Thanks for all the emails so far - I hope you get something interesting out of it, and I look forward to your comments.
* applications run in a sandbox (preemptive multitasking/protected memory)
* interprocess communication is well implemented (copy on write, pipes, stdin/stdout/stderr)
* everything is a file (so many data structures and APIs become superfluous once you realize this)
* atomicity is for the most part robust which allows scaling (mutexes, semaphores, file locking)
* open nature of code lends itself to better security, size and performance
* Hierarchical filesystems are a dead end (the future is all about metadata, hashes, diffs and relationships)
* Too much emphasis on brevity, while size becomes less important over time (acronyms, abbreviations, regular expressions, bash, perl, etc)
* Human-oriented concepts, ironically, don't work well for the use cases humans want (permissions, process priority, executable bit)
* Basing everything on source code instead of binaries needlessly increases everyone's workload
* Dependency hell
Honestly I could come up with 10 times as many examples as these. Especially for the bad points, seriously, it's worth keeping an open mind about what could be possible if we thought about how the world is moving towards treating data as essentially infinite. I think computers of the future will work more like how Google does things with map reduce and Go. It just kills me every time I can't find something on my hard drive when I KNOW so much about it, what I was thinking at the time I made it, and not so much its name or contents. Or when I lose hours, or even days, trying to make the simplest command work in the shell, or set up a config file (for BIND etc). I think UNIX reached a pinnacle with Mac OS X but now it will enter a long period of slow decline as multiprocessing and higher level languages begin to replace all of the things that we used to do by hand. Especially with regard to how we develop software today, so much of it (makefiles, even compiled code), while not necessarily UNIX-centric, is going to go the way of the dodo. I find anymore that the vast majority of my time, perhaps as high as 90%, goes to learning curves, getting anything to work at all, and fumbling in the dark without being able to see where a problem comes from. The operating systems of the future, whatever form they take, are going to solve these problems in ways that I think would be difficult with a command prompt mindset.
UNIX is still a very useful OS for general use and for developers so I don't see it going away for a century or two.
Ask HN: Will we be using Lisp derived languages for the next 50 years? 64 points by jm 50 years ago | flag | 46 comments
I'd want a single closet/small room where I could put all the equipment for the media/entertainment, cable boxes etc. Then use IR extenders or better yet, one of those wireless remote control systems.
I'd do speakers in the ceilings/walls of most every room/area with zones and volume controls in them. Depending on the square footage, you may need multiple receivers to make it work nicely where everyone can listen to different tunes. Also, outdoor tunes have to be available too.
Wire the house for both wired network and of course wifi. Depending on budget and size of the house, fiber would be nice for at least interconnecting sections of the house.
Along the idea of the wireless remote system, turn an iPad into the house controller. Make life as easy as possible, something you could hand to your grand/parents and they would be able to push buttons and make it work. I have seen systems like this and drool at how nice it is, and it isn't like it is crazy expensive. No more 4 remotes or a "single" remote that works 95% of the way but takes a small training session to even turn on the TV.
Network drops everywhere. Even in the ceilings of major rooms. 802.11N is great, but nothing trumps Cat5E over fiber.
In wall (or ceiling) speakers. atleast 1 in every room, 1 in the 2nd floor hallways. All with volume controls. All wired to a central network closet with multiple Airport Express inputs so the wife scan stream 1 music to the bedroom when shes dressing, and I can stream another station to the family room while I'm waiting.
Network closet should span 2 floors with future pipes into the attic and into the basement for new drops. Network closet is preferably close to the main family room TV for major components. Switches, routers, firewalls (i was a sys admin in a past life) can all go in here. Money willing, put network equipment in 2nd floor closet, tv equipment in first floor closet.
Those powerball/gyroscopic spinners are also interesting for RSI:
Leading joint mobility experts include Scott Sonnon, Steve Maxwell, and Eric Cobb. Maxwell and Cobb studied under Sonnon.
Last time I checked, Sonnon's most popular joint mobility resource was Intu-Flow. In this DVD, Sonnon comes across as a bit of a New Agey weirdo, but he really knows his stuff.
Maxwell produced the Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility DVD and he has downloadable follow-along joint mobility videos at his site. His instruction isn't as deep as Sonnon's, but some people find Maxwell more likeable.
Cobb's company is named Z-Health, and his resources are overpriced.
Unrelated to joint mobility, Kinesis has announced plans to release a new version of their Contoured ergonomic keyboard. I can't wait.
My (career military) ex husband only had pain at the keyboard when his weightlifting regimen was interrupted.
I have an old tennis injury that can be troublesome. When it was at its worst, I took gelatin as a supplement daily for two years to feed the tendons (so they could self repair) and generally have fewer problems since then.
My advice would be to contact 5-10 startups which you'd love to work for (a nice email with the stuff you've made and why you want to work there).
Lastly, try to schedule a lunch with the founders before you commit to an internship, it really helps both parties.
I would start by figuring out what companies are local to you and seeing if you can make a connection through friends or family. You can always try cold calling a recruiter but typically positions for kids in high school are exceptions and so won't be advertised.
I would not throw in the towel yet. Functionality wise, your demo video is pretty cool. Other than work on your landing page, you definitely need to go out and do sales/marketing. Stop working on the product and turn your sales/marketing hat on. Get help from someone who knows this better than you do if possible.
It's not a bad idea, I just don't think you've gotten the other part of the startup right yet (sales and marketing).
I don't mind helping you with your idea (to guide you in a sense). I've given advice to a couple others before.
I think if you clearly identified your target market and then attacked them directly, you would find some success. Also, your landing page needs to become more "pretty".
Even though it doesn't look that bad, it kind of has the early 2000s Java web-tool look.
Here's what I think:1. I only saw the "Feedback" widget AFTER seing the movie. Either make it bigger or point a big arrow on it.2. I'd love if I could adnotate highlights with some text.3. Your prices are too close together, so the cheapest one still seems expensive. Try testing with 2x price for Start up and 10x for enterprise.
BTW, I am using http://www.criticue.com to get feedback on my websites, you can use that too.
Good luck with the project!
On your pricing page, the 'Personal' plan has one check mark and three red "X"s. Why have the Xs at all? It's not that your personal plan is bad, it's just that the other plans are better. It makes me feel like I shouldn't be clicking "Start Free Trial", because it's right below three symbols of negativity.
Also, it will probably boost their engineering productivity by 10%.
From the question I'd presume the product will be paid in the end and not supported by ads and external revenue stream. Given this I don't think one can test the market-product fit without actually charging money.
There are exceptions, think big social launches that turn into businesses (like Ghost blogging). For me this always seems rather hard to pull off. Like expecting that at launch day there will be 10k signups.
See this for one take: http://visualwebsiteoptimizer.com/split-testing-blog/ab-test...
To answer your question, it highly depends on the nature of your product, business model, competition and financial backing. So I do not have an answer, more like a ramble to help clean up your head.
One thing to warn, at least in my experience it is very hard to turn free users into paying one (conversion-wise) (free tier case). Free tier user and paying user have very different characteristics. Yet a lot of successful SaaS companies do have free tier. At the same time there are successful known companies who have removed a free tier (and/or doubled-tripled pricing without any public post to notify new users). I'd guess existing users at least kept the pricing.
If you want any more info, you can reach me at jared [at] invoiced.com.
EDIT: Should also mention you can make invoices without making an account at http://invoice-generator.com if you just invoice occasionally.
Could be a better alternative to store-tracking.
