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Ask HN: Why can't I make as much as I make?
168 points by nopassrecover 4 hours ago   80 comments top 34
94 points by edw519 3 hours ago replies      
Actually, it's pretty simple: supply and demand.

In the B2B world, there is a stunning demand for good software everywhere I go. Two and three year project queues are the norm. They have trouble finding anyone to get the work done, whether it's employees, contractors, or vendors, either for services or products.

Perfect example right now: I know of two large companies whose customers are demanding that they be able to enter their orders on the internet. Imagine, in 2011, large companies struggling to find people to get e-commerce working!

OTOH, I read about what other programmers are doing here on hn, and 90% of the time, my first thought is, "Why? Who would pay for that?"

To make it on your own, you have to stop building what you think people will pay for and start building what they actually will pay for. Huge difference.

Aside: I remember talking about something very simliar a few weeks ago here:


48 points by thaumaturgy 3 hours ago 1 reply      
> Excluding outliers such as Gates/Zuckerberg, is the inference that a good hacker can make more from the market directly actually valid?

No, it is not.

It makes a huge number of assumptions without bothering to mention them: that the hacker is equally skilled at public relations, marketing, business management, financial management, and on and on. Running a business -- even a relatively simple one -- requires much more than, "sit down and write great code for 12 hours a day, six days a week."

As the business grows towards that $3 million / year figure, the number of business-y things that have to be successfully managed also grows.

Yes, there are stories of people who have done it (e.g., Minecraft) -- and yet, on further investigation, you often find that there's a lot more to the story than there appears to be (Angry Birds). Still, these are the exceptions, the breakout successes, and it's as foolish to go into business for yourself expecting this kind of outcome as it is to walk into a casino and expect to walk out as the big winner of the month.

I think that trying to distill the entire process down into whether or not you're a "good hacker" ignores all of the other talents and luck that are required, and also really diminishes the perception that any business acumen is required for that kind of success.

11 points by neild 1 hour ago 0 replies      
2. Assume a hacker can in turn be significantly more productive working for themselves.

I'm a hacker. I work at a company that employs sales people, marketers, and support staff. The software I work on makes my company money--far more than my salary. Without sales, marketing, and support, however, that software would generate no revenue at all.

I could quit my job and go into business myself making the same software. Now I need to do my own sales, marketing, and support, none of which I'm any good at, and I have no time to work on development.

Working for a company makes me significantly more productive than working for myself, because I can specialize in the things I'm good at.

This doesn't mean that I might not do better financially by going into business for myself. I absolutely, positively would not do better technical work, since I'd be constantly distracted by non-technical tasks.

14 points by Maro 3 hours ago 1 reply      
In my experience, it is NOT valid in general. If you simply go out on the marketplace and say, "Hey, I'm a good hacker, give me a contract job!", then clients will calculate your worth by taking the $80K figure. (Clients are much better businessman than you are, much better negotiators, and usually need you much less than you need the contract.) But, you won't have 8 hours worth of work per day, so you'll go broke.

The trick is to be more than just a general-purpose "hacker". You have to be a "Security expert" or an "iPhone SEO expert" or an "Oracle DBA"... The trick is, you have to know a market segment, and have a good understanding of what the business value of your skill/work is, and then you can charge based on that.

And of course good networking, good people skills, good self-management skills, etc. Stuff that "hackers" usually don't care about.

10 points by michaelochurch 2 hours ago 1 reply      
First of all, a lot of software projects fail. A successful software project is worth millions, but a failed one is worth zero or less, at least in terms of value created for immediate capture. A well-organized and large company can squeeze value (wisdom, code) out of the failed projects but small companies (which are often single software projects) just go out of business.

Second, there's risk. Capitalist society always allocates most of the reward to those who take the monetary risk, not those who do the work. From a humanist perspective, it's unfair because you are taking more risk with every job you take-- you're risking your career and health, they're just risking money, which they have in abundance-- but that's how the game works. If you don't like it, become politically active and try to change it.

Third, "business people" are better at capturing surplus value. It's about leverage, negotiation, and putting oneself in the right chair.

All that said, I don't think an unproven programmer is worth anything near $3 million per year, or even 1/20 of that. The worst programmers are not very skilled and are a liability-- negatively productive. I would say that base salaries are about right-- $50,000 for an unproven beginner, $80,000 for a top beginner, $120,000 at the mid-range, and $200,000 for experts-- but that companies should extend much, much more in the way of employee profit-sharing and creative control. Where programmers get stiffed is not in their compensation (which is quite fair) but in their lack of autonomy and "say" in how they do their jobs; often they are held back and prevented from unlocking their talents by meddling "executives" of mediocre intellect and vision. That is what should change, not base salaries per se.

20 points by Emore 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of this article in the Economist: "Why do firms exist?":

"His central insight was that firms exist because going to the market all the time can impose heavy transaction costs. You need to hire workers, negotiate prices and enforce contracts, to name but three time-consuming activities. A firm is essentially a device for creating long-term contracts when short-term contracts are too bothersome."

EDIT: link: http://www.economist.com/node/17730360

7 points by mgkimsal 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting question, and a premise that was put together by someone on the 'other side' (someone who already made it). On paper it sounds valid, but it's still much more difficult than it looks.

I do think part of it has to do with 'thinking small'. If you are shooting to make $100k, you'll be looking for activities to engage in to make $8k/month. But there's a lot of time and effort involved in getting anything started, and as such, the net result of shooting for $8k/month may be significantly less.

Many people are looking to replace a wage rather than start a business, which would almost necessarily entail growing beyond a one person org, even if only by using freelance help as needed. The effort involved in creating reproducible systems (market research, customer acquisition, product development, support, etc), as oppposed to just hacking on code, is far greater than most people realize. Not that it can't be done, of course.

9 points by scotty79 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"Money for valuable effort" - world does not work like that.

World is built of cash pipes and 99% people just tap into them (salary) or builds their own thin pipes (lifestyle business?). 1% of clever people from time to time manages to build new fat pipe but who and when it's almost due to sheer luck. Experience and smarts don't help you win the lottery, they just buy you a ticket.

When you work for yourself you make an attempt at building new pipe but all you can usually do is build thin pipe and even if you are draining 100% of it it's still less than what you could get if you just tapped to someone else's fat pipe, even if your work doesn't do anything to make the pipe fatter or even harms it. It's most apparent for people in financial sector but I believe it's true for everybody.

That's why most people have salary and try to build something own after hours. This way they are getting a shot at building own cash pipe while still not passing on opportunity at draining someone else's fat pipe.

Oh and it's much easier to widen already fat pipe that to build your own as fat as the amount of the widening. That's probably the answer to your question.

1 point by nbuggia 1 minute ago 0 replies      
I think the gap is not how much value the hacker generates, it is how much value they get from the corporation.

If you are independent, than you loose out on all the value the corporation provides above & beyond your salary. Things like:
- Taxes on revenue. The corporation pays state/federal taxes on the income you help generate. You would have to pay this on your own, and it can be expensive.
- Limited legal liability. They have lawyers and deep pockets to dissuade lawsuits, and fight them if necessary. Most corporations protect individual employees. You would have to pay for this on your own.
- Sales force. Demand generation is very expensive
- Healthcare. Yeah, very expensive.
- Office space.
- Training, travel, budgets.
- Hardware, etc.

Basically, take everything captured under "General administrative expenses" and divide that by the number of employees in the company. This is the amount of value each hacker gets above & beyond their pay.

This gap isn't insurmountable, and you probably don't need all the services, but it explains much of the 'barrier to entry' for hackers going rouge.

2 points by dabent 42 minutes ago 0 replies      
"working for themselves"

Maybe I'm reading too much into that, but if you're thinking of going it alone, you might not get very far. Gates, Zuckerberg and most of the rest had others they teamed with from the start. Pg is very big on co-founders for that reason. Smart hackers have made 3 million a year (and up) by teaming with other smart hackers.

There's a difference between a freelancer and a startup, and in the "How to Make Wealth" I've always assumed pg is referring to small teams making things many people want (startups), because that's the theme of so much of his writing.

