hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    3 Jul 2012 Ask
home   ask   best   6 years ago   
1
Hetzner mail to customers: 1 megawatt more power due to leap second
72 points by Uchikoma  5 hours ago   24 comments top 8
1
imaginator 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Better translation of their message to English speaking customers:

During the night of 30.06.2012 to 01.07.2012 our internal
monitoring systems registered an increase in the level of
IT power usage by approximately one megawatt.

The reason for this huge surge is the additional switched
leap second which can lead to permanent CPU load on Linux
servers.

According to heise.de, various Linux distributions are
affected by this. Further information can be found at:
http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Leap-second-Linux-can...

In order to reduce CPU load to a normal level again, a
restart of the whole system is necessary in many cases.
First, a soft reboot via the command line should be
attempted. Failing that, you have the option of performing
a hardware reset via the Robot administration interface.
For this, select menu item "Server" and the "Reset" tab
for the respective server in the administration interface.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, should you have any
queries.

Kind regards,

Hetzner Online AG
Stuttgarter Str. 1
91710 Gunzenhausen / Germany
info@hetzner.de
http://www.hetzner.com

2
metabrew 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Here's the requisite graph http://i.imgur.com/hsUDE.png
3
ck2 4 hours ago 1 reply      
If the leap-second does all this, just imagine the 32-bit rollover issue in 2038
4
StavrosK 5 hours ago 0 replies      
No need for Google translate:

During the night of 30.06.2012 to 01.07.2012 our internal
monitoring systems registered an increase in the level of
IT power usage by approximately one megawatt.

The reason for this huge surge is the additional switched
leap second which can lead to permanent CPU load on Linux
servers.

According to heise.de, various Linux distributions are
affected by this. Further information can be found at:
http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Leap-second-Linux-can...

Please do not hesitate to contact us, should you have any
queries.

6
imaginator 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Nice graph from Hetzner showing the spike:

http://imgur.com/a/ykoup

7
efutch 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Perhaps nitpicking, but this is because of a bug in the leap second implementation, not in the leap second per se.
8
kodisha 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Huh? I received my mail in English :)
3
Ask HN: How do you determine your own knowledge level?
2 points by diminium  36 minutes ago   2 comments top 2
1
bking 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
I run into this all the time. There is always something more to know and everythng is evolving so fast that I personally don't think you can be an expert in any technology anymore. If you can understand it well enough to produce a completely new product and be able to figure out what you don't know fast enough to not make it a hinderance, then I would call you at least very knowledgeable.
2
pinion247 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
Personally, my first step is reflection - am I as smart as I think I am regarding programming/history/science/etc?

Second is to seek out experts. This is much easier now thanks to sites like HN, StackExchange, et al. They can help you gauge your own knowledge level.

4
FYI: Facebook is breaking shared links
4 points by colinsidoti  4 hours ago   1 comment top
1
colinsidoti 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Fixing my app was easy. I was checking for empty? but now I'm checking for nil? or empty?

I still think it's weird Facebook would do this.

5
Ask HN: agreement between YC and its start-ups?
3 points by shaohua  3 hours ago   1 comment top
1
rprasad 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The first question I can't answer, but the second question is easy: talk to a lawyer. Only your lawyer can tell you what parts of the agreement are important to you.
6
Ask HN: Your favourite style guide?
6 points by mekarpeles  9 hours ago   7 comments top 6
1
mekarpeles 8 hours ago 0 replies      
In case other Python enthusiasts are seeking additional resources (besides reading PEP 8) Bhadra and others on stack overflow suggest:

Code Like a Pythonista: Idiomatic Python (http://python.net/~goodger/projects/pycon/2007/idiomatic/)

Common mistakes and Warts (http://learnpython.pbwiki.com/PythonTricks)

How not to write Python code (http://eikke.com/how-not-to-write-python-code/)

Python gotcha (http://eikke.com/python-gotcha/)

Here's the stack overflow thread I was looking at:
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/356161/python-coding-stan...

2
godisdad 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I am particular to Netbsd's Kernel Normal Form:

http://cvsweb.netbsd.org/bsdweb.cgi/src/share/misc/style?rev...

3
mhd 8 hours ago 0 replies      
PEP 20.

If you need something longer, the official Java Coding Style[1] is getting a bit old, but Java is probably the language where you're least surprised when you start working at a new company or project.

Other than that, I prefer actual books that don't just focus on indentation, but go beyond that, like Perl Best Practices or Smalltalk With Style.

[1]: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/codeconvtoc-136057.ht...

4
Hates_ 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Github has a collection for CSS, HTML, Javascript and Ruby: https://github.com/styleguide/
5
lmm 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Twitter's scala guide is fantastic: http://twitter.github.com/effectivescala/
6
mekarpeles 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd also be very interested in hearing how different companies have come to develop their own style guides and what special cases necessitated said changes. If anyone has a style guide they've written and would like to share it, I'd love to take a look.
7
ScreenB.in, short URLs for screenshots
2 points by dennisqian  5 hours ago   discuss
8
Ask HN:Why do browser don't display the tabs on the left?
2 points by baby  6 hours ago   6 comments top 5
1
tnorthcutt 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
Because text is read horizontally, not vertically, so horizontally oriented title areas are more natural. Same reason applications put menus at the top, titles at the top, etc.
2
antidoh 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I stay with Firefox for daily use because I like a lot of the available addons; it makes it my browser, not just Firefox. Chrome just doesn't have enough specific addons or customization for it to ever feel like my browser.

Tree Style Tabs is always the first addon that I install in a new Firefox, followed closely by All In One Sidebar, It's All Text and Uppity. Then come Pinboard, and adding DDG to the search bar.

I've tried many times to like Chrome, but being a bit faster doesn't make up for less customization, for me.

3
duiker101 6 hours ago 1 reply      
because it occupies too much space? i do not know actually, i never tried it but i usually do not have so many tabs to require a whole column,most of the space would be blank. But maybe i do not have so many tabs because i do not have space.
4
shyn3 6 hours ago 0 replies      
It only makes sense to have a side tab panel considering everyone has a widescreen display.
5
cutie 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I like the idea of it but it looks a bit ugly, since the boxes don't line up.
10
Ask HN: Best setups to avoid availability outages on AWS
121 points by richardv  3 days ago   33 comments top 15
1
rkalla 3 days ago 3 replies      
Mindless rambling ahead; I love this topic

Richard,

AWS is an amazing tool and you have a few options here, but the downside is the more options you use to be highly-available (HA), the more expensive AWS gets (as you would imagine).

Your first option is to be HA across a SINGLE region; to do this you make use of the elastic load balancers (ELB) + auto-scaling. You setup auto-scale rules to launch more instances in different availability zones (AZ) either in response to demand or in response to failures (e.g. "always keep at least 3 instances running").

