hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    11 Mar 2011 Ask
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1
Google puts Japan quake tsunami warning on their search page, kudos to them
59 points by 51Cards 5 hours ago   15 comments top 7
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9 points by patio11 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I was pretty impressed -- within literally a minute the #1 result (which looked stylized, so "other than usual" results were at play) for "earthquake" had auto-pulled info about the earthquake and a link to the metrological association. That site is #2 right now, after the government agency in charge.

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.)

2
1 point by xd 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
I thought I'd check bing to see if they had done anything .. got a picture of a tranquil city coast line :/
3
5 points by jmotion 4 hours ago 3 replies      
I love initiatives like this.

One I was thinking.. why can't Facebook put an 'Alert box' on everyones Facebook feed if they're in that area.

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1 point by ck2 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Is it on their RESULTS page?

Because many people bypass the search splash page.

They are also doing good with http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/

5
2 points by al_james 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Good for them, however would be better if it was clickable to more information... But I guess that would be different per country.
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2 points by stretchwithme 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Bravo. They may have saved a life.
7
2 points by blots 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I can't even see google.com. I'm being redirected to google.de. Though if you set the
Interface Language to English the Alert appears as well.
2
Ask HN: I died 2 times, coma, learned how to walk again, code, now I need advice
86 points by michaelabe 7 hours ago   19 comments top 15
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70 points by michael_dorfman 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Dude: you died twice, were in a coma, learned to walk and code again-- you should be giving us advice.

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.

2
26 points by latch 6 hours ago 0 replies      
You could always apply to YC. I mean, isn't that the entire point of it?

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2312566
&
http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2310110

3
3 points by iamelgringo 1 hour ago 0 replies      
YC is great for the startups that are able to get in.

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[1].

I'd also suggest getting active in the startup community/scene. Go to meetups like 106 Miles[2] and Hackers & Founders[3]. 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[4].

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.

ref:

[1] http://venturehacks.com/pitching

[2] http://www.meetup.com/106miles/

[3] http://www.hackersandfounders.com

[4] http://hackfunding.mogotix.com

4
1 point by csomar 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
You won't get much advice in this thread and you are probably smart enough to figure out the advice yourself. Open Google and browse the HN archive. If you want to raise money, then you should learn the Ins and Outs of it before that. Don't look for an investor; and how are you sure that's the best solution in your case?

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?

5
3 points by charlief 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
Eventually, if not now, you should write a more detailed autobiographical book or piece. Your story is miraculous and would inspire many people.
6
9 points by makeramen 4 hours ago 1 reply      
If you're already making 15k a month, I would say just bootstrap. How much faster do you need to scale? All the YC startups this round got 150k, but you're looking at 15k*12=180k a year, that's already more than YC can offer you.

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.

7
10 points by maxbrown 6 hours ago 0 replies      
While the long-term value and the use/abuse of AngelList is highly debated (see http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/26/angelist/ among others), one purpose of the site is to provide exposure to people with great ideas who don't necessarily have the connections to get them intros. It's at http://angel.co, probably worth checking out. Good luck to you!
8
2 points by agotterer 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You need to be out there networking! Being in Palo Alto gives you access to a lot of tech people and events, so theres no excuse. The people you meet will end up future employees, VCs, angels or people that can make introductions. You should being following investors on twitter and reading their blogs. Watch for events they speak at or attend. Go to those events and try and meet them.
9
2 points by tophercyll 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Let me start by asking $15k/month in revenue or profit? Do you have capacity to hire?

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.

10
1 point by Darkstar 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
I just read an article (I believe here on HN) about letslunch.com. Try that out for meeting people of interest and influence.
11
3 points by quizbiz 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Fellow Israeli immigrant here. Feel free to ping me. email in profile.

You should seriously consider applying to YC.

Be'hatzlacha

12
9 points by raarky 4 hours ago 1 reply      
so, whats your startup then? :)
13
3 points by vrikhter 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Drop me a line vladik dot rikhter at gmail. Happy to chat and put you in touch with a few VCs and angels that I know.
14
6 points by adlep 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Curious:
How did you get here? Do you have some relatives that sponsored you? Make sure that you CAN legally stay and work in the US before asking for money and starting business in here. If you don't have regulated status, you can always try to find company that will be willing to sponsor you through their H1B work permit program.
15
1 point by cemetric 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Hello, first let me tell you; Your perseverance will definitely help you in business. You're a strong person, I hope you can leave all bad experiences behind you and can take all experience from them that you can.

