Concentrate on one thing and get it done.Break it down into chunks.Write them in a todo.txt.Get one chunk done and finished and committed before moving on to the next one.
For chunk size; I think a chunk is gonna take me 1-5 hours, and it usually ends up taking 0-5 days.
Tell us in one or two sentences something about each founder that shows he or she is an "animal," in the sense described in How to Start a Startup.
Paul and Robert built the first SaaS company, Viaweb, which allowed users to build their own stores on the web. It became Yahoo Stores after its acquisition.
Jessica is an excellent writer, marketing whiz and is already working on the idea for our second major producta one-day version of our summer program in which a number of successful founders give talks to prospective hacker-founders. We think this will inspire even more of the kind of companies we like to invest in.
Trevor built a robot that duplicated the Segways functionality in a weekend using off-the-shelf parts.
Tell us in one or two sentences something about each founder that shows a high level of ability.
Trevor is working on the first self-balancing bipedal robot. Its almost ready.
Robert discovered buffer overflow, which helped bring the internet into the mainstream press.
Jessica managed a highly successful rebranding of the investment bank Adams Harkness as VP of marketing.
Paul is the author of On Lisp (1993) and ANSI Common Lisp (1995). (Have you ever tried programming in Lisp?)
For founders who are hackers: what cool things have you built?(Extra points for urls of demos or screenshots.)
Trevorhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EunicycleRobert and Paulhttp://ycombinator.com/viaweb/Paulhttp://www.paulgraham.com/arc.html
How long have you known one another and how did you meet?
Several years, mostly at school. [Ed. note: ???]
What is your company going to make?
A summer school for young, inexperienced hackers that are interested in starting a company but lack early-stage funding.
The founders will meet with us once a week for dinner, during which a speaker from the technology industry will answer questions and speak from hard-won experience.
If your project is software, what OS(es) and language(s) will you use, and why?
If you've already started working on it, how long have you been working and how many lines of code (if applicable) have you written?
A few monthsmost of the work has been planning the program, the code for the site is fairly simple.
If you have an online demo, what's the url? (Big extra points for this.)
How long will it take before you have a prototype? A beta? A version 1 you can charge for?
Once this application process concludes, the beta should be ready for launch.
How will you partition the work this summer; who will work on what?
All partners will help select companies and advise from past experience. Paul and Robert have more experience with investors and shepherding small companies through the necessary phases towards becoming big ones. Jessica has experience with marketing, branding, and working with large companies. Trevor is a hardware/software savant and is running a growing company of his own.
If you already have a business plan, what's the url? (Don't send us your business plan. Put it on a server and tell us the url. Ascii text preferred. Don't password protect it.)
How will you make money? Who will your customers be, how many are there, and how will they hear about you?
Our basic assumption is that young founders can succeed in building startups with good advising and seed capital. Given our average investment is $18k for 6% of 8 companies, just once company has to be worth $2.4 million for us to break even.
Well advertise in the computer science departments of prominent universities (e.g. Harvard, MIT) to recruit hackers who are looking for an alternative summer job to working at a big company.
Will you do price discrimination?
Well give slightly more money to larger groups, although we suppose thats investment discrimination.
Who are your competitors, and who might become competitors? Who do you fear most?
Obvious investment-side competitors are early-stage VC firms, who have more money and the trappings of success. Were banking on them ignoring our target group of early founders.
The competitors were really afraid of are competitors for these hackers time and attention. Fast-growing tech companies, graduate school, and even cushy jobs at big companies might have more superficial appeal. We need to make sure the most promising companies follow through on their potential.
Who will lose most if you succeed? (This need not be a competitor; TV networks have been hurt by email.)
Likely those very same competitors for our founders attention. Google and graduate CS programs might lose some great hackers, although we think in the long run theyll do better if younger programmers see the potential to start companies. The big losers will be the R&D/quant trading/IT/etc. departments at ossified giant companiestheyll lose the kind of brilliant people they use to bury in back offices.
Which companies, in order, are most likely to buy you?
What do you know about your business that other companies in it just don't get?
Young, inexperienced founders can start massively successful companies. They dont need much money or trainingjust seed capital and a push in the right direction.
What's new about what you're doing?
Our focus on such early-stage companies and our plan to invest and work with these companies in batches are both quite novel. Most funds operate asynchronously and make much larger investments in much later-stage companies.
Why would it be hard for someone else to duplicate?
We have experience in starting companies from the ground up and insight into what matters (people, making something people want, thriftiness) and what doesnt (market size, the initial idea, professionalism, having an office, etc.)
Have you made any discoveries you consider patentable?
We think we move fast enough to not need patents.
What might go wrong? (This is a test of imagination, not confidence.)
Perhaps all of the startups will fail. Perhaps the founders will go back to school and the companies stagnate. Perhaps founders do actually need experience at a real job to succeed in business. Perhaps Bill Gates and Larry and Sergey are true needles in the haystack and we wont be able to find hackers who could be huge successes.
But we dont think so.
If you're already incorporated, when were you? Who are the shareholders and what percent of the company do each own? If youve had funding, how much, at what valuation(s)?
If you're not incorporated yet, please list the percent of the company you plan to give each founder, and anyone else you plan to give stock to. (This question is more for you than us.)
[Ed. note: ???]
If you'll have expenses beyond the living costs of your founders, Internet access, server rental, etc., what will they be?
Space to hold our dinners, the food, and the investment money, of course.
Describe, in one sentence each, any companies any of you have started before. If they failed, why? (We consider failed companies valuable experience too.)
Paul and Robert founded Artix, which let art galleries go online. This failed (reason below) but became Viaweb, which allowed people to build their own web stores.
Trevor started Anybots, which has developed several wheel-based self-balancing robots and is closing on a bipedal robot.
If you could trade a 100% chance of $1 million for a 10% chance of a larger amount, how large would it have to be? Answer for each founder. (There is no right answer.)
Lets go with the cold mathematical answer and say $10 million.
If your startup seems at the end of the summer to have a good chance of making you rich, which of the founders would be likely to commit to continue working on it full time over the next couple years?
All of us.
Which of the founders would still want to be working for this company in 10 years, if it were successful, and which would rather sell out earlier and do something else? (Again, no right answer.)
All of us [Ed. note: just one year left!].
Are any of the founders covered by noncompetes or intellectual property agreements that overlap with your project? Will any be under consulting contracts this summer?
Was any of your code written by someone who is not one of your founders? If so, how can you safely use it? (Open source is ok of course.)
Will any of the founders have other jobs, responsibilities, or consulting work this summer?
Tell us something surprising or amusing that one of you has discovered, and who discovered it. (The answer need not be remotely related to your project.)
Paul and Robert discovered that art galleries didnt want to go online in 1995. This may not seem surprising now, but it was to us then!
What else would you have asked if you were us?
Theres a joke here somewhere.
