http://www.gore.com/ - Gore Industries, a truly astonishing workplace in almost every write-up I've ever read.
http://www.semco.com.br/en/ - The book "Maverick" by CEO Ricardo Semler shows how he set the culture. It's grown a lot since then, but still an amazing firm
http://www.sas.com/ - employees love it
http://www.netapp.com/ - ditto, and the hardware is everywhere interesting.
http://www.qualcomm.com/ - Qualcomm is best known to sys admins of a certain age for producing qpopper and for some of their staff being killed in Iraq. The company is apparently great to work for
http://www.dreamworksanimation.com/ - more code than you might think
http://www.amazon.com/ - I know a guy who works in operations who loves it. For developers it has downside (you own your code in deployment), but he really rates it highly. YMMV.
http://www.salesforce.com/ - Rated highly by staff
https://www2.wwt.com/ - I'd never heard of them, but they appear on about half a dozen lists
http://www.rackspace.com/ - Biggest cloud provider outside Amazon, I think
http://www.autodesk.com/ - Personally I'd rather eat my own head than work there, but well regarded by employees
http://www.hds.com/ - Everybody forgets about HDS, but they do some really amazing work and do staff love it
EDIT: added more companies
That said, I've discovered on "the outside" (of college) that I don't really like being the analytics guy, the banker. I'd much rather build products, make things, have skills which enable me to do. Often, work in banking (be it sales or analytics or underwriting or finance or whatever) can feel pretty disconnected from the real world. For instance, I've worked in risk management, and now in credit administration, and while I'm very good at what I do, it doesn't excite me the way building products for the web does.
The key, in your position, is to determine what drives you. Do you like being the analytics/numbers/finance guy who is a whiz with spreadsheets, analytics, finance/accounting, etc? Or deep down do you harbor the desire to make things: software, web apps, mobile apps, etc.
At this point, put aside concerns about making tons of money or being "successful" after graduation. Thinking about those things will just muddy your thinking. And the truth is that there's good money to be made in either arena.
Think about whether you want to analyze or build and I think you'll have the answer to your question.
In my case, I've often wished I would've made the transition no matter the cost, so that I could be working in software development now. Since I didn't I now have to pursue a long-game of developing the skill-set on my own and eventually slowly working my way into the field.
It sounds like you expect all banking positions to pay a ton, be on Wall Street, require 100+ hours a week (and 3 emails/cold-calls a day), etc. This is certainly not the case in any of the non-Wall Street positions I've worked. I've always worked no more than 40 hours a week, received decent benefits, good salary, paid bank holidays, competent co-workers, etc.
I'm sure positions like you describe exist, I just don't think they're indicative of the vast majority of the banking and finance industry. Broaden your perspective and you might like what you find.
If not then yes, commit to change gears. Particularly if you really enjoy the software development stuff (like I always have). Don't focus on whether you do well at it, but instead on whether it is rewarding to you. If it's not rewarding to you (software development related classes) then you'll hate working as a software developer. However, if you find the programming you do in those classes rewarding then definitely make the switch, because the banking/finance world can be a very frustrating place for someone who'd rather be making things with code. You have some semi-technical skill-sets which may or may not get any respect, there can be a lot of egos run rampant, and banks are notoriously slow to adapt and innovate.
That said, if you can find meaning in the banking line of work, it's not a "bad" gig per se, it's just not quite as satisfying personally as programming is.
Also "math / engineering" is usually good enough to bypass the HR "must have degree" wall at companies where that pertains - at least to the point that you have the same chance anyone does to pitch them on interviewing you.
Things you can do that beat "switch majors" in terms of improving employment prospects:
* Summer internships * Part-time gig * Write code, publish it on Github * Write a tutorial article * Create and market a software product
You're on a good track. Stick it out. It's hard to get into banking/finance, so do that first while you have the chance just to see if you find something you like there. The software / product development world doesn't give a shit about credentials, so if that's where your passion lies you can also go there later.
But here's the advice: don't let them put the golden handcuffs on you. If you get out of school making $100k it's real easy to start wearing Armani and lease a BMW, and before you know it there's no job outside of finance that will pay your bills. Instead: buy off the discount rack, get a Honda, and save like crazy. If you end up hating your job, 5 years could be enough to build a nest egg to allow you to bootstrap your own startup.
You have the grades, so stick with your current course. You do not need a computer science degree to build a career as a software developer. Practical hands-on experience counts more than qualifications.
I believe that a multi-skilled / cross-disciplinary software engineer can expect to earn more money over the course of their career than a straight-up developer. The skills shortage (and therefore the demand) always seems to lie in-between disciplines.
Software development skills + math + business gives you a possible (eventual) avenue into quantitative development in the financial industry, which can be a lucrative career path should you chose to pursue it. (Be prepared to spend a significant amount of time (10 years?) building up skills prior to making the move, though).
Once you have finished your degree, you might consider doing a software-oriented masters degree, or spend 2-3 years with a small company picking up the basics. Your multi-disciplinary skill-set should stand you in good stead. If you cannot find a company willing to hire you, start one! Even if it does not work out, that experience will be golden. If you don't have any ideas, ask in this thread. I have a ton that I am never going to pursue. I am sure that others will pitch in as well.
Add machine learning and data mining to your skills. Play around with MQL4, and show them your chart. Get hired as a quant and earn tons of money.
Best of luck with making your decision
I did my degree in mechanical engineer (mechatronics), and didn't have too much trouble finding employment in software.I graduated with no internship or professional experience. My graduating semester, I realized software 'was it', so I just strapped down and built a product (made no money) and released it (ios/rails/AWS). A few more months studying mobile development obsessively, I landed my first paying gig. It's been about a year since, and I couldn't be happier with my decision and progression.
But to be fair, my major heavily involved programming various robots/devices/languages since 1st year, so I had lots of programming experience upon graduation. But I imagine you are in a similar situation, or could be if you wanted to.
Since this is HN, I wouldn't be surprised if you have a curiosity/enthusiasm with trying your hand at the startup lottery. There's no better background to have than CS/Engineering for this.
So my advice is: find a sector from software you find interesting, build something and ship it.
You sound to me that you are a smart, bright and hardworking person. But for once in your life, you found yourself out-competed and out-networked and you are trying to "pivot" to another career. There is nothing wrong with that. Think hard about what you want. Are you switching to another career because it is prestigious?
I'm a founder -- AMA!
If you want to switch to programming to earn money by working for someone, I'm afraid I have bad news for you. You have to spend a lot of time, cos others probably may have much better experience than you. And you will never earn enough. Salary is salary.
To be short: build your simple project, start learning with practice, not theory. Don't think about being software developer for hire.
It's shitty UX regardless of whether it's a violation of law, IMO.
Original: It's a violation of CAN-SPAM law to put unsubscribe behind a login process. Asking for a password violates the requirement that no additional PII except for the email be required to process the opt-out.
From the FTC:
Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipients opt-out request within 10 business days. You cant charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request.
It's a crappy process to deal with, and can affect you for a critical day or two. An example being that one of clients collected email in a greasy was, and increased their email blasts from 25,000 to 75,000.
I'm sure they wanted to reach more people, but yahoo and a few others marked ALL of the messages as spam due to massive increase in volume from this client.
Advice: Do things in a non greasy way, and while you may grow slower because of it, your users, and their email providers, will like you more for it.
If a service makes me log in to unsubscribe from their spam, they can be assured that it will be the last time I ever log into their service.
This happens to me about twice a year (not a firstname.lastname, but a commonword.commonword. It's like a stupidity-driven dictionary attack). The worst companies I've had to deal with:
Steam - took me multiple emails over the course of weeks, and they actually made me send them screenshots to prove the account was mine. I only went to this much trouble because I have a legit Steam account. Especially funny since I casually told them that I was a hair trigger away from just resetting the idiot's password and hijacking his account.
AT&T - Flat-out refused to unsub me from someone else's phone bills. After several calls to AT&T I finally gave up and called the customer. An AT&T rep actually had the balls to tell me that making me do this was for the customer's protection.
I would also like to see some sort of standard - like email header with link, that would unsubscribe you. Outlook/thunderbird/etc could just show button (probably next to "mark as spam" :)) and you couldjust click and be done. I think google tried something like this, but I've never heard of anyone else.
