I'm happy to get feedback, but please go easy on me. We will plan much further in advance next year and make it easy to scroll through ideas and look beautiful and not be annoying in the countless ways it seems to be currently :)
In regards to concept, I think it's great YC is promoting YC cos at every opportunity it gets. Sometimes it feels like an ad, but this time it does not. Perfectly timed "launch" of the site.
I think you've done a better job than most, in both content and design. I looked at the site a few hours ago, and was thinking of the team and the week of prep work that YC put into building this. Never could have believed it was made by a non-programmer in less than a single day until I read this.
For constructive feedback, would love if you borrow an idea from Apple's gift list. That is, categorize the products and services by topic or type. I.e. For the music lover, the hipster, painter, etc. would really go a long way once this list gets out of hand (which I suspect it will ;)
Awesome site! Really great idea :)
This was a lot of fun and came together really fast given the time constraints. Colleen was amazing and did the write-ups quickly. I've been working frantically to get this out. Still needs work though. Please send comments. But first, I need to go drink some water as I haven't left my desk in many hours.
UPDATE: as I suspected, my inbox is exploding with emails from other YC startups with gift ideas. Will update as fast as I can.
I honestly thought it was a fan page at first since there is no clarification on who the "We" is that selected the companies.
I really like Level Frames. Will definitely use them in the future for my space.
The site makes me wish YC kept a publicly filterable curated list of products from YC companies that included these things like pretty images and a tagline that captures exactly what the company does.
I'm thinking roughly:
- scrape the list from http://yclist.com/
- filter the ones that sell a physical product (somehow)
- write a tiny scraper for each site's store (oh god) or try import.io
- (potentially) bake in your referral code for each site
I just sent the site to my mom. She could pick anything and it'd be a great gift, it's that good.
An unsolicited suggestion: Maybe it would be best to have to "Buy From YC Companies" page or something like that, and then just select 6-8 of them on a separate "for the holidays" page. At least that way an everyday consumer could quickly scan the list without having to read 20+ startup descriptions (which can be tiring, even for the hn crowd).
Personally, I thought it was worth the read. I had no idea that many of these companies were YC backed, or that some of them existed at all.
Personally, I'd like to view pre-launch items and gift cards separately from everything else.
I'm being a little overboard of course, but I really wonder how dependent we will be on our machines to survive at all in a generation or two.
I don't eschew technology at all, but I'm realizing how little most people appreciate the willingness and capability to help their fellow humans. People will surprise you if you wait long enough!
Post a question and only those geographically within one mile of you can answer. All questions and answers are anon and public.
Tag the questions and answers such that I can see all the questions regarding what to eat were within my vicinity.
Here's something similar but for tweets -- ex. Times Square https://www.mapbox.com/labs/twitter-gnip/locals/#10/40.7591/....
(I mean, I don't want to come off as a Luddite by any means, but...)
I'm 40, so perhaps things have changed a bit more than those younger than me, but I can still make most food from scratch ingredients, have no issues sleeping outside in the cold, and can iron and mend my own clothes. I don't really see that much of a difference between myself and a person 100 or 1000 years ago, spare electricity, and I certainly don't need that in any real meaningful way.
Perhaps it's a generational gap, perhaps it's my jaded old fart genes kicking in, but I look at this list and I see, for lack of a more fitting phase - a lot of useless shit.
I mean, who the heck justifies a smartphone controlled grill? Who's next purchase priority is a $250 blanket that you program with your smartphone to keep different areas of the bed warm? Is there really a demand for a gadget that helps with your mindfulness and tells you to calm down? Isn't that what a good friend is for? Granted, there are certainly a lot of items that do seem to have useful needs - and I love that many of them seem geared towards sustainability and such, but my god I don't think every single article on the planet needs to be "smart".
Then again, I'm a person that still doesn't see the use case behind the smart watch (that's dependent on the phone in your pocket, at least), so maybe I'm just completely out of touch. At any rate...don't read too much into my comment, I'm not as trite as I probably sound. Just getting a little put off by the trend that seems to be focused on using technology to power hyper-narcissism ("Your own shampoo flavour!") in the name of positive technological advances. :-/
I'm only a few years younger than you, and I can do all those things too. I think you likely vastly underestimate the gulf between the old-timey things you know how to do, and the old-timey things you'd be forced to do in 1915 -- the Rumsfeldian unknown unknowns.
Someone never properly taught to cook who panics at soft terms like "medium heat" and doesn't know what a given kind of steak should look like.
> Who's next purchase priority is a $250 blanket that you program with your smartphone to keep different areas of the bed warm?
A married couple that has regular arguments over what blankets to use and are ready to try a gimmick that might help.
> Is there really a demand for a gadget that helps with your mindfulness and tells you to calm down?
I've dealt with coworkers who absolutely could have used it, though of course the hard part would be convincing them they had a problem in the first place.
Similar with 23andme. Lots of personalized trivia about my genetics but nothing earth shattering or really actionable. It told me my race (whoa my parents weren't lying to me) and said I had slightly above/below average risk for many obscure diseases. Maybe it'll be more useful with gene tailored treatments some day.
Having a fancy grill that automatically stops cooking my steak doesn't make me incapable of using a thermometer + timer + normal skillet + polling by hand myself. It does make it sound a lot less convenient though.