We regret to inform you that we are unable to offer you a spot in this year's Y Combinator class. Do not take it personally. It does not reflect poorly on the quality of your company, "Y Combinator," or its founding idea. We received a huge number of compelling applications this year. Unfortunately, there just weren't enough spots to go around, so we had to make some difficult choices. As a result, we were unable to admit "Y Combinator" to this year's Y Combinator batch. Please do not be discouraged. Many fantastic ideas like 'Y Combinator' were also not admitted. In fact, we strongly encourage 'Y Combinator' to apply again next year!
Second best, bank to bank transfers of money to your trusted payee. International transfers are in a state of flux, and may after 2013 be able to avoid high fees. Not yet though.
Trusted payee who is sophisticated and smart: Bitcoin.
Trusted USA to USA party: Dwolla. See: http://Dwolla.com Dwolla only for trusted parties or individuals! Dwolla has surprisingly small cost, because they do NOT deal with credit cards. Best for others who have DWOLLA accounts, or USA to USA bank transactions or people willing and able to submit to USA law and bank regime.
The credit card interbank system typically has fees in the vicinity of 2% to 3% of the gross transaction. Avoid.
Avoid PayPal. The PayPal terms of service agreement indicates that whatever PayPal decides in a dispute, PayPal's decision is final without appeal. This in known as a contract of adhesion in the USA, where one party has all of the power. Because of this, do not use PayPal. Look up "contract of adhesion" for details.
Most other online services rely on the credit card interbank system with its high fees of 2% to 3% for transfers. Avoid.
Non-trusted parties? Don't deal with them without a letter of credit. Look up "letter of credit" for details.
The reason for its quick traction is that if you hook up your checking account you can send money without any fees, and also because they give out referral bonuses for inviting others.
So far international wire or Western Union fees outweigh net losses due to market volatility. We'll see how that continues...
The first thing is to figure out what not to do. You can't work in a field where people routinely hire full-time employees with ease. So you can't do Java work part-time, for example. (Well I mean you can, but it's like saying you can be elected to Congress. Let's do something easy.)
So, you have to start in some field where 9-5ers can't be easily found to fill the position. iOS/Android dev are like that. Maybe there are web specialities that are like that. If you have some deep expertise like machine learning or computer vision or graph algorithms, maybe those specialties are like that. But the operative criteria is to find some field that full-time employees are not easily had.
The next step is to filter by projects where time is not the biggest criteria. Because in spite of Fred Brooks and his MMM, ordinary people still believe that if you work more hours the project will get done faster, and will pressure you to become full-time. So you have to find people who are unconcerned about delivery dates, or rather, who have overriding concerns. Quality concerns. Cost concerns. If you find someone who has a fixed budget for his project, for example, if that person can get a better developer at 20 hours/week than he can at 40 hours that starts to look like an attractive value proposition. Because not only does he get a better developer, but with a lower burn rate it's easier for him to get deep visibility into where the money and time is actually going. Those benefits outweigh the benefits of completing the project faster, but only for projects that have these sorts of overriding concerns.
There's more you can do, but those two steps are probably all you need to start consistently landing part-time gigs.
It's worth pointing out as well, there are a variety of near-part-time deal structures you can negotiate (for example rotating 1 week on, 1 week off). These might be worth exploring depending on your specific motivations for seeking part-time work.
Once you're talking, convince them that working with you will be easier/quicker/more-effective than working with anyone else. That's the hard part, which definitely requires some practice. Pro-tip: don't try to convince anyone that you'll be the cheapest option, which is almost always a losing game to play.
If you prefer, I'd be happy to do the hard work for you. I run a startup that connects senior freelance developers with high-paying companies: http://getlambda.com.
This has been inadvertent, however I've also gotten a lot of work through various projects I've done that have gotten big on HN. Write it off mentally as a marketing expense, and spend a few days making something awesome.
 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5395463 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6586867
(For what it's worth, the way I got mine was that I was hired for full-time/40 hours, did that for about nine months, then went to the manager and said "hey, how about I only work 30 hours?" and he said "ok".)
It's really all about the people you know. I got the best gigs just by asking people (normally other developers) I know if they know someone who needs a developer. So, yes, it's all about networking but not the numbers but quality of connection. No one, who talked to you for 10mins, will vouch for you, really.
I've tried elance a bit, and getting the first gig there looks like a game of numbers. If you apply for many jobs, sooner or later you will get one... But checking new postings, writing decent cover letter is time and mental energy consuming. I gave up there. I don't know, maybe it's worth the hassle getting the first one.
If you try to make a living doing part time, the key is 1) high enough pay rate 2) be strict about the payments.
I used to have a rather low rate and was very trusting (e.g. if the payment is late by 3-4 weeks I still trusted because I 'felt' that he is trustworthy). I ended up in the situation when I didn't have what to eat for a few weeks, while I was getting 'I really made the payment' BS, and 0 motivation and energy to do anything. But now I am happy that it happened, I moved on, and got much much better gigs and 1.5-2 times higher pay rate and payments always on time :)
Finding a client that we could be flexible on hours with was difficult, though. Many clients are tied to the ass-in-chair time cycle. We eventually found a small company that was made of people who were largely remote and worked really flexible hours themselves.
Eventually I found a job in SF that offered full-time and part-time, and you can move between the two. This has been really great since we started a family last August - I took a month off, then came back doing 4-day weeks.
If you're in SF, we're hiring -https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6477194
Startup Weekend is a great way to meet connections while helping them build a fun project for the weekend. Show them you are a badass talent. You'll get noticed.
I usually just go on vacation.
The next I'd look at is mobile development. Now that there are multiple platforms to support (iOS/Android/WinMo), the demand for part time specialists is huge. There are a lot of companies that support a subset of those platforms but would like to add more (if they only had the expertise).
Companies like Toptal (http://www.toptal.com) mine GitHub and online developer communities looking for talent.
Honestly, I'm really glad I don't work at IBM. But when I did work there on an internship, I noticed part-time people who seemed relatively respected and secure in their positions. I haven't seen that very much since.
I just randomly found one on elance out of nowhere. all i did was post that i did django web-dev for a year and bam, client received. I'm learning a lot though...like... what requirements to set for myself before I agree with the client.
Few options remain for folks like me except to build our own SaaS products or software and hope it pays rent.
Also, ask for Twitter handle after the user finishes registration. You want your signup to be non-frictious as possible.
Is that 5% growth in signups, or in something else? Are those members who you've successfully brought in returning every day? Do you have any indication of whether your members find value in your platform?
You say you have no delusions about "going viral" - and indeed you won't go viral in the sense that a meme from 9gag goes viral, but communities do often depend on their members to refer others there. For that to happen, your product must provide good value to those members.
Talk to your members, if you aren't already, about how valuable your platform is for them. And while you're talking to them, maybe find out where else they hang out too? You'll probably find new places to recruit members from, and perhaps think of new ways to grow.