But there's a reason, and to understand the reason, you need to understand something about the law.
You want to be taken off the mailing list of a company that technically is spamming you, violating the law. But if the company can get you to sign in first, you technically become a customer, and they can then spam you endlessly and legally.
But -- a company that requires you to sign in, in order to opt out, is breaking the law. The Can-Spam Act requires opt-out to be readily available and simple (see below). On that basis, sites that require signups to opt out are engaged in a criminal conspiracy.
From the law: "You must honor a recipients opt-out request within 10 business days. You cant charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request."
They're breaking the law. They are criminals.
This means it's impossible for me to unsubscribe from all sorts of things, since 'forgot my password' with a lot of places requires a birthday, access to the phone that's on the account, answers to security questions, etc. etc.
If I click 'unsubscribe' and get asked to log in? I just go back and click 'Report Spam'.
I know, the "Here's an email to confirm that you hate our emails" message isn't anyone's favorite... but if it helps companies improve their unsubscription mechanisms, I can let it slide.
At multiple gigs, at multiple sites, a significant amount of bounced mail consists of messages sent to long-term undeliverable addresses (in many cases: to domains which no longer exist, and/or have been tranferred, and/or the owning company has gone out of business: think Enron, AT&T's discontinued ISP network, Lehmann Brothers, etc.).
Even if I'd _wanted_ to create rules or write scripts to automatically process the messages, the login requirements generally meant that wasn't possible. Instead, these comprised both a significant amount of outbound mail queues and nondelivery notifications, potentially masking more serious issues (you've got to come to understand what notifications are effectively part of background noise vs. not).
Oh, and some of those domains still exist in some regards (e.g., there's a skeleton crew at Lehman winding down the firm), so you can't just blindly select entire domains.
File under continuing hassles of a conscientious admin's job.
I'm still getting e-mails from them to this day.
My revenge is training Gmail that email from such senders is Junk and Spam. Eventually Gmail dumps them automatically, hopefully for everyone.
We have a lot of other cool stuff in emails like single click logins, viewing pixels with custom payloads, our open source drip campaign mailer for Django, and much more. If there is any interest, I'd be happy to go into deeper detail.
Probably the best thing to do, IMO, is a simple two click unsubscribe - take them to a page with their e-mail address already filled in, and just require them to click "OK" to confirm which address is being unsubscribed.
I just click on "Spam" and, if it continues, set up a filter to /dev/null.
I never log in in such circumstances, I just hit the 'spam' button and that's that. I trust the email service to categorize the further emails accordingly and that's what usually happens.
I also mark such email as spam.
There may be a way around this, but if no session was required, then couldn't someone just make a bunch of GET requests to the unsubscribe url for each user id and unsubscribe the entire user base?
If I try to unsubscribe from an email list and am presented with a login prompt, I report the sender as spam without an instant of hesitation or regret.
A while back a forum spammer decided to use my Gmail address to spam forum sign-ups. I got Gmail to filter most of them into the trash (the spammer used a variation of my email address I don't use. Gmail allows variations in email addresses). Afterwards I wanted to clean things up and a lot of the senders require that I log in first to unsubscribe. That they would sign me up without verification is bad enough but requiring that I login to unsubscribe made it just too difficult. So now I just filter everything that was sent to that variation of my email and mark them all as spam.
Lose-lose for everyone.
If you are still a user (you unsubscribed but didn't delete your account), expect much less mail, but not quite zero.
Atlanta, GA:Good tech community. It's home of Georgia Tech and while it's no Silicon Valley, it is the home of a few startups, StartupRiot, and other startup-related activities. The weather is warmer than most places, but it still has seasons. You can find a place to rent pretty cheap here and the city is large enough to have some of the amenities you're looking for, including a million or so singles in the dating pool.
Charleston, SC: Probably not quite as cheap as Atlanta, but it is beautiful and still quite cheap. Smaller in size, but not "middle of nowhere" small. Plus, there's the beach.
Florida:Someone mentioned Miami, but if you seek warm weather and reasonable cost of living, Tampa, Orlando and other cities in Florida are great. The down side is that I don't think there is much startup activity, the upside is I've heard it's great for singles and there is beach, beach, theme parks, beach and probably a few other things to do in between hurricanes.
Athens, GA:Smaller city, but a college town. See jboggan's comment.
Dating pool? There's about 25k undergrads and almost another 10k grad students. It's a very lovely place. Southern gentlemen and Southern belles live up to their reputation.
Colorado: Reasonable cost, great weather, lots of amenities, but I've heard Denver referred to as "Menver" so if your idea of dating pool skews X-chromosome you might be disappointed.
Portland: Maybe the high end of "cheaply" but lots of tech scene and indoor/outdoor amenities. I was ok with constant mist for the time I spent there but it might get to other people.
Upper Midwest/Upstate NY/New England: I can't fathom dealing with winter there but if that's your thing then it's probably great?
It's a perfect blend of small/big town atmosphere. The downtown has won awards and you can live right next to everything for rather cheap. I rented a 3 bedroom apartment on Main Street for around $1200 a month and ended up making money on rent through renting out the extra rooms. It has an incubator, code school, and lively coworking space and a ton of great restaurants. You also have a few colleges on the outskirts of town as well.
We have a coworking space: http://CoworkMYR.com
Startup Incubator: http://cocelerator.com
Along with other community resources and great projects: Hackerspace/Makerspace: http://subproto.com & Coworking Space Management Software: http://lemyr.co
For our size (city of 30k), we have a lot of big city amenities due to our tourists, even more-so than cities like Charleston, and a much lower cost of living, inexpensive flights (~$75 RT to NYC, BOS, PHL...)
Feel free to contact me via my profile to learn more.
Recently started up a non-standard publishing company there, and the culture is stellar, it's a college town (full of culture and young people doing fun stuff), very low cost of living (rented a massive house with a bar/cafe in the basement for about $1400/month), and zero sales tax.
Quality of life is best I've found anywhere in the US (and I've been to all contiguous 48 states several times, looking for places to set up offices and live when I'm not overseas). It's incredibly walkable, has a nice downtown, very active, athletics residents, and folks care about their health (which is manifested in both their activities and the local produce/restaurant/food culture).
Happy to answer any other questions anyone might have about the area, and to introduce you around if you end up moving thereabouts :)
You'd also be about 30min from the attractions (Disney, Universal, etc). UCF is here so you'll get the benefits of having a large college close by. If you're in to sports you have the Magic and Orlando City here with all the Tampa teams a 2hr drive away. You also get the benefit of great weather throughout the year. If you're planning to work in the downtown/tourist area then expect your normal I hate my life traffic.
The neighborhoods in the north side, say north of wrigleyville, are very interesting culturally. Housing and other costs of living are low and it is still an urban center with all the amenities you'd expect from one such.
The one negative people tend to bring up is the weather, but Portland tracks Boston temps pretty closely. It won't be mistaken for Miami or Southern California, but the foliage is fantastic and snow can be fun.
Mild weather, easy access to coast and mountains, there's a regional airport 40 minutes away and Portland is less than 2 hours away.
It is a college town. And has a pretty strong tech culture because it's OSU; Oregon's engineering school.
Our startup scene is flourishing and our cost of living is low. You can rent a very nice place for $1000 a month, most of the time for much less.
We also have an awesome music scene, lots of bars and attractions, and a healthy stock of young people to fill up your dating pool.
It's pretty awesome.
Tony Tseh Hsieh and his downtown project are spending ~$350 million to build a tech community in downtown Las Vegas.
- Las Vegas is a cheap place to live. Depending on your needs you can rent a house for under $1500/mo. - You can hop on a plane and be in San Francisco in an hour. There are direct flights to most major cities.- There are tech events most nights of the week for when you want to get out.- There are a bunch of new co-working spaces if you want to have a place to work outside of where you are living or Starbucks.
Cheap location = nothing there, so nothing to do.
Expensive location = too expensive to do anything, so nothing to do.
Thriving startup and entrepreneurial communities. Variety of neighborhoods to match your personality for a decent price. Enough music, theater, food, etc. offerings to keep things interesting.
