hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    10 Nov 2013 Ask
home   ask   best   6 years ago   
1
Ask HN: What's the best companies to work in US which don't have media coverage
24 points by bbayer  4 hours ago   3 comments top 2
1
PaulRobinson 28 minutes ago 1 reply      
Companies that always appear on "best places to work" lists include:

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

2
vseloved 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
2
Ask HN: How to safely switch to programming?
36 points by ac1294  6 hours ago   28 comments top 22
1
patio11 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Six months working in industry is worth approximately 10 years playing on middle school hobby projects from the perspective of calculating your worth to a potential employer. I wouldn't worry too much even if you're not #1 in your CS classes.
2
laughfactory 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Your conclusion is probably true. Though I didn't go to a "top public school," I followed a similar path and had a similar concern at about the same point in my path through college. I should've chosen otherwise, but instead I chose to finish my economics degree and find a job working for a bank. I can assure you that there are plenty of good jobs working for banks all across the country. Sure, they may not be the elite positions in investment banking on Wall Street, but lets be honest, most people who work in banking and finance don't work on Wall Street. So if you continue to pursue you existing path, you'll find there is plenty of opportunity in banking. Depending on the role and the area, entry-level pay runs between $40-$50k. After a couple years experience you can generally get $60k. It's not the mountains of riches you dream of while in college, but it's a good living.

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.

3
glimcat 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Software development jobs tend not to care what you majored in if you can demonstrate competency and experience. Your average CS senior is a VERY junior programmer.

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 also have to ask yourself, what are your goals for this? Are you looking for a comfortable W-2, or to spend some time working at startups, or to start a business of your own within a few years of graduating?

4
kika 5 hours ago 0 replies      
There's no such thing as "software development". It's like "math" - a very broad term. If you're getting good scores at engineering and math, you definitely could switch to development, you just need to ask yourself what exactly do you want to do? Code a complicated web app, write a network stack for realtime OS, implement complex 3D graphics algorithm on current 3D hardware, write embedded code for the next "Tea kettle with SNMP monitoring" project on Kickstarter or something else? These are quite different skills, these projects go at a very different paces, require different approaches and so on. You can do very well financially on each and every of them, but you need to like what you do, programmers rarely can get away with 9-to-5 thinking about code and 5-to-9 thinking about women, sports or beer. If you're a good programmer you're thinking about efficient priority queue implementation even when you watch superbowl.
5
dasil003 41 minutes ago 0 replies      
Let me give you a bit of tangential advice that I don't see anyone else mentioning.

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.

6
w_t_payne 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Don't focus on the competition. Finding your first job is always super tough. I know it seemed impossible when I was in your situation. (I felt so desperate!), but somehow things work out in the end. In the current economic climate, it might take a while, though: don't be upset if you don't get a career job immediately; it can take a year or two sometimes.

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.

7
kephra 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I would advise to bolster your banking value:

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.

8
akst 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't worry if you haven't been programming as long as the other students, if you invest enough time you'll likely by pass the other students who have been being programming since middle school. A lot of these people are likely amateurs, and I'm willing to bet they've only done a bit of Basic programming here and there. I'm sure there are exceptions to that, but that's just my experience. I switched into my degree from an arts degree with no programming experience, and a year later I'm one of the better students in my classes.

Best of luck with making your decision

9
ktran03 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Based on my experience, and now putting myself in your position, I would just finish the engineering/business/math degree, and then pursue a career in software when you graduate.

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.

10
seferphier 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope you would seriously think hard about what you want in life.

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?

11
dav-id 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Perhaps you should look into the investment banking divisions who are more algo focussed or those companies who provide services to those firms. That way you will have the best of both worlds
12
olegious 6 hours ago 0 replies      
There are more jobs in tech than only software development. Have you considered other positions? Product management is one option, especially of you have both- the business background and a knowledge of development.
13
shawndrost 4 hours ago 0 replies      
http://hackreactor.com

I'm a founder -- AMA!

14
erikb 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I think if you can work your ass off you already have an edge compared to most software guys. Not everybody needs to work at Facebook.
15
smegel 2 hours ago 0 replies      
So why not go into EE? Its one of your majors after all, and less likely to be outsourced to India.
16
adamzerner 5 hours ago 0 replies      
17
RomanPushkin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I think there's a huge difference between programming and solving your problem. You just want to earn money, right? So just start thinking about your SaaS application. Something people may need, something easy. And try implementing it.

The best for you would be using HTML + CSS + JavaScript. You can use node.js on server side, it's on JavaScript. I think in 6 months you'll be able to build things you want.

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.

18
rajacombinator 4 hours ago 0 replies      
For a young college grad who doesn't know what to do with themselves, banking and consulting are great options if you can get them.
19
slosh 4 hours ago 0 replies      
get http://teamtreehouse.com few months of learning and you'll be able to make more money than a lot of 40 - 50 year old regional presidents at most companies.
20
pranavpiyush 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Consider dropbox.com/bizops :) get in touch if interested...
21
umren 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Just start to write code. Alot.
22
hf653 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Most "prestige" is just recruitment marketing. Bankers may still be well paid, but prestigious they are not.
3
Hey developers, stop forcing me to login to unsubscribe
396 points by andrewhillman  13 hours ago   118 comments top 52
1
sker 13 hours ago 5 replies      
Companies like LinkedIn are training users (at least me) to report as spam instead of unsubscribing because it's an exercise in futility to try to opt-out of their spam.
2
morganb180 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Edit: I missed the transactional part here. Transactional emails are excluded from CAN-SPAM. There's a test to figure out which is which: http://www.the-dma.org/press/PrimaryPurposeFactSheet.pdf

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.

http://www.business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-com...

3
tokenizer 13 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone that works in email disseminations for large public companies across the globe, it's really bad idea to not have one click unsubscribes, due to the actual weight large email services weighting the act of a user marking an email as spam.

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.

4
overshard 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I have given up trying to unsub from many places, sometimes unsubing doesn't do anything, I generally just mark it as spam now days.
5
ruswick 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a deal-breaker for me, and I immediately delete my account on any service that attempts this type of bullshit.

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.

6
chilldream 9 hours ago 2 replies      
http://xkcd.com/1279/

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.

7
camus2 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Easy for me , no direct "unsubscribing" => spam box. If you provide a newsletter the last thing you want is to be flagged as spam, so think about it.
8
koudi 12 hours ago 4 replies      
This is really annoying. What I find more annoying is response like "We will process your request within 30 business days." (and after that period receive another spam). What could possibly take 30 business days to unsubscribe email? This is evil.

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.

9
lutusp 3 hours ago 0 replies      
> There's nothing more annoying than clicking that 'unsubscribe' link at the bottom of your email only to be asked to login first.

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."

-- http://www.business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-com...

They're breaking the law. They are criminals.

10
bobwatson 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I share a name with dozens of people who all seem to have a common issue - they can't spell their own email address, so they use mine.

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'.

11
Cyranix 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Hear, hear. If you're worried about legit customers getting unsubscribed against their will (because that is TOTALLY a significant occurrence...), you can have a dual approach. Unsubscribing without authentication sends one final message which has an undo link; unsubscribing while authenticated shows a confirmation on the site instead of the inbox.

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.

12
daveid 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I disagree, the most annoying thing is when the unsubscribe link leads you to a 404 page (or an "Untrusted SSL certificate" warning).
13
dredmorbius 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Another side effect of such requirements: it means that even white-hat ops at the service itself cannot address the issue sanely.

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.

14
dreese 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Yes. Especially when someone else mistyped their email address, you did not ask for confirmation, and now I get endless emails without the ability to sign out. So I just mark everything as spam, which I know isn't what you were hoping for. :)
15
DHowett 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I was recently bitten by the Freelancer/vWorker acquisition in this regard! I became "vw9916640" and hadto my knowledgeno password. This did not stop their unsubscribe form from prompting for the aforementioned unknown/nonexistent password.

I'm still getting e-mails from them to this day.

16
Satoshietal 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Especially when your email address has been signed up to dozens of mailing lists as some sort of perverted revenge via spam. I can't log in because I didn't create the account. The developer is doubly at fault for allowing an account to be created without confirming the email address.

My revenge is training Gmail that email from such senders is Junk and Spam. Eventually Gmail dumps them automatically, hopefully for everyone.

