I was pleasently surprised. The browser's way faster; launching it doesn't take that much time; the UI is way more responsive; and all the add-ons I've been using in the past are compatible with 4.0 (Web Developer, Firebug, Colorzilla, etc.).
I'm currently using it as my primary browser again, and it looks like it will stay on that podest for awhile.
It's awesome to see a browser resurecting with that many improvements, despite the fact that some people have almost written it off due to some annoying issues in past versions, the most prominent one being performance.
I'd really recommend you to give it a try.
Disclaimer: I've been using Opera 11 as my primary browser before I decided to give FF 4.0 a try
What I liked about Chrome: optimized usage of vertical space and speed. But what I really disliked about it -- Chrome add-ons are useless. Chrome would never allow something like Firebug without being built-in. And I couldn't find a plugin with proper Delicious integration either.
Also, searching the history in the address bar works a lot better in Firefox -- probably has something to do with the way Chrome encourages you to use Google. And speaking of History -- Chrome still doesn't let you search and delete items in the search results page. What's up with that?
Now Firefox 4 has it all -- the interface is still not as vertical-space efficient as in Chrome, but as I understand it on Windows tabs do move in the title bar, and that little change is coming for Linux too.
I love Firefox 4. They did an awesome job.
On a positive note, 4 is so much faster than 3.6 it isn't even funny. It's like going from a 286 running off of an 8-inch floppy to a Core 2 on an SSD.
I haven't seen it mentioned here but it's by far the thing I miss the most from FF (along with FireBug and TreeStyle Tabs). It practically replaces bookmarks for me because because it searches through the history. In Chrome it feels like I have to re-google everything unless I remember the exact url.
So yeah, if you've been using FF3 for web-dev or to browse, you're about to get a major upgrade. If you're a Chrome user I don't know of anything that would make FF4 especially attractive.
I wonder if this change is going to be disruptive for users who are trained to look for a padlock icon.
I had Firefox 3 configured such that the main menu, URL box, navigation buttons etc. were all on the same toolbar - the menu bar. In that same configuration, Firefox 4 looks somewhat ugly - there's little space between the bottom of the menu bar and the page content (I also use tree-style tabs).
Apart from how it looks, and how it renders text, it's nice. The resizable gripper on multi-line text boxes is nice - that works well here on HN.
Edit: after disabling hardware acceleration, the text at least is much nicer. I don't notice any loss in performance in simple scrolling etc. with it disabled either.
Motherfucking beautiful, guys, it feels like Christmas morning. Great work, keep it up. (And I'm so stoked the Vimperator plugin works on launch, kudos to that team too!).
Just working out the best way to install it side-by-side with 3.6 on my workstation, which I'll need to keep a while for web dev testing.
Pardon me if this is a silly question, but I really love the tab UI feeling that I get in Chromium (the looks, the curves, etc.) Given that other projects like Kod.app already copy that feature, is it possible for Firefox to incorporate it as well?
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
Its UI is clear and responsive, and overall is seems quicker. Plus it uses up around 40% less RAM (in my experiences).
Downloaded FF4 and several sites won't display.
Ex: Youtube says "You need to upgrade your Adobe Flash Player to watch this video."
Other sites just don't work.
Maybe I'm out of loop and need to update my desktop flash.
Man, chrome has ruined me with its auto-updating.
Otherwise, confess first impressions are less happy. Moving the tab bar has left it stranded adjacent to neither the edge of the window nor the page which makes it less easy to quickly grab sight of for me, and I seem to have lost the shortcut for the search box which I actually _used_ - if this replicated the old suite's behaviour of location bar searching outside the history I'd mind less, but it doesn't. Having to grab the pointer every time I want to search instead of Ctrl-E doesn't seem a win to me :-(
Edit: USA has top spot at the moment with 1.2 million, followed by Germany with almost 550 thousand
Add this to the completely non-native tabs and toolbar, and the lack of a status bar, and the UI is simply unusable imo. A native UI using an established toolkit, or a custom-built UI with usability in mind would both be preferable to the current halfway kludge.
EDIT: Just noticed that FF4 allows me to resize text-fields that render quite small because of the small screen. Small, relative-sized text-fields can be easily resized to a convenient size.
Usually, I have tabs open that change their title when something happens (e.g. Gmail Inbox(1), or Facebook), and those catch my attention from the corner of my eye. However, having the URL preview when hovering over a link go into the URL bar on top also catches my attention, and distracts me from my current workflow.
Also, the IE-style reload button (at the right end of the address field) is too small and awkwardly positioned. I never realized how often it is actually used.
Well, that hope has been quickly dashed. How? By mozilla's own demo page, the web'o'wonder. On my three year old machine it says my video drivers don't support WebGL and won't play nice with many things. What it does play nice with was not very wonderful. The "Letterheads" were choppy with a framerate probably approaching 8 or 9 fps. The 360 video refused to load. Same with Remixing Reality. IE9 wouldn't work with those and neither would Safari.
Then I tried them in Chrome. Huh. Go figure. They all worked marvelously. Yup... this new web era could be a Web o' Wonders... but it looks like it won't be featuring FF4 or IE9.
Now, can anyone tell me why FF4 has issues with WebGL but Chrome 11.0696 doesn't? And it's not just a webkit thing because Safari 5.04 isn't liking them either.
Apart from that, im really happy with this new version!
Works great for me and is way faster than Safari 5.04 on a iMac G5 and a Powerbook G4 (10.5.8 in both).
In short, I prefer my browser naked, and Chrome is the best without clothes.
I get it. Encrypting locally is more secure, but they've made this system SO secure that it's actually irritating. I wish I at least had the option of foregoing this sync key business.
Anyway, now I know to put my sync key on Dropbox so this doesn't happen again.
It was mostly great, except the UI would stop responding at random for minutes at a time. So I'm back on Chrome.
'CS Lite' lets me manage cookie permissions for current site without having to go into the preference and go through the long process. Very useful since I usually block cookies and only turn on when needed. The reviews for CS Monster doesn't seem as good.
The new one looks great and seems to run fast, but my most important add-ons weren't supported. I hate being held back by my add-ons, but I have no choice.
Lets help mozilla!
1. Sync is totally not up to par. It doesn't inform what it does in the background and there is no place to check on the web what it uploads. I am not sure why FF even bothered to release this feature when it is not even ready (there are several people complaining about many things of Sync at the Add-on review).
2. The bookmark/history manager can use upgrade/better features. Ever since the Delicious fiasco, FF could possibly play a better role in adding modern bells and whistles to its bookmarks manager.
Other than above two, I'm not complaining.
Just 2 complaints:
- The colors's arrows for previous/next are not really visible
- When on a laptop, I used to open a link in a new tab by right click + open in a new tab. This option was the second one in the previous firefox's version, now it's the first, so I end up opening a lot of links in new window instead of new tab, guess it's only a matter of time till I get the habit :)
OK, other than that, I like FF4! Just had to vent.
If only those extentions functions exactly the same with webkit browsers.If only...Does anybody hearing me?
By default, Firefox sends a new-window message to any running Firefox instead of spawning a new one.
Try killing all existing Firefox windows (e.g. "killall firefox" or "pkill firefox") and run it again.
Have you ever given a similar vote of confidence to founders who didn't live up to your expectations?
>ABNB reminds me of Etsy in that it facilitates real commerce in a marketplace model directly between two people.
Interestingly enough, I still tend to side with Fred's assessment of AirBnB's future. All my experiences with it as a user have been too unreliable to expect that it can scale to truly massive usability. Selling your old guitar online is a lot different than renting a room to someone. Renting a room has so much more of a personal aspect to it.
There are so many more subtleties to actually having a stranger come and stay in your house than there are to sending a stranger a book, guitar, etc via USPS.
Regardless, I still think there's a massive market out there for this type of thing, I just don't see it swallowing up the whole Hotel industry.
I rented a room in L.A. using Airbnb. The owner of the room said he made $4000 in 3 months on two rooms that would have otherwise been vacant. If you're making this much money for people you've tapped into one helluva market.
YC absolutely does hustle for you like this, and it's the best kind -- genuine.
It possibly shows why Sequoia are the best.
-- Their website design-- Their code (Rails? Jquery?)-- Their hosting / scalability / "cloud" strategy-- Source control methods, dev environment, tools-- APIs, "ecosystem", social media, "viral rate" etc.-- And more...
Basically, all the things that most of us here spend most of our time discussing.
Instead:1) Idea / Team2) Execute3) Talk to people with money4) Go to #2
Mark Pincus is better known as the founder of Zynga, unless this is another Mark Pincus.
1) Improved the perceived standing of PG among the entrepreneur-class. It proves that he really adds value the way he says he does - hawking, what can easily be seen as a very weird idea at a time when not many people see it.
2) Improved my perception of Fred. Even though he passed on the deal, he is stand-up enough to not only admit it - but allow PG to post this email exchange that shows that he was "one of the old guys" that were skeptical. It also shows that he wasn't just pulling PG's chain, but was really debating it internally.
Arriving in a new city without internet it was great to have HH and be able to find 10 hostels and know they are going to be open. I guess McDonalds wifi etc. means Airbnb could have been a competitor, but the ease of finding accommodation reliably, of a reliable standard, and at more affordable prices meant we used HH far more than Airbnb.
Having said that, the times we could manage to find a room that was genuinely free, and appeared to be genuine people with a spare room, were some of the highlights of our travels. The people and the rooms were both fantastic, and it's this "home away from home" and social aspect I think Airbnb should be pushing. I think at the same time they should be working hard to remove the listings that I could best describe as dodgy guys trying to run a hotel out of an apartment building without adhering to local hotelier laws as we found these far too prevalent in some cities.
pg: Did they explain the long-term goal of being the market in accommodation the way eBay is in stuff? That seems like it would be huge. Hotels now are like airlines in the 1970s before they figured out how to increase their load factors.
fw: So I think it can scale all the way to the bed and breakfast market. But I am not sure they can take on the hotel market.
The problem is, the regulatory system (not to mention the neighbors) do not want unlicensed, widespread "crowd-sourced" illegal hotel rooms, and are working hard to block them:
Paul Graham talks about the 'eBay' of accommodation -- but a huge percentage of eBay's revenue comes from professional sellers, which is exactly what will run afoul of regulation in the rental/hotel market.
It just seemed a very good sign to me that these guys were actually on the ground in NYC hunting down (and understanding) their users.
I don't mean this in a negative way. It actually is just evidence that paul graham is a badass.
It's not the end of the world.
I was thinking about the impact of hotel chains' business traveler kick-back schemes (euphemistically known as "rewards" programs) on the independent room providers (a phrase I just coined to run the gamut between someone renting out his spare room and a boutique hotel) ability to attract business travelers. How, as a business renting out 40 rooms in a single city, do you compete with Marriott who can offer some guy and his wife a free weekend stay anywhere in exchange for funneling his company's (or even his company's client's) dollars toward their brands? What if ABNB offered up to these independent operators a rewards program similar to those offered by the big chains? They would move beyond be a transaction facilitator toward being closer to a consumer brand. I believe that lower-end hotel chains basically follow this model -- independent owners become franchisees of the brand as a way to get bookings, have a recognizable brand, etc. While I doubt that too many of today's ABNB bookings are business-related, that number will surely increase. I love playing armchair QB :)
Just curious what the norm is around the vc/angel circles. Are most people pretty direct/candid? or do they mostly hide behind business speak?
I was under the impression that YC introductions were pretty much the equivalent of "hey, here are some guys...invest in them"...but here you can see that there is a lot more pressure....bordering on begging
Does this mean that ideas are more important than investors really let on?
Both Fred and PG are willing to a) admit mistakes and b) be totally transparent about it and c) publish that transaction for others to learn from put them BOTH in a class above and beyond traditional VCs.
Are you "other" guys listening out there? This is why YC is eating your lunch with new startups...
I could be wrong but I don't imagine too many people push back so hard on @paulg like that.
I have great respect for @fredwilson for pushing back and then admitting in a very public way that he felt he made a big mistake.
The best line of the email is @paulg describing @fredwilson: "He is the least suburban-golf-playingVC I know."
Glad this story was shared and glad there is continued mutual respect there -
Thanks for publishing this exchange. I've never known you to be anything but exceedingly polite and thoughtful; now I learn you're doing good work behind the scenes too. Inspiring!
(The Disqus link doesn't quite work all the time tho...)
