hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    10 Nov 2014 Ask
home   ask   best   3 years ago   
1
BrowserStack is Shutting Down?
168 points by spiralganglion  4 hours ago   63 comments top 30
1
rm999 2 hours ago 3 replies      
They just tweeted this:

>We did get hacked. Currently sanitising entire BrowserStack, so service will be down for a while. We're on top of it & will keep you posted

https://twitter.com/browserstack/status/531631012493524992

2
globile 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Regarding some of the actual claims, I had an issue a year back when I logged into a session, and could perfectly see another user's session in progress, internal url in the browser, mouse moving around.

I freaked out, watched for 3-4 seconds, and then got kicked out of the session.

I opened a ticket with support, and they got back to me saying they had "fixed the root cause".

I still use browserstack, but I'm really careful with passing along private credentials.

3
ladynerd 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Standard post potential security incident rules apply folks.

Don't engage with suspicious emails. Do not attempt to access your account for now.If you have used your Browserstack password elsewhere, go and change it about the place.Watch out for any links from untrusted sources on this subject as they may be malicious.

Hopefully there will be more solid updates soon.

4
pudquick 3 hours ago 1 reply      
The tone of the email is very definitely meant to get the end user angry, this is not a true shutdown email or public service announcement of any company that expected to continue to exist / avoid lawsuits.

... Whether the company will continue to exist after this email is another matter.

5
Igglyboo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds like someone hacked their servers and this is how their version of disclosure.
6
munimkazia 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
Considering that they are actively hiring in their Mumbai office, I really doubt that they are shutting down.
7
8ig8 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Oddly enough they are currently down for maintenance...

Well be back soon!

Sorry for the inconvenience but were performing some maintenance at the moment. If you need to you can always contact us, otherwise well be back online shortly!

The Team

9
BenjaminBunny 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I got it as well, came via an aws account.

I filled in a support request with browser stack.

Seems very odd, angry ex member of staff maybe??

10
bhouston 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Is the security claims in the email real? It should be possible to verify relatively easily -- and it should be done soon before they patch the security issues.
11
swartkrans 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't know if they're shutting down, they have to feel the heat somewhat from Microsoft's free IE testing service[1] though. modern.ie still has references to browserstack, but I wonder why.

[1] https://remote.modern.ie/

12
dsr12 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Do the passwords provided in the mail actually work?
13
timedoctor 3 hours ago 4 replies      
I would probably still use them even if this information is true because we never had any important data go through their service (just testing accounts) and because I am not aware of any good alternatives.

... would look for an alternative first! But for now assuming that this is not real, anyone checked if it is real?

14
DevX101 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This sounds like someone got hacked.
15
disordinary 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
Back online now, hopefully some information will be forthcoming.
16
general_failure 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I guess that's the death knell for browserstack :-(? I am always worried that something like this happens to all those cloud providers out there...
17
general_failure 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If this is a disgruntled employee, this has to be the stupidest move ever on his/her part. He will definitely be jailed for this
18
MalcolmDiggs 4 hours ago 0 replies      
How bizarre, that seems like a disgruntled user; even if they were shutting down, they wouldn't word the email that way.
19
haridas 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Man...this looks like insider attack. This much targeted attack is very rare to a company like this !. Hope they will resolve it as early as possible.
20
m1stert 2 hours ago 0 replies      
doesn't surprise me. easy to open a terminal in their OSX vms and poke around. guessing someone a lot more knowledgable than me could wreak some havoc.
21
nodesocket 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Could you post the entire raw message headers? Interested to see if it was sent from Amazon simple email service.
22
WorldWideWayne 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I just got an email that my account was automatically renewed, so I hope not!
23
sbolak 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Happened for us as well, definitely got hacked by some joe schmoe, or a disgruntled employee.
24
uladzislau 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It's hard to belive it's a legit email, more likely their system has been compromised.
25
Kroshn 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Got that same email. Went to browserstack.com and found a maintenance sign.

What's going on?

26
pdknsk 2 hours ago 1 reply      
> BrowserStack is Shutting Down

While the email is certainly not legitimate, the subject may very well turn out to be true. Should a company which is indeed so negligent continue to be in business? I guess we will find out.

27
smathieu 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The browserstack website is currently down for me. Anyone else?
28
akurland 3 hours ago 0 replies      
i just got this also. Hopefully this isn't true.
29
darrough 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I just got this too.
30
algofoogle 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I have received the same email notification, and submitted a story to Slashdot:

http://slashdot.org/submission/3969603/browserstack-compromi...

Up-vote it (+) if you have received the email and you ARE a BrowserStack customer.

2
Ask HN: Founders whose startups have failed, where did life take you afterwards?
214 points by aerovistae  1 day ago   153 comments top 66
1
Udo 16 hours ago 2 replies      
In the early 2000s with a few friends together I founded and ran a web development startup in Germany. Because I had been consulting for advertising agencies since high school, building a service company for agencies seemed like the natural thing to do. Afterall, it was the kind of customers I understood well, and my cofounders were enthusiastic about the concept, too.

Despite doing every single conceivable thing wrong, we lasted a few years before dramatic failure ultimately hit. I learned the insidious thing about initial (modest) success is you become conditioned to underestimate the scope and probability of failure that can topple you in the future.

One of my cofounders, who had always hated the startup part of our endeavor, and who wanted us to become a respectable German company as soon as possible, he was the first one to bail. And in hindsight he was absolutely correct about choosing the right moment to quit. It took me a few more months of pouring my own money in and taking on debt until I realized how absolutely screwed we were.

Let me tell you: failing, in Germany, with your own money and in debt... it's pretty bad. Here, culturally most of your relationships are built on a sense of success and respectability. You lose all that in an instant. Customers and business partners wouldn't even take my call when I wanted to do a last farewell chat, even though we didn't owe them any money or anything like that. The disappointment coming from my family and friends was just complete and total, though they tried to be nice about it. The failure of my company now meant that I as a person was also a failure.

After going down with the ship I went for a full time job, eventually sold a side project/company for a bit of independence, and did this for a few years, then transitioned to freelance software development.

I have to say after the startup - even considering the horrible parts towards the end - after the startup there is a bleakness to a "normal" lifestyle I could never quite shake off. Recently I've also gotten some very unpleasant nudges from life which made me realize time spent on things is irrevocably wasted if they're not important to me.

So I'm going into the fray again. In fact I'm working on a prototype right now.

2
jfb 1 day ago 2 replies      
I ran out of gas and left my cofounder; divorced; worked a succession of small startup jobs, some better than others; ended up back at Apple. I have ideas that I cannot express at Apple and so may end up taking another whack at the piata, now that a) I am not in the throes of a crumbling personal relationship and b) I've gone round the carousel once, so I have some idea how the world works.

I regret the way I left my startup, but at the time I was under an abominable amount of pressure outside work, and I just sort of shot out sideways, like a watermelon seed being squeezed between thumb and forefinger. I do not regret leaving Apple to do the startup, not in the least.

3
buro9 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Might be too soon to answer, my startup ( http://microco.sm/ ) just failed. As someone else put it: insufficient growth, ran out of runway. But at times I wonder whether it's because myself and my co-founder were of like skills and we didn't have a strong enough sales function. Whatever, we failed.

I've had ~10 opportunities presented to me since announcing we'd failed. They ranged from dev position through to CTO position, but ultimately I sent an email to CloudFlare and have joined their team.

A startup failing is traumatic. Aside from the emotional trauma it may lead you to doubt your own competency. I shine at product dev, and coding for that, so sought a place to do that. To regain confidence in myself.

I also wanted regular(ish) hours and salary, to build able to rebuild some stability. I'm getting married in a month's time and most of the cost of that will be on credit card (founding a startup empties your coffers). So it was important for me to be earning and giving our marriage a good start.

I may, in a few years, find that I want to return to the fray. But for the foreseeable future I feel deeply happy that I've joined a great team working on some hard problems, and that for myself I get stability out of it.

A startup is a ship at sea in a storm, I wanted to experience a boat in harbour for a while.

4
appreneur 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Failed, job, startup -success...gave up company because of co- founder,started again.. startup- success...amazing journey first 3 years...next 4 years hell with business partner.

I have failed in the year 2011 after 7 long years at my bootstrapped company. My business partner didn't want me around, I was pretty emotional after so many years, I felt it's time to accept fate n move forward.

Broke up with my gf, I quit my company(gave my 67% to partner if he split debt). So I pretty much walked out with million dollars debt and nothing on hand, life was tough.

I started again,my small business was ok, my burn rate was low,I was ramen profitable ...burning $2000 per month but all customers money, hired employees fired lazy ones.

I just couldn't cope with debt sold my house, my car, my dads house , my aunts house, fortunately n unfortunately I am from india, here people threaten with dire consequences and people give all their life earnings for loved ones. So all the assests cleared about 500k usd dollars.

I earned 200k usd doing consulting, mobile apps, web apps, sentiment analysis ,paid 60k usd salaries. Now I have another 200,000 usd to clear on track to clear it but ....something beautiful happened , I married my gf after 3 years of break, my ex-business partner wants to do business with me again since he saw how I came out of rat hole,...

.I just have one thing to say "don't give up and hang in there with logic and common sense"

I feel I will succeed financially in 2015 , Our product is coming beautifully...then perhaps I can write a book...till then I have midnight oil to burn..

5
BIackSwan 1 day ago 2 replies      
Failed at a bootstrapped startup (http://shoutt.me/) earlier this year after a painful 2 years. Learnt a lot and failed a lot - in practically everything - marketing, sales, growth, tech, operations. Lost a fair bit of money too. Failed because the product was wrong and it took us 2 years to accept it.

Succeeded in one thing - found the right co founders.

In 2 months started working on the another idea (https://doctorc.in) with the same co founders - moved to India. Got funded this August. Could execute infinitely better on this one because of all the lessons learnt in Shoutt. The experience of failure of the first startup is paying off now in the second one.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

6
paulhauggis 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Since 2009, I have been a founder of 3 different startups (and 10+ different side projects that I couldn't convert to successful products). All 3 failed. My problem was choosing co-founders that either did not have a passion for the idea or just weren't willing to do what it takes to run a business.

Someone may be a good developer, designer, or co-worker...but that doesn't mean they will make a good co-founder. I learned this the hard way..and it was painful.

I now run a small business with 2 other co-founders..and have been profitable since day one. I quit my job over a year ago and never looked back.

7
joshmn 1 day ago 3 replies      
Had a startup (rather, small company that was established in the hosting space), sold it when I was 19. Took that money, paid out employees, and tried to start something new and fresh.

That failed. Had a co-founder that wasn't dedicated. Had some tech that I could sell and did sell, but I still considered it a failure because I never hit the mark I wanted.

Consulted, took some jobs with startups here and there. Those startups failed for some reason or another so I went back to consulting.

I'm now consulting and lending myself out to people/businesses with ideas, usually spending about 30 hours a week doing so. I spend another 10 volunteering and tutoring, and another 20 whipping up ideas of my own and seeing if I can find something that I'm confident enough to run with.

My plan is to keep on trying. I have a book of ideas that I want to execute. I'm mostly just waiting for the right idea and the right front-end guy. I'll usually crank out an MVP and never release it because I fear it failing (and I'm not a popularizer); sooner or later, though, I'm confident something will stick when I find the right people to execute with (or they find me)

8
kolinko 1 day ago 1 reply      
During the past 10 years I tried launching startups a few times, failed most of the times within 6-12 months. After each failure I spent 3-6 months trying some more relaxing things (public speaking, dancing, standup comedy), and then got back to doing startups again and again.

Right now I'm quite tired of all that, but fortunately the past micro-startup & investments brought in around $300k which would be enough to live comfortably for ~5 years in Poland.

Right now I'm 30 years old, and the plan is to keep on trying. What changed during the past 10 years is that I'm no longer striving to go all in with a financed business and spend 70-hour workweeks. I don't want to build a billion-dollar business. Instead, I want to build something much smaller which will allow me to have personal life as well.

9
staunch 1 day ago 1 reply      
After a previous failure, my co-founder (and co-brother) and I are moving to the bay area this month, from LA. We're keeping our expenses low and plan to drive for Uber part-time as a way of avoiding day jobs.

Even though I'm married and have a newborn, we're sharing a place and living like (healthy) college students. We've both turned down huge salaries to work together indefinitely.

I love creating products for people. I love solving problems and I love writing code. The stress of a startup feels like a small price to pay to create something great. And I really want to create something great.

10
nostrademons 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://diffle-history.blogspot.com/2008/12/aftermath.html

Spent 5+ years at Google after that, worked on a bunch of cool projects, finessed my technical skills, learned how to push through difficult projects until completion, rebuilt my confidence, and recently left to try again. We'll see how it works out this time.

11
jkent 14 hours ago 0 replies      
In the late 90s, I started a cloud-type hosting provider, with an angel round $100k+, dropping out of university. The dotcom crash happened and raising more money became near impossible. I was inexperienced and tried to do everything myself, and hired the wrong people.

I morphed it in to a web development business that did OK, then worked out it was easier working for someone else (got my life-work balance better) - in a VC-backed startup that ultimately got acquired.

I left to finish my degree. Got confused for a year and did a bit of sales. Then another startup that I couldn't get off the ground (services marketplace) - perhaps insanely ambitious.

Then I trained as a teacher (forgot that), teaching inner city kids how to add up.

I now work at Google in partnerships, where I am largely happy, married, get to travel a lot - and occasionally still 'get the itch' ...

12
meelooo 1 day ago 1 reply      
I tried and "failed" a couple of times in the last 14 years. Having a family pushed me to decide to settle down for some time. I started working as a software engineer at Apple a week ago. The itch is still there though ;-).
13
nicwest 1 day ago 0 replies      
I got a job where I just get to write code, go home at regular time, and get paid every month. it's awesome.
14
tomasien 1 day ago 0 replies      
I kept creating stuff, learned to code, ended up being on the front page of the website that taught me to code, made a website that was in Time Magazine, and started another startup that is now well funded and growing rapidly.