- plenty of cheap housing options- great coworking space- lots of outdoors to play in- plenty of entertainment- awesome people- close to the bay- business friendly tax advantages
kc is cheap, has good food, and is going through a cultural revolution right now. right now is a perfect time to move here.
and we have google fiber!!! $70/month for a gigabit!
Remember, for these M&A guys, meeting people like you is there job. For them having these meetings is a productive use of their time. It costs them nothing, and they only gain more insight into the marketplace.
What do you get out of these meetings? They're not going to tell you anything special/secret about their product/market.
What I've seen some people do is have an initial call/meeting (don't travel for it) for about an hour to feel things out. If it seems like there's genuine interest then have there be a "break up" penalty. i.e. if things don't work out they pay you $5-10K.
That way you get something for your time if it doesn't work out, and if they're not serious they won't agree to it.
When you engage in any sort of negotiation with M&A guys (who are bound to be much better at negotiating than you are) you really need some sort of leverage or you'll get a raw deal. So unless there are multiple suitors that you can play off against each other this is likely to turn out to be an expensive distraction for you.
In my opinion, if they could (and it's rare that they would) knock you off overnight, then maybe you don't have a business to begin with. YMMV with that one, but thats what I generally think about it.
Although everyone will say, don't let it be a distraction. It's a HUGE distraction. Your motivation to continuing building the product may wane, you may start to devote a lot of time to the negotiation strategy. It's a distraction.
Now should you get to the point where you think the acquisition is a good route for you, really the only way to improve the offer is to have other offers (whether that's raising money, or a different acquisition offer.) If you have little revenue to speak of, I'm not sure how you argue you should get a 5000x multiple instead of a 300x multiple.
Unless you can answer this question, any advice is essentially pointless. In my experience, you can imagine up all the scenarios in the world (I know I have many times), but reality depends on so many factors outside your control that things are likely to go in a direction you do not expect anyway.
Regardless of whether you want be acquired or not, you should take that meeting. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain: Even if nothing comes of it, it will be an opportunity to gather valuable information, create useful connections that could be useful later on, or lead to other business opportunities that aren't even on your radar right now.
Most importantly, you need to look at this and every other meeting you take as the beginning of a negotiationeven if you never discuss an actual business opportunity. And the trick with being a good negotiator is not necessarily to win, because nobody wins all the time. Instead, the trick is to stay in control of the process. Talk to these folks, and see what they want. A company that is serious about acquiring you will want to get to know you first, understand your strengths and weaknesses, and so on. Your job is to steer the discussion in a direction that's worthwhile to you and never, ever, ever, ever (ever!) let it take more of your time than it deserves.
So many of the other folks who have commented seem to worry about this being a waste of time, or the other company attempting to steal your ideas and businesses through the due diligence process. But how else are you ever going to get a deal done if you don't interact? In my experience, due diligence is the last step of an M&A exercise: after the parties have agreed on all the terms, its role is to simply make sure that neither party is trying to pull one over the other. And it's an expensive process, so no-one really wants to do it until they're sure they want to go ahead with the deal.
So, nobody is going to start a serious negotiation by asking to look at your financials or read through your source code (and, if they do, you should probably walk away) until they are willing to put a commitment of their own on the table. In the meantime, just let the discussion take its course and push back, firmly but politely, every time you feel that the process asks more of your involvement than you feel is warranted at that particular time. Again, any serious businessperson won't mindheck, they may even try to measure up your worth by seeing how far you're willing to be pushed before you start pushing back.
Oh, and you should run_run_and find a good advisor. This is the kind of discussion you want to sound off with someone who can help you examine your specific situationwhich is hard to do in a public forum like HN :-)
So in summary, continue business as usual while you negotiate and be skeptical of their motivations.
The way I see it is that if the fit is good and the money is solid then maybe it's worth it. If not you have at least one fantastic example of validation when it comes time to raise funds...
>my company is in public beta and haven't even launched yet!
Buy low, sell high. You don't approach this early for no reason.
>they specifically said that their senior M&A team and C-level execs have been thinking about building a product similar to ours
That was meant to scare you. Ironically, if you're smart, it achieves the opposite. "Ok, so why don't you? What does a 6-man startup have that a global player doesn't?"
My tentative vote, pending further information: Nay. From your thread comments, you seem psyched about the product - see how far that enthusiasm can push your product before you risk losing it. When you're enthusiastic, you want to "control your own destiny," as they say in college football. Also, beware "best case scenario" bias. If it were me, I would promise you creative control, teams on top of teams beneath you, fair captain. But where do you see that. Google acqui-kills 100 companies a year.
In situations like these, I like the Mathew Looks rule.
Mathew was a USCF expert on my high school chess team, trying to teach me to be a better player. He set up a chess position with chances for both sides, and asked which side I liked better. "I have no idea," I replied. "That's why you lose. It doesn't matter whether you're right or wrong. It matters that you have an opinion."
Form your own opinion about this situation. Like it. Feel confident about it. Then follow through, as well you can.
It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. It matters what you think.
If it won't probably be able to make >$10M rev/year, you're not super passionate about it and they want to buy it for $3M+, I'd go for it.
If you do sell it now, do you have other startup ideas worth working on? (I assume this was your best one).
Is there any vesting involved, or is it a cash deal?
If you like a little bigger city then Lisbon, Portugal is also an option.
Bremen was a harbor and shipyard town 30 years ago. Now most shipyards are bankrupt, and the harbor seldom sees big ships.
Rentals are really cheap, e.g. I'm paying Euro208 warm (including heating, water, waste, etc - excluding electricity 64Euros and internet SDSL+Cable ~ 50Euro) for two small rooms plus a big kitchen. So I can smoke at my computer, sleep in a room where I dont smoke and host guests at the kitchen. Houses are also cheap, sometimes only Euro40k.
Bremen is a medium size (500k inhabitants) green city with parks everywhere, and gardens around the houses. You can ride bicycle everywhere. We have a good public transport. Its long and narrow. So regardless where you live, you are in walking distance to the river, and in walking distance to the rural. It basically feels like a suburb, but with good transport, and bicycle lanes.
Internet is cheap and available, e.g. 30mbit cable for Euro30/month or 100mbit cable for Euro40/month. Ryan air is at our airport, so you can fly within Europe for Euro19, if you pick the right time at night for ordering a ticket.
Bremen is a free Hanse city and friendly to foreigners. One of our mottos are "Am nettesten sind die Zugereisten" (the nicest people here are from outside). Citizen here are traditional left wing, so neo-nazi's have a very hard stand, and are seldom seen in public.
Bremen has a friendly police, and a sane drug policy. You can smoke marijuana at the dike, and the police will greet you while riding bicycle, and its usual that junkies are sitting in a small park behind the police station. Especially Bremen-Nord (north part of Bremen) has a very friendly small tax office, with great newbie support, and public servants who care for your business.
The drawbacks are high unemployment, low wages, and its nearly impossible to get a developers job outside of the military industrial complex. Also others claim that we are cold. Its hard to learn new people in a pub, but thats easier if you are from outside Germany. But we prefer to gather in clubs (e.g. we have 2 hacker spaces). We have several sport clubs, that are affordable, e.g. most working class sailing clubs costs Euro100/year for adults with own yachts. We often joke that Bremen has always good weather: In winter its warm and rainy, and in summer its raining and warm, thanks to gulf stream.
Rent is generally very cheap, 250EU/mo for a central apartment (12mo lease). I am staying here only a month however, so am paying a lot more.
Eating out, beer etc is very cheap. Numbeo gets it about right.
Amusingly, most Bulgarians I speak to ask why I would want to come to Bulgaria of all places. I guess it's like many places: great fun to visit or live for a few months but painful for long-term residents.
Upsides apart from cheap living: it's a fun, walkable city with a lot of excellent parks and very little traffic.
Downsides of living here: shockingly corrupt bureaucracy.
That said, I'll head to Romania when my month here is up. I lived in Istanbul previously, so let me know if you want to hear about that too.
I'm from there, but part of the reason why I keep coming back is cause its affordable to rent, even in the hip districts (600-700 EUR for 1br) + a great city to live + good bunch of startups + cheap for flying in/out. Prague is similar.
Also heard great things about Sofia, but haven't lived there (yet). And Berlin is of course a good option as well.
