications are open now, so its great timing actually!
4 points by hoag 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a fantastic story. Congratulations, let us in on the loop when you're ready to share!
1 point by axod 16 hours ago 4 replies      
Why do people say they got funded as if that's it. They've made it. Job done. Success is now a given.

I'm not convinced ability to get funded matches with likelihood of profitability.

2 points by _pius 21 hours ago 0 replies      
2 points by aditya 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Congratulations. :-)
1 point by ankitgupta 20 hours ago 0 replies      
If everyone is unanimously excited about your company and agrees with your vision, then there is definitely something wrong there!
1 point by lancepantz 20 hours ago 0 replies      
just so we're all clear... the goal is more than raising money... right?
1 point by zizee 23 hours ago 1 reply      
So, is your start up in stealth? Or are you just trying not to brag? Why the anonymity?
-1 point by yuhong 22 hours ago 0 replies      
>(if you know who I am, please keep my identity a secret, thanks!)

Personally I wouldn't require this whatever possible, even in that case, but that is a different topic altogether so...

-1 point by SemanticFog 17 hours ago 0 replies      
It's impressive that YC helps founders succeed by putting them through a short but intense program.

It's even more impressive that YC helps founders succeed by rejecting their applications, and motivating them to try harder.

The latter is a truly scalable business model. Maybe YC should get a chunk of stock simply for letting companies apply to the program...

Ask HN: Daddy, what's "tax"?
3 points by Pistos2 1 hour ago   5 comments top 2
1 point by bdclimber14 59 minutes ago 2 replies      
Take half her toys away, and say "I just taxed you."
1 point by Pistos2 1 hour ago 1 reply      
"It's like trying to eat, but before you can bite, someone takes some of the food off your spoon."
It seems my Chinese supplier has stolen $50,000...do I have any recourse?
12 points by mistermann 7 hours ago   13 comments top 5
5 points by anigbrowl 5 hours ago 1 reply      
There are several American law firms with branches in China. Ask your existing lawyer for a referral. If you don't have a lawyer, call your state bar association for a referral. You might also find some resources at trade.gov, but I imagine the information there is targeted at larger companies.

Sorry to say so, but this sounds like a classic case of 'a stitch in time saves nine.' I appreciate that you were nervous, but you should have brought in outside help/advice when you first realized you had a cash flow problem. They may have been scamming you, but then again you may have caused them a major cash flow problem; manufacturing margins are relatively slim, and $50,000 is a lot of money by Chinese standards. Suppose the factory has had difficulty paying its workers or your broker has been prosecuted over unpaid bills? At the very least, your broker has suffered a major loss of face, and serious damage to her commercial reputation. Meanwhile, you have not just lost $50,000, you appear to have lost your entire supply chain - and it's possible that you now have a reputation as a buyer who doesn't pay on time, and will have difficulty negotiating terms with alternative suppliers in addition to the more generic problem. Although you might have had to spend a few thousand for legal assistance a few months ago, look how much more it has wound up costing you.

So, get help immediately. A lawyer is like a doctor for your business in this situation, and your business has developed a serious problem. As well as the legal costs, you may have to pay compensation to your Chinese broker or supplier, and possibly go there in person to demonstrate your sincerity and restore their reputation as well as yours. You should also be exploring alternative avenues of supply, commercial credit, and how less flexible payment terms might impact your cash flow. It's going to be a lot of work. Good luck, and I hope it all works out for you and your firm.

3 points by staunch 6 hours ago 2 replies      

Seriously though. Why not just fly there? It's a couple grand to likely get back $50k (cash or merchandise). People are far less mean in person.

3 points by curt 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Nope you can't do much. But if you really want to do something the best would be to go there and contact the authorities (local party officials forget the police, bring cash, wink wink) and get them involved.

In the future it's best to have an expediter in China that can check the facts on the ground. Also you should not have to pay for manufacturing before the product is shipped or at least checked by an independent contact in China. Usually terms are around 30-90 days depending on the industry and product (sometimes up to 6 months).

I put up a manufacturing guide a few months ago where I talked a bit about this: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1840896

3 points by vabmit 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a question for a local lawyer with expertise in import/export law. You'd likely have no problem at all finding a lawyer or firm with experience and specialization in Chinese trade. They'd have not only knowledge of Chinese law, but infrastructure like local contacts and representatives in China. There are a number of such firms in California.

In my experience legal advice from people that do not practice law is rarely helpful and potentially harmful.

1 point by rexreed 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This is what good insurance is used to cover. Having operated a business that sourced goods from China, your story is not surprising. I've had materials held hostage at customs because they wanted an upfront, wired payment.

In my experience, Chinese manufacturers have very little incentive or desire to provide credit or terms of any kind. They also have little desire to problem-solve issues or defects. So, it's no surprise that your problem is (according to them), your problem. I don't know if there is even a Chinese equivalent to the saying "the customer is always right".

Offer HN: Free Proofreading and/or Editing
4 points by eavc 3 hours ago   1 comment top
1 point by tychonoff 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's pathetic that you need to offer this for free.

The net is swamped with illiterate postings so your service should be in hot demand.

Ask HN: Are any of you at X where X is some college?
8 points by JoshCole 6 hours ago   16 comments top 13
1 point by rick_2047 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is a long shot, where long ' ∞. But I am at Ganpat University, Mehesana, India. I am in the engineering college (formally UVPCE) anyone from there or any of the Ahmedabad college? Would love to meet.
1 point by locke411 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm at UC Merced. Doubt anyone else is but it would be awesome if someone was.
1 point by bartonfink 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Went to Wake Forest and William and Mary, now live in Denver.
2 points by hassaanm 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I've seen a few people from UT (Austin) post here, but I do not know them. Hit me up (hassaanmarkhiani@gmail.com).
2 points by JoshCole 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone else going to Golden West College?
1 point by equark 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Harvard GSAS
1 point by int3 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Amherst College, anyone?
1 point by evac 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Any currently in UC Berkeley? I'm an undergrad here at the moment.
1 point by kersny 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Carnegie Mellon? I'm starting this fall in CS.
1 point by shadowz 4 hours ago 0 replies      
University of Waterloo (CS Major)!
1 point by threejay 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Mass College of Pharmacy
1 point by Jsarokin 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Indiana University? I know a couple of you are on here.
1 point by szany 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Moonlighting on a startup? Could you use an incubator like this?
14 points by yakto 8 hours ago   4 comments top 3
1 point by codeslush 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's my input for each of your points:

1. Anonymity: I guess, but not sold.

2. Hosting & IT Infrastructure: Isn't this largely a thing of the past? Could you really offer hosting and such cheaper than the likes of Heroku/GoDaddy/the like?

