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1
LinkedIn shares drop 40%, erasing $10B of company's value businessinsider.com
1011 points by danso  5 days ago   630 comments top 90
1
pyrrhotech 4 days ago 19 replies      
A lot of people hating on LNKD here, but this isn't really company-specific. This is a macro shift. LNKD being down by 40% by only guiding down 8% below estimates is a big warning of how the market is about to treat all bloated growth stocks. In 2013, if they reported the same results, the stock would have been flat or slightly down. It's a major shift in investor sentiment.

Bubble bursts always start in the public markets. Next, VC-backed "unicorns" with ludicrous multiples will soon find themselves unable to raise cash at even half their previous valuations. Then those companies will have to tighten their spending which means layoffs and smaller revenue growth which is a vicious cycle towards even lower valuations, bankruptcies and ultimately a much worse job market for tech workers.

I'm expecting a 30-40% decline in S&P 500, 30% decline in bay area real estate values, 30% of bay area "well-funded" startups going bust, and 25% reduction in market rate pay for software engineers over the next 2 years. Hopefully that will turn out to be a gloomy forecast, but it's best to prepare for the worst.

2
bnchrch 4 days ago 24 replies      
Honestly I am feeling a bit of joy watching LinkedIn take a hit. Not because I think their product is terrible but because of the endless spam emails I keep receiving from them, despite how many times I click unsubscribe.
3
dawhizkid 4 days ago 7 replies      
LinkedIn is the king of "dark patterns" UI - every part of their website is optimized to trick you into doing something you have no intention of doing.
4
jameslk 4 days ago 8 replies      
Lots of angry sentiment towards this company here. I understand it doesn't necessarily bring this demographic as much value since most here are probably happily employed and don't need it. There's plenty of others who count on a service like LinkedIn, which doesn't have a good comparison (e.g. Twitter to Facebook).

Personally, I've found value in it from the potential clients I've received (I'm a contractor) and the ability to look up just about anyone I may need to do business with. I use it professionally to get an overview of others like I use Wikipedia to get an overview of a topic.

I do know they have room to improve. I've been using the service since 2006 and have seen all manner of their silly practices. But as a well-known, professional network with a large userbase, I have yet to find a rivaling alternative.

5
joshhart 4 days ago 8 replies      
Hi everyone,

I'm Joshua Hartman, the lead engineer for all of LinkedIn's consumer products. Thanks for all the passionate feedback here and we really appreciate it. I just wanted to say that we've been hard at work trying to improve the clarity of our products over the last year and this is something that we will continue to focus on going forward. Many of you have spoken of high volumes of emails. In 2015 LinkedIn built a piece of infrastructure called the "Air Traffic Controller" to make sure our communications are relevant. This infrastructure enabled us to cut the volume of email we sent by 50% and reduce customer complaints by 40% in 2015 - http://blog.linkedin.com/2015/11/10/sending-less-email-is-ju.... We know we have a lot more work to do for LinkedIn to work really well for the tech industry, and we have heard you and will keep refining the experience.

Thanks!- Josh Hartman

6
suprgeek 4 days ago 5 replies      
All those celebrating this event - don't.

If you think these guys were using shady and scummy tactics before to spam you and steal your contacts, what do you think they are going to do when their share price sinks? Suddenly reform and stop the borderline-illegal stuff?

LinkedIn will get even more aggressive at monetization. So expect even more of:

1) Random clicks that let you "invite" everyone in your address book

2) Incessant daily nag e-mails - "Complete your profile"

3) Blatant Man-in-the-Middle attacks for stuff you browse on your mobile

4) Data harvesting and selling even more stuff about you

5) etc, etc, etc

If ever there was a market ready to be "disrupted" this is it. Google could have done this with G+, Twitter can do this today with proper reorientation, Heck FB could wipe the floor with these jokers (WhatsApp could too).

7
ChuckMcM 4 days ago 2 replies      
I've been registered on LinkedIn for a long time and found it a fun an useful way to catch up on people moving around and advancing their careers, what used to be done at the occasional cocktail party or celebration could be done faster and quicker by scanning the changes. And that has helped me stay in professional touch with people with whom I might otherwise lose touch.

But that said, I've recognized their maniacal monetezation schemes with trepidation. Is is it really "valuable" to me to see the names of everyone who has looked at my profile? Is it $5/month valuable? No. Is it valuable to LinkedIn that people who don't know me can find me there? Apparently the recruiters think it is. So the place where I feel LinkedIn is suffering is that it makes it painful to stay on the site as one of the 'targets'. And that is getting them into trouble. Because if the only people there are recruiters and nobody else, it won't have any value to the recruiters either.

All of that points to some serious strategic myopia at the top. They need to take their top leadership into a room for a weekend and get on the same page about how to run that business, MySpace is the canonical example of getting the calculus wrong.

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jonathanehrlich 4 days ago 4 replies      
Just another reminder to never ever build your company for Wall street. In 2004, Netflix went from 40 to 2 in 6 months. Amazon from 89 to 5. There are entirely zero competitors to Linkedin right now (FB is nowwhere in the space). And while i agree the product has stagnated a bit - this in my view is another example of Wall Street's insanity. (and no, i don't own any shares :)
9
Inthenameofmine 4 days ago 9 replies      
Sounds like the bubble is bursting.

The established companies whose valuation was based on multiples of future growth are taking the hit, getting in line with more traditional multiples of current revenue.

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jacquesm 4 days ago 2 replies      
Linkedin is a terrible company, I've always resisted making a profile there because I think that to support a company like that in name is to give them a free pass on their despicable behavior. No matter though, I still receive their spam on a daily basis, but that's nothing a filter rule can't take care of.
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swingbridge 4 days ago 3 replies      
LinkedIn is full of people trying to get people to pay attention to them... but the people they are trying to impress aren't really on LinkedIn (they have a profile but that's it... they don't use it as an actual social platform).

In that sense LinkedIn is mostly a wasteland.

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mjmsmith 4 days ago 1 reply      
My real estate agent endorsed me for OCaml.
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joeax 4 days ago 0 replies      
I miss the old days of LinkedIn, when they had a Stack Overflow-esque Q&A subsite, Groups were at the forefront of your feed, and it was the ideal forum to hold discussions with like-minded professionals (i.e. other developers).

Today it seems like it's an endless stream of garbage posts, many from recruiters (why did I connect with so many?), Groups is now relegated to the background, buried away. Every few months they roll out an updated UI that seems less intuitive. It all feels like a cheap imitation of Facebook, underwhelming and having little value.

(P.S. Someone asked if they ever found a job on LI, I did, not from a recruiter but a developer colleague. so there's still value there.)

14
HelloNurse 4 days ago 1 reply      
The idea that LinkedIn has enough market value to be able to lose $10B of it makes me sad.
15
BinaryIdiot 4 days ago 0 replies      
When I first joined LinkedIn I thought it was an amazing idea. But as I slowly used it overtime I noticed almost every single person I know accepts EVERY SINGLE request to connect and gives people skills that they never even had. What's the point of that?

I had countless managers who've literally never looked at my code then vouched on my LinkedIn profile that I was an expert in multiple technologies they wouldn't even recognize if it was sitting in front of them.

So we have a network which, granted, still has utility but it's loaded with spam, no way of really validating an identity, and everyone's connections have been distilled into people who have sent them invites and nothing more. It's such hit and miss trying to really network with people on there that I typically login once every 6 months or so just so I can clear out my inbox.

Now if they turned LinkedIn into a more verified network with capabilities to have more meaningful conversations and introductions I would be interested again. Right now it's just a shitty clone of Facebook with job ads and resumes.

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mathattack 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not an expert, but LinkedIn doesn't seem that awful a company at $14 billion market cap, especially given the following:

- The have $3 billion in cash [0]

- They are cash-flow positive, and have a $3 billion run rate. (So taking the cash out of the picture, their market cap is less than 4x revenue)

- Many business people (high value customers) use them many times a day.

- May people pay for the service. (I've paid as both a job-seeker and hiring manager)

- They have a stranglehold on executive search, with enormous pricing power.

- They have done this on the back of a dated product, without much evolution. This isn't the negative that it sounds like. It highlights their market strength. (Bloomberg and Salesforce are similar examples)

While the lack of future growth may warrant a price drop, I think they're taking a lot of heat for the industry as a whole. If they deserve a 40% drop, many others deserve much worse.

[0] https://www.google.com/finance?q=NYSE%3ALNKD&ei=oIa2VuGwD4WK...

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jldugger 4 days ago 2 replies      
Not super surprising. The majority of their revenue comes from recruiters, and I expect the majority of paying recruiters are in tech. So any downswing in tech will be substantially felt. Especially for a firm whose earnings are negative, losing growth is bound to be a problem.

On a related note, how much of Facebook's mobile revenue is for mobile apps? Should we expect a similar decline as the economy declines further?

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aridiculous 4 days ago 2 replies      
A lot of LinkedIn hate, but no comment I've read acknowledges that LinkedIn (in some fields, and growing) has replaced the resume.

It's almost a universal format there's a lot of value in that. I can just give someone this standard URL instead of creating some crazy word doc with weird indentations.

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dudul 4 days ago 0 replies      
LinkedIn is turning into such a mess.

There is no etiquette. Recruiters just spam random people for connections. Users share stupid things that belongs on Facebook. Groups are almost unusable. I'm not even getting into all the dark patterns to crawl users' mailbox and contact list, deceiving "connect" links that actually invite a person who is not even on LinkedIn, etc.

I don't think I ever got a single job through LinkedIn.

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mythz 4 days ago 0 replies      
Hoping to also receive 40% less spam from them too. LinkedIn's an ugly company who's primary business model is social engineering and active exploitation of their user base - sharing the bottom rung on the social ladder with recruiters (aka Customers) and their widespread indiscriminate spam and phishing attempts.
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adajos 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm going to endorse them for "Creating Value for Shareholders."
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ngrilly 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not surprised. If LinkedIn disappears one day, will we miss it? I probably won't.

As far as I'm concerned, LinkedIn's only purpose is to lookup a contact's name and check his/her profile to learn a bit more before/after a first discussion. I'd venture thinking that this could easily be replaced by static web pages hosted anywhere, and some Google search.

Would you miss LinkedIn?

Edit: In the beginning, LinkedIn used to offer a fair deal to its users: you spend time filling your profile, in return we host your profile for free and for everyone to see (as your public and official resume on the web). But LinkedIn changed this policy a few years ago and, since then, only members close to you in terms of connection can see your profile. Others have to be paying members. In my opinion, it was the beginning of the end for LinkedIn.

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matt_wulfeck 4 days ago 1 reply      
Am I the only one that likes getting email from people who want to give me a job? I use a separate email and filter the messages out of my inbox. I go in there every week or so and see what's around. For recruiters I think are genuine and are working on cool projects I just politely say I'm not interest right now but feel free to reach out again later.

It's good to see there are people interested in my talents and want to give me money to use them. LinkedIn allows all of that communication to flow from one place.

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lando2319 4 days ago 1 reply      
Years ago after reading this I was so disgusted at LinkedIn I closed my account.

They have a pay for placement scheme with both employees and employers. They tell employers, "hey pay money and we'll give you top candidates", then serve candidates who have themselves paid for placement.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/ask-the-headhunter-...

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aabajian 4 days ago 1 reply      
"It projected full-year revenues at $3.6 billion to $3.65 billion, versus $3.9 billion expected."

Call me naive, but where has that $3.6 billion been going? I realize they just released a new app (which is pretty nice), but that seems like an incredible amount of money for a company whose main business is a cloud application.

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briandear 4 days ago 0 replies      
Here's an anecdote. My little company was spending roughly $10k per month on PPC directed at mental health pros. Seems perfect for LinkedIn right? We thought so too. So we ran, or attempted to run a bunch of adds regarding our HIPAA compliant software. Unfortunately, LinkedIn's automatic system doesn't allow all caps except for acronyms. In order to get the add past the automatic gatekeeper, I had to use the highly amateur looking 'hipaa' which is ridiculous when used with a professional, educated audience. Yet other acronyms such as IRS or IT or even AMA would work just fine.

I emailed support, posted on their forum and still no action. Not even a response until I posted a nasty recap in their public forum. The response: "email support, this isn't appropriate for a public forum."

While frustrated with the inability of a 'professional' social network to allow such a significant acronym (at least in the health world,) we persisted in advertising.

However they still seem to have a manual ad approval process. So my ads got stuck in approval purgatory time and time again -- often for days.

Then in an attempt to optimize cost given specific response rates, when I adjusted my bids, the exact same ad had to be approved again -- taking at minimum two days before the exact same ad would start running again. Change a keyword? Reapproval. Change scheduling? Reapproval.

With Facebook and Google, all of this stuff can be done in near real-time meaning we could adjust campaigns almost on the fly. While the FB and Google interfaces can be daunting, they don't hold a candle to the crap that LinkedIn calls ad service UX.

Needless to say, LinkedIn lost the entirety of our business, with Facebook gaining the majority. Facebook also resulted in a massive conversion rate: several percentage points different, which in the ad world, is massive.

I am one person and $10k per month isn't groundbreaking, however, it doesn't surprise me that Facebook posted record earnings last quarter and LinkedIn took a dive.

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orf 4 days ago 0 replies      
To all the people with LinkedIn accounts who are complaining about the spam and the dark patterns here's an idea: don't have a LinkedIn account. Simple.

I've never had one and never will. I've had a few contact requests but they go right in the bin. From the number of calls/spam emails my coworkers receive via LinkedIn it makes me wonder why people are on the site at all. Sure if you want crappy low quality job offers from lazy recruiters then its good, but otherwise...

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lazyant 4 days ago 0 replies      
LinkedIn posts suck, just now I see somebody posted about a job that a friend of mine could be interested in, I see no way to forward that or copy the link, went to the poster's profile to see if it's there and I can send his profile's link (not there), upon coming back the post doesn't show up anymore, Linkedin deletes posts from view "randomly" (other posts are still there).
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pnewman3 4 days ago 0 replies      
It's a crummy product. My homepage is filled with useless crap like word puzzles and simple math equations, I'm inundated with with spam from recruiters, and I get daily connection requests from people I don't know without any explanation of why they want to reach out to me.

It could be a useful network that helps me address professional needs, but they seem to have no interest in building that.

30
jrcii 4 days ago 1 reply      
Over the years I've been either a freelance IT consultant or the head of an IT consultancy. I never got a client from LinkedIn, no one that worked for me ever got a client from LinkedIn, and more broadly, no one I know has ever got a client from LinkedIn. I'm sure they have some purpose (public resume database?) that I'm not clear on, but their value from my perspective is 0.
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overcast 4 days ago 2 replies      
Wonder how this guy feels with 5% of his families investments being in LinkedIn http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/02/01/3-reasons-l...
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giarc 4 days ago 2 replies      
Tableau down 50%.

HN Discussion here. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11042482

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cperciva 4 days ago 0 replies      
"erasing $10B of company's value"

No, not at all. $10B of the company's valuation was erased, but the value did not change at all.

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typon 4 days ago 0 replies      
Good. Terrible website. Extremely over-valued.
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corbett3000 4 days ago 0 replies      
The best possible long read article on the subject of what's happening in the markets and from a global macro economic POV is here: http://seekingalpha.com/article/3860226-sell-stocks-risk-ass...

What we're seeing the the beginning of a massive deleveraging as excess debt gets worked out of the system. It's possible that asset classes of all kinds (including startup valuations, real estate, stocks etc.) are 30-50% above par value. We'll see...

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samfisher83 4 days ago 0 replies      
At a 20 billion valuation that still seems quite high. I think to justify the valuation they would at some point need to generate $1.5-$2 billion in FCF and at the current growth rate that isn't happening.
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wolframarnold 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think that's spot on.

Real Estate:The core Bay Area cities, the pinnacle of which is San Francisco, have not seen substantial real estate slumps in either recession in recent memory (the dot com bust and the mortgage bubble). For outlying areas, like Antioch, the picture was pretty ugly, however. Location matters.

Tech jobs:As someone who joined the Bay Area tech workforce in February 2000, just a few months before the market peaked, my observation has been exactly what you describe:* employed people won't see their salaries drop much, they might even see slight increases* some perks will be cut* income from equity packages will be much lower* there will be some layoffs at established companies* some startups will go bust, others will see their valuation drop and fundraising will be a lot harder* there will be fewer tech people employed overall* new arrivals in the job market (eg new grads) will have a harder time and see substantially lower starting salaries compared to their peers just a year prior. Timing matters.