Nice downtown apartments are $300 USD/mo.
You can live cheaply and well. It may not be the cheapest cheapest in Europe, but is good value for money. For example at a restaurant opposite our office for only 5 you can have a freshly grilled Sea Bass or a steak. Office rents are cheap as well. Expect to pay from 6 to 10 per m3. So you can out source the cooking and even the driving cheaply. A taxi to the airport will set you back just 8.
Somebody I know just rented a two bed apartment in the centre of town for 440 per month.
There is a vibrant Start Up Community. Some really good people.
For us the decision was more than just cost, but also standard of living.
You can find more details here in why we decided to open an office here: http://blog.webnographer.com/2010/10/an-rd-office-in-lisbon/
It's not the cheapest place in Europe, you'll find cheaper locations in Eastern Europe admittedly. Still, you can find a nice 1BR appartment for 400-500/mo in Las Palmas City near the beach or share an appartment for somewhere around 200/mo for a room.
The weather is really really nice throughout the whole year with lots of sun and there's no real winter. Temp. in the city during the winter can be approx. 18 Celsius. The summers are not extremely hot, rather nice temperatures around 25.
There's some co-working places where you can get a desk for 100/mo (half days) or 150/mo (full days).
There's a lot of activities that you can do almost throughout the entire year: surfing, boadyboarding, scuba diving, swimming, biking, hiking, climbing and any other outdoor activity.
There's plenty of bars and clubs and the nightlife is very lively.
Please leave a comment if you want to know more.
- Zero taxes. You nearly double your income!
- Low cost of living for a city of its caliber. Rent: <$1k/mo. Food: if you cook, less than $0.5k/mo. Cheap gas/petrol. Lots of fun stuff (indoor ski, etc.) You can live comfortably on <$2k/month.
- Easy to get a freelancer visa. You get freelancer visa by setting up a company in a free zone, and issuing a work visa to yourself. This can cost about $5-$7k yearly. Unlike most countries, there are no nonsensical visa rules, or caps (ahem, H1-Bs) -- you're pretty much guaranteed to get one if you apply, no questions asked.
[The classic straw man argument against Dubai is that it's in a restrictive non-free country with ultra-orthodox Islamic and what not. This is not really true. It's one of the nicest places in the Middle East, and has a very diverse populace with the vast majority being foreign-born.]
Rent is about 180-400 EU/mo.Weather is good, not too hot, not too cold. Sun/rain ratio is nice.Cities is not too big, so during season bicycling is preferable. Also public transport is ok.Food for 2 person family is about 150 EU/mo.Streets is safe for foreigners.
And Internet is super fast and super cheap here.
And there is nice and informative video clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPO4tbV4UHk
No one will ever expect you to learn Slovenian too, it's such a complicated language that unless you were a native speaker, it's next to impossible to speak correctly.
* Cheap rent. 500eu should get you a decent flat in the city centre without much research
* Cheap cabs. Cabs that take you around will rarely cost more than 3-4eu
* Cheap transportation options with Ryanair and Wizzair
* Cheap internet and communications
Not many other places will offer this great quality of life for ~1500eu/month. Obviously, you can get around much much cheaper, but I'd say that 1500 - 2000 eu/month is the sweet spot
* Fastest internet in Europe. Seriously
* People speak english. Everyone under 30 will be able to speak english to you. Might be a little harder to communicate to the older folk without knowing lithuanian/russian
* Growing tech community. Regular meetups for ruby / php / js / java / .net usergroups + the biggest developer conference in the Baltics is coming very soon - http://buildstuff.lt/
* Great dinning options. Lunch in my favorite places, some of which have award-winning chef's, will start at 5eu (you can find lunch deals from 3eu). Evening dinning options are great too
* One of the largest old-town's in Northern Europe. Very cozy
* Funs bars. Can't speak about clubs too much, but there are plenty of bars with cheap beer and great crowd
* Lots of interesting stuff to explore within 100km radius - old castles, gorgeous lakes, mighty forests
Winters can get a bit cold and dark, especially if you are used to southern climates. Best weather from April to October.
Some pictures - http://curiouseggs.com/beautiful-lithuania-25-wonderful-phot...
You just need to avoid the too touristic places.
- Berlin: It's the perfect combination of cheap living costs and OKish (growing) tech community
- As mentioned pretty much everything from Paris to Kiev gets really dark & cold in winter, and not in a NY/Chicago cool way.
- More and more people (especially British) move to Spain, mostly Barcelona. Not as good in terms of startup community as Berlin, but at least equally cheap & decent regarding arts.
Personal bottom line if you want to spend the whole year in Europe: Barcelona in Winter, Berlin in summer, and using LCC fares to get to London for interesting meetups etc.
You might be interested in reading some of the posts people have contributed so far.
Plus I like the funny language and (some of) the people. Do take a trip to some sunny destination in the middle of the winter though, because it can get really dark during winter...
When I visited Budapest the police acted as Stasi and on the local metro they only asks foreigners for valid tickets. Very unfriendly. I would never recommend anyone going there.
After Istanbul, Munich seems like a dead village to me. I still can't get used to that streets are totally empty after 9-10 pm.
Istanbul is an amazing city. And a lots of job opportunities there. Better climate than Germany. You can't earn as much as Germany but you can still catch the same life standards.
Another is that the CEO says nothing about the engineering team itself at all, and it's all product, product, product. On that path lies Apple, and I have heard many say (myself included) that we would not work somewhere where engineers are rarely seen and never heard. Although, obviously some smart people do.
And when CEOs give praise to the teams, they get flack like this.
So I mean, what do you want them to say? This is hacker culture; don't whine, submit a patch. If you think they are better ideas, go work at DilbertCorp, or for Apple. Or, if you think there is some other path, describe for us what it is. Or better yet, go start a company that behaves that way.
But the way I see it, CEOs like this are just following principles that we ourselves have asked for: we want to be taken seriously, we want to make decisions, we want to sit at the executive table, we want to be perceived as an integral role that uniquely contributes to the success of the venture. Saying "our tech team is really great" is a direct consequence of those principles.
Exactly what highly technical problem is Evernote, Airbnb, Snapchat, or Twitter, or Facebook solving?
I mean really deep technical problem like the news feed absolutely will not work with out some sort of huge breakthrough in AI, not that deep learning is 5% better than an SVM. Look at how well something simple like the points*timedecay system than HN uses for ranking works.
Fuck, even Google was a 20 year old algorithm.
We're building CRUD apps on what 20 years ago were $75 million dollar computers, not putting men on the moon with pocket calculators.
Is text chat hard? No. Facebook? Nope. Video Chat? Yes that is a bit harder, but still relatively solved. Social _____? Probably not. Any casual video game? No. Salesforce.com? Nope. Zoho? No. Airbnb? Nope. Dropbox? Nope.
The more interesting things are the google self driving car, machine learning and the occulus rift to a point. But those things are few and far between.
The quality is something very important when your company is made by two developers. When you go up from this, you have lots of interactions and complexity.
You have love, hatred, you have admiration and envies, you have people that need money or need time to see their family. You have people that is afraid of their own mediocrity that try to protect their knowledge or "own" part of the company(fiefdoms).
You have people in some areas fight against others(marketing or sales vs it), you have different personality types that don't understand each other.
If you get all this right, life becomes easier and you have time for writing in HN, or kissing your kids, because it is a fantastic machine that works alone, and yes your tech people will kick ass.
Get this wrong, and most people do it not wrong, terribly wrong, and life is hell(I know because as a geek I did terribly wrong in the past).
If the best engineer does not sleep, you have a sh*t engineer(Chernobyl).
I haven't seen that. Usually I see the whole "my tech team are all the best awesomest rock ninjas" tripe from the CEO, and entirely because it is an extension of their personal arrogance and massive ego. You talk to the CEO and they have the best tech team in the world solving impossible problems nobody else can do, and you talk to that tech team and they are like "We're making a website, there's nothing special about it". The CEO believes the quality of their tech team reflects their ability as a CEO, thus they must have the best team since they are the greatest CEO.
A sidenote you can ignore but I just need to vent: these massive ego CEOs then insist on making their tech team do this: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/design_hell because they "know people", so they know what people want.
