I live about an hour South of SF, and I'm not able to get out of myhouse very often, so unfortunately, I can't take you up on theinvitation.
There are a lot of tech-heavy meetup events, hacker spaces, user groups,and clubs around the area. A lot of it depends on your interests,everything from grubwithus, to the hacker dojo, to audrino clubs, to allsorts of software/user groups and hackathons. If you dig around inthe `net, you'll find a lot more. Getting involved will help you meetothers with similar interests.
Though, I'm of those who think that more information tends to distract instead of help in making decisions
I was pretty excited about Web apps, which were a new thing then. (We planned eventually to make a whole suite of them; Viaweb Store was just the first.) So I probably would have worked on those in some way. Maybe I would have written some sort of general platform for building them, and/or written a book about that topic.
Following from that, if pg wasn't a "winner" there is very little to differentiate him from what 1,000,000 others have tried and failed. Circumstance and context are a frighteningly arbitrary decider, and therefore I don't think this question is particularly meaningful.
[edit: this is not to suggest that dumb luck alone is enough to create a success, it's just that intelligence and tact alone are often not enough to create success either]
Edit: essay I had in mind: http://www.paulgraham.com/avg.html
To me it feels like any of those problems would require the world to be quite different from how it is.
Do you mean not getting acquired, or never making any money or getting any traction?
If the former, he (I would surmise) would've been a lifestyler.
I agree with forgotusername's opinion about the luck plays a good part in life, but as long as the Viaweb's concerned, the luck had its minimal share because I still remember in one of pg's articles he was talking about how frequently they have written their code base in order to serve a user experience better than the competition. That's hardly got anything to do with luck.
And if you've ever read all his articles, you might have spotted sections talking about when and how the luck has been playing really impressive role; and there you got it: In the case of Bill Gate's Microsoft. How it suddenly became a multi billion dollar company almost overnight is plain luck.
Also when you consider for how much Viaweb was sold, which was about $50M, and compare it to other sales most of them as high as ~$1B, again there is no luck to be talked about.
I think there are more fundamental problems with the site and the way it works.
I replied to this post http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4488561 yesterday explaining what I think the issues are. Because I think it applies here as well, I'll re-post it below.
---------I'm not sure how submissions like this are still showing up so commonly or how they arrive at the top of the list. If ever there was a community of people capable of solving the problem of "improving HN", this is the one. I supply a problem statement and solution below.
Problem: HN has problems which seem not to get fixed despite recommendations made to the maintainer(s?). Why? I suspect it's because maintaining HN is one of the lowest priority jobs to the maintainer of HN. The guy is busy! Fixing problems or implementing possible features quickly would have very low ROI to such a person. This isn't to say that he(they?) doesn't care - just doesn't have time because his other responsibilities are actual responsibilities, not a hobby. This is the equivalent of hiring an independently wealthy person to work for your company. The person may really like working for you, but you can't rely on them. They have little incentive to stick around if they get even slightly bored.
Solution: Make a new one. Someone make something better. You know where your primary audience lives (here) so you know where to find users. Monetize it in some way so that I know you'll keep working on it. Make it your full time gig. With the number of users you could get, you wouldn't have to ask for much. A donation model would probably pay you a pretty good salary. Be nice to the community and make reasonable attempts to fix the issues they bring up. They'll probably even help you fix them if you need them to.---------
As you can see, I think the problems are more low-level. For example, I don't have a lot of karma. I don't submit things but I do comment occasionally. I've never been in an uncivil argument on here and I feel I carry myself in a way that benefits the community. But because of how the HN application works, I can't down vote. I'm not saying that the ability to down vote would fix the issues, but it's one small part of it. Reddit gives everyone the ability to down vote and most comments/submissions which are considered inappropriate (mind you Reddit necessarily has a higher tolerance do to variety of content) get down voted out of site so that the majority of users never perceive it as even being a problem. This is all because Reddit arms it's users with the tools to make Reddit what they want it to be.
I could gain the ability to down vote on HN by getting more karma but I have no idea what amount I'm trying to get and I would likely find myself posting things just to get there which would also bring the overall quality of HN down.
Reddit also allows the posting of rules in a prominent location where everyone could see them. That's what this post needs. You've created good guidelines. Throughout the day, they will get better as people pick them apart and add their opinions. By the end of the day, these rules would probably be suitable for posting prominently in the side bar of all pages within the HN app. But they won't be. They'll fall to the bottom and be forgotten. It's unfortunate.
We could ask the maintainer to post it prominently on the side of the pages, but it's very unlikely to happen as it would take some UI tweaks, etc.. The point is, we need an application that lives and breathes. One which changes when it needs to. If for no other reason than to test theories about what may help. We need a HN that is the full-time job of someone, not a side project.
[edited for clarity and typos]
Desktops and tablets are designed around two completely different principles. Interaction on desktop is about clicking and typing; tablets are all about multitouch - dragging, pinching, swiping, etc.
As a general point, it saddens me that even tablet app developers seem to forget that tablets have a) bigger screens and b) multitouch. Clearly, new UI metaphors have to be invented for multitouch devices.
I think if you alter your redirection rules to allow tablets to go to the main version of the site, that may satisfy most of your users until you can get a responsive design going.
The Bread Baker's Apprenticehttp://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1580082688/ref=mp_s_a_1?pi=SL7...
But surely my address book if far away for being complete. Either few are missing phone numbers, emails, or pics.
They have reasonably good code, it's fairly secure, and enough features to be useful. The one thing they don't have is users.
What we do: subscription based social hyperlocal mobile gamified dating discovery engine with loyalty coupons. For the enterprise.
We're a stealthy team of technical generalists filling a hole in the universe by building software that enriches the human experience. Everyone on our team codes and contributes on every level, front to back. We've all built web scale products and scaled them to millions of daily active users with zero marketing spend.
The world is becoming a different place: everyone is going to be carrying around a network connected super computer with ambient sensors in their pockets. We can see the future that is enabled by these devices. We are making that future happen.
Real talk: We've been running our prototype for 3 months now and we all use it multiple times a day, every day. Every person we've showed it to has asked us if they can have it. Every single person who's had it installed has gotten mad when our testflights expire.
We are well funded by a long list of top tier investors: http://angel.co/herelabs
We're looking for a select few product generalists (designer hackers with mobile expertise) and systems generalists (systems automation, machine learning, distributed computing) who can come in and contribute at speed on day one, and who are world class at more than one thing.
Ideal candidates are brilliant, fearless, and passionate individuals who are uncompromising in their pursuit of building an incredible product that will positively affect the lives of every human being every day.
As teammates we value commitment and accountability; honing our craft; building tools to create leverage; and seeking to learn from and understand each other.
We are offering founding team equity and competitive salaries. Retina Macbook Pro (or Air) & 30 inch monitor are standard issue. Office space in the heart of the SoMa district in beautiful San Francisco. Willing to relocate. Willing to fly you in for interviews. Willing to tell you our stealthy secrets.
We are not your typical San Francisco stealth startup. We are NOT another me-too-social-local-sharing app. We DON'T sell condoms by subscription. We are NOT the place to share photos of your dog taking a leak. There will be NO gamification.
Life is short. Build stuff that matters.
Email siqi at herelabs.com. Interns and H1Bs welcome.
Good luck to searchers on both sides in finding your own perfect fit.
I've mentioned before that we have a few engineers who work half-time-ish (and do their own things the rest of the time) and it got some positive feedback: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3850480
We're looking to hire a couple more engineers who are interested in being part of a team but would prefer to work 24-40 hours per week instead of the usual 50+. If it sounds interesting let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The college textbook market is currently being disrupted. Verba helps college bookstores transform themselves so that they a) understand and embrace the power of the nets, b) become agents of change in the textbook industry instead of agents of reaction and c) continue to make a healthy profit.
About 225 colleges and universities use our applications to acquire low-cost inventory and price textbooks competitively. Then millions of students visit our white-labeled sites to transparently compare the bookstore's offers against online competitors, and around 80% of students choose to buy from their local bookstore.
We're looking for people familiar with Ruby, Rails, MySQL and JS who can help us grow faster. We (thankfully) don't have too many scaling problems on the technical side, but we have a ton of opportunities (product and partner-based) that we could move on much faster with a few more hands on deck, and we're always looking for ways to provide more control to our support team so they can provide top-notch customer service.
The ideal person has strong Rails knowledge, solid testing practices, a good head for architecture and knows enough JS to help out on front-end.
Be sure to check out our website (http://www.verbasoftware.com) so you can read all about our current products and hear people say nice things about us. :)
Academia.edu is a social platform for academics to share research papers. The company's mission is to accelerate the world's research.
We believe that science is dysfunctional, and we are working on fixing it. Almost every innovation in medicine and technology in the world has its roots in a science paper. If we want to speed up the world, we need to speed up science. There are many inefficiencies in science:
* it's too slow (there is a 12 month time-lag between submitting a paper to a journal and it being published)
* all the world's research ends up behind extraordinarily expensive paywalls, even though it was authored and peer-reviewed for free by the scientific community
* it hasn't moved out of PDF-land yet (scientists haven't been provided with the incentives to share things like data-sets, code, videos, and other kinds of rich media).
We are working on fixing this. We dream of a world where research is shared instantly, as soon as it's finished; where scientists share their full scientific output (data-sets, code, videos, and comments on all this media), and not just papers; and where a villager in India has as much access to the world's scientific output as a professor at Harvard.
We need talented and passionate engineers to help us accomplish this mission. We have made a good start: 1.8 million academics have joined Academia.edu, and 3,500 join each day. But there is much more to do.
We're a 10 person, engineering-driven, team based in downtown San Francisco. The site is in Rails, and other technologies we use include PostgreSQL, Redis, Varnish, Solr, Memcached, Mongodb, Beanstalkd. We have raised $6.7 million from Spark Capital, True Ventures, Mark Shuttleworth (founder of Ubuntu), and others.