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.

3
Ask HN: What was your best experience around being fired?
4 points by twidlit 5 hours ago   discuss
4
Ask HN: Is it still worth the effort to learn a (human) language?
10 points by jimmyjim 10 hours ago   7 comments top 7
1
5 points by patio11 9 hours ago 0 replies      
1). Learning Japanese is one of my proudest achievements and pretty much changed the course of my life.

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-¥æœ¬èªžå­¦ç¿'は私の晴れの成果の一つであり、かなり私の人ç"Ÿã®ã‚³ãƒ¼ã‚¹ã‚'変更されています。 2)。翻訳ソフトウェアが優れているが、それは、2つã‚'æ¯"較ã-て、深刻な人ã‚'å-るã"とは困難である実際の人é-"の理解にæ¯"べてそã‚"なに悪くないです。以下ã‚'含む、エヘン、設計ドキュメントã‚'Babelfishingと出荷結果ã‚'インドに高å"è³ªã®ã‚½ãƒ•ãƒˆã‚¦ã‚§ã‚¢ã‚'もたらすだろうと思ったæ"¿å...šã€ç‰¹å®šã®æ-¥æœ¬å·¨å¤§ä¼æ¥­ã§ã¯ç„¡åã€‚とç¬'い、私はGoogleが翻訳ã‚'介ã-てã"れã‚'実行するつもりです

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.

2
7 points by noonespecial 10 hours ago 0 replies      
If you mean "learn" like most kids in American high schools learn another language from a book in order to be "conversational", then I'd say no, machines are (or will soon be) good enough to provide this level of translation.

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.

3
1 point by mduerksen 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Absolutely yes. A new language opens up a new world to you.

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.

4
1 point by melling 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Sure, it's personally very rewarding to be able to talk to someone or read a newspaper in another 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.

http://www.h4labs.com

5
2 points by zkoch 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I think so. I've done a lot of travelling abroad, and as an American who only speaks English, I was always a little bit ashamed that I could only manage one language. The shame was particularly great in poorer areas of Western Africa and India where people that didn't have half the education I did could speak four to five languages.

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.

6
2 points by bobbydesimone 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes. Since you are probably a hacker, learning a new language is as much a new way of thinking as it is a new way of communicating. Remember the first time you learned a functional language and went "holy moly-- I've never thought about programming that way." When you learn a new human language, the same thing happens.

Also, in at least the languages I know, English and Italian, translating technologies do a terrible job. Language is living and complex.

7
1 point by galdosd 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Is it still worth learning calculus now that there's Mathematica?
5
Ask HN: Best place for a startup to hire quality coders
3 points by us 5 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1
1 point by transmit101 5 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're really going to a lot of developer events, and rinsing your network to its fullest extent then I'd suggest keep trying. Assuming you're talking about hiring developers for market rate, then you should have success eventually.

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

2
1 point by pdelgallego 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Have you tried HN who's hiring threads?
3
1 point by SoWink 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Craiglist should be your cheapest and most sure fire bet.
6
Ask HN: Who Is Hiring (For Freelance/Part Time Remote Work) March 2011.
25 points by RDDavies 17 hours ago   1 comment top
1
5 points by benradler 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm always looking for part-timers to help with web development projects on the side. My gigs vary widely, so shoot me an email at ben@benradler.com with a portfolio or resume and we'll talk (:
7
Ask HN: Options to display weather info for world-wide locations?
3 points by sagacity 6 hours ago   1 comment top
8
Ask HN: why is there no competition for LinkedIn?
8 points by petervandijck 13 hours ago   8 comments top 3
1
6 points by derrida 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Because the extent of user interaction is the sign-up process?
3
1 point by flignats 12 hours ago 1 reply      
You're mistaken, Linked.in has a ton of competition. Where don't you see competition? It does compete with facebook. There are also applications developed for FB that deliver similar information and features that linked.in does - although not to the extent. Just today they launched a product in direct competition with the WSJ - pretty much. They compete with other professional networks in the same space .. there is a big list.
9
Ask HN: why is the user page so cryptic?
6 points by shortlived 13 hours ago   5 comments top 3
1
2 points by pclark 5 hours ago 0 replies      
notifo is iPhone/android push notifications for comment replies.