Startups I see here are usually looking for the same kinds of people to help build their products (Rails, iOS, UI/UX, etc.).
They look to really only hire people who are really good at things like this to build their product. Are these people the best people to have around later? Once your company has bigger problems than just getting something out the door are these people a hinderance?
I don't want to sound like these people are not smart but being REALLY good at one thing generally means you are lacking in other domains (only so many hours in the day right?)
I ask because I'm honestly curious. I'm not involved in the startup world at all but this was always a question I had when reading job postings here.
You don't necessarily have to claim that you are better than all other startups, you just have to claim to have a tech team that is magnitudes better than average teams at other companies.
It is crazy to me how many failed projects are floating out there. And once you are tasked with trying create a solution that requires coordinating with another tech team from another company, you will realize just how badass your team really is, and how many terrible tech teams are out there eating as if they create value.
1) Find some benchmark, and reset internal expectations if they're wrong. Replace the technical talent if they're not great.
2) Claim that they're the best, and set high expectations.
My belief is that once you've chosen your team, you're better off going with #2. This isn't to say putting your head in the sand is good, but setting a high bar can be better than second guessing folks in an area you're not knowledgable about.
Perhaps it's ok to make a good judgment over time, but I think there's a lot to be gained from saying, "You're the top team, I believe you can do it." If over time they struggle to make the grade, then you have to recalibrate.
This is very tough, because studies have shown that most people of all fields do believe they are better than average.
Much more on this phenomenon here -> http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57568186/
Thank you for starting this discussion.
The CEO is supposed to be inspiring leader and a good teamworker, if he praises the CTO as a genius he is perceived as both, with the plus that, if he is a good salesman, the investors believe that the CTO is a genius. So there it is, the startup dream team, a inspiring leader and a tech genius, the next Jobs+Woz.
And the best performances are usually of those who actually believe in it, so no surprise that after a few years successfully saying that, they start to believe in it.
I don't think there are that many truly talented teams out there even though you get impression every other hip startup has one.
When dealing with externals, winning isn't important. It's the appearance that you're winning, and having the CEO brag about tech talent is just part of the game.
Just like when CEO's brag about having former MSFT, GOOG, FB, engineers on staff, or having someone who went to MIT, Caltech, and yada yada yada.
In the end, what really matters is building a great product that helps your customers scratch an itch.
I've worked in four startups in the valley and while each team had a large number of really smart engineers, all but my current one had some real lackluster ones as well. Maybe it just takes time to figure out who those folks are. I've been here less than a year.
This company has extremely high hiring standards and will turn away viable candidates who fail to impress. We spend a ton of time in recruiting, but I'd like to think the result is worth it.
Reminds me of a talk about 10x engineers I watched recently:
That was from the Eng VP at joyent.
Since then, I've had a really bad experience working with one or more joyent engineers who were anything but 10x. More like x/10.
I wonder if that's a good explanation to give a VC - "Our guys are pretty decent, but it's not the quality of developer you are investing in. Our idea does not require rocket science right now."
I am under no illusions of my superiority; I am a developer at an investment bank.
As long as you don't believe your own hype, I think its okay.
But that team is not enough for being successful and you are overestimating it if you think it's enough. Marketing and Selling capabilities are the other side of the coin.
"Unless you're willing to solve hard problems, don't try solving hard problems"?
For a limited subdomain (data anlytics, content distribution, Internet routing), I think it can be true that startups that are focusing on those areas are started by, or attract, world experts in those areas. Not because their brains are bigger than the random startup geek but because they have experienced frustrations in the space, have seen the history and evolution, and wake up thinking about solving problems in a particular space.
Also, the comparable. An environment where people can protoype, implement, test on customers, and then flesh it out will be > 10 x cheaper and 10 x faster than a 9-5 environment where you have 10 engineering and ops groups to convince and add headcount to to do anything, and often non-technical product managers in the way who need to be educated and can block or at least massively slow down GSD.
Don't underestimate the power of confidence.
1) Throwing engineers at something without asking the engineers
a) Twitter b) Spotify c) Soundcloud
Tweetie.app Lorens vs current twitter application.
2) Not allowing remote work.
3) Shitty domain knowledge that isn't worth crap.
Taking several seconds to load was common enough before that I would load the index & queue up all the articles I was interested in at once in new tabs, then grab my coffee. I may be able to just browse now, if this keeps up.
In big systems there are much more things relevant.
In no time you will end up having mvp, two step views, relational, document, graph DBs, chat options, restful web services, SEO support, parsers of images, documents, videos etc.
It would be much better if you question your project requirements.
Trust me - lately I'm running Symfony 2 on ARM & I'm in love with my management. ;)
I thing question is which stack (PHP/Ruby/Python) is the best for your project.
Also, HN doesn't have private messaging, so you need to add contact info to the about section on your user profile.
My two concerns would be the rate and the amount of time it takes to become somewhat established on these sites, but I believe some flexibility on the rate--which wouldn't seem unreasonable given the situation you describe--could help there (and my understanding is that some developers can raise their rates there to something approaching professional levels, with experience).
Its value is changing too rapidly to properly use it as a currency.
Edit: I own 2 BTC, bought them last week at 150/each. My investment of 300 was worth 550 this week, but it's mostly a long-term investment for me so I'll keep them.
When we peak, it will be for 30 seconds at some arbitrarily insane high. If you intend to "cash out" at the peak, good luck.
And I'm far from anti-bitcoin. I own some btc, and also ltc. I'm optimistic about their long term future.
If you don't realize that we're in for a major correction soon (within days) I have to assume you're a bit inexperienced.
There are parallels between bitcoin and the early days of the web.
Believe me, it's not "different this time." It's always the same story.
The bubble will pop, even though, like the internet bubble, bitcoin has real potential, and won't disappear entirely.
I could see it losing perhaps half its value, before ramping up again next year.
I'd urge anyone thinking about buying bitcoin this weekend to hold off. Wait a couple days until the crash.
The only way to be fair to your customers is to make enough money to keep the service they love alive.
In my experience, finding a random problem is only a small part of the battle. What kind of customer do you want? The problems at Fortune 50 companies are very different to the problems of 20-man shops. 37Signals made their mark on the world by recognizing that, and by focusing on the latter.
They were able to do this, probably, because that was the size of their own company, and they were likely scratching their own itch. That gave them insight into what they needed, and the problems they had, which gave them a bit of experience that they never would have had otherwise.
So, what kind of customer do you want? There aren't very many good solutions for 360 feedback, but the target market for those kinds of products are enterprise customers, and they're painfully hard to sell to.
What kind of problems can you solve? If I told you that we had problems calibrating our nuclear cooling systems, is that something you can solve? Is that a problem you can even approach?
These things matter, really, and it's hard to just spit out problems at random without knowing the kind of problems you're looking for. On top of that, there's very little practicality to someone trying to solve a problem that they don't experience themselves... or, at least, it rarely works.
Here are a few generic super-saturated software solutions I've seen:- Issue tracker: anything from helpdesk, to facilities management, to bug tracking, to project management and everything in between.- Accounting software: Yes. Accounts payable, accounts receivable.- Stock tracking: I'm a vendor, I'm a distributor, I'm an end user... all still relevant to me! (integrate into the other stuff, for sure!). CRM would fall into this, if you're crafty with your nouns.
l0gicpath already expressed the value of a thread like this, I doubt you will get specific answers to your specific question. Humbly, I believe your best bet is to connect with people involved in businesses (in real life), try to focus on an industry, and see what's needed there.
I've been working with this client for almost five years, and I can say I have several ideas of what's needed for them. But as with l0gicpath, I can't share them...
Here's a magic path:1) Start focusing on a thing you like doing: coding, working on cars, painting, a trade, furniture design, music, ceramics, clothes... (sorry I'm looking around my room)...2) Start working harder on that until you understand business operations a bit more.3) Find a niche that needs filling and fill it.4) ???5) Profit.
I'm on step 2 and have been working for nine years generally in two industries. Many people don't have the motivation to move passed step 2, or arguably never even complete step 1 (just live a mundane life collecting a paycheck in something they don't actually enjoy). Some people are able to bypass step 2-3 by riding on other peoples' coat tails (like working for a company that does this thing). Then they expand just beyond what the company does, sort of like: http://matt.might.net/articles/phd-school-in-pictures/ and blammo... you've got a business.
