The key difference is this: when you target consumers, people tend to have a fixed budget on discretionary spending and a fixed amount of time to pay with their attention. You will be competing with the big players with their unlimited marketing dollars, polished content, and not to mention the countless startups that are piling on.
When you target business, if you can help me with any of the above 4, just "shut up and take my money"
If you are using the cash more to buy an asset or equipment ( e.g. a food truck ), then you could try pitching it to a bank. I don't think they would go for it, but at least they would have collateral. If you have a personal car, you could try offering that for collateral as well.
- Part-time consulting. If you are able to consult 20 hours a week, that should be enough cash to cover a modest cost of living and maybe some extra to invest in your start-up. A lot of companies start this way. They build specific products for their clients and eventually develop a product/service of their own. Check out 37Signals story on how Basecamp came along.
- If you are developing an enterprise-level tool, you could try to pre-sell it to a large firm first and have them pay an advance. This is tricky, but possible if you are building a certain type of product and have the right experience/connections.
- Build an MVP in your spare time and start charging for it. You may be able to skip the financing step altogether. Either way, you'll have more luck raising funds if you already have some, but maybe not enough to be profitable, paying customers.
- Personal Savings
Some riskier ways to get cash:
- Cash in a portion of your 401k ( you'll pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty + taxes )
- Home Equity Line if you have enough equity in your home. Careful with this because you are gambling your home. Make sure that if the start-up fails, you'd be able to get a job making enough cash to cover the additional debt service on the equity line.
- Personal line of credit. You pay high interest rates and won't be able to borrow that much ( ~25k or so ). You've probably gotten offers like this in the mail before. Your credit card company sends you a blank check and says 6 months no interest loan. Same as above, if the startup doesn't make it, make sure you'll be able to handle the additional finance charge ( which will be crazy high ). Please don't do this one.
If you're in the EU the EC give out startup grants. In Scotland we get them through our local Councils.
Getting paying customers is the best way to raise money. No equity given up, proof of your business model, and that looks great to investors later on, too.
Incubator programs aren't all created equal. Do a LOT of work to vet them first. Many will offer a small amount of money, offer very little support during the incubator, have no connections at the end of the incubator, and then dump you with no support after the incubator, but kindly taking a percent of the company. There are some good ones, though.
Angel investors and VC are an option, but those are not easy to get and you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.
The best thing to do is build your product and keep building it, and talk to as many people as you can. Resources will come out of the woodwork slowly, and connections will be made that will lead organically to what you need.
They were writing an article about how Facebook gained another $5 billion in valuation every other week. Who else writes articles about valuations of a (still pretty random at the time) company every 2 weeks and about each incremental rise? I don't think I've seen that ever before, even on BusinessInsider, and they do a bit of that, too.
I may be exasperating a little, but Techcrunch was a pretty powerful force in the tech world then, and I do think it influenced valuations and put them on a feedback loop just by writing about them every 2 weeks, on how Facebook's valuation grew another $5 billion, and then that would influence investors and help it gain another $5 billion. Not to mention TechCrunch was also one of the very first sites to use Facebook comments. So although I'm not reading TC these days, I'm not surprised that you've noticed that.
We are yet to reach profitability, or have a awesome amount of downloads, but our total downloads so far in Android are above 50k, so we are not completely bad either.
First, if you have the money, throw money on marketing, really. Without money it is very hard to get far.
Second, Android tracks the quality of your installs, not only absolute downloads, so pay attention to the quality of the ad publisher you are using... we used so far:
AdMob: Solid, works well, expensive.Facebook: kinda inefficient.StumbleUpon: started only 2 days ago, so no data.AppBrain: Could get a guaranteed download for 20 cents, and very fast, we could baloon the amount of downloads absurdly fast. But we noticed that the uninstall rate was also balooning, in the end after a while the active installs started to drop instead of increase, and our ranking plunged (and took 2 months to fix), so stay away from it unless you have boatloads of money to throw on it and use as initial download numbers platform.Blogs: they don't do much on Android, on iOS it is better.
Long term: on Android all your apps tend to rise in downloads in long term if they are good enough, first because most apps on android are found by search, and android search is good (of course, this mean that if you have a crap SEO you are screwed), and Google Play take the app current popularity on its search ranking, as your app gets popular, it gets more popular. My apps usually are getting a 10% increase per week in downloads (at least for the first two months).
For launch, try to reach the "new free' or "new paid" in your category, it is not hard in several countries, and helps a bit, but don't focus too much on that, it is not a great thing like it is on iOS.
I have some friends that work in huge companies that make mobile games for hire. They usually spend the same cost of the app in marketing (ie: if you made the app alone in 3 months and paid yourself 3000 USD in monthly wages, spend 9000 USD in marketing).
The story goes like this... In senior year of high school I 'formalized' my atheism. I'll save those details for another day, however, it suffices to say that I was confident that I was drawing the correct conclusion about the nonexistence of god. In thinking about the implications of a godless universe I realized the vastness of time, the insignificance of myself, and how nothing actually mattered. There is (or so I thought) no reason to do anything at all because its all going to be washed away in time. My drive to carry on vanished. Everything was futile, hopeless. Nothing I did mattered so why do anything at all -- why feel happy about anything at all?