You might be confusing correlation and causation here. Did she have no sense of direction because of the GPS, or did she use the GPS as a self-correction for having no sense of direction?
Thanks, you just made me feel like a Neanderthal.
And hey, I can't even talk; I make freemium mobile apps so it's not like I'm solving real problems either.
It just sucks and I wish it was sexier and more profitable to go after real problems rather than silly stuff like e-sheets or digital frying pans that perfectly cook your grass feed beef steaks.
You can specify a recipient email at checkout and we'll send them instructions via a special page where they upload photos, talk to the artist, and track the status with the pricing hidden.
Because I'm lazy, your recipient won't know what type of painting or what size until the artist is finished. But let's just call that a feature for now ;).
But you can place an order without uploading a photo and we create a project page after the order.
You can send this page and it lets the recipient upload their photo and talk with the artist.
Also: no mudguards??
I guess it was supposed to be "unexpired".
This is perfect for a gift exchange.
But why would pre-order only items be included in this time-sensitive list?
As a side note, I am shocked at how non-HN-user-friendly most of these sites are. I saw an insane number of tracking scripts blocked and most were rendered completely unusable without JS.
The Pantelligent picture just shows a picture of a box with “Pantelligent” written on it, not the actual product.
The uBiome one is straight-up meaningless clip-art (of a robot holding a wrapped present) with the company logo badly pasted on. Sure, the nature of the product makes it hard to get a picture of it, but the clip-art could most certainly have been chosen better.
The Craft Coffee one only shows pictures of text-only ads for the product, not what you would get when you actually subscribe.
502 Bad Gateway
Edited the link :)
Who in their right mind thinks that putting a button called "Show me the list" dead center of the page? Hey guys, I have a novel idea: instead of adding a button, just _show_ me that list!
And do you know what happens if you press that button? The website scrolls down a ~300 pixels and then you can see the first 1.8 entries of that list!? F*ck this shit! You have ~900 vertical pixels at your disposal and all you manage to do is to show me TWO lousy items?
I actually tried to scroll down the list and it took me FORTYFOUR (!) scrolls of my mouse wheel to reach the end of the page. 44 scrolls to see a list of just 40 items?! This is horrible! In what world do you live if you think that this is a good user experience.
There is a lot of stuff killing the web right now, but one of the things nobody ever talks about is this horrible "modern" design which is nothing more than a wasteland of white padding, waste of space, way too large fonts and oversized picture banners which take way too much bandwidth too load.
In my opinion we should introduce a whitespace-to-content or padding-to-content ratio which punishes bad webdesign.
Another offender for this is medium.com. Yes, it has good content, but you have to hunt for it in the wast amount of padding and oversized images.
Just go and have a look at the mediums frontpage. What do you see? A few words, two buttons and a large image. In order to see any content you have to scroll down and even then they manage to only show you 2 items at the same time. If you want to see more you have to scroll constantly.
For example, if I'm searching for a contact in a contact list, I want as little whitespace as possible, because I want to be able to quickly scroll to an individual item very quickly. This is really a "searching for one item in a list" use case.
In this example, 99% of users won't be looking for any one specific thing. The whole point of the site is to show new stuff you aren't aware of. In that context, the fact that the scrolling behavior optimizes for stopping at each item it turn (lots of whitespace, the animated fade-in) is a benefit, because I won't know anything special about one product versus another.
Also, the experience is clearly optimized for mobile. And the type of "daydream and browse" experience that this site is geared towards screams mobile use case.
Yes, exactly! The only reason why I actually scrolled all the way down was to figure out how many scrolls it takes to get to the bottom. Otherwise I would have just left after the 5th item.
Or to use a different terminology: when you read a website or a book you use two modes of "scrolling" at the same time. The rough scrolling is done by hand when you change a page of the book or when you scroll down the website with your mouse wheel. The finer scrolling is done by moving your eyes which scan the available content for interesting stuff.
In my opinion scrolling by eye is much more effortless and faster than scrolling by hand so I'd like to try to reduce scrolling by hand as much as possible.
For example on the yc gift page it takes about 44 mouse scroll actions to see 40 items. In contrast I can see all 30 items on the front page with just 1 or 2 mouse scroll actions.
A practical example is this German news page: http://m.focus.de If you visit it on mobile you will see that they managed to show less than 2 full news items per page (At least on my 720p screen). Half a year I visited that page from time to time but now it is completely unusable because you have to scroll way too often.
Afterwards go to http://www.reddit.com/.compact and see how much more comfortable browsing is when you can see 7-10 items at the same time.
But design that optimizes for depth of engagement almost always performs better on metrics that ultimately matter. I'm not saying YCGifts is an outstanding example of this, but to pan the design of the site (and all large font, lots of whitespace designs in general) because it's not optimized for your scan-and-pan method of consumption is shortsighted.
I am all for what you said.
After scrolling through the rest, this has to be one of the best collections of first-world problem junk.
What kind of person thinks to themselves, "Man, I really wish I had a gift idea list based on a particular financial investor."
When you get a catalogue, do you comment "Man, I really wish I had a gift idea list based only on things stocked by a particular store", or just accept that it's marketing/inspiration of a particular category or supplier?