Here's a trivial example of the magic path... I just remembered an ad on the NYC subway about a dude who graduated from Monroe College in The Bronx and opened a dry cleaner:http://www.norwoodnews.org/id=11530&story=monroe-graduate-op...http://www.stopanddropcleaners.com/v1/
He saw a pretty saturated niche service, used some business-analysis stuff to figure out where to put the service, filled it, and now he's running a successful business. If he has the business acumen, his business will grow, and he will make more money. He will spend it on himself, or on his kids education, and he will start the long line of Jimenezes, successful dry cleaners.
Tom Cat Bakery, Shake Shake, Dewalt, Seguso glass, github, Google... they all started somewhere and provided something to some clients. They all had motivation, controlled risk, and had some insight into their customers' needs and wants.
You can do the same with hard work, perseverance and motivation! I've followed you on github and look forward to seeing what you produce!
1. What is my balance if I shut the business down today and paid off all creditors and pulled in all debts? What does the business look like if I hire someone new? I need financial planning and forecasting that goes way beyond excel. Which is lighting fast to work with.
2. Where are my projects really at? I'm a service business. I have to sell our deliverables. Need agile planning, rich documentation and project costing. The bastard child of Google Docs, Excel and Pivotal Tracker.
I checked your profile, you are quite young. A small tip, might want to point out to a few things you've done. Maybe small side projects, weekend hacks or any open source contributions just to add some context to your post.
> I'm a coder looking to help businesses with the challenges they have
With your age and little experience, that statement doesn't project much.
All the Best and keep pushing forward.
Maybe something like this already out there, if someone knows then please let me know!
If you want to create code with love and care, do it at home. Or we'll have to do without money (= debt), and without corporations (= economic entites based on the money). Instead let's have a resource based economy, and realize that you don't need a lot of resources to code, as long as you don't have to get money to pay taxes to pay for being spied upon. http://thevenusproject.org
believe me, I worked at a very dynamic, fresh startup for 4 years but with no room given to me for introducing stuff. Moved to a very large organisation but with the potential given to me. I'm very happy now.
Because of the large expat community is expensive for mexican standards but cheap compared to the US
You could also use it as a platform to learn spanish.
My second suggestion is my own home town Zacatecas, Mxico much cheaper than San Miguel de Allende, good climate (it gets cold but it doesn't snow)
if you have further questions you can email me at: agarciafdz at googles email free email service.
 your screen name translates to "good/OK" in local Arabic so you can answer both "Who are you?" and "How are you?" with the same sentence. Think of the efficiency gains!
 very multilingual society - Hebrew, Arabic, English, Russian, Yiddish, French, (Amhari?), Aramaic + others
 safe (yes), cheap, good internet, tourist visa renewable every three months by crossing border
(Not trying to steal the OP's thunder--this is a separate discussion.)
* Low cost of living (housing ~33% of Bay Area)* Extremely low crime rate* Beautiful outdoors. Mountains, streams, heavily forested,...* Easy access to high bandwidth internet* Same timezone (or 1-2 hours) to all US Customers* Small but high-quality dev & University communities* Frighteningly devoted local & state infrastructure* English as the main language* No visa restrictions* No international plane ticket expenses
Here's the kicker. It's West Virginia.
From my times visiting Nashville it seemed like a really nice city. I put some light research into rental options earlier this year and the prices seemed very affordable, especially in the suburbs. A few friends of mine rented a good size house down there for rather cheap and love it.
$2 pho, $1 banh mi.
This is actually related to Galileo. What he said is irrelevant. What he did was pick a point of reference without a reason, the sun, and that was of course immediately denied by both the church and all science to this day.
Speaking practically, when calculating satellite orbits one uses a two body universe, Earth and Moon. To include the Sun, other planets, the Milky Way or distant galaxies would be inefficient and not yield a result different enough to bother. So many people legitimately treat the Earth as the center of the universe every day and to do otherwise would be inappropriate.
Science of course, pretty much since G went out on a limb, says that planets don't orbit. All heavenly bodies are affected by all others based on formulas that we've got figured out pretty accurately. But we teach orbits because the additional forces are tiny enough that orbits work very well.
I would love to know how relevant being on Github is for most people that are not in SF. I personally think its nice but not really relevant at all.
Sometimes I think its a brilliant marketing move by Github. Get everyone to assume they need a Github account for career advancement, highlight/praise everyone who has one and let them influence their own circle to sign up and repeat the cycle. It's great marketing. I'm not suggesting Github is promoting this but they certainly don't discourage it.
It's nice to have a Github account but it's like LinkedIn. No credible recruiter is going to ignore a candidate because they are not in LinkedIn or they are on it but have a very small number of connections.
Based on a conversation with a highly successful executive recruiter, most people they go after don't even have a resume, let alone a LinkedIn account. Their presence within their peer network plus their work speak for itself.
I guess working in SF and going after start-up jobs, Github account and participation is relevant, but for most of us, the companies we have worked with, the projects we have done will have more relevance. I don't know any company that I have worked with that looks at Github as a barometer (this is with respect to enterprise development).
Another thought in all this is that if I really cared about my Github participation, I could find a bunch of programmers in India, China or somewhere else, or even locally have them go through a few projects and do some work under my account. I would pay them a nice fee and be done with it. This I believe is the elephant in the room with Github that no one talks about. Is this happening? I can't say personally but if anyone seriously believes its not is also likely to take the NSA at their word.
I don't see how anyone could use a join date as a measurement of someone's skill as a programmer, it reflects nothing.
However in context they may be right. If you're talking about visibility then having only just joined may result in your exposure on the site being smaller due to having had less time to produce work that would attract attention.
unless you are already a celebrity or you have great contribution in your line of work, people do judge you by their prejudices including member since on github
If one day, in the far flung future, I decide to release my source code on github, that will be the day I create a profile.
The recent creation date of a user profile might cause a silly person to jump to the conclusion that I am inexperienced and naive. But why should I care what silly people think?
Reddit is a service that has truly created a community. And a community isn't just the good, it is the bad. For every bus driver being tormented that is saved with kickstarter story, you can find one where a user is being pestered and encouraged to commit suicide by trolls, or things like the Boston Marathon manhunt.
I feel as if the Reddit community is hitting a point of critical mass where one of two things are going to happen:
1. It becomes much more segmented, with specific subreddits disregarding interaction between users who generally stick to a few specific few, and these communities do well because they are now the size of what used to be entire large chunks of Reddit.
2. Reddit will fail to deliver enough new features fast enough to justify the spending, and it will result in many feeling slighted and we could see a digg-esque migration of users to some other service X that pops up.
Personally I have stopped using reddit as much as I used to, because I generally only peruse the programming and ruby/rails and clojure sections. Most of the stories I see posted are already on HN and have better discussion here. However, I am obviously a very specific case and the reddit userbase is quite widespread now that it has gotten so popular.
It really will be interesting to watch.
Reddit has intelligently put the onus of making money on the users. And letting people upvote people with gold, they have intelligently integrated the community feature with monetization which I feel is really sustainable.
It's interesting to note that their "progress meter" never tells you what the goal actually is - it's perfectly possible that their goal is very low, or that the entire thing is faked to generate interest/the perception of progress.
Though I highly doubt that figure is really that low (or doesn't include bandwith and similar, if applicable) I somewhat wish it was because that would be a sign of craftsmanship.
Unlike other similar companies who spend several hundred thousand dollars over two years just on hosting and go bankrupt, despite getting 1% of the traffic.
That's if anyone's interested.
You only put in your article what is immediately relevant, for example an algorithm you are discussing. If if it big and really necessary, you put in the annexe.
