hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    19 Sep 2012 Ask
home   ask   best   7 years ago   
Ask HN: Your thoughts on Apple's ITunes Store Refund Policy?
3 points by jason_slack  49 minutes ago   discuss
Ask HN: Has anybody develop their own business while on a job? got tips?
9 points by jcslzr  5 hours ago   5 comments top 3
davismwfl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Yes, I have and am doing it again right now. That said, first time I tried this I wound up failing before it really got a good start. I don't think the idea was bad, or really even flawed, but I was and so was my method.

My 2 cents:
1) First, I agree with most of things orangethirty said, with a couple of differences.

2) The services model doesn't work well while you are working a job. It is too demanding and you will fail someone.

3) I found setting a schedule is the best thing. Give yourself at least 2 nights a week where you do nothing. That isn't much, by the time you get out of work, eat dinner and unwind you will find it amounts to only a few hours. In reality if you are like most, you'll still write stuff down, and be thinking about concepts idea's etc. But avoid the keyboard if at all possible.

4) Layout your plan in detail. I created a task list and am working it every chance I get.

5) Outsource things. Don't try to do everything, if you need logo's, design work etc, find freelancers or some of the online groups. It is worth it. Use the money your "job" is paying you to make investments in people and things you need for the business.

6) Enlist family or friends to help you with details. I have a Google Voice number we forward to our cells and trade who is answering. That way if a client is calling they get a person most times, not a voicemail box. Seems small, but I think it pays off.

7) I talk to everyone I can about my idea, and any questions I have.
7a) I do avoid talking to anyone at the office in regard to my business in general as I feel I owe it to them to do the job they hired me to do. Some people that know I will talk to some, but I try to keep it minimal.
7b) I do however talk to executives in the business and people in key positions that might have insight or knowledge. So I will ask questions about problem domains or how they solved issues etc. I am not asking them for secrets or asking them to violate any company policies. But smart people always have opinions, and I do not say hey I have X business and how would you do Y. I will simply ask how did you solve problem Y (no different than a forum)? Also in my case, my "job" and my startup project/business are not in the same domain and in fact I sought a place so I could avoid conflicts, and ensured my non-compete etc would not cause issues.

8) Ok cause I can't seem to write anything short. Last thing. When you get a little traction dedicate yourself to the business or it won't go anywhere.

tl;dr --

Do's: make a plan, set a schedule, take time off weekly, enlist family/friends and talk to everyone.

Don't: Make it a Service business, talk out of turn at work, break confidentiality rules etc.

Updated to fix the formatting.

orangethirty 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Sure. Here are some thing I've learned:

    -- Stuff takes more time than you think.
-- Get everything in writing.
-- Make sure you are legally clear to build a business on the side.
-- Schedule and plan in advance so you dont waste time.
-- Schedule free time so you can relax.
-- Remember to eat well/exercise. Good health is important.
-- Dont talk about your business to your co-workers/boss. Tell them you are taking a pilates class or whatever kids these days do.
-- A business is 99% business and .5% coding with a .5% margin of error.
-- Remember to smile and listen. :)
-- Hire contractors instead of employees. Cheaper, less hassle.
-- Get a lawyer and acocuntant involved ASAP.

nalidixic 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm interested in hearing success and failure stories on this topic. Thanks for asking!
From RSS to sharing on social networks - phantomjs?
2 points by agilord  2 hours ago   1 comment top
AznHisoka 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I use CasperJS - it's a wrapper with syntactic sugar around PhantomJS. Posting to social networks is almost trivial (couple of lines). Just run it with your cookies file, and it'll login automatically.
Ask VC & HN: What was more important than Pandora for 300 VCs?
7 points by diminium  6 hours ago   5 comments top 4
staunch 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
Don't think that's true of Google. They got $100k from Sun founder (Andy Bechtolsheim) very early.
il 5 hours ago 1 reply      
If it were that easy to identify good ideas/teams then venture capital as an asset class wouldn't have consistently negative returns.

To put it another way: If you think you can identify winning ideas/teams with even 50% accuracy, then drop what you're doing and raise a fund, because you're going to be the most successful investor of all time.

alid 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm also surprised by the amount of rejections in your examples! That said there's so many elements that need to come together to get your idea over the line (pitch, team, an idea the VC feels an affinity towards etc). Big ideas are sometimes the craziest ideas, so it's best to embrace that and expect rejection as a natural part of the journey. Here's to the crazy ones!
tdubbed 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Its very possible that many vcs passed because they know how much trouble music licensing is and how expensive it is. Put it this way, Pandora, even though it is one of the best at monetizing advertising especially affiliate advertising, still hasn't turned a profit.

Now you have to realize that the project they pitched with may have been very shaky or just may have been outside the partners expertise

Startup idea list
133 points by duck  14 hours ago   240 comments top 56
cryptoz 14 hours ago 13 replies      
Here's a few I've been thinking about:

- Remote aid delivery by drone: build and send small robotic aircraft to remote areas and drop aid, preferably starting with medicine (lightweight and very useful). Small helicopters (quadrotor drone copters as you see at TED/MIT) could land and accept return packages if necessary. Trips could be made to hazardous places where human-driven aid drops can't venture. Additionally, all aid drops could be done cheaper and more efficiently. [The drones should be solar-powered?]

- Microwave oven with a solid, opaque door. On the door put a nice 1020p screen and inside put video cameras. You could microwave food, see a convincing video of it cook and not have to deal with harmful radiation or an unpleasant grilled screen.

- Pizza button. I had this idea about two years ago, someone in Dubai is currently executing (I think). You order a button, a physical red button (or an app with a big button, but that's not as cool). If you press the button, a pizza arrives at your location (tracked either by smartphone or by pre-set address). Default pizza arrives unless other instructions are set. I would insist on extreme simplicity: no options, no choices. Just "press button to receive pizza".

ALee 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Here is my list of ideas:

1. Problem: Difficult to implement shipping for any business, website, store, etc. You only have UPS/FedEx

   Solution: Kayak for Shipping - Developer implements shipping API, which enables back end to do a rate shopping engine for shipping, which taps into APIs for FedEx, USPS, UPS, and allows local shippers to qualify for the program, including PostMates and any other Joe Schmo interested in shipping...

2. Problem: I can't play paintball with my friends.
Solution: Ender's Game - Computers v. Humans

3. Problem: People die because they can't get organ donations.
Solution: Create a co-op where people join a market for organ donations.

4. Problem: Scheduling things with friends is really hard, there is too much back and forth over SMS and email
Solution: Set up a centralized service through your phone that schedules for you, but is totally automated, no human beings, just machines, so that virtual assistants don't have to waste time scheduling

5. Problem: There are no parking spots in the city
Solution: Price out illegal parking zones by multiplying the probability of ticket * ticket cost. Using a mobile app, a user pays for parking insurance at differing rates, but allows them to find a parking spot where there previously wasn't one

6. Problem: why is it that you can only bookmark pages or urls
Solution: delicious 2.0 - be able to micro-bookmark. i should be able to save things at the sub page level and consume that content later: a post in a block, a newsfeed post on facebook, a photo in a webpage, a section of an article. etc

7. Problem: Sending direct mail is hard - you need good lists, need to process with mailhouses, and you don't know whether the mail you send is reaching the right audience
Solution: Create a digital application to send mail as easily as email, complete with analytics of the funnel, and the ability to unsubscribe from the mail you're sent. Make mail, like e-mail.

8. Problem: Animated GIFs are the new LolCat, where can I find the best animated GIFs?
Solution: Use animated gifs as a medium for snipping video that you can easily see over your mobile phone

9. Problem: What happens to all my digital stuff when I die? Or when I want something killed...
Solution: future me, death switch - go through with my credentials and find usernames and passwords and have ways to kill the accounts.

10. Problem: I can't listen to radio broadcasts, etc. with my friends
Solution: Social listening with friends. Suggestions from friends of articles or things to listen to with their commentary in their words.

11. Problem: Mobile data sucks sucks sucks. I want to watch something on demand or download a movie.
Solution: BitTorrent for mobile. Allow the sharing of mobile data amongst subscribers, but you have leech and seed at the same time...

12. Problem: Keeping in touch with people is REALLY hard.
Solution: Create retention method of keeping in touch with people that uses a computer to help you keep in touch with people who matter.

13. Problem: Buying billboard ads sucks
Solution: Create billboard ad marketplace

13. Problem: Retail locations have captive audiences and it's hard enough to monetize the location. Why doesn't everything turn into a Times Square?
Solution: Give them a TV, stream over the internet, and do ads. You can break up with television advertising model by guaranteeing the location and zip code.

14. Problem: Shipping takes time.
Solution: Establish network of 3D printers to print things on demand for same-day shipping.

15. Problem: People get stabbed in the Mission
Solution: 1) Crowd-sourcing police cameras, we pay people to stream live their local areas and videotape people walking around. Instead of just letting police see it, everyone sees what's going on, but the difference is that the owner and we hold the rights to the content. Assumption that more cameras means less stabbings. 2) You could even SMS a number and it would follow your location on your way home so that you are recorded every step of the way. Kind of like a virtual sentry and you could have an individual nearby to escort you if need be for a digital amount. 3) Text Message app where if a crime has been committed. It texts me that one has happened near me. Uses increasingly open government data apis and police blotters.

16. Problem: Where are all the hot people? How can we take the local tracking phenomenon to an even deeper degree...
Solution: Hot or Not of Local. People take pics of other folks and they can rate those people relatively around them.

17. Problem: I can't have dinner with my family in Colorado, HK, etc.
Solution: Hack the Kinect to create the Farenheit 451 wall. We can actually have real conversations with people. I somehow feel MSFT will do this with Skype and Kinect, but whatevz.

18. Problem: Receipts suck. Yet, we still need them.
Solution: Make it easy to create a hardware or software solution that takes receipts and mails them in a way that is easy for Quickbooks, quicken, or whoever needs to keep track of expenses. I hate Oracle.