38
milin 4 days ago 0 replies      
"We are pleased to give you a free trial of Premium Job Seeker." Proceeds to ask credit card info.
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inthewoods 4 days ago 0 replies      
Certainly a lot of hate for Linkedin here - curious, what would people like Linkedin to become? Or what would it take for a new service to be interesting? And given that people are unlikely to pay for a service like this means that advertising and recruiter services are likely the only sources of revenue - are you comfortable with that?

The opportunity I'm surprised Linkedin has not tackled is to create their own CRM system. I think they are the only company that can really challenge Salesforce.com. Imagine getting a CRM system and having everyone in already - a marketing/sales dream. I imagine they thought of this, but may have said it was beyond the pail as it may have driven users away. Interestingly, Hubspot's CRM was offered with data.

To me, the most interesting part of the announcement was highlighted here:

http://adage.com/article/digital/linkedin-shuts-ad-network-1...

They're shutting down their external ad network that they purchased when they bought Bizo. Having tried this product, I'm not surprised - it was a piece of sh*t.

40
nevi-me 4 days ago 0 replies      
LinkedIn has had a recent trend of forcing a search result to their login page. Maybe a new privacy setting that people switch on? Every time I come across that page I discard what I was searching for, and move on.

I can no longer remember what it was about LinkedIn that made me delete my account in the first place, maybe it's been long, but I've grown to strongly dislike the whole thing. As others have commented, perhaps they're running out of e-mail addresses to mine now.

41
laxatives 4 days ago 1 reply      
What does this mean for Connectifier, the company LinkedIn acquired hours before markets closed yesterday (and before after-hours trading caused LNKD to slide 40%)?
42
microcolonel 4 days ago 0 replies      
I like LinkedIn, it helps me get in contact with hiring managers and gives me a platform to say nice things about my colleagues.

I also prefer it to rsums for getting an idea of who I'm working with.

I don't like that it tries to trick me into doing things I don't want to do. I hate to think that people might be sent unsolicited email just because I decided to interact with it.

I honestly think that they should stop trying to be a social network, and instead: perfect the rsum; help people find talent without having to resort to shotgun InMails; discourage boasting in the unstructured parts of the profiles (Summary specifically).

I think that if they fire some people and chop off a few limbs, they could emerge a company that people actually respect.

43
runT1ME 4 days ago 0 replies      
Anecdotal, but I've gotten more legitimate job leads from my Twitter account than I have from my LinkedIn account. At least it's Engineering Managers or other Lead Engineers inviting me to interview on Twitter, I only see recruiters on LinkedIn.
44
juandazapata 4 days ago 0 replies      
I can't say that I feel bad for such a sketchy company. Even after I deleted my LinkedIn account, they kept spamming on a daily basis. Then I just added the domain to the spam filter.
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Yhippa 4 days ago 1 reply      
LinkedIn reminds me of an online dating site. You're only on there long enough to get what you want. When you've finally gotten it you stop using it until you need to get it again.
46
Taylor_OD 4 days ago 1 reply      
request

I use a Chrome extension that removed the ability to see the news feed on facebook called News Feed Eradicator.

Since installing it I've saved a lot of time because I can still use Facebook messages and view groups that I am a part of but I don't get caught in the mindless scrolling trap.

I would pay for a similar extension for linkedin. I have to use linkedin for work but I find myself scrolling mindlessly way too often. Does anyone have the ability to put something like that together?

47
xirdstl 4 days ago 1 reply      
I never put a lot of value in the data on LinkedIn.

Where else can I get "endorsements" for random technology keywords like SOA from people who cannot possibly know what SOA means?

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cprayingmantis 4 days ago 0 replies      
And they said I was a fool to short it a couple of weeks ago.
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forrestbrazeal 4 days ago 0 replies      
For me, LinkedIn jumped the shark when they started sending me birthday notifications for my contacts.

Explain to me how that belongs in a business network?

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airbreather 4 days ago 0 replies      
I can't believe they are worth even a tenth of current price - they have added no value to my career and for some time have just been annoying. It really started going backwards with the endorsements - there is no validation of the competency of the endorser to endorse you, so it is totally pointless.
51
xlayn 4 days ago 1 reply      
First Twitter, and now Linked In.I've called unicorns and specially those without business model a bubble.

What we are looking is a shift...

 -Happened from real state to oil -Oil to IT unicorns 
Now the question is where is the money being transferred to?I'm still wondering how has Facebook done to avoid all this happening to them.

52
nrclark 4 days ago 1 reply      
Every time I see something like this, I have to wonder -

Did anybody actually _lose_ anything? It's not like LinkedIn is more or less intrinsically valuable than it was yesterday. The only thing that's happened is that their baseball cards dropped in resale value.

Anybody who thinks a non-dividend non-voting stock is anything other than a baseball card is kidding themselves.

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ommunist 4 days ago 0 replies      
Hopefully, when they close the site, our personal data will not be given to the third party. Or... what was in that small script?
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tedmiston 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'll go in for a few shares. Most adjusted analyst price targets are in the neighborhood of $180. Anyone else buy?
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srisaila 4 days ago 0 replies      
I have always considered LinkedIn a spammer.
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glasz 4 days ago 0 replies      
no value was destroyed. it didn't exist in the first place.
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drac89 4 days ago 0 replies      
"Apple is like a ship with a hole in the bottom, leaking water and my job is to get the ship pointed in the right direction." - Gil Amelio

Seems similar for Linkedin but I don't think they will be able to find a "Steve Jobs" kind of strategy.

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doppp 4 days ago 0 replies      
Well, since everyone's bearish on the markets, predicting widespread unemployment for all, doesn't this mean that people will be back on LNKD looking for jobs and such? This could only mean good things for LNKD no? Sounds pretty recession-proof to me.
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ilostmykeys 4 days ago 0 replies      
A bunch of "well meaning" super wealthy, corrupt individuals can manipulate the world economy as a show of power to Presidential candidates they don't already have in their pocket but soon may...

I like conspiracy theories and I cannot lie...

bleepin' hell

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eternalban 4 days ago 1 reply      
Just a friendly hint for resident Smarty pants young things:

This is it. Competition in the field is (intellectually, conceptually, practically) ground level ho hum regardless of names/numbers. Be fearless. Think Uber for people.

('it' being the next google scale market).

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jasonlaramburu 4 days ago 0 replies      
LinkedIN's utility is really negligible now. It's become a constant stream of spammers trying to sell software engineering or recruiting services. Virtually everyone who is on LinkedIN is also on Facebook, twitter etc.
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arbuge 4 days ago 1 reply      
From the advertising standpoint, it seems to me that Facebook has a database of people's job titles which is almost as good as LinkedIn's, without requiring advertisers to pay a minimum $2.00 per click to reach them.
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mcs_ 4 days ago 0 replies      
Well, can happen if you want thousands of unknown people that do not use a copy of your products, to decide what to do with share value.

Is it statistically a good idea be a public company?

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pacomerh 3 days ago 0 replies      
Linkedin needs a really good competitor, this service can honestly be improved in every way. Not to mention user experience at profile level.
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tosseraccount 4 days ago 0 replies      
Makes you wonder how private social media company valuations are doing.
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reviseddamage 4 days ago 0 replies      
and the vultures are showing up looking for a carcass http://www.marketwatch.com/story/shareholder-alert-levi-kors...
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ottomannen 4 days ago 1 reply      
Seems to be a lot of hating on LinkedIn today. I think it's a great site to use for your business contacts. Way better than collecting business cards.
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joelthelion 4 days ago 0 replies      
I just don't understand why they don't manage to bring more value with the wealth of data they. It seems like there is so much they could do...
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jMyles 4 days ago 0 replies      
Whether or not it's a correct assessment, I think it's crazy to suggest that the Facebook At Work announcement isn't a huge factor here.

But look: at the end of the day, LinkedIn is awful. It's a thinly veiled spam marketing scheme. So the fact that it lost $10B of value seems bizarre only because LinkedIn already seemed worthless.

I have also been off of Facebook for a couple of years now. Not sure what, if any, social networking platform to adopt.

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rongenre 4 days ago 0 replies      
This could be symbolic, given that LNKD's IPO was one of the first big events of the current boom. Opened at $119 I think.
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bwb 4 days ago 0 replies      
What are your favorite parts of linkedin? what do you want them to be doing better that they are not?
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jorgecurio 4 days ago 1 reply      
anyone delete their linkedin? I just got sick of strangers adding me and messaging me but I also found out my ex-boss who I had a great deal of respect for unfriended me on linkedin and lets just say he needs to worry about another competitor SaaS soon.
73
jack9 4 days ago 0 replies      
LI having less value than a wild valuation is not a surprise to me. It is still overvalued.
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jonah 4 days ago 0 replies      
Ouch, I just feel bad for my friends and all the others who work at Lynda.com.
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sidcool 4 days ago 0 replies      
LinkedIn never made sense to me with their premium model. It was a bold idea though.
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perseusprime11 4 days ago 0 replies      
+1 for not focusing on users
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hodder 4 days ago 0 replies      
Also known as 1 $TWTR down.
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klunger 4 days ago 0 replies      
So... good time to buy?
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pteredactyl 4 days ago 0 replies      
We all know Nasdaq has been a bit inflated...
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srisaila 4 days ago 0 replies      
I have always considered LinkedIn a spammer!
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beambot 4 days ago 0 replies      
You know how people say, "No press is bad press." This is the counterexample. I feel really bad for everyone at LinkedIn today.
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crudbug 4 days ago 0 replies      
The whole market is inflated with VCs & wall street pricing models. Ultimately the public pays the price of all this.
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danielrakh 4 days ago 1 reply      
That's roughly the market cap of Twitter. Let that sink in...
84
jamisteven 4 days ago 0 replies      
Along with dozens of other companies who's stock is down.
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jjuhl 3 days ago 0 replies      
Who cares?
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ageofwant 4 days ago 0 replies      
And nothing of value was lost.
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ChuckMcM 4 days ago 16 replies      
Startup CEOs are getting pretty young these days, has your niece been hitting you up for a seed round?

I'm thinking an App that is Uber for Lemonade Stands, people in the neighborhood just press the "I'm thirsty" button and one of her "mixologists" nearby makes a lemonade and brings it by. She doesn't make the lemonade or sell it, she is all about connecting thirsty people to industrious people who are putting their otherwise unused lemons to work.

88
dang 4 days ago 1 reply      
Your comments here are breaking the HN guidelines. Please post civilly and substantively, or not at all.

We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11044772 and marked it off-topic.

89
dangerpowpow 4 days ago 0 replies      
wow, it is literally crashing
90
darkhorn 4 days ago 2 replies      
Because of Facebook Work I think.

https://work.fb.com/

2
Introducing the Keybase filesystem keybase.io
1246 points by rdl  5 days ago   459 comments top 77
1
ary 5 days ago 6 replies      
About 4 years ago I was involved with a commercial software project attempting to do exactly this. What we built worked but it wasn't positioned in a way that interested our target audience (Enterprise customers).

First, bravo for making it happen in a way that is getting people excited. Second, I sincerely wish you the best luck in getting people to pay for it in a way that is sustainable for a business. We built a user interface that made truly secure group file sharing accessible to mere mortals and said mortals were uninterested.

About three months after we shut down the business Edward Snowden made his infamous leak(s) and it became obvious to me that commercial crypto products coming out of the United States would be met with extreme levels of skepticism for some time to come. Any remotely centralized solution to the problems of key distribution and encryption are probably dead on arrival because of the single point of jurisdiction/political failure. It really doesn't matter how open you are (unfortunately).

Two things really stand out to me about this implementation. 1) The trustworthiness of the key exchange doesn't appear to employ a mechanism that protects against a man in the middle. 2) They mention the possibility of in-browser Javascript crypto. These are not small issues. The people who need crypto require rigid, durable implementations that don't gloss over security concerns in favor of usability. Everyone else is just being trendy.

I wish you the best of luck.

2
rdl 5 days ago 7 replies      
I've been using this for a couple weeks. Along with Zcash, it is the most amazing crypto-engineering project I've seen in years.

Imagine being able to share files on an ad hoc basis with anyone -- on any network. Share with someone based on Twitter, on Facebook, or email address.

Even better, all with cryptographic proofs of identity, strong crypto at every level, and open source.

3
rburhum 5 days ago 9 replies      
> Business Model?

> We're a long way off from worrying about this, but we'll > never run an ad-supported business again. And Keybase will > never sell data. > [....]> But, as stated above, there is currently no pay model, and we're not trying to make money. > We're testing a product right now, and we'd like to bring public keys to the masses.

I know a lot of people will see this as a pro, but honestly I see it as a huge negative. Raising capital doesn't mean that you "are not trying to make money". If you are not trying to make money, then you can't call it a "product".

4
sjs382 5 days ago 2 replies      
I wonder if you can tail a file, to create an ad-hoc encrypted messaging channel like:

 Read your messages: tail -f /keybase/private/yourname/inbox.log Send a message to someone: echo 'Hi, friend!' >> /keybase/private/yourfriend/inbox.log
And I wonder how it handles filename collisions? Guess I'm going to need to play with this a bit later. :)

5
zmmmmm 5 days ago 2 replies      
On the page it says it is "open source Go". Does that mean that, at least theoretically, I (or another independent provider) could build this and run my own personal keybase server? If so, that would really excite me. The one thing that really keeps me away from most cloud storage and sync services is lockin. I just am not willing to be come super dependent on a service that is building their business around proprietary lockin rather than providing an excellent service.
6
volaski 5 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe it's because I am not a keybase user, but can somebody explain this product in human terms? I am not an idiot, and it does sound interesting, but the post is too long and I just want to know what makes it unique compared to dropbox, etc. in one sentence.
7
manyoso 5 days ago 2 replies      
Is this all centralized?

How about something completely decentralized, but permanent:

https://ipfs.io/

https://youtu.be/HUVmypx9HGI

The InterPlanetary File System (IPFS)

8
jrockway 5 days ago 3 replies      
> Your app will encrypt just for you and then awake and rekey in the background when that Twitter user joins and announces a key.

Isn't this the weak link in the chain? If you can convince the client that you're the person the data was encrypted for, it will re-encrypt it with a new key and send it to you, thus making the encryption useless. What's the protection against this, other than "don't worry, we won't introduce bugs"? (I'm not saying Random Twitter Troll will do this, but couldn't "the government" compel Keybase to re-encrypt your content with a key they have?)

What does the encryption add here that a server controlling access doesn't?

9
ryan-c 5 days ago 1 reply      
I would be really interested to see how they're making the filesystem cross platform if they're supporting Windows. I see in their 'hiring' page they mention FUSE which would give Linux and OS X support.
10
davepeck 5 days ago 2 replies      
This is beautiful. I don't understand the dependency on the block chain: what's the forking attack we're concerned about here?
11
sjs382 5 days ago 1 reply      
You can seemingly host static files on keybase.pub, too. Makes it a viable alternative to github pages for hosting static sites:

https://akenn.keybase.pub/index.html not mine)

12
z3t4 5 days ago 1 reply      
When reading this I though, is this how the next "web" will look like!? Having the world mounted at file system level and content streamed or pushed on demand.

What about a public key block-chain where "mining" is storing and serving data!? A system with baked in hosting/browsing, identity (public key) and micro-transactions (web-money).

13
thomasfromcdnjs 5 days ago 2 replies      
How do you actually download this update?

It has a link at the bottom -> "latest download (possibly without the filesystem)"

I'm guessing that means not all of the OS builds have it enabled yet?

14
OJFord 5 days ago 0 replies      
Simple use-case I cobbled together after reading this:

Show HN: Signed Blogs with Keybase.io file system [1]

It's ugly as anything (no stylesheet), but just wanted to demonstrate what I think could be an interesting use.

[1](https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11039145)

15
zobzu 5 days ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately you just need to hack keybase and serve malicious code. It doesnt matter if its signed if my malicious code tells you the signature verification succeeded.

Client side needs versioned code to make this harder. Including signed, versioned javascript code, automagically.

This will also make alterations of web sites code a lot easier to detect.

16
morgante 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is an awesome announcement and got me totally fired up.

