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Ask HN: How do you start a website that requires user contribution?
44 points by stepanbujnak  6 hours ago   35 comments top 21
wuliwong 4 hours ago 0 replies      
One story I've heard is from Alexis Ohanian one of the founderes of reddit.com. He said that in the beginning they created multiple accounts and posted lots of content themselves. So basically, they faked it for a while. :)

I believe the story with Yelp is that they paid people to write reviews in the beginning.

I definitely feel you, I have had similar struggles. I made a site that had some limited traction, mostly my friends used it. I think if your close friends are actually in the demographic you are looking for, then that is a great place to start.

Something else I try to consider is to make a site that strives to serve millions of users but can be useful to far less. I've been working on a locally focused, social network and I am creating it in a way that even if 10 people are using it, as long as they goto the same places, it should be useful. 10 people in the same area would be worth 1000 people strewn across the globe in my case.

But I do believe that it is a problem that has a solution which differs greatly from case to case. It's certainly a chance to show your creativity and hustle, I suppose. :)

simantel 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Unless you have an existing audience you've built up before launching, I think the not-so-secret secret of most user generated content sites is that they faked it when they were starting out.

Alexis Ohanian has talked about how they seeded Reddit with posts made under various fake usernames for the first few months after launching. They made it so that as admins, they just had an extra field for "username to post with" when creating new posts.

rwhitman 4 hours ago 2 replies      
You have to fake it. Yelp seeds every city they enter with paid copywriters for instance, Reddit was entirely fake accounts initially. Airbnb pays for photography of nicer listings.

Either hire professional copywriters or recruit unpaid off-site interns to do it for you. Personally the intern method I think works best because they are dedicated to giving you good content, but really rough around the edges and the content feels very genuine. The NYC craigslist jobs section works phenomenally for this.

vii 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Having worked on a growth team for a few years and where I incremental millions more active users above trend, the underlying techniques are surprisingly simple.

- implement many different ways you can display the content you have and try to make it relevant

- don't display empty pages, try to show the most relevant content you have even if it's not great

- if you want people to perform an action (here, adding content), ask them to do it and make it easy :)

- send out email or other notifications, giving social context of other people performing the action you want them to perform and with a clear call to action, once again

alexeichemenda 6 hours ago 2 replies      
You have to create the content by yourself. No user is going to create your content magically on an empty site. So build your content (it will be a rather long process), and then it will (not organically) generate interest.

Also, target your friends / people you know that could use your website, and ask them which content they would like to see, if they want to help you build the initial content.

What's your website ?

tempestn 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Another approach is to make it backward compatible with something else. For example, if you wanted to make a new site/network similar to StackExchange (but presumably with some revolutionary changes; not just a "me too" copy), you could start by adding an interface layer using the StackExchange API and adding some of your new smarts to give your users some of the benefit of your tool, on top of the StackExchange content. Most likely you wouldn't be able to add all the new goodness there though, so you would also do as other comments have suggested to build up your own content. Maybe even incentivize users to add stuff based on StackExchange answers they find (assuming some manual intervention is necessary to make the answers suitable for your site - and also assuming you comply with terms of use and such).

It's hard to give exact examples without knowing what you plan to do of course, but that's the general idea. Make it backwards compatible with whatever the closest thing is out there already, so that even in cases where you don't have any of your own content to return for a user, you at least have something. Then do everything you can to ramp up your own content asap.

ColinCera 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Two excellent thinkers in this area:



Read their articles.

danbmil99 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Youtube founders have talked about this. They definitely had a "fake it until you make it" approach. I seem to recall they paid attractive women to upload videos, among other sketchy schemes.
sergiotapia 3 hours ago 0 replies      
In my case, we have a sort of the "Guide with the most views/shares get this prize X - every week!"

It's a minimal investment ($30 per prize) on our side but the yields are enormous!

maxk42 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I've done this. I started with introducing it to a few friends. We made 11 posts its first night. Then I spent $15 on an ad as a sort-of "pre-launch" to see if it would stand up to a little bit of user testing. I checked back in 10 hours and the site had over 100 posts. It was a good start.

The site eventually made it to the top 200k on Alexa.

SkyMarshal 5 hours ago 0 replies      
A) Do it in Q/A form, where people can ask questions and answerers get some kind of reward/currency/rep token in exchange for taking the time to answer. That way the initial content - questions - is low cost and easy to add to the site, and the high-value content is compensated for with something other than money out of your pocket.

B) If that's not an option, and you can afford this, fake it. Go to a freelance writer jobsite and find freelance writers who specialize in bootstrapping content for social news/discussion sites. Hire a bunch of them to create the initial content..

ecesena 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Import some content from other services (under their terms).

You can promote your service to the users that they've been featured in your site and give them something better within your service, so they are willing to contribute through your site (perhaps including crosspost on the original site).

If it makes sense, you should focus on creating an initial user base with high network density, i.e. people very much connected with each others.

dlevine 3 hours ago 0 replies      
From what I've heard, Quora was originally known as the place you go to get your questions answered by Charlie Cheever. I believe that Adam D'Angelo said this at his Startup School talk, but I may be mistaken on the source.
lnanek2 4 hours ago 0 replies      
A founder of Reddit came and talked at a hackathon in NYC once - he said everyone involved ran tons of fake accounts at first. :)
sharemywin 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I started a classifieds site a while back. I advertised it on google adwords. 10 cents a click US only. it got users. I spent $1000. It cost me about $1 per post with email address no email validation. stopped advertising and traffic dropped like a rock. If your interested in doing a tech news faq site. I might be interested in working with you on it.
wilzy 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Incentivize contribution by giving them something they want (recognition, exposure, points, $$$). Dangle this incentive in front of them in all the other places they currently hang out. Try to make the incentive one that also requires competition among the rest of your community.
girasquid 5 hours ago 0 replies      
You don't have to start a content business in order to take on investment - running something that aligns with your interests can be rewarding enough on its own. Optimizing for what investors like seems shortsighted.
yaur 5 hours ago 0 replies      
StackExchange is not a great example since it was started by Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood who already had a significant platform where they were engaging with their target market without user generated content.
bdcravens 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you want to take a page out of the "Internet marketing launch" playbook and focus on growing a mailing list of those who are a fit for your website.
Mz 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is called a "chicken and egg problem" and searching for that term will find you previous articles and discussions on HN. Here is a list of links I once put together: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2126209
Theodores 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Be the expert/guru/magician/cult-leader/rock-star and grow an audience through the power of 'cult of personality'.

Let's take an automotive analogy.

Supposing you wanted to have a Q+A site for people wanting to get the most out of their Model T Ford cars, get writing and become the authority on the subject. Don't shy away from injecting a bit of personality in there and use your superior web-saviness to get better SEO, page-load times, responsive-ness and so on than what others already writing on the subject can do. A simple blog will suffice for the purposes of getting initial interest.

After a while a regular audience will materialize and they will start talking to each other in the comments. Some might even start offering spare parts to one another, uploading pictures and posting links to videos. Ideally they are drawn to your site to see what you have to say this week however they stay for the comments.

For this automotive analogy you would probably want real world community things, e.g. meet ups, galleries, a way for people to enable film-makers to hire their Model T's, a supplier's directory, a 'wiki' and so on.

Once enough 'user generated content' arrives you can move the 'forum' (or whatever) to the homepage and relegate your original articles to some archive buried somewhere in the site. By now some users might have branched out from 'Model T' to things like 'Fordson Tractors' and make the site the place for discussing everything 'Fordson'.

The need being met might be people wanting to show off their cars to others that truly appreciate such things combined with a need for people to get specialist parts. This arrived at set of needs is very different to what the site started as, e.g. the best resource on the topic. A deliberate pivot is made and the original specialism broadened.

There are many sites that have grown with a variation of the above. Cult of personality works for many writers, rock stars, diet experts, politics pundits, celebrity bloggers and probably even z-grade porn stars. Assuming you are none of those things and don't have a fan club, just by writing stuff people enjoy reading you could create a name for yourself to be someone in your field. You could become the expert in Model T Ford cars, respected for that for people that care about that particular car. Clearly in this example the market is only so big so interest might not be exactly huge, however the principle is the same. Just serve a poorly served niche with something better and grow from there.

A Hacker News for grad students?
56 points by dcy  9 hours ago   40 comments top 17
j2kun 8 hours ago 3 replies      
I am the author of a blog called Math Intersect Programming (and a graduate student in CS theory), and I also would like such a community.

I'm not happy with datatau because I feel it's too focused on basic software tutorials. I'm not happy with any of the subreddits I've looked at; I think a large part of it is just that by being part of reddit the quality of discussion is pulled down.

In more generality, I feel that people who want to engage in scientific discourse at the graduate student level (I'm thinking of mathematics, physics, and computer science) don't have enough tools to do this. There are conferences, which are typically stuck in one field; and blogs by researchers, which are great but often do too much conference/workshop/program advertising for my taste. Most web spaces like reddit are too elementary (how many posts do I read there about picture proofs of sums of squares!). I think the subcommunity of HN users interested in mathematics, and the kinds of posts that end up on HN, shows that there is real interest. I even know of mathematics/CS researchers who keep an eye on HN because of the promptness of dissemination and quality of discussion.

All this being said, I would be very willing to help run such a community, getting it off the ground with interesting submissions and such. Right now the closest thing I have is a Google Plus community I've formed around my blog [1]. But again, very few people beside me post things that I consider up to my standards.

[1]: plus.google.com/communities/101551468332631556735

EvanMiller 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I would also like to see such a community.

I've found it somewhat in the Julia community, which tends to lean heavily towards scientific computing and has a lot of Ph.D.s, grad students, and Ph.D. dropouts. We just had JuliaCon last week, and the talks tended to be first about a problem domain (statistical modeling, optimization, natural language processing, finite element methods...) and secondarily about Julia. I loved it.

If you're in the Chicago area, I'd encourage you to drop by our Julia Meetup group, which has a similar format. Previous talks have been about solving problems in climate modeling, machine learning, and molecular dynamics, and I'm trying to line up talks later this summer about machine learning in psychology and MLE modeling of longitudinal econometric data. (All using Julia, of course.) The group is small, but the quality of discussion is very high. Join the group and you'll get an email when the next meeting is added to the calendar:


sktrdie 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I find Academia.StackExchanage [1] and the entire StackExchange ecosystem [2] quite awesome for learning, teaching and simply discussing about anything related to specific communities.

For anything else there's always Mailing Lists (ML). What I've learned over the years is that it doesn't really matter which technology or which format is used to have a discussion online (IRC, Mailing Lists, Reddit/HN sites). What matters is the community and the people behind it.

For example on IRC, specifically freenode, there's tons of channels with tremendous quality of discourse because of the moderators being able to keep the quality that way.

If you're looking for discourse about Math, try #math on freenode and signup to math.stackexchange and see which mailing lists exist out there. Perhaps even look into Math academic journals out there and see whether there are mailing lists to start discussing things.

1. http://academia.stackexchange.com/

2. http://stackexchange.com/sites

abdullahkhalids 7 hours ago 4 replies      
Of all the possible HN alternates that have been proposed, this one is probably the one that makes sense. I don't think there is any alternate at the moment. I have a couple of thoughts and queries.

1. You put grad students in the title. But you only mention natural sciences and mathematics in the text. What about social science? What about the humanities? I am a physicist but I would personally like to know about progress on major problems in all academic fields. If you limit yourself to only some disciplines how will draw the line and why? HN has the line "interesting to hackers", which makes it very very broad. It relies on undemocratic voting, and occasionally moderation, to separate the good from the bad.

2. The reason the quality of arguments at HN is relatively high, is primarily the software behind the HN scores system. It very effectively kills of many techniques that are used by people to raise their scores. Arguably, getting on HN front page is directly correlated to the visits/money you get, while on an academic forum people will only care for egoistical reasons. The problem will be less, but it will still exist. If the community takes on and starts to grow, it will need access to the HN points software which is not public at the moment as far as I know.

3. Discussion surrounding links to papers, news articles or essays are generally serious and 'valuable'. This is what HN does primarily. You are proposing a forum where people can talk about their own thoughts and ideas. There are many such internet forums for this purpose. Most of them degenerate into homework problem threads and how to get into grad school questions. Why? Because what you thought over breakfast this morning is usually not brilliant enough, while a paper/essay/news has had many hours of professional thought behind it.

4. It might be possible to piggyback over HN. Any link on HN relating to grad students can be manually resubmitted on the community website. The discussion happens on HN. The community website only serves as a curated list. This will solve the problem of drowning in the noise of software. Of course, the limitation will be that all posts submitted will have to conform to the "interest to hackers" criteria.

seltzered_ 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm trying to start such a thing with a post-grad friend with http://www.journaltalk.org. It's currently a clone of lobste.rs (an hn clone with web-of-trust invite), but we want to start a community where people talk about articles and they'll be tagged by journal, similar to 'journal clubs' grad students and phd's have. If you email me@vivekgani.com I'll give you an invite.

EDIT: just noticed the servers down right now, eek! I'll look into it later tonight. we also keep source (again, essentially just a lobste.rs fork for now) at https://github.com/seltzered/journaltalk

DanAndersen 9 hours ago 5 replies      
I don't really know of any spaces like that (and as a CS PhD student I would enjoy something like HN for grad students), but just to latch onto this general post -- does anyone have links to good Hacker-News-like sites for various topics? There's a lot I like about HN but the whole startup scene and "yet-another-web-framework.js" is less relevant to me.
sideproject 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi dcy.

We're currently creating a small tool that helps people create online communities. We are currently pitching it as "create your own hacker news" and we'd love for you to try it out if you have some time.


There are some rough edges (of course) and we're still doing our private beta at the moment, but if you sign up we would love to see how we can help!

dave809 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd recommend LessWrong [1], It's an active community around discussing rationality, AI, self improvement, and many more intellectually stimulating topics.

[1] http://lesswrong.com/

ihnorton 5 hours ago 0 replies      
ResearchGate's Open Review [1] and PubPeer [2] have some of what you might want. Both had excellent discussion/criticism about the acid-bath stem cell paper a few months back, for example. However, at least for PubPeer, the active papers seem to be mostly biomedical.

[1] http://www.researchgate.net/publication/259984904_Stimulus-t...[2] https://pubpeer.com/publications/F0CFE0360002C25DC0BEFE28987...

skadamat 4 hours ago 1 reply      
DataTau is what I recommend. Even though there's a lot of posting of how to learn basic data science and so forth, occasionally papers from ArXiv on physics and math concepts show up. End of the day, the content that shows up is a function of the community, which is small. Since it is small, it's not difficult to influence the type of content posted. I guarantee you if you and a few colleagues start posting more about research related topics, they will surface well.
bfwi 7 hours ago 0 replies      
It's possible to create your own Hacker News/Reddit clone using Telescope (http://telesc.pe/), which is built on Meteor. Of course the challenge will be to build the community that makes such a site useful.
return0 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I would suggest you take a look at http://sciboards.org
untilHellbanned 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Onarbor, https://onarbor.com, is exactly this.
Mz 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I know of at least one PHD student who seems fond of this site: http://linkstothedamnpaper.org/

On the about page, it describes itself as an open discussion community showcasing the best in freely-available biology research.

What's an idea or creation that you've had success with locally that I can copy?
142 points by js7  20 hours ago   81 comments top 23
Scoundreller 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Had a hard time getting to a government office or other facility that lots of people have to get/go to on an irregular basis?

Write a blog article about it, but don't just provide the address and phone number, provide VERY specific instructions that one actually needs and doesn't get anywhere else, almost like turn-by-turn GPS. For example: "park by the X retail location, go inside the doors of the building under the Y sign, walk 50m just past the elevators, go up the stairs 1 level (the elevator takes forever), and you're there. You can park for free 1 block East on Y street."

I've done this for a few government offices. The earnings aren't high per month, but they have been consistent for 7 years, pretty good for an hour's work. It's doubtful the Yellow Pages, navigation providers or government website will provide such useful and detailed instructions.

kephra 17 hours ago 2 replies      
We did make a free beer mobile application in 1999, when cell phones had been still big, called Happy Hopper. The idea of the service was: You send an SMS to our server, we send you an SMS back to a pub in town, together with a riddle to solve in that pub. Solve that riddle and you get a free beer and the address of the next pub. The SMS also served as a ticket for the bus.

Success of this service was based on working with our local brewery, and local radio station to advertise it, and of course public transport. Happy Hopper did run two times during the Freimarkt and Osterwiese fair. So you also need a date, where you can expect lots of people who enjoy to get drunk.

bemmu 18 hours ago 5 replies      
Send local goods to foreign subscribers in monthly surprise shipments.
stevekemp 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Fetish based dieting advice. I'm serious.

In brief you need a market of "kinky people", and you need a market of people who wish to lose weight, stop smoking, or similar.

You agree on challenges, you "punish" them if they fail, or succeed, on a case-by-case basis.

Very hands on. But there are a subset of people who will be in your target audience who are extremely wealthy..

akumpf 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I haven't created one personally, but if you're in a maker desert (where there isn't great access to spaces/people/tools to build and hack things), consider starting a maker space.

I used to live a few blocks away from one in Seattle and it was awesome. Just a couple workbenches, a 3D printer, hand tools, wifi, and some electronic components can go a long way and get people in the community stoked. :)

taway98765 9 hours ago 1 reply      
well, none of these are really implemented (yet) but here you go

SW Only

1) An all-in-one transport app. You'd have a single credit wallet you could re-charge on a monthly/weekly/as-needed basis. You set in your profile for how long you are willing to wait for a ride(lets say +/- 15min), and how far are you willing to walk from your current location(lets say r500m) + other criteria if you please(like ferraries-only:). Rates could be something like few cents/km for "civilian" drivers(standard car-sharing - could be problematic depending on the legislature/generated profit for the driver), few bucks/km for cabs, pub transport based on routes/times and - dynamic pub transport routes per km as well. Lets say there is a after-work beer with colleagues planned so you can't drive to work by your self. During breakfast you just choose a destination(predefined for freq. places), desired time and a "hitchhiker sign". All drivers doing the same/similar route(with criteria compatible with yours) would be notified .. a few "accept" clicks away/maybe a quick look at the drivers profile(badges/km driven/reviews etc) and your off to work. No drivers available? Your app would show you all public transport possibilities(color coded based on compatibility with your criteria) + cabs in your area - few clicks away and you're set(either buying a ticket or ordering a cab). Double-validation for payments based on transport type - no more waiting on a bus stop for 2 hours watching 100's of driver-only empty cars going your direction + a public API would mean that bus companies could also use small 6-8 passenger buses and dynamically create new/amend existing routes based on the demand(200 people heading to a business park across town(C) from destination A, 100 from B to D(which is near C) between 0800 - 0900 > change route via B .. if time intervals are met(like 1h from A - C) ) ++ all the data flowing your direction could also be used as a waze alternative for even better routing +++ you could profit by selling api data/on % from commercial transport partners) + have awards for car-share folks like free oil/filter changes after 10k km/free coffee after 20km between 2200 - 0600 etc..). If you are in EU, these projects are highly welcomed..

2) We need a distributed decentralized(p2p), no-authority write once read many storage solution for "our civilizations data" like news/general knowledge. It has to support versioning, encryption, deduplication, store synapses between relevant data, be self-healing, layered, nodes monitoring/promoting(demoting)/caranteening each other if needed, role-based - build on premise that all* of the nodes are/can become malicious actors(..). Everyone should be able to run a node on his nas @home/mobile device, assign roles to his devices etc .. general storage for all things public.. + it should support anonymous document uploads(lets say an indenpended journalist from syria wants to get his/her story published / someone working in a big-co comes across some very interesting public-interest documents he;d like to publish and doesn't trust honey-pot assange/media) - all big problems on their own .. regardless of the client app using the data(if you are running a auto-moto/pro-(enter political party) website, you may apply as much filtering as you wish), the user should still be able to get/contribute to the "publicly-generated" synaptic nw of a news story as stored on the backend + this is the bare minimum for other systems we desperately need to reform(the "no-trust" premise of it) so a good way to dive into this problematic

3) services on top of 2) .. and there are many ..

4) DNS, routing, ssl/alternative, smtp replacement! .. + ton of things you could do to make this world a better place.. please just don;t waste it on another twitter app

5) Clouds are here to stay, what has to change is the way we look at and work with data + connected with 2) + a few old concepts ms thought about pioneering a few years back, maybe its time for - yet another - linux distribution, combining best of today's storage array internals, embedded systems, containers/vm technology and security(..). In combination with some dedicated (hopefully usb-sized) hw .. could be a interesting time-waster


1) Easy-to-use/build RF-net kits for low-bandwidth applications(irc/messaging fe) - pick a protocol/design your own, design a hierarchical topology of clients, ap's, retransmitters, keep an eye on per-country rf encryption restrictions and hope you'll never have to use it as your primary means of communication(eg no "accidents" on our main optic backbone)

2) HW keys to your cloud data/apps - turning your PC into an accessory/treating it the same like a cloud service provider with computing/storage services available based on the pc-os setup .. maybe the x-server architecture could finally become applauded ..

"HW" Only

1) The idea of public work-places is great! soldering sets, measuring gear, 3d printers, tools for lease, benches for alu/wood work etc - would probably be a hit anywhere(+ that equipment costs too much/takes years to gather at home.. ) - there is a hobbyist in most of us + in combination with a caffee/"fun" area/library and city funding, you may even get into some green numbers

2) In combination with 1) - electronics tuning shop - if you like to get your hands dirty(building hw slider switches into phones/nbs, custom cases/hw customization - router fw's etc) - you could get some traction if you;d presented your self as something underground/anti-establishment .. these days..

3) bio and localized farming - huge opportunities, really bad business models(we;re talking about real bio producers struggling with the rising regulatory pressure lobbied by the big guys, not the so-called bio farmers selling out to those big-co's) - monthly payments with 2x/4x a month "basket" deliveries of seasonal food to your doorstep with some it tech in the mixture + insurance coverage for the farmer +++ .. ok I'm hungry - sry for this half-baked not thought through / naive / unfeasible list and good luck ..

nhebb 15 hours ago 0 replies      
An o-shibori (hot towel) service. They're common in Japanese restaurants, and when I visited Tokyo in the middle of summer, I looked forward to the hot towel almost as much as the meal. You could resell or lease the equipment and provide daily laundry / sterilization service.
psychometry 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Self-storage is getting big and can be done anywhere: https://angel.co/self-storage
_puk 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Bog standard printing at your local store.

Seems it is easier and cheaper nowadays to buy a printer than replace an ink cartridge. Looking at 50 a time. I just don't print enough to warrant it.

None of the supermarkets / high street stores do bog standard A4 printing for a few pence.

I've found a print shop that will do it, at a cost, but the quality is far too good for simple stuff, hence the price.

My 'right this moment' problem.

stoev 20 hours ago 7 replies      
Web crawler that collects comments on social and media websites and lets users analyse and visualise them. It's not very hard to build and provides a great service to businesses releasing PR articles and seeking feedback on them.
nkg 12 hours ago 2 replies      
A database management system for any structure who stores a lot of data.What I did was basically transferring a lot of repetitive tasks they handle with Excel to a PHP/MySql application.
thruflo 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Really really good coffee.
abestic9 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Taxi/bus company rate comparisons. Most transit companies provide fare information on their website, as well as a search function which rarely includes a CAPTCHA, so getting updates is easy.
alexhawdon 14 hours ago 0 replies      

From what I read, the idea was very sound and validated by some great initial success.

kvee 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Gossip forum in a hacker school that became so popular that the administration demanded it get taken down yesterday. Now comments have to be approved, and only the most recent 5 rather than 40 comments are displayed. Seems like making these changes has already killed everything that was great about this little online community, so if you do something like it, don't shut it down ;)
supercoder 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Middleman for a service that would connect men with women who would be intimate for an exchange of money
jitbit 17 hours ago 2 replies      
go through all the small local shops and offer them SEO services. most of them have terrible sites so "on-site" seo will work great. You'll make a couple thousand. Good way to make some money when you really need it after moving in
draugadrotten 17 hours ago 5 replies      
Print kiosks where customers can print out a customized "newspaper" with a customized subset of news articles scraped from the web
porcuk0r 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Christmas tree delivery service by bikes: http://kantaa.hu/karacsony
lun4r 18 hours ago 2 replies      
A lemonade stand!
js7 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm thinking things like pizza price comparison apps etc
Theodores 12 hours ago 0 replies      
A local arts group with a big 'open studios' event once a year, an artists directory with mini portfolios, gigs, poetry readings, workshops and other events. With a bit of help from whatever groups are already there plus the council it should come together. A newsletter is what makes it all work plus a half decent CMS. Local artists cannot do these things by themselves much like how cats can't herd themselves.

As well as money from ticket sales there is also money as per the directory model. A side benefit is that you will have a wonderful social life with all of those gallery private views to go to.

randomvc 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Da Pimp business
Ask HN: Why No Ajax in HN?
2 points by kp25  56 minutes ago   2 comments top 2
chewxy 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
Conversely, ask yourself the opposite question: what will happen if AJAX voting were enabled in HN?

- votes will be counted immediately, the number increase. Then what?

While this is good UX, would this be helpful in the entire context of HN? What if your vote were a ghost vote - i.e. your user account is a ghosted account? Should it show just for you? If so, you are adding a lot of complexity to the system. Why is such complexity needed?

Now, I can't speak for dang and kogir, but I think it's a rather good thing that the vote counts don't increase immediately - prevents gaming

valarauca1 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
The honest to god answer is very simple. The website was made, and administered by pg (Paul Graham) directly. He was (until very recently), the only eyes on the code base, and the only maintainer. The code was sloppy, and generally un-reviewed. A lot of features didn't exist because they didn't exist when the site was started, or were just deemed unnecessary.

As of recently a new team has taken over, who before adding new features is porting the entire website over to a more maintainable code standard. New features are coming, just eventually.

Ask HN: What projects are you working on?
177 points by mfalcon  1 day ago   474 comments top 276
jlhonora 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'm connecting a Hedgehog to the Internet :) . I have a hedgehog that runs all night in a wheel. Counting the laps gives me the traveled distance, so every morning he'll tweet how much he ran. He runs up to 15 km./9 miles!

Check him out at https://twitter.com/runhedgie

This project is a combination of hardware and software. I'm using a Raspberry Pi, a custom-built wireless node based on Arduino, Python, Redis, and a Go API for data analysis. I wanted to build almost everything from scratch, to really see what's happening in every part of the system, so I've done from PCB design and soldering to struggling with Go HTTP routers (I gave up and used Gorilla).

But it's been fun watching the hedgehog interact with the real world.


bigfoot13442 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am rebuilding a 1981 Suzuki GS750E. I find it really helps to get away from my desk once in a while.