I constantly thought of suicide. The ways I'd do it, the statements I'd try to make with it. It was an awful time, and it was all right in the middle of my undergraduate college experience. This continued on for a couple years as I tried as best I could with school while investigating how other people are able to cope with the magnitude of this concept. The reality I found was that most people don't cope with it, or rather, they cope with it by never even considering it. That only made things worse of course, everyone I'd talk to about this had almost nothing to say.
One day I decided I'd actually go through with it. As I lay on my bed I thought to myself "Alright, its been long enough. I've felt terrible and thought of suicide for years now. Either I'm going to man up and get this over with, or I'm just going to keep dreaming of doing it every day." So I bullied myself into finally committing to finish it, and there was a sense of relief. I asked myself why I hadn't decided to do it sooner. That was when I made the most fantastic discovery of my entire life, but first, some other things you should know.
During this time I was also struggling with being gay and, as a gay computer scientist myself, I found Alan Turing very interesting. It struck me as awful that he died in 1954, not long before The Beatles, free love, and the full onset of the civil rights movement. Just a few more years and he could have lived in, and possibly even helped to shape, a much more liberal society.
When I asked myself why I hadn't decided to do it sooner, I realized it was because I was never sure. I always hoped that I would find some clue that would change my mind. So I thought to myself: am I sure now? Do I have conclusive evidence that killing myself is the right thing to do? Am I certain there won't be some dramatic unforeseen shift in circumstances that would improve my life and make me not want to kill myself (like Turing missed out on)? No, I was not absolutely certain that life had no meaning.
We know so little of the universe and theres no way that any of us can be absolutely certain that suicide is the best choice without research that would take hundreds of years in understanding physics, the mind, and probably fields that don't even exist yet. Its possible that life does indeed have a purpose and we simply don't know it. The optimal thing to do is to continue on and do as best we can to discover this purpose -- because if there is a purpose, then actively looking for it is the smart way to find it. If there isn't a purpose, then the time we 'wasted' in search of a purpose wasn't really wasted after all because theres no way to judge whether it was time well spent without an ultimate purpose.
Getting back to the discovery... Probably mere hours away from killing myself, I realized that there was no way to know if killing myself was the right thing to do. There may be something to live for that I don't know about -- some overarching infallible truth embedded in the fabric of the universe that gives life meaning. This was a powerful idea: I should not kill myself because there may be a purpose of life. Now I decided to not kill myself...but what should I do next? I had no plans; after all, I had expected to be dead later that day. Well, it was simple. Nothing mattered except the thing that had kept me alive: the potential for a purpose of life.
I realized that every bit of my life should be based on discovering the purpose that may be embedded in the universe. The most important thing, the driving factor in all aspects of my life, indeed my very own reason for existence and purpose of life was to discover the purpose of life. "The purpose of life is to discover the purpose of life." It is beautiful.
There are many questions and implications that come from realizing this purpose of being alive but for now this comment is long enough. If you're interested in hearing more, let me know. I've thought a lot about this and (in true HN fashion) am building some tools which use ideas that stem from this one. I hope that my story of how I walked right up to the precipice of death and decided to turn back to life helps anyone who is also struggling with such issues.
If you don't blame yourself, the chain of suicide doesn't start. People don't suicide themselves because somebody else has annoying life circumstances. Circumstances are relative too. Modern society is constantly throwing other people's success, joy, accomplishment, and bravado in our faces. It can make us feel less than what we are. It can make us feel like our lives aren't good enough. Stop comparing your life to anything you've read anywhere anytime. We live in an age of magic. Be a wizard.
Blaming yourself is a dangerous path to go down. Don't blame yourself. The world is big and time is long. Things will work out.
: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2408091 and summarized at my http://suicidescale.com/ site.
Currently 24, I've dealt with depression and suicidal thoughts on and off for 4 or 5 years now. That heavy depression where you don't take care of yourself, don't shower, don't brush your teeth, you eat just enough to stay alive (I once subsisted on 2-liters of Mountain Dew and 99-cent bags of Utz cheese puffs for weeks-- dropped my deuces like a wood-chipper). You avoid going to sleep because after 31 episodes of Futurama, all you can think to do is watch a 32nd. You avoid waking up because you don't want to...be alive.
You shut yourself in, you stop going to class, you don't answer anyone's phone calls, you cut yourself off from the outside. You set yourself up to make it as easy as possible. How can your parents miss you if you haven't talked to them in weeks? If anything, you tell yourself, the fact that their calls have gone from hourly to daily to weekly is a sign that they've almost let go...can't let them in now, or it'll be too hard for them when you're gone. Emotionally hard, anyway. Really, they'll be better off with me out of the picture. Everyone will. I'm doing everyone a favor--Mom, Dad, my brother and sister, my friends who obviously just pity me, everyone.
That was me 3 years ago. Today I'm happy! :) I'm fine. I'm doing awesome. I don't attribute the turnaround to blog posts, I attribute it to taking my goddamn anxiety medication. Consistently. Every freaking day. If you forget, fine, but take it the next day, and the day after, and keep freaking taking it. It helps. Take your meds, everybody. Give it a shot for a couple months and see if things change. If you still feel down, go back to your psych and tell them, and they'll prescribe something else. Epiphanies always feel like the answer, and meds feel like the enemy, but do everyone who loves you a favor and give them a shot. Please.