3. How many start-ups, in the mode you speak of, "need" this? Hey, having an accountant ready to go is great, but most certainly you'll be charging extra for that? Payment systems are also something that has become easier and easier to implement.

4. Legal Umbrella: For me, this is the scary one! How am I going to get that umbrella without giving something major up in return? This is something I'm already working on...right? So why give it to someone else? Now, maybe offering up a GOOD set of standard docs and/or legal services to get ME setup with my own protection would be something worth considering.

5. Moral Support - Can't argue with that. I get a heck of a lot of it right here on HN though! What would be better would be skill augmentation! I suck at graphic design/visual stuff and I equally suck at bizdev/marketing - and I would gladly trade some of my coding skills for someone to help me on the stuff at which I suck.

6. Solidly supplied by HN users, but can never get enough! This has a stronger impact in a "non-virtual" setup where you work next to these like minded individuals "x" number of nights a week.

Sounds like a negative response, but you asked if it would appeal to me and unfortunately, in this case, with the parameters described, I don't think it would. But I'm just one voice and wish you the best.

3 points by mbowcock 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Where are you looking to set this up?

Has anyone ever considered a virtual incubator? I think the biggest con to something like that is the loss of face to face interaction with others. But considering that more and more startups are getting there start in areas where a traditional incubator may not be available. It may be a groups best option to get access to some those resources.

1 point by emrahyalaz 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Yakto, sounds like only 1 and 4 set you apart from other incubators for hackers. And I feel 1 could be addressed by using an alias until you're ready to jump ship. So, not enough differentiation for "w/ day job" niche.
AND I feel the seed idea has something to it. There is tension and pain there. Perhaps develop points 7-n?
Ask HN: Any raw html/javascript search engines?
7 points by redstripe 6 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1 point by benologist 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Blekko have one for adsense ids, not sure if they have a slashtag for GA though.
1 point by omni5ci 5 hours ago 0 replies      
An interesting idea indeed, don't know of an existing solution, but I'd definitely use it.
1 point by gaustin 6 hours ago 0 replies      
That would be unbelievably cool.
Tell HN: Thanks for all you do for startups & VCs
8 points by thankuz 8 hours ago   1 comment top
2 points by divtxt 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been reading HN for years and have learnt so much - coding, hosting, design, pricing, strategies, funding, sales... the list goes on.

All this knowledge is power. Some risks have been reduced. More importantly, others are the same but I now have a much better idea of what they are!

HN provides me whole new level of confidence!

Thank you everyone, especially those of you who share all the nitty gritty details of your successes and failures!

(ps related thanks to proggit and the BoS forum as well)

Ask HN: How are the UPS/fedex tracking systems architected?
11 points by jhferris3 11 hours ago   7 comments top 3
2 points by yarone 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Also: I am interested in knowing if there is a way to do a "reverse lookup" on UPS / FedEx / USPS. For instance, I want to know: what packages are pending delivery to "1234 Main St. Anyplace, CA 91234". I think this would be extremely useful.
1 point by nathanstitt 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Funny you should ask.

Our IT guys just screwed up both UPS & Fedex's systems here at work just last week. I'm a programmer at a distribution company, and had a front row seat to the mess.

We had a power surge that fried two of our shipping stations, and the last backup was about a week old. Since all the stations are identical, they cloned the hard drive from one station and put the image onto the two replacement stations, thereby getting them up and running quickly.

The imaged system and the replacements then started generating identical tracking numbers. While the packages arrived correctly (the address is encoded into the barcode), the tracking information was garbage on the both companies websites. It would show packages jumping from California to Georgia in a matter of minutes for instance. Packages were delivered multiple times, etc. No major harm was done, but customer's who were attempting to track their packages were very confused.

Not sure what you can gleam from this, but at the very least it's obvious that neither company treats the tracking number as unique, and they don't use them for anything of importance internally.

1 point by kin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
What I would like is tracking information that can estimate a better window of delivery.

For example, I am currently receiving a TV from UPS. I have to be at home to sign it. But, I have work. I'm not going to take an entire day off. But, the delivery window is an entire day. Surely, the trucks have some sort of route and surely the trucks should have some sort of GPS. I don't need to know exactly where it's at, but c'mon at LEAST a 2 hour ballpark.

Ask HN: My site, Flightlite.com, just got featured on Lifehacker - help
8 points by whiskers 8 hours ago   18 comments top 4
2 points by fieldforceapp 3 hours ago 1 reply      
@phlux "Make it so that you can see "all flights out of SFO/into SFO" by that carrier - then list the tickets available for each of the flights/destinations in the next few days."

Agreed, and then...

- Contact the site admins for the major airport hubs (SFO, LAX, ORD, JFK) and sell to them
- Contact all those independent Wifi operators at airports and sell them, they're hungry for content
- Contact Virgin, Richard's guys are always up for something new & different!
- Add Twilio.com SMS API, a "GroupMe" for flight notification?

2 points by phlux 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting, I started a site in 2005 (flightr.com) that was to allow you to pick flights based on a certain price and see on google maps what legs flew out of any given airport given that price... Kind of like a destination lottery.

The project died after I couldn't get much interest in it. But I still have the domain - took everything offline some time ago though...

After about a year or so, the same features started popping up in sites like kayak.

(although that may be in part to me showing early revs to a buddy who worked there)

2 points by aonic 6 hours ago 1 reply      
It might help to mention the stack you're on, as well as your current hosting setup. Maybe someone can help you by letting you borrow a few servers, or help you tweak things.
2 points by whiskers 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I've now had four times the traffic of the past two months in one hour. The first time something like this has happened to one of my projects - it's quite exciting!
Ask HN: Best web based Gantt Chart tool?
5 points by cmalpeli 7 hours ago   1 comment top
2 points by makecheck 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Look at Trac (trac.edgewall.org) and its plugins (trac-hacks.org).
Advice for AI aspirations?
6 points by matmann2001 9 hours ago   3 comments top 3
3 points by mindcrime 8 hours ago 0 replies      
You can't take enough maths and statistics classes. Machine Learning - these days at least - is very maths and statistics oriented. Linear Algebra is big, so make sure you have that covered.

If you want to get your toes in the water a bit with ML, there are some great ML libraries that encapsulate some of the popular algorithms. Mahout[1], Weka[2] and Mallet[3] are popular in the Java world,

A lot of folks use Python for ML as well, and there are some good libraries there.