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

2
1 point by argv_empty 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I think minaway and maxvisit are parameters for noprocrast ("no procrastinating" mode), for setting how long you're allowed to keep browsing here and then how long you have to stay away afterwards.
3
1 point by dmg8 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The authors are programmers, so using these sort of abbreviations is probably second nature to them.
10
Ask HN: What's up with Facebook friends liking virus sites?
4 points by paul9290 13 hours ago   5 comments top 5
1
1 point by notahacker 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Hijack apps.

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.

2
3 points by harrisonp 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Man, been wondering the same thing! However, I believe these sites employ some kind of like-hijack as you reach the page. I kind of clicked on one of them. Or not even that, I saw some friend liking this crap, it said the website in the post so I copy-pasted it in the address bar. Saw crap. Left. Safe-checked my profile. Nothing. But like 15 mins later I checked my profile again, bam, there it was. I had liked this friggin crap by directly visiting this site!
Now I can't remember which one as I camped out on the newsfeed and marked all that crap as spam..
3
1 point by bdclimber14 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I usually ignore these type of things until yesterday when I noticed that a very intelligent, technical friend of my had a post like this.
4
2 points by ffumarola 12 hours ago 0 replies      
And the myspacification of Facebook begins.
5
1 point by jpug98 11 hours ago 0 replies      
i've gotten a few of these, and I believe they are hijack apps that send the same message to all of your friends. Interesting too is how they're coming up with messages that make you wonder if it's real or not. In this day and age, you can't even trust a friend in a world that sells access to your information
11
Non-Programmer Applying To YC
3 points by jpug98 11 hours ago   5 comments top 3
1
1 point by maxbrown 10 hours ago 1 reply      
"I was lazy and partied, I admit it."
Don't know that I would mention that in the application. Or post it on the site of the org you're applying to.

"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.

2
1 point by Locke1689 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Even if you're a solid single candidate, evidence seems to suggest that YC strongly disapproves of single founders. Consider finding a technical co-founder before applying. If you won't be writing code you'll need someone to do it anyway and only a moron would build a startup without equity ;)
3
-1 point by Jsarokin 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Go for it.

I like this quote a lot and think its very true.

"Game recognize game"

If you're truly good, they will recognize your potential.

12
Ask HN: I'm going to learn Scheme; any suggestions?
4 points by solipsist 13 hours ago   4 comments top 4
1
1 point by malandrew 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
The obvious choice here is to start with The Little Schemer. After that you can go on to SICP. Another alternative which is not nearly as challenging as SICP is HtDPv2 (How to Design Programs v2). HtDPv2 was written to be used with Racket.

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.

2
1 point by JoachimSchipper 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Scheme is not that hard - I had some trouble internalizing call/cc, but the rest is rather straightforward or fiddly but not really difficult (macros).

That said, I sometimes get the idea that the majority of Scheme code is in Scheme implementations - which put me off the language.

3
1 point by bricestacey 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I learned it from a class. We blazed through the SICP in 15 weeks. I'd advise the same. Use MIT's OpenCourseWare as a guide: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-comput...
4
1 point by spooneybarger 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Scheme is a great language to get going w/ functional programing and lisp type languages. I would suggest using Racket. It is 'batteries included', design for teaching so there is tons of documentation and has support for R5 and R6 versions of scheme.

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.

