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Park.io – automating tasks to make $125k per month (indiehackers.com)
470 points by csallen on Sept 25, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 195 comments



I don't understand some of the negative comments here. This guy built a million dollar business in a year providing a service that people want to pay for. He did it all on his own with no other co-founders or employees. I say "Congrats!"


I think it has more to do with the fact that we've all wasted countless hours cycling through domain names only to encounter landing pages from squatters like park.io.


Park.io is not a squatting service. There may be some squatters using Park.io to snipe domains, but most big time cyber squatters just write their own version of the service as it's just not that difficult and will end up being cheaper if you are trying to snipe domains in bulk.

I have my own service (as in process, not business) that I can run when I'm interested in sniping a domain. I don't use it in bulk or for squatting. Occasionally I will think "x.com" would be a great domain name that I could use for business idea X. Then of course it turns out it was registered by someone else who never did anything with it. I then add an entry to a SQLite database and turn on the service and forget about it.

Although now that I see how much money this guy is making maybe I need to compete with him...


park.io is not at all a domain squatter. Read the other comments on this page: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12575992

EDIT: Or just ignore the facts and downvote emotionally.


Squatters are the ultimate douchebags of the Internet era. I there should be some sort of tax for squatting a domain name. I.e first 10 domains names are cheap then they get expensive.


Perhaps but has little to do with park.io.


why not something like this: Every domain sold would be for the same price (10 per year or whatever), no secondary markets or private deals.


You can't enforce that. Nothing's stopping me from selling my domain to the highest bidder, taking their money in cash, and then doing whatever $10 transaction through ICANN.


There is a tax: it is the domain renewal fee.


The tax is clearly not high enough to keep people playing nice.


If ICANN charged $5 a month for all domains perhaps it would not be so lucrative to sit on domains.

Though it would still be profitable for some domains.

The money could pay for ICANN or whatever.


Right now, a .io domain is ~$30/year which is $2.5/month. Doubling that wouldn't be that much more of a deterrent.


Good point.

Maybe they could set a 'holding price' that is a function of the likely value of the domain name. I'll bet at $30 a month - a huge basket of names become completely untenable to 'sit on' whereas it would mean little to the business owner, possibly.

This is an age old problem concerning how to deal with public goods. Real estate is the prototypical problem ... we don't consider those buying and selling land - and not using it - to be a problem to the system, whereas we could make the argument they are. In Vancouver and London, they've introduced a tax on housing spaces that are empty, i.e. if you don't live in it, you have to rent it or get hit with a tax.


>The money could pay for ICANN or whatever. //

ICANN seemingly just keeps a very simple database of domain owners. Reportedly their revenue last year was > $200 million. I'm sure they produce lots of interesting documents too but they appear to be minting it already.


> I'm sure they produce lots of interesting documents too but they appear to be minting it already.

ICANN is a non-profit organization, they are definitely not "minting it". Feel free to look at their financials and complain:

https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/adopted-opplan-b...


Just because an organization is 'not profitable' does not mean they are not efficient, and that there aren't stake holders raking it in.

'Non profit' means that investors are not making anything (there are none).

But there are other stake-holders: suppliers, customers, other kinds of financiers (debtors, other financial services), vendors, executives and employees.

They could feasibly be paying themselves 'significantly above market wages', they could be over-paying suppliers and vendors, and hiring far more people than they need, or otherwise operating very inefficiently.

I'm not accusing ICANN of any of this - rather - I'm making the point that their position as 'non profit' doesn't necessarily absolve the organization of 'raking in a lot more money than they need' kind of thing.


> Just because an organization is 'not profitable' does not mean they are not efficient, and that there aren't stake holders raking it in.

Hence my linking to the financials so you can see who is "raking it in".


> This guy built a million dollar business in a year providing a service that people want to pay for... I say "Congrats!"

More like, this guy built a million dollar business that arbitrages the DNS renewal system by squatting desirable names that he has no plans to use, then rent-seeking from those who do want to use the names. This is not a value-creating enterprise, but a zero-sum trader making money by taking it from other people.

I say "why don't you take that ingenuity and use it for something productive."


Don't hate the player, hate the game.


Hate both.


If you dislike government intervention, you should realize that people like this are the prime cause for it.


This hasn't happened to me, but it would be pretty crappy to find out you lost your domain because the script that your domain registrant uses to renew your domain name is slower than park.io's script.


It doesn't work like that:

Once your domain has expired, it will be in Auto-Renew Grace Period (for 0-45 days), followed by a 30-day Redemption Grace Period. At the end of the Redemption Grace Period, you will not be able to renew your domain name. Your domain name will be released for registration by third parties.

https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/expired-2013-05-03-en

For example, daily.sh will be available on their platform on 2016-09-30, but it actually expired back in 2016-07-01.


You can renew before the expiration and you can register multiple years at a time.


I might get downvoted for this, but here's a story. We just finished picking a brand name, after 2-3 months of intensive work.

Being fond of .io's I naivly googled my <brandname>.io, and found that park.io owns it - this happened last week. I immediately sent an email to inquire. We considered the price, and then when I came to buy it today, a week after, the price is tripled. This was a fixed price domain, NOT bid.