The R language is also popular in ML circles; as is C++. If you learn some combination of Java, Python, C++ and/or R, you'll be in good shape from a programming language standpoint.

Check out http://mloss.org/software/ also.

Some good books to get started with include:

Algorithms of the Intelligent Web[4]

Programming Collective Intelligence[5]

Collective Intelligence In Action[6]

Stanford make a great series of lectures[7] available online that you might find useful.

[1]: http://mahout.apache.org/

[2]: http://www.cs.waikato.ac.nz/ml/weka/

[3]: http://mallet.cs.umass.edu/

[4]: http://www.manning.com/marmanis/

[5]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0596529325

[6]: http://www.amazon.com/Collective-Intelligence-Action-Satnam-...

[7]: http://see.stanford.edu/see/lecturelist.aspx?coll=348ca38a-3...

1 point by curt 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Take classes in or read about biology/neurobiology, human development (how the brain develops and learns), and psychology (how the brain reacts and responds). I've done AI work and come at it from a unique perspective due to my biology/engineering education. Normally I come up with some unique solutions & products to problems that can't be solved using conventional means.
1 point by mustafaf 6 hours ago 0 replies      
If you really want to learn the fundamental underpinnings of machine learning, you will need a strong background in probability and stochastic processes. I would suggest Python (or MATLAB if you can get access to it) to learn how different methods works. That way you can separate mathematical issues from programming issues. As far as courses go, you should be looking for courses in Liner Algebra, Numerical Computation/Optimization (Convex, Nonlinear), Statistical Inference, Stochastic Processes.

Good References:
1) Elements of Statistical Learning - Hastie, Tibshirani and Friedman

2) Pattern Classification - Duda, Hart and Stork

3) Pattern Recognition - Theoridis, Koutroumbas

4) Machine Learning - Tom Mitchell

5) http://videolectures.net/Top/Computer_Science/Machine_Learni...

Ask HN: Where are all the London hackers working on startups?
41 points by nickwsmith 15 hours ago   43 comments top 19
27 points by LHNanon 15 hours ago 6 replies      
Logging in anonymously, because it lets me be slightly more direct.

As someone who does work on a startup in London, but didn't go last night, it's because I've found the HN London meetups to be chock-full of people who don't work on startups, but simply talk all evening about recycled opinions they've garnered from reading HN posts.

Not an interesting way to spend an evening.

10 points by coderholic 14 hours ago 3 replies      
Rob actually asked "who is thinking of starting a startup soon, or has done so in the past couple of months", which may have prevented people who have started a startup or have been employed by one from raising their hands.
4 points by ig1 14 hours ago 0 replies      
The HN meetup clashed with the Springboard mentoring & networking event hosted at TechHub. There must have been about 50 startups there (+ VCs/angels/jurnos/mentors). Quite a lot of HNers were there so I wouldn't be surprised if that had a negative impact on the number of startups at the HN event.

(For future reference if Springboard runs one of these events again, it's definitely worth going. I got a lot of practical advice that's going to have a major impact on my business, plus I had an early stage VC ask me for a pitch deck. I'm not sure how the event could have been any better.)

3 points by wzdd 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I am working on a startup, but didn't raise my hand. I should have.

Honestly, and this is not a criticism, that evening felt much more like "talk about programmer stuff" than it did "talk about startup stuff". There were a couple of good talks about the business of startups, and the rest felt like coding, or pitches, or both (and again, this is not a criticism).

3 points by rlivsey 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I live in London and am working on a startup.

I used to go to quite a few tech events in London but found I was spending too much time with like-minded people (techies) and not enough with people who had other backgrounds and interests.

These days I pretty much just go to LRUG once a month to socialise with the good friends I've made there over the years.

HN strikes me as a fairly diverse group though, so I'd be interested in going to the next meetup.

5 points by andysinclair 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I live in London and am currently trying to get my startup off the ground. I am also an avid reader of HN, and was considering going to last nights event.

Due to work pressures, i.e. launching soon, I saw it better to spend my time working on my startup than going to the HN event. I have 2 children, and work from home, so I need to grab any opportunity I can to work.

Also, there are now lots of startup events in London, and if you are busy then you really need to pick and choose which ones you go to. In my case I am going to the lean startup one next week, which I see as being currently more relevant (and maybe more useful) to me than the HN event.

3 points by adw 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Where are all the London hackers working on startups? Places like TechHub and White Bear Yard, mostly. Working.

(Speaking of which, nearly everyone I know " including us " is hiring.)

4 points by piers 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Where was it advertised? I heard about it on twitter DURING the event, but I would have been interesting in going.
1 point by rlpb 14 hours ago 0 replies      
At the pub afterwards, about every other person I met was working at a startup - especially later on when it wasn't so packed. The pile of business cards I'm going through now reflects this. Perhaps there was some self-selection amongst the people who stayed on at the pub for a while?

(I regret that I missed the talks - unfortunately I was held up by a meeting that ran late).

2 points by coderholic 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It'd be interesting to see what level of involvement HN members have with startups generally. I've submitted a poll here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2179696
3 points by adamcharnock 15 hours ago 3 replies      
That really surprised me too. In my experience there certainly isn't any shortage of web startups in London, so I have to wonder why so few of them come to an HN event.

Off the top of my head, possible options:

1. Startups don't engage on HN, or don't feel part of the community. This seems pretty unlikely.

2. (London) HN readers are predominantly people in full time jobs, or just not entrepreneurial.

3. Startups are too busy working.

But none of those seem particularly probable. Maybe it is a cultural difference?

Or maybe it was just a bad night for startups :)

2 points by Hates_ 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Sadly missed last nights HN meetup. But just wanted to say I'm a London hacker working on a Seedcamp '10 winning startup.
2 points by JonoW 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I went to the HN meetup last night, and I'm in full-time employment with no start-up experience; just some ambitions to do something in the future. I go along for a little inspiration and to talk to other developers - do people object to folks like me coming to these events?
1 point by revorad 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Sorry I've missed the last two meetups. I'm in India currently, about to get married :-)

Raises hand (see profile for details)

1 point by jaggs 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm in London and we're working on a startup, although it's been going for so long it's more like a bootstrapped company type affair by now. We didn't go because of time issues. We don't have enough of it! I would like to attend one of the meetings though, when I get a chance.
1 point by lukepublic 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I went there with the rough expectation that I might find some people to co-found something with, but since I'm a wuss I didn't talk to anyone I didn't already know.

If they're not already working at a startup, are people who attend these events likely to be open the idea of work for equity or co-founding?

1 point by malux85 14 hours ago 0 replies      
heya, I was wondering the same thing. I'm busy working my nuts off, and wonder where I should be networking.