17
evadne 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Oh, easy, I just mark all emails as spam.
18
bryanh 11 hours ago 2 replies      
At Zapier, we jumped through a lot of extra hoops to make sure that emails are categorized and you can easily opt-out with a single click (no matter if you are logged in or not). Some emails cannot be opted out of (the only two right now are payment transactions and forgotten/reset password) but everything else can be.

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.

19
ryanbrunner 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The one thing that you do need to consider with a complete one-click unsubscribe is whether your e-mail could be forwarded - if a user forwards an e-mail, it's possible that whoever recieved the message could unsubscribe on their behalf.

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.

20
delroth 13 hours ago 1 reply      
If a sender does not let me unsubscribe without logging in, I usually end up (after 3 or 4 times clicking the unsubscribe link, getting frustrated, and deleting the email) adding a filter to automatically mark their emails as spam.
21
xux 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Not that I'm supporting login-to-unsubscribe system, but wouldn't requring just an email to unsubscribe allow anyone to unsubscribe you?
22
allochthon 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm inclined to think requiring the login is an intentional choice in most cases rather than an oversight; it raises a barrier to unsubscribing, and can even make it impossible, if you never set up an account in the first place. It's sort of like saying you can unsubscribe if you like, without actually providing the option; it offers plausible deniability.

I just click on "Spam" and, if it continues, set up a filter to /dev/null.

23
apr 11 hours ago 0 replies      
+1

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.

24
eof 12 hours ago 0 replies      
A more aggressive version of this I posted 1019 days ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2139617
25
joeblau 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I mark those messages as spam. If enough people do that, Google will permanently allocate them where they belong.
26
j-s-f 11 hours ago 0 replies      
If your unsubscribe isn't one click, or you don't have an unsubscribe, and I don't like your emails, the message gets marked as spam.
27
stefek99 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Sorry, this is a darkpattern* (their deliberate action)

I also mark such email as spam.

28
quellhorst 11 hours ago 0 replies      
If I have to login to unsubscribe, I block the sender and report the emails as spam.
29
FiloSottile 9 hours ago 0 replies      
"If your newsletter doesn't have a single-click unsubscribe link, GMail surely has a single-click spam button"
30
bilalq 13 hours ago 2 replies      
On one hand, I do agree that it is very annoying. However, I can kind of understand.

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?

31
jackmaney 12 hours ago 1 reply      
It's also a violation of the CAN-SPAM act: http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-complia...

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.

32
andresmh 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I kinda gave up, and simply create an email filter that deletes any email from the domain name of the sender.
33
bgaluszka 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish they not only put one click unsubscribe link but also one click remove account from given service. I've noticed that removing account is is what I need more often than unsubscribe.
34
shahartal 6 hours ago 0 replies      
A relevant post:http://shahart.al/2013/07/13/on-the-perils-of-owning-a-vanit...(Also - check out the reddit thread [link in text])
35
hangonhn 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh man! If I could vote you up more, I would.

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.

36
drewhouston2 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I always mark mails as spam if it takes more than one click to unsubscribe.
37
rhizome 13 hours ago 0 replies      
LinkedIn does it, why shouldn't they? LI is a successful, IPO'ed company, surely they wouldn't be doing anything detrimental.
38
judk 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Just press the SPAM button in your mealreader. Problem solved.
39
dmak 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I usually just resort to the report spam button if I have to login.
40
scosman 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminder: some updates are needed regardless of unsubscribe state (such as change of TOS and changes to pricing). These are allowed under CAN-SPAM.

If you are still a user (you unsubscribed but didn't delete your account), expect much less mail, but not quite zero.

41
phillips1012 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I always simply mark it as spam repeatedly until gmail auto-generated a filter to auto-spam it. It is spam and should be treated as such.
42
Demeno 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone used my email on several children's games websites, and some of them started sending me emails without verifying, so I couldn't even unsubscribe at all because I wasn't the one that registered to that site... At least emailing their support got me out of that mailing list...
43
flippyhead 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I usually try to hit unsubscribe first. If I'm not immediately unsubscribed, I just mark them as spam and move on.
44
dcoupl 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Nitpick, but the person(s) who wrote the code are probably not the one(s) who make these sorts of decisions about how the product or service will handle un/subscription. More likely its the product manager(s) or other business person types.
45
gesman 7 hours ago 0 replies      
In case of "unsubscribe" - click on "Spam" link.
46
tomasien 13 hours ago 0 replies      
LINKEDIN
47
ktran03 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Agreed, that's very annoying. I'm still subscribed to a few emails I don't want, only because they make it so difficult to unsubscribe.
48
parham 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This is one of the most annoying things I've experienced! You can nuke all these emails if you add the "Unsubscribe" keyword to your filters.
49
motyar 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Agree
50
vinitool76 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Twitter does it the right way! Kudos!
51
rothsa 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Making it difficult to unsubscribe will also make it difficult for your mail to continue to deliver to inbox. It encourages people to report your mail as spam.
52
tyilo 11 hours ago 0 replies      
this x 10
4
Ask HN: What's the best place in the U.S. to live and work cheaply?
62 points by throwmeaway2525  20 hours ago   100 comments top 40
1
fiatmoney 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Madison, Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin & the fact that it's a state capital generates a lot of cultural attractions, and you'll probably find it easy to hire some bright CS/engineering students if you get to that point. The core is very dense & walkable compared to other small Midwestern towns since it's on a tiny isthmus between two lakes (a nice geography too if you're into outdoor activities, although the summers can be surprisingly steamy & the winters are fairly cold). You can easily find cheap housing. Also only two hours from Chicago.
2
dabent 16 hours ago 0 replies      
There are many cities in the US that are relatively inexpensive, but I'll name a few that I've experienced:

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.

3
jboggan 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Athens, GA. It's a college town with a rather remarkable density of culture (music, arts, food) and a very low cost of living. I've been gone a little over a year, but you can live in very nice areas with roommates for under $400 a month. Hell, a lot of folks rent entire houses for under four figures a month. It's also in the middle of a large swath of country (despite having a walkable urban center) and has high quality organic/local produce and meats for very little compared to similar quality food on the West Coast. It also has one of the liveliest downtowns in the country and has an incredible density and variety of bars and nightlife.

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.

4
jdminhbg 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm from Pennsylvania, so here are some hopefully not-too-biased observations on other parts of the country:

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?

5
abruzzi 16 hours ago 2 replies      
I think most of "flyover" country would satisfy you question, but here in New Mexico, you can find a decent apartment for $500/mo (my mortgage on a house with a quarter acre is $800/mo) I'm in the south, but most of northern New Mexico would be similar. You wouldn't be living in the top neighborhoods (though my house is in a historic desirable little town) but despite what you saw on Breaking Bad, nowhere in NM will have bad crime, except some very limited spots.
6
tsaoutourpants 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Miami, FL. You can get an apartment with a water view for $1K, or by a house off the water for $100K. This is not as cheap as the middle-of-nowhere destinations others have suggested, but offers vibrant culture, nightlife, and sun.
7
ctindall 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
Detroit. Maybe the cheapest real-estate in the country, and still a major city with folks to date, bars, an NHL, NFL, and MLB team. A burgeoning tech scene, and East Lansing and Ann Arbor (home of Michigan State and UofM, respectively) are a couple hours drive in a state where that's not a big deal to most people, even once or twice a week.
8
yesimahuman 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Madison, Wisconsin is a good city for that. Cheap rent, lots of smart people with the University of Wisconsin right in town. I bootstrapped my company here (http://drifty.com/) and never felt financially strained and always found great people to hire.
9
joshmlewis 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Greenville, SC

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.

Check: http://lifeingreenville.com/

10
twcooper 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Austin, TX. No income tax, cheap housing even near the UT campus, and 6th Street/Lake Travis to keep you occupied.
11
LogicX 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Myrtle Beach, SC: Yes, we're building a startup community here, and promoting the reasons why its a great place to live at http://WhyNotTheBeach.com

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.

12
colinismyname 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Missoula, MT.

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 :)

13
mburst 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I may be biased because I live here but I really think Orlando, FL fits your bill. You can rent an apartment about 20min from downtown for about $1k or rent a house with a few people for much less. The tech scene is growing and there are some hacker spaces in the area if that's your thing. There are different tech/startup meetups once a week so you'd be able to get in to the community fairly quickly.

