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Ask HN: Please review my 8 month old bootstrapped startup
5 points by chrisdc  39 minutes ago   8 comments top 4
tejasm 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
Quick question - are you offering any analytics? If you're, it's missing from the Pricing (https://www.getstacker.com/pricing) page.
uptown 20 minutes ago 1 reply      
People like photos. You should consider putting a couple product photos on your site.
AznHisoka 20 minutes ago 2 replies      
Lots of competitors in this space...- Hootsuite- BufferApp- SproutSocial- Hubspot- Circular.io
marcomassaro 30 minutes ago 1 reply      
Is this like http://bufferapp.com?
Ask HN: How to apartment search in the bay?
2 points by blairanderson  1 hour ago   2 comments top 2
nostrademons 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
Craigslist. It's still the best source if you're doing your apartment search remotely.

If you're local, another good approach is just to drive down the multi-family zoned areas in the valley (it's pretty obvious where they are if you live here, plus you can see them on satellite view in Google Maps), pop into the office, and ask if they have any vacancies coming up. Most blocks are pretty densely packed, so you can easily hit up half a dozen complexes in an hour and get a sense of what rents are like, how clean the complex is, how friendly the management is, what sort of people live there, etc. In my most recent apartment hunt I took a bike trip with my girlfriend - we just biked down a bunch of the residential neighborhoods in Sunnyvale and stopped at every apartment complex.

Another useful strategy is to take a short-term lease when you first move out, then once you're acclimatized, pick out the places you really want to live and ask if there're vacancies. You learn a lot of tacit knowledge about the area that way, eg. the California/Escuela area of Mountain View has a number of openings on Craigslist, but it also has a reputation of being kinda a bad neighborhood in MTV (nothing that'll put your personal safety at risk, but I know a couple people that were robbed while living there), and you'll only pick that up from living in the area and talking with locals there.

coralreef 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
Obligatory padmapper.com mention.


Ask HN: How to create a dead zone?
3 points by CoreSet  3 hours ago   3 comments top 3
glimcat 1 hour ago 0 replies      
There are two major methods.

Jamming (active):

Broadcast so much noise at the relevant frequencies that it drowns out any other signal the devices might try to interact with. You throw a lot of power into going LALALALALALALALA at the frequency bands you expect the devices you want to jam to be interacting at, then they can't hear each other over you. It's actually not a particularly hard engineering problem until you start worrying about heat and efficiency - you just build a transmitter and broadcast noise at high power.

Blocking (passive):

Use a Faraday cage or sheer mass to prevent signals from being broadcast into or out of an enclosed area. Mass attenuates signals depending on thickness, density, and frequency. A Faraday cage uses a powered metal mesh to maintain constant voltage at a surface, which can kill most transmissions without the need to turn your building into a bunker.

But assuming this is actually allowed by your local laws, you still shouldn't do it. It's hazardous and unethical since it will also disrupt e.g. emergency communications. If you're bothered by impolite cell phone use, you should pursue a social remedy which allows for extreme cases where manners are not the biggest concern, rather than a technical one which is blind to significant edge cases.

For military applications:

You don't have an enclosed area to work with, so you mostly use jamming devices with as much power as you can manage. But this gets used less than you might think from Hollywood, since a major cost of using them is that you're very loudly shouting your general position to anyone who cares about that and access to some basic electronics. Also the really good ones are set up as buildings or vehicles, it's not going to be small if you want power on the order of "shout so loud a civilian radio station can't hear itself think."

Passive compliments:

Anti-radar stealth technology, which is where you try to make yourself as much of a pain in the ass to make out clearly as you can manage. This is far more difficult since you don't have a controlled environment to play with, but there's still a lot you can do with clever shapes and surface design. Also the point is less to make yourself invisible, than it is to reduce the amount of advance warning that an opponent would get, or their ability to respond to changes in your vector.

Chaff countermeasures are easier, you basically launch a bunch of stuff that's highly reflective at the frequencies people are trying to track you with. I think this is mostly an air-to-air thing. It actually works pretty well, at least in terms of "make it less likely that you get shot down." But if the other guy has reasonably modern targeting systems, you can bet he's got chaff too since it amounts to a thing that shoots out tinfoil confetti.

chrisBob 1 hour ago 0 replies      
With cell phones it is different than the other applications. The easiest thing to do is create a fake tower that the phones connect to happily, but that has no connection to the outside world.

Otherwise I think you just broadcast noise on the frequency your device is trying to use.

coralreef 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not up to par with general physics knowledge but this might be a good place to start:


Ask HN: Contracting without an agency
4 points by chrisbennet  4 hours ago   2 comments top 2
patio11 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is not as big a problem as you believe it to be. The independent contractor test is a balancing act. It is not an absolute barrier to you personally working on behalf of a particular client.

Kalzumeus Software maintains a fact sheet, because that sounds better with "Word document". It's one page and starts with the words "Patrick McKenzie is, under relevant IRS regulations, an independent contractor and not an employee of your company." It then has a bunch of bullet points where I recite the facts which are most supportive of that conclusion.

This has resolved 95% of interactions I've ever had about this question. (The last 5% was at a particular BigCo where they wanted me to fill out a BigCo-approved questionnaire, but they reached the same conclusion.)

I second Thomas' comment that this is largely a sales question rather than a legal question. At a lot of places, "I want an agency in front of you" just means "I want someone to yell at if you turn out to be a bozo." An agency is one way to decrease the downside risk of you being a bozo. Or you could just have a bunch of strong signals which say "Almost certainly not a bozo." If a potential client said "Patrick, we want to work with you, but we'd rather do it through an agency." I'd say "Can I ask what is motivating your desire to do it through an agency? I might have a solution for you."

tptacek 3 hours ago 0 replies      
No, that's not true.

What is true is that large companies will (a) ask one-person consulting shops to subcontract through existing contracting firms, because they have very complicated MSAs and accounting processes set up with those larger firms, and (b) occasionally try to withhold taxes for one-person contracting firms.

These are sales/marketing issues, not legal issues. There's no formalism to consulting "agencies". Basically: if you're talking to a BigCo who wants you to work as a sub through one of their vendors, that's a sales objection. If you're doing commodity consulting work, like the same front-end web software development work that their vendors already sell them, you're going to have a hard time displacing the vendor, because doing that costs them money and incurs risk.

Three responses to that trap:

* Specialize further, so that the work you do isn't substitutable by work they can buy from one of their big vendors. Note that you will not have an easy time trying to specialize in technology (being the best Angular.js developer in the world does not make it easier for you to sell web front-end work against a huge vendor that already provides that); you need to find ways to specialize in business model and problem domain.

* Pick more appropriate clients. This sounds flippant, but it's not; it's one of the core problems of sales. If you're running into potential clients that all want you to sub, you need to do a better job of qualifying your leads so you don't waste time on prospects who aren't going to sign an MSA for you.

* Grow. BigCos can ask a single-person shop to sub through an existing vendor, but they can't reasonably ask a 10-person shop to do the same thing, because no 10-person shop would ever do that.

Ask HN: Programming Literature that's Valuable Sans Computer
2 points by kremlin  2 hours ago   3 comments top 2
brudgers 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The Art of Computer Programming. It is designed to be read without a screen nearby.
vijayaggarwal 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Read about the life and works of Alan Turing [1]. Not only did he do seminal work for invention of general purpose computer, he actually went on to study the limitations of this theoretical computer even before it became a practical reality. Every time you see a captcha, recall that CAPTCHA = Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing

Ask HN: feedback on my idea? Pull HN comment thread onto target blog post.
3 points by andrewstuart  6 hours ago   6 comments top 4
krapp 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Scraping HN and building, say, a JSON blob out of a thread page wouldn't be difficult - if I can do it with curl and PHP then anybody can do it. My biggest concern though would be how HN itself would react to that - and of course if you want it to be more than read-only and completely seamless you have to do what essentially amounts to cross-site request forgery to make it appear the login and posting is being done on your site and not the other - and it looks like HN uses a csrf token in the form.