2. Is there some way for existing active users to bring in more people? Work on that.
Pick the project to work on first. Once you've done that your field of (practical) languages to use gets narrowed, and it becomes easier to choose the language.
- Want to build a web app? If you're looking to break into the web startup scene, Ruby and the MVC framework Rails seem to be the most popular.
- Want to do robotics / embedded systems? First I'd say buy an arduino kit and have fun with it. This will involve a flavor of C, and C looks like the de facto king of the field.
- Want to do banking? Perhaps try to build a trading bot in Java with Yahoo's free (15 minute delay) stock quotes.
! Find your interest first. If you can't find your interest, find a project that sounds fun (not too big!) and then choose the best language for it. If you find it's fun and interesting, keep going.
With employability, projects reign supreme, programming languages don't. (most of the time, but you don't want to work for the companies that care too much about you knowing their specific language -- hint: the job will get boring quickly).
However, think very carefully before embarking on that journey. Having an average proficiency in Java already will almost certainly get you a job in some bank, insurance company or similar enterprise-style companies. At the same time you become an exchangeable code monkey that from thereon will only be hired based on the TLAs listed in his CV.
In other words, your work will become a commodity and you won't be judged by your abilities such as abstract thinking or creative problem solving any more. All that will count will be the frameworks you have experience in at any given time. It doesn't matter that you can learn a new framework within a week. If you don't already have proven experience in framework X when applying for a job it's required for you won't get that job.
To cut a long story short: Screw employability!
1. SV startup: Python, Ruby are best bets. Java will make people squirm. C# will make people tilt their heads. You'll probably get bonus points for Go
2. Google/Microsoft/Amazon: If you know C or C++ you'll be fine.
3. Facebook: They really let you interview in anything but you might as well be awesome in PHP. That said, they definitely use other languages internally.
4. Other: Java. If the company uses C#, they'll still probably be OK with you only knowing Java.
At a certain point, companies shouldn't be hiring for languages you know since a language can be learned relatively easily compared to the Larger Broader Concepts that they should really be trying to probe for. Which is generally true - any company who doesn't give you an offer because you didn't memorize language syntax for whiteboarding is crazy. It's not about that.
What it is about (I think) is trying to figure out who are you?. As an example, if you only know Java many people will think "oh this is your run of the mill CS student who doesn't do side projects" - whether true or not (of course it's possible to do side projects in Java). But it just makes people think you have less initiative than the applicant next to you that knows Java (because he has to) but also knows Python (because he wants to)
Also, find out what other libraries/API they might use. For example, the company could be using some niche software that's nice to know, but it wasn't important enough to list in the job description. The HR people won't care if you say that you know X, but you might impress a fellow developer during the interview, and that's a plus.
PHP is still somewhat useful if not for any other reason than legacy.
Some useful frameworks for those languages include:
- startups: Ruby, Python, Objective-C
- large tech: Java, C++, potentially Scala
- large non-tech: Java, C#
But ideally you would want to work at a place that cares less about a list of skills and more about the quality of code you write. Learning a new language (and/or framework) is trivial for a halfway decent programmer.
- Any language that runs on top of the JVM.
One of those, probably in that rough order. For enjoyable employability, I'd shuffle that list around considerably.
What do you want to do? You might be leaning towards web development, but that's not clear, since you asked for a "language/web framework". Languages and web frameworks are not the same things. But, let's assume for the moment that you want to go into web dev. Do you want to stick to the front end or back end? Or both? If both, do you like the idea of sticking to one primary language throughout the web stack, or does that not concern you?
And if you don't want to go into web development per se, then what do you want to do? Maintaining legacy applications (not necessarily "cool", but there can be a lot of money in it)? Machine learning? Working on distributed systems? Embedded systems? Game programming? Sysadmin? BOFH?
Try to put yourself in our shoes for a moment, and think about how woefully incomplete your question is.
I regret very much that I'm not very good at JS - and I have a hard time working with JS.
Offtopic - really hope @zedshaw writes a learnjsthehardway.
Obviously every situation is unique, and my story may not be that of many others. I've no metrics on it. But in my experience, it largely is enthusiasm and willingness to learn over having a specific ability with someone's specific box of tools. Jormundir gave a lot of great input on what to get into depending on what sector of business you want to break into.
Whatever you do end up choosing, good programmers are presently in high demand. So just learn one and get good. Being good matters far more than what specific framework you use. And if you aren't good, no framework will save you in the long run.
By the way, I'm not saying it what language/framework you use doesn't matter. I'm saying it doesn't matter for your employment, so you shouldn't let that decide for you.
3. Which framework? there is no solution to rule them all or look at 1.
I think Java is likely the single largest market - .net platform costs quite a lot so it's a bit less appealing to many companies.
If you want to be a front end guy then there is only one choice (exclude transcompilers which you don't have to think about for some time) - html/css/js
But given your profile and the nature of posts that you have made, I am curious why you raised this question?
- Python (plus R if you are doing data stuff)
Just do whatever seems to fit your circumstances best. Forget about the startup groupthink on what's better or worse.
Raidz2 is not fast. In fact, it is slow. Also, it is less reliable than a two way mirror in most configurations, because recovering from a disk loss requires reading the entirety of every other disk, whereas recovering from loss in a mirror requires reading the entirety of one disk. The multiplication of the probabilities don't work out particularly well as you scale up in disk count (even taking into account that raidz2 tolerates a disk failure mid-recovery). And mirroring is much faster, since it can distribute seeks across multiple disks, something raidz2 cannot do. Raidz2 essentially synchronizes the spindles on all disks.
Raidz2 is more or less suitable for archival-style storage where you can't afford the space loss from mirroring. For example, I have an 11 disk raidz2 array in my home NAS, spread across two separate PCIe x8 8-port 6Gbps SAS/SATA cards, and don't usually see read or write speeds for files exceeding 200MB/sec. The drives individually are capable of over 100MB/sec - in a non-raidz2 setup, I'd be potentially seeing over 1GB/sec on reads of large contiguous files.
Personally I'm going to move to multiple 4-disk raid10 vdevs. I can afford the space loss, and the performance characteristics are much better.
 Scrub speeds are higher, but not really relevant to FS performance.
Instead of doing that, they probably dropped a bit more than a thousand dollars on a box, and are probably saving thousands in costs per year. This is money coming out of someone's pocket.
This site is here, and it's a charity, being provided free of cost, to you. Who cares if HN is down for a few hours? Seriously? Has anyone been hurt because of this, yet?
Add a flash memory based (SSD) ZIL or L2ARC or both to the box. That'll help improve read/write performance. I believe the ZIL (ZFS intent log) is used to cache during writes, and the L2ARC is used during reads.
