Above the proper search results you have a Google News thingee and instructions for using the "Report If You're OK" / "Ask If Someone In The Affected Area Is OK" phone systems. (These are well intentioned but useless because, inevitably, everyone just calls directly and the phone network goes down. It happens virtually every time. Still, I can't fault the government / phone company / Google for trying this every time.)
One I was thinking.. why can't Facebook put an 'Alert box' on everyones Facebook feed if they're in that area.
Because many people bypass the search splash page.
They are also doing good with http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/
My question: do you have a scalable customer acquisition model? Put another way-- if someone dropped a chunk of money in your lap, do you already know (in detail) how you would spend it to increase traction and revenue?
If so, sink as much of the 15K/month you are making into that.
Oh, and apply for YC.
Otherwise, if you have a technical product, traction, revenue, and a technical founder you're probably ready simply to submit your startup to Angel List. It really helps if you have a couple of angels that are active on angel list to vouch for you, however.
Also, read Pitching Hacks. It's $9 for the PDF. It's an easy read, but it's the friggin Bible when it comes to pitching in Silicon Valley.
I'd also suggest getting active in the startup community/scene. Go to meetups like 106 Miles and Hackers & Founders. Get a stack of business cards and start handing them out. Start going out to coffee with people. Get to know a new person every day, be genuine and try to help them out. Hang out at Coupa Cafe, or University Cafe to code.
It shouldn't take too long, doing that in Palo Alto before you can get some introductions to Angels.
Heck, Naval is speaking the next Hackers & Founders on March 17. His presentation is titled, "Hacking your funding process". We still have 60 (free) tickets available.
Aside from that, the next open H&F is in Berkeley at the end of March. Stop by and chat. I'd love to hear what you're up to.
There are many good articles here and there. There is also Ycombinator, or other programs; as some guys mentioned here. Don't forget also that you have a working product that made money. If you prove that there is more expansion in your market, investors will come to you.
1. Read more about the subject (books, articles, issues, discussions...)
2. You may want to hire a lawyer to ask him few questions; or someone expert about fund raising.
3. Consider YC and other programs.
4. Keep some of your time for networking and making friends in that field.
Good luck. And remember, even if you fail, that won't kill you ;)
[Un/Related] So you are not a USA citizen. May I know how did you get your Visa and how did you make your company in the US?
If you really need next level funding, then I would think just emailing/tweeting around would easily get you some good responses esp with your story and already proven market for your product.
Courting investors is a full time job, but so is hiring if done right. You probably can't do both with just two of you. If the goal of raising money is to hire more people, and you've already got enough cash to hire even one, do that first.
Just make sure you hire into a position you believe can increase your profit. Spend time thinking about it.
Companies your size grind to a halt while raising capital and it can take months. Once you've expanded a little, multitasking becomes easier. If you're lucky (and this is what you're trying for), you may find that your new hire increases your profit enough while you were looking for investors that you can afford to hire again.
If the new hire doesn't increase profit, you can still take investment (especially if you've been doing the leg work after maxing out your headcount), but you're going to have to figure out how to hire effectively eventually, you'll just have more money in the bank.
You should seriously consider applying to YC.
Second, it's all about networking, online, offline, doesn't matter, tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook exist for just this, networking. Start by creating a LinkedIn profile, or update your existing one and start connecting, write people. Also look for "networking events", I don't know if they exist in your neighborhood but here you can find them, these are events organized especially to get to know other people in the business (any business) you exchange cards and start conversations, these are excellent opportunities. I can go on about this but you get the idea I guess... Make yourself known, connect, socialize, in the end you will find the people you need, or they find you.
2). Translation software is better but it's so bad compared to actual human comprehension that it is difficult to take serious anyone who compares the two. Including, ahem, parties unnamed at a particular Japanese megacorp who thought that Babelfishing design docs and shipping the result to India would result in quality software.