Unfortunately, I wasn't even able to log in to my keybase account on a new computer. Judging from the 1,000 outstanding issues on their Github, it seems like Keybase should first be focusing on fixing the bugs in existing software before rolling out new products. [0]

As for the substance of the filesystem, it would be nice to have some concept of named/shared groups. So I could create a "company" folder and then add people to it over time instead of having to create a whole new shared folder each time we add someone new. (And having to manually copy over all relevant files.)

[0] https://github.com/keybase/keybase-issues/issues

17
eridius 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is really cool.

Since this is a filesystem that streams data on demand, how does it behave under poor network conditions? I'm also curious how much data it caches locally, e.g. if I'm on a laptop and lose wifi for an hour, how much of the data in the keybase filesystem can I reasonably continue to access?

18
fsargent 5 days ago 1 reply      
I love that if you're logged in, it'll say

You can now write data in a very special place:/keybase/public/fsargent

Very cool.

19
vmp 5 days ago 1 reply      
I hate begging but I've been in the keybase queue for at least a year and would like to finally see what it's all about. I'd appreciate it a ton if someone could shoot me an invite: [removed] Thank you very much ashishchaudhary! :
20
joefkelley 5 days ago 1 reply      
This is really cool, but I'm not clear on how to actually install it.

Or is it only available to a limited set of users?

I see there's a "keybase fuse" command that might be related, but there's no docs for how to use it.

21
mixedbit 5 days ago 0 replies      
A monetization idea: let people create folders that others need to pay to access and take some % of the payment (useful for companies distributing movies, games, etc.)
22
raggnar 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been using keybase and their copy really seems to make sense to people that do not understand encryption. I've been able to get more of my friends using PGP recently due to this. I'm hoping that the file system will get more people to migrate away from dropbox, etc.
23
drudru11 5 days ago 2 replies      
Why is centralized crypto with a freemium biz model so welcomed?Remember Snowden?Remember parse?
24
ikeboy 5 days ago 1 reply      
>If that person hasn't installed Keybase yet, your human work is still done. They can join and access the data within seconds

Good luck getting people to do that.

Edit: I guess if the audience for this is technical people, then the kind of person who follows them is likely to be the kind that would download it, but that's a very small market. There's a far greater barrier to getting people to install software (with little tangible gain) than getting them to sign up for your website.

25
BinaryIdiot 5 days ago 0 replies      
So slightly tangental but keybase has been around for a few years now, right? I haven't been able to figure it out but are they only afloat due to investment funds? Do they have any monetization plans? I setup a profile but I'm curious what the company ends up turning into. Perhaps the money made from providing paid upgrades to this filesystem can give them enough profit?
26
wanda 5 days ago 6 replies      
I have 9 invites and I do not particularly want to trawl through all of the existing comments to find people who may or may not have been invited since having posted their comments hours ago.

So, reply to me here or email me (wanda {at} teknik.io) and I will send you an invite. First co-- actually, first noticed, first served.

27
tetraodonpuffer 5 days ago 2 replies      
so assuming one trusts the model, would it work to have something like:

I have a /me/private/yourwebsite.com set up to be shared between me and your particular site, the link is set-up when I sign up

when I log in your site, it would look for this directory to be there, in this directory there will be a file with a password hash, the server would load it, and validate the hash of the typed in password against the hash I provide, once the login is successful it would remove this file

this would basically mean that I could have single-use passwords for any site as it would be trivial to have a browser add-on that generates a random password and corresponding hash when I want to log in somewhere, it types the password in the password field on the page and puts the hash in the keybase directory corresponding to it, and alert me if the site does not remove the file after the login.

28
brudgers 5 days ago 0 replies      
Podcast interview with Keybase founder Rick Krohn which discusses this among other things: http://softwareengineeringdaily.com/?s=keybase+
29
unholygoat 5 days ago 7 replies      
Just was granted 5 more invites (Thanks Chris!) if anyone else is late to the party.

Please either reply with an email address or have one visible in your profile if you want one.

30
tehbmar 5 days ago 0 replies      
Very excited for this, just waiting for an official build unless someone has actual instructions for building Keybase with kbfs-beta support on linux.
31
0xADADA 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is fucking awesome. I've gotta try it.
32
simonjgreen 5 days ago 10 replies      
Plenty of invites over here if anyone would like one

https://keybase.io/simonjgreen

EDIT: all gone for now, but see https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11037629 for more

33
cpach 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is a pretty cool system! Sounds ideal for e.g. sharing passwords, API keys or other credentials.
34
joshstrange 5 days ago 9 replies      
I've got invites (9) for Keybase that are collecting dust if anyone wants one. Email in profile.

WOW: That happened fast, I'm all out of invites now... 2 minutes after posting emails started coming in and within 3 minutes I was out. Sorry if you didn't get one...

35
beardicus 5 days ago 17 replies      
I have 8 invites if any other stragglers (6 hours after the story was posted) are still reading. I'm heading to bed but will send them during morning coffee, GMT -5. (please make sure your email is in your profile)
36
creativeembassy 4 days ago 0 replies      
Are there any invites floating around yet? I'd love one, email address is in my profile. Very interested in developing other tools against Keybase, with mruby or Elixir.
37
thorntonbf 5 days ago 0 replies      
This looks like a really well thought out implementation that ought to fit a lot of use cases.

Put myself in the alpha queue this morning. I'll look forward to testing it out.

38
jsrjenkins 5 days ago 0 replies      
I am so excited for this project. I have been waiting for an invite for close to a year. Can anyone send me one? EDIT: email: jsrjenkins @ [google's email service].com
39
kishoresurana 3 days ago 0 replies      
I would really like an invite, hopefully some are still left!!: kishoresurana |at| gmail.com
40
Nibiru 5 days ago 1 reply      
Does anyone still has a spare invite? I've been reading hacker news for a while now but I made an account just to ask :D (email adress on my account)
41
scentoni 3 days ago 0 replies      
I would be interested in an invite if someone has one available (address in email).
42
LAMike 5 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a little confused, where are the files hosted?
43
kowdermeister 5 days ago 0 replies      
Is there any difference between this and http://tresorit.com/ ?
44
nawariata 5 days ago 1 reply      
lemon_party.jpg is a nice touch.
45
ryan-c 5 days ago 1 reply      
Random unrelated keybase question: I generated new subkeys with GPG recently - how do I update my keybase account? The master key has not changed.
46
RobMurray 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hi. Does anyone still have an invite? I would love to try it out.
47
StavrosK 5 days ago 0 replies      
Has anyone managed to get this up and running? I'm running the Go client on Linux and no dice.
48
MrGando 5 days ago 1 reply      
Pretty late here, but does anyone have any invites left? Super interesting project!

Email in my profile :)

49
artursapek 5 days ago 0 replies      
Looks very cool, trying it now. I think this will help keybase take off. Congrats on shipping!
50
null0pointer 5 days ago 1 reply      
Very exciting project! I'd love an invite if anyone can spare one. Email in profile.
51
toby 5 days ago 2 replies      
Any idea how to get this working on Arch? The latest version looks to be about 2 weeks old.
52
VCPro 5 days ago 0 replies      
Appreciate an invite - vcsekhar DOT parepalli AT gmail DOT com ; Thanks in advance
53
mkristian 5 days ago 0 replies      
Sounds really interesting. Anyone have an invite, they would like to share?
54
DarkLinkXXXX 4 days ago 2 replies      
If anyone still wants some, I can give out three invites.
55
simpleblend 5 days ago 1 reply      
I'd love an invite if anyone has any: arobbins@simpleblend.net
56
idle_zealot 5 days ago 0 replies      
Is there a way to make a public folder writable to multiple users?
57
jefffan241 5 days ago 6 replies      
I have 2 invites if people are still looking for one.
58
hamidnazari 5 days ago 1 reply      
Also an invite would be appreciated. Email in profile.
59
kcoop 5 days ago 0 replies      
Any more invites? k e n c o o p at g m a i l . c o m Thanks!
60
gyakovlev 5 days ago 2 replies      
got 2 invites to give away.next 2 replies to this comment will get the invites (fifo).good luck! make sure your email is in your HN profile.
61
libso 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is awesome. Never knew such a product was in works
62
tomkinstinch 5 days ago 1 reply      
I'd love to give this, and Keybase, a try if anyone has an invite they would be comfortable sharing.

tomkinsc@[google's consumer email service].com

63
vivekkrish 5 days ago 1 reply      
Would anyone mind sharing an invitation? I've been waiting in line for close to a year.

My email address is visible on my profile.

Thanks in advance to the HN community!

64
unholygoat 5 days ago 0 replies      
[X] Sent. check your email.
65
uzyn 5 days ago 0 replies      
Have signed up for the waiting list for months but looks like I'm still in line. Anyone care for an invite? chua@uzyn.com Thanks!
66
lyime 5 days ago 1 reply      
Looking for an invite. thanks!
67
patmcc 5 days ago 5 replies      
I also have invites if anyone needs them, reply or find my email in profile.
68
euroclydon 5 days ago 3 replies      
I would love an invite in anyone has one. Email in my profile. Thanks!
69
opmac 5 days ago 0 replies      
Looks amazing. Would love to try this if anybody has any invites.
70
1_player 5 days ago 0 replies      
Late to the party, would really appreciate an invite.. Cheers!
71
ParadoxOryx 5 days ago 1 reply      
I've got a few Keybase invites, email me if you want one!
72
patcon 5 days ago 0 replies      
YES.
73
EvanPlaice 5 days ago 3 replies      
Y'all got any more of them invites?
74
krishnamannem 5 days ago 1 reply      
can someone pass along on invite please. chaitanyamannem@googles email service(gmail)
75
jasonmoo 5 days ago 0 replies      
go max!
76
diakritikal 5 days ago 1 reply      
Hello,

What can you provided over and above yubikey?

77
nohudhuuijhfjnd 5 days ago 1 reply      
Isn't it against HN guidelines to advertise a private beta?
3
GitHub is undergoing a full-blown overhaul as execs and employees depart businessinsider.com
800 points by easyd  3 days ago   967 comments top 86
1
droopybuns 3 days ago 14 replies      
The current dominant themes in certain feminism & diversity cliques in our community are openly hostile towards me. I'm a male. I'm white. I'm middle class. I'm heterosexual.

I'm also a leader. I'm a parent of two daughters. My mother had to fight sexism issues in her career. I am supportive of inclusion & diversity. I am trying to raise my girls to be empowered, confident & curious. But the dominant themes in current diversity & feminist circles are so racist & sexist towards me that my first impulse is outrage.

For those of you who share this impulse- I want to provide the piece of perspective that helps me manage my frustration: Our culture operates under a pendulum. Right now, it's bad, but it will swing back.

There are equality people who are openly hostile to certain categories of humans based on gender, sexuality & race. This has happened before and it will happen again.

The pendulum will swing back and we'll look back at these people in the same way as certain stale feminists & race marketeers of the 80s, 70s, 60s, 50s etc. The leaders of these ideas in the tech community who focus on gender & race over building products that people want will not last. They get louder & shriller, but wielding bigotry to fight bigotry always fertilizes suspicion.

You can't fight exclusion with exclusion. So dont worry about these themes. If people arent bitching about their bigotry, their relevance wanes.

Just keep trying to do big things. If someone calls you privileged, it doesn't mean it wasn't hard & that you didn't earn it. You dont have to argue with every person who writes something stupid on the Internet. To hell with those bigots. Their misery does not earn them the right to rob you of your own self worth and success. Diversity means that all perspectives deserve to be heard. It is ok that someone uses the word diversity to ward off white folks from leading. The community eventually rejects this kind of bigotry.

You can find these people worthy of your contempt and still be supportive of diversity & equality. Now ignore these fools and go build your shit.

2
StevePerkins 3 days ago 6 replies      
Some random thoughts and observations after reading this thread:

[1] I'm interested in the differences between reactions to this, versus Brendan Eich's gay marriage scandal at Mozilla a couple of years ago.

Don't get me wrong... I supported marriage equality then, and I do not support the worst of the statements called out in this story now. However, there are rational arguments that the HN community overreacted in BOTH cases. You have to assume that self-interest factors into the difference.

[2] Why are people so reluctant to move from GitHub to Bitbucket or GitLab? I've done work with all three, and personally haven't found any of them to be significantly more or less reliable than the others (i.e. they ALL go down occasionally). GitLab's interface is virtually on-par with GitHub at this point, and frankly Bitbucket is far superior if you're using JIRA.

Current architecture trends are moving toward smaller services, with a proliferating number of repositories. So GitHub's pricing model, in which you're charged by the number of repos, is becoming less competitive every day against Bitbucket and GitLab charging per user. I sometimes wonder how many HN people do actual work on teams of significant size, and how many are college students or micro-startup founders who don't really pay much for tooling anyway? GitHub's pricing model makes NO sense for established companies with lots of projects, and it seems weird that so few people here bring this up.

3
victor9000 3 days ago 7 replies      
> While their efforts are admirable it is very hard to even interview people who are 'white' which makes things challenging

How is this even legal? Change 'white' for any other race, and you'd have yourself a workplace discrimination lawsuit.

4
jsksma2 3 days ago 3 replies      
Bring on the suits! While GH is busy distracting their world-class engineers with B.S. reverse-racism meetings, they will successfully free up their equity pool for more suit hires. That should suck the life out real quick...

Goodbye revolutionary, forward-thinking work culture & hierarchy (meritocracy). You will be gravely missed. Good luck hiring sub-par engineers for the next 2 years and watching your data centers go down on a daily basis.

I guess the only question left is... who are you switching to?

5
proc0 3 days ago 16 replies      
I would expect more from a tech company that is supposed to be by programmers for programmers.

Programmers are abstract thinkers, and it's disgusting to see them lower themselves and adopt the semantics and memes of obvious cultural constructs like race. What does it even mean to be "white"? Who exactly are they talking about and what is it about this group of people that is so bad? There's no need to bring in this gross oversimplification of culture and biology into professional talks. If they're seeing some kind of pattern within their company that correlates with some ethnicity or culture, it's just a coincidence! Start hiring less asshole managers! Who cares what color they are?

American culture is such a bummer when it comes to how it shoves people into categories. We need to start learning how to simply NOT THINK about race, and NOT MENTION IT. There is simply no excuse at all to mention it. People CANNOT be categorized based on skin color at all, AT ALL. People cannot be categorized based on culture either. Virtually everyone is multi-ethnic and multi-racial at some level. To identify even yourself as belonging to a distinct "color" is just a fabrication of American culture that is an unfortunate outcome of the history in this country.

The only way forward is to forget about categorizing people, and just speak to their qualities -> not "white managers are assholes", instead "asshole managers are assholes".

6
gedy 3 days ago 2 replies      
The irony is remote workers are one of the best ways to remove much the physical power politics due to human biology. Size, body language, sexual attraction, etc.
7
CryoLogic 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is just gross. I've spent the last 10 years of my life listening to various minority leaders discriminate against whites with no consequence.

I hope someone stands up for themselves and sues GitHub for this type of behavior. First off, this is very irrational and not based in any facts. Second off, it's blatant racism and sexism.

I will probably migrate my repos to GitLab or even BitBucket shiver. We need to vote with our dollars if that's the only way to get a point across.

8
jhou2 3 days ago 2 replies      
This articl was a bit of a hit job. GitHub is changing as revenue and staff increase. That makes sense. There are always growing pains. A flat, so-called meritocratic structure only works in a few situations. GitHub makes the majority of its revenue from enterprise. It only makes sense to mirror the structure of your most valued customers. A VP of important corporate enterprise customer expects to talk to another VP at GitHub to get things done.

I am not sure there are many success stories for increasing diversity in any industry. There are minor improvements to diversity but not much. At most companies I've worked for, the majority of the HR department were white female and the majority of engineering department were male. It was a very clean separation. I've always found that a bit odd in terms of diversity.

I think it's unfair to class everyone with white skin as "white", or darker skin as black or south asian or middle eastern. There is so much diversity in culture and backgrounds that stretch far beyond skin color. Can we stop classifying people based on skin color and just build great software to make the world a better place?

9
canistr 3 days ago 5 replies      
Hold on.

Before we make judgment based solely on mentioning race in a slide. I highly recommend reading Nicole Sanchez's full take on the issue here:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/2015/02/12/wome...

10
RamshackleJ 3 days ago 1 reply      
This article could have been written better. It has two themes going on. Github is restructuring and the lack of diversity in tech.

