hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    6 Feb 2011 Ask
home   ask   best   8 years ago   
1
Offer HN: I'll help you become a hacker
15 points by jpadvo 6 hours ago   8 comments top 4
1
3 points by jpadvo 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Disclaimer: I'm not an expert in these areas, I'm just a regular hacker. You won't become a Rails ninja-rockstar-guru under my tutelage, for example. What you'll hopefully become is a confident beginner who has knows how to learn. Like the old saying:

"Teach a person to hack and they'll hack. Teach a person to learn to hack and they'll gradually become a ninja-rockstar-guru over the rest of their life."

2
1 point by tst 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe you also want to go on http://hackerbuddy.com. It's a site where hackers can help other (future) hackers
3
1 point by htp 3 hours ago 1 reply      
If you were looking for help with all of this, what would you be looking for?
4
1 point by matdwyer 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This certainly sounds interesting, but is it something that will turn into "pay me $xxx/hour" after the first month?
2
Ask HN: Which service should I use to design a logo for my new startup?
7 points by briankim 6 hours ago   6 comments top 5
1
1 point by anurag 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I worked with logoworks.com last year and was satisfied with the output considering the price. If you do go with them, I would recommend the $400 package because you will most likely need more than two revisions from the designer.

http://logoworks.com/client-app/showPackageSelection.do?new=...

2
1 point by fieldforceapp 4 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're comfortable writing a design brief (ie., what 99designs requires) then you might want to reach out to designers directly. Some good locations for previewing portfolios that I use:
http://creattica.com/logos/latest-designs
http://dribbble.com/search?q=logo
3
1 point by farout 6 hours ago 0 replies      
before you use services, read "Logo Design Love"; it will help you describe what you want to the graphics designer you hire better.

PS it is a very short book.

4
2 points by Stealx 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a big fan of www.logotournament.com
5
2 points by jorkos 6 hours ago 1 reply      
crowdspring
3
Ask HN: Given $50k, how would you market a dating site?
17 points by daeken 6 hours ago   27 comments top 16
1
10 points by wheels 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Make it exclusive and hip. To me, at present, dating sites seem to signal some degree of desperation. I suspect that is very common and why a lot of folks won't use them. I'm not going to go on a "date" with someone from a dating site because (a) I don't ever go on anything that get called "dates" and (b) I'd assume that folks that needed to get dates online are those can't get them in real life.

So, if you made them zany events -- like renting out a full restaurant and curating a list of 50 top matches where folks don't get to pick them ... all of the sudden that sounds fun. Or a first class at ball-room dancing. Or canoeing. Actually, I'd prefer even goofier stuff like the flash-mob-ish sort of things where you have groups that baked into their activity / assigned mission you have some reason for pairing them up.

If you can just create environments for people to do stuff that's fun and meet other people along the way without the baggage of calling it a date or the signaling of "I can't get a date", then it's cool, not desperate and attacks the largest part of the market: the folks that wouldn't use current dating sites even if they didn't suck.

2
3 points by il 5 hours ago 0 replies      
$50K is not enough to get a dating site to critical mass for a broad demographic. Most dating sites spend over $50K every day driving traffic. So the question then becomes "How do we leverage this initial $50K to generate enough initial traction to demonstrate a scalable user acquisition model?"

The best way to do that is to focus on a specific untapped niche (dating for hackers/geeks/reddit users?) or a small geographical area you can take over. Once you have a manageable, highly targeted audience, it becomes a lot easier to reach them in a cost-effective way. Then:

1. Seed the site with some profiles to start. You NEED to do this. Everyone does this, and it works. Either work out a data sharing deal with a small niche dating site to cross post some(mostly female) profiles to your site or just make some yourself.

2. Males join many more dating sites than females. Since you already have lots of female profiles, you can start by targeting males in your niche. Male dating traffic is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than female dating traffic.

3. Spend $10K testing _interest targeted_ Facebook Ads. Don't just target all single males- you will get destroyed by better funded competition. Target by specific interests "Like WoW- Meet Gamer Girls!" and optimize for the highest CTR possible until you get cheap clicks. Once your CPC is below $0.30 or so, up your budget and scale.

4. Spend $10K on carefully targeted Plenty of Fish Ads. They have an excellent, powerful self-serve ad system that many dating sites use successfully. Think about it- everyone on POF is interested in online dating, so it's super relevant.