You compliment that with an ELB to load-balance incoming requests automatically across those instances in the different AZs. This is all fairly straight forward through the web console (except auto-scaling is still done via CLI for some reason)

If you want to be HA ACROSS regions you can't just use ELBs anymore, you have some added complexity and an additional AWS feature you will likely want to use: Route 53.

Route 53 is Amazon's DNS service which offers a lot of slick DNS-features like removing dead points from DNS rotation, latency-based routings, etc. There are also something like 29 deployments of Route53 (and CloudFront) around the globe so you'll hopefully never have Route53 become a point of failure for you even disaster strikes.

In this scenario you would setup the HA configuration for a single-region as mentioned above, but you would do it in multiple regions. Put another way, 2+ servers in multiple AZs in each AWS region. Then a Route53 DNS configuration setup to point to each ELB in each region representing those individual pockets of servers.

Ontop of that you would use Route53 to manage all routing of client requests into your entire domain; you can leverage the new "latency-based routing" (effectively why everyone was asking for GeoDNS for years, but even better) and monitor capability to ensure you aren't routing anyone to a dead region.

SIMPLIFICATION

--------------

Here is what I would recommend given the size of your budget and need to stay up in the AWS cloud, in-order of expense:

1. Launch a single instance in a region with acceptable latency that has never had an outage before (e.g. Oregon has never completely gone down but Virginia has -- yes yes I know VA is older, but you understand my point). This solution will be cheaper than multiple instances in any region.

2. Launch multiple instances using the web console, in multiple AZs in US-EAST (cheapest option for multi-instances) and front them with an ELB. You skip any auto-scaling complexity here but you need to keep an eye on your servers. I think ELB fixed the issue where it would effectively route traffic into the void if all the instances in an AZ went down.

OPTIONAL: If you didn't mind spending a few $ more, you could do this strategy in the region that has never gone down for added piece of mind.

3. Launch single instances in multiple REGIONS and front them with Route53. This isn't really a recommended setup as entire regions will disappear if you lose a single instance, BUT I said I would list possibilities in order of price, so there you go. You could mitigate this by setting up auto-scaling policies to replace any dead instances quickly in the off chance you wanted to do exactly this but not babysit the web console all day.

4. Launch multiple instances in each region, across multiple AZs fronted by ELBs and then the entire collection fronted by Route53.

NOTE: The real cost comes from the additional instances and not from Route53 or the ELB; so if you can use smaller instances to help keep costs down (or reserved instances also) that might allow you to provide a larger HA setup.

What about my data?

-------------------------

Yes, yes... this is an issue that someone already touched on (data locality below).

You will have to decide on a single region to hold your data; in this case I would recommend using DB services that aren't based on EC2 and have never experienced outages (or rarely) -- this includes S3, SimpleDB and/or DynamoDB. AWS's MySQL offering (RDS) are just custom EC2 instances with MySQL running on them, so any time EC2 goes down, RDS goes down.

The other DB offerings are all custom and except for SimpleDB a long time ago, have never experienced outages that I am aware of.

Making this choice is all about latency and which DB store you are comfortable with (obviously don't choose SimpleDB if everything you do requires MySQL -- then use RDS); you'll want your data as close to your web tier as possible, so if you are spread across all regions you'll just want to pick a region with the smallest latency to MOST of your customers (typically West coast if you have a lot of Asia/Aus customers and East coast if you have a lot of European customers).

Want to Go to 11?

-----------------

If you have the money and desperately want to go to 11 with this regional-scale (which I love to do, so I am sharing this) you can combine services like DynamoDB and SQS to effectively create a globally distributed NoSQL datastore with behavior along the lines of:

1. Write operation comes into a region, immediately write it to the local DynamoDB instance, asynchronously queue the write command in SQS and return to the caller.

2. In 1+ additional EC2 instances running daemons, pull messages from SQS in chunk sizes that make sense and re-play them out to the other regions DynamoDB stores; erase the messages when processed or if the processing fails the next dameon to spin up will replay it.

3. On reads, just hit the local DynamoDB in any region and reply; we trust our reconciliation threads to do the work to keep us all in sync eventually.

NOTE: If you prefer to do read-repairs here you can, but it will increase complexity and inter-region communication which all costs money.

The challenges with this approach is that you pull up a lot of DB concerns into your code like conflict resolution, resync'ing entire regions after failure, bringing new regions online and ensuring they are synchronized, diffs, etc.

There is a reason AWS doesn't offer a globally-distributed data store: it is a really hard problem to get right once you make it past the 80% use case.

Your data will determine if this is an option or not; some data allows for certain amounts of inconsistency in which case this strategy is awesome and works great; while other data (e.g. banking data) cannot allow a single wiggle of inconsistency in which case pulling all this DB logic up into the application is a bad idea. Your failure scenarios become catastrophic (e.g. your conflict-resolution logic is wrong and wipes out the balance from an account; or keeps re-filling the balance on an empty account... something bad basically)

It is all a trade-off though; if you managed your own Cassandra cluster though, Cassandra does all this and much more for you automatically; but then you just put your time into Cassandra administration instead of developing the logic around DynamoDB (or SimpleDB, or MySQL, or whatever); just pick which devil you feel more comfortable with.

I am not aware of a services company yet that offers cross-region AWS datastore deployments yet; Datastax and Iris Couch will setup things for that like you via a consulting/custom arrangement, but there isn't a dashboard for launching something like that automatically.

Hope that helped (and didn't bring you to tears of boredom)

2
PaulHoule 3 days ago 2 replies      
I hate to sound like a simpleton, but for a small operation you're best off putting all your eggs in one basket.

I'm in one of the us-east zones and I haven't had a failure in at least a year. They retired one machine I was using and dealing with that was as simple as starting and stopping -- at a time I chose.

With five zones in U.S. East, the probability of a zone failure affecting a single zone systems is 1 in 5.

If you're a busybody who spreads your system across five zones, the probability of a failure affecting you becomes 1.

You're spending more money, and dealing with a lot more complexity, all to increase the probability that hardware failures will affect you.

Now, you're hoping that a zone-distributed system will be able to recover from failures, but that's tricky to do and it's quite unlikely that this will work if you haven't tested it. Add the fact that all the other "cool kids" will be trying to recover their systems at this time and make AMZN's control plane go down.

In the meantime, with probability 4/5 I'm sleeping through the disaster and the first time I hear about it is on hacker news.

3
sehugg 3 days ago 1 reply      
My thought: Have a very nice screen for your mobile app/website that says "We are down for maintenance, please stand by."