I have never done any mechanical work before and I am having fun and learning a lot. I highly recommend it as an alternative to starting yet another project.

When I don't feel like working on that or am waiting for parts, I am building an original arcade game. Its in the really early stages but I hope to house it in a traditional coin operated arcade cabinet painted with original artwork from a local artist and put it in a local coffeeshop or something.

I don't have a site to point anyone to for either of these projects.

adamonduty 1 day ago 10 replies      
I'm working on PhoneCard, a service to make cheap international phone calls without requiring a data connection. You enter the phone number in the webapp and it calls you.

Next time you're using poor hotel wifi or you're frustrated with skype (e.g. multiple disconnects per hour), try PhoneCard for a high-quality call.

PhoneCard can call most places in the world, and in some countries you can also purchase incoming numbers that will forward calls to you internationally.

Still very much a beta product, but check it out at https://www.getphonecard.net

Also working on an Android app which I hope to release soon.

juretriglav 1 day ago 0 replies      
A distributed search engine for science, with all parts contained within a browser extension: https://github.com/ScholarNinja/extension

A blog post about it recently hit the front page of HN: http://juretriglav.si/an-open-distributed-search-engine-for-...

130 people have installed the extension and my server has churned through 100+ GB of data in the past three days, so I'm having scaling/performance issues right off the bat, which is great. Just today we made significant performance improvements (10x) to the underlying webrtc-chord DHT implementation: https://github.com/tsujio/webrtc-chord/issues/6

It's a whole lot of fun developing this :) If anyone cares about this stuff, I'm always happy to discuss!

wslh 1 day ago 1 reply      
A social data flow engine called Egont. You can take a look at these articles:

- Egont, A Web Orchestration Language: http://blog.databigbang.com/ideas-egont-a-web-orchestration-...

- Egont Part II: http://blog.databigbang.com/egont-part-ii/

You can define things like this using s-expressions: (let mytwitter (twitter "databigbang")

Then you can do (twitterdb store (twitter.tweets)) and for every tweet your defines db is updated. Then imagine that your user is called "wslh" you can share your whole db via egont.users.wslh.twitterdb.

Building a service like IFTTT is trivial with this engine, you can also add processing rules to this stuff and share the whole data. For example, if every friend "connects" this service with their IMDB Movies Ranking, you can send all this information to a recommendation engine or just do an average of the scores between all your friends. When a friend adds a new movies everything is recalculated like in a spreadsheet.

Another use is sharing summarized information within a specific market. Imagine you work on selling ruby on rails services, you and others in your market can connect their google analytics information to Egont and provide summarized information for this specific market that helps other to take decisions based on it. You can also restrict how the information is distributed.

heidar 1 day ago 3 replies      
Working on TruckPlease https://www.truckplease.com/If you need to move something you can post it there and guys with trucks and moving companies around you will put down quotes for the job. Then you can accept/decline the quotes and get connected to the mover.It's a Rails app.The focus is on stuff within the same city (or county at least) so shorter local moves.

It's mostly in Vancouver, BC right now although we get stuff posted from all over the US and Canada.

joewalnes 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm working on my first consumer hardware project - an external Bluetooth camera flash for iPhone: https://wantnova.com.

The hardware is now shipping and now I'm working on improving the iOS app, which I've made open source: https://github.com/nova-device/nova-ios-app

alfg 1 day ago 1 reply      
http://guildbit.com/ - Free, temporary, 10-slot Mumble servers for the gaming community.

I built this so gamers can easily deploy Mumble servers without having to subscribe to a service or install their own server.

I've been working on this for the past 6 months or so and recently added purchased upgrades via Bitcoin (Stripe soon).

dangrossman 1 day ago 1 reply      
I spend about 90% of my time working on Improvely (https://www.improvely.com) which is doubling in customers/revenue every few months. Next month I'm going to be wrapping up a bunch of major features that have been on my TODO list for a long time which will be pretty neat.

I also run W3Counter (https://www.w3counter.com), a couple e-commerce stores, manage two more e-commerce stores for relatives, and have a few open source projects I mostly just manage pull requests in these days. My date range picker for Bootstrap (https://github.com/dangrossman/bootstrap-daterangepicker) still generates a lot of e-mails asking for help, and I usually end up writing some code for those people.

dochtman 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm working on a programming language. It's a reimagining of Python as a statically-typed, compiled language. The compiler is written in Python and targets LLVM IR. Currently working towards support for exceptions; raising already works, currently trying to work my way through all the stuff that needs to work for catching.
unoti 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've been learning Unreal Engine 4. Its worth taking it for a spin just to see its visual Blueprint scripting language that compiles down to C++, which you can watch execute via animation at runtime. It also does mind-blowing things with materials on 3d objects, which can be programmed via connecting nodes visually in blueprints, which then compile down to shaders. It's technologically amazing. A sample https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hwhH7upYFE
maz1b 1 day ago 2 replies      
I haven't been a fan of most music blogs out there, so I started one alone with a different focus and combined my passion for music with coding to help us stand out. Now, my team has grown to 34 people and we're building our own platform to help people discover all kinds of music.


New completely custom platform built from scratch in it's Alpha stages, using Ruby, Rails and possibly SailsJS.

Would love feedback on our alpha stage or advice / feedback of any kind when it comes to music. I'm a college student and so are all people on the team. First time with a "startup" / web dev / design and everything that goes along with it. :)

dzink 1 day ago 0 replies      
ftfish 1 day ago 3 replies      
Nothing as interesting as many of the projects here, but I've had around 10k visits this month and plenty of returning visitors, so I guess it's useful enough.

It's a very simple generator for static social media sharing buttons with support for Font Awesome: http://simplesharingbuttons.com/

Quite useful for mobile websites or email newsletters.

jkbr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a plugin system for HTTPie (the user-friendly cURL replacement)[1]. It will allow things like displaying MessagePack responses, or rendering images directly in the terminal. [2]

[1] http://httpie.org

[2] https://twitter.com/jakubroztocil/status/462173042626801664

marcamillion 1 day ago 0 replies      
So this project is likely to be VERY different than what most HNers are posting - largely because there isn't a MAJOR tech component.

I partnered with a friend of mine to launch a fitness workout series - https://10poundpledge.com - Basically, an in-home workout and nutrition guide to losing 10 pounds in 5 weeks with fitness coach Kamila McDonald.

It may sound cheesy, or even 'me-too-ish'....but we think we have done a few new things.

The way this came about is that she entered Miss Jamaica in 2009 when she was overweight and used it as a catalyst to lose her last 15 pounds. In total she lost like 60+ pounds from her peak to where she is now.

She started sharing her journey and her results on social media and people literally started begging her for a "DVD".

So after seeing the many informational type products launched and how well they do in terms of revenue, all of which are focused on some super niche (like Nathan Barry's iOS & Web Design books that have grossed hundreds of thousands so far), I figured we could do something similar with fitness.

Alas, after 2+ years (I know, I cringe when I think about the time too, but it was well worth it) we finally launched and the feedback has been awesome.

I have launched a few products on my own, and I have read many stories about successful products with actual customers - but this is the first time I have had my own.

The best feeling in the world is getting emails from customers, literally thanking us for giving them the opportunity to give us their money.

Never thought I would ever have that experience, and even though the journey is just starting (i.e. 4 weeks ago) I am pleased with what we have done so far.

s_kilk 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on an open-source snippet-saving app (think a dumber version of Evernote), with the intention of making it easy to self-host: https://github.com/ShaneKilkelly/jetcan-server . At the moment I'm in the process of refactoring how user accounts are handled, so it's not quite ready for self-hosting in a serious way.

I'm also planning on writing a CLI client and an Android app for that project, but have yet to get started on it.

I've also been working on a clojure library to provide a key-value json store abstraction over PostgreSQL (https://github.com/ShaneKilkelly/bedquilt). It's mostly for fun, but I'm thinking of moving all the core logic out into a PostgreSQL plugin, so that all the "smarts" can be done on the PostgreSQL server instance, and then reduce the client library to a thin wrapper over some SQL functions.

level09 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm working on a new python based system, consists of Flask and many helpful extension built-in by default.

it will be an easy starter template for any kind of project, and it will have a css on the front (Bootstrap or Purecss), User management (Registeration/Authentication),Asset management, Admin panel, caching, Redis, Task Queue, and two database stores (SQL and no-SQL), and a websocket push functionality.

I call it, the framework for the next decade :)

mohene1 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Customized Cookbook

=], I have a cookie/muffin recipe generator. Instead on a cookbook with limited recipes, the generator can be customized (produces recipes based on a user's preferences).

Baked Goods are grouped by type (e.g. chocolate chip cookie). The generator generates a unique recipe each time you click on a type of cookie/muffin.


morsch 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's my weekend project: http://deja-entendu.zomg.zone

Basically it accesses your last.fm profile to get a list of songs you listened to one/two/etc years ago and assembles a corresponding Spotify playlist. I've been pretty diligent in tracking my played tracks on last.fm, and it's neat to jump back in time to see what I listened to back then. If you don't use last.fm, you can try it with my account (last.fm data is public): http://deja-entendu.zomg.zone/morsch/5y-ago

80% of the motivation is having an excuse to try out Scala's Play framework. :)

kodablah 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wanted to learn JVM internals by writing a compiler. Just started, decided to make a toy JVM impl of Swift. Very early and I don't have a lot of free time.


drsintoma 1 day ago 2 replies      
A meta-search engine for English speaking jobs in Germany.Backed by Go, elastic search and python scripts.


DLarsen 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've been working a personal finance web app focused on measuring and improving spending behavior. It goes beyond merely "how much did you spend" and addresses the context and decision making process which drives good or bad spending.

The big challenge has been keeping it simple yet providing the appropriate prompts for folks to reflect on and improve their spending decisions. In other words, the code is easy; the product design has been harder for me.

Teaser: http://www.spendlight.com/

With luck I'll bring the first batch into the beta in the next few days. Invite code "HN" will bump you to the front of the line.

FrozenCow 1 day ago 0 replies      
I work on DriveDroid on and off. It's an Android app where you can 'host' ISO/IMG files as if they were real CD/USB drives. It makes it possible to, for example, boot your PC from your phone with live Linux distros.

DriveDroid (Free): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.softwareba...

DriveDroid (Paid): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.softwareba...

conorgil145 10 hours ago 0 replies      
A friend and I are tired of using the Google Authenticator app to manage all of our 2 Factor Authentication codes, so we are planning to build our own set of tools to improve the entire user experience related to 2FA. We are going to treat the project as an experiment and attempt to follow the principles outlined in Ash Maaurya's book Running Lean as strictly as possible. We are planning to start a blog so that we can share all steps of the experiment with the community. This will likely involve documenting the original motivation, our Lean Canvas, the Problem Interviews, the Solution interviews, how/why we made certain engineering decisions, experiments we run and the learning gathered as a result. The first step will be to find and interview as many people as possible to understand if others have a pain point relating to 2FA. If you are interested and/or have a pain point relating to 2FA, please send me an email at conorgilsenan - gmail so that we can arrange a time to chat!
fenollp 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on simplifying Erlang's syntax [1] (its a grammar and examples).

I have this Uni project that I was allowed to do in Erlang [2] (300LOC, readable, distributed text mining).

I'm also maintaining a somewhat famous unofficial doc of Erlang [3].

[1] https://github.com/fenollp/kju

[2] https://bitbucket.org/fenollp/tmln-google

[3] http://erldocs.com/

nnoitra 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's not a product, but I am trying to get better at meditation. Being able to calm yourself is an invaluable skill for a hacker.
mattgreenrocks 1 day ago 0 replies      
Been working on a series of toy compilers to get the basics down. I just pushed gamma, the most advanced one yet. It features a Ruby-like syntax which supports mutable variables, basic flow control with if/else, loops using the while statement, and functions. I also wrote an interpreter, bytecode compiler and VM to execute it.

Check it out:https://github.com/mattgreen/learning-language-design/tree/m...

My next toy language will probably be homoiconic in nature. Afterwards, I plan to move on to doing more toy languages in Haskell.

eiriklv 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Right now I'm working on multiple projects;

SpotiPi: https://github.com/eiriklv/spotipi- Set up a Raspberry Pi as a streaming device for Spotify, where anyone can add songs to the queue via a web interface/app.

Express-Passport-App: https://github.com/eiriklv/express-passport-app- An elaborate boilerplate/scaffolding for the nodejs/express stack supplied with social logins, to bootstrap my projects. I try to get it as hexagonal as possible.

Congregator-Sitescraper: https://github.com/eiriklv/congregator-sitescraper- Scrape a website with JSON templates. Feed it a template and it gives you structured data back. I think https://www.kimonolabs.com/ is using something like this in their backend. I'm going to use it for something similar.

Congregator-RssReader: https://github.com/eiriklv/congregator-rssreader- Parse RSS-feeds into structured articles by providing a template. Going to use it for a kind of DIY Feedly.

Picturegr.am: http://www.picturegr.am/- An Instagram search engine, with integration to Google Maps.

Flytr.no: http://www.flytr.no- Get new Instagram pictures on your screen realtime, by supplying a hashtag or a location on the map.

I'm also working on a project for managing subscriptions for teams/origanizations (like local sports teams)

arafalov 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am working on popularizing Apache Solr search engine: http://www.solr-start.com/ . It's a couple of books, a website, a mailing list and a bunch of connected Open Source projects, all having the focus on making it easier for people to learn Solr.

The fun part is that doing this for/by myself, I can scratch any itch I want, as long as it's around the core theme. The extra interesting - and challenging - part is to ensure there is a positive-feedback and self-fulfilling prophecy across those products.

bsenftner 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've been writing the documentation for my neural net powered 3D Reconstruction WebAPI that creates lip sync'ing 3D avatars from a single photo: www.3d-avatar-store.com
nevi-me 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've been working on http://rwt.to for a while now, which is a public transit planner for South Africa. It's meant to be a replacement for Google Transit, with fare calculations. I'm accountant/consultant by day, and programmer by night. An example route for those not in South Africa: https://rwt.to/*H5ZVyZFo6. Almost production-ready, most work lies in gathering data as our transit agencies don't supply GTFS data like most 1st world countries :)

EDIT: brief on what it is.

shayief 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hacking on my JavaScript operating system

Built on V8 engine and actually boots on my hardware :)


nathankot 1 day ago 1 reply      
My significant other and I are working on a new kind of wedding registry (a wish list for wedding gifts) in our spare time: https://wed.is

It solves two big problems for us when we were looking at existing options:

- They tend to look reallly old school or lack customization

- If we chose a registry we were stuck with the products it had to offer

janesconference 1 day ago 1 reply      
Working on a Digital Audio Workstation in HTML5 / Web Audio API, front and back end: http://hya.io
tomkinstinch 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on this on the side with a few friends from college. It's a place to upload photo-based disassembly guides:


thomaslieven 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Ahoy! for Piratebay :) im working on Popcorn time for Piratebay, still needs work what do you think ?https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ahoy/afllgcmlodpcc...
matt_hova 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just made a parametric FDM 3d printable violin. I hope it can change the education system's music programs.Hear it: http://instagram.com/p/pxIME9GHfd/?modal=trueDownload it: https://github.com/matthova/hovalin
nemo1618 1 day ago 1 reply      

Non-linear script-controlled video editor for Linux; basically Avisynth reimagined for the 2010s. Our scripting system in particular is a massive upgrade from Avisynth's bloated and ugly language.

Development has slowed a bit due to my involvement in a startup venture, but the only thing missing at this point is a decent standard library of filters. If anyone (esp. in the encoding community) is interested in helping out or taking over the project, please get in touch or open a pull request. We think this is a program that the encoding community would really benefit from.

augustflanagan 1 day ago 1 reply      
A friend and I launched https://cronitor.io last week (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7917587). It's a simple cron/scheduled jobs monitoring and alerting tool.

We built it after trying to use a similar tool, but were unhappy with the types of alerts we could set.

It's still in its infancy, but we have a couple of paying customers and are trying to get feedback from as many people as we can. If anyone has a few minutes to look it over and offer feedback I'd greatly appreciate it!

abestic9 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been working on a web-based remote management system for controlling and monitoring industrial systems such as plant rooms, cold storage, orchard irrigation and dairy farms. We're based in New Zealand and very near being approached by a multinational for inclusion within their products (farm solutions). Things like turning pumps on and off, getting SMS alerts, user management etc.

I used Bootstrap 3 to take away the load of developing a native app for each platform and as of this weekend I've been working on a replication scheme which should get our command delays down to within a few seconds. The next process will hopefully be to eliminate PLCs and get Arduinos or similar hardware involved.

A similar face in this thread is dangrossman, who created the awesome Bootstrap date range picker that's plastered all over our graphs and historical reports.

Unfortunately it's still very much in beta and I have contractual obligations so I can't you a full tour but the marketing page (WIP) can be found here: http://concar.co.nz/services/rms/

Taek 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm working on a proof of storage cryptocurrency. It's quorum based as opposed to blockchain based, which allows it to scale such that each node only needs to track log(n) transaction while maintaining a secure network and being able to be certain about the validity of incoming transactions. Storage is cheaper, faster, and more secure than centralized alternatives. There is also functional (but expensive) support for secure decentralized computing.

It's nearly in an alpha stage. www.siacoin.com

mambodog 1 day ago 1 reply      
1. A git-based version control system for music projects, with branch/merge and cloud sync. I know others exist in this space, but I'm building a vital workflow tool for pro users, rather than a social network (which seems to be the direction others are taking).

2. An archive of classic Mac OS software which you can run in the browser. I previously ported a mac emulator to the browser[0], now I am building a wrapper around it which can intelligently consume Stuffit, zip, disk image, etc. files and run them, along with a web-based archive to collect and make them available.

[0] http://jamesfriend.com.au/pce-js/

binarymax 1 day ago 0 replies      
Working on a markdown language for APIs. Define an API in a markdown like style, then use it to automatically generate the client/server libraries, integration tests, and documentation:



Wouter33 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm working on a service which provides (obfuscated) aliases of your users e-mail addresses on your own domain. It only requires some API calls to generate the aliases and eliminates e-mail servers or servers to process the e-mails. Started working on it after a request of a fellow HN'er.

Check it out on: http://mailobfusc.com

efiftythree 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just getting into development so its slow going. One of the ideas I am working on is a service which will provide a "one stop shop" to manage rental properties and rental relationships. It will includes things such as listing rentals, managing the viewing process, tenant verification, legal documents, and all financial transactions including the ongoing rent payments.

"Landlords" and "Tenants" would set up profiles which will be used to match prospective tenants with listings and vice versa.

Some of the key aspects of this concept are the creation of a marketplace to encourage rental unit upgrades, community management both for large apartment/condo complexes and geographical communities with large concentrations of rental units, and tie-ins with third party services / various partnerships.

Dnguyen 1 day ago 5 replies      
I'm working on a todo list with a Seinfeld calendar. My take is that there are only three categories: Work, Home, Personal. There are two buckets of tasks, Short term and long term. You'd move long term tasks into the short term when you start working on them. At the beginning of the week, you'd move the tasks from the short term into the day of the week that you planning to work on them. The catch is, you can only work on three tasks per day. Each task has an associate cost or reward. Get enough done you can reward yourself a nice purchase. Or don't get things done and you'll owe your friend a fancy dinner.There are more details and reasoning behind it, but my idea is to keep the number of tasks small so we can get them done and keep the calendar line going. Other todo lists I used I ended up putting too much on there and it turned into list of lists.
brwalker 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I just finished version 1 of my product called Pushed. It's an on premise mobile push notification server for companies that don't want to utilize cloud providers for this service. It supports iOS and Android. It includes some unique features like encrypting secondary content as well as Active Directory intergration for user authentication. Check it out here http://www.abrumpo.com/Products?p=pushed
marclave 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been contributing to an open-source project called JASPER http://jasperproject.github.io/. I contributed by making a Twitter and Google Calendar Module (http://jasperproject.github.io/documentation/modules/)!Check it out.


Estragon 1 day ago 1 reply      
Learning Deep Learning. I want to recapitulate the results in this paper: http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~vmnih/docs/dqn.pdf
JamesAn 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Flash (SWF) player written in ARM assembler (personal project). The declining usage of the former, and the unproductivity of using the latter, are cheerfully dismissed.http://flashasm.wordpress.com/

Web-app with TAPI computer/telephony integration, for receptionists and telephone answering services (business project) Website not finished.

acj 1 day ago 1 reply      
An app for playing media on a Chromecast using AirPlay on an iOS device or Mac.

It's currently an Android app, which presents an odd set of hardware requirements; hoping Google releases a Cast SDK for Mac sometime soon.

First iteration is done and will be shipping soon.

ollerac 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on an extension for Chrome that lets you add a bunch of new emotive reactions to Facebook posts. It's based on this PDL comic (http://poorlydrawnlines.com/comic/proposed-facebook-buttons/) and includes all of the reactions described there: dislike, hate, love, threaten, applaud, stare creepily, accuse of racism, offer bribe, express doubt, incite rebellion, pass joint, and throw tomato. I even got the author of that comic to tweet about my extension! https://twitter.com/PDLComics/status/481493925878714368

I work full-time on Javascript, but this is the first Chrome extension I've completed and actually added to the Chrome Web Store.

Right now it works by adding a unique emoticon comment and parsing that out into a "reaction", but I've been rebuilding over the past week and a new version of it is almost complete (public git repo here: https://github.com/ollerac/New-Facebook-Reactions). This version relies on an external API instead of parsed comments to keep track of the reactions on Facebook posts.

zwischenzug 1 day ago 0 replies      
A means of building complex docker containers.


I got frustrated with Dockerfiles and wanted a similar means of building complex deployments without the declarative complexity of puppet and chef. It's taken off a fair amount in my company since the syntax is so easy to learn and the module level so quick to grasp. There's also a UI :)


schappim 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been working on the getting worlds fastest selling Arduino (the MicroView link: http://geekammo.com ) out the door. I think we're the first hardware Kickstarter at scale to ship early ;-)
S4M 8 hours ago 0 replies      
A webapp to give students in Junior High school maths exercise. I built some code to understand a bit basic algebra. The site is here: http://www.magako.com, although on a very beta version (I'd say alpha, in fact).
enowbi 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I have been wrestling with a solution to help wage and part time workers find work in short distances and avoid unnecessary commuting costs. This is especially true since the type of jobs these people do can be produced and consumed by almost everyone. A beta webapp is here http://1milejobs.com. We will be coming up with mobile versions later.
restless 1 day ago 0 replies      
More a proof of concept, bringing 3D into industry automation. Some Scada/Mes Software already have some kind of 3D interaction but these are basically DWG-Viewers. And that's the first point, dwg is the format which you will get most source from machine producers. A standard in software in production is OPC_UA which already offers functional protocols to be used for 3D implementation. So what I want to see is can you get dwg (maybe parsed to another format) together with the functionallity in OPC_UA present it in an engine (PCs in production are build for durability not graphics power) and can you find an interaction system which can actually be used by a machine operator in production.
ww520 1 day ago 0 replies      
The recent side projects that can be seen on the web are:

Daily productivity goal tracking app, http://dailybadge.com/

Online privacy simple encryption tool, https://boxuptext.com/

Memcache in Rust, https://github.com/williamw520/rustymem

GZip in Rust, https://github.com/williamw520/rustyzip

I've just finished a work related project and have some time; I will do a cross platform phone app.

ThePhysicist 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm working on a document-oriented database engine written purely in Python: BlitzDB!


My motivation was that I needed (wanted?) a pure-Python document database that does not have any dependencies (like pymongo) and provides querying capabilities similar to MongoDB.

Currently, Blitz is under active development and comes with a file-based backend as well as a MongoDB backend.

Contributions to the codebase and feedback are highly welcome :)

The issue tracker contains various suggestions for contributions, with various difficulty levels:


kylelutz 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on an open-source C++ library for GPGPU/parallel-computing based on OpenCL called Boost.Compute.

Check it out here: https://github.com/kylelutz/compute

AliAdams 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is surprising how few of the projects have actually monetisable products not aimed at the developer niche.
terryjsmith 1 day ago 0 replies      
An account service network for developers: http://www.gowalli.com/

We connect freelance developers (and small shops) to a professional account service person (we're recruiting AS people from larger agencies to do some extra work) and help them with spec, contracts, billing, change requests, and on-going support.

It's free for developers; we just add 5 - 10% to your final invoice depending on how much work we did.

Aeolus98 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a frontend to manage arbitrary applications, and provide a centralised place to manage them all. It works across machines through ssh, and can provide pretty statistics and logging bits and pieces, but the core of it is to do something to multiple machines at once.

I can select and add arbitrary numbers of machines to a job, then run it, and also put that command on a schedule. Say i want all my packages to be upgraded at all times. I can have this every night at 00:01, to ssh to all the machines and run the appropriate command based on architecture.

This is useful for my internship, where i have to simultaneously deploy and manage many machines, and this app has proven to be immensely scaleable, with up to 1000 VM's being managed at once with no signs of slowdown.

Besides that, all i do now is worry about college

pmorici 1 day ago 0 replies      
I built a piece of hardware that lets you recycle power supplies from old HP servers for powering Bitcoin mining equipment. http://gigampz.com
thakobyan 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm trying to create a platform that connects multiple blogging platforms together. In other words, if you are a blogger/writer and have an account in multiple places (medium, tumblr, etc..) you can write your article in one place and we can post it to all connected platforms. Similar to bufferapp.com but for blogging. What do you think?
wise_young_man 21 hours ago 0 replies      
At UserDeck, we're building customer support software that works with existing websites.

The first product is an embedded knowledge base widget that displays inline into the page and inherits the styling and blends right into the design you already have rather than setting up another support site and spending the time to match the design. To build on that customizability we added layouts and components which are simply javascript settings changes that dynamically change the display of the widget.

You can learn more at http://userdeck.com/guides.

Send me a message if you are frustrated with existing solutions as we branch into other products down the road such as ticketing and live chat.

hmsimha 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on bitcoinp (https://github.com/hmsimha/bitcoinp) and a couple other projects I've yet to push to github, but which I'll describe anyway:

Bitcoinp ("bitcoin, with padding") is a jsonp enabled api that aggregates api data from the most popular bitcoin exchanges (and platforms that 'provide bitcoin exchange services' such as coinbase) and delivers it to anyone who wants to make it visible on their page (client-side), so they don't have to build a backend to do the same thing. I think it will be useful to people just cutting their teeth on html who've maybe set up a neocities, as well as people making browser extensions or phone apps that want to deliver a customizable view on bitcoin prices, or deliver something similar to http://preev.com

I'm also working on an API intended to be used by chrome extensions that wraps google's diff-match-patch library and allows content script writers to enable their users to easily track and visualize changes to sections of the webpage they modify.

