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I'm at Fog Creek, and we're introducing Gomix (anildash.com)
269 points by prawn on Dec 31, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 212 comments

1/4 of the article about what is Fog Creek and how well everyone knows it.

1/4 of the article about culture and other guys and... I don't know what the hell it's talking about. I'm not even bothering reading half the sentence anymore.

1/4 Then it's talking about other unrelated products now? Outlook something.

> "Gomix brings back the fun of the “view source” web"

Oh finally. I had to re-read the article 3 times to find something about the new product, only at the end of the article!

Finished reading. Don't know what the product is about or what it's intended for.

Is it a AB testing software? Is it a a PageHacker[1] clone? Don't know.

[1] https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/addon/page-hacker/

The big news on the page is that Anil Dash was hired as Fog Creek Software's CEO. The blog was published the same day it was announced. The name change of the product is sort of incidental: GoMix was previously named HyperDev.

"With working example apps to remix, a code editor to modify them, instant hosting and deployment - anybody can build a web app on Gomix, for free."

How it works video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPc6dXBFhA4

Here's a brief text overview: https://gomix.com/about/

tl;dr: codepen for node.js apps

I think we need to replace the link with the actual product release.

i get the feeling its final goal is recuting. u will have a list of developers that somebody can search thru.

Yawn. Does this genre of comment have to be top of every thread?

It's warranted in this case as it's responding to the worst launch post I can recall reading.

This is actually not the launch post. This is the launch post [1].

1: https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2016/05/31/introducing-hyperd...

The Hacker News discussion of the announcement: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11808911

this post saved me 5 minutes of my time.

I really like the spirit of this, and I hate to be the gnu in the room, but the only thing holding this back is that it's centralised.

Again, I totally get how that might sound stupid. "How can we have nice things if we always need to solve the decentralisation problem first?", is one of a billion reasonable responses to my comment, but I'm just a guy who has gotten his heart broken before by the likes of Geocities, which they reference directly in the Overview video.

I trust FogCreek a lot more than I ever trusted Yahoo!, but I still never stray too far from the sidewalk anymore.

That's a fair concern. There are two paths I think we'll offer to address the issue.

First, the code you're running is just totally standard Node.js, and we've got easy tools for taking what you make and running it anywhere else, if you want.

Second, we'll be building more reasons that you'd want to stay in the Gomix community — features that give you benefit from being in a network. In some ways it's similar to Stack Overflow, in that everybody owns what they contribute, but having a place to do so benefits everyone.

Just FYI while it is definitely centralized, and you are correctly tensing up at the sight of that, here are the "Advanced" options you get when managing a project: http://i.imgur.com/ohDUnKI.png

You can import any code from a Github repository you have, or export the project you're working on to a Github repository, or download a .tgz of the entire thing. Anil's opinions on "the web we lost"[0] fit into the ethos of Fog Creek and co well, I think.

[0] http://anildash.com/2012/12/the-web-we-lost.html

I think its a great idea by still cant get past the new latest name for it. HyperDev was geared toward the technical crowd, But GoMix??? It speaks to no one...

The name reminded me of a derogatory term for patients. Or a Go library called "mix". Those reservations aside, it does seem descriptive of what the service actually does. Still, it lacks the charm of "StackOverflow," or the uniqueness of "Trello."

I don't see how centralization is a big concern in this case. One of the fundamental features is that you can take the code anytime and hoist it up anywhere you please.

If anything centralization in this case just greases the skids to running quickly without any lock-in.

What's wrong with being centralized? It's just a prototyping platform. I doubt anyone would build a production app on this.

I recently used it to play with websockets and being centralized was the main reason it worked so well.

Exactly this. It's like saying shadertoy is bad because it's centralized. When in reality it doesn't matter because everyone is going to lift their code out to their production env when they're done experimenting.

In software, unfortunately, the prototype often is the production app.

I was hoping it would be for production apps...

I think the OP's concerns with centralization is that over time this might become a great collection of fun/useful/interesting/<insert adjective here> sites, just like geocities, but because it is centralized it can all irrevocably just go away one day at the whim of the controlling company. Just like geocities.

This comment made me laugh a lot.

So I made this:


This mostly seems to be about a new CEO at Fog Creek.

I have never heard of him but appearantly he has a big following. And it appears that a very large number of people don't like him - enough to create a bunch of new accounts here at HN just to comment on his persona.

Fog Creek has to me always been about Joel on Software. And to me they always got a lot of credit and extra attention to their products because of his excellent writing. It must be hard for a new CEO to follow up on that.

As for the product; it has already been announced and discussed here earlier.

Personally I fail to see what it adds to an already crowded space of online, web-based, collaborative development environments. Honestly I think has too few features and is kinda ugly. But given that Trello and Stack Overflow has very large user bases maybe it is able to push thru and gain critical mass.