I love using those to get my brain going, and then using that to launch into more creative and unique domains.
Examples of my recent picks:
hostrum.com (for hosting services)
autositer.com (for script to auto-generate websites)
bitcoinway.com (for open source bitcoin payment solution)
listgun.com (for autoresponder services)
presentlove.com (personal development blog)
Sorry, but the search results and the stylesheet are way better for me with the old hnsearch.com
I will use a Google search like this: "site:news.ycombinator.com FooBar"
They worked remotely (and still do) and have found success.
The only problem with your idea and the rest of the bootstrapped remote successful companies is that they were addressing a real customer need/problem and you are simply trying to address your situation of hating your 9-5.
Come up with a great idea, open your world to devs from everywhere, work your ass off initially and then build the company in a way in which that 9-5 doesn't feel like work anymore and can be done at 10-6 or 8-12 + 2-6.
I am involved with a couple of active projects. They are games targeting Asia Pacific market. You can take a look, http://220.127.116.11/bz/about.cgi
It is not much a way to escape 9-5, more of a place where like-minded people get together and build something interesting. If it pays off financially, it is even better.
For simple apps, it doesn't matter much. Do what gets you in front of users soonest.
For more complex apps with a lot of client-side state, you may quickly find yourself outside of jQuery's intended use case. Note that simple apps often become much more complex under ongoing development.
What creates problems is trying to pile on a lot of questionable commits without enough structure or organization, and trying to shoehorn it into use cases which it's really not appropriate for. In practice, these situations occur much more often than people anticipate.
However, it's still possible to follow good principles using your own design and JQuery, which means you're tied into one less framework and have more flexibility.
If you're developing with a small team, or on your own, then maybe you're disciplined enough to go down the more flexible JQuery route.
If you've got a larger team, then maybe you need the more rigorous constraints of a framework like backbone to make sure everyone is coding to a sensible structure, and you don't end up with 5 design ideas merged together in one big mess.
That's my thoughts anyway. Frameworks can offer essential constraints to help avoid a mess but they might be an unnecessary burden of constraints aren't required.
If I was doing a project on my own. I'd use JQuery and unshackle myself from a higher level framework. If I was working in a team, I'd favour the safety of a framework to prevent too many people doing things their own way.
<rant>I have a personal aversion for jQuery... It's awful because you probably don't need 99% of it.</rant>
We don't start from the applications though. We hear from news stories when startups are doing well, and then we go back and look at their application.
Q: Have there been any startups you've later regretted rejecting from YCombinator?A: Sure, several. But I can't name names because it's not for me to disclose that they applied.
Additionally they also mention about contacting them on rejected applications:
"If you do, we'd appreciate it if you'd send us an email telling us about it; we want to learn from our mistakes"
Here are some that are known to have been rejected by YC and have gone onto raise funding (which is not a perfect metric by any means since funding success) or have been acquired:
- SendGrid - http://sendgrid.com/ - Raised $27.4M
- CouchOne - http://www.couchbase.com/ - Raised $56M
- AfterTheDeadline - http://afterthedeadline.com/ - Acquired By Automattic
- LightSail Energy - http://lightsailenergy.com/ - Raised $42.8M
- SignPost - http://www.signpost.com/ - Raised $15M
- Storenvy - http://www.storenvy.com - although they were kicked out of YC Raised $6.5M 
My understanding of the essays I've read is that there wouldn't be much point in it. Ideas evolve or change entirely, and more importantly people improve. If the gut feeling was no then, all you know is that something changed.
Edit: with older data included> http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/unicorn-...
The Khronos website has a huge page with a list of OpenCL tutorials and books:
Amazon has a number of OpenCL books available:
This book is available on Amazon but the previous edition is available for free:
Intel's website also has some "Getting Started" articles and optimization guides for OpenCL (for CPU, GPU, and Xeon Phi):
And when writing OpenCL, even you are using a single API to write code, if you want to get high performance you will need to rewrite parts of your application for each hardware you intend to run on if you want good performance. This is obvious since the code may end up running on Intel x86's or Intel, AMD or Nvidia GPU architectures which are all very different. If you're lucky, it's enough to rewrite your kernel code (the code running on the device). But you might also need changes to the host side code (running on the cpu) and make changes to the way you manage the memory and DMA transfers, etc.
Finally, when it comes to the basics, OpenCL is not too different from CUDA and there's a lot more material available on CUDA (because it's been around longer and is perhaps used a bit more). You should be able to pick up a book or a tutorial on CUDA and translate it to OpenCL without too much effort.
Finally, even though it may take quite a lot of learning to get started, parallel programming on GPUs is quite fun and it is very rewarding to see your code run with very high performance.
I learned CUDA first on my own, and then took an OpenCL class and found that the whole first section was completely redundant. There's also a pretty great wealth of CUDA material online and a few published books if that's your sort of thing.
To watch the video you need to be a registered Apple developer.
 http://www.thebigblob.com/getting-started-with-opencl-and-gp... https://github.com/pflanze/mandelbrot/tree/master/c
The course is already currently ongoing, but it's not too late to enroll. The course is mainly focused on CUDA (since it's easier to learn, the professor believes), but covers OpenCL as well.
In short: don't learn OpenCL. Both CUDA and C++AMP are good languages for programming heterogeneous machines and nVidia's Thrust and Microsoft's PPL are both excellent libraries to write efficient and reusable code. These language extensions are also strongly typed and come with really good tools. My advice is: learn any of them instead.
Why not OpenCL? AMD's Bolt library is the live proof that OpenCL is fxxxxx up beyond all repair. It is not meant for humans to write, nor for machines to understand.
Kernels are just character strings!!! This is just so wrong! Forget about using functors and lambdas as kernels, and forget about mixing kernels with templates. You will be better off using Python and PyOpenCL (which is great) that using C and C++. In C++ generating kernels is really hard, and generating kernels from expression templates is insanely hard.
Furthermore, this also means that the language is not typed at all!! Forgetting a semicolon in C results in a runtime error! Do you want syntax highlighting? Write your kernels in separate files! This is even worse than the way people used to write functors far away from the call site in C++03, at least they were in the same file!
As stated above my advice is don't learn it. Let it die. Your time is better spent learning CUDA/C++AMP and their libraries. The design rules for OpenCL have been "let's not learn anything from OpenGL" + "we need something, this is something, let's standarize this". This of course has resulted in an hilarious language that came after CUDA and was worse in every possible way.
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.
One summer my computer died and I thought I would be bored and miserable but it was excellent from the first day. Since then, I've understood that constant internet access just doesn't really function for me at this point in my life. It could, perhaps, but I'm very prone to using the internet as a kind of soothing, stupefying, time-wasting refuge. The internet is my comfort zone, I guess.
At home I read a lot, Kindle books and stuff I've loaded on Instapaper while at work. And I listen to podcasts and watch movies. This stuff all comes from the internet, but I have to gather stuff consciously for future offline use, which I find peaceful and constructive.
"Okay, I guess these are the things I have available right now, so I'll engage with them, instead of looking for something else."
What a lot of us are having trouble with isn't computers or the internet, per se, but the constant presence of "infinite jest."
I also do meditation, play guitar, go for walks and runs, cook, and so on. On weekends sometimes I'll go out to a coffee shop and do some internetting. And I'm posting this on Sunday, because I'm actually at the office, playing around with a hobby programming project and surfing the web, so...