If you use MSN messenger ... add me as a contact. (That goes for everyone else)
alainrichardt [at] hotmail.com



1 point by lucasr 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I live in London and work for a Boston-based startup with a small office here. So, not actually a London startup. But I'd be interested in attending one those meetups in the future. Where are those events announced btw?
1 point by martinc 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Judging by the number of people in shirts and ties there, I'd imagine a large proportion are in full-time employment and on the periphery of the startup scene.
Review my startup but with a twist. read first.
5 points by kullar 11 hours ago   4 comments top 2
1 point by erichcervantez 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Just a quick note: there's an awful lot of text on the front page but I like the idea. And I'm certainly interested in meeting up to drink tequila ;)
What it's like in Egypt: An email from my mom
236 points by zefhous 2 days ago   56 comments top 10
87 points by elliottcarlson 2 days ago replies      
"Of Egypt's 80 million people, 10% are Christians. Some Muslims have been guarding Coptic churches while Christians pray, and on Friday, Christians were guarding the mosques while Muslims prayed."


I hate it when people use that - but if anything deserves it, it is "This."

17 points by dkarl 2 days ago 1 reply      
I will include a photo of the scene

zefhous, do you have this photo? Can you make it available?

Amazing submission, thank you.

8 points by phunel 2 days ago 7 replies      
"...he brought us home a tear gas canister so that we could see “the gifts that America sends to Egypt”. It was made on Kinsman Road in Jamestown, Pennsylvania, 16134."

I've seen this covered all over the news and can't understand the logic. Despite the fact that the United States has publicly backed the will of the Egyptian people, calling for an orderly transition - there seems to be a pathological need to throw some egg. No one is grabbing the 7.62 casings from the Misr-AKM and saying, "see the gifts Russia sends to Egypt?"

14 points by jalgebra 2 days ago 1 reply      
The tear gas company referenced above, which is located in Pennsylvania:: http://combinedsystems.com/
11 points by drndown2007 2 days ago 2 replies      
Thanks for sharing that. After reading about how the Christians and Muslims are protecting each other, I think Egytians in general must be pretty awesome people.
5 points by rahooligan 2 days ago 0 replies      
The US gives over a billion dollars in military aid to Egypt for strategic reasons and also to maintain peace between Israel and Egypt. This aid is not meant for Mubarak but it is for any government Egypt supports. So US should continue providing such aid even if Mubarak is toppled. Hope peace is restored soon. Thanks for posting the email. So informative.


3 points by prawn 2 days ago 0 replies      
For those interested, Al Jazeera's online producer Evan Hill tweets pretty frequently with eyewitness updates on what's happening over there:


Things have gone up a notch in the last 24 hours or so.

2 points by eru 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for sharing!
1 point by Tinanot 1 day ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately all praying is waste of time...
-4 points by mindctrl 2 days ago 2 replies      
Looks fake to me.
Ask HN: Best framework for parsing thousands of feeds?
5 points by kez 13 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1 point by bmelton 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I've done my fair share of it, and while I don't know that we ultimately tackled it 100%, there were plenty of gotchas.

1) Respect etags / last_updated tags. This will save you a ton of bandwidth, for one, and keep you from getting banned by the feeds you're pulling. It's important. What I ended up doing was a different method for new feeds vs. ones I already knew about -- on the initial parse (and subsequent ones too), I would check for an etag or last_modified indicator. If I can't detect anything, I set a poll frequency to something like a half an hour. This kept me from slamming servers that didn't properly implement etags, while I could check headers on the ones that did more frequently.

2) Hang on to your sockets. Opening / closing sockets is expensive for this particular task. What ended up working for us was queueing entries and using the same urllib handle for as many as needed polling at a time. Otherwise, we were flooding the box with open sockets.

3) Use a task queue. My environment was Python, so I had the beautiful Rabbit and Celery to work with. Never ended up having to scale, but the intention was that using a distributed task queue, it was built such that we could just add other nodes to do the fetching tasks if we needed to.

1 point by dclaysmith 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Check out http://www.feedparser.org/. It's for python and pretty robust, handles Etags and Last-Modified headers. Well documented and loads of unit tests.
1 point by swanson 10 hours ago 0 replies      
You might want to take a look at Samuel Clay's NewsBlur project: https://github.com/samuelclay/NewsBlur and see how he handles this problem.
Ask HN - Review my startup: Localmind
35 points by lennysan 3 days ago   28 comments top 13
9 points by veb 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Choose an existing account to sign in with (click one below):"

I don't like dicking my accounts! :-P

EDIT: epic fail, but honestly it looks like dick: http://imgur.com/c44Hf

3 points by joshontheweb 3 days ago 1 reply      
I really don't like it when applications require me to sign in through a third party account. As an option it is good, but not as the only option. Especially with a new service that I am unsure how they will use that access. I wasn't able to try it since I was unwilling to hand over the keys to my facebook account to an untrusted service.
2 points by rabidonrails 2 days ago 1 reply      
I like it and I see why a service like this would be helpful. But, is there enough incentive for your users to answer the texts?

For example, if I'm at a bar in NYC drinking with my friends and I get a text (from a stranger) asking how much a pitcher of Coors is, I'm likely to answer because it's a quick text back. But, if someone asks me to list what's on tap, I'm likely to ignore the message because it's a lot of work and the payoff seems very little.

Also, I would have been quicker to signup if I didn't have to use a third party.

Overall, I think it looks awesome.

2 points by erichcervantez 3 days ago 0 replies      
I like it...great concept if you can pull it off.

I came up with a similar/not-so-similar concept that I'm still working on (http://www.xuland.com) only I'm not leveraging Foursquare, Facebook or other location-based apps. I'm depending on folks actually logging into the application and posting/replying.

Of course, my app is also done in Flash (jury is still out on whether that proves to be a good idea or not) but I discovered well over a year ago that it would be great if I could find out what was happening at this very moment in a given location so kudos to you and your team for recognizing a need. Good luck!

2 points by boha 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been privileged to try out early releases of Localmind, and it looks very exciting. A friend of mine was at dinner last Friday and answered an unsolicited Localmind query on the spot--and he wasn't entirely sure where it was coming from!

I think users will enjoy feeding data into the system as long as it's fun and they get a sense of accomplishment from helping out their fellow man. Robust, rapid answers will definitely be the hinge on which the app relies.