19. Problem: I want to watch movies with friends.
Solution: Have a way to watch a movie with a friend and have them put commentary on the movie and for me to also enjoy watching the movie. Annotations and real social. Spotify meets Netflix.

20. Problem: Water is expensive for large utilities.
Solution: Smart grid for water utilities: OPower, but for water utilities. The issue here is that water is cheap, but a very large industry, so where could I make the delivery of water much more efficient.

21. Problem: I hate buying new computer equipment
Solution: Lease electronic equipment - Apple products are uniquely suited to this. New ones are released every 12 months, old ones have a high resale value, iCloud syncs all your documents for when you buy a new device, and there's a large population of people who always want to own the latest one. You could charge a flat monthly rate to people who always want to have the newest iPad, then send them a new one every 12 months with a prepaid box to return their old one. There's even a 3rd party warranty company that covers drops and spills for a reasonable rate -- http://www.squaretrade.com.

22. Problem: Payroll is DOMINATED by two guys - ADP and PayChex, they suck
Solution: Kill them. Do better with a product that values people as people.

23. Problem: [w] why can't you buy something online and pick it up in a store (this currently is verticalized)
Solution: make product search -> purchase and pickup in store easy. build the amazon for local pickup

24. Problem: AirTime sucked because it didn't let you Hot or Not people
Solution: It would be awesome if you could... AirTime with HotOrNot... social and virtual currency. Allowing pretty people to make money from their beauty.

georgespencer 13 hours ago 14 replies      
A service which allows me to upload a document (PDF, .doc, whatever), input an address and then pay for it to be printed and sent to that address via mail (courier optional).

I'd use this service so much:

1. Printers are fast becoming a thing of the past. How often will people need to use printers in five years time?

2. Lots of government functions still require printed documents (heck, even Twitter insisted that I fax them something a few years back).

3. Post boxes, stamps and envelopes are a pain to get individually.

joering2 11 hours ago 3 replies      
OK, here is the list of my ideas. "working" on it for years, never had balls to start implementing, BUT I am computer programmer if you want to work on any of those together, let me know. Otherwise take it, "steal it", and make it big. And mention you heard it from joe :)

- watches exchange club. you are doing as a middle man between watch lover. X amount to signup + monthly fee gives your user base access to each other watches. Users can exchange watches of similar value for X amount of time - like 3, 6 months. After that need to return the watch. Of course there is user verification system. Also each watch can be exchanged through a middle man (you) that will double check the watch quality before passing it forward to receiver (this would be at additional charge, something like Ebay Protect)

- whereabouts mobile app. simple app, mostly used by companies to track emps, but by parents as well. As simple as twitter, you just have access to someones up to date GPS location, not their messages feed.

- tldr (contacted tldr.com guy but never finished our talk). basically new version of digg. Let anyone submit article BUT other people can summarize it in X number of bullets and that's it. Nice feature -- other people can "fork it" - take that and edit it make a better version (shorter or longer with more info). Community votes on the best version. Articles/summarizes are linked with other articles in a time period that creates a story (like a news story that is developing).

- drawing together app. similar to draw something, but lets parents and children to use separate devices to draw together, or color cartoons, etc.

- iPhone door opener with patented technology. Develop and patent technology that creates a qr/barcode that opens the door (keys killer). that technology will work with different doors and car doors, etc. Obviously since no mechanical key is involved you can for example work for a company that uses this technology and instead of giving you physical keys, they can manage certain doors to be open with your phone.

- perfumania. not too much IT related but this idea poped to my head while working on fifth avenue. walking every morning millions of women pass me by. now, you have soda/chips vending machines, you can rent movies via machine. develop and patent machine to dispense either paper sticks or tiny containers with perfumes. a client has access to a wall of 50 or more different fragrances (perhaps some of a well established brands, but not only so client can discover new fragrances). sell it real cheap so each day a women can get sprayed with different fragrance.

- impressed by this thread: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3748104 I registered thumbkissing.com Any ideas for app? - contact me.

- app for "display" shops. It was a nightmare to buy furniture for my new place. went through plenty of places and been buried under phonebook-thick catalogs. There must be better way. An app to browse shop offer via ipad. Develop app. Start with furniture, there is only couple main companies that shops get their supplies from. Upload entire offer; offer iPads cheap to shop owners as a medium to browse their inventory. My impression - they will quickly switch from thick catalogs that shows everything, not exactly what each shop has or can have on stock/sell. Repeat for other stores: mattress places, etc.

- better hacker news :) this one is still on my todo list. DO NOT change anything that currently is, just add more options: follow hackers (notified when they type new comment), remove comments, branches from long commend thread that you been reading, mark/hide read comments, notifier of number of new comments since you read last time, etc. Lock the website to 1,000-5,000 HN readers (registered users) not to kill/piss off PG that your boot is raping HN server.

- human protocol (I call it HAPI - Human Application Protocol Interface). Basically reversed interned when people push the data instead of pull. Hard to explain shortly here. Basically a stream where each task has its code and you pushing "strings" of data where others can read them. no website, just plain data. For example you want to sell a car? you push "status: 40 [selling], location: 4903 [New York], var1: 3254 [Model of car]" etc. Then users build receivers that treat this information accordingly, but stream on its own in uncontrollable, something like uploaded torrent.

- interests mailbox. I want to unsubscribe my personal email from all the "Spam" I am getting and have one mailbox that I can select the offers I want to receive. Imagine it the same way like when you changing your address usps gives you all the offers of local stores. if im interested in gardening, I want to be able to pickup "theme" gardening and signup for all the emails related to the subject from all vendors out there.

- twitter for businesses. same idea but you follow companies so the focus is on the tools for a company to promote and sell their products. Twitter is not the best platform for it; hasnt been designed for this purpose and does not provide unified tools.

- we are vacationing. I want a website where I can create our tour map that looks cool and all our friends can check on it. where are we, what we doing, where we been, of course uploading photos and videos on the way.

- fanBooth. mostly for cute girls. website when you can take only one shoot a day (or very limited number). of yourselves and other can "follow" you: put comments, etc. you can tag that photo like #tryingnewclothes. others can vote on the best for day/week/month in certain category.

- mallHunter. you seen all those little booths at your local mall? provide them with app when they can upload their items to sell: take photo and upload, everything they have on sale/discount.

- habitBreaker. website/app where I can mark the date that I quit smoking/drinking/doping and see other people that did the same and compare how many days I stay clean. Community can type message that keeps them away from the habit, others can vote on it "helped me too" and then the top votes are send via email blast or displayed on the website.

EDIT: vote up if you liked any of those :)

eranation 13 hours ago 5 replies      
YourMechanic for groceries.

I want to pay a flat recurring fee and have my fridge be filled with basic food products (e.g. like a hotel's minibar) you chose from 3-5 preset packages out of 3 pricing levels, setup how many people are in the house and you are done

the service will calibrate (with your help) the content of the packages, e.g. if you see you eat more bread than you drink milk and end up with too much milk and too little bread, you can tweak it (larger bread package, smaller milk bottle)

All products will be generically packaged and will have a very low price as this startup will specialize in basic products (bread, milk, eggs, cheese, basic meats, popular fish, soft drinks, water, core vegetables and fruits)

Having a massive buying power, the prices of these basic products will be much, much cheaper than any grocery store

Having statistically well sized packages for most households types will ensure optimal saving and minimal food waste.

you will never need to go grocery shopping again, never need to "remember the milk" throw much less food, and spend so much less on groceries you won't know what to do with the money you have left.

I would start this but it seems it needs a logistics / supply chain pro from a large corporate to be able to pull this through

tocomment 13 hours ago 6 replies      
Here's a simple idea I've been kicking around. I might just build it for fun.

I call it notifyme.when. Users put in things they want to be notified about e.g., new book by Steven King released, Sequel to District 9 announced, Mortgage rates fall below 3.5%, etc.

Then other users log in and review the requests and post updates to any of the event they know have happened. You get points (like Stack Overflow) if you legitimacy update someone else's request.

TamDenholm 13 hours ago 3 replies      
HR and Recruitment software for high turnover, low skill companies like call centers.

Implement a number of systems like patio11's appointment reminder, CRM and helpdesk type software for communication, something to handle all paperwork electronically, posting adverts, information gathering etc etc.

Basically, a family friend used to run the HR and recruitment department for a huge call center, she headed a staff of 10+ people that all day advertised for positions, looked through application forms, gave aptitude tests, did phone interviews, arranged face to face interviews, did the paperwork to get them hired, did inductions and put them into training, and thats just hiring and doesnt include liasing with payroll and firing etc.

I told her about that idea, she mentioned it to her boss (basically the guy that looked after the entire call center) and he apprently loved the idea. Problem is, while i could do the techy bit, i'm lacking other things to be able to make it happen so its on the back burner for now.

yatsyk 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Service that stores all your measurements for prefect clothing sizes matching. If you decide to purchase something you allow clothing store to access your profile on that service, same way as you allow some site to access your facebook details. Your order will be sent to tailor
in China after payment. More advanced idea would be to use 3d model of customer. After that it's possible to show me clothing ads with me as model while I browse ecommerce site.
mtoddh 13 hours ago 3 replies      
It would be nice to have a dumb computer for your kitchen that is basically just for displaying recipes from the internet (eg allrecipes.com). It would be thin like an ipad and I could hang it on the wall/fridge/cupboard/above the counter while I am preparing food. It would be easy to clean and sturdy and would keep working even I spilled sauce on it, dropped it on the counter, etc.
tocomment 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Ok, I have no idea how to do this startup but it seems very profitable. Have you ever noticed how anyone under 40 believes with 100% certainty that social security won't be around for them when they retire.

Well I think it probably will be around. Most big (popular?) government programs aren't going away no matter what the media says.

So how about selling social security insurance. Buyers pay a premium each month to buy the insurance. And if social security isn't around when they retire the insurance pays out what they would have gotten from social security.

---- Edit ---

People don't think the insurance idea is viable so let's turn this idea on its head. The company goes out and buys the future social security benefits (or some portion thereof) from individuals ands pays them say 10 cents on the dollar. People who don't think SS will be around think they're getting free money, and the company makes a bundle if SS stays around.