Familiarity with our technologies is a plus, but it's not essential. It's far more important that you are a quick learner who can pick up new technologies quickly. We are looking to hire a range of positions:
* full stack engineers
* growth engineer (optimizing our growth and retention channels)
* iOS engineer
There is more information about the company on our hiring page, at http://academia.edu/hiring. There is more on TechCrunch about our mission here http://tcrn.ch/T42VWC The Future of Peer Review) and here http://tcrn.ch/R6Pgrr The Future of Science)
We want to hire world class engineers. We want you to join us in building the future of science whether you are based in San Francisco, New York, Delhi, or Beijing. Remote work is fine. We will handle re-location, including visas, if you would like to re-locate, but re-location is not necessary.
If you are interested to learn more, please email Ryan Jordan at ryanj [at] academia.edu
50% of traffic is now driven by social media, and referrer information is increasingly useless with mobile clients and HTTPS. Traditional web analytics doesn't work for social traffic. So awe.sm is building full-featured social media conversion tracking and analytics.
Right now and in the medium term, we're providing immediate value to our customers by giving them firm numbers on the ROI of their social media efforts, in terms of dollars, signups, pageviews or any other metric they pick. Our APIs allow app developers to easily integrate social features into their products and easily present the analyzed data back to their own customers, without having to build their own processing clusters and workflows.Longer term, we want to know what's important on the Internet, and we believe that instrumenting social behavior is the way to do that.
We're looking for back-end engineers who are interested in learning how to handle large volumes of data for aggregation, geo analysis, and graph analysis, in close to real time. We're currently in transition from a mixed stack of PHP and Ruby to JVM languages -- we believe in simple parts loosely coupled, and also in picking the right tool for the job, so you genuinely have the power to shape the stack you work on.
We're also looking for front-end developers to continue to build out our GUI, which is a backbone JS app built on top of the same APIs our customers use.
We're 13 people right now. We have a cool new office with awesome views ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/seldo/6326815086/in/photostream ) in the heart of the Mission. We have catered lunches, and full health, vision and dental coverage. We use an IRC server for team communication and are agile in the sense that we move quickly and react fast, not in the sense of having attended an overpriced training course.
Our mission is to provide a world-class education to anyone, anywhere. We're scaling quickly.
Our students answer over 2 million math problems per day (over 600M total so far), all generated by our open source exercise generation framework (http://github.com/khan/khan-exercises), and our videos (now from a variety of authors including Sal) have been viewed over 180MM times. We're tracking all that data and using it to customize each student's experience. We could use your help.
Working for Khan Academy is one of the highest educational impact positions you can imagine and we've been called by Wired one of the best places to work in Silicon Valley: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4157078.
We're hiring designers and all types of devs -- mobile, frontend, backend, whatever you want to call yourself. Big plans ahead.
Remote work is possible for exceptional candidates who are US citizens and living in the US ('exceptional' meaning you are a great engineer and have lots of machine learning/data extraction/NLP/etc. experience that is relevant to what we do).
Factual's vision is to be an awesome and affordable data provider that enables developers, startups, and big companies to focus on innovation instead of data acquisition. We have a terrific team that is still fairly small and an incredible CEO who was previously the co-founder of Applied Semantics (which was bought by Google and became AdSense). Factual has venture funding from Andreessen-Horowitz and our partners/customers include Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, Trulia, and Newsweek.
There are many challenging problems to work on at all layers of the stack: data cleaning and canonicalization, deduping, storage, serving, APIs, improving data using machine learning, etc. If you love data, Factual is the place to be. Our main criteria are that you're smart and get things done, but you'll get bonus points for experience with Clojure, machine learning, NLP, algorithm design, or Hadoop. Our LA office is our headquarters and our Palo Alto office recently opened so new hires would have a huge impact on the culture there.
You can email me personally at leo -at- factual.com, or view our job postings and apply directly via Jobvite:
Palo Alto Software Engineer: http://hire.jobvite.com/j/?cj=oTR1Vfwq&s=Hackernews
Los Angeles Software engineer: http://hire.jobvite.com/j/?cj=oQR1Vfwn&s=Hackernews
Los Angeles Data Engineer: http://hire.jobvite.com/j/?cj=oSS1Vfwq&s=Hackernews
San Francisco, H-1Bs offered:
* Head of Marketing
* Head of Business Development
* Head of Product Design (UX)
* Senior Visual Designer
* Senior Front-end Developer
* Senior Ruby Developers
We offer zero bullshit perks. Our focus is on producing the best work of our lives. We're turning down acquisition offers. We intend on building something meaningful and being around for a very long time.
Talk to me in confidence: eoghan AT intercom DOT io
DocumentCloud is a 100% open source web based platform allowing journalists to upload, analyze, annotate, and publish primary source documents. We want give journalists the tools to show their audience their source material, not just tell them about it. In addition to the newsrooms worldwide who use DocumentCloud, our open source software projects, such as Backbone.js, Underscore.js, Docsplit, and Jammit, are relied upon by companies such as LinkedIn, Walmart, Foursquare and more. DocumentCloud is run by Investigative Reporters & Editors.
DocumentCloud is looking for someone with a combination of the following skills
What DocumentCloud is building
DocumentCloud is growing fast, and we're looking to accelerate that pace by expanding our tools into other languages beyond English. In the next year we'll adapt our platform to accommodate multi-language OCR, search indexing, and entity extraction tools.DocumentCloud always looks for new ways to present documents and engage readers. We are extending DocumentCloud's document viewer and annotation tools so that readers can make their own comments and notes on documents.
Investigative Reporters & Editors is based in Columbia, Missouri, on the University of Missouri's campus. DocumentCloud is comfortable operating with a distributed team.
You can email us at email@example.com
At CircleCI (https://circleci.com), we're building Heroku for Continuous Integration. We have traction and revenue. Our customers love us, because we move quickly and provide amazing support. All employees talk to customers and are on support rotation.
We're written in Clojure. We eat our own dogfood, DevOps, A/B test, do continuous deployment and customer development.
Backend engineers should know Clojure or another 'weird' language (Haskell, Scala, Scheme, etc), and Linux Devops (C compilation model, make, packaging).
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include samples of awesome stuff you've done.
Weebly is a bit different than your average startup. We're a small & profitable team and we make a product that our users are obsessed about.
We have 13 million+ users and run roughly 2% of the active websites on the internet.
Email email@example.com or check out more here: http://www.weebly.com/jobs.php
We want to find an emerging technical developer who can contribute to a venture-backed, self-sustaining startup; someone who can sling code with the best of them but wants broader scope and wants to make an impact â" a really big impact.
You: ambitious, technical, and adept at managing both the technology and the puzzle pieces behind it. You'll work with the company leadership on a regular basis, and help refine and expand the company roadmap. Also, be ready to hone your inner air-hockey self.
You'll play a big part in creating and executing the company's engineering and product roadmaps as well. Just as important, you'll help define the engineering culture of the company and help us change the world by making waste more efficient. How often do you get to do that?
We pay competitive salaries, and have bonuses for hitting and beating deadlines. Your compensation will largely be dependent upon experience and skill set. Perhaps most importantly, we offer you the opportunity to gain experience and the chance to substantially change the world by properly merging the waste services industry with cutting-edge technology. Ours is a culture of creating quality products and delivering exceptional service while we disrupt an aging industry model. If you fit that mold, please apply through Careers 2.0, or visit our website and contact us.
â˘ Quiet working conditions
â˘ Competitive Benefits
â˘ Suburban Office location (escape city taxes!)
â˘ Weekly company âget togethers' and events
â˘ Everyone has a solid Cherry desk, Aeron Chair, and 2011/2012 iMacs /w maxed specs, etc.
â˘ Full access to a techie's playground (Our sister company is a full fledged SAS-70 data center for the Pittsburgh/Northeast areas)
Skills & Requirements
Requirements & Qualifications:
About Sequoia Waste Solutions
Sequoia is a Pittsburgh based startup, that is redefining how waste and recycling is handled in the corporate enviornment. Every day, businesses overpay on their waste hauling, due to drastic inefficies in the industry. At Sequoia, we collect, analyze, and present data in a manner that helps us create client-specific plans that reduce trash headed for landfills, and increase recycling. We are closing in on our first year of operation, and are always looking for new and exciting ways to handle and report the awesome data we're collecting. With your help, we'll redesign the waste industry, and reduce the amount of trash heading to landfills. We call it "saving the world, one line of code at a time"!
HipChat (https://www.hipchat.com) - the chat tool used by the smart teams at Quora, Instagram, Tumblr, Wired, Uber and thousands of other companies. Also the people who put the Y U NO guy on a billboard on 101 (http://blog.hipchat.com/2011/06/23/a-tale-of-a-ridiculous-bi...).
We're a team of 5 working in Atlassian's beautiful San Francisco office after our acquisition in March. Currently seeking;
- An engineer interested in doing application development (desktop and mobile) for any combination of iOS/OSX/Android/Windows. We're moving away from AIR and our users are quite excited about it (http://help.hipchat.com/forums/138883-suggestions/filters/to...).
- An engineer knowledgeable in Python, PHP, and web stuff to work on our website and XMPP backend (Twisted Python). You'll also be working with Redis, CouchDB, and MySQL.
Since we're a small team inside of Atlassian, you'll have all the benefits and responsibility that working on a small team provides, but also the security and excitement of a larger pre-IPO company. Plus, working on a product that people absolutely love is a wonderful feeling.
Full details on our jobs page: https://www.hipchat.com/jobs
Best Buy is looking for an entrepreneurial minded Product Manager to be key part of our fast growing "Digital Experience Team" business; focused on producing a diverse array of Mobile and wider digital products; to help envision new digital tools to deliver Best Buy's strategic goal of 'making technology work for you'. This role will bring to life new digital products that empower consumers to learn, explore, and engage with consumer electronics across Best Buy's digital and physical touch points.