2 points by ctide 3 days ago 1 reply      
You should let people know that you're going to SMS them before you do. Having skimmed the blurb and just signing up, I was surprised when my phone started buzzing. Thankfully I had my google voice number tied to my foursquare vs. my actual number (which doesn't have a text plan anymore.)
2 points by silent1mezzo 3 days ago 2 replies      
I don't like that you show accounts for Twitter and Google and then just say they aren't available...I understand the reasoning behind it but just show the images and don't provide links.

EDIT: On a 13" MBP the "Have an invite code" link is below the fold and was difficult to find at first.

1 point by kris_schlesser 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'd like to be able to control exactly who sees my questions and answers. If I'm at a place that I think is awesome, it might be because everyone else in town isn't there in which case I'll have incentive to misinform any/all strangers. For what it's worth I recently released something like Localmind for surfers, so I look at it from that perspective. When the waves are good, we only want to tell a few specific individuals with whom we'd like to share the experience.
3 points by jparicka 3 days ago 1 reply      
1 point by krisrak 3 days ago 0 replies      
I had created similar app to find out where people are hanging out or checked-in: http://misotrendy.com , it allows you to get a snap shot of checked-in people at a place anywhere - its a Web app and html5 mobile web app - @krisrak
1 point by tomhallett 3 days ago 0 replies      
One very powerful use case for this would be "Is the snow affecting the train to x?" - because the public transportation's websites are always so delayed but the answer is finite/simple enough that it'll probably be answered.
1 point by HackrNwsDesignr 3 days ago 0 replies      
lenny I'm starting a startup blog, would like to review, email me laksman@gmail.com
2 points by cachemoney 3 days ago 0 replies      
Like the name.
Why are PC laptop touchpads so terrible?
8 points by pkamb 22 hours ago   9 comments top 6
1 point by dstein 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I don't know. But after using a MBP touchpad and now the external one they started selling a while ago, I quite simply will never be physically able switch to a PC ever again.
3 points by emrahyalaz 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I always wondered why are they so small? why aren't they wider, the width of almost the entire laptop? That would be so much easier to calibrate to touch.
1 point by sandipagr 6 hours ago 2 replies      
My thinkpad technically has 3 buttons (just for the record). I think the user experience would suck (for me at least). With mouse, I use my index finger and middle finger for left and right buttons so my thumb is free. But with laptop, I use my thumb to press both left right buttons. I don't think I would want to use my middle/index finger to press any touchpad buttons except the touchpad itself.
2 points by maushu 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I believe it's because most laptop vendors (besides Apple) think of touchpads as a "backup". Meaning that you are supposed to use a mouse and only use a touchpad when you have no option.
2 points by Terretta 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Centimeters away, you have over a hundred buttons.
3 points by lluiset22 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I simply don't know.
Ask HN: Incoming mail service for domains?
6 points by nolite 1 day ago   2 comments top
HN: I'm building a TC alternative. Will you share your startup's story with me?
152 points by g0atbutt 7 days ago   59 comments top 32
66 points by nonrecursive 7 days ago 3 replies      
I think this is great. My first impression, though, was that the name "g0atbutt" does not inspire confidence. Just my 2 cents.
16 points by g0atbutt 7 days ago 2 replies      
As of 4:12p eastern time, 19 startups from HN have already gotten in touch with me. There are some really great companies brewing on HN, and I'm looking forward to covering them.

The response has been fantastic. I can't wait to see what else comes in.

8 points by DanLivesHere 7 days ago 1 reply      
I think you need to do a lot of lists. I'm serious. There are a LOT of tiny startups out there and you can hit upon 10 at once this way, while also building good content.

I'm going to be self-serving here, but it makes it easier to articulate my idea and point. I have a small, "lifestyle startup"/hobby -- a daily email newsletter where I share awesome/true facts like how Abraham Lincoln created the Secret Service the day he was fatally shot. (Really -- http://dlewis.net/nik is the subscribe URL, the archives are linked thereto, and it's in the archives.) There are a LOT of small, wannabe thrillist/daily candy email newsletters out there. Featuring one is stupid, but writing about this emerging/cottage industry is interesting.

Basically: "Ten Interesting Email Newsletters" is a great post, potentially, as is "Ten Ways To Manage Your Business Connections" (hashable? cloudcontacts? cardmunch?), as is "Ten Sports Startups" and ... well, you get the idea.

12 points by jacquesm 7 days ago 0 replies      
Talk to swombat on #startups, you guys should link up!
18 points by jokermatt999 7 days ago 2 replies      
Please, try to be more professional in tone and more reliable in information than TechCrunch.
8 points by yeahsure 7 days ago 1 reply      
I really look forward to reading this site!

I suggest you get in touch with Andrew from Mixergy.com - he has plenty of connections to get you started.

Good luck!

4 points by portman 7 days ago 0 replies      
Good for you. I recently removed TechCrunch from my RSS feed, and I haven't missed it for the last two weeks.

I was trying to find a feed that let me exclude certain authors, but I ended up ditching everything.

4 points by thecoffman 7 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome - I don't have any startup news to share at this time - but best of luck! There's a need for this type of news and TC isn't filling it anymore.
3 points by chr15 7 days ago 0 replies      
I helped start http://bootstrapped.it @bootstrappedit) where we interview bootstrapping entrepreneurs and try and get them exposure.

I agree, there needs to be more news about startups. Good to see that other people are doing this as well! There are plenty of startups to write about.

3 points by kmfrk 7 days ago 0 replies      
I'd love to see more stories about app developers - I'm getting a little tired of only hearing about web services to be honest. :
1 point by allenp 7 days ago 1 reply      
TCs comments suck - look at what boingboing does for moderation that might be helpful. Also I am probably in the minority but I rather read and respond to one really good article a day than 10 spammy articles. I think focusing on quality is key (just my 2 cents).
1 point by shasta 7 days ago 0 replies      
> I know there are others out there like me. People who would love to read news exclusively about startups, so I decided to start my own TC alternative.

I hope you're going to have an editor :)

1 point by robryan 7 days ago 1 reply      
It would be great to go into a bit more depth than TechCrunch does with their articles on startups. Problem is though that you are more likely to capturer a wider audience with the shorter articles and they are easier to write. For most people around here though I think it would be great to see more long articles really getting into details about the founders, their stories and exactly what their startup is doing.
5 points by jparicka 7 days ago 0 replies      
Good luck with that. I stopped reading TC (AOL) about 4 month ago.
2 points by middlegeek 7 days ago 0 replies      
Have you looked at Beyond the Pedway?


2 points by vikdug 7 days ago 1 reply      
You're so right. I knew something was up when I saw a post about Johnson Controls on TechCrunch recently. I worked there and it's a Fortune 100 company. Good luck!