13
Ask HN: How to get comfortable on the OS X command line?
4 points by shortlived 13 hours ago   8 comments top 3
1
1 point by Terretta 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I have the exact opposite sense of discomfort. I started with System V and BSD 4.3 around the same time, then Solaris and FreeBSD, then OS X. Throughout this, Linux always felt "out in left field". If you look at the UNIX family tree, you'll see why each makes the other feel a little disconnected:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Unix_history-simple.svg

2
1 point by spooneybarger 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Partially because there is some BSD to it. A lot because apple has moved things around. I found it really weird at first. I just had learn the basics and then time made it simpler.
3
1 point by argv_empty 12 hours ago 1 reply      
What things are you looking for that aren't where you expect them to be? And where did you expect them to be?
14
Ask HN - Should I buy an iPad 2?
5 points by visakhcr 1 day ago   7 comments top 6
1
3 points by mathgladiator 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes, and once you get it, you'll be hooked on apps. Expect to spend $5-$30 a month on apps.

$0.99 apps are like mini-muffins ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o-u4IwXkbE ).

2
2 points by timrobinson 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't have a clever reason, other than I want to get one, so I think you should too.

"a few hundred quids" - so you'll be waiting until 25th March when they come out in the UK?

3
2 points by thomasswift 1 day ago 0 replies      
You should. You already know you like it, plus it will be two times as fast as the one you already used. Two Cameras and the snappy cover. Oh and it's thinner!
4
1 point by twinn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Would your life really be better if video watching was a crappier more convenient experience? What if you took that money and scheduled a regular meetup with a friend at a indie movie house where you discuss the movie over coffee afterwords? I value intentional and rich experiences over convenient and therefore cheaper experiences. Some might argue that it's not an either or situation, but I'm lazy and know that I'd choose the convenient (and lamer) option if it required less effort.
5
1 point by HardyLeung 1 day ago 0 replies      
sure, just to experience what a fundamentally new and important class of device feels like. You may even be inspired to develop something that takes advantage of what iPad can do (that other devices can't easily do).
6
1 point by carmen 1 day ago 0 replies      
xbmc works well. playing a movie and still having 90% battery left is impressive. you really should be testing on a tablet of some sort when writing webapps. as hover doesn't exist, certain drag operations may not behave the same, etc
15
Ask HN: Are there any other reasons to accept a PhD offer?
11 points by ToPhDorNotToPhd 1 day ago   8 comments top 3
1
3 points by freshbag 1 day ago 1 reply      
It seems like you're definitely going to get a good experience if you go with this lab. I'm currently enrolled in a grad program myself - this may bias my perspective.

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?

2
2 points by gorrepati 1 day ago 1 reply      
Are you married? If yes, DONT. If no, read on

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...

3
1 point by diwup 1 day ago 2 replies      
As a PhD dropout from an east coast Ivy League school who just turned 24 this year, I would say a PhD isn't worth it if you've already decided not to follow the academia path for the rest of your life.

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.

16
Ask HN: Does anyone use Azure?
5 points by vshlos 15 hours ago   4 comments top 2
1
1 point by vyrotek 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Yep! Our company IActionable.com is running on Windows Azure platform. In fact, I'm writing this comment from the Microsoft campus in Redmond. We are attending a Windows Azure Deep Dive hosted this week.

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.

2
1 point by deniz 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm considering using Azure atm & would love to hear some opinions/limitations. Initial reading is suggesting there will be a lot of configuration to get things going.
17
Ask HN: What load and stress testing services do you use?
7 points by mbesto 22 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
1 point by Travis 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I've used monitis, pingdom, and webmetrics. Pingdom is my fav, but I'm not sure it does a lot of application level load tests.
2
1 point by iworkforthem 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Load Testing: JMeter, Grinder.

Functional Testing: Selenium, Watir, Sahi.

18
Ask HN: Review my startup, tasskr.com
8 points by dan335 1 day ago   14 comments top 7
1
1 point by maxbrown 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I really like: the up-front-and-center screenshot of what the interface looks like, before I even sign up.

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.

2
1 point by euroclydon 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you're really serious about making money on it, then you should do the following:

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."

3
1 point by gadders 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm more of a pencil and paper guy, but at first glance it looks very nice.

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.

Mark

4
2 points by jckay 1 day ago 1 reply      
Aren't there a ton of apps that do this, or something very similar. I did a Google search and found a pretty solid top 25 list http://www.solutionwatch.com/450/25-to-do-lists-to-stay-prod...

I am just curious how this one stands out?