Sorry to be fatalist, but it's a hard problem. This last outage was more than just an AZ failure. Region-wide API usage was affected, so operations like static IP reassignment and ELB changes were not taking effect. This means you are hanging out in the wind should there be something unusual that requires manual intervention (as was the case with us).

Route 53 is a good service but I don't know how its control plane works, and it could be that problems in a single region would disable the ability to update DNS records (I would guess that DNS reads are a lot more available than writes). And in any case DNS is not a very good failover mechanism due to upstream caching.

Unless your business model requires higher reliability than Instagram, Netflix, and Pinterest, I'd suggest going multi-AZ, crossing your fingers, and doing everything else right.

4
aeden 3 days ago 2 replies      
Sending traffic to different zones isn't the challenge, the challenge is deciding where your master data will live. In fact, this has always been one of the biggest challenges of building a fault-tolerant systems. If your master data store lives in one zone then you've got latency issues, but if it lives in multiple zones then you need to find a logical way to shard. You could also replicate across zones and then turn off writes if the zone with the master fails. You could even change masters in that case, but there's risk of data loss there.

Anyhow, sorry I don't have a simple answer - I'm not sure a simple answer exists.

5
justincormack 3 days ago 0 replies      
Decide which part of the CAP Theorem http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAP_theorem you want to give up on. Presumably you decided that Availability was not it, so you need to program around lack of consistency and/or partition tolerance. Essentially that means there is no "master database", and you will need to reconcile differing views. This can get quite application specific, and you need to understand your data well.
6
explodingbarrel 3 days ago 1 reply      
We run a few decent sized social games and we have survived all the major AWS region outages in the past year. He's what we do and what I would suggest.

1. Use Rightscale. You can get away with the free edition, but for $500/month the basic paid edition will allow you access to arrays and all the excellent scripts available on the marketplace.

2. The front end. I would strongly suggest moving away from ELB. We are using it and are about to get rid of it. The main problem is what exactly happened last night. If a whole AZ goes down, the ELB for that zone can get screwed and the DNS was not updating the CNAME to remove the bad zone. Instead of ELB, we have our own LB solution we are going to roll out that will use Rightscale server arrays and will handle the updating of the DNS names itself. We also aren't going to use Route53, because we learned last night that the API for that can go down and you can get stuck with bad DNS records.

3. Application servers. Use at least 3 AZ and have them evenly spaced. This is easy to do in Rightscale with sever arrays. Make sure your voting ration for scaling isn't 50% because you might not scale correctly if you loose 2 AZ. Keep the vote to 30% and you will be happy (if one zone votes to grow, let it grow).

4. Database. This is the fun one. We have been using MongoDB with pretty good success. Our multi-shard DB has 3 servers per replica set and has them distributed equally between AZs. We use 4 EBS drive RAID-0 drives for storage which have had problems in the past due to the outages that EBS sometimes has. Our best bet has been a watcher process that will kill the mongod process if there's any problems writing to the drive array. By doing this, the replica set will automatically failover to the next server and we won't get stuck with a primary node that can't write back to disk. For backups, we just freeze the writes on the secondaries and do EBS snapshots even 15 minutes. Rightscale has some great EBS tools for managing this for you. If you loose a server, we can deploy a new server in a matter of minutes and it will rebuild the RAID array from the last backup so we have a warm spare.

5. Monitor, monitor, monitor. Rightscale has some great tools for monitoring everything. Use them, and use more monitoring on other infrastructure (ie Pingdom)

Doing something like this will cost a lot more that just sticking to a single AZ, but you should be able to survive one, if not two complete datacenter outages.

7
rvagg 3 days ago 0 replies      
FWIW I initially went into ELB assuming it would solve a lot of my redundancy problems. And while it has helped a lot (I spread my frontend across 3 zones), I've suffered through a number of ELB failures or disruptions, including this latest one, which is one of the worst. Even with fully functioning servers that I can connect to individually, ELB was intermittently rejecting connections and failed to reregister instances.
There's no silver bullet! Just prepare for failure and attempt to handle it gracefully, learning from each one. I suppose you should also think hard before you launch into a greater AWS budget to increase availability. Most of us are tempted to do that after each major incident--which is why Amazon can walk away from these events in a better position than before (until they have a genuine competitor that is).
8
mark_l_watson 3 days ago 0 replies      
I haven't tried this (I use single EC2 deployments, some Heroku, also have a Hetzner server) but it is something that I have been thinking of: have the web services that back up your web app on a single server, and yes that will fail on hopefully rare occasions. Host the Javascript+HTML5+CSS front end on S3 with Cloudfront CDN. The home page of your app will almost never go offline and you control what to report to your users if your backend services are offline. Sure you lose core functionality, but you still have static content and a friendly message about temporary lack of services.

Going beyond that at a cost of slow response times when trying to access a downed backend, you could deploy back end web services to two different hosting providers, perhaps running something like CouchDB replicated on each provider. The Javascript on your UI could switch to an alternative back end after a timeout. For "one page" style apps, you could maintain the state information that a backend host is down in the browser.

9
rdl 3 days ago 1 reply      
Start here: http://aws.amazon.com/architecture/

I don't think they show how to do ELB across Regions, or diversity against single-ELB problems (although I haven't seen ELB fail yet). You'd probably have to build this yourself.

10
alanbyrne 3 days ago 0 replies      
I am on PHPFog for my front-end and with an AWS RDS back-end. I managed to survive this incident without an outage (I am on U.S East as well), although I did get some horrendous response times from RDS for about an hour there.

PHPFog are on AWS and I pay them to make sure they have the redundancy worked out. If they don't, I would yell at them until I got some money back.

I am considering configuring RDS for Multi A-Z, but need to research it a little more first. From what I can tell you just click a button to turn it on, but there were a lot of people complaining yesterday that the fail-over didn't work at all when it was supposed to.

I also have a bunch of EC2 VMs that do back-end processing and have a load of CRON jobs on them that need to run once every 24 hours. If these go down for a couple of hours then there is no noticeable impact to my customers, they can still log into my service and access their historical data.

I have considered spreading across multiple regions etc but at the end of the day it's just too expensive for the small increase in reliability.

11
elijahchancey 3 days ago 0 replies      
Assuming we want to minimize latency and maximize reliability, we want to create a stack that:

1) Has AutoScaling Groups & Elastic Load Balancers in two regions (and only two availability zones; let's keep front-end instances in the same AZ as your local/region-specific DB)

2) Has Databases in two regions and uses Master Master replication

3) Instances talk to their local DB. If they detect their local DB is down, they failover to the remote DB (ie, the far region). If they failover, they notify you.