I'm also also working on an easier way to manage resume changes that would run as a single-page application.

I'm also contributing to open-source projects that interest me: most recently submitted a bug fix to tubalr.com, but I'm also planning some contributions to the Reddit Enhancement Suite.

will_brown 1 day ago 0 replies      
4 days ago I launched my first iphone app (Ticket Titan App). https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ticket-titan-app/id838769146...

As a law firm we are only handling Florida, but as of now you can pay your tickets (traffic, parking, red light camera) or hire our firm to defend you. The future is much more interesting where we are seeking to become a niche search engine, whereas you will just take a picture of your ticket and the results will be attorney who practice on the jurisdiction filtered by their fee for that charge.

gliese1337 1 day ago 0 replies      
Personal Programming: A 4D videogame which displays 3D renderings of arbitrary hyperplanes and allows for arbitrary rotations (so you're not limited just to axis-aligned views). Leading up to that, a 3D videogame which is experienced via arbitrary 2D planes, displayed in raycaster-style 2.5D. Turns out to be incredibly difficult to navigate a 3D maze with only a 2D viewpoint....

Personal Not-Programming: Building a pair of 5-foot single staffs with woodburning decorations, metal end caps, and quarter pound lead weights embedded in the end for more angular inertia. Also trying to estimate the electric field in orbit around a pulsar for a science fiction story.

Professional: Building a web-based annotated media player for foreign language instruction that supports video, audio, and plain text, and provides a uniform interaction model for interactive text in plain text documents, transcripts, and subtitles with both automated annotations derived from electronic dictionaries and manually edited annotations.

mgrouchy 1 day ago 0 replies      
As always, hammering away on new ideas for Pycoder's Weekly (http://pycoders.com), a fairly popular Python newsletter.

Also doing some work on a basketball news site, HoopsMachine(http://hoopsmachine.com), which currently isn't much more then a pretty awful looking up to date feed of Basketball news (with accompanying RSS feed). Keep an eye out though, lots of stuff to come there soon.

fallenhitokiri 1 day ago 0 replies      
Most of my private project time goes to Leeroy CI[1], an open source, continuous integration service. Since releasing the first stable version which provides the basic functionality to run tests / builds and get the results communicated back via web, mail or Slack I started working on a web based configuration system, which also requires adding some kind of authentication and authorization system.

[1] https://github.com/fallenhitokiri/leeroyci

zubairov 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I am building a JavaScript widget that give you access to over 10 different sources of contact data and storage services, check it out at http://www.elastic.io/product#samples
aaronbrethorst 1 day ago 0 replies      
I recently built a website to track product availability online: http://www.purchazen.com

It's rough, but is functional enough to have helped me purchase the nigh on impossible to find Fuji XF 56mm f/1.2 lens. I'm in the process of adding SMS alerts to the website.

Also, I'm aware of other websites like http://www.nowinstock.net, but I hate their design, among other things.

liamgooding 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Not strictly a coding project, but definitely not the day-job so I'm classing it as a project.

I've been writing a book introducing people to the idea of using data effectively in startup marketing decisions.

"Growth Pirate" - http://growth.trak.io

I launched the pre-orders at the beginning of June and had some great feedback, plus plenty of suggestions for the next release.

I've found it really liberating and relaxing to write something that has a "flow" like a story. Any blog posts or guest posts need to be "standalone" where as the book has to flow and take the reader on a much longer journey, and I've found it hugely challenging but I've learnt tons from it already.

As the book is aimed at "data-driven beginners" (who are mostly really experienced marketers/CEO's but perhaps new to SaaS or tech startups) so it's a very specific target reader. I'll definitely work on more books in the future after the experience so far!

Egregore 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm working on gamifying learning, here is our first project, it automates the learning of times table, kids like it:


achamilt 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been writing an algebra editor. It automates much of the details of doing maths while letting you select or move equation fragments. It has been designed around solving back-of-the-envelope calculations so it starts and runs quickly, it's cross platform (a single executable Java *.jar file) and open source (http://sourceforge.net/projects/ket/). Once you get good at computer programming or maths on paper, problem solving becomes relaxed and automatic. Hopefully the same is true of Ket.

Just as you would write an essay by repeatedly redrafting it, real-world maths problems often require as much effort be put into understanding and clarifying problems as are required to solve them. And yet existing maths programs assume you know the question and need only break it into a series of standard steps (integrate, solve etc.) and leave the details to the computer. When doing maths on paper, you learn to recognize fragments and how to move them around. The intuitions are quite different.

The user interface lets you add functions and symbols which can alternatively be written in plain text, e.g. "sin(\alpha)^2=sqrt(x)". Equations are viewed in conventional mathematics notion and are updated quickly and smoothly. Click-and-dragging equation fragments lets you solve or substitute for variables and - with practice - perform algebra by various keyboard shortcuts.

vhf 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm trying to collect and gather all free programming learning resources from the Internet and index them. URL : http://reSRC.io

[edit] Feedback is welcome!

Flolagale 20 hours ago 0 replies      
We're working on http://jokund.com, a very easy to use blog platform: you type your article in an email and just send it to my.blog.name@jokund.com, it creates your blog. No signup form, no password.You can customize 'my.blog.name' to whatever you want, and in your email you can use font sizes, bold, attach pictures...

I also work on http://mailin.io, a node.js smtp server that listens for emails, parses them and posts them as json to the url of your choice.

tpinto 1 day ago 0 replies      
A couple weeks ago I bought aeropressrecipes.com because I wanted to try new Aeropress Recipes and they are scattered all over the web so I thought of building a simple community based website to allow anyone to create their recipes as well as rate the ones they try.Talk about yak shaving: wanted new coffee recipes ended up building a website...
istoselidas 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I am using rss a lot, I've tried almost all of the popular solutions but I didn't find some specific features I need, Like knowing which rss feeds I usually skip, which I read the title and pass and which I actually click and read.

I created a fetcher/bookmarker for storing the information I am interested in https://github.com/johndel/freeze

Right now you can just connect rss but I'd like to add facebook, twitter, stackoverflow, github and youtube updates and of course a powerful search.

frankydp 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am working on a visualization of 60k USGS historical maps that are rendered on the fly from geoPDF, which makes the server size under a TB.

pdfl, c++, spdy, openlayers


andrewflnr 19 hours ago 0 replies      
A malloc implementation: https://github.com/andrewf/scarymalloc . The idea was to have a simple, low overhead implementation that still has the potential to be performant, not that I've gotten around to benchmarking it. I'm working on a leaner system of headers where the free-list pointers are stored in the payloads of free blocks instead of the bodies, and the footer of one block is the header for the next (if there is one).
eddie_31003 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a grad student working on my Masters Project. It's a Personal Health Information System. I'm using this project to develop a cross platform application using #Xamarin. I'm hoping to have a prototype soon.
nshm 8 hours ago 1 reply      
CMUSphinx - open source speech recognition system http://cmusphinx.sourceforge.net
wmij 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been working on a web based JSON generator called ObjGen that lets users model and generate JSON data interactively using an easy to use shorthand syntax. I wanted to write a tool for quick modeling and prototyping of API values for other projects that I work on. Since putting it online, I've gotten some good user feedback and have heard that it's been helpful for students just learning about JSON and data structures. Check it out here http://www.objgen.com/json?demo=true

I have a couple of other live generators online there too for creating html fragments and java classes, but haven't really updated them in a while. The html generator is Bootstrap aware, but only supports Bootstrap 2 css. The html generator was good for pair mockup sessions, but haven't used it much lately because my other projects are all Bootstrap 3 now.

donniezazen 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have been working on my first Android app. Nothing big just uses a few spinners and a mathematical formula. Halfway finishing through the app I learned that my hypothesis was wrong. Lesson is before writing the code make sure one has think it through. I am just learning so that is fine.
SuperChihuahua 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm improving my Elon Musk biography (https://leanpub.com/theengineer), and I'm learning C#, Blender, and Unity by building a tank simulator (http://www.habrador.com/labs/cv90-simulator/) and a Tesla Motors simulator (http://www.habrador.com/labs/tesla-simulator/)
0xeeeeeeee 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm working on an enterprise honeypot framework with an emphasis on internal honeypots that alerts a network administrator as soon as an attacker messes with it. An example would be a fake PHP myadmin page that alerts a security engineer as soon as it receives a POST request

It's closed source but I've finished the architecture for the software and a couple of the services (MySQL, Web, FTP). They are really cool in my opinion. I'm writing this in Java (yuck but great at the same time), so packaging each service as a Jar file makes deployment super super easy.

It's actually been really successful thus far (and really easy to write, only a few hundred lines). I think enterprises need to use more "trickery" in their security systems and I don't think a framework exists for this previously. It is really powerful to know that

if (honeypotTouched){ //critical alert}

A lot of honeypot software is old and does not send you alerts when something bad happens to it. Most are external facing. I guess a better name for this is "canary". I got the idea my second time sitting through mubix's "Attacker Ghost Stories" talk.

Anilm3 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a library to provide the same capabilities of the STL but in C:


I don't have much time due to my job, but it's quite a lot of fun to work on it.

gabceb 1 day ago 0 replies      

SmartValet is an app that allow people to interact with valet parking locations via mobile apps to improve their experience when valet parking their vehicles. Some of the features of using SmartValet are paying with credit cards, requesting a car pickup and up to date information about your parked car (cost, time, etc). SmartValet also provides a dashboard for the valet parking location with awesome reports and real-time location information.

mtmail 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is a open and growing database of 30 million addresses http://openaddresses.io/ and no system is actively using it yet. Such addresses need a search engine (geocoder). Will be part http://geocoder.opencagedata.com/ in beta, announced last week).
mlawren 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've been working on bif (http://bifax.org/bif/) for the past 3 years.

Bif is a project management tool with a command-line interface. It helps you track tasks, issues and bugs using a local database, exchanging updates with remote databases on demand. The tool has several features of interest to distributed project teams:

* Offline Operation - Many bif actions work offline; you can create and update tasks and issues while disconnected from the network.

* Inter-project Cooperation - Bif issues (and tasks) can be linked with (or copied to) multiple projects, mirroring the inter-project relationships that exist in the real world.

This flexibility comes with minimal additional complexity; bif commands are designed for consistency and ease of use.

Bif runs on any system that supports Perl and SQLite.

wizzardy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a FUSE-based userspace filesystem for accessing Amazon S3 buckets: https://github.com/skoobe/riofs This is my hobby project, but recently it's got attention to several startups, so I hope I'll be able to spend more time to work on it.
thrush 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm working with an awesome team to revolutionize how companies enable their employees to access apps. We want to make the workplace a better place. It's more of a nested set of projects, but hopefully it counts.

Join us! We are growing fast and have tons of openings. https://www.okta.com/company/careers.html

krapp 1 day ago 1 reply      
Nothing very interesting.

Still trying to find a purpose for this experiment in threaded feeds:



Also teaching myself SDL2 because I want to try to make a game in C++.

I was going to teach myself Android development this year but the emulator isn't even usable on this laptop i'm using.

I'm also working on an anonymous HN clone in Laravel, with passwordless login. It works but it's only on my HD and I can't be arsed to host it anywhere right now.

falcolas 1 day ago 0 replies      
An actor library which lets you run easily addressable processes on multiple machines in Python. And a Colosseum type RPG for the fun of it.
mrfusion 1 day ago 2 replies      
Nation chess! Once at least ten people from a country are logged in they'll matched up in a chess game with people from a different country. The entire nation (or at least those who are logged in) votes on each move.

I'd love some help if anyone is interested. I'm still in the planning phase.

four 1 day ago 0 replies      
iOS app using Multipeer Connectivity Framework for personal medical information communicationA healthcare social network Curriculum for my child and I to learn programming together - without spending all the time staring at screens. Using drawings, machinery, logic problems and so on. An online clearinghouse for running in Boston., Then D.C. Web back-end for tracking my $$ balances from SMS/email expense itemization: I send an email for an expense, it sends back my new balance.
Killah911 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Giant Tetris Build. Everything from Hardware to the Web. We're building an LED array that will hang on the window of TrepHub, run by a raspberry Pi. People walking by outside can just hook up to the Pi's wifi (via smartphone browser) and control the display (I.e play Tetris or space invader). Gamers I the community can develop other low res games for the display too (we're building he game framework out in python and using Flask for the web controller interface).



brenfrow 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm working a simple Medium like blogging engine, except I wanted to add a customizable reading experience for the user. try http://www.discusr.com for the site and http://www.discusr.com/post/12/Fear-and-Hope-with-Spacephobi... for an example read.
deutronium 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm working on a piece of hardware to measure the progress of fermentation (as one of my hobbies is brewing). I'm going to do this through the use primarily of an FPGA to measure the speed of sound through the liquid.


davexunit 1 day ago 0 replies      
A game engine called Sly (formerly guile-2d). It's written in Guile Scheme and implements a functional reactive programming API and allows developers to build games iteratively from their REPL. It's still missing a lot of features, but it's slowly coming together.



krrishd 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on improving technology used everyday in education through open source.

Specifically, right now I'm working with a brand new school to get their technology started, and in the process learning about what they're looking for in their software that's different from existing solutions.

Right now, the copy on the site is really confusing (new site coming out in a week) but here it is: http://opensourceschool.co

michaelmior 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Automated schema design for NoSQL databases[1], which admittedly is incredibly broad. Currently I'm working on a workload driven tool to select appropriate column families in Cassandra. The hope is that a similar approach will be viable in other NoSQL databases (e.g. MongoDB, Redis).


_b_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on an flash (ActionScript) vulnerability scanner. Which has some "automagic" components doing static and dynamic analysis, but also supports manual checking and organizing/finding flash-files.

Since I have collected a few (maybe a bit too much) files and found some vulns, I recently started work on a simplified user interface for less security affine people, to get simple results for a single URL or file. (Not quite ready to link here yet.)

At the moment I'm expanding the same concept to JavaScript and integrating a crawler to feed my systems. Having large amounts of source code, I'm also looking into search platforms and have been using Solr for some stuff, as well as a small implementation of a simple search index by myself.

sergiotapia 1 day ago 0 replies      
A fansite built for the game Smite. We offer 3D models, counterpicks and general God information.

We average around 35,000 monthly uniques and are in the process of a complete overhaul and searching for ideas to monatize other than ads. Any ideas?

Current LIVE version:


Overhaul in progress:


LVB 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm enjoying looking at the git commit history of a weekend project that just reached its one-year-in-development anniversary :). It's still weekend project size/scope, but I've redone it 10 different ways in 3 different languages. That's called procrastination.
SnowProblem 1 day ago 0 replies      
Voodoo.js - a Javascript library to integrate 3d controls seamlessly into 2d pages, and be able to mix them with other peoples 3d controls. You get a nifty parallax effect, too. Its all open source, and IMO the best option if you want non-intrusive 3d elements in your design.

Specifically, I'm working on a components library for Voodoo that works with Polymer. Meshes, 3d text, etc. It'll have 2d fallback support on slower devices. Long term, I'd love to grow a marketplace for controls like we have with Wordpress themes today.

Check it out! And let me know what you think.


yeureka 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have been working on a game on my spare time in remote collaboration with designers and musicians who live in other countries.

I have every build since the beginning and I am hoping to use these to make a video showing the evolution of the work.

The HN crowd will probably be the first people to see it.

mediascreen 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Right now in Istanbul on a six week vacation from my a long term consulting gig (in Sweden). Using the entire vacation to improve and get some traction for Analytics portfolio, a multisite web analytics dashboard.


rrradical 20 hours ago 0 replies      
A Haskell game engine. It's still in the early hacking phases, but I'm going to do a full writeup and code dump soon.
mattgeb 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm working on ConvoSpot (SnapChat for YikYak) iOS App. ConvoSpot creates small, temporary, geo-based chat rooms (convospots) so you can chat with people around you, and within a few hours, the messages vanish and are purged from our systems.

App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/convospot/id856444697

Site: http://www.convospot.com/

The project has been a lot of fun and I've learned a lot. We released version 2 a few weeks ago and have been getting positive feedback from a passionate, but small(and growing) user base.

NicoJuicy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm currently working on a hackernews with tags, recently got confirmation of a 100-employee company that they want it.

It was on hold because of waiting for them, but i just had a meeting with one of their employees, that gave the go-signal.

Also, it contains an API and a full role system + tag management (inheritance and much more)

My second project is Surveyor, that can send emails to people, requesting feedback (eg. An after sale mail). But currently using it for sending mailings to website launches (to people who signed up on landing pages) for clients. I am currently using it only internally, because it's not ready for public use.

So the scope of the second project is making a small change.

y3di 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm working on a simple little utilty for finding and exploring internal rhyme schemes in poems and songs. I made this in order to better show people just how complex a rap artist's rhyme combinations can get. You can view my work in progress online at http://reasonedrhymer.com Click on a combo or word to filter the results)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/j7u3f9rllmb1jbx/Screen%20Shot%2020...The screen shot shows a subset of the rhyme combos found in the Eminem song 'Lose Yourself'.

tslocum 1 day ago 2 replies      
I am creating a new type of imageboard based on tagging content rather than isolating it to individual boards. Danbooru uses tags but lacks the traditional thread/reply model.

http://1chan.us (NSFW)

zachlatta 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on hackEDU. We help high school students start and lead programming clubs at their high schools.

https://hackedu.us - current website, new one will be online in mid-July

shawnreilly 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a new App that we're hoping to launch soon. I can't talk about what it does because our application to TC Disrupt SF is still pending. 2 man team. Our front end stack is jQuery Mobile integrated with Backbone.js, wrapped with Cordova (native ios/android App). Our back end is based on Django/Tastypie (API/JSON) hosted on Heroku (probably move to AWS before launch). So far the App has near native speed; I spent a lot of time optimizing performance (both on the front end, and also relating to the API call payloads). I think we've nailed the UX, feedback has been good.
RogerL 1 day ago 0 replies      
Writing a Creative Commons licenced book on Kalman and Bayes filters, along with supporting software. It's been slow going the last few weeks as I have taken time to teach a class on it at work. The working premise is that you can get a long way without heavy duty math; you won't send a rocket to Mars w/o mastering all of the relevant math, but you sure can write a filter for your hobby robot, arduino project, computer vision tracker, and what have you.
cabalamat 1 day ago 1 reply      
SiteBox -- for website in a box -- is software that will allow users to quickly create a website. Think of it as wordpress.com but where each site has an integrated wiki. SiteBox uses markdown as its markup language.

People will also be able to run SiteBox on their own PCs to use as a personal wiki. Or to have offline backups of wikis on the net that can be easily resynced.

People will be able to collaboratively write a book using SiteBox. It will have version control, possibly using git with an easier user interface.

SiteBox will also have privacy-enabling features: people will be able to run it locally (on a PC or a Raspberry Pi) to communication using email and a collaborative wiki, and all communication over the net will be encrypted.

vasusen 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I am currently working on an app that let's you send messages which can only be read in certain a moonlight - similar to the moon letters in The Hobbit. Trying to tie digital messages to the real world. MoonLetter http://moonletter.com
apike 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a competitor to Meetup called Caravan. We're focusing on larger, more established meetups that aren't served well by Meetup. http://launch.caravan.io/
kidlogic 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Business: http://www.protoexchange.com - A freelance Hardware community. We match you to experts who can help solve your hardware headaches :D

Side-project: A/B Testing tool that compares metrics between two completely different websites!

ledlauzis 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am building free WordPress themes just to get some basic knowledge about web development and hopefully will move on to something bigger and bolder in near future.

You can follow my journey on http://colorlib.com

Turing_Machine 1 day ago 1 reply      
Burning Slug book engine, generates ebooks and LaTeX code for print using a (greatly) extended variant of Markdown.

It's all client-side Javascript. No server-side processing.


alexatkeplar 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm just finishing off the first release of Iglu, a schema repository initially for JSON Schemas, https://github.com/snowplow/iglu/wiki

It's the first new product since we started work on Snowplow two and a half years ago. The idea is that you register your JSON Schemas in an Iglu repo and then software like Snowplow can go fetch the Schemas to check that incoming JSONs pass validation.

There's also "Iglu Central" which is like Rubygems.org or Maven Central, but for schemas instead of code.

wturner 1 day ago 0 replies      
Working on a library of videos that teach programming basics ( and advanced topics ) using JavaScript and the Web Audio API.


There are a lot of books and tutorial videos that teach programming to those interested in video games but not much in the way of teaching people who already have familiarity in the creative digital audio space.

chipsy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am making a "paddle game synthesizer." It is a Pong-style game engine that is designed to have all game parameters be easy/fun to tune, from the game's physics and logic upwards to the audiovisuals. It also includes connectivity options so that MIDI devices can be used to control parameters.

In parallel with this project I am also working on a longer-term software sound synthesis project - a framework containing synthesizers, effects, and sequencers.

hmcfletch 1 day ago 1 reply      
A ruby gem that takes an RGB triplet and gives you a color name. Been using the XKCD Color Survey dataset (http://blog.xkcd.com/2010/05/03/color-survey-results/) to find mappings for the color space to names. It has been a pretty interesting little project. Color is a pretty interesting topic.
andrew_isidoro 19 hours ago 0 replies      
We're working on Typefonts (http://typefonts.org), a font discovery platform that allows designers to find beautiful typefaces quickly and easily.

Already have hundreds of beta signups waiting.

PurplePanda 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Experimenting with ways of having automatic memory management without either traditional garbage collection or reference counting, but rather by finding proofs of nonliveness at compile time. Trying to find under what language restrictions such a thing might be possible.
KajMagnus 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a discussion system for forums and blogs, which is hopefully going to help people understand each other better and solve problems in society more efficiently. (Well, that's a goal alyway.) http://www.debiki.com
tehwebguy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Royalty-free music site specifically for YouTube + independent musicians. Two months old, 3200 users, 181 tracks and ~350 videos (YouTube search count is fuzzy)

Site: http://www.sovndwave.com

Screenshot of my dashboard for fun: http://i.imgur.com/icmw74u.png

To use a track you must include an attribution that includes a unique URL. That's what the "clicks" on that page refer to.

fitzpasd 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nothing overly exciting, but I've started a blog recently at shanefitzpatrick.io and am working on a Ghost theme inspired by Google's recent Material Design.
qhoc 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I am creating what the next DIY hangout place should be: http://www.wisrr.com/

Basically you can say it's a child of Pinterest and DIY Message Board. If you ask question on how to fix your house, you know people want to see the pic of your mess.

Mobile app coming.

byennen 1 day ago 0 replies      
We've been trying to automate qa. Allowing anyone, business owner or qa manager to record acceptance tests in the browser, then play them back across multiple browsers with a single click by selecting which OS's, browsers, and the versions.

If anything is broken we have a link that can be sent to the developer which will replay the recorded test back in real time allowing the developer to debug the issue without a qa manager writing up a long step by step ticket.

We just launched (it's still in beta). Request an invite and I'll be happy to add you.


haosdent 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Cgroup on JVM. https://github.com/haosdent/jcgroup You could use this library to limit the CPU shares, Disk I/O speed, Network bandwidth and etc of a thread.
hunt 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on an X11 tiling window manager that behaves quite similarly to vim. It is my first C project, so I am learning a lot as I go.

I feel it has unique features that were missing from other WMs, such as vim's use of operators, modes and motions.

For example, you can kill 3 clients with a command similar to q3c.

Project is hosted over at github: https://github.com/HarveyHunt/howm/tree/develop

loupereira 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am working on Thunder Defense and building Anti-Big Brother tools to help the general public protect their privacy. The goal is to help create awareness about potential privacy threats with simple to use tools. It's not meant for tech savvy people or hackers but the general population.

My first tool is called Webcam Blocker Pro which protects your audio and video inputs.


namanyayg 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Just launched an extremely simple tool for categorizing and displaying my favorite free fonts, Pretty Open Type. http://namanyayg.github.io/pretty-open-type/
Brabon 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm porting an Android app to iOS with no prior knowledge of Obj-C. It's a load capacity calculator for yarders used in the logging industry.

Dealing with the differences between Java/Android and Obj-C/iOS has been both interesting and frustrating at times.


pm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Working on a git GUI client called Rook, because I'm too unoriginal to do anything else, and I'm just sick of looking at all the ideas I could work on and not doing them.

Oh and working on building a controllable PSU Arduino shield with friends (for which I'm writing the software and learning electronics). That's actually fun!

n3on_net 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm working on a platform that allows everyone create HTML5 and mobile games directly in the browser without any programming knowledge. Still in a very early stage. First MVP will come in a month.

screenshot: http://goo.gl/rLVcM6some devlog videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/symplatonix

JDDunn9 1 day ago 0 replies      
Building an open source CMS for creating single page apps using AngularJS.

Trying to build a low-cost ($4-$5k retail) mobile robotic platform to function as a robot butler.

presty 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm building a basic CRUD app (http://clj-notes.herokuapp.com/) to showcase some backend libraries (https://github.com/meta-x) for Clojure/Ring that I built and also as a way to learn Clojurescript and Om
widmogrod 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on DOM diff JS library. https://github.com/widmogrod/jef#dom-diff
db42 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just finished working/updating on these three apps:

- 1000 WPM (http://bit.ly/wpm1000) Spritz-style speed Reader for iPhone and iPad with Pocket integration

- Track your productivity (http://bit.ly/1iPr8ye) Chrome extension

- QuickFill (http://bit.ly/Tsrte5) Handy Clipboard for iPhone and iPad

aaronandy 1 day ago 0 replies      
We just launched http://andersonspeed.com, where we combine automotive data from several different APIs and home-grown databases to create custom service logs for specific vehicles, which we sell as actual printed books.

It's been fun to take the "low technology" solution (i.e., printed pen-on-paper record keeping) and inject it with some high-technology magic (customized dynamic content creation, etc).

dewey 1 day ago 0 replies      
I built a small site to track your hackernews karma/comment/submission count:


irremediable 1 day ago 0 replies      
Currently I'm taking a few weeks' holiday, so I'm making sure I work on no projects in the next week or so!

The projects I'm eventually going to return to are the following:

* Data analysis for a property search engine.

* Build some demonstrations for an engineering course I'm going to teach.

* (Longer term) Try to tie brain perfusion data to brain health, and hence predict dementia onset.

gabemart 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a hobby project called vidyabuzz [1]. It's a search engine / instant newspaper for video games. You give it the name of a video game that's been in the news lately (or a studio, or a developer) and it gives you a bunch of article snippets in a newspaper-esque format.

It's just a toy, but I'm interested in the format for more serious applications in the future.