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.

14
RKoutnik 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Rochester, NY (if you don't mind the weather). Good writeup here: http://thelistservearchive.com/2013/10/03.html
15
rguzman 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Chicago, IL.

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.

16
namenotrequired 18 hours ago 0 replies      
The mentioned "other thread": https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6700531
17
sogrady 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Portland, ME. Several colleges in the area, can rent an apartment in town for < $1K, an office with parking for less than half of that, good airport 15 minutes from downtown, < 2 hrs from Boston, tons of outdoor activities (hiking, sea kayaking, fishing, etc), burgeoning startup culture (see: http://startupportland.com), high end craft beer (Allagash, etc) and a great food scene if you're into that (e.g. http://www.bonappetit.com/columns/the-foodist/article/portla...).

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.

18
olefoo 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Corvallis, OR

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.

19
sullivanmatt 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Central Iowa has a growing tech / startup sector that is home to many new tech companies. Cost of living is insanely low. I live in Ames, Iowa and work for a medium-sized tech company founded in 2008. Salaries here are comparable to what you'd find in Minneapolis or Kansas City, but with an even lower cost of living. If you're going to bootstrap a startup, Central Iowa is the place to be. Lots of talent and super low costs.
20
Chairmonkey 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Omaha, Nebraska.

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.

21
zinssmeister 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Dallas, Austin, Miami. No income tax, cheap real estate and especially in Dallas plenty of 9-5 corporate jobs in case you need a cash infusion.
22
bobfirestone 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Las Vegas, NV

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.

23
cornellwright 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Pittsburgh, PA. There's still a surplus in housing from the steel days, so you can buy or rent for next to nothing. Carnegie Mellon along with 5 or 6 other colleges are there, so there are plenty of smart people. The city is making a nice turnaround from the old steel days to be a technology and medical research center.
24
neomindryan 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm throwing in my vote for Philadelphia. We've got a great tech scene, cheap rent and easy access to New York, DC, and Baltimore (just in case). We have the most bicycle commuters per-capita in the USA and great restaurants, bars, and live music. The city is increasingly interested in fostering the tech / startup community, and there are major universities in town that provide talent and venues (I'm at a hackathon at Penn today, Drexel hosts the Tech Breakfast meet up every month).
25
sjg007 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I think it is two sides of the same coin:

Cheap location = nothing there, so nothing to do.

Expensive location = too expensive to do anything, so nothing to do.

26
mikelbring 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I work remotely from home in the middle of Nebraska. I get paid a SF-like salary but pay little in rent in comparison.
27
davidsmith8900 19 hours ago 2 replies      
- RTP (Research Triangle Park) in North Carolina. Cheap Housing & Cheap Lifestyle, but everything comes at a cost.
28
_mayo 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Columbus, Ohio. It very much is a big city with a small town feel. You can get a place in or around the city for less that $1k easily. We have a thriving art and music scene, a couple professional sports teams (NHL & MLS). We have the third largest university campus in the US (OSU) so they're a lot of young, smart people around. We may not have the largest startup scene, but it's definitely growing with people doing interesting things.
29
TYPE_FASTER 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd look at Ogden, UT or Portland, ME.
30
vimgirl 18 hours ago 3 replies      
San Diego. Not sure about the dating pool (I am an immigrant and can't see myself with someone not from my country, so never tried) bit, but you are definitely very well off in terms of quality of life. Amazing infrastructure, access to lovely beaches, great weather all year round etc. Cost of living is slightly better than the Bay Area but still high on an absolute scale.
31
jtemplin 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Providence, RI puts you on I-95/Amtrak/Acela/MBTA an hour from Boston and 2.5 hours from New York. While not cheap, it's much cheaper than either of those cities. The art, music and food scenes are awesome. There are a lot of innovators and entrepreneurs.
32
miano 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Urbana-Champaign, IL. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is located here. There's a big research park where your startup can get cheap offices/labs, it's 2 hours drive from Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis, and it's cheap.
33
tejay 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Throwing Nashville, TN into the hat for similar reasons as other places listed in this thread (affordable living, good weather, etc). If anyone does head there, give me a shout. I'll put you in touch with some nice folks :)
34
slogsdon 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Louisville, KY

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.

35
koberstein 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Reno, NV

- 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

36
caiob 17 hours ago 1 reply      
:%s/US/Canada/g ?
37
tomservo6502 16 hours ago 1 reply      
If weather is not a factor Albany/Troy/Schenectady NY. The area is home to a good sized and growing tech industry with an AMD chip manufacture, industry leading nano technology research, universities like Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who have incubator programs http://www.rpi.edu/about/eve/, and Schenectady whose economy depended so heavily on GE manufacturing is not giving large tax incentives to small businesses to move there. The social life is mid sized city to very rural depending where you want to actually live. I believe it is a hour an a half train ride to NYC, 3 hour drive to Boston, and 2 -3 hour drive will bury you in the middle of the Adirondack state park with no cell service.
38
mikedemarais 10 hours ago 0 replies      
kansas city! i moved here from boston about a year ago to stay at the homesforhackers.com house for free.

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!

39
petecook 4 hours ago 0 replies      
New Orleans, LA - One of the most unique cities in the world, one long party, relatively inexpensive, and a burgeoning startup hub: http://www.fastcompany.com/3001140/big-easiest-place-build-s...
40
aristidesfl 16 hours ago 1 reply      
5
Ask HN: YC rejected. Now an acquisition scenario came up. Help?
31 points by man_bear_pig  17 hours ago   38 comments top 16
1
OmarIsmail 15 hours ago 2 replies      
YC's advice around these kind of talks is that they're a colossal waste of time. If you're interested in an acquihire situation then there may be some value in meeting, but otherwise the chances of something meaningful coming from this is very low.

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.

2
gizmo 16 hours ago 1 reply      
It doesn't hurt to be a cynical in this situation. They will want to do "due diligence" which means they discover many valuable things about your product before they have really committed to anything. This is certainly to their advantage. They are also likely to make you a low-ball offer if you come across as inexperienced or gullible.

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.

3
christopherslee 16 hours ago 1 reply      
From my experience, I would open the discussion with them and be honest about where you are trying to go with the product. Offer up potential partnership arrangements/rev share (whatever makes plausible sense.)

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.

4
mtabini 16 hours ago 1 reply      
What do you want out of this?

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 :-)

5
alexjarvis 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Had a friend who was recently in a similar situation minus the YC part and basically it turned out to be a massive waste of time (and legal fees) when they decided he wasn't the 'right fit' for their culture. It was more of an acqui-hire, but the lessons learned are still relevant here. Start discussions but don't let it take over everything as they might just be testing the water.

So in summary, continue business as usual while you negotiate and be skeptical of their motivations.

6
colbyh 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Are you properly incorporated yet? If so, ask for their specific legal advice and take the meeting. Don't disclose anything that the potential acquirers could use to build their own product and see if their interest is sincere. If so, then make a decision. Until then chances are they are really just trying to pick your brain for insights before they build their own competitor.

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...

7
gametheoretic 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Disclaimer: I don't know anything about anything.

>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.

8
quizotic 16 hours ago 1 reply      
1. Why are you still mourning YC'14?2. Why are you asking for uninformed advice on a public forum?

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.

9
wellboy 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Will this be able to make $100M/year in revenue within the next 3 years?

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.

10
alexnewman 15 hours ago 1 reply      
The "YC advice" is similar to the oversimplifications I have heard, pawned off as wisdom. Take it as a chance to listen, learn and develope a relationship with those guys. Just make sure you understand who the decision makers are, and only deal with them.
11
ye 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Is the offer that good?

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?

12
diorray 16 hours ago 0 replies      
If you don't love your product, just sell it.
13
dsugarman 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Acquisition talks are usually a huge distraction. They will likely drag you out and hurt the moral of the team to get a sweetheart deal if they really are that interested.
14
andrewhillman 15 hours ago 1 reply      
If you are looking for a job, take the meeting.
15
Sujan 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Do you love the idea and product?
16
accountoftheday 16 hours ago 2 replies      
uninformed prediction: "pg called us to correct their mistake, we got an interview and we're in" by the end of next week, though you might be asked not to talk about it in public. meanwhile, nothing will come of the "acquisition" talks.
6
Ask HN: What's the best place in Europe to live and work cheaply?
113 points by aristidesfl  16 hours ago   136 comments top 37
1
amix 15 hours ago 4 replies      
Porto, Portugal: It has a river, sea and beaches, lots of history, nice weather, great food, nice people and it's inexpensive. It also has Ryan Air, which means that you can visit other parts of Europe cheaply (<100 euros for a roundtrip in most cases). I am at least living here now and I enjoy it.