Just keep making stuff, stay afloat, and manage your mood - stay healthy, stay happy, but PRODUCE AND PUBLISH LOTS OF WORK!

15
blrgeek 1 day ago 0 replies      
Startup failed (early employee).

Did my own startup; growth was insufficient. Ran out of runway (7yrs of doing startups).

Looked around & got a position as a Product Manager in AdTech, since I didn't want to get back into a dev role, and wanted to move more into the prod/mktg side.

Since then moved into an accelerator working with early-stage startups on mktg/prod.

Life's been much better than I expected when I failed.

16
sirbetsalot 1 day ago 2 replies      
Started a startup in Vancouver using Machine learning to automate the sports betting odds generating stack. Got two cofounders one MBA (yah i know) and a fundraiser, both failed badly as I did all the code. ended up doing 40% of the fundraising. fired the MBA for incompetence, 4 coders I had all left when other co founder did a deal where the term sheet was pulled last second. packed up left the company to the fundraiser and used all 12 man years of work to bet on sports. Now a successful sports gambler, completely financially free. Single most deadly killer to startups is a bad cofounder.
17
apa-sl 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Few years ago on one day I took al my toys from the equity market (I've got this feeling that I'm not creating any real value and wasn't happy with that) and burned all money in my first startup (http://fashioner.com domain is for rent/sale ;).

1 year later I've inspired my friend to start another startup (service market on national level). Unfortunately VCs in Poland did not wanted to believe that it is such a good opportunity (and it was, currently 2 big competitors sharing this market). But the good thing was that we have inspired another friend to join us and gathered some money.

Now, 2 years later, we've managed to create another startup from all that ;) (http://ElimiApp.com). Just taking off, seed in the bank, fingers crossed!

I think it is just about the way you think and what you want to do in live. I could live very comfortably live from securities transactions (but create nothing, nada) or comfortably while working in some bigger company (no way). Instead I've choose to fight for years for my own thing.

18
dont_pm_me 1 day ago 1 reply      
i worked at a startup with a couple of failed founders -- basically you grab the next best engineering job you can find and lick your wounds until you're either ready to start again or give up completely
19
schuman 1 day ago 1 reply      
2002: Started a small business.

2008: Pivoted to a somewhat more scalable and clearly defined small business.

2011: Started a true startup.

2013: Realized I'd started the wrong startup. Got a job at somebody else's growth stage startup.

~2018: Will start another startup. But this time I'll have a hell of a lot more understanding, expertise, connections, and

20
jeremyriney 1 day ago 2 replies      
I went and lived in a monastery for a little over a year. Then started something new. Couldn't stay away for long.
21
aaronbrethorst 1 day ago 0 replies      
I consulted for a couple years, joined someone else's startup, consulted again, and am currently very much enjoying a real 9-5 job with a great salary, decent benefits, excellent coworkers, and the best work-life balance I've ever enjoyed.

I may not have won the startup lottery, but I've never been happier.

22
raminassemi 1 day ago 3 replies      
Someone should start a blog interviewing failed startup founders and letting them tell their stories and share their lessons, really in-depth. Maybe even bring in other people for multiple perspectives.
23
bigpeopleareold 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I am working now. I am going to stick with this for a long time now.

Whenever I want to go into a venture, anyone I work with seems to have serious issues. I worked with someone who was a bit too controversial, another too attached to the business model, believing things will turn around.

All I can say is: Know your founders. I'd go far as to focus on their personal situation, like their risk tolerance, their "philosophy", their personal attachments, etc. The goal for a company is not to save the world, but to make money for you and your partners. If any personal attachment can get in the way, like "saving the world", or "keeping control of the company", it will. My major failure was not seeing this.

At least for me there is a regular salary now.

24
clamprecht 1 day ago 1 reply      
While I was working on my own (small) startup, I took a contract at a job search engine in 2004, called Indeed.com. I ended up joining as employee #1, and stopped working on my own startup about a year later. Fast forward to 2012, Indeed.com was acquired for a cool billion. After that, I started Searchify.com (still going), and I'm currently living in Argentina, traveling through Patagonia at the moment.
25
almost40 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Started in 2007, no tech skills..

- Idea I published was novel & since has been copied by oodles, including celebrities, large corps & one copy now has millions of users.

In 2009, after not being able to get my idea out in timely manner I started doing front-end dev jobs. I've been failing at those too for the past five years. I'm not a fast coder.

In 2013, now with technical chops & a solid tech team we created tech that got us invited to demo to entity in the valley and received some good amount of attention. Though the entity in the valley was not nice to us, seem like they just wanted to possibly steal our work & squash us like a bug.

So, Im happy to say I invented something oodles have copied with success & our work gets the attention of entities in the valley.

Though is it worth it if...

Your broke, jobless after Friday, childless, live with a parent, in debt, just broke it off again with cheater g/f who lives with her parent and in five months you'll be 40?

26
bgdam 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Did not do enough market research before building and launching product. A product similar to ours released some months ahead of us and got rave reviews in a lot of dev forums (HN included). Took that as validation of our product as well. Turns out, comments on HN don't really translate into money over the counter. Fast forward a year and we have near zero growth. Eventually both the similar product and us shut down.

After that I needed to rebuild some confidence in myself, so I joined a small consultancy company as a lead dev. It's been a year since that happened, and now I'm beginning to feel the startup itch again. Working on a few side projects. The plan this time around is to not quit the job and go full time on the startup till it starts producing a certain amount in monthly recurring revenue. Let's see how this goes...

27
rdl 1 day ago 1 reply      
Failed, consulting, startup, failed, consulting, success, failed, job, job, startup, sold, job.
28
100k 1 day ago 0 replies      
I left my company due to cofounder conflicts and lack of traction (we had a few customers, but weren't able to raise funding and I didn't see it going anywhere). I was really depressed for a while, and for lack of a better idea started doing freelance/contract development. After a couple of years of that, I got the itch to work on a startup again and decided to come back to the Bay Area for that. I got a job at a seed-funded company as their first employee.
29
kbouw 1 day ago 1 reply      
Began a startup senior year of college (Thryv). Managed to build a team, get sales, generate revenue and score a large partnership. Long story short, I was a customer of my own product and assumed I knew what other customers wanted. I spent the next 6 months having a product built without validating my initial assumptions before launching. The product was too niche only fitting customers who had my specific workflow and I ultimately found this out too late when we ran out of steam/resources. Total timeline (including fuckups) was 3 years.

I was non-technical at my first startup (domain expert & business/marketing/sales) and after I shut it down, I spent the next 8 months teaching myself how to build software programs, becoming a now tech co-founder.

I then started my second startup (http://notiontheory.com/) by getting $20k pre-sales in 2 weeks to validate my idea before committing to it.

Attempt 2 has been far more successful and we're already beginning hiring in month 5 bootstrapped.

30
agotterer 14 hours ago 0 replies      
My co-founder and I started an ecommerce analytics company. We self funded (minus a small accelerator investment towards the end). The tech was hard and took us much longer to bulild then expected. We felt we were finally heading in the right direction towards the end but we're running low on money and gas.

We spent 6 weeks shopping the software around in attempts to get acquihired. We ended up with two interested companies after talking to about 15. One made a small offer for the tech and generous offers for us to join the company, the other made just generous offers and wasn't interested in the tech. My partner and I didn't see eye to eye on the offers and were able to convince both companies to take us separately.

Three months later we were introd to a company that wanted to buy the tech and didn't need us to come along with the deal. It wasn't the huge exit we had once hoped for, but it brought some closure and the product lives on.

After a promotion 2 months after joining I'm leading a 13 person engineering team and enjoying having some money and time to spend with my wife and friends. I have some more startup left in me but plan to see this one through for a while.

31
mhluongo 1 day ago 0 replies      
My first startup failed after a couple years. My co-founder and I were pretty worn out, and I had some medical issues. After a month of recovery (both from the biz and med stuff) I started contracting at two promising startups half-time. I went full-time at the beginning of this year, only to have a side project take off. Currently running that with the same co-founder and a new one.
32
peteretep 21 hours ago 1 reply      
We never made any money, and I was the only permanent technical staff (but also technically the CTO) but we had some amazeballs clients - Samsung, Siemens, Tesco, RIM (while they were still cool), and so on.

When we stopped being able to pay me a salary, I turned it in to a real CTO job at a 150 person software company. Our client list gave some real credibility there, as did being able to talk a good talk and looking presentable in a suit.

I suspect this was a phenomenal career move: the previous startup CTO stuff, and any future small-company CTO stuff will be "real" in the eyes of recruiters because I've also managed a big team, budgets, etc - the "real CTO" role validates all the hacking code at smaller companies while claiming to be CTO.

I think there can be a credibility gap for a 30 year old team leader at a profitless company calling themselves a CTO, but having also done a more traditional CTO role at a bigger company allows you to regain that credibility. I can talk confidently about CapEx, OpEx, I've been through a rubber-glove-type due diligence process, been deeply involved in high-level strategy ... I feel like I could spend the next ten years doing 3 people startups again, but then walk in to another "big" CTO role if it didn't work out because of this.

Anyway, ultimately that wasn't what I wanted to do, as much as it was incredible experience. So the wife and I packed off to somewhere warm and cheap, she has a job that pays the bills and for the flat. I'm keeping myself busy by running a one-person R&D lab for a large listed company whose industry I have domain knowledge in, finishing my dissertation, and I've branched in to staffing because it's amazing how much quick cash you can make by messaging ex-coworkers on Facebook (and if you're a Perl developer in the UK: http://perl.careers/)

33
zeeshanm 1 day ago 0 replies      
One of my very first attempts was to build a tutorials site where I'd write stuff on photoshop, php, css, html, etc. Wrote a few tutorials, (re)designed website over 10 times before launch, but did not get any traction. Gave away my tutorials to other sites in the ecosystem. (https://web.archive.org/web/20050208112644/http://invano.com...)

About the same time someone told me may be I should build sites where people can contribute and I wouldn't have to worry about creating content. So, I created this search engine that would index tutorials from all other sites. Built the back-end and some front-end but gradually lost interest to another project.

Then I built this another site with tools for webmasters. This was actually launched with some modest success as by this time I had learned enough about Apache/PHP/MySQL etc. (https://web.archive.org/web/20051215081101/http://viewhtml.n...). But never figured out SEO/traction.

These were in high school and after these tries I gradually lost interest to other stuff. So that was that.

Then in college freshman year started this company to build computer hardware with my roommate. This was actually the first attempt to start a company. Everything else were just side projects. The idea was to build Dell equivalent for Linux.

I think I read this note on some mailing listing about why Linux was not widespread (Android was not mainstream, yet) because there was not any well established distribution mechanism. There was a need to build an equivalent of Dell that would ship computers with Ubuntu and provide user support.

So we bought off-the-shelf parts to build our first desktop computer to sell, built it, and installed Ubuntu. Then my roommate and I had a fallout. So that was the end of this.

And there are a couple of more things that didn't take off. But life was not really impacted drastically as all were learning experiences.

34
lrmunoz 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I realised my startup had failed last year, and part of the realisation was that it was doomed from the start. When I was coming to terms with that I applied to a bootstrapped startup for which I'm now the CTO. It's nice to have a steady salary now while I learn a hell lot about how to run a successful business in the real world

Why did I fail? Well, basically what I wanted to achieve was only a nice idea, one that everyone loved when I explained it. But then, when we implemented it, it was so badly executed that it didn't do anything useful. Then we fell in the feature creep trap, I argued with my co-founder and he parted (because I didn't listen to him, and because he wasn't 100% committed), pivoted into another failing product (at least I managed to sell it and have some real customers) and finally entered into zombie mode for a while (actually the company is still officially in business as I had to take on some consultancy projects in order to pay back 50K in loans we took). Total time of my life spent: 4 years.

In the future, I will try it again, and of course I will do different. First of all, it'll be small from the start (I'm even thinking of doing something that just provides some passive side income, in the level of 1000 a month). Then it will have to be profitable from the beginning.

35
LogicX 1 day ago 1 reply      
Had a startup in Boston that went through TechStars 2010 (third startup) - got funded, fizzled on customer growth.

Now in Myrtle Beach, SC building a startup community with Startup.SC (http://Startup.SC) and promoting an alternative place to do tech through http://WhyNotTheBeach.com. Also working remotely hacking websites (InfoSec).

Looking forward to doing another startup once I build up support network, angel investors, etc.

(Actually in Boston this week for Angel Bootcamp & TechStars Demo Day) - contact me through profile if anyone wants to get a drink.)

36
acjohnson55 21 hours ago 0 replies      
One of my startup's advisers intro'd me to the founder of a small consulting company whose mission I really loved. When I first started consulting, it was a nice opportunity to decompress from startup life and enjoy a job where I could basically clock in and clock out. A few months later, I was ready to start picking up some responsibility. I ended up joining the client permanently and it's been great so far.

On the side, I advise startups a bit, which is cool because it lets me keep the lessons I learned in my own startup fresh. I've come up with a couple interesting startup ideas myself, but I don't feel pressed to be a founder again any time soon.

I'd consider doing a startup again down the line, but I'd be very discriminating. I'm entering a more risk averse stage of life, and I think I'd rather position myself to join something as a leader that's already at least somewhat proven but still has a lot of upside. It takes a refined skillset to be viable for such a role, but that's what I'm aiming for.

37
benologist 1 day ago 0 replies      
Moved onto idea #2 which was a refined #1 that skipped a lot of mistakes, it wasn't financially viable to work on it so I moved on to idea #3 while mumsy picked up the rent.