Why did they unnecessarily mention diversity in the context of the reorganization of github? Because that is the corporate BS that is popular to spout when you are redefining power within your company. Make no mistake github is doing restructuring to position themselves for large corporate contracts, NOT to be a more diverse workplace.

Using injustice to whitewash your redefined power structure is disingenuous.

sad to see github losing its way = (

11
xiaoma 3 days ago 0 replies      
>"(The social impact team) are trying to control culture, interviewing and firing. Scary times at the company without a seasoned leader. While their efforts are admirable it is very hard to even interview people who are 'white' which makes things challenging"

No wonder they got rid of the meritocracy rug.

12
anon42424242 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Technical director Danilo Campos" was part of a major shitshow a year and a half ago on Hacker News (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8389163). He called HN a cesspit and then tried to work up a Twitter mob against someone who made the mistake of challenging his points.

If a vindictive, narrow-minded individual like that is a technical director and a member of Github's social-impact team, no wonder people are leaving in droves.

13
the_ancient 3 days ago 4 replies      
I Hope to see GitLab, and other Truly Open Systems, replace GitHub as the go to place for source control
14
ryanackley 3 days ago 2 replies      
This is standard stuff for a growing company. Right down to the disillusionment of the rank and file. I'm curious if anyone in the HN community has worked for a > 500 person company with a flat structure.

What a lot of commenters seemed to miss is that the remote work policy applies exclusively to senior managers.

Senior managers are no longer allowed to live afar and must report to the office.

These are the people that are usually on a separate bonus plan and receive an order of magnitude more stock options. It seems totally reasonable that they should have to come into the office.

15
madebysquares 3 days ago 4 replies      
Diversity is a touchy subject. As a black engineer myself I've worked at three companies where I've been the only black technical worker and it's hard some times. I've gone to conferences where I've been maybe 1 of 5 or 6 engineers out of hundreds. i don't do any hiring but I often wonder if there is a lack of qualified black male or female engineers or what but sometimes I do feel isolated.
16
verylongaccount 3 days ago 1 reply      
It seems that many posters here believe that it is okay to discriminate against white men because they enjoy "white privilege," whatever that is. There are those who believe that it is okay to discriminate on the basis of skin color and those who do not. The former are called racists, attempts to redefine the term notwithstanding.

What I find most interesting is that the comments about white men are roughly equivalent to commonly heard antisemitic statements. It is often said that Jews are over represented in various occupations not because of any virtue on their part, but rather because of devious trickery. I don't see much distinction between such sentiments and those being expressed here.

17
hysan 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's interesting how most of the comments here are focusing on the diversity part of the article. Reading it, the thing that screamed at me the most was the influence of VC culture. It seems as though the owners of GitHub are making the decision to appease their investors by going the traditional route - fast growth with a traditional top heavy hierarchy. This always consolidates money and power at the higher levels of the hierarchy. This is great for VCs and those at the top because they can allocate more revenue and profits to them, but bad for employees and to low revenue (high volume) customers because the immediate ROI is not as good there.

This trend is fine for most companies because ultimately, the only people that matter are the ones with ownership control in the company. However, GitHub is different because of it's position in the Open Source community and with the type of people they serve - developers. If they burn the community too much, their customer base can and are fully capable of leaving the platform. The interesting thing to wonder is, have they built up a Facebook level of momentum yet? If not, the changes they are making now could ultimately turn them into an enterprise-only company and cap their potential.

18
verylongaccount 3 days ago 4 replies      
It seems that a large number of posters believe that discriminating against white men is okay because they enjoy "white privilege", whatever that is. Either you believe it is okay to discriminate against someone on the basis of their skin color or you don't. Attempts to redefine the word notwithstanding, those who subscribe to the former philosophy are known as racists.

It is hard to distinguish the anti-white vitriol I see on this page from the antisemitism of yesteryear. It was often said that Jews were over-represented in various occupations not because their industriousness, intelligence or other virtues, but because of devious trickery (they plot together to deprive others of opportunities). I fail to see how the arguments regarding white men are any different.

19
krisdol 3 days ago 3 replies      
I wonder which startup will chomp off this new sourcefor-- I mean, Github.

I know, totally different companies at this point, but this shift marks me seeing GH as a completely different entity from what it used to be, and I don't look forward to what kind of company they'll become in the future. Kind of disappointing to read about the changes. None of them sound good.

20
antjanus 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think this article pretty much shakes all the confidence in Github and for several (good) reasons:

Whenever a new CEO steps in and starts making big changes like that to the company, it usually results in big changes in the product. Whereas before, the product was controlled by programmers, now it will be controlled by CEO, his inner circle, and VCs that have the most influence. That means a product that's more "money-friendly" toward investors rather than users.

The fact that a lot of high-ranking people left and possibly, many remote developers will stop working there is yet another sign that Github as we know it will change. Maybe for the better, maybe not.

One thing that really disappoints me is killing off the remote option. I've always looked up to Github and would use it as the perfect example of how "remote can work, even at scale". Facebook recently (a year or two) implemented the same thing which is a shame.

I won't address the leadership thing but that last quote in the paragraph summed it up perfectly.

Anyways, from the looks of it, Github will become an enterprise-friendly place with less of a focus on ordinary developers and smaller businesses. This makes me think that there is growing space for a new company to take up that "developer-friendly" social network/code repository.

21
psycr 3 days ago 3 replies      
The content in this article is disgusting and despicable. I will be moving my code from GitHub as soon as possible.
22
bitL 3 days ago 2 replies      
Seems like another instance of "let the nerds build a company and then take over"...
23
audessuscest 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Some of the biggest barriers to progress are white women."

edit : also : "it is very hard to even interview people who are 'white'"

24
politician 3 days ago 0 replies      
Over the past year, we've moved to limit our exposure to GitHub by shifting repos over to Bitbucket, but it looks like that'll have to accelerate that now. The cultural and leadership turmoil described in the article sounds worse then those DDoS attacks last year. How can they stay focused on building a great product?
25
protomyth 3 days ago 1 reply      
uhm... So a company that is an enabler of developers working from anywhere and collaborating on code doesn't have at its core value working remotely? I find that a bit hard to believe, but I guess I've heard stranger things.

I guess I just expect as a matter of dogfooding that a company that strives to do great distributed source code control and all the activities surroundings that would live the remove lifestyle.

26
Animats 3 days ago 2 replies      
First Sourceforge went over to the dark side. Next, Github? This is a huge setback for open source.

We need federated open source hosting, where several companies all host the important projects, they all stay in sync, and any client can go to any service for any operation.

27
jmorphy88 3 days ago 1 reply      
All "diversity" programs, along with other legalisms like "minority" status, "historically disprivileged groups", etc. are entirely about anti-white racism and dispossession. They have no moral standing and no logical consistency, and they don't pretend to, nor do they even need to. It's utilitarian and provides benefits to a specific group at the expense of another.

I'm happy GitHub is getting to experience the runaway consequences of this toxic and repugnant ideology. Couldn't have happened to a more deserving group of "progressive" folks.

28
grandalf 3 days ago 0 replies      
This stuff just happens to companies. The kinds of people who enjoy a meritocratic, decentralized kind of system are less likely to really want to be someone's boss or to have a boss who acts like a boss.

It's unlikely that the kind of multi-tiered management structure most larger companies use is ideal, but it's the best thing management science has found (it's a young field, rooted in the buildout of factories in the industrial age).

29
fideloper 3 days ago 1 reply      
Total conjecture, with a tad of sensationalist on a topic that is otherwise unremarkable: Company grows large, needs to adjust to survive.

The ease in which y'all are swayed into this article's point of view is the true worry here.

30
s986s 3 days ago 0 replies      
In defense of github, they can create whatever culture they desire. Same with npm and every other company out there. If they succeed, they will be seen as a company who took ethics and equality very seriously. If they don't theyll be seen as racists and confused leftists.

They are making a big risk with no obvious gain (outside of hypothetical culture and numbers). But this is their risk to make. If it does well they will be considered heroes.

31
rdl 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if remote-work culture helps with diversity. It obviously does with geographic culture diversity, and with nationality (due to visas), but does it particularly help with racial or gender or age or anything else?

I'd assume it does with gender diversity (since women more often end up taking care of kids/elders/etc. even with a full time job of their own); race/ethnicity seems more indirect.

32
gyardley 3 days ago 2 replies      
What an utter mess of a thread.

Look, social experiments of the sort taking place at GitHub are good things - they can teach us something. If their policies make the organization stronger, that's awesome - we get a stronger GitHub. If their policies end up damaging the organization, that's also awesome - because it'll become evident they're bad policies, and companies will stop implementing them.

Everyone just sit back, let the market do its job, and be sure to take note of the results when it's time for you to do your own company-building.

33
susan_hall 3 days ago 0 replies      
Way back in 2005, Shelley Powers made the argument that a diverse workforce helped a company deal with crisis. The inverse was also implied, that a rejection of diversity was an indicator of some kind of resistance, which would make it difficult to deal with crisis.

Powers wrote:

"When jobs are plentiful, diversification within the job pool is not seen as a threat. In fact, diversification can be seen as a way of extending ones power over a larger base of people. Book companies see more people buying books, conference organizers hope for more butts in seats, industries have less stressed and healthier, happier workers. However, when jobs are threatened, any change in the status quo will be seen as a riskeven those in an industry populated by people who consider themselves free of bias. It is a natural inclination to want to pull in, like the turtle into its shell, when threatened. Except in the tech industry, this pulling in materializes as a resistance to difference."

http://weblog.burningbird.net/archives/2005/07/19/when-we-ar...

My interpretation of this is that the problems that Github has had with diversity in its teams was a leading indicator of the wider management problems that we now see.

34
sauere 3 days ago 0 replies      
If we could all grow up and act like professionals, that would be great. I have a hard time understanding why the tech industry always tends to create this much drama.

At the end of the day, this is about software, not about your genitals. I don't care if you're liberal or conservative, black or white, straight or gay, or anything in between! In fact, i won't bring it up, or ask. I simply do not care, the only thing i care about is your pull request.

How any company can include a slide like the one in the article (backup link here: http://i.imgur.com/p5zwScc.png) is absolutely beyond me. I am paying you to make a great product, not to make daily diversity meetings.

35
amelius 3 days ago 2 replies      
We need a decentralized (federated) system to store our source repositories.
36
elcapitan 3 days ago 1 reply      
Can we have a seal for services and software that are not run by the SJW crowd? That would be helpful. No racist "Code of Conduct"? Check.
37
Khaine 3 days ago 1 reply      
Can someone explain to me why GitHub needs a "Social Impact Team". What benefits do they bring to the organisation? It looks to me like a massive money pit.
38
Khaine 3 days ago 0 replies      
The biggest 'privilege' someone can have is not white skin, its money. All the people who bang on about diversity are usually upper class, and never talk about the socioeconomic component of it.
39
ElComradio 3 days ago 0 replies      
Out with flat org structure based purely on meritocracy, in with supervisors and middle managers. This has ticked off many people in the old guard.

This is almost certainly a mistake, from my experience. Our fairly small team's productivity dropped by I'd estimate 300% even with a much larger team once HQ decided we needed to bring in management layers. I wonder what GH hopes to gain from these changes.

40
mschuster91 3 days ago 12 replies      
> With plenty of competitors, including Atlassian, GitLab, and even Google, one thing is certain: If GitHub does stumble, there are plenty of companies that want to pick up its slack.

Atlassian? Oh god. Their software might be ideal for corporate beancounters and expensive consultants, but for everyone else it's a nightmare.

GitLab? A pile of memory leaks and other weirdness.

Google? Not so much, I highly doubt they'll ever re-open Google Code.

edit: and another thing, Github enjoys a massive, massive network effect, next to impossible to recreate by anyone else. Except Sourceforge, but they burned so many bridges that no one sane in his mind will ever trust them again.

41
raverbashing 3 days ago 1 reply      
Given the amount of news talking about SV companies losing stock market value it seems the bubble is popping
42
dudul 3 days ago 0 replies      
Since github doesn't want to deal with white male developers, I'm migrating my repos to GitLab. So long octocat.
43
alistproducer2 3 days ago 0 replies      
It is interesting to see how race is discussed on a site like HN vs. a political website. Even people posting opinions I disagree with state their point(s) with respect.

I understand how a white person could feel "under fire" in a discussion about "diversity" and "white privilege." For all the talk about the importance of empathy, it sure seems like some on the left don't have very much for our white brothers and sisters.

We have to understand that no one is born with historical context and we should't be so harsh on white people who either don't have it (context) or who do and feel singled out for being white.

We can't speak of the ingenious, invisible hand of institutional racism and then be mystified when a 23 year old white guy is skeptical of its existence.

44
mianos 3 days ago 0 replies      
You know the corporate rot has set in when you see titles like "vice president of social impact".
45
jcromartie 3 days ago 0 replies      
How many more years before all of these orgs finally come to the realization that making hiring decisions based on skin color or genitals isn't a winning strategy?
46
jgalt212 3 days ago 0 replies      
When this bubble pops, no one is gonna care about diversity in tech. It's only because there's big money do people care about diversity.
47
hitekker 3 days ago 1 reply      
Hey, mods, did the top level comments get resequenced in this thread? Up until an hour ago, iza's comment was the first comment; now it's the fifth.

I understand that the post itself may be inflammatory but the resulting discussion actually avoided a lot of the diversity v.s. meritocracy ("it's my side or the highway!") that some of the other comment threads are focusing on.

48
atmosx 3 days ago 1 reply      
Wasnt github already involved in a scandal with a female employee who quit and came out a few years back?
49
tdkl 3 days ago 2 replies      
Just wow. I'm thinking about pulling my personal Jekyll site hosted off GitHub pages and host somewhere else. Not sure about the alternatives though, with custom domain support. Ah well, a nice weekend task.
50
jpeg_hero 3 days ago 0 replies      
I am a white customer.

Am I welcome at Github???

51
etherael 2 days ago 1 reply      
Cancelled my subscription as soon as I read the tweet from @_danilo. If the races and genders were switched and the context instead was some horrendous civil war in Africa, it would be outrage fodder in the mainstream media for weeks, but because it's white males, it's totally alright to claim they're not just devoid of empathy and compassion, but constitutionally incapable of ever acquiring it.

My disgust is boundless. To hell with anyone that thinks and behaves like this.

52
susan_hall 3 days ago 0 replies      
Regarding diversity issues, it is interesting to go back and look at this interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, from 1972. What I find worrisome is that the conversation is still being discussed in 2016. For all the progress in technology, there are some social issues that change only very slowly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5lMxWWK218

What has changed is that some corporations now have formal programs in place to try to make progress on diversity issues. But the resistance to progress on this issue is remarkable.

53
yakult 3 days ago 1 reply      
The real question is: is a repo purge going to follow from their internal purge? Will they start deleting projects with diverging political views?

It's not exactly paranoia: there has been precedents; see Gamergate.

54
marshray 3 days ago 0 replies      
Is it ever a good idea to mix shipping products with social activism?

What are some examples where this has ever gone well?

55
bootload 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Were trying to build a new kind of enterprise company where the playbooks of old wont always work,"

Code for, "lots more money to be made here, move over hackers, let the ^professionals^ do their work". I'm not surprised, the hippy dream of work as you please is no more. Take and want the big money? don't be surprised when big money dictates how the company will be run.

Big question, will github be run to the benefit of users or share holders?

56
scoot 3 days ago 0 replies      
Meanwhile, github has quietly dropped the "owner" / "collaborator" tag for contributors to open source projects.

Either you're part of an org, or you're not.

Not too many OS projects have their own org, and commercial entities will be reluctant to add non-employees to their org, in order to distinguish contributors from employees.

Users of OS projects now have now easy way to tell if they're interacting with a collaborator.

Total shambles.

57
jondubois 3 days ago 1 reply      
I understand why GitHub feels it needs to add structure to their organization. It's impossible for 500 people to coordinate themselves - Combine that with the remote work environment and it gives some people a free ticket to do nothing at all.

That said, I think the remote working aspect won't be a problem if you add a middle management layer. So I agree with adding management but disagree about cancelling remote work.

58
morgante 3 days ago 6 replies      
Serious question: why can't someone make a good Github replacement that is anywhere near feature parity?

I've tried both Bitbucket and GitLab, but their UIs continue to be leagues behind Github. It takes twice as long to do something in them (ex. find and blame a file) than it does with Github.