Heck, could the US government could be doing this to fix social security?

mtoddh 13 hours ago 3 replies      
A service that syncs your resume with companies' Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

The problem: you're applying for jobs at three different companies. Each company uses their own Applicant Tracking System (eg. Taleo, Kenexa, PeopleAdmin). That means you get to fill out your resume three different times, which is tedious and error prone. It would be nice to have a service where you input your resume once and then it just automagically syncs your resume to the ATS of the companies you're interested in.

I know that LinkedIn and Indeed have "Apply with LinkedIn/Indeed" to address this pain point. But I can tell you as someone who's working on a job search engine as a side project, there are many, many jobs where the only way to apply is to fill out an ATS. And if you want to apply to multiple jobs you have to go through the same process again and again.

JunkDNA 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Home 3D Printer for clothing and textiles.

Textile knitting machines have been digital for close to 100 years (old ones used chains with risers that would change the gears of the machines to change the knit). For simple garments, there's a completely automatable step that makes the majority of the piece, but then there is often hand-sewing to assemble the final product (e.g. sewing sleeves into T-shirts, seams into toes of socks, etc…). Trick is developing the robotics to manipulate it so this can be automated. It doesn't have to be fast (like a factory needs) if you're making stuff for yourself. There's a whole ecosystem you could build around downloadable designs, consumables, etc...

bravura 12 hours ago 2 replies      
[meta: Basically, a site that powers this sort of thread, except with the requirement that it must be something you'd pay for, not an idea you just came up with.]

A website to help you find services that you have a burning need for, and would pay for.

It also helps you find initial customers for services that you're building.

You post: "I would pay for this technology." Other people upvote if they would pay for it too.

Participants can post an answer and say: "That already exists. Here."

If no good solution exists, you can pay a small amount of money to contact everyone on the thread, and say: "I'm building this. Here."

covercash 13 hours ago 1 reply      
TI-8x calculator resale program - graduating and have no need for that calculator anymore? We buy it and the resell it to incoming students at half the price TI charges!

Emergency mode for smartphones - when you dial 911, the phone goes into a locked down, power saving mode that records audio (maybe video too), transmits your location and attempts to connect you with emergency services. Recorded audio is also transmitted to secure servers for later use by law enforcement in case phone gets destroyed.

chegra 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Collectively purchase/own items. For instance, baxter[programmable android] came out yesterday/today, and you would like to try it out, but the price point of 22k is too much. A group of people, say 22, can collectively purchase it and rotate the usage of baxter amongst themselves.
Quizz 13 hours ago 1 reply      
A pre-owned diamond exchange platform. Inspired by this article recently on HN: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4535611

During these hard times, give people a platform to sell their existing diamonds at a higher price than what jewelry stores are willing to pay. Disrupt the "estate jewelry" market specifically in the diamond space by bringing forth a dedicated Ebay type site that also includes appraisals (automatic/electronic?) as a separate fee. This would encourage people to sell all those diamonds that's been stored in safe deposit boxes waiting to be sold.

drcongo 13 hours ago 4 replies      
A system that lest me maintain my contact details in one place, that other services can subscribe to for up-to-date info. Should also let me maintain who can see which details. When I change job, or lose my phone, or whatever, I can update my details, and my vCard in all my friends' address books gets updated accordingly.
etandel 13 hours ago 7 replies      
A github-like service for musicians that would allow:

1. Version control of compositions;
2. Forks of other musicians' "repositories" / compositions;
3. Contributions to other musicians' songs;
4. Possibly play the songs online;
5. Private / public repos;
6. Individual / band / group / organization repos.
7. ???

xhrpost 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I feel like I have tons of ideas but nowhere near the time to pursue even a fraction of them. I like a lot of these ideas and wish at least someone would pick one up and run with it so that I could take advantage of the product/service. I'd like a site where I could post such ideas. Allow for someone to post an idea with an explanation. Other users can discuss and tweak the idea and eventually, if there is enough support, form a team and actually work on it. Sort of a crowsourced incubator. Name ideas: StealMyIdea, lightbul.bs.
brynjar 12 hours ago 0 replies      
A streetmap I can easily draw on top of, add links and annotations etc. and send to a friend. Downloadable mobile version too. Lots of other
potential add-ons.

A friend of mine is visiting London, a city I know well, so I wanted to give some tips for things to see: most of the existing services I found have a bad UI, lousy performance, buggy etc.

This was the best one I found and this took ages to create; yet should be simple:


g123g 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I posted it on another thread. An app to help you decide on what to wear on a given day. The app will get inputs from weather, day's schedule and the clothes in your wardrobe etc. and will then suggest you what to wear. It can take input regarding clothes in wardrobe using either a scan of the clothing item or using a barcode. It can also suggest which new clothing items to buy based on what is currently in the user's wardrobe and user's lifestyle. This can cover the monetizing aspect of the app.
tocomment 13 hours ago 3 replies      
How about a GPS car navigation unit that detects if you're going too fast for an upcoming curve and warns you?

It seems like it already has all the data.

eranation 13 hours ago 3 replies      
A service that allows me get all my snail mail by email, I get a virtual address, they scan / OCR etc (and spam filter)
arafalov 12 hours ago 12 replies      
I have a whole (Google) Drive of ideas, each with a hook, strategy, and business plan. Some of them, I have seen startups to independently try. I will post a bunch as individual sub-comments, see if anybody wants to make a startup of them. If somebody does, I will be happy to share most of the rest of details, in exchange for free accounts, recognition, etc.

Ok, I posted about 10% of what I have (most here, one was stray on its own thread). But it started to look like HN spam even to myself, so I stopped. But yes, there is more. And there are some with a lot more dots connected. Contact me if you are ever stuck for ideas. :-)

crisnoble 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Crowd-sourced solar data.

Collect solar irradiance data (used to compute solar panel effectiveness) via consumer devices (iphones or andoids that have light sensors).

Combine the collected data into an always updated, hyper local dataset, give (sell?) data to solar development companies and municipalities.

This could greatly reduce time to research feasibility of solar farms in cities.

tocomment 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Ok a couple more ideas; sorry to post so many :-(

A turn signal that produces the turn signal ticking sound really loudly outside your car so the person in front of you is aware you want to turn.

Sell sterilized tape worms for weight loss. It seems like a great way to lose weight but I'd be freaked out by the though of them reproducing inside of me. If a tape worm harmlessly died after a few month I'd be up for it, especially if the alternative were surgery or diabetes.

A device that can detect the sound of glass breaking and notify the police. You could put them in neighborhoods everywhere.

klous 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Trade your dead tree versions of books in for ebook versions + credit for more ebooks when value of book exceeds ebook wholesale cost.
WilliamHurst 10 hours ago 0 replies      
As with most hackers here, a job, a family and an attempt not to burn out has left me with plenty of ideas but with very little to show.

The most audacious one rolling around in my head right now is Notifyway.com. The basic concept is allowing the end user to control how and when they receive communication from a sender (could be an app, your washing machine or Facebook).

The process would be as follows:
1. The customer (lets call him Bob) signs up with Notifyway.com and downloads any apps they want to use (iOs, Android, Windows, Growl plugin, whatever).
2. Bob registers each app as a "receiver" with Notifyway.com using OAuth. This allows push notifications to be sent to each "receiver"
3. Bob signs up with AwesomeService.com which lets him know when there are friends nearby.
4. AwesomeService.com connects to Notifyway.com and Bob authenticates the connection using OAuth.
5. AwesomeService.com finds a friend nearby and connects to the Notifyway.com API with a short and long message for Bob.
6. Bob has decided that AwesomeService.com should send him a text message for each notification if it comes through on weekend. However, during the week, Bob would like all notifications to be sent to Growl on his Mac (if it is during work hours) as he is at his desk all day long. After hours, a Tweet can be sent or a notification on his iPhone. If it is a long message, it should be sent to Bob's personal email as it is likely a marketing message or some other time insensitive update.
7. Bob is able to make decisions on how to receive his notifications using plugins that provide outgoing services (like ifttt)
7. AwesomeService.com have integrated into a single service with a single API for all their communications with Bob, safe in the knowledge that he will get the notification as he wants to get them.
8. Bob is able to disconnect AwesomeService.com if he ever feels they are not providing any value and he is guaranteed no more communication (Bob never even gave his email to AwesomeService.com because it wasn't necessary).

The concept lives and dies on very high volume and would need to have fairly low margins to entice services to pay to communicate with their customers. This would probably need to be driven by customers who would demand integration.

There are services that do something similar things (e.g. Boxcar, Pushover & Notifo) but I don't think they are aligned in the same way. I am hoping to make this an "open service" so the protocol is open, 3rd party apps would be welcome and community contribution acknowledged.

If anyone is interested, I'm starting a design document to discuss the possibilities and opportunities that this service might create.

Buzaga 11 hours ago 0 replies      
In-browser/Facebook MMO PVP game

A browser game(not HTML5 magic.. those that function like RTS, for example) that permitted all sort of harassment, apart from directly competing/fighting(example.: click to send 10 thugs to attack other player HQ), it would also possess other mechanics like slowban and hellban to fire at other players, Area of Effect stuff, scorching earth, looting, reputation, karma

Other than fu#king with your enemies/friends by making their game slow or making them silent without them knowing, there could be all kinds of creative "bans"(that would be like curses, but since I haven't thought of a setting to run this on top on I won't call them this way).. mess with the player interface, steal/spy on resources, the more over the top, the better

the game would be designed to encourage everyone to harass everyone(or to polarize harassers/good people, like in UO), with some additional mechanics that would encourage different types of interaction too, like parties, guilds, if you're teamed up, collaborating could mitigate a 'ban' that could make you die easily... but betraying is game too

Monetizing through micro-transactions, with a big eye on balance(evade the "pay-to-win" path to the max)

benrequena 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Here's an app idea. Show notifications when the device is within a certain distance from the location of a past historical event. ...or past Crime ...or a message another app user has left.
monk_e_boy 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Internet filter for things I don't want to know yet. If I miss the Formula 1, I'd rather not know the result until I watch it. Currently this means not listening to the radio, watching the news or going to any non-geek online news.