And for giggles I'm going to run this through Google translate:
æ-¥æ¬èªå¦ç¿'ã¯ç§ã®æ´ãã®ææã®ä¸ã¤ã§ãããããªãç§ã®äººç"ã®ã³ã¼ã¹ã'å¤æ´ã•ãã¦ãã¾ãã 2ï¼ãç¿»è¨³ã½ã•ãã¦ã§ã¢ãåªãã¦ããããããã¯ã2ã¤ã'æ¯"è¼ã-ã¦ãæ·±å»ãªäººã'å-ãã"ã¨ã¯å°é£ã§ããå®éã®äººé-"ã®çè§£ã«æ¯"ã¹ã¦ãã"ãªã«æªããªãã§ããä»¥ä¸ã'å«ããã¨ãã³ãè¨è¨ããã¥ã¡ã³ãã'Babelfishingã¨åºè·çµæã'ã¤ã³ãã«é«å"è³ªã®ã½ã•ãã¦ã§ã¢ã'ããããã ããã¨æã£ãæ"¿å...ãç¹å®ã®æ-¥æ¬å·¨å¤§ä¼æ¥ã§ã¯ç¡åãã¨ç¬'ããç§ã¯Googleãç¿»è¨³ã'ä»ã-ã¦ã"ãã'å®è¡ããã¤ããã§ã
Which actually says:
1) Studying Japanese is a proud success. Also, the [editor's note: no Japanese person would phrase it this way] course of my life has been very altered.
2) Translation software excels.
Comment to be resumed after the earthquake is over.
If you mean learn as in immerse yourself in another culture long enough to begin generating the spoke language from "first principles" as it were (ie: enculturation), then I highly recommend. It changes your perspective in a way that can't be easily communicated to someone whose never experienced it. It will allow you to create translations that machines will be completely incapable of in the near future and probably even the far future.
In practice, it reduces to the difference between translating what was said and what was meant.
People who would otherwise consider you a ignorant tourist change their attitude towards you as soon as you greet them in their language. The more fluent you speak their tongue, the more they open up their real thoughts, and the more you are able to really connect with them, because they feel honored by the effort you made to converse with them.
This also has entrepreneurial implications: Your business partnerships in non-english speaking countries will significantly benefit from you being able to speak their language.
Did I mention "there's an app for that!" :-)
I've written a pretty basic app for both iPhone and Android to help learn some Spanish vocabulary. There are many others too. It's a lot of work learning a second language but with mobile devices some of this can be done while waiting for a bus, etc.
Grab my free version and pester me to add the lessons, audio, improve UI, and conjugator. I'm half way done with version 2. Wish I could share code between Android and iPhone.
In fact, almost a year ago I left my job as a developer in San Francisco to accept a position in China solely for the purpose of becoming fluent in Chinese. I had taken classes in college, but those will of course never get you past the point of asking where the restroom is. I'm about 11 months into my venture, and my Chinese skills have improved by leaps and bounds (to such a point that I actually just did a full phone interview in Chinese). I took a huge pay cut to come here, but I think it's been worth it.
I can tell you that China is a very different country when you understand the language, and I'm sure this applies to every country in the world. So yes, I think it's definitely worth the effort to learn another language.
Also, in at least the languages I know, English and Italian, translating technologies do a terrible job. Language is living and complex.
You could try to ask friends as to whether anything in your proposition is putting off potential hires.
Finally, personally I wouldn't bother with Craigslist, but you could try the job/career functionality on both Github and Stackoverflow.com.
Hope that helps
showdead shows articles that have been killed by moderators
minaway is described here at the bottom: http://ycombinator.com/newsfaq.html
delay is the delay between posting a comment and it appearing
Click on harmless looking "Login with Facebook" link to comment or access extra content on a harmless looking blog or trojan app, speed through standard dialog, sign away permission for them to update statuses, post on walls and send messages on your behalf through the Facebook API.
I've noticed Facebook getting quicker at deleting this garbage though.