If they could just get the UI right, I'd migrate in a second. Hosting providers should enforce political opinions (beyond defending free speech).

59
gitthrowaway 3 days ago 0 replies      
There's real fear about a user driven backlash against policies coming down the pipe. One recent slide deck was titled "Kill Your Idols?" and examined ways to prevent a LinkedIn esque reputation from forming during proposed policy changes to accelerate growth.

I make no claims as to the accuracy of this information or any relationship with GitHub. All assertions should be considered parody.

60
jgalt212 3 days ago 0 replies      
>Some of these folks may be hanging out until GitHub offers some kind of "liquidity event" a way for longtime employees or investors to sell some of their shares which one person believes could take place soon. (A GitHub spokesperson refused comment on that.)

This event is not likely to come any time soon because Andreessen Horowitz bid the price up so high.

61
avivo 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's interesting to see how people react to this, in the context of the reactions to their first VC raise of 100 million dollars -- https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4220353

e.g. "They want to do bigger and better things with Github. They're not quite done trying to change the world. Now they are not only profitable, but they have substantial capital to invest in further innovations."

and "I bet nobody here as anything bad to say about the exceptional skills of the github team. However such a huge investment may force them to "overscale" in order to be able to reach the expected return (by the VC)."

62
j4kp07 3 days ago 1 reply      
Assembla offers free private repos (no bells, no whistles). I've been using them for over 4 years now.
63
bitL 3 days ago 2 replies      
So where should I move all my repos now?
64
seivan 3 days ago 0 replies      
You might be upset by some quotes here. It's important to not to let that take over you. You end up becoming exactly like the things that bother you. Don't get bothered over the people in the article expressing their opinions. It's the only way to live. Trust me, it takes over.

".. that is life. I cannot change them overnight. I think society, their own experiences, their own reading, their own observations, will bring about the change despite their innate biases."

65
tosseraccount 3 days ago 2 replies      
"top lawyer, Julio Avalos, 'has amassed great power' in the company"

It's often not a good sign when the top engineers or star salesmen aren't running a tech company.

66
Joof 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's hard to have a meritocracy when a limited set of people make decisions for (or otherwise own) the company and are beholden to VC money.

The flat structure is better for creating new products than squeezing money out of what exists.

If people want this type of company, they have to build the company and product around those principles.

67
melted 3 days ago 1 reply      
This would be a good lesson for other companies with SJWs on staff: do what _you_ believe is right, don't let them drive the discussion.
68
douche 3 days ago 1 reply      
Anybody use Microsoft's Team Services git hosting? Looks like they have unlimited free repos, although I don't know about public.
69
574747775 3 days ago 1 reply      
People who want to build large companies are just plain scum. They are the upper class version of the aspirational middle class. The aspirational middle class can't wait to leave their peers behind and start managing them like slaves. The aspirational upper class can't wait to build a giant slave farm.

Since the agricultural era, humans have been taken over by slave drivers. We should be going back to small, decentralised groups of people. Big business and big government have done nothing but destroy this planet.

I used to work for a large company and that experience solidified my disgust for these places. I can fully understand why people would want to resign now that the company wants to grow. I decided that I would rather go down fighting then ever work for a large company again.

Has anyone asked why GitHub needs to grow? If there are other products that could benefit from GitHub integration, provide an api and let some other small group of hackers build it. All GitHub is doing is laying the foundations for their slave farm.

70
OJFord 3 days ago 0 replies      
If they pursue this genuinely, they'll be perpetually flip-flopping between states - it won't take long under this leadership for the hard-done-by minority to change to white/male, and then 'reverse sex/racism' would be sex/racism towards non-white/female...
71
brianzelip 3 days ago 2 replies      
Christ, the wonderful platform for learning, sharing, and doing that is GitHub is potentially under threat and the majority of discussion here is consumed with questions and accusations of racism?!

Of course white privilege exists. Next.

Onto real shit like how do we not lose yet another bastion of web awesomeness.

72
brightball 3 days ago 0 replies      
That's a pretty blistering take. Really wonder if Bitbucket will see an uptick in business from this. I can see something like this influencing their users as well as employees.
73
emehrkay 3 days ago 0 replies      
There is a lot of anger in this thread. I understand. Honest question though: how much of it isn't coming from white men? I ask because the tone of what is causing this anger has been publicly said, and masked as "culture" and other phrases, about women and people of color for a very long time.
74
eikenberry 3 days ago 1 reply      
I love how the guy quoted saying that they can't teach white, male middle managers empathy is a white male middle manager. I guess he's saying that he's proud of what he is.
75
iza 3 days ago 21 replies      
> "Were trying to build a new kind of enterprise company where the playbooks of old wont always work"

By replacing flat meritocracy and remote work with traditional top-down management?

> "don't think we'll succeed teaching white, male middle managers empathy and compassion anytime soon, so let's limit their scope of damage"

So the technical director and member of the social-impact team is a blatant racist.

76
yaakov34 3 days ago 3 replies      
She certainly doesn't say "only white" and she explicitly excludes white women ("some of the biggest barriers to progress"). You can make convoluted excuses for her, but it's obvious that she sees white people (of whatever gender or socioeconomic status) as essentially enemies, and doesn't want them as allies (let alone is willing to accept some of them as people with different, but valid opinions). It's not acceptable to write "we're not looking for Indian folks to lead this", and it shouldn't be if it's "white".

Also, it's definitely not just her, expressions like this have popped up in a number of mainstream places. I am definitely not imagining the various celebrations of white people "dying off", their share in the population dropping, and what have you.

77
sanjeetsuhag 3 days ago 6 replies      
> Some of the biggest barriers to progress are white women.

Can someone explain this ?

78
cooper12 3 days ago 2 replies      
They targeted programmers.

Programmers.

We're a group of people who will sit for hours, days, even weeks on end performing some of the hardest, most mentally demanding tasks. Over, and over, and over all for nothing more than a successful build saying we did.

We'll punish our selfs doing things others would consider torture, because we think it's fun.

We'll spend most if not all of our free time min maxing the runtime of an algorithm to draw out a single extra millisecond of runtime per element.

Many of us have made careers out of doing just these things: slogging through the grind, all day, the same design patterns over and over, hundreds of times to the point where we know evety little detail such that some have attained such programmer nirvana that they can literally write these programs blindfolded.

Do these people have any idea how many keyboards have been smashed, systems over heated, disks and VMs destroyed 8n frustration? All to latter be referred to as bragging rights?

These people honestly think this is a battle they can win? They take our repository? We're already building a new one without them. They take our devs? programmers aren't shy about throwing their money else where, or even making the service our selves. They think calling us racist, mysoginistic, rape apologists is going to change us? We've been called worse things by prepubescent 10 year olds with a prewritten script. They picked a fight against a group that's already grown desensitized to their strategies and methods. Who enjoy the battle of attrition they've threatened us with. Who take it as a challange when they tell us we no longer matter. Our obsession with proving we can after being told we can't is so deeply ingrained from years of dealing with big brothers/sisters and friends laughing at how pathetic we used to be that proving you people wrong has become a very real need; a honed reflex.

Programmers are competative, hard core, by nature. We love a challange. The worst thing you did in all of this was to challange us. You're not special, you're not original, you're not the first; this is just another bug report.

(If you actually read through all of this and found yourself agreeing, it's a modified copypasta from a toxic subreddit and I hope you feel silly: https://redd.it/3o82sn)

79
masterleep 3 days ago 3 replies      
Discrimination is fairness. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
80
spc476 3 days ago 3 replies      
How about George Zimmerman, a Hispanic, who shot Trayvon Martin, a Black. CNN called him "white": <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/12/cnn-white-hispanic_.... So did the New York Times: <http://www.unz.com/isteve/nyt-demotes-george-zimmerman-from-....
81
dang 3 days ago 0 replies      
> Everybody knows Hispanics are too lazy to achieve anything great.

We've banned this account for obvious reasons. There are strong feelings all around, so we try to assume good faith, but no one gets to use HN as a dumping ground for the ugly bits of their id.

All: if there are more comments like this and we've missed them, please let us know at hn@ycombinator.com. We can't come close to reading all the comments.

82
jcoffland 3 days ago 1 reply      
If you migrated to BitBucket just now then you must not have that much code on GitHub.
83
_pmf_ 3 days ago 0 replies      
> One person familiar with Wanstrath's relationship with these VCs told us they are "thrilled" with him and with the changes he's been making at the company.

I, too, like watching a nice horror story unfold.

> It's led by Nicole Sanchez, vice president of social impact

Does she have more or less to say than the vice president of sanitary hygiene? Maybe the chef of the cantina wants to have a word about the hiring process of technical personnel, too.

84
captain_jamira 3 days ago 1 reply      
Holy bejeebus, people are defensive as all getup about this. WTF, people?!?

Do people think that the quote, "...it is very hard to even interview people who are 'white'..." is about the difficulty this person finds in sitting in a room across from a white person, chatting with him? I understood it to be a perception on this person's part that the efforts to increase diversity have created a condition where such a significant portion of their new hires need to be non-white or non-white-male that it's difficult to get on the interview schedule if you are. And my speculation is that this was an expression due to personal experience - perhaps this person tried to refer a friend and felt he was getting nowhere.

THEY ARE BULLET POINTS PEOPLE...

Going out on a limb, I'd say just about everyone here has seen a PowerPoint presentation with a slide full of what the presenter intends to be attention catching points that beg the question 'what's that about? do tell."

I'm going to play devil's advocate here with some plausible explanations. I don't know the author and wasn't there so this is purely speculative, but I love speculation, it's why my favorite sport is spelunking. I tried to do this with an imagined 'voice' of the presenter but it ended up being mixed with my own - whatever.

- "This is not work for white folks to lead"

--- We're all familiar with congressional committees composed of a group of old white men discussing the legal policy issues related to healthcare access for women. It's a sorry sight. Let's put it up there front and center, that has not and will not constitute and acceptable effort, so it can't happen in this case. Does this mean that white people can't be a party to diversity efforts? no. but really, what's a bigger risk/likelihood, no white people/men on a committee or all white people/men on a committee? yeah.

- "This is not about socio-economic class, mostly."

--- I'm guessing this has something to do with the culture of distorted libertarian ideals held by many in the tech space, and how easy it is to discount racial bias and claim racial indifference while laying the blame for lack of diversity on childhood access to tech and the statistical differences in access based on purely socio-economic demographics. So this is a point to avoid the argument that diversity isn't a tech problem, and that if society fixed schools and whatnot, tech would naturally become more diverse.

- "Why we refer our friends and family (or don't) are where a lot of the answers can be found."

--- If you're a white employee and all your friends are white and you work for a company that is highly dependent on employee network referrals for hiring, you're going to just get more white people.--- "Even my conditioning has been conditioned" ... https://a.tumblr.com/tumblr_lm1glnnHKg1qbce9oo1.mp3American (global) society is centuries deep in conditioning to value white people more highly than others, irrespective of the opinion-holder's racial identity.

- "33% is barely enough to change the culture."

--- I don't exactly know, but I would suspect that 33% is some arbitrary base target for a diverse workforce created by a group of advisers who were indicative of the reason for the 1st bullet point.

- "we need solidarity with our Asian friends and colleagues"

--- Asians are a minority. Asians have a singularly unique experience in tech-employment (although that's probably specific to Asian males). Let's not get bogged down in intra-minority finger-pointing. I suspect there are plenty of tech companies that point to their Asian-identifying employees when confronted (at least internally) with diversity questions, which probably doesn't satisfy non-Asian minorities.

- "Some of the biggest barriers to progress are white women"

--- There is a perception that historically, some successful women who have had to fight hard for their positions and put up with a great deal of crap from men along the way, have a tendency to reinforce the traditional barriers for subsequent aspiring female colleagues rather than aid in the dismantling of those barriers, due to a sense of personal fairness - sort of "I had it hard, why should you get to cruise in my wake?" or in defense of a space they perceive as arbitrarily limited by men - the thought potentially being "These men were cajoled into making room for one token female law partner at the firm so a rising female colleague is direct competition for my job." Highlight PERCEPTION and SOME please! If this is an actual, documented thing (I don't know?), I'd speculate that it's universal, and not specific to females or white females, but rather to the culture of numbers - meaning white men would do it too if put in the same position. So let's call it out in this presentation - We don't want that, we want understanding, supportive trailblazers, and those trailblazers in tech at this time are white women.

As for the business side, wow what a more rational conversation RE: growth, size, and manageable company cultures.

85
ianwalter 3 days ago 0 replies      
Seriously? You guys are complaining that they are saying that white people shouldn't lead their diversity initiative? Just take a minute and think about why they've decided there should be a diversity initiative in the first place.
86
ihsw 3 days ago 3 replies      
Whatever happens, I hope they improve their Android app. It is one of the most pathetic things I've ever had the mispleasure of using.

Is it really that difficult to get push notifications for pull requests, issues, and my homepage news feed?

I don't know what it's built with but it's not native in the least, it looks like some awful PhoneGap monstrosity.

4
PayPal CTO Resigns sec.gov
497 points by coloneltcb  1 day ago   117 comments top 19
1
dangrossman 1 day ago 14 replies      
PayPal's redesigned their UI two or three times in the past decade or so. None of those redesigns have made it to business accounts yet. I still log in and see the same site I did in the early 2000s. I really, really understand that their business is enormously complex, operating in hundreds of different markets, but... you'd think some of the improvements would trickle down eventually. It's a real challenge for their support staff that has to figure out which of several completely different interfaces a customer is seeing before they can provide any help with it.

http://i.imgur.com/a1pYK8a.png

2
pizzasynthesis 1 day ago 2 replies      
Adopters of the 'new' PayPal interface can probably attest to the poor quality, redirects and unexplained errors that have been popping up. After talking on the phone with two service reps, one of whom refused to let me talk to a technical expert as to why my email confirmation token wouldn't work and another who had to enable automated billing on my account manually (because it's totally broken in the client interface) I can only conclude the problems are widespread and currently still at large. I'm not surprised they have made a high-profile canning.
3
jusben1369 1 day ago 1 reply      
The role of CTO varies so greatly from company to compan . Some are hands on making major decisions. Others are almost academic; looking 18+ months out and responsible for understanding big trends et . Not sure which is the case here. Does anyone know?
4
lossolo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Worst ever support i have experienced. I do not contact support unless there is something i can't operate myself.They just copy paste things from their support FAQ... didn't receive answer to my question ever... Such incompetence.
5
meritt 1 day ago 1 reply      
Zenefits just canned their CEO (ironically, over a benefits dispute), while their COO steps up to take over that role. Maybe James is leaving Paypal to become COO of Zenefits?
6
muyfine 1 day ago 3 replies      
New Money needs a New CTO
7
minimaxir 1 day ago 1 reply      
PayPal had good earnings last quarter (http://techcrunch.com/2016/01/27/paypal-shares-up-on-earning...), so bad performance may not be the reason.
8
lwhalen 1 day ago 1 reply      
Couldn't happen to a nicer sleazeball. I have nothing but disdain for Paypal (and Square, at this point), their customer service is terrible, their limits (even for businesses) are laughably low, and their processes for increasing the limits are slow, opaque, and unable to be appealed. Nothing but the back of my hand for these chuckleheads, I hope they trip and fall on their megayachts.
9
free2rhyme214 1 day ago 0 replies      
I switched to Google Wallet. PayPal would take forever to send money and has done nothing for years to innovate. All they do is buy startups (Braintree). I think this is entirely true - when the founders leave, companies stop innovating.
10
bitcuration 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Oh, finally. For a couple years, I can't pass authentication of PayPal on my iPhone no matter how I tried. While almost all the credit card and banks are now using fingerprint on iPhone, I need a hardware token device to really get in PayPal on iPhone. According to the rep the logic is I can use my phone number to receive 2 factor text code, then why advertised it.

The new web has been continued puzzled me often prompt to go back to old UI for more details. This is in 2015, decades after online banking started and PayPal is not a government agency. However you put it, it doesn't add up.

11
novapioneer 1 day ago 1 reply      
http://recode.net/2015/08/31/top-paypal-executive-hill-fergu...

> Hill Ferguson, a top executive and officer who was SVP of PayPals consumer business, has stepped down, he announced in a post on Facebook earlier today. Bill Ready, who was Fergusons counterpart for the merchant side of PayPals ecosystem, is gaining more control and will now run product and engineering for the entire company, a spokesman said in a statement.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/paypal-cto-james-barrese-resign...