[1] http://vidyabuzz.com

lnanek2 23 hours ago 0 replies      
A fashion finder for Google Glass! Public beta that you can sideload available here:https://acemoda.com/

Still a long road to walk polishing it and getting it into the official My Glass console, though.

PanMan 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just released http://burgerfest.nl which is a skinned version of a flapy-bird clone, as promo for a party (yesterday). I also build a physical interface where you could play the game by hitting a big red button. And a big scoreboard consisting of 63 incandescent lights, which I control with an arduino and 21 relays. One of my first arduino projects, which was fun.
dturnbull 1 day ago 0 replies      
I started a blog about the Meteor JavaScript framework: http://meteortips.com I've been working on the web for a long while now (about a decade) but it's been a while since I've thrown myself this deep into the web development side of things. :
gkoberger 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on an on-demand developer hub for APIs or software. Basically, dev.yourstartup.com. I want everyone to be able to have beautiful, Stripe/Twitter/Parse quality documentation. Fully customizable, all docs are collaborative (like a wiki) and versioned, support section, API signup, sync with Git(Hub), error lookup, blog/changelog, etc.

(If you're interested in beta testing, email me at my username at gmail)

mhluongo 1 day ago 0 replies      
We're working on a mobile app to help people spend bitcoin at Target & Starbucks- the successor of coinforcoffee.com. I'm focused mostly on the backend (Python / Django) while waiting for a designer friend to give us comps for the app.

I'm also working on a web app where folks can exchange their gift cards for bitcoin - cardforcoin.com. It's Python / Django / Angular.

hrvbr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've just finished a clean-looking alternative to Twitlonger and Pastebin, with Markdown support.

The last thing on my to-do list is that the site should be named 1p.cx but I'm still waiting for the domain name (bought tuesday) to be activated.

So you can check it at http://1pcx.azurewebsites.net/

For another source of inspiration, I've discovered faviconit.com recently, it's a useful little tool I intend to use again.

Buetol 1 day ago 1 reply      
Building an open-source forum-as-a-service platform, so schools/companies/friends can have a cool place to speak online. I hope this will be cool and appreciated.
thefate 1 day ago 1 reply      
Im working on an online platform to store and share raw footage from action cameras like gopro / contour and others.

Were working on things like GPS support, real slow-motion and generally designed to work better with raw footage.

https://boldkit.com/ and your feedback is welcome at andy@boldkit.com (use ASKHNKIT code to get extra space)

indrekv 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a local multiplayer Zombie Platformer called ZombieRun. It's retro style game with the aim to remind us that gaming is the most fun with your buddies in the same room with you. It allows up to 4 players play as on team or against each other. Living dead, guns and superpowers that's what's ZombieRun is all about.

I'm working toward releasing the game in the end of summer for PC-s and a few months later on Android.

More info: http://zombierun.eu

Jhsto 1 day ago 0 replies      
Blog engine in Go. Just a side-project though, but it has been fun. https://github.com/9uuso/vertigo
jackiekong 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am working on Flashback - a lockscreen replacement for Android. It randomly displays photo from your Facebook and Dropbox account in your lockscreen. There is a bit of #tbt and nostalgic feel to it.

I take a lot of photos and probably have thousands of photos in the cloud but I only look at them when I have time (rarely!). I thought of getting a photo frame but have been disappointed with the limitations (ex. switching sd cards, limited space). I set out to create a better photo frame app that connects to the cloud so you don't have to worry about swapping photos. Eventually I pivoted to do a lock screen because it made more sense for the phone form factor.Last week, I add live world cup scores on the lock screen. Its pretty neat. Eventually, I would like to add more relevant information to the lock screen and more photo filtering capabilities.

Its still a very much beta product (just released last week). Try it out at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.flashback....

matthiasb 1 day ago 0 replies      
I built this video tutorial for Citrix XenApp this weekend:http://codebazaar.blogspot.com/2014/06/install-and-configure...
fundamental 1 day ago 0 replies      
ZynAddSubFX - an open source synthesizer which due to some architectural flaws has spawned the need for a subproject of librtosc which is a hard realtime safe implementation of the OSC serialization protocol and a dispatch system to go along with it.



alasdair_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
A price history guide for magic: the gathering cards (soon, other collectibles) at http://www.mtgprice.com

It's on app engine - something that was pretty horrible to start on but is much better now that I'm aware of most of the hidden constraints.

dfox 1 day ago 0 replies      
Recently I started to again actually have enough of free time to continue in improving my toy implementation of Scheme (called dfsch, http://dfsch.org/) into something that is not a toy, but really usable. Given the fact that two months ago I actually sold an app written in dfsch it seems that it might be actually useful.
napolux 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just started the design phase for a little iOS8 (spritekit + swift) game... I've opened a dev blog about it, but it's all private for now :-
synunlimited 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just finished up a site that displays the World Cup results with the arena the game is being played at in the background. Still working to make it a little bit better but just wanted to get the functionality in. It uses the Software for Good API http://worldcup.sfg.io/


raarky 19 hours ago 0 replies      
A multi-color image search engine for streetwear in my spare time.


YousefED 1 day ago 0 replies      
Besides working on my startup http://www.tweetbeam.com (twitter wall), I'm currently working on open sourcing a collection of angularjs directives for Elasticsearch. Preview at http://www.elasticui.com (feedback welcome)
plumeria 1 day ago 0 replies      
We are planning new features and design for our tool aimed at compiler students: https://github.com/pygram/pygramThere is a demo hosted in Heroku, details in the link above.

We are deciding if changing to Javascript and what other features to support.

mburst 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been working on http://www.problemotd.com/ for the past few months now. It's a site for people who are in to programming and logic puzzles. A new one goes up every day Mon-Fri. I definitely need to step up my marketing game though as traffic has been rather static over the past month.
mirovarga 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a RESTful API to run CasperJS scripts online plus an online IDE built on top of the API.

The IDE has quite a number of users so I hope it's useful.

You can check it up at http://ide.casperbox.com

hansonywu 21 hours ago 0 replies      
http://www.craftedbylove.com/#/ is my most recent project. it is a showcase of beautiful web design.
t__crayford 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm working on my startup: http://yellerapp.com. It's a smarter exception tracker, with a severe emphasis on helping you diagnose exceptions faster through better analysis.

Last week I shipped time series graphs for all your exceptions, and now I'm working on some new client libraries.

hexsprite 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm working on a new productivity app for startup entrepreneurs who are feeling unfocused and overwhelmed. It schedules your work in your calendar, keeps it up to date and gives you helpful notifications so you stay on track with your most important work. http://focuster.com
djfumberger 1 day ago 2 replies      
Have just launched an app to enable people of all skill levels to create music - http://beatwave.co
mahadazad 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am working on http://www.qrunched.com a very advance QR code generator
chrisgd 1 day ago 1 reply      
An algorithmic trading model. I have been investing for 2 months on my own and hope to open an investing firm in 2 years or less
AndyKelley 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am working on groovebasin [1], an open source music player server with a web based user interface inspired by Amarok 1.4.

[1]: http://groovebasin.com

iancarroll 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a simpler, faster, and cheaper to manage digital certificates: TLS, S/MIME, code signing, etc. Right now, our prices are lower then any current retail price.
mattdeboard 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm tryign to recreate Ticket To Ride boardgame in Clojure w/ Neo4j https://github.com/mattdeboard/ticket-to-ride

Work stress over the past week or so has forced a break though

JoshTheGeek 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on an app for my school's bell schedule, and a website to go with it. I've already created an app for the school newspaper: http://joshuaoldenburg.com/apps/steinbrenner-oracle
eric-brechemier 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interactive visualizations about authors who contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports.



dannyr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm a big fan of the US Soccer team.

I built an Android app last year and continue to add content to it.


PerfectElement 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm working on an online intake forms web app (http://intakeq.com). I built it initially for my wife, who's a nutritionist, but there are a few other people using it now.
patrickg 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am working on a database publishing software (= xml to pdf) based on LuaTeX (http://speedata.github.io/publisher/index.html) - actually this is my main source of income (creating product catalogs and such for big companies).
Vektorweg 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I try to program games. But because i have too big plans and work alone, i spend most of the time to write software that increases my productivity in writing software.
terranstyler 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I currently work on an automatic Piano agent (software only) that randomly creates and plays well sounding melodies in the spirit of Chopin.
silentinteract 1 day ago 0 replies      
Been working on growing this new blog at http://silentinteraction.com and testing out some new product ideas I have. Currently working on a lot of client work. Doing contract gigs in the meantime, while trying to build some online products.
rusher81572 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am working on this Amazon S3 client that is getting good reviews


Pratheeswaran 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am working on a side project - http://www.kopyscreen.com/

started this to learn Go lang, but with the interests shown by some of my friends, slowly building it into a website during the weekends. I am hoping to complete it soon.

ThomPete 1 day ago 3 replies      
Working on Ghostnote which is a contextual notes & todo app.It allow you to add notes to Folders, Files, Applications, Documents open in applications and even URLs.

Don't think there is anything like it out there.

It will look kind of like this:


ankit84 21 hours ago 0 replies      
two projects:

1. Application Performance Monitoring: this shall help understand software's runtime behavior, alerts, etc.

2. Company Directory - A online software for Compnay HR: For now just a proposal, soon to start as I see some people follow it :P https://github.com/ankitjaininfo/Darpan

Bootvis 1 day ago 0 replies      
In order of time spent:

- Since forever working on an actuarial cash flow model

- Since a few months: risk management in the agrarian sector

- Starting to look at the Kona (K) programming language

- The Matadano crypto challenge, this project suffers under work load for the other three.

olegp 1 day ago 0 replies      
https://starthq.com - a browser extension that lets you search across all your cloud services, here's the API: https://starthq.com/developers
farmdawgnation 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been spending some time working on a view first development framework that sits on top of Node and Express! It's called vain (because it cares only about its presentation... layer. Yuk yuk.)


cj 1 day ago 0 replies      
Been working on Localize.js, a javascript library + SaaS for translating websites: https://localizejs.com/. Screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/KpULrEs.png
ziyadb 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a blog that is intended for aspiring founders to gain some inspiration and share their stories, http://buildingof.com

Email me (in profile) if you have any ideas or would like to share your story.

CMCDragonkai 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm working on the Matrix. http://matrix.ai/ Can't say much than this at the moment though.
endriju 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm building Google Fusion Tables competitor called EXMERG http://www.exmerg.com

It starts to look like a reporting tool, but the main purpose is merging datasets based on common columns.

ChuckMcM 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mostly an educational operating system/monitor (and a platform to run it on) that is between Arduino/Processing and Linux in complexity to provide a platform for teaching the 'mid-layer' of computer science people who have had at least Algebra level mathematics.
taber 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a website to help local DJ's find paying gigs. It's at beathavenapp.com. There are solutions that DJ's use, but none of them are designed specifically with local musicians in mind.
iagooar 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm a co-founder of Podigee, a podcast publishing platform, batteries included:


The backend runs on Rails + PostgreSQL, the frontend is a mix of Rails and AngularJS. Also, we run dedicated download / stream servers.

dsplatonov 1 day ago 0 replies      
Working on my start-up "Staply https://www.staply.co " - smart messenger for groups. From user prospective - it is a web-based dropbox folder with messenger. Planning to participate in next YC.
aymeric 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I am working on http://weekplan.net helping people better manage their time.
shadesandcolour 1 day ago 0 replies      
A side project iOS app that keeps track of movies, tv shows, books and video games you want to watch/read/play. Mostly because it will let you know with a notification when something is releasing or when it is added to netflix/iTunes/paperback etc.
ChikkaChiChi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Learning Go and finding a way to integrate the new Polymer initiative from Google into node-webkit to start building Go GUI applications.

If Go can get some attention on the frontend, I think it's going to speed up adoption even more.

braindead_in 1 day ago 1 reply      
We are working on a MTurk like system for audio/video transcription. We have developed a four step process to ensure that the accuracy as high as possible irrespective of the difficultly level of the file.

Check it out at https://scribie.com

RomanPushkin 1 day ago 0 replies      

My own vision on easy checklists for managing other people (and myself). It's 50/50 made, hope I'll be able to finish it till the end of the year.

ahmednuaman 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been working on http://trailers.flix.ie, I'm looking to finish the main site off soon, but trying to figure out the best way to get background video/media to work on tablet and mobile or what's the next best solution.
noufalibrahim 1 day ago 0 replies      
A C library that allows querying system and process information. The aim is to support multiple platforms and then write wrappers for the library in several higher level languages. https://github.com/nibrahim/cpslib
rakoo 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm building a Bittorrent Sync alternative aimed at ease of use to solve http://www.xkcd.com/949/:


canercandan 1 day ago 1 reply      
In my free time, I contribute to the project uCoin [1], protocol + softwares building P2P crypto-currencies based on individuals and Universal Dividend. It's based on WoT as opposed to bitcoin-like cryptocurrency based on PoW.[1] http://ucoin.io
jwcrux 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm finishing up an open source phishing framework called gophish (http://github.com/jordan-wright/gophish). It's written in golang and angular, and has a full REST api and web frontend.
paukiatwee 1 day ago 0 replies      
I working on open source personal finance app (Web, Android and probably iOS). It will be small and simple enough to deploy to Heroku's free dyno without any hosting fee.

I know out there have a lot already, but I want a modern and open source version of it (Web + Mobile app).

wesley 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nxt cryptocurrency built in java, with decentralized asset exchange and digital goods store.


truthmagnet 1 day ago 1 reply      
A survival guide for creative geniuses. You can sign up here for early access: http://diepenniless.com/

A quick warning: as the title suggests, this book isn't for everyone.

feint 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a side project I've been working on http://saved.io a simple way to store bookmarks across devices
rudexpunx 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am working on my hobby project http://techpost.com which is basically manually built tech post index.

Other than that, I am developing few small websites, and still selling and brokering domain names.

lettergram 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on an free statistical Ebook reader, which hopefully will have recommendations, a library to download from, etc.

Currently, it has similar statistics to Anki and is only available on a desktop, but I hope to launch an app version in the upcoming year.

I also has a much more high quality "paid" version I hope to come out with. This will be used for authors and authors can pay me to distribute their books so they can get insight into their readers. This I hope to launch Fall 2015.

Website: http://austingwalters.com/openbkz/

Github: https://github.com/lettergram/OpenBKZ

Unfortunately, I have had very little time to work on it between work and my blog.

scotthtaylor 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Currently working on: http://www.peeky.co
dully 1 day ago 1 reply      
Working on updating my current alarm clock app http://www.spinmealarm.com to have a social aspect that will gamify your wake up experience.
aashaykumar92 1 day ago 0 replies      
Skanout, an Uber for your annoying searches. We run product searches to help people get the products they want for the price they want.


lgmspb 1 day ago 1 reply      
We are now building a smart communication platform, where files and links are never lost. Think of a shared folder with a chat built in. https://staply.co

Feedback is welcome.

arronroy 1 day ago 3 replies      
I've just launched an app for building D3.js charts online. Getting some interesting people sign.


finspin 1 day ago 1 reply      
My weekend project is a script which tracks prices of used cars which I'm interested in and saves the data to a Google spreadsheet. It will also notify me via email if price for a car has dropped. I'm about half-way done.
alixander 1 day ago 1 reply      
itisbiz 1 day ago 0 replies      
A web app to quickly record 'visits' .. visits by customers, meeting or event attendees, etc https://www.speedvisit.com
mkile 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am working on a small C# library implementing the Promises/A+ specification, details here: https://github.com/matteocanessa/SailorsPromises
mstipetic 1 day ago 0 replies      
A friend and I are finishing an iPhone app right now, it should be out soon http://getlooksgood.com/ (the website is still work in progress)
eftpotrm 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a site for enthusiasts of construction toys - initially Meccano / Erector but not system tied, they're just what I know best :-) Model galleries, plans, collection management and sales facilities for dealers.
cfredmond 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a trading platform. Using Go + MongoDB.
auxbuss 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm just getting back to http://fndout.com after a year or so back building products with and for others.
skizm 1 day ago 2 replies      

I wanted to take node/redis for a spin and this was one of the more simple web apps I could think of. There isn't any data in the system right now so don't take the percentages too seriously.

I might add the ability for users to upload images so people could up make funny trios and share them, but since this was more of a learning experience I doubt I'll get that far before something else takes my interest.

digitalmentat 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm working on a solution to multi-device sync and display of org-mode data. Opensource software for self-install if you like and if there's wide enough adoption I might try monetizing it.
twelvechairs 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm writing a flexible working environment for getting things done. Its intended to be usable for any field/task and should allow a lot of flexibility in use (like real-time programmatic and interface additions).
petersouth 1 day ago 0 replies      
Building a free service that gets consumers small discounts or upgrades when they buy a new car.


gamebak 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is my startup http://skyul.com and right now I'm implementing a proxy server in php. So mostly working for fun, I think this is what's most important.
jsumrall 1 day ago 0 replies      
As the semester is ending this coming week, I'm making some android apps this summer to help pad my resume/give-me-something-to-show for when I look for a job next year. I'm making something like Yo.
coderjames 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm building a robot to drag around a ribbon toy for my cats. It supports either autonomous motion or receiving commands from a PC via a wireless link.
melenaboija 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a coordinates storage service to be used for future mobile projects.


buttscicles 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've been working on a little hosted websockets service, would like to ramp up the pace though.


komrade 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on https://studentloanhero.com It's a tool to manage student loans with ease.
mkal_tsr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've got a monitoring service I'm spinning up that came from my main project needing another monitoring service (one external, one internal) ... that's coming along well and almost done, \o/
trevordev 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ive started to make a collaborative brainstorming tool http://ponderout.cloudapp.net/
mafellows 1 day ago 0 replies      
iosleads.com and androidleads.net are the main projects right now.

Also have a few client projects I'm excited to announce this fall.

I'm also trying to buy a side project. If anyone has a project proposal SaaS tool they're looking to unload (think proposals for freelance developers), shoot me a message!

lutorm 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Building a Zigbee weather station and digging a French drain around the house.
sparkzilla 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on trying to get http://newslines.org on the front page of Hacker News ;-)
afaqurk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Working on a very simple web dashboard for monitoring linux server stats: http://linuxdash.com
Lockyy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Currently working on a gem for ruby that extends Faker to allow you to produce fake data related to RPGs. Weapons, characters, gods, spells etc.
late2part 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a API derived observased triggered notification system for loan status on prosper.com and lendingclub.com.
marxdeveloper 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just went live with my game homepagehttp://mo.ee/
bosky101 1 day ago 0 replies      
very inspiring to see the breadth/scope of projects HN'ers are working on, but i shouldn't be surprised.

i'm working on a kafka producer in erlang


rok3 1 day ago 0 replies      
Finishing up documentation and some cleanup before release on a Go logging library for LogEntries.
instakill 1 day ago 0 replies      
Still working at the marketing of http://www.mybema.com
sesteel 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am creating a widget toolkit for Go on Linux. Fun times.Http://github.com/sesteel/go-view
kephra 1 day ago 0 replies      
My main sideproject is still w3dig, a domain specific language to describe the semantics of web sites for a distributed and censor free search engine. Thats my big cathedral, with the final goal to get rid of evil google.

Other side projects are Tibetan input for Qt, or detecting herons and cormorants with OpenCV to shoot them with a water canon.

baken 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm quantifying reflexivity in financial systems and building trading models on top of it.
swah 1 day ago 0 replies      
Chat app, I kid you not. But just deciding on the front-end stack at the moment.
Vaanir 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm working on making a JSON API for Tennis scores, as I couldn't find one!
gregpasta 1 day ago 1 reply      
An easy to use opinionated reporting system in django.


I'd love to get some feedback if anyone is interested.

Ap0c 19 hours ago 0 replies      
We are working on solving e-commerce logistics issues within Africa.

Effectively an outsourced warehouse and logistics engine which enables e-commerce sites to be able to sell items throughout africa.


shawnk 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am working on a project to help ecommerce shoppers get a super micro loan to pay for next day shipping. Think of it as Max levchin new startup"Affirm" but just for next day shipping to shipping that cost over $20+... To the top we will go!!!
evertonfuller 1 day ago 0 replies      
A music discovery/streaming curated platform.
hamburg 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Ah, self-promotion opportunity! :)

Just finished a little helper app (arrange windows on the screen) for Mac: http://www.zonesformac.com

About to start work on a 3D game engine. Reviewing the required maths now.

sidlr 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I am working on AlteredMe(http://brazil.altd.me)altering the way we interact in major events, starting with sports.via commentary/audio/emoteshighly contextual experience rather than just text
shanth 1 day ago 0 replies      
A time table generation app in Haskell using Yesod :)
timtamboy63 1 day ago 0 replies      
Creating a subtractive synthesizer in Javascript
swayvil 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm cultivating cosmic consciousness.
jimmaswell 1 day ago 0 replies      
An MMORPG, Legends of Equestria
viggity 1 day ago 2 replies      
just recently launched a service that will let you create interactive dashboards (pivot charts) off of your excel files. Got a huge influx of beta sign ups from HN and ProductHunt.com.

General Site: http://www.machete.io

Example Boards:

$4.4B in startup funding: http://www.machete.io/board/view/seed_db_funding_rounds/157a...

All Penalties in NFL's 2013 Season: http://www.machete.io/board/view/NFL_2013_Penalties/3731630c...

miguelrochefort 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm designing the future of communication.

A few related topics:

- Semantic Web

- Internet of Things


- Knowledge Representation

- Big Data

- Smart Contracts

Evoluton of communication:

- Facial emotions

- Sign language

- Verbal communication

- Writing

- Printing

- Photography

- Telephone

- Radio

- Television

- Computers

- Internet

- Smartphones

- ... <- What I'm working on

Ask HN: Anyone ever had a business coach?
4 points by l33tbro  5 hours ago   3 comments top
JacobAldridge 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Biased response - I am a business coach, and have used one as well. Happy to answer any questions if anyone has any.

Warning: a LOT of a business coaches are a waste of money. I've been coaching around the world for 8 years, so must be doing something right, and even I would consider myself a poor investment for a non-funded startup.

For larger, faster growing businesses, the problem with most business coaches is, well, 'coaching'. Pure coaching works from the assumption that the client knows everything, they just need the right questions to draw it out of them. In small business, that's complete BS. Most businesses are run by people who are good at what they do, not because they did an MBA and decide to go code / learn plumbing / become an architect. They need some direct business consulting expertise, and a coaching methodology to embed the key points so you're not constantly paying a consultant to come in and do the work for you.

Some good articles:

[1] http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/managing/are-business-c...

[2] http://jacobaldridge.com/business/4-characteristics-of-great...

Tell HN: Jonathan Dale's Cancer Fundraiser isn't Doing Well & Time's Running Out
72 points by rpm4321  14 hours ago   25 comments top 7
darthclue 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I am quite honestly at a loss for words here. When this originally made it to HN I found out about it because I was awakened by the sound of my wife sobbing on the couch next to me. I had only been out of the hospital a few days and was sleeping on the couch at that time because I lacked the energy to do much of anything beyond sit there and force food into my mouth. At that time, we saw a huge amount of support from the HN community and I was humbled and honored that so many people stepped forward and demonstrated what I believe is the most important thing in this world. That is, that if we are to survive as a species we must unite and cooperate and, whenever and wherever possible, help those in need.

Over the last few months, I've finally found a good balance between food and the medicines I must take to simply survive. I am still paying ongoing medical costs which insurance is paying a large chunk of, however, insurance doesn't pay for everything. Just some rough numbers based on costs submitted to insurance shows that a single day in the hospital is roughly $3,000/day and a single gamma knife treatment is roughly $100,000. The gamma knife treatment is the best available option for treating tumors in my brain, however, getting that approved by insurance isn't easy. The last time it happened, the neurosurgeon had to submit a written statement indicating that my life expectancy was at least 6 months beyond the time of treatment or they wouldn't pay.

The money from the fundraiser is being used in one of 3 ways: Medical expenses, Putting food on the table, or final expenses which include funeral costs and paying off the house and car debt so that my family will have a roof over their heads when my time comes. For those that have given, I will never be able to say thank you enough nor will I ever be able to repay you. I do hope that your generosity will be repaid to you ten-fold in some way. I've seen many of you give small amounts and many of you give large amounts, however, the common theme is that you are giving what you can while also wishing you could give me. From me to you, whatever you give is precious. Even it is only $5 it is precious because you have taken the time to give and demonstrated that you believe in providing hope and compassion to others and because those $5 donations add up quickly when it is thousands of people giving.

I lost my grandmother this month from cardiac arrest. Because of my health, I couldn't attend her funeral. That was and continues to be a very painful thing for me. She was always there to make sure I was taken care of and even spent several weeks with us helping to keep me fed and motivated despite her own health failing her. She passed at 80 years, 8 months, and 8 days of age and the legacy she left me was to help others as much as you can. Even though my own health is failing, I am doing whatever I can to bring attention to others whose situations are just as bad, if not worse, as mine.

At this point, even though my prognosis has not changed, I am feeling better. I still have trouble moving around as I run out of energy quickly and fight pain constantly. There is still no cure for the type of cancer I have and the treatments I am on will likely cease to be effective at some point. While there is likely to be a point at which all treatment options have been exhausted, I continue to have hope that a cure may be found before that happens. Quite honestly, even if it meant that I was physically unable to do anything and even if it meant that I had lost a substantial amount of my cognitive function, if I was alive I would be fine. That is truthfully the only thing that I have ever wanted. I simply want to live, to watch my children grow, and to die of old age with my soul mate by my side.

I want to bring your attention to some other individuals whose situations are, I think, worse than mine.

First, there is Nathalie. She is a 15 year old who is battling a rare form of cancer. She is trying to get access to a drug which could very well save her life and might even save mine one day. She meets all of the requirements except for her age. Because she isn't 18, she can't get the drug until it's been approved by the FDA. You can learn more about her situation at http://www.4nathalie.com/

Second, there is Ben. He is a father of 4 who was diagnosed with cancer of the Brain and central nervous system in December and given weeks to live. He's fought an impossible battle and managed to exceed doctors expectations. At this point, he has exhausted all available treatment options and may soon meet his end. I'm not entirely sure what the needs of his family are at this time, however, he does have a fundraiser at http://www.gofundme.com/ben-fights-brain-cancer

If you feel the need to give but are unable to give to more than one of us, I would ask that you give to either Nathalie or Ben. Although my family does need the help, I want to leave this world better than I found it and that starts by helping others. If my time comes, I would rather that my legacy be that of someone who helped others rather than that of someone who begged for help as others in need were left standing alone.

Thank you again for all that you have done for me and my family. I know that I will never be able to repay your kindness.