1 point by kongqiu 7 days ago 0 replies      
Funny name. Serious sandwich.

Wait, that was something else. Just sent some info on ParkGrades.com...

3 points by iisbum 7 days ago 0 replies      
Email sent, best of luck with the site
2 points by benedwards 7 days ago 0 replies      
Sounds like a good idea. Sent you an email about Swappa: http://swappa.com
1 point by barredo 7 days ago 0 replies      
What about talking to you in a month?
1 point by ssing 7 days ago 0 replies      
Send you a mail about my startup (http://doosracricket.com) Best of luck on your new venture.
2 points by djangoadmin10 7 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like this might have the same idea? --> http://startupanimal.com
2 points by mattholling 7 days ago 0 replies      
That's great. There really is a big need for something like this, and I look forward to checking it out when it's live.
1 point by zacharycohn 7 days ago 0 replies      
Shot you an email.
2 points by studentscircle 7 days ago 1 reply      
done! hope we get featured and goodluck with your endeavors. there is need for real* tech news now.
1 point by evolution 7 days ago 0 replies      
this is good, i'll send you email about songslike.me and strangrchat.com soon
1 point by swah 7 days ago 0 replies      
Only if it works out!
1 point by bowmande 7 days ago 0 replies      
When we are closer to launch I'll send you an email.
1 point by elearnapp 6 days ago 0 replies      
Write about us => http://elearnapp.com <=
Pretty please with goat butter on top!
1 point by adlep 7 days ago 0 replies      
Good luck with your venture. Just stay true to your original intent. Please do not sell out to the giants once you'll make it :) Focus on startups and not on Facebook.
1 point by somug 7 days ago 0 replies      
i will
0 points by mrboks 5 days ago 0 replies      
i want to be a part of ths,im a copypaste blogger.lol
Ask HN: How HN improved your life?
5 points by paraseba 16 hours ago   12 comments top 6
2 points by Mz 13 hours ago 1 reply      
So far, I wouldn't say it has "changed my life", at least not on the scale that usually suggests. I would like it to. I have a project in mind that I would like to get support for/feedback on. I completely suck at starting discussions and the things I "submit" are generally largely ignored -- which is a problem I have historically in other forums, it isn't particular to HN. I hardly slept this week and then slept like 9 or so hours last night. Maybe this weekend or some other weekend, I will figure out what to ask. :-/ Or maybe not. Time will tell.
3 points by JoeAltmaier 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I discuss world-changing news with my son after dinner. NASA discoveries, social phenomena, whatever. I get it all from HN.
1 point by mindcrime 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Hrrrm.... I don't know that I'd say HN has "changed my life" in any specific, grand sense. But I've definitely learned a lot from hanging out here. If I had to cite one thing in particular that I've gotten out of my time here, it would probably be "being exposed to the Customer Development methodology." I'm pretty sure it was a link or two from here that first got me reading about CD, and led me to buying Steve's book, which I would cite as being "life changing" (or at least on the verge of it.)
1 point by znt 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks to HN, I found out that only my persistence and creativity is the limit regarding my software development career. Being a corporate software drone is not the only viable way of having a decent life.
0 points by RiderOfGiraffes 16 hours ago 1 reply      
You asked this 16 hours ago:

Any particular reason for asking it again?

2 points by jpr 16 hours ago 0 replies      
It didn't.
Too Many Business Ideas?
4 points by entrepreneurial 20 hours ago   4 comments top 4
3 points by JacobAldridge 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I firstly give myself permission to let the new idea fester at the back on my mind for a few days. Some 'billiant' ideas are quite clearly rubbish when you remember them again the next morning.

For the ones that seem feasible, I do a one-page business plan. How would this work, how would it make money, would it be profitable, are there any awesome features I need to write down while I think of them. This gets it out of my head and onto a piece of paper. The paper goes into a folder, and I don't allow myself to think of them again.

From time to time (normally when I get one of them stuck in my head once more, good ideas are like viruses) I review that folder. A quick look now reveals that 3 (of the 7 that are in there) remain good ideas (the others really wouldn't be profitable, though I might try some of them for fun).

Now I must compare those 3 to my current business - which energises me more? Energy is a combination of excitement (where the new ideas have an advantage) and revenue likelihood (Money is energy). I'm in an income phase at the moment (having recently moved my coaching business to the UK), and the income potential of my current business is far greater in the short term than any of those other ideas. So current business wins my energy, and if I really need to validate that in a thinking space I can.

Once I have a coaching income base once more, I will likely repeat that exercise and see if I can take on one of the others. By giving myself permission to have great ideas, and a process to nurture them based on my priorities, I manage to stay more focussed on the business at hand. Certainly, that works better than trying to ignore them (and, simultaneously, remember them for later!) in my brain.

1 point by clojurerocks 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes im the same way. What ive learned to do is manage and organize the ideas. Some people are serial entrepreneurs. Ive found that i am this way. I have alot of ideas that im passionate about developing. So ive learned how to manage and organize them. Ive also learned to try to find people that are like minded. Which can take some trial and error. The one important thing is to not doubt yourself about this. Be trully passionate about your ideas and about developing them. People will see this and respect it and want to get involved. Also really develop skills around your ideas. Be it a strong business sense or a strong technical sense or a strong understanding of the market youre in. This will give you a stronger leg up and the ability to deal with multiple projects.

If you actually want to chat more about this and talk about your ideas send me an email. Im always looking to network with people.

2 points by Shakakai 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I typically write mine down in a notebook. If its a really great idea, it doesn't normally just go away. You'll keep running into situations where it would be useful if the idea was already a reality. If after a week or two you still can't let the idea go, you "may" have a keeper. Get some feedback from friends and fellow techies - figure out which idea has the best chance of success and go with that.

PS - Don't second guess yourself after you've made a decision.

PPS - Don't undervalue the work you've already done on your current project. Execution is harder than ideation.

PPPS - Lay off the coffee.

1 point by quizbiz 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I assemble teams of hyper focused people and do my best to keep my mouth shut with them when it comes to distracting ideas.
Ask HN: Who is working/has worked on porn sites?
91 points by adultthrowaway 1 day ago   62 comments top 26
21 points by 51Cards 1 day ago 0 replies      
I worked in porn years ago... ah the memories. I worked for one of the first companies doing live interactive video streaming from girls living at home, though "live" in the late 90's was a still image every 1-2 seconds and no audio. The girls were rolling full sized PCs with camcorders around on rolling carts in their houses. I learned a lot about managing high traffic, server push methods, etc. I know I came out of it with a lot of things I wouldn't have picked up elsewhere. I never found it to be a hindrance to getting work later.
5 points by tibbon 1 day ago 9 replies      
So for those of you that have worked on porn sites- why are they generally so poorly done (or at least, from the perspective that most HN coders would view as poorly).