4) DNS does geographic load balancing (pre-ELB). You'll need to use a provider like DynDNS or UltraDNS to give you Geo Load Balancing & Failover. Or, you could pair a monitoring service like CatchPoint with Route53

5) Application caching (Memcache, Redis, etc). Let's not put more load on the DB's than necessary.

That's a good start, at least.

12
trebor 3 days ago 0 replies      
From what I've heard, you're on the right track. However, I'd want it to not round-robin but go to the nearest working node. I don't use AWS, so I don't know how to configure the ELB, but I would assume that this is possible.
13
cardmagic 2 days ago 0 replies      
Try a multi-infrastructure PaaS like http://appfog.com/
14
neilwillgettoit 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm shocked no one has mentioned http://www.cedexis.com/ yet.
15
bfisher9 3 days ago 0 replies      
Super low TTL and Refresh combined with replication to a DR provider. High Availability placed exclusively on a single provider - even Amazon (albeit different AZ's) is of zero value if all of Amazon itself is offline...
12
Ask HN: What are your intra-price plan conversion rates?
16 points by petenixey  1 day ago   discuss
13
Which Bay Area startup is the most exciting?
9 points by sinak  1 day ago   6 comments top 3
1
sharemywin 23 hours ago 1 reply      
In 2005 facebook was just a way for univeristy students to connect. Myspace had 26 million users and facebook only had 11 million. I'm not sure without talking with the insiders personally would you have the insight to even guess what strategies they were thinking of using to get ahead. Liking, walls, third party api for games all of these things drove it's growth. all those things were influenced by outside ideas and probably weren't even on the list of things todo at that time.
2
Toph 1 day ago 1 reply      
As you can imagine, this is HIGHLY subjective. What is interesting to you may not be interesting to me and vice versa. From your Facebook example, aside from the fact that it had "huge" growth potential, I can't decipher reasons for why YOU personally found it to be the most interesting for its era. That makes it hard to quantify or recommend anything. Perhaps you can elaborate a bit more? Sorry, wish I could give a better response at this time.
3
brittonrt 1 day ago 1 reply      
The one you are about to start, right? ;)
14
Ask HN: Is a starting an enterprise software startup worth the hassle?
62 points by diminium  2 days ago   19 comments top 11
1
diskdoctor 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'll start off by saying I'm a closeted entrepreneur in my heart, however by day I've been selling Enterprise Software for 10yrs+. The latter is what's kept me from doing my own startup for a decade, the income is addictive but the business is not straightforward. To give some context, the average deal size for me is around $250k, but I generally work on large enterprise deals that run $2M+. Two years ago I sold over $70M in software to just two companies, neither Fortune 500. Needless to say income is substantial in this type of sales where base salaries are easily $100-$150k and you can find yourself earning at least $250k in a slow year, and as good as maybe $1M in a very good one. However, I'm different than most enterprise software sales people. Before selling I spent years programming, architecting systems and continue to work hard to keep my skills up b/c I love this stuff.

Marketing and selling software to enterprises is the most dysfunctional cycle of decision making you will ever see in business. In almost all cases the individuals in the business who actually derive value from the technology are entirely disconnected from those who make the purchasing decisions. Many times those purchasing decisions are made based on "perceived" synergies with other software systems already owned from the same vendor, having never been vetted by the actually consumer in the business. Enterprises represent a huge market to be served by well designed/functional applications. Keep in mind that most Enterprise SW contracts have customers paying yearly maintenance charges that are 20% of the original license cost and sometimes more...

The thing to understand in selling into this market is you need to adapt your "logical" marketing and sales strategy to the way enterprises buy. I say adapt b/c you can't make or help a dysfunctional buyer behave differently. These companies like centralizing technology decisions, large multi-year commitments and have complex IT accounting considerations. You need to be aware of their existing legacy infrastructures and have a story of how you "play nice". You need to have partnerships with existing large Enterprise SW companies (IBM, HP, Microsoft, Oracle,etc) and you need to have Rolex wearing sales guys who have the connections and can get deals done - http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/13/new-enterprise-customer/

If you do all that, just moderately well, a large SW company would swoop you up really fast. They can't innovate new marketable products worth crap, all they do is buy. And although we hear about some of those acquisitions there are many, many more that don't get as much press...

However in contrast to the approach above I have been whiteness to a handfull of startup business models that have done really well at infiltrating the enterprise based on their distribution and user engagement model. Take Yammer for example, their model allowed for people in large companies to start using it (for free) without having to get any approval from their IT departments. I had a CIO friend of mine who never heard of Yammer until I mentioned and showed him where over 100 of his company employees were already active on it. Large companies have to worry about compliance, document retention, etc. His first reaction was to block it via the firewall, but then he was smart enough to see it as an opportunity to invest in a technology that had actually been proven to deliver value by people within his own company. Software or services that can get into the enterprise like a cockroach, breed and spread under the radar have a really good chance of getting a CIO's attention in a good way - it's an opportunity for them to invest in a solution that works and guarantees that their business will get value since its already been proven on an small scale.

2
calinet6 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is a very difficult market to break into, and lots of people are trying right now.

My first piece of advice is to build up your size and trustworthiness as much as possible. Large companies won't buy from you if you have no standing in the market. That's what you need most, after you have quality software to sell of course.

I'd recommend starting with smaller companies and building up from thereā€"the long tail contains a huge untapped market that you can take advantage of and build up your size.

Next, know your domain exceedingly well. Don't show flashy software, solve problems. Find out what the true problems are with their current software, and solve those. Unfortunately, their problem is NOT that their users don't like using it (well, it's a problem, but not the top problem). The top problem is likely that it isn't fully capturing their process, or it misses certain savings or benefits to the bottom line that it should make obvious. Business problems are the real problems, never forget that.

Don't be afraid of investment. Use it to grow when you need to, because your small size will be your biggest downside. Even through all that, never forget that your software quality holds up the rest of your business in the end; you must balance all these factors at once.

And lastly, buy a really sharp looking suit. Sorry.

3
kjhughes 2 days ago 0 replies      
Old school: Big sales forces addressing committees and execs, operating over long sales cycles. Rewards: big contracts and institutional lock-in.

New school: Self-serve sales winning grass roots support from front line workers. Rewards: high customer loyalty, quick sales cycles, quick feedback, and lower sales costs:

https://www.google.com/#q=consumerification+of+the+enterpris...

4
mrkurt 2 days ago 1 reply      
Now's actually a pretty good time to tackle these problems since "users" are becoming accustomed to using tools they like. You just have to be clever about how you tackle a particular problem, you're not going to take down PeopleSoft by trying to sell companies a PeopleSoft replacement. Rather, you're going to build something like Expensify that saves individual employees from some of the more irritating things they may have to do with PeopleSoft.