5
1 point by shiftpgdn 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd like to see something to trank time spent on a task. Perhaps in 15 minute increments?
6
1 point by orlandop 1 day ago 1 reply      
Looks great! Like the theme and after a couple of minutes trying it, I can see its uniqueness.

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.

7
1 point by sagacity 1 day ago 0 replies      
19
Tell HN: Smalltalk for the JVM presentation in NYC
4 points by spooneybarger 20 hours ago   discuss
20
Show HN: My inherently "viral" experiment: 3Pics.me
13 points by bryanh 21 hours ago   13 comments top 10
1
4 points by pwp 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I really like the idea, and thought the site was aesthetically pleasing. I don't mean to sound like I am complaining, as this is my first post, but I want to help you improve the site. (I am no expert on viral sites, but I assume the better the site the more likely it will go viral.)

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

2
1 point by JoachimSchipper 19 hours ago 0 replies      
It's been done before, e.g. http://www.okcupid.com/mybestface. Knowing the OKCupid guys, they might have some useful data on their blog...
3
2 points by sga 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I really like the design of the site.

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.

4
1 point by jvdmeij 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Cool idea!

Some feedback:

- 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!

5
1 point by sagacity 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Cool!

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.

6
1 point by bryanh 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Clickables: http://3pics.me/ and here's my voting page: http://3pics.me/1
7
1 point by rguzman 17 hours ago 0 replies      
you should post this on http://reddit.com/r/amiugly
8
2 points by nesquena 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome project bryan! Glad we could be helpful during your first Ruby / Padrino project. Look forward to future projects.
9
1 point by mapster 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I have t a totally new viral concept like this, will top all others, but need a developer to help. PM me :O)
10
1 point by pythonking 13 hours ago 0 replies      
very elegant design man. How did you do the design and create the logo?

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.

21
Show HN: A new, clean, and concise look at weather from My-Cast
5 points by yellowbkpk 19 hours ago   5 comments top 3
1
2 points by marklabedz 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I like it. My first instinct was to click on the radar to expand it (maybe because I'm trying to determine if I'll need a kayak to get to work tomorrow in PHL). I like that the timestamps for the radar frames were converted from GMT/Zulu for me.

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.

2
2 points by Hovertruck 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Hmmm. Is it attempting to geolocate me? If so, it keeps saying I'm in Minneapolis when I'm actually in New York. My first instinct was then to type my location in, but it took me a second since I expected the search box to be so much more prominent (I guess since my typical weather checking approach is: 1. Go to weather.com 2. Type in search box smack in the middle of the page)

Seems very cool, though. I would definitely use it.

3
1 point by yellowbkpk 19 hours ago 0 replies      
22
Show HN: Investy.com - Portfolio Analyzation Tool
24 points by thematt 1 day ago   34 comments top 13
1
9 points by herrherr 1 day ago 1 reply      
My 0.02:
Screenshots, Screenshots, Screenshots :)
2
2 points by thematt 1 day ago 3 replies      
Founder here.

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.

This initial release is just a small subset of what is planned for the product. There's a ton of exciting things planned for the next release, which will really catapult it forward in terms of usefulness.

Would love to get your feedback HN! Positive or negative, it will all be helpful!

3
3 points by dpapathanasiou 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I like the idea, but my vanilla fidelity.com account (i.e., as opposed to the pro active trader account they also offer) already has similar portfolio tools built-in.

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.

4
2 points by DevX101 1 day ago 1 reply      
Out of curiosity, do you work in this industry? What is your proposed marketing plan?
5
1 point by cschmidt 19 hours ago 1 reply      
How many investors only invest in stocks? I personally have more in ETF's and mutual funds than single stocks. How about the bond portion? It seems weird to apply tons of analysis to only a portion of someone's investments.

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".