- had he seen couchsurfing at the time?
http://www.couchsurfing.org launched as beta in 2003)
Are Airbnb copycats?
Thanks for sharing the inside story. :)
If I remember correctly, USV didn't exactly pass, but made a play around the time Sequoia did.
The capital B is either a branding miss or an intentional branding effort to look more upscale than Airbed.
If that happened, the whole world would crumble, because we wouldn't have any technology bigger than could be built by lifestyle businesses. Anyone who wanted to build a lifestyle business on the Internet, for example, would find that there was no Internet. You wouldn't have servers or routers or clients or backbones or local cable.
The "if every developer" line is clearly just as much grandstanding as PG makes when he compares hackers taking a job to caging a lion. To take this line in this essay literally -- and be offended -- but not to take PG's line about lions literally is to be intellectually dishonest.
Here's what this essay actually says:
* there's a monetary reason that we're all soaking in VC/fund/"liquidity event" news
* there's a psychological reason that we seek out VC/fund/"liquidity event" news
* reading about this stuff isn't even the remotely same vein as working on it, or making real money
* the author is angry that he believes people are being pushed towards lives/businesses that don't make them happy
* every developer is capable of making a product for an independent income
* and everybody might be happier if they did
Gee, not so controversial, is it?
All the hullaballoo about this article can be only one thing: overly identifying with your life/business choices and attacking anyone who dares call them into question. In a general sense. Not in a PERSONAL attack, for example labeling someone's work "a lifestyle business" or "like duping credulous customers into overpaying for a time-tracking tool styled with this month's CSS trends".
The only reason anyone even paid attention to this article at all is because 98% of what everyone hears, all the time, is pro-big startup, pro-VC, pro-liquidity event, pro- this and pro- that.
There is so rarely a dissenting voice that the moment there is one, however mild, everybody is in attack mode.
Look, dominant paradigm: You need to chillax.
I'd like to see this taken to the next level: some kind of diagnostic.
It's easy to point out the general case. What's difficult is taking the general truth and turning it into stuff to do right now. Answer these questions. If you answer this way, you are heading down the wrong path.
From what very little I've seen, this is something that everybody sees in everybody else but never see in themselves. Perhaps this is because it's easy to imagine somebody else having to "settle" for a business making shinier widgets for 3 cents profit per unit while we all easily imagine ourselves as being the person to "change X as we know it"
I have no idea why some of us are like this. I continue to struggle with it, and I know better.
There's a middle ground between web application "lifestyle businesses" (like duping credulous customers into overpaying for a time-tracking tool styled with this month's CSS trends) and trying to start the next Facebook.
There's nothing wrong with being a small software company. People have been doing it for decades now. It's boring, but there's nothing wrong with it. Don't expect anyone to celebrate you for doing it, though.
Our time on this earth is limited, and people's attention is even more limited. No wonder that more time and attention is put towards trying to execute on big ideas. Sometimes those ideas end up not working out, but we're all better, I think, for someone having tried.
As pg points out, the ideas that led to the businesses that have formed the infrastructure that enables web lifestyle businesses could not have, themselves, been lifestyle businesses. Someone has to think big, take risks, and deploy significant capital in the interest of a dramatically better world. If you don't want to be that person, great, but don't tell the risk-takers that they're "wasting their lives". Would you say the same to scientists who take big risks? Artists?
The media packaging of technology entrepreneurship is undeniably offputting. But that's no excuse for dim commentary like this.
The huge risk, huge return world will always be exciting to watch and talk about, and it will always be splashing around waste money, so it will always get a disproportionate amount of attention.
Id love to hear how I can get one of those 10K/month businesses (outside of consulting/programmer-for-hire).
People keep making it sound like it super easy to just get such a business going. How about some examples ?
Last month at DC4420 (the London monthly DEF CON chapter meeting):
<dude from corporate security firm>: How many people do you have at Mandalorian?<iuguy>: 6<dude from corporate security firm>: Really? I always thought you guys were bigger? So it's more of a lifestyle firm?<iuguy>: If by lifestyle firm you mean a company that treats it's people well for doing a good job - as well as they could do on their own - then yes. If you mean a firm that's focused on doing a good job doing work we enjoy instead of chasing cash and ticking boxes all day long, then yes.
Probably the most successful example of this I've seen in my industry are these guys: http://www.pentestpartners.co.uk/
I think http://www.fbtechies.co.uk/ was the first I knew of, but amongst us there's quite a few and it seems as though we're growing. I think the realisation of having a niche skillset combined with commercial ability makes for a compelling enough value proposition for people to go it alone outside the conventional areas.
We don't all need to be multibillionaires (although some do). For some of us it's the choice between working on yet another PCI box ticking exercise, or charming the pants off some cool experimental tech.
I would like to add though that the article really needs some data to back it up. While there's plenty of anecdata from patio11, peldi and (to some extent although I'm obviously not in the same league as those guys) me, a source of actual information would really blow the doors off.
This article, as much as any feature on Mark Zuckerberg, is entreporn. Is it possible to build a $10k-per-month web app? Sure. Easier than building the next Facebook (which is a matter of mostly luck, a lottery)? Absolutely. Are most people who try going to fail? Yes. Is it possible to get funding for a lifestyle business? No, that doesn't exist. So you need to do it on your own time, which limits your losses but makes your likelihood of success very low. If nothing is lost but one's time, is trying a lifestyle business possibly a great idea? Of course. But is making it sound easy to make $10k per month entreporn? Yes.
Also, as for lifestyle businesses, there are good and bad scenarios. A good lifestyle business provides reliable income at a decent rate (at least $100/hour) and the ability to control how much money you make and how much time you spend; if you want more money, you work harder. If you want a 3-month vacation, you take it but make less money. That's what you want: the freedom to decide how much you work and how much money you make. This is a great thing to have, and if some idiot hipster thinks it makes you a loser that you didn't cash out for billions, who cares? A bad ("walking dead") lifestyle business is one that just turned out mediocre and ends up had-by-the-balls by one or two clients who become, de facto, very demanding bosses. Companies like this exist: single-client consultancies that haven't gone out yet, but never got enough headway above the mediocrity of client demands to take off and become something.
> The absolute truth is that each and every one > of us can build a business that can support us.> ...> In truth, there is no reason to fail â€" other> than failing to learn from your mistakes.
Yes, maybe we can - eventually. But while we're building it, we still need a paycheck. Building a profitable business doesn't seem like the kind of thing you can do in your spare time, unless you're willing to sacrifice absolutely everything else in your life.
> But even better, once you have the knowledge that comes> along with building a succesful $10k/month business, you> also posses the exact same knowledge that it takes to> build a $100k/month business.
And then, why not a $1M/month business? And then $10M/month! Etc! Etc!
I'm pretty sure that a $100k/month business is an outlier, too, it's just closer to the center of the bell curve than Facebook, but still pretty dang far away from everyone else.
If a lifestyle business works for you, then that's what you should strive towards. Some would call me naive or childish, but if you're the type of person who dreams about changing the world, don't sell yourself short. Don't grow up, and don't give up.
Go for it.
Sidenote: I have nothing against asian dudes, spiky haired or not.
You don't need millions of users to be considered for VC investment. More like 10,000 users if the service is free, or 100 paying customers. And it's really not that hard to do that, it just takes enough perseverance to make it through the first few iterations.
Embrace being a lifestyle business and ignore all the startup noise. Do your best to serve your customers and grow your revenue. You'll never get famous, but then again neither will 99.9% of the people who go the other route.
The blog post (which I am interpreting as "every entrepreneur wants to raise VC and swing for fences") is generally wrong, in my experience. For every "a million dollars isn't cool, you know what is? a billion dollars" startup founder, there is one that insists that Groupon is over valued, and startups should monetize on day 1 and be in charge of their own destiny by retaining all equity.
There is no right or wrong answer in terms of what your aspirations are. But there is a huge audience of startup founders that are building lifestyle businesses, and killing it.
Also $10k/month is ok for one or two people, but what if someone gets sick or leaves, a business is not very stable at that size.
Additionally he assumes people want to change the world for monetary reasons, which I don't think is often the case, otherwise you'd manage a hedge fund or something.
The problem I guess is that the failures mostly just fade away. A service where upstarters commit to write about their journey, especially if it goes bad, in exchange for helpful tips would be very useful.
I agree that it may be a bad decision to aim too high, but there is also a possibility to aim too low: into markets where there is not much money or there is free stuff as competition. I've first made the 'aim too high' and then as a compensation I also made the 'aim too low' mistakes. Now I finally aim in-between.
The version with slides isn't working right now http://37signals.com/svn/posts/981-the-secret-to-making-mone...
To me the point is that nowadays you don't have to get permission (in the form of someone else investing in your company) to get started. On your own you can fairly quickly build a business that pays your bills (your "lifestyle") and lets you escape "wage slavery". Once you do this, you have a lot of security and a lot of power/control over your next move.
I didn't think the point was to build a business that makes enough to pay the bills and then stop building. I'm certainly not stopping.
Yeah we could all become the equivalent of craftsmen who had to then organize into guilds/unions to get a decent wage. Why do that when we can go home millionaires with the right idea/right money.
I have a mancrush on Github. Really!
I love that they are doing all of this with just css & js and no flash.
It is things like this, that make me excited about the future of the web.
It is highly likely we will see more complex things with non-flash technologies, than we have seen with flash technologies to date, in my humble estimation.
Perhaps github are positioning themselves to take on dropbox in the near future.
The basic gist was that designers like to keep around lots of versions and this gels well with git's easy branches.
That coupled with these kind of great tools really give me hope for a version control strategy that is useful to both designers and hackers.
There's nothing wrong with BitBucket - I use that right now - but it's clear that GitHub is the innovator and market leader in the field of online source repos.
But - another useful option would be mouse rollovers to switch between two images (which I think would work better than Onion Skin).
Can someone show/tell me what I, an average person, can do? It feels a bit overwhelming and things like this point out how powerless we really are. I hope I'm wrong and there are things we can do...I just don't know what they are.
Asking two more specific questions:
1. What can we do technically to be safe?
2. What can we do to fight this? Petition Government? Support EFF? Other? Very much at a loss on #2
Besides, who cares if you have nothing to hide. Right?
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and Warrants shall not be issued, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
Am I missing something? Of course the problem is that it's near impossible get something like this to the SCOTUS. The only real possibility is more whistle blowing.
The question is does Google give them raw data or pre-process it willingly for them?
Furthermore, when, exactly, were the good ol' days, those days from which we are presumably descending into tyranny, when we (all, not just white folk) were truly "free"?
Here's an overview resource: http://amzn.to/etLNze
Mark was given an award by the EFF a couple of years ago for his bravery.
I had a good laugh when I read (think it was Wikipedia) about that room. AT&T was sued over it... they defends themselves by 1) the room does not exist AND 2) this lawsuit should not be proceed due to Act of National Security setting aside lawsuit frames. LOOL! I dont know about you -- but to me first contradicts the second one :)) the judge only decided on count 2) -- that it is indeed NSA involved - so it was dismissed, but if there is NSA then the room exists, hahahaha!!
People forget that the US President that first set a policy for this type of illegal behavior was Roosevelt leading up to WWII. Cable/Wireless companies were pressured by US Gov to record and copy cables sent by US citizens and to send those copies to the US government.
Did not stop terrorism than will not stop it now..and yet 70 years later and no one has learned.
Either way, call me when someone finds out they can decrypt and examine all the SSL traffic in real-time.
I think that's kinda why the constitution set the default to innocent. Too bad we don't really see that as necessary any more.
Call recorded by NSA.
They really have more important things to do than monitor the geeks. Unless you come up with some nifty new crypto.
You're off to a great start (I just signed up for the beta), but make sure you do the hard work of selecting your target customer ("who will we NOT serve?") and don't preach price--preach superior experiences.
We started engaging with our prospects on what they were currently using and what problems they were facing. In many cases people were telling us clearly what they really wanted to see in their customer support software.
Yeah, that's the key, right? Actually engaging with the customers and finding out what problem they're really trying to solve. This cuts to the core of sgblank's Customer Development stuff and the whole Lean Startup movement.
We were surprised to see that a lot of what customers wanted were their core problems solved and not some fancy features of supporting customers from their Facebook wall or converting tweets into customer support tickets. While we understand that these are definitely the way of the future, many many customers do not need this today.