Jonathan Dale

NotOscarWilde 12 hours ago 5 replies      
European here; I've clicked the link and read the introductory text but I am still not fully informed, so here I ask.

Why is Jonathan's health insurance not covering the treatment? Is it because of the terminality? Or because of the way the US health insurance system works?

I have very little experience with American insurance systems, but it seems that the public is asked to fund the costs of a family which was let down by the insurance system, and which desperately asks for more time with Jonathan.

Personally, this makes me less inclined to donate; donating would feel like I am throwing money at a problem which a foreign country (one of the richest in the world) is not able to fix itself.

throwaway26454 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Here is $15. It isn't much and I would give you more but my Irish income per year is erm, peasant level.

Despite many members of HN being wealthy and/or well connected there are just as many of us that struggle to pay rent let alone for medical expenses. At the same time I and I'm sure others appreciate that this kind of thing is a very lonely and depressing experience with many dark thoughts. So here is a bro shoulder squeeze. Any of us could be in the same situation as you, it is a fact. Good luck man.


I think it would be nice if us geeks/hackers had a healthcare plan for our community. A HN healthcare fund that both covered the basics in different countries and also pulled together contacts and information about new treatments for illness/disease, some holistic approach to be intelligently hitting the 'big killers' that are likely to strike.

If you think about it, many of the things likely to 'whack' us are going to be similar due to lifestyle. Overweight, back problems just as a typical example. If somebody out in SV thinks it a good idea then mention it to PG. Then ycombinator could not just be a incubator, but take us from cradle to grave! :)

themgt 11 hours ago 0 replies      
darthcluespose 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Still could use all the help we can get thanks to all so far that have found it in there hearts to pay it forward and help out our family in this time of need thankyou from us is not a lot but it what I have to give hope to some day give it forward to someone else in there time of need
fnordsensei 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: are you working on a commercial project with no sales ever?
4 points by andrewstuart  7 hours ago   4 comments top 4
LarryMade2 5 hours ago 0 replies      

In a slow development phase and building a starting database. Been an idea for about three years and an actual thing for one.

One of the challenges here is many in this rural area arent all that computer savvy, many folks I talk it up to don't use a computer or have one at home.

edoceo 5 hours ago 0 replies      
You should get sales before the MVP. Letters of intent/commitment. If you don't have sales you don't have a business. Hope won't change a hobby into a business.
mkal_tsr 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm turning a side-side-project into one (which itself was part of a side-project turned commercial project). Oldest project (SP) has seen money, current SSP has not, but it's nearing launch.
dqmdm 5 hours ago 0 replies      
That is how my project is going right now. As it turns out, many enterprise customers don't want an mvp.
Ask HN: Some noob co-founder questions
20 points by arisAlexis  18 hours ago   17 comments top 7
vitovito 18 hours ago 1 reply      
There are some assumptions in here we have to take apart.

First, if you're not a corporation, there isn't "really" equity. LLCs have ownership, but it's not stock like it is in a C corp, it's just whatever you define it to be. If you're an LLC which will eventually reorganize into C corp, or just a bunch of people puttering around together in your spare time, there's no legal structure or contract which could guarantee that the final incorporated form of your startup will preserve the equity arrangements you've discussed.

It is entirely possible, perhaps even likely, that someone will get screwed, when incorporation time comes. As such, I don't really see a point in formally defining equity for a non-C corp. Either everyone trusts each other or they don't, but paperwork isn't going to fix that.

Someone will sputter, "but you could just put it in a contract!" Yes, but if you can't afford to sue me over the terms of the contract when I form a new C corp without you, then what's the point? (I assume that's why you're not incorporated yet, that you don't want to spend a few thousand dollars for paperwork, and that your co-founders probably won't, either.)

The other problem you have by not incorporating is there's no independent entity which owns all the IP. When your co-founders write code, who owns it? Where is that defined? How is ownership transferred from them to the startup? If this is their side project, do their employment contracts allow them to have side projects, or do their employers own everything they do? Are they using their work computers to work on anything for your startup? Etc.

So, in a sense, it doesn't matter what percentage you say they have, nor how you validate it, because those arrangements aren't worth the paper they're printed on.

That said, my fourth startup attempt went the unincorporated route. We had a gentleman's agreement around IP and ownership. We used Joel Spolsky's equity plans, most recently discussed here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7610781

All the original founders were the first tier, sharing 50% ownership. We were all equally side-project-ing it; there were no full-time founders. Additional rounds of founders would have been in one of the subsequent 10% tiers. If we had any full-time founders, I'm not sure what we would have done; perhaps full-timers in one 30% tier, and part-timers in a shared 20% tier, to keep the 50% bracket for original founders.

For IP, we agreed to each retain ownership of our own code, and non-exclusively license it to each other person, for the purposes of working on a group project. We had a shared private code repository; anything in there was understood to be licensed as such, and only the things in there.

Everyone understood that all of this was effectively non-binding, but we all trusted each other, and the expectation was, come time to launch the app we were working on, we'd incorporate at that point, and formally define all of this.

akanet 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I run a profitable one-man SaaS business. I think before you seriously consider even bringing someone on, you should think about exactly what you want. If you have 30% of an MVP and a business plan, what are you looking for in a cofounder? Why is bringing them on material to your business?

You mentioned that people don't take you seriously as a one-man operation. This is not my experience when it comes to negotiation of standard contracts - businesses care about the value you create for them. Being a one-man operation has mattered when dealing with acquisition negotiations, but I think optimizing for that now is a bit of cart-before-horse.

Imagine you are pitching to your imaginary board or a potential investor. You want to bring on a cofounder to help you grow X% in Y months by adding Z strategic value. Fill in the blanks and then decide if you actually know anyone like that. When you do all that I think the % of the company to give away questions will become transparent.

gullyleft 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you should just find some people who are excited by what you're doing, start working with them on a trial basis without any formality, and just see how it works. You'll probably end up cycling through a bunch of people before finding anybody of co-founder quality.

You'll meet a lot of people who are really excited to be involved in a startup, and then a month later learn that they don't have it, or that there are fundamental differences in the way you guys do things. It's super hard to find "co-founders" which are totally a type of person.

My two first co-founders were very experienced. I picked this up from them.

Find out what they do and if you even like them, etc. After the trial period, negotiate based on their value, quality (experience, exceptional skills) etc. and risk they're taking (time spent) with emphasis on output (value). MAKE IT VERY CLEAR from the outset that the work you're doing together is to see how things go. If it doesn't work out, you go your separate ways. People who have done this before will appreciate this method and those are the people you want as a cofounder! You can set the trial period for 1 to 3 months.

wpietri 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Please, please, please get a lawyer before you do anything as dangerous as "make a draft contract and e-sign it". Amateurs making up business legal documents is one of the dumbest false economies ever. Use a lawyer experienced in starting businesses.

Before that point, either pay the people (small amounts of) cash or treat it as something that they're doing for fun, with the understanding that you'll take care of them if it turns into anything.

At this point, there is not enough data to put a value on anything. If you want to be sure you are fairly rewarding people later, then have everybody track hours, and value their initial labor contribution at some reasonable per-hour rate.

If you want to bring somebody on as co-founder, remember that a business partnership is almost as serious a relationship as marriage. You could be spending years with this person at 60 hours/week. Ending a business partnership is often as painful and more complicated that divorce.

arisAlexis 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I appreciate all the comments, but how do I test people for a limited period when they will have all access to my git in order to commit things? It's so easy to get all the code/fork when I let them go with my original idea on their plate right?
wusatiuk 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Are you looking for a technical co-founder or a co-founder in the marketing / business fields?

I think if the idea is a good one, and you dont have a co-founder yet, try to get some cash and hire one or more freelancer instead of giving away 50% of your company for some days / weeks of work. It depends on your strategiy, the idea, the potential, cashflow planning,...

I would suggest that you do a business model / business plan, at least a small one, first, so that you have something to show to potential investors / co-founders.

moubarak 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Here is the equity equation by Paul Graham http://paulgraham.com/equity.html
Tell HN: My startup is making money and I don't know what to do
174 points by sthielen  2 days ago   128 comments top 53
patio11 2 days ago 3 replies      
Choose your own adventure:

1) You currently have approximately $500 to $2k in revenue. That's great, because it is $500 to $2k in revenue more than the vast majority of people will ever achieve. You need to work the numbers on whether the founding team can solo-close $100k in revenue in the next twelve months.

If that appears achievable, you tighten your belts, perhaps run up larger balances on your credit cards than usual, and start solo-closing every business you can find locally. You'll spend approximately 95% of your effort in the short term on ad sales and 5% on everything else. After you can consistently keep the lights on, you're going to hire a bunch of folks who will do that job to your script on the telephone all day, every day. They will be the heart of your business. They will always be the heart of your business, for values of "always" which map to "as long as you primarily keep the lights on by convincing local businesses to buy advertising."

There is a reasonably achievable path to you having a business here which closely resembles a well-run local newspaper (except you'll potentially have nationwide reach): millions of revenue, ~20% margins, etc. Much like local newspapers, it may be a not-quite-straightforward proposition to confidently say "The people who pay us get great value for their advertising spend."

If your team cannot reasonably solo-close $100k in revenue by repeating your current model, which I allocate a very non-trivial percentage of the probability space to, you do not actually have a revenue model yet. I'd have a hard look at my bank account and say "Can we figure out a revenue model before I get thrown out of my apartment for non-payment of rent?" If not, you may consider winding down the business. There is no shame in this and, while you may think your current level of success is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, if you hypothetically believe that I would take the other side of that bet.

2) You have a very compelling pitch for getting into YC, 500 Startups, or another incubator. You have actually shipped a software product. You won't believe me when I tell you, but many, many people who you might think are better fits for incubators cannot actually ship a software product. You have also successfully demonstrated hustle, by being able to walk into a furniture store and ask them for money, which is something which is lamentably rare among people who are capable of actually shipping software products. The combination of shipping and hustle is pretty much exactly what incubators look for.

This is a straightforward pathway into Door #3, in case executing on Door #3 doesn't sound straightforward to you.

3) You have all the elements necessary for raising a small seed round. You make an AngelList profile and curate it diligently. You approach a few investors privately, show them your stats and paint a rosy picture of the future ("We've potentially got Groupon's growth trajectory ahead of us! [+]"), and secure, say, three to four commitments of $25k each. You start to trend on AngelList and fill out the rest of the round, probably for $250 to $500k. (I'm unaware of what the Going Rate is for valuations at the moment -- probably mid single digit millions but ask someone who does this professionally to fill you in there.) You bump yourself up to greater-than-subsistence salaries, hire three or four people who are young and hungry, and aim to sustain those growth rates for the next 8 to 12 months. If you do, you will sail easily to Series A, on your way to creating an rather large business which may or may not resemble the one you are presently running. If you don't, your company implodes.

[+] "Patrick, is that a good thing?" None of the seed stage investors in Groupon are cursing their name right now. To put it mildly.

cglee 2 days ago 3 replies      
First, decide if you really need to raise money. Can you bootstrap (ie, self fund) your business? Too many people immediately go for capital when they don't need it. It's extremely distracting and not all that necessary. You should only look into raising capital if you have a capital constrained opportunity or problem. So many problems initially look like money problems, but they're really disguised as something else (culture, product/market fit, market timing, etc). Usually, it's best to really get to know your market really well first, before reaching for funding.

Second, make sure your legal documents are in order. Incorporate, if you haven't already, and open up a business bank account. Make sure to use your business bank account for all business related expenses. This will make accounting much easier down the line.

Third, hire a great bookkeeper. Trust and loyalty is really important here, so best if you hire someone who is somehow connected to you.

Fourth, hire a great accountant. Some accounts will also do bookkeeping for you. I don't think this is a good idea, as you typically want someone "on your side" watching out for your day to day finances. Intelligence and industry expertise is really important for an accountant.

Fifth, if you're making real money, it's important to put some words on paper about how the company ownership is divided, and other "what if" scenarios. You typically also want some sort of Operating Agreement between the founders. Usually this document covers:1) ownership division2) provisions for terminating members3) provisions in case of long term disability or death of a member (for example, do you all of a sudden want your cofounder's spouse or parents as your cofounder in case of death? Look into "key man" insurance.)4) provisions for adding new members

Some people say get a lawyer for these documents, which isn't a bad idea, but most of these types of documents at this stage is pretty boilerplate. If you have some unique circumstance, like an international cofounder or something like that, then perhaps consulting a lawyer is best.

ChuckMcM 2 days ago 1 reply      
Are you paying yourselves salaries? Do you have an actual office? Benefits? etc? I would suggest that you not get ahead of yourself with "making it big" and instead focus on making it a solid business. Get to the point where you're paying yourselves and everyone who works for you a market rate salary and benefits, and you have office space, and you're cash balance is growing. Basically this is the classic definition of being 'profitable' (you have net income). Then hire a CFO.

The CFO will help you organize your thoughts around how much money you make and need to make in order to maintain a level of profitability. Then take your net revenue and feed it back into the business, pick up your next campus. Work on the process for organizing a campus, what you need to know who you need to contact. You will be able to start hiring sales people. These people should be paid based on advertising sales delivered, not 'leads generated'.

Once you've got your next campus, quickly post mortem what went well and what didn't. Then move on to the next one.

As you add campuses your revenue stream will increase and you will be able to add additional engineers to help integrating the data. Every million dollars a year in revenue shines more light on what works and what doesn't in your business.

Have fun, enjoy the experience of all the things you are learning, (even the bad things teach something).

swalkergibson 2 days ago 0 replies      
You have an absolutely gorgeous product. I say that as someone who contributed on a contract basis to a similar system for a couple of guys in Arizona trying to do the same thing. I think that your local advertising model is going to be extremely difficult to execute and is going to scale poorly, so I would recommend moving that to a secondary revenue model. There are lots of ways to make money in this market that does not involve inefficiently calling up shops and asking them to part with advertising dollars. My feeling is that you are technically savvy enough to create a more complete property management solution that landlords would pay for. One other revenue stream that I thought was interesting for the guys I worked with was pre-approving tenants with a background check, credit report, etc. That way, the tenant would pay an application fee once to you, and then that application could be used at different properties during the tenant's search process (think of it as The Common Application for housing).

Additionally, your advertising prices are obscenely low. Your largest package tips the scales at $1,200/year. To be perfectly honest, selling five of those packages is not especially impressive. Assuming that you sell your largest package to every advertiser, you will need 83 advertisers to clear $100k revenue, assuming no turnover and nobody ever calls you to complain or whatever (and believe me, they will). Furthermore, your UI can probably only support fifteen or so advertisements per university without becoming utterly saturated, so you are constrained there as well.

Suppose that you sold fifteen placements per college and had no turnover, your max revenue is $2,700,000 and now you have 2,250 advertising customers to coddle and keep happy. Granted, that is a huge pile of money and anyone would be absolutely thrilled to make it, but now you have to back out your expenses.

Assume that each of the three of you are going to draw $100k salary, now you are talking $2.4M, and now you need to pay account managers, sales people, customer representatives, not to mention all of your technical staff and infrastructure.

You have a phenomenal product, but find out how to sell it for money to people that use it instead of advertisers. Advertisers should be the gravy!

Feel free to email me if you want to discuss further. Email is my username [at] the gmail.

state 2 days ago 1 reply      
Just grow the business. You can "take it to the next level" by just making money and reinvesting it in the company.
sharemywin 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure your upside is very big. you might what to think about where you go from there. 150 universities. real busy once a year when everyone is looking for housing but not much most of the year. how big were you advertising deals? have you had anyone re order adverting? Any business owner is willing to give a couple kids just to starting out $200. Most investor would want this to be at least $10M business. 60k per year per university. 5k mo per univeristy. Not trying to be negative but, I would hate for you to chase a bad path when you can focus on what could work. if someone has better incite let me know? Also, maybe you want to talk to the group doing rent a sales force. saw it a couple of days ago on here.
santoshsankar 2 days ago 0 replies      
While everyone has suggested bootstrapping, friends and fam, local angel groups and Angel List, have you tried your university?

Many large public institutions have launchpads and accelerators (they just don't always market it well). This could be a natural fit for them.

I think like most people are echoing, continue to fund it out of pocket (maybe with the help of family) to get it to be the best product possible. From there, slowly build out into other geographies. You can learn lessons from your early expansions so as to not repeat it. Given the product is still young, there is likely a good amount you can build on prior to scaling out.

Good luck and will def be monitoring University Niche

mmaunder 2 days ago 1 reply      
First ask yourself if you really are making money. Does the amount of money you will bring in equate to market rate salaries for you and your co-founders 12 months from now? With some money left over for growth?

If the answer is yes then it sounds like you have a business on your hands. Create a cash flow plan. It should show how much you'll be bringing in and how much you'll be spending on a month by month basis. Do it 18 months out. Make it as close to reality as possible.

Then try really really hard to make it work without raising money. If that means you grow a little slower, that's OK. If it means you have to be a bit more frugal, that's OK because that's the cost of your own company's stock. (The alternative being, you sell that stock and get money to grow the business, so you lose that chunk of ownership).

Assign someone as your CFO. They're the cash-flow tzar. Anytime someone wants to spend, they have to go through that guy. The tzar should also have a talent of finding new pockets of money even when it seems that you're about to run out.

Just because you're going to get a TON of offers from investors doesn't mean you should raise money. I'm sure you get a lot of offers from credit card companies too.

Once you raise, your definition of success is no longer 1 million bucks a year in revenue and $300,000 a year salaries for you and your two buddies (which would be awesome right????!). Instead you're going to have limits on how much you can pay yourself, who gets to be boss and how much of a boss you get to be, and your definition of success becomes $10 million a year in revenue instead or you raise again and again and then you have to IPO.

mikekij 2 days ago 1 reply      
First, congrats. Having real revenue probably puts you in the top 5% of startups already. Great work.

- Incorporate. You want the legal protection of (at least) an LLC.

- Really think about if you need to raise money. If you do, it should be easy to raise $100k-$200k with real revenue and traction. But it sounds like you're in a position where you could actually bootstrap this. Equity is expensive. Think twice before raising money.

- Think in terms of milestones. What can you do to get to $XX,XXX in revenue per [week,month,year]. Then, what can you do to launch at an additional school while still staying cash-flow positive? This sort of thinking breaks the process into bit-sized chunks. Much easier to digest.

- Your biggest problem will likely be scaling the ad sales efforts. Walking into local businesses works great for 1, 2, 3 schools. But it will be hard to scale that to 100 universities.

I'd love to help out in any way I can. I started a company in grad school that I sold last year. I've been through many of these issues before. mkijewski at g mail.

illini123 2 days ago 1 reply      
Have you raised a family and friends round? What amount of capital are you looking for? If you just launched 3 months ago, I'd say seed level, but I don't have enough specifics on what you need / burn rate to judge.

Depending on where you're based, I would look at getting in touch with some of the angel investing syndicates. Also, be realistic about the runway you're giving yourselves. My personal philosophy is to meet with investors in my network right at launch (not for money, but to alert them that I might be coming to them at some point). These relationships take time, and even an angel investment can take a month or more for due diligence. Expect Series A to take months longer.

Given that you're not currently in touch with angels, I would start identifying 1-2 groups in wherever you're based (I hope the answer is a larger metro area). Find out if you have a mutual contact. If not, and I hesitate to say this, but make a cold call to the angel / angel group. You don't have anything to lose.

leonhuu007 2 days ago 0 replies      
I believe you should concern on the quality of the business first before you raise any capital. $695-$1200 can be alot of money for some local businesses since landlords are killing them with high rent. The key here is to train your sales team to show your potential advertisers the Math. Compile data and show them if they spend $695 they can get 3-6x that in return otherwise chances they will call you can cancel 6 months later. Numbers never lie so try to focus on tracking how many students click or view a particular ad and maybe come up with a conversion funnel analytic data for the local business owners. This can be a powerful selling tool.

If you can bootstrap it with profits then stick to it. Growing something too fast can lose the quality of the product. Once you have happy paying customers, growing it exponentially won't be so hard.

I love your idea, love your design, keep it up.

rwhitman 2 days ago 0 replies      
To have such a slam dunk in the apartment rental space, and such big wins selling advertising to small businesses so quickly, thats huge.

I've met so many people over the years struggling so hard with products trying to get in on this market and never making a dent.

The product design is top notch too. No wonder its a hit. Congrats

peterjancelis 2 days ago 0 replies      
You should sit down with the team and work out the unit economics per city.

This will give you a tangible and precise target for what it takes to make the next city profitable. (E.g. "70 apartments available, 4 ad sponsoring business for break even.")

Once you have that you can do like all franchise models do, reinvest your profits organically for company-owned cities and let franchisees come in to fuel growth beyond that, with the process manual based on the cities you did yourself.

You got to where you are by focusing on just the client. Think hard before spending time trying to play the venture capital game.

Im_Talking 1 day ago 0 replies      
Jeez, everyone is talking incubators, YC, angels, etc. People don't realise that this type of money is the most expensive you will EVER get. And trying to get this funding will consume your business for the better part of a year, at least, with everything else on-hold to the point where you have neglected the actual business long enough that you will need the funding, and die without it.

Bootstrap for as long as you can. Be smart. Be imaginative. Seek out partnerships with customers as they can be a great source of money/advise/contacts if they feel it can benefit them. Sounds like customers love the concept, so get them to pony-up some money or contacts. Then, the cheapest money is the money you don't need.

Equity should be treated as gold. And a lot of founders who create successful businesses kick themselves for the mindless throwing-around of equity in the early stages.

I would suggest setting-up an advisory board. I'm sure you and your co-founders will know several smart people, or ask customers who they recommend.

zefi 2 days ago 1 reply      
Submit a late application to YC? I'm an Alum and would be happy to chat more. My email is in my hn profile.
smoyer 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm probably going to be a minority voice here but I think there are a couple opportunities/risks ... since you're curating properties around each campus AND selling ads to local businesses, I think there's a pretty good opportunity to franchise the "feet-on-the-ground". You might be able to charge for the franchises, but even if you can't, you can still pay straight commissions as a percentage of the income from each campus area. If the franchisee gets 50% of the ad revenue and is in charge of driving traffic to your site, the 50% you keep would need to cover your server costs and the founders living expenses.

As an aside, I'm near Penn State and I'm not sure whether this would work here. Most of the properties that will rent to students at all are managed by property management companies and the students tend to find those companies first (there's a lot of local advertising). First year students are required to live on campus, but they tend to start visiting the "apartment stores" during their second semester. Do the three campuses you're currently servicing operate in a similar way? Maybe the current crop of tech-savvy students look to the Internet first since they've had it from birth?

In any case, great to hear you're making money and good luck!

thedmitry 2 days ago 0 replies      
Contact me, I can help - http://about.me/dmitry
santoshsankar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Another thought-- Since there is all kinds of advice coming out of this which can be confusing / hard to parse, here is a slideshare on raising seed capital. It reflects what almost everyone is saying to focus on product.

If you need funds to help that happen, try an Indiegogo / Kickstarter / etc. This is a serious problem so it could see some interest


wiseleo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nice site.

You are creating something similar to the change of address packet and welcome kit by the USPS. When you move to a new area, you get an envelope with a ton of local offers for new movers.

This is what I am talking about: http://imagitas.com/mover-advertising-solution/welcome-kit.h...

You will find its companion Mover's Guide at your local post office. Simply ask for it from any USPS clerk. Studying it may prove to be very interesting as it will help you identify which companies already advertise to movers.

I like that you offer to connect prospects with landlords by prompting the site user for her phone number. Someone needs to figure out how to get them to pay you. You may want to offer landlords pre-filled rental applications instead of just phone calls.

"Apply Online" becomes a premium feature for which some landlords may be willing to pay (this needs to be tested).

We should talk as I may have a way for you to make more money involving my product. I also have contact information for every moving company. I am wiseleo on skype, gtalk, gmail.

mikeho1999 2 days ago 0 replies      
First of all.. congrats! It's always exciting to see something you've created grow and start to gain traction.

Second of all, please take all of the advice that you see here with a grain of salt. I think most of the ideas that people have shared are really good things to keep in mind for consumer-oriented SaaS platforms in general, however, IMHO the university / college student listings market is a completely different beast.

Speaking as someone who co-founded the largest student classifieds system (at our peak 4-5 years ago we had over a million students using our system at over 400 universities nationwide), I can tell you that a lot of the business modeling that people do for consumer software service businesses are not necessarily compatible with the market that you are in.

I couldn't help but notice from your site that you're in San Diego -- I'm actually in SD as well, and if you're up to chatting more, I'd be more than happy to meet up. From my HN profile you can link to my website -- the very bottom of the "With Whom" section talks about the startup I helped to co-found, and the "Where" section provides contact information if you want to get in touch with me further.

Best of luck!

ar7hur 2 days ago 0 replies      
> (~40% w/w growth, 100%+ m/m growth)

You should fix this enormous mathematical inconsistency, or everything else you claim is suspicious.

alasdair_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have a very similar problem. We have built a system for building niche websites for collectibles and plan on scaling horizontally - adding new collectibles in a similar way to the way you add universities and re-using the same code to power each niche.

We're making some money on the trial niche ($5000/ MRR and growing) and have our first 100K monthly users close to product/market fit (78% would be "very unhappy" to lose us).

Just like you guys, we don't really know where to go next. Right now, we plan on bootstrapping (we both work full time for well-known firms so all the revenue goes to contractors) but raising a "real" seed round could change everything.

Just like you, we have no idea if we should raise a seed, crowdfund (people LOVE their collections and we made 10K in 3 days in a small crowdfund) or continue to bootstrap.

Not sure it matters, but coming from someone in a very similar place - we are rooting for you!

11thEarlOfMar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Have you gone back to the businesses you've sold to to see how much traffic or actual $ sales have been brought in by your service? If there is a measurable and verifiable ROI for them, you have a powerful lever moving into new markets. Those testimonials would be priceless.

What I would think about is recruiting commission-only sales persons in new markets rather than trying to go manage them yourselves. Likely, you'd use other college students. Start with another local school so you can jump in if necessary. Write up a 'how-to' guide with marketing materials for the prospects, and then look for self-starters who will go do the selling on commission only. Do some training. If they are empowered with testimonials from businesses who have seen a real return, they will find it as easy to sell as you did.

So the question is: can a single sales rep, likely a college student themselves, make enough money selling ads for you that it would be worth their while?

The goal is to get cash coming in without having to spend any to get it started.

dsugarman 2 days ago 2 replies*1.4 != 2

not really close and super suspicious. know if you actually need to raise money and why and if you do, know your numbers. also don't just look to raise money and hire whoever you can get your hands on to 'manage a business' know who you need and why, plan a top line growth strategy, and a more humble strategy with less capital

sbashyal 2 days ago 0 replies      
First of all, congrats on your success.