You might want to look into disabling atime, so that the pool isn't wasting energy keeping access times on files up to date. Not sure if this is relevant with the architecture of HN or not. This can be done with
zfs set atime=off srv/ycombinator
I actually think you'll probably have a lot of fun with ZFS tuning, if that's the problem with news.yc. FreeBSD's page is pretty detailed: https://wiki.freebsd.org/ZFSTuningGuide
[the current release is pretty old: https://github.com/wting/hackernews]
Thanks for all you do!
Out of curiosity, do you have an idea about the source of the corruption problems?
just one random bit to try... Obviously, I have no insight into your system and I'm not saying I know more than you or anything, but I've been seeing more situations lately where I had massive latency but reasonable throughput and the disks mostly looked okay wrt. smart, and I mostly just wanted to write about it:
[lsc@mcgrigor ~]$ sudo iostat -x /dev/sda /dev/sdb /dev/sdc /dev/sddLinux 2.6.18-371.3.1.el5xen (mcgrigor.prgmr.com) 01/16/2014
avg-cpu: %user %nice %system %iowait %steal %idle
0.00 0.00 0.05 0.02 0.00 99.93
sda 0.70 75.11 35.66 1.38 4568.62 611.67 139.85 0.36 9.61 0.53 1.95
sdb 0.46 75.10 35.62 1.39 4566.77 611.67 139.89 0.22 5.89 0.45 1.66
sdc 0.80 75.14 35.63 1.35 4569.63 611.63 140.10 0.64 17.18 0.57 2.10
sdd 0.46 75.09 35.62 1.40 4566.60 611.63 139.87 0.13 3.47 0.40 1.49
(this is a new server built out of older disks that appears to have the problem. It's not so bad that I get significant iowait when idle, but if you try to do anything, you are in a world of hurt.)
Check out the await value. re-do the same command with a '1' after /dev/sdd and it will repeat every second. If sdd consistently has a much worse await, it is what is killing your RAID. Drop the drive from the raid. If performance is better, replace the drive. If performance is worse (and with raid z2, it should be worse if you killed the drive) the drive was fine.
(Of course you want to do the usual check with smart and the like before this)
The interesting part of this failure mode that I have seen is that /throughput/ isn't that much worse than healthy. You get reasonable speeds on your dd tests. but latency makes the whole thing unusable.
Hoping the box has ECC ram, otherwise zfs, too, can be unreliable (http://research.cs.wisc.edu/adsl/Publications/zfs-corruption...)
I'm sure other more experienced DTrace users can offer tips but I remember reading this book and learning a lot. And I believe all the referenced scripts were open source and available.
If someone does offer a new software architecture, and hosting, would people be open to move hackernews there?
Would recommend a new SSD-based ZFS box (Samsung 840 Pros have been great even for pretty write-intesive load), with raidz3 for protection and zfs send (and/or rsync from hourly/N-minute snapshot for data protection which should eliminate copying FS metadata corruption, as not sure if zfs send will).
Happy to provide and/or host such a box or two if helpful.
I didn't realize HN had enough disk storage needs to need more than one drive. I guess you could have 1+2 redundancy or something.
I prefer the Vi mode, though. Add to your .bashrc
set -o vi
Then you can press escape to go from input mode to normal mode; there k will take you to the previous line in command line history, j to the next line, ^ and $ to the beginning and end of the line, /something will search something back.
Editing is really fast; move by words with w (forward) and b (backward), do cw to replace a word, r to replace a letter, i to go back to input. It will remember the last editing command, just as Vi, and repeat it when you press . in normal mode.
You are stating and opinion, not a fact of nature. Clearly there is often a gap between opinion and reality.
I was curious what your startup is? Do you happen to have a link or a landing page?
This model of the world doesn't imply any specific strategy you should follow, but you'll find that adopting it will change the way you think about the situation. You'll stop bending over backwards (why bother, since nothing is going to happen?) which will in turn make them take on the burden of figuring out how to make the deal happen, which they'll do if they're serious.
In real estate, there is an institution called "earnest money." It is structurally similar to your 2nd bullet point -- a deposit against the eventual transaction price which is forfeited if the prospective buyer doesn't close the transaction within a particular window of time. (It gets returned if the seller kills the deal.) Earnest money protects the interests of the potential seller by screening out bozos. It protects the interests of the potential buyer by reassuring the potential seller that there are 120,000 reasons attesting to the buyer being really serious about the $6 million commercial property acquisition being discussed and therefore questions about e.g. engineering, permits, tenants, etc should be responded to as quickly as feasible.
$50,000 is barely about two work-weeks or less at the rates involved of professionals involve in M&A. If you want a quick out from fishing expeditions, tell them that you're willing to entertain offers but that, to avoid wasting the business' legal/accounting/engineering resources, you'll require $50k earnest money prior to dedicating them to exploring the feasibility of a deal.
A related strategy: "I'm not super-interested in doing an investment / acquisition / etc at the moment, but I'm a reasonable businessman and willing to entertain your offer." "We need a $FOO to get the ball rolling." "I have entertained that offer and do not feel it is the best use of our time to proceed on this at this time." "It is absolutely standard to..." "If your firm really wants to do this, I'm sure you'll figure out a way to make it happen. If not, no worries -- we'll both end this chat no worse than where we started it. Best of luck in your endeavors."
Acquisition negotiations are extremely expensive. Assume they're going to fall through, and that you'll lose a lot in the process.
A good salesman will never put a price out there first, so you will probably need to come up with that valuation: just put it out there high enough so you will be happy were it to go through, and assume this is the beginning of the negotiation. If you and the acquirer cannot get close in that discussion, this is a good gauge of future success in the other more complicated discussions that will come.
As others have said, get a good lawyer. There are lots of places where this can go awry. When I sold my company (~$450k), I did not understand the difference between an asset sale and a stock sale which has vastly different taxation implications. A good accountant is worthwhile here as well for the same reason.
You can tell them you cannot engage in a detailed discussion without the termination fee conversation completed since you will be spending money as well.
Be more worried about wastng your time and diverting attention from running your business than your competitors seeing your books.
Stay focused on your business. Sacca says companies are bought, not sold.
Also, a lot of companies do this to take away your focus. Don't treat the buyout as something real until the money clears. Otherwise, focus on the business.
This is pretty standard, especially when there are regulatory concerns. AT&T ended up shelling out more than $1B when the T-Mobile deal fell apart.
Here's some general advice:* Come up with a number that you'd be willing to sell for, mostly to know when a deal is at least good enough* Anyone who is serious about dealing with you will not expect you to work for free, unless you truly have no power, which I suspect is unlikely* Keep growing & running your business until it's not your job anymore* Have fun, and don't make big decisions when tired or grumpy
Good luck my friend :)
Consider the likely possibility that your potential competitor learns of your financial situation, and operations in detail, and walks away, with the intent to modify their own business based on what they learn, thanks to your tutorial.
Me: "I need an omlette for breakfast tomorrow morning"
Developer: "Tomorrow is too soon. That's not enough time to raise a chicken."