> William Ready, the company's Global Head of Product & Engineering, will take over the "payment services functions" currently handled by Barrese,

Is it really that big a mystery what is happening?

12
systemz 8 hours ago 0 replies      
About that Paypal stability... https://i.imgur.com/PCkXnQu.png
13
shmerl 1 day ago 1 reply      
PayPal is being really obnoxious lately (like banning payments to VPN services and such). Or were they always that way?
14
lifeisstillgood 1 day ago 2 replies      
It's hard to read between the lines here.

- 2 months is a odd notice period (one would expect three). So was he pushed?

- the role is being split in two from his departure. This usually means the role had more power than was comfortable.

- but it's still twoMonths. Any signs of gardening leave?

15
pbreit 1 day ago 0 replies      
So who's more senior after this? The new CTO or Bill Ready?
16
arthurcolle 1 day ago 4 replies      
Tomorrow's top post: Zenefits CEO, Yelp CFO, PayPal CTO team up to Big Data the Internet of Things
18
bitmapbrother 1 day ago 0 replies      
He was pro "Old Money"
19
jorgecurio 1 day ago 3 replies      
Is this coincidence or what? Yelp CFO also resigned. Two executives from two different sinking ships.

Paypal is getting murdered by Stripe. Yelp thought it could raise stock prices by buying traffic. Something had to give, someone has to take the blame.

5
Apple fans are coming to hate Apple software latimes.com
639 points by molecule  1 day ago   577 comments top 75
1
nostrademons 1 day ago 24 replies      
It's kinda weird to read commentators talking as if this was the end of a golden age of Apple.

From my perspective, their application software has always sucked. It was there because you need apps to bootstrap a platform and attract enough users to attract developers. But you can't really expect a consumer electronics company to have the best application for a given niche once the niche has been identified and attracted companies that really want to make it their bread-and-butter.

XCode and occasionally FaceTime & iMovie are the only bundled applications that I ever use on my Mac. When I get a new computer, the first things I do are usually download Chrome, MacVim, Google Photos, and VLC. I use Hangouts over iMessage, Google Calendar over the built-in calendar, and Google Docs over the office suite. On my iPhone, getting Google Maps and Yelp is a top priority, lest I end up navigating off a mountain. This is not a new habit; I've operated like this since getting a Mac in 2009 after a 10-year hiatus from Apple products.

Perhaps I was just less brainwashed than most Apple fans, and the end of the brainwashing may itself be news with big consequences for product adoption. But IMHO anyone who used the whole integrated Apple software suite and never looked elsewhere has been missing out on some seriously nice features this whole time.

5
thejaredhooper 5 days ago 2 replies      
Is this sensationalized? A single bullet-point makes me nervous. All of those together makes me feel smothered...
6
CM30 3 days ago 0 replies      
Personally, I'm also disturbed how little this bill and its implications are being discussed in the media. I mean, you've got a 'trade agreement' with a ton of worrying details and implications, yet newspapers, TV news shows, many popular websites, etc seem to have gone suspiciously quiet about it.
7
qznc 5 days ago 0 replies      
Will TTIP contain the same stuff? I would assume, because the same corporations lobby it.
8
gremlinsinc 5 days ago 2 replies      
Anyone think EFF will endorse Bernie? They align on a lot of the same things, and he'd repeal TPP given the chance.
9
walterbell 5 days ago 1 reply      
The TPP was signed yesterday by 12 countries, beginning a 2-year period for ratification and changing of national laws to enact new penalties, http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-internet-transforming-e... & http://www.michaelgeist.ca/2016/02/the-trouble-with-the-tpp-...

From http://www.freezenet.ca/tpp-signed-off-marking-the-beginning..., "... the trade deal would force countries to ratify many other copyright treaties including various WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) treaties, kill Internet privacy for domain name registrants, create a so-called TPP Commission, extend the length of copyright, add criminal liability to the circumvention of a DRM, effectively institute statutory damages for non-commercial infringement, mandate government spying on the Internet for the purpose of tracking copyright infringement, possibly add unlimited damages for copyright infringement, allow destruction orders of any product circumvents copy protection, allows authority to enforce copyright laws even when infringement hasnt taken place (ala imminent infringement), seize personal devices at the border for the purpose of enforcing copyright law (and destroys your property and forces you to pay if a border guard believes you have copyright infringing content on your personal devices), institute traffic shaping and site blocking for the purpose of allegedly enforcing copyright, implement a notice-and-takedown regime, force ISPs to install backdoors for others to enforce copyright law, and force ISPs to hand over customers personal information without court oversight or compensation to the ISP. So, in short, the TPP is a major crackdown on civil rights on the Internet."

TPP excludes devices (e.g. phones) in checked baggage from border inspections for copyright infringement, but the UN is considering a ban of battery-operated devices from checked baggage, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/28/un-panel-backs-..., "A UN panel has recommended banning cargo shipments of rechargeable lithium batteries from passenger airliners because they can create fires capable of destroying planes, according to aviation officials familiar with the decision."

10
arca_vorago 5 days ago 1 reply      
There is something bigger at play here that even the EFF isn't touching on. (nor do I expect them to, I like how they stick to the technical facts.)

The reduction if not straight out elimination of national sovereignty is a prereq for global governance under the collectivist model. Fast track, TTIP, TISA, TTP, and other more subtle treaties that have been falsely labelled as "trade agreements" are how they supranational oligarchy can chip away at sovereignty, because the same people and groups have already corrupted the system from the inside out so pervasively that they now have the ability to get this done, and here is the key, done despite whatever backlash the public is going to release!. This was actually the purpose of fast-track, as the precursor legislation that would enable them to run TTIP/TTP up America's ass before they could stop it. (by pretending something is a trade agreement instead of a treaty and with fast track now the required two-thirds majority in the senate becomes just a simple majority requirement, among other things.)

Although I may be one of the hn resident conspiracy theorists, even this threw me for a loop because I was expecting a currency upset first, but apparently the way to undermine a nation is by corruption of it's government and business first and then death by a thousand cuts (read: laws), because afterwards the currency upset can be much more controlled.

For me, an American who has sworn an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic...", I think that the country has forgotten the basic reasons for the American Revolution in the first place, and the principles upon which our country and it's constitution was founded, the Declaration of Independence, and the Declarations basis, Natural Law, but I digress.

The point to me is that we have allowed our supposed "allies" to send us on wild hunts for foreign enemies, while in reality the larger enemies are domestic, and they wear suits and ties and are in DC and on Wallstreet. All the branches of government are corrupted from the top down (including the fourth estate of journalism), and all the middle men are in one of three modes. 1) I'm gonna get mine and fuck you. 2) If I say anything I lose my job or worse, much worse. 3) Who cares, everything is fine, let's put our head in the sand.

There has been much debate about whether it is Eric Blair's 1984 or Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. I say it's being setup so that it's a brave new world, until you resist, then it's 1984 and a boot on your face. I ought to know, I was the man with the boots in Iraq.

Throw in another recession or two and a depression, world resource wars, and technological revolution on an earth with an unsustainable population level, and what we have here is a recipe for disaster.

It's ok though, I'm sure I'm just paranoid. (like I was about NSA before anyone started listening about that too.)

12
multinglets 5 days ago 0 replies      
~ThAnKs ObAmA~

~/sArCaSm~

13
chatmasta 5 days ago 4 replies      
Getting upset about the TPP is a waste of time. The provisions of the TPP are a red herring. We should be much more concerned with what is not present in the TPP. It only has 12 signatories!!! There are 160+ "countries" in the world. How much could an agreement between 12 of them really increase "free trade?" There are notable absences (CHINA) that make the treaty effectively meaningless. If 30% of the world is not covered by it, then who cares what it says.

The people getting screwed by this treaty are not the spoiled first world EFF supporters, but the people who assemble all our gadgets and gizmos. If you want an agreement that actually benefits humankind, it better include some protections for the outsourced labor that first world nations continue to exploit.

Regarding the fearmongering bulletpoints in the EFF article... Let's be honest. Any mildly technical person knows that these kind of legal measures are technically impossible to enforce. If you want to bend or break the rules, you can find a way, and you can avoid detection. "The Internet routes around censorship" as John Gilmore says. He's also an EFF founder so I'm not sure why EFF is fearmongering so much when they should know these measures are meaningless until they're enforced, which will require implementing impossible, nonexistent technical solutions.

If you don't like the rules, route around them. Or just leave the country trying to enforce them on you. There are 150 other countries you can go to if you don't like these rules.

Honestly the concern over this treaty is so overblown that it almost seems insensitive to the people in the world who are actually suffering from global commerce. The real victims are the millions of people starving, working 12 hour days as children, losing their families to warmongering nation states, and running along a hopeless treadmill of despair.

If you're going to get upset over what amounts to a relatively small set of unimplemented, highly unenforceable rules affecting your "digital rights," then you should at least devote 1% of your complaints to acknowledging the plights of the people who are actually suffering in the world.

14
Rumudiez 5 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe off topic, but I always read this as Twitch Plays Pokemon first before realizing what it's actually talking about.
27
VISA Api: The Power of Visa Network Delivered as an API visa.com
282 points by adamliesko  5 days ago   137 comments top 28
1
bri3d 5 days ago 5 replies      
It doesn't seem like any of these products actually process payments, or is there something I'm missing?

Checkout:

> "Depending on your configuration, you will process the actual payment through your own system, a payment processor, or an e-commerce partner as you normally do."

( https://developer.visa.com/products/visa_checkout/guides )

CyberSource:

> Before moving to production and running real transactions, you must have a merchant account from an acquiring (merchant) bank that can process the credit card payments.

( https://developer.visa.com/products/cybersource/thingstoknow )

Visa Direct APIs:

> However, in order to use the Visa Direct APIs in production, the Originator must either be a Visa client financial institution (issuer or acquirer), a third-party Originator that has been granted a Visa acquirer POS license (geographical restrictions apply), or a third-party Originator that has established an acquiring relationship for that purpose with a Visa client financial institution.

( https://developer.visa.com/products/visa_direct/thingstoknow )

The token and transaction services are very interesting and it's cool to see Visa jumping into decent modern payment UX, but I don't think they're gunning for Stripe just yet...

2
mark242 5 days ago 4 replies      
https://developer.visa.com/images/cybersource.png

https://developer.visa.com/products/cybersource/reference#cy...

Ugh. Using this means that your application is in scope for PCI controls, since card data will be transmitted across your network into your application.

One of the reasons that Braintree and Stripe, for example, are so popular is because of the tokenization that they do prior to sending the card data to your systems, thereby putting your application out of scope for PCI.

If Visa added that one detail, this would be a fantastic solution.

3
kumarski 5 days ago 6 replies      
This is awesome.

Wonder if VISAs exposes the BIN #.

BrainTree exposes the BIN number. Built this at a hackathon last year.

http://www.reversecreditscore.com.

You can reverse engineer the BIN Number offered by BrainTree's API to calculate the species of a credit card, thus the minimum credit score.

I have a payments entrepreneur group on facebook. It has about 50 folks in it. if you want in and have built payments stuff message me.

4
unwind 5 days ago 1 reply      
Weird caps in the title, "Visa API" would better match how these two words are usually written, in my opinion.

"Visa" is a name, so it should have title caps (I know their branding calls for "VISA" but such is often ignored in non-corporate reporting), and "API" is an abbreviation so it should be all-caps.

I know, I should go back to work.

5
bryanthompson 5 days ago 2 replies      
This thing is a total disaster.

Some of their example code: https://github.com/VisaDeveloperProgram/SampleCode/blob/mast...

Docs are incoherent in just so many ways - and their quick start drops you right into like a 9 page guide for generating two-way ssl docs. Not exactly a quick dev onboarding path.

Request docs list attributes as required that aren't in their examples or runnable sidebar thing (the only cool part). Returns an error body with no error messages, codes, or info. You use some "correlation-id" (called "correlationId" in other places) to apparently get your error messages for a failed request.

Final rating: 1/7, would not play with again.

6
notliketherest 5 days ago 3 replies      
Banks are still the gatekeepers of this network. Unless you've negotiated deals with VISA partner banks, these APIs are pretty much useless. Companies like Marqueta on the issuer side and Stripe on the acquirer side have relationships with banks that let them move money from your VISA cards. (And even in ACH land, which is lightyears behind the card companies, SynapsePay for example has a bank partner who provides a license for their charter).

Don't think you're gonna be able to write a script to move money from your credit card to your friend. This is still a tightly controlled network of banks. If you're looking to innovate in the payments space, take a look at Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

7
nodesocket 5 days ago 1 reply      
Nothing here that would encourage me to switch from Stripe or Braintree. Both those companies handle all the insane edge cases, recurring payments, and refunds.
8
tyingq 4 days ago 1 reply      
I see a lot of comparisons to Stripe. While I'm sure this API has it's warts, the reasons for it to exist center around cost and control. At a certain scale, companies want the lower cost and higher control associated with having their own merchant account.

Cost: Stripe's 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction, if you do enough transactions per month, is very high. How much better you can do depends on some variables like average transaction size, debit/credit mix, etc. You can easily shave it down to around 1.9% in most cases, or better. Again, at a certain scale, giving up 1% or more of your incoming revenue just isn't smart.

Control: Lots of areas here. Removing "STRIPE" from the charge listing on the customer's credit card statement. Direct control of chargebacks. Routing to different payment gateways based on card type. Better integration of card-present and online transactions.

You do, of course, lose the advantages that Stripe provides, so your scale would have to be such that replicating that functionality is justified. There are solutions in the middle. Authorize.net, for example, will let you use your own merchant account and pay just for the gateway services. They provide some of benefits/features that you would lose doing it from scratch.

9
davidkellis 5 days ago 2 replies      
But what does it cost?
10
edko 5 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe I understood it wrong ... but you don't know how much it will cost to use their API before you submit your application to them?

Why would anyone invest any nontrivial amount of resources on developing something for which they don't know what the cost of running it is going to be?

What is lacking is a clear business overview of what their product is, its costs and benefits.

11
Patrick_Devine 5 days ago 3 replies      
I think it's cool that VISA is trying to innovate in the space, but I'm not sure of the target audience for these APIs. For most businesses, you're probably better off integrating to Stripe and not having to deal with Gateways or Merchant Accounts.

Speaking of which, VISA should just buy Stripe.

12
robbiet480 5 days ago 0 replies      
Blog post announcing new developer initiative https://community.developer.visa.com/t5/Blogs/Hello-World/ba...
13
etix 5 days ago 0 replies      
Their ATM locator API doesn't really work in France, I just tried for the Paris suburb and the nearest ATM found was miles away. There are dozens of them between the test location and the closest one returned.
14
tomelders 5 days ago 0 replies      
Why bother putting so much time and effort to release something this bad?

Because the executive committee has no understanding of why they need a "good" API, and no appetite for the difficult journey they need to embark on to create one, but they just have to do "something", and they're happy with "anything". That's my bet.

The largest player in the market just entered the API arms race, years late and with pockets deeper than any of their rivals. Yet two brothers from Ireland are still the best game in town.

15
VonGuard 4 days ago 0 replies      
Master Card has been doing this for a while, and I think they do it better: https://developer.mastercard.com/portal/dashboard.action

They've had hackathons, and they have a few sample ideas. My favorite is checking local restaurants and the zip codes of users. This gives you a listing of places that are popular with locals.

16
nambante 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm building a gem for it https://github.com/GildedHonour/frank_visa

An beta version should be ready pretty soon.

17
ksred 5 days ago 0 replies      
MasterCard also has an API: https://developer.mastercard.com/

Just as the VISA API, this requires you to be a "verified partner" or be sponsored when going to production.