Heh, perfect example of how us techies can get caught upin the fancy, glitzy, "cool" stuff and maybe not realize that customers are not so concerned about that, as they are getting work done. Really, really good reminder to focus on the customer's needs!
Another important learning for us was that customers did not want to be dealing with separate invoices for their helpdesk, their contact management software, for their customer feedback forums and customer satisfaction surveys. The SMB customer wants one invoice and as much functionality as possible in the customer relationship management solution.
That's gold too... It reminds me that sometimes the "problem" isn't so much a technical problem, as a structural problem with the existing business arrangements. Wanting one invoice instead of 3 or 4 is a wonderful example of a problem an entrepreneur can solve, and it doesn't have anything to do with product features or technology. Reading this is like having a glass of cold water thrown in your face (well, for some of us!)
We also identified underserved market segments (companies with multi-brand support requirements) and segments which were getting priced out because the current solutions were expensive.So we reprioritized our feature set to what we thought is the ideal product/market fit for us. This means that things like Twitter and Facebook integration can wait. But things like multiple support emails or support for SLAs and Business hours are in.
Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing such details about your experience. I think a lot of people can learn something useful from your experience. You've certainly given me some thoughts to chew on.
That said, your post suggests that you acquired domain knowledge at Zendesk, then decided to use that knowledge to immediately and directly compete with Zendesk with price as your only differentiatior.
I suspect that the folks at Zendesk aren't going to sue you on any non-compete or trade-secret agreements, but I'm curious to know if you think that your competition raises any ethical concerns or not.
 Thanks for the correction, Aditya and apologies Girish for reading the post too fast and confusing Zoho with Zendesk
One think caught my eye: $160 for your office space?? From what I've seen on http://blog.freshdesk.com/freshdesk-gets-a-fresh-office it looks very decent. Your burn rate is also quite good.
How easy is it for a non indian to start a company in India?
Now we have a team of six people - (3 developers, 1 UI/UX designer, 1 QA / Customer support engineer and me as - the Product Manager / CEO)
Did they come through the connections made during your Zoho stint?
All the best for this venture!
Can I ask how the startup is doing financially?
Come back when you have 150 employees and the competition is begging for mercy. Then sing to us about the blood sweat and tears.
People get inspired to launch startups all the time, and some of them become great businesses. Some of them fail miserably. Lets all do ourselves a favor and not praise effort before it bears fruit.
Unrelated question: as of now your post is number one on hacker news, would you like to share what does it mean in term of traffic on your blog?
surveys United States colleges and universities each year about their admission policies. Question C3 asks if a high school diploma is required for undergraduate admission.
does not require a high school diploma for admission.
Neither does Princeton.
Nor does Yale require a high school diploma.
MIT has long reported that it does not require a high school diploma for admission.
There are other colleges that explicitly say in their Common Data Set filings that they do not require a high school diploma for admission. Moreover, homeschooling is widespread in around the world,
and all of the most famous and most desired colleges and universities have admitted homeschoolers,
who often have "home brew" transcripts (as my oldest son did when he applied for his undergraduate university studies last year).
Lacking a high school diploma issued by a government-operated school is not a barrier to admission to any of the better colleges or universities in the United States, if the applicant is well prepared for higher education study.
After edit: I'm amazed that this thread has not yet mentioned pg's essay "What You'll Wish You'd Known,"
his advice to high school students about how to use their time meaningfully. High school students who take this advice to heart can get into a good college with good financial support if they want to, or pursue some other challenging personal goal if they would rather do that.
It's an awesome anecdote, and I am a big fan of MIT, but consider this my preemptive counter-argument to the inevitable, "Here, see, more proof of why you should drop out of high school!"
(though, after all's said and done, I do hope MIT is not too different from the MIT that accepted him back then)
He's at CMU now.
Nowhere in the recrutation process you have much possiblity to show your "software code" - everything is very formalized and you have to submit your grades, essays on specified topics, pass the SATs and go through a interview (but the interviewer doesn't have to know anything about the discipline you want to study). Yes, you can describe your most interesting projects as part of your application, but if you read the admission blogs and other MIT materials, it is quite clearly implied that unless you have near-perfect grades and/or near-perfect SAT scores, they won't even look at the project descriptions, essays etc. Also there is no way of knowing why you were accepted or rejected, because the whole proccess is 100% opaque to the outside world.
I still think the MIT is awesome and the admission process probably has to look more or less like it looks like because of the volume of applications they have to go through. But the post and some of the comments seem to leave the impression that the MIT addmission comitee will look at every person as a "unique snowflake" to find the really outstanding candidates. In reality, the admission process has to be quite mechanical so that they can at all manage it and only after the initial 90% of the applications gets rejected, they can be scrutinize the remaining 10% in more detail. So, if you want to get-in, you have to "optimize grades and SAT" and "speaking French and Chinese, playing piano and painting abstract art" won't hurt either.
This sentence tripped me up. I vividly remember some of the more boring classes where you end up staring at the clock, for some subjects I actually tried to put in the least effort possible to achieve 80%. I wish I had those years back to do follow something I really enjoyed doing.
OpenCourseWare is absolutely amazing. I'm using it to study SICP and then will continue with K&R. I didn't go to MIT, but I'll always feel indebted to it because of these amazing resources.
Anyone who knows CS will know that IT is nothing like CS. I didn't have any A-Levels either. Masters degrees are a lot more forgiving, and I had some experience in software engineering.
(edit: this was year of 2009, and yes, I passed ;0) )
When application season rolled around, I had to compete with candidates who had a much shallow understanding of their area of study, but had a much stronger overall GPA, loads of random APs, etc. While I did mention my side projects and depth in my area of interest, I didn't think to submit code or the actual projects; I usually just mentioned it in the questions or essays (which I'm not certain anyone even reads). This lead to quite a few rejections.
I'm at Georgia Tech now and doing well, because all my classes, more or less, are related to what I'm interested in. While I'm very happy here, I'm curious if I would be as happy if I wasn't accepted to Tech, and were instead studying in a place without such abundance of opportunity. I'm sure there are others in similar situations.
I'm not sure why everyone is reading into it so much: it's just a "feel good" piece, really, illustrating how one student's practical skill set -- here, coding -- was sufficiently talented to warrant a second look by one of the country's (best) universities. And, being a private school, they were willing (and able) to peel back their own red tape and allow admission notwithstanding his otherwise disqualifying credentials.
The point of the story is simply: here's a kid who was unqualified in the traditional, technical sense. But due to his obvious skill and intelligence in a particular field, a private school was willing to look past his technical disqualifications and, by its own prerogative, make an exception to its own rules.
This is most certainly why Berkeley and other public schools were unwilling to make an exception: they have less flexibility. (As someone who attended UCLA, I can attest personally to the stringent red tape of California's public university system.) That the blog throws public and private schools into the discussion demonstrates a remarkably cavalier oversight that misses the point entirely with respect to why, precisely, MIT -- a private school -- is the school that happened to grant the student the exception.
The blog post mentions that there 'was no place nearby to go to high school.' That's really the issue in play. All of the 'MIT a year early' people I know about made a case to admissions that they had exhausted all of the resources at their schools and the time for MIT was now. The tech schools don't discriminate against lack of opportunity. If you're perceived as not taking all of the opportunities presented to you, though, you're finished. The post mentions that he took some community college classes. This shows a desire to learn and an ability to take advantage of the resources available to him. If he hadn't gotten a high school diploma because he was just too cool to be bothered, I imagine that he would have had more of an uphill battle.
I don't understand the point of articles like this that breathlessly trump one thing while the reality is something else. Colleges everywhere regularly accept people that have not yet completed high school. This is not just MIT. To say that MIT is somehow unique here misses the point. And yes, I know, because I went to MIT.
Resume padding is not a healthy thing and such examples could enlighten a lot of high school students.
He was certifiable on many levels, but a very interesting guy. He was working at Draper Labs within a month of his arrival on campus doing who-knows-what with some-unknown-level security clearance.
He had applied to MIT from a Texas state penitentiary where he was serving a six-year sentence for robbing a series of pharmacies and related misdeeds. Once he finished there, he started a different sort of prison. ;)
If you have some Web app chops and are interested at all, please email email@example.com and I'll send you a link to my application and video.
I don't think HS is actually a major factor in the MIT undergraduate admissions decision if you have a plausible reason for wanting to skip it.
This is the sort of thing that could have happened during a very small slice of highly unusual history. It certainly wouldn't happen these days.
there are many areas where certification/practice needs prerequisite qualifications eg surgeon, attorney, airline pilot
if the course is highly competitive/lucrative like say with IIT or AIIMS in india, expect litigations
I can't tell if I'm being sarcastic or not...The idea is to avoid the typical route and focus on building and execution, where the real world is giving you a report card and not a school. If you're good enough, you'll get an honorary degree or be accepted without the standard credentials.
So I called up Apple asking if I could return the magic mouse that I ordered online for the trackpad in a store because there wouldn't be enough time with Christmas fast approaching. The customer support guy put me on hold for a minute and then told me that in light of the Holiday Spirit they would send out a trackpad with express shipping free of charge. I could return the magic mouse if I wanted or keep both.
Fed Ex ended up dropping the ball on the express shipping, but still Apple stepped up and made my day! I ended up giving him the magic mouse for Christmas and then the trackpad a month later for his birthday.
I am pondering getting one and couldn't find one anywhere. To the people returning for refund of same amount - come over on eBay ;)
Either way, great PR move Apple.
There are lots of stories of people going into an Apple store with a product broken after it's warranty and still walking out the door with a brand new replacement.
You just don't get that kind of service from any other company (especially in the computer hardware business).
At start-ups, it doesn't (or at least shouldn't) take much for the decision makers to hear from customers and respond in a way that "wow"s them, but I'd be curious to know what processes or mechanisms specifically a large company like Apple has in place to catch these kinds of opportunities.
I know the attackers were just kids but I have to admit pursuing legal action sounds very tempting - even to just act as a deterrent to others. If they had just put up phpfogsucks.com, it might have been ok. But tweeting trash from their twitter account, redirecting their root domain to phpfogsucks, etc - are all not cool at all and should have some consequences.
- we were aware of the potential security threat behind post-deploy hooks and were about to disable them [...] but...
- we were days away from replacing this server
- They were a short-term stopgap measure we had been planning to replace
To me, it sounds like the real problem could have been stated as "We were lax on security," but almost worse than that is the lack of accountability that I sense from company. Yeah, maybe it won't happen again, but it's hard to be full of confidence to buy into a service like that.
Elliot is apparently VERY scared and blames John (compwhizii) (edit: not john, he blames someone else called supersnail1): http://www.facepunch.com/threads/1071855-A-member-of-Facepun...
Here is (compwhizii) Johns reply: http://www.facepunch.com/threads/1071855-A-member-of-Facepun...
I guess whenever I read this kind of statement from now on I'll be thinking of HBGary and chuckling a bit inside.
"aware of the potential security threat " but they left it for the next week, who honestly here would do that?
I have also seen comments around the web of migrating to Php Fog because of how they handled the situation. If you are one of these people please enlighten my mind as to how you came to such a logical decision or how much you get paid per year.
Also if Php Fog could enlighten us on how their terms of agreement will work in the case where our intellectual property is stolen on no fault of our own.
Save your sympathy for the sites that are still down, four days and counting
I guess the best way to think of it is that badness on the internet is like water. It will flow into every tiny crack in your wall you haven't sealed up tight. A crack in a dam doesn't leak less because its in an "obscure" location.
Just goes to show that those with the time to spend are the most likely to break your stuff, even if you pay "professional white hat hackers" to test your system.
PHP Fog is doing great work to make the PHP ecosystem easier to work with, and I hope they didn't suffer too much from this mistake.
So, yeah, PHPFog screwed up and did that. Then these kids went in, threw paint on the walls, smashed some windows, etc.
PHPFog was stupid - they admitted that.
The kids were criminal.
The first is not illegal - the second is.
Seriously don't write official blog posts for your company while you're experiencing "I was just in the field for days trying to fix this stuff" emotions.
Calm down, then try and be graceful about the fact that you were hacked by a few clueless kids. (Clueful kids don't let you know who they are.) Then try and figure out how to protect yourself against people with a clue.
I guess the real moral of the story is to finish what you begin, or don't keep putting security off until it is convenient for you.
There is no doubt they did some things they should not have. And I don't doubt there can be a decent case built against them. But as someone who actually had something from his teen years come to bite years later, it's not pleasant. At least in my case it was a MAJOR maturing moment(also the worst day of my life). May be it will take a lawsuit to get these kids to mature up...to that extent anything that gets em to mature up before they really get screwed would be fair.