Idea #3 was this 'passive revenue stream' idea of making tablet jigsaw puzzles, I figured it would be very quick + easy to set up and generate enough income to cover me for something else. That quickly changed into a full time effort to grow the company as it was so enjoyable having a product that makes money + could be better.

38
hayksaakian 1 day ago 1 reply      
Keep in mind this depends on when you fail.

What happens when you take 10million in VC and then fail?

Compare to a 100k angel round and then fail?

39
michaelochurch 22 hours ago 3 replies      
I spent 2.5 years at a startup and did some of that time working purely for equity. I'm not sure if I count as a "founder", as it was unclear where the founder/employee distinction was, and I'd say that I was probably Employee #1 or #2 rather than "a founder".

The truth? Ugh. The pitch is that, even if you fail, you'll learn a ton and be slotted into a much more senior role in your next job. The reality? Yes, you do learn a lot. However, you get the same kind of job you would've gotten before the startup. Not more. That 2.5 years you spent building a complex product from scratch? Fucking wasted. In your next job, you're still going to be assigned to legacy maintenance, and random bugs and tickets like any other junior, not given real work and a meaningful role.

I consider this pretty dangerous, because there's nothing worse than gaining 2-3 levels in ability, but having to linger at a low level because your startup's failure (which may or may not have been your fault; in my case, it wasn't) invalidates the experience completely. You might fare better, psychologically, if you don't go through the startup and gain levels of experience that you won't be permitted to use in the next job. It's easier to function if you're at-level than if you gain 5 years of experience in 15 months but no one believes you.

It's pretty humiliating and you might break. (This was my Google experience. Granted, I had a rotten manager, but the psychological load of coming off a failed startup didn't help the situation.) I think the whole "nothing bad happens when your startup fails" pitch that you hear from VCs is disingenuous. VCs fix some peoples' careers after startup failure, but that's not going to happen for an early employee (E #2, not really a founder) of a company that didn't even make it to the A round.

This isn't just an issue that I faced. I know plenty of hiring managers who worry about ex-startup people, not because they take the failure to mean anything about the person (for some good news, that stigma is mostly gone) but because they know that people who did startups are (a) a rank level or few beyond where they'd be slotted based on seniority, and (b) have chips on their shoulders. It's a valid concern. When it's an acqui-hire, the founders are usually tired of startup stress and ready to take a (still well-paid and high-status) subordinate role, but after a startup just fails you get someone who feels a need to prove himself and won't be happy being re-slotted to a second-year junior programmer.

So... to answer the question, it's not an easy road. After a short spell at Google, I consulted with a horrible startup (that I've taken off my CV, and that inspired many of my cautions about startups, see: http://michaelochurch.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/dont-waste-yo...) that wanted to hire me as VP/Eng but only if I disparaged, in writing, the work of 10 engineers, many of whose work I knew nothing about. (I turned that offer down.) Then I worked in finance for a while, did a bit of consulting (including lottery design and technology selection) and have done some R&D (new product development and data science) in Baltimore. My life has gotten better, and with the blogging and the fact that I'm starting to know a few things about in-demand fields (machine learning, Haskell, Clojure) I'm now finding reasonable demand for what I can do. It's been a lot of work to get back on track, but I have, and I'm probably stronger for having had to fight this hard.

I think that, in the long run, the experience is good for you. The year after (or few) can be hell. The pitch to the effect of "even if it fails, you'll get a great job afterward" is not really true. It's true for founders who line up with marquee investors and whom the investors really like, but in the average case and for people of average means and connections, the outcome seems to be neutral to negative.

My case is just one data point (and an atypical one) but I think that most veterans of failed startups (early employees hit the hardest, then founders, then late employees) will admit that their careers have been set back, not accelerated, by them. It's certainly not fatal, but it causes a loss of time and, as you get older, you realize just how finite that is.

40
phugoid 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I left my comfortable job in Dubai, moved the family (with 2 small kids) to Toronto to build an enterprise database product, launched it at the niche's world conference, pivoted once, and spent all the money I had. That took nine months.

When it came time to look for work I got a decent job offer in the Toronto startup scene as a django dev, but I called up my old employer in Dubai and found out they had not managed to replace me. So I replaced myself! Moved the whole family back out to the Middle East.

You'd think the whole experience has turned me off startups forever, but....

41
anubhabb 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Little bit frustration, little isolation, little thinking and then ANOTHER IDEA, ANOTHER STARTUP:)

All of these actually set well after my startup actually 'closed' as right after the closing I was too buzy getting my employees and my guys placed in other companies.

42
gwbas1c 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I interviewed for a bunch of jobs, and then found one with a small startup where the leaders were much better at running a business than I was. I now lead a very fun project to work on, and feel like I met my career goal in my early 30s.

I'll need a new challenge in a few years, but for now it's nice to be in a routine and be a critical member of a kick-ass team.

43
wonjun 1 day ago 0 replies      
I looked for a startup job specifically because pg says joining a startup is the next best thing, and then managed to join a growth stage startup. What's changed from doing a startup is I no longer have to think about if the company will survive in x months and I am just focusing on the technical side of things. My days have become easier and I get more positive outcomes each day, but in the long run, I feel like I have to get back in the game.
44
fizerkhan 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Failed startup http://www.quadmsolutions.co.nz/ after painful 1.5 year. Failed because of co-founder issues.

Then, I and my friend started working on new startup (https://www.atatus.com/) and got 100 customers in 2 months.

45
onethumb 22 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm a sucker for pain, or it's in my blood, or something. Numerous failures, a few successes, just kept trying. Finally found something that really worked and still doing it, 12+ years later. I will say - I learned way more from the failures than the successes, and they massively shaped my current success. Good luck! :)
46
rrpadhy 1 day ago 0 replies      
After 4 years of working to build a big VC fundable startups (3 different products), I was pretty burnt out. I am continuing the last product, but now my focus is on building lifestyle startups which brings about $1m revenue every year.

Joined a job on the side, which would help pay my bills and help my family settle down. In the meanwhile, I would be chipping along to build my small revenue generating startup.

47
adamzerner 22 hours ago 0 replies      
My startup that failed aimed to provide more detailed student reviews of colleges. People wouldn't answer questions, and I couldn't get traction.

It failed the summer after college (after starting it a year before). Now I'm at a coding bootcamp. I'll work for a year or two, and then give it another go.

48
arjunrajkumar 1 day ago 0 replies      
8 months since I stopped working on the failed startup. Learnt how to code in Ruby on Rails by building small side projects in the evenings/weekends & also worked full time in the last 8 months. Going to start working on something again from this week. Life has brought me back to where I was before - but with a few lessons learnt, better skills & more humility than last time.
49
32faction 1 day ago 0 replies      
Adding onto this: for those who have failed and started again, did the failure affect your fundraising campaign once you did get traction on a startup?
50
Ixiaus 1 day ago 0 replies      
I built another one that I left (it's still going) and am now the director of software at a startup that went through the same Techstars class mine did.
51
ivankirigin 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I went to work for Facebook then Dropbox, and now I'm on my second startup. We just pivoted, so it sort of feels like the third.

I've worked at a few different kinds of companies, and there are good and bad aspects of each kind of company, each stage of development.

52
Yadi 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Moved to United States and abandoned all the horror stories I faced in my country after what my startup brought me to!You never know, even the failure of your dream company might be the reason you are a live or maybe your life is begging for a new beginning and failure lead to it.
53
tluyben2 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Did many startups in my life and some failed; just went on to the next one. I promised myself (when I was 13; almost 30 years ago) never to need 'a job' and I never will do. If you have the same wish then just don't give up after failure.
54
jobposter1234 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I got lucky and found an excellent job at a local company. No connections, no hope, other than a good fit.

There is hope. I only know because I feared the future, and came up feeling better than I'd imagined, once I had some support.

55
n_coats 1 day ago 0 replies      
For those whose startups failed and ended up working as an engineer at another company, what would you say is the main difference between the company you work at now and your failed startup? Basically, what lacked in your startup that ultimately led to it's failure?
56
kowdermeister 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I read "consulting" a lot in your comments, but what does that actually mean?
57
ismail 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Went back into consulting, to build up my capital reserves again. Having learnt some hard lessons and burnt through my savings.
58
jdg 1 day ago 0 replies      
To the couch for 2 months.

And then back to another startup. ;)

59
aosmith 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've failed myself a few times. It normally consists of a month of bouncing around doing passion projects / thinking before returning to work.
60
unclebucknasty 1 day ago 0 replies      
Another startup. And another, until it worked.

Here's a question that is less frequently asked: to founders whose startups met with moderate success wherein it turned into a lifestyle business that could be sustained indefinitely, but never appeared to be reaching the life-changing initial vision, what did you do?

We focus a lot on success and failure as binary concepts, but I think there are a ton of businesses that meet with some success, but fall well short of the initial goal.

61
makuchaku 20 hours ago 0 replies      
3 co founders, now working for our investors in their tech firms.
62
contingencies 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't see my main startup as having failed, instead I decided not to keep it going. It was very close to profitability in a huge market (China) with enormous growth potential. The problem was I needed to run around doing non-fun business stuff (raising capital) and double-down for another few years to see it through. If I had, I'd be rich now. But I chose not to, and have no regrets. So where did life take me? In short: better places - more money, less stress, family, leisure, travel. Find what you want out of life (hint: loads of money is rarely it) ... work smarter not longer.
63
elwell 1 day ago 0 replies      
Contract work and actually having money
64
fleitz 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Left me with a far better understanding of business, a lifetime of stories, some great friends, and a better engineering job.

Finishing a prototype this month and going to try it again, this time with a long time friend on the business side, and a developer who knows more than me on the tech side. As a leader you never want to be the smartest guy in the room.

Biggest take away was that leadership is far more about inspiring people than giving orders, you have to inspire people personally, and then inspire them on the shared vision.

65
pulkitpulkit 21 hours ago 0 replies      
what about non-technical founders?
66
notastartup 1 day ago 0 replies      
Curious, how do you define failure?
3
Ask HN: Is using ASP.NET MVC, C# with Azure a bad idea for startup?
9 points by mehack  7 hours ago   8 comments top 6
1
panjaro 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Not at all..... 'start-up' ... you start quickly and go up.... so whatever takes you up is fine...don't overthink and don't try to be perfect. And don't get emotional on the choice of language or platform. One company I worked for uses asmx web services, their coding is like late 90s, Database schema sucks and they even use aspx pages with query parameters to give to clients. BUT guess what? They are earning so much and have big clients. Now they have good money, they are rebuilding the code, database better..... so don't focus more in technology, it's all about selling your idea
2
ghuntley 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Go with what you know - get out there and test/validate the concept instead of learning another technology.

FYI go check out BizSpark which is a pretty amazing program - 60k/yr of hosting credits and whilst you continue to host on Azure there are no licensing costs. Architect your software stack properly using repositories/interfaces and develop against these if you are worried about lock-in to Azure - done correctly it will allow you to adopt a hybrid approach of mix and match of offerings between vendors.

Some basic considerations:

a) Ability to find quality .NET talent in your local area? (It's not hard to stand out and attract quality developers in .NET simply by adopting a strong open-source usage/contribution policy. Using languages such as F# behind the scenes will make you stick out even more.)

b) .NET makes hiring simpler - you'll obtain the opportunity to use and reuse the same language/code on the server-side as on the client side. Using Xamarin means you don't need to hire a Android mobile guy to do the app, then hire a iOS guy to redo the same project in another language. You get product/feature release parity for essentially free.

c) Are you in this for the long haul or are you aiming for exit? If exit consider the technology stack of potential acquirers.

3
jawngee 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I think it's most important to prove the idea, even if you do that with a stack you later throw away for another.

I doubt that the .NET stack is the "best" for anything. But that's something to consider later down the road once you've proven your idea is good enough to warrant more sweat investment.

4
marpstar 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The startup I've been helping out is using the Microsoft stack. Why? The exact reason you stated...when you already know everything there is to know about the .NET world, learning something else is time being spent that could've been used to get to market sooner. They've got 30 years combined experience in .NET, why would they use anything else?

They're using NancyFX for their application server. MVC 5 for the consumer-facing website. Mobile app is written in C# using Xamarin.

We're in a smaller city, where everyone seems to use .NET, so finding people OUTSIDE the .NET world is actually a bigger problem where I'm at. Silicon Valley is certainly the exact opposite.

5
fraXis 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Put an e-mail address in your HN profile so I can contact you. How can someone join you on your adventure if we can't contact you?
6
saluki 5 hours ago 0 replies      
If you know the Micro$oft stack and you can develop in it efficiently . . . definitely build your MVP with it.
4
Ask HN: Founders whose startups failed, what happens to VC/angel relationships?
56 points by BIackSwan  11 hours ago   12 comments top 5
1
javiramos 9 hours ago 2 replies      
The truth is, when you fail, your investors tend to have a bad taste in their mouths. Nobody likes to lose money. Nobody likes to be wrong. Nobody likes to sit in that space that isnt so happyand unfortunately for a founder, his person at the point of failure is an embodiment of many things that nobody likes. Now sure, an investor doesnt dislike the founder himself. If the founder does right and doesnt succeed, there is no black ball, or malevolent desires on behalf of an investorbut Id be lying if I said there isnt a slight tinge on that relationshipand unfortunately, in this world, a slight tinge is all the friction necessary to turn momentum into something less. Note: this tinge is not permanent, and it is not insurmountablebut coming off a failureyou are only as good as your next actand weather we say it openly or not, clawing your way to the next act, you are starting not at neutral or positive, but with a headwind.