I "do computer stuff" at my workstation and that's it. I can't stand laptop keyboards compared to real "mechanical" keyboards. I can't sit on a chair for long period of time besides my office's chair. I can't work productively on a tiny 17" screen (On my workstation I'm using a 24" screen with a tiling window manager and about 15 "virtual desktops").
So, to me, the experience of "using a device" is simply not an enjoyable one unless I'm sitting at my desk, in front of my workstation's monitor.
I used to have an iPhone which I let drop (it broke) and now since two years or so I'm back using my very old Nokia 3210 which... Allows to give and receive phonecalls. I know this is not going to be a popular view here but that's basically all I need from my cellphone. That said I may be buying an Android phone one of these days but... It's only to use it as a 2FA.
Doing this already prevents me from "wasting" time using a computer (or a tablet or a smartphone) when I'm not in my office, which is already great.
Now of course there's the issue of wasting time during work time on some of the sites you mentioned... The only really "problematic" one is HN: which I check even on sundays ; )
Got to go now: I'm going to play tennis with my brother ^ ^
You'll probably see a lot of studies quoted on here about moderation being the key to success. But keep in mind, that a study only looks at the averages, and we know that outliers exist. So as long as you're not hurting yourself or others, do what you feel is right and works for you.
I don't consider time I spend at my computer "wasted". What would be a better use of it? Gardening? Edging my lawn? Detailing my car? Golfing?
What I won't do, is work. Bringing work home is something I avoid whenever I can. I learned that lesson a while ago - burnout is a bitch. Let your brain do other things. Write code if you want, but don't code on anything work related.
From the facts that today's Sunday and I'm commenting on HN one can deduce it didn't work too well for me.
I get a great deal of information through HN, be it articles, discussions or whatever HN might throw at me. Sure, if you do it while you work, I'd probably agree it can be considered a waste, but everywhere else, the wealth of information on HN, I wouldn't call that a waste.
As for Facebook, that's a little harder to not call a waste, but I don't particularly feel it is though. It keeps me updated on my friends and events in a quick manner, but can be sort of a waste if the information I gather from "the wall" isn't of use to me.
Summed up: I don't feel what I do on my computer is a waste of my time. I'm not hooked to my computer, programming is my hobby, and it's not like I have trouble being social without my computer.
- No HackerNews/Reddit/... after 21:00.
- No computers/tablets/... after 22:00.
Other than that, other hobbies decrease computer time: watching series/news with my wife, running, cycling, Geocaching (a great outdoor hobby for the inner geek :)), and reading (generally newspapers).
Besides that, we are expecting our first baby next month. So, there will be no time for computers outside work ;).
It keeps you disciplined. It forces you to spend 10-15 hrs / week off a computer. It keeps you healthy. Can't say enough about it.
I did decide one year that I would not check those sites at work. And it helped. I didn't have the time or space at home to bother also, through exhaustion. I now only briefly fire up HN at work at lunchtime, and just scan the post titles. I'm not as disciplined at home.
At home I was lucky to have my battery die on my laptop, which has stopped me moving the laptop around the house. I'm actually quite glad of the little headspace that it gives me.
My partner cheats on me, by sneaking a tablet into the lounge, and that can feel a little weird. I think this has been discussed before. Couples spending more time with their phones/tablets at the expense of their relationship.
I still idle too much time on the PC. I remember a good activity. Time at the computer isn't that memorable. What happened to the last decade?
See also 'News is bad for you':https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6894244
Oh the paradox.
I don't feel there is any merit in Facebook / Twitter, but then I haven't got any friends / social life. I suppose I should have a blog for what I write in various fora, but I'd have even more trouble believing that anyone was reading it and I may start making less of an effort with my writing as a result.
Really anything I do that distracts me from boredom stops me slipping into depression. Luckily, I have no work deadlines...
I make plans to do other things I enjoy. Computer time is a filler if I'm not busy doing something else, like spending time with family/friends, being outdoors, running etc.
I agree with mbrock also that avoiding a smartphone (or having a data-less plan) is a good way to stop time being swallowed up. When you're on a net-connected machine eight hours a day at work, you don't need more screen time!
Consequently, I need to find my laptop to access internet and I sometimes do that but I don't feel like sitting in front of it like I used to. The magic has moved to mobile internet and because I don't have that anymore I have no desire to glue myself to the laptop for the sake of keeping myself entertained by the endless articles on internet. I mostly just open the laptop when I need to do real work or real chores.
I personally have noticed that I have this cycle:
1) I want something to do, perhaps for just a little while.
2) I think about doing something meaningful, but get a feeling of the task being overwealming, so I'm not going to do that right now.
3) I think of something that would be easy to do right now, and HN/FB/etc. comes up. You know, just for a little while.
4) I proceed to the FB/Reddit/HN/etc. cycle and before I know it, I've wasted way more time than I have intended.
This is my cycle, but I'm sure there are others that have something similar.
I have a case of repetitive strain injury (RSI), so I have to minimize my computer use outside of working hours for sure.
I have other things I like to do. I study Buddhism and Meditation at a local center on Wednesday nights. I go out with friends. I read. I listen to audio books. I have a hobby of studying philosophy and religion that takes up a ton of time (personal interest).
I watch Netflix using my gaming systems/tablet (although I try to minimize my gaming time to only on weekends occasionally).
This year I intend to try yoga and tai chi - both are supposed to be good for RSI sufferers.
I have noticed that I tend to read facebook more often if I leave it open on my tablet/phone (as you get notifications constantly). So I stopped that.
I generally try to limit Hacker News / Reddit / etc. to about 1 read a day. I open up all the articles in many tabs, and when I'm through that, I'm through. If I missed something important, it will come up again or someone I know will link me. I still sometimes fall into my cycle above, but at least I am more likely to notice that and avoid it now.
I'm single which is the main reason for this ;)
i don't feel this way at all. i probably spent about 1/4 of last year without an internet connection at home.
Well, I do have to admit, the location helped quite a bit. I was in the Galapagos Islands </brag>
Coming home, I've noticed an immediate reversion back to my old ways, with the addition of a low, simmering anger and slightly less patience towards these things. However, while I used to be angry and impatient when things would work slowly, I find now that I have this low level anger and impatience at the entire concept of the computer.
Unfortunately the phrase 'course of employment' has been held to have a broad meaning. The 1989 UK case of Missing Link Software v Magee held that where an employer could show that the work created was one that could be reasonably contemplated as part of the employee's duties, the employee would not have a claim to it. So if you're creating software programs in your spare time and your job description includes writing software programs, then the potential is that you wouldn't have a claim on them (although it depends on how closely the outside work is aligned to the work duties by the looks of things).
All the above doesn't require there to be any explicit clause in the agreement covering all IP rights. If there is such a clause, then I don't immediately see any reason why it would not be enforceable (although http://www.dyoung.com/article-ownership suggests the clause would be unenforceable).
All in all, I'd see a lawyer. If you want me to look at the agreement feel free to get in touch. I'm an in-house lawyer but will be able to give you some initial pointers and suggest a lawyer (I know a good firm in London who will provide an initial consultation for free).
Don't take legal advice from anyone but a lawyer that you are paying.
Seriously, this depends on a variety of factors and is especially dependent on your local laws, the specifics of the contract and most importantly, precedent.
Find a lawyer, give them your contract, detail your side project and get an opinion.
My understanding is that this term would not be considered reasonable, and as a result would not be enforceable. However, you'd need to either opt out or discuss this with a solicitor if you were planning to do anything which might come under that umbrella, as it would likely be expensive and messy if you had to fight, regardless of who's actually correct.