I'm not merely advocating another chance but actually something that gets these kids to be a tad more thoughtful about their actions. It's not always easy to do that when you are 16 and full of adrenaline.
Its a brilliant piece and a great start/way to restore faith and recover from what must be a pretty grueling ordeal. Good job.
My site is still down, guess i'm in the unlucky 1%.
Is it me or no one mentions the lack of expertise of the PHPFog team in PHP and Systems Administrations.
Sure kids broke in and the way they published their findings was despicable. The fact remains that PHPFog was utterly broken to pieces and the exact essence of the problem is simply the lack of knowledge in their field.
I am very disappointed by the tone of the blog post and think PHPFog don't really have a notion of what they are doing. I would much rather seem them where they belong, in the Ruby world where their experience is.
2:56:45 AM Elliot : then I used the method detailed by turby 2:56:46 AM Elliot : to gain root
What does realtime mean in this case? Anyway, this isn't the only option. They could keep a few bare instances of their php stack online and simply run the deploy script instead of the image creation script. That ought to be able to run in under ten seconds I think.
Customers who are already pretty risk averse to their data being stored in the cloud would see this as another reason not to take the risk.
The cloud computing consortium needs to work on a stable stack as well as figure out how to audit that it works properly.
In addition, it calls for security ahead of features. Given that phpfog is funded, they'll need to implement the equivalent of a bleeding edge stack and a locked down stack.
> Your password in the database is SHA512 encrypted, but we're not taking chances.
I hope he knows what he's talking about and is just tired from the past few days.
So far this is the most specific I've found:
The engine will be open sourced soon to eliminate the vendor lock-in: you'll be able to launch Akshell apps on your own server.
Edit: Found some more details: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1261786
They built it using Objective-J (according to the source code).
I tried my name with space, it did not work but a single username worked just fine! If latter, you might want to change the Name: field to Username:.
Also, is the web a "pretty proxy" that redirect everything to a node.js server which does the actual work?
Also, whenever I hit Preview I get a 500.
* Why only GIT? Support Mercurial with bitbucket if possible.
* Add a context menu when user right clicks the mouse. It's important to have a copy/paste feature for files for example.
Like many devs, I have my preferred IDE and I'm religious about it. And I'm fine with running my own server if it means I don't have to commit to a new proprietary framework; that's kind of a huge deal.
I can see the benefit to budding web developers looking to get started, but those are probably also least likely to be paying for dev tools. This seems to be your approach in the docs, though.
When I try to access the app, it tells me that my browser isn't supported and sends me to mozilla.com to download... Firefox 3.6.15
Version check bug?
- Can you make the save-preview-reload cycle (much) faster? I found out that command-S triggered a Save, that's great. Does "Preview" have a keyboard shortcut as well? Could you have tooltips (when 'mouseovering' the toolbar icons) show the keyboard shortcut?
In TextWrangler (and BBEdit in the past), I have F1 as the "Run" item of the shebang menu. It even works with unsaved files; developing/testing in Python gets addictive: type, F1, type, F1, etc. (yes, yes, I think before I type... ;-) it's still nice to be able to quickly run your code..!)
- Will it be possible to console.log() strings and/or objects?
One small suggestion: can you s/git// on the git shell? because I'm really used to type "git <cmd>" in a shell and it's hard to change the habit.
To get people's trust to invest work into your platform, it is essential to provide a solution running on a server of their choice.
> There are still many people that don't understand that the crew of the Challenger didn't die until they hit the water. They were all strapped into their seats in a basically intact crew module; their hearts were still beating when they hit the water. People think they were blown to smithereens, but that's not what happened.
The audio is very fuzzy, but I think at the end he says something that roughly translates to "the former cosmonaut is dead"
Before that he says something about the people, I can't make out anything about heat or temperature. Apparently the people on the ground couldn't either, which is why you hear "mission control" asking him to repeat himself. I couldn't make out the word they asked him to repeat either.
"Another high-priority target for the signal chasers at Karamursel [Turkey] is the Soviet space program. On April 23, 1967, a number of analysts were routinely copying the return of Soyuz I, bringing Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov back from twenty-six hours in space, when problems suddenly developed on re-entry. Recalled one of the intercept operators:
'They couldn't get the chute that slowed his craft down in re-entry to work. They knew what the problem was for about two hours...and were fighting to correct it. It was all in Russian, of course, but we taped it and listened to it a couple of times afterward. Kosygin called him personally. They had a video-phone conversation. Kosygin was crying. He told him he was a hero and that he had made the greatest achievement in Russian history, that they were proud, and that he'd be remembered. The guy's wife got on too. They talked for a while. He told her how to handle their affairs and what to do with the kids. It was pretty awful. Toward the last few minutes he began falling apart, saying, "I don't want to die, you've got to do something." Then there was just a scream as he died. I guess he was incinerated.'"
Look: explorers of all elements -- land, air, sea -- undertake their endeavors to accomplish a singular goal: the discovery of the unknown. An uncertainty of one's destination brings with it, therefore, an uncertainty of one's success and therefore of one's survival. And this is a risk that all explorers knowingly and willingly undertake -- it is a condition precedent to being such a brave traveller.
Accordingly, I think to shed so dark and negative a light on the several tragedies during mankind's nascent years of exploration is to miss the point and indeed forsake the very thing for which those pioneers lived: the furthering of our race, the advancement of our species.
Rather than mourn the loss of our fellow adventurers in their quest into the unknown, we should instead celebrate them, not only for their accomplishments in life, but additionally and especially in death.
After all, but for their risks, but for their selfless ability to consciously put their lives on the line both for their countries -- and indeed for our species as a whole -- and, certainly, to satisfy their thirst for knowledge and discovery, we would still be travelling the European continent on horseback.
As indecent as it may sound, I am certain our great explorers would be disappointed to see us saddened by their loss, and that they would far rather their memories be praised with all the pomp and circumstance worthy of their triumphant accomplishments, failures and successes alike.
I'm sure some people disagree, but I would have left a vodka glass on this guy's grave. For sure! Spasibo!
Not sure how much they sensationalized their efforts but quite interesting look into the history nonetheless.
* Like Firefox, it is open source! http://github.com/potch/glow
* Counter was started this morning at 6am PST.
* Each dot represents one download.
* Map is generated using SVG, "pings" are divs with rounded corners, country radial charts are canvas.
* The bars across the bottom shows downloads per minute.
* You can drill down to the city level, to see how many downloads from your town. (Click the bottom left circle graph)
* Created by Matthew Claypotch (http://potch.me) and Jeff Balogh (http://jbalogh.me) on the Mozilla Web Dev team.
[edit: added open source information]
It's pretty gosh darned awesome.
I guess Glow is an obvious name for map visualization apps.
Point to also consider is Alfred is a town with less than 10000 people and New York city has millions!
The one issue with T-Mobile is it uses the fairly nonstandard 1870 MHz frequency. I don't know of any other carrier that does (anywhere). I assume this is because AT&T has the rights to the more common frequencies in the relevant markets? I wonder what technical and regulatory hurdles stand in their way for switching T-Mobile infrastructure to also do the "standard" frequencies.
Wireless really is a mess in the US. Europe and Australia have really benefited from choosing one technology (GSM). In the US you pick your carrier then pick your phone. Elsewhere you basically pick your phone then pick your carrier. Don't like you carrier? Swap your SIM. Problem solved. The US really suffers (from the consumer point of view) by this lack of carrier mobility.
It's my theory that US wireless is so expensive at least in part due to it being the most balkanized market in the developed world (and possibly the entire world).
I was hoping LTE would help alleviate this problem as it seemed to be on the road map for 3 out of 4 of the carriers (all but Sprint). Now I guess it's still 2 of 3. Sprint is still the odd man out with the (basically failed) WiMax technology.
I can see this acquisition facing some serious regulatory and legislative scrutiny.
From what I've heard, I won't get this kind of service as an AT&T customer. I'm sad to see T-Mobile go, but this merger always was kind of on the horizon.
It's 2011, folks. We can't let oppressive regimes have their way.
Oh, and unrelenting robo-reminders. Those calls never drop and they always leave a message.
"We usually have to tell them that if they unlock their iPhone, it won't work. That it's going to be like a $700 paperweight, and that the antenna will fry itself on T-Mobile. Of course, that's not true, but that's what we tell them."
1. Will I be able to keep the same plan I'm on now? I'm assuming the answer is yes unless I make any changes, at which point they'll try to force me into a new AT&T, which will suck.
2. When can I buy an iPhone for use on my T-Mobile plan? This will still probably a good year away, though I hope it'll be faster.
However, I can see the same thing not happening with this deal. AT&T really is the antithesis of T-Mo in terms of pricing, flexibility, and customer service.
I've got both (an iPhone and a Nexus One). While 3G coverage is not as readily available on T-Mo as it is on AT&T, there have certainly been many times when it has been more reliable in call quality and drops.
The only upside to this? It is very likely the US will end up with unified GSM frequencies. We will see.
Seriously not looking forward to this.
edit: /sarcasm, obviously.
We have a company leveraging their government-granted-duopoly in the broadband marketplace to strengthen its market share in a closely related market (mobile phones). It's a good move for them ... They're stretching their net and once it's across the whole Internet, get ready to pay some real rent...
So it probably wouldn't be a stretch to say that Apple played a role (albeit unintentional) in this acquisition.
I'm not sure I'm trying to make a point, but I do not know what AT&T did with the Cingular. Did it use it's network? Did they just engulf it to remove the competition? Maybe someone else more knowledgable of this ordeal knows.
How will AT&T use T-Mobile after they acquire them? What becomes of the T-Mobile network that will soon by AT&T's network?
I'm thinking of a data-only phone that puts all of these evil companies out of the equation. All you need to provide data is wireless hotspots, and this can be done by small companies.
The only problem is who owns the fast fiberoptics. These fictional small companies could create a cooperative where they all work together to create their own infrastructure. It has worked for the organic food industry (Organic Valley).
ATT screwed me seven years ago and I vowed never to take their business again (from what I hear their customer service is still not much better), so I guess if this goes through it's goodbye T-Mobile.
ATT's stated desire to catch up to Verizon while losing customers seems like an internal issue that just can't be bought away.
On a personal note. I left Sprint for Nextel years ago to see it bought. And I left ATT in November for T-Mobile and well....
At least I can look forward to a larger bill.
ed: FCC approval is probably kind of important too...
Anyway, this project is long dead as far as I know, although much (but far from all) of it was incorporated into C#.
I'm curious how they see themselves relative to the capabilities of languages like Scala.
Does it get much usage?
Most XML access is delegated to tools these days, and SQL is so familiar (and type-based access so unfamiliar), that it seems unlikely to make inroads on either - nor offer substantial practical benefits. That is: no order-of-magnitude benefit to overcome barriers to adoption.
Have you personally found LINQ beneficial? Has it been widely adopted? Why/why not, do you think?
These APIs are marked private (as opposed to Facebook's) so use at your own risk.
Also my nyt mashup... http://influentialtimes.com/
Even http://graph.facebook.com/http://graph.facebook.com/http://g... has a few shares.
The reason is that pages that have Facebook like buttons embedded on them are statistically speaking going to have a higher chance of getting shared than those that don't (such as Hacker News - which doesn't have such buttons).
I guess it depends what you might use this for, but to me it seems to only have limited value.
This one only reflects share count of the specific page--or only the homepage if you pass a domain.
Looks like fb made opengraph pages first class citizens on their namespace, should be interesting to see what else they get soon,
You can also do http://graph.facebook.com/?ids=http://news.ycombinator.com,h...
To lookup multiple urls at the same time.
My site is more popular than HN :D
Much like the others posted here, but a bit more AJAX and cute graphics.
Answers to questions such as "What are your skills?", "What is your philosophy?", and "What is your passion?" mostly just get in the way and waste the reader's time.
A flashy appeal for a job like this one might get the attention of Instagram, but they will not base their hiring decision on that. If the portfolio, which in this case includes the resume itself, isn't impressive work, they will pass.
Showcase your actual work well and present it in the most impressive possible light and employers will take notice even if you don't buy a domain name for every company to which you're applying.
No, they're clearly going to notice her and give her consideration that she wouldn't otherwise get. They're probably thinking "nice initiative" even if they've seen this type of application before.