Official job post: http://www.bestbuy-jobs.com/job/Richfield-Product-Line-Manag...
I am the hiring manager, willing to talk over email, phone, etc. No need to go through the machine to simply learn more. ben dot hedrington at bestbuy.com or http://linkedin.com/in/benhedrington
What we do and who we are looking for:
It's simple - we want to build the world's best hotel search engine. Best place to search (fastest, most relevant, most results), best place to research (data insight, recommendations), and the best place to shop (metasearch engine, finds lower prices from more sources worldwide).
Travel is a big market and there hasn't been much innovation in the last ten years. We were founded on the belief that consumers deserve to get transparency and a fair deal and we believe that tackling hotel search is a great way to help travelers make more informed decisions and save some moolah. It's not the sexiest space to be in but the travel space is the 2nd largest commerce category and we think we can own a piece of the pie through a better product.
On the marketing side, we need some firepower to get the word out there and build smart ways to analyze and optimize the paid traffic we're getting. If you think it would be fun to compete in SEM against larger, more well-funded companies and you don't find it at all scary, we want to talk to you. If you've done large scale email program build outs (things like automated price alerts, segmentation), we want to talk to you.
What's it like working at Room 77?
We're located a stone throws away from Red Rock Coffee in the heart of Downtown Mountain View. We're a diverse bunch and we like to do a lot of team events. Lunches are catered and we have a keg on tap, standard valley benefits apply including equity and competitive compensation. You also get a travel stipend and a travel agent card to get massive savings when you take some R&R.
Who believes in us?
We've raised $13 million to date from VCs like General Catalyst, PAR, and Sutter Hill and companies like Concur (TripIt). We're lucky to have both angels and advisers that have started companies like Expedia, MTV, HotelTonight, Nor1, and Zillow. We're well connected to the industry so you don't have to worry about us having to bang on doors to get to the right folks, all we need to focus on is building a killer product that makes people fall in love with us.
If you think this sounds interesting or you just want us to buy you a coffee when you're in Mountain View, reach out to us. Engineering positions, check out https://www.room77.com/jobs/software_engineer.html?s=hackern... . Marketing/Analyst positions, send resumes/portfolios to firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to me directly: email@example.com.
Core app: rails with clustered MySQL and mongodb, looking at moving to riak soon. Some components in other languages (c, c++) data mining python + scipy. Backbone JS for rewrite of front end. Salary between 60k and 100k, options worth 0.25% and 0.75% office location currently near King and Peter, might be moving to liberty village soon though.
Massive traffic, good revenue, sustainable business and culture. Email me (info in profile).
I'm still looking for an SRE for my team to help with our mission of keeping the largest internet TV network online 24/7/365 using one of the biggest Amazon EC2 installations.
We also have lots of other jobs open from DevOps to machine learning.
Rails Developer, iOS Developer
The last 50 years has seen the reinvention of almost every major industry except for one: Trucking. Freedom Freight is here to change that by deploying the world's first mobile platform for on-demand freight shipping. Over $30 billion dollars a month is spent trucking freight around the US, without it, the country would grind to a halt overnight. In such a massive market, it's hard to believe that the entire industry today still runs on phones and fax machines, but until now, it has. This means hundreds of millions of dollars worth of freight capacity goes unfilled every month due to the old-school inefficiencies of the industry. We are changing that.
If you're ready to change the trucking industry, send your resume and GitHub profile to firstname.lastname@example.org
Monetate is a SAAS provider to internet marketers. We turn data in action on our clients' sites by doing real-time DOM modification to put the right experience in front of their users. We're looking for engineers who want to do highly visible work on great brands and solve tough problems with great coworkers.
What we're looking for:
* Problem solvers who like to code - we take things apart, figure out how they work, then build software to solve users' problems
* People who like to ship - we're focused on building and shipping great products - if you like to see your work in production quickly you'll see it here
* Use the source - Google Closure to Python, Hadoop and Mahout to Solr and Lucene - we're open source across our stack
* People who like hard challenges - we have great problems across our products - data, UX, 3rd party JS, high volume / low latency APIs - we have no shortage of fun problems to work on
* Founded in 2008
* We pay market rates
* Respect - it's our core value. We have a great team and we work well together. Our vacation policy is the same as Netflix (we don't have one). Our technical teams have full authority over (and responsibility for) the problems they work on.
* Funded by First Round and OpenView
We're looking for people not positions. We have people who have joined the team with no background in our primary languages and people from non-traditional backgrounds. Check out our blog at http://engineering.monetate.com/ and see more about our open jobs at http://monetate.com/jobs/
We've hired great people from HN in the past.
Feel free to email me with any questions or to apply - tjanofsky monetate com
Data Journalist - looking for someone to lead our data-driven content efforts. If you like Excel pivot tables, are an emerging company/technology junkie and are a decent writer, we'd love to talk.
Also looking for a php developer to help us build amazing applications on top of our private comany and investor data.
We are National Science Foundation-backed but have taken no investment otherwise. We have real customers and are profitable.
Email me at email@example.com if interested.
U.S. utilities spend $6 billion a year on energy efficiency programs encouraging their customers to use less energy, spurred by regulations or simply to avoid building expensive new power plants. Utilities achieve these energy savings by outsourcing these programs to consulting companies armed with Excel spreadsheets and filing cabinets, meaning that the programs don't always work as effectively as they could, and making it difficult to measure a program's effectiveness in a timely manner.
EnergySavvy is the data collection and analysis platform for these energy efficiency programs. Through great software and user experiences, we make programs run better, collect clean and consistent data and let our customers optimize their programs in real-time.
We're hiring backend Python devs, front-end devs, PMs, etc. Here's our jobs page:
We're also currently offering a $13,000 referral bonus to anyone who refers a dev/PM that we hire! More info at:
At Square (squareup.com) we're looking for security experts excited about securing the future of payments. Security at Square is involved in all aspects of the stack: hardware, firmware, mobile, infrastructure, networks, crypto, web, and physical security. The team is equal parts builder and breaker.
Standing invitation to all security folks in the Bay Area or visiting: come have lunch with us at Square. We'd love to meet you and talk about what you're working on. It is almost certainly relevant to us.
Contact me: mccauley [at] squareup.com
Industry Dive provides B2B News and Intelligence for your phone. See www.utilitydive.com or www.educationdive.com to see what I mean (check the sites on your phone to see the mobile version).
I'm looking for smart, self-motivated people interested in helping develop new products, add features to our Django-based CMS, and help us turn our mobile websites into native apps. This is a great opportunity to work for a growing early-stage startup. Python experience a plus, but not a prerequisite. You must be able to work from our office in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC.
Apologies for the brief ad, but I haven't actually posted it anywhere else yet, so HN gets the first crack. Feel free to contact me with any questions or clarifications. eli at industrydive dot com.
edit: I believe we're also still accepting candidates for a marketing internship (focused on audience acquisition) for the Fall semester.
Steve Jobs described education as one of the final frontiers still untouched by modern technology. Clever (https://getclever.com) is building the data platform needed to for great software to make its way into the classroom. Just like Stripe has made it simple for developers to build payment processing into their apps, Clever has made it easy for developers to build applications for schools using student data.
We're a small team of highly technical hackers with deep experience in education. Since releasing the Clever APIs in June, we've signed up the most innovative education companies as partners and deployed our platform to over 1,000 schools. Clever moves data for over 350,000 students every day, and that number is growing rapidly.
Our growth has created some exciting problems around scalable systems, innovative APIs, and big data sets. We're looking to add a versitile engineer to the team to take on a wide range of technical challenges.
Things we're looking for:
+ Experience with consuming and/or creating RESTful Hypermedia APIs
+ Experience with a variety of languages (we use the best tool for the job, everything from Node.js to bash scripts)
+ Experience scaling up systems on AWS
+ Passion for changing education
What Clever offers:
+ Competitive salary + significant equity stake in well-funded company
+ A chance to revolutionize education
+ Flat & close-knit engineering team with lots of peer code review & pair programming
+ Great benefits - healthcare, dental, beautiful office
To apply, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, where n is the number of students in the Clever sandbox API data set with a last name that begins with the letter 'V'.
Send us one or more things from [resume, github profile, recent side projects, linkedin URL, Stack Overflow profile, etc], and let us know how you solved our 'puzzle.'
This job is located in San Francisco, CA. You must be local or willing to relocate.
Beagle is like Craigslist, but just for college students. We are creating a simple, secure network for students to post and run tasks and errands in their community. getbeagle.com
This is a chance to work on something that will be used by thousands of students, and to be one of the first ten team members.
All software engineers will be working on one or two of our main projects:
#API: Our API is the core that powers everything else. It's written in Clojure. You'll be the one actually implementing all the features and exposing them in a developer-friendly way. This is a fun challenge for anyone interested in software design and architecture. We use MongoDB on the backend so it's best if you are at least somewhat familiar with it.
#iOS app: We have a hybrid iOS app, which lets us have a native experience while staying agile, with quick iterations and frictionless deployment. You'll mostly be working with the Python web app, but will also have to work with the native iOS shell occasionally, too. You'll have to work closely with the API, as all new features are be added there first.
#Website: Our public-facing website is a simple Node.js app. You'll be working closely with the API to mirror certain features from the iOS app to the website. Familiarity with MongoDB is preferable.
Additionally we have some other projects planned like a new administrative interface to the API, and a dashboard that reports key stats we can track.
Please contact Julian at julian at beagleapp dot com.
Want to use your skills as a force for good to improve education for all? Here's your chance.
At Educreations, we believe that the world's best teachers should be available to all students.
As a first step, we've made it easy for teachers to create amazing online video lessons.Our top-ranked app transforms the iPad into a mobile lesson recording studio, and hundreds ofthousands of teachers and students are using it daily to learn from each other anytime, anywhere.