I'd like to have something like AdBlock, but it blocks on key-phrases that are F1 related (Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button etc)

The key-phrases come from a wiki. The censored bits of sites could show adverts instead (to make some money)

The wiki could hold all the options, different sports key-phrases (football, soccor, rugby .... you know, almost anything ... Dr Who, Eastenders (for those of us who iPlayer a lot of things)

slig 11 hours ago 2 replies      
A Chrome extension that solves CAPTCHAs with a click. Charge me 1 USD for 10 credits and then outsource the solving to some of those shady sites for $0.001 each.
yatsyk 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Hardware product idea: ~7 inch screen with keyboard for administration of headless servers. It's very annoying to use large monitor and full keyboard when all you need is change line in BIOS or press few buttons when OS stopped to boot.
samzhao 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Missed an important class/lecture/lab because you were sick or too busy taking care of some more important stuff than attending class? Introducing a not-so-innovative but pretty useful (and crowdsourced) course video/audio sharing platform! Students can upload materials such as videos and audio of a class, so people who missed the class can browse through the archive to see what he/she missed.

I myself believe this is a good idea. Even if it fails to validate itself in a certain market, I still want to build it because this is at least what I desperately need. I only have an one hour class today, but it takes me around an hour and a half to get to the campus and another hour and a half for me to get back home. It's extremely tiring.

Concerns would be:
1. What if recording a lecture is illegal in some places? Or if it's against the rules of the university?

2. I'm a student myself, so I don't have a lot of money to invest in content storage if people start uploading a lot of videos and audios. I'll be hosting the site on webfaction on the most basic plan, so the resource is fairly limited. It would be great to have a service that I can direct all the upload to their site via an API or some sort, so the users are uploading to the service from my site.

YouTube Direct is great, but there's some problems associated with it:
a. User has to log in first, which is a hassle, especially when people don't necessarily trust me, yet. I would totally accept anonymous uploads.

b. I want to make it as simple as possible. Having a YouTube widget to handle this really doesn't feel right. It makes the process less intuitive.

That's it! Please give me some feedback.

benrequena 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's another app idea. Create a catalog of map data based on years and let a user see what their location looked like in years past. Users could see what stores used to be there, how fast their city has sprawled, and could show their kids what their house looked like before it became a strip mall.
danielna 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Haven't thought this through very much, but it'd address some frustrations I've been having lately. If someone can come up with a means of getting around domain squatters, that'd be amazing. Kind of like a redirect service for legitimate businesses.
mapster 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Track your stuff for insurance loss. SaaS app that prints out small bar code stickers. add these to your stuff. assign $ value and if you have receipt (can email phone pic of receipt to app). If you are going on a trip, make video of all bar code stickers and upload to app site. Site will parse video and compile a list of your items that are going with you on your trip and assign a replacement value. This app would be perfect for people with homeowners insurance that replaces goods that are burned or stolen etc.
kordless 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Flip Craigslist on its head. Post things you want to buy, the service fills in questions and details on them using a combination of Mechanical Turk workers and social crowd sourcing. Looks like Reddit, with comments even, has Buy Local™ and category browsing options. Emails/SMSs you when it finds things that match your 'buys'.

Subset idea: comments on Craigslist postings. "Went and saw this couch. It's huge and hideous in person."

tocomment 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Problem: Customers ask for a cup for water in restaurants with selve serve soda fountains and proceed to fill the cup with soda. (Is this a big problem?)

QR codes (or something else) printed on the inside bottom of each cup intended for soda. (water cups would be normal cups.) Then the machine would only dispense soda if it sees the QR code. (Or same idea with RFID)

gadders 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Take the fuzzy logic and intelligence in commercial-grade data cleansing programs, and create a version that will fit on a mobile and de-dupe my contacts.

It shouldn't just present them as one contact on the phone, but actually update the record on Google Contacts or wherever to reflect the "merged" identity.

montyvan 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This idea is very similar to Instagram, but with following tweaks :
1) It is an instagram like application where you can take protographs using smartphone.
2) This will have a web interface.
3) This also accepts camara photos over the web like Flickr or picasa.
4) Users can order photo prints at a very economocal price.
5) Users have an option of selling their photos as stockphotos(have a checkbox while just before uploading photo asking "Do you want to enable this photo to be sold as stockphoto")?

Do you pay for this service?

mapster 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not jump into ecommerce feet first and buy a turnkey store selling 3,200+ digital downloadable products?


You can easily spend 10k building an app no one wants, or buy an existing brand and inventory.

CKKim 13 hours ago 0 replies      
A service which makes detailed and complete digital records of everything you have, then disposes of the physical originals.

Dystopian version: It's done by a lot of hazmat-suited folks, possibly robots, and you and your family are included in "everything you have".

Nowyouknow 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd like to have a service that notifies me of deadlines.
I input a description of the task and the date, all my tasks are then ordered by how close the deadline is. I can also set intervals for me to be reminded about the deadline.

I can share this information with someone like my boss. She can view what I'm working on and add tasks to it if need be, and every time she adds a task I get a notification asking me to accept the task. In addition to being able to accept the task, I have the ability to propose an alternative date too.


benrequena 13 hours ago 0 replies      
A digital photo service that can identify duplicate photos and lets the user delete duplicates easily.

I'd gladly hand over my wallet if http://SnapJoy.com had this feature.

larsolefson 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I've started a blog where I post an idea a day, both to help me remember, but also to help train myself to think more creatively. A number of the ideas could function as startups.


A lot of the ideas skew towards tech and software, but some of them are actual products that could be built, and some are just half-baked ideas that might incrementally useful for an existing product.

gbog 13 hours ago 0 replies      
A service that aggregate, index and archive all the content you produce on the web. Aggregation could be done manually with ifttt.com but the storage part do not seem to exist yet.
urish 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Endless personalized (/-able) photo&image stream.

I want my screen full of an endless stream of images, which I can customize both by "liking" or narrow by keywords, such as "now I want to see artsy black&white photos" or "show me men's fashion". I expect the images shown both in general and in specific cases to cater to my taste.

gbog 13 hours ago 1 reply      
A real media browser in the browser. I think current browsers have horrible interface to the local filesystem and it should be easy to improve.
arafalov 12 hours ago 0 replies      
FirstLesson.com - product reviews for language learning websites.

Do a screencast of language learning website (first lesson for each). Allows people to see for themselves which of the sites better fit their needs.

Make money from affiliate joining fees for the reviewed sites.

upupdowndown 10 hours ago 0 replies      
My 10 random Ideas (updated here for clarity) (original:http://decodedenote.tumblr.com/post/18942589572/10-random-id...)

1. A simple one tap add note app for android. All the ones Ive used till now are shit.

2. Peer to peer text and image browser. Torrent like? Why and what? Don't ask. Like diaspora.

3. Original Color.com app done right.

4. Karma styled instead of performance styled company employee review system.

5. Personal interests and likes on Facebook change. Also circles of friends change. New social thing utilizing this phenomenon for data mining.

6. A real time crowd sourced transcription/fact checker for streaming video. Handy during political debates.

7. Course discussion Reddit like group. Can add equations as generated images like web assign. Break topic into meaningful things.

8. Make sexy furniture using trash. So much awesome stuff is thrown away each year. I bet itll look better than shit at american outfitters.

9. Webapp that sees who up voted who (in a reddit like system) and word cloud into tags and interests.

10. Calvin and Hobbes comic generator. Seriously. If I type anything, it should generate a comic based on that and embed it. xkcd works too :)

lightyoruichi 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Version controlling for Powerpoint. Seriously. I do lots of Powerpoint and keep replacing them with wrong ones sometimes.
gunshor 13 hours ago 0 replies      
A service that enables you to never have to attach a file to an email again. (Or at least one that teaches my parents how to retain this information.)
jussy 12 hours ago 1 reply      
1. P2P travel insurance. Similar to kickstarter campaign, your friends insure you for small claims <$5000. No claims, friends get money back. P2P company holds money and profits on short term interest rates. Larger liability and medical expenses would still need to be underwritten by normal insurance companies.
2. Smart Water Meters - Develop water flow meters on each pipe/faucet to report flow information to an application. Should then be able to detect leaking taps, validate water efficiency of appliances and remotely shut off water to certain pipes for those in cold climates.
3. Eventography - Develop an event based photo sharing application to help people collaborate on photos taken at an event, such as a wedding or concert, with one click.
atlantageek 12 hours ago 1 reply      
A yelp type app for long trips. When Im on the interstate for a 6 hour drive. I prefer a starbucks 10 miles away right off the the exit than a starbucks 3 miles away but 2.5 miles from the interstate.
Ask HN: Interesting iOS App Ideas?
7 points by nalidixic  1 day ago   11 comments top 6
DanBC 1 day ago 1 reply      
"Drink Diary" - give a rough calculation of the alcohol drunk over one week. Users input the strength (if known) of the drink, and the size (if known) of the drink.

The app returns a rough estimate of Units drunk over the week, and links to sensible drinking advice.





Safe drinking advice:

kennywinker 1 day ago 1 reply      
Postal rate calculator. Calculate postage given a package dimensions / weight, tells you which carrier to use (USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.). There is one app like this already in the store, but it's not very good (and USA only).
alid 17 hours ago 0 replies      
A 'Business Bull' or 'Overheard in the Elevator' app - a tongue-in-cheek buzzword generator for business folk. Here's your data: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericjackson/2012/06/19/89-busine...
alid 18 hours ago 0 replies      
For a viral quick-win...'Ryan Gosling Memes' - a meme generator friends can quickly create and share. Or 'Party with Ryan Gosling' - Ryan photobombs your pics (like a hilariously bad photoshop job). (Could be fun, and who am I kidding I'd buy it. Don't judge!)
sixQuarks 21 hours ago 0 replies      
an app that analyzes someone's voice and tells you whether they're lying or not. Doesn't actually have to work, but use some mombo-jumbo scientific language to give it an air of legitimacy.
pitsocial 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Clipboard... an iPad/iPhone app for inspections. All documents you need to go walk around a property or things to look over all in one place (ie Docs, Photos, Notes) but with the flow of actual paper & the ability to just type over or write over anything on the clipboard.
Ask HN: Is Facebook selling phone number or can it be scraped?
6 points by dfuhriman  1 day ago   3 comments top 2
NameNickHN 1 day ago 1 reply      
If it's publicly visible (logged in or not), then it can be scraped.
stevejalim 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN:Is there good marketplace for selling software beside phone marketplaces
4 points by umenline  1 day ago   3 comments top 2
ig1 1 day ago 0 replies      
The App Store for Mac is pretty big as is Steam, Microsoft plan to role out an app store for windows as well.