In most cases, I've found this has simply been thrown into an employment contract as part of a lawyer's off-the-shelf documentation, and will be removed upon request.
My previous employer changed contracts to one that stated that they would own any IP created "in the course of employment" and I got confirmation by email that it only covered work related to my job before I accepted the new terms.
Duck Duck Going for the term now produces a guide on IP created at work from Unite (a major British Union) that looks quite useful.
[TL;DR] This is only enforceable if explicitly written black-on-white in a contract you willingly signed.
I have seen similar clauses in engineering contracts before: this is rare but it exists, and you should beware. I would advise not to sign anything like that except maybe when you really trust the company's shareholders. At least, make it clear that you do work on your spare time, and show them that it is clearly unrelated.
So check your employment contract. In case it confirms your company's claims, you can still try to go to court: in some cases, a judge may consider that an abusive clause.
Alternatively, there is no chance this is an implicit argument: any IP renunciation must be explicit, so if you never signed anything like that, I think you should be safe.
A contract is just an initial template to speed up the negotiation. You can often request exemptions as long as you're specific about it. I've seen this clause plenty in the UK and I've also seen it amended.
I'd suggest you ask a solicitor rather than an internet though.
p.s. To everyone saying "It depends if it's in the contract" that's not very helpful, as it likely is in the contract but that doesn't make it necessarily enforceable. Plenty of contract terms aren't enforceable when you actually get a lawyer to look at them. In UK contract law, contracts cannot have unfair clauses.
The boilerplate contract we got from our solicitors had this clause in. I fed back that this would be a barrier to hiring quality staff and was told that it would likely be unenforceable anyway and was only in there to intimidate people if the company needed to force something through later.
The clause was removed for the hiring I did but I understand that at the next annual legal review it was reinserted as a "standard contact term" by the solicitors for all new hires :(
 Halliwells - who I apparently no longer exist - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halliwells
Basically these are put in place to stop you stealing source code improving it and releasing it as yours.
The best thing to do is ask for an exception for particular pieces of work if you are worried about it. Any half decent company will be more than willing to let you work on code outside of work so long as:
1. It does not affect your companies work.
2. The code you write at work will not be included in the projects you are working on.
"Under statute, copyright is only automatically owned by an employer if it is created by the employee in the course of his employment. On that basis, code written in an employee's spare time and outside of the scope of what he is doing for his job would belong to the developer. However, many employment contracts (particularly for jobs that are centred around the development of IP for the company to exploit - such as software development) include the transfer of ownership to the company in much broader cases. This might capture any code developed that relates to the business of the company (eg. any computer games), whether written entirely at home and not using company resources."
I get written waivers for all work that I don't want my employer to own.
I struck a line through it and got my line manager to initial it before I signed the contract.
I wasn't hired as a programmer but no way was I signing over the rights to any of my personal projects because "that's what we always do".
It also depends upon your role. If you are hired to invent new things then it is no good claiming that an invention you seek to sell on your own account does not belong to your employer of the time - even if you only worked on it at home.
And Even if the company owns the IP, it has to get a NOC, when filling.
Which in short means, that while filling for copyright, one of the parties is the developer, a company can't obviously be a developer.
NOC= No Objection Certificate
It does depend on your contract, common law, and legal precendent. Contracts can be modified. Some companies and organization require that you get outside activities or employment approved by management and human resources or ethics.
IANAL, etc. Ask a lawyer if you want any reliable answer.
That sounds horrific...
I work for a ftse 35 company as a dev and there's nothing close to that, just the usual "Work done on our time or our equipment is ours"
If you're only willing to pay $100 for your freedom, and they're willing to put up $500 worth of nuisance legal roadblocks in your way, they won. On the other hand, if they're only willing to spend $5000 max to own you as their property, and you're willing you spend $10000 to gain your freedom, you've won. Doesn't matter if its objectively legal or not, its shouldn't even be part of your decision. Now its very important to your lawyer and his strategy and the related costs, but figuring that stuff out is his specialty. Every slave has a sale price, the legal system will figure it out. Might be a lot more or a lot less than you think. Your legal rep will let you know.
It strikes me as a dumb idea from a liability standpoint to want to own a developer as a slave, thinking of malware and the like, or even just innocent bugs.
You should check what your contract says, but regardless of what it says, if you aren't using your company's source code, equipment and designs etc I think this would be hard to enforce (without knowing the facts here). Even if you did sign an employment contract including this, if you are not developing anything that builds on top of your company's work, this could be seen as restriction of your trade (or a similar concept) and be unenforceable but whether this is the case or not is really depends on the specific facts here.
I think your best bet is to take a look at your contract and if it does include wording to the effect that whatever you develop (whether this be in work or not) then you should talk to an IP lawyer who has some experience with employment issues like this.
By way of my background - I'm an ex corporate M&A lawyer based in London so IP/employment isn't my specialist area and it can be quite tricky so I would recommend you try and find one to make sure you get this right.
I should also add that I'm currently building a UK based platform to help people with legal issues find good lawyers at fair prices which will be launched in the next month, but if you need assistance before this get in touch and maybe I can help find the right lawyer for you (this will be free to you - charges are deducted from the lawyer).
1. They waste my time (which is also a waste of their time).
That is, they are selling something that I don't need, generally because they don't know anything about me. If you're cold calling me, you should have read through our company's web site already. It's only fifteen pages or so; you can skip the press releases. You don't know what business I'm in? Why should I bother with you?
2. They are wasting my time.
Frequently I get called by salespeople who don't know what they're selling, except the name of it, a two sentence description that they memorized but don't understand, and they want to set up a meeting. You have a software product? What OS does it run on? Does it have a web interface? You're selling consulting services but you can't describe them because your answer for everything is "we can find people to do that, they are experts!"?
3. They are wasting my time.
I already talked to you yesterday, last week, last month or last quarter. We discussed your product or service and it was clear from that phone call that we would never be a good fit for each other. (Your product only runs on Windows. Your service is Exchange consulting. You want to help process our customers' confidential data...)
I will repeat this in the end. But learn who you need to talk to. (Don't accept a no from someone who cant say yes) a lot of your time will be spend with finding the right person.
Here is my advice.
1. Write down a sales pitch with some alternatives depending on what the answer is. It should be structured something like this.
Step 1Who you are, who you want to talk to.
Once you reach the person you need to talk to:
Step 2Who you are, why you are calling, what your product do, what your offer to them is (always have some kind of offer like 20% off or something like that)
Step 3Answer questions, write down customer skepticism and learn from it. (you will become better and better at answering these questions and even able to forsee patterns)
Step 4Close the deal, tell exactly what is going to happen next. Follow up with what you promised.
2. Practice this again and again.
3. Make sure your goal is to close something. (either a meeting, sales or sending more info)
4. Create a sales funnel where you places your customers depending on how close they are to a sale.
5. Make sure you understand who you need to talk to (never accept a no from a person who cant say yes)
Rinse and repeat.
Keep in mind cold calling is a numbers game.
It's just reeks of unprofessionalism, in my opinion. If you don't care about me enough to respect my time, then why on earth would you care about me enough to provide me with a good customer service experience after you've already hooked me?
I've had companies call me before claiming to work at google, claiming that my company isn't doing enough /google something/ and that they can help! If I pay them $foo, then I will be number in the google!
It's really annoying. This is why things like this: http://www.itslenny.com/ which is hilarious, btw) exist.