We're looking for some rock stars to help us redefine online teaching and learning. We were part of the first cohort of Imagine K12 and are funded by Accel, NewSchools Venture fund and other top angels.
If you want to make a dent in the universe and are a strong Python hacker, have experience with Objective C or are an awesome designer, we want to talk to you.
http://www.educreations.com/careers/#jobs or http://educreations.wufoo.com/forms/join-educreations/
We are looking for:
Full-stack Engineers (Python) Mobile Engineers (Objective C/Cocoa) Visual Designers Technical Interns
We are the worlds leading microtask company. We send literally millions of small jobs to people around the world every day. Our technology platform helps our customers design great tasks and ensure that people working on the tasks do good work. Someone said it's like map reduce but with people :).
We are hiring all types of technical people from operations to front end to machine learning experts. You can check out our exact engineering job descriptions here https://crowdflower.com/about/jobs but if you are smart and technical and want to tangibly change the world every day then we want to talk to you.
email resumes at crowdflower.com or email me directly at lukas at crowdflower.com.
San Francisco, CA - Senior Front-End Engineer at Locu (http://www.locu.com/)
Locu is developing technologies to change local search ($35bn advertising market by 2014) by creating the world's largest semantically-annotated repository of real-time small-business data. We have recently launched Locu (http://www.locu.com/), our first product, which helps restaurants better manage their online presence.
We have more exciting ideas for our data than we have resources to build them. Your job will be to help us change that.
We're looking to hire a Senior Front-End Engineer. Generalists and "desingineers" would also do well in this position, as we have plenty of work to do on those fronts as well - but significant front-end experience is crucial. You should feel comfortable making major front-end architecture decisions and being a company-wide advocate for building intuitive, responsive interfaces that surprise and delight.
Guidelines (requirements is such a strong word):
We know you like to strike your own unique balance. So don't sweat the reqs and just show us what you've got. We want you to be able to do what you love, the way you're best able to do it. :)
PS: Like most startups, we're always on the lookout for exceptional talent of all sorts. So if you feel you're a particularly strong fit for what we do or how we do it, check out our other descriptions at http://www.locu.com/about/jobs/.
Founded a year ago by MIT graduates and researchers, Locu (http://www.locu.com/) has the backing and support of some of the best angel investors in the country. We are looking for more exceptional talent to join our team and help us achieve our vision. We are committed to building a cutting-edge technology giant with a fun and challenging work environment. We have a culture optimized for learning and continuous improvement. We are 17 people with very diverse backgrounds, and growing.
---- About us ----
Hello, we are FiftyThree (http://www.fiftythree.com/). We're the company behind Paper, an iPad app for freeform writing/sketching/drawing.
Paper has done well: among other things, it won this year's Apple Design Award for iPad, it's had nearly 3 million downloads, and it's used and loved by creatives at top-notch companies everywhere, including Apple, Nike, Pixar, and more.
But Paper is just the beginning for us. Our goal is to bring creation tools into the post-PC era, and we think there's a huge opportunity there. Mobile and tablets are changing everything.
We like to say that Paper is âwhere ideas beginâ; we're now building a service to âbring ideas togetherâ. Think something like a GitHub for ideas and creations. We have a great team of developers and designers spanning iOS and web, but we're looking for 2-3 more developers to join us. That's where we hope you'll come in.
---- About you ----
We're looking for great backend or devops engineers to help us build this service. The role is flexible depending on your prior experience, passion, and expertise.
E.g. perhaps you love algorithms and performance engineering. Great â" let's design an efficient activity feed for our users. (It's a fun graph problem.)
E.g. or perhaps you love devops and infrastructure. Perfect â" help us setup a high-availability database cluster with master-slave replication.
E.g. or perhaps you love data and metrics. Right on â"Â help us get great instrumentation and analytics in place so we can monitor early and monitor often.
Whatever your specifics, you'll work across a diverse set of tools. We currently use Node.js (and we write primarily CoffeeScript) with Neo4j (a graph database). We deploy on a mix of Heroku and Amazon EC2. And we use GitHub and Trello to keep track of it all.
You don't need prior experience with any of these directly, but you should have some history of building or scaling websites or services like ours. Even better if you can show depth and passion somewhere. Of course, strong engineering skills and an ability to learn quickly are a must.
You'll be just our second backend engineer, so you'll help set the tone for culture, process, and workflow. And if we succeed, you'll certainly help shape the company's future and direction, as well.
---- Sound good? ----
If this sounds interesting to you and you think you fit the bill, drop us a line at mailto:email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you.
You can also learn more through our more general jobs page: http://www.fiftythree.com/jobs
Arguably the most exciting tech position in London.
We are Forward Labs, a startup lab in London. We are a dozen guys coming up with new ideas, building prototypes, testing them using lean techniques and forming teams around products that have solid traction. Essentially, we are a well-funded playground. Our goal is to produce 1-2 new businesses a year.
We have amazing, driven, entrepreneurial people who have a range of skills, from dev to UX/UI, marketing etc all within the team. Since we are part of a larger company, Forward (www.forward.co.uk), we also benefit from access to their expertise.
Please read more about the role on our website: http://www.forwardlabs.co.uk/jobs/lead-developer-for-various...
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
MindSnacks - http://www.mindsnacks.com/
We believe that education games don't have to suck, and judging by the popularity of our stuff, people agree!
Our apps have been downloaded 5 million times, with over 80 million words mastered by our users!
Apple voted us Educational App of the Year in 2011.
We have the #1 grossing apps in SAT and foreign languages.
We recently secured funding from Sequoia Capital, and are kicking it up a notch.
Do you want to disrupt the educational gaming space? We'd love to hear from you!
Backend engineer - http://mindsnacks.theresumator.com/apply/zmC1GW/Backend-Engi...
Mobile engineer (Android or iOS) - http://mindsnacks.theresumator.com/apply/5t4zzv/Mobile-Engin...
Generalist engineer - http://mindsnacks.theresumator.com/apply/cj0OWK/Generalist-E...
Game designer - http://mindsnacks.theresumator.com/apply/19JX7q/Game-Designe...
Lead UI designer - http://mindsnacks.theresumator.com/apply/FDm1vD/Lead-UI-Desi...
Games producer - http://mindsnacks.theresumator.com/apply/QkgdTJ/Producer.htm...
Product manager - http://mindsnacks.theresumator.com/apply/bc0fOZ/Product-Mana...
For more info, visit www.mindsnacks.com/careers or email us at email@example.com
World's largest vintage and handmade online retailer. We need good people in almost every place in the company - front end, backend, data analytics, ops, even an office hacker. A list of general positions we're actively hiring for: http://www.etsy.com/careers
If you're interested in chatting or finding out more about working at this amazingly rad company, ping me on twitter @hoorayimhelping.
Scribd (social publishing, top 100 website, YC '06) is hiring talented hackers and other technical people for a broad range of technologies.
We've hired THREE people from these "Who is Hiring" threads, including one just a couple of month ago ... it really works!!
We're looking for people who want to work with:
* Ruby on Rails (we're the #2 largest rails site, after Twitter)
* Machine Learning / Data mining kinds of problems
* Back-end problems: scalability, web crawling, analytics
That said, we care way more about your personality and general hacking skills then what languages you've used so far, so if you haven't used these but want to break into mobile or web development, this could be a good opportunity for you.
We're profitable, very well funded and have a really fun office environment (go-karts + a zipline!). We've got flexible hours, a very engineer-driven company culture, and a really terrific team.
Scribd alumni have gone on to found 4 other YCombinator companies, more than from any other startup. We think this says something about the kind of people that we like to hire.
Looking for full-time and INTERN hires (junior year or older). H1B and relocation are no problem. See more at scribd.com/jobs and feel free to email me directly: jared at scribd.com
Did you know there's a company based in Soho that has enough technology to be considered among the world's Top 250 supercomputing sites? One that imports over 5TB of data every single day, and has alumni from Google, Intel, and Microsoft?
You might think I'm talking about some stealth-mode startup, but I'm talking about where I work: Two Sigma Investments.At our core, we're a technology company applying our talents to the domain of finance. We've created a system that combines artificial intelligence and keen human insight â" a system that's constantly improving and advancing.
We're looking for a diverse set of technologists to join our team. Our challenges require mastery of areas such as kernel level development, machine learning, and distributed systems. Our team includes a Unix Lifetime Achievement winner, Putnam medalists, ACM Programming competition finalists, and International Mathematics Olympiad medalists. We are proud of our individual pedigrees, but even prouder of our teamwork.
We tend to hire people with at least a bachelor's degree in a technical or quantitative field and experience with C or languages that target the JVM, but we are open-minded in our search for critical thinkers who are passionate about technology. We analyze the data-rich domain of finance, but financial experience is not a requirement. We hope to hear from you!
Dave Hahn firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.twosigma.com/careers.html
If you've ever viewed a PDF or Office document on sites like Dropbox, Yammer, or LinkedIn, you've seen Crocodoc (YC W2010) in action. We convert documents to HTML5 so they can be embedded into any web or mobile app. But that's just the beginning.
We've developed the world's most advanced web-based document viewing and collaboration technology for Microsoft Office and PDF files, built on open standards such as HTML5 and CSS3. We're processing millions of documents each month, are backed by top-tier investors, and are profitable and growing quickly.
If you want to help push the limits of what's possible with HMTL5 and CSS3, 10x a fast-growing business, and build new products that change the way people collaborate and get work done, email co-founder Peter Lai (peter at crocodoc dot com) to apply.
* Senior Developer
* Business Development
* Director of Growth
* Inside Sales
For more information, see http://crocodoc.com/jobs and http://crocodoc.com/about.
* Growing Fast
Crocodoc converts millions of documents to HTML5 each month for top web companies like Dropbox, LinkedIn, and Yammer. The company is profitable and growing fast.
* Talented Team
Crocodoc was founded by four MIT engineers who have been working together for four years. As we evolve Crocodoc, we're pushing browsers and mobile devices to the limit and are solving incredibly difficult challenges along the way.