6
1 point by starpilot 21 hours ago 1 reply      
High fees. The cheapest plan would be $348/year or 3.5% of a $10,000 portfolio. It would have to make that much back to be cost effective. I would emphasize that no subscription is necessary, maybe by changing the wording to "$29 for 30 days"
7
3 points by porter 1 day ago 1 reply      
What does this do that my online broker can't already do for my real portfolio? Or even an invetopedia portfolio?
8
1 point by showerst 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Do you have permission to use those stock exchange logos? Doing it that way makes it look like they're customers of yours, which is probably illegal without their permission.
9
2 points by dagw 23 hours ago 0 replies      
What is "Advanced Data"? You're charging an extra $20 a month for it, but I can't find anywhere that tells me what it actually is and why I'd want to pay extra for it.
10
2 points by philstrong 23 hours ago 1 reply      
the demo needs to say click here for instant demo ... I thought try it now was a signup.

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.

11
2 points by mu100 23 hours ago 1 reply      
First off, congrats on the build, and I think the concept is great. I've used Morningstar in the past and am wondering how your product is different?
12
2 points by sagacity 1 day ago 1 reply      
13
3 points by lean 1 day ago 1 reply      
Great idea. You might want to hire a designer.
23
How to Get PayPal To Freeze Your Account in Four Easy Steps
22 points by jamievayable 1 day ago   5 comments top 4
1
3 points by ig1 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can't say I really blame them, you're in a high-risk business which tends to have lots of credit card chargebacks and you can't guarantee delivery of service. If you went the merchant bank/credit card processor route you'd probably have to put down a substantial deposit.

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)

2
3 points by LiveTheDream 1 day ago 0 replies      
> tens of millions of dollars of revenue we project

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...

3
0 points by daimyoyo 1 day ago 1 reply      
Your solution here is obvious. Several times per week it seems there's a thread here lamenting paypals policy's. My advice to you would be to start a competitor to paypal. (yes they're owned by eBay, but remember that there's potential antitrust issues if they harass you too much or refuse to allow you to integrate your payments widget into the listings.) You certainly aren't alone in your struggle, and were I in your position, that's what I'd do. Just my $0.02.
4
0 points by JigSaw81 1 day ago 0 replies      
Your site looks pretty sketchy. Try to make it look more trustworthy, then re-apply for Payments Pro in 2-3 months. They might reconsider.
24
Ask HN - What's the best language for AST manipulation?
6 points by rch 1 day ago   7 comments top 4
1
4 points by timrobinson 1 day ago 1 reply      
ASTs are trees of nodes. At each level, a node will typically be one out of a range of choices.

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.

2
2 points by daniel-cussen 20 hours ago 0 replies      
The answer is probably Lisp. Whether you use macros or eval, homoiconicity is your friend. Especially if it's 18+ months; you get a lot of leverage from macros in large/long projects, even if you don't use them as the engine of the application.
3
4 points by regularfry 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm having a hard time thinking of a downside to Clojure here...
4
1 point by rch 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here's one: 'automatic dynamic compilation, generating code at run time with the goal of improving application performance.'

http://www.cs.washington.edu/research/projects/unisw/DynComp...

25
Ask HN: Do I hide the fact that I am a sole-founder?
51 points by mryan 4 days ago   42 comments top 24
1
46 points by patio11 4 days ago 3 replies      
Two seconds spent worrying about this issue is two seconds of your life you will never get back. Use whichever is more pleasing to your ear. Your customers do not care about this. No really, they don't.

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.

2
14 points by 6ren 4 days ago 4 replies      
We do. But seriously, think of yourself as representing the company. Use 'I' for yourself as a person, and 'we' for the company: the company isn't actually you.

Recent Business of Software discussion on this very topic: http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?biz.5.834579.1...

3
4 points by eftpotrm 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've never founded a company. But, for over a year, I was the sole IT resource for what was in effect a startup. If I'd gone under a bus, they'd have been in real trouble.

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.

4
6 points by tuhin 4 days ago 0 replies      
If the app is a serious business you are looking forward to, safer to use We. Soon enough you will be more than one employee in that case.

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.

5
6 points by delano 4 days ago 1 reply      
It's never a good idea to be disingenuous. If you plan to run the company on your own, use I. If you can conceive of and are hopeful of building a team, use we.

People that would be turned off by that are not the kind of customers you would want at this stage.

6
4 points by jasondavies 4 days ago 0 replies      
I think it's best to 100% open so that you attract the right people at the stage that you're at. You should read "You're a little company, now act like one": http://blog.asmartbear.com/youre-a-little-company-now-act-li...