Instead call to get information. Most people want to help. Ask them questions about things relevant to your service to qualify them. Ask them if they want information about your service and collect an email address. Add them to a nurture campaign so if they ever are looking to buy you're at the top of their list.
I got a marketing assistant to make these type of calls for a couple of weeks with a 60% success rate of getting an email address. In Australia email permission is opt in. I don't know what the conversion rate of the nurture campaign ended up being because I left the company.
I'm an LSAT instructor, and author of LSAT explanations. Here's the result of my cold calling
1. I contacted a small company in Toronto that did LSAT and SAT instruction. I'm in Montreal. I called and asked the secretary if they would like to be in Montreal.
She handed me to the founder, who said yes, interviewed me, and I'm still doing work for them. I've traveled the country teaching courses, added new tests to my skillset, and been able to build a private tutoring practice based on things I learned from them.
2. I emailed the guy who runs LSAT Blog, the major blog in my niche. As a result of a few back and forth emails, he asked me if I'd like to write LSAT explanations he could sell.
This led to royalties from him, and manuscripts I later turned into print books, which pay me even more royalties. I now sell the explanations through other online affiliates as well, and turned them into my own site
3. I emailed the founder of another LSAT prep company, just to say hi, after his company experienced a setback.
This led to them bringing me on board for a six month term. I learned a lot, and now they refer me tutoring students.
I think there may be others. But given that these three are 90% of my business success, I probably wouldn't even BE in business if it weren't for cold calls.
The key to all of them was that I was somehow relevant to the people I contacted. They could help me, and I could help them.
The more targeted, the better.
"Great thanks. My names is X, and my company does Y. Does it sound like there might be someone who it would be good for me to talk to? If it's a no then that is absolutely fine." Then go quiet.
This is the best opener I have used and it gets me a name and my call forwarded 80% of the time - which is the main aim of a cold call, if you're going in with getting a sale in mind it will always feel like a massive mountain.
Also, if in the 30 second explanation you can get something about them in first it works even better. Also, don't go over your 30 seconds.
Edited now that I am on computer to add more detail:
Some of the key points in the book are: -Split sales team into two parts, one group that only sends out opening emails, one set that closes the leads/sets up meetings. Once a meeting is set, the opener passes the prospect onto the closer.-the first email should be three sentences introducing who you are, what you do (can put clients you work with) and what you are looking for (appointment or referral)
I get pitched by a lot of companies, and one company had used this exact pitch on me and out of hundreds they were one of the few to get me to take an appointment call. Months later when I read this book, I recognized their tactic and went back and read the email and it was 100% based on what came out of this book.
 edit: misspelled title
Long story short: when they call me, I'm generally in REM sleep, and have been for a mere 2 hours. After their interruption, I will not be able to sleep back, but will spend the next 10 hours in zombie mode.
I have found a fantastic new way to use this zombie time: looking up legal, and law services, small courts, corporate databases about their company, facebook of their personal, and any and all leveraged counter-offense methods, that will make these companies, and individuals within not exist ever, ever again.
Please for the love of all that is holy, respect TPS's do-not-call lists.
 See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6163051 for more
However, I went into EVERY call, knowing the person I was calling. I'd research via LinkedIn, and find out everything I could about that person, and the business.
I was amazed at how many times I'd contact somebody and they'd already heard of my business, and were keen to do business with me. At the same time, more often than not, things didn't work out. But as some have said the key is to know what you're selling, and you're not selling your product, you're selling what your product can do for them. Make sure you're able to speak to that. "I thought it would be great if you guys had x,y,z and could do a,b,c for your customers. It would ease problem a for you, and I'd estimate, based on what I know of your company, increased revenues of y".
Make it easy for them, hand them your business on a silver platter. Like I said, most times you won't get the sale, but you'll make more contacts in the industry, they may recommend you to other potential partners, or who knows.
Don't think "I'm going to sell them", think "I'm going to help them".
IMO, a good cold caller will work very hard to get to the right person, if that person exist. They will be committed and relentless to generating the lead for their sales team. They will work on their script to a point where they have answers for most types of questions. They will use the tools that they are provided (e.g. salesforce) to ensure to keep a log of what they've done and their todo list. And they will be in constant contact with the sales team to ensure that all information is provided back to them in a structured manner.
If you think that cold callers are waisting your time, simply try and tell them that you are not interested or point them to a different person who may be interested (if that person exists). There's no point for a caller to place a call to someone who has no interest in buying their offering, that's just a waste of time. Cold callers are "not" telemarketers.
Without a referral or lead, if you're cold calling, you're calling someone who not only hasn't inquired about your service, but whom you have no reason to believe wants to hear from you. In my opinion, you have no place calling that person. If you choose to do so anyway, it's your responsibility to waste as little of their time as possible in as cordial a manner as you can. Hard sells are absolutely awful.
I only get upset with cold callers that don't quit the first time I say no. No matter how qualified you believe a lead is or how it's been validated/verified, if the person on the other end says no, don't push it. Maybe they'll just keep saying no, but maybe they'll remember you as the pushy jerk whose product/service they'll now never consider.
Outbound sales, be it cold calls, cold email or warm intros, are very powerful. Keep in mind "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility". Don't waste people's time. Ask for permission to speak. Listen.
Recommended reading: Jason Lemkin http://www.quora.com/Jason-M.-Lemkin
How GuideSpark Tripled Revenues Two Years in a Row, Growing to Almost Eight Figures in ARR All Using Outbound Saleshttp://saastr.quora.com/How-GuideSpark-Tripled-Revenues-Two-...
1) Target Potential Customers
Rather than blanket e-mail every person in my industry, I look for people and organizations that are significantly more likely to be receptive to my product. I've segmented my market based on highly-relevant characteristics to increase chances that my e-mail will be well received. The contact may even already be looking for a product like mine. I also keep an eye out for news articles and mentions for people in my space that show they are a relevant lead.
2) Do My Research
Nothing gets deleted faster than a stock e-mail. I research my prospective targets and try to understand what their situation is. What is their reputation in the market, what are they struggling with, and can my product help alleviate any of that? This shows that my e-mail is more than just SPAM and that I'm trying to develop a relationship.
3) Play It Slow and Develop a Relationship
As mentioned in other posts, cold calls can be as much for info as a sales lead. In some markets, its also about developing a relationship that may take a long time to convert. Even if someone's not interested in my product, if I can help them in another way (maybe an intro) I'll do it to keep the conversation going. Maybe down the road they'll return the favor by providing me a rec.
4) Let It Go
Followup is key, but beating someone up is a waste of time. If someone's not interested and doesn't want to be bothered I'll let it go. The last thing I want is to develop a bad reputation or be reported as SPAM.
Interestingly, organic traffic performs better than cold calling. By a decent margin. But, on the road sales blows both out of the water. Obviously.
So if your looking at marketing strategy, someone on the road might be a good investment (depending on the product and customer base).
If you're doing B2B sales in a relatively new category there's basically no other way to reach your early market; they're not googling for your category, and probably not even for a technical solution to it, especially if you're selling to a non-IT function (marketing, sales, finance, etc.).
In those contexts, cold-calling, done well, can help educate the market, create demand, and set the stage for later inbound efforts. Often we'll have a cold call where the prospect's response isn't "WTF you wasted my time" but "I had no idea this kind of thing existed; where were you 5 years ago?"
It's not easy; you have to select your targets carefully, and have a good pitch, not be too push, and get a lot of other things right to make it work, but it DOES work.