There are also "add-on" stores for big SaaS platforms such as Salesforce.

gspyrou 1 day ago 1 reply      
For mobile apps you can check out Apptopia http://www.apptopia.com/
Ask HN: How did you hack the press when you launched your startup(s)?
181 points by akos  9 days ago   46 comments top 20
torrenegra 9 days ago 1 reply      
We "hacked" Fred Wilson's blog for PR, which in turned helped us get to TechCrunch. Here is the story:

Without the knowledge of Fred, we created an automatic podcast for his blog, AVC.com, using our API. We had no idea how he would react. It was weeks of effort, time, and money spent to build AVC.fm with the hope that Mr. Wilson would love us (or at least not send us a cease and desist!) And then, there was the tweet that made the weeks of brainstorming, trials and errors, and late nights, all worth it:

"AVC.fm, the unofficial blogcast of @avc created by @VoiceBunny avc.fm via @VoiceBunny."
by " Fred Wilson (@fredwilson) February 21, 2012

Fred tweeted our work and our name to his 207,000+ fans. That day, VoiceBunny.com got a huge amount of visits, with most coming out of Silicon Valley. We, of course, reached out to Fred right away and a few emails later, you can now hear AVC.fm right on Fred's blog at AVC.com.

Before you get into the “how” of a PR stunt, you must first figure out the “why”. You don't want attention just for the sake of attention. You have got to capture the attention of the right people. And for VoiceBunny both Fred and his audience were the right audience.

The VoiceBunny team is a big fan of Fred Wilson's work and especially his blog, AVC.com, but we didn't always have time to read it everyday. So, we thought it would be great if AVC.com had a podcast so we could listen on our commutes or while we were working. So we thought, let's make one for him! What better way to show off our technology and get the attention of the VC community? Mr. Wilson is a big supporter of the “freedom to innovate” and that's why we felt creating AVC.fm was the perfect project for VoiceBunny.

So, since Mr. Wilson publishes under a Creative Commons license, we did not have to worry about getting his permission first. The VoiceBunny API automatically pulls the text from AVC.com after Fred posts and posts a project. One of our voice talents accepts the project and uploads a finished read. It is then screened for quality and automatically uploaded to SoundCloud and AVC.fm.

We wanted to make it very obvious we did this as a tribute, not to capitalize on his name or work. Yes, we did it to show off our technology, but, we created something of value to him and to the community. We also made it very easy for him to add to his blog if he chose to do so. We included a link asking, “Are You Fred?” that included instructions on how to embed the widget onto his blog.

On his blog, Fred said:

"In any case, I like they way they used a stunt to get my attention. So much more effective than sending me an email saying “I'd like to come talk to you about a new project we are working on”. So I'm going to start auto-embedding the avc.fm voice overs at the end of the posts on AVC (via the SoundCloud embed of course)."

You can read his entire post at http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2012/02/feature-friday-listen-to-thi...

espadagroup 9 days ago 1 reply      
I launched a t shirt line a bit ago and got press in a decently hackerish way. The t shirts were geared toward gamers so I went to Alltop.com and scraped all of the blogs in the sections of gaming, t shirts, etc.. Used amazon turk to turk for the emails of those blogs, about 300 or so. Created a unique promo code for a percent off that was derived from the blogs name in the url. Used mailgun to construct and send the emails to all of the bloggers. Since the code was personalized, most thought they were receiving a personal email. The end result was about 15 blogs writing about the shirts, some of which were referred to me by the original bloggers, some of which held contests. One even interviewed me at a larger blog she does a column for.
asanwal 9 days ago 2 replies      
I agree with J45, but if you really want to get press, here are some strategies that we used early on.

1. Do searches on Google News for topics or companies you compete with. See who has covered them and create a spreadsheet with their names, contact info, etc -- This tells you they might be interested in what you have

2. Reach out and personalize -- Show them you've seen and taken time to understand their perspective on the industry or competitor. In a nice way, suggest an angle that you feel is more interesting or which often gets overlooked which hopefully dovetails with your product and piques their interest. This helps the blogger/journalist think about the storyline and whether readers would find it interesting quickly and not your X, Y, Z feature which only you care about.

3. The angle should ideally be something you have unique insight into. It might be directly related to your product or just something you have data on because of your product.

4. Use data as possible. There are lots of unsubstantiated claims out there so journalists/data appreciate useful facts supported by data. Warning: Don't make data/facts up or don't try to draw inane trends from 2 data points as smart journalists/bloggers will see through that. Yes, hack doesn't mean being dishonest. You're trying to build a relationship based on trust so don't be short-term greedy and try to kickstart things on a lie.

There are some downsides to this. The biggest being that your data might get featured and not your company. This may not be what you want. But, at the same time, you may become a resource for the journalist which means mentions over time, they may come back to you for additional data and you get mentions. This has happened for us. We're a data company so we might not be apples to apples for you, but we're a go to resource for journos/bloggers and see mentions 1-2 per week in a slow week in major media because of early legwork we did (note: our press page is hopelessly outdated so don't judge us based on that)

Hope this helps. Good luck.

kamens 9 days ago 2 replies      
It's not as "hack"-y as a HN reader might like, but the bottom line is you should help your journalist tell a story. That's their job, so make it easy.

When we launched Precorder, we got little (and so-so) press by describing a newly launched app w/ X Y and Z features.

When we started telling writers that we saw the camera technology used to capture great white sharks jumping out of the ocean and ported it to iPhones, we were covered by Kottke (http://kottke.org/11/01/precorder) and other influential photography bloggers who immediately triggered a long wave of follow-up press.

j45 9 days ago 2 replies      
It's not just about hacking the press. Sometimes it's plain just learning to interface with people and having a unique angle on a story.

Most press I've seen from friends being TC'ed is minimal. Unless your customers are people who read TC, the effect is minimal to converted customers. They had a ton of visitors which might have increased mindshare. TC can be a vanity metric if you're not careful, especially if TC's audience is not your paying customers. It helps be legit in having (some) press coverage, but it doesn't last if you can't back it up and delight people.

If you're doing what everyone else is doing to get coverage in the same places, the chances are greater you'll end up like everyone else (a startup that doesn't get where it needs to).

Focus on learning who your customers are, where they truly hang out, get their attention in those places, be it through story placement or advertising since not all sites use adsense, and some very successful sites have their own advertising engines.

Quality of eyeballs on your site is a far better metric to pursue than quantity.

brackin 9 days ago 2 replies      
Just honestly build these relationships. I use Twitter and events to do it, just speak to journalists honestly about what you're working on without full on pitches.

Roughly 25 useful tech journalists are following my progress via Twitter and I regularly reply offering my perspective on stories. With a few from time to time I'll ask for their advice when they can add value and eventually when I have something fit for a piece I'll get in touch having already validated my experience and progress.

It's much better than cold emailing asking for a story about your launch. They want to help you but you have to help them finding a story out of your launch. If they know a little about your history it will help this is why building a prior relationship helps.

mikeindustries 9 days ago 1 reply      
At Newsvine, we capitalized on an opportunity when John McCain and his campaign people hijacked some graphics from my MySpace design tutorial without permission. He referenced/hotlinked images hosted on my server on his own MySpace page so one day I "hacked" his site by changing the graphics. The prank got us on TechCrunch immediately (no surprise), the local news in Seattle (kind of a surprise), and then featured on The Daily Show (huge f'ing surprise and still a career highlight!). Here is the coverage:

TechCrunch: http://techcrunch.com/2007/03/27/john-mccains-myspace-page-h...

Local News: http://www.mikeindustries.com/blog/archive/2007/03/king-5-co...

The Daily Show: http://www.mikeindustries.com/scratch/dailyshow.mp4

wilfra 9 days ago 0 replies      
I've had some success with http://www.helpareporter.com/

Reporters post there looking for sources for their stories. If you match what they are looking for, you email the reporters.

I've gotten myself and my co-founder quoted in a bunch of publications this way. Hard to tell how much traffic they've generated though since it's been mostly print publications, so no link.

irisshoor 9 days ago 0 replies      
The key thing which helped me reach bloggers was understanding that they're not interested in covering my start-up, but in getting more people to read their blog. Give them all the materials they need to write a good post - great story, something personal, good images, video, and you have a much better chance to get covered. Good materials helped me increase my success rate by about 5X. Even though most of your future users will not come from TC or RWW, it builds your company resume. It's much easier to approach medium-small blogs with a TC/RWW reference, than the other way around. It also helps when raising (more) money.
orangethirty 9 days ago 0 replies      
Do something outrageous. Something so big, so daring that people will not have an option but to cover the story. Though this takes balls/ovaries of steel and a clear and defined strategy to reduce to amount of negative press you will get. It should also be done off-line, as in outside. Internet news get less coverage than real world news. If your outrageous idea happens somewhere real (like in San Francisco) then people will be able to relate to time/place where the news happened. Something that is lost on cyber space.

Just don't do anything too crazy. You don't want to go to jail or hurt anybody. Keep it legal and moral, and you should be on your way.