Except for specific areas, source code are present in research: they are more an engineering problem. What you will see are demonstrators, prototypes, and examples. But very rarely clean production code, because that is not the objective.
access.log.12:22.214.171.124 - - [29/Oct/2013:01:26:15 +0100] "GET /?ac=2 HTTP/1.1" 403 135 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)" access.log.12:126.96.36.199 - - [29/Oct/2013:03:24:12 +0100] "GET /?tag=lazy HTTP/1.1" 403 135 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)" access.log.3:188.8.131.52 - - [06/Nov/2013:12:12:42 +0100] "GET /?ac=2&slt=8&slr=1&lpt=1 HTTP/1.1" 403 135 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)" access.log.4:184.108.40.206 - - [05/Nov/2013:19:14:19 +0100] "GET /?cat=1 HTTP/1.1" 403 135 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)" access.log.5:220.127.116.11 - - [04/Nov/2013:15:54:01 +0100] "GET /?ac=2&slt=8&slr=1&lpt=1 HTTP/1.1" 403 135 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)" access.log.5:18.104.22.168 - - [05/Nov/2013:03:08:27 +0100] "GET /?ac=2&slt=8&slr=1&lpt=1 HTTP/1.1" 403 135 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)"
I found nothing for "/profile" or "/news"
Since you posted on HN, some technical details wouldn't hurt I guess - what engine, tools were used, etc...
Also, free apps with IAPs are really trendy nowadays. Is the market really bad for "old school" paid model?
I personally don't play games on my Iphone5, but it would be cool if there was a PC port that you can throw on steam.
You mentioned personal conflict - so this might be arguing on some irrelevant subjects. Even in this case, it might sound odd for her but she should clearly understand your PoV - "Justin Bieber is better than Led Zeppelin, if you disagree vocally, I'll fire you!" - again, this might sound odd to her, but it depends on her compensation package whether she accepts your conditions or not.
A couple months severance pay is a nice gesture. I would explain to the employee you think they are great and highly talented, but you feel as though they are not the right fit for team and environment. Acknowledge conflicts, but whatever you do, don't go pointing fingers and shifting blame.
Amicably end the employment and offering a couple months severance pay will ensure that it definitely ends amicably. Most people don't find themselves in a situation where an employer is willing to compensate for things the employee cannot change.
I can only tell you what I've seen in the past, but I think best practice is to have a private talk with the person in question and then provide the issues you've had in writing, signed by yourself and HR. I'm not an HR/legal expert, but I believe having those issues documented in writing is important from a legal standpoint.
And if you have not discussed things privately then I would advise to go that route. You did not say if you made these comments (like about being late) in public or private but I would try to minimize the shaming that a public criticism would bring if you did it in front of other people.
I assume you've already weighed how hard it can be to find tech skilled people in this economy and what it will be like to replace them. They're only 5 weeks in so there isn't much tribal knowledge this person has just yet. At the very least write down the issues, tell that person they are doing above average work but the problems they are causing is hurting the team and morale. The "it's not you its us, here is your severance" seems like a smart route as well. But please consider the documentation of issues for legal purposes, and try to get a feel for their response. If it is still hostile or resistant then you might have to let them go.
A long time ago, my first 'IT' job, and it came time for my first rating. I got marked down, because, per our supervisor, 'Sergeant P. had problems with you a few months ago'.
He never said anything about it. It was just 'do this' or 'do that' and I did those things to the best of my ability. He .. never .. said .. anything. How could I correct whatever it was that bugged him about me if he didn't _say_ anything.
I _still_ remember how damned irritating that was, twenty-three year later.
You spent some money, and time, hiring this person. Talk to her about whatever it is that is causing the conflict. See if you can resolve it.
I would not recommend trying to buy yourself out (i.e. pay to relieve your guilt). Save the cash for your business and do only what your lawyer says you have to do. There's a chance this employee will see it as a sign of guilt or weakness and try for more. It happened to me.
If this employee does good work but is toxic to the work environment, you might want to suggest a contract arrangement instead of full time employment. You could pay him to take on well defined tasks (offsite) and keep the interpersonal interaction to a minimum. That way you keep the talent but lose the friction.
Add "good communication skills" and "plays well with others" to your job description for the next round and tighten up your employment contract to provide for a probation period where any party can terminate within the first N days. You write up the conditions but get an employment lawyer to help you draft it into something legally enforceable in your jurisdiction.
Make sure you aren't doing this for some protected class reason, not saying you are, just obviously that is a way different situation.
Don't let anyone convince you to put up with an asshole just because they are smart. This is one of the worst decisions you can make. I don't care how smart someone is, if they aren't able to work on a team or work constructively with you get rid of them and do so quickly. And don't try to isolate them, this usually makes the problem worse and again causes you or someone on your team additional work to manage a specialized work breakout, not doable when you are small and bootstrapped.
If this was my situation I would likely go down this path. (But make sure you check with the attorney if you aren't sure/aware of the laws in your jurisdiction.) Sit with the individual and have an honest above board conversation (no finger pointing, name calling, etc) and say something to the affect, you are super smart and talented which I respect, but the situation as is can not continue because I do not feel it is in the best interest of the company and also feel it isn't good for you or the team (team to be). So if we can't come to some middle ground, it is best for you to find someplace else to be quickly. But leave the door open to the person wanting to change. Sometimes passion is misunderstood, or mistaken as someone being an asshole when they are really just trying to fight for the company.
My own complaint about some of the advice I read here. Don't worry about what might happen/not happen in a month, fix the problem you have today. Not that you should go blindly, but worrying about what could/couldn't happen just paralyzes you in fear and means you will fail. Any decision is better than no decision, either do it or make the commitment to fix it, but don't allow status quo to continue as it is obviously affecting you. From what you wrote I think you already get this, but just a point.
Paying someone to drain you off is not what anyone would want nor the nod-like person. One thing is having someone who may play devil's advocate and a totally different story is having someone who has an attitude and manners problem.
If you're in a right-to-work state, the law says you don't need much reason. Either party can terminate the employment agreement, at any time, for any reason.
Anyone can be trained for skill, "fit" either happens or it doesn't.
Like some of the others have suggested a couple month's severance is a nice gesture... and doing that is certainly a LOT cheaper than keeping someone around who you either don't get along with, or isn't contributing to the business.
Once I worked with a co-worker who had an absolutely brilliant mind. He was a perfectionist, and came up with stunning solutions to write fast code in PHP (imagine that!).
Unfortunately, he would constantly break the API he exposed to us, creating weeks worth of work for all of us. When told our needs, he would argue and argue and argue, creating even more work. He would never listen.
Yes, I believe our team would have been better off without him, and I also believe that there is a niche somewhere that is perfect for him. I hope he found it.
About a year later I got fired in a different team. The lead would write kilometers of spaghetti code fast, and measured productivity by hour fast you can solve problems. It never occurred to him that it is a bad idea think it is fast to keep solving problems that might never have come up if you put a little more thought into your work.
I immediately got another job at startup where I'm half architect half developer, work just with the CTO, and essentially keep doing what I think needs to be done unless I hear anything different, which rarely happens. It's a darn paradise!
I found my niche.
So, by all means, don't force something that just isn't going to work. There is such a thing as giving up too quickly, but all the thought and consideration you're putting into it and your willingness to give him severance are strong indicators that you are not taking this lightly.
I admit it hurt to get fired. A lot. It took me a while to get over it. But I did. That's life. Shit happens. It's grave. But you can do something grave ethically as long as you know it's grave and treat it accordingly. Which you are.
As an added thought, if you were firing him for questioning your technical decisions, I would advise you to reconsider. Also, if he had said "I'm sorry I'm just a mess before 11 o'clock and I always miss the bus", I would advise to work out some kind of solution. But if he's just a darn pain to be around and doesn't seem to notice or care, that's just plain inconsiderate. If I ever heard of a good reason to fire someone that's it.
By the way I felt compelled to share all this because it moved me how conflicted you are about firing someone...
You could fire them and hire someone else you get along with but what if this person needs help doing even the simplest tasks. You dont want to spend the day wiping there arse. You would soon be wanting the other guy back even though they annoy you slightly.
I would say there is something to be gained from conflict. It is easy to find people that will nod and agree.
Offer severance if (and only if) they resign. You were going to offer it anyway, but now it actually buys you something.
For those who say "It isn't being used as a currency!" here is my response:
Bitcoin excels as a secure protocol for tracking account balances in a decentralized, seemingly untamperable fashion, as well as transferring value very quickly to anywhere in the world at the sole, uncensorable discretion of the owner. It is both a payment protocol and a distributed ledger. A lot of people want these unique feautures, even if they can't buy groceries with it yet. Those types of merchants will always be the last to adopt.