If you like a little bigger city then Lisbon, Portugal is also an option.

2
kephra 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I would recommend my hometown for self employed, small companies and freelancers: Bremen/Germany

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.

3
briggers 15 hours ago 5 replies      
I'm in Sofia, Bulgaria right now, doing contract work for international clients.

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.

4
lfittl 15 hours ago 4 replies      
Personal Preference: Vienna, Austria

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.

5
nolok 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Question for the people answering: how do you handle revenu/salary taxes ? I see no mention of it in any post, do you keep paying in your home country, or do you pay in each countries ?
6
welder 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Budapest, Hungary:

https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=budapest&tbm=isch

Nice downtown apartments are $300 USD/mo.

7
fun2have 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I would go for Lisbon. It has very good and cheap flight connections to the rest of Europe (not good to the West Coast of America). Easyjet, and RyanAir fly out of Lisbon, and the national airline TAP is very good and only slightly more expensive. Very nice weather. We still have not turned on the heating yet.

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/

8
albertoperdomo 14 hours ago 3 replies      
If you don't care much about a startup and tech scene (there is little) you can spend a nice time in the Canary Islands, Spain.

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.

9
winter_blue 12 hours ago 4 replies      
Dubai.

- 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.]

10
cmdkeen 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Parts of the UK outside London are actually pretty cheap to live in. I live in Edinburgh, slap in the middle of the city, which is also a World Heritage Site. I have a 5 minute walk to work and flat (apartments...) go for 500/800 for a 1/2 bed.Other parts of the UK are much cheaper again.
11
AlexanderDhoore 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I guess France, Belgium and the Netherlands are out of the question? Since you included "cheaply".
12
lfx 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Try Lithuania.

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

13
sebkomianos 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Depends on what you are looking for really. Are you a freelancer? Do you want to join a startup? Want to create one? Do you have clients already or are you on the hunt for some? Do you like big cities or prefer the countryside? Do you want a warm climate or want to stay in during cold nights?
14
Anon84 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Probably one of the crisis countries: Portugal, Greece, etc... Local salaries and prices are especially low, so if you have an external source of income you should be at least upper middle class while living by some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world.
15
wcfields 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Ljubljana, Slovenia is really nice. It's a mix of east & west, uses Euros/EU, and rent is fairly inexpensive. I met a few ex-pat Americans that were working in tech / IT.

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.

16
varsketiz 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Check out Vilnius (I'm obviously biased, but bear with me), Lithuania:

Cheap:

* 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

Good:

* 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...

17
nmbdesign 15 hours ago 3 replies      
Montenegro is a quite nice place for a freelancer, beaches/good weather/very cheap prices and rent
18
andrew_isidoro 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Cardiff, Wales. Not only a great place to live but also has a vibrant and growing digital community:

http://cardiffstart.comhttp://cardiffdigital.com

19
chozero 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Canary Islands, Spain, is one of them. Good weather all year round, good internet connection in many places and plenty of flight connections to most important cities in Europe. Affordable prices for housing and food.

You just need to avoid the too touristic places.

20
kcovia 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I like to plan a fun little game on AirBnB for this. Put in Europe as the destination, <$600 per month as the price, and a month as the duration. It'll show you available apartments in everywhere from Sicily to Northern Germany.

https://www.airbnb.com/s/Europe?checkin=12%2F01%2F2013&check...

21
brunooo 15 hours ago 0 replies      
From someone who has a strong culture & tech ecosystem balance bias:

- 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.

22
zalew 15 hours ago 2 replies      
define cheap, but: Warsaw (I may be obviously biased). Berlin. beautiful Praha (no idea how the tech market looks like there though).
23
outside1234 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I lived in the south of Spain on the very cheap for a couple of years. Highly recommended - I lived in Conil de la Frontera 200m from ocean for less than 300 euros a month.
24
raulriera 15 hours ago 2 replies      
You can live in the south of Spain for very little... assuming you don't want to live in big cities of course
25
istorical 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm building an online community/wiki to try to find the answer to this question and others like it. So far I've gotten responses from more than 100 expats, long-term travelers, and nomads about different places they've lived.

You might be interested in reading some of the posts people have contributed so far.

Link: http://www.istorical.com

26
nader 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Berlin, definitely. It is the best mix of everything you need.
27
forcer 15 hours ago 2 replies      
You can move to some low-tax or no-tax country. I can recommend Andorra, 0% income tax and reasonable prices for pretty much anything , rent, food, alcohol etc :) I also heard Belarus has almost no tax and its very cheap to live there, but there will be lots of bureaucracy :)
28
throwmeaway2525 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This was the original thread (I think my post led to this one, which split the responses):

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6700531

29
markvdb 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Riga, Latvia. Cheap. Very good internet connectivity. Our simple 25m office: 80 including heating, electricity and high speed internet. Little bureaucracy. Safe. Contrary to what people seem to think, low corruption. Low taxes, especially for startups. Euro starting from 2014.

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...

30
kushti 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Berlin(relatively cheap, well developed tech scene, big), Prague(amazing city, cheap, well developed tech scene, not so big and not small(1.2M population)), Bratislava(small and quiet)
31
k-mcgrady 15 hours ago 2 replies      
I live in the UK and we use Pounds Sterling. When I travel to any country using the Euro prices are always relatively higher so I would recommend against a country using the Euro. I found this list showing Euro/Non-euro countries: http://www.aph.com/news/knowbeforeyougo/euro_countries.shtml
32
lmm 12 hours ago 0 replies      
If cheap is really what matters then Belarus. It's not a nice place to live though.
33
wrongc0ntinent 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone with input about Valencia, Spain?
34
rtfm666 15 hours ago 0 replies      
this shit is gold, please keep anwering! Please include income, rent and possibility of dev jobs, english speaking etc etc
35
emilsundberg 15 hours ago 2 replies      
I would recommend you to keep out of Eastern Europe. The people there wants to believe they have left their history behind but they haven't.

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.

36
firegrind 14 hours ago 0 replies      
gibraltar if you commute by foot from spain. predominantly, the tech culture is based around established gaming and finance companies. english is the lingua franca in work hours.
37
ofk88 15 hours ago 3 replies      
I live in Munich since 1 year. I am originally from Istanbul. I guess Munich has the highest salaries in Europe. But the city is a bit expensive. I pay 755 euro for a 36 square meters apartment. Berlin is another option. It's a very international city and cheap but the salaries are lower.

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.

7
Startup CEOs: you are overestimating your tech talent
142 points by joeemison  1 day ago   125 comments top 27
1
drewcrawford 1 day ago 4 replies      
Personally I think we (engineers) made this bed ourselves. I mean there are a few possibilities: one is that a CEO says their tech team is not so great. And of course behind that door lies Dilbert.

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.

2
fleitz 1 day ago 5 replies      
OTOH, most startups don't really need a great tech team.

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.

3
mahyarm 1 day ago 5 replies      
I thought everyone knows that it isn't true, it's like a BS marketing talking point. The things most of us in startups work on isn't technically difficult or pushing the envelope, and that alone should point to not having the best people or teams. Because these places will never gain the interest of or the pay the price for the for the very best, which can easily reach $400k/yr starting. The only technically challenging item is scaling a large software service doing relatively simple things, and that happens once you've gotten traction. Once you have traction you can pay for those people.

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.

4
forgottenpaswrd 1 day ago 1 reply      
Well, in my experience managing my own software company(I guess I am CEO but I did code a lot in the early days so I know what it is) it is not so much about the quality of the people.

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).

5
asdasf 1 day ago 2 replies      
>usually the CEO is personally self-effacing and does not have that kind of personal arrogance.

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.

6
zacharycohn 1 day ago 4 replies      
On the upside, most problems startups are working on aren't necessarily extremely technically difficult.
7
theboss 1 day ago 2 replies      
My question is this:

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.