A good general trick is to build something that solves some portion of an enterprise's need, make it free to try out and cheap to use at work. There are a huge number of people out there that can pay some nominal amount for a service and expense it, it's just a matter of finding some need people with that level of autonomy have and getting them to pay you to fix it. Easy, right?

I wouldn't start by trying to navigate the maze, just avoid it altogether until you have a compelling reason to take that burden on.

5
choffstein 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well, a new accelerator Acceleprise (acceleprise.vc) just started up to tackle the space. At the very least, it might be worthing reaching out and talking to some of their mentors.

Note: I have no affiliation with Acceleprise

6
abiekatz 2 days ago 0 replies      
I find this post on the topic to be interesting:
http://www.julesmaltz.com/post/3376586698/if-you-like-saas-t...

I think if you don't have the sales rolodex to sell traditional enterprise software going freemium or low cost SaaS is the way to go. Or to team up with some one who can sell into enterprises. You may be able to learn the ropes as you go but that is unlikely. If you look at the background of a lot of the top enterprise software entrepreneurs, you will see that they have worked at other enterprise software companies previously.

Like anything, it is difficult to give a sweeping answer. There are a lot of great opportunities in enterprise software that are worth pursuing. The "hassle" of selling can be reduced by have more consumerized enterprise software but selling will be a big issue. Plus it'll be more tricky as you attempt to sell to larger organizations.

7
astrofinch 2 days ago 0 replies      
My question is what industries these dysfunctional enterprise companies who buy terrible software are in and whether those industries could be disrupted.
8
wheaties 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anything is worth the hassle if the rewards make up for it. If you don't believe me think about cameras and photo fanatics. You just have to beat someone at something to give yourself an edge. Then work that edge.
9
serverascode 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am starting an "enterprise" software company. I agree that often enterprise software is complete garbage, and the reasons organizations purchase said software is not because it is actually good, or even does what its supposed to.

But I don't think that should be a deterrent to building an enterprise software startup--there's room for disruption, and room for good software, good people, and good decisions. There are good organizations out there to work with.

Smart startups can beat the big entrenched code.

That said my co-founder is a great salesman (I'm the techinical co-founder), and having a sales team is high on my priority list.

10
pbreit 2 days ago 0 replies      
Don't attempt top-down enterprise sales unless you are ready for long, expensive cycles.

Instead, look at what Yammer has done with a bottoms-up, freemium customer acquisition approach.

11
fertel 2 days ago 0 replies      
A few points from my experience building a startup for the enterprise (these examples are based entirely on my experience in the financial services industry, although from what I understand they should be easy to extrapolate across other fields):

The sales cycle can be/is excruciatingly long. Certain companies that signed on took 1-2 years to get on board after initial engagement.

You need to partner up/find someone who has the deep contacts/relationships in the big cos that would be your clients.

You need to prove to them that it will be cheaper (including the cost of switching, training, etc...), Reduce Risk, and allow them to "reallocate resources."

Inertia is very strong at large organizations. Building a product that directly competes with an entrenched competitor sounds like a very risky endeavor.

15
ASK HN: What is HN's current overall job satisfaction?
27 points by ZanderEarth32  1 day ago   35 comments top 13
1
mindcrime 1 day ago 2 replies      
That's a hard question to answer. I am working a $DAYJOB while working on a startup, and - to be quite honest - I really chafe at having a "boss" and having to answer to somebody in the $DAYJOB. My ambition is absolutely to get this startup off the ground and be in a position where I'm calling the shots and not answering to somebody who's "above" me. (And yes, I get that you have a "boss" in an abstract sense when you run a company... investors, customers, etc. But that's OK, I'm talking about there being one discrete person that you have to answer to and do exactly what he/she says). So in that regard, I hate the dayjob.

But, as dayjobs go, the one I have isn't too bad, and it pays the bills while we work on bootstrapping the startup. So it's kind of a mixed bag. Probably the more troubling part is the sense of the "opportunity cost" of every hour I spend playing code monkey for somebody else, and thinking about the value we could be creating in that hour, and what it could mean to the startup. When I think about that, I find myself getting pretty frustrated. But, I like the people I work with and what-not. And the travel is an opportunity to meet some new people, explore new cities, etc. But, again with the opportunity cost... and travel wears on you in a way as well.

I guess that's a lot of words to say "I have mixed feelings about my dayjob, but it suffices while I work on the startup." :-)

2
spking 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd call myself "chronically unfulfilled" with my day job. I simply don't like the rat race lifestyle (trains, traffic, playing dress-up), and the industry I'm in (financial services) is so crippled by regulation and a culture of risk aversion that it's basically impossible to try new ideas and move the needle.

I've given myself 9 more months to replace my salary with consulting and product revenue (hopefully more of the latter). I have dependents, so I have to plot my escape from the cubicle with care.

3
benjaminwootton 1 day ago 0 replies      
Bear in mind that this is a self-selecting group.

A lot of us will be interested and happy in our jobs, but we will also have the yearnings to have a crack at entrepreneurship ourselves.

This definetly gives me a bit of an unsettled feeling, and I need to get it out of my system before I can really accept full time employment with 100% satisfaction.

4
bartonfink 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm quite happy with my current position at Mapquest, to the point that I'd say it's the best job I've ever had. I've got my frustrating moments with management, but the work is exciting and, most of all, I feel very much like I am heard when I bring up engineering concerns. We're hiring, but I've not posted on the Who's Hiring thread as I'm currently arguing with HR about interviewing the resumes I got last month (hence the frustrations with management).

The only thing that would entice me to move would be a job abroad: my family and I are planning a move to New Zealand or Australia in the mid-term future and it would be a fantastic stroke of luck to get a job offer now that would let me work from one of those countries.

5
midlifequestion 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am unsatisfied and would like to make a change.

I work in an odd environment. It is an academic/research institution, but my role is a standard IT position. I am primarily expected to do system administration tasks and small data management assignments. In general, development is frowned upon. There seems to be a ceiling in opportunity here due to both my "lower" credential (MS rather than PhD) and perception of what my role is by outsiders.

From a more general perspective, I made a critical error when entering the job market at the end of the first Internet boom (early 2000s). I did not take a development job, but rather a test role at a large IT company. It took me several years at that big IT company to realize that this colored perception of my skills and limited internal opportunities despite a MS in CS and significant programming work on the side.

I left for another company where my job role was related to db skills I had picked up but was a greenfield project. That was enjoyable and a learning experience, but the project was cancelled and the entire team laid off in the early days of the financial crisis.

I landed on my feet in my current role. The role has turned out to be quite different that originally pitched to me, but I have a senior title and pay level. The job just doesn't provide much in the way of personal growth.