I think a few of you are being too cynical about this being overdone. Getting a new career is a highly competitive race and doing anything that gets you noticed (and on the top of Hacker News) is always going to be a win for your career.
AFAIC, automatic interview line. It says so much:
- She understands the ugly stuff needed to get to the pretty stuff.
- She's willing to do the ugly stuff.
- Her work is more important than her ego (I think).
- She "gets it". (Somehow I don't imagine a poser would have ever thought of putting it quite this way.)
EDIT: After looking through the whole thing, I have to revise my opinion. It doesn't even qualify as mediocre -- copy and design are surprisingly awful. Large quantities of pseudo-charming nonsense ("I'm vehement about creating kick-ass interactions", "i can write a mean agile spec, and i'm comfortable working in a highly iterative environment", the complete section outlining why she's supposedly great for the gig) and completely interchangeable self-promotion. Active applications can be interesting if they're actually tailored to the company in question; this particular instance can't be bothered to make any meaningful connection to Instagram. Well, except for the domain name.
When you make a grab for a job like this, you underscore the fact that employers don't always know that there is something that can be improved - and that someone should be hired to do it.
I vaguely recall someone writing an application for 37signals, where he made some redesigns for the site that he thought were needed. (He made them - actions speak louder than words; deeds are better than words; show, don't tell.) In other words: "You need to improve these things - guess what, I can fix those problems for you." It must be what every start-up dreams of at night.
This is what these applications are intended to be about. Again, kudos for putting herself out there (I shudder at the thought of putting myself in the spotlight of the internet with my identity displayed and available for public mockery). But the application itself is very vague and will do little to convince the guys at Instagram to hire her.
I mean, who the hell wouldn't have an interest in working at Instagram? You are not a unique snowflake to have that desire - and it makes the attempt to convey passion less persuasive.
But hey: the site currently has 70 points on the front page of Hacker news, and a lot of new people now know her name. It's inconceivable that there is any "bad publicity" to come of this, so she can't really fail, regardless of what happens from now on.
Check out the "new" and "ask" pages to help some of those people who've put a lot of effort into their executions by giving them more exposure.
And yes, I'd say that to their faces: it can be very irritating to see pictures that already are not stellar, being from mobile phone cameras, further trod on by software.
I'm not sure whether her design is "good" or whether her other attributes line up with what they're looking for, but A+ for effort, nonetheless.
Unique is an absolute state. One is unique or not; there is no more/less about it. Per the dictionary usage guidelines, think about using something like: "rare, distinctive, unusual, remarkable, or other nonabsolute adjectives".
Sorry. This is my wife's pet peeve, and it has been drilled into my brain.
Also, as a UX designer the design/layout/grammar(?) of the resumĂ© is a head scratcher - lack of capitalization is no longer a style choice and just made everything harder to read, the most important bits of information: name and contact information are ... sideways.
The www allows for image, audio, code, and video, as well as text. Why are resumes still pretending to be paper (pdf / doc)?
It's not perfect. It's not the first time anyone's ever had this idea. Maybe you wouldn't hire her. Who cares?
Not everyone's running for best-most-perfect-idea-in-the-universe-ever. She made a thing. Good on her.
Very nice idea with great execution surely that is worth something.
She should have just put up a page with her work and the line: "I want to work at Instagram. Why should you hire me? Take a look at my work", and then post a bunch of kick-ass projects.
Over-the-top copy coming from a designer always is a sign that they're trying to hide subpar quality of work.
Just what I'd be looking for in an employee â€" good, old-fashioned "meh, why not?" attitude.
Yeah, I get job offers like that a couple times a week. Guess what, I turn them down too. And it's not hard at all, because they are not offers of a plum job, they are an invitation to apply for a position.
This is like people "sticking it to the man" by yelling at the cable company representative - helps no one.
"To clear up any confusion, I was not offered a job, just an interview, which I declined out of principle.For those saying "I'm going to regret being principled", etc. Probably not. Android App sales have been more than good to me. Good, enterprising, devs should never find themselves short of opportunities."
I wasn't trying to "ride on the geohot wave to get 15 mins of fame". Without beating my drum too much, I've already achieved a moderate degree of it within the Android community. http://twitter.com/#!/koush
I had been tweeting about geohot's happenings for the past few months, and then I got that recruiter email. So I responded, and took a screenshot because the whole thing was a pretty ironic, and tweeted it. Then ~16000 followers made it go viral: http://twitter.com/#!/koush/status/46345951819993088
We know what he means, but other people take the word hacker to mean something else.
If Sony came to this site and saw this article, they'd probably think the same thing too. If the email was sent to try and get them to change their ways, it probably won't have worked at all, since they might not even understand the meaning of the message.
PS. Oh, and Sony was not offering this gent a job, it was a simple "feeler". Google sends out these in droves, it does not mean they are sure job offers.
Also, "reaching out" is a far cry from a "job offer"! You still need to be phone screened and extensively interviewed in-person before you have any sort of shot at an offer. Gotta make sure the candidate actually knows his or her stuff, and that they're not going to act like a complete asshole.
georgecmu's comment is good too. Those sorts of emails from recruiters are closer to the random snail mail you get from credit card companies saying "Contratulations! You're pre-approved!" -- just fill out this form with all your PII and we might really approve you. Maybe. It's a little better filtered than that, but not too much.
Basically, whether they know it or not, they are effectively being punished for their actions. The failure to recruit a few talented candidates that will read about this will harm their long term business success.
Even worse than the EBS performance is Amazon does not offer any shared storage solutions between EC2 instances. You have to cobble together your own shared storage using NFS and EBS volumes making it sucky to the Nth power.
EC2 is fine for Hadoop-style distributed work loads, and distributed data stores that can tolerate eventual consistency, that's all good. But for production database applications requiring constant and reliable performance, forget it.
If I were faced with EBS performance issues, I would see this as a big red flag, consider EBS unsuitable for the application and avoid it, rather than carrying on with such a workaround.
Amazon seems more flexible, since you buy block storage (EBS) independent of instances. If you have an application that needs a massive amount of data, but only a little RAM and CPU, you can do it.
Rackspace, on the other hand, ties storage to instances. If you only need the RAM and CPU of the smallest instance (256 MB RAM) but need more than the 10 GB of disk space that provides, you need to go for a bigger instance, and so you'll probably end up with a bigger base price than at Amazon.
On the other hand, the storage at Rackspace is actual RAID storage directly attached to the machine you instance is on, so it is going to totally kick Amazon's butt for performance. Also, at Amazon you pay for I/O (something like $0.10 per million operations).
Looking at our existing main database and its usage, at Amazon we'd be paying more just for the I/O than we now pay for colo and bandwidth for the servers we own (not just the database servers...our whole setup!).
The big lesson we've taken away from our investigation so far as that Amazon is different from Rackspace, and both are different from running your own servers. Each of these three has a different set of capabilities and constraints, and so a solution designed for one will probably not work well if you just try to map it isomorphically to one of the others. You don't migrate to the cloud--you re-architect and rewrite to the cloud.
Can anyone tell me if MySQL fares any better than Postgres on a single EBS volume? I wouldn't assume it does but I shouldn't be making assumptions.
Overall, EC2 is a very impressive offering, for which I commend Amazon. At times, I've been so frustrated that I'm ready to switch, but they fix things just quickly enough that I never quite get around to it. In the end, I'm willing to accept that what they're doing is hard, there will be mistakes, and it's worth suffering to get the flexibility and cost-effectiveness that EC2 offers.
Amazon provides plenty of opportunities to mitigate for this, such as providing multiple availability zones. Reddit, if you read the original blog post, wasn't designed for that - it was designed for a single data centre.
OTOH, the variability of EBS performance is true, and frustrating. If you do a RAID0 stripe across 4 drives, you can expect around sustained 100 MB/sec in performance modulo hiccups that can bring it down by a factor of 5. On a compute cluster instance (cc1.4xlarge) it's more like up to 300 MB/sec if you go up to 8 drives, since they provision more network bandwidth and seem to be able to cordon it off better with a placement group.
If you would like to know more please send me an email: prakash [at] cedexis.com
Never trust critical parts of your business to others.
Hard drives are unreliable and they certainly don't fail independently of one another - but the independence of their failure is much more independent than EBS.
With physical dives and n-parity RAID you drastically reduce the rate of data loss. This is because although failures are often correlated, it's quite unlikely to have permenant failure of 3 drives out of a pool of 7 within 24 hours. It happens, but it is very rare.
With EBS, your 7 volumes might very well be on the same underlying RAID array. So you have no greater durability by building software RAID on top of that. If anything, it potentially decreases durability.
You could utilize snapshots to S3, but is that really a good solution? It seems that deploying onto EBS at any meaningful scale is a recipe for garunteed data-loss. Raid on physical disks isn't a great solution either, and there is no substitute for backups - but at least you can build a 9 disk RaidZ3 array that will experience pool failure so rarely that you can more safely worry about things like memory and data bus corruption.
The guys from Reddit also spoke about their use of EC2. Apparently they are running entirely on m1 instances which suffer from notoriously poor EBS performance relative to m2 and cc1/cg1 instances.
Although you would hope that the storage components of AWS's cloud were highly reliable, I think the main benefit is not single instance reliability but being able to recover faster because of quickly available hardware.
200gb really isn't all that big of a database. It shouldn't have to be this hard.
Like other technical fads, everyone will probably come back to servers they can reach out and touch when needed, sooner or later.
I'm not immediately planning to move out of AWS, but the trouble with EBS has certainly got me thinking about other options and has made me much less inclined to make an increased commitment to AWS.
This kind of complaint reminds me of people who buy a product that does A very well, but then they trash it in reviews for not doing B. It was never advertised as doing B, but you'd never know that from the complaining.
(Edit: I hadn't considered the possibility of somehow killing all my instances through human error. Ouch. That probably warrants one slave on EBS per AZ.)
We released a dropbox-like product to sync and the back-end is on EBS. Yesterday we saw two times when a device got filled to 7GB and as it got closer it became slower and slower and slower. We did not have any instrumentation/monitoring in place and we were immediately suspect it was something on our end.
We (wrongly?) assumed reliability and (decent) performance from AWS.
http://blogs.sun.com/marchamilton/entry/a_brilliant_argument..."Cloud Storage Will Be Limited By Drive Reliability, Bandwidth ... The key feature of ZFS enabling data integrity is the 256-bit checksum that protects your data."
We tried GoGrid and they lost or crashed our server instance.
I've personally used Rackspace, so far so good, but I've only been doing development on it.
"Elastic" is AWS's claim to fame, but I am not seeing it.
Trying to resize an EMR cluster (which is half the point of having an EMR cluster instead of buying our own hardware) generates the cryptic error "Error: Cannot add instance groups to a master only job flow" that is not documented anywhere.
(Why would Amazon even implement a "master only job flow", which serves no purpose at all?)
But you're still sharing the same hardware as everyone else and its still just commodity hardware.
It seriously doesn't matter what you do, the moment you step off the well-worn path the haters will come out in full force.
Back in 2005, I had just gotten out of the Navy and I used to be a regular on a fairly popular forum. After seeing one of those dogtag impact printers in the mall, I did some research and realized they could do photo-quality engravings on then-current iPod Nanos. Since graduation time was coming up, I had an idea to sell personalized Nanos online (this was before Apple did free engraving, and before stick-on skins hit the market).
I ordered an impact printer on eBay for about $900 and did some test runs, which turned out great on Zippo lighters and the sample dogtags, but would always screw up on the iPod Nanos (I did mine and borrowed a few from some nice friends). I realized that the machine had a bent shaft and tried to get it repaired, to no avail. A new machine would cost around $2500, and the window of opportunity for graduation was already closing, so I decided to abandon the project and get back to software consulting.
Naturally, I posted about the whole venture on the forum, and oh man did they go nuts. It was like a shark feeding frenzy. At first, I got kind of mad that they didn't understand that I felt $900 was an acceptable risk to try out this idea, and that they were trying to troll me because they thought that I was beating myself up over it. In fact, the opposite was true, I was super glad that I tried it. I was just going to spend that money on a massage chair, anyway. I did end up getting a massage chair later, which they also trolled me about because it had speakers and an iPod dock (this was before Apple products were cool). :)
Eventually, I realized that they would NEVER understand the idea of trying out ideas until something sticks, and I realized that the forum was not only a time-waster but also an unhealthy environment. I stopped posting there pretty shortly after that (partially because they started e-stalking and IRL harassing someone else and I realized I was about one step away from that happening to me), but I still go back once in a great while to see what's going on, just out of curiosity, and it's pretty funny because they still talk about it. I guess fame and fortune have gotta start somewhere. :)
Anyways, great writeup; I'm looking forward to your future posts.