I am based in Los Angeles and I currently work in the apartment industry. I can meet with you in person and provide you guidance and possibly help you raise seed money if you choose to go that route.

Send me an e-mail to my user name at Google's e-mail service.

endeavor 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well done! The site looks great. I've actually been thinking about a similar product in a totally different space. If you could spare a couple minutes to answer, I have a couple questions that are probably really basic but I've been struggling with:

1. I see that you have a "LIST YOUR PROPERTY" feature, but how did you seed your DB? Just search CL, call the owner and ask if they're open to renting to college students?

2. How did you settle on making your own advertising platform your main revenue stream? When you have a niche market like this, is Adwords (or similar) not a viable alternative? Have you thought about charging the listing agent directly?

oniTony 2 days ago 1 reply      
> We've seen a lot of success (~40% w/w growth, 100%+ m/m growth).

This _might_ be, in large part, seasonality. Once the school starts in September, most of the target demographic would have already found _some_ place to live for the school year.

shyn3 2 days ago 0 replies      
Curious if you thought about franchising your site. It might work in terms of cost because you would only have to profit from your first location and keep growing it.

i.e. Offer an instance of universityniche.com but purchase a domain, host the site, setup the login and credentials, configure, maintain, and support the site. Control all the features. Let the person decide what domain they want.

In my instance you could offer torontouniversityhousing.com and I would only have to manage the sales/listings. Charge say 80% of profit or fee based or something a lawyer/accountant recommend.

pbreit 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you want to pay yourselves even $50k/year you're going to need a few hundred grand. You could start with friends and family. But it does sound like some sort of accelerator might be a decent idea. Are there any in your vicinity (or in vicinities you would consider moving)? The accelerator would ideally help you with funding and pretty much every question you're asking.

If you do go the outside investor route, be careful with your pitch. Most startup investors are wary of near term cash flow & profits. That indicates a small return for them.

JoshTriplett 2 days ago 0 replies      
What do you plan to do to "take this thing to the next level", and how much money do you need to make it work? The scale will determine what route you go; needing $10k is very different from needing $10M.
Paul_Dessert 2 days ago 0 replies      
At first, I thought, "Oh good, another classified site" but then I looked at your site. Loved the UX. Nice work. One thing that seemed a bit "meh" was the name.

Good luck!

hoopism 2 days ago 1 reply      
How do you plan on replicating in the new cities? Is the unique element in this equation (it's certainly not the space that is novel) you and your team?

Track record goes a long way. You've proven to be effective in a very small 'niche'. You may want to consider taking seed (if needed) from F&Fs and then prove it in another city. You may find that expansion step to be useful. It will also help answer the question of expansion for potential institutional investors.

codingdave 2 days ago 0 replies      
Take small, manageable steps, and do not be in too much of a hurry. Startups don't have to have explosive, expensive growth... that may be the path that makes news and excites people, but most small companies grow slowly.

If you have revenue, then your next step should be to decide what can be done within the limits of that revenue. Nothing you described sounds like you need any capital investment. Funding is a shortcut, not a requirement.

josephjrobison 2 days ago 1 reply      
What school do you guys go to? I went to USD, and was surprised to see it listed as one of the 3 schools. Definitely think this is a great alternative to Craigslist, and the fact that the properties are pre-selected to accept college students saves a ton of time. And it's beautiful - good work. I don't have much advice on the raising money side, but as a user I love it.
allochthon 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've worked at a startup that got a large infusion of capital. I hope never to work at such a place again. I would aim for organic growth over VC and plans that aim for high-octane supercharged expansion any day. I would bootstrap if necessary.
randomthoughts 2 days ago 0 replies      
I really like the interface. I think if you have enough properties listed you can't fail. If it was me doing this the next step would be employing local people responsible for taking care of schools in their region. The only expense here could be legal fees for drafting a contract template making sure those people are self employed "suppliers" paid a percentage of profit their activity generates. This way you wouldn't need to worry about all other costs associated with employing people.

Also, why not talk to few large property listing websites like (UK examples)rightmove.co.uk or zoopla.co.uk to partner with them? Those guys get fees when properties they list are filled. It is in their interest for them to be advertised as widely as possible.

Or alternatively create another type of a user. An estate agency. You could have hundreds of estate agents sign up and list properties on your website paying extra to make them come up first etc.

peterlada 2 days ago 0 replies      
Incubators are a good idea at this stage. They will groom you, get your ownership in order, teach you not to say stupid stuff and curate the VC space for you. You will raise if growth keeps up. YC, 500, TS on west coast or TC, DreamIt, ERA on the east. Go for it.
Killswitch 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have no real advice here, I just have to say your site is beautiful and well done. Congrats.
southflorida 2 days ago 0 replies      
You could put your idea on kickstarter. It may help you bridge the gap until you can hire more help with your own resources. Or hire virtually to make sales in each of the target states and pay on a commission base for closed deals.
clark-kent 2 days ago 0 replies      
Find a successful entrepreneur who has gone through the process, get them interested in your business and go from there. Take them in as an adviser for your business. This will save a lot of headache and pain.
slapresta 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sadly I have nothing to contribute on raising money, but I just want to say that the idea is amazingly well thought. It's uncommon to see a platform in which ads are unintrusive and helpful. Well done.
gamerDude 2 days ago 0 replies      
1) Check online for investors. Angellist would be a great place to find Local Investors interested in your space.

2) Search online for angel groups in the area and go talk to them. See if anyone in that group is a connection somehow to do a warm call instead of a cold call.

3) Tell your friends and family what you are up to and ask them if they know anyone that is an angel. If you find an angel that isn't interested in your industry, they probably know other angels, so you can ask them to reach out.

4) Ask the university for help finding people that are investors. They would probably love to help and have a success story come from their college.

ericwu01 2 days ago 1 reply      
Happy to chat as well. I know this space well. Would chat with a few seed funds to gauge interest - Resolute is a good place to start.
alexsherrick 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have a few associates that would probably invest in this type of company rather quickly. Drop me an email if you want me to pass your name along.
larrys 2 days ago 0 replies      
Used to own a business that sold advertising in the same college market.

Be very careful when extending credit to advertisers. The sale is only one part. The other part is collecting the money. Would suggest you try and not extend credit and get paid if at all possible by credit card. The back office and aggravation can be quite aggravating. People will take advantage of you. They will tell you to show up to get a check (after you pester them) and then they won't have the check and tell you to return.

Edit: I made this comment because the op had mentioned closing sales in person (or perhaps over the phone). This is not the same as a website with a "pay here" link. When you close in person there will always be customers who attempt to get credit terms. Think in particular what a chain restaurant would do or a company where the management is located elsewhere. They will say "send us a bill and yeah sure we will pay" or "can I give you a PO". So the question is how lucky do you feel. Of course if the COGS is very low it pays to take a risk. But just get ready to have to follow up multiple times over many months to collect that money. And don't act like it's in the bank because it's not in the bank.

meerita 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would recommend hire someone with economics sale perspective while you focus on getting the product better.
RamunasM 2 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome idea. I'd love to have a site like this in my country
ASquare 2 days ago 1 reply      
Perhaps you're ready for Series A: http://avc.com/2014/06/what-seed-financing-is-for/
rainer89 2 days ago 0 replies      
i can accept it , and invest in giving scholarship and fund projects to students in my country , and train them, so after that you can had low cost and happy human resources happy to work with u, invest in train people
davidhariri 2 days ago 0 replies      
keep.... going?
InclinedPlane 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just keep doing the same thing until everyone working on the business is earning a decent, regular paycheck and the business has built up several months worth of operating expenses in savings. Then you can start to thinking about investing in expanding elsewhere. Start by streamlining your processes and keeping your expenses down.
gibbonraver 2 days ago 1 reply      
By a margarita machine.
factsfinder 2 days ago 0 replies      
First of all make an app on Android and iOS platforms. Then give your venture a piece of advertising. Meet a bunch of investors, convince them , choose the best of them that suits your needs and get it done. Soon you can be a billionaire. SO what are you waiting for just do it already.Thank you :)
Ask HN: Looking for advice Failed startup, long term relationship at same time
65 points by verysadpanda  1 day ago   53 comments top 36
sharemywin 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was there a couple of years ago borrowed a bunch of money(some from my younger brother) and started a company. failed at that and a relationship of 10 years ended. It's time for you to do some serious soul searching. I have a job now. Of course their laying off a bunch of people including me. I'm about to get married to someone else. I have a 9 mo. old son. Still haven't figured what to do about the whole debt thing. But, you're kind of lucky in a way. Your going to survive. pick your self back up. and when you do you'll realize most of the bullshit is just bullshit. Credit's just a number. people come and go in your life appreciate the time you had with them. I remember something Donald Trump said when his company blew up. He saw a homeless guy on the street and looked at him and thought "I'm 900 million dollars poorer than that guy." Also, got a fortune cookie the other day that said "Failure is not defect until you stop trying". I kept it and put it in my wallet.
balajis 1 day ago 2 replies      
Hey, drop me a line: balajis at a16z dot com. We try to help entrepreneurs who have an experience like you've had get back on their feet. No promises, but often we can find you a great job at one of our portfolio companies.
tvladeck 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hey - this happened to me. Startup (www.buildinghero.com) and long-term relationship (5 years) both ended in fall 2013. Feel free to email me at thomas.vladeck@gmail.com. Definitely the hardest couple of months scrambling to get over both. I was homeless, heartbroken, broke, and unemployed all at the same time. But I did get over it and so can you! Would love to talk.
paulbaumgart 1 day ago 0 replies      
Remember that deep down, you are not your past failures, you are not your net worth, and you are not your past relationships. They influence you, sure. But they're not you. The only thing that matters is what you do tomorrow, and then what you do the tomorrows after that.

Best of luck. We're all pulling for you to kick some ass in your next venture.

te_chris 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure if this will help or not, but this is my story of failure: http://christopherbull.name/2014/06/19/three-years/

Feel free to email me, can be found through my blog. It sucks and is crushing, there's no way around that. Things get better though, often this can be like being set free - it certainly was for me.

My advice - though my situation wasn't anywhere near as complex so I'm not going to pretend to fully understand what you're going through - is to reach out to your friends and move forward somehow, whether that's into exercise, a new job, or something similar. Find something to keep yourself busy and people who will do the same.

Also, remember one important thing, even if you don't quite believe it right now: You're going to be OK.

verysadpanda 1 day ago 1 reply      
Thank you for all of the constructive comments and different perspectives. I saw a few emails in my inbox too. Thank you.

As a single founder, it's the constant rejections that have me down. Failure to raise money to prove product market-fit [1]. Failure to come through in the clutch. Failure to convince investors. Failure to get the 'Yes' people to actually give you the cheques they said they would commit. Failure to "find a way". Failure at home. Failure at simple tasks like cooking an egg omelette for breakfast. Failure everywhere.

It feels like everything is compounding. I can't close anything to save my life. Literally. Confidence lost, swagger extinct. I try to shake off the negative thoughts and 'push through' as every successful person claims.. but somehow, someone pulls another rug out from under me. When it rains, it fucking pours. It could be worse, but it feels like i'm standing in a nimbus cloud that wont let up.

[1] - Don't need to raise to prove product market fit. But haven't pulled a salary in 8 months. Needed to keep the lights on at home. Avoided taking on contract work as that would take away from the startup, so kept pushing thru. "I'll just raise, I'll find a way.." said every startup founder.

artellectual 1 day ago 1 reply      
The best thing I can tell you now is get yourself a job. Things will pick back up, from there. You need something to pick up your self-esteem, re-build confidence. In my mind a job is the best way to do that.

Slowly pay back your friends and family with the money you earn from your job. you'll feel better about yourself.

Email me if you want to talk. zack at codemy dot net

rawland 1 day ago 0 replies      
Get some professional help!

Seriously. This reads like full halt in your life and different kinds of debt, which means "brakes" on your future life for a while. With hard consequences for your psyche.

It's not a shame to get someone, who basically tries to get you back on track. You can get someone like this via your insurance, which is seriously interested in you not "producing costs", because of your pretty sick self, in future. I recommend people with psychology background also offering some kind of Coaching or Supervision.

After you are standing straight again, pin that somewhere:

  Ever tried.  Ever failed.  No matter.  Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better.
(S. Beckett)

err4nt 1 day ago 0 replies      
I haven't had a startup fail, but as a freelancer I've had some 'feast' times and some 'famine' times so I relate to feeling haunted by yourself over your decisions.

If you need somebody to talk to, please feel free drop me a line tomhodgins@gmail.com and at the very least I can listen and share in what you're going through.

In the meantime, here's a little perspective trick I learned, there's a phrase in English that we used when something happened that actually works on two layers: "it came to pass".

In 2014 it came to pass that verysadpanda's startup finally breathed it's last. It came to pass that verysadpanda's relationship faltered and came to a close. But it came....TO PASS. It won't always be this way, it's all temporary!

It also came to pass that verysadpanda felt sad, and before long totallyfinepanda came back out again.

Best of luck in the days and weeks ahead, but you're not nearly as alone as you feel :)

muks 1 day ago 0 replies      
verysadpanda: You may be feeling low right now, but believe it, the low feeling will go away and things will get better. If you are at the bottom of the barrel, the only way you can go is up.

Most founders of companies that are successful -- not the five star Googles and Facebooks and Microsofts, but the dark matter companies that you never hear of, but are very prosperous and do cool things -- tried several times before they succeeded at one of their ideas. Being successful is not just doing work. There is quite a bit of luck (non-determinism) involved. Many good engineers are not successful at everything. You had the confidence to try it.

Look back at your life, at something difficult that happened some years ago. You may have regretted it at that time, but you may not regret it now because it led you in another way to something better. These are stepping stones. Life will not be satisfying if there is nothing bitter in it. The more bitter, the better I say! Everybody has ups and downs. It's how we deal with them that sets one apart from the other.

When you're older and you look back at life, you will think about all of these. It won't be about how much money you made or lost, but about all the people you met, all the interesting things you did, all the fun you had.

Im_Talking 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. - Teddy Roosevelt

...now pick yourself up and try again.

powertry 1 day ago 0 replies      
Rock bottom always enables you to re-invent yourself. Take it as an opportunity to figure out more about family and other non-startup things about life. Work out what were your weaknesses, it will take time and be okay with that.

For me the first time fuck up (which was epic level, startup that I was working in crashed the middle of the recession) taught me that I had to make this holistic and a part of my lifestyle (building things, companies). Have a 7mo baby and a startup together now, can't think of doing anything else (and yes, shit does happen on and off).

Feel free to email d@klipper.io

cLeEOGPw 1 day ago 1 reply      
Use your experience to do another startup, but avoid doing things which led to startup failure. The worst thing you could do is give up. Also try to find investors first instead of spending family money on first business.
qhoc 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is a tough one because you mentioned "All of the family and friends money is gone". I wouldn't do a startup with money from people I love or know. It will damage the relationship somewhat permanently.

BUT you need to promise them you would pay back. In general:

1. Stick with family

2. Hangout with friends and make more friends

3. Tell yourself: the next woman will make the rest of your life happier than ever

4. The world will come to an end BUT not today

5. Go run, exercise, play sport

6. Get a job, join a club, volunteer...

Good luck

raving-richard 1 day ago 0 replies      
Whenever I get depressed there are some coping mechanisms I use.

* Play games (e.g. OpenArena and FreeCiv), cheating liberally and/or playing on easy settings. (Yeah, take that bot...)

* Go for long bike rides. Take water, some food, and a good book. Go somewhere new each time.

*Read a good book. I read SF&F, but whatever tickles your fancy.

Oh look, all escapist mechanisms. That's OK. I can't offer any suggestion as to debt relief, as that's something else. But...

lowglow 1 day ago 0 replies      
This happened to me two years ago. We were together for 7 years, and I had just launched my new project and I was getting press for it. This is probably the worst thing that could have happened to it.

It was hard but I kept going and a lot of good things came out of it.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE hit me up if you need to talk. dan[at]techendo.com

allofitt 1 day ago 1 reply      
Been here. It's the pits.

The more I see these kinds of posts (and I'm seeing them a lot lately), the more I think we need a community specifically for this stuff. Where we talk about the difficulties of entrepreneurship, and how terrible it gets. Where you must be this damaged to enter.

Because frankly, I don't think HN itself is the right place to talk about how many times I've tied a noose.

If I had more time I would start something like this.

spacecowboy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Keep a dialogue with everybody, don't shut yourself off from friends and family - no matter how uncomfortable it is.

Stay active physically and socially, get involved with your community and work wise, seek new employment and "keep moving".

No matter how bad it feels, just remember that this time in your life will pass - you will get past it.

thinkerer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Failure is usually an iteration. My most recent project failed too.

Good thing is cheer up, at least now you know what doesnt work, focus on what works or what you think may work. I got myself a day job while working on another project on the side.

Girlfriend wise, well it happens. Love your family more.

"Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again!"

wj 1 day ago 0 replies      
For the debt side of things you might want to check out Dave Ramsey. His podcast is one hour of hard luck and inspirational stories on getting out of debt. Don't get hung up on his politics when they come up. The no nonsense advice is great.

Know that your friends and family still care about you deeply.

Estragon 1 day ago 0 replies      
You would probably get a lift / good advice from listening to this:


gettingreal 1 day ago 0 replies      
Im sorry about your startup, and even more so about your relationship...

I may not be able to give you relationship advice,

but would you consider sharing your startup?

The great people here might be able to give you enough guidance to turn it around. I'll certainly try and help as best I can.

All the best.

Anstiey 1 day ago 0 replies      
The fact is you have tried your best and everyone knows startup is not easy. Your friends and family will get that.
negamax 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have been there. If you manage to stand back on your feet (and you will) you will be stronger than you ever could imagine. Find your own path and get back in the game.

PS: Consider moving to another city.

thesadness 1 day ago 0 replies      
I feel ya. I lost my job, got cheated on in both my long term relationship in which we had moved in together for, and so I also lost my place and my furniture and had to move back in with my dad... twice now... starting every thing over from scratch sucks dude. You feel super shitty and bad about yourself and then you end up taking shitty stressful jobs out of depression. I turned 27 this year and I was sleeping in my old bunk bed for months and months. I'm just thankful I have my dad and I actually asked him for help. I have a few workplace friends at my new job, none close or anything, its just nice to talk to them about things unrelated to how depressing life is. That and not moving in together with an SO when you're in your 20s is the only life advice I got. People always give me the global perspective bs: "At least you weren't born in Syria right now..." or what have you... but that doesn't help much, eh?
300 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you're going trough hell, just keep going - someone smart said.

Just try to believe that everything will be OK in the end, and that all this what happened, happened for a good reason - which you will probably understand sooner or later.

CaptureHisHeart 1 day ago 0 replies      
I always check out this website before buying any products in dating and relationship advice - www.catertoya.com. My personal favorite is Capture His Heart - a product that helps you earn the man you want and enhance your relationship. No joke, this stuff is legit
gunshor 1 day ago 0 replies      
You'll get through it. Make peace with yourself and you will find that your experience has value to others.
imcn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do things because you enjoy doing them. Then you'll be less disappointed when your startup fails. You don't need money to be happy.

Sorry about your gf though.

fuj 1 day ago 0 replies      
What was the startup's name?
pandatoo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I went through something similar. And the business stuff is easy compared to the relationship issues.
jcr 1 day ago 1 reply      
This might help:


Also, you'll need to put a contact email address in the 'about' section of yourprofile so people can contact you.

jqm 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had a very rough patch maybe about 11 years ago for 3 or 4 months. I don't want to go into detail, but one bad thing after another happened in rapid succession. I lost my business of nearly 5 years at the end of it. Like verysadpanda said....I couldn't believe it. Everyone told me... "hey cheer up, things will get better". All except one friend who was a bit of a dark cynic. I think about his comment from time to time.. one of those that really sticks with you.... "It can pretty always get worse" he said with a completely non-sympathetic smirk. And I'll be darned if he wasn't right. It did get worse. I got really sick.

Strangely, this comment stuck with me and seems to help when I am going through rough patches. "Cheer up and look on the bright side... things will get better!" doesn't help one bit, I don't feel it, and at the moment it is scarcely believable. It just makes me feel worse and is in my opinion, useless lip flapping designed to make the person saying it feel better. Meanwhile thinking about what hasn't gone wrong yet but could really does seem to bring a bit of perspective. And motivation.

For whatever it's worth.

javajosh 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you'd not met her 8 years ago, and if you'd not started your startup 2 years ago, you'd be right where you are now but without the sense of loss. You gained something, for a short while, and now you've lost it again.

As for your family and friends, whose money you lost: they can handle it. It's only money. It's to your credit to feel bad, but now you need to work to pay back the money you lost. At least some of it, but hopefully all of it. That would be worth more than any apology or self-abnegating behavior. If you're a software developer and willing to live on raman/at your parents house for a year you will be able to save a huge sum. There is probably no legal obligation to pay it back, but there is a clear ethical and moral obligation - and it will give you a concrete goal to work toward.

natural219 1 day ago 1 reply      
As with all personal advice, all I can offer is my perspective, so take from it what you can and ignore the rest.

In life, we move through multiple contexts that support us: Friends, family, relationships, careers, intellectual movements, social clubs, et cetera. Typically, when we fail in one of these contexts, we can rely on our success in the other areas to sort of "justify" or "rationalize" our experience. We say -- my family life has suffered, but it was necessary to achieve the career success I have purposefully sought. Or, we say -- my career is taking off, so I need to abandon old friends and move on to a higher caliber of social groups. Thus, we can say our psychological stability relies on the breadth of our "support network" -- any one node can fail, but if we've led a balanced life, we can rely on the others to see us through.

What you're going through is the worst sort of crisis; when multiple nodes fail at once. Specifically, in regards to women, I have seen this pattern over and over again -- a relationship built on a particular arrangement of perceived success, ultimately, boils down to building your foundation on a house of cards.

There's good news out of all of this. You have two useful interpretations of what happened here: Find a woman who will stick by you through good times and bad; or let go of the notion that a single woman can be a support network at all. I am currently struggling with this dilemma in my personal life, but I have seen examples of success with both.

Regardless of the shape of your own support network, there is one particular node I've found that remains stronger and constant than all of the others: My personal relationship with God. YMMV.

Edit: If you're in the bay area, I'm here for another week or so. Feel free to reach out. Email's in profile.

Ask HN: Do you have more sick time than you can use?
2 points by mproud  7 hours ago   8 comments top 5
greenyoda 7 hours ago 0 replies      
If you ever have kids, you might be glad to be able to take a day off to care for a sick kid or take them to the doctor.

If you ever catch a nasty case of the flu or are in a car accident, you could easily be out for more than a couple of days. Being healthy isn't a guarantee that something bad won't happen to you.

Sick days are also designed to protect employees who are not sick by keeping sick people out of the office where they could infect others. To make this effective, the company needs to provide enough sick days to cover the illness of an average person, not just the healthiest person. So you're actually benefiting from other employees having more sick days than you yourself could use. (There also needs to be a corporate culture where people are not discouraged from using sick days because there's "too much work to do".)

DanBC 4 hours ago 0 replies      
A company I used to work for allowed its staff 12 sick days per year. These were used as ad-hoc no-notice holiday days. That was sub-optimal for colleagues.

The company also introduced a rule that any sick days taken on a Monday; or on the day before / after a bank holiday weekend, would need a doctor's note. Legally self certification was all that should have been required. So, this required a visit to a doctor to get a note. Since, at the time, it was hard to get an appointment within that time frame the person would require extra time off to get the note. And by that time they were uealthy and just asking their GP to write a letter to say that they had been ill with some unspecified illness; which the GP would do for a 60 charge. So it didn't stop anyone abusing the sick leave system and increased costs dramatically and made people take even more time off.

That was a lousy place to work.

helen842000 5 hours ago 1 reply      
At my job we don't accrue sick time. We therefore don't feel like we are missing out if we don't get sick. We are given a set number of holiday days and just get sick pay as standard. The longer we are off pay gets gradually reduced until it becomes unpaid leave.

The upside of your company is if you ever had a larger injury you would be covered, where as after 6 weeks my pay would be a lot lower than full amount.

As long as it rolls over to the next year I think that's reasonable enough that you can't cash it out.

gus_massa 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Its like an insurance policy. You are not expected to crash your car every month, but you nevertheless have to pay the prime and it covers up to a certain amount. And if you dont crash. you cant carry the amount to the next month.
petersouth 6 hours ago 1 reply      
At my job we can donate to others who have run out of time. Not everyone is nice, but enough are to help out each other when there are critical illnesses.
Ask HN: Is IT support becoming an anachronism in startups?
2 points by dnroberts  7 hours ago   1 comment top
helen842000 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I think it depends on how I.T literate the staff members are and how many employees the company has. Letting staff do their own thing maybe just a symptom of starting out as a few people and not having migrated into the processes of a bigger company yet.

If the majority of employees are developers, their set-up is extremely personal and no doubt having them customise to their liking aids productivity. In that scenario the I.T team are responsible for providing equipment, imaging laptops and keeping the infrastructure running then that would work fine.

I've worked in some organisations where a lot more hand-holding is required and in those situations the I.T team takes on a completely different role - including thorough onboarding.

Ask HN: Why would you NOT hash your passwords?
2 points by jehna1  8 hours ago   2 comments top 2
leepowers 7 hours ago 0 replies      
From a security perspective I can't think of a single reason to not hash.

Not hashing is like not brushing your teeth. There's no immediate repercussions but you're risking extreme pain and cost in the long run.

My guess as to why people don't hash is mostly inline with why people don't brush their teeth:

* Laziness

* Lacking a culture of health

* Ignorance

Laziness probably comes mostly from the developer side. A developer makes the wrong trade-off: faster launch today over long-term security. It's easier to write a program that emails the plain-text password to a user than to create a password-reset mechanism.

Lack of culture. An organization or a group of developers don't prioritize issues of security and long-term sustainability. They are stuck in an eternal day-to-day, short-term focus.

Ignorance. Management and decision makers that simply aren't aware of the dangers of non-hashing. Brushing & flossing your teeth is actually a very weird and non-natural behavior. Most kids need persistent years-long training to develop the habit. Like brushing, if decision makers haven't been educated about hashing they will probably only recognize the benefit after some unpleasant disaster (database breach, e.g. teeth start rotting & falling out).

buttscicles 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Ignorance is the only reason I can think of.

I recall reading that reddit originally didn't hash them because Steve Huffman liked having his password emailed to him when he forgot, but I'm having trouble finding a source for that. It was one of his own comments on reddit I believe.