6. Spend $20K doing carefully selected direct media buys on community forums, discussion groups, etc. If I'm targeting WoW players, there are many forums happy to sell banner space at a cheap CPM. Same thing if I'm targeting athletes, fishing enthusiasts, etc. The general thrust is "Meet someone to do X hobby with". You can also do this on AdWords(content network).

7. Deposit the remaining $10K with a reputable affiliate network. If you offer an attractive payout and have high converting landing pages, you can get thousands of affiliates to promote your site on all of the niche traffic sources you don't have time to test. Pay significantly more for female signups to balance out the site. This is where you begin to get consistent growth every day and can presumably raise more money or start monetizing your users.

3
9 points by maxklein 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Facebook Ads targeting people who are 'single', then offer those people free 'pro' upgrade if they refer 3 more of their facebook friends who are single (via a facebook share link).
4
1 point by tzs 1 hour ago 1 reply      
If you are just doing a thought experiment, might as well not limit ourselves to ethical approaches. There are two unethical approaches that come to mind, one of which we know someone has already tried, and one that I suspect has been used.

The one that we're sure has been used is simply scrape profiles from somewhere else. Someone just did that, scraping from Facebook, and it made quite a stir. At first you'd think that could not even have a remote chance of working, as the scraped people would certainly notice when you started matching them for dates!

If you were a bit smarter, though (and unethical people can be smart), you'd just use those scraped profiles to make your site look busy. You'd never match anyone to them. You'd only make matches among people who actually come to the site and register.

5
3 points by adw 6 hours ago 0 replies      
What makes a dating site work is having people who are going to chime with each other; you don't need mass-market hegemony. So, what you want is demographic similarity but little social intermixing â€" people drawn from similar, geographically close but socially-separate communities.

In other words you need a niche. I'd hit up â€" maybe even sponsor â€" something like book groups. (Pick a major metro and blanket it; that buys you the geographic proximity). Then, once you're rolling, use the success to knock over the surrounding geographies.

6
5 points by daeken 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Hold a contest for $50k to the first users to get married.
7
2 points by roboticleopard 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The most important thing is to get WOMEN onto the site first, and mostly attractive women. A dating site is similar to a bar or club. Where attractive women go, men follow. Do you think you are going to get a lot of male signups if there's nothing but unattractive women on your site?

How do you use $50k to get attractive women, who can easily get dates in real life, onto your dating site? Offer them something they find valuable, but most importantly, wouldn't be embarrassing for them if their friends found out.

What might that be? What about a charity auction? Men bid on women's profiles and the highest bidder gets to take the woman on a date. 90 % of that money goes to charity (10 % to you, the owner of the site). Women can choose to either make their bid amounts public or private. They can also choose a charity of their choice.

Women don't have to be embarrassed about doing something for charity - in fact, they might drag their friends along for kicks (and among some groups of women - to see who can get the highest bid). They also get to go on dates with generous and/or wealthy men. Valuable + not embarrassing.

To set this up, start in NY. Throw events with the $50k where women get to set up profiles online and men bid on them, preferably with influencer type groups.

You can offer the reverse as well, so it's not sexist (although that sort of controversy mixed with charity gets you a lot of press) and because some women would delight in bidding on men.

Later, you can expand bidding to include other, non-monetary things: home cooked meal by professional sushi chef, help with moving, etc. So the less wealthy men can too have a chance at wooing the women of their dreams.

8
2 points by marketer 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Make it a concierge service. Manually match people and set them up on dates (maybe even pay for the dates). It's a lot more work but it's the only way to create incentives to join an empty dating site.
9
1 point by daeken 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Mystery tickets raffled off to users to go on dates based on compatibility. (Credit goes to my mom for that one)
10
1 point by farout 5 hours ago 0 replies      
do a the worst date contest. But give the money to a charity. Choose 3 worthy charities - something couple oriented.

Then get radio shows involved. Radio shows need new material everyday. Everyday do a mini contest with no prizes for different topics:

1. worst place to meet
2. worst pickup line
3. worst foobar
4. worst dressup
etc.

do this every week before the contest ends.

make sure to get the nonprofits involved. Feature a nonprofit each week. Always make a story about how a specific person would specifically benefit from the charity.