Me: "I don't want you to raise the chicken and make the eggs yourself. Just go to the store and buy eggs."
Developer: "I can't do that. That's not the proper way to get eggs. We have to do it the complicated way, so that I can feel like I'm an elite programmer."
Side projects definitely take a back seat when you start being a parent, but my motivation and efficiency when I can make time have grown in proportion. I think I'm going to be unstoppable in my projects as my kid gains independence, and I get some real side-project time back. But no rush, I'm loving every stage of parenting while it lasts!
Last night after finalizing the logo (paying the graphic designer) and starting on the website design, a better name that would be easier to brand suddenly came to mind. The concept is being overhauled yet again.
The goal is to switch from "getting ideas" (which is sort of level 1 entrepreneurism) to "seeing problems" (which is, in my estimation level 2). This is important because 'brilliant idea' but can't answer the question 'what problem does it solve?' is not worth spending a lot of time on, from a money making perspective (can be from a fun perspective but that is another comment).
So hopefully you're keeping a diary/journal/notebook of these "every other day" ideas, and once you've got a couple dozen, maybe a hundred, you can start asking questions based on the ideas you come up with. Things like "What do I spend my time thinking about?", "What problem spaces are my ideas clustered around?", "Given that they have been done by other people, what was it that made them obvious in retropsect?", and my personal favorite, "Where is the hole in these ideas?"
If you have the ability to generate ideas, you can leverage that into the ability to see where changes will be needed or could be presented. Sometimes existing ideas have "baked in" assumptions (like people assuming you'll have a car so you need a gas mileage app) sometimes they are more subtle. If the underlying assumptions have changed (like it costs too much to make gas out of algae because oil is less than $75 a barrel) ideas that used to not make sense might start making sense, and then you look at changes that are going on around you whether it is spending habits, climate change, or population demographics, and try to ask questions about ideas those changes will make useful in the future.
On an unrelated topic, trying to cultivate an appreciation for "learning stuff" will serve you well, as it can be the only reward you get for the time invested. Appreciating the value of knowing, and knowing well the 'new stuff', will help with the motivation. If you think "10 ideas, all worthless because they are already done." that is demotivating, but "10 ideas, learned 10 new things, score!" you'll be much happier with the outcome. And while you may not realize it now, if you actually do learn the stuff that the idea entailed then you will start to recognize in your own thinking ideas that are probably already out there and more rapidly converge on solutions to problems that are unlikely to have been implemented yet.
But instead, try to make things you need. If someone else has already made them it saves time, you can use it.
Outside of software, it's obvious that "it already exists" doesn't stop anyone. Does the long list of Italian restaurants, gastropubs or microbreweries stop anyone from starting another one, with their unique twist?
Even in software, did existing social networks stop Facebook from starting another one and taking over the top spot?
Does the existence of "a web application framework" stop anyone from building a better one that matches their opinions/approach?
The only real sin would be to make an exact copy of something that already exists without making your version better in some way. Make it more user-friendly, more powerful, more configurable, cheaper, more business-friendly, etc.
What do you like to do? It doesn't have to cost money, per se. Go visit some friends for a week, or go on a hike, or just go do something around town you've been wanting to do but haven't. However, try to have it involve other people, and not just be by yourself.
Right now, you're working" every day, but getting nothing done. There is probably a lot of fear that your app won't work, that no one will use it, that you are wasting your time and will have nothing to show for it at the end. Of course, there is the possibility that I am just projecting on you, as I have had all of these feelings and displayed some of the same behaviors, but I guess that is for you to decide.
The purpose of the break is to get some perspective. Life is not all about this app. Even if it goes down in flames, it's really not a big deal. You're smart and you'll find something else you want to do and do that. The self doubt and fear of failure is what keeps you going to the office every day, but getting nothing done.
By taking a break and clearing your mind, you can reassess where you're at with fresh eyes, tackle the big problems keeping you from moving forward, and create a solid plan of action to move forward.
That's just my two cents, having had similar issues...
Step 1.Call your local Manpower or Kelly temp work office.
Step 2.Ask to do the most unskilled rote industrial labor intensive job they have.
Do this for a full 40 hour week.
If after the entire ordeal you're not inspired to quit the temp agency and go work on your project you should probably quit both.
Postscript: All the people telling you to go on "vacation" after you just said you haven't done anything for the last month are in a haze imho.
Basically it's just trial and error at this point, I should just step up and start playing with the code, but it just feels too hard and frustrating at the moment.
I know this is pretty much off-topic, but I just have to 'vent' a little.
1) Exercise: I need intense, mentally engaging exercise to feel fufilled. I get this through my martial arts training (muay thai / jiu jitsu). I had to take a few months off after moving to the city, and I felt pent up and frustrated without a physical outlet.
2) Music: A short term mood improver is to put on some high energy music, preferably stuff you can dance and move to. Music gets the brain juices flowing.
3) Sunshine/vitamin D: Being a night owl, it goods to resync to a daytime schedule every quarter. Getting to walk in the sun for a few minutes and observe daily bustle is refreshing.
4) Most importantly, working on challenging and interesting projects: My last few apps were largely clones of previous successes. This means I didn't have to think up anything new, or creative. I was unmotivated to work on it because it was mostly "manual labor", with no new programming riddles to solve. So obviously, when it was time to get shit done, I just didn't care, I already knew the answers. I suspect your freelance work is uninteresting to you.
Over the past couple years, I learned that my mood and productivity pretty much looks like a sine wave. High intensity creativity and motivation, followed by weeks of leveling out. Perhaps this is the nature of self employment.
Do that thing.
After that on your list, put the next smallest thing.
Then just snowball from there. It's all about momentum. Showing up is most of the battle.
I get caught in ruts like that all the time. The thing that helps me the most is timeboxing, so mapping out my day in 30 minute chunks. I'm actually designing a web app for exactly that process because I'm not satisfied with existing solutions.
Give it a shot, it might work.
Also, don't be hard on yourself. Take REAL days off, where you don't feel guilty about not working. It helps a ton.
Chances are you're like most people and have a wide variety of interests and hobbies, and so trying to keep up the pretense that you just care about your startup or current project can be emotionally exhausting. It's basically lying to yourself.
I don't really have a concrete answer for you in how to break this funk. Funks can happen. The advice all people here have given you is spot on, I will just add that all that advice should be tried and discarded if not useful, it's what worked for them, might not work for you. I personally also suggest include avoiding online content and getting outside. I also suggest you figure out some way to learn to make peace with tedious work, it happens in almost all client work.
Good luck friend!
You probably won't meet anyone more ambitious than me. Yet, I'm paralyzed. I can't do anything. I have the skills, I have the passion, but I just can't do anything. I'm not sure why.
I've been at it for 1.5 year. I overcomed all my excuses (you need a new computer, you need a better chair, you need a better framework, you need a cofounder), and yet, nothing worked out.