2 points by crasshopper 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
1. Salaried people demand very strict floors on their earnings. It's completely unrealistic in business. Imagine saying you won't open a toy store unless someone guarantees that you will make at least $XX,000 in the first year (with guaranteed pay rises each year).

2. Coming up with good business ideas is hard.

3. Your wage in an office environment is strongly related to your ability to harm the bottom line by leaving, your ability to play politics, and your credentials. Your wage as an entrepeneur is entirely related to your ability to get customers to pay you or to get investors to invest in you. In my experience the two skill sets are negatively correlated.

4. In addition to being exposed to and responsible for the entire risk distribution, costs that a corporation spreads out over many people (incl. health insurance) are focused narrowly on an entrepreneur. Remember how you used to be able to make phone calls from the office and still be on the clock?

5. Lastly, hackers' skills are often complementary to other parts of a business but not sufficient to establish a new business with ≥ marginal value. {Sales ⋃ hackers} > {sales} + {hackers}.

There are many good reasons to believe that hackers can make more money freelancing than working for a single company. Starting a new company is a totally different proposition.

7 points by csomar 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The question is: Is the hacker going to hack or run a business?

If he is going to hack only (considering he has found someone who is going to pay based on his output), then he should be able to make what he actually worths.

If he is going to start a business, then he is going to become an Entrepreneur. And that means, he requires a hell lot more of skills like Copywriting, Sales, Customer care, Networking, SEO... (just to name a few)

3 points by jdavid 3 hours ago 3 replies      
I think this is proven at companies like Google, and Nintendo.

If you divide total revenue of the company amongst all of its employees, Google still makes say 1-2M per employee, and Nintendo has been reported to earn in revenue 2-3M per employee during the heyday of the Wii.

The key to making this work though is being able to have a product market fit. Or in the HN religion, 'make things people want'.

Secondly I think there are a great number of inefficiencies that can occur if say a product could earn you $3M per engineer/ hacker and you are able to get at-least $40k per engineer/ hacker, as you work to narrow that delta you will refine your nitch, and craft.

If however the revenue does not scale, meaning, it's not easy enough to grab something for your poor/ unskilled efforts, I think it's hard to wiggle your way to the top and reach $3M per person.

I think this is why HN/ VCs tends to fund people in strong existing markets which are begging for an update.

It's too expensive to educate someone on your value, and to build the market, even though there are some entrepreneurs that are really good at that.

4 points by brianbreslin 3 hours ago 0 replies      
most hackers do the following (from my knowledge of my friends)
- devalue their self-worth (I can't really charge $200 for 15min of my work right?)
- waste their time on things they find intriguing (solving problems not many have), that aren't ultimately profitable
- coast through easy non-challenging jobs which leaves them w/less time to strike out on their own.
- lack of business acumen (business acumen != tech acumen)

I have a brilliant friend who is helping his friends work on a potentially dead end project because "I don't have anything else to work on"
you also forget these outliers have other factors helping them: solving common problems, existing connections (gates + IBM connection), etc.

6 points by petervandijck 3 hours ago 2 replies      
The company has a mix of activities which end up generating money.

(developing + x + y + z + brand + existing clients + ...) = $$$

If you leave that company, and develop 3 times more efficiently, you'll still be missing those other activities and you might not make any money.

(developing x 3) = :(

Related is the observation that, in most large companies that I've observed, a large amount of people do "work" that actually contributes almost nothing, and if you take into account their salary, has a negative contribution. Still, those companies are profitable.

(developing + x + y + z - a - b) = $$$

2 points by apaulsmith 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
The amount you can capture value in a 'big company' depends a lot on the industry you are in.

If you are in the right niche, say finance then A.N Other Big Bank will pay 1,000 to 1,200 USD per day for good programmers and more like 1,200 to 1,500 USD per day for excellent programmers.

Now if you are capturing 300K USD per year for your programming skills jumping into a start-up looks like a significantly higher risk proposition than at 80K USD per year.

This is a point that I kind of feel is missed a lot on HN. One of the reasons you see less start-ups in NYC, LDN, etc is simply because it's too easy to make good enough money that the hunger simply doesn't exist.

4 points by thailandstartup 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There's three factors I can think of -

Number one is that it is an uneven distribution. Some hackers might make millions, some will make nothing.

Number two is that hackers may focus too much on doing the work they understand and enjoy, when all parts of a business need attention (like sales and networking).

Number three is that 3 million just sounds a bit on the high side.

2 points by synnik 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"should be able to do work worth about $3 million a year."

Note that he says you can DO work WORTH $3 million. That quote says nothing about actually selling that work, or getting it in the first place.

2 points by richcollins 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Assume a hacker can in turn be significantly more productive working for themselves

You might be more productive working for yourself but that doesn't necessarily translate to making more money/wealth. Companies are like big socialist states where the productivity of the few is transferred to the rest. Most of the wealth in companies was created when the early team figured out how to make money. Figuring out how to make money is incredibly hard to do. It's probably a better bet (financially) to siphon off this wealth than to try to go out and create more yourself.

7 points by clueless123 3 hours ago 0 replies      
IMHO, Hackers are usually very poor negotiators. (I assume because we are fact based thinkers)

In life, you never get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.

2 points by wh-uws 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I would also add that there are unfortunately alot of hackers that don't understand a pretty central business rule.

Closed mouths don't get fed.

They never ask for or seek market wages. And the business people they seems to fall into the hands of get wide eyed and/or start slick talking (because to them they've found a sucker) and next thing you know they're working crazy hours and taking a low wage because "they're just coding" "some else's" "big idea (TM)"

Many say things like "I don't really care about money." or "I can wait a couple of years."

And those things can be true but if they were a bit braver and spoke up or found employment with a group who appreciates their talents they would get paid better.

6 points by hung 3 hours ago 1 reply      
The simple explanation does not factor in economies of scale. You might make a good wage working for someone else because they have some kind of market advantage. Would 100 mini-Googles that were 1/100th the size of Google make as much money? No, because their advantage (at least in selling ads) has to do with the fact that they have such a high percentage of the inventory.

I'm not saying some hackers can't make more than their salary's worth by going alone, but the argument is way too simplified to account for the real world.

12 points by devspade 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I think one of the issues is sales/customer generation. Most hackers are good at that - hacking. Not at selling themselves, their services or generating leads and customers.
1 point by peat 1 hour ago 1 reply      
There are a few ways to look at this problem, but the fundamental skill set for being independent isn't necessarily your hacking ability -- it's your ability to find a market, and successfully sell your talents and/or a product.

I can speak from over ten years of freelancing and working for startups: learning how to communicate effectively with non-technical people, understanding how to sell your services and/or products, and figuring out what market your skills are most valuable in ... that is the trick to making good money.

I've picked up a few good habits, and it has significantly increased my income, but fundamentally there are only 24 hours in a day, and one of me.

Here's my take: a highly skilled, professional, experienced, and independent freelance software developer can bring home $150k in a good year. That's nearly $200,000 before taxes, and represents an hourly rate of about $150 to $200 per hour (there's a fair amount of of downtime for freelancers and consultants).

You won't make $200 per hour selling your services as a developer to SMEs and startups (the typical market for freelance developers). That kind of money is usually reserved for solving significant problems for big businesses.

On the other hand, can make an equivalent amount at a lower rate by starting starting your own development agency and hiring other developers ... and sales people ... and administrative staff. But that means you're not really out on your own, and your value is in successfully managing people -- not being a "smart hacker working very hard."

The other way to make a significant amount of money is to build a product that people love. This isn't an easy task. I'd venture that a significant number of people on HN have actually tried building their own products.

There's a very good reason why hard working and smart software developers aren't making $3 million each year -- it's because it's extremely hard to do, requires a skill set that is far broader than simply writing good code, and also involves a lot of luck (being the right person, at the right time, in the right place). We happen to have a skill that is in demand and pays well, but that does not make us brilliant business people.

All that aside: working for yourself can be an extremely rewarding experience in and of itself, and over time you will make a good amount of money as you hone your craft and business skills. I love what I do, and I strongly encourage others to try it out if they're interested in the independent work- and lifestyle.

tl;dr? Independent, smart, hard working hackers can make good money, but the $3M / year figure is bullshit.