We think it's a hugely underserved market. I've written a little about where we think Gomix fits relative to other similar products: https://medium.com/gomix/gomix-and-the-evolution-of-paas-362...

Thanks for the link.

The key paragraph for me was this one:

> The Gomix model is: just click. And in that respect, we have much in common with developer playgrounds like CodePen and JSFiddle. They too are fun for trying things out, and a nice way for developers to share ideas. But they don’t provide any ability to run back-end code, which greatly limits the types of things that you can build with them. What’s more, key features like realtime collaboration between multiple users are often limited to only paying users, putting up a barrier for educational use or simple pair-programming scenarios.

The HN discussion of the product - was it this one?


Just thought the link might be useful for folk interested in reading more about that.

There was also a discussion when it was announced as Hyperdev: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11808911

>I fail to see what it adds to an already crowded space

Can you give an example? I'm not aware of many products that are attacking the problem of making coding easier and more fun in the same way they are.

Countless people have tried to make programming "easier" and "more fun". It usually ends up into wishful thinking and lots of sentences with "awesome" and other words without any meaning in them.

I'd rather make coding simpler than easier. The fun will naturally emerge out of using simpler constructs. This is exactly what Clojure did for me :)

I tried many tools with Java/C#/C++/JavaScript/Ruby and whatnot and while they can be useful, they're not to the point of making code actually easier or fun in these languages - at least not nearly enough for all the learning they require you to do.

Oh yes I'm aware many have tried and most have failed. But that's why I'm glad to see another go at it.

I'm convinced it's possible to strike a balance in designing such a product that catches on like wildfire.

I think what they have is a decent start but could be a lot better. Maybe I'll share some of my own ideas if they are open to that kind of feedback.

Absolutely, always eager to get feedback. Feel free to comment here or you can mail me: gwilson at fog creek dot com

As a native Russian speaker, I can't help but notice that the name sounds really close to the Russian offensive word for homosexual people - 'gomik's. Can't say if it's going to negatively affect the product but it's certainly not a good thing. Mitsubishi Pajero is not being sold in the Americas under that name for a reason.

We did find that out after launch, as it unfortunately hadn't come up in our searches prior to that. I personally apologize for the offensive name and we'll be directly addressing it soon enough thanks to several Russian speakers who have pointed out the issue.

Thanks for bringing it up, and I'm sorry we didn't catch it earlier.

Sounds kind of like ゴミ (Gomi) too -- trash in Japanese.

> offensive word for homosexual people - 'gomik's

Could be worse, imagine a product named Gopnik /s

No, that would've not been worse.


Considering there are probably many thousands of developer hours invested in this, I hope Fog Creek invests ten or thirty hours into making some quick and dirty youtube videos showing starting from scratch and building out a a few full apps with persistence, some integrations, etc so we can see what that involves. I still don't completely understand what GoMix is exactly from the video shown here.

No, please, not a video — this is the most inefficient way of conveying information about a product aimed at developers. Just write a well-structured text tutorial.

I have noticed that a lot of young people have never learned to read fast or skim large documents.

My guess is that is the reason we're tortured with hours long videos with very little content.

Young person here! (at least I hope I still count!)

My anecdotal data point: the homepage only seemed to have a video explanation, I dropped off right then because I didn't want to watch a 2 minute video about how this works.

And it's not searchable!

When I search a page I'm looking for a description and a bit of context. You might be able to search a video thanks to autotranscripts. Then you have to scrub to be sure the keyword is in the correct context.

is that why there's so many videos these days, sounds plausible - I agree they make skimming very difficult. I think videos are cheaper to make to, just record a session and talk over it.

While I agree the numbers seem to be on the side of videos as far as I can tell.

Honestly I would like if they did both. Sometimes I like to just listen to videos while I'm doing other things and sometimes I like to be able to just skim through an article.

For "getting a feel", I find video is fine. For actual learning, I agree not so efficient, but video can be excellent for deciding whether a person is interested in digging deeper.

"efficient" is an overloaded term, and depending on your meaning it's not something everyone's pursuing.

Many of the example apps have a step-by-step guide embedded in the project (see the Setup.md file) e.g. Alexa: https://gomix.com/#!/project/alexa-skill Parse: https://gomix.com/#!/project/parse-server Slack: https://gomix.com/#!/project/slack-bot

But we'll be sure to work on some video examples - I appreciate people learn in different ways. For a quick overview of Gomix, see https://gomix.com/about/

Ditto. This is my second or third exposure to this project and I'm still not sure what the heck it is, and what the value add is. I understand things like setting up DBs, wiring up a front and back end, etc... But this? I don't get it. It seems like it's supposed to be an easy to use, but powerful and extensible, way to build apps, but it doesn't necessarily look any easier. And it looks complex in its own way.