Many have parts that are broken, they are slow, have really messy HTML, rely super heavily on flash, and just lack most modern features that most sites would have.

I've been dreaming of 'porn for geeks', where the content is the same, but there's nice RSS feeds, everything has strong semantic meaning, HTML5 is everywhere, they use jquery for consistent javascript rendering, the pages scale properly when you size them up, and hell... maybe even try for some user accessibility.

I just have yet to run across a good porn site that looks technically as impressive as someone's 4 hour rails project even. Of course, I wouldn't mind being proven wrong.

12 points by swish 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was the Director of Technology for Naughty America up until about 7 months ago when I transitioned to a "mainstream" job as those in the industry call it. Was definitely an interesting experience, but as others have said the things you learn about massive traffic, high availability, scalability and TONS of streaming video are hard to get anywhere else, unless you're working for a Google or Yahoo. Naughty America at one point was in the top 800 highest trafficked of all sites on the web, 1M+ uniques a day. I'm now the CTO of a startup and when I was leaving Naughty America everyone I interviewed with viewed that experience as an asset, as most intelligent people will.

www.gfy.com is the most popular adult webmaster forum, but there are others like www.justblowme.com, www.adultwhoswho.com, etc

9 points by jasonlotito 1 day ago 1 reply      
I work for Gamma Entertainment up here in Montreal. I handle the credit card processing side of things (TrustCharge). I won't rehash the places I've mentioned in other comments, but don't neglect actually meeting people. The trade shows are a great place to meet people, even if you don't get a booth.

Just keep in mind that the adult business is a business. The people involved are interested in making money.

On a side note, we are hiring programmers! Shoot me off an email if you're interested.

16 points by ddemchuk 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm not kidding here, gofuckyourself.com is generally considered the most popular porn webmaster forum online. I've heard the quality has dropped in recent times though.
7 points by jqueryin 1 day ago 0 replies      
On the topic of getting a new job after leaving the adult industry:

It will generally have little impact on future jobs; especially if you get hands on experience with massively scalable architectures and high traffic volumes. The problems you solve outweigh the environment you worked in. From my experience, adult companies keep things professional due to the nature of the business and the risks of being sued.

I have a buddy that was in the industry for awhile, and there are a number of forums they all troll on. Here's a couple:


15 points by latchkey 1 day ago 3 replies      
Funny, these AHN's come up every few months or so. I wrote a good portion of the code and architecture for the kink.com sites. Decided to leave after 4 years working there pretty much because my job there was done, things work really well. Despite what people might think, it was not hard at all to find a 'real' job again as my experience working in extremely high traffic environments is desirable.
6 points by SageRaven 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've always wondered if sysadmin work for adult sites was a niche due to moral objections or the perception that employment at a "normal" place would be difficult afterwards. I don't often see many admin job postings for such sites, so I assume the industry is somewhat incestuous (no pun intended) and/or nepotist, resulting in more word-of-mouth job prospects than through the usual channels. Discretion and all that.

Anyone know where a freelance admin could find such jobs? The smaller the shop, the better.

3 points by jarin 1 day ago 1 reply      
I used to be the R&D Director at Naughty America, here's what I built:


http://gofuckyourself.com NWS) is pretty much the hangout for adult affiliates and webmasters. If you're trying to build traffic, that's where you want to be.

Funny enough, I seem to be at it again. My latest client is a porn startup.

6 points by d3x 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have worked in adult for 9+ years and sold 2 sites. aebn.com / stockroom.com / domme.com etc... One of the sites i sold was called cameraphoneporn.com; sold it 8 years ago before mobile was big.

IMHO the best thing about working in adult is that you gain a good understanding of affiliates and seo / marketing / conversion rates etc... and that is information that has helped me with my mainstream clients as well.

6 points by pamelafox 1 day ago 1 reply      
Related to this, I'd love to see developers who work on porn sites speaking at conferences, to hear about your particular experiences in design, marketing, SEO, hosting, and scaling. Seems like you'd have an interesting perspective on all that.
3 points by Vivtek 1 day ago 0 replies      
I did a bunch of work for a porn site back in the 90's who somehow managed to not pay me. Something like $6000 down the drain. (So my wife was mad at me twice over that one. Sigh.
3 points by xutopia 1 day ago 0 replies      
My experience with the domain has been less than stellar. I ended up being fired for handing over a petition from all but one employee asking for better treatment. I sued them and they settled out of court.

The best part of it was the "best orgasm faces" contest we had. I was a programmer so I just benefited from it but those working on touch ups would screenshot and save the orgasm faces into a shared network drive and we had new stuff to laugh at every day.

2 points by vermontdevil 1 day ago 0 replies      
Long long long time ago back in the days of dial up ISPs, I along with friends created a website called Kandyland. We bought a negative film scanner for about $1500 or so for a photographer in return for a 2 year supply of naked women photos.

About 4 months later we got a cease and deist letter from Hasbro asking us not to use the term Kandyland as it was too similar to Candyland the game.

Being young and not exactly flush with VC money, we simply changed it to California Babes or something like that.

Eventually after about one and half years, our girlfriends asked us if we are going to make this a career or not? We picked our girlfriends and have left the business altogether. The experience did help my web development career though.

Fun times.

6 points by bottlerocket 1 day ago 1 reply      
Probably should create a throwaway for this :) but way back in college I did a bit of contract front-end web work for some guys in that area, email me (in profile) and I can send you the URL of the message board they were all on.
2 points by citricsquid 1 day ago 1 reply      
A guy who works for the people who do Pornhub posts here: http://hackerne.ws/item?id=2172382 his comment and subsequent replies
2 points by mantas 1 day ago 0 replies      
Did some contracting on one of porn -tube sites. Also worked on lesbian "stuff" web shop. Crazy days...
1 point by daralthus 1 day ago 0 replies      
I worked for livejasmin (and the sister sites), some years ago, I think it was the biggest live streaming sites even back then.

Unfortunately, I wasn't a coder then, just support staff, but it was a great experience and I learnt some things about how they run a multimillion dollar biz from a basement.

Got a view on everything from creditcard processing, to the sysadmin side. And of course dealing with performers and customers was always fun, as they are not that usual people.
Still remember a "crazy stuff" folder, where we used to collect the funny moments.