So probably the least painful way of doing it (apart from an official JSON API) would be to scrape the site periodically (not so quickly as to be banned, obviously) or use one of the existing services which acts as a proxy api, save locally to your own backend and then do whatever.

Personally though, I think it's slightly unethical, unless you're going to clearly mention that the content is coming from HN and you have their permission. What do they get out of you using their resources to lead readers away from their site, after all?

ColinWright 6 hours ago 1 reply      
How would you have people comment? Would they need to log in to HN? If so, would you do all the cross-site authentication?

I'd be interested to see a sketch of all the things that need to happen to make this a genuinely useful thing. Simply pulling the HN discussion and plonking it on the page seems a bit too minimal, and a waste of an opportunity.

To the OP - how do you see it working? Have you thought about it at all, or was t an idle whim?

Turing_Machine 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The low-rent way of doing it would be to just iframe the HN thread, but a quick experiment in JSFiddle indicates that HN denies framing.

I don't think there's an RSS feed for the comments, so doing this would probably require some type of scraping.

Mz 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The discussion is here because the community is here. Most websites do not have the ability to produce sufficient content to draw sufficient audience as to have it's own large community and the commenting that goes with it. Some of the current benefits of posting it to HN is that provides traffic. I find that I occasionally get comments directly on my blog when something posts to HN but the comments there are a bit different from the discussion here. So I think of them as being fundamentally different.

Managing a community is a job in itself and is fundamentally different from producing good content. I don't see this as a bug. It's a feature. Though I have started wondering if I should start putting a link to the HN discussion in the blog post. For now, I did recently add a page listing FPP-Worthy posts that generated real discussion and putting the HN links there. I am still trying to figure out what the hell I am doing and largely figuring it out alone since I have no mentor or similar.

Tell HN: My startup is making money and I don't know what to do
177 points by sthielen  3 days ago   128 comments top 53
patio11 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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.
mmaunder 3 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.

peterjancelis 3 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.

rwhitman 3 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

mikekij 3 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.

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!

JoshTriplett 3 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.
sharemywin 3 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.
ar7hur 3 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.

sbashyal 3 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.

santoshsankar 3 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

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 3 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 3 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

codingdave 3 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.

oniTony 3 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.

zefi 3 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.
illini123 3 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.

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?

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.

Im_Talking 2 days 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.

hoopism 3 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.

thedmitry 3 days ago 0 replies      
Contact me, I can help - http://about.me/dmitry
santoshsankar 3 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


pbreit 3 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.

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!

allochthon 2 days 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.
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.

josephjrobison 3 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.
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.
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!

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.
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.

gamerDude 3 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.

alexsherrick 3 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.
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.
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.
slapresta 3 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.
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.
meerita 3 days ago 0 replies      
I would recommend hire someone with economics sale perspective while you focus on getting the product better.
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.
ASquare 3 days ago 1 reply      
Perhaps you're ready for Series A: http://avc.com/2014/06/what-seed-financing-is-for/
RamunasM 3 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome idea. I'd love to have a site like this in my country
rainer89 3 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 3 days ago 0 replies      
keep.... going?
gibbonraver 3 days ago 1 reply      
By a margarita machine.
factsfinder 3 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: How do you start a website that requires user contribution?
63 points by stepanbujnak  22 hours ago   49 comments top 30
jackgavigan 8 hours ago 0 replies      
One way is to pay users to generate content.

Back in 1999/2000, I was CTO of a startup building a website aimed at independent travellers (which we defined as anyone who wasn't on a package holiday - i.e. people who were booking their own flights and hotels, and picking their own activities). Our plan was to become something like what Wikitravel is today - a kind of crowdsourced travel guide, with recommendations from other travellers for places to eat/drink/stay, things to do, sights to see, etc.

The idea was that a traveller would come to our site, search for, say, places to stay in Dublin, and the list they would get back would consist of recommendations/reviews submitted by other travellers.

We faced the exact same chicken-and-egg problem the OP describes - we had a website based on user-generated content, with no content.

People who were travelling/backpacking around the world during their gap year were a clear part of our target market and, at the time, there was no mobile internet, so gap year travellers would use internet cafs to access their email. The biggest and most popular internet cafs in London were run by easyEverything, where, on any given day, you could find dozens of travellers and tourists.

So, we did a deal with easyEverything to buy terminal usage in bulk, and we then gave away 1 worth* of usage to anyone who wanted it, in return for them writing a piece of content for the website.

We literally had people, wearing branded t-shirts, at these cafs, grabbing people as they came in and asking them if they wanted some free Internet time. From our perspective, it was a very successful approach - we were getting UGC for less than 1 per piece of content and, at the same time, publicising our site and getting a bit of brand awareness.

Unfortunately, the company didn't survive the Dot-com Crash but that's another story...

* I say "1 worth" because easyEverything used demand pricing - if the caf was empty, that 1 might buy you 90 minutes, if it was busy, it might only buy you 20 minutes.

loumf 1 hour ago 0 replies      
A lot of people call this a chicken-egg problem. For some reason, that's supposed to make it seem hard to solve, when in real life, anybody could start a chicken farm very easily.

You simply buy chickens.

If your question is how do I start a chicken farm without buying chickens, then you have made the problem unnecessarily complex.

The thing is, though, when you buy a chicken, you can be relatively sure that you will get eggs. And you can be sure that if you have eggs, it's not too hard to get chicks.

Your real problem isn't how to get content (that's simple, you buy it), but how to then get users that want that content. And then, how to get some of those users to make content.

(to answer your direct question: StackExchange was seeded by JoelOnSoftware and CodingHorror readers -- it was a closed beta until they got enough content. In other words, Joel and Jeff already had chicken farms, and they donated a bunch of them to StackExchange)

wuliwong 20 hours ago 1 reply      
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 22 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.

morisy 15 hours ago 0 replies      
The cynical way to say it is to "Fake it til you make it." The nicer way would be to say "Be the change you want to see in the world."

When we launched MuckRock, a user-generated FOIA request site, we had about 50 early registered users who were dying to use the site. Then we set them loose, and after 2 months, absolutely no one had filed. So I started filing a ton of requests on my own, got back really good information, and all the sudden users started filing.

When I went back and asked why they hadn't filed before, they said they simply didn't know what filing should look like, so having some examples was helpful.

We also found a few power users who were already doing this on their own, and gave them free premium accounts. We lost hundreds of dollars on them for the first year, since we covered cost of stamps, scanning, etc., but it more then made up for it in helping model the kind of community and content we wanted to have.

So the short answer is, find ways to bootstrap it yourselves, whether that's just you compulsively dog fooding your own site or paying users to ask questions (it's almost always harder to find good question askers than answerers, and the latter comes naturally to sites with good questions), or, like Wikipedia, intelligently and ethically scraping some bootstrapping material from existing resources.

rwhitman 20 hours ago 3 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 19 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

kromodor 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It is important to keep in mind that the following is only an assumption. We'll be able to test it in few months when our website is live.

We have approached the situation from similar angle as many people here already described.

However, we involve a tool which allows people to make "cool albums" and can easy share it outside the site, into their existing communities.

We assume that since we will have almost none real users (beside the fake ones), inside action will be non-existent. Thus if the users use the tool to share outside, we might benefit from the outsiders checkout the album of their mates.