One of the most exciting and genuine posts I've read in a long time.
I've spent over 5 hours trying to access my friends relationship status and cant get it to work. If anyone can help I would really appreciate it. Here is a Stackoverflow question I made: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/5373077/access-friends-fu...
The Breakup Notifier also inspired me to whip something up to find out whenever someone removes you as a friend. It's my first Facebook app and I just wanted to get my feet w/ the API: http://friendsnomore.net
Im glad TC implemented the Facebook commenting system, but as Ive noticed some trolls are just creating fake accounts to spew their BS. Though it does seem a lot less then before.
Out of curiosity, how are the stats on Crush notifier holding up?
I also can't believe all the shit in the TC comments. People really have nothing better to do with their time than rain on someone else parade, I guess.
Specifically, this one uses inner shadows to generate things like the slider bars without background-image, and most everything else is CSS3 gradients.
The blog post calls jQuery UI's default themes goofy--I won't contest they look dated, but you can get from there to near-Aristo quality by 1) decreasing the border-radius in ThemeRoller to 3px or 2px 2) only using handsome gradient backgrounds and 3) adding some more CSS rules to just add some inner glow, box-shadow and text-shadow on the better browsers. In fact, ThemeRoller could be fairly easily updated to support such things from within the graphical designer.
For example, this app editor interface is pretty much all vanilla jQuery UI, with only the slightest of enhancements in a separate file so themes could potentially be swapped out underneath:
Chrome 12 Canary: same as Chrome 10 IE9 beta: Handles on top, buttons look fine, though no text shadow. "<>" are poorly anti-aliased. IE9 beta in compatibility mode: auto-complete on top (?), but buttons (aside from href) are full-width. "<>" are poorly anti-aliased. FF4 rc: Handles on top. "<>" are poorly anti-aliased. FF3.6.15: Handles on top. "<>" are poorly anti-aliased.
It's not great but I think it came out pretty good.
A quick note though: Hitting the 'Change' button in the modal dialog does not get rid of the page overlay, making everything inaccessible. (Chrome 10)
The whole value proposition of Twitter, historically, has been that you can make it whatever you would like it to be. Are you Captain Nerd? Load up that stream with the finest of curated nerds and be soaked in their wisdom, go! Are you nuts about celebrity culture? Sports? Food? Just want to keep up with your friends and colleagues? You're covered.
The Dickbar is a violation of that understanding that needlessly undermines Twitter's brand and utility among the fiercest of its loyalists. There are many better ways to monetize the experience here. AdWords-style keyword based stuff being the most obvious, and most likely to be virtuous. Pitch me awesome iDevice accessories and apps all day long â€"Â I bet I'd actually care about them. Design sites? I'll check it out! Magic kitchen tools? Where?! Awesome restaurants near me? I will eat there!
Sports? Celebrities? Hell. No.
This is crass and it's a fuck up, plain and simple. Five years from now we'll look back and one of two things will be on our minds:
"Wow, glad Twitter rethought that garbage and built something that truly worked for both users and advertisers. What a powerhouse they are."
"Twitter? Was that like Friendster or something? I think I remember it."
That actually sums up Twitter as a whole. Try as I might, I've never been able to shift my perception of Twitter beyond that and into something that could ever be useful to me in any way.
Look at the bottom 80% of those screenshots to see what the "real" twitter gives you. I can only assume that the author has subscribed to that content, and it's every bit as useless, to pretty much anybody.
Viewing the world through nerd-tinted spectacles makes many things seem horrible that are perfectly OK to a regular person.
I understand that they have a need to monetize - I get it, but to do so in such a ham-handed way really bothers me.
The Fusion Ads that were featured on Twitter in particular were excellent -- I actually found some the ads interesting enough to click on.
After years of Twitter claiming that they were going to find a way to monetize without resorting to irritating advertisements (and after billions of tweets) they presumably have the knowledge and ability to do this. The question really is, "do they want to"?
Shortly, Twitter should be more profitable than Google.
How Google makes money? More or less, they sell queries. They do not know the right price, so they let the market to figure it out. It works extremely well but they are able to flood someone with ads only about 10-20 times a day.
Twitter, on the other hand, is able to flood with ads all the time. Actually, they are able to push ads, instead of having to wait for a query. Twitter is able to auction with more "vectors", such as location, whole feed, followers etc. They do not have to do any information retrieval over this data, it is already provided with the structure.
Twitter does not have any privacy issues. It is already assumed that nearly everything you post on Twitter is public, so no one is going to screw them for using this. The data posted on Twitter is not sensitive, unlike Facebook.
Also, there is a huge value about the way they receive the data. They have a significant edge over the old web, as they get a lot of things before the whole world. What is even better, they do not have to pull this data, people push it to Twitter. They have data faster and they do not have costs related to crawling the web.
So, if for some reason they do not want flood people with ads, they are also able to auction immediate notifications about queries, the whole stream of tweets, some parts of it. They are able to set the minimum price of each auction so they offset their costs. Everyone focuses on Twitter as a marketing channel but there are many, very profitable, industries that live by the speed, die by the speed.
And do not get me started with the control they have over links posted in Tweets...
The self-righteous sense of entitlement of people using free stuff on the internet never ceases to amaze me.
Anyway, all this does make me curious to see how Twitter is going to change in the next few months and I hope for the best - for them and for the users.
The new tweet button is the same size and in the same place as in the rest of the application. Trying the button and it does auto fill the trending hash tag.
The rest of the article hits the point, but there is no need for these inaccuracies.
The UI was intrusive, yes, but what was presented was more offensive. Fix/soften the UI impact and make the "trending" topic more appropriate and things would be less offensive.
No means no
I particularly like the idea of TemplateResponse - the earliest implementation I saw was in simonw's:
This approach makes template rendering much more flexible!
For example, it would be easy to swap out a template for a mobile one ... or to A/B test a template. Or choose the content type of the output (HTML, JSON etc.)
edit: Or maybe one from CakePHP would be more appropriate.
Seriously, Adrian, Jacob, and the django team, I love your product. I actually just bought a SECOND copy of your book (available free on the web). What's wrong with this picture?
Some of the new stuff is really cool, and means I won't have to rely on external libraries anymore (like passing context variables in template includes).
Also, the new logging functionality is really great!
Keep up the good work!
Now he's just turned it into a plug for his startup. Smart guy.
The vengeful part of me hopes this jerk gets laughed out of every job interview he ever has for being the guy who stole the computer and had his dancing video put on youtube.
Tenant/house-guest (who is wanted for fraud in several states) ran off, leaving several thousand dollars in rent in arrears and in the process stealing three laptops.
FAB (the victim) gets some reports from friends a couple of weeks later that the perp is staying in a nearby motel. FAB goes around early-ish in the morning, knocks of the perps door, and the perp opens the door and the discussion gets heated. FAB is 'forced to defend himself' cough and after he finishes bouncing the perps head off the walls and is waiting for the police and ambulance to arrive (perp is un/semi-conscious), eh enters the motel room, recognises the three laptops, and puts them in the boot of his car.
Police arrive. Ambo turns up and hauls perp off to hospital. Police insist that FAB give the laptops to the motel manager, and they tell the motel manager to await further instructions.
Later that day perp checks himself out of hospital, goes back to motel, asks for laptops, manager gives them to him, and then high-tails it off to Victoria (the other end of Australia).
Moral of the story: police are useless no matter what country you are in.
How? Preload a cheap laptop with software to let you monitor it. (This could be made way more sophisticated, and hard to eradicate, than a online backup subscription.) Leave it somewhere to be stolen. Monitor its later use for information that could allow stealing many times the initial laptop value from its later users. (Those later users may in some instances be the laptop thief, but could more often be others who thought they were buying a cheap used laptop.)
This is a good reason to beware deals that seem too good to be true, when purchasing used computer goods.
Implying using a data sync service turns one into one of the chosen few who "know how to use computers".
Defcon 18 : Pwned by the owner - What happens when you steal a hackers computer -- zoz part http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4oB28ksiIo
The Presentation is really funny, but some may find the "invasion of privacy" a little disturbing. Its kinda on the extreme side ( warned! ) but is very informative and funny nonetheless.
This is not true.
The thief has offered an "apology" of sorts: http://bostinnovation.com/2011/03/23/dont-steal-a-computer-f...
And Mark Bao has his laptop back and "plans to sell the returned Apple and donate the proceeds to the Red Cross Japan fund." http://blogs.forbes.com/kashmirhill/2011/03/22/to-catch-a-co...
He's lucky he didn't get his hand cut off like in other countries.
I'm actually slightly embarrassed that this is on Hacker News right now.
A friend made a short radio story about it:http://thebarkandthebite.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/cab-for...
"35 pass erase followed by OSX on a portable drive, resell immediately at a good distance for a good keep quite discount"
when i responded with
"what about some kind of advanced government software or computer forensics kit"
"only going to get you if its laden with child porn"
Is he serious?
Larry would act as the investor, and anyone inside the company could come ask for money to found a new "company" or for additional funding. Every company would start out with some kind of "shares" to be distributed by the founders (with vesting, etc). If a company fails the people would actually lose their jobs. If they succeed the equity would be worth some proportionally huge amount.
I don't think any company has ever tried to truly simulate startups on a scale like this while maintaining the upside and downside of a real startup.
It's just crazy enough to work and he's just crazy enough to try it.
If you are truly a passionate early-stage founder, then the only option is to leave. Of course, Ellison, Gates, Jobs would never do this (willingly, anyway, in the latter case), because they'll never hit another homerun that big. If Page left it would be a pretty big stake in the ground.
* Part of the allure of joining a smaller organization is that you can have a huge impact, creating a business from nothing to $10M/year is huge. At Google adding $10M/yr to the bottom line is chump change and you're a chump if that's all you can do.
* One of the great things about smaller organizations is that not only does everyone have a general understanding of the big picture, they have a lot of respect for each other too. Google has grown so complex in its execution that nobody could honestly claim to know how it all works, and of the few who come closest they can't scale to be as many places as they need to be. There is an inverse square law that your level of respect at Google is 1/Jd^2 where Jd is your "Jeff Dean" number.
* Start ups in particular get focus from solving a problem that is painful enough that someone will pay you for your solution, Google invents problems that nobody has and then has to give away their work to get any traction at all.
* Start ups can fire their hardware vendor, pick and choose their own software, build methodology, hiring practices. All of those things are mandated at Google.
Next up I'm afraid is a big poster imploring people to ask themselves, "Is this good for Google?" That would be sad indeed.
I know adults who would like to simplify their lives to get back to a lifestyle that is more like the one they had in college. That is perhaps equally difficult.
At the beginning of one Google Voice product review, for instance, he offered Page and Brin the opportunity to pick their own phone numbers for the new service. For the next hour, the two brainstormed sequences that embodied mathematical puns while the product sailed through the review.
This was pretty much my experience with getting to choose my own GV number, albeit from a long list of "pre-screened" numbers. Had to stop myself from going through all of them (within an area code) in trying to find a number that was neat / punny / significant.
A forum? Where users can answer each other's questions? What unconventional brilliance!
It's not like thousands of other companies have forums where users can answer each other's questions.
"Page reiterated his complaint, charging that it was taking at least 600 milliseconds to reload. Buchheit thought, â€śYou can't know that.â€ť But when he got back to his office he checked the server logs. Six hundred milliseconds. â€śHe nailed it,â€ť Buchheit says."
What preternatural powers of observation Page must have had to guess that a page reload took half a second.
This article is such a fawning puff-piece.
"A few ingredients in Larry Page's stew of traits stand out unmistakably. He is brainy, he is confident, he is parsimonious with social interaction. But the dominant flavor in the dish is his boundless ambition, both to excel individually and to improve the conditions of the planet at large.
He sees the historic technology boom as a chance to realize such ambitions and sees those who fail to do so as shamelessly squandering the opportunity. To Page, the only true failure is not attempting the audacious. â€śEven if you fail at your ambitious thing, it's very hard to fail completely,â€ť he says. â€śThat's the thing that people don't get.â€ť
"(Page's fixation on speed probably drives his notorious bias toward utilitarianâ€"some say boringâ€"design. He maintains a militant opposition to eye-catching animations, transitions, or anything that veers from stark simplicity.)"