That's clever price manipulation. Detect when someone wants something, let it sit, and when they're ready - triple the price. Maybe that's a hint for how he made so much money? In any way we'll just do the get<brandname>.io or something like this, as a compromise. Thanks for being a douche, park.io!

And then, magically, this is now on HN :)


Hi sorry this happened - most likely it is owned by a park.io user and they can set the price to whatever they want. Feel free to reach out support@park.io and I will see if I can help


Since you're here, maybe you could help us all understand your business better?

1. You are not getting .io names at a discount from nic.io? No insider deals/information?

2. The Only advantage you have at acquiring an expired domain names at nic.io is your propriatiatry program. A program that is just faster at buying these expiring domains--just faster than your competition?

3. You only know when a .io domain name is due to expire is by looking at the same WHOSIS info we look at?

4. I ask these questions because so many of these domain buying services are just to magical. We tend assume the worst.


I'm guessing it works like stock market bids from high-frequency traders?

They've bought up the closest server they can to the bid receiving server at the registrar and/or they send their purchase request before the domain becomes available -- accounting for the network latency -- so that their bid gets there at the exact millisecond that the domain drops.

My personal domain drops at 2018-0X-0YT00:00:00Z, then IIRC it takes 75 days for it to be cleared. So presumably if your request for that domain arrives at 1 microsecond after midnight on that date then you "win" it.

Surely there's no secret sauce beyond that?


Thanks for thinking park.io is magical! :)

We have no special advantage other than our knowledge and technology


Thanks--


That's clever price manipulation. Detect when someone wants something ... triple the price.

Some aspects are different, but reminds me of a similar tactic Network Solutions pulled back in 2008 wrt to listening to domain name searches then raising their price: https://techcrunch.com/2008/01/10/network-solutions-using-qu...


If you buy a domain from a squatter, you encourage domain squatting. Domains are not that important as most browsers send the url to a search engine. So just register brand-name.com instead of brandname.com. Or pick another TLD.


MOZ would disagree with you

https://moz.com/community/q/hyphens-in-domain-name

edit: here's a better article actually on it - https://moz.com/blog/how-to-choose-a-domain-name-whiteboard-...


In 2009 I registered a hyphenless version of a Scientology domain name, and scored tens of thousands of visitors, who I rickrolled.

I would never, ever recommend settling for a hyphenated domain name.


This is bad advice.


This reads like: If you buy good real estate from someone who has a parking lot, you are encouraging people to buy good real estate. Better to buy a swamp an hour out of town and build your business there.


More like someone occupying lots of parking spots outside the mall, then charging many times the price for you to park there. Or take up many seats in public transportation, then charge people extra to sit, or hold seats until their friends come aboard.


Buys up deeds from people who missed paying their mortgage by a day, evicts the owners, offers to sell it to them - or anyone - at triple the price.


More like renting an apartment after someone neglected to pay their rent, and then continued to not pay day-after-day for the next 75 days. And afterwards, creating a fair bidding process to allow interested parties an actual chance to get that apartment for themselves without having to own sophisticated technology to be the first person there.


This looks like cybersquatting and may be illegal.

Please note: I said it MAY be illegal. There are very special rules when it comes to domains. Some people have a legitimate reason for 'holding' a domain. On quick glance, this looks like a legitimate concern.

I am the founder of OpenDomain and we fight cybersquatting - contact me if anyone needs help with domain issues like this.


Yeah this guy (park.io) is getting free PR and manipulating everyone here. It's obvious that he is marketing himself in this thread and calls himself a hacker. The funny part is he has very little hacker credibility if he hasn't been able to get his server up all day.

A big no no is to steal domains that just lapsed on their registration by mere seconds or minutes and then engage in price gouging via a scheme that makes Park.io not legally responsible (because well it's the owner of the domain who had purchased it via Park.io who is doing it, and do we really know that it's that owner or park.io itself hiding behind a some fake user account?)

Anyway, the idea of stealing domains and then ripping off people who are interested in them is really super amoral and stinky.

People should do good in the world, not make it a worse place , and then bate others with how much they make for sake of publicity and more money.

B.S. business model.


These kinds of uninformed incendiary comments make HN so much less pleasant. Firstly, you're criticizing the founder of Park.io's hacker cred because a completely unrelated website (IndieHackers.com) that he doesn't control is down, having done absolutely zero research to find out that that's the case. If you're going to be critical, find out the facts first.

Secondly, as other comments have pointed out, you're being judgmental about the acquisition of expiring domains without any real knowledge of how that process works. It is in no way immoral to buy a domain when it expires. Using the word "steal" is ridiculous. You sound like a media company exec complaining about the internet.

This sort of baseless and lazy shaming that's supported more by ignorance than by cohesive arguments/facts has become so widespread in our culture, and it's sad to see it on HN.


If you read the article or the process about how domains expire, they don't actually get re-released until close to 75 days AFTER the domain actually expires.

If you forgot to renew the lease on your apartment and 75 days later, someone else rented it, it might suck or be annoying, but you'd still have to move.

The easy fix? Set everything to auto-renew & have a backup credit card on file.


Recently I let a domain expire. I found out, that in those 75 days, I had to pay $180 instead of $20 for the same domain (namecheap). So, its not the same as leasing an apartment - I think.