But why can't I send people their passwords?
170 points by omervk  4 days ago   174 comments top 31
jere 4 days ago 16 replies      
>7. Fine, but I still get to send users their passwords once they created them so they dont forget them, right? Email is not a secure medium. It was never designed to be one. Its susceptible to Man In The Middle (MITM) attacks and a slew of other issues. Also, users might have their email accounts abused or hacked into (how many people do you know who have left their GMail logged in on a public computer?). Would you really like someone to gain credentials to your product when this happens?

This is one I always struggled to understand. If email is compromised, the attacker can request and immediately intercept a password reset anyway.

[edit: Many excellent points below. I think some of these should be in the FAQ.

_mulder_ 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'd suggest starting the answer to each question with a clear Yes or No, Right or Wrong so people can skim through.


>7. Fine, but I still get to send users their passwords once they created them so they dont forget them, right?

No, Email is not a secure medium.....

vomitcuddle 4 days ago 3 replies      
The dev FAQ should contain information on how to safely (and painlessly) migrate from plain-text/MD5/SHA1 to a more secure algorithm.
jscheel 4 days ago 2 replies      
Our healthcare provider is storing passwords in plain text. When I went in for my health screening, they had everyone's forms printed out, with our passwords written on sticky notes attached to the front. Hundreds of people's health data, wide open for the taking. I was beyond pissed. Then I found out that they don't use ssl on their service, and the passsword can be retrieved at the click of a button. Ended up speaking with a C-level about it. Her response was that they are perfectly within HIPAA compliance, and that she would have to talk to their CTO about any other problems with their data security. Looking at the HIPAA, I have to say, it's not very clear on the need for hashing passwords. Still, I reminded her of the massive liability they are opening themselves to. She promised to get back in touch with me, but I haven't heard anything since (imagine that).
makmanalp 4 days ago 2 replies      
Your non-devs FAQ is still not quite informative. You still don't explain to laymen /why/ what the sites are doing is wrong, you just say "You should never see your password".


Maybe something along the lines of:

> Modern cryptography allows websites to save passwords in a form that is un-decryptable even to the site itself. This works because to check the validity of logins, the unencrypted (plain) version of the password is never needed. The fact that a site stores the password in a decryptable format and decrypts it to show it to you means that an attacker could potentially decrypt the password in the exact same way. Or even worse, maybe they never encrypt it in the first place! This potentially compromises the safety of the password you use because it lets an attacker steal your password.

tptacek 3 days ago 1 reply      
The "Don't Use Bcrypt" article isn't a good source; the headline message you've taken from it isn't accurate. In fact, bcrypt is significantly better than PBKDF2, and PBKDF2 (with normal parameters) is probably the "least best" of the mainstream options for password hashing.

By citing an inside-baseball controversy, you're making it harder for developers to do a good job storing passwords, because you're creating the impression that developers need to carefully choose which password hashing algorithm they use, and be careful about making the wrong choice.

In reality, what developers need to be careful about is choosing a password hashing algorithm, and not a general-purpose cryptographic hash. The right message is that PBKDF2, bcrypt, and scrypt are all fine options.

So my feedback is that your developer FAQ is trying to be a little too clever for its own good. I'd revise it.

couchand 4 days ago 1 reply      
Question #8 on the non-dev FAQ really should be higher up, like #3. That way the early questions mirror their own thoughts: 1. what is this, 2. but I thought it was secure, 3. what can I do?
a1a 4 days ago 0 replies      
>>(Question 5) What? No! Why use algorithms that have been broken for years? Its ridiculously fast to break both, along with many other simple algorithms.

I'd remove the emphasized text. Yes they are vulnerable to collision attacks but that's completely irrelevant in this context.

aturek 4 days ago 1 reply      
I've been trying to learn the best practices on password "storage" and verification lately. I thought this was a really good step-by-step technical breakdown of the right way to hash passwords (I have no opinion/knowledge of the hashing algorithms in the article, but I've found a lot of other positive mentions of PBKDF2, bcrypt, and scrypt)


pornel 4 days ago 0 replies      
The dev FAQ perpetuates a common misconception about "broken" MD5 and SHA1.

MD5 and SHA1 are bad for password hashing indeed, but that's because they're fast, not because they have known collisions.

Collision attack has nothing to do with password security. For passwords the relevant attack is the preimage attack, which is a different thing and there are no feasible preimage attacks against these hashes (yet, of course).

blueatlas 4 days ago 6 replies      
I was a bit surprised by #9.2 - "Dont put any limitations on the passwords people can use (maximum lengths, disallowing certain characters, etc.)". What's the thinking here?
bwy 4 days ago 0 replies      
This isn't really addressing the main issue. You need to emphasize and just drive the point home that people should not even be STORING plain text passwords. Anywhere. Get them to understand that they don't want to, and shouldn't, know anyone's password in plain text, and how. It's a very counter-intuitive concept that makes sense once explained.

EDIT: Just saw @ajanuary's child comment on the top-voted parent. The point exactly.

7952 4 days ago 0 replies      
It is worth remembering that reset links should also be hashed. If the database is compromised the reset ID can be retrieved without needing access to the users email.
awsh 4 days ago 2 replies      
You've got a typo in the link in dev FAQ #7. Main-In-The-Middle
TallGuyShort 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is really good, and I applaud your efforts in that site in general! My one suggestion would be to explain the term "representation" a little better to non-devs so they understand why the secure technique is secure. I like to use the term "one-way encryption" so that it's clearly not some simple derivation of a password, but a mathematical process with proven difficulty and uncertainty when reversing.
scrollaway 4 days ago 1 reply      
Can you please look into Persona and recommend that instead of openid connect? It is a much better approach at decentralized authentication.
philk10 4 days ago 1 reply      

"We explain in everything our About page." - doesn't read right, maybe 'we explain everything on our About page"?

"your post was deleted with prejudice" ?? needs rephrasing

mcovey 4 days ago 1 reply      
instead of "shittysecurity.com" you might want to use something like "example.com", for one because some people will see it as inflammatory, and because some eager devs might be presenting this to bosses who will take offense, and based on that emotion, decide the whole thing is bullshit.
daddykotex 4 days ago 1 reply      
Let's say I register for a Web Hosting solution. And then I receive a email containing a username built upon the information I gave them and a generated password to access the cPanel.

Is this offending? Let's also pretend that I have to change this password upon my first login.

ten7 4 days ago 1 reply      
Thanks for doing this, it is greatly appreciated. The list of offenders with screenshots is nice, but what would be really useful is a table that is sortable and filterable so that people (i.e. me) can find out if any of our vendors are offenders. Also, a JSON API would be slick too. Just ideas.
bdg 4 days ago 1 reply      
Creating an FAQ for these companies would be useful.

Something to arm the devs who work at these places with something when they go to management who's reaction is "yeah I know it's bad.. but... like, we have important shit to do."

thesumofall 4 days ago 2 replies      
For [11]: I think it makes sense to also highlight other approaches than OpenID such as https://passwordless.net which is a sort of way in the middle (disclaimer: I'm the author)
omervk 4 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, thanks for all of your points and suggestions! Unfortunately, I'll only be able to attend to them in an hour or so, so please bear with me and I promise personal attention to each any every point made here.
Frozenlock 3 days ago 1 reply      
I don't see how sending a reset link is secure.

Wouldn't anyone intercepting the email be able to use the reset link themselves and gain access to the account?

geoffsanders 3 days ago 1 reply      
Or don't use passwords? https://launchkey.com


eldelshell 4 days ago 3 replies      
This is something that came to mind while reading the comments: Why should me, the owner/developer of some service, care if somehow your password is stolen/guessed by any mean?

I'm not saying we shouldn't take care of our users, but how's our fault that their email is hacked? We can't do anything to protect against this and placing more complex policies would hurt users who have enough common sense to this properly and expecting the same from us.

P.S. I'm in no way saying to to ditch all security procedures we can, but to one point security is about trust, and if you can't trust your users to keep their freaking passwords and email accounts secured, then hell with them. Put it in plain text in your TOS and be done with it.

peg_leg 4 days ago 0 replies      
You shouldn't be able to see their passwords in the first place, let alone send it to them. You should only store a one-way encrypted string based on the password they typed.
john2x 4 days ago 1 reply      
Is a plaintext (heh) list of all the sites available?
LukeB_UK 4 days ago 2 replies      
I disagree with point 11. You shouldn't rely on someone else's service to be the way for users to access yours.
peterwwillis 4 days ago 1 reply      
Question 8 on the dev faq should emphasize using multiple layers when doing a password reset, partially to avoid the inherent problems with e-mail security (especially as your last bastion of security). Security questions, browser heuristics, login attempts, out-of-band communication (SMS confirmation code, secondary e-mail account, etc).

Question 9 should include a sub-section .3 which explains that if you unrestrict the password field, you need to include a basic password cracker or strength requirement, usually along with a client-side "strength" meter. The backend should reject all simple passwords and the frontend should help the user pick a simple yet strong password.

And ideally this page would also link the dev to http://twofactorauth.org/ as an example of how many more places are implementing 2FA. Passwords are dead; long live passwords with 2FA.

Help me understand this ECB attack
7 points by king_mob  1 day ago   2 comments top
todd8 12 hours ago 1 reply      
In ECB mode, a block cipher (like AES) is used to encipher/decipher each block (of say 128 bits) with the cipher key independently of all other blocks. This means that two equal ciphertext blocks, say block 23 and block 61, have equal corresponding plaintext blocks so we can surmise that plaintext blocks 23 and 61 are identical. This weakness precludes using simple ECB mode in most cryptographic situations. It is too easy to exploit this property of ECB mode with replay or reordering attacks because the encrypted blocks can be rearranged and still remain valid.

The talk that you reference implys that is it possible to progressively decrypt ECB encoded data by progressively decrypting one byte at a time. I don't see how this makes any sense in the way suggested in that video, and I am guessing that this is why you are wondering how this type of attack would be applied in practice. First note that changing even one bit of the plaintext block will on average change half of the bits in the resulting ciphertext when using a strong block cipher like AES. Mr. Ptacek suggests using a chosen plaintext attack to build up a dictionary of ciphertext to plaintext such as

   Plaintext           Ciphertext (in hexidecimal)   ----------------    --------------------------------   AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA    219d992d9f5ae84d29ffd4dfbeaf1f7f   AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAB    a20400dbb98b6da0ac0178d71204460d   AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAC    cd20f8731ccf8e6643b287aadaf84f26   ...                 ...
Now, whenever we see a block containing cd20f8731ccf8e6643b287aadaf84f26 we know that it's plaintexttranslation is AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAC. But this doesn't help us. Changing only the last character or even bit of the plaintext is no different than changing the first of 12th bit, the result is a new completely cryptographically random result in the ciphertext. We can't progressivly attack the plaintext one character at a time as suggested by the video.

We can continue to fill in the dictionary by just submitting chosen plaintext to the system and recording the results. The problem with this approach is that to be useful this dictionary will contain many many entries and will change completely for each different key. For arbitrary plaintext, the dictionary will contain 2^64 entries or worse 2^128 or 2^256 entries depending on the block size of the underlying cipher.

All of this doesn't mean that ECB mode is safe against attacks, just that the attack as described by the video using pipe characters, etc. doesn't make sense. However, there are times where we can brute force ECB mode with a chosen plaintext attack. For example, if we already know that a block of important plaintext starts with the eleven characters "Password = " this leaves only 5 bytes in the block to be guessed. Now we can run through all 5 character values and use this. It may only reveal the first five characters of a password in this case, but that is an important vulnerability.

I believe that the section of this video to which you refer is confusing because Mr. Ptacek is attempting to present a simple introduction to an important cryptographic attack against another mode of using block ciphers. This attack is known as the padding oracle attack. The CBC mode (cipher block chaining) eliminates the weaknesses I've described above for ECB mode, but it has an important vulnerability of its own which makes use of a padding error oracle. I won't attempt to describe it here, it requires quite a bit of explanation, but by using this attack, a system that returns detectable errors when there is a block padding error, can be attacked and almost an entire message can be decrypted one byte at a time as Mr. Ptacek suggests. It's just all more complex and applies only to the CBC mode not the ECB mode.

Unfortunately, on the web, there is a lot of hard to understand information on such cryptographic attacks. I find many blog posts are by those describing systems that they don't fully understand and papers written by researchers that do understand the attack but make heavy use of mathematical notation and describe the attacks in their full generality. There are few resources with easy to understand diagrams and clear descriptions. For this particular padding attack on ECB mode I suggest: http://robertheaton.com/2013/07/29/padding-oracle-attack/

How to Really Complete a project?
7 points by unknownhad  13 hours ago   3 comments top
hluska 12 hours ago 1 reply      
What do you spend money on?
Ask HN: Was Dropbox a good idea that looked like a bad idea?
6 points by coralreef  1 day ago   10 comments top 5
helen842000 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think it was considered a bad idea. Some mentioned it had been 'done before' but Dropbox outpaced them by making it simple & actually work. Also it was considered too simple as it was really bringing the well known concept of an always-accessible network drive or 'shared docs' folder to the Internet.
icebraining 1 day ago 1 reply      
Here's the original thread, when they launched: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8863
tkinom 1 day ago 4 replies      
I have a similar question. I have been watching "Steve Blank's Customer development" type videoes on youtube lately. He pitches completely validate idea before writing a single line of code.

For successfully companies/products like dropbox, google, twitter, etc. What are the "right" questions/methods to "validate" the idea before the development - without developing the product and let the massive traction do the talking?

What are the name of any of "really" successfully product/company follow that method of "validating idea" before writing a single line of code?

staunch 1 day ago 0 replies      
The response to Dropbox was massive and overwhelmingly positive. Of course a few individuals tried to pick it apart. That's often just a sign people are excited about something. Bad ideas just get ignored.

It is true that some stupid investors were wary of Dropbox. There have been many failed sync and backup products. To the average Digg user it was clear as day that Dropbox was different.

hashtag 1 day ago 0 replies      
The idea behind Dropbox isn't a bad one. In fact, I'd argue that idea still isn't what Dropbox is, but it's relatively a minor part of it.
Ask HN: How to move into product management
2 points by winkv  17 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: With no CS degree, what was most frustrating about learning how to code?
10 points by lpnotes  2 days ago   21 comments top 19
cwbrandsma 2 days ago 1 reply      
1) when I was learning...as a 10 year old in 1985...lack of available learning materials and no one to ask questions. I got a magazine once a month, no one I knew could program. And the only language I had at my disposal was GW-Basic.Now: there are probably too many available resources. I'm teaching my kids and the amount of materials is staggering.

2) Just sitting down at the computer and struggling with it -- not looking for the easy way out, figuring out things myself. Teaching only gets you one step of the way, after that it is all you. I would spend hours ready every book I could and writing small programs.

2) Second part was programming as part of a team and doing code reviews. That will shape you up like nothing else. But you can't do this step if you don't do the other part (writing lots of code on your own).

hemaljshah 2 days ago 0 replies      
The most frustrating thing to code IMO is going through the tutorials, accomplishing them and then saying "now what?" It's easy to follow along things like CodeAcademy or LearnRails or any other site that teaches you the basics of getting started, but after that, where do you go? You no longer have the structure of a classroom that gives you the next project where you can build or challenge your skills...while not setting you up to fail and become discouraged.

I highly recommend finding a project you're actually passionate to work on after you are done with your tutorials. If you're passionate about it, you're going to push through the frustrating parts that feel like you're not prepared or don't have the experience.

Use co-workers, forums, communities like StackOverflow and use them aggressively. Become rigorous at searching Google to find the answers first and give it a few tries, but don't be ashamed when you hit the wall. For me, the only way things will stick is by practicing them and trying to take them to the next level!

coralreef 2 days ago 0 replies      
I tried to learn programming a few times on my own. Once as a young teenager with Visual Basic, then with Java ~6 years ago, and finally Objective-C. Looking back, the biggest impediment was learning about programming, and not actually doing programming. Great - I know what a for loop is, now what? My VB and Java environments sucked. There was nothing I could immediately create and get to practicing.

I had much more success learning XCode and C/Obj-C. I read some lessons on C, then switched to Objective-C by following the Stanford video course on iTunes which showed you programming + hooking up XCode interface objects to run your methods (I realize I could have done that with Visual Basic originally, but at the time I couldn't think of anything I wanted to build in VB). Then I followed tutorials on raywenderlich.com and continued from there.

If I needed help, I Googled, posted on StackOverflow or asked my one programming friend.

J_Darnley 1 day ago 0 replies      
1 - Choosing a data and function structure for whatever problem you're facing, and then implementing it. I ended up being inspired by libavfilter for what I'm working on now.

1 - Other computer science "things" that I presume you get taught. The ideas and concepts behind common algorithms. Sorting, searching, path finding, some other things I vaguely remember from my "decision maths" course at school.

1 - Setting up my environment. It is much easier with now with newer versions of cygwin and mingw64.

1 - Autotools.

2 - If you're looking for just one stand-out resource: the existing code you want to work with. Beyond the basic "hello world" examples I don't find writing something from scratch to be that beneficial to learning.

eshvk 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't have a C.S. degree. I had an Electrical Engineering degree which meant that I knew how to think logically and construct scripts of things. This means that I knew fuck all about data structures or modularization of code. However, I really really learnt how to build complex systems by studying more mathematics. Specifically pure math. It trains your mind to think in terms of raw abstractions in a way that hardens you and makes programming easy. It also helped that I took real analysis the same semester as I took Operating Systems. The brain has a small working memory set. The only way to deal with complicated systems is to learn to recognize the forest and not get lost amidst the trees. Even now, when I interview people or get interviewed, Ultimately I don't really care what tools you know, what languages you use. Sure, it is great that you know the stack that this company, this team uses. But ultimately, what matters to me and the work I do is how fast you can break down a problem and see the underlying simple backbone. These are the kind of people I like working with.
rubiquity 2 days ago 0 replies      
1) I would say the amount of options of programming languages and types of development there are out there.

2) No resources in particular stand out to me, though I think books were way more useful early on than blog posts or tutorials. I think it's the linear nature of books that really helped me.

My advice would be to pick one medium (web, iOS, Android, whatever) and one language (for me that was Ruby) and stick to that language only for at least a year.

Other advice would be to always be inquisitive. Though I didn't get a degree, I eventually went on to learn about operating systems, sockets, basic algorithms and data structures.

However, in my opinion getting a CS degree would be frustrating if I were to do it all over again. Learning all that implementation detail and a lot of schools not even pushing or requiring you to build things would really frustrate me.

delluminatus 2 days ago 0 replies      
I do have a CS degree, but I first learned to code in high school. I was taught by a friend of mine who already had pretty significant programming chops even at 16. I think his father invented YAML. We did our programming on PCs that we built in the classroom and installed Ubuntu on.

Anyway, I remember the hardest part for me was wrapping my mind around Ruby blocks. It sounds kind of dumb but honestly I couldn't understand them for weeks. The first programs I wrote were those text-based adventure games, like, "You're on a path in a forest. What do you do? > Go left". I did those because you didn't need to ever use blocks for them, it was all just conditional logic.

Once I grokked Ruby blocks I feel like it has all been downhill from there, at least until I stated looking at Haskell...

Someone1234 2 days ago 0 replies      
I didn't learn anything useful from my CS degree. Literally nothing. Even things like compiler design and operating system concepts were more basic than I had already studied. However if you go into a purely academic area, like AI, it might be useful to you (particularly the high level maths).

As far as resources: Really depends on the topic.

You can watch lectures for an entire CS degree for free online via places like UC Berkeley. There are also paid video stuff at places like Pluralsight (coding), CBTNuggets (server management), and as you said even YouTube has the good video now and again.

I just google whatever I need as I need it. It isn't a very formal way of learning but it is an effective one. The only trick is not to skip doing things because you don't already know how to do them.

hackNightly 2 days ago 1 reply      
No CS degree here, currently working as Senior Front-end developer after 5+ years in the field.

1) I found it most frustrating to try and choose between learning what's the most popular new technology and what would help me advance my career. It turns out, focusing on mastering the basics of HTML, CSS, and Javascript have gotten me much further than trying to jump on every new bandwagon that rolls by.

2) Honestly, the single greatest resource has been my side projects. All of the tutorials, training and learning from Google have been far surpassed by the amount of knowledge I've gained from sitting down and hacking on ideas. I seriously have had 1million side projects in my 5 years and each of them has been a challenge and an amazing learning experience.

Hope that helps

glenda 2 days ago 0 replies      
One thing I try to do is read everything that is considered well written or canonical in some way.

These types of resources tend to be informative, easy to grasp and often inspiring. They are things like books/textbooks, blog posts, tutorials(most tutorials suck though). They will usually reference other (even more canonical) resources so you shouldn't really have problems finding new stuff to read. You can pick and choose based on what sounds interesting and repeat.

This has been extremely efficient for me, and I have learned a lot pretty quickly.

thinkerer 1 day ago 0 replies      
1) Everything. Even simple things like pushing codes to repositories took me eons to pick up. Also, programming isnt hard, in fact its easy. The hard part is understanding how to link up everything, front to back and to others such as codetesting, for example with Rspec.

2) I felt sites that promote start-to-end lessons step by step are great. Like codelearn.org. Videos and all are good too but they often target experienced people, so its much more painful to use those.

jobquestion123 2 days ago 0 replies      
1) Real world examples of algorithms. I really wanted to get into algorithms and data structures, but it was always hard to find an actual reason for things.

2) More than anything, contributing to open source projects taught me how to code, how to read and edit existing code, and how to collaborate with other developers. In terms of early stages, Learn Python the Hard Way was huge, because it introduced me to all the OTHER online resources (like Stack Overflow) that were available. I also found some of the Udacity videos helpful.

john0 2 days ago 0 replies      
1) The most frustrating thing about learning how to code for me was getting my IDE or environment set up to work with whatever tutorial or book I was working from. Figuring out what the cryptic compiler errors meant was sometimes insanely difficult.

2) Some of the more helpful things for me were the Head First series of books from O'Reilly (Java and C# in particular), and having a few experienced programmers in real life to talk to. The one thing I seriously could not have done without, no question, is Google.

josephschmoe 2 days ago 0 replies      
Spaghetti/fat code is probably the biggest problem for new programmers - though they're probably not aware of it. It's very, very hard to make any module larger than ~500 lines without overcoming it.

This was a huge issue for me for probably about two years.

Then, I took a look at my projects using a dependency visualization tool (Structure101 for Java/C#) and I got a lot better as I fixed all of the tangled code/fat classes.

aosmith 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've got a little experience with both. I taught myself to program in the early days of the internet (well not that early, but 28.8 no less). I also was a CS student for a couple quarters before dropping out.

On the whole I think it's gotten a lot easier. I remember spending days on forums trying to solve little problems.

Either way the best way to learn is by doing.

tn13 2 days ago 0 replies      
You dont need a CS degree or even any degree for that matter to learn to code. What you need however is a good skill with basic mathematics and logic.

During my childhood finding a computer was the most frustrating part. I instead wrote programs on a fucking notebook.

pigDisgusting 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dependency Hell.

And oh yeah, Make. I fucking hate Make. Not as much as I hate pay-to-play ecosystems like Microsoft Visual Studio, but yeah, fuck Make.

danvoell 2 days ago 0 replies      
1) Setting up a development environment and understanding how and why it worked.

2) Co-Founders were my mentors

ForHackernews 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't have a CS degree. When I was first learning to code, but also even today: The most frustrating things are all the bullshit that goes along with writing code but isn't actually writing code...

* Setting up environments and auxiliary tools: Should I use rvm or rbenv? What's bundler? Why do I need a rake? Where's my Gemfile? Ooops, I meant my Gemfile.lock.

* Understanding the sysadmin/architecture things: So I need an HTTP server and an app server? Wait, but some app servers are HTTP servers? But you need a proxy for static content? And a load balancer? (To be fair, in the modern world these tasks are vastly simplified by services like Heroku)

* Databases: Choosing a DB, choosing a library to connect to the DB, do you use an ORM or write SQL? Nowadays, I follow the "Always use Postgres unless you have a damn good reason" rule.

* Testing. Writing unit tests is incredibly tedious. Learning how to mock/stub/fake out critical libraries is a giant pain that I still commonly goof up today. Writing good tests easily takes 2-3X the amount of time it takes me to write working code.

* Deploying. Ugh.

Ask HN: Weekend project stories
16 points by arsalanb  20 hours ago   8 comments top 7
commanderj 19 hours ago 1 reply      
A friend and I worked on a typical weekend project lately. A Font Awesome to PNG online generator (http://fa2png.io). I was great fun. It took us about 24h total from concept to live deployment. It's a flask app deployed to digital ocean.

We were on HN in 2nd place for about half a day. Got about 17.000 unique visits in the first two days, a couple of twitter mentions and now about 200-300 visits a day.

It was an awesome experience. Very satisfying because it felt kind of complete when we launched. That's not typical for a web app. Although there are always more features to add. We felt like the app is exactly doing what we planned it should.

I wrote about it in more detail here http://jannikweyrich.com/blog/2014/05/26/weekend-project-fon...

roschdal 19 hours ago 0 replies      
http://play.freeciv.org - took just 5 years.
iisbum 11 hours ago 0 replies      
A couple of friends and I built a twitter hashtag voting site for the WorldCup in about 12 hours.

We've got about 1000 votes in the first couple of weeks.


Site was built using Laravel, and is hosted at DigitalOcean

dully 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Last year I made my first iOS app as a fun side project that solved a problem I had - waking up on time. http://spinmealarm.com

I spent most of my reading week making the app, and then another 2-3 weeks polishing it. A few months later I decided to post it on Hacker News as a "Show HN". It only got a few upvotes but a TechCrunch journalist somehow saw it and decided to write a post on it. It's done pretty well in the App Store, reaching #1 in its category at one point. Nowadays it hovers in the Top 100 Utilities category.

brotchie 14 hours ago 0 replies      

Took about 12 hours total. Ended up with with 200k+ uniques within a few days of launch, 65k Facebook likes, ~8k Tweets, nation wide press coverage.

Didn't change government policy though :(

shlomib 18 hours ago 0 replies      
'Complete' (https://complete.li/) took about a week and got some press coverage (wired.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk and more..)
ChrisNorstrom 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a designer (and front end coder) trying to learn php & javascript.

http://Affordabl.es - 7 Days - 1and1 shared linux hosting + Wordpress + I customized the crap out of a free wordpress theme = Catalog of affordable design products with affiliate links to Amazon (has made $0 so far)

http://ResidentEvilRadio.com - 4 days - 1and1 shared linux hosting + sound manager 2 mp3 player script from codecanyon.net = jukebox of my favorite songs from my favorite game franchise.

http://TimeForZen.com - 2 weeks? (worked on and off) - sound manager 2 api + hand coded pages = meditation and nature sounds website.