For family and lifestyle reasons, I will not leave for at least a year. I have been developing some interest in statistics, modeling, and machine learning. While I would prefer not to simply seek another credential, my employer would probably allow me to obtain a MS in statistics at their expense. Perhaps this would lead to more interesting and challenging work, but to be completely honest with myself, my current role is where many people with that background windup anyway.

To somewhat worsen matters, I am often much more attracted to niche technologies (APL,KDB+,J,Common Lisp, Clojure, Ruby) than the market in my area seems to offer employment opportunties for. I probably need to consider re-entering the Java enterprise programming world and not be a prima-donna about programming language.

6
bane 1 day ago 1 reply      
Used to be pretty happy couple years ago, the work is exciting and interesting.

But early lack of good management and now a chronic lack of resources has turned it into a stressful drag. I'm pretty much angry at everybody all the time now and it's not good on my health or well being.

Looking to move soon, but waiting for company to sell first (imminent). Probably wanting to move to the West Coast -- Seattle or Bay Area next. Probably end of the year is my goal.

7
joshmlewis 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm a designer cofounder at a startup in a accelerator program. I feel like everyday I'm contributing to something and choosing which path to take. I work close with my other two cofounders and we all respect each others final decision in their departments. We get to meet with top industry folks and investors that give is tremendous insight into our product and help us shape it to be more and more useful.

We work in a cool office with the other teams and the community is amazing. I absolutely love it. That feeling where you just love coming in and working and spending time with everyone. This helps our product but also improves the quality of life. I do remote work for two other companies to help with living expenses, and the I still like that but it's nothing compared to being a cofounder and getting to do the things that come along with that.

Note: I'm 18, and just one year out of high school so I have some flexibility and can handle a decent bit.

8
Jd 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am a relatively unhappy consultant. I have reached premium billing status within my industry, but seem to be offered to work on relatively repetitive problems that are anything but challenging. Also, although I've made a fair number of contributions to the ecosystem, the community that contributes back is quite thin and despite some positive press, I don't feel that there is hardly any impetus behind the open source ecosystem (full disclosure: i work in the enterprise).

That said, consulting fits my lifestyle well. I get on a project, complete it, and then am done and can pursue some of my other interests (music, poetry, human languages, travel) with a minimum of interference. As a long term solution I think I would kill myself if I had to keep doing this forever, but as a solution to make money for the last couple years it hasn't been terrible.

The problem is that the transition isn't particularly easy. Most of the skills I've acquired do transfer into other industry sectors, but I haven't stayed on top of the newest stuff in any of them (e.g. Rails magic, Javascript frameworks, etc.). I've thought about jumping ship once there is the crest of a new wave that becomes financially viable (e.g. Meteor) or even transitioning into a completely new line of work (e.g. management consulting/book writing) that kills less brain cells.

As of now, however, I am simply unhappy and seeking the next best thing. Creating my own company or joining a fledging startup has always been of interest, but my lifestyle doesn't allow a 60hr/week commitment as of right now.

9
praptak 1 day ago 1 reply      
Maybe this should be a poll?

Happy at a 9-17 job which involves Linux, network, concurrency and C++ and is close to the metal yet still involves a huge set of features. This combination makes it challenging.

10
yashchandra 1 day ago 1 reply      
Currently self-employed/consultant: Happy

Industry that I work with: Semi-happy

Billing rate: Happy

Working for large corporate clients doing challenging but repetitive tasks: Not happy

Bottomline is that I have the "bootstrap a company" itch that I am looking to scratch asap.

11
lzm 1 day ago 0 replies      
My work is currently uninteresting, which makes me bored/unmotivated. The salary isn't good either.

Looking into moving to a developed nation.

12
damon_c 1 day ago 1 reply      
Just quit a full-time job of 8 years working for an industry leading company to become a remote freelance web developer with startups on the side.

Couldn't be happier!

13
vtry 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just changed job, so yes, still very happy right now.
16
Ask HN: Small open source project
4 points by Jedi_Vik  19 hours ago   4 comments top 3
1
wtracy 19 hours ago 1 reply      
That's awfully vague.

Find something that you or someone in your life use--or would use if it just did XYZ. Work on that.

If you have a certain skill set that you're looking to hone, tell us about that and maybe someone could offer suggestions.

2
nagarch 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Hello,

I am trying to develop an app/site dedicated to matha matics for kids under 10.

do you like?

3
timtamboy63 18 hours ago 0 replies      
What language(s)?
17
[Ask HN]I want to contribute to an open source objective c project. Suggestions?
2 points by shubhamgoel  12 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
OiNutter 11 hours ago 0 replies      
My Coderwall App (https://github.com/OiNutter/Coderwall-iOS) is open source and I'd be happy to have you to take a look and maybe make some suggestions. However it's my first ever app so I doubt it would do much to help you with your goal of becoming an engineer. Even so, if you want to take a look and get involved then feel free.
2
sunni 11 hours ago 0 replies      
gnustep
18
Ask HN: Where Can I Find an API for Hardware Benchmarks?
3 points by joshschreuder  20 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
frugalfirbolg 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Sadly not a web service, but very well organized:
http://homepage.virgin.net/roy.longbottom/index.htm

Tons of different benchmarks with source code and very comprehensive data for legacy and contemporary hardware.
They're free for personal use only. I'm sure you can contact him if you have something commercial in mind.

2
chaud 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't know of one, and doubt one exists, but I would love for someone to show me that I am wrong.

If you just want to do the occasional comparison, AnandTech has a great Bench page: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/2

20
Ask HN: I'm a PHP developer, should I learn Rails or Django?
11 points by zensavona  1 day ago   15 comments top 9
1
anthonyb 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why not learn both?

Pick a small(ish) project and go at it in both frameworks. You've said that you have friends who know both, and you've already got a handle on web dev through PHP, so maybe Rails one weekend, and Django the next. Now you know which one you like the best, rather than relying on other peoples' opinions.

2
slig 1 day ago 1 reply      
I played with Rails a long time ago and decided to try Django when it hit the 1.0.

You have one really good argument for going with Django: your friends use it. You can ask them tips, talk about it, and they certainly help you in the right direction.

Aside from that, I recommend you to try the Django tutorial, shouldn't take you more than a couple of hours https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/dev/intro/tutorial01/

Also, the small webserver bundled with Django will restart automatically whenever you change a file.

3
yashchandra 1 day ago 0 replies      
Take a relatively non-complex but not too trivial project that you did in PHP. Do it in Rails and Django both. See how it feels and then you can possibly decide.
I only work with Python but was not sure between Django and micro-framework such as Flask. I did a User Management/sign-up application using both and found Flask to be the right fit for me.
4
jamescun 1 day ago 1 reply      
Ideally, you would want something to work on and learn the language best suited to that, or pick a goal such as "Build iPhone Apps" for example.