Of course, while this sounds clever, it hides risks - the early adopters should provide at least like-able content. And this, by experience, is not the general case. To be counted, also, is that our early adopter is someone who is already member of an existing community.

And whoever registers in the site should be carefully caressed to feel special in order to, at least, provide feedback.

tl;dr - fake accounts; a lot of personal attention from founders; people can benefit from the site without inside users.

sergiotapia 19 hours ago 1 reply      
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!

alexeichemenda 22 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 19 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.

SkyMarshal 21 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..

yaur 21 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.
maxk42 19 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.

kidlogic 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Platforms require two important factors - self-marketing and publishing tools. It's important that the published content benefits everyone within the community, which helps build up to true Network Effects.

Github (same-sided platform): publish your repo, users can download and contribute to your code. More code, more branches, repeat.

Youtube (two-sided platform): Published content provides entertainment. Users can respond to others video to provide additional relevant content. Each publisher promotes their own channel for recognition (and in turn, promotes your platform).

I'd recommend reading: http://platformed.info/The author really dives into Platforms vs Marketplaces and how to increase your chances for success. It's the only blog I've ever subscribed to.

emhs 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I've seen a couple new sites out here in the bay try paying "beta testers" $5 or so each to contribute a little content. I remember doing that with BlockAvenue (they advertised via Craigslist SFBay).
lnanek2 21 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. :)
girasquid 21 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.
Gilliam 12 hours ago 0 replies      
You should know the difference between users, like readers and producer. Obviously, you need producer come to your website and create the content, if you don't want to "fake it" all the time. Readers will be attracted if the content is good enough.

So the problem is how to convince the producer to write here even though there is nearly no reader here.

Maybe "share" can be a good option.Producer can take your website as a tool and you can show the content to more users.

ecesena 20 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 19 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.
danbmil99 17 hours 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.
wilzy 21 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.
bdcravens 22 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.
sharemywin 22 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.
ColinCera 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Two excellent thinkers in this area:



Read their articles.

tiagotalbuquerq 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Fake your traction until you get your own, do the things that don't scale :) http://paulgraham.com/ds.html
Mz 21 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
bluzeee 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Gasbuddy.com is a good example too.

They pay in gas coupons for top contributors, through different means.

Theodores 20 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?
63 points by dcy  1 day ago   42 comments top 17
EvanMiller 23 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:


j2kun 1 day 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

abdullahkhalids 23 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.

DanAndersen 1 day 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.
sktrdie 23 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

ihnorton 21 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...

seltzered_ 20 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

dave809 21 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/

skadamat 20 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 23 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.
sideproject 19 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!

return0 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I would suggest you take a look at http://sciboards.org
Mz 23 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.

untilHellbanned 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Onarbor, https://onarbor.com, is exactly this.
What's an idea or creation that you've had success with locally that I can copy?
146 points by js7  1 day ago   88 comments top 24
Scoundreller 1 day 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 1 day 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 1 day ago 5 replies      
Send local goods to foreign subscribers in monthly surprise shipments.
nhebb 1 day 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.
hesselink 12 hours ago 0 replies      
This site (http://www.worldstartupwiki.org/) is tracking startup ideas that haven't been implemented in certain locations yet.
stevekemp 22 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 1 day 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. :)

psychometry 1 day ago 0 replies      
Self-storage is getting big and can be done anywhere: https://angel.co/self-storage
stoev 1 day 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.
taway98765 1 day 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 ..

_puk 23 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.

jitbit 1 day 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
thruflo 1 day ago 1 reply      
Really really good coffee.
alexhawdon 1 day ago 0 replies      

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

nkg 1 day 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.
draugadrotten 1 day ago 5 replies      
Print kiosks where customers can print out a customized "newspaper" with a customized subset of news articles scraped from the web
supercoder 1 day ago 2 replies      
Middleman for a service that would connect men with women who would be intimate for an exchange of money
abestic9 1 day 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.
kvee 1 day 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 ;)
porcuk0r 1 day ago 2 replies      
Christmas tree delivery service by bikes: http://kantaa.hu/karacsony
lun4r 1 day ago 2 replies      
A lemonade stand!
js7 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm thinking things like pizza price comparison apps etc
Theodores 1 day 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 1 day ago 0 replies      
Da Pimp business
Ask HN: What projects are you working on?
183 points by mfalcon  2 days ago   486 comments top 280
jlhonora 2 days 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.


juretriglav 2 days 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!

joewalnes 2 days ago 3 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

unoti 2 days 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
heidar 2 days 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.

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.
dangrossman 2 days 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.

wslh 2 days 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.

adamonduty 2 days 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.

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.

bsenftner 2 days 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
s_kilk 2 days 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.

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 2 days 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:



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

kodablah 2 days 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.


mattgreenrocks 2 days 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.

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.

DLarsen 2 days 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.

alfg 2 days 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).

javon 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a small webapp for music discovery. My friends and I share a lot of music, but it's hard to find a good point to start listening. So I made www.goodnot.es. It queues up the best 5 songs of any artist and plays them for you. It's been super fun to work on and I use it regularly.

link: http://www.goodnot.es

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


morsch 1 day 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. :)

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.

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 :)

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!

maz1b 2 days ago 3 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. :)

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:


will_brown 2 days 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.

zwischenzug 2 days 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 :)


nnoitra 2 days 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.
ftfish 2 days 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.

dzink 1 day ago 0 replies      
SuperChihuahua 1 day 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/)
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
ThePhysicist 2 days 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:


nevi-me 2 days 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.

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.

aaronbrethorst 2 days 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.

ww520 2 days 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.

Taek 1 day 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

arafalov 2 days 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.

apike 2 days 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/
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.

sergiotapia 2 days 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:


schappim 1 day 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 ;-)
pmorici 2 days 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
vhf 2 days 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!

matt_hova 2 days 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
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.



gkoberger 2 days 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)

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.

conorgil145 1 day 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!
FrozenCow 2 days 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...

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.
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/

rrradical 1 day 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.
janesconference 2 days ago 1 reply      
Working on a Digital Audio Workstation in HTML5 / Web Audio API, front and back end: http://hya.io
falcolas 2 days 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.
mgrouchy 2 days 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.

hmsimha 2 days 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.

LVB 2 days 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.
gabemart 2 days 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

Dnguyen 2 days 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.
shayief 2 days 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

deutronium 2 days 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.


eiriklv 1 day 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)

wise_young_man 1 day 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.

crt000 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Machine learning predictions for everybody (still an early prototype!):


iagooar 2 days 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.

minhajuddin 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I am working on a hosted CMS with javascript templating and some neat features like pagespeed integration, CDN publishing, design and content separation, page generators etc,.
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.

Killah911 2 days 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).



cabalamat 2 days 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.

yeureka 2 days 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.

y3di 2 days 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'.

dewey 2 days ago 0 replies      
I built a small site to track your hackernews karma/comment/submission count:


dannyr 2 days 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.


fallenhitokiri 2 days 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

Wouter33 2 days 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

AliAdams 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is surprising how few of the projects have actually monetisable products not aimed at the developer niche.
efiftythree 2 days 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.

andrewflnr 1 day 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).
JDDunn9 2 days 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.

alexatkeplar 2 days 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.

acj 2 days 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.

ChuckMcM 2 days 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.
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

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


tehwebguy 2 days 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.

abestic9 1 day 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/

krapp 2 days 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.

restless 2 days 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.
Egregore 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm working on gamifying learning, here is our first project, it automates the learning of times table, kids like it:


kylelutz 2 days 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

hrvbr 2 days 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.

thomaslieven 1 day 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...
mohene1 21 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.


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.