Felix Denis in his book mentions selling beer on the island, donating a portion of the profits to the women and orphan fund.

Holding a contest for the winning cap. He describes in detail here: http://books.google.com/books?id=meKL68N5esEC&pg=PA261&#...

11
1 point by daeken 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Give users $10 off their first date, for the first 5000 dates.
12
1 point by gte910h 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Give away 1 $5k Date, 10, $1k dates, and 100 $200 dates, and let PR do your thing. Spend the other $5k letting news outlets that you're doing it
13
1 point by mattgratt 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Get a ridiculous prize for the affiliate that does the most volume for you (like Epic's playboy mansion parties), and spend all of your time and money trying to convince large affiliate marketers to drop whoever they're pushing currently and push your site instead.
14
1 point by sambarvada 4 hours ago 1 reply      
a) Buy or Rent a Hot air balloon and let the best couples date on it.Choose a couple based on how much interaction they have had and their engagement with each other.(no.of messages passed between them)
15
1 point by revorad 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Sponsor weekly dance lessons leading up to a competition at the end.
16
1 point by faust1 5 hours ago 0 replies      
word of mouth, would spend money on sponsored blog posts, facebook ads, pr and news stories, etc.
4
Tell French Entrepreneurs: An American Incubator in Paris
6 points by alain94040 7 hours ago   5 comments top 5
1
1 point by toumhi 3 hours ago 0 replies      
French people talking in english between them. I'm sure lots of foreigners would not believe that :-)
2
2 points by olivier_d 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I am a member of current paris session. It's a really great way to work on our startup project, getting precious feedbacks from great and famous mentors and building a productive and stimulating relationship with other peers.
3
1 point by alain94040 7 hours ago 0 replies      
4
2 points by TheKLY 5 hours ago 0 replies      
very intense! The Founder is a real efficient startup program.
You'll have a powerfull network, clever mentors, and cool peers.
Don't hesitate to enroll; yves laurent kayan klymba@gmail.com
5
1 point by julienchabe 1 hour ago 0 replies      
a good framework to launch ur idea, a must try
5
Ask HN: sell me a good domain name?
6 points by petervandijck 12 hours ago   4 comments top 4
1
3 points by dkersten 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Most domain names you consider good now are not good because of the name, but because of what it was used for. Domain names, in and of themselves, are generally pretty worthless (unless you happen to own one of the rare few) and I think it would be much better for you to work on your sites content and then finding a suitable name after.

Besides, what use is a domain name which follows your criteria but is meaningless in the context of the product? Build the product, find it a name, name the domain something related to the product name or purpose. Save your $500 for somehting else.

Thats my opinion, at least.

Incidentally, I'm willing to part with enemynetwork.com for $500 (or an ipad) :-D

2
2 points by revorad 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Can you be a bit more specific? Surely, angrypandas.com won't work?
3
1 point by eagleal 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi there. How about pludily.com? (I'm a holder of a few domain names for apps I decided not to pursue, they're short and I find them elegant.)

Or add some details like keywords for your app. Maybe I have something more suited.

4
2 points by nolite 12 hours ago 0 replies      
any subject hints?
6
Rate my app (iconswitch.me) - iOS icon creator
3 points by nhangen 6 hours ago   6 comments top 4
1
2 points by gus_massa 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Clicky: http://iconswitch.me/

Nice work. My comments:

+) Is it possible to use only one button? When I browse and select the image, I expect it to be uploaded automatically. For example Gmail and Tineye have this behavior.

+) Try to show more feedback about the uploaded image. When I upload the image, almost instantly a download notification appears. (I think that it was "too fast".) I expected to see some changes before the download is available. For example:

  - see an upload progress bar

- see an scaled version of the image in the site (this is important)

- see a fake "working" progress bar :)

- see a message "Your images are ready to download"

- see a "download button" in case the automatic download fails or I touch "cancel".

2
2 points by solipsist 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This site is also a must-have for iOS developers who want to see the glossy/rounded edges version of their icons:

http://www.midnightmobility.com/iphone-icon/

3
2 points by farout 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow - this is awesome. I have a lot iPhone apps so this will be real useful to me.

suggestions:

I would change the titles of the buttons:

Isn't "Upload" really "Download icons"?
Isn't "Browse" really "Upload photo"?

progress bar or status message for each action.