It's true that it's important to make sure that depression is not coloring your assessment of that: it's quite common for depressed people to have a view that things are hopeless when they aren't. But on the other hand, sometimes the world sucks, and not every situation has a good way out of it. For most people, things get better and what seemed like insurmountable obstacles will pass. But I don't think you can honestly tell someone that a major felony criminal case is a temporary setback, something that will pass, and only their depression is making it seem more hopeless than it is. In a large percentage of cases it doesn't pass, and the person isn't able to continue their life as a free person. A situation I hope never to be in, but I don't think the correct decision, if you're actually facing a choice of whether to go to prison for a long time or not, is obvious.
I can't say whether that was Aaron's own motivation, though, or how rational his thinking on the subject was.
I may need to start a blog post. I am sure hn isn't interested in more of my cranky ranting about what is very normal behavior but which I happen to think is completely shitty behavior.
If you are at risk for finally offing yourself because Aaron did, try to avoid being alone. Suicide usually occurs when one is alone. Never being alone is a big part of why I am still alive, in spite of having abundant reason to say "fuck you, world, I have had enough of your shit".
I've spent many hours thinking about how each of us can dig ourselves out of our dark places when we unfortunately get stuck in them from time to time; I don't think I've seen the core symptoms of depression expressed so succinctly in these few years since my own difficult times.
I spent Christmas week with friends in Hawaii, and I told my friend (who has lost an older brother to suicide -- so we talk about this sort of thing from time to time) that being conscious of "happy times" like this and making an effort to remember these great moments during our difficult moments is probably a key factor in preventing suicidal thoughts in us. He agreed.
This is a critical point. If you know someone who is prone to depression, it's important to understand that they may simply be incapable of generating this kind of hope within themselves. Depression is not merely the loss of happiness, but the loss of the belief that you can ever be happy again. That's why intervention is so important when someone is suicidal: http://www.save.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewpage&p... .
Since a young age I've been bullied and abused by my peers (if you can call them peers, children can be mean and so can adults) and it drove me into a depression. I vowed I would not become like the bullies, and took a stand of non-violent citing that "Might does not make right" and after being beaten up for a while for not fighting back I took up martial arts to defend myself. I learned how to avoid fights and how to defend myself without seriously harming the other person.
Eventually I got into computers, when every other teenager was out getting drunk or stoned, I was writing programs on a Commodore 64 (The only computer my father could afford for me and my two brothers, and I got laughed at for not being able to afford an IBM PC or Apple //) and kept track of my brother's baseball statistics for one of my first programs (saved to a Datasette cassette drive, before we could afford a 1541 Floppy Drive) and I wrote other programs in BASIC as well.
Before I left for a university with record ACT scores, so I didn't need to take the SAT to get in (Combined ACT and SAT scores were required and my ACT score along was high enough) my father bought me a Commodore Amiga 1000 with the 5.25" external floppy drive and the PC-Transformer software (to run MS-DOS programs) and a 1200 baud modem. I joined a fraternity and half the guys were nice and the other half just hazed me and bullied me and harassed me and finally I took up under-aged drinking and smoking cigars. I feared what I was becoming as I developed a hubris that I knew everything (it was the alcohol talking) and so I left to take up college elsewhere.
I went to a college earned a degree, worked in their computer labs and helped out students. It was nice, but not ideal.
When I was working I was always picked on and bullied and harassed by managers and other employees. No matter what job I had, I was always given more work to force me to quit, etc.
I had a job as a programmer, big salary lots of benefits, I did really good work but was bullied, harassed, and abused, and management did some of it as did other employees. Finally from the stress of a toxic work environment I developed schizoaffective disorder. After that I was on short-term disability and when I came back I was fired two weeks later for having a panic attack at work because they moved me to an open area near foot traffic and a book shelf and people walked by and mocked me and laughed at me.
Any job after that I was just hired to take them to the next level and reach goals, and after that fired. I was mocked, abused, and harassed and bulled at those jobs too.
Eventually I ended up on disability, too sick to work.
I am doing my best to get better and try to get back to work. I am working on some ebooks and trying to write programs again, but due to the emotional, psychological, physical, traumas I developed writer's block, so my work goes slow.
I was able to finally clear the negative thoughts out enough to write a Fibonacci Sequence in ANSI C on GCC under Ubuntu 12.10, I wrote psuedocode in a paper notebook and ran the code in my head and wrote the variables down on paper to debug it. Then I wrote it in under 15 minutes on Ubuntu. It isn't much, but at least I was able to do something. That much is worth living for.
I have a wife and son, so I live for them as well.
Is there a natural law that suicide breaches, is this why it upsets and offends so many at the thought?
I'm personally of the deep belief that suicide is an option. And it's also something I think of at times. I think of suicide when I'm up, when I'm down... but generally never when I have a struggle and something to fight for. I think of suicide semi-frequently and always have.
I view suicide as an option because I don't believe in afterlife, or that life is a gift (from whom? we're supposed to be thankful how?)... life and personal existence is a bizarre improbable thing, we are here but nothing follows and nothing will remain of us in the grand scheme of things.
When you know life is fundamentally irrelevant, that we are but a speck of dust... what's the difference between a span of 40 years and a span of 80 years?
I like to think that life should be qualitatively lived, struggles endured in a constant hope of experiencing a high-quality of living.
Is there anything so deeply flawed with viewing my life as being mine to do with as I please, and also acknowledging that if I come to some point that a remainder of my life would be lived in misery that I might choose to exercise a right over my life to end it on a qualitative high?