Jhsto 2 days ago 0 replies      
Blog engine in Go. Just a side-project though, but it has been fun. https://github.com/9uuso/vertigo
farmdawgnation 2 days 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.)


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

Buetol 2 days 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.
enowbi 1 day 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.
irremediable 2 days 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.

thrush 1 day 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

chrisgd 2 days 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
PanMan 2 days 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.
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.
achamilt 2 days 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.

zachlatta 2 days 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

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

mrfusion 2 days 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.

S4M 1 day 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).
cj 2 days 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
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...
Aeolus98 1 day 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

NicoJuicy 2 days 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.

Bootvis 2 days 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.

michaelmior 1 day 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).


zubairov 1 day 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
jwcrux 2 days 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.
lnanek2 1 day 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.

brwalker 1 day 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
shawnreilly 2 days 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.
wturner 2 days 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.

mhluongo 2 days 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.

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!

db42 2 days 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

0xeeeeeeee 2 days 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.

Turing_Machine 2 days 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.


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.

marclave 1 day 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.


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
rakoo 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm building a Bittorrent Sync alternative aimed at ease of use to solve http://www.xkcd.com/949/:


JamesAn 1 day 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.

ziyadb 2 days 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.

paukiatwee 2 days 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).

napolux 2 days 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 :-
Lockyy 2 days 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.
Flolagale 1 day ago 1 reply      
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.

eftpotrm 2 days 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.
mtmail 2 days 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).
aashaykumar92 2 days 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.


shadesandcolour 2 days 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.
istoselidas 1 day 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.

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.

dfox 2 days 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.
eddie_31003 1 day 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.
wizzardy 2 days 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.
mlawren 2 days 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.

ThomPete 2 days 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:


lettergram 2 days 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.

brenfrow 1 day 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.
raarky 1 day ago 0 replies      
A multi-color image search engine for streetwear in my spare time.


terranstyler 1 day 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.
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.

thakobyan 1 day 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?
twelvechairs 2 days 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).
_b_ 2 days 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.

mburst 2 days 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.
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.

wesley 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nxt cryptocurrency built in java, with decentralized asset exchange and digital goods store.


KajMagnus 1 day 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
jsumrall 2 days 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.
SnowProblem 2 days 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.


patrickg 2 days 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).
mattgeb 2 days 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.

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.
tslocum 2 days 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)

late2part 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a API derived observased triggered notification system for loan status on prosper.com and lendingclub.com.
ledlauzis 2 days 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

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.

qhoc 1 day 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.

mkal_tsr 2 days 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/
braindead_in 2 days 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

byennen 2 days 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.


liamgooding 1 day 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!

kephra 2 days 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.

hunt 2 days 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

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.
mediascreen 1 day 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.


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.
loupereira 2 days 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.


olegp 2 days 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
widmogrod 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on DOM diff JS library. https://github.com/widmogrod/jef#dom-diff
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

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.


kidlogic 1 day 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!

aaronandy 2 days 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).

vasusen 1 day 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
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
ChikkaChiChi 2 days 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.

sparkzilla 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on trying to get http://newslines.org on the front page of Hacker News ;-
buttscicles 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've been working on a little hosted websockets service, would like to ramp up the pace though.


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.
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...
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.
ankit84 1 day 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

PurplePanda 1 day 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.
nshm 1 day ago 1 reply      
CMUSphinx - open source speech recognition system http://cmusphinx.sourceforge.net
thefate 2 days 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)

andrew_isidoro 1 day 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.

fundamental 2 days 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.



indrekv 1 day 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

haosdent 1 day 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.
synunlimited 2 days 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/


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. :)
namanyayg 1 day 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/
aymeric 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am working on http://weekplan.net helping people better manage their time.
djfumberger 2 days ago 2 replies      
Have just launched an app to enable people of all skill levels to create music - http://beatwave.co
YousefED 2 days 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)
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....

lutorm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Building a Zigbee weather station and digging a French drain around the house.
t__crayford 2 days 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.

mahadazad 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am working on http://www.qrunched.com a very advance QR code generator
hexsprite 2 days 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
scotthtaylor 1 day ago 0 replies      
Currently working on: http://www.peeky.co
Vektorweg 1 day 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.
eric-brechemier 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interactive visualizations about authors who contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports.



instakill 2 days ago 0 replies      
Still working at the marketing of http://www.mybema.com
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

petersouth 2 days ago 0 replies      
Building a free service that gets consumers small discounts or upgrades when they buy a new car.


JoshTheGeek 2 days 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
iancarroll 1 day 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.
silentinteract 2 days 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.
Pratheeswaran 2 days 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.

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.
rusher81572 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am working on this Amazon S3 client that is getting good reviews


CMCDragonkai 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on the Matrix. http://matrix.ai/ Can't say much than this at the moment though.
afaqurk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Working on a very simple web dashboard for monitoring linux server stats: http://linuxdash.com
hansonywu 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://www.craftedbylove.com/#/ is my most recent project. it is a showcase of beautiful web design.
ahmednuaman 2 days 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.
endriju 2 days 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.

canercandan 2 days 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
noufalibrahim 2 days 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
dsplatonov 2 days 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.
RomanPushkin 2 days 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.

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.
truthmagnet 2 days 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.

rudexpunx 2 days 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.

lgmspb 2 days 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.

finspin 2 days 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.
arronroy 2 days ago 3 replies      
I've just launched an app for building D3.js charts online. Getting some interesting people sign.


mkile 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am working on a small C# library implementing the Promises/A+ specification, details here: https://github.com/matteocanessa/SailorsPromises
alixander 2 days ago 1 reply      
dully 2 days 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.
itisbiz 2 days ago 0 replies      
A web app to quickly record 'visits' .. visits by customers, meeting or event attendees, etc https://www.speedvisit.com
mstipetic 2 days 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)
gamebak 2 days 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.
digitalmentat 2 days 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.
swah 2 days ago 0 replies      
Chat app, I kid you not. But just deciding on the front-end stack at the moment.
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


melenaboija 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a coordinates storage service to be used for future mobile projects.


komrade 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on https://studentloanhero.com It's a tool to manage student loans with ease.
trevordev 2 days 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!

swayvil 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm cultivating cosmic consciousness.
Ap0c 1 day 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.


hamburg 1 day 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.

cfredmond 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a trading platform. Using Go + MongoDB.
marxdeveloper 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just went live with my game homepagehttp://mo.ee/
sidlr 1 day 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
rok3 1 day ago 0 replies      
Finishing up documentation and some cleanup before release on a Go logging library for LogEntries.
sesteel 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am creating a widget toolkit for Go on Linux. Fun times.Http://github.com/sesteel/go-view
evertonfuller 1 day ago 0 replies      
A music discovery/streaming curated platform.
baken 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm quantifying reflexivity in financial systems and building trading models on top of it.
timtamboy63 2 days ago 0 replies      
Creating a subtractive synthesizer in Javascript
Vaanir 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm working on making a JSON API for Tennis scores, as I couldn't find one!
gregpasta 2 days ago 1 reply      
An easy to use opinionated reporting system in django.


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

shawnk 2 days 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!!!
jimmaswell 1 day ago 0 replies      
An MMORPG, Legends of Equestria
shanth 2 days ago 0 replies      
A time table generation app in Haskell using Yesod :)
mattt416 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm working on WFH.io (https://www.wfh.io), which provides job listings for remote tech-based employment. The site is still pretty basic in functionality, but is slowly picking up traction.
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 2 days 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: Have the US spying programs negatively affected your US company?
2 points by hadoukenio  7 hours ago   2 comments top
privong 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Just this past week, the German government announced they would be canceling a contract with Verizon, as a result of the revelations of spying[0].