2 points by revorad 2 hours ago 0 replies      
why does it seem most hackers struggle to capture even half their regular wage from the market directly?

Marketing and selling is hard. And programmers have varying degrees of build-it-and-they-will-come syndrome.

I'm trying to help solve that problem with my new project. Please consider signing up if you want to sell more - http://laughingcomputer.com.

2 points by shareme 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Its skewed by a certain economic bias..what bias?

You see software units once the first one created has zero cost of duplication as far as producing that next unit to sell to someone..so that economic bias is the assumption that the smart hacker is able to produce a desirable product or service that one can monetize..

Let me give you an example:

The average right now for 2d games on android market is 20k in downloads over 3 months. At $1.99 that works out to about $10,000 net every 3 months from one game. And that is recurring income. Most 2d games take one month to code, thus realistically doing 5 games could net over $100,000 per year after taxes!

1 point by natch 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess he's just simplifying things, but the more complex truth is that a hacker's worth to the company is unlikely to so neatly correspond to a salary figure like that. (BTW that salary figure is about 10 years out of date; hackers are making more like 130-150k now, if only salary is considered). I've had years where my worth was 1x my salary, 10x my salary, and 100x my salary, based on unique contributions where I took the initiative to do things that most others would not have. I suspect most of us have good years like that, but they partly happen because of the context in which you work. It would have been unlikely for me to have such big contributions without being part of a team that was also contributing a lot.
3 points by huetsch 3 hours ago 1 reply      
That 3 million figure is operating under the assumption that the hacker already has good market research (he is building something people want) and distribution (he is able to get it to those people). Those are the costs you are paying for when you work for a large company.

If the hacker does not have those two things, it is quite likely that he will generate significantly less than 3 million dollars of value.

1 point by antidaily 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Network, network, network... because you're not a salesperson. Maybe you have those traits but most hackers don't. So you must rely upon being good at what you do and letting people who have work know you're reliable and available so they will funnel you work.

If you're not interested in consulting or freelance, network anyway. You'll need a list of contacts to tell about your startup.

2 points by EwanToo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I think that's a pretty gross oversimplification of what Paul says, that quote is from pretty much right at the top of the essay, and he then goes on to spend several pages saying why it's not that simple.

He especially isn't talking about lone hackers working for themselves, but ones working at startups - the very first line of the essay is "If you wanted to get rich, how would you do it? I think your best bet would be to start or join a startup".

The difference between a lone hacker working for a per-day rate and a startup is the lone hacker doesn't have a value "multiplier", where 1 days work can be resold many times, whether through product sales or something else.

And for the lone hacker who is building a product, well, most hackers are really bad at doing a sales job...

1 point by veyron 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The rule of thumb is that the company expects to generate profits at least one order of magnitude larger than your salary. Hence I would say the 80K hacker should be able to do work worth about 1 M a year to the company.

This gets back to PG's second assumption: "Assume a hacker can in turn be significantly more productive working for themselves."

Most hackers are not more productive working for themselves for a multitude of reasons, some of which have been discussed (i.e. lack of marketing focus) but I think that most hackers who work for someone else hone very specific skills that are suited to the task at hand, which build value for the companies they are working for, but those skills arent necessarily valued in the marketplace.

1 point by epynonymous 2 hours ago 0 replies      
as a poor man, i've learned that there are no shortcuts in life. as an optimistic poor man, i believe that 80k can indeed be re-valued to 3m, but not overnight, and certainly there are barriers and heavy risks associated. so this is where you really need to dig deep and figure out the truth behind all of this--are you just looking for a shortcut or do you really enjoy the path to potential enlightenment?
1 point by jcampbell1 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It is absurd that a smart hacker is 30x better than a mediocre hacker. I consider myself slightly above average, and I look at the smartest hackers' code on github, and it is not 30x better at delivering customer value than mine. Maybe 2x at best. Many times the code delivers 1% of the value of my code because it is full of architecture astronat garbage that I am not smart enough to write.
1 point by vlokshin 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's because most engineers stare at the feet of a client when talking to them, and people with money (that don't understand tech) don't like that.

Simple as that.

Tech - Normal liaisons will (hopefully) be a growing market in coming times. I'm being selfish in saying that :)

Ask HN: Review my start-up
6 points by miriamglassman 31 minutes ago   4 comments top 4
1 point by atehleb2 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
really dislike the sample call..sorry
the caller wasnt completely sure what to talk about..and was stumbling..have a nice call that the caller has prepared for properly..and one that reflect all aspects of your company..from professionalism to using the right flattery technique..not using the same words again and again...make the sample call bulletproof
It will buy you your customers, invest in it more
Regarding marketing, youll have to be creative in targeting specific areas such as surprise a friend, surprise your wife/husband, team building etc, researching similar areas and looking at all the data to see which kind of people are interested should help you a lot. Your collected data is your best friend
2 points by mikerhoads 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
I do not understand the demand for this service so I would have a hard time analyzing this too much.

One thing that sticks out at me, your masthead banner is a dorky guy making a dorky face holding a phone. It should be an attractive male or female (preferably one of each) making a genuinely nice smile. You want the person to look like something that average guy or girl would actually want to receive a telephone call. I would not ever want to receive a phone call from your current model for any reason.

1 point by ashishg 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
Feels like there's no hook. One time use, and that's it.
1 point by RexM 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
The first thing I think of is using this to prank friends... it's like a gag gift at spencer's gifts.
Ask HN: Non-hacker doctor wanting to start a health startup. What should I know?
7 points by drthrowaway 47 minutes ago   8 comments top 7
1 point by arn 2 minutes ago 0 replies      

Former physician (nephrologist) here. I quit medicine in 2008. I find your question a little confusing. Like others I question why you want to learn how to code. I mean, I guess it comes down to what your plan is. I realize we are on hacker news but startup doesn't always equate software company.

Uptodate was started by a Burton Rose, a nephrologist. I don't know the history of that business, but I doubt he sat down and coded the website himself.

Presumably, the value of you working on a startup is related to your medical background, and the expertise that entails. Not spending long hours of not-much-free-time trying to learn how to become a mediocre programmer. I don't see how your changing the world is going to be based on your programming skills.

The converse situation would also make little sense. "I'm a skilled programmer of age 35 who wants to create a medical record start up. I'd like to learn how to diagnose patients in my free time..."

2 points by freerobby 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
If you're reasonably strong in mathematics, you can learn to code basic concepts pretty quickly. Unfortunately, there's not shortcut to learning to code _well_. But that's okay - at a super early stage, being able to assemble a prototype that will never go live could still be very valuable.

That said, I'm not sure learning to code is the best use of your time. Given how murky health care is, an inside knowledge of the industry should be immensely valuable to a startup, especially when it comes to demonstrating formidability and landing early biz dev relationships. You might be better off working on on the ins and outs of daily business, inbound marketing and fundraising, so that you can support your team while they build whatever it is you set out to build.

1 point by bhousel 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
Are you in the NYC area? If so, email me using the contact info in my profile. We may be able to work together on something.
1 point by znt 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
Try learning at least a bit of coding so that you can communicate clearly when you find a technical co-founder. Also preparing a document or something similar to introduce domain specific terms to the potential technical co-founders should be useful.
2 points by gharbad 34 minutes ago 1 reply      
Do you want to create a product to serve a market, or do you want to learn to code? These, while related, are very disparate problems.

I would suggest you find a technical founder that shares your vision for wanting to help make people's (hopefully the niche you're aiming at) lives easier.

You have experience that many (almost all) hackers lack: you have real experience working in a field and have identified a product/market that people want/need. Focus on that. Build user stories on what you want to create. Make diagrams of the interactions. Feed your vision to someone you respect that can make it real.

Unless you are extremely interested in the core of technology, you will likely find writing up a completed product exceptionally difficult. Writing code can be difficult, but it can be even more tedious. I'm not sure I have any way to express exactly how tedious many of the tasks that go into a release really are. This is why shipping a title is so important in some fields (eg: games). It is also why it is so important to find a technical founder who deeply cares about the market segment you're after.