Add cancel button just in case.

below the fold explain the steps or add text near the buttons:

Step1. Upload photo

Step2. Download icons

Done.

I am curious what did you use to make this app? php? what did you call to resize? I have been working with iOS so I doing some transforms but I have done nothing like this in other languages.

Very nice.

4
2 points by NickFitz 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Very nice, and just saved me a lot of messing about. Thank you!
7
I pitched YC, was rejected, just closed a multi-million dollar round.
175 points by ycreject 1 day ago   49 comments top 22
1
164 points by joshu 1 day ago 1 reply      
a decent chunk of the energy for writing delicious was in response to getting rejected by google years ago...
2
42 points by zhyder 1 day 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.
3
40 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.
4
8 points by Mz 1 day 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.

5
10 points by edge17 1 day 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.

6
1 point by dstein 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Getting rejected by YC was the best thing to happen to my startup and to improve my motivation.
7
4 points by azharcs 1 day 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...

http://www.bvp.com/Portfolio/AntiPortfolio.aspx

8
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.

9
7 points by thewordpainter 1 day 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 ;)

10
1 point by InclinedPlane 1 day ago 0 replies      
11
2 points by jmtame 1 day ago 0 replies      
i'd be interested in talking to you, can you e-mail me? it's on my profile
12
3 points by bdclimber14 1 day ago 0 replies      
I believe YC applications are open now, so its great timing actually!
13
4 points by hoag 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a fantastic story. Congratulations, let us in on the loop when you're ready to share!
14
2 points by axod 1 day 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.

15
2 points by _pius 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congratulations!
16
2 points by aditya 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congratulations. :-)
17
2 points by lancepantz 1 day ago 0 replies      
just so we're all clear... the goal is more than raising money... right?
18
1 point by ankitgupta 1 day ago 0 replies      
If everyone is unanimously excited about your company and agrees with your vision, then there is definitely something wrong there!
19
1 point by afinlayson 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I love the tenacity, Best of luck boys!
20
1 point by zizee 1 day ago 1 reply      
So, is your start up in stealth? Or are you just trying not to brag? Why the anonymity?
21
-1 point by yuhong 1 day 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...

22
-1 point by SemanticFog 1 day 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...

8
Rate my app: adore.ly - like your Facebook friends anonymously
10 points by fjing28 21 hours ago   7 comments top 3
1
3 points by olivercameron 21 hours ago 1 reply      
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.
2
1 point by younata 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, I'm glad that this is limited to 3 adores.

awesome, so me and my (currently 20) low friend count remain anonymous because nearly all of those 20 friends have 250+ friends.

3
1 point by maze 10 hours ago 0 replies      
9
My First Software Product
5 points by xkenneth 18 hours ago   discuss
10
How to fire a programmer
4 points by bob_slydell 9 hours ago   4 comments top 2
1
3 points by nika 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Firing someone is one of the situations where you can get into legal trouble. So the best advice I can give is to not be heavy handed, and be respectful of the subjects rights and feelings.

The best opportunity to do it would be if they stay later than the rest of the team, or come in earlier, to do it away from the rest of the team. It is humiliating to fire someone and then parade them in front of the team. Asking them to stay late (Eg: 5:30 if the team goes home at 5) on a friday night might be a good way to do it.

You inform them that they have signed a confidentiality agreement and need to delete any copies of proprietary code or data they may have.

Be sure to give them some severance, unless they committed a heinous crime. Some companies make you sign an agreement not to sue as part of severance. Have all this work out after you fire them, rather than on the spot. (You don't want to force them to give up rights in an emotional situation, where they are ambushed by the firing and thus, by definition, have not had an opportunity to consult with a lawyer.)

Whatever they have done, realize this is a failure on your part. Treat them respectfully, and do not fall into the trap of attempting to rationalize or justify it. IF you can give them an honest answer as to why (assuming this is not for cause) then do so. Otherwise they may well assume it is for age, religion, skin color, etc.

Having a letter of recommendation written "To whom it may concern" beforehand and signed by signficiant people in the company (if this is a startup, that means the CEO) would be a classy thing to do. (again assuming it is not for cause.)