I finally decided to get a job, which I hope will help me gain good working habits and hopefully give me back some of the confidence I lost in that 1.5 year of being useless.
I'm not sure how I can help you (maybe we share the same "niche"/interest, I too can't find many people excited by it), but I wish you luck.
* Actually take a day off, don't pretend to be productive, actually walk away and don't feel guilty about it. Everyone needs a break.
* Get some perspective. Take two steps back, and remind yourself why you're doing what you're doing. Screw, 'becoming a success,' there's a bigger reason that you're making something. Tumblr has fan mail posted all over their fridge [http://static3.businessinsider.com/image/4f0e2ff7ecad04b0640... ] and, I've printed out and stuck up some positive facebook comments and emails from our users. It's a lot harder to procrastinate when you know that you have an audience.
* Start over something. There's mixed opinions on this, obviously you should try to get it mostly right the first time, and iterate rather than scrapping and restarting at a whim, but sometimes the invitation of a blank canvas can get you over the wall.
* Embrace your ritual. There could be something, some process that you use when you need to get started on something... As counter-productive as it seems, whenever I'm about to start a big project, I sit down for a night and clear my harddrive, and set up a fresh installation of my Linux distro... the act of 'cleaning out my workbench,' frees me up to start working again..
And finally, I'd point you at [ http://hellenroxx.com/fighting-cam-burnout/ ] which I found yesterday... it's slightly NSFW, but surprisingly relevant to our problem.
As an engineer, I also find myself less interest in a project when its main technical difficulty has been solved. It's as if my brain says: "great, we've built it, it works...was fun...I am bored with it now". Reaping any financial reward from the work doesn't really seem sufficiently motivating to keep my brain interested.
However...both of the above scenarios are often solved by the slightest hint of a challenge. I.e. Could I squeeze 10% more performance out of module X by Y...or...how many signups will I get from a tweet...?
Simply posing myself some challenge to which I truly don't know the outcome often gets me right back in.
- Don't make it bigger than it is. Your only job is to write the code. Whether it's great or awesome or shit is not your problem, other people will decide that when you ship it (and you can change it later if you agree with them then). For now, you just have to get it done as best you can.
- Your inner critic will be running rampant, telling you that it's never going to be successful, that you're crap at coding, that you should just go and get a job. You can't shut it up, but you don't have to listen to it. It might be right, in that what is says may be true, but it's not helpful right now. Try to disregard anything that isn't helpful, even (especially!) if it's true.
- Creating new things is really tough. Go gentle with yourself. Don't beat yourself up for not getting stuff done, but give yourself some credit for creating something new. Each day you manage to create something is a day well-spent, so try and clap yourself on the back for that instead of beating yourself up about how much more you've got to do.
- As the others have said; give yourself some time off. You know the point each day where you start having to push yourself to keep going. Don't. Stop there, and do something else (I do odd bits of leatherwork, woodwork or bonecarving, or play video games if I don't feel creative). Gradually, I've found that the amount I can do each day is naturally extending without me having to push it.
- Socialise. Friends' encouragement is good motivation :) Be honest about what you're facing and how hard it is (and don't be tempted to bullshit). You'll get a positive response and the support you need.
Good luck, it's a nasty hole to dig yourself out of, but you can do it.
Take a break. Exercise. Are you on the northern hemisphere? Try getting more sun. When we don't have willpower/concentration to work, it's our body saying our battery is depleted.
Now, some guy of a sport club wanted a member application and i created one (it's still in beta though and in dutch (membershipmanagement.azurewebsites.net Demo:12345678). I have never gotten this far in 2 month (added payments, user management, rough frontend and positive feedback (= it's finished for him))...
The advice is simple, take a vacation for 3-4 days. And as suggested in other comments, just do your tasks. It's really that simple. According to what you've said, you're only going to get more in trouble if you put everything on halt.. You could find a fellow dev for some clients if you have a writers block and don't add more tasks at the moment. You're going to get some anxiety for not being able to finish...
PS. I have a full time job, so i'm not rushing stuff.
Are you in the bay area? Feel free to reach out if you have nobody else to turn to.
As a single contributor how is your project managed? Do you have a to-do list?
Sorry, that sounds like a simplistic, pat answer...but I know when I've felt either out of it, or even sick, just doing something as simple as a 5-7 minute workout can inexplicably shake me up in a positive way.
Of all the things that are within my power to just do (as opposed to wait for), exercising is the easiest. There are also purported health benefits to it, too.
Note the date is hardcoded
Even more interesting would be if there was a twitter statistics site that this could be fed into. (i.e. no code.)
> "Okay, a new day, let's start. let's check hackernews first. great neat stuff. alright one more article and i'll fire up my ide and terminal." <
Before playing counter strike, Fire up your IDE and Terminal before going to next step. Make sure you maximize your IDE and Terminal to fill all the screen space. Then take a quick little walk in the room/apt/house. Come back to screen and if you want to still play counter strike, minimize your IDE and Terminal (don't close any of programs or switch to a different desktop view). If you still wants to play counter strike, go ahead play.
> "okay i'm tired now, time to play some counter strike. lets play for 30 minutes.
oh I SUCK at this game just like I'm sucking at not procrastinating. this guy is talking trash time to show him who's boss.
crap, it's been an hour. now im hungry. lets eat." <
Before going to eat, Open up your project and source code file that you want to work on. Make sure again the screen is completely filled. Go eat something away from screen. Take a walk around the room/apt/house/neighborhood.
> "alright now im full, i need to relax and check hackernews again." <
Come back to screen and if you want to still check hacker news, Write a few lines of code. And then check hacker news.
Sooner or later, you will start to feel guilty seeing the IDE, Terminal, Project, Source Code file on your screen every time you come back to your computer and start doing more and more coding.
If I want to do something, say, work on a project, I set a timer for 30 minutes and start working on the project. My rule for myself is that for 30 minutes, I have to work on the project, even if I'm banging my head against the wall and not making any progress. After 30 minutes, I either keep working (if I'm in the zone), or stop, re-evaluate and repeat - but never stop before 30 minutes is up. At first, this was painful, but now it's pretty easy to get into the flow. I do this also with things I really don't enjoy, like dishes and housework.
While I think that the rule itself is arbitrary, I think what it did was help me to build discipline, which was immensely important.
Then, video games and other entertainment go at the end of the day, where I can enjoy it guilt free - and importantly, where it can't overlap with work. One nice thing is that I don't feel guilty having fun anymore. Of course, I'm not so strict, sometimes I wake up on a Sunday morning and play games for three hours, but generally I try to stick to this plan.
As other people have said, you need to separate what you need to do over what you want to do.
Another technique that I use is to separate work space from play space. I'm not going to go and play Starcraft II (my chosen drug) in a Starbucks, so if I'm feeling particularly distracted, I'll go there to do work. I live in NYC so I don't have the luxury of having a spare room to use as an office, but if I did I'd seriously consider setting up an office separate from my main desk (ie. have a video game computer and a serious computer).