2 points by blake8086 1 day ago 0 replies      
I made http://pix-plz.com . I originally set out to make a site that was easier to use than hotornot.com (a lot of people just rate all photos the same, because they want to see more.)

The site has languished, as I'm not really sure what to do with it, but I'm proud of the features I implemented, the UI, and the things I learned in doing it.

1 point by robotron 1 day ago 0 replies      
I work tangentially to porn in adult toys for about six years. Built an affiliate program, retail sites, wholesale sites and various other stuff. Don't really interact with developers in the business, though (outside of some time on GFY before I stopped caring).
1 point by Swannie 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had a dabble a few years ago. There was a strong community on a couple of IRC channels.

I saw the potential for seriously automated stuff, but sadly when I went to Uni it all fell by the wayside. Got back into it a little after, but lost interest: it had got a lot harder to get converting traffic in the 5 years between the first dabble and later.

Now everyone wants video. That's gotta be a killer on your bandwidth bills.

1 point by jgalvez 1 day ago 0 replies      
raises hand

E-mail me if you'd like an alpha invite.

1 point by grafa 1 day ago 0 replies      
Personally working in the adult industry is a little awkward in the beginning but after that it's fairly rewarding. Personally I found it really useful to get the high traffic/high scalability experience. I mean you don't get too many job opportunities where you can brag about your app serving around a billion page views/day.
1 point by drivebyacct2 1 day ago 0 replies      
What site is it?
-4 points by onomojo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've done adult sites. Check out my portfolio.


Ask HN: What are your rock bottom experiences?
11 points by solipsist 23 hours ago   2 comments top 2
3 points by emrahyalaz 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I was working 3 jobs and seeking a startup to join (didn't have a green card back then, so start my own wasn't an option). I was in grad school and had a 4.0 GPA and needed to keep it there in case I couldn't get something interesting, my b-plan was PhD (I didn't want to return to my home country tail between my legs). One job was waiting tables from 3pm-1AM 4 nights a week. I was married.

One night I got into an argument with a fellow waiter who badmouthed me for coming along and picking up american jobs (I had just started making a lot of tips b/c I served humans better). Manager took his side so I got pissed and quit. I went home and my now ex-wife told me she wanted a divorce and was planning to move in with one of her friends from school (she was a student too). I got depressed and had an accident with my Pontiac POS. It was a freezing cold Chicago winter with temps 20 below. I got even more depressed, sat home on a couch and drank bourbon for a week.

That's my absolute lowest point. Everything got better after that. Much, much, much better:)

4 points by whynotanon 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I had started my business and things were going more slowly than I'd imagined they would. So slowly I needed to take a job to pay for rent and food and the salaries of some very part-time staff who were essential for various reasons. So I picked up a teaching gig at a small private training school that brought in foreign kids working on ESL and dumped them in small group classes while they got ready to attend real schools.

The money was not great, but I rationalized myself into taking the work because the teaching time was compressed so I could work from 9-4 each day and then cram away at development until 2am or so. Or that was the idea. In reality the job was a massive psychological drain. There were no textbooks or support of any kind so doing anything half-decent required a lot of energy and creativity. Meanwhile, doing a bad job would have meant letting down the kids and being actively complicit in a system that functioned primarily to separate their parents from their parents' money.

It wasn't what I had signed on for, but it seemed easier to push through and try to do the best job I could than back out. The work was only a month or two, and what other choice did I have, I asked? And so it happened that as I walked in to class one day about three weeks after starting I literally burned out in the hallway. I had just dragged myself out of the stairwell when I suddenly felt like the bottom of the world. I was tired and depressed and exhausted and all of a sudden found myself perceiving myself from the outside and looking down and pitying myself at the same time. Before that I'd been able to shelter myself from those emotions by convincing myself that my actions were positive sacrifices that were necessary to start the business. But in that moment I saw my defenses as pointless delusions. I felt like a dead man walking. I was clearly the world's biggest failure. Career. Business. Whatever. Anyone with any sort of objectivity would have to agree.

I stopped working there after that first class wrapped up, but the money paid the bills and helped get me to the break-even point, or what I managed to convince myself was the break-even point. I don't think it is as bad as coping with bankruptcy or death or anything, but it was my lowest point and I don't want to go any lower.

Ask HN: A web site that is vulnerable to a good competitor?
9 points by andrewtbham 1 day ago   5 comments top 4
1 point by ig1 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Well Plenty of Fish seems like a good target, bad design/UX makes it vulnerable

Vault and eBay are another two examples.

What these all have in common is requiring a critical mass of users to work, which gives them a barrier to entry that allows them to become complacent.

2 points by keiferski 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wufoo (YC 06) is essentially a better designed Survey Monkey. http://www.wufoo.com
1 point by klapinat0r 1 day ago 0 replies      
TVRage.com, or even TV.com, are both sites which are very good at certain points. TVRage mainly: having up-to-date episode listings. TV.com mainly: relevant news to the navigated page, extensive bio/episode description archive, respectively.

Both sites have forums. Neither of which are particular active. TV.com's forum takes the lead in that area, however it seems the audience for tv-serie forums are located on fan-site forums instead.

Both sites use userbased contributions (to some extend). TV.com seems more professionally handled (also endorsed, so obviously has an advantage), whereas TVRage summaries, bios etc., seem more random and not necessarily added to complete a show's info.

Perhabs a better ranking/modding scheme could make for a TV.com/TVRage competitor? I haven't given it much thought, but taking something simple and easy to use like, say, up/down voting (which web users of today are familiar with) as an aid to moderate the info on the site could be an idea.

An advantage of TVRage is it's open-ness and (willingness to have an) API. I've used this many times, and in a web-age where people want to present stuff at their own website how they want (kind of like a new-age "embedded link" or "widget"), APIs are a great way to show that your core speciality is information, and the accuracy of this, and if someone wants to present it in a blue/yellow website so be it, as long as people know where to go to get to the source: you.

1 point by dawson 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Microsoft HealthVault
Ask HN: Is it just me, or has youtube become uselessly slow in the last month?
4 points by bane 1 day ago   3 comments top 3
3 points by atgm 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've always had a problem with YouTube where the first 10% or so of a video will load, then it will just stop loading. It's really frustrating and the only solution is to reload until it doesn't stop.

Recently, though, a lot of videos haven't even been getting that far!

2 points by PonyGumbo 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm also on Fios (in Massachusetts). I'm having the same problem.
2 points by bnycum 1 day ago 0 replies      
I recently saw a similar question. Someone suggested try using the Google DNS ( and and it worked. YouTube has loaded horribly on my Comcast Internet for years. Never have an issue with streaming HD Netflix though.
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