If it is for cause then you have to tell them the cause. If they dispute it, then say that decision to fire is made and if they wish to they can of course consult a lawyer.

The team will move forward even if you do everything wrong. But how you treat the employee, no matter what they did, will affect how the team sees you. So, treat them as you would want to be treated.

2
1 point by warmwaffles 8 hours ago 1 reply      
If they signed a Non-Disclosure Act then you are covered legally to sue the living crap out of them should they use or distribute the code.

If they have code on their laptops make sure they delete it obviously and get with your attorney.

Just let them go, and let the team know along with the programmer in question as to why you let them go.

11
Ask HN: my startup got acquisition interest, what's next?
42 points by anonymous_dude 1 day ago   21 comments top 11
1
12 points by a5seo 1 day 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.
2
6 points by johnrob 1 day 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.

3
8 points by ericHosick 1 day 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.

4
5 points by jsavimbi 1 day 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.

5
3 points by scottkrager 1 day 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.

6
2 points by brudgers 1 day 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.

7
3 points by ksowocki 1 day ago 1 reply      
this basically explains it all (from TS founder, David Cohen):

http://www.davidgcohen.com/2010/06/18/you-have-acquisition-i...

8
1 point by lancewiggs 1 day 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.

9
1 point by neworbit 1 day 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.

10
1 point by iamchmod 1 day 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.
11
1 point by kno 1 day ago 0 replies      
Get a Lawyer!!!!
12
Ask HN: RSS Reader that doesn't suck?
8 points by guynamedloren 19 hours ago   15 comments top 9
1
2 points by jay_kyburz 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I find it's not so much the reader itself thats the problem with RSS, but the fact that everybody broadcasts their content differently. Some blogs include a full article, some just a few lines before asking you to click though to their site. Some embed images, some even ads.

If you have dreams of sitting down to a nice application and reading people's feeds in an orderly, unified fashion you might be disappointed.

2
1 point by ashraful 8 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're using Windows, the closest thing you'll find is Feedly which is a Firefox addon.

http://www.feedly.com/

Incidentally I am creating a RSS Reader (actually much more than that) which is very similar to Flipboard in terms of the interface. But unfortunately, I probably won't have it ready for at least a few more months. Email me if you're interested in knowing a bit more, or helping out (I could use some help with the coding)

3
1 point by dillon 18 hours ago 0 replies      
It depends on what kind of a computer user you are. If you are a pure online person then Google Reader is perfect, if you never want to be bothered by new RSS feeds, and just want to check them whenever then there is NetNewsWire, which will sync with Google Reader, so that if you have multiple computers you won't have to redo your RSS Feeds every time. If you like notifications for whenever new feeds come in, then Sociolite is a good app. If you like everything built in, just in one place. Outlook and Mail.app both have the ability to add RSS Feeds.
4
1 point by jorisw 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I personally don't use any of the traditional RSS readers that allow you to browse feeds one by one and look at their headlines. I personally want to see everything in a single overview, on a large canvas.

Therefore, I use the iGoogle homepage. It allows you to add a bunch of feeds and show each feed's latest 3 to 10 headlines, all together on a single page, separated in 3 by N blocks.

I'm using the A1 iGoogle theme for its simplicity, and the User CSS Safari extension to remove any further distraction.

5
2 points by badwetter 18 hours ago 1 reply      
There are some user-scripts/extensions for Chrome/Firefox that beautify Google-Reader. I find they help make it suck less. YMMV
6
1 point by zoowar 19 hours ago 0 replies      
7
1 point by meemo 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Netnewswire http://netnewswireapp.com/ for mac
or Feeddemon http://www.feeddemon.com/ for windows
8
1 point by HackrNwsDesignr 14 hours ago 1 reply      
im telling you, forget all the other posts, and try www.feews.com -- you will thank me.
9
1 point by adamtmca 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Reeder for mac is still in Beta but it's pretty good.
13
Ask HN: Where are all the London hackers working on startups?
42 points by nickwsmith 1 day ago   43 comments top 19
1
13 points by coderholic 1 day 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.
2
27 points by LHNanon 1 day 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.

3
4 points by ig1 1 day 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.)

4
3 points by wzdd 1 day 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).

5
3 points by rlivsey 1 day 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.

6
5 points by andysinclair 1 day 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.