Also, giving early access to smaller blogs/bloggers will allow you to create a given amount of buzz around the product. When reporters research your offerings (using Google for 99.99% of the work), they will get a lot of favorable hits about your product from these smaller blogs. Plus since they are smaller, they dont take away from the big news chance they might have with your story. Just be careful about who you contact, and be aware that some people will write about anything. They might write nicely about you in one post, and then praise Hitler in the next thus putting you in very very very very bad light.

bravura 9 days ago 0 replies      
I'm building a tool that helps you figure out which journalists you should target.

It figures out which journalists write about your space / niche, and also figures out what their reach is and how busy they are.

If you're interested, shoot me an email: joseph at metaoptimize dot com.

columbo 9 days ago 1 reply      
The system I'm working on got press via the local news a few times (they love running scrappy tech startup stories, so it was one 30 second Channel 5 type interview and a news story). There wasn't a direct bump in sales because of it.

Everything I work on is B2B so 100% of sales are done via a conversation and not someone landing on the site and clicking "sign-up" so YMMV. The news articles was only important to solidify ourselves as a legit operation, and not really for the press it generated.

clamprecht 9 days ago 1 reply      
This AirBNB Mixergy interview is a must-watch - they explain how they hacked their way onto top news sites like CNN & NYTimes (start watching at 31 minutes in):


They explain how to get press coverage using the "pyramid" method: start at the bottom, with small bloggers in your space. Email them, ask them to cover you. Then move up the chain. At the top of the chain are the big media people like NYTimes, CNN, etc.

kranner 9 days ago 1 reply      
I made comics deriding IT recruiters; this was to promote my programmer-testing web app (now defunct). This HN thread persuaded me to find them in the blog archives. Here they are: http://www.flickr.com/photos/46384225@N00/sets/7215763148518...

There were also text articles on the blog, one of which was even on the HN front-page for over 24 hours (it reported some friendly social-engineering by a then-competitor, now a YC company). The comics significantly outperformed the text articles in terms of engaged readers, though I didn't run the whole thing long enough to be of any practical help.

My partner and I are releasing an iPhone game soon, and we're planning to repeat this experiment but with somewhat longer-form comics. The idea is to communicate the human story behind the making of the app. If anyone is interested, my email is in my profile.

mirsadm 9 days ago 0 replies      
What we did was ensure we could have a story behind the product we were building. From the start we knew exactly what angles we can approach the press with for our app. In fact the timing was perfect for us and we managed to get a lot of good press (AllThingsD, CNET etc).

Unless you have the perfect product don't expect anything but a spike in downloads/visitors to your product.
For me it has been an excellent learning process and every time I release something I get better and better at it.

sadow 7 days ago 0 replies      
Perhaps you're asking the wrong question. It often should be "How do I get ___ to be interested in reporting on me?" rather than "How do I get on?"

Think of it as a value equation: you want the reporters to help you get press and make people think you have something cool on hand; they want something cool to share with their readers.

So, one way to do it is - as most of the comments have suggested - use guerrilla tactics to get to the journalists/writers/topics that are often covered.

But, what if you created or generated something that is really unique and content-worthy? We did this recently with my product, and ended up with an unsolicited TC piece.

How'd it work? We showed-off the types of awesome things our product could do, and it caught the writer's interest.

So, I'd say find a way to show-off why what you're doing deserves coverage, and then take some steps to help get that in front of people (that's where Twitter, HN, etc. comes into play).

Also, quick note, but the traffic you probably expect from TC coverage may not be accurate.

fourstar 9 days ago 0 replies      
I made a satirical hot or not type site called hipster or homeless. Perez Hilton retweeted it and I ended up using that to as a segue to contact different news organizations. Being in the SF Bay area, there is an omnipresent homelessness problem here, so NBC bay area decided to relate the website to raising awareness of the homelessness problem. They did a news segment on it and interviewed actual homeless people. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Hipster-or-Homeless-124... is the segment.
ecaron 9 days ago 0 replies      
Step 1: Live in San Francisco (or at least have a remote office there). Physical, accessible presence is key.
benologist 9 days ago 0 replies      
All they want from you is pageviews. Just come up with something that has a high chance of getting them pageviews.

A probably easy angle would be, "Rejected from YC, now Bigger Than Jesus". A well-baited hook for HN and bonus SEO on YC.

jnazario 9 days ago 1 reply      
bring them something they can use, like stats, insights, or an edge on a story that no one else has. they have pressures like everyone else from their bosses to produce and deliver, and they're competing for an editor's story approval. help them be your story's advocate by being their source for data and insights that's unique.
2 points by sureshs  23 hours ago   discuss
Tell HN: I'm interested in buying sputtering web apps
11 points by ryanwaggoner  2 days ago   1 comment top
hahla 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey me too! If you cant work out a deal between Ryan, feel free to message me - email is in my profile. I've been brokering websites for many years now on the higher end (six figures+) so I can also provide an accurate valuation. I personally buy between $xxx to $xx,xxx - I would love to see what you guys are looking to sell.
Ask HN: Could we make a dns system that steals back domains from squatters?
2 points by jayzalowitz  1 day ago   4 comments top 3
ChuckMcM 23 hours ago 0 replies      
No, you can't do that. That said, there is absolutely nothing from preventing you from creating a parallel DNS infrastructure which copies the part of DNS you like, and doesn't copy the part you don't like. Running a root server is not a whole lot different (except in scale) than running a regular DNS server. Distribute your own root cache to your 'clients' put a copy of the root servers for the domains you care about into your machines and recursively resolve the rest with the regular system.

At one time this would have been prohibitively expensive but with Amazon's EC-2 service you could run a separate namespace for about a million customers easily for $600/month maybe less.

ohashi 19 hours ago 0 replies      
What happens when someone buys one in the real dns and someone else is using it in your parallel dns? Who really owns it?
damian2000 23 hours ago 1 reply      
What would then stop the squatters running their own pro-squatter DNS system in parallel?
Automatic Database Normalization?
7 points by zackmorris  3 days ago   4 comments top 4
tom_b 3 days ago 0 replies      
Lots of homegrown dbs look like this. They started life as a doc, then a spreadsheet, got sucked into Access, and now are living in SQL Server or Oracle dbs. I have seen this a bunch in research environments where the tech is a "one-off" to support the science. I usually do a little data cleaning and maybe try some data warehouse-style restructuring so that you can report on the existing data.

You might have luck replacing your current table mess with views (with the same name as the tables) while you fix the structure to a more normalized schema. But you might be better starting from scratch and migrating to a new "version" of the app while moving the data along to the new version.

As to your self-organizing data idea, I have wondered if something kind of cool could come out of probabilistic graphical models, but haven't dug into the theory of that (and there is the free cousera course I think) enough to say.

I am going to guess that what is going to get you in trouble with self-organizing data is that contextual relationships in the data that are currently interpreted by your end-users (and are important/critical to the user) will get lost in any algorithmic attempt to clean the data.

You might also want to investigate the social sciences data scene - those folks do lots of statistical/data hacking on qualitative data that involve weirdness about coding "grey area text answers" into quantitatively tractable code numbers. It looks and sounds like hell to me . . .

zackmorris 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hey thanks for your comments, views sound like the way to go for now.

I can see how to go from normalized data to views, but what if there was a way to go the other direction? So like, the SQL that generated the view could be used in reverse, so when you run an update on the view, it would know which fields to update in the original pure data.

If someone got all of that working, then I really question why database organization matters. I know it's important for seeing relationships and all that, but in reality, data just exists. The relationships are a level above that. I really think that someone could make a database that works more like a zip file, where it wouldn't matter how you laid it out, for the most part it would just look like a spreadsheet and each entity would just have all of the data in one row. This is how "regular" folks view things.

Also this is a bit off topic, but automatic normalization has a lot in common with the semantic web. I just don't think it's all that difficult of a problem, but waiting around for humans to do it manually is never going to happen. I guess I'm just naive but, all the semantic web needs is iteration and the relationships will refine and converge quickly. I don't understand why it's not happening.

byoung2 3 days ago 0 replies      
and I'm tempted to make a table to store member-organization entries. But unfortunately there are several hundred queries in the app and this is nontrivial to write, much less exhaustively test

It is possible to normalize the database and still present the denormalized form to the app using MySQL views (I'm assuming MySQL here). You have your member table, organization table, and a member_organizaion join table with all your foreign key constraints, and you create a view as a select join.

caw 3 days ago 0 replies      
I read the title of this, and I thought this was going to be asking about automatically creating normalized schemas given the information.

Yes, you can eventually do it yourself, but I only ever have to create database schemas once every 6 months or so. If I could plug in the information using some higher level language, and it can crunch out the tables for me, then that would be pretty cool. I know enough about databases to check to see if the schema is right, or compare it to my constraints.

Or in the OP's case, this system would take the existing tables, and give you some sort of migration scripts to get the data in normalized form.

Ask HN: How do you fight depression?
18 points by depression100  5 days ago   27 comments top 19
arn 4 days ago 0 replies      
Please see a doctor.

Depression isn't the same as just feeling sad. You can't just shake it off. It's a medical condition like heart disease or high blood pressure, and can be treated.

They should call it "Cerebral Dystopia" or something so it's not conflated with just a bad mood. You depressed? Shake it off. Oh, you have cerebral dystopic? You should see someone about that.

dholowiski 3 days ago 0 replies      
Partly depression is because of the kinds of thoughts you have,and partly its your brain and body chemistry. Lately (for me anyway) its also partly due to the city I chose to live in.

Do what we geeks are good at.make a list and start fixing things. If you are suicidal go see a doctor right away and get some drugs.if you can't/won't do that, do some research on st.johns wort and 5-htp. If used properly these can be as effective or more effective than drugs.

See a psychologist.you don't need a doctors referral and if you have a job it will at least partially be paid for. Shyness, anxiety and depression are 3 different things. Even in perfect health its not likely you'd be able to address these things on your own. You need help.

The old cliche is true - exercise,it releases natural happy drugs. Research vitamin d. 500-1000 mg per day will do wonders for your health,and your mental well being.even if you live somewhere sunny you are vitamin d deficient.

Eat well,although I'm not really convinced this actually makes a big difference (its all too easy to feel like crap and build vitamin or mineral deficiencies when you are trying to eat healthy).