I don't find that these arguments differ greatly from those in terminal illness (whom most would sympathise with), but like many things that are unseen (mental illness, emotional state, state of happiness or sadness)... the unseen seem to be accepted as being unreal, fixable, unacceptable.
Yet there are times that suicide can almost be thought of as noble. When a lover dies and the lone lover pines so greatly and finds that they cannot continue to have any quality of life without the other person.
I don't believe that I've ever been clinically depressed, and am a very optimistic and hopeful person. Yet my reasoning isn't offended or appalled when I see reports of suicide, and nor could I make a claim that I would never consider it. It is, for me, part of living... as death is for everyone... and as we ponder death beyond our control, I also ponder death within our control.
I find it hard to comprehend the reaction of others to stories of suicide that seem to follow misconceptions about someone having to be depressed, or the time of year... I don't think suicide is the product of a person with a fault in some way, I find it to be a rational thing.
I've also known some deep depressive years (after my mother committed suicide). The cure has been to read ( Nietzsche mainly), to embrace it, to listen to my brain, to little by little understand it. Understanding that depression is a pure symptom of our humanity : it's the moment you loose meaning in your life ( as Nietzsche says, the Human being is the only animal who needs meaning to live ). And then, you realize that the meaning of your life can only come from one source : yourself. We are easily trap by the need of approval, the need of existence within the eyes of the one who surrounds us. These approvals do not exist and are only projected, forecasted, approvals, it's our own devils. We are free to put whatever meaning we desire on our lives, as long as we respect others. Life is a permanent challenge to ourselves. This is the reason this is the most beautiful journey... Life is short anyway, let's make it a beautiful adventure. There is nothing to lose, everything to gain.
- death is a final state
- it always happens, sooner or later
- there are ways to alleviate pain, whether physical or moral (drugs and such)
- suicide is a capital sin
Even if death seems or is a better option, it makes sense to wait for it (and even to hope for it - there are really bad moments in anyone's life).
And if you do not believe in god, the first 3 items are good reason enough to wait, and a valid 4th one can be :
- suicide means killing perfectly good organs, than in other situations could have save many people needing transplants.
Feelings and emotions are fallible, especially during depression, a disease of our emotion-processing system.
Because it will pass.
But the hard thing is to believe it and that is where help is needed, I would say.
After 20 years of depression my death was averted by the words "I'd rather see you institutionalized than dead." Two weeks on the psychiatric ward and an ongoing series of changes later, I now lead the happiest life possible. You can, too.
So now, I give these words back to the community. I don't know who you are, but with all my heart: I'd rather see you institutionalized than dead.
The sections will be:WorkEscorting and sexualityDrug and alcohol addictionFamilyAttentionWhat I wantThe plan
I work as a software engineer. Well, I would, if I was able to hold a job for more than 6 months without the company getting tired of me. I'm good at what I do. My bosses love my output. I have open source projects and contributions. Even on my first programming job at a startup at 18, the CTO was shocked on my first day. Repeat that shock for every job. But the companies get tired of me because I have a reputation for coming in to work straight from nightclubs, drunk, drugged up, tired, needing to snort coke at work just to stay awake and productive.
ESCORTING AND SEXUALITY
As said above, I can't hold down permanent work. One nice thing I have going for me is that I'm a young, pretty good looking girl. I don't look my age. I look 15. Men love that. They get off on me being their little girl and them being my daddy who want to fuck their little hot teenage daughter. The sex is boring for me. I like girls. I went through a long period of not knowing if I'm straight, lesbian, or bisexual. I think I like men but only in the sense of having a "daddy". I have a real birth dad of course, but I want a "daddy" - that older guy who looks after me, loves me, helps me get through my early twenties, gives me advice. I suppose this is what people call "having daddy issues".
Escorting can go really wrong. Sometimes clients beat the shit out of their hookers. It's only happened to me once, thankfully. I got tied up in a dark room and beaten and whipped. On the positive side, getting beat up escorting builds character. It makes you really, really strong. I can take a ton of abuse from other people (but not in my own head).
DRUG AND ALCOHOL ADDICTION
It's debatable whether I'm a coke addict. I don't desperately need it, but I want to use it. Thanks to being a hooker, I get lots of easy and free access to cocaine. I use 2-3 times a week.
Alcohol is what will destory me. I used to be a teetotal, innocent, quiet, shy teen. Now I'm an alcoholic, confident, loud party-girl with an arrest record of "Drunk and Disorderly", "Drunk and Disorderly", "Drunk and Disorderly". I love vodka. I need vodka. I have two bottles in my fridge right now that I'm going to start pouring once I finish this letter. I'm having a quiet night in (been out 4 nights in a row now) so will drink myself to sleep.
They hate me for reasons I won't go into.
Shit, this is the hardest bit to write. I've been typing non-stop for 10 minutes and now I'm unsure what to say and hesitating.
My mum... she doesn't want me anymore. I know she doesn't, even if she says she loves me. She never shows appreciation to anybody for anything. My dad worked hard to provide for my sister and I (because my mum hasn't worked in decades, lazy bitch). My first memory of my dad was when he took me to a party that his workplace threw for the children. I was the shy one who was too scared to talk to anyone. He eventually dragged me out and into the car and shouted at me. I was a fucking disappointment, obviously not (yet) the outgoing loud confident child everyone would prefer. I wish they had just got a divorce instead of the constant arguing they've had since before I was born. I was desperate to move away from home because I couldn't take their arguing anymore. Now when people argue in public it still upsets me.