With YC level success rates, it could be a great strategy for them.
Wow that works out to be 9 everyday for the past 10 years, really?!?
Google could really reach new heights with Larry at the helm.
That explains a few things... I wonder why they they even bothered writing Google Forums, they could have just thrown phpBB at it and call it a day.
okay I lol'ed, that caught me off guard
There's this expectation that there's "something different" that separates successful startup founders from "common folk". And it just doesn't exist. I think the barrier of intimidation is one of the biggest things most people aren't fortunate enough to experience.
Like I said, I know more than a few YC folks, I've interviewed (and was rejected) once from YC, and every person I've met struck me as utterly normal in most ways. They merely possessed a bit more experience and in general know a tad more than the average person.
There's no reason you can't do a startup right this instant. Do not let YC's rejection/acceptance dictate your path.
Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing what comes out of it.
Sincere congratulations, though, Wilhelm, I hope now you can start living the life again.
People who are passionate are more likely to stick it out to the end. It is something I think that's pretty hard to fake.
So what's your take away from all of it? Is it the YC network and the resourcefulness of YC founders, or is there more to it?
PS: I strongly believe in the adage, "if you want to be smart, surround yourself with smart people". From that POV, I understand that being connected to YC founders itself gives you tools that would otherwise be inaccessible to you. Still I wanna hear that from you, since you're in a better position to ascertain that.
Given PG's selection is based on startup founder's likelihood of success. YC's harsh selection process have really shaped my vision of my product to attack the problem domain from a different angle. I think they will train better founders.
Now, I am applying YC this session (S11),
- Finally i find a cofounder that i have know for 2 years that have perfect match in value and skill sets.
- I spend much more time preparing the application
- Also exponential more time working on the real business assets (design, code, project plan)
I should Thank them for the harshness, it makes you becomes a stronger, better fighter !
So ... wanna review my app? :)
So if you do get $$ from investors, when do you have to pay them back?
1. No traction? Just put it anywhere, 'cause frankly, it doesn't matter. Cheapest reputable VPS possible. Let's say, Linode.
2. Scaling out, high concurrency and rapid growth? DEDICATED hardware from a QUALITY service provider--use rackspace, softlayer et al. Have them rack the servers for you and you'll still get ~3 hour turnarounds on new server orders. That's plenty fast for most kinds of growth. No inventory to deal with, and with deployment automation you're really not doing much "sysadmin-y" work or requiring full timers that know what Cisco switch to buy.
3. Technology megacorp, top-100 site? Staff up on hardcore net admin and sysadmin types, colocate first, and eventually, take control of/design the entire datacenter.
I simply don't understand why so many of these high-traffic services continue to rely on VPSes for phase 2 instead of managed or unmanaged dedicated hosting. The price/concurrent user is competitive or cheaper for bare metal. Most critically, it's insanely hard to predictably scale out database systems with high write loads when you have unpredictable virtualized (or even networked) I/O performance on your nodes.
A former employee is not quite as nice to Amazon.
They make it sound like they are already providing RAID or something similar; however, the fact that things like this happen to Reddit, who have built their own RAID on top of Amazon's already replicated volumes, show that reliability is not a good reason to go with AWS.
If you read between the lines, this says that EBS lies about the result of fsync(), which is horrifying.
If you had to run a site like Reddit, what would you do?
Murphy's law on St. Patrick's Day. Doesn't get any better than that.
I'm currently working on building a backend service that has to scale massively as well, and it has been a fun challenge trying to understand exactly where things can go wrong and how wrong they can go...
EBS problems do seem to be the biggest reliability problem in EC2 right now. The most common symptom is that a machine goes to 100% CPU use and 'locks up'. Stopping the instance and restarting usually solves the problem.
The events also appear to be clustered in time. I've had instances go for a month with no problems, then it happens 6 times in the next 24 hours.
My sites are small, but one of them runs VERY big batch jobs periodically that take up a lot of RAM and CPU. Being able to rent a very powerful machine for a short time to get the batch job done without messing up the site is a big plus.
I know the community can be demanding, but that just seems stressful.
The comment about moving to local storage was interesting. Isn't the local storage on EC2 instances extremely limited (like 10-20GB?)
If you want to outsource who makes your lunch, fine, but if your whole business is requests in, data out, you do not put the responsibility of storing your data in someone else's hands.
I get it, Amazon EBS is cheap. But at the end of the day you've got to make sure it's your fingers on the pulse of those servers, not someone else who's priorities and vigilance may not always line up with yours.
(also the cloud is dumb)
* The various bits generated from and added by the autotools shouldn't be committed. autoreconf -i works really well these days. That's INSTALL Makefile.in aclocal.m4 compile config.guess config.h.in config.sub configure depcomp install-sh ltmain.sh missing mkinstalldirs.
* Needs to call AC_SUBST([LIBTOOL_DEPS]) or else the rule to rebuild libtool in Makefile.am won't work.
* A lot of macro calls are underquoted. It'll probably work fine, but it's poor style.
* The dance with EXTRA_LIBSNAPPY_LDFLAGS seems odd. It'd be more conventional to do something like:
libsnappy_la_LINK = $(LIBTOOL) --tag=CXX $(AM_LIBTOOLFLAGS) \ $(LIBTOOLFLAGS) --mode=link $(CXXLD) $(AM_CXXFLAGS) \ $(CXXFLAGS) $(libsnappy_la_LDFLAGS) $(LDFLAGS) -o $@
* Shell variables starting with ac_ are in autoconf's namespace. Setting things like ac_have_builtin_ctz is therefore equally uncool. See http://www.gnu.org/s/hello/manual/autoconf/Macro-Names.html :
> To ensure that your macros don't conflict with present or future Autoconf macros, you should prefix your own macro names and any shell variables they use with some other sequence. Possibilities include your initials, or an abbreviation for the name of your organization or software package.
* Use AS_IF instead of directly using the shell's `if`: http://www.gnu.org/software/hello/manual/autoconf/Limitation... and http://www.gnu.org/s/hello/manual/autoconf/Common-Shell-Cons... .
* Consider adding -Wall to either AUTOMAKE_OPTIONS in Makefile.am or as an argument to AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE. If you don't mind using a modern automake (1.11 or later), also call AM_SILENT_RULES([yes]). Even MSYS has automake-1.11 these days.
* Adding $(GTEST_CPPFLAGS) to both snappy_unittest_CPPFLAGS and snappy_unittest_CXXFLAGS is redundant. See this part of Makefile.in:
snappy_unittest-snappy-test.o: snappy-test.cc @am__fastdepCXX_TRUE@ $(CXX) $(DEFS) $(DEFAULT_INCLUDES) $(INCLUDES) $(snappy_unittest_CPPFLAGS) $(CPPFLAGS) $(snappy_unittest_CXXFLAGS) $(CXXFLAGS) -MT snappy_unittest-snappy-test.o -MD -MP -MF $(DEPDIR)/snappy_unittest-snappy-test.Tpo -c -o snappy_unittest-snappy-test.o `test -f 'snappy-test.cc' || echo '$(srcdir)/'`snappy-test.cc @am__fastdepCXX_TRUE@ $(am__mv) $(DEPDIR)/snappy_unittest-snappy-test.Tpo $(DEPDIR)/snappy_unittest-snappy-test.Po @AMDEP_TRUE@@am__fastdepCXX_FALSE@ source='snappy-test.cc' object='snappy_unittest-snappy-test.o' libtool=no @AMDEPBACKSLASH@ @AMDEP_TRUE@@am__fastdepCXX_FALSE@ DEPDIR=$(DEPDIR) $(CXXDEPMODE) $(depcomp) @AMDEPBACKSLASH@ @am__fastdepCXX_FALSE@ $(CXX) $(DEFS) $(DEFAULT_INCLUDES) $(INCLUDES) $(snappy_unittest_CPPFLAGS) $(CPPFLAGS) $(snappy_unittest_CXXFLAGS) $(CXXFLAGS) -c -o snappy_unittest-snappy-test.o `test -f 'snappy-test.cc' || echo '$(srcdir)/'`snappy-test.cc
This is used in more than just BigTable; it's used extensively inside Google, in particular for the RPC system. It's great to see it open-sourced!
Of course this benefits them as well, but it's a form of enlightened self-interest that, to me, is very refreshing compared to for example Microsoft, and other companies that only care about their own software/platforms and only release stuff on need-to-know basis.
IMHO I think straight C would have been easier for World + Dog to link against.
Myers-Briggs is one of the dumbest things in psychology. Psychologists, who generally accept the stupidest theories generally admit it's useless, and Big-5 is much better. It's only popular because it's so value-free - nobody gets offended by any of it's factors (except introversion-extroversion: the only useful one).
Introversion-Extroversion is the only factor that is really a big factor. There other MB factors - (Sensing (S) - (N) Intuition, Thinking (T) - (F) Feeling, and Judgment (J) - (P) Perception) are so meaningless nobody even remembers them. The other big 5 factors (Openness to experience, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism) are much better descriptors of people. Are you interested in stuff? Openness ++. Do your homework on time? Conscientiousness ++. Say "yes" too much? Agreeableness ++. Crazy? Neuroticism ++. Honesty, intelligence, and empathy could be added; but they are a little prickly to measure. But Big 5 is still fairly descriptive of most people.
Personality traits are (roughly speaking) normally distributed. It's stupid to classify people as "extroverts or introverts", as most people are basically just "meh". Sure, there's the geek who never speaks, and the cheerleader, but most people just talk with a few friends, and feel a bit sick when they have to talk to strangers. The dichotomy that's implied by using two classifiers ("extrovert / introvert"), rather than just scoring "extroversion" on a scale of (say) 1-10 is just brain-dead.
"Introversion does not describe social discomfort but rather social preference". I like reading books, but in high school I could talk to anyone except a hot girl. Now, I guess I would prefer to read than make "connections", but that doesn't totally disqualify me for having a job that requires a lot of communication. Of course, I'm quite good at jobs that require a bit of thinking, and enjoy them more. So, um, I guess I won't be selling Avon any time soon. My loss, I guess.
And who says introverts aren't successful? I would pick Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Allan Greenspan (yeah, he caused the crisis, but virtually no-one else new better), David Letterman, and quite a few other successful people as un-extroverted people. Possibly Barack Obama, and quite a few other presidents too (but I know next to nothing of US history). Maybe Bob Dylan. Possibly John Lennon. Not Ringo though.
Having "social skills" can be important. But not all extroverts have them (think - the bully, Mr. Foot-in-mouth, and the guy who just won't shut up), and most introverts have adequate social skills. Most people do.
I'm not entirely sure this is true. A lot of the top inventors, industrialists, writers, and artists in any generation are introverts.
What less people realize is that the most accomplished statesmen and politicians are often introverts too.
Augustus Cesar led the height of the Roman Empire, Tokugawa Ieyasu unified Japan, Abraham Lincoln crushed the Confederacy and led to modern strong-Federal America, etc, etc. All introverts.
Anecdotally, it seems like it's easier for an introvert to learn how deal well with people than it is for an extrovert to learn to enjoy the solitude and meditative periods necessary for serious hardcore expansion.
It's probably easier to become moderately popular and get external trappings of success as an extrovert. But if I was trying to massively change the course of history, I'd want the bulk of my top personnel in leadership positions to be introverts.
* Introverts get tired when interacting with people and recharge their energy when they're alone
* Extroverts get tired by being alone and recharge their energy when they're with people
Extroversion and introversion doesn't say anyone about how shy or social people are. There are a lot of introverts with great social skills and a lot of extroverts with good inward skills.
That being said - it's obviously much more normal to be a shy introvert than it is to be a shy extrovert. It does happen though.
I'm an introvert and used to be a really shy guy with low social skills. In the last years however I gained a lot of confidence and social intelligence. Have I become more extroverted? Nope, I've just improved my social skills drastically.
The belief that how social people are is an unchangeable genetical trait is downright dangerous. Unfortunately a lot of people are misled into believing that it's unchangeable. It's just a skill like any other skill, it can definitely be learned!
Amen. Extroverts ruined my K12 education, how about yours? Now they're busy doing the same to the political system, entertainment, etc.
And what're the introverts doing? Oh, they're off building the next Facebook/LinkedIn to facilitate the extroverts...