1 point by geekam 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
>>__whether doing such a thing would be feasible at my age (learning to code, etc), and whether my current educational background and training would be sufficient a contribution to a founding team__

Last time I checked, this field had no age bar. Honestly, you're most welcome to shake things up. If you have the vigor, which your post says you do, you can do it. Also, the support from communities like HN is amazing and worth giving a try.

HN also has a contractor list https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AlD_6iEb8Ed9dGs3clV...

1 point by mw63214 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
A strong relationship with someone who knows every bit of the regulatory system involved with health care would be a good idea too.
Ask HN: Where would an ambitious techie emigrate to?
3 points by JanezStupar 27 minutes ago   1 comment top
1 point by markstansbury 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'd imagine that you could get yourself to the bay area if you went back to school for an advanced degree. I don't know if that's your path, but you could use that as a foot in the door.
Want to Hack on Facebook Analytics?
3 points by hnthrowaway42 1 hour ago   1 comment top
1 point by ultrasaurus 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
It seems there's Facebook analyticsporn on Hacker News almost every other day (I'm looking at demographics vs advertising prices [1]). You came to the right place (if Ruby was one of my top 3 languages, I'd apply).

[1] http://euri.ca/2011/04/11/facebook-advertising-prices-part-1...

Ask HN: A Taxonomy of Startup Strategies
9 points by bendtheblock 5 hours ago   6 comments top 3
1 point by gyardley 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Without agreeing or disagreeing - I have to run, so I can't think about it in depth - why are you interested in startup taxonomy? What do you hope to get from it?

Not meant to be negative in any way - I'm curious.

1 point by Hisoka 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Wouldn't DropBox be considered more of a web app rather than infrastructure?

Some companies also are a cross-breed between some of them such as SEOMoz(content + web app).

1 point by messel 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Perhaps a better name would be a taxonomy of startup strategies. One startup may switch or select several strategies depending on it's size and market. I'm interested in seeing this list expand if you pursue it. Please send me a url to a destination where you'll further develop it. (messel at gmail dot com)
Ask HN: Termsheet for Start Fund
4 points by anothermike 5 hours ago   1 comment top
1 point by danielayele 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think the actual term sheet has been released publicly but heres a summary of the terms: http://www.startupcompanylawyer.com/2011/01/31/what-are-the-...
Ask HN: Help me open source my existing "Github for music" startup?
39 points by anulman 21 hours ago   17 comments top 5
2 points by beaumartinez 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Although the submission you speak of was deleted, its discussion thread wasn't[1].

YouPhonics certainly sounds like a good idea, capturing the "social" aspect of GitHub. I assume it allows you to mash-up and remix peoples tracks? That would be killer, and I'm sure people using services such as SoundCloud[2] to host their tracks would quickly migrate to it. (If you have the time, post an guest login here for us to demo it.)

I second rch's motion[3] to GitHub YouPhonics' code•even if it is ugly and hacky (depending on your level of perfection, whose code isn't?!). If anything, you'd make all the effort you put into it even more fruitful.

[1] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2429930
[2] http://soundcloud.com/
[3] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2430432

2 points by k-mcgrady 20 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a pretty cool idea. I'm sure DJ's and artists creating remixes would find it really useful. I don't know how much help I would be specifically but sticking the project on GitHub sounds like a good way to get some traction.

If you get it going I know I would definitely use it (and if I can help with any of the coding I will).

1 point by rch 21 hours ago 1 reply      
How about creating youphonics as an org on github?
I'd look for something to help out with, given a public repo.
1 point by dmounce 19 hours ago 1 reply      
It'd definitely be cool to see YouPhonics open sourced. There are a decent number of desktop-based OSS out there that do similar things, but not usually polished, and certainly nothing I know of that's web based.

I'd love to help out however I can.

1 point by choxi 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: Do you have a "Terms of Service"/"Terms of Use" on your web project?
11 points by blhack 15 hours ago   6 comments top 5
5 points by martey 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Automattic has Creative Commons licensed Terms of Service and Privacy Policy documents available (i.e. http://en.wordpress.com/tos/ ). They are CC-BY-SA licensed, which means that you can use them on commercial projects as long as your document is similarly licensed.
1 point by HerraBRE 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Having a ToS and Privacy Policy were a requirement before I could hook http://pagekite.net/ up with a payment processor - you can't take people's money unless there's a clear statement of what they are (and aren't) getting for their money. Refund policies, things like that.
1 point by DeepSeaRaisin 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm generally paranoid about such things, so I intend to have the Terms and Privacy Policy all set prior to a public launch. Whether or not this is a good approach... no idea. The peace of mind is worth it for me though, since I'm a worrier.

I wanted to ensure that I was as thorough as possible, so I brought up the process during my first (free) consultation with a lawyer. To minimize the billable hours, the lawyer recommended I piece them together myself and then just send it to him for any modifications as necessary. I'm just about done with mine and hope to send them off in the next day or so. It will probably cost more than I'd prefer at this stage, but the cost of getting nailed in a legal issue when such an agreement could possibly protect me would likely be higher. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself. :)

It probably wouldn't hurt to look through the Terms of your competitors to get a feel for what others in your space are covering in their legal docs. You might also be able to buy some standard templates, although who knows how well they'd actually hold up.

1 point by revorad 10 hours ago 0 replies      
When I started, I emailed the founder of a well-known company, asking him if I could copy his ToS and adapt it to my site. He had no issues and said he had done something similar when he started and sought legal help only a bit later when he had some contacts and money.
1 point by andymurd 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The UK's Business Link provides sample documents for terms of use, privacy policy, disclaimer etc. I generally make a few edits and then use them as soon as a site goes live.


Ask HN: What do you dislike most about HackerNews?
6 points by ericingram 59 minutes ago   4 comments top 3
2 points by askar 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
A better UI...highlight the poster's comment...categorize posts for quick focused reading...simple search...read/unread indicator...and a few more....
2 points by eiji 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
Anonymity of up- and downvotes, and the subsequent distrust.
3 points by allwein 43 minutes ago 1 reply      
Irrelevant "Ask HN" posts.
Ask HN: Summer Internships in the Bay Area?
68 points by Jarred 19 hours ago   33 comments top 21
9 points by bkrausz 15 hours ago 1 reply      
We are!!

Company Name: GazeHawk

Company Size: 4

Company URL: http://www.gazehawk.com/

Position: (a) Web Developer or (b) Blogger

Contact Email: jobs@gazehawk.com

Skills Needed: (a) JS/Python/PHP or (b) either statistics or UX plus writing (basically you run cool eye tracking studies and blog about them).

Both internships paid, open to possible full-time position after if you're interested.

8 points by dshankar 15 hours ago 3 replies      
Company Name: NowJS

Company Size: 3 founders

Company URL: nowjs.com

Position: Software Engineering Intern (+full time/part time positions avail), working on core development on NowJS and distributed web architectures

Contact Email: team@nowjs.com

Skills Needed/Wanted: JavaScript experience


- Cool project

- Experienced, fun founders

- Great pay (free lunch/dinner/swag/monitors etc.)

- Weekly team events (kayaking, gokart, paintball etc)

- Beautiful office in SF

- Rewarding, enjoyable summer

This is one of the best paying and most rewarding internships you'll get at a startup. If you're interested in starting your own startup, this is a great way to get started. Seriously just chat with us if you're remotely interested. Or even call me...

3 points by newy 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Company Name: Opzi
Location: SOMA, SF
Company URL: http://www.opzi.com
Position: (a) Software Engineer OR (b) Business Analyst

Skills Needed: (a) Ruby/JS, good all-around CS aptitude (our stack is Rails/Node), (b) Great writing ability and research skills, experience or strong interest in startups, marketing, and sales. Both positions paid and open to transition to full-time.

Contact: euwyn@opzi.com

You'll work closely with the founders and learn & contribute as part of a small team. This means real responsibilities and hard work, but also a unique opportunity to dive right into startup life. Join us as we continue on our mission to deliver better designed and engineered enterprise software.

ps. Any designers also feel free to get in touch.

3 points by michaelfairley 16 hours ago 0 replies      

Currently at 5, +1 intern already hired for the summer


Software Engineering

michael@1000memories.com, jobs@1000memories.com

We're a Rails shop, but general web dev experience is all we require.