1. Ask for the person's name or company's name first thing: this tells the person you are indeed looking for them
2. Do not sell in the first 20 seconds. Tell them you are looking for someone in their line of business and ask them if you can ask them a couple of questions
3. Ask them questions relating to their business
Only then do you explain how your business solves the problems. I have found that this recipe almost always makes it impossible for the target to say 'no' and cut the call. Once they answer your questions, they are interested to know how exactly you come into the picture. This process seems more successful than anything else for me.
DO:Keep it brief, don't give the full pitch.Ask for 15 minutes on the calendar to explain in more detail.Ask if you caught them at a good time. If not, ask when would be better to call back.Leave a voicemail.Be casual and genuinely excited to talk to them, like hearing from an old friend.Send 3-4 sentence email, both for intro and to follow up ("My voicemail" subject lines get good open rates).Call multiple people at different levels in the organization (and ask if they're the right person to speak to).
I sent them a mockup of what I thought their web-page should be (4 hours of work?), one meeting later I'd locked down a nice 5 figure contract to develop an internal app (they decided they didn't want a web page) and it looks to become an ongoing relationship.
The web page, I later found out, is what really hooked them, despite them not wanting it ultimately.
Result: 6 figure income on a 70k base, for 4 years.
I also do Customer Development-type emails for my own side business, and for others (as-a-service).
Summary: it works. If you learn how to do it right.
Top tools: Stephan Schiffman's Telesales and Basho Email System.
Also: for cold calling to work you must have something of value, that solves a real pain/problem. Not something ephemeral like an app that, say, splits the dinner bill amongst friends.
Indeed, cold calling will not be a big part of our strategy going forward - but it's a great way to feel out the market.
I think in terms of the cold email pitches I get, and think of which ones I'm willing to consider and which ones I don't. Given that, my thinking is something like this:
Regarding 1 - If you send me a rambling 6,000 word manuscript, I'm not reading it, and I probably will hit "delete" in after about 4 seconds of skimming unless something in there really catches my eye.
Regarding 2 - this may be the most important one. If you spam me with some random crap that has no connection to what I'm doing, and/or anything I need, I'm hitting "delete" pretty much from the get-go. And if you want to sell me something, you need to talk about my needs, not your product or service. And you should have done your research ahead of time. If it's apparent to me that I'm getting something that's the result of a mail-merge run with nothing to hint that you know anything what my company does, where we are, how we operate, etc., guess what? "Delete".
Regarding 3 - If you get the name of the company wrong, have shitty grammar and / or spelling, or otherwise send me something that is barely comprehensible, it's going in the bin in the blink of an eye. And being a non-native English speaker isn't going to buy you much of an exception. I'm in America, if you want to do business with me, learn to speak English. Likewise if you're emailing somebody in Spain... learn Spanish. And get somebody to proof read your message that's fluent. I'll tolerate a small amount of sloppiness in terms of grammar and what-have you, but you have to at least make an effort.
So, my theory is... do some research up front, find out as much about the customer as you can up-front. Write something in clear English (or the appropriate language) using proper spelling and grammar. Keep it fairly short, and focus on the customer's needs, situations and problems. But I don't mean to assume they have a certain problem. I mean, phrase things in terms of "We've noticed that companies like yours often have problems like X... We are specialists in X, and I'd like a few moments to find out more about your company and whether or not you are really dealing with X". Something based on the "Core Story" approach put out by Chet Holmes would also be received well (by me anyway) as long as it isn't too long, and is backed up with credible data, etc.
Do that, and I think you have at least a shot. In my case, if you email me like that, I may simply not need whatever it is you're selling... but at least I'll read your email, consider it, and probably even reply. If you send crap, it's going straight to the trash can, often mostly (or completely) unread.
Do this... go through a bunch of the spam you get, and figure out which emails you receive well, and which ones evoke the "delete after four seconds" response. Model your own communications more after the first batch, and don't do whatever the people in the second batch are doing.
To those that hate receiving cold calls, remember: most of these sales development folks that call leads are fresh out of school and simply trying to gain a foothold in a hyper-competitive space. Don't let them waste your time if that's what they're doing, but have a heart!
If your product/service can't be explained by e-mail, I'm not interested in acquiring it. Please remove my number.
harvest.let('father', loadPenguin, 'MrPenguin'); harvest.let('mother', loadPenguin, 'MrsPenguin'); harvest.let('family', loadPenguinFamily, wait('father'), wait('mother'));
The above call do 3 calls without then or declaring ugly callbacks!
Plus, I can design responsive one-pagers easily with my own design tool, which is also coincidentally where I host the resumes. Customization is mostly the cover letter and tweaking specific job history accomplishments to focus on what a job posting is looking for, but often I've done custom designs as well.
One big issue I find is that many online job submission forms still only have an 'upload .doc or .pdf resume' button which accepts a file. Once you get around this and have actual people click the link, the results are usually good. I will usually post a text-only version with a header to the effect of "Hi there - please view this resume online for easier readability & sharing. [link here]"
One part I don't like is to defeat keyword scanning I've always customized my resume. Anyone with more than 6 months real world experience has to leave tons of stuff out of a resume to keep it a reasonable length, so customizing to match an advertisements ridiculous keyword set is perfectly honest. My current job really doesn't care what I did with VTAM on MVS although my future one might.
I object to labeling "Tweaking our storage configuration a bit" as "details", though. ;)
Once I get a break I'll write a blog post about it, and try the Matasano/Square and Stripe CTFs :)
The Mortgage Portal was an online marketplace for mortgage brokers to find appropriate products for their customers. It started with an idea that I spent a month building in my spare time. I worked with a colleague (both of us consulting in the mortgage technology arena) to bring it to market.
I started with a flexible mortgage that I drew salary against - so 0 capital. We then went around hawking the idea to the marketplace. We met a lot of resistance from established players (owned by the big banks, so no way we could disrupt the marketplace), and in the end pivoted into a platform for new lenders to get to market quickly. We helped a handful of banks launch new channels in a few months, which was a great selling point. Then came the downturn.
Our sales model was monthly fee + per transaction fee. It was never profitable.
We didn't look at grants/loans. There are some around, but my opinion is they are probably a distraction at this stage. If you're interested look at http://www.j4bgrants.co.uk/ - they have a wealth of information.
The most valuable thing we did was pivot. We didn't pivot fast enough which made things untenable.We never scaled (started with two, ended with just me), and we failed for various reasons. I could blame the market - all our remaining customers either went bankrupt or closed within the space of a few days - but the reality was that the idea was just a starting point and we didn't move from that.
In my view, if you have an idea, your first step is to go out there and find a customer. Don't build anything (that is the easy bit) before you have someone willing to give you money. We should've done that - taken the idea and then asked what our customers wanted to do with it - rather than impose our views on them.
As for resources, there are many available and it will depend on what your trying to achieve and where you're located. If in London, I'd recommend the Google Campus (http://www.campuslondon.com/) as a good starting point. Then look for Meetups in your area.
Two things that fit the "passive" mentality that have been picking up steam recently:
1) I offer an affiliate program with a revenue share commission (upfront bonus plus 10% of the referred customer's payments for a year). A couple of my best customers have become my best affiliates, recommending the product on industry blogs they write for regularly. It doesn't get better than having excited customers marketing your product for you. In the early days the affiliate program wasn't doing much at all, now it's a meaningful contributor to subscriber growth.