Stop drinking. Just do it. Alcohol messes with your body and brain. Im not saying that nobody should drink, but if you are depressed, there are many ways alcohol is making it worse, and continuing to drink will prevent you from getting better.

Seek out people like you to be around.don't try to hang out at bars or the mall,if that's not who you are. Assuming you are a typical hn`er,see if your city has a maker space and go build stuff.or spend a few hours at a co working space (great because you can work on a project, around other people, and have as little or as much social interaction as you like). Go to startup meet ups even if you don't have a startup.volunteer at you local computer recycler, they often rebuild PCs for underprivileged people.

A lot of stuff here and piles more. Like life,its a journey. Honestly I think that most people are not happy most of the time. You and I have an advantage, we want to get better.

FYI.I'm doing all of these things except for the doctor (don't want drugs) and meeting people like me. I moved to a city where there are very few people like me. Fixing that soon. In small bits and pieces, its getting better,but its a many year process.

bartonfink 5 days ago 0 replies      
It takes a lot of courage to admit that you struggle with depression, even with an anonymous account, so first off I want to say good on you for writing this.

I've had severe problems with depression before, and one of the biggest realizations that helped me out of it was that I have the power to change nearly every aspect of my life. There were many things in my life I wasn't happy with, and it took me a long time to realize that it was in my power to change them. It took me a much longer time to actually implement a plan and change them, to the point that I feel pretty comfortable in my own skin right now, but that realization was the start. I spent some time on medication (Lexapro) and in therapy, but I'm not a psychiatrist so I can't make any specific recommendations on that front. I can say that I viewed the therapist less as a doctor and more as an outside observer into my life, to whom I could talk about almost anything and get some trusted advice. I think it's paramount that you talk to somebody about this before you hurt yourself or, less dramatically, before you spend more time feeling depressed and questioning why you're even alive. Talk to a therapist, talk to a hotline, or even talk to a bartender somewhere if it's this bad. You've taken a first step by posting here, and that's a really brave thing to have done.

Please e-mail me if it's this bad and you genuinely feel you've got nowhere to turn. My e-mail address is in my profile, and while I'm not a psychologist/psychiatrist, I will gladly give you what assistance I can. What've you got to lose?

hellotoby 4 days ago 1 reply      

Firstly, it sounds like you have manic depression (extreme highs and extreme lows), however I am not a doctor, so please talk to someone about how you're feeling so they can make a diagnosis.

Secondly, no matter how alone you may feel right now, please remember that this is only temporary. Over time you will meet like-minded souls who will become your friends, but they key is in finding them.

I have lived overseas on my own before and have felt loneliness and depression, but have found that in order to beat this you must make friendships. This will involve joining new groups and meeting new people (something which is not easy, especially for a self-confessed wallflower).

Fortunately, there are many groups and meet-ups from which you can discover like-minded people and I would encourage you to try and engage with one of them if you feel that you can. Once you have attended at least one meet-up you will see that:

a) It's not that hard to meet new people
and (perhaps more importantly)
b) New people like to meet you and that you make an important contribution to this world.

I hope my comment on this board helps you and that you are able to seek the professional help you need. On a parting note, please remember that even though sometimes you may feel unloved, the reality is is that you are loved by many.

lasertron 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm sorry you're going through this and I'm joining the chorus of other commenters who empathize with your pain. You've got to seek some help--other than that, here are little things that have helped me:

-blogging (or journaling, if you want to start facing your own thoughts on a micro-level first. both are great.)
-read a classic work of literature, read the sparknotes, read the criticisms of the work, decide how you feel about it. relating to themes in literature and philosophy help me deal with the absurdity of real life.
-find a cause to support. activism helped me find some motivation and conviction for something outside of my work.
-change your space. sell all your stuff and buy some new stuff. changing a rug or rearranging a floor plan can make me feel like I'm somewhere else.


jkaykin 4 days ago 1 reply      
First off, good on you for sharing your feelings, it's very hard for many.

Look it is your life, as much as people will say exercise, take anti-depressants, see a doctor, etc... remember that you have control of your own life and should live it how you want. You don't have to work at a boring job or be in a horrible city with nobody you know. Go somewhere where you will be happy; work somewhere where you will be happy; take yoga classes and meditation classes; if you can code, build amazing things, if not it is a great thing to learn; go to various meetups; pick up new hobbies, choose the life you want to live and relax.

Life is beautiful, life is gracious, you just have to go and find what it is that makes you happy.

Don't conform, do what you love and love what you do. I suggest reading The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau

Stay Strong.

lsiebert 5 days ago 0 replies      
Here's the truth. First of all, be proud of yourself for asking for help. Not an easy thing to do.

Now, Extreme emotional swings and suicidal thoughts?

The answer to your question is: Go see a doctor, and consider therapy or an antidepressant, or both.

Socializing is fine, and you should certainly reach out, go to a meetup with HNers in your area, or a maker space, or a gaming group whatever... but make an appointment with a doctor.

Doesn't have to be a psychiatrist, can be a GP or whatever. Whatever reason you have been using to put this off... forget it and go. Push through the depression, ignore the transient happiness, and make that appointment. Making the appointment is probably harder then actually going, your natural inclination to feel guilty can help you keep an appointment.

You are not alone, you do matter, but you should go get help. You know this, or you wouldn't be asking for help here, but while HN can be a wonderfully supportive community in many ways, it's not mental health care. It's safe to ask here, and I applaud you for asking for help. But it's up to you to take action.

Also, if you are looking for specific social suggestions, indicate your city. Good luck.

alexshye 5 days ago 0 replies      
Kudos for reaching out to talk about this.

I'm sure the problem goes deep and has multiple layers, but it seems a major factor is that you hardly know anyone and probably feel disconnected from society. I used to be shy also, but for different reasons (I stuttered pretty badly when I as young). I can say for certain that opening up and truly connecting with people makes a big difference in life satisfaction.

If you haven't read it, a good starting point is Dale Carnegie's classic 'How to Win Friends & Influence People".

Beyond that, take small steps to connect with people. Here is a first big step IMHO: start smiling more and projecting happiness. It attracts people to you. Even more, psychologists have found reason to believe the act of physically smiling improves your mood. Fake it til you make it.

Here are a few others: start making eye contact with people on the street, smile at people on the street, start saying hi to random people (the waitress, the person working the cash register, co workers), make random small talk with strangers (about anything! you have nothing to lose really), etc.

All the small steps will slowly add up, and over time, you will find yourself connecting better with people, making more friends, etc.

Good luck!

KeliNorth 4 days ago 1 reply      
I find it amazing that when I finally, after lurking for a very long time, decide to create an account to have posting privileges, I see a post asking how you fight depression. Especially after a two-day spree of wondering what in life matters.

I've asked myself this a few times in life. And, sadly, I'm actually probably the only person in my family who doesn't need medication, my depressions always come from reflections on mistakes I chose in the past and still pay for, as well as wondering how the future will improve.

And compared to one year ago, it has vastly improved. It's gone from an insane amount of stress to much, much less. It's gone from having no point in life to some. And unfortunately, then I discovered that I was still getting depressed over what the future would hold. That's after giving up a job that was killing me, mind you.

Oh boy, shyness, man, I know your pain. Awkward and "other problems" - I know you may think other people can't relate, but there are people with the same problems. I haven't yet discovered a unique problem. Of course, that doesn't matter.

Manic depression is real. Some people need medication for it. Other times, I don't know, maybe life really does get you down. I'll be honest with you. There was a time in my life when I drove fast. Really, really fast. Because I believed suicide was wrong. But if I drove fast, and an accident happened, that was different.

I'm glad an accident never happened. Even though I've spent the last couple days depressed. I'm not a programmer or engineer, which is why I never created an account before now, though I've lurked for a long while watching people I initially thought (but have since revised, somewhat) discuss technical stuff. Yes, I've cried over how hopeless things seem, recently. And I've been stuck in that boring job, alone, expenses just managing to inch that close to expenses, credit finally reaching it's limit, and living day to day with the realization that each day is only wake, work, entertainment, sleep, repeat.

And yet, I've seen things change. And man, I'd never believe it. I'm in my current situation, a much better one I should add, because I told someone that I couldn't stand my life, couldn't deal with what was happening. Fortunately, it was someone that somehow, at that exact time, had a situation open up that they could bring me in on. I was lucky. I don't know how much longer I could have held out. But I wasn't reaching out to others.

And you know what? Looking to others online (I did it too) can alleviate some of the pain, but I know that as much as these answers comfort you, remind you that others ARE in the exact same situation, or have been, everyone is different, situations are different, and nobody, NOBODY, ever really understands what YOU are going through. Even if it may seem trivial, even if you personally know it may seem and even be trivial, it doesn't mean other people understand.

I don't understand. I've had my own problems. Millions of other people have had problems. Lots of people somehow live. Some people do end up dying.

And though this may be hackernews, and though there it may not be something you believe, in the worst of times here's what's kept me from doing anything more than that speeding I thankfully left in the past: I do believe in God, and that although things are bad, he'd be SAD (yes, emotionally depressed, God himself would be) if I decided to take my own life, as would my mother, and I'd never have a chance with that girl that really, I didn't actually have a chance with. Yeah, they aren't all reasons other people would look up to, but it's real.

And you know what: I'm still here. Still crying at knowing things may not get better than they currently are. But I can't deny they are better than they were, even if I still haven't solved my problems.

I won't lie: life can get worse. And yes, it can get better. But it might get worse. The question isn't if you can look forward and see where the good will come from. It's about whether you can reject the bad, no matter how long it lasts, and tell the world that yes, you're better than it. That no matter how it smacks you down, you're a better person than how it wants you to be.

You may be stuck in a terrible job, stuck in a situation you can't handle, and not know anyone. I sympathize. I may even understand - but I can't state that for a certainty because really, I don't know you. I know millions have similar situations. But not one person would I dare to say I really understand, it'd be too cruel.