8
Sakes 1 day ago 4 replies      
I don't know. If you have a team that is able to consistently ship products that work and are well received by your existing client base, you probably do have some badass tech guys.

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.

9
mathattack 1 day ago 1 reply      
Let's start by accepting that 50% of CTOs can't be above average. What can you do about this as a CEO? I see variations of two themes:

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.

10
soneca 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think this behavior is created by the fundraising process as we know it. From angels to VCs to YC everybody focus on the team to decide wheter to invest or not.

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.

11
Kiro 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is spot on and my company is exactly like this. We get the rockstar team label slapped on us all the time when we're really just a bunch of mediocre programmers.

I don't think there are that many truly talented teams out there even though you get impression every other hip startup has one.

12
balls187 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's not necessarily the CEO's fault here. If investors, and press would stop asking questions like "Why is your team better than everyone else" the CEO's wouldn't have to make up ridiculous statements.

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.

13
dmourati 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was recently on a college recruiting trip for my startup and I said something similar to a candidate and I meant it.

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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGkVM1B5NuI

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.

14
andrewljohnson 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe it's less important to have the best developers than it is to have the best developers in your market. That means you want better devs than the competition, and potentially domain knowledge that matters.

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."

15
300bps 1 day ago 2 replies      
If startup technology people didn't believe they were superior to everyone else they probably wouldn't be in a startup.

I am under no illusions of my superiority; I am a developer at an investment bank.

16
staunch 1 day ago 0 replies      
High motivation + high specialization. Any competent team that dives really hard into a specialization can very often become the best in the world at it. That's not because other people couldn't do better, it's just that they haven't put in the effort to do so.
17
rhizome 1 day ago 0 replies      
My thought is that so many are using "fake it 'til you make it" as a marker for their ambition. So, if they want to make it big, they are going to fake it big. This leads to, among other things, all of the job ads we have all seen that say, "Join CompanyX and help us change the world of shopping." Of course, how that world is going to change ("do I still have to use money?") is left unsaid.
18
poissonpie 1 day ago 0 replies      
The trouble is less that CEOs believe they have a superior tech team, because any set of reasonably smart people working on a problem domain day in, day out will eventually gain a level of expertise in that domain beyond what most people have. The problem is, to believe you have more innate talent than others, rather than accepting that hard work is what makes people good at what they do. Arrogance is an easy trap to fall into though. Creating a truly humble team is the real challenge.
19
trustfundbaby 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think its like being married, everybody has to claim their wife is the most beautiful woman in the world, even though its not true :)

As long as you don't believe your own hype, I think its okay.

20
wslh 1 day ago 0 replies      
It depends of your market sector. In my main market (Application Virtualization) my tech team is critical. I have few developers who are the famous 10X (or 50X?) ones. Without them it would be impossible to ship the kind of products we are doing. It's not about being faster.

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.

21
fragmede 1 day ago 0 replies      
> unless you're willing to make solving those problems one of your core competencies...

"Unless you're willing to solve hard problems, don't try solving hard problems"?

22
avifreedman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Consider the domain and the comparable.

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.

23
conductr 1 day ago 0 replies      
A symptom of the acqui-hire culture? If the CEO sells the team, he could sell the company
24
endlessvoid94 1 day ago 0 replies      
You're absolutely the victim of selection bias. Most of this does not reflect what I've seen in successful startups.
25
LouisSayers 1 day ago 0 replies      
CEO's make shit up all the time. They have to convince the world that they're the next best thing, so they say stuff like that to give others confidence in their, and their team's ability.

Don't underestimate the power of confidence.

26
sieva 1 day ago 1 reply      
We're looking for an awesome web developer (oh the irony). Let me know if you're interested :) StudySoup.com
27
seivan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Problems with incompetent leaders in Software/Startups.

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.

8
Ask PG: How did you make Hacker News so much faster?
9 points by ilaksh  14 hours ago   7 comments top 6
1
meerita 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
The JS is the largest delayer in here. Marked me 10s. But the page was loaded in 703ms. Sometimes, more. This can be even speed it up a lot by taking out the extra HTML/CSS used. By the quantity of CSS this site uses, better to include it in header than having it linked.
2
glimcat 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm seeing a range from snappy to several seconds (favoring snappy), so I'm going to guess "better caching."

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.

3
diorray 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I see same speed increase, it looks like they upgraded servers after due to previous DDoS attacks
4
trevyn 3 hours ago 0 replies      
HN is on CloudFlare now.
5
bnb 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I would guess it's something on your end. I'm not seeing any speed increases; it was already incredibly fast for me.
6
al1x 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Being text-only helps immensely.
9
Ask HN: What is the best place in Canada to live cheaply and work?
6 points by visiblestorm  12 hours ago   4 comments top 2
1
bosch 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Regina, Halifax, Edmonton, Kelowna would all be places that are cheaper than the normal ones. Also, remember that the smaller towns you go to are usually more cheaper. It just depends how much snow you want!
2
tokenrove 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Montreal has a very low cost of living, but taxes are high.
10
Just a quick thanks to HN
11 points by tynan  18 hours ago   discuss
11
Which web development framework has largest and active community?
2 points by deepak-kumar  5 hours ago   10 comments top 8
1
enterx 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
All of the mentioned have a pretty large community but a framework itself is not the only criteria.

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. ;)

2
darsadow 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you shouldn't care so much about community, because in every case it is big enough.

I thing question is which stack (PHP/Ruby/Python) is the best for your project.

3
bybjorn 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Any of these will do just fine - they all have active communities, good docs and have proven themselves again and again - choose what your team is most comfortable with/efficient in.
4
blackoil 4 hours ago 1 reply      
LOL! this seems a pretty novel way to gain karma. Will try it myself ;)
5
xraymula 3 hours ago 1 reply      
You will never go wrong if you start your project with django(Python framework)...it has been so active in the recent years and promises to be the future because even the python language itself is so active.
6
deepak-kumar 5 hours ago 0 replies      
3) Django (Python framework)
7
deepak-kumar 5 hours ago 0 replies      
2) Symfony2 (PHP framework)
8
deepak-kumar 5 hours ago 0 replies      
1) ROR (Ruby on Rails)
12
How can an undergrad programmer make money over winter break?
4 points by ULAM_SPIRAL_OMG  8 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
m_ram 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't have the answers that you seek, but you can find out how to format HN posts here (it doesn't support <p> tags).

https://news.ycombinator.com/formatdoc

Also, HN doesn't have private messaging, so you need to add contact info to the about section on your user profile.

https://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=ULAM_SPIRAL_OMG

2
throwmeaway2525 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Have you tried any of the freelance sites (oDesk, Elance, Guru, etc.)?

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).

13
What is the best free VPN service?
7 points by gmenard  14 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
lelf 14 hours ago 0 replies      
2
fraqed 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Not sure what you mean by decent but here are a couple of articles from MakeUseOf that review free VPNs.

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/7-completely-free-vpn-services-...

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-great-free-vpn-services-compa...

14
Ask HN: Your Thoughts On The Present Bitcoin Rally?
8 points by cdvonstinkpot  20 hours ago   8 comments top 6
1
pearjuice 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I remember when it was a currency. Now, it is just something which is only viable for selling to the next guy in town; he is hoping he won't be the one buying before it pops and you selling hoping you won't be the one regretting it in a week. Unless it stabilizes and is not hoarded for the sake of selling at a higher value, Bitcoin will be a bubble.

Its value is changing too rapidly to properly use it as a currency.

2
Avalaxy 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the price is increasing way too fast at the moment, but I'm 100% sure it will keep going up, and will do so for years. More and more people will want to buy them, but there's a max of only ~21 million of them. If you do the math, the real value of these things should be much much higer (assuming that everyone accepts it as a real currency of course, but more places accept it as a currency every day).

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.

3
charlesism 17 hours ago 1 reply      
The rally was great until around yesterday. Now it's growing far too fast.

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.