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7951900

Tell HN: Jonathan Dale's Cancer Fundraiser isn't Doing Well & Time's Running Out
75 points by rpm4321  1 day ago   32 comments top 9
NotOscarWilde 1 day 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.

darthclue 1 day 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

themgt 1 day ago 0 replies      
darthcluespouse 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Tell HN: Jonathan Dale's Cancer Fundraiser isn't Doing Well & Time's Running Out74 points by rpm4321 1 day ago | 29 commentsThis was posted on HN a few months ago and got a lot of attention at the time (751 points), but I figured I would post a reminder to everyone about Jonathan Dale's cancer fundraiser. There's less than a month remaining and they only have about 10% of their goal:https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/w704/beating-cancer-o...

Original post: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7390638

throwaway26454 19 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! :)

darthcluespouse 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's to hope you still have it in your heart to help out thankyou to all have given so far look beyond the systems we have so payitforword and may u be blessed beyond your years
darthcluespose 22 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 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Some noob co-founder questions
22 points by arisAlexis  1 day ago   23 comments top 9
tptacek 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Everybody. Must. Vest. If you can't use someone else's paper for the employment and equity contracts, talk to a lawyer. Set up standard 4-year vesting with a cliff. If you hire someone and 3 months later come to the realization that they aren't working out --- which is likely --- they can't be walking away with a chunk of the company.
vitovito 1 day ago 2 replies      
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 1 day 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.

wpietri 1 day 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.

gullyleft 1 day 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.

wusatiuk 1 day 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.

vitalyny 14 hours ago 0 replies      
You can also have a look at this calculator: http://foundersolutions.com/founder_equity_solution
arisAlexis 1 day ago 1 reply      
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?
moubarak 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here is the equity equation by Paul Graham http://paulgraham.com/equity.html
Ask HN: Looking for advice Failed startup, long term relationship at same time
66 points by verysadpanda  2 days ago   54 comments top 36
tvladeck 2 days 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.
te_chris 2 days 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.

paulbaumgart 2 days 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.

sharemywin 2 days 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 2 days 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.
verysadpanda 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 :)

lowglow 2 days 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

Estragon 2 days ago 0 replies      
You would probably get a lift / good advice from listening to this:


muks 2 days 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 2 days 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.

wj 2 days 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.

qhoc 2 days 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

powertry 2 days 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

negamax 2 days 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.

cLeEOGPw 2 days 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.
raving-richard 2 days 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...

allofitt 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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!"

gettingreal 2 days 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 2 days 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.
thesadness 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days ago 0 replies      
You'll get through it. Make peace with yourself and you will find that your experience has value to others.
natural219 2 days 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.

javajosh 2 days ago 1 reply      
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.

fuj 2 days ago 0 replies      
What was the startup's name?
jcr 2 days 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.

imcn 2 days 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.

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.

pandatoo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I went through something similar. And the business stuff is easy compared to the relationship issues.
Ask HN: Dev promoted to more strategic role in startup. What literature?
170 points by rodh  6 days ago   80 comments top 41
kator 6 days ago 4 replies      
Honestly I would get a mentor. Find someone either in your org or out of your org that has the skills and career you would like to work towards and start talking to them. If you hit it off you may have found someone who can help you through the bumpy parts of your career and help you plan your next steps. Some people charge for this as career coaching and that can also have some value but it's challenging to sort out the best ones. Every place I've gone I've looked for a mentor to bounce ideas off of and generally double check my thinking and how I'm approaching problems and my career. You can go to industry events and start reaching out or just look for people you admire and reach out and start a dialog.

I personally think the concept of apprenticeship is lacking in the technology industry and we loose out on what other older professions have with clearer career paths because of their established practices of guiding people though their careers. That said I've seen it abused too so there always needs to be balance in these things.

I personally coach about five people (for free) in my current company and they come from all areas of the org not just my group. I was very lucky in the early days to have several great mentors in my life who helped me and I feel it's my job to pay that back now in the latter years of my career.

Books are wonderful but nothing beats interacting with successful people.

mindcrime 6 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, lots of good recommendations in this thread already... I skimmed them, but apologies in advance for any dupes:

I'd suggest some general "business strategy" works that will help you understand the context of how/why the very highest level business decisions are made, as well as some works that deal with tying together strategy and tactical execution (which includes technical initiatives).

1. Understanding Michael Porter - John Magretta. http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Michael-Porter-Essential...

Porter's framework is VERY influential in the business world, and having at least a passing familiarity with his work is important at the higher levels. Going straight to the primary sources (Porter's books) can be a bit daunting as they are big, dry, and academic and not exactly what you'd call "page turners". This book is a fairly solid overview of the key elements of Porter's approach, and a good read before diving into the meat of Porter's works.

2. Competitive Strategy - Michael Porter. http://www.amazon.com/Competitive-Strategy-Techniques-Indust...

3. Competitive Advantage - Michael Porter. http://www.amazon.com/Competitive-Advantage-Creating-Sustain...

4. On Competition - Michael Porter. http://www.amazon.com/On-Competition-Updated-Expanded-Editio...

5. Good Strategy, Bad Strategy - Richard Rumelt. http://www.amazon.com/Good-Strategy-Bad-Difference-Matters/d...

6. Blue Ocean Strategy - W. Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne. http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Ocean-Strategy-Uncontested-Compet... This book has its critics, but I think it's a worthwhile read. Some people argue against the whole idea of a "blu e ocean" market, but even if the authors aren't 100% right about everything, I think the lines of thinking this book fosters are valuable in a general sense.

7. The Discipline of Market Leaders. http://www.amazon.com/Discipline-Market-Leaders-Customers-Do... I think very highly of this book and the author's approach to strategy. It's not radically different from the Porterian approach in some ways, but I'd say it's narrower in focus and simpler. The big takeway is the idea (which should be obvious, but often isn't) that "you can't be everything to everyone". The authors push a model of choosing a market discipline to appeal to a certain type of customer, and making that discipline the core of your business.

8. The Machine That Changed The World. http://www.amazon.com/Machine-That-Changed-World-Revolutioni... Have you ever wondered what this "lean" stuff is all about? Or why Toyota is so revered by business leaders? Here's a good place to find the answer to those questions.

9. Working Knowledge- Davenport and Prusak. http://www.amazon.com/Working-Knowledge-Thomas-H-Davenport/d... Perhaps the seminal book on Knowledge Management, or at least one of them. If you want to understand the importance of knowledge in an organization, this is a very valuable read.

10. Outside Innovation - Patricia Seybold. http://www.amazon.com/Outside-Innovation-Customers-Co-Design...

11. The Future of Competition. http://www.amazon.com/Future-Competition-Co-Creating-Unique-...

12. The Balanced Scorecard. http://www.amazon.com/Balanced-Scorecard-Translating-Strateg...

13. Strategy Maps. http://www.amazon.com/Strategy-Maps-Converting-Intangible-Ta...

14. The Strategy Focused Organization. http://www.amazon.com/Strategy-Focused-Organization-Scorecar...

15. If Only We Knew What We Know. http://www.amazon.com/Only-Knew-What-Know-Knowledge/dp/14516... Another seminal title in the Knowledge Management world.

16. Common Knowledge - Nancy Dixon. http://www.amazon.com/Common-Knowledge-Companies-Thrive-Shar... Another seminal title in the Knowledge Management world.

17. Winning The Knowledge Transfer Race. http://www.amazon.com/Winning-Knowledge-Transfer-Michael-Eng...

anarchitect 6 days ago 3 replies      
In the last five years moved from development, to leading the development team to more of a product management role. Fully agree with that DanielBMarkham it's "the people part of things is where you'll screw up", so I'd focus on communication and team-building as much as processes.