I'm a landlord. I have this clause in my agreement under late fees:

If Tenant fails to pay the rent in full before the end of the 20th day after it's due,Tenant will pay Landlord a late charge of $20, plus $10 for each additional day that the rent remains unpaid. The total late charge for any one month will not exceed $120.

Even though I definitely should have, I haven't actually enforce it beyond the initial $20 late charge. In fact, I've kind of accidentally encoded a 20-day "grace period" into my lease (a tenant could pay me on the 19th of each month with no penalty, unless I chose to move forward with lease termination). But if you haven't paid your rent by the end of the month, you could have up to $120 extra charged. I'm sure your rental agreement has something similar (probably even more restrictive).

Your registrar enforces a late fee. When it expires, your domain stops working and goes into a 27 day grace period. During that time, you can notice and renew at the regular price. After those 27 days, it goes into redemption period, which has the the late fees.


If you let it expire for two and a half months it obviously isn't that important to you.

I think the most expensive domain registration I've ever paid is $9.99, and seriously if you can't afford that annually, you have no business owning domains in the first place. There are plenty of free hosting options for portfolios.


It is the same price for 27 (I think) days after expiry though. If you've managed to miss the notifications that your domain is about to expire and then still not noticed for another month it's on you when the redemption price needs paying. Set it to auto-renew.


> The funny part is he has very little hacker credibility if he hasn't been able to get his server up all day.

FYI indiehackers and park.io are run by two diffrent individuals. park.io website is still up. It's the indiehackers website that is down.


That's how ticket scalping works.


NIC.IO now has backordering. In order for park.io to continue being successful with landing and selling premium domains, he must be appraising the value of the domain and his chance of selling it in one of his auctions. Then weighing that against the NIC.io backorder price of 60EUR (67.35USD) + 60EUR registration fee and finally backordering it himself far enough in advance before someone else does (because only 1 backorder can be placed on NIC.IO).

Interview here: http://www.domainsherpa.com/mike-carson-parkio-interview/


Mike Carson has put park.io up for sale. Asking price is $1.5M.

https://feinternational.com/buy-a-website/8340-platform-doma...


Yearly revenue is $818,600 profit round $500k which is very nice but if "makes" in the title means "makes profit" as I assumed then the numbers are not correct.

Profit of 500k / 12 = 41.7k per month, not 125k.


It is growing fast - avg of last 3 months is $125k. Yes it is revenue, not profit


Might I ask why you are trying to cash out so quickly? Do you not feel the business is sustainable?


My thought is that it is because NIC.io now has back-ordering, and he's parachuting out before revenue plummets.


Everyone's motivations are different, but seeing as though domains are always going to become available, it seems like a cash cow that requires minimal upkeep.


He cloned a business model known as drop catching that has been around for a long time with other TLDs most notably for .com domains. If you look at how those markets evolved, there is an initial burst of profitability and then intense competition which leads to commodification and margin compression, which is what I predict will happen here as well. The smartest operators made most of their money by selling off the premium domains they were able to drop catch early, which seems to be what he is doing also (& kudos to him for what seems to be excellent tactical execution) - but the drop catching service itself has steadily less value over time and of course, even in the absence of competition from peers, is wholly dependent on the .io registrar's particular rules regarding drop catching which can change at any time.


Exactly, which is why the asking multiple is too high. Fragile model with declining future revenue


3x profit is a pretty standard multiple.


If you have a moat and growth. Not the case here.


Now it's making sence, and the reason the website is currently for sale is because it will have an expiration date, but I could be completely wrong.

I went through his comment history, and the guy seems like a straight shooter. He did say he likes to buy domain names directly from the current owner.

I do question the faster program he coded, but then again in his comment history, he is very interested in Amazon servers. So, I should take him at his word, and look into this domain catching software.

There's a part of me that thinks he is buying up .io domains directly from owners, and putting them into a auction buying API? Actually, in one interview he claimed to own 700 .io domains. Maybe he was just one of the first to buy .io domains, and then set up a website to auction them off?

(personally I don't get the allure of .io domain names. Registration is $100yr., then drops to--I believe $50. And there's no ICANN protection.)


I find it shocking that you would post on HN; "Hey guys, I make $125k/mo making other peoples lives harder".

Given the way your current infrastructure is configured (vulnerabilities and all)... somebody could probably cost you ~$30-70k/mo in AWS resource utilization at a cost of ~$600/mo. The moment you park on the domain of someone who shares your internet ethics, that will be an interesting day for you.


How is it unethical to provide a platform that allows people get domains that they'd otherwise have almost no chance of getting?


If park.io hadn't bought it, someone else would have. So how does the park.io client deserve it any more than that person?


Depends on your definition of "deserve". With domain names, the system is pretty clearly first-come, first-served. If Park.io didn't get domain name X, then the next fastest person would get it, and so forth. Many other systems are similar: renting apartments, claiming land, patents, trademarks, etc.

Obviously, first-come, first-served doesn't ensure that a resource goes to the people who would use it "best". But what system does?

Park.io gives the average person an actual chance to win the race for a .io domain -- a chance they otherwise probably wouldn't have -- so I'd rather live in a world with Park.io than without it.