4
dysbulic 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I really like this chart http://i.imgur.com/GOYWUMo.png The bubbles and corrections really stand out.
5
dysbulic 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Something that bitcoins have that gold doesn't is as their value increases, it encourages the adoption of infrastructure to exchange bitcoins for commodities. This increase of real world value figures into the exchange price.
6
GeoffreyP 19 hours ago 0 replies      
An interesting article a short while back framed bitcoin's value in terms of technical adoption. Still has me nodding my head, though more from an intuitive than intellectual standpoint.
15
Ask HN: What is the best way to monetize a small side project?
3 points by yasyfm  11 hours ago   2 comments top
1
clscott 11 hours ago 1 reply      
You're already charging money for the service. If your issue is too many users then charge more money, if the issue is not enough users find more or charge more. Targetting only Pebble users is a really small niche.

The only way to be fair to your customers is to make enough money to keep the service they love alive.

16
Coinbase Halts Sales
2 points by kolev  8 hours ago   3 comments top 2
1
kolev 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I think they've lost a bundle today following Bitstamp's generally lower and super volatile rates. It surprising how little volume can greatly affect the entire market!
2
kolev 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Purchases have been resumed.
17
Ask HN:What's the biggest problem in your business that software can solve?
11 points by danielksa  1 day ago   10 comments top 6
1
bmelton 21 hours ago 1 reply      
To expound a little bit on l0gicpath's question, really, we need more to go on.

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.

2
mbrownnyc 21 hours ago 0 replies      
From what I've seen, and once being a systems consultant, and now being embedded in an old client, I can say you really need to have exposure to business to answer that question yourself. The most successful solutions I've seen are created by a person or (even better) a large group of people who come from an industry and already have groundwork expertise in that industry. You can "grab the ear" of an embedded experienced person, but then why would business owners, C-level execs, VPs, or engineers not just create the solution themselves? (aim to become one of those people)

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!

3
tobinharris 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I run a < 10 man company. Still looking for Nirvana with...

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.

4
l0gicpath 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Quite a few in particular that come to my mind but for various reasons I'm neither inclined to share nor my team can't resolve so I'm just writing to say cheers to you.

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.

5
alex_hitchins 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds like you need a 'Problem Exchange' site. In all seriousness, this could be a valuable way to aggregate pain points, get community feedback and see how much impact the solution could bring. Also, if lots of small organisations are suffering the same issues, there could be the option for crowd funding the work.

Maybe something like this already out there, if someone knows then please let me know!

6
wanghq 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Check below ideas shared in another HN post. Even you can't work on those ideas, you might be able to learn how he finds/describes his ideas.

http://thedannorris.com/startup-ideas/

18
Ask HN: Not enjoying working at my 1st large company, are there any good ones?
5 points by MrHeartBroken  12 hours ago   10 comments top 5
1
informatimago 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Corporations are there to make money, not to make beautiful code.

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

2
tjr 11 hours ago 1 reply      
One possible solution is to find a reasonably isolated, independent small group within a company. For example, groups that make custom software tools that other people in the company use can be more interesting, perhaps, than the main stuff the company works on.
3
thenerdfiles 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Look at it this way, if you are charismatic enough you can install new standards where they do not exist.
4
valipour 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I want to agree with @thenerdfiles in that you should make somewhere a better place to work in. It only takes one thing: the potential there that will make you "able" to achieve this goal.

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.

5
vermasque 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Google?
19
Ask HN: Where can I move cheaply to work by myself for a year?
21 points by tamam  1 day ago   22 comments top 16
1
elviejo 1 day ago 1 reply      
May I suggest San Miguel de Allende Mxico"the best city in the world"It has the second largest population of US citizens outside of the USA (second to london)

http://www.cntraveler.com/readers-choice-awards/best-cities-...

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)

http://www.visitmexico.com/en/zacatecas

if you have further questions you can email me at: agarciafdz at googles email free email service.

2
gregjor 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thailand. Cheap, good food, fast internet. Easy to get around without fluency in Thai. Enough expats to speak English with when you want to, but not so many that you are easily isolated from Thai society. Chiang Mai has good weather most of the year and is less congested than Bangkok.
3
casuncion 1 day ago 1 reply      
Manila. 1. Great weather (except for this most recent typhoon, we were all safe in the city) 2. Fast internet 3. Lots to do both in terms of day and short cheap trips to both domestic destinations and nearby Asian countries3. Inexpensive cost of living- food, housing rentals and transportation. Only thing expensive is buying clothes (import tax) so just don't shop here. 4. Friendly people and easy immigration process- long stay visa 5. Almost everyone speaks English. Can easily learn Tagalog (esp. if you speak Spanish)
4
mjdn 1 day ago 1 reply      
Jerusalem. Reasons:

[1] 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!

[2] very multilingual society - Hebrew, Arabic, English, Russian, Yiddish, French, (Amhari?), Aramaic + others

[3] safe (yes), cheap, good internet, tourist visa renewable every three months by crossing border

5
jophde 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't forget to add about 10-20% to the prices for exchanging money or using your debit card. I live in Chile right now. Living in Middle America would be much cheaper.
6
throwmeaway2525 20 hours ago 0 replies      
OP was clear about looking outside the US, but since I (and others) seem to really want to talk about this:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6702111

(Not trying to steal the OP's thunder--this is a separate discussion.)

7
kcovia 20 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're staying in the US, I heartily recommend Pittsburgh. It's really cheap (1br apartment + food + transport will run you $1000 - $1500 / month), or $500ish if you don't mind getting a room in a bigger house. There's a ton of stuff to do when you want to get away from the computer.
9
muddauber 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm admittedly biased on this one. Consider the following:

* 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.

10
vincie 1 day ago 0 replies      
Tonga, Tokelau, Tahiti and some other small Pacific islands now have something better than dial-up.

Edit: typo

11
throwawayyyz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ecuador. You will not regret it. My first choice would be north of Quito, in the Ibarra region. Second choice would be Cuenca and the surrounding area. In fact, there's a good chance we (wife and two kids) will be heading down there for a year in a few months.
12
brentm 21 hours ago 0 replies      
So as a disclaimer I currently live in New York so I am not saying this as a resident.

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.

13
benologist 1 day ago 1 reply      
Costa Rica. It's a short flight to the states, and you get a new visa every time you leave the country for 72 hours aka visit a neighboring country for a weekend.
14
WD-42 1 day ago 0 replies      
Everywhere is cheap compared to the Bay Area, with the exception of New York and maybe London. Move as close as Oregon and you'll see your cost of living drop by half.
15
constantx 1 day ago 0 replies      
I highly recommend Saigon, Vietnam :) It meets all of your requirements, and close enough to other Asian countries to travel if needed.

$2 pho, $1 banh mi.

16
scriptstar 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Mom and Dad basement!
20
Ask HN: How can you be sure the world is moving?
2 points by z3bra  9 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1
justintocci 7 hours ago 0 replies      
You can't. All movement is relative. First, you pick a point of reference and call that not moving, then everything else is moving in reference to that. There is no point in the universe that is not moving independent of choosing a point of reference.

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.

2
idupree 6 hours ago 0 replies      
If "moving" includes "rotating": We can tell the Earth is rotating because its shape approximates an oblate spheroid, not a sphere.
3
minimaxir 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the sun's gravity is going a good job of that.
21
Why Is Being Late To The "GitHub Party" Bad?
4 points by drdeadringer  17 hours ago   9 comments top 6
1
avenger123 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I think Github is great but since when did it become a requirement for validating one's worthiness as a software developer?

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.

2
Lockyy 17 hours ago 1 reply      
There is another important possibility; you only just became a programmer and are inherently "late to the party" when it comes to Github.

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.

3
binocarlos 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I think that people that turn up to the party not giving 2 shits about the time have a much better party
4
senthilnayagam 17 hours ago 1 reply      
it is being a early adopter, think of guys on twitter having 2 letter id's, you can't get those anymore

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

5
n00BsaiboT 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I've known about github for a long time, but I have no desire to share my code, and thus have not created a profile.

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?

6
f7t7ft7 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Don't believe everything you read.
22
Ask HN: What do you think of Reddit's user supported monetization.
16 points by onedev  1 day ago   16 comments top 9
1
rhgraysonii 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm not 100% sure how I feel about it, but this is my first impression:

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.

2
tcrorg 5 hours ago 0 replies      
As a redditor for more than two years, I think reddit gold is truly the most honest and sustainable way to make money off the site that is purely user-generated. We have seen how communities like Twitter and Facebook have responded to sites being taken over by ads. Also, as someone who has worked on social media advertising, they do not have as much returns as Adwords or other forms of PPC. Consequently, I see those advertising models die off as social media matures.