7
3 points by adw 1 day 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 â€" including us â€" is hiring.)

8
4 points by piers 1 day ago 1 reply      
Where was it advertised? I heard about it on twitter DURING the event, but I would have been interesting in going.
9
1 point by rlpb 1 day 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).

10
3 points by adamcharnock 1 day 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 :)

11
2 points by coderholic 1 day 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
12
2 points by Hates_ 1 day 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.
13
2 points by JonoW 1 day 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?
14
1 point by revorad 1 day 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)

15
1 point by lukepublic 1 day 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?

16
1 point by jaggs 1 day 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.
17
1 point by malux85 1 day 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

cheers

Alain

18
1 point by lucasr 1 day 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?
19
1 point by martinc 1 day 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.
14
It seems my Chinese supplier has stolen $50,000...do I have any recourse?
14 points by mistermann 1 day ago   15 comments top 6
1
7 points by anigbrowl 1 day 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.

2
3 points by confusalyst 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Just a note for people who deal with export/import of goods costing this much or more: it can be very worthwhile looking into credit insurance (specifically, trade/business credit insurance) facilities.

Most of the larger companies have offices in places like Singapore and China so can offer help there, and for reasonable premiums you can be completely covered for things like this (legal fees, collections, remediation, etc.).

I've never had a need, but some friends who run physical goods companies swear by it for reducing risk and, arguably more importantly, stress (big losses from complicated situations like this are almost entirely mitigated).

3
3 points by staunch 1 day ago 2 replies      
http://www.hipmunk.com/results?from=SFO+-+San+Francisco+Inte...

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.

4
3 points by curt 1 day 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

5
3 points by vabmit 1 day 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.

6
1 point by rexreed 1 day 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".

15
Ask HN: Chicken and Egg issue, getting some feedback/traction?
6 points by HackrNwsDesignr 19 hours ago   4 comments top 3
1
2 points by Mz 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This question has come up repeatedly here recently. Here is a link to where I gathered links to a few previous discussions. This is the third time I have posted this in a, say, the past week. So if search the site, you might get lots more info:

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2126209

2
1 point by stuntgoat 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Feedback and traction are 2 different things. For feedback: directly contact people in the sector which your product is intended to serve. Send people whom you respect in the industry an email and ask them for their thoughts.

Getting 'initial traction' is likely about not losing interest while waiting for 'real traction', and being confident that your product/service accomplishes it's core function/value very well. Someone correct me if I am wrong: traction is measured in gaining popularity ( increasing users, or sales at an increasing rate ).

3
2 points by markw 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been thinking through the same problem recently, and while I don't have any good suggestions myself, I did find the following particularly helpful, perhaps you will too:

http://blogs.balsamiq.com/product/2008/08/05/startup-marketi...
(hacker news discussion: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=267639)

16
Ask HN: Moonlighting on a startup? Could you use an incubator like this?
14 points by yakto 1 day ago   4 comments top 3
1
1 point by codeslush 23 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.

2
3 points by mbowcock 1 day 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.

3
1 point by emrahyalaz 1 day 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?
17
Ask HN: A web-based PDF editor?
5 points by revorad 18 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1
2 points by rdamico 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Ryan from Crocodoc here. We're open to adjusting our per-document limit -- can you give me an idea of what kind of document this is, and what its size is? I'm sure we can find a way to help you out!
2
1 point by matdwyer 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Not sure which adobe web app you're referring to but you can try https://acrobat.com free trial if you were using a different one. I've messed around with it and it isn't THAT bad...
3
1 point by goldins 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Would it be possible for you to use Dropbox (not collaborative...) or Google docs (not for design...)?
I (or, my employer) use PrinceXML, but I don't think it would work well for collaborative work as it takes too long to deliver an actual PDF document, which I assume is a problem for most PDF generators.
18
Ask HN: What are your favorite AuthorsGoogle talks?
4 points by KishoreKumar 19 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
2 points by tejaswiy 18 hours ago 0 replies      
My intention is not piss anyone off, but my first exposure to atheism was because I watched Chris Hitchens speak at Google. He lead me to Dawkins who literally blew my mind away. That lead to me reading a quite a bit more about the human condition in general, so, just for influencing my life so much, I'm going to pick Chris hitchens. Here's the link if anyone wants to watch it -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sD0B-X9LJjs
2
1 point by pekinb 18 hours ago 0 replies      
junot diaz
19
Ask HN: How are the UPS/fedex tracking systems architected?
12 points by jhferris3 1 day ago   7 comments top 3
1
2 points by yarone 1 day 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.
2
1 point by nathanstitt 1 day 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.