Ill give the example of my own experience as a founder. My first company, I raised about $600K. I operated for a year, failed, and returned about 50% of the capital I raised. I felt terrible. Everyone said I did the right thing returning the capital, that I was a standup guy for doing it, but still I lost them money. Nobody turned their back on me, once the company wound downbut they just werent leaning into investing more time and energy on me. When I went to raise money for my second company, Hyperpublic, weather I asked them or not, not a single investor in my first company invested in my second. Just gives you a sense of the increased friction you face, coming off a failure. Sure I was able to raise money from new investors, but I had to answer the question is so and so from your last company investing? and so on. New investors call old investors and say What do you think of Jordan? Of course, again, investors who lose $ with you dont blackball you, so they say stand up guy, did the right thing, etc but still their signal of not reaching out to put $ into the next thing becomes something a founder has to overcome.

http://jordancooper.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/what-really-hap...

2
nmjohn 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you're going to get a range of answers simply due to the diversity of people and their personalities.

If you crash and burn miserably due to factors that you realistically could and should have known about and been able to control, your VC's probably won't be open to any new ideas from you - keeping in touch and a personal relationship would depend on the people in question and how much they like you as a person.

If you gave it your best and failed for reasons outside your control, or because of things realistically the VC couldn't expect you to predict, it's more likely they would be open to future endeavors.

At the same time though, you are going to have some VC's that if you fail, that's it, end of relationship - many probably have more tact than just deleting your phone number and ignoring you, but in their minds you will become a much lower priority.

Conversely, I've seen some people who just have a great personality that form a legitimate friendship with a VC that no matter how bad that person failed (this instance was quite bad) the VC still loved this person.

tl;dr: People have very different personalities - it's all dependent on the nature of the specific relationships in question.

3
anon20141109 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I forgot who wrote about this publicly, but I remember reading that an investor whose money you've lost in the past is far more likely to fund you in the future than one you've never met. I thought that was kind of funny, and having succeeded once and failed twice, I can now say that it's true.

Also, as an entrepreneur when doing diligence on whether to accept an investment, I always lookup some of their failed investments and contact the founder. I want to know how the investor behaved when things were going poorly. It's a much better indicator of whether you want to work with them then the padded references they give you (especially when it's to companies that badly want the investor to follow-on in their next round).

Posted anonymously as losing someone's money is still something I prefer to not be associated with.

4
zeeshanm 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Ron Conway had invested in this startup Ev Williams was doing before Twitter that did not work out. Ev Williams returned money to Ron Conway, and I believe the story goes Ron said he would invest in whatever startup Williams starts next. That happened to be Twitter in which Ron Conway invested.

I guess the moral of this story is to do the right thing. This may sound cliche', but sometimes doing the right thing may be the most courageous thing to do.

5
evansibok 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Thais is a very good question. As much as you need their cash, you also need their connections and friendship. I would love to see the answers for this question.
5
Ask HN: Can I Help You With Your Job Hunt?
4 points by helen842000  3 hours ago   discuss
6
Do you take time to develop schema/ requirement before programming?
3 points by panjaro  4 hours ago   5 comments top 2
1
rahimnathwani 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
Are you using an ORM? If you're writing a web app (at least in Rails, Django or Flask) you can start once you have a rough idea about your objects and properties (~= schema) and then use database migrations (e.g. with alembic) as you make changes.

If you don't care about your test data, just have your ORM create a fresh set of empty tables for you, each time you change the schema.

2
fallat 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Yes, I do. Even if it's not final, at least you have an idea of the direction you're taking. You'll find out quickly if it's the right direction or not. That's the fun about development!
7
Ask HN: Lawyers who left to 'hack', what has your career trajectory been like?
5 points by burritofanatic  10 hours ago   1 comment top
1
macmac 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a very interesting question. The only person I know of who has done this is David Pollak of Scala Lift fame http://blog.goodstuff.im/about
8
Ask HN: Meaningful discussions, how?
3 points by KajMagnus  7 hours ago   8 comments top 2
1
striking 7 hours ago 1 reply      
In my opinion, it really depends on the subject matter at hand. StackOverflow only works because it removes discussion and forces people to write questions with single, factual answers. [1]

What subject matter do you wish to approach?

[1]: http://blog.codinghorror.com/civilized-discourse-constructio... Find "At Stack Exchange,")

2
KajMagnus 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I think in the future there will be advanced text analysis libraries that summarize discussion forum threads and quotes the most useful and interesting information therein. So, instead of having to read a sub-thread with 30 comments, you will be presented with a text block that summarizes the thread including the most useful information therein. And it'll also be clarified for you if the thread is about something everyone agrees about, or if it's something controversial. And the most useful links to other Web pages will be provided to you.

This would make it possible to quickly get something interesting out of a 1000+ comments long discussions here at H.N.

9
Why is distributing a react component so hard?
3 points by jarsbe  8 hours ago   4 comments top
1
Ronsenshi 8 hours ago 1 reply      
From my little search, it seems like all you need to do is include your component to the project folder and then "require()" it. Seems straightforward enough - same as with any other node modules.

You can also upload your component to the npm, so that other could use it. By adding "react-component" keyowrd to the description on npm, your component should be available at http://react-components.com/.

If you want to use in on the frontend right away, then maybe write it in AMD format, so that you could load it via require.js?

10
Ask HN: Paired programming interview, what should I know?
2 points by csdrane  10 hours ago   1 comment top
1
johnatwork 9 hours ago 0 replies      
You could try to get used to it with something like http://www.airpair.com/ or pairing with someone you know.

The main thing is, don't get too obsessed with making it work. Most of the time they just want to know how you work, and if they could get along with you. When they talk, listen, and think ahead to the bigger picture of what you are building before replying, and implementing.

Try to relax, reflect his thoughts with your own observation/planning, and you will do fine.

11
Ask HN: What small webapps do you know that have a large audience?
270 points by thinkpozzitive  7 days ago   discuss
2
coderholic 7 days ago 0 replies      
http://ipinfo.io API gets ~300M requests per month
3
tamedo 7 days ago 1 reply      
4
thejosh 7 days ago 1 reply      
http://www.pogdesign.co.uk/cat is a TV calendar I have been using for like 7 years, damn thing is great.

Not sure of their exact traffic but it's pretty popular.

5
folz 7 days ago 1 reply      
http://strawpoll.me/ - create simple straw polls that anyone can answer at a unique link. Every game streamer I watch uses it daily. Dead simple to use and a memorable name.
6
pgbovine 7 days ago 3 replies      
http://pythontutor.com/ my webapp) very small footprint ... just a single simple CGI script. but pulls in 6,000 - 10,000 uses per day. not "large" by commercial standards, but not bad for a free tool made by a single person.
7
dhaivatpandya 7 days ago 3 replies      
http://sleepyti.me - simple concept, simple implementation, lots of users.
8
bsilvereagle 7 days ago 0 replies      
http://mathb.in

Math pastebin with LaTeX/HTML/Markdown mashup.

10
stevephillips 7 days ago 1 reply      
http://www.workflowy.com is very popular and one of my favorite apps
11
timtas 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/dencoder/ - URL encoder/decoder

http://jsonformatter.curiousconcept.com/ - JSON formatter

http://www.colorzilla.com/gradient-editor/ - Gradient generator

http://mp3cut.net/ - MP3 cutter

http://ipinfo.io/ - Geo from IP as JSON

http://www.usdebtclock.org/ - US Debt clock

http://ifttt.com - General purpose web robot

12
icco 7 days ago 3 replies      
13
vld 7 days ago 1 reply      
http://ip-api.com/ ~400m requests/month
14
avirambm 7 days ago 2 replies      
15
lifethinkist 7 days ago 0 replies      
Productivity web apps that I have used:

- Carbon Fin Outliner (Outliner) - https://cfoutliner.appspot.com/

- Writebox (Dropbox Text Editor) - https://write-box.appspot.com/

- Toodledo (Tasks, Notes, etc) - http://www.toodledo.com/

- Textdrop App (Dropbox Text Editor)- https://www.textdropapp.com

16
gableroux 6 days ago 0 replies      
http://sebastianpontow.de/css2compass/

Nice tool to convert css into scss, a bit like http://js2coffee.org (which has probably even more audience)

Would be nice to see css2compass as a node module like js2coffee does, we should tweet the author about this.

Very usefull tool. I dont know the analytics for those, but I use them almost everyday ;)

17
tlongren 7 days ago 0 replies      
Launched https://passwds.io a few days ago and it's gotten 500 uniques every day since it's launch. By no means large, but growing every day. :)

And just made a new blog post about plans for passwds.io, like opening up the source: https://longren.io/introducing-passwds-io/

18
gabemart 7 days ago 1 reply      
What counts as a large audience?

100k monthly uniques? 1 million? 10 million?

19
palcu 7 days ago 1 reply      
http://idonethis.com/ is a simple idea that lots of people use.
20
tjazo 7 days ago 1 reply      
http://naymit.com/

In many regions of the world, navigation devices only locate a fraction of buildings by their street address.Naymit lets you mark, share and find exact locations.

21
gauravgupta 2 days ago 0 replies      
https://clippod.com - Great social plugin for Google Calendar.
22
ninjakeyboard 7 days ago 0 replies      
not huge but jsonprettyprint.com gets 20k hits a month. http://www.similarweb.com/website/jsonprettyprint.com
23
instakill 7 days ago 1 reply      
I'd imagine jsfiddle.
24
nhoven 7 days ago 1 reply      
http://imgur.com/ comes to mind, though its scope has obviously seen a vast increase from when it first appeared
25
clone1018 7 days ago 0 replies      
https://minotar.net does about 4 billion requests every month. About 15 million unique "visitors".
26
RealGeek 7 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.ranksignals.com

Used by over 50,000 internet marketers every month.

27
paulirish 7 days ago 0 replies      
Etherpad : real-time collaborative text editor. Readable URLs so great for instantly getting people together on a doc. http://etherpad.org/ is the project site but a commonly used hosted one is at https://etherpad.mozilla.org/
28
sergiotapia 7 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.smitecamp.com/

A really simple Rails CRUD app where 90% of the time was spent inputting data and making it look nice. We average about 500 daily uniques and pay for it purely by advertising revenue (lol - "revenue"). It pays for itself and is a nice resume-booster.

29
cageface 7 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting to consider that the vast majority of these apps could be implemented as well or better as mobile apps. I'm on record as being a skeptic of the "mobile is eating the world" meme but I do expect a lot of these kinds of smaller, more specialized apps will migrate to the computers we carry with us everywhere.
30
eugene_pirogov 2 days ago 0 replies      
32
sgrove 7 days ago 0 replies      
http://jsonip.com/ has quite a bit of traffic
34
mikesabat 7 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.boomeranggmail.com/ I feel like half the people I talk to at work use Boomerang for gmail. They seem small because I don't see a footprint online or much marketing from them.
35
agilebyte 7 days ago 1 reply      
http://scrumy.com/ - scrum board
36
Rondom 6 days ago 0 replies      
Umap: https://umap.openstreetmap.fr/

Easily create custom maps showing distances, areas, points/pins, heatmaps...

37
jonobird1 7 days ago 0 replies      
https://targeted.io - Email testing, made by two developers. 200% growth per month. Not large in commercial standards but still large amount of users for a two man team.
38
sjs382 6 days ago 0 replies      
http://aboutbrowser.com -- share browser details via a link or email. Enables better troubleshooting than "What browser are you using?"
39
40
moveelo 7 days ago 0 replies      
DoCapture got 20,000 uniques the first two days. Not much but still hitting a few hundred daily http://skakunmedia.com/docapture/
41
hu_me 7 days ago 2 replies      
http://utm.io

url shortener with builtin support for google analytics link tagging utm parameters. time saver for marketers creating tracking links for google analytics.

42
galfarragem 6 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.tubalr.com/

Probably not a large audience but very useful: one mouse click and you are listening music.

43
nicky0 7 days ago 0 replies      
44
haidrali 3 days ago 0 replies      
45
46
JeanPol 6 days ago 0 replies      
http://socialairways.com/ Is a nice application that connects people who are on the same flight.
47
chintan39 7 days ago 0 replies      
48
akos 7 days ago 0 replies      
SunCalc is a little app that shows sun movement and sunlight phases during the given day at the given location.

http://suncalc.net/

49
humbyvaldes 7 days ago 0 replies      
50
mattlondon 7 days ago 0 replies      
http://standardjavascript.info

Great when I just cant remember the syntax for non-jQuery things in pure javascript!

51
philjackson 7 days ago 1 reply      
52
reledi 7 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.gistboxapp.com - lets you add metadata to your GitHub gists (e.g. labels) and the search is much better
53
codes_for_food 7 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.sharedcount.com/

According to their Twitter, their API serves more than 1 billion requests per month.

54
zerr 7 days ago 2 replies      
Interesting, how do you explore these apps? Personally, I've never heard about any of apps mentioned so far.

EDIT:

>You mean how do people find out about these apps?

Yes.

55
archagon 7 days ago 0 replies      
http://feedbin.me

As with Pinboard, it became popular in the vacuum following the implosion of a large, centralized service.

56
gorkemcetin 7 days ago 0 replies      
Open source mobile analytics & push notifications - http://count.ly - more than 2000+ servers running worldwide
57
no_gravity 7 days ago 1 reply      
Would be interesting if we could share some actual numbers.

http://www.music-map.com has about 100k monthly users.

58
wenderen 7 days ago 0 replies      
http://universalscrobbler.invitationstation.org, a manual scrobbler for last.fm
59
jipumarino 7 days ago 0 replies      
http://escaladenotas.cl

300K users per month, 600K in June and November, mainly Chilean teachers.