3 points by dominostars 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Company Name: MedHelp

Company Size (number of people employed): 30-40

Company URL: http://www.medhelp.org

Position: Rails developer

Contact Email: opportunities@medhelp.org (mention that you saw this on HN)

Skills Needed: Since I'm mostly focused on iPhone dev, I can't speak with authority. However, this is an internship, so the only skill needed should be general coding competence. However..

Skills Desired: Ruby on Rails or related MVC framework development experience, database experience (MySQL, NoSQL), AJAX, JS, prototype, CSS, and experience building scalable and performant applications

5 points by alexsolo 16 hours ago 0 replies      
PagerDuty (http://www.pagerduty.com) is hiring both interns and full-time software engineers. We're still quite small - 5 people. We're located in the SOMA district of San Francisco.

Email: alex@pagerduty.com.

6 points by makuro 17 hours ago 1 reply      
You might want to give InternMatch a try:


They've also got a competition going. Not sure what timeframe its internships are for, but here's a link:


2 points by rgrieselhuber 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Ginzametrics (YC S10) is looking for 3 interns.

Company Name: Ginzametrics

Company Size (number of people employed): 3

Company URL: http://ginzametrics.com

Position: (a) 2 engineering interns, (b) 1 sales / marketing / bizdev

Contact Email: hackers@ginzametrics.com

Skills Needed: (a) Rails or similar background, plus UI / JavaScript / jQuery skills would be ideal. (b) Online marketing / bizdev / inside sales / good writer

3 points by liuhenry 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Also, internships in the NYC Area: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2431089
2 points by thinkcomp 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Company Name: Think Computer Corporation

Company Size (number of people employed): 4

Company URL: http://www.thinkcomputer.com / https://www.facecash.com

Position: Software Author

Contact Email: jobs@thinkcomputer.com

Skills Needed: Mobile development of any kind, PHP, MySQL, UI design

2 points by diN0bot 17 hours ago 0 replies      
CloudKick/RackSpace is hiring (full time and interns): http://jobs.rackspace.com/search/?q=san+francisco&search...
1 point by aschobel 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Company Name: Catch.com

Company Size: 15

Company URL: https://catch.com

Position: (a) Mobile Intern (b) Front-end Intern (c) Backend Intern

Contact Email: aschobel @catch.com

Position: (a) Android / iOS (b) JS (Google Closure) (c) Python (Pylons)and MongoDB.

We are looking for hackers to join our team in SOMA. We have a bunch of ex-Metaweb and Googlers hacking on cool stuffs!

1 point by wickedchicken 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Company Name: Nascent Development Corporation

Company Size (number of people employed): 1.

Location: Berkeley

Company URL: nascentdev.com

Position: developer writing performant numerical analysis code in a linux environment. this position is unpaid but you would get recognition in published material and a chance to work on something fresh.

Contact Email: mike@nascentdev.com

Skills Needed: we're still building our product so you will have flexibility in language/architecture, but a good knowledge of C would help a lot. experience in AI algorithms and code debugging/analysis tools a plus.

Why join Nascent: you're tired of building Yet Another Social Web Service and would like to publish a paper based on your work. you're interested in pushing a new automated code analysis tool into the wild that takes a different approach.

4 points by 101north 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Check out internmatch.com to find one. They're a 500 Startups company (most recent class), and seem to have some decent inventory on there already. Good luck!
4 points by thurn 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Kind of late to be asking, isn't it? I'm doing an internship at Facebook, and I'm reasonably sure they've finished hiring interns (about 300 of 'em).
2 points by abhiyerra 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Company Name: CloudCrowd (in SOMA SF)

Company Size (number of people employed): 17

Company URL: http://cloudcrowd.com

Position: a) Backend engineer b) Frontend engineer

Contact Email: abhi@cloudcrowd.com

Skills Needed: a) Ruby (on Rails), MySQL b) JavaScript and CSS

This is a paid internship with the intent that the intern may become a full time employee.

1 point by RichardPrice 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Company Name: Academia.edu

Company Size: 4

Company URL: http://academia.edu

Position: Web Developer

Contact Email: job@academia.edu

Skills Needed: Rails. More info on our internship program is here http://academia.edu/hiring.

1 point by mncaudill 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Flickr is currently looking for an intern. Email me at caudill at yahoo-inc.com if you want to write a bit of code for us this summer! We're set up in the Financial District in SF.
1 point by ctb9 14 hours ago 1 reply      
We're hiring engineering and (possibly) marketing interns.

Company Name: equipster

Company Size: 2 (soon to be 5-6)

Company URL: http://www.equipster.com

Position: (A) engineering intern (frontend and/or backend). (B) marketing intern.

Contact Email: chris@equipster.com

Skills Needed: (A) js/php/python. bonus: experience with large, gnarly datasets. (B) Online marketing, good writing ability, interest in the outdoors

2 points by danielbru 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Name: Teens in Tech Labs
Size: 4
URL: www.teensintech.com
Position: Intern (Dev & Business)
Email: daniel at teensintech.com
Skills: Dev (HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript)
1 point by patrickhogan 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Thomas Hogan Law Office



Web Developer


PAID Internship

Skills: js, RoR, PHP, css, ability to smile, optimist preferred

Help us develop a suite of online tools to assist with information collection from clients in a fun and non-duplicative way.

JobberBase: open-source platform for job sites. How to make it a business?
7 points by filipcte 8 hours ago   6 comments top 4
3 points by davidroetzel 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Three approaches come to mind:

1) Sell professional support

This is how most open source software companies make money. This usually includes some horrendous subscription fee and guaranteed SLAs.

I never quite understood, why this works. My only explanation is, that many customers are comfortable with this, because this is what they are used to from buying proprietary software.

2) Sell a hosted version

This is classic SaaS. If you find a way to automate setup of instances of your software and offer this for an attractive price, this could appeal to people who shy away from the cost of running their own server and installing and maintaining the software.

I firmly believe that SaaS and Open Source do not contradict each other, but I only know one example that seems to be successful: http://www.teambox.com

3) Open Core

Sell a paid version of your software that has features not in the open source version. This is generally frowned upon by open source people, and rightfully so. At least you run the risk of destroying the healthy developer community you seem to have.

In your case, I would gather that you have a huge advantage when it comes to choosing the right approach. If you know who owns the hundreds of sites that already run your software then you already know some of your potential customers.

Talk to them and try to find out why they use your software, if they make any revenue of it, what their pain points are (if any) and what they would be willing to pay for.

1 point by ig1 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Turn it into SaaS, charge a small monthly fee for the basic stuff (hosting, domains, etc.) and take a percentage cut from job posting fees.

At the moment your only likely to appeal to a very limited technical audience, if you made it so anyone could setup a job board you'd likely get a lot more customers.

1 point by viandante 6 hours ago 0 replies      

it is difficult to give good advices without some data. As first thing, I would suggest to honestly ask your "customers" what would they pay for.

Maybe you can propose some new features and bug fixes only when you reach a certain ammount of donations (I mean, this is kind of the way the Diaspora guys made their money).
If your target is developers, then to ask them money you may want to tell them how much time would they save with your new module or version. If a developer understands your new module would save him 3 hours of work, why shouldn't he pay for, let's say, as much as 1 hr of work is worth for him?

Finally, from my point of view, developers are easily the most price sensitive. So, another point would be: would it be possible to find another audience? Let's say small companies who may enjoy having their own job board?

1 point by filipcte 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Summer Internships in NYC?
16 points by kulpreet 16 hours ago   9 comments top 7
3 points by ryanb 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Company Name: Tutorspree (YC W11)

Company Size (number of people employed): 3

Company URL: http://www.tutorspree.com

Position: Web Developer Internship

Contact Email: info@tutorspree.com

Skills Needed: PHP, MySQL, CSS/XHTML, jQuery

1 point by austinchang 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Company name: Fridge (YC s10)

Company size: 5

Company URL: http://www.frid.ge

Position: Web Development, Sever-side development

Contact email: intern@frid.ge

Skills needed: PHP, MySQL and/or CSS/XHTML, jQuery

1 point by asanwal 14 hours ago 0 replies      
CB Insights, 6 people, www.cbinsights.com, 2 positions (NLP intern and statistics intern) , info@cbinsights.com, natural language processing, information extraction, information retrieval, statistics, algorithm development
2 points by nosh 15 hours ago 1 reply      
We're looking for interns to work on MongoDB-related projects
1 point by djsamson 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a business student from Poughkeepsie, NY. I'm working on my own start-up but I am interested in interning this summer for a startup in NYC as well.