I've found a few books really useful:

* The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6667514-the-checklist-ma...)

* Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6452796-drive)

* Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7696135-making-ideas-hap...)

* Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6828896-delivering-happi...)

* Rework (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6732019-rework)

These days I get the most value from articles and videos. Here is a list of my recommended articles on Medium, which might be useful - https://medium.com/@nickboyce/has-recommended. Some great stuff in the list recommended by ravivyas too.

Edit: Something else I have been experimenting with is buying executive summaries of major books, in order to familiarise myself with as many perspectives as possible.

matrix 6 days ago 1 reply      
It sounds like you've taken the most important step, which is appreciating that "what got you here won't get you there".

One of my favorite books when stepping into a new role is M. Watkins, "The First 90 Days", which is very helpful in formalizing an effective approach to succeeding quickly when in a new management role.

It is worth trying to get some education in people management. While much of it is common-sense, it's worthwhile covering the basics -- the applicable laws, managing conflicts, that sort of thing. I have yet to find a good, practical book on organizational engineering (if anyone has a suggestion, please post it), but this is an area that I feel someone in your role should seek to understand well, because it has a big impact on the success of a business.

One of the most important, fundamental skills for a senior level manager is understanding finance. I recommend B. Knight, "Financial Intelligence" as a primer.

My favorite book on business strategy is M. Porter "Competitive Strategy", however, this book and all other business strategy books should be taken with a large grain of salt. They often suffer from survivorship bias, being applicable only to certain industries and times, and in at least one famous case, allegedly faking the data used to draw their conclusions. I treat business strategy books as leisure reading that simply provides another perspective.

vellum 6 days ago 2 replies      
If you're looking for a book on strategy, you can't go wrong with Peter Drucker.



chwolfe 6 days ago 0 replies      

When it comes to Management, I have to second vellum's advice and go with Drucker:


Classic (Mad Men era) of Marketing is ruled by Ogilvy:


However, I cannot stress enough the role of analytics in modern business strategy/marketing and Kaushik's book is the best:


swombat 6 days ago 2 replies      
The best book bar none that I've read about strategy is "Good Strategy, Bad Strategy" by Richard Rumelt: http://goodbadstrategy.com/

I highly recommend it. It's clear, intelligent, properly defines what strategy is (which most other books fail to do) and isn't, and how to go about designing and implementing it. It's very low on bullshit and very high on examples and insights from both history and business.

thruflo 6 days ago 3 replies      
In a senior role, effective communication becomes more important. One of the best books I've read about how to communicate effectively is http://www.amazon.com/The-Pyramid-Principle-Writing-Thinking...

It introduces a specific method to write concise, effective business documents. Then it shows how you can use the method to critique your own thinking.

Su-Shee 6 days ago 2 replies      
Start with the "classics" like "mystical man month" (Brooks) for example, then get many of the books by Tom de Marco and possibly read Richard Gabriel's "Patterns of Software". The book about the "Chandler" project (forgot it's title) is also a particular good read. Those two in particular are interesting reads about why things fail.

Go on to reading the Toyota management style in itself, there's a couple of books about it, that's what many IT techiques are getting their ideas from.

It's mostly about finding your values so to speak and pinpoint what you really think makes up a good software development company - maybe your focus will be on organization, maybe on other things, so get an overview first.

These two articles are hopefully also an interesting nudge to think about many things:



O'Reilly has a very interesting book with analysis which practices actually work and why/how - sadly I also forget the title. There's for example a chapter about when and why pair programming works and when and why not.

Also, just watch carefully and learn to notice "good organization" - happens in surprising corners and niches and try to see WHY it's good.

nl 6 days ago 0 replies      
The number one thing I'd suggest it learning to communicate effectively. Since you have been promoted already I assume you have some skills in this area - that's good! But it can be worth deliberately focusing on improving both your written and oral communication skills.
tsondermann 6 days ago 1 reply      
I don't think there's anyone writing better, more actionable advice on this particular transition than Michael Lopp at http://randsinrepose.com

I'd read everything on that site.

ravivyas 6 days ago 1 reply      
Here is what I did when I moved from development to product & Marketing

1. Follow people in the same field2. Ready up on blogs and posts : I use Zite, Flipboard and medium3. A book that helped me to a large extent is Good to great by Jim Collins (http://www.amazon.com/Good-Great-Companies-Leap-Others/dp/00...)

Also The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman http://www.amazon.com/Personal-MBA-World-Class-Business-Educ...

4. Video from people in the same field.5. This article https://medium.com/@noah_weiss/50-articles-and-books-that-wi...

Some great tools:

1. Trello - Project/product and pretty much manage any thing2. Qlikview - Data Analysis : Excel on Steroids

It's a very short list, but I am learning on the job :)

eitally 6 days ago 0 replies      
I recommend the http://www.manager-tools.com site for lots of really great content on practical leadership & management. As for process ... yes, you can read all you want, but at the end of the day your success will be defined by your ability to sell a good idea (SDLC/ALM processes) to your team, not the pure quality of the processes themselves. If people don't want to or can get around process, they will.

I've never worked in a startup, but I run my teams as if they were small, fairly-independent-but-often-symbiotic entities. I started as a dev back in '99 and am one step below CIO in a 45,000 employee large corporation. If you'd ever like to chat about your problems or bounce ideas off someone, I'd be happy to.

chiph 6 days ago 0 replies      
Take a look at the concept of servant leadership. I've worked at one business that used it, and it was phenomenal. The crux of it is that bosses are only as successful as the people doing the actual work, so the boss should focus on what is needed for them to be successful.


ChuckMcM 6 days ago 0 replies      
Getting a mentor will help, usually someone outside the company that you trust enough to question them honestly (too many people try to get mentored by people they think of as infallible and then fail to ask questions when their understanding is incomplete).

If you are looking for reading material, consider putting the books "Execution" and "Facing Reality" (by Larry Bossidy with Ram Charan) on your list. I found these to be a good concise description of some of the more 'meta' aspects of senior leadership.

webmaven 6 days ago 0 replies      
From a technical perspective, I have found 'The Mature Optimization Handbook' invaluable: https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-engineering/the-matu... HN discussion here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6763683)

'Team Geek' is a great primer on technical leadership: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920018025.do

Another recommended book is 'Shipping Greatness': http://shippinggreatness.com

Assuming you're already familiar with 'The Lean Startup', there has been a series of excellent 'sequels' on many more specific disciplines that you will likely find useful: http://theleanstartup.com/the-lean-series

A recent addition (that I am still digesting) on Agile processes beyond Scrum is 'Unblock!': http://www.continuousagile.com/unblock/ (Posted to HN a few days ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7921200)

franze 6 days ago 0 replies      
1st "Thinking in Systems" http://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Systems-Donella-H-Meadows/dp/...

2nd Article "Leverage Points" http://www.donellameadows.org/archives/leverage-points-place...

after these two you will have enough know-how on how to identify and manage systems (i.e.: your growing company)

then the only thing between you and success is reality, for how to influence the company reality you live in please read

3rd "Seeing Systems" http://www.amazon.com/Seeing-Systems-Unlocking-Mysteries-Org...

good luck and have fun (with the books, with your new responsibilities)

polskibus 6 days ago 1 reply      
Understand Lean paradigm as a way of delivering business value: http://www.amazon.co.uk/This-Lean-Resolving-Efficiency-Parad...

In terms of agile - I believe that scrum and related are too operational-related and not really strategic. You can skip that and delegate crunching it to others.

Master delegation - 1 minute manager, etc. - read at least one short book about it. Don't fall into micromanagement trap.