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.

3
blakdawg 1 day ago 0 replies      
I paid for a year's worth of gold in advance and my account was banned with 10 months of service remaining. I can't get a response from anyone explaining what happened or how I can get a refund for the unused service. Never giving them $ again.

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.

4
ElongatedTowel 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wondered how expensive their serves actually are. 1 month of reddit gold ($3.99) pays for ~276 server minutes at the moment, or so they say. That's about 0.0145 cent per minute. In a 30 day month there are 43200 minutes. Using these rounded numbers a month of hosting therefor would cost $626.4.

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.

5
AtTheLast 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like the idea. If the users are the one paying the bills then the site will focus making the best user experience to please users. If the site is advertiser driven, then the focus will slowly shift to making advertisers happy and increasing ad revenue. I think Jeff Bezos said something like this when he was talking about the newspaper industry.
6
alt_f4 1 day ago 0 replies      
I feel the idea is good, but they should actively pursue ways to cut server costs. For sites of their comparable size, they're wasting a lot of compute cycles.
7
byg80 1 day ago 0 replies      
I actually posted an article about this subject here a week or 2 ago called "The Rise and Inevitable fall of Reddit" located here:

https://medium.com/p/1e1fcdea99c4

That's if anyone's interested.

8
pearjuice 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Seems like another thing they stole from 4chan.

http://4chan.org/pass

9
jackhammons 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think it works because some people feel a direct benefit from the services a gold account provides. Others feel that because they are on Reddit a lot they should be contributing to it. In the future I see the potential for a structure much like Wikipedia, public radio stations or PBS have created.
23
Ask HN: anyone have an old github account they are willing to part with?
2 points by ogdet  10 hours ago   6 comments top 2
1
pedalpete 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm curious why it would matter if the account was old? What are you trying to achieve? You can always put your old code onto a new account.
2
randomwalk152 10 hours ago 1 reply      
May I ask why you would want to do that?
24
Ask HN: What are good CS journals that publish source code with papers?
3 points by escaped_hn  16 hours ago   1 comment top
1
dClauzel 15 hours ago 0 replies      
The actual codes are not published within the articles: to big, and pointless. However, the practice is to give the URI to where they are publicly hosted (usually on the forge of your research lab, like https://gforge.liris.cnrs.fr/).

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.

25
Instagram is Down
2 points by blklane  13 hours ago   discuss
26
Google tries to crawl pages that might exist
2 points by parham  13 hours ago   9 comments top 3
1
ancarda 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I downloaded all my logs from a public-facing development server. Hitting anything returns "403 Forbidden" except for a few domains which should not be crawled (google does it anyway). Most traffic is usual (hit / and /robots.txt then leave). All I found (in 41 rotated logs) was:

    access.log.12:66.249.73.132 - - [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.12:66.249.73.132 - - [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.3:66.249.66.57 - - [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.4:66.249.75.57 - - [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.5:66.249.66.109 - - [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.5:66.249.75.18 - - [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 have no idea what "?ac", "?cat" or "?tag" are suppose to do. Nothing on the server responds to GET params (I use url rewrites and POST only) so I don't think I ever made a link (not even accidentally).

I found nothing for "/profile" or "/news"

2
benologist 13 hours ago 1 reply      
The chance of either of those URLs being present on a site would have to be miniscule. Most likely they followed some outdated link somewhere.
3
throwaway420 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Possibly they're checking random URLs to see if a site is erroneously redirecting what should be 404s to random content pages?
27
Show HN: Launching our first iOS game, BAMF
7 points by benzor  1 day ago   7 comments top 3
1
zura 1 day ago 1 reply      
Great game! Reminds me one game on NES.

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?

2
hitsurume 1 day ago 1 reply      
Game looks awesome and fun!

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.

3
coralreef 1 day ago 1 reply      
Game looks fantastic! How is your business model doing? Only purchase option is the $4.99 coin doubler, seems risky.
28
Can I fire someone if I don't like them?
15 points by testing901  2 days ago   24 comments top 15
1
zerr 2 days ago 1 reply      
Just don't do anything as a surprise - make sure the person understands the possible outcome - and give her enough time to reflect your position. She might think that she's doing good for the company, even if she have to argue with you, and she might be actually right, but at the end, it is you who is paying so you're the client - so make sure the service provider understands what are your needs - including things like "don't argue with me, even if you're 100% sure my decision will harm the company".

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.

2
DigitalSea 2 days ago 1 reply      
Ethically it's not how things should be done in the business world. This won't be the last time you come across an employee or client you won't get a long with. It happens and it can be toxic for the work environment and other employees.

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.

3
padseeker 1 day ago 0 replies      
So dumb question - have you taken him/her aside and explain your issues? I don't want you to go through each and every issue/problem but have you discussed in private the problems you've had?

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.

4
bdunbar 7 hours ago 0 replies      
> However, we have a lot of personal conflict.

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.

5
doctorwho 2 days ago 0 replies      
If they are still in the probation period and haven't signed an employment contract then I don't believe you are legally bound to pay them any severance but IANAL and the rules vary widely by jurisdiction. Check with an employment lawyer before doing anything. You won't regret spending that money.

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.

6
davismwfl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Manage your guilt by making sure you have had a frank, honest conversation with the person. Not by throwing money at it. The money may seem like a small amount now but bootstrapped generally means strapped, and you will regret it in 6 months if it wasn't 100% necessary.

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.

7
meerita 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sorry if I offend anyone, but I would be ruthless: warning probably before taking any action. Money is a limited resource and you need to spend it building something cool: both product as employees. Remember if you're getting drain out, the rest of the employees are or some of them will be in the same situation.

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.

8
akulbe 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hire slow. Fire fast.

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.

9
rainmaking 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a tech employee bootstrapping something on the side.

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...

10
mattwritescode 2 days ago 0 replies      
Take them out for lunch, talk to them and try to understand why they are the way they are. You said they are doing an above average job, what more could you ask for. It could be because they are new they are just trying to make there mark but going the wrong way about it.

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.

11
ibstudios 2 days ago 1 reply      
The hardest thing a person can do is to accept another person exactly the way they are.

I would say there is something to be gained from conflict. It is easy to find people that will nod and agree.

12
ethana 2 days ago 1 reply      
If that's the reason, then I don't see a case for ethical issue. It's you who have the biggest stake in seeing your start-up get up and running.
13
chris_va 1 day ago 0 replies      
(not a lawyer, this is not legal advice)

Offer severance if (and only if) they resign. You were going to offer it anyway, but now it actually buys you something.

14
NonEUCitizen 2 days ago 0 replies      
You would rather work with below-average employees who always agree with you, even when you're wrong?
15
ahutton 2 days ago 0 replies      
Learn to get along with the guy! This will save you money and be good for your business!
29
Bitcoins reached $300
112 points by kolinko  3 days ago   128 comments top 18
1
dwaltrip 3 days ago 3 replies      
Damn. Sometimes I can't believe it. I have been following bitcoin quite closely for over 18 months now. The ecosystem is growing in ways only a few bold people have predicted. Fundamentally, it is about belief and trust. The protocol has largely proven itself. People are starting to believe in bitcoin. This is why the price is going up.

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.

2
grey-area 3 days ago 7 replies      
If I had money in bitcoin I'd find this movement terrifying. It is not correlated with broader economic movements or the inflation rate of USD, and has all the classic hallmarks of a bubble, including true believers telling everyone it is different this time, increasingly wild oscillations, and exponential growth.

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?

3
ck2 3 days ago 3 replies      
Somewhere buried on my hard drive I have a fraction of a bitcoin that people were giving out for free when bitcoin first came out to encourage adoption.

I really need to find it, it's actually worth money now...

ps. that pizza is now worth $3 Million

4
shubhamjain 3 days ago 6 replies      
When Silkroad went down I expected bitcoin to take quite a slump but what has happened is contrary. I am not implying that anonymous transaction s for illegal use are the only thing bitcoins are good for but its my guess that it forms a major part of the group that actually use bitcoins for buying stuff. I am not sure why would anyone would get troubled in buying bitcoins for purchasing rather than punching a CC number. What is pushing its value, I am not sure but I am really spectical that it has to do with bitcoin's popularity.
5
jaibot 3 days ago 2 replies      
In this thread - people confusing up arrows with "good".