61
Vekz 7 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.checkiday.com/ shows you what obscure holidays are happening every day.
62
cplease 7 days ago 0 replies      
Craigslist.
63
drewvolpe 7 days ago 0 replies      
http://doodle.com/ - Very simple way to pick a time for a meeting
64
vvpan 7 days ago 0 replies      
Not sure if it's small enough:https://www.toggl.com/
65
tonetheman 7 days ago 0 replies      
http://fridaysuntil.com

Not really a large audience. :)

66
67
chadscira 7 days ago 0 replies      
http://img42.com (temporary image hosting
69
70
73
74
75
fowkswe 7 days ago 2 replies      
I'd love to know what kind of numbers http://bigassmessage.com/ sees.
77
edpichler 7 days ago 1 reply      
What can we consider a large audience? One million users?
78
agbonghama 5 days ago 0 replies      
Cool list of small webapps.page bookmarked.
80
ep103 7 days ago 0 replies      
newguid.com
81
talles 6 days ago 0 replies      
dinopass.com
82
bobosha 7 days ago 0 replies      
doodle.io
83
thilokonzok 7 days ago 0 replies      
teuxdeux
84
sagarjauhari 7 days ago 0 replies      
Any.do
85
jarnix 7 days ago 0 replies      
twitter
86
redmattred 7 days ago 0 replies      
Yo
87
twixter 7 days ago 1 reply      
The only example I can think of is HN.

It's probably the only example I can conceive of existing, too, since it's in a pretty unique position of being cheap to serve and indefinitely funded (hence not under pressure to grow, monetize, or advertise to cover costs).

12
Why are code tutorials so terrible
5 points by highiquser  12 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1
wturner 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I was thinking about how it would be kind of nice if their was an official equivalent of a W3C guideline list for teaching programming. Simple things like "start with a working script that your student can experiment with which includes no unnecessary code. Then work backwards to explain how the code works."
2
Randgalt 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Tech writing is a specialty. It's a different skill set than coding. Unfortunately, it's the devs who write the docs these days and they're not usually good at it.
3
jhwhite 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I think it depends on the tutorial. Michael Hart's Ruby on Rails tutorial is pretty awesome.
13
Ask HN: Tutorial teaching a team new to testing and CI how to get started?
12 points by jacquesm  2 days ago   7 comments top 3
1
jamesbrewer 2 days ago 3 replies      
This isn't what you've asked for, but I'd like to offer some unsolicited advice, if I may.

When you are selling high-priced products to consumers you have to sell an idea first and your product second. Let me offer an example.

I used to sell beds. Selling expensive beds to your every day person is really hard, because they are so expensive. Who is going to spend $7,500 for a luxury Tempur Pedic when they could get cheap mattresses from Big Co for $300? Eventually, I gave up trying to sell beds. It was just a waste of time because nobody every bought them.

Then something interesting happened: somebody gave me the advice I gave you.

You see, when you are selling something expensive, you can't just push the product. You have to sell your customer on the experience.

How did I apply this to mattress sales? It was easy!

Did you realize that you spend approximately 33 percent of your life sleeping? Sleeping is your body's way of regenerating itself. It's the biological equivalent of turning off your laptop when it starts to overheat. It gives your muscles and tissue time to rebuild themselves. It gives your brain time to digest everything you've learned that day.

A good set of mattresses will last you 20 years. With that said, very few people go so long without replacing their bed. In reality, a bed will last about 10 years; less if the customer has a lot of money or moves frequently. But let's assume a 10 year lifespan for your new $7,500 bed.

Over ten years, that bed will cost you $2.05/day.

Now is $7,500 a lot up-front? Absolutely. But like anything else of high quality, this bed is an investment. And what an investment it is. I will bet you that a luxury Tempur Pedic will give you a better ROI than most stock traders who have been in the biz for 20 years get.

How?

Simple. Better sleep = better productivity. If you got a great night sleep every single night, do you think you could turn that extra productivity into $10 dollars each day? I know I could! If I were productive for one extra hour each day, I would make an extra $100 a day.

Assuming you make an extra $10 a day from your new found productivity, this bed will pay for itself five times over throughout its lifespan.

And so on and so on.

You see, I'm no longer selling a bed. What I'm selling is a complete experience, an investment and a new way of life. $7,500 doesn't seem so bad when it makes your life better for the next 10 years now does it?

What's the point of my rambling?

You need to avoid selling your coworkers on testing. Very few people like testing and the only sure-fire way to make somebody do something is to make them WANT to do it.

Instead, try selling them on how their lives will improve if they increase the quality of their software. Show them how they will benefit from shorter release cycles, fewer bugs, higher quality code, etc. Show your coworkers the benefit of taking the time to correctly architect a solution before they start implementing it. How does taking the time to learn and correctly use the tools at their disposal benefit THEM?

Will this be difficult? Absolutely. People don't want to change. Your job is to make them WANT to be better. There is simply no other way to accomplish your goal with any lasting impact. Sell your team on the complete experience, the investment and the new way of life.

Hope my two cents helps. :)

2
zachrose 1 day ago 0 replies      
I work mainly with front-end JavaScript developers, who generally speaking got into programming through HTML and CSS and see testing as something someone else does after they've built the thing. (Which also perfectly describes me up until a year ago.)

I don't have a reference for start-to-finish automated testing, but I like the way in which Justin Searles explains the difficulty of such a thing here: http://blog.testdouble.com/posts/2014-01-25-the-failures-of-...

I gave a brief presentation about testing a few months ago and felt like it didn't really connect. I think it's genuinely hard to break the preconceptions about testing, and also there's a fair amount of incidental framework and library minutia that can be hard to isolate from the big picture ideas.

Subjective experience is a huge factor. Trying to rationally explain the advantages or conceptual underpinnings of testing doesn't always work. (In hindsight it didn't work for me either.) It really takes sitting down next to somebody and walking them through a process. I've had success in showing a test I wrote from some unit that I wanted to exist, deleting the implementation, walking them through a re-implementation, and then passing them the keyboard to implement another deleted implementation.

Make sure that the developers actually experience a cycle of red-green-refactor.

3
clueless123 2 days ago 1 reply      
I do exactly that as a job, I teach modern development techniques to established software shops. The way I present it, is to teach good development habits by using good development tools.

1. Before anything start with version control and how to use it effectively. With out this step you got nothing.

2. Collaboration. Choose a project management tool (Jira or the like) and show them how to use it effectively. Show them how developers use it to keep PHB & managers honest.

3. Continuous Integration. Choose a CI of your choice, set it up, get it working for them, get them addicted to the time/work savings. (I use Jenkins, but now there are better ones)

4. Testing. Teach them why testing is good, help them implementing the testing framework (On the CI) and help institute it as a 1st level part of the development process.

My style, is to never give them "more work", but to show them how each step saves them work and time.

Regards

14
Ask HN: Which are the best sources to learn Swift?
4 points by pmcpinto  5 days ago   2 comments top 2
1
mazmanr 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I used this:

https://www.udemy.com/complete-ios-developer-course/

Some of the lessons have become irrelevant as Swift has been updated but the author does a good job of redoing the videos. I just submitted my first app to the App Store and most of my learnings were from this course.

2
codecondo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm pretty sure that we won't be seeing a lot of in-depth tutorials on Swift for the rest of the year, so until then you can try and rely on these resources:

http://codecondo.com/communities-for-swift-developers/

http://codecondo.com/learn-swift-programming-for-ios-app-dev...

http://codecondo.com/the-complete-ios8-and-swift-course/

I hope it helps.

15
Ask HN: Maybe found huge security problem, unsure what to do
80 points by sah88  1 day ago   45 comments top 17
1
rwallace 1 day ago 4 replies      
With all due respect, most of the replies here are missing the most important point.

Does the company have a bug bounty policy?

No?

Then keep your mouth shut and get on with your life.

A significant percentage of people in power will react to unsolicited warnings of security vulnerabilities by attacking you as though you were their enemy. Worse, the law is at least not clearly on your side. This is not theoretical: people have come to significant harm in this way. Being a hero is great. Being a martyr? Not so much. You don't want next week's top HN story to be an appeal for donations to the legal defense fund of sah88.

2
jcr 1 day ago 1 reply      
When it comes to vulnerability reporting and/or disclosure, there aretwo schools of thought; "responsible disclosure" and "full disclosure".Unfortunately, what "full disclosure" and "responsible disclosure"actually mean can vary a whole lot. For example, some define "fulldisclosure" as immediately publishing/disclosing the vulnerabilityand/or with working exploit code, but more level-headed folks define"full disclosure" as trying to contact the vendor and giving them atleast 5 days to respond before publicly disclosing any information [1].

The safe and sane approach is to contact CERT [3,4] through theirvulnerability reporting page [5] and let them contact the vendor. Ifyou're curious, the CERT disclosure policy is good reading [6].

[1] http://www.wiretrip.net/p/libwhisker.html

[2] http://www.cert.org/vulnerability-analysis/vul-disclosure.cf...

[3] https://www.us-cert.gov

[4] https://www.cert.org

[5] http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/html/report-a-vulnerability/

[6] https://www.cert.org/vulnerability-analysis/vul-disclosure.c...

3
xpto123 1 day ago 0 replies      
Look in linkedin for people working in security for that company, and invite them to connect. In the connection message state directly the problem.

Do this with technical people, but also with it managers from the company and its worth sending it to the CEO.

Explain what are the risks (is it persistent xss visible by other users in a forum etc)

These things are only important until some manager says they are important, so try to explain the business and public image risk of the exploit to a high level manager via linkedin in non technical terms, ideally with a demo. If they forward the email to the it department i bet that then they would act.

Last case if responsible disclosure doesnt work after 3 /6 months: public disclosure via some news site. All of the sudden it gets fixed in two days, they end users end up being better off in the long term.

Unpatched exploits that stay there for years are the bread and butter of hackers, and the short term risk introduced by the public disclosure is compensated by the fact the users get protected in the end.

4
lucb1e 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd anonymously email and tell them they had 7 days to acknowledge having received your message. After that they get a month or maybe two to fix it. Then public disclosure. All anonymous over Tor, because you can always attach your name later but you cannot remove it if you already gave it.

Or if they don't respond at all, immediate public disclosure. If that's how they want to play the game, then let's play.

Be wary if they ask for your name straight away because companies have been known to sue.

5
seanieb 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's some great advice here. I'd like to add to it from the prospective of the people at the large internet service receiving the disclosure.

Every day they possibly get hundreds of emails to their security@ email address. The vast majority of it breaks down into categories of spam and support requests. Then when you have removed that you are left with a pile of "security disclosures", the vast majority of which are a very poor standard, or generated by some sort of scanner software that's returning garbage results.

After this gets filtered the remainder are legitimate issues that need to be investigated. Bear in mind you might not get one of these for weeks and weeks, but you still have to filter the other hundreds of emails.

For all but the largest internet companies (think apple and google), they can't afford to tend to this filtering process 24/7. So this happens Mon-Fri during business hours, and if it's a legitimate report it will make its way to a security engineer.

So, what am I getting at? You've taken the right steps to report this. What you have described sounds like a vulnerability, who knows how long its been there. Given that and the nature of the vulnerability, the likelihood of this been exploited over the coming days sounds low. So we don't have to go to DEFCON 5 just yet. Don't expect companies to react to these reports within hours or over the weekend, theres just too much noise to make this sort of thing feasible. Please give the company a chance to do their thing, this could take a business day or two, just to get acknowledged. And another couple of days to patch (depending on the technical difficulty).

By the way, this is pretty much outlines the value proposition of the Hacker One service[1] and why companies should use them. As bug bounties become more popular, the long tail of garbage security reports will increase and so will the overhead cost to run one of these programs effectively (quick response times, qualified engineers triaging the inbound queue, etc.).

[1] https://hackerone.com/

6
tlb 1 day ago 0 replies      
BTW, the Hacker News team is super-duper grateful to people who report security bugs. Report directly to hn@ycombinator.com.
7
jmount 1 day ago 0 replies      
Security bugs are just bugs. Use your own judgement on reporting. And do not make the mistake of violating the law in attempting to test on remote systems (that you may have limited access rights to).

"So I personally consider security bugs to be just "normal bugs". I don't cover them up, but I also don't have any reason what-so-ever to think it's a good idea to track them and announce them as something special."

Linus Torvalds Tue, 15 Jul 2008

8
tzs 1 day ago 1 reply      
You reported it through their security bug reporting form, twice. That's sufficient for now. There are two reasons they may not have acknowledged it.

1. You haven't given them enough time to acknowledge it.

2. They are not acknowledging it to limit their liability. Suppose a black hat subsequently finds it and uses it to cause harm, and a victim sues. The acknowledgement to you could be used as proof that they knew about the bug before it was exploited.

You've done all you should do for now. You should now wait long enough for them to fix it. Take into account that there may be complications you are unaware of due to how their backend works, or due to how their development and testing is done, or how their bureaucracy works, so be generous.

Then check to see if the problem is still there. If it is, then go public anonymously, with just the technical details. Leave out the history of attempting to contact them (it could compromise your anonymity).

9
custardcream 1 day ago 0 replies      
Always conduct business like this anonymously. Public WiFi, separate browser, pastebin, free email provider, public forum.

Give them 28 days, then pastebin it and stick on reddit.

But now you can't do a thing because they know who you are and will sue you so forget about it and stop using their products.

10
bradb3030 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't know if the timing applies here, but if you starting notification on Friday night...be patient and wait for a business day.
11
erikb 1 day ago 1 reply      
At every IT company I ever worked or friends of me worked there were huge security holes. The common thinking of management is, though, that it's under control. Exposing these holes publicly results in getting fired or maybe even getting sued (because usually job contracts prohibit you from doing something that "harms" the company or its image). I don't think there is much that can be done about it. I certainly wouldn't risk my job, decrease the chance to get a job from other companies and knowing that for all that I could only free the world from one security bug, when million new ones are created daily.
12
batram 1 day ago 0 replies      
In cases like this I adopted a best effort policy, look for contact information on the site and via google ("company-name security"). If I find a (simple and quick) way to contact the company I send them a simple report. If there is no way or no easy way to contact them, I am done and they get nothing.