18
sagivo 5 days ago 2 replies      
does anyone know what's the pricing for this service?
19
ryandetzel 5 days ago 3 replies      
While this is great (although very late) it's biggest issue is that I have to implement this and another service if I care about the other credit card companies. Merchants would be fools to just accept Visa.
20
slantaclaus 5 days ago 0 replies      
Reahhh but there's no ruby gem how am I supposed to use it??
21
desireco42 5 days ago 0 replies      
Took you long enough.
22
Cieplak 5 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if their funds transfer service will support payroll or rent payments, and if so, what fees are negotiable based on volume.
23
oxguy3 4 days ago 0 replies      
> VISA Api

why would you ever capitalize those words that way goddammit there's no way this wasn't deliberate

24
pfarnsworth 5 days ago 2 replies      
At one of my previous companies, once we reached significant volume, Cybersource asked us for a material percentage of our transaction volume as a reserve, otherwise they would shut us down. I would never use them again as a processor.
25
rmac 5 days ago 0 replies      
this is great!

sadly all the cool fraud api stuff can only be used by issuers (e.g., banks) in production :(

26
pcora 5 days ago 1 reply      
Your move, MasterCard. :)
27
gansai 5 days ago 0 replies      
who is providing api management solution for VISA?
28
Kinnard 5 days ago 3 replies      
I wonder how much of a role Bitcoin played as an impetus for finally coming out with this. Sure, it should have been done way before Bitcoin, but I bet that gave them a reason to put the peddle to the metal.
28
The Rent-Seeking Is Too Damn High fivethirtyeight.com
320 points by luu  2 days ago   230 comments top 18
1
HillaryBriss 2 days ago 9 replies      
Here's a quotation from the article:

"Defenders of occupational licensing typically argue that the rules help protect consumers and workers, and thats undoubtedly true in some cases. I want the people filling my cavities to know what theyre doing. But its hard not to suspect that in many cases, these rules serve another purpose: to make it harder for new competitors to enter the marketplace."

While the article seems to criticize rent-seeking behavior only in businesses and professions that require lower levels of education, if we combine this article's statements with the often repeated claim that the US pays roughly twice as much for health care per capita as other developed countries it seems reasonable to ask: Is there a rent seeking problem in the medical and dental fields too?

OTOH, why does the article's author want to deny the poor and less well educated segment of the small business community its fair share of the economic protection which occupational licensing offers?

2
inopinatus 2 days ago 3 replies      
Here's a tech sector example. If your startup wants to become an auDA registrar (i.e. of domains under .au) you must first spend six months as a reseller of an existing registrar.

You read that right. Planning on building anything innovative around a .au domain registration? Please, first funnel all your anchor customer registrations to a competitor. Oh, and build your stack and business processes around their platform, workflows, APIs &c.

3
jackcosgrove 2 days ago 1 reply      
Professionalization and accreditation could all be described as a closed shop in labor terms. It's classist to say unions are bad while the AMA is good, or vice versa. They're the same thing. Doctors may say they cannot form unions (AMA vs USA) but they have something even better: a closed shop. Closed shops are rarer than collective bargaining, and far more powerful.
4
Animats 2 days ago 7 replies      
He's missed another trend that's not as visible - the concentration of commercial real estate ownership. There are many towns and small cities where one or two organizations own most of the commercial property. They control rents and can decide which businesses get to operate.
5
hwstar 2 days ago 0 replies      
6
matt_wulfeck 2 days ago 1 reply      
Great example of laws that start out innocent enough, but then become a vector for anti-competitive behavior by the incumbents. The laws that prevent tesla dealers from selling directly to consumers is another example.

These types of misguided laws should come with very short expirations (if they come at all).

7
Shivetya 2 days ago 0 replies      
Another problem with the over regulation of professions is that in many states those convicted of a crime cannot obtain a license. They can have totally served their time, both in jail and/or probation but still be prevented from holding a "professional license".

Worse many of the jobs that require these licensees don't pay that much which brought up a whole industry of schools which pass off the costs through student loans and such to get a career which long term isn't going earn a lot of money or even come with benefits

9
EGreg 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think Milton Friedman had some great (albeit biased) lectures in which he analyzed these issues from a consequentialist libertarian point of view:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8q71hrwUcu0

10
bobby_9x 2 days ago 1 reply      
Of course this behavior is artificially inflating the market.

The demand stays the same and the supply is reduced due to the barrior to entry and hoops you need to jump through), which results in higher prices.

The same principals can also be applied to most unions.

11
anovikov 2 days ago 3 replies      
This mainly relates to non-scalable industries where everything depends on simply reproducible labor not requiring a lot of training - like yes, barbershops, or real estate. I think it's more of good than bad - it prevents flocking of people into these industries resulting in cutthroat competition, low quality, and desperation of everyone involved. People simply find some other better trades instead.

Sometimes i feel like something like that must be introduced into software development, too: too many random people here, trying to compete only in price. It doesn't work of course, savvy clients see the real picture, but it drops the shadow on the industry in general, like people don't want to learn now to code out of the fear of having to compete with $5 an hour Indians.

12
onetwotree 1 day ago 0 replies      
The comments in this discussion seem to be focusing on the fact that rent seeking is problematic in highly skilled professional fields as well as lower skilled fields.

While we clearly need to ensure that bad doctors stop practicing medicine, that crooked accountants can't take advantage of people, and...that loud librarians can't be librarians anymore (or something ;)), perhaps this is a better role for the government than a private professional association that is motivated to engage in rent-seeking?

13
gaur 2 days ago 4 replies      
Am I the only one who thinks that "rent-seeking" is a wildly misleading name for this phenomenon? To normal people, "rent-seeking" means "looking to collect on a payment for leased property".

Same for "moral hazard". I'm not sure what phenomenon that phrase should be applied to, but it certainly shouldn't be applied to the phenomenon of people taking more risks because they won't have to deal with the fallout. That phenomenon should be called something like "risk asymmetry".

14
silveira 2 days ago 1 reply      
Now just imagine if that to be a programmer, you needed a diploma from an credentialed university and passing an exam from some organization.
15
pluma 2 days ago 0 replies      
ITT: HN arguing whether capitalism is better than democracy.
16
dang 1 day ago 0 replies      
We've asked you before to stop posting uncivil and unsubstantive comments to Hacker News. If you can't or won't stop, the next step is to ban your account. So please do stop.

We detached this comment from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11057312 and marked it off-topic.

17
mschuster91 2 days ago 2 replies      
The problem is that sometimes it is vital for cities to be able to control which (and how many) businesses open up in an area.

Just look at what has hit HN today - an article about Walmart closing down and leaving entire regions without a less-than-3-hours drive to the next grocery store.

It is vital for a city to be able to prevent big chains from entering a market, destroying the competition by price dumping (made possible by sheer scale) and then packing up - leaving a stripped down town in the process.

Oh the other side, it's unfortunate that these laws and regulations more often than not get abused for clientel politics.

18
coldtea 2 days ago 1 reply      
>Defenders of occupational licensing typically argue that the rules help protect consumers and workers, and thats undoubtedly true in some cases. I want the people filling my cavities to know what theyre doing. But its hard not to suspect that in many cases, these rules serve another purpose: to make it harder for new competitors to enter the marketplace. In Nevada, according to Politico, barbers need more than two years of training to qualify for a license; thats a high bar to anyone looking to break into the business.

So, it's the all powerful Nevada barber cartel that influences legislation in order to keep new people from entering the trade?

Well, I, for one, seriously doubt that.

And I wouldn't call the requirement to have "two years of training" before taking razors to people's necks and scissors to people's hair "a high bar" either.

While there is indeed TONS of rent-seeking going on, I'd look for it in serious industries, with big companies and multinationals involved -- from telcos and ISPs to construction and the health industry for example.

29
We're ditching the office completely buffer.com
322 points by open-source-ux  18 hours ago   227 comments top 40
1
fredleblanc 17 hours ago 14 replies      
I guess I'm the flip-side of this. I work for myself, self-employed, and my office is the best $360 I spend each month. I need separation of space. My 15 minute walk ("commute") adds to the separation of work from home.

The other thing is that there are two small children running around my house. I simply can't work there, or else I'd never get anything done. Our house isn't large enough to have a separate, dedicated office-space. I'd be constantly interrupted.

I like the concept of remote working, even in a shared environment, but if I were working at that company and I no longer had a free place to go do work, I'd be looking for another gig.

2
p4wnc6 16 hours ago 14 replies      
The answer is really simple, and has been well-known at least since the time of the book Peopleware and the studies it cited.

Provide a real office environment for every knowledge worker.

You know ... a door that shuts ... a window ... space to allow your gaze to adjust.

Things that are ... human.

It's really simple.

And before you say it costs too much, it doesn't. The problem is that you're in denial about how much your current offices with open floor plans are costing you. You merely think the cost is equal to the rent. It's much greater than the rent, though, because of lowered productivity, lowered morale, increased superficiality of important inter-worker communication, incessant interruptions disrupting developer flow, more sick time, etc. etc.

If you didn't pretend like those aren't affecting you, and you actually counted their cost, you'd see that the extra cost in real estate for offices is well worth it even in short-term scenarios like 1-year where you're using your start-up runway to pay for it.

Even in San Francisco. Even in Manhattan.

3
jasode 17 hours ago 2 replies      
>Which environment do you prefer, and why?

I don't believe this question is interesting because I think we know that most HN readers will prefer remote working instead offices. It doesn't matter whether it's semi-private cubicles or noisy open floor plans. Offices suck. Commuting sucks too. Probably 95+% would prefer remote work if they could get it.

>Do you think we should have kept our office or closed it?

The more interesting question & answer is how the 100% remote strategy helps your business. Yes, you save $86k/yr in office rent. However, does the remote arrangement boost your employees' productivity so much that it helps Buffer beat other competitors (Hootsuite, Sprout, etc.)? Is the remote productivity enabling the ability of engineers to add features at a faster rate that you noticed subscriptions going way up? Etc.

That's the business calculus that's more interesting to discuss. To be fair, it looks like author Courtney Seiter's background is writing/marketing and not business/engineering so it's understandable if she doesn't emphasize this angle. Also, the blog post is only 4 months old so they don't have a year's worth of financial performance to evaluate its effectiveness.

4
neya 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I used to work from my bedroom, in my old home a few years ago. Initially, it felt like the best thing to do. But, as time passed, there were committment issues and potential distractions. Some of them included stuff like answering the door, unwanted guests (and friends) and because it was my bedroom, I just slept more often (no more tiresome 48 hour hackathons).

Then, as time passed, I realized, the distinction between your workplace and your leisure space is an important one. Later, I rented out a moderately expensive serviced office space by one of the local providers and it had served me well. Even the people around you can perceive this distinction and respect your boundaries if you work in an office-like atmosphere that can be perceived.

To be clear, it's not wrong to work from home. IF you have a separate room for your work and you treat it like an office room, it's actually the best way to go (convenience and savings). But if you were in a situation like me where you had to choose between the bedroom and a leased office space, go for the latter and it will definitely add an improvement to your quality of professional life.

5
lazyant 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
$6k for legal, payroll and accounting? is this normal for a 6 people company? (I guess it depends on if you retain a legal team)
6
otakucode 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Why do we have offices to begin with? Because they provided value. Past tense. Sure they were always expensive, but without bringing people together physically, it was nearly impossible to accomplish anything. Humans have a difficulty, rooted in the fundamental structure of our brains, to hold both the benefits and the costs of a situation in mind at the same time. Once we determine that something provides greater benefit than cost, the costs just disappear. It's a pragmatic shortcut, but it falls flat when the underlying assumptions change.

The underlying assumptions have changed. The myriad costs associated with offices are no longer outweighed by the benefits they provide. That's partially due to the development of technology, and partially due to other changes, such as the adoption of productivity-poisoning 'open plan' offices. Our whole setup of how we work is based on manufacturing, and it hasn't been adapted to the very different work being done now. Even though technology has made individual workers so productive that the company can survive an open plan office and still not be able to provide most workers with enough to do to fill 40 hours a week, we still force them to have their butt in a chair for those 40 hours - more often more than that, the majority of which is done solely for appearances sake.

7
ris 17 hours ago 6 replies      
I can't imagine anything lonelier.
8
nstart 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi all, I'm currently with buffer in the bootcamp period. I've loved every moment of it. Agree with a lot of the sentiments here, especially the separation of personal and professional lives. Working with the buffer team has allowed me to pick where I work from each day. Some days it's a coffee shop, a lot of days it's a tiny co working space I've found. Sometimes that space gets a little noisy, so I move over to my friend's office. I've got about another 4 places that have open invitations for me to drop in and work from there. So overall, pretty awesome. Would love to answer any questions too :)
9
jpkeisala 17 hours ago 2 replies      
It's nice to read comments here as people are writing they like to work in the office. I also do like it. I am self-employed and in the longer run it is so boring to be alone at home when there is nobody to talk to. Funnily, when I was fulltime I dreamed to work from home.
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agentgt 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I too like many others work from home and to complicate it I own my company... so I have very little separation of work and personal life.

But I love it. One of my favorite things is I can play my own damn music as loud as I want!

And yeah It may not be psychologically ideal but humans are pretty adaptable. You just have to develop new habits and behavior.

Some of the things I do to help the work/life balance:

* My wife calls me at 4:30-5:00pm everyday to tell me to wrap up my shit or else... this is pretty critical as I can easily get in the zone and the heads up expectations for some reason works.

* I try to walk every day on the days I don't lift weights

* I have a home gym. And despite what people think you don't need a lot of space. There are so many space saving products out there (like quickly collapsable pullup/dip bars, weighted vests etc).

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elcapitan 3 hours ago 0 replies      
That sqwiggle tool they use (described here https://open.buffer.com/remote-working-means-tools-use/) sounds pretty creepy. A software taking a pic of my face every few seconds and broadcasting it is almost as annoying as having someone in your back all the time, I think.
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rtl49 16 hours ago 2 replies      
A startup with little brand recognition posts a blog entry concerning a topic of general interest to a demographic whose attention it seeks. A predictable discussion emerges with the company as a backdrop. Everyone rejoices that the topic has been broached, because they have well-informed, unique opinions to offer on the subject. Brand recognition is achieved, and because of the photographs of smiling, laid-back young people contained in the blog entry, the impression on the target demographic is a positive one. Everyone forgets it happened, and the cycle repeats again next week.
13
EwanG 16 hours ago 1 reply      
OK, reading through all this, I'm wondering if there isn't a compromise approach needed. For myself, I go in each morning for a couple hours. If there are no meetings that require my physical presence, then I drive home, and work the rest of the day from there. Sometimes that means home at 10am, others closer to 3pm, and occasionally 6pm. But it means I am available to comingle when it makes sense, available to be run into for at least a couple hours a day, and almost always home before traffic gets bad. It also means I don't mind working past 5 most days as if I was in the office I wouldn't get home until then due to the traffic. Maybe this kind of half and half approach would be ideal for others?
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USNetizen 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Having worked remotely for over 6 years and then having run my own company, I can easily say that there are benefits and drawbacks to both approaches - office and fully remote. It really depends on the industry and the team.

I have found that offices do tend to improve communication through instant access to people and feedback, whereas remote work sometimes requires incessant scheduling of meetings. Instant messaging and such can help, but it is not as immediate nor is it a replacement for face time. However, working remotely is a great feeling of freedom and control over your personal environment, which can lead to better personal productivity, provided the person has enough discipline to ignore distractions (if the office is one's home).

It is also a personal preference. As a software engineer, I loved remote work because I could code in peace without distraction. However, some personalities could never stand this much solitude and prefer the hubbub of a traditional office, however distracting it could potentially be. I even knew people who worked remotely that would venture outside and chat at length with neighbors just to have that feeling of human contact that is sometimes lacking with full remote work.

That being said, with the industry I work in, my customers expect a traditional office. So, implementing a mix of remote and office time has worked best for us. There are some stipulations, however, for remote work we enforce - such as childcare must be taken care of by someone else (e.g. school, daycare, spouse, etc.) while working remotely and background noise is to be minimized so as to treat it as a true professional environment. Nothing is worse than when you're on a conference call with major clients and hear crying or barking in the background. And I say this as someone with children and pets myself.

15
snarfy 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I worked from home for a couple years. One thing that made it work was having a separate work computer with a separate desk. If I'm sitting in that chair at that desk, I'm at work. If you have family they need to know not to talk to you when you are at work.
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jonesb6 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Remote is good for some people and bad for others. At big companies there will be enough of both groups that going one-sided in either direction will hurt some people, and ultimately hurt the company (COUGH YHOO). IMO the best solution is a flexible working environment that can support everybody, especially in large cities where the commute can be an absolute grind in and of itself.
17
amelius 17 hours ago 0 replies      
It seems that they don't have a very good idea of where their employees are located exactly: http://i.imgur.com/XCHQstM.png
18
minimaxir 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Note: the article was posted about 4 months ago. (Oct 2015)

One apparent consequence of all-remote working for Buffer is that having all the employees meet in real life is incredibly expensive and logistically complex: https://open.buffer.com/remote-work-retreats/

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csomar 16 hours ago 1 reply      
we noticed that office space was a not-insignificant element of our overall expenditures each monthmore than we paid for health insurance, or advertising and marketing.