* Great Culture
At Crocodoc, we work hard and are passionate about what we do...in and out of the office. Our tight-knit team enjoys working from exotic locations, hanging out with each other at the office, and playing heated games of Settlers of Catan.
* Awesome Benefits
Your happiness and health is our priority. We offer competitive salaries, stock options, health insurance, an unlimited hardware budget, commuter benefits, and relocation assistance.
* HTML5 Start-Up Crocodoc Signs Up Dropbox, LinkedIn and SAP as Paying Customershttp://allthingsd.com/20120501/html5-start-up-crocodoc-signs...
* Crocodoc's HTML Document Viewer Infiltrates the Enterprisehttp://www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2012/07/12/crocodocs-ht...
* Crocodoc Debuts HTML5 Document Embedding Technology; Partners With Dropbox, Yammer, SAPhttp://techcrunch.com/2012/05/01/crocodoc-debuts-html5-docum...
Altera is one of the leading designers of FPGA devices in the world. I'm an engineer in the software team, developing mostly embedded design and instrumentation tools for FPGAs.
We are looking for software developers experienced or with a strong desire to learn about Computer Architecture, FPGA design, Digital Logic, Embedded Systems, and more, while at the same time developing engineering design tools in high level languages.
To give you an idea of what we do, these are some of the projects that involved me at Altera :
* Designed and implemented a high performance on-chip network that's used in thousands of routers, base stations, and switches around the world. * Created a hardware/software instrumentation framework in a mix of Java, C++, C, and Verilog. This is the foundation for all the debuggers at Altera. * Modified the GCC toolchain to add support for Altera's processors, like our NiosII soft processor. * Implemented a GDB Server from scratch in Java. * Defined and implemented the pieces of an ARM CoreSight debug subsystem. * Implemented infrastructure used in a C-to-Gates compiler. * Spent hours hacking away with the tools and many of the available development boards.
Cloudera Inc. is a Palo Alto-based enterprise software company which provides Apache Hadoop-based software and services. It contributes to Hadoop and related Apache projects and provides a distribution for Hadoop for the enterprise. Cloudera has two products: Cloudera's Distribution including Apache Hadoop (CDH) and Cloudera Enterprise. CDH is a data management platform which incorporates HDFS, Hadoop MapReduce, Hive, Pig, HBase, Sqoop, Flume, Oozie, ZooKeeper and Hue and is available free under an Apache license. Cloudera Enterprise is a package which includes Cloudera's Distribution including Apache Hadoop, production support and tools designed to make it easier to run Hadoop in a production environment. Cloudera offers services including support, consulting services and training (both public and private).
Job Title: Customer Operations EngineerDescription: Ever heard of Hadoop?Cloudera is looking for a Customer Operations Engineer who has a passion for making customers successful. You will join a team of highly skilled engineers who are responsible for delivering Cloudera's support services including assistance during engineering and operations of distributed systems and mission critical response for production customers. Strong communications and troubleshooting skills are critical for success in this role.
At Cloudera, our goal is to make each individual feel valued for his or her contributions to the company's mission. We are looking for smart people who want to do remarkable things. We strive to create an environment of casual intensity where people enjoy coming to work every day. Our senior management team meets regularly with the whole company to discuss strategy, successes and challenges.Upon joining you will be given training in the Hadoop ecosystem, you will also pick an area that you plan to focus in...Such as databases NoSQL, RDBMS, Writing MapReduce, Machine Learning, etc.
What's it like to work at Cloudera? http://www.quora.com/Cloudera/What-is-it-like-to-work-at-Clo...
* Contribute code upstream to the Apache Hadoop Project
* Analayze and troubleshoot MapReduce code and workflows
* Ensure that critical customer issues are addressed quickly and effectively
* Investigate product related issues both for individual customers and for common trends that may arise
* Study and understand critical system components and large cluster operations
* Differentiate between issues that arise in operations, user code, third party libraries or product
* Manage the day to day interactions with our customers
* Identify requirements for additional focused services engagements
* Coordinate enhancement and feature requests with product management and engineering
* Linux (Shell Scripting, Administration)
* Java (JVM, Development, Management of Code)
* Network analysis (TCP Dumps, etc)
* Kernel debugging
* NoSQL Databases (+++ HBase, Cassandra, Riak, etc)
* In depth knowledge of Java
* Hadoop Ecosystem (HDFS, MapReduce, Hive, Pig, ..)
The technology that we use and develop at Cloudera is breathtaking, it's truly rewarding knowing the use cases for the software that we deploy to customers. If you're interested in Cloudera and have a passion for new technology, apply below.
Raleigh Candidates -> rtpjobs [at] cloudera [dot] com
Webcred is hiring to expand their team to accelerate the collaborative consumption movement.
Our focus at Webcred is really to make people trust each other more, because we believe that the world would be a better place if we use our resources more efficiently by sharing with each other. That is why we are building tools to allow p2p marketplaces build more trust in their communities, as we see trust or the lack thereof as a major roadblock.
We are a very young, but driven startup that is starting at Startupbootcamp Berlin this week. One of the founders grew up in Berlin, a great city to have a perfect work-life balance, but we also have been involved in the Boston scene and believe we can bring the best of both worlds together.
We are an all-technical team with allround-capabilities, working on a Rails/Neo4j Stack and looking for people that could help us on the development side, but really, we want to talk to any of you who believe in our mission that a world where people can trust each other is a better world and a world worth building. And on the way, have loads of fun with us.
Please contact me at email@example.com with anything, I would be happy to talk to you.
What we do:Invodo helps businesses sell more through the power of video. As a full-service video solution, Invodo creates high-quality video at scale, delivers it through retail-focused technology, and publishes to Facebook, YouTube and retail channel partners to expand the impact. The Invodo video solution increases conversion rates, reduces returns and drives site traffic for clients including Internet 500 retailers and major manufacturers.
Invodo is an early-stage company so as a Senior Software Engineer you will play an incredibly important role in the success of both our clients and Invodo.
Software Engineers are expected to take ownership of substantial software modules, assist with technical product design, and contribute to the software engineering process at Invodo. The development will be concentrated on our core content management system and analytics platform (my.invodo.com). This customer-facing application software is written in Java/GWT using Hibernate and MySQL backend services.
Nearly all of our infrastructure services are written using Scala while the web application is currently written in Groovy (historical artifact at this point). It's hard to cover everything we do technology-wise in a short post, but we have our own player, make heavy use of CDNs for content distribution, our own analytics system and platform as well as an end-to-end workflow management tool used internally and externally for the video production, management and hosting process (the latter is where we're looking to hire).
The entire engineering team is less than 20 people, including operations, professional services and management. There are currently 9 developers (if I'm counting correctly) and all of the work the engineering department does is recognized throughout the company.
Feel free to send your resume/github/project urls to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Come work for a small, meritocratic company and own the front end of our applications.
Perks include market salary, health/dental/vision/life, unlimited paid vacation plan, 401K.
Universal Pictures International - Junior Developer/Data Scientist,International Research
We're certainly not a startup, but our department acts like one as muchas possible.
We're building tools to forecast, simulate, and model the box officemarket. Â We're developing simulations and models to give us estimates onhow the market responds to social media, weather, video games, etcetera, and we're building web apps and ipad apps to present thisinformation to key people in a way they can use and understand. Â We needyour help taking the project to the next level.
What you'll be doing:
1) Maintaining, debugging, and adding features to our existing apps(browser and ipad) that help people configure and use our simulations.2) Keeping our software on amazon ec2 online.3) Help us build new tools to allow people to interface with our newermodels.4) Help us develop new models and simulations that can give us deeperinsight into how the market behaves and that can respond to historicaland live data as it comes in (machine learning)
What we use:
Who we're looking for:
This is primarily a programming position, so we're looking for someonewho is enthusiastic about coding and the tools they use, has an love ofclean code, new languages and technologies, and likes statistics.
Bonus points if you like film, functional languages and mathematics.
Interested? Â My contact details are in my profile. Â Let's get in touch
Skills:Objective C and the iOS SDK | Git
Nice to have:Heroku experience
About us:We're making professional communication accessible to all. Over the last century technological advances have disproportionately favored the wealthy. SendHub is leveling the playing field. Founded to help educators communicate in under resourced communities, we now have users across the US in politics, retail, faith groups, sports, education and many more.
We have thousands of users, we're sending hundreds of thousands of messages a month and we're growing fast - 60%/month across users, usage and monetization.
What you'll be doing:Working closely, and at speed, with our small team to make best in class mobile communication apps. You'll be involved in almost every part of the software life cycle from specs discussion to implementation to testing and pushing to production. We push multiple times a day and you'll likely push to production within 24 hours of starting.
Our Philosophy:We believe in building a wonderful product and taking care of our people. To ensure our team executes - you'll get autonomy, recognition and regular feedback. We expect a lot of each other but we wouldn't want it any other way. We're hungry and we need you to be too.
Benefits:Health, dental, meals and smart colleagues who will challenge you everyday.
We're based in downtown Menlo Park, CA (very close to the caltrain station) and while we're flexible on remote working, you'll need to be around the office.
If you're interested, please drop us a line: jobs [at] sendhub [dot] com
Neumitra is solving daily stress for health, productivity, and happiness
We're adding generalists to grow our mobile and web platform with our biosensor. Stress and stress-based disorders become manageable with software personalized by your physiology. We value passion for your craft and our long-term mission.
rob at neumitra.com
We're hiring for a variety of positions in a variety of locations, freelance & full time, including:
Django Developer, London - http://p.ota.to/jobs/django-developer-london/
Technical Recruiter, London - http://p.ota.to/jobs/technical-recruiter-london/
Django Developer, Bristol - http://p.ota.to/jobs/django-developer-bristol/
UX Designer, Bristol - http://p.ota.to/jobs/ux-designer-bristol/
Sales are up by about 40% year-to-date over last year, owing to a combination of increased AdWords spend, organic growth in the business, and a successful redesign (and related conversion optimization) right before summer.