If I had to give my opinion between Ruby or Python; I would say Python, as it is multi-disciplinary. Python can be used for everything from website to high performance computing and have great communities backing them up allowing you to be a more fluid and interesting engineer; Whereas Ruby (and its defacto framework, Rails) tends to be geared towards just web development. Just my 2 cents.

5
LoneWolf 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Take this with a grain of salt because I feel I am biased towards PHP but here it goes.

Python while a nice language that I have tried, I absolutely hate the indentation, I hate to have to write code and care about its indentation, I prefer to write my code without caring about it and let my editor format it for me when I'm done or need to read it.

As for Ruby while I can't talk much about the language, the comunity itself kind of scares me, I have the idea that they are some sort of zealots who attack anyone that doesn't use Ruby. (sorry Ruby guys that's the feeling I have), the little I know about the language is that I don't like the syntax much but I am a C like syntax lover.

Now for PHP one of my loved languages (Java and C++ are others), I like the syntax, I like to have braces on my code makes it easy for me to read, but I guess on how much you are used to it, there are some nice libraries too, but some are heavy (Zend is one of them, does a lot but it's heavy), a lot of things that I do are done in PHP, while it may not be the fastest code running, it's one of the fastest to write.

Once again beware, this reflects my way of viewing the languages.

6
philippb 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think it's great that you want to learn something new. The main question that I would ask myself is, what adds the most value to my portfolio?

How much value does another similar backend language give?

My thoughts on this would be: Not to much. I would rather look for something that makes you a more interesting engineer. You could e.g. learn to make android apps. That would make you a quite valuable person being able to code mobile frontend and a backend service. Or a backend language/framework that is far different and let's you solve problems that you run into with PHP on high traffic websites.
Some companies started using Scala for high performance parts of their service. Or get a good understanding of Apache Lucene a search engine.

But something that is more different from PHP and will make you a more interesting engineer.

7
noeleon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Take something you have coded in PHP and see how easy it is to re-factor in both languages.

There are no downsides to knowing all of these web frameworks, eventually you will find yourself in a position where company X only wants Ruby, or company Y only writes python.

8
cdvonstinkpot 1 day ago 0 replies      
Google: "foo sucks" & see what you can dig up about each language's quirks.
9
stuffihavemade 23 hours ago 0 replies      
fyi: webrick (the dev rails server) only needs to be reset for database changes. Everything else will show up with a refresh.
21
Ask HN: books on critical thinking, analysis and creativity/innovation ?
6 points by technology  1 day ago   4 comments top 4
1
inetsee 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would suggest that you take a look at the Less Wrong website ("http://lesswrong.com). It describes itself as "A community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality". There is a wiki, and "sequences", which are sets of posts on particular topics organized into a recommended order of reading. The posts on the website are very strong on critical thinking and analysis, not so much on creativity/innovation (in the context of new business/new product creation).
2
eswat 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I have not finished it yet, but I think Pragmatic Thinking & Learning has a lot to offer in all three.

http://pragprog.com/book/ahptl/pragmatic-thinking-and-learni...

3
s_henry_paulson 1 day ago 0 replies      
Most of us have probably read it, but:

http://37signals.com/rework/

4
chillax 1 day ago 0 replies      
3. What about Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson (http://www.amazon.com/Where-Good-Ideas-Come-From/dp/15944853...)?
22
Ask HN: Recurring billing solutions, summer 2012 edition
5 points by speric  1 day ago   4 comments top 3
1
skrish 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://www.ChargeBee.com - we did a Show HN to ge feedback sometime back and got some very good feedback. Went back and improved on several things and continuing to do that.

We have a good roadmap of solutions to provide you everything you need to run business. Analytics and a few other useful integrations based on customer inputs is in the works. We are still in private beta working with a short list of customers whom we are working with closely (though we are unable to serve everyone immediately as some of the payment integrations are due to be completed by July / August).

We have integrations readily available with BraintreePayments (US), Samurai (not sure if they still do underwrite new accounts and we did this earlier), WorldPay (Singapore). Authorize.net will be ready in another week.

And we support multiple payment gateway integration. We do not have a vault to store card with us and we store in the respective payment gateway.

Here is the link to our API docs: https://apidocs.chargebee.com/

I am one of the founders and will be happy to help. :)

2
randall 1 day ago 1 reply      
For Vidpresso.com, we use Stripe. It's so easy to set up, and has a really modern REST / Webhook-y api.

2.9% feels expensive, but when you realize you don't have to set up any subscriber / coupon code / plan configuration logic, each charge seems a lot less scary.

3
JayNeely 1 day ago 0 replies      
Spreedly.com's still going strong; used them when they were first getting started in 2007. They're still top in my book because they've done the best job of integrating with numerous payment gateways, and their Stripe-competitor, SpreedlyCore, is looking promising.

http://spreedly.com/
https://spreedlycore.com/

It's also nice that their pricing is all flat-fee per-transaction.

23
Ask HN: Connecting people based on common interests
3 points by BlackCloud  1 day ago   9 comments top 5
1
ewokhead 1 day ago 0 replies      
Any site that requires Facebook to login is a site I will not use.

So, my feedback: it sucks until you implement login that does not rely on a third party that is known for its questionable privacy practices.

After you do that, I would definitely check it out.
Well done by the way. "Finishing" stuff is hard and you have launched!

2
BlackCloud 1 day ago 2 replies      
Thanks for the feedback.

I do have some ideas around guiding the user through the initial experience outside of the initial overlay and get the immediately involved with interacting with others. I think opening up the lines of communication between the users immediately is key.

With regards to the Facebook login I understand your point, hell I've said it myself about other sites, but in this case the entire experience is based on the data from your Facebook profile. It encourages honesty about who you really are and makes it so it is not another profile for you to manage. Without the ability to use the Facebook data you wouldn't be able to have much of an experience. I understand that a percentage will walk away from the site due to that but I'm going to have to focus on the millions of people who do use their Facebook account on a regular basis to login to a third party site.

3
AznHisoka 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Color scheme looks too much like Facebook, and Face is in the domain. You should be worried about a cease to desist...
4
jacksondeane 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like the concept, and am waiting for someone to execute on it well.

As for your FaceToFriend site... It is very difficult to figure out exactly what to do after logging in. You need to direct the user (especially a new user) to the key feature/areas. If the "I Want To Talk About..." search box is where you go to get rolling, you have lost already.

5
tjoff 1 day ago 0 replies      
Requires facebook? Sorry, but no thanks.
24
Ask HN: Meeting Apple Marketing person for first time tomorrow - any advice?
5 points by nvsp  1 day ago   3 comments top
1
georgespencer 1 day ago 1 reply      
Apple's marketing department is an area I am intimately familiar with.