BCS I'll send you an email, but if anyone else is looking for a business intern in NYC I'd be interested in applying: dj@darrensamson.com

1 point by JigSaw81 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I know that I am going to look for 2 interns during this summer.
Translation Cloud LLC, 10 people start-up
IT Interns
PHP/MySQL skills required.
1 point by BCS 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Bar & Club Stats
Solid business background
Github, how Not to release a new version
10 points by triviatise 21 hours ago   4 comments top 3
4 points by kneath 16 hours ago 0 replies      
As mentioned earlier, the data is in our API and freely exportable (no loss of data). If you don't want to deal with the API " please contact support and we'll be happy to export the list of issues in order for you.

Alternately, you can use one of the many 3rd party applications that use our API such as http://githubissues.heroku.com/

3 points by bmelton 15 hours ago 1 reply      
If 10 was the actual number, I find that hard to believe, since we have 3 in this thread so far (triviatise, bcx, myself).
4 points by bcx 16 hours ago 0 replies      
We used the prioritization feature. Wow, I just noticed it on the website. That's a pain. Maybe we'll have to move back to pivotal tracker.
Ask HN: Summer internships in the Southwest? (AZ, NM, CO, TX)
4 points by dbldblwin 13 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: Is an SSD worth an upgrade for the 2011 MBPs?
6 points by joshzayin 17 hours ago   14 comments top 11
1 point by eklovlfjkeos 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
I have the low-end (cheapest) 11" MacBook Air with a 64 GB SSD, and it's probably the fastest computer I've ever owned due to the SSD. Boot-up time is 14 seconds, and applications start really fast.
2 points by davito88 2 hours ago 1 reply      
SSDs are sweet. I just got a 13" MBP 2.7Ghz w/ a 128GB SSD. It's a screaming machine. Everything works instantly and it makes my older 2.4 Ghz MBP look like a sloth. In my opinion it's totally worth it. I spend a lot of time on a computer.

However, if you want a bigger drive than 128GB, I'd get a hybrid drive. You can get a 500GB hybrid drive for around $100. You get lots of space and I've heard they get around 80% of the performance gain of an SSD.

Enjoy the new laptop!

1 point by JoachimSchipper 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The limited number of reads and writes is not a problem for a laptop. You're not putting a million-transactions-per-second database on it! If you don't believe me, try to find a "worn-out" USB flash drive.

You will love the performance of an SSD. You may want to consider a "smaller"/older model, though - they are quite a bit cheaper.

2 points by ksuther 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Last summer I purchased a 240GB Vertex 2 for about $600 for my early 2008 MacBook Pro. It turned a machine that I was starting to feel the age of into a completely new machine. When I upgraded to a new MBP last month, the old machine with the SSD still felt more responsive than the new one out of the box. Even considering that the same drive today is $200 less, having the insane speed for 10 months was well worth it.

If I were buying an SSD new, I'd still go with a third-party drive over the drives Apple ships. The only downside is it looks like 10.7 might bring TRIM support to the stock drives they ship while leaving third-party drives out in the cold. Performing the actual upgrade is really quick, you just unscrew the bottom and pop out the old drive. Just make sure you have the right size Torx driver.

I can't imagine ever being subjected to an HDD again.

1 point by daimyoyo 10 hours ago 0 replies      
You have to define "worth" before you can answer this. For me, I chose to get the MBP with the standard hard drive because it offered so much more storage. My computer has 2X the storage yours does and while I admit that there is a noticeable performance difference, the advantage of faster loading isn't worth the storage capacity I'd be sacrificing. IMHO the storage capacity you'd give up isn't worth the additional investment. But again, that's just me.
1 point by geuis 16 hours ago 0 replies      
With the way prices and capacity are dropping, you might consider just getting the laptop now and the SSD later. Within a few months, the capacity per dollar for SSD's will come down even more, so you can spend less and get more than what you'll get from Apple.
1 point by wmf 16 hours ago 0 replies      
It's totally worth it; everything just feels so much smoother. If you can live with 160 GB you can get down to ~$300. The reliability is not an issue.
1 point by codenerdz 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Definitely buy an aftermarket SSD.
Stay away from Crucial C300 for now as they seem to have problems with 2011 i5/i7 macbooks(may have been fixed in latest firmware, but was a problem up untill recently).
2011 macbook pro has a sata3 controller, so you might as well aim for a sata 3 SSD.
Sandforce controllers are still tough to beat and if you can afforce Vertex 3, go for it.
Another thing is that a fellow from Macrumor has hacked the TRIM support for osx, so its now enabled on non-apple drives as well:


1 point by willstrimling 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd say yes, I have the 15" you are thinking about. The SSD I have is drastically better than my former HDD, and I don't think I could ever go back. I have an 128gb limit on the SSD, with the addition of an external firwire harddrive. If you're not looking to spend $500, maybe get a smaller, 128gb ssd for applications and OS, and then when a thunderbolt external/portable HDD comes out, you can store files on that. Hope that helps. If anything, I believe you cannot go wrong with any size SSD.
1 point by celalo 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a 2.0Ghz MBP 2011 sith stock SSD 128GB. It has been a month since I bought and I have never seen the hourglass.
The only downside is the suicidal feeling when you try to use another computer.
1 point by meemo 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The first question is very flawed. Nobody can answer how much something is worth to you.
We mistakenly marked about 50 applications as late
128 points by pg 2 days ago   53 comments top 20
72 points by goatforce5 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'm totally going to pitch an application submission management system in the next round. I know of at least one potential customer.
8 points by EGreg 2 days ago 2 replies      
Hey, pg ... does that include our application by any chance?

I realize you don't have to answer this, but I am just curious:

It seems on the surface that our company is much closer to what you say YC is looking for, than many companies you had in W10, S10, etc. Let me just illustrate a couple points:

1. You emphasize resilience: we got rejected by YC in the past and went ahead and raised funding, launched and already have 70k (and counting) users since 3 months ago. The vast majority of our reviews are 5 stars.

2. You care about companies with huge potential. We're building a next-generation, distributed social network which gives users control over their data, and helps their social lives in the real world instead of online.

3. You want to see founders who did extraordinary things: I went to college at 14, played in Carnegie hall when I was 7 years old. (http://magarshak.com/piano) My co founder can father a small child just by looking at a woman... (http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7203877/fundraising)

4. You care about a capable team that has been together for a long time: http://qbix.com/about . We have made websites such as this: http://blurts.com which is now worth over $5 mil.


So I am curious why YC didn't even want to interview us, but then again, your rejection letter doesn't leave many clues :)

14 points by phlux 2 days ago 2 replies      
So, assuming I got a rejection letter AND I updated after the deadline, I'm guessing my rejection still stands? ;)
5 points by invalidOrTaken 2 days ago 4 replies      
This is none of my business, but I'm a little confused. I don't see why pg/yc has to apologize. When was the last time a vc acted like he was obligated to hear your elevator pitch, let alone read your huge application---and not only do that, but do it FAIRLY, without giving undue advantage to some other guy with a plan and an MVP (...or not)?