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!

7
4 points by feint 4 days ago 0 replies      
No of of course not. I'm a sole founder - I founded Pen.io and a bunch of other stuff. I recently was at the Launch conference. The judges new I was a sole founder and that didn't stop me winning an award and get a bunch of attention from both press and investors. Of course, it might not matter with my app, but even from the sound of yours, I doubt people will worry that much about the people behind it.

If you worry about silly things like that, you won't get anywhere.

8
3 points by xiaoma 4 days ago 0 replies      
Integrity is more important than a small edge from pretending that you're more than one person.

Use "I" or the company name.

9
3 points by yurylifshits 4 days ago 2 replies      
In research papers it is common to use 'we' even in the single-author cases.
10
3 points by adario 4 days ago 0 replies      
No need to lie, just use the company name instead of the royal we. Further, if you need to get more detailed and/ or personal, create a separate blog post on your site as a "message from the founder." In the end no one really cares if they like your site. Back when Pud ran f-ckedcompany.com, a very popular web 1.0 site, everyone assumed he ran it alone, it had no negative effect I could discern. Don't sweat it!
11
4 points by shareme 4 days ago 0 replies      
Be unassuming do not lie, TELL YOUR STORY!

biases: One person founder

12
1 point by melvinram 3 days ago 0 replies      
Why do you need to be specific about how many founders you have? In your story, focus on the problem and the customers. Having a professional website, business cards, grasshopper phone lines, etc will help project the professional image you think you need. However, if people were to ask, I'd be honest. Be proud of what you've accomplished alone. You might loose a few sales but you'll earn those in the future. Authenticity counts.
13
1 point by mkr-hn 4 days ago 0 replies      
A lot of people in your target market like giving independent business people a shot. Those people won't worry much about the number of employees as long as the service is good, and they'll tell others about your service if it's good.
14
1 point by iuguy 4 days ago 0 replies      
It's entirely down to you, I wouldn't be afraid of being a singular smart individual in your firm, lots of other people do it. Peldi was a single person founder and he managed to bootstrap himself to $2 million, from Italy no less - http://balsamiq.com/company
15
1 point by tomstuart 4 days ago 0 replies      
16
2 points by ignifero 4 days ago 0 replies      
Use "we" and refer to your startup as a company because that's what it is (and is going to hopefully grow to be). It also shows a certain humility, like when people write a research paper and refer to themselves as "we". But there are other reasons too: suppose some psycho troll takes aim at your startup for some reason (it has happened in our facebook games) and decides to make your life hell; you 'd rather they did not know you are their only enemy
17
2 points by mikiem 4 days ago 0 replies      
Use "we" for/as the entity that is the company. Use "I" when speaking as yourself. I believe this has been common and accepted behavior for as long as I have ever known. Even if the company is only you for now, your company will eventually be more than just you. Ask your mom this question, forget what she says, and now you are "we". I will reiterate a previous comment.... You have already spent too much time on this... Launch the page now!
18
1 point by bdfh42 4 days ago 1 reply      
All good advice here so far. One additional item - when you get your business cards printed - style yourself something like "Technical Director" (Vice President it it in your part of the world?). It gives you the authority you need with customers and suppliers while implying a whole management board backing you up.
19
1 point by oceanician 4 days ago 0 replies      
I think the main thing to consider is how you are going to provide support. If there's any interaction with customers at all, you will not be able to cope / provide good service as a one man outfit as you go from (perhaps) 10 customers to 1000. I think bigger companies recognise this. It doesn't mean you can't do it though. You just have to be clear that they're not buying support. Either via email, phone, or in person. It either works for them, or it doesn't. You can do that as a one man company.
20
1 point by herval 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm also sole founder - one thing I can say is that customers may really not care if you're alone on it, as long as you provide a great pre-post sales experience (which is harder when you're solo, anyway).

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...)