1. Are you targeting the iBooks market, or are you targeting the iBooks market? That is: are you competition to Apple, or a potential success story for them?

2. Apple meets interesting companies who are in interesting fields regularly. Biz Dev is a broad title. It can mean any of the following:

i. Hey let's be friends!
ii. This is a market we're going to highlight in the next keynote and you might fit in well.
iii. This is a market we are keen to exploit more and you're potentially competition.
iv. We want to acquire you.
v. We want to fuck you, hard.

If you're not sure which of those it's going to be you need to take a long look at Apple's objectives with iBooks and education and work out where you sit on their radar.

3. Don't give anything away that Apple couldn't already have reasonably worked out. Talk about the size of your team and your experience in this market, but don't talk about investment or investors. If they ask specifically then just politely say that its' confidential, and that you're sure someone from Apple can understand that.

4. Be passionate about the public side of your roadmap. Discuss the key problems and the solution you have to them. Have answers to the challenges you're likely to face (I guess traction is one).

Don't ask about Apple's plans because they won't tell you anything. However, do think about things that Apple could do that would help you get into this market and really open it up. Frame some questions around that if you can.

Sorry this is a little broad. I don't think you're naive enough to be expecting an acquisition or something, but you should also be prepared for the fact that they will probably speak to 100 companies like you every week, just so they have you on file.

25
Why this year's leap second crashed more systems?
3 points by laacz  1 day ago   4 comments top 2
1
Piskvorrr 1 day ago 1 reply      
(And a corollary: why so many systems are so woefully unprepared for such quirks in the calendar system, even though such quirks are well documented and anticipated - albeit not always regular? I mean, even leap years manage to knock down servers, even though they happen regularly, approximately every four years...)
2
nicktelford 1 day ago 0 replies      
From what I've heard the majority of the problems we saw this time around were caused by a deadlock in NTP in a number of Linux kernels (2.6.21 until 3.3 I think, although that might be wrong).

[source: http://www.mail-archive.com/git-commits-head@vger.kernel.org...]

I know that CentOS/RHEL 6 was affected, but CentOS/RHEL 5.5 (kernel 2.6.18) was not.

So I guess it's just a coincidence, a bug was introduced in a code path that's rarely executed and so lay dormant for some time, gaining more and more victims as time went by and people adopted kernels containing said bug.

26
Ask HN: Your experience with a 'lesser known' incubator?
5 points by azarias  2 days ago   6 comments top 4
1
michaelbuckbee 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was in LaunchBox DC (which has since moved to NC Raleigh/Durham area) it was a very positive experience. The advisors brought in great connections: Steve Case, Tim O'Reilly, various startup CEO's, etc for weekly round table discussions and advice.

The overall outcome was a third of the class ended up either getting acqui-hired or taking additional investment, a third is still bootstrapping, and everyone else scaled things down to a side business or just faded away.

2
drewvolpe 2 days ago 1 reply      
I was in MassChallenge '10 and it was a great experience. One big difference between MC and most incubators is that it's a non-profit. You get free office space, access to a great set of mentors, and, if you're one of the top teams, you get a share of $1m. Everything, including the money, is non-dilutive and comes with no strings attached.
3
tbelote 1 day ago 0 replies      
Kincast is in Sproutbox http://sproutbox.com/ right now. The experience has been great. You instantly get a great UX person, designer, and a few developers without having to recruit and hire people. You don't get lots of cash, but the instant access to more engineering resources is very nice.
4
pawelwentpawel 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'll join the question - have any of you ever had any experience with seedcamp?
27
HN Feature Request: being able to fold comment threads
3 points by imalolz  1 day ago   1 comment top
1
Toph 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is a google chrome extension that fixes this called Hacker News Collapsible Comments
28
More iPhones are ready for Chrome Mobile than Android Phones
10 points by Roritharr  3 days ago   2 comments top
1
z92 3 days ago 1 reply      
I have a felling that this iOS vs Android competition might turn out like Mac vs DOS [calling it DOS to show how bad it was] from last century. Mac was winning for a decade. From early 80s to mid 90s. Latest versions of PageMaker, Photoshop and other such software were always released for Mac first. Like how now most of all good software are released for iOS first. Even best games of the time like Simcity, Prince of Persia were released for Macs with no PC version available for some time.

But then things started to catch up. And we know the rest. Question is will history repeat itself this time too? Will Android continue to improve over iOS and its high adoption rate turn it into the only mobile OS that matters, like how Windows was? I believe Apple has its strategy to prevent it from happening. That might be why it's pricing its tablets so strategically.

Ultimately everyone will get the answer, over time. But whoever can predict the future best can make the most profit out of it. Specially we, the software developers.

29
Are there estimates on how much Google and Amazon make on one android device?
2 points by yalogin  1 day ago   1 comment top
1
bifrost 1 day ago 0 replies      
I know Google loses money due to patent royalties paid to MSFT every time an Android phone gets activated, not sure about tablets. I suspect the investment in time and resources hasn't paid off yet.
30
LaunchValue - my simple signup page app
15 points by nistha0202  5 days ago   12 comments top 6
1
Donito 4 days ago 1 reply      
I think your demo should be more than an example of signup page. Quite frankly, most signup pages look the same (e.g. resizable background image, centered box with text and maybe a logo, and a call to action). Where you could really differentiate yourself (over existing similar services) is better analytics that you get from your service, and a demo of the admin panel could convey that.

So for example, show that for every signup you know:
1. Where your users come from (e.g. referer)
2. Where your users are from (e.g. geo location based on ip)
3. User Agent, Browser, Mobile vs. Desktop
etc...

This information is not only "cool to know" but also useful to understand who your potential customers are.

A few more things. In your "sales pitch", you mention your competitors (e.g. LaunchRock/Unbounce). I wouldn't suggest advertising for your competitor, and loosing potential customers to them, especially if you're value proposition is weak.

Finally, I wouldn't suggest your "call to action" to be to see pricing, that's also a turnoff. Instead, maybe you ask for emails for people interesting who want to use the beta when it's ready :P

2
gregorym 5 days ago 1 reply      
What is the difference with http://launchrock.com ?
3
rabidonrails 4 days ago 1 reply      
Curious to know why you decided on a free plan and a $45 plan?
4
jridgway 5 days ago 1 reply      
Looks like a cool idea! I just might have to use this when my product comes out of beta.
5
suneel0101 5 days ago 1 reply      
This is awesome and beautiful!
6
molinojopiento 5 days ago 0 replies      
I think, very clean and somewhat feminine, but very beautiful.
       cached 3 July 2012 20:05:01 GMT