It makes me happy. It didn't used to, because I was such an awkward kid and teenager. But now I fucking love being the center of the dance floor; the one up on the stage; the naked girl; the one guys talk to in clubs and pubs.
I was at a gangbang last night. I was there through an escorting contact. I was the first person to get naked and fuck. And then I just didn't put my clothes back on. Walking around nude and having the men look and me and wank at me was what I wanted -- attention. I wanted to fuck the other girl, though.
WHAT I WANT
A secure job. A better flat (my current place is a tiny studio). Not having to suck dick to afford things. Not having alcohol withdrawal symptoms after just 48 hours sober. A family.
Obviously, because this is a suicide note, the plan is suicide. The question is "when" and "is there anything I want to do first?". Suicide has been the plan for as long as I can remember.
My first genuine suicide plan was two years ago. I was going to travel South East Asia, spend all my savings having fun and fucking hookers (haha, but I've become one! twist!!). And then die. That didn't get executed - instead I ran away to another place and just did nothing.
Like I said in the "Attention" section, I enjoy that and it makes me happy. So maybe I should just seek that out. I was reading a story earlier - http://longform.org/stories/little-girl-lost - go read it, it's good - and this story is about a girl who ran away to Los Angeles to seek out fame. She got the fame. She became one of the biggest porn stars of her era. Then she shot herself in the head at 2am.
Another thing I read earlier - http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/13/magazine/here-is-what-happ... - about Lindsay Lohan. She still gets acting gigs despite being a crazy bitch.
If they can do it, why can't I? I could run away to LA, Hollywood, whatever. I'd have a go at trying. I would be homeless but I have enough saving to last a year. If it doesn't work out, I can end it all. Finally end it all. It would be a relief from my stress and problems and this suicidal voice in my head that's taunted me for my whole life - which is ironic because I wouldn't get to feel the relief, because I'd be dead.
The world was robbed of a genius by petty bureaucrats and greedy, hypocritical "non-profit" profiteers. This is obscene.
I'd also like to add one more thing Depression robs you of: Self worth.
Things do get better - just make sure you get help as no one should do it alone!
Please if you are depressed or suicidal seek professional help.
Traffic on reddits /r/SuicideWatch has exploded. 
When I read Aaron's story, I understood exactly how he felt. I felt like killing myself so many times. The prosecutor destroyed my family, my livelihood, my reputation, my life. And there was no "victim" either. I was completely alone at the end of it.
I'm on year 2 of starting again, and I'm telling you it does get better. A lot better.
I hope that Aaron's story sheds some light on the lack of empathy, and straight up bullying the prosecutors employ against vulnerable people. They went harder on me when they found out I lost my job. They are bullies, plain and simple.
This is a common refrain but it won't always really pass. Our society is so harsh at times (mainly due to you-know-who type of people), with the damaging effects staying strong until death, that leaving can be a reasonable choice. What I wish Aaron had done is left in a different way, perhaps to a country with no extradition treaty with the US. There are few of those places left however, as the US tightens its depraved grip on the whole world.
Even if I was to be "cured" somehow‚Ä"is living half a life of misery worth living half an enjoyable life? Not to me. No amount of "happiness" can offset the misery.
I know everyone means well but it might not have the intended effect. At least not for me.
At the same time, the general attitude towards suicide makes me even more uncomfortable being alive. I don't feel ill and it seems really condescending to say that I haven't been in my right mind much in years. I find it really consoling that some time I'll happen to die or get around to killing myself.
To me, suicide would bring immediate advantages. I'd never feel bad again. I'd never be happy again too, but that doesn't bother me and I wish it wouldn't bother you either. It's fine to say you feel uncomfortable with others killing themselves and it's definitely important to consider that prior to committing suicide, but please don't claim that not killing myself would benefit me. Maybe you think that's an example of my inability to make considered decisions/judgements. To me it just resembles any other moral or political argument where calling either side mentally ill doesn't help.
Suicide is wrong, usually. It just affects the people around you way to much. But for me and many other people it would also be really awesome.
Depression at any level is very real and very serious. Most people will tell you to talk to friends and family. You will be alone, it will be hard; but most importantly, you will be OK. It does get better.
And there still are chances I might once again would want to live on this planet.
How I feel about Aaron's (or whoever's) death? I don't fucking care. Seriously. Get over it. He accomplished as much as any other of us (don't ever underestimate yourself) -- it's just very subjective. And he was weak enough to kill himself. Don't think any person committing suicide is worth the praise Aaron is getting.
The fact that HN's front page is full of links more or less related to Aaron's death makes me sad and disappointed and not want to live on this planet anymore.
== Ross ==
Now you have a relationship with an attorney and have developed some kind of trust with them. That's awesome! (Keep sending them your employment contracts when you change jobs! There are some crazy things in there!)
So you find yourself out on your own and need advice on something really important like if you have to sell your shares of a business you started to your co-founder so they can raise another round. Who are you going to ask? Your trusted attorney who hopefully reviewed your original contract with said co-founder!
If you have an operating agreement it would ordinarily cover buyouts and the conditions under which they are mandatory.
Otherwise, any obligation to sell is less likely under ordinary circumstances.