21
1 point by fleitz 4 days ago 0 replies      
A/B test it, which ever leads to more sales, use that.
22
8 points by chipocabra 4 days ago 0 replies      
a/b test it.
23
1 point by cheez 3 days ago 0 replies      
Depending on the market segment and mission critical status, no one cares. In fact, people may actually like it. I make no effort to hide that it is just me and my customers include EA, AT&T, other big companies.
24
1 point by HyprMusic 4 days ago 0 replies      
If it's a back story, then there's nothing to suggest you haven't brought more people on board since.
26
Ask HN: How do tech startups get funding before a revenue model is developed?
7 points by jtesp 1 day ago   7 comments top
1
4 points by petervandijck 1 day ago 1 reply      
Traction.

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.

27
Ask HN: How long did you stuck with your startup before it is profitable?
41 points by iworkforthem 4 days ago   41 comments top 14
1
12 points by patio11 3 days ago 2 replies      
BCC was profitable within about a month of conception and has been since then.

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.

2
22 points by paraschopra 3 days ago 0 replies      
It depends on what you define as startup and what you define as profitable. Visual Website Optimizer beta was launched in December 2009, I quit my full time job in March 2010 (yay, it will be one full year soon!) and then launched paid plans in May 2010. Within first week, sales of VWO >> my previous salary. And that's how I define the startup as profitable.
3
6 points by bane 4 days ago 2 replies      
I've worked at a few startups in the past and can give you this history:

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!

4
7 points by matt1 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm currently working on two web apps:

Preceden [1], 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 [2], 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:

http://www.mattmazur.com/2011/03/february-in-review-life-tra...

[1] http://www.preceden.com

[2] http://www.jmockups.com

5
5 points by WillyF 3 days ago 0 replies      
I lost money the first year. I was profitable in name only the second year. I made a profit that would almost cover my rent the third year. Now I'm in my 4th year, and I'm actually making a living. January and February covered all of my expected business expenses for the year. I never thought it would take as long as it did, but when revenue really started to grow, it came as a pretty big surprise.
6
5 points by mistermann 4 days ago 1 reply      
The one I've invested in lost $500k last year - I'm personally ready to cut the losing half of it loose if we can't learn to spend our money more wisely.
7
6 points by oziumjinx 4 days ago 2 replies      
Bootstrapped the entire operation for three years before it started generating any revenue. Took about 5 months from turning on the monetization aspect before it broke even month to month...We're netting about $3k profit each month now.
8
6 points by petervandijck 4 days ago 1 reply      
3 years, then I realized it wasn't going anywhere I wanted to go, so I sold it. Wasn't profitable.
9
2 points by jasonlotito 4 days ago 0 replies      
About a year and a half. 4-5 months into it, we pivoted quickly (back before anyone called it pivoting). We had investors, and mostly living off "ramen noodles." At 10 months in, we turned it on to make money. I still remember the fun of getting our first paying customer, and then checking everything over and over again to make sure everything went well. It wasn't until late spring of next year that we started seeing real progress and upward momentum, and could support and our operation without needing investment.
10
6 points by ian_h 3 days ago 0 replies      
4 years in as a bootstrapped one-person product before sufficient profitability to reinvest and take a salary/dividend (my definition of profitability).

Bootstrapping and being just one person made it feel so much longer than I had hoped when starting out.

11
3 points by dralison 3 days ago 1 reply      
Last hit for me: launched solo in 1998, self-sustaining though I didn't make any money personally (kept folding it back in, worked programming contracts to live), got angel funding in 2000 and popped staff to 14, first profitable month in March 2001. Became consistently profitable in October 2001 and never again went into the red. Sold to a venture firm in 2006.

Current biz: launched in 2009. Still working on profitability. This is a long tail business so I've learned I need to be patient.

12
4 points by spoiledtechie 4 days ago 0 replies      
Im 3 years in and still not ramen profitable. Sadly, I have been working hard at it for 3 years and still no where near where I want it to be. But I am only one person.
13
1 point by herval 3 days ago 0 replies      
My first startup did sales force automation for palm devices - profitable after 6 years (left it after 2), but still haven't seen any explosive growth till today (9 years already). Became a lifestyle business for those that stayed

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)

14
2 points by Keyframe 3 days ago 0 replies      
3 years here too.. I guess there is a truth in what people say 'it takes 3 years to turn green'.
       cached 11 March 2011 15:05:01 GMT