(Rapid deflation is not a great thing for a currency in general)

6
csomar 2 days ago 3 replies      
Hate BitCoin or like it. Let's agree, nobody can explain this; and nobody can predict BitCoin value or usage.

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.

7
heliodor 2 days ago 0 replies      
It seems to me the real price is lower as depicted by Coinbase or CampBX which have a stable and reliable system, unlike MtGox at the moment. I think the ~6% higher price on MtGox is a reflection of people's lack of trust in MtGox being able to provide withdrawals in a reliable and timely fashion.
8
harshpotatoes 2 days ago 0 replies      
So, I don't understand. Why does bitcoin have such high deflation?

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...

9
phaed 3 days ago 1 reply      
To the moon! (0)
10
atmosx 3 days ago 1 reply      
Awesome. I wish (as always) I hadn't sold mine earlier. But if I didn't I would probably sold them now and wait to see what happens.

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...

11
adrianwaj 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wouldn't say it's a bubble just yet, because it's too close to the last ramping which was a response to the Cyprus confiscations. This is just a response to what many would perceive as the beginnings of capital controls in the USA... it's probably the tail end of that. Another "Bitcoin Bubble" to me would be around $500 in the next few days... thus entailing some burst or large correction.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/government/2013/10/17/jpmorgan-ch...

A better word would be "recapitulation."

12
jackgolding 3 days ago 4 replies      
Looking at the chart it doesn't seem as volatile as mainstream media leads us to believe.
13
mtgx 3 days ago 6 replies      
Bitcoins should lose 3 zeros, like many countries do to their currencies.

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.

14
sojorn 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is there any serious research paper on BTC (and not an enthusiast blog post)?
15
Kiro 3 days ago 0 replies      
Brace for impact.
16
marginview 3 days ago 1 reply      
it fails as a store of value and therefore is not money which is obvious given its volatility. Bitcoin is best described as a computer programme which sells itself on features written to provide assets to those with the mindset desiring such assets - libertarians, those anti fiat currencies, Austrian economists (more recently now gold is letting them down) etc... Such mindset are sure to only increase given the Wall St ownership of the Federal reserve so Bitcoin will continue to sell until its technology is made obsolte. If that takes years then bitcoin $100,000 soon enough but if tomorrow then hello bitcoin $0
17
seleucia 3 days ago 0 replies      
This reminds me increasing at gold last year.
18
vinchuco 3 days ago 6 replies      
where do you personally buy/sell BTC ?
30
We're going to send out invitations to YC interviews close to midnight
168 points by pg  5 days ago   118 comments top 41
1
pg 5 days ago 11 replies      
While you're waiting, will you guys please remind yourselves that it's not the end of the world if you don't get invited to interviews? Drew Houston didn't get invited the first time he applied. And a good thing too, because the idea he applied with was not Dropbox, and if he'd used YC to launch it, he would probably never have started working on Dropbox.
2
jermaink 5 days ago 0 replies      
Hello everyone, I just want to shout out to those who cross their fingers in front of the screens, hoping for an invitation or being afraid of a rejection. While I'm writing this, I have to say that I didn't apply (this year), but have been in touch with a few YC teams in the last years.

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!

3
NamTaf 5 days ago 0 replies      
Good luck, everyone! Remember me when you're rich beyond your wildest dreams!
4
saihan-tal 5 days ago 0 replies      
Rejection letter arrived when I was writing a letter to a customer and when the first actual transaction took place on this 3 weeks old platform. Ugh. Honestly the latter didn't make me feel better, though I didn't quite expect a miracle, because expecting a miracle often indicates the short of preparation. This is be a 4-star strenuous hiking trail, we are a beginner level; next time we'll be real fit. Congratulations to all got the interview and good luck! Virtual toast to everybody who received the same letter, c u soon again on HN.
5
PabloOsinaga 5 days ago 1 reply      
But you did decide to fund "less" startups when you had some scaling issues. Does this mean you said "no" to startups that you would've said "yes" to if you had scaled well?

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?

6
Gohardout 5 days ago 0 replies      
YUSS!! got rejected... and that's one more reason to work harder. Honestly I don't even feel I worked enough, so this is no surprise. :)

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!

7
zekenie 5 days ago 1 reply      
What about rejection emails? Same time?
8
saihan-tal 5 days ago 0 replies      
Is it too early to propose a Google Hangout like thing between teams got rejection letters? So we could share some ideas and encourage to take further marching/pivoting. Up vote?
9
sashaeslami 5 days ago 1 reply      
Technocrats don't pray often, but......
10
netpenthe 5 days ago 0 replies      
how rejection letter feels: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePQcRspK5z8
11
powerpoetry 5 days ago 2 replies      
Any other non-profit applicants out there? Would love to connect with other non-profit tech folks regardless of YC outcomes :)
12
mathrawka 5 days ago 1 reply      
Well, it sounds like you have something that is doing well and you should be able to manage without YC!
13
saihan-tal 5 days ago 0 replies      
Good luck to everybody. Let's get more productive in the waiting hrs. May the force be with you.
14
Tarang 5 days ago 0 replies      
Just got my rejection message. At least its worded very thoughtfully it makes it a bit easier.
15
bustamove4 5 days ago 0 replies      
Just got back from "I didn't get to Round 2-Comfort Food trip to Rite Aid for best ice cream ever- Thrifty brand mint chocolate-chip," and they definitely stop serving ice cream well before midnight, so logically, a second trip is out of the question, which means I will haavve to get an interview. ;) Good luck All and when in doubt - Rite Aid's Thrifty ice cream :)
16
pgrote 5 days ago 0 replies      
Good luck to those that are waiting!
17
smaili 5 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the update!

Good luck to all who applied!

18
gemstone 5 days ago 0 replies      
I'm full of excitement and hope
19
jtcchan 5 days ago 0 replies      
Letter's are coming out - just got my rejection letter. Grrr.. back to work.
20
asadlionpk 5 days ago 0 replies      
"Remember, remember, the fifth of November..."
21
rladson 5 days ago 0 replies      
I rarely get nervous, but this time around I am. Good luck to everyone!
22
clola 5 days ago 2 replies      
The kind of euphoria that could be on the way?...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFlcqWQVVuU

23
dzink 5 days ago 0 replies      
So, who is building up your startups while you're waiting for an interview? Back to work, YC candidates! ;)
24
brothe2000 5 days ago 0 replies      
I am just happy that we have an opportunity to apply for something like this. Filling out the app was a good exercise in focusing my idea.
25
adiehl 4 days ago 0 replies      
we didn`t receive any mail yet, I doubelchecked with my SPAM folder but couldn`t find anything. Are you sill sending out?
26
maikoo811 5 days ago 2 replies      
got invitation! now booking flight from tokyo.
27
johiya 5 days ago 2 replies      
Thanks for the update. I was wondering what's happening to the results. It's 10:15am on 5th Nov already in India.
28
gemstone 5 days ago 0 replies      
PG How many applications did you recieve ?
29
Mimino 5 days ago 1 reply      
Strange. It looks like noone even clicked on the video or demo link in our application. Does this happen a lot?
30
mknappen 5 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the update!
31
anamecheverri 5 days ago 0 replies      
just got my rejection letter :-(
32
gemstone 5 days ago 0 replies      
Thank You everybody at Y combinator For giving us a platform to do great things
33
colingrussing 5 days ago 2 replies      
Thanks for the update, I had already become despondent, but am now reinvigorated!
34
blak3r 5 days ago 0 replies      
Love having extra justification for staying up way past 3am EST tonight :)
35
roryreiff 5 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for keeping us informed - excited to see the results!
36
clola 5 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks...We too are in a different time zone. No sleep until 3am :)
37
aut0n0m3 5 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you for the info.
38
alleycat 4 days ago 0 replies      
I didn't even get any views of the video :(
39
cscade2012 5 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the update. Good luck everyone!
40
sannabonner 4 days ago 1 reply      
Has anyone else not heard back yet?
41
motocycle 5 days ago  replies      
maybe it's good that it's not easy to go get alcohol at this time of the night (3am east coast)
       cached 10 November 2013 13:05:01 GMT