I'm getting S3 access denied errors.

Here's the cached version if you need it: https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:F0QdH3...


This couldn't be more click baity if the title involved "this one weird trick".


This thread is a great example of why not to publicize your revenue or internal systems.

At best, you'll get hate and resentment. At worst, you'll get hate, resentment, and a new competitor.


I disagree. Lots of the founders behind companies who've shared on Indie Hackers have reached out to me with good stories about getting more users, positive feedback, relationships, etc. And I know a few people personally who've given Park.io their business in the past few days, too.

Every community is different. Park.io received nothing but love on Twitter earlier this weekend (https://twitter.com/IndieHackers/status/779330003829944320). The HN crowd is particularly cynical and prone to outrage/judgment in the comment section.

I got a similar response when I launched Indie Hackers itself in August. But despite some negative comments, most visitors loved it and 99% of the feedback I've gotten since then has been positive.


Pretty sure it already had a lot of hate before this article even existed.


Doh.. this guy recently came to me and swooped an up .io I owned. I gave it to him for what I paid for it thinking it was just an individual, should of asked for more lol.

/me facepalms


He paid me $500 for a two letter .io I owned. I hope you got market value!


He gives some good advice for indie developers if you manage to get over the "self-promotional" aspects of the article and read to the end.


Ehn, his advice is pretty generic and survivor-bias-y. "Do what you like", "adapt", etc.


I don't understand how this can survive in the long run - what's stopping someone else from setting up an identical service at lower prices? There is literally no lock in because users can sign up for multiple services and potentially pay a lower price (depends on which one snags the domain).

Or is the technology behind that unique?


Does it really matter how long it lasts in the long run if he's making $125,000 a month by himself?

Coming up with a good startup idea is sexy, but this is a pretty sweet deal too. You could argue that hours spent working on this prevent him from working on something that's potentially more lucrative and more fun, but from the sound of it he's at a point where it takes up much less time than a full-time job.

Even if he can only milk $1 million off of it, that's still really good.


Yes only 1 million. It might just be worth him getting put of bed.


If you think such a thing that easy, you should do it. But it aint.


I'm not trying to be dismissive of his impressive project, but from my perspective, or from a business point of view, it doesn't make sense. While I have no doubts that this was nontrivial to create, history has shown that raw technology alone is rarely enough. Isn't trying to gain some form of lock-in an oft repeated point on HN?

Also, could you elaborate? I do wish to understand why, if I was wrong.


What kind of lock-in do you get from starting a convenience store? A repair shop? A McDonald's franchise? Those can all be quite profitable and provide an excellent living.

Simply because competing with him may be "easy," doesn't make the business model any less valid.


The same could be said for almost any service.


So what if it doesn't survive in the long run? Strike while the iron is hot, move on to something else when it cools.


Reading this article reminds me of a story that got me on the path of Linux, open source and away from Windows career path years ago. I was starting out my IT career as a Windows tech at a company. One guy that was obviously smart, Linux literate, and given a lot of responsibility at the company mentioned that he had scripted a tool to check constantly if a domain that he wanted became available or not. He wanted to make sure he grabbed it as soon as it became available.

It was the first example I saw of someone automating something with some scripting. Coming from Windows side, I was like what~~? Scripting can do that?

This was when Yahoo was the king. (I'm not THAT old).

The thing is this kind of scripting is NOT new. It was done before by others. But with proper execution, park.io is able to generate a million dollar a year. Good for him.


this guy has found the secret recepy for making money: make a service for something where users direcly earn money or spend money. Then automate it in order to scale.


Slightlyy OT and probably naïve: what is the attractiveness of the .io TLD? If the .com isn't available, why is .io more desirable than any other? Is there a hard reason or is .io just fashionable?


Guessing here, but I think it's just fashionable. Has been for a few years, from what I've been seeing. zato.io was one of the first I noticed - a Python ESB (Enterprise Service Bus), got to know the founder, chatted a bit. That was a few years ago. Geek chic, so to speak. Probably because of the term I/O (Input/Output) being a tech term - a signalling mechanism to other geeks, maybe - as in: I am a geek, come do biz with me. Playing psychologist here, but hey, it's fun to ...


lmao, man i liked when the term "hacker" was directed toward blackhats. This whole "im a hacker" gig is hilarious.


> lmao, man i liked when the term "hacker" was directed toward blackhats.

Well, that usage was incorrect, but I agree that nowadays everyone's calling themselves a hacker of some sort.


Enlighten us with the proper usage of the word hacker?



His main advice is to just "flow" on your own natural interests and success will come.

The problem is that many people's interests have zero business potential. As technical people, we tend to have pipe dreams about what computers could achieve. Lone wolf AI directions, weird functional programming styles, utilities based on incredibly niche processing, continuing retro computing interests, custom OSes, etc.

Sure, some people have interests that happen to align with a commercially exploitable audience, but "pursue your interest" is not a globally applicable direction to recommend starting a business venture. Flexibility within your interest will not help you swing a profit if your interest isn't widely shared.


I still think it's a great starting point. You may find that it's hard to get info about custom OSes and after a year decide to sell a book with all the information you found.

The point is keep an eye out for problems you run into, instead of making one up. Usually if you find it interesting, someone else will too. Plus it makes it easier to justify spending the hours necessary turning it into a product.