_xzu 6 days ago 0 replies      
There are lot's of good advice already but I'd like to add few more. You need to make a mind shift from dev/manager role to strategic senior manager. My recommendation is to read:Good to Great ( http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/76865.Good_to_Great ) On War ( https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/117031.On_War_Indexed_Ed... ( I'm not sure which English translation is the best )

and try to see how practical tips both give for decision making. Art of War is also good, but I'd prefer Clausewitz since it's much more straightforward.

And read this masterpiecehttp://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/pdf/reports-downloads/the-testa...

redtexture 5 days ago 0 replies      
One aspect of strategy, crucially important, is actively, and continually deciding what not to do.

It is necessary to not do great projects and not pursue great ideas, because of scarcity of resources: the organization cannot undertake all of the good and great ideas it encounters.

There is nearly no organization that is not over-committed in its operations. This is constant, challenging, and avoidable problem.

Actively deciding not to do a project, or not follow a particular line of effort...instead of failing, by default to give enough resources or effort to an idea or project aids the organization to focus and excel in particular well-chosen areas. And avoid being mediocre in multiple areas and spread thin as an organization, by actively choosing to do less. What great project will you abandon, to focus on the other great projects you're already doing?

Mission statements fail to inform about what the organization will NOT do. A strategy does.

* Stuck: Why Its So Hard to Do New Things in Old Organizations (recorded lecture, December 6, 2007)

By Rebecca M. Henderson, (now at Harvard Business School) formerly Eastman Kodak LFM Professor of Management, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Video lecture (skip the first 15 minutes) (total time one hour)http://video.mit.edu/watch/stuck-why-its-so-hard-to-do-new-t...

pjmorris 6 days ago 0 replies      
Consider the book 'Becoming a Technical Leader' [1], by Jerry Weinberg. He and his students (e.g. Johanna Rothman, Esther Derby) have a whole host of excellent books and courses in the space you describe. They're also very approachable, if you want to discuss these matters.

[1] http://www.geraldmweinberg.com/Site/Technical_Leader.html

jonstewart 6 days ago 0 replies      
If you're under 50 people, you're still too small for many processes. Read every book you can lay your hands on about people-management (not project management, not product management, not strategy) and remember to over-communicate. The best lever you have at this point is to become a great manager of people--you'll motivate them to do good work and help turn some of them into great managers as the company grows.
DanielBMarkham 6 days ago 1 reply      
Disclaimer: my day job is helping companies continue to operate at scale the same as they did when there were only 5 of them. Turns out this is not a trivial thing to do.

Agile/XP practices are a good starting place in-between cowboy programming and micro-management hell -- as long as you don't take them as a recipe book. They're simply best practices that you can and should learn. Then prune/modify as necessary. There are really too many books to list separately. I'd advise joining a local Agile User's Group and noticing who has their shit in one sock. Then find out what they're doing. You can also bring in external coaches.

You need a couple of good books on the people part of things. I can guarantee you that the people part of things is where you'll screw up. "Drive" is really good. http://amzn.to/1qtZdEd So is PeopleWare http://amzn.to/1iBnasO

For strategic stuff, especially in a growing company, you're going to have to master large work queues without having them eat you alive. If you'll allow me to self-promote, my Backlogs series is geared exactly towards this problem. http://tiny-giant-books.com/backlogs.htm

One observation: as you grow, it's not enough that you pay extremely careful attention to whom you hire. You also need to create an on-boarding system where new hires can learn and adopt the culture -- things like pair programming, how the build works, good coding etiquette, and so on. Setting the table for strategy to work is actually more important than whatever the strategy is.

Second observation: I imagine you're going to be swimming in business book recommendations. Business books are like dieting books: everybody has a few favorites. (I imagine this is because the material inside matches how they already feel). Better to identify specific areas, like Agile Requirements Modeling, and find books targeting those areas. Then look for practical advice. Otherwise you'll just have a ton of books that you'll spend hundreds of hours reading and not really have much to show for it at the end of the process.

stanchiang23 6 days ago 0 replies      
Developing strategy, relies on understanding the patterns evident in the mechanics of doing business, (startups and mature corps alike).

To that end, I strongly recommend Michael Porter, who literally wrote the book on modern "Competitive Strategy". There is no other single source of strategic theory that is better than this. Anybody that has taken a b-school class on strategy worth their tuition will recall concepts like Porter's 5-forces.

Other answers seem to offer more recently offered books and some might dare to argue his frameworks are dated but really it's in a robust, tried-and-true-kind of way. Other books that try to cover defining strategy, value chain, industry analysis are often derivative of his work.

If you don't end up reading it at least get a list of his key concepts and google the shit out of them. They all seem like a "duh, i knew that" on paper, but you should have these theories in your back pocket whenever you need to formulate a battleplan.



ckluis 6 days ago 0 replies      
The Heart of Change - best book I read in the MBA

Six Thinking Hats - best way to think like an analyst (and to lead meetings that are effective)

Both of these are killer and quick and easy books.

hyperliner 6 days ago 0 replies      
Just learn how to think. The best way to learn to think is to solve many problems. Solve many problems many times. Don't just solve the ones you already know how to solve.

I am not sure you can learn how to think from a book, but the recommendations here can be good to "know what you don't know."

Maybe the best question you should be asking is not what to read, but what problems you can solve you have not solved before. Here is one constraint: if you can solve it yourself, and not through others, then it is not a very interesting problem.

iandanforth 6 days ago 0 replies      
[Meta] I really wish I could see upvote counts for this post. Answers here are reviews and each vote for a review matters. If only 10 people have voted for anarchitect's list of sources, that means there is very little consensus here which could mean that there are no truly good books on this somewhat ephemeral topic.
SloopJon 6 days ago 1 reply      
Foundations of Business Strategy started last week on Coursera:


Probably not too late to catch up.

attheodo 6 days ago 0 replies      
"Strategic Management" Fred David, http://amzn.com/0132664232

Some people find it too academic but it covers pretty much all of the essentials of strategy and business policy practices.

tim333 6 days ago 0 replies      
I'd recommend, if you have not already read them, reading the relevant seeming articles off the front page of joelonsoftware.com and possibly Dharmesh Shah at onstartups.com and Paul Graham's essays. There's a lot of good stuff there.
cscharenberg 6 days ago 0 replies      
The book Understanding Michael Porter was a good introduction to strategy for me. I used it in my EMBA program when I was struggling to grasp business strategy. That gave me a solid grounding in how to think about it and some of the basic concepts. From there I was able to branch out to other books on strategy. But that one was a good starting point for me and some classmates.
spektom 6 days ago 0 replies      
I warmly recommend you to read Peopleware: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321934113/
dandare 6 days ago 0 replies      
Mobile MBA by Jo Owen - less empty words, more practical advice. My absolutely favourite management book.


illumen 6 days ago 0 replies      
Karate kid learned from a book in the beginning.

Wax on. Wax off.

Obviously a book won't do. You need a training montage.

eigenrick 6 days ago 0 replies      
How to Measure Anything -- By Douglas Hubbard

The successful role models in my life have a keen ability to at least relatively measure large, nebulous things. For thinking in probabilities and ways to gauge intangibles like "effectiveness" I think this book is excellent.

amirnathoo 6 days ago 0 replies      
I'd suggest reading Four Steps to Epiphany to learn about customer development.
wurzelgogerer 6 days ago 0 replies      
If you are in the bay area then we should go grab coffee some time. I was in your position a year ago and I'm more than happy to share my experiences and struggles.Send me an email and we can connect.
hemantv 5 days ago 0 replies      
One of the best book I found in similar situation is High Output Management and Only Paranoid Will Survive by Andy Grove.
quarterconfig 6 days ago 0 replies      
If you are looking for an intellectual discussion around management (helpful for some people) I'd recommend checking out Henry Mintzberg.