Now that I think about it, most of the people I've worked with (as a programmer) have probably been introverts, and excepting one or two, they've all had excellent team and communication skills.
I am an introvert (reading HN and programming on a Saturday night, and I have no problem with it!), and I am sympathetic to the idea that extroverts are a problem, but I don't think this article articulates that problem in a particularly convincing way.
I've seen plenty of introverts who are effective communicators.
Hi,As you probably know already, your essay landed on Hacker News main page:http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2345552 Also, here you can see comments.Congratulations for that.
However, being keenly interested in applied psychology I'd like to point out few things about your essay.
First thing that made me worried is that you actually didn't mention Emotional Intelligence. I'm not sure whether it was so known back then in 2005. You rely on extrovert/introvert factor to categorize people. The same what Jonathan Rauch did.
Very latest researches and publications tend to categorize people by low/high Emotional Intelligence (EQ), which is a good choice in my opinion. Note that EQ covers wide range of factors, but generally relates to understanding one's own and others' behavior. So this not only applies to dealing with any social interactions, but also to dealing with one's self.
You may now assume that introvert means low EQ and extrovert means high EQ, but it isn't necessarily true. I'm in one of very top high schools in Poland. And we have an AP Computer Science class, which has a program that is very similar to what is done on University on Algorithmics. Also we have analogical Mathematics class.
Obviously, we observe EQ drop when comparing these special classes to others. However we do not observe introverts/extroverts categories. Of course those extroverts â€" low intelligence guys are quite funny ;) , but that's not the point. The point is to show that there's not so much connection between EQ and being extro-/introvert.
Now, you are right that introverts are generally ranked lower in â€ślife/people categoriesâ€ť. That happens because emotions plays key role in human brain. They were introduced by evolution to help species survive, but now it turned against us.
High EQ people (not all extroverts and not only extroverts, also some introverts) know how to use this to help themselves in many life situations. They know how to negotiate, how to talk people into something, how to have great friendships and fulfilling marriages. In our times EQ became one of the most important factors in life.
So I believe we should stop complaining against people treating others worse because these others are introverts. Rather we should improve our EQ to be aware of our own behavior, of what controls us, because this is the way to living our lives better.
With equal EQ levels introvert and extrovert will be dealing with life very similarly, they both will be able to find a way in difficult situations. Unfortunately, extrovert will always have an advantage over introvert, e.g. extrovert will have more connections and that as we know is better in business. But it will not be that significant.
What I want to point out is that we need to help people improve EQ and choosing people by high EQ levels (observe them in social interactions) is not so surprising from the point of chooser. Fortunately, Emotional Intelligence is not something like â€śbeing tallâ€ť, which cannot be changed.
At last I'd like to thank you for this essay. I'm sure it is going to have positive impact on its readers. When hunting for those EQ guys we sometimes forget that there is also a place for IQ guys. And they are going to find it too. Also, they are in lucky situation, because they have high IQ, which cannot be changed and probably low EQ, which can (easily) be changed. The life would be theirs, only if they did a little to improve Emotional Intelligence.
Sincerely,Jakub Malinowski from Poland
Quite simply, people talk about themselves.
There's some skill and filtering involved (you have to do things to have something interesting to say when you talk about yourself, and you don't want to focus the whole conversation on yourself), but the most important part of this epiphany was that I realized that growing up, I was always taught that the best way to be a conversationalist (and the best way to get girls to like you, and the best way to get support for your decisions, and the best way to get important people to listen to you) was to minimize yourself in the conversation and take interest in the other person, asking questions and responding with more questions...
and that this advice is sabotage, created by extroverts to make introverts easier to spot so the E's don't have to spend as much time trying to engage us and can just move on. It's like telling someone who has a hard time picking up skiing that snowplowing down the side of the run is just as fun as actually skiing, so they should just stick to that (and incidentally stay the hell out of the way of everyone else).
Extroverts naturally ignore this advice (or never see it, because extroverts don't need to seek out advice about how to engage others), and when introverts internalize it they further push themselves into a corner.
The most rewarding thing for me in extrovert situations has been figuring out what makes me an interesting person, and talking about it.
Put simply, the difference between introverts and extroverts is how they recharge energy. Imagine a party in a packed apartment. An extrovert can spend hours there and feel refreshed and energized at the end. On the other hand, an introvert will feel tired and drained. But this has nothing to do with how they act at the party. Being shy and awkward doesn't mean you are an introvert! This misunderstanding is fairly pervasive. I'm a huge introvert and I go to parties all the time. I act very outgoing, friendly, and confident. Close friends are in fact quite surprised when they find out I am an introvert at heart. But I could never sustain going to parties twice a week every week because I would get too drained.
All of that said, the author does raise some important points about the place of introverts in society. Caring For Your Introvert is absolutely recommended reading: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/03/caring-f.... It touches on some of the issues raised in the article and provides a much better overview of extroversion versus introversion. Previous discussion of this excellent article here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=561311. Rands also has a nice article about nerds which does not explicitly touch on introversion. It does however, address many issues introverts typically deal with: http://www.randsinrepose.com/archives/2007/11/11/the_nerd_ha....
"I shouldn't have to say this, but there is a place in the world for introverts. Show me the ten most innovative minds of the 20th Century and I will show you ten introverts. From Einstein to Wittgenstein, not one of them could carry a conversation if you put handles on it."
Apparently Richard Feynman never happened.
When I'm solving problems and piecing stuff together while glued to my computer I definitely get into a zone or mode or whatever, and don't really care for much outside interference. Most of the time it actually annoys me to get interrupted. But it only takes a few minutes away from it (sometimes an hour or two if I've left something unfinished haha) to get into the extroverted, outgoing talkative mode.
I've actually noticed a little bit of a curve in how well I communicate. The first few minutes after ending problem solving mode consist of me pausing a bit in my sentences (thinking ahead and seeing the conversation as a whole) and as time goes on I end up speaking very quickly and fluently without much thought at all.
Any other developers here transition between intro and extroverted like this?
What sucks is that it takes a few minutes for my brain to switch modes... because at work everyone probably just thinks I'm some really quiet, super serious guy.
In my childhood experience, 'collaboration' means that one person does all the work while the others screw around. Since no outside pressure is exerted to ensure that all parties contribute, this just amplifies existing social biases. If you put the 'cheerleader' with the 'nerd' and don't check in to make sure they're both working, all you did was hinder the 'nerd'.
Seems needed due to digital communication technology.
That you can tell other people what to do and that they'll do it.
By definition, an introvert is significantly less likely to be able to do this.
His achievement was exceptional, yes, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he went about reaching the goal in the optimum way.
His #1 point was:
> You need to be unique, where unique is not just a seed accelerator in a different city
Imagine K12 is unique in their knowledge and connections. What a fascinating proposition.
EXPANDED COMMENT:I'm a long time reader of hackernews and I have never left a comment. But this was the push over the edge.
I am a math teacher in an urban school. Before that I ran a (very non-tech) business, and before that I was a business analyst (read documentation nerd) for the mobile technology division in a very large bank.
I have been telling everyone that will listen that we can save public education and make a bunch of money through innovation. All of our technology, frankly, sucks when compared to similar wares that are sold directly to consumers.
I am bursting with ideas and some I have already tested. But I can no longer work in a vacuum.
So like dating ads of yesterday here is my pitch-
Me: Undaunted math teacher in an urban school with 2 years of experience. Using data driven instruction my students achieved the highest passing rate in my school system. While I can't hack (YET!) I can sell water to a whale and snow to an Eskimo. More importantly I can take complex systems and teach them to almost anyone. I have rewritten documentation for our 3 most popular programs in my systems and I hold monthly workshops for other teachers where I teach them how to use the technology in their classroom. Plus I understand teachers and I have experience in market research. And did I mention, I am a fearless hustler?
You: A) Want to change the face of education. B) Build stuff.
So let's do like voltron. Team up. Build something amazing. And if ImagineK12 doesn't want us, lets keep moving forward and kick down our own doors.
P.S. You can reach me at BRODERICK dot TURNER at GMAIL dot COM
P.P.S. Last year my school system's revenue was 662 Million Dollars. The money is there.
P.P.P.S. A list of companies whose lunch we could eat with a good enough product and A WHOLE LOT OF HUSTLE=
Enterprising students are basically they only way I've found that educational startups/sites can get active users to join on.
Quizlet.com (Alan Louie, one of this program's founders, is an advisor) is looking for a few great people to join the small team in SF. If you have an interest in edu-tech (or just working on a web product that's helping millions of students study already), please get in touch. Email phil@[thedomain] or http://quizlet.com/jobs/
-Layer upon layer of bureaucracy (states, counties, districts, individual school administrators)
-Teachers that are reluctant to adopt new technology
-Students that are difficult to motivate
I have a ton of respect for anyone even trying to take on this challenge.
But we also need a breakthrough in K-12 tech adoption.
n=1: my girlfriend is a math teacher at a better district in California. The only technology they provide her is a desktop with Windows 98.
So she uses her own mac to admin a tumblog filled with photos of assignments and answers to problems she uploads from her iphone. She uploads PDF's to google docs and 'shares with everyone'. She links to Khan academy videos since the school bans youtube and none of the district computers support flash.
Then her students use their home computers (if they have them) to consume this content. They're excited about it (most never heard of Khan before this) and it seems to be effective.
Back in the late 90's IBM installed a token-ring network at my high school. It was obsolete before they finished the project and the computers we had could barely get IE3 to load a web page.
So I hope this incubator does a lot not just to foster edu focused startups but to also get the right people in education to push for decent technology at schools.
In 1967 Seymore Papert was introducing elementary aged kids to LOGO. The turtle graphics in logo are differential geometry -- very advanced mathematics made completely accessible to young children. Papert's work in LOGO inspired Alan Kay and his colleagues to invent most of what we recognize in a modern computer: mice, GUIs, object-oriented programming. Kay's recent work to make computing accessable to children includes fifth-graders recreating Galileo's experiments and then building computer models of gravity to compare with their experimental data, then going on to apply their gravitational models to a simple computer game. That's physics -- newtonian mechanics to be specific -- made accessible to grade schoolers.
Here's his TED talk from 2007. Skip ahead to 9 minutes 30 seconds and watch the next 9 minutes of juicy educational ideas: http://www.ted.com/talks/alan_kay_shares_a_powerful_idea_abo...
Think about it. Fourty four years after Papert gave elementary kids a tool to understand and experiment with differential geometry, we still don't see even LOGO among educational standards, or any programming tools. The culture of education has not recognized what a huge leap turtle graphics are for teaching mathematics. In the late 1970s Apple II computers poured into many schools and LOGO became widely available in education. But those thirty plus years ago a bunch of adults saw some pretty pictures, shrugged, and ignored it as child's play instead of recognizing it for the little revolution it really could be.
Moreover, Alan Kay and company have been actively pursuing educational technology for four decades and still no traction for computing in education. Four decades by the people who brought you OOP.
Education is a big mountain to move. I'd very much love to be proved wrong, though.
It is also true that teachers don't want to mess with more of this stuff. We are already beat over the head on a regular bases with the latest and greatest methodologies, books, ideas, etc. on a regular basis. Ask any experienced teacher about their faculty development meetings and they will just laugh and tell you about the last 30 years of innovations that were supposed to have changed education.
Here is what someone needs to do in my opinion. Ideas should include LONG TERM training (2-3 years) that is mandatory in their sales package, back it up with solid research, and provide a payment model similar to a lease or student pay-to-play (where you aren't hoping their newest principal or school board also likes the idea the previous group did). In other words, PROVE it works, teach teachers how to use it, and give schools a realistic way to pay for it over a period of years. If not, you're just another one of the 40-50 "latest and greatest" idea I've seen come and go over the decades.
I wish there was an iPad app that taught college-level introductory physics (with a place to draw with one of those 3rd-party stylus things).
It's a project conceived by Mark Shuttleworth, the Ubuntu project founder.
Kudos to Khan Academy and Bill Gates for patronizing and liberating the education.
- Perhaps i'm a bitter competitor* yet shouldn't this read.
"If we fund you, the goal will be to build a compelling prototype or demo to raise the standard of education for all, inspiring a thirst for learning"
I'm skeptical to private groups with funds who want to invest in a lucrative market which is not purely based on "capitalistic ideals". To use a famous quote in context "Education is for life, not just for Christmas".
* One day! for those who know me and my snail like pace at getting to a version 1.