Office space cost them 2.1% of all of their monthly costs.

This is "not-insignificant"

Am I reading this right? If anything, they are under-paying for their office space.

20
alblue 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Tried reading this on my phone, got three paragraphs in and then got slammed with a full screen advert for buffer.com. I mean, what's the point in advertising the site that you are already on?

I have no idea what the rest of the post was about but I'm pretty sure that I never want to deal with buffer.com again.

21
jsudhams 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish world realizes this makes this happen.... I think for manufacturing work and so on it made sense build cities.. now if we make as much as work from home then the villages and towns will keep its face and continue have facilities and will grow. Cities wont be over crowded, less traffic etc.. i think there is value to coming to office and social network and so on but i also it is based habits so once majority works from home (with video etc..) then it will become norm... In countries like India we can easily tap top talent which is actually women(in the schools).
22
mmaunder 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Our team is remote and we're 9 full-timers with a few contractors in the infosec space and it works incredibly well. I want to add that the main reason to work remotely isn't really about saving on office rental. We take that cash and put it back into our employees home work environment and tools like awesome hardware.

The biggest benefit for us is that our team is able to have a better work-life balance and keep a high level of productivity. e.g. One of our engineers used to have a 40 minute commute either way morning and evening. Now he works from home and can spend more time with his family instead of in his car.

It also lets us hire from all over the World. Our full-timers are all in the USA and we have people in Ohio, Florida, Maine, Washington and Tennessee. So it's a really diverse group but we're also very tight knit even though some of us have never met in person yet. Several in our team work in small towns so they enjoy a slower pace and more quiet time which (coming from a small town myself) I think lends itself to solving complex problems.

I'd agree that it's all or nothing with remote teams or you risk alienating half your workforce.

The best advice I can give any company going remote is to get Slack or an equivalent like IRC. It does a fine job of replacing the day to day contact you have with team members. Also twice weekly all-hands calls to sync up are great - we do voice not video and we go around the room and everyone updates us on what they're working on. In a way we have a greater sense of what everyone is doing than some brick and mortar companies I've worked for.

I think for software businesses remote working will be the way everyone works 20 years from now. It'll take a while for larger companies to make the shift because there is no very large company that does this yet but there will be and they'll prove the model and the imitators will follow.

It's also way better for the environment.

23
eugenekolo2 17 hours ago 3 replies      
Am I reading this right that 9 people are making an average of ~222K? edit: ~290K
24
kampsduac 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I work at a fortune 500. Most of the dev team I am on work in the same office, but there is zero benefit to going into the office as most customers and project members are remote. The grey cubicle shreds my sole anyway, I love working from home.
25
xupybd 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd love to remote work. But I've learned a lot working in the same office as some very talented developers and managers. I'm not sure I'd get that remotely.
26
wehadfun 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Could some one explain why accounting/legal and payroll would be 5K per month for a company this size? It seems high to me.
27
galfarragem 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Working in an office is not the real problem. The real problems are the lack of working hours flexibility and commute time.
28
benatkin 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I like this concept a lot! I'm not sure whether I would give each employee money for coworking space, because I think that would make me feel like I need to choose and commit to a coworking space, since otherwise it would seem that I'm throwing away the money. It would also make it sound like it's compensating for not having an office, which I think is a net win for the people who are going to enjoy working at a company with a remote culture.
29
Kiro 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I can guarantee that our productivity would drop significantly if everyone at my office started working remotely. Pretty sure this is a bad idea for most companies.
30
z3t4 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I find it funny that payment fees are double the office rent. And they decide to close the office.

There are no reason why payments over the Internet has to cost that much!

31
Spooky23 15 hours ago 2 replies      
What do you do if you have a family? I have small kids. No way I could handle working from home.
32
sagivo 11 hours ago 0 replies      
the more startups adopt the open-office model, the more people want to work from anywhere else.
33
bobby_9x 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I work for myself and finally got an office after 2 years. It's so much better than working from my home. Less distractions and I can completely separate home/work.

When I was working for someone, I hated working from an office because I had no freedom and the bosses/managers constantly watching me. It was stifling and I felt like I was in a prison.

It's funny how things change.

34
eva1984 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Good, why should we follow? Nahhhh
35
biztos 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I have often wondered what I would do about the Office Question if I started a company, since any company I might start is very likely to be distributed due to geography (mine and my network's both). Usually I end up with the idea that everyone would work from "home," and would be encouraged to use co-working (company-paid) if they wished; and I might maintain a minimal "HQ" assuming it was more than just me at that location; and I'd build in regular face-to-face team meetings into the business plan, say at least every quarter.

The only problem is, I'm not sure I'd want to work that way myself if I were an employee. I think I'd want an office: preferably one to myself.

I currently work from home, and have previously rented office spaces (both shared and not) at my own expense; and at various times I've worked in the HQ, branch offices, and various combinations of all these things, for a few different tech-related companies.

I would probably rent another dedicated office right now, but my rental apartment has a guest room so it seems decadent. But I'm still tempted, and check the listings every couple of weeks.

I would say that for me, working in software development and also doing "creative" work, having a separate space easily made up in peace of mind and probably in productivity what it cost in money. (In a high-rent zone like San Francisco that probably wouldn't hold.) But I found a coworking space too annoying, and probably would not go back to that if I could avoid it.

I found the big advantages to a rented space were, in order:

1. Freedom from distractions (usually; neighbors make noise too).2. Work-only nature of the space, i.e. you go there only to work.3. Ability to set it up as I like (decoration, layout, etc.).4. Got my butt out of the house and out amongst the humans more often.5. Your feelings about Home don't get so mixed up with your feelings about Work.6. You can still opt to work from home when you really feel like it.

Disadvantages vs home office:

1. "Shared resources" (kitchen, bathroom, etc.) might not live up to your normal standards of utility or hygiene.2. Neighbors pay rent too, and are thus unlikely to change their habits at your request.3. Expense (though this is very location-dependent).4. Commute, while probably a good thing overall, eats time.5. Your landlord, like most landlords, may suck.

None of this in any way contradicts the idea of going all-in on remote teams, but it does raise a question: if you're doing it for the competitive advantage of high productivity, might it be better to spend more on offices that are themselves distributed?

(FWIW: Married, no kids, and neither one of us works a 9-5 schedule.)

36
draw_down 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Here's why: cost!

To be clear, I find it refreshing that they just come out and say it. It seems obvious to me that when you work remotely, you're paying for the office space, and any company that believes the savings in pushing the office-space expense onto the employee outweighs the benefit of holding offices will start moving in this direction. (Since this particular company pays for coworking space, they're not pushing the cost to employees. I'm speaking more generally)

Having worked remotely for a substantial portion of my career, I have found the best for me is a mix of working at home and working from the office. That's my personal feeling, but still I think there are more downsides to remote work than many would like to consider.

37
sebringj 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Why are people in their own cubicles video conferencing and chatting to others in the same office? Because its convenient and saves time, you on-site proponent hypocrites.

If cost isn't the significant factor to being remote then time and convenience sure is. I have two or three extra hours of productivity not driving into the office (no round trip), settling into a cubicle, chit chatting, picking where to go to lunch and of course avoiding tension headaches and sleepiness from sitting in traffic. I also have time to work out that I didn't before. I'm more balanced in my life. I'm 10 years and going strong remote as a programmer/consultant with tons of energy and free time to do what I want while being highly paid. My wife is at home with me along with my kids and the most driving we do is your typical errands. Cost for me is much lower as we only need one car and I can write off office space in my house.

I have a hypothesis about these studies showing that onsite is better aside from being the business culture propaganda it is: People are generally social creatures and find communication most effective in presence as it strengthens learning via increased dopamine response (reward system), however, the outliers in the bell curve don't need this type of stimulation, in fact it may make them less effective.

Several remote workers I've met over the years along with myself simply don't need that and find video, chat, docs and email more effective in communicating over in-person meetings on whiteboards. As a programmer, I care more about the idea being presented or discussed than the people themselves. I find I personally work much more effectively in my own space and I know the remote teams I've worked with find a similar experience. This is probably the outlier which is why these studies find it more effective to the contrary. It depends on the type of person and that type of person not needing social feedback in-person is more rare. I would say I receive less dopamine overall or find the in-person experience less pleasant because of all the extra overhead (time) needed just to start the day. I simply hate inefficiency and see having to go in as very annoying, it reduces the social benefit to being pointless in my case.

Don't get me wrong, I seem very far from a nerd in person and am very successful socially in general with men and women. I'm the type of guy that tells jokes and has the zinger comebacks always on the tip of my tongue, can get everyone laughing and can communicate very well. The thing is I don't even miss any of this as I can do this on video anyway daily. It is a choice for me to come to the office or not and I simply don't choose to 99% of the time.

I am even thinking the bell curve outliers are starting to move toward the center as older people die off and technology becomes more "real".

38
serge2k 14 hours ago 0 replies      
> Not long after we tallied up every penny of what your money is used for when you purchase a Buffer subscription, we noticed that office space was a not-insignificant element of our overall expenditures each monthmore than we paid for health insurance, or advertising and marketing.

and here is the real point. We can save money.

I think remote options are a great idea. I also think that forcing workers to take their work outside the office is a lousy idea.

39
anjc 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Um, I feel like this will have repercussions in terms of staff churn rate. Office spaces are one of the definers of culture, and culture is one of the main motivators for staff. I'm certain that remote working suits many people, but I doubt that it will allow a sense of 'loyalty' to arise in the worker.
40
steveoc64 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Having a look at the company in question, and the products that they produce. I only got as far as the "Diversity Dashboard" to realize that this organization doesnt actually produce anything.

If you don't produce anything real, then you probably don't need any space to do it in.

Meanwhile, the ranks of the unemployed, the hungry, the homeless, and the disenfranchised continue to grow, as any useful capital that remains in circulation is eaten up by these parasitic sectors of the economy.

Im sure that the country has a bright future ahead, where everyone can make a meaningful contribution - such as serving hot dogs and coffee with a smile, or just helping everybody else establish an impressive social media profile.

The rest of the world will be so grateful that they will continue to purchase our debts, extend additional lines of credit, and provide all the manufactured products, food, and energy that we need (but can no longer produce)

30
Frinkiac: Simpsons quote search engine frinkiac.com
338 points by asicboy  5 days ago   84 comments top 39
1
reaperhulk 4 days ago 8 replies      
One of the authors here. I blogged a bit the other day about how we built this: https://langui.sh/2016/02/02/frinkiac-the-simpsons-screensho...
2
dopeboy 4 days ago 2 replies      
This is impressive. It found everything I tried. If the author is reading, showing GIFs or a small video clip instead of a static image would be preferable.

My favorite Simpsons quote: https://frinkiac.com/?p=caption&q=up+and+atom&e=S07E02&t=673....

Coach: Up and atom!

Rainier Wolfcastle: Up and at them.

Coach: Up and atom!

Rainier: Up and at them!

Coach: [annoyed] Up and atom!

Rainier: [louder] Up and at them!

Coach: Better.

3
asd 4 days ago 1 reply      
I love this. It found everything I threw at it. I hope the Fox lawyers don't take it down.

https://frinkiac.com/?p=search&q=THERE%27S+A+STUFFED+PEPPER+...

4
6stringmerc 4 days ago 0 replies      
Just in time for the Grammys!

https://frinkiac.com/?p=caption&q=grammy&e=S10E14&t=1008006&....

Once the AV Club finds this I think a black hole will open and consume us all. The website is quite cool though!

5
Analemma_ 4 days ago 1 reply      
If I could use this to get subtitled gifs of the scene in question, not just screenshots, it would go from amazing to godlike. On the roadmap for v2, hopefully?
6
navbaker 4 days ago 1 reply      
I tell people every day that you don't win friends with salad. Glad I finally have the images to go with it!
8
j45 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is great and long over due.

For those of use who grew up having conversations in simpsons dialog, this will help provide those in my wife who don't have such habits develop them :)

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thepies 4 days ago 0 replies      
small point - the encaptionator should put a 1/2px black stroke around the white text so it is visible against any background colour

edit - after reading the FAQ I see you are working on this

I withdraw my questionhttps://frinkiac.com/?p=caption&q=withdraw&e=S08E14&t=688870....

10
OhHeyItsE 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is the reason the internet exists.
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nefitty 4 days ago 0 replies      
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ringofgyges 4 days ago 0 replies      
Some great screencaps compiled in this article:

https://www.inverse.com/article/11007-frinkiac-is-the-visual...

13
Kluny 4 days ago 0 replies      
I can't believe how fast it is.
14
dalke 4 days ago 0 replies      
Any chance of OCR? I searched for "Pharm Team", which was the name of the company at https://frinkiac.com/?p=caption&q=major+league+baseball&e=S1... though the name was never said.
15
martythemaniak 4 days ago 0 replies      
Who can write a Simpsons quote search engine?

https://frinkiac.com/?p=search&q=the+garbage+man+can

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seppo0010 3 days ago 0 replies      
I made this Chrome extension to generate animated GIFs from frinkiac https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/frinkiac-gif/dlaba...
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vlunkr 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is great! My only complaint is that it comes up with lots of near duplicates. The images look they are different frames, but the quotes they reference are the same
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nkrisc 4 days ago 0 replies      
You'd have to be stupider than a monkey to not like this. Are you stupider than a monkey?

https://frinkiac.com/?p=caption&q=how+big+of+a+monkey&e=S12E...

19
volaski 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is amazing. I hope there's an api for this
20
ChrisArchitect 4 days ago 0 replies      
on the legal/lawyer talk tip - there have been a few notable other simpsons screencap repositories (like Lardlad) that have remained online for years. Wondering if there's some leeway or can't chase after a single frame (rather than video with picture and sound, which they are notoriously strict on youtube about etc)
21
bootload 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is a great tool. Any copyright issues? I tried it, "but it disappeared into 'fat air'."
22
daok 4 days ago 3 replies      
Every time you type a character in the search box, it adds a browser history. That is not great...
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jchendy 4 days ago 1 reply      
No Milpool! :(

More seriously:

1) Awesome!!!

2) It would be great if the search results page listed the quotes in addition to showing the images.

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ChrisArchitect 4 days ago 0 replies      
curious about how it works/was developed https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11036894
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anindyabd 4 days ago 0 replies      
First thing I searched for: "Kids, you tried your best, but failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." Got the exact episode. This is great :)
26
doodpants 4 days ago 1 reply      
I was hoping to find the quote in which Grandpa Simson mentions Estes Kefauver, but searching for "Kefauver" yields no results. :-(
27
fungos 4 days ago 0 replies      
Authors: Can you describe the backend infrastructure?

I'm just a bit curious here about the costs of running a toy service like this.

28
mjklin 4 days ago 0 replies      
"And that is why The Lord of the Rings can never be filmed!"

Stumped ya Frinky. It didn't have to go down like this.

29
djrogers 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is an amazing feat of human ingenuity.
30
silveira 4 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome. I could find an episode about "tiger-repellent rock" just by searching for "tiger".
31
noobie 4 days ago 0 replies      
Though you may be rat-like in appearance, you are truly king among men for sharing this!
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huangc10 4 days ago 0 replies      
"Hi Supernintedo Chalmers" LOL...this is freaking awesome. GIFs would be an improvement :)
33
morsch 4 days ago 0 replies      
Much cooler than expected. So I assume this is fairly trivial to adapt to any other set of subtitled videos?
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ChrisArchitect 4 days ago 0 replies      
also, why didn't this get picked up in the duplicate post algo HN? For the blog writeup @reaperhulk you should have put 'Show HN' in your original post to get more traction or something
35
tehbeard 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'm getting a nothing found error? Is this a mobile bug?
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sdh 4 days ago 0 replies      
needs a random button
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sotojuan 4 days ago 0 replies      
How is this so fast?
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pbhowmic 4 days ago 0 replies      
Brilliant. just what I need to needle the wifey
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rglover 4 days ago 0 replies      
YES.
       cached 10 February 2016 16:11:04 GMT