"so I wrote a script that checked the domain every second and sent me an email if it was available."

Whats the use of checking it _every second_ if you still need to manually act upon your email?


That's what he thought, so he build park.io. Did you finish reading the article?


Yes and it quickly sidetracks to other things that the parts that are actually of interest, company goals etc. Not so much about automating tasks as the title would suggest.


All this is pretty funny to all dropcatching people around the world if he really said it. If you act upon email the domain is gone.


Don't you check your email every second?


The interview mentions parked domains as the major lead generator... are those domain names owned by park.io or by its clients?


Mostly clients


Just to clarify: Why does he call it "backordering"? I mean the domains didn't expire yet or does he park them?


Why the .io domains for everything?


For some reason the URL doesn't work unless I remove the '-1' at the end.


His hn profile:

https://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=ca98am79

Other projects, including what appears to be an initiative to start a new religion? (http://consciousness.io/)

http://humb.ly/projects.html


Haha yes - that's my new religion based on consciousness. I thought there needed to be more innovation in religion, so I started one


While it is good to encourage people not to be judgmental or angry, I have to logically point out that your religion contradicts itself:

Stating "judge nothing as "bad" or "evil"' and then stating "you are now free of any judgments, guilt, resistance, anger, or suffering of any kind." suggest that those things are undesirable traits. But isn't that a judgment?


This is one of my favorite fallacies to kindly point out to friends and family. My brother was talking about not judging others personal choices. The way he phrased just made me laugh and reply that he was judging people who judge strangers.


It's amazing how inconsistent people's thinking can be. If nothing were bad or evil, then what's to stop someone who disagrees with him from deciding that this planet would be better off without him on it, and removing him from it? No complaints, now--you said you can't judge anything, and that includes murder. If you're just a pile of goo, what does it matter if another pile of goo destroys you?


As far as religions go it doesn't seem too bad at first glance.

I like it.

My current favorite quote about religion is from the pianist Seymour Bernstein (in the latest Documentary about him, from Ethan Hawke, titled "Seymour: An Introduction):

"I don't call it god, I call it a spiritual reservoir. Most people don't tap that resource of the god within. What upsets me about religion is that the answers always seem to be apart from us, in the form of a deity and we depend on the deity for salvation, but I firmly believe it is within us."

The externality, taking someone's individuality and telling them that it's something apart from them, that they don't control it, is also my largest concern with religion and the thing that needs to innovated on. I think your conciousness.io fits that bill ... Would be curious to hear if my assessment is incorrect though.


GK Chesterton:

> That Jones shall worship the god within him turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones.


Yes, this is not good? Better than the alternative?


I can see why a reasonable person would downvote my reply, it's short and adds no value.

I don't know what else to say until I know where you're coming from though, I'm honestly asking what do you mean by that quote?


I don't understand what is hard to understand about the Chesterton quote. If someone thinks the answers to life and meaning and purpose lie within himself, he effectively becomes his own god, and therefore effectively worships himself.

Then he dies. What of his meaning and purpose then? If meaning and purpose lie within ourselves, then when we die, meaning and purpose die as well. But that would mean that there is no meaning and no purpose, for how can a being create itself before it has created itself?

Therefore, if we have purpose, if life has meaning, it must come from without, not from within. This is not to say that we don't possess "seeds" of truth and meaning and purpose within us--but they exist only to point us toward the truth, to motivate us to seek answers.

A search for truth that only looks within ourselves is doomed to failure, for we cannot provide answers that we do not have. And if we had the answers, we wouldn't need to search for them. Those who claim that the answers lie within ourselves are deceiving themselves and others with vague platitudes, merely taking a detour on the journey toward the truth--but how tragic a detour if time runs out along the way.


You think there are answers?

The search for meaning is a poorly formed question.

42.


> You think there are answers?

Yes.

> The search for meaning is a poorly formed question.

"Why are we here? What are we meant to do? Where are we going next?" These are not poorly formed or useless questions.


"Why are we here" and "where are we going" are vastly better questions than "what are we meant to do".

Do you see the difference?

"why are we here" can mean "how did we get here, how did we come to be here" ... but if it means "for what purpose are we here" than it turns problematic again, no?


The search for purpose and meaning assumes there is one. It's hard to understand how one can ask that question with presupposing that there is some thing as an "objective meaning and purpose" and it's just really confusing to me. If you don't see how the pasting of that quote is confusing, that's what I meant by confusing.

The search for reasons and hows and what happened and what's next seems a lot more interesting of questions, to me personally.


Well, whether "for what purpose are we here" is useful depends on the answer to "by what means did we get here" or "what caused us to be here". If we are here merely because of chance occurrences, then of course there is no objective meaning or purpose. But if we are here because something or someone put us here, then it's a good question to ask why we were put here and for what purpose.


Yes that's perhaps our disagreement as well, the odds of a being being involved.


It means that there isn't a sublime/perfect id/being/spirit at the core of us, just the same flawed person as is on the outside. So a religion or philosophy of trying to worship or obey some inner perfection ultimately just means doing whatever you feel like, which isn't a good idea let alone worth proselytizing.