Appointment Reminder is doing fairly decently -- monthly recurring revenues (on the publicly available plans) are up about 4x versus the last thread. I've recently gotten some time to actually work on it (my wedding kept me busy for much of the earlier part of this year). My run rate is currently up about 50% since, oh, two months ago? (Why? Interesting question -- re-did pricing, tweaked my marketing knob to "slightly more than zero work", and started getting a wee bit serious about e.g. my use of email to people in their trial period.)
The enterprise pipeline, which is not tracked in those figures, is... well, like all enterprise sales operations ever, I cry a lot and dry my tears on stacks of money. Not terribly relevant to folks who like recurring revenue because it feels like avoiding work, since Enterprise Sales is pretty much exactly what work always felt like, but it is work you get to bank in the past and then get a fairly motivational check from monthly for the present and extending into the future.
I guess consulting doesn't count as recurring revenue, at least not on my model, so I'll skip it. I'm productizing one of my consulting offerings and should be releasing it later this month -- we'll see if that works out.
a) Got a job at a major software company for very high comp.b) Spent an extra 5-10 hours a week working intelligently at my full time job; got promoted.c) Invested the salary, bonus, and stock from my high comp. corporate job in real-estate and tech-heavy index funds, and reap the (literal) dividends passively.
b) is optional; even without the promotion, I would still make enough money to generate almost all of my passive income via investments. Not bad for zero hours per week.
A stable income has allowed me to buy a house at the bottom of the housing market, which will appreciate at about 1% over inflation; my other investments typically do 2-8% over inflation (especially retirement funds, which grow tax-deferred). All in all, at least $1K per month, spiking to much more. At the rate I'm continuing to invest, I'll likely double that monthly return within 18 months.
Sure, this is all pretty volatile, but no more volatile than entrepreneurship, and with much better worse and average case scenarios.
Best of all, these investments will, in the long term, outpace inflation, which is more than can be said for selling software or tech stuff, which tends to depreciate in price over time (after all, the marginal cost of software is zero, which depresses prices due to competitive dynamics).
http://residentevilradio.com = -$10/month in shoutcast server hosting (will switch to HTML5/Flash jukebox soon)
http://timeforzen.com = $0 no monetization or affiliate links yet
http://tasck.com/2 (NOT finished, PRE-ALPHA) = $0 no monetization or affiliate links yet
===== Dead Links Below =====
http://moviestop.info (success, no income, now offline/sunsetted)
http://humanchan.com (failure, no income, now offline)
http://humanchannel.net (failure, no income, now offline)
http://onenotes.com (failure, never launched)
http://businessgardening.com (failure, no income, no traffic, now offline)
http://extremephotoshopping.com (failure, a little traffic, no income, now offline)
http://chrisnorstrom.com (the best site I ever launched, a small collection of my ideas and inventions (the non-patentable ones anyway) )
BTW, We should start a fail thread where everyone posts all the failed projects/startups they've worked on over the years.
* Raised my consulting rates to free up more time for products (= same amount of consulting income)
* Most new customers come via referrals from existing users and organic traffic (via targeted blog posts)
* Wrote a complementary book targeting people who aren't necessarily looking for PM software (http://doubleyourfreelancingrate.com), and upselling Planscope through that. Extremely successful so far.
My main business (a bootstrapped SaaS startup) generates more than that, but the profits are mostly being reinvested back into the company, so I don't think it qualifies as passive income.
Experiment 0: I bought a hotel affiliate site off of flippa. It did pretty well initially, but I didn't do enough investigation into how the previous owner had been generating traffic. In short, there was a lot of untoward stuff going on. As I was getting all of that straightened out, the site got (deservedly) banned from Google's index for a few key terms. I made my money back and learned a valuable lesson: don't buy sites off of flippa.
Experiment 1: I created a few different sites around a big product launch, and monetized via product reviews and the Amazon Affiliate program. This worked very well for a period of time; the site was grossing $100 a day for several weeks with essentially 0 work. Slowly, my site dipped in the rankings for the key terms as much bigger players got their act together. From this, I learned that one-off sites can be valuable, but probably not in the long term. I should've sold the sites at their peak.
Experiment 2: I wrote some algorithms to find underpriced stocks and then examinate a few strategies around that security's options. This was actually a lot of fun. Based on my program, I ended up buying out-of-the-money puts on 5 or 6 different stocks. I'm sitting on a small profit right now. The next step is to exit my positions, finetune the algorithms based on a few key things I learned, and put more money into action.
This generates between $60-$90 per month, depending on... well, I honestly have no idea what it depends on. Pizza money. And bragging rights.
This app is basically in maintenance mode though I have a lot of things I want to do with it. Android programming is so difficult, though (difficult documentation, impossible for me to figure out how to do anything gui-related) that it's been hard for me to really make big enhancements.
In fact, since going to Google IO this year, I'm no longer a VM customer! Might buy a cheap VM account to do maintenance on this app, which would still be profitable for me.
Not very impressive (who knew selling a niche tool in an environment where $5 is considered "expensive" wasn't the road to instant riches?), but it has been fun to make and it is always cool to hear about how useful the tool has been to fellow developers.
Improvely is a monthly subscription with a free trial period, W3Counter is freemium, and DialShield is pay-as-you-go. They are all bootstrapped and profitable.
http://www.casualgirlgamer.com - $200 a month
http://www.musicgames.co - $5 a month
http://www.tiki-toki.com - $5,000 a month
http://www.peopleplotr.com - $100 a month
I make extra licensing some of my software but that does not count as recurring income and can vary massively month to month.
Back when Android had no apps (2008-2009) and all you could do was check the 'new apps' list for new releases, I noticed a spy camera app was released. The app was terrible and there were many comments asking for various features. I took a day off work, repackaged some camera code I had from a work-in-progress app, implemented the requested features, and blew the competition out of the water.
If you're as jaded as I am, you've already realized that the ancientdays when people put great stuff on the Internet because they enjoyedworking on it are long gone. The commercial interest of the web combinedwith human vanity have transformed the Internet into a for-profitpopularity contest. The vast bulk of submissions to HN support this,both the stuff on the front page, and all of the countless things thathave slid off of the 'newest' page into oblivion.
A large part of the supposed "sentiments" show in comments, submissions,and voting/flagging are really just playing to the crowd. Though itmight be offensive to some, the typical phrase is "karma whoring." It'sreally just human nature at work; if you buy or buy into some expensivewidget, you promote your choice publicly to gather the esteem of yourpeers. Similarly, if you abandon something, you disparage it publiclyto promote your choice and gather the esteem of your peers.
Bought an Apple?
There are plenty of people on HN that work for the big companies (Apple,Google, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and gasp, Microsoft), so the pimpingand punishing is rampant on every mention of any of them. As harsh as itmight sound, the people employed by these companies have vested interestin promoting and protecting them.
If someone disparaged the value of the skill you use to make a living,how would you react?
On the flip side, if someone praised the value of the skill you use tomake a living, how would you react?
(For the record, I'm a typical human language monoglot, so I absolutelyenvy your skill with the Chinese language!)
... ... ... ... ...
If you have far too much free time and spend it watching the /newestqueue, you'll see the attempted manipulation of HN by both vestedparties and professional marketers. Their efforts are continuous, andtheir goal is manufacturing "consensus" by any means possible. Theself-reinforcing echo chambers seen on HN and elsewhere are entirelyintentional, completely dubious in nature, and created specifically forthe sake of profit.
When you hear an echo, the only rational question is, "Who profits fromthis?"
With all of the above said, we still see people asking tough questionsand others responding in an honest attempt to contribute help. It's thevery best part of HN. Unfortunately, the bright sparks of HN have beenslowly fading in the face of contentious discussions, ever fallingaverage technical acumen, and of course, the self-centered motivationsbehind promoting and punishing. I honestly don't know if the trend ofdecline is inevitable or reversible, but surprisingly, I like to believethe latter.
TSA are always stupid, all the time.
Patents are evil. (But no-one knows what to replace them with. And maybe they're only evil for software.)
Facebook is evil and will destroy the Internet, but most certainly are violating all kinds of privacy laws.
- Macbooks are the best laptops
- iOS is preferred over Android (both in use and development)
- PHP is terrible
- Facebook is the devil
A few common debates here are:
- Ruby vs. Python
- Rails vs. Django
- Google (whether they are evil or helpful)
- Whether or not we are in a startup bubble
On the hardware side, ARM is favored over Intel.
Politically and culturally, HN tends to US centric with an Anglo shell.
- Paypal screws merchants over.
- Startups are cool.
- PG is God.
- The US should be more liberal, like SF or Europe.
Did one free job for a local small business. I sought them out. I just called, told them honestly that I needed to start a portfolio and offered them a free site. I did it quick, on Wordpress and used the experience to gauge how much time and effort a typical site would take and I based my first fees off this.
I wrote down names of businesses around town that I came across then looked to see if they had a website. Amy time I saw an awful website I'd contact the place and sell myself. At this point my rates were so low they might as well have been free and I bagged a few clients.
After I got about 4 sites under my belt and on my portfolio I raised prices, offered web app development and marketing and then joined a local group of business owners that met for lunch weekly. I made connections there and at various networking events held by local chambers around the Chicago suburbs.
Through these connections I got a few more clients. Once I got to job six or seven I tripled my rates and the strangest thing happened. I got less leads but the majority of the leads that came to me we're eager to close and easier to close. I was working less to close deals and those deals were worth three times as much as before.
I then slowed way down on reaching out to prospective clients as I had a steady stream of them contacting me first. The last group I contacted was a new non-profit in town whose cause was something I related to. They paid for my services and asked me to join their board of directors after I finished their (now "our") site.