Some of the reasons I upvote:
- I agree w/ OP - I appreciate the time taken, or the thoroughness of the response/post - I appreciate that the post adds to the discussion - I appreciate that OP was able to ask a question in a nice way - I feel someone has added something significant - I get a cheap laugh that isn't terribly pun-y - I had too much coffee that day
- I don't agree w/ OP and I think they are either wrong are spreading misinformation - I think OP is using FUD or other "techniques" - OP has included a lot of hyperbole - OP responded without being kind, thoughtful, or thorough in the response - OP made a blanket statement with no citation ("Blue is clearly the wrong color. Period.") - OP did not add anything significant ("+1 here too") - OP went for a cheap laugh with pun-y, low-wit, or over-used memes ("That's what she said!") - OP posted something that I feel is not HN-worthy or against the guidelines - I had too much coffee that day
Only one of which got downvoted without any critique, and it was a one-word comment that did not contribute to the conversation at all. Such one word comments defy the purpose of communication.
I've also been downvoted more times than I care to remember. Someone might say I shouldn't care. They would be wrong.
The healthiest way to look at downvotes isn't to ignore them. It is to treat them as editorial feedback on the quality of my post. Maybe my point wasn't communicated clearly. Maybe my assertions are unwarranted based on the support I offered. Maybe my tone is corrosive to the community. Maybe even my idea is stupid or flat out wrong.
There are a few options. Sometimes I just take the hit. I said what I meant and mean what I said. Sometimes I will edit my comment - rewriting is writing. I don't usually mark my edits unless they make the discussion confused.
And sometimes I will recognize that my comment is lousy and delete it.
Those are the things that are within my control.
In the end the best response to downvotes is to write better.
After a little research this is the closest thing I can find that pg said. Maybe I was mistaken in my recollection.
"I sometimes downvote things that seem mistaken. I think most users do."
I prefer feedback. I had a hard time getting it for a long time. But not all votes are meaningful. I think it helps to remember that. And when a vote is fatfingered, the person who did it may not even realize it.
If you're insistent on Photoshop first, I would start with a bunch of tutorials:http://webdesignledger.com/tutorials/20-high-quality-photosh...http://webdesign.tutsplus.com/
I recommend you to watch some play by play from peep code. Since I watched them I understood the process to design a good UI:
That would be reason enough for a general site ban on new submissions. Most of the participants here on HN who have been here longer than I have, and especially those who have higher average comment karma than I have, are united in saying that HN is not the place for political threads. Quite a few of the experienced members of HN flag any new post that deals mostly with politics rather than with the core topics of HN, especially if the source is not a high-quality source. That gradually adds sites to the list of sites that are autokilled on submission.
Later this year go to this and meet real life people who may be suitable mentors. There's probably also many startup and whatever industry events, conferences, etc that may have interesting people attending.
disclaimer: I run Mentii and happy to help you find the right mentor if no one responds (reach out to me at sumit at mentii dot com)
Focus on building product and talking to customers. I learned this from Paul Graham. If you hit a fork in the road, then you might.
The past Tuesday, there was an event here, which showcased the finalists from the LATAM Startup Challenge. All finalists were from Brazil, and I was extremely impressed by them, and they seemed very approachable, maybe you can get some of them to help you find the local startup scene.
I've also seen several Brazilians commenting over here too.
No idea if they can help an IT startup, but there's SEBRAE:
also the brazilian software chamber Softex:
The Uruguayan chamber (CUTI) usually finds mentors for new startups, maybe the Brazilian equivalent does too as well.
Also if possible could you send me an email, I'd like to keep in touch with you. viniciusfbm at gmail
Maybe worth looking into their site or go around and buy the magazine.
The art of building web applications today, in itself, is much more complex than it was 10 years ago - mostly due to the every growing selection of tools that make it easier for experienced developers to build web applications. This in turn can make web development seem daunting.
Personally, when I started learning Rails, I had a foundation of working with rudimentary frameworks in other languages. When I discovered Rails, it did quiet a bit of what those other frameworks accomplished and then some. Then it took it further and pushed the envelope (i.e. REST support for urls and routing, more recently including CoffeeScript and the Asset Pipeline).
While there's a ton of learning resources out there for learning Rails, it can be really hard to put them together and figure out what in what order you need to learn new concepts.
That being said, I think The Flatiron School did an excellent job getting together a list of learning resources: http://prework.flatironschool.com/ - Just a heads up that it recommends CodeSchool and Tree house which are subscription services. If you're serious about learning, I'd consider the subscription cost to be a small investment.
The one resource that Flatiron Prework didn't mention is the Rails Tuturial: http://ruby.railstutorial.org/ruby-on-rails-tutorial-book
If you really want to dive into ruby, I'd recommend The Well Ground Rubyist by David Black.
End result: in your particular case, "learning the framework" and "learning to program" amount to basically the same thing. What makes it harder this time, as opposed to the first time you learned to program, is that last time you had no preconceived notions. Now you do -that's inevitable- but only some of those notions will apply in this new way of programming. This would be just as true if you went in the other direction; you haven't learned things in the "wrong" order or anything like that. A "wrong" order probably doesn't even exist.
The good news is that you're not alone. This happens to everyone when they first hit something wildly different from the way they first learned to program. As you do more of them, it gets easier, but the first big wall is always a shock. Good luck getting over the wall.
Trying to learn an MVC framework without understanding the underlying architecture is definitely a large task. Trying to do that without a firm understanding of the nuances of the programming language used is even harder.