"I'm not some 18 year old kid with an idea and no idea how to launch it." As someone in-between non-programmer and programmer, I want to push you on this a bit more. What is involved in your "idea of how to launch it"? Assuming it's a website - because you can't code it yourself, you're going to need to hire someone to code it, yes? That's expensive. Probably fairly difficult to bootstrap, or make happen off of the ~$15k YC would give you. If you get a reliable web developer to build it out for you, it will be pricey. If you go the odesk route, it will be cheaper, but probably not as good of a product. That's the main reason for getting a technical co-founder. Probably worth your time, for these reasons and because YC has a history of not taking singles.
I like this quote a lot and think its very true.
"Game recognize game"
If you're truly good, they will recognize your potential.
There's also the Reasoned Schemer and Seasoned Schemer, but I haven't any of read either of those so I can't tell you with any certainty if they live up to the experience provided by the Little Schemer.
In general those are the 5 best books covering Scheme as far as I know of especially for you as a learner. I'm sure there are other books for more advanced Scheme, but I don't know them.
The Little Schemer is great fun and is programming equivalent of piano finger exercises.
That said, I sometimes get the idea that the majority of Scheme code is in Scheme implementations - which put me off the language.
Most programmers I know started w/ an imperative language. I didn't and feel grateful for it. Learning programming in a different way tends to mean even if you get a job doing imperative program, you usually think different from others and that can lead to excellent conversations, designs etc.
$0.99 apps are like mini-muffins ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o-u4IwXkbE ).
"a few hundred quids" - so you'll be waiting until 25th March when they come out in the UK?
The great part about where you're coming from is that you might already have a great sense about how the 'real world' works. I'm sure you've done some form of research before - however, the process of getting through a PhD program makes you work harder to understand what you think you know - and hones your ability to create new academic value.
Although a Master's in stats does prove useful, you're generally rehashing the same old techniques. You seem like you wanted more creativity in your job. I feel like value begets value - the academic value you create because you're curious can, if leveraged properly, become a company for you.
I'm sure you already knew all this - but regardless if you're thinking of doing a program, why not consider doing the PhD program? Just make sure to get the Master's on the way, and you haven't lost any time - you were going to do the Master's, anyways. In that time, you'll get a lot of research done and find more opportunities. Furthermore, you'll probably find it easier to be paid - most schools are better funded for PhD candidates than Master's candidates. Why not take a 'free' degree, then, if you're going to put in the time?
Quite honestly - the stuff you're doing is specialized, to some extent, but you can also link it to other imaging modalities. I presume you're correlating 'what am I thinking' to 'what do we see on fMRI?' - it's a classic multidimensional problem with a ton of potential solutions and a crazy number of permutations to handle. That's already some pretty useful stuff - you can take it, rinse, and reuse in another format - say, EEG, or applying new diagnostic fusion modalities to diagnosing various diseases automagically. Things appear different every time in different people - essentially a similar problem.
In addition, you've got a huge area for HCI (human computer interaction). Jobs already has a ton of people contemplating moving to the tablet for everyday usage. What if we end up going a step further to wearable computing - how will we have interfaces? Turn your stuff slick and sexy, and you've got a huge potential market.
You're landing a great research job in a great university. You're on Hacker News - wouldn't you consider starting your own company with all the crazy stuff you've discovered?
Do you have lots of money stashed somewhere? If no, DONT. If yes, read on..
Are you fuckin' smart? Like 1 in 100 smart? If no, DONT. If yes, read on..
Do you have high levels of motivation. If no, DONT. If yes, read on..
Obviously this shit is easy to figure out when you are at 21; you have sometime to "throw away". Not at 31, AFAIK.
There must be companies out there who are doing the things you are interested in. Find em. If you are smart, you will figure out atleast 70% of what you would as PhD student; with the added bonus that you have a job.
You might want to read this too: http://www.bostonphoenix.com/alt1/archive/styles/97/03/06/de...