Bitcoin also has the pontential to be used in diverse ways as "progammable money". It has a built-in API, and features like timelock, mutli-entity transaction signing (built-in escrow), and others that I don't fully understand. An AI bot could utilize bitcoin (might have trouble with a bank account!).
Also, see gold and its $8 trillion of largely made-up valuation (not stemming from industrial/ornamental demand). You don't see gold owners buying things with a few shavings ;) Bitcoin is far superior to gold in almost every way (it isn't quite as shiny tho). If society can make up several trillion dollars of monetary valuation for gold, then I definitely can picture bitcoin snagging a pretty decent slice (right now it is only 1/3,000 the size gold).
People recognize this potential, and thus choose to invest. The first mover advantange is massive. Network effects are very important - it will take quite the innovation to unseat bitcoin, and it has to be something that can't be simply copied/integrated into the existing protocol. The whole thing is sort of a self-fullfilling positive feedback loop. I'm a cautiously strong proponent, and find it absolutely fascinating to watch. These kind of events don't unfold that often.
TL;DR - magic internet money!
Sorry for the multiple edits. I wrote this on my phone.
I find bitcoin really interesting, love the idea of a cryptocurrency, and also find the idea of a deflationary currency interesting. I've no argument with that side of it. Obviously there are issues with things like exchanges which seem to be almost entirely run by amateurs who think that a VPS or leased server is secure enough for financial transactions, but those problems could go away in time, they are not inherent to the currency, though they're another reason to be cautious at present.
However there are a few issues with the use of the currency which can't easily be fixed. What I find more troubling is the commitment to anonymity and lack of accountability from the creators - it is designed to allow anonymous transactions, and the users seem to be resistant to regulation. Those two things mean people can engage in bitcoin theft, fraud, laundering, cornering the market, setting up bogus or insecure exchanges/banks, with impunity and anonymity. Without proper regulation, insurance, compensation, which means identification of users and verification of transactions and everything that goes with that, I can't see bitcoin spreading beyond enthusiasts.
I wouldn't use it for anything important because of the lack of regulation and controls, but do think it represents something of the future of currencies, after our latest experiment in hyper-inflationary fiat runs its course (see Fiat Money Inflation in France for a previous experiment). It'll be interesting to see if other cryptocurrencies are born which take a different direction and attempt to build in accountability and responsibility to secure transactions and allow them to be policed effectively by tying them to real world identity. Anyone know of any?
I really need to find it, it's actually worth money now...
ps. that pizza is now worth $3 Million
(Rapid deflation is not a great thing for a currency in general)
Some top HN members criticized BitCoin heavily. I, for one, invested $0 in BitCoin.
But we can be sure about something: Bitcoin is weird, new and innovative. It's something completely new and has no rules. The game is open. How the market will react will not depend on your limited (or wide) experience.
Bitcoin can go all the way down to $0 and the rest is history. It can go up and widely used that it changes history. I'll be just watching though.
Is this just because there has been a constant stream of people switching their traditional currencies for bitcoins at a rate faster than bitcoins can be mined?
Presumably at some point bitcoin will stop being deflationary if it ever wants to be useful as a currency. When does that happen?
Why do people buy bitcoins if it isn't really useful as a currency yet? I mean, there are supposedly 3.5 billion USD worth of bitcoins in existence, but if I want to buy any sort of physical product or pay for utilities, I have to use a traditional currency.
Currently it appears that bitcoins are most popularly used for less than legal purposes (payment for drugs, payment for services to avoid taxes, payment for blackhat services). Does this mean that by buying into bitcoin, I'm essentially providing USD to these black market activities which might not have had USD to begin with?
Many questions I don't understand...
Thing is, this fluctuations are not connected with any sort of events that make sense or justify the price sky-rocketing which makes me think that the whole thing is driven, manually.
When the whale leaves the sea, BTC will turn into peanuts. Till then...
A better word would be "recapitulation."
So 1 new Bitcoin = 0.001 old Bitcoins = $0.3
I think I'd like that more than just starting naming them something else all of the sudden, and call them Satoshis or whatever, and then when the Bitcoin reaches $10,000 we'll probably have to use new names yet again.
Cutting the zeros could be a little confusing at first, but I think less confusing than starting talking about Satoshis, or mCoins or whatever, all of the sudden.
Everyone who goes through the application process knows what time it takes and what it's worth. Especially worth, because it enables you to reflect on many points and it forces you to make a point. If you are at an early stage working on your product and still iterate lots of ideas you exactly know how challenging that can be. Even recording a 1-min video can be very challenging, if the founders are not at the same time at the same place or have totally different risk aversions. Just ask yourself how much time you invested into the last point and how that could equal in lines of code for your product.
At different points in time, I lived with a few other YC applicant companies under one roof and could pretty well observe how each handled the application process and feedback. The most important take-away was that those teams were invited and accepted, who did not care very much about the outcome, while the others studied HN and the application chronologies like monks the Genesis and Levitikus. One team even developed a pathological detail in collecting recommendations from YC alumni, while other teams could tell you the number and names of teams within the last four badges. Unfortunately, the rather too-well informed teams had in common that they struggled to break down their idea into a single sentence.
YC is not about rejection, it's rather about selection. There is no inversion of this argument, so don't think you're not good enough. It's rather like the Matrix, selecting their Neo-teams with some mixture of likelihood and gut feeling. Just imagine the amount of applications they receive and the short time that allows them to go through it. There are so many small details and factors that flow into a decision that it would take days to summarize them. If you go only through traction and team behind your product, there might be a good chance to find a weak spot already.
Without any doubt, Y Combinator is a great way to start a company. In this regard, the book title "launch pad" might be just right. Its just as great as getting into a top university, because you get social proof and a valuable network in many ways (especially the internal startup economy and experience exchange has its benefits). 3, 2, 1 lift off. But at the same point, being at YC might be no self-fulfilling prophecy, even if someone could easily calculate the valuation effects (on paper). Also, getting into YC should not be for the sake of getting into YC. If you really believe into yourself and your idea, you have to make it without a program like this - like all the successful entrepreneurs did before accelerators even existed. Even if there was a launch pad, they still needed to work on their rocket too. Today, you even have a big advantage: YC and its alumni offer so much for free. Not only HN but all the input on the website, blogs, alumni advice, startup school etc. From my experience, the network is not a closed fortress but a very open community with people that care much more about your own ideas than your credentials and affiliations. It's an open university where you can access many resources that might be helpful as long as you dont read them like the truth and the only truth. Now I don't want to put my head above the parapet and speculate too much, but at the core of YC might be a socratic method, which is about finding truth within the dialogue. Literally, dialogue means the exchange (dia) of reason (logos), where reason means anything between rational, valid and practical. Partners challenge your ideas and approaches and as a result of dialogue, both of you are likely to find something useful to take-away. The advantage of this is that while your best friends are rather likely to tell you lots of things that sounds good to you but are not necessarily the truth, YC might be brutally honest in sending you reasonable signals.
To come to a point: If you don't make it into YC, my advice is to take care about four things:
1. Find people (friends and customers) who give you honest signals and that let you know when you're running into the wrong direction.
2. PG essays are like the encyclicals of the YC community and they have great points. But be sure to read between the lines and to find your personal take-away, your reason.
3. Do not study how to apply successfully or how to hack the process. This is no GMAT or a gumball machine. Try to find out how YC helped the companies who started here, struggled after demo day or came up with a new idea. Maybe, you can emulate some of these things and benefit from information.
4. If you have problems making decisions like continuing on an idea or not as a result of not being accepted - throw a coin into the air and decide for head or tail with each one decision. The outcome that you desire while the coin still twists in the air is what you should do.
Surely, these methods don't replace an office hour but they at least enable you to improve your experience.
Good luck and march on!
It looks like the increase in quality of startups is an independent factor to your ability to accept all of the really good ones.
Does this mean that you will need to figure out how to scale more aggressively or start rejecting more and more good startups?
I get rejected all the time (eg. Uni applications) so every time I get rejected, it just makes me a bit stronger I reckon. Imagine if it always worked out your way.. You wouldn't be a very strong person!
Good luck to all who applied!