3
1 point by kin 1 day 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.

20
Ask HN: Any raw html/javascript search engines?
8 points by redstripe 1 day ago   4 comments top 4
1
1 point by benologist 1 day ago 0 replies      
Blekko have one for adsense ids, not sure if they have a slashtag for GA though.
2
1 point by lachyg 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I've had this idea for years, hope someone finally does it.
3
1 point by omni5ci 1 day ago 0 replies      
An interesting idea indeed, don't know of an existing solution, but I'd definitely use it.
4
1 point by gaustin 1 day ago 0 replies      
That would be unbelievably cool.
21
How to 'impregnate' potential co-founders
5 points by brentiscooper 23 hours ago   8 comments top 6
1
13 points by zb 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Don't use that metaphor, for starters.
2
4 points by revorad 19 hours ago 0 replies      
To extend this terrible metaphor, you need to start by first going out on dates, holding hands, the first kiss, then some action, THEN pregnancy.

If you think like a 19 year old, you will go for the close too soon and end up with an abortion or an orphan.

3
4 points by korussian 19 hours ago 0 replies      
ESL Student: "The firefighter ran into a burning building and came out pregnant"

ESL teacher: pregnant = "with child", but you can't just bandy the term about

4
2 points by brentiscooper 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Okay, so perhaps this metaphor ruined my first post. Just trying to contribute. Perhaps I'll just post links from now on :/
5
4 points by mcotton 20 hours ago 0 replies      
cheap wine?
6
1 point by ahi 20 hours ago 0 replies      
gross
22
Tell HN: Thanks for all you do for startups & VCs
8 points by thankuz 1 day ago   1 comment top
1
2 points by divtxt 1 day 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)

23
Ask HN: My site, Flightlite.com, just got featured on Lifehacker - help
9 points by whiskers 1 day ago   18 comments top 4
1
3 points by fieldforceapp 23 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
2 points by phlux 1 day 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)

3
2 points by aonic 1 day 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.
4
2 points by whiskers 1 day 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!
24
Advice for AI aspirations?
7 points by matmann2001 1 day ago   3 comments top 3
1
3 points by mindcrime 1 day 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...

2
1 point by curt 1 day 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.
3
1 point by mustafaf 1 day 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...

25
Offer HN: Free Proofreading and/or Editing
4 points by eavc 23 hours ago   2 comments top
1
-1 point by tychonoff 22 hours ago 1 reply      
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.

26
Ask HN: Pimp my startup idea
3 points by jwwest 20 hours ago   5 comments top 2
1
2 points by aditya 20 hours ago 2 replies      
What the fuck does all this marketing speak mean?

EDIT: And why would businesses want it?

2
1 point by phamilton 18 hours ago 0 replies      
A little off topic, but in the 7 days since you created this account, you've asked three questions on this topic. You've commented on them, and that's your entire history here.

I'm all for Ask HN, but please just hang out here a bit. Contribute with some comments. Provide unique insight. Don't just tap into the great resources here - become a part of them.

27
Ask HN: Best web based Gantt Chart tool?
5 points by cmalpeli 1 day ago   2 comments top 2
1
2 points by makecheck 1 day ago 0 replies      
Look at Trac (trac.edgewall.org) and its plugins (trac-hacks.org).
2
1 point by revorad 19 hours ago 0 replies      
28
Is there an application that Makes the Paypal API easier to install?
3 points by rcavezza 1 day ago   3 comments top 2
1
1 point by consultutah 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Since Authorize.net came out with their own .NET SDK, I've considered making http://sharpauthorize.com support multiple gateways including paypal. Any interest?
2
2 points by omni5ci 1 day ago 1 reply      
Will Braintree work for you?

http://www.braintreepaymentsolutions.com/

29
Ask HN: What's your favorite bookmarked HN thread?
166 points by dot 6 days ago   42 comments top 24
1
33 points by patio11 6 days ago 3 replies      
I get a lot of value out of HN, but the biggest wins monetarily have been advice regarding consulting, often across multiple threads. Two favorites which stuck with me enough to be Googleable:

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1225179

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1191094

Comments rather than threads picked because they stuck, but the contextual threads were also good.