Besides, PhD programs in the states has been filled with Chinese and Indian smart kids these days. While you may be looking for your unique contribution to the frontier of the fearless intellectual exploration in Mother Nature from those programs, those smart Asian kids are just looking for a ticket into the states and they probably would sacrifice as much as it takes to outperform you.
So take a pause and pay attention to the facts. I know your advisor may be extremely warm and friendly and his recent publications may be extremely exciting. But the facts are that they expect you to follow the academia path while you don't want to, and that your grad school classmates are competing for an immigration stamp which you don't care.
My CoFounder and I were both .Net developers in the past and love C# and SQL Server. We are happy with the Azure platform so far. We're using a little bit of everything too. Worker and Web Roles, Queues, Table Storage and SQL Azure. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have.
Functional Testing: Selenium, Watir, Sahi.
Personally, not a fan: forcing me to Sign Up before I get to see any more information. Why only one page? I looked around briefly for a pricing page, About, or FAQ. Couldn't find any. Maybe it's intentional - that's a different discussion I suppose.
1) Add a couple more features that are geared around integration with people's workflow, like phone reminders, and maybe some ability to, oh, I don't know, send a grocery list to a husband, or a parts list to a delivery guy.
2) Research, research, research, where people are spending money on the internet for something like this. You'll find the usual suspects, like Basecamp, and you'll want to avoid being like that. Instead, you'll want to find underserved markets niches, dozens of them.
3) Once you've identified the markets, build a list of them, and outline the contents of a landing page for each niche. Do this on the computer, so that you can programmatically create all these landing pages and capture some of the long tail traffic.
4) This should really be #1, but get someone to start paying, anyone. This will force you to scratch someone's itch who has money. Make whatever changes they need so that the service is valuable to them. You really need to find one person out there, who's saying "I wish I had an online task list that met my needs! If I only did, I could make $X more this week/month/year."
A couple of quick thoughts:
1) You might want to make it clearer which features are in the basic model and which are in the "Pro" version on the landing page
2) I'd maybe change the wording around the "More Features" section. Maybe I'm being hyper-critical, but it sounds more like "here's my project, what do you think?" rather than "Here is my professional piece of software that is being actively developed and having new features added daily".
Maybe something like:
"Taskrr is under active development, with new features being added on a daily/weekly basis. Please feel free to suggest new features via [feedback form link?]. You can see our current roadmap here [link to dogfooded dev roadmap using Taskrr!]"
Hope that helps.
I am just curious how this one stands out?
Do you mind mentioning what gems you are using? The hide/unhide of the child tasks looks good, and also like the dragging to reorganize.
There are two things I see possibly going wrong:1. www.3pics.me should redirect to 3pics.me. I know most techies think this fairly common knowledge, and it is quickly becoming so, but I still have family who think you have to tack www on front of all websites you go to. So my basic thought is if Joe Average can't find the site, it will severely limit your audience.
2. You are using just a cookie to remember if someone has already voted. This is a problem. A small script such as the following could quickly inflate the results.
for i in $( seq 10 ); do wget --no-cookie --post-data='upload%5Bid%5D=34' 3pics.me/1; done
(I tested it to check to see if my suspicion was correct, I only ran with 10 requests with one second intervals between each request to minimize any possible damage. upload[id] =34 has 10 extra votes. Sorry.)
Like I said, I don't want to sound like I am just a grouch, but I wanted to give you a heads up before someone else figures this out and abuses it.
I hope you succeed,pwp
When I visited http://3pics.me/1 my first response was to click on the text that said "Click to vote for pic X!" as opposed to clicking on the pic itself.
- The buttons browse and upload are too far apart. I thought the upload was a seperate button. Why not upload the photo as soon as an image has been selected. Seen it in other places, so it is technically possible
- Loose the C:\fakepath\. I use a Mac so that is rather daft. Just show the filename. And oh yeah, make sure it fits the box and doesn't wrap lines.
- Throw same random numbers in the URL as an identifier. I don't think people will like it if other people outside their social graph can view their picture. Just a precaution..
- Integrate the proper Twitter share button instead of linking to the Twitter site. Much cooler and more handy!
