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Please review the alpha of our startup: LifeThunder.com (lifethunder.com)
5 points by dstorrs 1548 days ago | comments


icey 1548 days ago | link

It really needs some design. I'd suggest going somewhere like http://themeforest.net/ and picking out a cheap template at the very least.

I also never sign up for a site without seeing what I'm signing up for, so I'm afraid I haven't checked out anything further than what I could see while logged out.

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mikeryan 1548 days ago | link

I'm a bit of a design nazi as it is, but in this case I think there's a more legit need.

You're asking me to trust you with very sensitive information. I'm going to be very hesitant to do so with a site that looks like it was hacked together overnight.

As mentioned below as well having information about the security of your solution is vital.

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dstorrs 1548 days ago | link

Thanks for the suggestion about themeforest; I'm browsing that now.

As to the not being willing to sign up without seeing it, this is an issue that we've been struggling with. By the nature of the site, we need to have an identity attached to the information we store. If you have a good suggestion on how we could safely do a demo version without compromising people's security, there's an excellent chance that we'd do it.

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icey 1548 days ago | link

Screenshots or video make for an acceptable demo; it doesn't have to be interactive.

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kylebragger 1548 days ago | link

None of the interior pages loads - just getting a blank white page.

That being said, what kind of security protocols do you employ to ensure that users' account details, usernames, emails, and passwords, etc. are safe from compromise? (e.g. some kind of PCI-type compliance?)

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simonk 1548 days ago | link

Same here, none of the other pages load.

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bigsassy 1548 days ago | link

Same about white pages, and also curious how you would keep my information safe (I'm guessing it's in the FAQ which isn't loading)? I'd definitely be interested in the service if I knew 100% that nothing bad would happen to the data I'd give to you.

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dstorrs 1548 days ago | link

I'm looking at it right now and it's working. Can you tell me what browser / OS / URL you're using?

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generalk 1548 days ago | link

I'm on Safari 4 on Mac OS X. Same issue. View Source says I received all the content, but it's showing a blank white page.

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kylebragger 1547 days ago | link

same here, safari, ff, webkit, chrome, camino on mac os x.

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simonk 1548 days ago | link

Safari & Chrome on Mac, neither works. Firefox works though.

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mikeryan 1548 days ago | link

So they always say when creating a startup find some "pain" and find a solution. You've identified this well.

My concern is whether you see this as a real "startup" or a side project that can bring in a few bucks. How are you intending to bring in revenues? Monthly/Annual fees? Ads? The problem I have with both of these models is that when I look back over the past year, only once would I need to use your service, when I left my job to start a company. Looking forward outside of an occasional title/profile or a rare move I'd use this very infrequently. Not enough by far to do a membership or drive significant ad revenues.

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dstorrs 1548 days ago | link

> So they always say when creating a startup find some "pain" and find a solution. You've identified this well.

Thanks. :>

> [how do we plan to make money]

You're right that people won't need this every day, but even if you only need it once every 2-3 months, it's likely to be worth it--consider how much time is required to notify all your service providers of new information, then multiply that by your hourly rate. Needing it every 2-4 months is also not implausible: the individual changes (credit card expiration, email address, postal address, job title, etc) are infrequent, but when you stack them up they become relatively common.

Add in the fact that we provide a better interface than many of the services we are updating (e.g. PayPal and Yahoo, which disperse your information across multiple pages and show different versions of it in different places; e.g. some pages show title (Mr), some show suffix (Jr), some show middle name/initial, etc), and suddenly a modest fee starts to seem ok.

Our plan is to have a "one day" plan for very cheap--probably about $2--that is useful for a one-time use. When you're done, you can either have us delete all your data or archive it so that there is no charge until the next time you need it...but there will be a moderate charge to reactivate it. Alternatively, you can pay a small monthly or annual fee. In the long-term, we would prefer to negotiate contracts with the service providers and have them pay us to provide this service so it could be free to the users, but we will need a significant user base before we can make that happen.

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clistctrl 1548 days ago | link

I think I would pay a small annual fee. Personally something between $5 - $10 a year.

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Tichy 1548 days ago | link

The only type of web site where I would consider the name acceptable would be some kind of storm chaser community (where are thunderstorms happening right now, that kind of thing).

Also the FAQ seems really silly (is it save? Yes, bla bla) - You think scammers are incapable of writing "100% secure" on their scam pages?

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Travis 1548 days ago | link

I'd like to concur on the design element. You're asking me to trust you, but your site looks like it was designed by an amateur?

Secondly, I would change the presentation of your "is it safe" FAQ. Yes, I am comfortable with Amazon or Gmail storing my information, putting it on the web. But why should I trust YOU? It may be abstractly safe, but what reassurance do I have that YOU won't rip me off?

And, finally, how will you do this? Are you writing adapters that call each of the relative services' API to update information? What about my local credit union without an API? Will you tell my grandma that I moved?

As a possible solution to the above, you might want to seriously consider tying in with something like PostalMethods' API (http://www.postalmethods.com/postal-api). There's an addt'l revenue source opportunity as well; have people enter the info of everyone they want notified, and you can send snail mail to those w/o an API.

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dstorrs 1548 days ago | link

LifeThunder is a central point of management for your personal information; when your address / credit card expiration / preferred contact email / etc change, we update all of your service providers (e.g. NetFlix, newspapers, Amazon, utilities, PayPal, etc) at once so that you don't have to notify them individually.

The service is in alpha; the interface is still rough, and we are looking for suggestion on what the most important parts are to improve. NOTE: At the moment we only support PayPal, Yahoo, and LiveJournal.

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gcb 1548 days ago | link

Bold.

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minalecs 1548 days ago | link

I'm very hesitant to give any one website that much personal information. On a side note, will you be storing passwords / otherwise how would you be updating these sites with information. I think you need to work more on how you plan on securing this information and consumer trust.

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trusko 1548 days ago | link

I am not sure here but none of the screens except index and forums works for me. It just renders blank. I used both Safari and Chrome. Renders fine in Firefox. Even for Alpha, it's just basic navigation. Should fix that, I nearly gave up after it didn't work in two browsers.

Anyway, I like the idea but I am not sure I would trust anyone with all my personal information. Some people might. Security is key point here and it should be stressed out why people should trust you.

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clistctrl 1548 days ago | link

This is a really fantastic idea... I love it. I didn't sign up though, first the site doesn't give me any confidence that my information would be safe with you, and It doesn't tell me how I can be sure you updated my information. I think a better design, and some more up front info on how it works would really improve it. Once again though, lots of potential with the idea.

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dstorrs 1548 days ago | link

Can you tell us what you would need to see in order to feel confident in the site?

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kylebragger 1547 days ago | link

Enumerate all of the methods/protocols/whatever that you employ in keeping our information secure. Most (all?) of the site seems to be behind https, so that's a decent start. Are you PCI compliant? How to you store and encrypt our data? Obviously, you don't have to divulge the secret sauce here, but something more than what the FAQ outlines would be a good start. 37s has a decent go at a security page: http://37signals.com/security

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TheSOB88 1548 days ago | link

Facebook. The B isn't capitalized.

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