2
23 points by zdw 6 days ago 1 reply      
3
14 points by chegra 6 days ago 1 reply      
HN Brag Thread http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1200959
It provides a good introduction to what others have done.
4
4 points by jacquesm 6 days ago 1 reply      
Another item for this thread, not a HN thread specifically but more like another version of this one:

http://remembersaurus.com/askhn.html

It's a curated list of the best 'Ask HN' threads collected over many years, first by Gabriel Weinberg, now maintained by Michael Fairley.

5
8 points by bigsassy 6 days ago 0 replies      
This was a good one. The conversation was from an article titled "Double Your Price (no, I'm not kidding)":

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1639712

6
12 points by revorad 6 days ago 1 reply      
7
7 points by simonsarris 6 days ago 0 replies      
8
8 points by patrickk 6 days ago 0 replies      
Jason L Baptiste on "How to become a millionaire in 3 years?":

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1447467

I actually printed this out for reference, the only time I've found myself doing this.

10
5 points by rbxbx 6 days ago 0 replies      
Lots of great (consulting) advice in the "Why I bill hourly" thread.

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1880096

11
7 points by zaveri 6 days ago 1 reply      
Where to look to learn UX/Design

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1768358

12
2 points by tokenadult 6 days ago 0 replies      
In the threads-about-HN category, pg's comment from 1078 days ago that upvoting to indicate agreement and downvoting to indicate disagreement with comments has its place on HN.

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=117171

I am aware that since then pg has been thinking about ways to refine the commenting system or flagging to make sure that the right incentives occur on HN to encourage worthwhile threads and comments to those. Kudos to the OP here for asking all of us to look up good examples of worthwhile content on HN.

Now the way I "bookmark" HN threads is by sharing the submitted links, with a hat-tip to HN, with my Facebook friends. Seaching the links I've recently submitted to Facebook, I see that an HN thread about science books

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2110042

was quite useful and well liked.

13
4 points by wallflower 6 days ago 1 reply      
My all-time favorite News.YC comment:

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=121413

About the success of failure from fiaz

14
4 points by mindcrime 6 days ago 0 replies      
15
4 points by keenans 6 days ago 0 replies      
Comment thread of pg's "Startup Ideas We'd Like to Fund": http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=250704

and "Ask HN: Industries Ripe For Disruption?": http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=475736

16
5 points by amattn 6 days ago 1 reply      
An excellent comment by nostrademons on how to be an expert programmer:

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=185153

17
2 points by solipsist 6 days ago 1 reply      
Instead of taking the usual 10 seconds to read each comment, it's now going to take 10 minutes (assuming you skim through the entire thread each person links to).

I'm definitely holding onto this super thread, though, as it may well become the unofficial threads of threads.

18
2 points by jancona 5 days ago 0 replies      
I got a kick out log this one: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=393989
19
1 point by jseliger 6 days ago 0 replies      
A Hacker's Guide to Tea: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1934051 . I stopped drinking tea because I would sometimes like the taste and sometimes not without being able to sort out why some was good and some was not. Now I understand and can reproduce consistently good cups.
20
1 point by turar 4 days ago 1 reply      
Is there a way to save/bookmark HN threads under my HN profile?

I see "saved stories" under http://news.ycombinator.com/saved, but don't see a way to save anything there. The only other option is to comment on something and then have it available under "threads", but that sucks.

Sorry, I'm a newbie around here.

21
2 points by PankajGhosh 5 days ago 0 replies      
Not sure if this has been posted already: Ask Entrepreneurs: Productivity tips for a chronic procrastinator?

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=579979

22
2 points by SupremumLimit 6 days ago 0 replies      
"How do you come up with new project ideas?": http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1916801
23
1 point by lardissone 4 days ago 0 replies      
This one is a good one: "Why Dropbox Succeeded and Syncplicity Didn't"
http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2153046
24
2 points by kenneth_reitz 6 days ago 0 replies      
Now, it's this one :)
       cached 6 February 2011 01:02:01 GMT