- Make the #1 #2 and #3 result balloons easily recognizable as which one is winning and which one isn't. Now it's just random colours.
Hope this helps!
Ripped concept or not, it looks to me like something that has all the potential to go viral (probably short-term).
I'd suggest the following:
1. Line up some revenue streams (AdSesne /Aff etc.?)
2. Prep up the backend/code/servers etc. for a huge spike (probably lasting a few days)
3. Submit to as many Web 2.0/social media focused destinations as you can (following up on each response)
4. Keep fingers crossed :-)
All the best.
From my perspective, i think it could catch on given that it gets to the right people initially. It reminds me of hot or not accept your facing off against yourself.
Your hourly forecast is nice and clean. Have you considered adding greater detail to the precipitation icons? Percent probability or estimated total QPF? Either way, I think this is an easier presentation than the hourly weather graphs on NWS.
Bottom line, I'll keep checking back to see how things develop.
EDIT: Forgot to add - good job making the map responsive to zooming and panning. That is one thing that drives me nuts with many radar/map implementations.
Seems very cool, though. I would definitely use it.
The pitch behind this is that the current landscape of investment tools isn't fitting the bill for what I needed to effectively invest. Google/Yahoo Finance are great resources for seeing statistics of a single stock, but they weren't really built to show aggregate data across an entire portfolio. The aim of this product is to give a point in time snapshot of a portfolio in order to bridge that gap.
Would love to get your feedback HN! Positive or negative, it will all be helpful!
Your tools might be better, but it's going to be hard to convince me to sign up and pay for yours when I get something similar for free.
Also, since you're not letting me trade out of that account directly (though it might be a feature you're planning to add eventually), that adds more friction, and makes it even less likely that I would consider paying for your service.
I hope that wasn't too harsh, but I'm just looking at it solely from a customer's perspective.
Also, since it seems on the surface to be like Morningstar's portfolio x-rays, you should have a good answer for how it is different.
Oh, and "analyzation" isn't a word, is it? How about, "portfolio analysis tool".
Once in the demo (dashboard, performance , etc ...) there is too much visual space and not enough concentrated content. The data is important but delivered in this manner makes me think there is not much value here. Also the demo would be better suited if it let me sign up (no CC) and I could add up to 3 stocks to try it out.
If you're operating a high-risk business you can't really expect PayPal or a merchant bank to absorb that risk on your behalf unless you're willing to pay for it.
PayPal's policies do forbid the kind of marketplace aggregation you're doing (Unless you're using their Adaptive Payment split payment mechanism which is designed for this sort of situation; but from your description I assume you're not)
Paypal's revenues are well over $3 billion/year and growing. They are also known around these parts as a fraud detection company with a payment processing component. Respectfully, I would first suggest you be happy that those millions are still just projected and not sitting in limbo in a frozen PayPal account.
Next, check out some other payment processing options. Here is a great place to start: http://www.gabrielweinberg.com/startupswiki/Ask_YC_Archive#t...
In OO languages this turns into a class hierarchy of nodes, and you'd use the visitor pattern to manipulate them. This approach is awful: it generates large amount of boilerplate code in your program, which, if you're not careful, becomes so large that it obscures the actual logic.
Functional languages provide a better abstraction, in the form of discriminated unions for data structures, and pattern matching in place of the visitor pattern.
I recommend one of the ML family of languages: this is likely to be OCaml, Haskell or F#. I recommend Andrew W Appel's books on "Modern Compiler Implementation": he wrote three books, aimed at Java, C and ML, and the ML book is wonderfully clear.
This is almost the canonical question on the Business of Software forums asked to avoid launching. Don't avoid launching. All good things come from launching.
Recent Business of Software discussion on this very topic: http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?biz.5.834579.1...
One thing I quickly learnt then and find myself instinctively doing now with hundreds of colleagues is that any work I do is the work of the system which has placed me to do it and so not directly and personally mine. Net result, no matter the external context - talking with clients or friends - I always say 'We'. Never I.