It does not matter if you want to learn framework a language or how to use a products API.
What really matters is if there is a good a documentation and some tutorials to get you started.
I often settle for the sollution with less features but a better usabilty.
http://metatalk.metafilter.com/15547/GiveWell-or-Give-em-Hel... is the main thread, but search metatalk for several follow-up threads.
Relevant link, a post of his: http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/stepback
Mayo clinic guide to portion control:
I am searching for that for months now.
The passion of execution is what makes Getting Real interesting. http://gettingreal.37signals.com/toc.php
You wouldn't be writing _on MVP development_ but rather exposing to everyone just how well you are at executing it. In my mind, your question seems like asking, "Is it a good idea to write an ebook on the scientific method?"
You have to manage what kind of philosophical posturing you're going to make. What you will write about may not necessarily translate to other projects, and that'll be for the fact that your hypotheses will be defined by the nature of your product. I believe what I'm saying is consistent with "don't choose your tech stack first" since the product's nature determines what the tech stack will be.
The most complicated and most mysterious part of creating an MVP is using your customer feedback loop to determine what the MVP needs to look like. Merely creating a HN clone without also outlining your feedback loop and why you determined an HN clone to be your MVP would not hold much value.
----- EDIT -----
Just spent 15 minutes searching furiously and managed to find this: http://forum.chumby.com/viewtopic.php?id=8457 - that's the page which the HN link led to, here is the link to the HN page: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5058788
Quite surprised I managed to remember and find that but hopefully I've helped to create something good today!
"killer company""game changing <blah blah blah>""cutting edge aspects""breakthrough cloud-enabled""change the way we...""ramp up quickly"
Basically every sentence has a phrase that is cliche. More facts, less hype. I seriously expected to read something about social and local in this.
The same email can be written without the hyperbole.
Would be helpful, for the purposes of discussion, if you added your thoughts on how you would write the same email that in your opinion would have worked.
Be nice it may just be worth it.
The sites would need to be static snapshots and piggy back off the main domain. You could direct traffic from external domains, but those domains would likely die at some point. Perhaps you could even partner with a DNS service such as CloudFlare so that users could have an option to direct traffic to your service when certain actions happen (site is down for a certain amount of time.) The domain would still die eventually though, and the links would go with it. Ultimately I'm not sure that losing links would be a big deal anyways, as links to your main domain would die off eventually as well.
This service would be sort of like a love child of Tor and archive.org except that it would specifically be setup so that your site would always have a URL to reach the site directly rather than having to do a search. Archive.org might already have a scheme where links to a site snapshot will never change, but I'm not sure about that as it's probably not the main focus of the service.
I think this would be more interesting that attempting to build a commercial service. A commercial service would probably end up being like a ponzi scheme where you would need enough new users to cover costs to pay for the old users. Archive.org and Wikipedia seem to be doing okay though, so perhaps you could go the same route as a non profit but on more typical hosting infrastructure.
Your observation is, of course, incredibly anecdotal and depends on myriad factors. For instance, if you are going to a college outside of a major startup hub but near a big tech sector (such as NC or Atlanta) you'll find people aren't necessarily as interested in startups because of their lack of presence and the security of knowing there's a blue chip job awaiting them. Meanwhile if you find yourself in the Valley, there's certainly plenty of young people who are interested in startups, whether working at one or founding their own.
For what it is worth, I go to school near NYC and lots of my peers are interested in startups to the point where my small-ish school is considering entrepreneurship tutorials and hosting tech fairs that are focused on small businesses and startups.
Personally, I just turned 22 and am interning for a startup right now and am looking to work for one in the city when I graduate in May.
It's important to remember that most startups founders/employees have a tech background. I don't think the startup model is being well evangelized in other domains of knowledge. We are now seeing an increasingly number of Designers/Marketers adopting the "culture". But these professions are deeply connected with technology also.
Most of my friends with non-tech background don't even know what a startup is, although things seems to be changing.
The 'R' programming language is pretty useful for statistics and could be used to aggregate a lot of files (and its free). Also if you want to generate dynamic reports using templates then you should look into sweave which is a package in 'R'. (http://www.stat.uni-muenchen.de/~leisch/Sweave/) You could build beautiful PDF reports that you simply run a script to generate if they are easily created into a template. But that would also require learning Latex for creating documents, something that is used heavily in the academic world but I have yet to see it in the business world.
Another approach which I would try is to use a programming language to dump it into a relational database and then use SQL to access the info (which is heavily used in business setting). This option also also allows for others to use it with familiar business tools. My unconventional tools of choice would be Ruby and using Rails to build an interface.
It is free :
I have analysed lots of BI tools, which could be useful in your scenario, but most require a bit of technical / database knowledge to iron out wrinkles.
Most data has a physical location associated with it (street address, lat-long, something mappable). "A picture is worth a thousand words". Mapping data can help you visualize and mentally process heavy data loads. And Excel is one of the database formats typically compatible with standard software so with a smidgeon of luck you can probably kind of plug and play.
Another dimension is the absurdity of the prosecution he was facing, which may have contributed to his despair. The government was making him out to be a thief trying to profit from what they represent as millions of dollars of stolen property. In reality, he was freeing information that rightly should have been free. I believe very strongly in that and I admire the guts it took him to make such a public and illegal statement about it. It's a shame that it cost him so much.