You stated that you send them two messages via a form dedicated to reporting securities vulnerabilitiesand even tried to call them. I think you have done more than enough and can relax and wait.(Don't bombard them with too many emails.)

Some in these comments say that you might get sued. As long as you don't publish or threaten to publish the vulnerability, I don't see that happening (but than again IANAL).

It is always exciting when you find (your first) vulnerabilities on "high value" targets,but in the end of the day a laymen might not realize that most of the websites even in the Top 100 on Alexa have some security problems.

If you personally use the site and fear for your security, you may want to try a bit harder. For example I have tried multiple times to let my bank know about a vulnerability, but never got a satisfactory answer.

13
borski 1 day ago 1 reply      
Everyone here seems to be saying "oh god, don't do it, CFAA!"

Respectfully, this sort of fear is what holds the Internet back. You are incredibly unlikely to get sued unless: you are threatening to disclose publicly, you intentionally stole data from the site and are storing it now, you threaten to sell said stolen data to a journalist or anyone else, etc.

It costs companies, generally, a lot of money to sue someone. They aren't interested in doing it unless you seriously piss them off or actually cause their business/revenue harm.

If you are not weev, trolling them publicly and saying you'll sell their data, you can likely disclose and be fine. Just be nice about it.

By being nice, I have disclosed hundreds of vulnerabilities over the years, in this manner. Sometimes they even let me write a blog post about it afterward.

If you want, email me and we can discuss in more detail. Email is in my profile.

tl;dr: find someone to contact via LinkedIn or email (CISO or CTO usually works well), be incredibly nice and non-threatening about it, and you'll be fine.

14
elwell 1 day ago 0 replies      
Similar to this, I recently found out I could put an iframe in the Dreamhost admin panel if I put it as a TXT record for a domain. It screws up the page, but I'm not sure I can get to actually load the iframe; seems to do a half-job of sanitizing the input. I pulled up the online chat feature and told them about the problem; I don't know if they did anything yet.
15
stefan_kendall3 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just move along and don't use the website. The computer fraud and abuse act is not a joke.
16
zuck9 1 day ago 0 replies      
Once you get the bugs fixed, kill the curiosity and disclose the website name. They aren't running their program on BugCrowd or HackerOne, are they?
17
andrea_s 1 day ago 1 reply      
You should be posting with your main account, you know?
16
Ask HN: Founders whose startups failed, do you experience bias in interviews?
18 points by massung  22 hours ago   11 comments top 6
1
NateDad 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Hopefully most people are aware that only one in ten startups succeed. That and often times a "startup" is really "me and my buddy hacking on some stuff on the weekends". It's actually the latter that bugs me more... calling one's self a CEO when you never had any employees (other than your buddy, who worked for fun & free beer)... it feels like it cheapens the title. Sure, call yourself a founder, absolutely... but CEO is a bit different.
2
vicbrooker 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Steve Blank was recently in Melbourne and said that his opinion was that 'experienced' was a better adjective than 'failed' for founders who have stopped working on a startup. It's a nice perspective.

Personally I agree, but would add a single caveat. I consider a founder 'experienced' when they have made a good faith effort to attempt solving a difficult/worthwhile problem. Someone who succeeds at someone pedestrian isn't terribly interesting and neither is someone who tried to build the hyperloop with paper mache for a week.

So, my advice is to ignore the title and give weight to the particular characteristics of their startup. The presence or absence of success is far less relevant than what they were trying to achieve and how they executed. I would pick someone who got to 80% of a home run over anyone who succeeded at hitting to first base. Ask questions about how they executed, the unique problems they faced and why they picked their vertical - this will tell you more about them than a snap judgement based on whether they were a CEO or a President.

On a side note, I would generally consider managing to found a company that survives for 1-2 years (full time) while tackling a hard problem as a demonstration of above average/high capacity. I would definitely look into them.

Again, depends on the context of your workplace, and the context of what they actually worked on.

Hope this helps.

3
acjohnson55 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I've only held two jobs since my startup, and my first job directly led to my second job. I know for sure that my failed startup experience was considered an asset in that first job because the company was very entrepreneurial minded. It was a very natural fit.

Before I ran a failed startup, I was a grad student who never actually graduated (albeit, a very good one who opted to start a startup rather than write a thesis), and before that, I was a failing high school teacher teacher. So I have a bit of a history of not achieving unambiguous success.

Honestly, it really comes down to how you sell your experience. If the interview has behavioral questions, your running a startup should give you plenty of good fodder to pull from. Know the role you're applying for and be able to succinctly explain how your skills and experience will allow you to excel. Ideally, have some quantitative evidence of your capabilities. Don't be a know-it-all; come in with great questions and be a listener. And hopefully you can frame your startup, and especially its downfall, in a positive light.

One last thing, my personal opinion, based purely on my instincts, is that although I was technically President and CTO, I feel most natural identifying my former role as "Founder" (with responsibilities and accomplishments outlined), because we never quite reached a stage where we truly had executive responsibilities that would translate to an established company.

4
staunch 21 hours ago 1 reply      
These people should have the good sense use titles that are subsets of their full roles.

  s/CEO/Sr. Product Manager/g  s/CTO/Sr. Software Engineer/g

5
gwbas1c 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I was one of those 18-month CTOs. I just made sure to get past it very quickly in the phone screening and get to why I was looking for a job, the kind of role that I was best suited for, ect, ect.

IMO, the approach to take with such a candidate is to see if this is someone who needed to "sow wild oats," or someone who keeps making the same life mistakes over and over again.

I understand your bias that older candidates are the worst ones. They're the slow learners.

6
wojt_eu 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Comments so far focused on bias in judging capability based on past startup results. I'd really wish see the other angle explored: "Is someone who's used to being boss of the company going to handle taking orders?"

When reviewing resumes do you expect the founder to just want to recover for a year before founding another startup?

17
Kevin Poulsen's FOIA Federal Law Enforcement Documents about Aaron Swartz
8 points by schrondinger  21 hours ago   discuss
18
Ask HN: Meaning of 'CitizenFour'
2 points by jj-abram  15 hours ago   discuss
19
Ask HN: Why work hard on creating a product?
6 points by shubhamjain  1 day ago   4 comments top 4
1
GFischer 1 day ago 0 replies      
I know of a few people that are doing variations of what you say.

Many of them engage in illegal and unethical practices - most are elaborate schemes to steal money from advertisers, others steal intellectual property (whatever your stance on that is, it's still either illegal or inmoral).

And, as chipsy says, most of their practices are not sustainable - one guy I know made US$ 2000/month, not daily, and he got busted and is blacklisted by most everyone. Ad networks and others evolve and leave those shady practices behind - a few enterprising blackhats might prosper for a long time, but they probably are good enough to make good money ethically.

The acquaintance I know that does best doing this kind of get-rich-fast schemes is a black-hat marketeer that has and incredible knowledge of people's psychology, and manipulates them into buying crappy ebooks or products (often the hard-to-cancel credit card subscriptions). But even though he's making good money, I think he's very insecure and doesn't live a good life (my girlfriend's sister found his profile on a dating network, and he had to show off his Mercedes and bling, which is IMO a signal of insecurity). As I mentioned, he's good enough he probably would make good money as some kind of marketing consultant, but he decided to go the black-hat way.

I'd rather build a product that helps others, instead of guilt-tripping them into something they do not need.

The one software product I'm putting off building is something I find myself needing often and I know will help others, and while it will take a long time to monetize (if ever), I will feel good doing it. And if it does take off it would be amazing :)

2
chipsy 1 day ago 0 replies      
The reason why you often hear about these kinds of stories is because you are actually being advertised to. The business is in selling advice or tools, and not the actual thing being described. The success stories used to sell it to you can be entirely true, just not _indefinitely_ true. One moment it can be a boom, the next moment, a ghost town. So if you take on this type of business, it's best to think of it as a way to learn some things and hopefully make a good income for a few months or years, but only as a stepping stone to the next thing in your career; it's not an endpoint.

Products differentiate you. They make the business more "real" and sustainable. You get to develop actual relationships with customers. And they're a lot more scary to think about because you're doing more of the pioneering.

3
johnny99 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think those stories are apocryphal. But regardless, the reason to work hard creating products is because it's intrinsically satisfying to do good work and be productive.

Build something to amuse and delight, to help people be more productive, to solve a problem, or to hone your skills. Making things is wonderful. Stealing other people's content and profiteering is pathetic.

4
ASquare 1 day ago 0 replies      
You pointed to the answer in your question:It's about sustainability.

You work hard at it because you're genuinely trying to build something that will last vs the kind of crap you alluded to that will come and go as long as there is money to be made.

To say it more specifically, you're not busting your hump PRIMARILY for money.

If over 95% of startups fail then the odds are stacked against you before you even begin. On top of that, if money is your primary motivation the odds of you sustaining your interest in this startup are almost guaranteed to fizzle away.

20
points by    ago   discuss
1
bane 14 days ago 8 replies      
A bit of background, I've been working in environments next to, and sometimes with, large scale Semantic Graph projects for much of my career -- I usually try to avoid working near a semantic graph program due to my long histories of poor outcomes with them.

I've seen uncountably large chunks of money put into KM projects that go absolutely nowhere and I've come to understand and appreciate many of the foundational problems the field continues to suffer from. Despite a long period of time, progress in solving these fundamental problems seem hopelessly delayed.

The semantic web as originally proposed (Berners-Lee, Hendler, Lassila) is as dead as last year's roadkill, though there are plenty out there that pretend that's not the case. There's still plenty of groups trying to revive the original idea, or like most things in the KM field, they've simply changed the definition to encompass something else that looks like it might work instead.

The reasons are complex but it basically boils down to: going through all the effort of putting semantic markup with no guarantee of a payoff for yourself was a stupid idea.

You can find all kinds of sub-reasons why this was stupid: monetization, most people are poor semantic modelers, technologies built for semantic system generally suck and are horrible (there's pitifully few reasoners built on any kind of semantic data, turns out that's hard), etc.

For years the Semantic Web was like Nuclear fusion, always just a few years away. The promise was always "it will change everything", yet no concrete progress was being made, and the vagueness of "everything" turned out not to be a real compelling motivator for people to start adding semantic information to their web projects.

What's actually ended up happening instead has been the rebirth of AI. It's being called different things these days: machine learning, heuristic algorithms, whatever. But the point is, there's lots of amazing work going into things like image recognition, context sensitive tagging, text parsing, etc. that's finding the semantic content within the human readable parts of the web instead. It's why you can go to google images and look for "cats" and get pictures of cats.

Wikipedia and other sources has also started to look more structured than it previously was, with nice tables full of data, these tables have the side benefit of being machine AND human readable, so when you look for "cats" in google's search you get a sidebar full of semantic information on the entity "cats": scientific name, gestation period, daily sleep, lifespan, etc.

Like most things in the fad driven KM world, Semantic Web advocates are now simply calling this new stuff "The Semantic Web" because it's the only area that kind of smells like what they want and is showing progress, but it really has nothing to do with the original proposal and is simply a side-benefit of work done in completely different areas.

You might notice this died about the same time "Mashups" died. Mashups were kind of an outgrowth of the Semantic Web as well. One of the reasons that whole thing died was that existing business models simply couldn't be reworked to make it make sense. If I'm running an ad driven site about Cat Breeds, simply giving you all my information in an easy to parse machine readable form so your site on General Pet Breeds can exist and make money is not something I'm particularly inclined to do. You'll notice now that even some of the most permissive sites are rate limited through their API and almost all require some kind of API key authentication scheme to even get access to the data.

Building a semantic web where huge chunks require payment and dealing with rate limits (which appear like faults in large Semantic Networks) is a plan that will go nowhere. It's like having pieces of your memory sectioned off behind tolls.

Here's TBL on this in 2006 - http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/262614/1/Semantic_Web_Revisted.pd...

"This simple idea, however, remains largely unrealized."

There's a group of people I like to call "Semanticists" who've come to latch onto Semantic graph projects, not as a technology, but as a religion. They're kind of like the "6 minute ab" guy in "There's Something About Mary". They don't have much in the way of technical idea, but understand the intuitive value of semantic modeling, have probably latched onto a specification of some sort, and then belief caries them the rest of the way "it'll change everything".

But they usually have little experience taking semantic technologies to successful projects (success being defined as not booting up the machine and loading the graph into memory, but actually producing something more useful than some other approach).

There's then another group of Semanticists, they recognize the approaches that have been proposed have kind of dead-ended, but they won't publicly announce that. Then when some other approach not affiliated with the SW makes progress (language understanding AI for example) will simply declare this new approach as part of the SW and then claim the SW is making progress.

The truth is that Doctorow absolutely nails the problems in his essay "Metacrap" http://www.well.com/~doctorow/metacrap.htm

He wrote this in 2001, and the issues he talks about still haven't been addressed in any meaningful way by professionals working in the field, even new projects routinely fall for most or all of these problems. I've seen dozens of entire companies get formed, funded and die without addressing even a single one of these issues. This essay is a sobering measuring stick you can use to gauge progress in the field, and I've seen very few projects measure well against any of these issues.

Semanticists, of both types, are holding the entire field back. If you are working on a semantic graph project of any kind and your project doesn't even attempt to address any of these things through the design of the program (and not through some policy directive or modeling process) you've failed. It's really hard for me to believe that we're decades into Semantic Graph technologies and nobody's bothered to even understand 2.5 and 2.7.

If your plan to fix problems you're experiencing with your project, the reason it isn't producing useful results, is to "continue adding data to it" or "keep tweaking the semantic models" you've failed.

http://semanticweb.com/keep-on-keepin-on_b41339

"The Semantic Web is not here yet."