2) I've been running Improvely long enough now (just over a year) that some of the clients are growing their businesses significantly. I've got quite a few marketing agencies on board, and they're picking up new clients and adding them to their accounts. As their business grows, and their usage grows, they upgrade to plans with higher usage limits. Same customer base, higher revenue per customer. In the beginning, a new customer was worth $30ish per month. Today that's over $70/m per customer on average.
You can also save routes and display them later. I use google adsense on my website and also on youtube. I have been averaging about $600 per month in revenue. Now that I have done this update (which took a few months), I suspect that my adsense income is going to increase dramatically. If you want to learn more about my project, here is the landing page:
I'm 53 now and I've been a software contractor for the past 17 years. Because of the economy and my age, I was having an increasingly difficult time getting contracts. It's hard to compete with young programmers who can work a lot faster than you and at a much cheaper rate. So I decided it was time to step out on my own. It has been very challenging, a little frightening (ok, a lot frightening), but I am making slow progress.
Today, I was very happy to find out that my project was nominated for "Project of the Month" on Sourceforge. It's been downloaded about 8000 times in the past 4 days and has gotten 24 5-star reviews. If you have an account with Sourceforge and have the time to look at my project, would you please vote for me if you feel it's worth it?
Thank you. I appreciate the help and let me know if you have any questions.
1) oScope an oscilloscope in your pocket. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/oscope/id344345859?mt=8
2) Octave a real-time audio analyzer. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/octave-an-rta-for-the-iphone...
3) Fourier a spectrum analyzer. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fourier/id386084557?mt=8
I built all of these for fun in college, and I've occasionally updated them afterwards. The only thing I do now is answer a few emails a week.I've since gone back to grad school, but the yearly income has not changed, and approaches my stipend (low 5-digit).
What's been really neat is how people have found unexpected ways to use the apps. Sound engineers for halls and communities use Octave to set up the sound for concerts. Teachers use oScope to help kids understand how sound is composed of moving pressure waves of air, and how pitch is the frequency of these waves. Also, oScope had a tiny cameo in the show Homeland, as a "fancy science-looking analyzer tool for spying on people" (uncredited, unfortunately).
Between 2010 and 2012 or so I picked up some condos here in San Diego at short sale for about 1/3 of what their price was a few years earlier. I get about 1.5% of their purchase price every month in rent. At the same time, the property values have appreciated so the rents are starting to increase as well.
The longest I've had any of them vacant was about two weeks and that was only during the time I was replacing carpet, appliances, furnace, painting walls, fixing stuff, etc.
To make it completely passive I have a property manager (I live in the area, but I value my time). That along with HOA fees and real estate taxes eat into my bottom line, but combined it's only about 1/5 of the monthly rent.
These properties allowed me to quit my job, self-fund my company, and I'm actually putting money away every month. Go figure.
I'm not a real estate expert, but if you have any basic questions feel free to get in touch (contact info is in my profile). As background, I bought my first house at 21 and owned 5 homes by the time I was 27 (I'm 29 now). I was in the military until a few months ago, so I didn't make a whole lot, but I'm pretty good with money and invested wisely. I didn't grow up with much, so I learned what not to do with money. I'm also pretty deliberate about how I spend my money, which is different than being frugal.
http://srctree.net - A pastebin with version controlhttp://blocksim.net - A poor man's online simulink-like thingy
I am aware that there is a _lot_ of room for improvement in both services, but the fact that nobody uses it at all is not very motivational.
It's mostly passive income as I spend no more than a few hours per week actually working on the site. Though I spend considerably more monitoring the stats and feeds etc etc
My biggest win with this site is the extremely low cost to run it - something I want to talk about more if anyone's interested. My only real regular cost is the domain name! Pretty phenomenal for a site that continues to attract thousands of visitors per day :) a model I'm proud of and hopefully can continue!
But of course, all standing on the shoulders of giants! Many thanks has to go to far more talented people than me... both for the site's foundations and it's popularity.
Edit: ROI could be improved a bit on this too since I intentionally bought hardware that was good to experiment with rather than optimizing ROI.
Flagship stores - I went around taking pictures of the best of the best stores for the top retail brands in London and made a directory. Created page on Blogger.
Ecommerce business is my best passive income. It's a physical product I really wanted so I made it. It's a map of London but made in the historic style. http://www.wellingtonstravel.com
I still need to spend time on it because I am customer service, legal, accounting, finance, marketing, IT, R&D, and operations. I have outsourced manufacturing and fulfillment to someone I found on https://sortedlocal.com/ and Amazon's FBA. It's great because it's more money and something I'm passionate about but it definitely takes 5-7 hours a week.
The teaching one is interesting in particular because it leverages your strengths, improves your communication, and is probably something you really enjoy since you took the time to get good at it (i.e. sailing, swimming, kettlebell workouts, or even English). I wrote a post about teaching English (http://www.taigeair.com/websites-to-help-you-teach-english-o...) for people who complained they couldn't find a job so did nothing all day, but they could be teaching a special skill which is what I did when I became unemployed. I learned code, created a few websites, interviewed, and taught swimming.
And rental income is good but definitely, not very passive...
Lastly, I'm developing a really cool website for helping people sleep which I can see being profitable.
I'd like to hear how much time you spent or are spending on these side projects. Also I heard babies are a time and money sink. So I'd be interested in hearing about people doing side projects/passive income with kids.
I wrote it, released it, then to my surprise, it got a pretty massive amount of downloads. Over the years, I've updated it to new versions of the OS, but very minimal work.
Not a lot of money, but it wasn't a whole lot of effort either. It covers the internet bill.
It blows my mind that people still find out about this app and happily buy it every day even though it occupies such a small geeky niche.
- I agree with cdaven. Good content is better than SEO, but you only take the fruits 1-2 years later. Use your expertise. It is much easier/faster/more rewarding if you blog about something you are an expert.
- Adsense is ugly but is the fastest way to monetise a blog. I was making 15/month before adsense and now I have slightly less traffic. Text ads or images ads? If you have an text intensive blog go for image ads and for an image intensive blog go for text ads.
I added adds from multiple sources (mopub, admob etc) and in app purchases.
For the paid app: In the top months (2 years ago) I made around 800 euro. But it dropped to 90 euro per month currently.For in app purchases: I am making 30 euro per month currently.For ads: Making about 200 euro per month currently.
The amount of work I've actually had to do was really quite little. I had to do initial development, and then fix some bugs. Then, it just sat there and brought in $5-20 a day. Eventually AT&T patched the original exploit I used for root access so I had to do research and development to find a new one and implement it, which took about 2 weeks or so. And since then, it's just been sitting there bringing in bits of money. I plan on adding some often requested features over the next month though
Also, I provided the app only for convenience. The information on how to root the modem for free is published freely on my blog, I just provide the app because I know that the steps required are too complicated for many people
Internet yellow pages, www.ablocal.com, doing quite well. Can't disclose metrics, but it makes more than you probably would guess.
Domain sales - again can't disclose specifics, but in the $xx,xxx range this year from domains. Not a huge portfolio, but some good ones.
And we just launched Gold Plugins (last Friday), a membership club for our premium WordPress plugins. Hoping it will become a good vehicle, although we do pride ourselves on awesome support, so not that passive. Previously, we were selling these plugins separately, for about $1k/month. No stats on the membership system yet.
Gold Plugins: http://goldplugins.com/
I have some others, but nothing that's making enough money to be interesting! I'll add more if I think of them; we have a bunch of random properties.