Not a single one of these projects are successful. But they help you gain experience and can land you a job. Anyone applying for a gig can put "experienced in google maps api" on their resume, but putting a link to a fully working site using the Google Maps API bumps you to the front of the line.

1) Do not underestimate the value of little projects. You'll be amazed at how much experience and re-usable code they produce.

2) It's hard to put a time-frame on how long it takes because the requirements change often due to restrictions and dropped and added features. This is true for those who aren't experienced coders. We end up having to scale back projects to get them done.

3) Play perfectionist and you'll never get your projects done. It's better to cut features, finish early, and use the "ego high" of getting a project done to go back and add features. The longer you keep a project in development and unlaunched the worse it gets and the harder it is to finish. Cut half your features if you need to. Just launch quickly. Also, after launching you'll be amazed at how many "features" were not needed.

Ask HN: Good (read: cheap) CDN for static site hosting?
3 points by bradhe  19 hours ago   1 comment top
donavanm 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Do you require dedicated IPs and a customer cert? If not CloudFront has free HTTPS SNI support and a free tier of 50GB & 2,000,000 HTTP(S) requests per month. So that would be your own domain name, your own ssl cert, and 2M requests per month for $0.
Ask HN: I'm a junior C++ programmer looking for part-time remote job
12 points by sedeki  2 days ago   17 comments top 7
sedeki 2 days ago 0 replies      
Will look into this, thanks
yeureka 2 days ago 1 reply      
I find it surprising that a junior programmer would want to master C++ and I can only encourage you to do it.

Mastering modern C++ will make it easy to learn other languages and idioms and it will give you a tool to produce efficient code that can run in a vast range of platforms and architectures.

Personally I have more fun with visual projects such as games ( check out SDL or SFML for 2D game libraries, or Unreal and others for 3D ), interactive installations ( take a peek at Ogre 3D, Cinder or openframeworks ) and audio and video processing, but you might have different interests.

Good luck!

zura 2 days ago 1 reply      
C++ jobs are quite rare in REMOTE space. If you're in USA, you might have bit more chances (all those US-only remote jobs...).

I'm constantly seeking good C++ remote gigs (from Europe). Also, due to pragmatic reasons, besides other things, you might consider Golang/back-end development - there is quite a lot of remote Go jobs out there, and I personally prefer using it over java/ruby/python/etc...

known 1 day ago 0 replies      
fsk 2 days ago 1 reply      
Other languages are more in demand than C++. You'll have an easier time with something else.

I have a lot of C++ experience, but I've been taking jobs in other languages because the demand for C++ isn't there.

waikikiyeh 2 days ago 0 replies      
You sound like you might still in college or recently graduated. I would give you my suggestion for whatever it's worth.

People use C++ mostly for two reasons: 1. Performance 2. Legacy code. If you want to be in C++ space in a few years, you really want to know how to write code that's fast. To make a program fast, you have to at least have a basic understanding of hardware and parallelism. Look at Martin Thompson's blog "Mechanical Sympathy" and listen to his talk "It's all a numbers game " at last year's GOTO conference and see if these materials interests you.If not, you might be better off not solely focusing on C++.

killnine 2 days ago 1 reply      
How does one contact you to discuss your offer?
I've made a Massive Multiplayer Planetary game in 2 weeks
8 points by ttty  2 days ago   14 comments top 4
fpalmans 2 days ago 2 replies      
It seems that the unit build price upgrade makes units more expensive in stead of cheaper. Is this an error?It would be awesome if your planets auto-mine gold... the constant clicking is a lot of work and detracts from the game.Thanks.
munger 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sweet, fun so far. I think the drag/drop background broke on reload for me in chrome? Can't seem to move map anymore.

A little slower paced than expected, and a little labor intensive like farmville. Maybe some hotkeys to speed up tedium? Or a select all / mine gold command or similar.

Overall awesome work though, I'm intrigued.

Myrth 2 days ago 1 reply      
Would be nice to specify how much units to send to another planet, or at least don't send more than the other planet can accept...
sheltgor 2 days ago 1 reply      

When you leave and return, are your planets saves? Can your planets be attacked while you're away?

Ask HN: Is Rails more popular than Django? If so, why?
5 points by lpnotes  2 days ago   3 comments top 3
thinkerer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Apart from that, a bulk of people are learning Ruby and hence rails most of the time as the support and gems are pretty vast.

Also, Python is more defined in terms of how you structure the code, while Ruby has more ways to express the same thing, and more tolerant of errors in some sense. With that also comes the problem of harder to troubleshoot errors.

twunde 1 day ago 0 replies      
1) Rails is more popular than Django. Rails was the first MVC web framework, and it has been embraced by the startup community for it's ease of prototyping applications. Because of this and the high-profile successes of major companies using Rails (such as Twitter) more people interested in learning to code are guided towards Rails as the first framework to learn.2)I also suspect that the Rails community is more design-oriented than most other communities and so have pulled some designers, and front-end devs into the community
ibnukamy 1 day ago 0 replies      
IMHO, there are amazing tutorials for rails available. Both free and paid tutorials. If you have the basic of ruby, you can pick up rails pretty easily.
[Ask HN] Material Design Bootstrap Theme
9 points by zerolinesofcode  2 days ago   2 comments top
shorodei 2 days ago 1 reply      
There are some small experiments on Codepen implementing/experimenting individual features. Once there's a good bunch of such implementations to refer/compare, people will probably start compiling them into a bootstrap theme.


Ask HN: My cofounder is freaking out about getting sued.
3 points by cyphersanctus  1 day ago   5 comments top 4
jeffmould 1 day ago 0 replies      
IANAL, but I would tend to agree with your co-founder.

First, you openly admit that you are using the "Yo" brand name to drive adoption to your app: "having yo in the name is crucial for our app to gain traction".

Second, you market it as a "more complete version" of the Yo app.

Third, just because you are in a different country than Yo, doesn't mean that they still can't/won't try to sue you. They just got a fresh round of funding, obviously have bigger plans for the brand, and as such will probably want to squash out someone infringing on their brand quickly, especially one that is marketing and branding to solely based on their brand. Just bringing the lawsuit will cost you money that you probably don't have and will easily put you in debt without the case even getting to a court room.

Fourth, the name "Yo Messenger" makes it sound like a different product under the Yo brand thus causing easy confusion with consumers and I am sure any court would probably see similar. By your logic if back when Facebook was just getting started if I had launched an app called "Facebook Messenger" then that would not be infringing on the Facebook brand.

helen842000 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I would think the first sign would be a cease and desist / Abmahnung

Yo or more specifically Yo! has been trademarked in many countries since the mid-90's as part of the Yo! Sushi brand.

It depends on what you are building towards. Are you getting revenue from the app? If you were to have to pull the app from the store is that your whole business gone?

miguelrochefort 1 day ago 0 replies      
Call it "Hey".
weddpros 1 day ago 1 reply      
call it wazzup
Ask HN: Difference in management styles of Ulrich Drepper and Linus Torvalds
54 points by tech6  2 days ago   21 comments top 13
JoshTriplett 2 days ago 0 replies      
Linus accepts patches for just about anything, only discriminating based on patch quality and general development direction of the kernel, without discriminating against the specific thing someone wanted to add. Ulrich went on record several times as not caring about most architecture ports or various other areas, and he rejected patches in those areas, forcing them to live in add-on areas like the "ports" repository. Distributions had to maintain a large number of patches.

Linus cares deeply about the quality of the kernel, but leaves it to developers to determine its direction. Ulrich had very specific thoughts on the direction of glibc, and screw you if you cared about anything else.

Linus has a large number of trusted submaintainers, and delegated a large amount of trust and judgement over patches to them; Ulrich took everything on himself, and simply rejected patches in areas he didn't care about.

Linus has been known to change his mind, graciously, in the face of convincing argument; he also readily admits being wrong. Ulrich, not so much; if he didn't like your patch, you might as well give up.

While Linus can be unnecessarily awful to people he thinks he can expect better from, there's an undercurrent of doing it to defend kernel quality, and he usually has a point underneath the invective; I also don't think I've ever seen Linus go off on a new developer who's still learning and making reasonable mistakes. Ulrich was awful to everyone, with or without reason, and he was wrong far too often to get away with it.

Finally, for every discussion in which Linus ranted at someone, I've seen several dozen where he gets involved in a complicated technical problem and helps find the solution, or works with someone else to do so; the balance is overwhelmingly positive.

Don't look at either of their abrasive communication styles as worthy of emulation; do better than that. Linus successfully manages Linux despite being occasionally abrasive. Ulrich's abrasiveness just added to his mismanagement, rather than being the sole source of it.

matt__rose 2 days ago 0 replies      
Let me see: I came across a bug in adobe flash (I know, evil) on linux one day where it came down to a change in memcpy in glibc.


comment 129 https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=638477#c129


Quite frankly, I find your attitude to be annoying and downright stupid.

How hard can it be to understand the following simple sentence:

Pushing the blame around doesn't help anybody. The only thing that helps is Fedora being helpful, not being obstinate.

Also, the fact is, that from a Q&A standpoint, a memcpy() that "just does the right thing" is simply _better_. Quoting standards is just stupid, when there's two simple choices: "it works" or "it doesn't work because bugs happen".

Standards are paper. I use paper to wipe my butt every day. That's how much that paper is worth.

Reality is what matters. When glibc changed memcpy, it created problems. Saying "not my problem" is irresponsible when it hurts users.

And pointing fingers at Adobe and blaming them for creating bad software is _doubly_ irresponsible if you are then not willing to set a higher standard for your own project. And "not my problem" is not a higher standard.

So please just fix it.

The easy and technically nice solution is to just say "we'll alias memcpy to memmove - good software should never notice, and it helps bad software and a known problem".


This is why Linus is widely considered a good steward, and Ulrich had to be removed from glibc.

Yes, they both had abrasive mannerisms, yes they sometimes said things that wouldn't pass fortune 500 HR policy.

The difference is: Ulrich seemed to care more about some kind of technical "correct-ness", and anything that didn't fit in his mental model was considered wrong, and nothing else mattered.

Linus deeply cares about the user experience. the kernel has a strict no-regressions policy for this reason. If it used to work before and now it doesn't, this needs to be fixed in the kernel

Like this case, most of the cases where Linus uses salty language comes down to various kernel developers not following this policy, then complaining when their patch doesn't get accepted.

Edited for formatting

pessimizer 2 days ago 0 replies      
When Torvalds hurls invective at some idea and at anyone who would support it, it's clear that he read it, understands it, and is speaking directly to it. Drepper would just swear at people and call them stupid.

The way to figure out the difference between the two is to strip out the choice of language and focus on the content of their responses. Drepper, if you strip out the invective, rarely has any content at all. Torvalds' sweary hateposts are often some of his most profound, detailed, and quotable.

breckinloggins 2 days ago 2 replies      
If I remember correctly, the main problem with Mr. Drepper was that he was resistant to accepting changes to glibc... even (subjectively) good ones.

Torvalds, like Drepper, is often criticized for a less-than-friendly attitude, but it is generally acknowledged that he lets the Linux kernel progress.

A_COMPUTER 2 days ago 0 replies      
Bashing Ulrich Drepper has now taken on the flavor of bashing Nickelback, it's a fun and socially safe outlet for hate. The guy hasn't even been a thorn in anyone's side for years now, it's time to let it go.
forgottenpass 2 days ago 0 replies      
Like all software projects, glibc and the kernel are resistant to change. The kernel not (often) unreasonably so. Drepper was notorious for being unreasonable.

Gregkh gives talks about kernel maintenance, here's an excerpt:

    It is in my self-interest to ignore your patch [...]    So your goal is, when sending a patch, is to give me NO excuse to not    accept it. To make it such that if I ignore it, or reject it, I am the one    that is the problem here, not you.

Simply, Drepper's excuses sucked, he was the problem.

For casual observer like me it appears both are technically brilliant individuals who have strong opinions and dont suffer fools lightly.

Also, perception of Linus' attitude is more smoke than fire. He does suffer fools lightly, it's the people he expects better of or explicitly provoke him that get the angry responses that make LKML show up on social media.

lifeisstillgood 2 days ago 0 replies      
I cannot say I have studied either in sufficient detail but I will say there is a huge body of academic and less-academic work on the effectiveness of leaders and leadership style in commercial and corporate markets - and none of it is conclusive in anyway.

However, in these cases there is a vast corpus of emails and comma - it's as if we had a stenographer following Lou Gerstner and Steve Jobs around, so I would be surprised that now you have mentioned it, there is not some academic attempt to quantify answers.

Hell, if anyone fancies a middle aged student for a research thesis I would happily take a run at this :-)

krakensden 2 days ago 0 replies      
The assholeness of Torvalds is oversold. Imagine that every conversation you had at work, and a good deal of your conversations with your friends off work, were publicly available on the internet and routinely scrutinized by journalists and bloggers, and any time they criticized you it was newsworthy enough to make it to all the big social news aggregators. Now imagine that you worked a retail job, and not only dealt with professionals with a sense of propriety, but randoms with varying degrees of anger, malice, and incompetence.
colin_mccabe 2 days ago 0 replies      
There really is not much similarity between Linus and Ulrich. Linus relies on his "lieutenants" to do most of the work in Linux... not only the code, but also reviewing the patches of others. Ulrich was a one-man show who would often rewrite patches rather than accept the work of someone else.

Anyway, Ulrich was just wrong about a lot of things. I remember one bug that affected ARM that he tried to close because "ARM is not a real arch." He made a lot of very questionable decisions, like leaving out strlcpy and strlcat. To be fair, there is valuable stuff he did behind the scenes (like ELF TLS support and some of the dynamic linking documentation). But people (reasonably) focus on the negative things, because a negative maintainer can cause huge problems for downstream projects...

chris_wot 2 days ago 0 replies      
I suggest watching Torvalds' take on his honesty:


nodata 2 days ago 2 replies      
Sounds like homework...
zerr 2 days ago 2 replies      
Well, we can conclude that being an asshole is irrelevant or not enough for running a successful project.
general_failure 2 days ago 0 replies      
People want to work under linus.Nobody wants to work under Ulrich.

Case closed?

Ask HN: Who are the engineers that don't get hired?
32 points by jparker165  5 days ago   30 comments top 10
x0x0 5 days ago 2 replies      
This is interesting.

I screen a lot of ML researchers and engineers.

The process typically starts with a 30-90 minute phone screen (it ends faster if I don't like you). I start by discussing the company and the position, in as much depth as the candidate wants. Then we discuss one project of the candidate's in depth, both for some technical expertise but also to suss out what the candidate, as opposed to a team, actually did. Good candidates should be able to discuss what the project did, why, implementation, challenges, problems overcome, tools used, etc. Then we do a quick survey of general ML technologies; we're hiring senior people so they should have a pretty good breadth of experiences. So they should know their way around regression, trees, forests, boosting, svm, linear algebra techniques, plus optimization tricks for all of the above. It's ok if a candidate hasn't used any one specific thing, but they should have a rough knowledge of which tool to use when, plusses and minuses of tools, and the typical ways one improves results (hold-out testing, k-folds, l1 and l2 penalties, etc etc.) If you've actually used most of these tools you should easily pass the phone screen.

Then we bring people in or fly them out. Here, we go more into depth in several tools. You should know the math and the practical use of several ml techniques really well. We'll also make sure you can write enough code that you don't have to be handheld. That is, you need to be able to do some data processing and string together data pipelines to get your work done.

common resume failings include (NB: this is for an ML engineer / data scientist):

* (very common) no academic prep and no demonstrable experience. ie a potential junior person applying for a senior position. If he or she has no degree but spent 4 years at netflix or somewhere good, we'll definitely at minimum talk on the phone. Demonstrable experience definitely means education barely matters.

* you live abroad, thus requiring sponsorship and a move, and aren't a really strong candidate

* (surprisingly common) you spammed all our different jobs, making us believe you just want a job, any job, and paid no attention to what we're looking for

Common failings from a phone screen or interview include:

* (weird, but happens) don't make the agreed upon phone screen time without an email before (or even an email after, if an emergency occurred)

* (really weird, but happens) you have no idea what the company does. I'm looking for you to have spent at least 5 minutes reading our site and have a 1 sentence summary of what the company does. If you haven't done even that much research, why on earth is the candidate applying to us? A perfectly fine example would be, for example, if I worked at google: You build a search engine and you want ML people to improve search results. At, say, square, a great response would be "you're handling monetary transactions and therefore have fraud problems from card holders and probably want to build risk management tools to protect yourself from bad merchants." I find it really weird many people don't even know that much. This isn't an instant fail, but it's a negative sign.

* he or she wasted his or her phd. They may (or may not) have a very deep understanding of one tiny piece, but lack a decent understanding of the breadth of the field. We need breadth. And yes, they may be able to learn, but the question is then what the hell did they spend a 6 year phd learning? Also, we're hiring senior people. And again, anyone with a good ms in ml should do fine (not just a theory; we've hired them from stanford and ga tech).

* They don't know deeply at least one or two techniques and tools. Whether its hadoop, vowpal wabbit, R, sklearn, weka, whatever, you should have become an expert in at least one tool and know it inside and out.

* (very common) an inability to program enough. Obviously most ml people aren't engineers, but they have to be able to do data processing, data cleaning, run ml tools, build their own ml tools if necessary, etc. Senior people in yahoo or google's research labs may not need to program, but for us you do.

* (somewhat common) bad communication skills. We speak english; you need to be able to speak reasonably clear english so that we can discuss technical topics clearly. How people can finish a long stretch in an american university without this escapes me. And to be clear, about 1/2 the employees here are foreign born, so we're pretty good with different accents and the typical indian and chinese esl idiosyncrasies.

The last thing I can say about job seekers is we're talking because I have a problem. That is, I really want you to succeed if there's a good chance this will work.

JSeymourATL 5 days ago 1 reply      
>can these companies really not get productive work of a slightly broader group?

Relative to the 1/100 resumes-- if your friend took the time to dig deeper, he'd likely spot 2-3 diamonds in the rough, a moneyball misfit.

If your friend is like most senior managers, he'll scoff at the idea-- 'I'm too busy to read 100 resumes' he'll likely say, or 'that's HRs job!'

Finding & attracting talent is a mission critical competency that senior leadership must drive. Too often it's delegated to mid-tier management that don't share the same sense of urgency.

It takes an exceptionally rare manager who can assess and train-up mediocre talent into A-Player status. Fewer still, who have the guts to make a trial hire. A bad hire can be costly on a variety of levels.

But most guys would rather play it safe-- blame HR, lack of bandwidth, or the market. Meanwhile, the guys who figure it out manage to scale.

aidenn0 4 days ago 0 replies      
Some points:

* As far as graduating seniors, when you post a job offer, you get maybe 10% of the resumes from people with either a CS/CE major or minor. That's not to say they can't code (in my experience a resume from a non-CS major with good experience is a much better bet than a resume from a CS major with little or poor experience). But we literally get people whose experience totals up to "took a 'How to write HTML' class once freshman year as an elective" applying to jobs involving low-level C

* Actual on-site interviews are very expensive; unless you are really hurting for people, you need a cheaper (and potentially less precise) way of weeding things out.

* With the exception of graduating seniors, there really are relatively few good candidates actively seeking work; most of the good ones have jobs (and you can hire them, but that usually isn't counted in the X% of resumes get offers, which usually refers to responses to a job posting; hiring people away from their current jobs usually starts in a different manner).

* On the other hand huge numbers of people who are desperate for work send in resumes. The less harmful of these are the ones who obviously are unqualified and clearly just spammed every job offer listed regardless of the requirements. Since we aren't talking about graduating seniors (see above) the majority of the not-obviously-unqualified often even have relevant work experience, but that's just because it takes time for people to fire you.

I am talking about people with 2-5 years of experience working in language X who are barely able to (or sometimes even completely unable to) write FizzBuzz in language X.

Another example was someone with over 5 years of OS kernel development, who in the interview was unable to describe what exactly they did in those 5 years and they didn't seem to know a much about any of the various OS topics we tried asking them about: scheduling, interrupts, DMA, filesystems, memory paging, IPC.

These people are particularly harmful, since there are very few tells at all on their resumes (and no reliable ones), you would have to interview all of them, which gets expensive. The majority can't get past a phone-interview, but when you are talking about

This leads to a lot of companies not even bothering to interview people (again ignoring those graduating from school) without referrals from current employees, or some other way of weeding out the massive numbers of "good resume, but bad candidate" submission that also will, as a side effect, weed out some of the "good resume, good candidate". It also means that if you are looking for work, and can't find it, then either you are unqualified, or need to get referrals from friends who have jobs at companies that are hiring.

nostrademons 5 days ago 0 replies      

From what I've seen, the other 99% of resumes are people trying to break into the field but with no actual programming experience. Competent developers with a track record get snapped up really quickly, while newbies without a track record go on to apply to 100 more jobs.

blooberr 5 days ago 0 replies      
Sometimes its not the developer.

You can also blame it on an unrefined interview process. I've probably turned down the right candidates accidentally while trying to work out an interviewing system. With a startup, its hard to get enough feedback because you can't hire enough people to verify if your assumptions were correct.

Another issue to consider is unrealistic expectations for a candidate (has to know X, Y, Z frameworks + machine learning + mobile) If this candidate exists, you probably can't afford them.

For the rest of us, I strongly believe you can train most developers to do the job. It's how much time you're willing to invest in them. I've taken inexperienced developers that are very interested in the company vision and given them a chance to grow in the roles. After a year, they're the "good" developers I've always wanted.

aguynamedben 5 days ago 1 reply      
For me, it's difficult to hire an engineer that's not specifically interested in what my company is doing. A very common reason I've passed on engineers in the past is "they're okay... but they don't seem really excited about what we're doing here..."
gregcohn 5 days ago 0 replies      
It's very common that companies have adverse candidate flow -- in other words, the ratio of 99:1 is not necessarily representative of the market; it's simply representative of the median candidate a particular company is attracting into its hiring pipeline.

Invest more in getting the right kinds of candidates.

janbernhart 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've recruited developers for dozens of companies so hope I can give valuable insights.First of all, there's nothing 'wrong' with the 99 developers that didn't get hired. And in my experience, they will find a job somewhere else. A job that suits them (even) better, hopefully

Thing is, companies and jobs differ, and so do people. I've seen top performers from company A fail in the interviews at company B, and vice versa. Leaving both companies under the impression that the other company employs 'bad' developers.

Whether or not your skills+potential can be used optimally by a company depends on so much details, like cultural fit, to which extend you agree on their paradigms (methodology, problem solving ideas, prioritization, etc).

Long story short; companies are usually looking for the most optimal choice for their job openings, and so are applicants. This results a way more complex matching strategy that just 'could do the job'.

Perhaps John Nash can help us with optimizing these strategies. Until than, I think 1:50 to 1:99 ratio's are here to stay.

alok-g 4 days ago 1 reply      
Being on both sides, I feel interview processes are a part of the problem too. Every place I have interviewed assumes that the interviewers are good and by default, the candidate is bad. While it is probably statistically true, it makes things worse if a good candidate gets rejected because of an issue with the interviewer's own abilities.
fluxon 4 days ago 0 replies      
jparker165, ask your friend if "Inside the Mirrortocracy" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7930430 applies to his company.
Getting Up to Speed
12 points by jfe  3 days ago   6 comments top 4
eranation 3 days ago 0 replies      
Few tips from someone who started in the dot com bubble and had to adjust during the years:

- prefer https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/ over w3schools

- Get to know Bootstrap / Zorb / grid base layouts

- Understand responsive design

- the 2 above combined means - no more table layout (http://giveupandusecss.com/)

- DOCTYPE really matters - don't go into quirks mode (no more table height="100%"...

- jQuery of course, and then Angular.js / React.js / Ember.js (and perhaps also Backbone.js)

- Any of the following back end stacks - Rails, Django, Play, Node.js/express (depending on which language you prefer, Ruby, Python, Scala/Java, JavaScript)

- SQL (Postgre / MariaDB / MySQL) and MongoDB won't hurt

- Tooling - Get to know Github, Heroku, AWS etc...

- Understand that you can do almost anything with JavaScript nowadays, it can get to about 1/2 the speed of native code now and improving every day.

- Understand that you can do almost anything with pure CSS nowadays, animations, drawing, 3D. e.g. no more image buttons.

- Flash and Applets are dead (de facto) HTML5 can do everything you needed one of these before (cameras, sound, video, chats, sockets, animation, 3D, really, anything)

- You can use any font you want (webfonts)

- XML / SOAP / XSD stayed in the enterprise world, the web / SaaS world seems to have favored the less strict / more dynamic REST / JSON approach

- Speaking of REST. learn REST, the HTTP verbs and how to design an API

- Understand JS templates, and client side MVC, and that your backend is becoming more of an API (that can serve both mobile apps and web apps as one). e.g. no more JSP / PHP mess of business logic bundled with presentation logic.

- Understand that your JS code base is going to be much bigger, and learn technologies that will help you such as - TypeScript / CoffeeScript / Dart, AMD / CommonJS / Browserify, Bower / Ender. Grunt / Yeoman. I know it sounds like a big mess of buzzwords, but there are tons of tools out there to help you organize your client side code (also look at SCSS and Compass to help with organizing your CSS and reduce boilerplate)

this is my short list, but in the end as other said, it's all boils down to HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript and HTTP... the rest are just syntactic sugars...

curiousHacker 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think the fundamental technologies of the web are HTTP, JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3 and should be learned in that order.
carise 3 days ago 0 replies      
It kind of depends what you're going to use those technologies for (i.e. what kind of webapp you want to build), but you can learn a lot about web technologies by building a simple blog, if you don't have something particular in mind. That will give you a direct, quick exposure to both backend and frontend technologies. Or you can search for tutorials and demos, then hack them to do more.

I'm sure others will have great suggestions, so I'll pitch a few to start with (I don't have a particular ordering in mind):


Javascript (tons of great books and online resources out there, e.g. MDN and Douglas Crockford: http://javascript.crockford.com/javascript.html);HTML5 (http://www.html5rocks.com/en/);CSS3


SQL (yes, this isn't really new technology);NoSql or something similar;Some kind of web framework, e.g. Ruby on Rails, which will provide you the interface between database and frontend (and much more);Some familiarity with web servers (just because you have to worry about that for your web framework)

Apologies in advance if I put the technologies in the wrong group...

jakozaur 3 days ago 1 reply      
There are quite a few decent websites which can teach you and help to understand those technologies, e.g.:http://teamtreehouse.com/https://www.codeschool.com/

Would take one of the paths for web developer.

       cached 30 June 2014 04:05:01 GMT