</none of my business>

8 points by dreamux 2 days ago 1 reply      
release early, release often?
3 points by mcdowall 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the update, I did explain that to Kirsty in my mail. I know there are some folk over in the Convore chatroom in the same position, Convore's proved pretty useful today.
5 points by katieben 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hi pg - didn't get an interview, but thanks anyway for HN/YC and your essays. (: Consider me inspired!
3 points by skrebbel 2 days ago 1 reply      
Ok, well I'm rather new here, but if 50 applications were accidentally marked as late, does that mean there were like 100+ applications overall? That's a lot of new companies. Are all these already for real, or are the bulk of them in the "programmer with an idea" stage?
4 points by karanjassar 2 days ago 1 reply      
Have the rest been notified? I did submit on time but haven't heard so far.
1 point by abbasmehdi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Being at the stage we're at things move/happen quick. I looked at our app recently and it looked dated - since the app we've had some game-changing developments (signed on 2 major customers - we're B2B etc.). It'd be cool if your s/w could accommodate for things like that, and secondly I'm surprised you guys don't do phone/skype screening/interviews. Might help reduce the risk on your investment. Just some thoughts. :-)
3 points by cneals 2 days ago 0 replies      
Phew! I was sure there was a glitch in the system. Now it all makes sense.
1 point by tiabasnk 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's funny but I noticed this when I submitted my application. I had been frantically trying to polish it up and was suprised by the fact that I was still able to resubmit even after the deadline (at this time the page didn't state that it would be counted as a late submission). The late submission page came up about two and a half hours after the time of the deadline and after I had done about 10 resubmissions. lol!
2 points by bpeters 2 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome! Was worried for a bit ;)
0 points by zbruhnke 2 days ago 0 replies      
PG ... Ive already got a stable of pretty solid investors and a house in Palo alto ... what do ya say I just give you the equity and you let me go through this cycle without giving me any cash? lol Im just looking for sound advice and a good sounding board
2 points by VaedaStrike 2 days ago 1 reply      
Were those on-time-marked-as-late applications sent the rejection e-mail by default?
1 point by chacemuse 2 days ago 1 reply      
Since we're already at a disadvantage of being the over-quota bunch, I say all 50 should be allowed to pitch in person if they pay for their own trips. ;)
2 points by truthsayer 2 days ago 0 replies      
I forgive you. Most of us are human.
1 point by saifa 2 days ago 0 replies      
is that ok to edit application now and resubmit? i'm in the list of 50's
-1 point by Punter 2 days ago 0 replies      
great news...
these things happen

a couple of days sound good

-4 points by leon_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
I guess this shows that marketing-people shouldn't write code.
3 of 7 Google employees who are Apache Wave committers have left
7 points by bsmith21 15 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1 point by _delirium 5 hours ago 0 replies      
As a slight elaboration, it looks like (from your linked messages) that [1] is still at Google, but has been moved to another project; while [2] and [3] have left Google entirely.
1 point by andrewstuart 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I think that's cause Google dropped Wave.
Ask HN: Summer internships in Canada?
4 points by windsurfer 14 hours ago   3 comments top 2
1 point by ch00ey 5 hours ago 0 replies      
+1 for Montreal area
1 point by abbasmehdi 13 hours ago 1 reply      
RIM hires a whole bunch of interns and co-ops.
Ask HN: Has anyone had negative experiences with zeromq?
65 points by jrussbowman 1 day ago   26 comments top 10
13 points by m0th87 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have, and it amazes me that everyone speaks so positively of it. I'm not going to argue it's a bad library, or it's not worth investing it, but it's not without its problems. And I certainly don't think it's applicable to all distributed computation use cases.

This post on SO outlines some of the troubles I've had: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4870814/is-zeromq-product...

A couple of other issues. First, it's really easy to game a ZeroMQ socket. Send it the wrong data, and your application will just fall flat on its face. So you can't run it anywhere that has untrusted computers (e.g. over the Internet).

Another issue I've had is a race condition that occurs when you call recv() before anything is in the queue. The method will continue to block even after it receives something. This is a big deal because it requires some workarounds with bad performance. But I wasn't able to get the jzmq dev team to reproduce it, so it must be something restricted to either OS X or just my system.

FWIW, I think most of the issues are restricted to jzmq, because there's a good deal more complexity running around in that project to overcome the Java <-> C bridge.

The reason I continue to use it anyway is because:

1) It's absurdly useful when it works.

2) The dev team is very responsive.

3) Bugs do get fixed if they can reproduce it. I already have had one issue resolved: https://github.com/zeromq/jzmq/issues/closed#issue/31

As for Tornado, I am in love with that technology. Rather than a framework, it's more like a set of libraries for HTTP communication. That has huge implications, and it feels much more pleasant for me to work with than, say, Django.

22 points by phintjens 1 day ago 1 reply      
Before I opened the 0MQ Pandora box I'd given up coding and was happily writing my autobiography. 0MQ seemed like a pleasant way to spend a weekend. But before I knew it, I'd lost control. Days, weeks, months have passed now, all I think about are more subtle and perfect messaging patterns. They flash before my eyes. Weird names and topologies. It doesn't get better, but worse. Soon I'll be coding all nighters, my wife will leave me, my kids will forget me, and all I'll be doing is programming, motherfucker.

Seriously, 0MQ has made network programming fun (again) in a bad, addictive, way. Any design I can think of turns into real working code in a few hours, sometimes days. And I'm using C, a language that isn't normally fun to work in.

Right now, it's multithreaded clients and servers for resilient shared distributed hash maps. Tomorrow, network-wide logging. After that, another message broker. And so on.

Yes, it's a negative experience. I'd like my old lazy life back.

For the love of god, don't try it.

8 points by kordless 1 day ago 2 replies      
Loggly uses 0MQ extensively and we'd be happy to sit down with you and chat about it. We were the ones that paid the 0MQ guys to bake disk persistance back into the new version. Also, as someone else mentioned, Zed knows it pretty well and he's awesome about taking time to teach what he knows to others.
4 points by obiterdictum 1 day ago 4 replies      
I can't say I have a lot of negative experience, but after evaluating it, I've come to the conclusion that it's not the right tool for the job for us. We develop trading systems and I wanted a decent messaging framework for internal non-speed-critical communication between apps. Disclaimer: I had limited time to evaluate it, so I may have some misconceptions about ZMQ, you have been warned.

1. Extensive use of asserts in release builds terrifies me. It's meant to check for conditions that shouldn't happen, but I see users complaining about their apps aborting with assertion failures on ZMQ mailing lists and it comes up fairly frequently in Google. There are a fair bit of asserts for error codes returned from system calls. I don't want a critical process crash because I've used library in a wrong way in a completely different part of the application.

2. Only in 2.1 they've fixed the problem where some messages would not be flushed and be lost if you terminate the process too early. This seems like a fairly common bug for younger projects. Recommended workaround is... calling "sleep" before you exit, which is one of the deadly sins of multithreaded programming! This and above point convinces me that ZMQ isn't as mature enough for me to be comfortable with.

3. Transparent reconnection is good, but some of our applications need to quickly detect that other nodes in the system are missing, which forces me to implement off-band heartbeat mechanism.

4. Threading model seems a bit awkward to me (last I checked). First of all, let me state that I personally believe that a library starting threads behind your back is a Bad Thing (unless it's a framework). ZMQ uses a sender thread that you queue your messages into, yet it forces you to dispatch your receive loop by either blocking read or zmq_poll. If it already starts threads by itself, why not provide a callback?

5. Not really a problem, but a missing feature: no way to demultiplex messages from a stream of messages, so you have to implement it yourself. You can subscribe to a subset of messages on a socket, but can't subscribe to multiple subsets from a single socket.

5 points by timf 1 day ago 2 replies      
> "using Python Tornado and it to form an http caching reverse proxy"

It sounds like you should investigate http://mongrel2.org/home

7 points by msutherl 1 day ago 1 reply      
ZeroMQ is used in the lubyk (formerly rubyk) project: http://lubyk.org/en
1 point by kemiller 1 day ago 0 replies      
It sure seems amazing for what it is. I do with people would stop comparing it to message brokers -- solving for entirely different problems as far as I can tell.
1 point by pshc 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm kind of in the same boat. I'm evaluating it right now to see if it'd be suitable for iOS<-->server comms, but it seems more like something you'd use behind the server gateway.

Thing is 0MQ gives you transparent auto-reconnection--but I want to indicate with a spinner when that's happening--and it makes request-reply synchronous--but I already do everything asynchronously in the client anyway. Hmm.

1 point by chuhnk 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think Zed Shaw would also vouch for the brilliance of 0mq. He uses it in many places including mongrel2. The one thing he did mention in his pycon presentation was not to expose it to the internet as there are some assertions in the code which cause it to blow up on protocol errors.
1 point by docmarionum1 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've used it and it works great. The only problem I remember encountering was getting it to work with a virtualenv, but that was probably just inexperience on my part.
Ask HN: Snap v Nitrogen v Lift v Compojure
23 points by acconrad 1 day ago   13 comments top 6
4 points by parfe 1 day ago 2 replies      
I've been using Clojure and Compojure this weekend. So far it's a big thumbs down. Documentation is terrible. Pretty sure I just killed a weekend on an over-hyped development style with an under documented ecosystem.