He's been writing on Management for 4 decades and he's opened my eyes to what management is about. http://www.amazon.com/Managing-Henry-Mintzberg/dp/1605098744

Ask HN: Do you have more sick time than you can use?
3 points by mproud  23 hours ago   12 comments top 9
msh 41 minutes ago 0 replies      
Just curious, how does that work?

What happens if you use all your sick time, it dont sound like you have too much of it, happens happens if you get really unlucky?

Where I come from you dont have a number of sick days like that (if you have more than 3 consecutive days you technically need a doctors certification) but if you have more than 120 in a year they can fire you.

greenyoda 23 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".)

JacobAldridge 11 hours ago 0 replies      
My first question would be 'Are you sure you are accruing sick time?'

It differs around the world, of course, but having worked with many businesses in the UK and Australia I'm amazed at how many staff think Sick Leave carries over into a new year (like vacation leave usually does), even though it does not. Use it or lose it.

I've even seen staff quit after ten years in a job, point out no sick days ever and ask to be paid out for those 100 days. (10 days pa x 10 years) They then get surprised to 'learn' that's not how their contracts or the system works, and usually a little angry (especially if they had already spent those 5 months' salary!).

DanBC 20 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.

dozzie 11 hours ago 0 replies      
You know, there are countries where there's no such ridiculous thing as fixed number of sick leaves in a year. Do you really plan all your sickness in January each year?

In case of sickness, your physician signs your sick leave and you just need to inform your employer that you take a day (or several days) off because of that.

gus_massa 23 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.
helen842000 21 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.

petersouth 22 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.
fnom 5 hours ago 0 replies      
i dont have sick time. i just stay home when im sick and need a doctors notice if its above 3 days. but thats pretty much german standard
Ask HN: are you working on a commercial project with no sales ever?
6 points by andrewstuart  23 hours ago   5 comments top 4
mkal_tsr 23 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.
LarryMade2 21 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 21 hours ago 1 reply      
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.
dqmdm 21 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: Anyone ever had a business coach?
4 points by l33tbro  21 hours ago   3 comments top
JacobAldridge 20 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...

Ask HN: Why No Ajax in HN?
4 points by kp25  16 hours ago   12 comments top 3
tptacek 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I think one reason might be the "framework level" news.arc code, which does a continuation-passing-like thing for forms to create a sort of synchronous straight-line flow in the code without lots of callbacks. A side effect of that is that some of the code is very tightly coiled around the render-form post-form flow of a standard, 2001-era web application.

Another reason is that Graham simply seems a little allergic to Javascript. When you look at HN, think Rails 1 (they come from similar eras). Today, if you had an application like HN, you'd probably have a serverside that primarily provided a JSON HTTP API for a Javascript project that managed almost all the actual UX. But that wasn't at all a normal way to design applications back when HN was first written.

chewxy 16 hours ago 1 reply      
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 16 hours ago 3 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: Is IT support becoming an anachronism in startups?
2 points by dnroberts  23 hours ago   3 comments top 3
rprospero 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've been on both sides of this. I spent a few years doing IT support and I know how much of a difference a good IT team can make.

On the other hand, I've also seen how much damage a bad IT department can do. In a previous job, I was writing device drivers, but IT only allowed general user access. If I needed software installed (e.g. compiler, text editor), I could submit a support ticket and they'd get back to me in 48 hours. That's 48 hours per program. Once I'd written a driver, I could send another support ticket to have the driver installed. After 48 hours, I could then test it. Just as a pointless side not, but I heard that, as of last year, the IT department was still maintaining the requirement that everyone use Firefox 3.0 for their browser.

A good IT team is invaluable, but a bad IT department can be worse than having no IT department. When you have 50 people doing 50 different things, probably half of them are wasting their time. However, when you have 3 IT people headed down the wrong path, then EVERYONE is wasting their time.

helen842000 21 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.

leog7 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I am not sure why the end user has to take the laptop to the mac store, we use lenovo and they send an engineer to us to check any issues.
Ask HN: Why would you NOT hash your passwords?
2 points by jehna1  1 day ago   4 comments top 3
leepowers 23 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).

tlubinski 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Okay, so I'm playing devil's advocate here:

One good reason is usability. Users are forgetting their passwords all the time and as buttscicles pointed out it is for a lot of people much easier to just get an email with their password instead of going through the whole set-a-new-password-flow. We actually tested that 8+ years ago and although I don't recall the exact numbers, sending the password lead to much higher login rates than creating a new password. And I really mean _much_ higher.

Plus from a security perspective it's always better to secure the access to the DB instead of trying to minimize the damage. And btw the still common (unsalted) MD5 hashing of passwords is barely better than plain passwords.

buttscicles 23 hours ago 1 reply      
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.

Ask HN: Is Rails more popular than Django? If so, why?
7 points by lpnotes  2 days ago   5 comments top 5
runjake 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't go down this road of "which should I learn?". Just stick with Django, and maybe, when you are competent in Django, look at Rails. If you cut your Django progress short and switch to learning Rails, you'll soon be looking at Javascript frameworks. Or Scala. Or Go.

Just stick with Django, for now. Not because it's better or worse, but because you're already on that path.

phantom_oracle 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Rails is bigger than Django,

But Python is bigger than Ruby...

Django isn't the only web framework in the python world. Flask and the others (both big monoliths like Django and miniatures similar to Flask) are abundant in the python world.

Although there are also quite a few Ruby web frameworks, Rails is (by far) the biggest and most adopted.

People will tell you learn what you find easy to use. I will tell you:

Learn Ruby and Rails if you want a startup job (this depends on where you want to work and what your local market is using. So if you live in a country who is still big on PHP, then learn that).

Learn the fundamentals of Ruby or Python (whichever makes you happiest and has the most ease-of-use). A good programmer should be able to switch between languages with minimal effort (and some commitment).

Learn Python if you want broader application of programming (like a data science job or a job in tech finance).

I've avoided saying "learn X framework" because they're all somewhat similar under the hood (most of the big frameworks follow the MVC pattern of application design/structure).

twunde 2 days 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
thinkerer 2 days 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.

ibnukamy 2 days 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: How did you find your mentor?
2 points by sidcool  1 day ago   discuss
Ask HN: Who is iamdevloper on Twitter?
9 points by HeinZawHtet  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
iLoch 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's supposed to generalize developers - so no one in particular. Seems to be someone who's got a good sense of humour and knows enough about the tech industry to produce satire -- you know, there are few things as vexatious as reading someone analyze comedy, so I'll stop here. He/she is probably popular due to a large number of people finding the content funny and/or relatable and retweeting it.
nailer 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think that's the idea.
Ask HN: Weekend project stories
16 points by arsalanb  1 day ago   8 comments top 7
roschdal 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://play.freeciv.org - took just 5 years.
commanderj 1 day 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...

brotchie 1 day 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 :(

iisbum 1 day 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 1 day 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.

shlomib 1 day 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 1 day 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.

But why can't I send people their passwords?
170 points by omervk  5 days ago   discuss
jere 5 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_ 5 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 5 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.
makmanalp 5 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.

jscheel 5 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).
tptacek 3 days ago  replies      
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.

Help me understand this ECB attack
7 points by king_mob  1 day ago   2 comments top
todd8 1 day 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  1 day ago   3 comments top
hluska 1 day 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
icebraining 1 day ago 1 reply      
Here's the original thread, when they launched: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8863
helen842000 20 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.
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.

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?

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.
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