Finally, start slow. Lots of people look for big overnight change, don't get it, and revert to old habits. Instead, start slowly. Do one of these 30 minute sprints each week day, and two each weekend day.
It's very difficult to allow one's real self to express itself, even if you're all alone at home! This is why "It's like I go out of my way to not do the work I'm supposed to do". Why don't you look at it in the face? You just feel you're supposed to code, you don't want to do it. And that's completely OK. It is the cycle of self-punishment and enforced "becoming" : "I am this today, I should be that in one year" which drains a LOT of energy. Realizing this, immediately stop trying to become anyone.
Give yourself a one month break where you promise to actually find out who you really are. A break from what all you're "supposed" to do according to your ambition, parents, The Cool People, etc; Maybe you will actually find something that you are so interested in that coding will come naturally to you while pursuing your interests. Or not. You need not be interested in what others are interested in. Or, just as an example, maybe you decide on coding a Counterstrike mod? That could be fun, too!
Instead of saying you'll code after another article, or another game, etc... you should instead code before those things. Just the act of sitting down and doing it is enough satisfaction and makes me motivated even more, conquering procrastination.
Anyways, that worked for me.
Another reason could be that you are afraid that the task is overwhelming, that you don't understand it, etc.
Try dividing whatever you want to do into tiny steps that don't take more than 15 minutes and tick them off in a list after finishing them.
Actually, it depends on the audience, as ibstudios pointed out. A "mobile audience" isn't enough information to make a good decision; among potential users of mobile devices are such different groups as children, adults who raise children, adults who don't raise children, old people... These groups can be broken into even smaller demographics.
If you're counting pennies, more alternative TLDs can be more expensive over time (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7069513). If you can find a short but not too cryptic .com, go with it. An .io, for instance, has the advantage of shortness and more available English words.
The domain name should be pretty low on the list of priorities for your app. Focus on design (for the app and for marketing pages), content and marketing copy, good customer service, and performance.
Such small transactions are quite suspicious from the point of view of the credit card company.
And of course, lots of people provide favourable feedback for HN so it is not treated like a link farm.
Over the last 6 months, I've seen a number of people make comments on relevant HN posts to the effect of "This sucks, but how do we actually change anything" This is what you've been waiting for - here's a chance to actually do something about it.
Don't be discouraged when things seem to be standing still. Because of the way our minds work, single-point events stand out more than continual progress, and we get discouraged when the former seem to have less effect that we'd like.
My work was related to drug policy specifically. During the years that I was actively involved in this, there was very little visible progress on the issues I worked on. We managed to pass a Good Samaritan law in New York state (which I was involved with), but that was the only major success that I can remember, amid a long stream of what seemed to be failures.
On the other hand, when it rains, it pours. We've see a number of major successes very recently on this front (not just with marijuana policy, thought that's what gets the most attention). Looking back, the state of drug policy in 2014 is in many areas much brighter than it was in 2006, even though it certainly didn't seem like we were making any progress at the time.
It's easy to get cynical about large-scale, long-term efforts. As an individual, you're right, it's tough to do much on your own, since no individual has the same stamina as the forces that we're fighting. But showing support for groups that are fighting these longer battles is the best way to see some real action, even if it takes a while to incubate.
 On HN, that's oftentimes synonymous with "marijuana policy" - while that was certainly a part of it, my work focused more on the effects of drug laws on students (such as the Higher Education Act) and the socioeconomic impact of an incarceration model.
"[We defeated SOPA] because everyone made themselves the hero of their own story. Everyone took it as their job to save this crucial freedom. They threw themselves into it. They did whatever they could think of to do."
Very much hoping the community will rally around and join us in this. In particular, startups and larger tech companies (Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, etc.) don't get involved with this kind of activism easily. If you care about this issue and work at a tech company, you're the only ones who can exert pressure from within.
Are you going to organize rallies? Provide logistical support for people who want to do so? Even a snail mail campaign would be an improvement over Yet Another Complaint On The Internet.
Don't get me wrong: The cause is great, and drawing attention and support to it is important. But this might as well be a high-profile version of trolling a forum. It's not going to help anything unless you take action that will reach the people in charge and the people who might not currently be aware of what's going on and how important it is.
I don't see this doing much of either.
"Call Congress Now"- using Twilio, you can call Congress folk from your browser (for free). http://www.callcongressnow.org/
Here are some Congress people who are doing some shady stuff: http://www.callcongressnow.org/profile/F000062http://www.callcongressnow.org/profile/L000174
But it's pretty hard to get the word out about websites like that. In a sense, nobody passively cares enough to call Congress. Only when the Congress folks do something that brings about outrage do people care enough to really pick up the phone (or click the twilio button, as it were). So I built the /u/CongressionalHound, a bot on reddit that hunts for mentions of current sitting members of Congress in submitted articles and displays information about them in the comments: http://www.reddit.com/user/CongressionalHound/comments/
If you are a mod on reddit and want me to run the bot on your subreddit, PM the bot and I'll have it saunter on over and get to work. Slowly putting the bot on subreddits that give me permission or invite me to. My hope is that when articles about the NSA, or Obamacare, or the shutdown, or or or any big political issue comes up, that the bot will channel people towards getting in touch with their representatives and senators and effectively voicing their opinions.
Both of these are prototypes and there are major known bugs in both, but I think they can serve as examples of systems that could help citizens better impact their government through the power of the internet.
Next time someone organizes something similar, can they think of a worlwide action? Can they make something which doesn't sound like "Worldwide anti-american day" but rather "Worldwide day of support to the debate that US citizen started"?
US citizens are only 313 millions and the US law protects you against surveillance. We, the rest of the world, are all subject to this surveillance in unlimited way.
What would Aaron do? Would Aaron have just passively asked for people to come forward? Would he have asked everyone to post some icon everywhere? Some forgettable meme?
Or would he have created something? Something that maybe wouldn't be obvious to the likes of us, to the likes of the EFF and The New Yorker? Something explosive (figuratively, Ms. Ortiz, figuratively)? Something evolutionary? Would he have banged out some code that would make even die hard Wikipedians feel unwise?
I don't know. I really don't. I don't even know what A/B testing means. But if no one else does, I have a feeling this is going to suck.
Edit: I didn't even know downvoting was possible on HN, but hey, if haters aren't hating then you're doing it wrong
EDIT: Interestingly enough, "Female Founders" plea to the public by PG is at 360 points, whooping 402 comments, and the 2nd place. Clearly, "sexism" drama is a lot more popular with the tech crowd :)
This can be disheartening, frustrating, even despondency-inducing. I've been there more than once, and activists across the world have probably been experiencing this since the first protest happened outside the first town hall.