I feel it's worth proselytzing in the context of counter balancing the movements which imply some other idea is worth worshipping.

It seems like a step up, from worshiping one's priest to worshipping ones self, and maybe after that we (those that see the error in both) can have adult conversations.


> It seems like a step up, from worshiping one's priest to worshipping ones self, and maybe after that we (those that see the error in both) can have adult conversations.

Not that you necessarily intend it, but that is a false dichotomy. If the choices are between worshipping a priest (a human) and worshipping oneself (another human), you're right that the latter is a step up in that it refuses to elevate one human above another.

But it only brings us closer to the truth insofar as worshipping the priest is wrong. It really just brings us back to ground zero. If worshipping the priest is wrong (by "wrong" I mean that the priest is not worthy of worship, because he's just another human), then worshipping any human is wrong, including oneself.

So, either way, you're wrong--that is, you still don't know the truth, and you're still worshipping a human being.


I don't think we disagree.


Okay, so where are you going next, beyond worshipping self?


Not worshipping.


And for the record, finding the god within doesn't have any connotation of worshipping ones self, for me personally, the idea that it might I think is a vestige for those that see a value or need to worship a god without.


Well, by worshipping, I mean recognizing oneself as the arbiter of meaning, purpose, and morality. Essentially it means recognizing oneself as one's god.


What need is there for purpose or morality and why ask that of your god?

That is where we disagree I think.


> What need is there for purpose

Well, if we are just piles of goo that randomly became sentient, then there's no objective "need" for purpose; we can simply keep existing and eating and sleeping until we die and decompose.

However it seems obvious that most people, at some point in their lives, wonder about purpose and meaning--which raises the question of why we wonder. Is there something planted within us that causes us to seek answers to these questions?

> or morality

I suppose the sociological answer would be that morality provides guidelines for behavior which help society operate smoothly, as opposed to everyone doing whatever they want, stealing and killing without consequences, which would prevent any kind of civilization from developing.

Which I guess raises a chicken-and-egg question: where did morality come from? How did the first guy who realized that chaos was holding civilization back (before "civilization" even?) convince everyone else to stop doing what they were doing and follow these rules he came up with? "Hey, man, don't steal my stuff and kill me. If you do, we'll keep having chaos, and we'll never be able to develop a society and make progress." Somehow I doubt that would have been convincing to a wild-eyed savage who was in the habit of raping and pillaging.

> and why ask that of your god?

I think this depends on who your god is--or more specifically, whether you believe a god exists. If there isn't one, and we are our own arbiters of truth and morality and meaning, then I suppose it's personal preference whether you care about these things; many people seem happy to live in ignorant bliss, and then they die, and what does it matter?

But if you believe that a god does exist, who created us, who exists outside of our universe, then said god would necessarily have the power over our life and death, and any afterlife that may come, and so it would seem sensible to inquire as to what that god wanted of us--just as a child tries to please his parents if he wants his parents' approval and support, or a soldier tries to please his superiors, or an employee tries to please his employer.

Of course, many people either don't believe or don't care, and time will tell how it turns out for them. In the end, we'll all find out whether a god exists and whether there's an afterlife.


Also, this is the most interesting conversation I've ever had, please feel free to email me at derekbreden AT gmail.com if that's easy.

Have a good one either way.


> The externality, taking someone's individuality and telling them that it's something apart from them, that they don't control it, is also my largest concern with religion and the thing that needs to innovated on.

The Buddha innovated on it 25 centuries ago. It didn't prevent people from just praying to him when his philosophy got popular.


Yes.

Buddhism with that rhetoric (that innovation) has persisted more positively than others that lack it I think.

But also, yes.



That looks like a branch of Deboísmo.


Sounds a little like Optimism cf. Candide.


We need a new religion as much as we need a new mob. But if you are following the money yeah I'm sure there is a lot of innovations to be done there as well.


For those getting a 502, I'm working on the server, Elastic Beanstalk didn't scale fast enough >.<

Cached version here: https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:F0QdH3...

Or if you refresh a few times, it should come up.


Yeah you usually need to warm it up if you're about to expect a lot of traffic because it can't really deal with that.

That really shouldn't be an issue for a site like this though, because you can just host it on a CDN...


Top of HN traffic peaks at maybe 50-100 visitors per second. Unless you're serving a bunch of data, it really shouldn't be an issue. One problem I've run into is (I suspect) running out of sockets because they weren't getting recycled fast enough. This went away when I switched to Snap or Happstack. I used to have to "fix" this by killing and restarting my server every five minutes.


Do you see a lot of connections in TIME_WAIT? If so I'd just bump up the ephemeral port range via: /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_local_port_range (or sysctl -w)

But if you're not getting recycling of TIME_WAIT, you can start to change the reuse/recycle attributes (caveat emptor) with: net.ipv4.tcp_tw_reuse or net.ipv4.tcp_tw_recycle

I know I have been benchmarking a servant app by throwing 2048 concurrent connections at it and just bumping up the ephemeral range has been enough for my needs.

I tend to run out of socket FD's or just FD issues a lot quicker than ports.