No, I've rethought this, the SW is not like Fusion, it's more like Communism.

2
irickt 14 days ago 5 replies      
The semantic web is now integrated into the web and for the most part it's invisible. Take a look at the timeline given in this post: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3983179

Some of those startups exited for hundreds of millions, providing, for example, the metadata in the right hand pane of Google search.

The new action buttons in Gmail, adopted by Github, are based on JSON-LD: https://github.com/blog/1891-view-issue-pull-request-buttons...

JSON-LD, which is a profound improvement on and compatible with the original RDF, is the only web metadata standard with a viable future. Read the reflections of Manu Sporny, who overwhelmed competing proposals and bad standards with sheer technical power: http://manu.sporny.org/2014/json-ld-origins-2/

There's really no debate any more. We use the the technology borne by the "Semantic Web" every day.

3
andybak 14 days ago 2 replies      
I'm still waiting for a comprehensive rebuttal to Cory Doctorow: http://www.well.com/~doctorow/metacrap.htm

Just to clarify - I don't think his arguments demolish all aspects of the case for 'the semantic web' (however ill-defined that term is) but if he's right then it severely circumscribes the kind of content that will ever have useful metadata.

At the same time, we are getting better at inferring context without needing metadata. There is so much more data coming from this source (i.e. the "sod metadata, let's guess" methodology) than from 'intentional' semantic sources.

So - semantic markup will never be of use unless the content is coming from a source where the metadata already exists. It will largely be useful to 'database' styles sites rather than 'content' style sites. Think directories and lists rather than blogs and articles.

(Question to front-end types. Are people still agonising over section vs aside, dl/dt vs ul/li under the impression that it makes any damn difference? Angels dancing on the head of a pin...)

4
brandonb 14 days ago 0 replies      
Peter Norvig put it best: "The semantic web is the future of the web, and always will be."

(For what it's worth, the startup school video that quote comes from is worth watching: http://youtu.be/LNjJTgXujno?t=20m57s)

5
Fannon 13 days ago 0 replies      
I've looked into Semantic Web Technologies for a year now and trying to come to a personal conclusion at the moment. This is my current state, through some of this may be premature:

PRO:

* I can see that the semantic annotation part of it is spreading. Schema.org / JSON-LD might be the first pragmatic solution that I can imagine actually getting more widespread acceptance. Especially if currently existing Frameworks / CMS add support by default.

* Semantic Annotations are helping big companies like Google to make their products smarter and this is happening right now.

* Semantic Web tries to solve some real problems, not just "academic" problems. Information and Knowledge is indeed rather unconnected which reduces its value tremendously. Right now APIs grow to make this mor accessible, but there are many problems unsolved.

* SemanticWeb has some truly interesting ideas and concepts, that I've grown to like. Of course nearly every one of them could work without buying the whole Semantic Web. But still, I think some very interesting ideas come out of that community.

CON:

* It takes a lot of time to understand the Semantic Web correctly and learning about the technologies behind gets soon very mixed up with a lot of complicated and rather uncommon concepts, like Ontologies.

* The tools (even Triplestores) feel awkward and years behind to what I'm used to as a web developer. There are a LOT of tools, but most seem to be abandoned research project which I wouldn't dare to use in production.

* It gets especially complicated when entering the territory of the Open World Assumption (OWA) and the implications that has on reasoning and logic. Say you want hard (real-time) validation because data is entered through a form on a website. Asking some people from the Semantic Web Domain, the answers varied from "I don't know how to do this" up to "Its complicated, but there is some research... , additional ontology for that...". I'm kind of shocked since this is one of the most trivial and common thing to do in the web. And I really don't want to add another complex layer onto an already complex system just to solve simple problems. Something's wrong with the architecture here.

* OWA might be interesting, but most applications / databases are closed world and it would make many things very complicated to try fit it into the Open World Logic. OWA is an interesting concept and makes sense if you are building a distibuted knowledge graph (Which is a huge task and only few have the ressources to do it), but most people will want to stay closed world just because its much more easy to handle. The Semantic Web seems to ignore reality here and prefers to be idealistic, imho.

* This sums up to me to one big problem: The Semantic Web Technolgies provide solutions to some complex problems, but also make some very easy things hard to do. As long as it doesn't provide some smart solutions (with a reasonable amount of learning / implementation time) to existing problems, I don't see that it will be adopted by the typical web developer.

* There are not enough pragmatic persons around in the community, that actually get nice things done that produce that "I wan't that, too!" effect.

6
tckr 14 days ago 1 reply      
Absolutely. Given the constant progress in extending schema.org and new works like JSON-LD and Hydra (http://www.markus-lanthaler.com/hydra/) I think we are (slowly) aproaching a state where we will see adoption of semantic schemas in APIs and website in a wider scale.
7
sgt101 14 days ago 0 replies      
In 2003 I was in an EU project (Agentcities) that did interoperability demonstrations for distributed knowledge applications. We had to develop and use ontologies for ticketing, transport - and a few other similar things.

My honest expectation was that building these ontologies would take about a week of group effort. As I remember it we were still at it months later.

This convinced me that the SW was a bust. Moreover one of the roadblocks we hit was very illuminating to me.

Creating the ontologies and onward development/extension of them was hard because the tools were so poor (also other things like it is just... hard) but the lack of tools was widely noted as a clear issue.

No one did anything about it. We had protege then, and lo it is so now.

8
hocuspocus 14 days ago 0 replies      
As someone who had to implement PoC's using semantic web at a big company, I'd say it's still limited to academia and very specific fields in the industry (like bio-medical research).

On an anecdotal note, no recruiter has ever contacted me because of these particular keywords on my LinkedIn profile.

9
math0ne 14 days ago 0 replies      
Google has recently started to embed some semantic elements into search results: http://googleresearch.blogspot.ca/2014/09/introducing-struct...
21
Ask HN: New generation social SDK's for 2014 projects?
2 points by makuchaku  20 hours ago   1 comment top
1
makuchaku 18 hours ago 0 replies      
RoarEngine used to do it in 2011 - but seems like dead now.

What do you use for your apps?

What would have ZimRide used to find friend of friends across social networks?

22
What skill is best to master: Web, Android or iOS?
12 points by jgunaratne  1 day ago   7 comments top 7
1
readme 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd have to say web development. When I say that I mean these skills specifically:

SQL (I recommend PostgreSQL), one of Python/Ruby/Scala, HTML5, JavaScript, CSS, and one of the popular JS front end client libraries, like Ember or AngularJS.

I'm working on that skillset myself right now, having already learned android development and at least given iOS a spin.

As for Android, be prepared to have the Dev team changing the damn API all the time.

For iOS, you're gonna pay up front just for the privilege to develop.

For both Android and iOS, you're looking at using a monolithic app store as your primary distribution mechanism for whatever software you write and being cheifly at the mercy of Google and Apple. Sure, there's other app stores... They're not enough to put dinner on the table.

If you're especially looking to be able to develop your own MVPs and launch something, just learn the web side yourself, develop that, make an API, and expose it. If your app is good enough people will just write mobile clients for it and they'll sell them on the app stores...

2
cheriot 1 day ago 0 replies      
Learn the Why behind Best Practices for your current platform so you can switch between them more easily.

To actually respond to your question, kick ass at iOS and you'll have two of three. Slack at iOS and dabble at android and you'll have one of three.

3
melling 1 day ago 0 replies      
Learn to build great native iOS apps since that's your current job. That'll give you the best results. It takes more work than you think to master something. At some point, if you get involved with Android learn native there too.
4
GFischer 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you master iOS, I'm pretty sure you'll be able to shift to Android fairly easily.

I'm doing the Coursera course on Android, and it's been pretty effective so far:

https://class.coursera.org/android-002

Just try to keep up with the headlines on web development (and/or try to do some pet projects to try them), and you'll probably be able to catch up if you need to shift back.

5
anonyfox 1 day ago 0 replies      
Learn Web. Stuff like Cordova/Phonegap, Titanium and others already enable you to build mobile apps for like 95% of all usecases with web technologies.

If you do Meteor.js, you build cross platform apps web/android/ios with ease today.

6
spleeder 1 day ago 0 replies      
Web is always a sure bet.
7
Zigurd 1 day ago 0 replies      
Compared to iOS and Web developers, there are fewer Android developers that really grok what Android can do. Of the widely used application platforms, Android is the most interesting technologically.
23
Ask HN: Contemporary 2014 resources on SEO
12 points by drinchev  1 day ago   3 comments top 3
1
narrowrail 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've always found the SEO/SEM industry rather shady. It is full of consultants with relatively low technical knowledge, usually just following the herd. I'm pretty sure Google itself offers plenty of resources (analytics, webmaster tools, etc.).

Most of the advice I've read over the years seems pretty common sense, as long as you're offering a fair product for a fair price. If I were in your shoes, I would probably use what Google offers for free for a few months. After that, I'd sign up for moz.com's free 30 day trial ($99/mo afterward), and learn as much as possible from what their service offers. If I felt comfortable on my own after that, I'd cancel.

This is not my area of expertise, but I hope it helps.

2
ASquare 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you may have a more informed discussion on this question on Inbound.org simply because SEO is a huge focus of that community (vs HN) .

Not being facetious - and I'm not an SEO guy - but opinions on SEO by people who do not have expertise in it are not as relevant and may simply feed your confirmation bias, rather than get you (closer) to the true answer/conclusion (whatever that may be)

3
mhoad 1 day ago 0 replies      
24
Let me develop your web app for free
16 points by cryptic-waters  1 day ago   10 comments top 7
2
mintone 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hi there,

That's exactly the stack that we use (somewhat unsurprisingly) so of course this is of interest - but my main question when someone offers something for free is Why?

So, why are you offering it for free?

3
DSmart1 18 hours ago 0 replies      
hi if you want to contribute to something, take a look at my latest project and give feedback! Http://melonpix.com
4
5414h 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a relly good idea sir, keep this going on and you will learn alot :). Good luck to you i wish.
5
cryptic-waters 1 day ago 0 replies      
6
korussian 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great idea! I emailed you yesterday.
7
jonsterling 1 day ago 1 reply      
No.
25
Ask HN: What would it take to rewrite Vim?
6 points by hunnypot  1 day ago   14 comments top 8
1
fragmede 1 day ago 2 replies      
> what it would take to rewrite Vim from scratch

Time, mainly. Computers these days are fast enough, and have enough storage space that writing Vim will be mostly straight forwards.

The first thing to do, as is for all software, is to make a spec and a roadmap. The doesn't have to be anything too serious, hell, you don't even have to write it out if you don't want to - this is your project after all. (But writing thing down is highly recommended.)

Your spec and roadmap, whether just a notion in your head, or a multi-page written out document with pictures and graphs, should talk about every single feature you want, then break those down into milestones and then break those down into smaller and smaller steps, until they're small enough that you can just start coding (or start googling for the right library)

> What things would I need to teach myself?

Well, you say you know Python and C++. Both are valid choices to write HunnypotVim in; it's your project, so pick one or the other (or a combination of both if you're feeling masochistic). Whatever you chose, you'll need to teach yourself various libraries and their API for your chosen language.

Next, you'll have to decide if you want to make a terminal program, or if you'd rather write a GVim style GUI editor. If you chose a terminal program, you'll need to learn ncurses; a GUI program will need a GUI toolkit, such as QT. Ncurses will have the 'getch' single-character input reader that you'll need in order to reimplement Vim.

You'll also need to learn how to parse command line arguments and file IO.

I'd probably start with a trivial command line argument parser, then move onto basic fileIO before starting in on the ncurses frontend development. Implement normal mode, then hjkl movement keys, finish up with a basic insert mode, and you've got your basic Vim clone!

Additional features left as an exercise for the reader ;)

My email's in my profile if you'd like to discuss this further.

Good luck, and happy coding!

2
jonjacky 1 day ago 0 replies      
See bim ("bad imitation of vim") in toaruos

https://github.com/klange/toaruos/blob/strawberry-dev/usersp...

mentioned in these comments in HN a few days ago:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8566217

3
cheriot 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've always wished that other editors would have a full featured vim mode. Either something like RStudio/eclipse using a real vim instead of a few key bindings or a more modern editor like atom.io with a complete vi implementation. Just a thought.

Good luck with your project.

4
eterps 1 day ago 0 replies      
Start with a set of Cucumber features that describe all basic Vim like interactions, and declare it as a standard.
5
LBarret 1 day ago 0 replies      
software architecture is a bitch, so reading about the book open source software architecture could give you good ideas.

To be more specific decoupling the rendering, from the commands, from the inputs, from the external processes would go a long way.

And some reactive programming model would likely works.

6
james2vegas 1 day ago 0 replies      
Perhaps start with looking at something less baroque than vim, like the original vi or nvi.
7
akkartik 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've actually been working on this. Feel free to get in touch (email in profile).
8
gnusouth 1 day ago 1 reply      
If I were to rewrite vim I would want to avoid C/C++ and all their warts. A Rust text-editor with guaranteed memory safety would be cool.
26
Anyone willing to checkout a startup I just launched?
11 points by hackerp  1 day ago   7 comments top 5
1
KajMagnus 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm thinking many comments from girls might actually be from men. What if you made it possible for people to verify their gender via Facebook login, and displayed a 'verified gender' icon next to their comments? Possibly even required this for someone to be allowed to post a comment.

How are you going to make money? Ads, if I may guess?

Edit Being a software dev, I noticed you're not using HTTPS, that makes the site feel a bit less anonymous to me. (I suppose most people won't notice though.)

2
S4M 1 day ago 1 reply      
I like it, but you should add some tags with the questions, because "Is a head expected on the first date?" next to "What is the tech stack of this website?" feels a bit weird - I may have the wording of the questions wrong, but you get the idea.
3
devonbarrett 1 day ago 0 replies      
The ability to link to questions and share them via social media would help.