Finally, there's a sense of the things he might have accomplished. He was certainly prodigious and his accomplishments at such a young age really can't be overstated. When Steve Jobs died he had already had a chance to leave his mark on the world. Both could've done more if they had lived.
There's also the fact that he was a YC alum and Reddit cofounder so he has inherent ties to many in this community. So I guess for many it's a very personal loss, and for me it's a complicated but still deeply profound tragedy.
>But anyone with a brain could have developed a technical specification and a website that turns out to be good.. right?
Absolutely not. Many have the technical skills to attempt this, but few have the foresight and drive to succeed, especially at such a young age. What were you doing at 14? People like Aaron Swartz are rare and should be celebrated.
I remember doing what he did to JSTOR, to mytopo.com in 2001. This was a perl script that fetched topographic map tiles, and stitched them together to make a big map.
I printed that map, and brought it on a boundary waters trip.
I remember feeling puzzlement when I saw the north-south tile boundaries didn't quite match.
I remember thinking and testing, and realizing this must be due to the map projection error.
I remember feeling satisfaction using a pencil to calculate how to adjust for the projection. I remember feeling elation when the edges matched exactly.
I remember feeling fear, knowing I was breaking rules. I was doing all this from the office of my employer, after hours.
I remember feeling excitement because of the fear.
I remember the the look of concern on my girlfriend's face when I described the accomplishment and showed her the map. "Oh honey," she said, "Did you hack?"
Half a decade later, I remember writing python scripts to scrape color names from paint manufacturers, to build the first dataset for colr.org. Also in perl.
I remember researching whether color names could be copyrighted.
I remember feeling rather fearless after learning they could not. I remember feeling distinct pleasure at adding "cadbury purple" to the dataset. I remember doing this from home, with no connection to my employer.
I remember porting colr.org to web.py. I remember learning web.py at the same time I learned python, and feeling thankful to Aaron for creating it.
I remember my friend Hamid. He was from Iran. We met in college, studying electrical engineering at a state university. It was not exactly MIT.
Hamid and I were roommates for a year or so. He was older than most US college students. This was because Hamid had lived in hiding for 8 years, during the Iran-Iraq war.
To avoid conscription, his family sent him to live with an uncle in another city. He lived and worked in the basement of the uncle's electronics shop, repairing TVs and other appliances. After the war ended in 1988, Hamid's family got him out of the country.
Hamid rarely talked about this time in his life. But I remember one time someone asked him what that war had been like.
He replied, "You look out the window, and you see the missile come. You see it hit your neighbor's house."
Hamid had a tough time with the math courses required for electrical engineering. He outright failed a few, but he re-took them and passed.
He was a genius in the lab. He could, and would, help anyone with their hardware labwork. He didn't just help, he taught. He was patient and kind. He understood analog electronics with an instinct strengthened by years of practice.
While we were roommates, he took a VCR out of a dumpster, and fixed it. That VCR had been smashed to pieces.
Hamid made really good milk tea.
After he graduated, Hamid was hired as an RF engineer. He spent years driving around the US building cell networks. He told me much of his work involved correcting poor antennas designed and installed by incompetent engineers. "The company is so desperate to build, they hire anyone with a pulse", he told me.
Hamid broke his nation's laws. If he had been caught by the Iranian government, he would be imprisoned or executed.
I remember following Aaron's drama-filled departure from reddit, and some of his further escapades. I remember feeling like this dude was amazing, but maybe too intense. I remember hoping for his peace and happiness, but fearing it might not be in the cards. Aaron lived in interesting times, and he was devoted to stirring up more interest.
I remember the cold feeling in my stomach when I read about the JSTOR arrest. I thought about the topo maps, and the colors.
I remember feeling less regard for Aaron, because he had been caught doing a bad thing. Why did I feel this way?
People break laws, and laws break people.
The law broke Aaron. He was not made of iron. He was made of person.
I am only a year older than him, also a python user, also interested in the same things he was interested in. I followed his progress, read his essays, used his open source software, and am a user of the sites he worked on (e.g. reddit, infogami, jottit). I admire his work a lot and look up to him.
I think his life, ideals, and work resonate with a lot of people here on HN, moreso than Steve Jobs. He's the quintessential hacker. A lot of people identify with that, and are upset over the injustice done to him in the JSTOR case, FBI investigation, etc. That's why you see this kind of reaction over his death.
In other words he fought the good fight--the fight that many of us wish we had the time, courage, or resources to fight--and lost.
We are all hackers. As a collective we mourn the loss of a collegue. Someone from our generation who dreamed of changing the world though code and actually did. That is why the community has responded in such way. He is one of us.
Or simply read some of the upvoted obits/tributes. People knew, used, and admired his work, and many here knew him personally.
Good day, sir.
edit: he was in the first batch, actually.
I do not consider Aaron Swartz to be very special in the legal sense. His case was a simple hacking case (as the crime is defined in federal statutes). There was nothing special about it politically or technologically or procedurally. There was nothing special about the "victim" (JSTOR) or the victim choosing not to press charges. Indeed, even the fact that he killed himself is not unique because the incidence of suicide is higher with white collar crimes.
I am aware that my viewpoints on this differ strongly from most of HN, but if you read the comments by the other lawyers on HN, most of them generally agree with my sentiments in this regard.
Aaron was apparently very gifted technically (RSS spec, reddit co-founder, etc.), but as I know little about him in this regard, I cannot intelligently discuss this aspect of his person further.