Just a thought, but 50-100requests/second doesn't sound like too big of a deal. I did a quick bench of what i have setup and I get this:

    # wrk --latency -c 128 -t6 http://10.0.2.15:8080/foo/bar/
    Running 10s test @ http://10.0.2.15:8080/foo/bar/
      6 threads and 128 connections
      Thread Stats   Avg      Stdev     Max   +/- Stdev
        Latency     3.46ms    5.25ms 137.42ms   90.23%
        Req/Sec     9.84k     2.13k   19.67k    69.50%
      Latency Distribution
         50%    1.65ms
         75%    4.40ms
         90%    8.59ms
         99%   22.17ms
      589624 requests in 10.07s, 476.28MB read
    Requests/sec:  58560.86
    Transfer/sec:     47.30MB
Note, this is a static end point so take all these figures with blocks of salt. But by tuning what I said I can have wrk do 2048 concurrent connections reasonably with just a fair increase in overall latency. YMMV


tcp_tw_recycle is not what you want. It is only applicable to outgoing connections (i.e. not people connecting to your server), and even in that case provides little benefit over tcp_tw_reuse.

I like pointing people here for the explanation: https://vincent.bernat.im/en/blog/2014-tcp-time-wait-state-l...


True enough, but its hard to diagnose what people are having problems with with such vague wording. Some apps might have to open connections to a backend, or not, etc...

But you're quite right on recycle for outgoing. To be honest I tend to shy away from adjusting either unless I really need to.


> Top of HN traffic peaks at maybe 50-100 visitors per second.

That's true, but HN posts tend to go viral on other tech news sites. It's likely the majority of the traffic spikes are not originating on this site's link. I could be wrong though.


The worst I've ever had was Reddit/HN/Hackaday. I wish I had taken pictures of the Google Analytics report; there was a huge spike when it hit Hackaday, like thousands of loads in a few minutes (maybe a bunch of RSS readers?), leveling off to a more reasonable amount and then falling off gradually as it was displaced from the top of the page. I think I usually get most of my immediate traffic from HN. Twitter is probably the most benign; it usually seems to cause a very slow burn, with little flare-ups over days or weeks.


If you don't initiate the connection ( no reverse proxy ) you don't have to recycle sockets, only the nofile / iptables settings matter.


How exactly does one go about warming Elastic Beanstalk?

I thought part of the value add was Beanstalk making it so you don't have to think about these things for bursts.


Contact Amazon. I go through this every time I switch work servers to a new elb or spin up a new service. They are pretty responsive when it comes to this. Just let them know you are expecting X amount of traffic.

The new load balances may be a bit better in this regard Hough I haven't tried them yet.


You mention that you use a newsletter and weekly blog posts as part of your marketing strategy. Content marketing can be such a time suck. Have you found ways to automate any parts of these processes?


I automate the newsletter and tweets, but I actually write the blog posts


You might want to think about moving your blog to be a static site. Publish it with something like http://stout.is and it will be much cheaper, easier to maintain and will never go down.


I'm using Ember FastBoot to render the site on the server, so it's not quite static. For some reason it's throwing lots of errors and dropping requests right now, even though it didn't when I launched Indie Hackers on HN last month and had about 3x as many requests/second. Frustrating.

Anyway, I'm in the process of just moving it from Elastic Beanstalk to serve it from S3 via CloudFront directly. Waiting for the CloudFront distribution to spin up...


If you use a service like netlify, you can host a static site for free on a CDN. It's actually really convenient because it can build the site automatically whenever you push to a Github repo, and it can automatically setup HTTPS for you with a Let's Encrypt cert. It's a lot easier (and cheaper [free]) than setting up S3 and CloudFront yourself.

Github pages can do the same thing - it just has fewer features.


Good luck, though it looks like you're making good progress already. Last time I had to wait for CloudFront I sat there thinking "this would be a real pain if I actually needed it now..."


Yeah CloudFront took FOREVER to spin up, then it gave me some arcane AccessDenied error that I couldn't easily debug. Ugh.


Thanks for making IndieHackers! I visit it all the time for inspiration!


I hope the server gets back up quickly. Im still getting a no response error in Sydney. I'd love to read a post mortem about the issue sometime in the future.


Remember when ticketmaster and their ilk bought, ahem bot, tickets within seconds of release, and then sold it to you at inflated prices. all while marketing it as a service to humanity?

Well, nothing different in this business plan either. Automating price gouging and domain squatting might be commercially viable and legal, but it isn't the right thing to do!



Jealousy and cognitive dissonance. This guy is more successful than them, so clearly he's done something bad.

Welcome to HN: home of the insecure narcissists who like to argue over programming languages, humblebrag about their gifted childhoods, and prove that they're superior to anyone more successful than them.


I agree with you on the prevalence of envy in human nature (the real "hn" at work here), but using this community to diss the rest of the community is reliably a marker of a bad comment on Hacker News. Picking "humblebragging" and "prove that they're superior" as the points of dissage seems extra ironic.

We detached this comment from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12576182 and marked it off-topic.


So your solution to these problems that I raised is to sweep them under the rug.


You didn't raise any problems; you postured above others. I don't know if the bottom of the thread counts as 'under the rug', but it's a reasonable place for that sort of comment, since it's so off-topic, common, and generic. (I'm talking about just the second paragraph btw.) Snark is also deprecated.