The company is the entity which is producing the work. That it currently only contains you is not relevant to many and not something you want to advertise to a few. So don't; if they ask then be honest but until then, the company is offering the service, it is a corporate entity and IMHO any personalised references to its actions should be in the plural, not the singular.
If this is a weekend project, use I till it turns out to be bigger than your wildest dreams.
However, in all cases, in your About section, have people with their real images shown so that users are not left in the dark.
Often I chose the support expected from a project based on how many people are there, but it is a disaster if I know it is one man and they never tell that in About page.
People that would be turned off by that are not the kind of customers you would want at this stage.
Do you really want to attract the kind of people who expect a big support team, when you don't have a big support team? Probably not, unless you want to disappoint them!
If you worry about silly things like that, you won't get anywhere.
Use "I" or the company name.
biases: One person founder
On the flipside, I'm finding that getting investors is WAY harder when you're solo. They want teams, and not having one kinda sends the wrong signal about yourself (even if you're solo BECAUSE YOU WANT TO...)
It is believed that, if you can get a large amount of people engaged (ie. "traction"), there will be ways to make money of that. Sometimes it turns out to be true (Craigslist), sometimes not so much (MySpace).
It is also believed that there are multiple profitable markets being created right now on the internet (coupons, q&a sites, casual games, ...) and that this will continue for years to come. Even though we don't know exactly how the winning companies will make money in these markets, if you're the winner, it is thought that you have a good shot at figuring that out.
If you are fast growing in a promising market, you have a chance to become the winner of that market. (It is also believed that many markets will have only a few winners, due to network effects (Facebook), economies of scale (Amazon) etc..) And then the investors want in.
Mostly, investors don't invest in ideas. They invest in markets and teams. Teams can prove their worth by showing a proof of concept, or better, traction.
In Dailybooth's case: traffic and engagement.
There's no calculation where X traffic = Y $, because it's not linear. Growth is promise.
AR will, knock on wood, probably hit cash-flow positive in May (about six months after launch) and pay back development costs in a month or two after that. I was originally targeting 12 months for surpassing BCC & consulting but, knock on wood, I have since learned something about my market which may make that pessimistic.
1) First one was an ISP, boot-strapped. 4 years. Mildly profitable, sold to a larger ISP.
2) The next one was a short stint with a e-retailer. They were almost immediately profitable, but needed some serious cash to grow. So it sold within a couple of years and the founders all still work there. It's wildly profitable now, but alas none of the founders can capitalize on that success outside of a steady job.
3) Next one was a NLP middle-ware company (yes, they exist) that had been around for more than a decade, I came in near the end and worked there for 3 years. It sold right after I left (I didn't have equity). I believe it was unprofitable.
4) After a few years bouncing around mega-corporations I came back to startup land. We're 4 years in. Just hit profitability this year and then the Congressional funding disaster hit (we're almost entirely government business). We're going to see if we can make it through, but we may end up selling.
5) My wife and I just launched our new company www.kymalabs.com (her main job, my part-time job). We'll see how long that goes! We'd actually like it to grow enough to pay our bills and give us long-term employment, but who knows!
Preceden , a tool for making timelines, was profitable almost immediately. Heroku costs about $50/month and a premium account costs folks $29, so with 2+ upgrades/month it is profitable. Currently making ~$700/mo.
jMockups , an HTML5-based web-design tool, was publicly launched about 4 months ago and is still not profitable. Costs total $200/month and with one paying customer, I've got a ways to go before profitability (but it's progressing very well).
Recent blog post has more details:
Bootstrapping and being just one person made it feel so much longer than I had hoped when starting out.
Current biz: launched in 2009. Still working on profitability. This is a long tail business so I've learned I need to be patient.
Third startup (the one I'm building today was lamen profitable after 6 months. Don't expect it to grow a lot more until we get some funding, since the next steps require a lot more than lamen to succeed.. (ah, the great wall between MVP and V2)