Oh, and good luck finding a tutorial for any recent version of Compojure or any of the components. Seems they rearranged all the code and broke it out into several different projects, which makes all the pre-0.4 tutorials useless.

So far it looks like the most helpful resources are:
and http://cleancode.se/2010/08/30/getting-started-with-compojur...

6 points by pavelludiq 1 day ago 1 reply      
Of the listed frameworks I only have (limited) experience with compojure, but here is my advice. I love functional programming, but i think that we've over-hyped it a little. As you know(i hope), there are no silver bullets. I wouldn't worry about a language being impure, purity is over hyped as well, clojure is also impure. What I used to do with clojure was to take a bunch of components(compojure, sandbar, hiccup etc.) and glue them together to make an app. I haven't been following the clojure scene for a while, but i believe thats the idiomatic way to write web apps, not the full stack style of rails or django, where you just fill in the blanks.
2 points by amock 1 day ago 3 replies      
There's definitely some subjectivity and it comes down to what you want from a language and framework. I think Haskell is the best way to learn functional programming because it's pure, has a powerful type system and helpful community, and it's easy to use it to replace shell scripts. One of the things that really bothers me about JVM based languages is the startup time that makes it painful to use them as shell scripts, but if you're just writing a web application this might not be an issue.

If you decide to go with Haskell then you need to decide what kind of framework you want. I started with Snap and it I enjoyed using it but it doesn't have the high level functionality that Rails or Django do. I'm now using Yesod and it's great. It seems very Haskelly to me and the high level functionality means I don't have to write my own authentication system and persistence layer.

1 point by asymptotic 8 hours ago 0 replies      
RE: Nitrogen. I've started using an Erlang RESTful HTTP toolkit called Webmachine (http://webmachine.basho.com/) paired with an Erlang-based distributed key-value store called Riak (http://wiki.basho.com/) and I am very pleased with the ease of using these libraries. However, I can't offer you a comparison with other functional languages as I only have experience with Erlang.

I'm starting an extended and thorough series of technical articles regarding deploying Webmachine and Riak on Amazon Web Services on my personal website. Over the next week feel free to follow the articles and see what you think of Webmachine/Riak!

1 point by brehaut 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Regarding Clojure, while compojure is popular, a compojure centric view of web programming is misguided. Compojure is part of a growing ecosystem of libraries built on top of ring[1][2].

Firstly this ecosystem is not analogous to rails or django. The closest is that Compojure is similar to Sinatra i believe.

If you are looking at getting started with web programming in Clojure you need to get familiar with ring (the http abstraction) and look at Compojure and Moustache (routing and handler composition), and Enlive[4] and Hiccup[5] (templating/html generation). Compojure and Moustache are fairly similar, but Enlive and Hiccup are extremely different. A web application will consist of ring plus one of each layer.

As has been mentioned by others in this thread, the depth, breadth and currentness of documentation for these libraries varies. David Nolen has a great tutorial for enlive[6] that i would encourage anyone looking at these libs to work through. Enlive is one of the most compelling aspects of the clojure web ecosystem at present.

These libraries provide the core pieces you would expect to see in any web framework, but a lot of the smaller details are missing. Of note there is no ORM for clojure (for obvious reasons) - If you are looking for a good SQL abstraction you should look at ClojureQL[7] - and aspects such as form generation, validation and processing is still in early days.

My day job has me building web apps with Django. I wouldnt suggest that my coworkers and I jump to clojure / ring et al yet. The breadth of libraries and out of the box stuff in django is still a huge advantage for the day to day rapid web site / web app development, however clojure's story is improving rapidly and i think that the functional model is a particularly good fit for web applications.

I cannot compare clojure's story with the other languages and frameworks mentioned.

  [1] https://github.com/mmcgrana/ring/ 
[2] This is true of compojure 0.4 and newer. compojure existed prior to ring (with hiccup as part of it).
[3] https://github.com/cgrand/moustache
[4] https://github.com/cgrand/enlive
[5] https://github.com/weavejester/hiccup
[6] There is a link in the enlive readme
[7] https://github.com/LauJensen/clojureql/

2 points by ucsd_surfNerd 23 hours ago 0 replies      
There is a growing community with quite a bit of support surrounding scala particularly for web development. Lift is well documented and in production at Foursquare which is vote of confidence. The Guardian is also switching to scala as described here http://www.infoq.com/articles/guardian_scala. Plus Twitter, Yammer and a bunch of others are also using scala for "web related" development.

Overall I think as it exists now Scala has the best community particularly around web development. Much like the Django v Rails debate try them out and see what you like.

I know personally scala is second on my list behind Ruby.

Ask HN: Coolest Gists that you have, or have found?
14 points by ericb 1 day ago   2 comments top 2
2 points by pdelgallego 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I built GistCube [1], a as a weekend project to learn Sinatra/Mongodb, but I never announced it.

Gistcube is a tool to discover, share and organized interesting gists. It also provide Rss for any selected tag, but I am so far the only user.

If people find it interesting.

[1] http://gistcube.com

3 points by DiabloD3 23 hours ago 0 replies      

"A simple Greasemonkey script for a dual pane Hacker News interface"

The Smartest Person Project
5 points by smoyle 18 hours ago   5 comments top 3
1 point by revorad 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Great idea.

But why do you need to know the color of my navel for me to sign up?

In this case adding facebook/google/twitter connect is probably the best way forward.

2 points by jacques_chester 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd prefer some sort of quicksort to a bubble sort. Maybe a merge sort, for the amusement of shuffling people.
2 points by silencematters 16 hours ago 1 reply      
The problem with how you've set this up is that you are not taking into account if the user personally knows the person you are asking them to recommend. Without that qualifier, you are likely to get a popularity contest and not an actual index of more accurate judgements.
Ask HN: Where is the next Xerox PARC?
6 points by bergie 23 hours ago   12 comments top 5
4 points by nostrademons 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I would say it's Google in terms of the energy and caliber of people working there, but there's a fundamental difference between Google and Xerox PARC. Research is tightly integrated with production at Google; Ph.D's are expected to code to the production infrastructure, and their work tends get released within 6 months to a year instead of 30 years later. That means that there isn't a huge store of undiscovered prototypes to be discovered by Steve Jobs in 10 years.

There are some advantages to this, though. Personally, I like being able to visit a foreign website and have Chrome automatically translate it. Or talk (!) to my mobile phone (!) and have it automatically use my location (!) to make sense of my query and answer it (!). I like being able to virtually visit any place on earth and walk around on the streets. My e-mail inbox knows which messages are important and which are spam. I think it's wonderful that Google Search can give me straight answers to most of the queries I throw at it.

Most of these were virtually unimaginable just over 5 years ago.

4 points by mrpsbrk 22 hours ago 3 replies      
Man, judging by such mythical stuff as the "Courrier Tablet", that cool "Surface" whathchaisit, and a host of other theoretical stuff i hear all the time, i would venture, as weird as it might sound, Microsoft Research...
3 points by gsivil 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Along the same lines people in physics ask all the time: where is the next Bell Labs?
1 point by 3dFlatLander 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I like to think of the startup world as a distributed version of PARC. Not sure how accurate it is--but still a neat thought.
2 points by zandorg 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe the question is better stated as: Where are the next Xerox PARC people?
Partner-in-Crime (developer) for Hachi Labs, Inc.
5 points by hachilabs 1 day ago   discuss
There seems to be a major routing issue in CA right now, at least Fremont/linode
4 points by archon810 21 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1 point by cheald 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Munin is great for visualizing these sorts of things. From mine:


Interesting that traffic didn't die entirely there.

1 point by archon810 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Linode IRC is not sure what's going on yet, and the status page at http://status.linode.com/ hasn't been updated yet.
1 point by archon810 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like it's back now. HE.net is to blame for the downtime.
       cached 11 April 2011 19:05:01 GMT