I understand how frustrating HN can sometimes be, and how easy it is to get stuck on a picture of the community as a super-annoying arch-enemy, but it's incongruent to use HN to comment that way, since if you're commenting here, you're as much a part of the community as anyone else is.


Domain squatting as a service.


Technically, it's called 'domain drop catching': https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_drop_catching Common service, so I wonder how park.io is so successful.


No, it's not domain squatting.


congratulations :)


IndieHackers.com is down, not park.io


He keeps my attention because he built a $125k/month product.


it also drops considering his 'business' is selling a ridiculously expensive domain back ordering service


Park.io isn't indiehackers.com, and it's currently up.


FYI dang censored my comment about how HNers react to these stories with a jealous and insecure attitude:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12576210


Re-read your post - do you _really_ think that's why you were downvoted?


I said censored, not downvoted. My original post was at 47 points when it was censored. If it was so bad, then why did so many people agree?


No one censored your comment. It is right here on the page for anyone to read. Dan merely moved it down on the page, and it's far from the bottom.

He even took the time to write two very polite and friendly explanations of the action, even in the face of your hostile attitude toward him.


We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12576182 and marked it off-topic. Please don't do this again.


So this guy is a domain squatter?

And all you need to do to become one is add a script? I always assumed there was special access to top tier domain snatchers or they had some sort of high-speed trading thing with a fast uplink.


No, a squatter buys domains and holds them. Park.io lets you buy a domain that's going to expire before it expires and transfer it to you and charge you if and only if it registers it before it gets sold.

Some of these domains (https://app.park.io/domains/view/algorithmic.ly) actually look pretty neat, and I could totally see this being a good market to be in.


So it mostly services domain squatters.


Isn't it the opposite? Rather than buying from the squatters, it encourages people to "wait out" the squatters using Park.io. To me, it seems that damages the squatting business model.


No, the gp was saying it's a perfect tool for squatters to use.


The squatter's business model is to buy a lot of domain very cheaply, in the hopes that one sale will cover a lot of bad purchases. Paying $99/domain and having to register each manually (the API is readonly) goes completely against that MO.


When you pay money to buy or rent an apartment or a house, are you squatting?

People pay Google and Facebook to display their ads; I guess they're eyeball squatters.

The guy has a product he's paid for with real dollars by customers who gave them to him willingly to get something they want. It solves a need people have which is something I haven't been able to do yet.


not really. THere are are a handful of domains I've been wanting TO USE for years now that squatters got to first, or someone else is using. if these ever expire i want them to use. not to resell for profit. Unfortunately this service doesn't let me just plug in whatever domain i want and check for it


You backorder the domain. If we get it and you are the only bidder, you pay $99 and the domain is yours.

lol then why bother paying $99. just pick it up from any registrar for $9 after it drops


I think the point is that he picks it up before anyone else does in your behalf.

He's doing the equivalent of standing in line for you outside the Apple store on iPhone 7 release day and then charging you a premium for his services.


yeah but this can be done for much less and if the domain is actually worth anything (it has backlinks, age, and traffic) you will pay for more than $99 since you will be competing with many other bidders. This is a huge industry and you're competing with Russians , eastern Europeans and others who scan for domains thousands of times a minute and check them for rankings and other factors...Very seldom does a good domain drop unnoticed, unlike years ago before this industry took off. Either you pay too much for a worthless domain in or you pay the full price in auction.


I suppose that is why he is making $125,000/month running this business and you aren't. You see no business model here but he obviously did and is benefiting from it.

This is the perfect example of why it is not always good to listen to the many naysayers. There are a ton of single purpose things that can be turned into a service. Most people overlook those things because building the next unicorn sounds so much sexier.


well said


"I suppose that is why he is making $125,000/month running this business and you aren't."

We have no idea how much he is making. Especially since if he is saying he is making that, he attracts attention and is therefore incented to say it - he's probably lying.

People are not upset because it's a 'single purpose' thing. They are upset because he's not creating value - in fact - he's not even playing in a zero-sum game - he's actually shrinking the pie by introducing a transaction tax where none should exist.

He's an anti-capitalist. For every $1 he makes, $1.02 is being drawn out of the system.


You're critiquing this service like it hasn't been launched yet.

Despite people being able to do this for 'much less', the man built a successful business providing a service that people are willing to pay for.

Every business has competitors and often you can do the same thing that a business does yourself. This is true for everything from restraunts to taxis to clothing stores.

The lesson here is to not overlook creating something simple that can provide value to other people.


It depends why you want it. When Facebook bought fb.com, I don't think it was for the backlinks, age, or traffic.

People want things for a whole variety of reasons.


Because you won't be quick enough to order it, unless you start writing some scripts which isn't viable if you only want a couple of domains. The premium is to guarantee peace of mind. I also find it expensive but I can see its merits.


The times when a script was enough are long gone. You wouldn't even get a good ccTLD with a script anymore. You also require direct access to the registry which usually only domain registrars have. However, you might be able to catch one of those new generic TLDs with a script.


Domains usually don't fall back into the "available". A squatter will frequently pick up an expired domain under the assumption that a once-owned domain might have value.


Literally any other tld right

.dance and .party have been fun lately


a sucker is born every minute




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