Overall, the UI is clean an intuitive - nice job!

4
preillyme 1 day ago 1 reply      
Seriously, "What does it feel like to have a meat log in your pants 24/7?". Wow.
5
MalcolmDiggs 1 day ago 0 replies      
I could definitely see that getting addicting. Good show!
27
Ask HN: How do I stop getting assigned CI/CD/ops work?
2 points by atarian  1 day ago   6 comments top 6
1
xpto123 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Just leave again, and in the next interview ask what will the responsibilities are, and if they include CI etc. The most important is to try to learn from previous mistakes and take it from there.

In an early portion of a career, moving often to gain experience is a good idea anyway.

In many companies these CI roles are handled by a different team, so apply for a bigger company. The bigger the company the more separated the roles are, and so the less likelly is to get assigned extra roles.

Also Remove CI from your CV, you would be doing yourself and recruiters/ hiring managers a favor by removing what you dont want to do anymore from your CV. This is perfectly OK as long as you didn't spend the last 3 years doing CI exclusively or something.

Almost all real world jobs are a combination of different responsibilities, and not only what the role title indicates.

In general focus your CV mostly around what you want to do, not what you where forced to do and didn't like, and don't want to do in anymore.

Send a CV with 2 years of CI experience on the frontpage? Get jobs that require CI experience. Don't mention CI in the CV front page and mention it briefly in the job detail section, the CV is still true but you don't get CI requests anymore.

The CV is a way to find you a job, not a weapon to self-sabotage your career. Focus the CV in what you want to do while still remain truthful and you will be OK.

2
christopherslee 1 day ago 0 replies      
On the bright side, I think that a good CI/CD process is really important, and not a lot of devs have a good understanding of that part of the product. They just write code and "throw it over the wall." I find that having working devops knowledge is an important aspect of understanding a complete product architecture.

On the other hand, is it possible you're doing something wrong on the front end that they are trying to get you out of that area? Maybe they find you are a valuable contributor, just not where you want to be?

I think you should just have a candid discussion with your manager. If they can't accommodate you, it's a pretty good job market out there. Maybe you've just had some bad luck.

3
Ronsenshi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Check your contract and section about your responsibilities. If CI/CD is not there, then you can try and explain to your supervisor that not only you do not enjoy that type of work, but it does not fall under your responsibilities.

If it does fall under your responsibilities, then you can either hope that supervisor is reasonable and can accommodate developer's wishes on type of work or, as last resort, explain that you'd have to quit because that is not something you enjoy doing.

4
LarryMade2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ask them why you are being pushed toward CI/CD/ops... maybe they see you as a strong resource in those categories.
5
JoachimSchipper 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Have you considered automating/outsourcing yourself out of a job? Properly set up Jenkins once, then convince the boss to move new development to Heroku?
6
mattbillenstein 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just say no - seriously.
28
Ask HN: How to become a better manager?
12 points by bndr  2 days ago   11 comments top 6
1
ASquare 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The biggest reason many managers are bad managers is because they haven't defined measurable goals and outcomes for the individuals on the team and for the team as a whole.

This leads them to micromanage, be stressed and every other characteristic associated with the stereotype.

If you are able to define measurable outcomes/goals - then how those are achieved really should be left in the hands of the individuals/team.

This is what makes you (imo) a capable manager.

If you want to take it up a notch, learn how to motivate them.

I highly suggest watching

a) Dan Pink's talk on Motivation for this (and perhaps also picking up his book "Drive"): http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation and

b) Simon Sinek's talk on leadership (and also picking up his book) on starting with why: http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspi....

I think this will give you a strong foundation to build off of.

2
jacquesm 2 days ago 3 replies      
A very quick one sentence hint: be the person that you would like to work for. And ask your team what you could do to improve.

I've worked for a variety of managers over the years and the styles varied from 'management by fear' to 'no management that I could detect' and everything in between. What helped me most to grow when managing others was to observe what did not work elsewhere and which traits I appreciated in the people that managed me (in so far as I'm 'manageable' :) ).

It's not something that I ever managed to get out of a book though I'm sure there may be such books. This is a thing that you'll probably only really grow into over time.

The biggest change for me was when I finally learned to really listen to what people say, both in plaintext and 'between the lines'.

One question you can ask yourself since you are saying that you are doing a bad job at it is why you think that and then to use that as a starting point for a list of points on which you can improve.

Best of luck!

3
panjaro 2 hours ago 0 replies      
How to win friends and influence people - Dale Carnegie
4
ian_s 2 days ago 0 replies      
Establish regular 1:1 with your directs.

- These are not project status updates! talk about career / growth / skills

- Listen, Take notes, Send out Action Items

- At the end, ask if there is any thing you could do to improve. Ask for feedback.

The benefit to having incremental documentation with your directs makes end of year reviews much easier, as you have a bunch of documentation at the ready. Makes promotions easier (and terminations as well -- welcome to management!)

5
hkarthik 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would recommend Leading Snowflakes as a great read for first time engineering managers: http://leadingsnowflakes.com/

And subscribe to the author's weekly email list. Great set of reads and links here:http://softwareleadweekly.com/

6
JSeymourATL 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here's a solid book with 5,000+ management tips, that will lead to even more reading and professional development. This is a Must Have if you're serious about becoming a good manager > http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/847538.FYI
29
Ask HN: Growing a career in freelance web development/design
14 points by kylechalmers  3 days ago   6 comments top 6
1
benzesandbetter 2 days ago 0 replies      
Try to move beyond the freelance sites as soon as you can. Most of the clients who use those sites are price shopping, and it's hard to get decent rates for yourself.

Avoid passive, low-value channels like putting cards on bulletin boards. You need to go into an active sales process for securing high-value clients.

Looking at your site, I'm thinking the kind of clients you're going after probably don't care about the technologies you use. Instead, organize the content more around the business problems that you solve for your clients.

See if you can find a particular type of business/client is undeserved. Get one of them as a client, and write up a good case study or white paper. Then book appointments with as many of those types of businesses as you can, tell them the story of how you helped the first client, and how you can do the same for them. If they don't sign up with you on the first meeting, follow up consistently.

With an approach like this, you're coming in as an expert and you have much more altitude in the transaction than if you're being hired as a "Wordpress theme integrator" or somesuch.

You're in Chicago, you're not going to run out of leads. You need to start booking as many sales appointments as you possibly can. Put a lot of practice into how you tell your story. Practice answering common questions. Video yourself doing this, review including your voice, tempo, etc. Consider getting sales and/or speaking coaching.

Call design and communications agencies in your area to let them know you're available. Some agencies often bring in freelancers to supplement their teams when demand is high. (For these folks, your technology lists might be slightly more interesting.)

Invest continuously in building your own network, including people who are not your potential clients. Make sure they understand what you do well enough to recommend you within their network when appropriate. Consider offering a referral percentage to people with good networks who refer clients to you.

2
mstrazds 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hi Kyle,

I freelance in Sydney, Australia and have been doing now for about 9 months. It sounds like I pretty much went through the same thought process as you when I started. I didn't know where to find work immediately either. What I found out quickly though, is sites like freelancer.com help in no way to providing a reasonable amount of work at a good rate consistently. In fact just the nature of them are geared towards 2nd/3rd world devs/designers that are able to get a good return relative to their lifestyle costs. Which you can't compete with. Starting out I had great success going to meetups where people might need my services. Eg. Small Business meetups. Once you walk in the door you will find that non-technical people have great difficulty meeting and finding the right designer/developer for their websites, apps, projects, etc.

The other bonus is you have met face to face and from a sales perspective you will have far more success in converting people to work with you.

This has been one of the ways I have successfully managed to get work, consistently. It certainly doesn't hurt.

Cheers,Markus

http://mstrazds.com/

3
misiti3780 3 days ago 0 replies      
I would starting blogging and redirecting your SEO clicks back to your personal site. I did that and it has been working well for me

Example, I wrote a django article a year ago, and if you google Django development it is #3 in the search (at least from NYC/NY today with fresh browser (no cache))

https://www.google.com/search?q=django+development&oq=django...

I didnt intend for this to be the case, but luckily I have gotten freelance clients this way.

4
redmaverick 3 days ago 0 replies      
I checked out your website. You can try using a Bootstrap theme for your website.

Check these sites out:http://www.littlelines.com/http://symondsandson.com/

5
devb0x 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hey Kyle

Silver Fox Inspections is spelt wrong, thats just a minor edit.

Best of luck man, hope you make a success of it

6
marcuscreo 3 days ago 0 replies      
Check out what Brennan Dunn @ doubleyourfreelancingrate.com says about these topics, you'll find them useful.

PS - I'm not Brennan, and don't get any money from sending you over there.

30
What do you guys think about Dartlang?
28 points by Pharohbot  4 days ago   20 comments top 10
1
jkears 3 days ago 0 replies      
I am a 20+ year senior architect with a passion for anything that brings productivity to the area of application development and Dart ranks extremely high on the scale of both client and server side web application development. I have 14 years of .NET development experience and came to love C# and all the large eco-system that was developed to support implementation of any web application came to need. Thing was that when I adopted Silverlight I was spoiled with the richness of RIA based applications but as time rolled on it became very clear that JavaScript won the web war and so I researched many years to conclude that Dart has most of what I had and is a great place to camp out for a while, contribute to the every growing developer community and such. As for what it lacks, I'd agree with most other comments so far however I also feel that all concerns will be addressed especially the JS INTEROP concerns. One of my main concerns is that of resultant script size. I think (but I am not 100% sure) that the advent of lazy-loading support for Dart should mitigate some of these concerns along with continued updates from the Dart team. Otherwise, if you have not tried Dart, and you are a skilled Java or .NET developer, then you may want to test drive it as you will pick it up in an evening, and if your anything like me, you will never want to leave it!
2
woven 3 days ago 1 reply      
I evaluated Node, intrigued by the idea of event-driven, non-blocking client and server side code written in one language, but I found it to be a wild ecosystem with dozens of frameworks and not enough support and guidance for them.

I found Dart with its promise to bring some structure and sanity to that approach, including building a language from the ground up to do away with JS's quirks, and it has delivered. I built http://woven.co with Dart and Polymer.

The biggest pain is when you'd like to use a JS lib that isn't wrapped for Dart yet. They're hard at work to make it much easier to interoperate. They're a kick ass team, great docs, first class support in WebStorm, and its future seems bright. There are issues with Polymer like SEO that are inherent in any SPA really, but there are experiments with React-like Virtual DOM diffing and others too.

On the server, the dart:io is powerful and Shelf looks like an awesome set of abstractions for http servers and more that I hope to play with soon.

Dart is treated with heavy skepticism I think often unduly, but judge it for yourself and I think you might be pleasantly surprised.

3
d2p 2 days ago 1 reply      
We're not using Dart commercially currently; though we are prototyping in it as a candidate for vNext of some very large applications. To me, it seems incredibly promising. Every time I have to go back and write JS in our production apps; I seriously miss the static analysis Dart does; it's so clunky to find trivial errors at runtime in a browser that the editor should've been able to show you!

However; there are some frustrating holes in it though that have made our prototyping tricky; such as:

Serialisation; not even JSON support. Alan Knight is working on a Serialisation library; but even that is frustrating to use (it doesn't support DateTimes at all well for ex), so I'm generating having to generate serialisation code from C#.

No private pub server. If you want to host Dart packages internal to your company locally; you're out of luck. Although the source for pub.dartlang.org is open; it's written to only work on AppEngine; which kinda sucks.

We're also slightly nervous that the Dart VM still isn't in Chrome. I don't know what's taking so long, but this would seriously help convince others that Google is really invested in Dart.

4
afsina 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think Dart client side development cycle is unmatched. Develop fast with Dart VM and Dartium Browser and deploy as JavaScript anywhere. Kind of a better GWT.

Language is good. Also they provide a lot of tools. Package manager, nice SDK, Profiler, Debugger, Code Analyzer, Formatter, Tree-Shaker and several editors. VM speed is close to JVM.. Dart is a very good server language as well. they provide nice command line support. You need to give a try and see to decide.

But there are places language and tools has not yet matured and community adaptation is still weak.

5
zoechi 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm developing with Dart full-time since about 1 1/2 years and I'm just glad that I don't have to use JS anymore.JS has still more libs ready to use but the quantity and quality of the packages available for Dart are raising fast.I enjoy that I can use the same language client- and server-side and share a lot of code. Upcoming features will make Dart even more appealing (Appengine support, DartVM in Chrome, async/await, ...) The Dart team is always busy improving the ecosystem :-
6
wstrange 3 days ago 0 replies      
The fun factor in Dart is super high. It's just a joyful experience with great tools.

And no need for a "Dart: the good parts" book. It's all good :-)

7
cnbuff410 4 days ago 2 replies      
I use it and love it. I mainly use it for frontend stuff to replace most of the javascript. Writing code in Dart is easy, fun and PREDICTABLE.

It also force me to write frontend code in a more engineered way because that's how it works, which benefits myself down the road for the millions of times I revisit and update the code.

My only problem for Dart is that its doc is not complete and dart:js is lacking comprehensive example for complex library.

But all in all I enjoy Dart a lot for my frontend development.

8
iends 3 days ago 2 replies      
One thing that bothers me about Dart is that the Angular.js team decided to go with their own language AtScript, even though they were quite experienced with Dart in AngularDart.

Do they know something about the health of Dart that we don't?

9
kachhalimbu 2 days ago 0 replies      
You might be insterested in quire.io [1] team's article [2] about using dart to build a large application

[1] http://quire.io[2] http://simonpai.github.io/2014/09/03/quire-building-with-dar...

10
os-store 3 days ago 0 replies      
I like it,so great!from os-store
       cached 10 November 2014 05:05:01 GMT