But I do know life should be lived. As I said, it may get worse. But, it may get better. Here's the answer: we really don't know what the future holds. It's uncertain. But here's what I do know: we aren't dealt a life that's already certain. Fate doesn't exist. Life can get better. It can get worse. But here's the thing: we don't know when it'll get worse. But we can absolutely work and struggle and make it better.

Man, I know it's tough. And sometimes, you cling to things you can, as small as they may be. As long as you live, please, believe me, they are worth holding onto. You don't know what the future holds. Your fears, my fears, some exist, some will exist, and some will only be imagination and nothing more.

I can't tell you how to fight depression, because that's your battle. I can admit that I have a family member that is definitely, clinically depressed. And I know from how they act when they haven't taken their medication. Right now, they, who a few years ago were so depressed they deceived their parents about taking medication at all and wouldn't for months at a time, is now leading an incredibly happy life they couldn't even imagine being possible during that time. It was completely unexpected.

They still need to take medication to fight the real, clinical depression. But that doesn't change the fact their life did in fact change in a way they couldn't expect, couldn't foresee, couldn't even fathom as a regular person, let along a depressed person.

I know it's not much to go on. But enough people die constantly. I know it's hard: that much I do know, really. There are groups that can sympathize. And as hard, as incredibly painful and humiliating it can be to talk to others about something so person, so painful, without the wall of anonymity, it does in fact help. The first step is hardest. Medication does help. It's hard to believe sometimes, even if you don't believe you're one of the "really really depressed ones," but watching someone go from suicidal to having a new outlook on life because they corrected a real deficiency in their brain is incredible.

And here I stand, still someone suffering. But I do know better. I do think it's wrong. And there are still people I love. There are still things I hold onto. And, I still have, no matter how small or how much of a sliver it is, hope.

That's how I fight depression. I don't always win the battles. But so far, I'm here typing. Never stop the fight. I'm sorry, but I can't say the fight will end. But never stop the fight. And find something you love - that's important too. No matter what it is, love something. Can't believe that I picked this day to register, and saw this post somehow. You never know what the future holds. But you can influence it.

dwj 4 days ago 1 reply      
I have been in a similar situation to you. In my case the depression was so bad I simply HAD to do something about it, and it involved significant changes to my lifestyle (changing job, moving away from the city, etc). My wife also went through depression recently, and has recovered through CBT (with an excellent therapist) and anti-depressants. I'm not really a fan of anti-depressants myself as they are mostly (or all) placebo, but I guess sometimes a placebo can be a trigger to kick yourself out of depression. There are free online CBT tools such as mindgym which might be useful.

In your case I think a big part of your depression is loneliness (and lack of girlfriend in particular). The human brain has evolved to want companionship, and depression is its way of nudging you to try and achieve that. I was in a similar situation to you - I didn't have a proper girlfriend until I was almost 30, and thought I would never have one (but now I'm married).

There are lots of online dating sites which make it easier to meet people (that is how I met my wife over 10 years ago, and there are much more options these days).

Basically there are lots of opportunities out there in terms of jobs and relationships - you just need to change your mindset to realise that.

I'm happy to chat with you further - just post a throwaway email address or something.

marcusfrex 5 days ago 0 replies      
We are almost at same age and i totally understand what you are up to because i was in same situation before. I researched a lot regarding my sick thoughts and behaviours. I hoped for a help from someone but words did not worked as i thought it would. As much as i read and observed MRI's of depressed people, i got the point that it is just a malfunction of the brain with social problems that seems unable to get solved.

So what i did was just starting to use an efficient anti-depressant. (I hate doctors and i decided myself which to use) Not that hardcore ones that makes people like sheeps but just ordinal one. (Citalopram) Before that i was very afraid that whether i will be someone else or damage myself but you know what? It totally changed my life forever. I have been using it for two years but i admit that if i didn't start to use it i would be in very different place (or maybe hell) by now. People thinks that this kind of drugs as "chemicals" and not a natural way to solve the problems. But it worked with me and increased my life quality. I think you should try one of those before you definitely decide to kill yourself or whatsoever. You will loose nothing on that case but giving life a chance.

tstegart 5 days ago 0 replies      
I stopped watching MTV in college, and I haven't really had a problem being sad since then. You should reevaluate where and how you get sensory input and consider tossing some things out the window.
AznHisoka 5 days ago 0 replies      
For me, i get less depressed when I have a significant other and friends to spend time with, and a project to occupy me. Just pick something, and try to change that for a month. Try a new sport, or something that makes you be with others more.
255martyn 5 days ago 0 replies      
Hey man, I've been there. People can give you all sorts of advice here like exercise, heavy drinking, or whatever. But you really should see a professional psychiatrist, someone who knows about this stuff. A good one won't just give you happy pills, they will determine if you need them. And there's nothing wrong with needing them if you do! We live in the future, where sicknesses can be healed. Having your brain have irrational thoughts of guilt and suicide is a sickness. One that can be treated. So go schedule an appointment now.
TomBeckman 4 days ago 0 replies      
Check out this research paper: Delivering Happiness:
Translating Positive Psychology Intervention Research
for Treating Major and Minor Depressive Disorders


ozarius 5 days ago 0 replies      
I can totally relate to you. Same boat. Anytime you feel totally down, please think of the person who loves you the most.. That has always helped me. It could be your sweet-heart or mom or dad or whoever., but just close your eyes and visualize 'em hugging you..

Oh and if you are really hurting, please consult with a doctor.. If not for u, for those who love u, please do...

factorialboy 3 days ago 0 replies      
Meditation has helped me.
kyleschen 2 days ago 0 replies      
mapster 4 days ago 0 replies      
you just need a win, 1 good experience every now and then to keep you overall positive.
Ask HN? IRC chat
10 points by pirer  6 days ago   9 comments top 9
nvmc 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Still big. Not quite as ubiquitous as it once was. I'd say there are far more people in support channels, and less people in purely social channels than was once the case.

Edit: Internet Relay Chat chat. Sorry. Couldn't help myself.

david_shaw 6 days ago 0 replies      
Yup: IRC is still very active. Maybe not the mid-to-late nineties craziness, but certainly still around.

I spend most of my time these days on private networks, but I'm also in #startups on Freenode. Lots of good conversation in there, and a lot of HN regulars.

No better way to find out than to give it a shot!

cjbprime 6 days ago 0 replies      
Yes, on Freenode and OFTC. Almost every significant open source project has a channel.
jamesjguthrie 6 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe not what it used to be but still very active. I'm not on as much as I used to be but when I'm there I'm on Freenode #android-dev at least.

Used to always be on EFnet for Symbian chat but the best Android chat is on Freenode so that's where I go now.

zxcdw 6 days ago 0 replies      
Even though it's still very much alive and kicking... I wonder what medium has taken over IRC's popularity and on what merits? At least it hasn't grown at all, despite how much general internet usage has grown during the past 10 years.
gue5t 6 days ago 0 replies      
IRC is still alive and well.
fluxon 6 days ago 0 replies      
It's still going strong IMO. Quite useful. And not at all distracting ;)
shrughes 6 days ago 0 replies      
Just avoid Freenode, the no fun zone.
mnicole 6 days ago 0 replies      
Forever idling on Gamesurge.
Ask HN Parents: How do you handle working and kids?
9 points by barredo  7 days ago   discuss
barredo 7 days ago 0 replies      
I forgot to say that I live in Spain, which shares timezone with Poland and northern Norway (http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/europe/eutimetwo... >2000 km difference in longitude... I know). We should have the UK/Portugal timezone. So when I say we eat at 13h it's really 12h "sun time".
OafTobark 7 days ago 0 replies      
My situation is unique so don't know if this will help you. My son is also under 2 years old. He has always been a very happy baby (never cries except for when he gets hurt which almost never happens). I guess this is a bit different than what most parents experience. My son sleeps a good 12 hours through the night and additionally naps for 2-3 hours during the day. This means he's only up for about 9 hours give or take in a day. This isn't always true but it's pretty standard. It helps that my wife is a stay at home mom. I pretty much spend mornings with him, work during his nap, a few more hours in the afternoon, then work evenings to night. I get adequate sleep hours and are able to function pretty normally on a good schedule. I am not sure how that will play out for you. As a note, I have my office in a separate room he is never allowed to come into
ArekDymalski 7 days ago 0 replies      
My son is 3.5 years old. I've never been able to work longer than 3 minutes when I was home (and he was awake). My solution is office+baby sitter(now kindergarden) as I can't actually focus at home (unless the family is sleeping). What I like about your solution is the work-life balance and healthy breaks.
KiwiCoder 7 days ago 0 replies      
2 kids; 3y and 1y.

I pay for office space and treat my own work the same as if I was working for someone else.

I go to the office to work, and when I'm home my interrupt flag is set to 1.

This is the only way I can get things done. Anything else and someone is bound to be unhappy.

We need a Groupon for phone plans
3 points by willthefirst  4 days ago   1 comment top
debacle 4 days ago 0 replies      
Why would the phone companies go for this?
Ask HN: How long does an investor own your time/ideas?
6 points by throwaway717  6 days ago   3 comments top 2
pg 6 days ago 1 reply      
Usually you can quit when the funding runs out. Founders sometimes voluntarily keep a startup alive past the end of the proverbial runway, e.g. by taking on consulting projects, but no investor is entitled to demand that.
samchockalot 5 days ago 0 replies      
Investors expect most of their investments to fail. This is not a shocking situation for them, however disappointing.

Whatever salary you need to live on is fair to pay yourself. Anything under $100k is safe. Under $80k is ideal. It really depends on your cost of living. This is something you really should discuss with investors upfront, especially if you have high requirements.

It's far more painful for you than for them. They're diversified - you're not.

Return as much money as possible (sell any assets you can). Even a token amount will have some meaning.

Shut the company down gracefully. Be nice to your users.

Have a very frank conversation with your investors. Tell them how you feel. Thank them for their support.

The way you handle your failure will largely determine how you and your investor(s) will feel about it going forward. You're not a bad person for failing. Now go succeed this time!

points by    ago   discuss
instakill 16 days ago 0 replies      
       cached 19 September 2012 04:05:01 GMT