Through that I made connections in the non-profit sector, state and local government, and with lots of people in the medical field.
I bumped up prices a bit more and saw an opportunity. Until then my market was anyone who wanted a website. Even though I weeded out a lot of the crappy clients by increasing my price I still got a lot of awful people to deal with. So I then focused in on non-profits, government, and social services (which was close to what all the connections I made in the medical field were into).
I'm three years in, work for an awesome and growing company, and my own freelance work is booming. I make a minimum of $2k for a run of the mill business website.
Things to note: throughout that time I used AdWords (about $400 worth of Google's free gift cards in total), I had a website from day 1, and I forced myself into lots and lots of social situations that were awkward for me. I also made sure I was on Yelp, Google Places/Maps, and every business and/or web design directory I could find.
It's important to know your market too. Where I am, even a halfway decent designer can look like a genius because all the local design firms create sites that look like they came straight out of 1997 GeoCities. I've had multiple clients turn to me after being pitched by them. I'm not a great designer either. I'm so-so. You can see for yourself how truly unimpressive I am at https://chooseclever.com. I'm not awful but I'm not above average by any means. Is your competition great? If so then do you compete on price or quality?
One thing I've learned along the way is that most everything you read about clients in different web design blogs is true. Same with pricing. I didn't listen and had to learn the hard way.
* Sign up for all freelancer Marketplaces: Elance, Odesk, Guru, Freelancer, RentACoder.
* Sign up for RSS feeds for jobs(full time/freelance) in your domain.
* Start bidding, sending out emails to all of the above that apply.
* You're bidding against devs from 3rd world countries(so you will have to price somewhere in the median atleast until you get your first decent folio piece done)
* Also it doesn't matter if your request doesn't exactly apply. Don't be self-selective. Also even if you don't expect to get that job, apply still. Get your name out.
* Be very communicative, friendly and more open than a simple 'Here's my folio' etc. You're trying to sell yourself, so figure out what the client want, customize your pitch. This part will take a bit of hit and trial on your end to figure out how to get the first client reply. If your post looks like others, then you won't get one.
* Work on the side on your own project, something that's production worthy and you can showcase if the above steps haven't worked till then.
* Reply to posts on HN, Ask HN like Who's hiring + Who's hiring a freelancer. Even add yourself to HN contractor list and anything similar you see elswhere.
* Market, Market, Market every chance you get. I used to spend atleast 3-4 hrs initially just sifting through job posts, replying, emailing everyday.
* Remember to raise your prices sooner than you think.
* Recently i've been trying out Google adwords, which haven't really led to a lot of hits. But i've been getting like 1 really good query for like 100 clicks. For the average amount i make per invoice, that ad costs are very minor even at the ridiculous CPCs to hit the front page.
* A lot of people mention word-of-mouth here. This is really the best way. For every satisfied client you're essentially expanding your network exponentially and getting in touch with people you would never have come across. But initially since you might not have a portfolio, it will be difficult to get work this way. Also until you're able to price your work higher than average, you won't get the right kind of clients. And without the right clients you won't get paid higher. So it's a vicious cycle you need to get out of by piling up showcase work as soon as possible.
* With lower rates it will be difficult to sustain work, since you would have to take on more work before the current one is over. Hence your focus suffers and work quality too. So you're hampering your prices, word-of-mouth network further if you take on work and underdeliver. I've been guilty of doing this(probably still am).
* So as soon as you get too much work to handle, double your rates.
PS: I'm one of the third world dev that people on HN are very fond of :-)
PS2: Since i posted the link to my site http://www.cloudshuffle.com at the top of this post. So far i've gotten 51 visitors in 20 minutes. Cheeky i know! but it was on-purpose to prove my point about marketing yourself when you get a chance.
PS3: Also a weird point i noticed. Almost 95% of the traffic so far is European, and not American. That's completely different from Who's hiring/freelancer thread trend i've been seeing for the past 6+ months.
When companies called me to set up interviews, I said (on the phone) "Turns out I decided I'm going to freelance. What was the project you wanted to interview me for? Perhaps I can help with that, as a freelancer."
I got a lot of business that way and it pretty much started my career.
Of the rest, 9% is from ads places in local newspapers and 1% from random web traffic.
Getting started is the hardest part to getting good word of mouth referrals. You need to talk to everyone about your business. Tell your friends about your freelance work. Go to job fairs and talk with prospective employers (look for the smaller places where the owner rather than an hr rep is there). Find where business people congregate and talk to them.
I had to learn the hard way that the only way to get work was to step completely out of my comfort zone and start talking to people.
Then, for some reason I haven't quite fathomed yet, they often say "yeah, that's fine. See you this afternoon."
This is why, yesterday, I was paid $1000 to get someone's new laptop talking to their printer and copy some files off the hard drive of a dead PC (which in reality just had one dead stick of RAM and a family of cockroaches to whom I served an eviction notice.)
Ultimately, this is just the time value of money + "I can't be bothered learning how to do this trivial task because hopefully I'll never have to do it again." + "If I just pay this guy what he wants it'll be done today, and I can quickly forget about what it cost."
This probably only works on rich people, and because I'm not one myself it seems pretty weird. If I was rich enough, paying $1000 to not be annoyed any more probably would make sense.
I've learned this from my own experience writing/maintaining various open source libraries centered on using Parse with Ruby. The rapid growth of Parse has caused at least a handful of their thousands of developers to want to use it with Ruby (either for a Rails app, or a native iOS app with RubyMotion). Of those people, at least a handful have contacted me looking for a freelancer. Of those people, some have become paying clients.
What I do is I find the rare project post that contains an actual specification of some sort which doesn't seem completely ludicrous and is something that I can make a fair start on within 1-3 days of work. I build out a prototype hitting on a few of the major technical aspects of that spec. A significant portion of the time I win the bid after sending them a link to the prototype or a video of it in action.
Another place I found a client was on reddit. Someone posted a job as an ad at the top of the page. It didn't have a real spec but it did hint at some specific technical aspect of the project, so I built a quick prototype based on a related open source system. Then I told them that I wasn't interested in a regular job but rather wanted to work in a freelance capacity (because that is what I wanted).
Word of mouth is the most powerful way to get business, of course. So the first step is to let the people you know know that you're available. Tell the people who might need your skills that you have them; if they don't need you, they might know someone who does. (This is a good use for LinkedIn.)
Have an elevator pitch ready that summarizes your tech specialties (e.g. HTML5, Dojo), business expertise ("have created several websites for realtors"), and a sense of the best match that hints at your rate ("affordable for small businesses"). Have a web portfolio ready. Update your LinkedIn page.
Depending on how much "a bit of extra cash" you can get started with sites like elance.com but my sense is that the money isn't all that great. (That perception might be inaccurate.) If all you're looking for is "a little extra" and an opportunity to expand your skills, it might still be a good idea.
Way too many freelancers/consultancies botch this up and don't build their websites with conversion rates in mind, and worst of all, don't ask for visitors to contact them (the call to action).
Also, use wording that resonates with businesspeople (who hire you) instead of just technology. i.e. Are you a Wordpress developer, or do you help brick and mortar businesses get more sales (and happen to use Wordpress to get there?)
Instead of just listing out some screenshots of sites you've worked on, talk about how you helped your past clients. Continually emphasize your abilities to deliver business value.
Here the link to it: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/95nDR8/:IPAD5_eU:aOVZRh4+/free...
Hope it helps
There's plenty of people I've met which haven't directly contributed to my bottom line, but to try to look at everyone as a potential $ is a wrong approach. I enjoy trying to find referrals for other people I meet, and I think that's come back to me a few times (unexpectedly, but not that surprising, perhaps).
Couple other random thoughts:
"Selling the Invisible" (beckwith?) - useful to read. Not specifically tech-oriented, but will get you in the right frame of mind.
"Million Dollar Consulting" (weiss?) - may give you a different perspective on freelance consulting.
Contact local design shops to see if they need an extra pair of hands on call.
Put up a portfolio website with a phone number. Then answer the phone if someone calls.
gentle yet shameless plug: http://indieconf.com is being held again this year to cover precisely these sorts of topics - how to get clients, how to not get ripped off, etc - we'll have 18-21 sessions total - I'm confirming them with speakers this week, so the site doesn't yet reflect the full schedule.
With my three friends I am running an IT service company for more than 5 years now. We have learned things the long and hard way during all these years. There was actually no single person to guide us regarding any aspect of the IT business though we have had many well wishers so far.
So to help entrepreneurs who are also planning to start their own company or who have just started the company I am planning to write series of articles which can help them in this journey. So here is the first one for you guys.
During these 5 years we have faced many challenges technically as well as in managing projects, clients and people. But one of the most challenging part of our business right now is scaling. We plan to double the revenue and increase the profitability without increasing head count considerably. We have around 70 people team right now and we plan to maintain the same. So now one of the challenges is to get quality projects from which you can earn more.
Following are few ways using which you can fetch software development projects from the market:
1) Contacts. Contacts. Contacts. Exhaust all your contacts for fetching the first project for your company. Do it for free if needed. You have to have experience to fetch some serious work. In your initial stage, contacts are the best thing you can have. This is perhaps the best time to use your family contacts and relatives.
2) If you are couple of years old company, make a list of all old clients and send them personalized mail saying if we can be of any other help.
3) Join the bidding site such as oDesk and Elance and start building a great profile. oDesk is my favorite site for getting new work as it has a unique model which makes a win-win situation for both buyers and providers. The other best thing about it is that you mostly get hourly projects over there and weekly payments. Payment for your work is guaranteed. Elance is good for bigger size fixed projects. There are many other bidding sites such as Guru, Rent-A-Coder etc but these two are my favorites.
4) Become a Microsoft Partner and access their database of companies. Email them, call them for building relationship.
5) Get your company or yourself registered on Facebook and Twitter. Use their search functionality to find out what people are looking for.