It is "passive" in the sense that I respond to the occasional e-mail (once a month), update the data once a year, and add another calculator when I feel like it.
A few years back, I was in the same position with another (online casual gaming) website, that I sold for 2.5x the yearly revenue. Looking back, I should probably have kept that site as well.
Pro tip: quality content beats SEO in the long run. Be the tortoise.
It's making a bit over $1,000 in monthly ad revenue. Traffic is at ~3k dailies.
I did this as a weekend project 2 years ago, and at some point migrated my blog to it to pick up DomainRank. Other than that I've mostly left it alone.
I've been making extra cash lately by running bandit algorithms to optimize the click through rate, basically choosing the optimal call to action. I've got a wordpress plugin which does that automatically which I've just made public:
As I am more a dog person, I decided one year (and about 1000) later to open http://doggifpage.com. It increased a bit my incomes but not so much. As you may know, the Internet loves cats, cats and cats!In 2013, I earned almost 4000 for about 10 fun hours of gif gathering!
I have some plans for 2014 but I want to keep this project fun and certainly not time-consuming.
As always with my products - marketing and getting more people to see them is always a big problem. Once they use them, customers like them - it's getting them to the site to even see them.
I'm in the process of re-writing mySimpleAds and adding in a bunch of stuff, but I don't know if it will still be stuck in neutral and not bring in the folks. I'll also plan to write more products, figuring maybe that will bring people in.
I'd say my time - which was evenings after work - investment was around 3-4 days initially and then fulfilling orders is simply writing a customers address and posting the stickers - which if the demand was bigger I'd probably outsource.
It's been great. I've learnt a shit tonne & the conversations it started has given me an idea for a similar product which I'll be focusing on very soon!
2) Helping my artistic friends selling their products. If you want to sell designer products, you can sign up here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1dmyfzRwBbpcKAyRplHs0i2RMqsC...
In a few months I'll be able to buy myself a coffee! =)
I'm currently working on an app that is aimed at kids that should encourage them to write more and be creative. Hoping to get more traction with that.
Its hosted on github, and costs $8/yr for the domain name.
I paid a designer to completely redo the interface, but then iOS 7 happened. Lost a lot of customers with the transition, because I had to throw away the new design and start again.
I built this out of my passion for comedy and because I wanted to have only comedy videos in one place and not the mix that Youtube offers. It's not making any money yet, but I haven't put much effort into promoting it so far.
The books themselves: http://www.amazon.co.uk/s?_encoding=UTF8&search-alias=digita...
I built this in 2011 to learn app development (its a webapp built using PhoneGap). Took about a month of evening/weekend work to push out, and most of that time was consumed by collecting and creating interesting puzzles. It was featured on Google Play's Top Paid Educational Games leaderboard for a while, and that contributed to a spike in income. That apart, I haven't done/don't know of any viable means to promote it.
I'm now working on several iOS (http://james.brooks.so/contare-my-first-ios-app/) applications (paid) however I do intend to offer free versions with iAds.
I've also got an Android app on the Play Store that's made me a few quid; https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jbrooksuk....
Apart from my iOS applications now, I intend to develop some SaaS apps that I can use to generate some more income.
1. Income from ~5 non-fiction Kindle books for sale on Amazon. Around $100 a month, though at one point when I was more heavily marketing them it went up to $900-$1000. Would be great to spend more time on this and automate a system where I have a couple of assistants doing this for me around the clock (marketing and book creation).
2. Income from a single Youtube video which links to a simple blog (about solar power) with Adsense ads. I get about 50 cents to a dollar a day from this.
3. I used to work for a jewelry firm doing SEO, going into their office on weekdays. Had to quit later, so I asked if I could do the work from home and send a work log each week. They pay me $300 per week for simple social media and blog posts. I pay a girl in Pakistan (who has good English skills) $70 per week to do the work for me. She's very good and I'm thankful to have her. They have no clue.
Feel free to PM me if you'd like to speak about these things / wanna brainstorm.
I made it to learn Android development. It took me total of 5 days: 2 days to learn basic android stuff then next two days to develop this app and on last day creating dev account and publishing on Android store.
After publishing I forgot the password of signing key I used, so I never updated this app except for a description change. Initially there was almost no revenue but it increased over the time as the download count increased. After two year(of publishing), it is giving me around $70/per month through ads (admob).
Gotten hugely popular in Norway. Released a revamped iOS 7 version to the US last week (?). Things are going slow over there. Not even reached 1000 downloads.
Traffic always spike during 23:00 - 03:00 when kids should be sleeping... 99% of users lurk and browse reddit/9gag/imgur some contribute (no account needed for browsing).
Link for the lazy:https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lolipop-funny-images-gifs/id...
It hasn't made me rich, but it usually sells about a copy a day. I love that it's entirely passive. I wrote it, published it, and it just sits there on my website making money.
It's also been a good way to build a list of people who would be interested in other things I make.
PS. Use coupon code "hn" for $2 off if you're interested.
One is an iOS text clipboard manager (with iCloud sync) https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/copycopy-clipboard-manager/i...
The other one, for the lazy students in the italian market, is a database you can use also offline of recaps from books you study in school, with in app purchases..https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iriassunti-riassunti-di-ital...
They are both in the 4/5 star ratings
Weren't it for years of stupid decisions (and a family, the one best decision ever though), I could almost live comfortably off of that.
Motivated by breaking $100/day a few months ago and now $200, I'm using it as a sort of template to launch other sites. By this time next year I might actually break $10,000/month and then finally relax :)
Probably make 2-3 sales/yr which is always a nice surprise. It comes up first when you Google "escapianet php"
I also wrote a PHP book in 2007. I still get royalty cheques, although they've almost approached 0 - the last quarter was about $30 ;)
Most of my income now is from app sales.
We have a tor hidden service for anonymous submissions. We offer free service for whistleblowers, that want to stay anonymous (and can't pay us).
The structure is a tad special in that we have no fixed costs (apart from the hosting part).
Any feedback of course is appreciated - that's really niche, and we're wondering how to move forward when our product is that special.
I have a bunch of cool stuff out there but my biggest weakness is marketing. I can never seem to drive enough targeted traffic to my projects.
It used to bring in more, but some people wrote very negative reviews which were upvoted, so its sales dropped.
I don't feel too bad because many people who read it say it is unusually helpful and accessible.
We just launched our product Blogvio (http://www.blogvio.com) which is yet break even. Right now we're only partnering with platforms to white label our Editor and widgets, but we'll soon release a pricing plan for all users of the website.
Our 2008 marketplace Flabell (http://www.flabell.com) (flash products... I know) is still going strong, although we too think Flash is dead. People still buy those components, so we still provide support for them. We stopped advertising though a few years back. :-)
Same goes for our Flash Components on ActiveDen, these still sell a couple of hundreds every month. So it's still passive income after 6yrs+. :)
http://www.thingsunder15.com and http://www.myfancysauce.com
Have to live in the U.S. and have good credit to do it, but Ive been at it for a few years now and havent paid for airfares or barely any lodging costs on almost all my travel. Working on an online class that teaches how to do it, looking to sell that for some real passive income.
1) I make a few bucks a month off my reddit client: http://www.ruddl.com - I pay $0 for hosting on Heroku so I'm more or less net positive.
2) I also make a few bucks off my blog in tips: http://jes.al/blog/
I'm working on ideas for a SaaS product or even a book to add to that list.
Not getting much passive income yet but I hope 2014 will be our year :-)