For those stating "it will do nothing" - it can sometimes be hard to see the distant / second-order effects, but they do matter. Registering dissent matters. Now, I would add that there is a threshold beyond which activism loses its potency (for a variety of possible reasons) and you need to go to the next level (everything from non-violent resistance to revolutions.) In this particular case, we're nowhere near that, and by the looks of it, the tide is firmly against the anti-surveillance bloc, so pile on.
Finally, I'd say that the idea that the arc of the universe bends towards justice is wrong; people bend societies towards it.
This should not actually be a complicated inquiry.
I also personally take issue with Aaron Swartz as a poster child for SOPA related activism. There are many of us who did what we could to prevent SOPA and who are opposed to illegal aspects of mass surveillance who nonetheless believe in a proper place for intellectual property.
I still support the cause but this is not how you treat friends or conduct a political activism campaign.
It is possible that the folks at ycombinator were previously contacted. If that is the case this letter should say so, if only to let current allies know that they do not need to worry about being bullied into continued support.
If you think it's insufficient action, you be our new Sam Adams or Patrick Henry! I'll join, with determination and passion.
"B-but this time it will be different! We have logos of relatively big companies on our website!" - hang in tight, brother, because "The Day We Fight Back" isn't anywhere close.
Ron Wyden, Mark Udall and Rand Paul's bill also I think sounded better than the USA Freedom Act. I always forget its name because they chose a pretty bad and long one ("intelligence oversight something"). So I hope you keep working on passing those (or others like it), too, and don't stop at the USA Freedom Act (or try getting some amendments to that pushed, too).
Or Python, via RxPy: https://github.com/Reactive-Extensions/RxPy
Or Ruby, via Rx.rb: https://github.com/Reactive-Extensions/Rx.rb
Or Objective-C, via Rx.ObjC: https://github.com/Reactive-Extensions/Rx.ObjC
Your code is a good demonstration of how Rx works though, and it's nice to know it's becoming more popular.
I must conclude, by the usual Stroustrup quote, that no one uses C#. (yes this is tongue in cheek)
PS: once Roslyn get's finally released, Java will never catch up again.
public Generate(TState initialState, Func<TState, bool> condition, Func<TState, TState> iterate, Func<TState, TResult> resultSelector, IScheduler scheduler)
I'd rather have code written in simple, well factored functions and classes and easy to reason about, than having to deal with such a mess of functional code.
Don't get me wrong, functional code can be very elegant and clear, but the example provided here is a huge turn off to me.
[Edit] This was covered in RISKS in 2008. See http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/25.39.html#subj12 .
> Steve Loughran: Regarding the issue about Amazon allowing >1 login per e-mail address, its a historical legacy that they probably hate. Remember back in 1995 when the whole family had one compuserve or AOL e-mail address? That's when Amazon was created, and that is where they came up with the fact that an Amazon user does not have a 1:1 mapping of e-mail->userID. What they do have is a mappingof (e-mail,password)->userID; you can create two accounts with the same e-mail address, but you will get into trouble if you try and give them the same password. I'm not sure what happens, so try it and see.
> The newer Amazon services, such as the Amazon Web Services, have a stricter "one e-mail address" per account rule. Clearly their support organisation has learned the error of the original design decision.
It doesn't seem possible merge multiple accounts. See this Amazon transcript for a recent example: http://www.amazon.com/forum/amazon?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx...
An email address is not an ID.
Both are amazon.com accounts. One password links to a Prime account; the other, a non-Prime account. It started around 5-6 years ago. I vaguely recall that it must have started with a call to someone to change my password and later I upgraded one of them with Prime.
Maddening until I figured it out. Weird stuff.
Personally I've just moved to Ghost and I have to say that I love it. I wrote a longish post  on all the blogging platforms I've tried and how Ghost compares. The post also explains why I didn't go with something like Jekyll. Check it out, it might help.
I went with Pelican before ghost came out to get off of Wordpress. I was tired of the constant security updates enough to try and migrate to something else. My first requirement was that it was able to import Wordpress content which Pelican had.
However, Pelican's wordpress importer was "bare-bones" to say the least and still is. I fixed it so that it at least preserves formatting (by translating Wordpress' insane parser thing for its own post format line by line). It won't preserve things like image links and stuff (or at least I didn't get to that part).
I'm still not a huge fan of it one way or the other but it does its job I guess. Development is fast and furious though and I haven't updated in forever. So ymmv there.
As for Ghost... same problems as Wordpress and harder to self-host by orders of magnitude. It has a catchy admin interface. Designers love this platform so finding a good template is pretty easy compared to Pelican (I had to write my own... again not as much fun as it sounds).
The bonus of both platforms is that they both parse markdown for post content so dipping your toes in and trying something else shouldn't be too painful.
I also run a web service on a LAMP stack. Initially I thought about using Ghost for blogging but due to complexity and lack of information on running Apache with SSL and Nodejs on same server decided to wait.
In terms of the suspension you're referring to, they're an automated detection as far as I'm aware, so it really sounds like there might of been something happening that you were unaware of.
Regarding alternatives in this price point, you aren't going to find many options. If you're willing to step up your budget slightly, CloudVPS and TransIP in the Netherlands have both been great for us, and are still quite affordable considering what they provide.
If you're really stuck within your current budget, you might want to look at EDIS, whom we run several Slave DNS/MX servers with. They're about on-par with DigitalOcean pricing and offerings, with a much larger choice of locations, including the US.
You mentioned that you wanted something reliable and with SSD for $5. I honestly think DigitalOcean is the only host with a decent reputation in that price range (and yet you frequently hear people complain about them). You might want to consider paying slightly more. $10 to $20 a month should do it.
I'm wondering what other DigitalOcean users have to say?
We also tried Webbynode in their very early days, I just checked their website now and things seem to have greatly changed for them so that's another option.
I'm not so sure about your pricing requirements though, quite frankly I was a bit surprised when I first checked out DO, having such a low pricing point. So I don't believe you'd find another vps of the same quality with such pricing but you could always check at http://lowendbox.com/
If you're looking for possible alternatives though, these guys were posted here a while ago: http://cloudatcost.com/
I got one of the $35 VPSs (which are still available, it seems), and have done minimal playing with it, but seems to be ok.
(they have also permanent -40% promo codes, check google)
Digitalocean is working great for me.
HN Thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6447152Blog Post: http://serdardogruyol.com/?p=137
just a couple of questions:
How long is it between ticks?
How easily will it be to get money in or out of your system?
Is there any long term storage assigned to the bots? (something that will survive a server reset)
Edit: I just realized that the example uses a storage variable. Can you give me details about that (how large, stable, secure, etc it is)?
I can put together a page and we decide which things are important to know in CSS from opinion then when people want to disagree or contribute they can??
For example, important things IMO would be float when getting elements side by side, and how to correctly use position.
But what else?
How to do animations is a good one I think too.
EDIT: So I created a repo for this here https://github.com/jh3y/css-the-right-way
EDIT: Asked for help here.https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7079505