6) If you have little extra money try Google Adwords for keywords like "hire a programmer", "companies in india", "outsourcing" etc
7) Get it from most popular classified site craigslist.org
8) Tie up with local partners who can outsource you projects.
9) If you are a new company start developing on the latest technologies. For e.g. Developing iPhone Applications will get you far more projects than developing in PHP or .NET right now.
These are just the few ways and there can be many other ways to fetch software development projects. Please leave me a comment if you have other ways of fetching the projects. We all will be happy to know.
All my latest gigs came from Twitter or from people contacting me directly after seeing a presentation in conferences (like  ) or sites I made like hackerbooks .
I also get very specialized leads via the open-source project I maintain and which match one of my skills (ETL, activewarehouse ).
Make sure you learn skills in demand and create small "marketing/learning" projects while you are not billing!
By some optimizing, keeping my bids low, and disabling Content Network, I was able to get CPA to ~$10; as long as I was converting more than 10% of my leads (which I was), I came out significantly ahead.
Once you get a couple of clients that have regular work your pretty much set
Focus on people already spending money on marketing. You can find this out by looking at local publications, look at their google adwords spend, look at their website etc.
I'd also add check you are selling the result people want not the service. Selling a wordpress site...so is the offshore freelancer for $5 an hour.
Selling a 10% increase in profits through effective online marketing, bingo (of course you need to be able to actually deliver). When you do this you need a lot less customers and they appreciate you a lot more.
Cold email to a niche with your offer and educational content works a treat. Also networking events, partner up with non competing services etc.
That said, one trick I learned was to always scan the local news looking for local businesses who recently got grants or some other windfall of funding. I assumed (usually correctly) that they would spend some of that windfall on building or revamping their website. I got some good long-term work that way. It was a cold call, but one with research behind it
If I were starting today, I'd use matchist (matchist.com, the new startup I'm building). Our goal is to become a trusted referral source in your inner circle.
In short: start or get involved with local tech groups
Any Meetups related to the web -- events for developers, UI/UX, and biz meetups -- are great for networking. I'm a developer who gets emails from designers who want to talk on a big job that requires custom dev. You should be able to do similar -- find people who want to take on a job that requires more design or marketing than they can (or want to) personally do. (This may be a good way to meet people directly who need your services, not just people who will give you referrals.)
Attending a Startup Weekend hosted in your town is a _fantastic_ way to meet people, especially if you can talk shop with them like many HNers can.
It's quite the commitment, but co-founding a hackerspace has worked wonders for me. I meet a lot of smart people -- many of whom aren't web developers -- who then refer people they know to me.
If you're a designer or biz person, wander into a hackerspace near you.
- Create list of potential clients you want to work with. - Get their twitter accounts, and create a list containing their twitter handles. Name the list something cool (Wedding Businesses to watch)
- You will have a list of tweets from people you might get work in near future.
- Engage with them on Twitter.
- After 3-4 INTELLIGENT replies - all of sudden you are in the online friends category with them
- You dont need to pitch now, if anyone of them is interested they will find about your website from your Twitter Bio and will call/email/message you.
It really had worked for me. I was spending 20-30 mins on that list daily.
This will help you find your initial contacts, and then hopefully find some ongoing/long term work.
Aside from that, just network as much as you can. All of my other leads come from friends and acquaintances.
2. Serendipity (I know sounds odd and I will probably get down-voted for this.) Don't leave a chance to get your work shown or known. Sometimes, small and seemingly useless leads can lead to huge opportunities.
Try to leverage Social Media, local PR firms, Freelance websites etc.
So I tried an introductory level of running schedule to overcome this. Every other day you need to invest ~30 minutes. In fact, the very first day you shouldn't be running more than 8*1 minute with 2-minute pauses. It was terribly exhausting. After a few weeks, I was able to run for 15 minutes straight.
Metric apps like MeyerD's are good tools, but there's no substitute for well thought out training plans.
A fair overview of Data Remanence is on wikipedia. You wantto pay attention to the issues mentioned with flash based (SSD)storage as well as the links to the various research papers.
* btw - i love that hardware hacking is getting popular again
I'm hoping that I can use both my education and software skills after graduation. Preferably in my own business.
There are tons of mechanical, electrical, and other non-software engineering positions open in the US and abroad. Are you good at what you do? Better than most? Able to not come off as a tool in interviews and writing (you failed this one here, btw)?
And yes, HN is probably the wrong place to look for a civil engineering job. You should probably, I dunno, check civic job boards? Asce.org?
Every engineering profession has at least one significant "society" or non-profit group. Join it, they have a job board.
As for questions, will the work be interesting and rewarding? Are the people honest and feel like those you can work with? Is there a sign that the company is succeeding (funding is not market success) like traction and paying customers? There are a few anyway.
And if that is what you want to, and there are not risks, you should go for it.
Suggestion: make something that will let you charge on a recurring basis. (I once thought BCC could never sustain that. It probably could, if I had a mind to implement it, but the pain involved isn't worth it to me.)
Starting from $0 revenue on the 1st day of every month sucks. Starting from "I'll always have at least 90% of the revenue I did last month" is, on the other hand, a wonderful thing for the business in every possible way.
Ideally, you want your customers' usage to align with more money to you over time, not less.
If you need money now, offer your customers a discount for quarterly/annual prepayments. You're more able to predict your costs out 12 months, so you're less likely to make a fatal mistake here.
Annuity tables (or the annuity formula) may be helpful here.
Charging a one-time fee is evil for the customer with common sense. If your service stops growing, what about the customers that already paid for it?
You don't pay for updates in a SaaS app as it's in the cloud, so... I can only truly see a recurring model working. UNLESS you know very well your userbase and you know very deeply it's the only model that would work.
Right now I'm trying to do the same thing for my own customers with timed followup mails after signup, and a feedback form at the bottom of every page of the app.
e.g. Hey%2c ow yuh doing%3f
However, don't just negotiate on a single price, but strike a deal where support work will bring you recurring revenue on monthly basis.
Try to have several dimensions on which you negotiate, not just the price. You already had a great idea for a negotiation dimension: do you offer it as a white or gray label solution. If they are willing to pay too little, require that your product brand is clearly visible for end users, thus bringing more customers for you in the future. You can negotiate on many things besides the price: the scope of your support, your availability, the response time to support queries, your scalability promise to them, future improvements to product, etc.
Try to determine (estimate) their budget. You'd be surprised at how easily corporate employees will reveal budget.
Then charge a percentage of that budget.
Alternatively, try to figure out their internal cost estimates/budget for your component. Then double that.
You have a ton of negotiating room, but always do it as a percentage of what they were expecting to spend on the project/your component.
In my (light) experience, I've always at least doubled the amount of money coming in. Working with a corporation is a different beast than directly estimating value delivered / standard consumer stuff.
Here's what I would do: Offer an initial consultation period (say 2-4 weeks), at a suitable rate ($100 - $200 per hour)
Spend the time meeting with all people involved. The consultation period will probably be extended, because everyone will have different opinions and more folks will get dragged in and it will be hard to schedule time with the important decision makers.
During this time you need to establish what value the client attaches to the project (how much money will it make or save them?) This is the infamous "value proposition".
You need to capture as much of this as possible - this is the budget you should be aiming for. How much of this you can capture will depend on how much any alternatives you identify would cost (competitors and/or internal development).
An important part of your final offering will be support. It's probably best to price the final deliverable lower and charge more for support, since that will be a recurring income.
Every time I have negotiated with a company of this type, I have come away thinking that they had unrealistic pricing expectations. That said, you must price higher because of the bureaucracy you will be dealing with.
Another? Learning Haskell would count, except I did it for fun, so there was no risk. I could say learning Perl has been very useful, but again, there was very little risk -- I was in high school and didn't have a computer I could use all the time, so I simply read the 3rd edition of Programming Perl straight through up to the reference section, and then reread the first 7 or 8 chapters. That taught me how regular expressions worked, that closures existed and how they worked, and other mundane stuff like foreach loops and pipes.
Another? Maybe learning about math. I spent a lot of effort learning a little bit of math. When I think about the return I've gotten, well, I'm very comfortable with discrete math and quite good at estimating the performance of programs. The presence of some math-related things on my resume helped me land the phone screen for my first job out of college. The problem? It was low risk because I enjoyed it.
Another? Golf. You could say it was my parents who took the risk because they paid for lessons and clubs, while I enjoyed every minute of learning how to play. The return? It's fun to play but really it's that I got my dad to start playing. He now enjoys it a lot more than I do and has made several friends through the game. My return? One time the son of a guy my dad played golf with several times hired me for a cool summer job dealing with optics measurement systems. The problem is that this is a lame example: no risk for me, and the return was kind of indirect.
Another? Making sure to take the core CS classes while I got a math major. The reward? I was able to tack on a dual CS major with another semester (plus got some knowledge). The risk was 5 or 6 poorly taught CS classes.
Another? Maybe Emacs counts. I couldn't convince myself to learn it and use it the first time, but eventually I managed to convert myself over to XEmacs from whatever awful thing I was using. However, it's not as much of a risk as Vim, which is known to cause brain damage.
Another? Learning how to play the piano. I spent 12 years taking piano lessons. The return? When I had wrist problems as an adult programmer, I got a digital piano and started playing again, and the wrist problems went away for good.
Mastering Regular Expressions by Friedl is regarded as one of the best resources. But just to get up and running and as a reference I recommend http://regular-expressions.info
Neither Clojure or J are particular skills for me either, so I am somewhat doing the worst approach - tackling a new project with a new set of tools . . .
I eventually realized that it's impossible for me to be a catalogue/archive of the latest news (it's like swimming upstream), and I realized that forcing myself to comment is very unnatural.
The risky learning curve came when I had to revise all the stuff I'd half-forgotten, taking a few weeks out to do nothing but maths, in the hope that my hunch would pan out. It did pan out, and now I'm settling down to the long hard slog of exploiting it properly.