So yeah, I'd like a really robust tutorial (text, preferably, I don't like to sit and watch videos) which shows the creation of a full featured web app with persistent data storage, and a dynamic front end. Something with robust functionality so we can see how something like that is built.

Yep, this is a good idea. We've been holding off so that we can use the community's actual creations as the examples, and that's what we'll feature when we make clearer introductions to Gomix. Some will be videos, some will be written out, and maybe we'll do other formats as well.

This is very similar to Akshell (http://toughbyte.com/akshell/) which we worked on more than six years ago with @korenyushkin and that made the front page of HN on a number of occasions.

Despite being promoted by Fog Creek, I suspect that Gomix will run into the same problem that we did: professional developers won't use it as they already have the tools they prefer, whereas hobbyists won't be willing to pay. Without a viable business model, a service like this won't grow.

I hope I'm wrong though! AppJet, a similar service from a YC team (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AppJet) was the reason I got into JavaScript.

PS. If you're looking for something similar, but simpler and geared towards backend apps and micro services (think AWS Lambda), you should check out https://unitcluster.com/

Don't people who are starting out find these systems to be too difficult? You have to know much more to use this, then the "view source" days: Http codes/headers, javascript, npm?, css... Those weren't things you dealt with when changing Html on your local browser. I'm sure I don't have a good perspective on what new coders can handle, but this seems like too much.

Good point. AppJet and Akshell had their own built in libraries and guides, whereas with Gomix you're expected to already know about Node, NPM and figure out which libraries to use yourself. This is likely to make this too complex for people just starting out, making the model even less viable.

On a somewhat related note, one thing I'd like to see is cheap Heroku like hosting for Node. Most Node web apps could get by with 64MB of memory and processes could be started quickly in response to incoming requests, making it possible to price this at 1 USD per app per month.

Pivotal Web Services[0] uses Cloud Foundry, allowing you to specify any instance size you want, to the megabyte.

(The pricing page[1] is deliberately simplified, but you really can specify to the megabyte what you want).

[0] http://run.pivotal.io/

[1] http://run.pivotal.io/pricing/

Disclosure: I work for Pivotal.

Yes, this is a critical observation.

I think they are relying on the instant forking of a working app to save users. The idea being that even if you don't understand all the concepts, most people can muddle through and modify and enhance based on seeing what's going on inside an already working code base.

It's true that starting to code from a working example is a tremendous advantage. However it's also true you have to eventually grasp the concepts and node has never been the easiest backend to grasp.

First Joel is brilliant. I love the idea. However,

"Set up your Alexa skill in your Amazon developer account."

"TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID and TWILIO_AUTH_TOKEN - available from https://www.twilio.com/user/account/settings"


Things have changed since 99. The walled gardens are up. Credit cards are required everywhere. I hope the 'casual' programmer can fill out all these forms and not be scared by AUTH_TOKENS. I wish gomix had a pool of community accounts. (eg for Twilio where you get like 100 free texts and you just hack on).

Running servers for Alexa or sending texts for Twilio are not free so they have to have some sort of registration or payment or go broke. I don't think those services were available in 99 so that's different.

quick setup'n'go in 1999 was mostly a php/perl web provider. is AUTH_TOKEN really too much different for having to set up a mysql db in '99 and putting in DB_HOST, DB_PORT, DB_USER and DB_PASS ?

thats what a lot if the LAMP stacks had back then at a minimum. then make a page woth php_info in it and carefully scan the verbose output to see what your cgi renderer was compiled with

Yes. DB_HOST and co. are stuff you run locally on your own computer. AUTH_TOKEN means you're stuck with some external service, that will probably charge you at some point.

I like this alot. For brainstorming and trying out quick ideas, its a really fast way to prototype server side code, even without the remix/social features.

I'll explain why I think this product is important. Everyone knows the js dev world has fallen vicrim to the irresistable urge to abstract away and you end up with toolchain on top of toolchain.

Node and express made it possible to get an app going instantly, but now, not so instant cause you have this that and the other to install and more importantly learn how to use. For example, since Stackoverflow was mentioned, take a look there at how many people are stuck, not on js, they're confused by Angular or whatever framework was supposed to make their life easier. Simpler frameworks and simpler ways are usually pretty well received, so I view gomix as being in that spirit.

Congrats to the makers its an interesting tool.

> to stop coding from being an exclusionary priesthood for a small few

Are there really people that see it that way? For me it's just the opposite, programming is a field that is easily accessible to anyone that's interested, with a very low entry bar.

Since I learned to program when I was a teenager, by reading a book about the BASIC language and taking an introductory class where I could use a microcomputer, I have a hard time thinking about it as "an exclusionary priesthood for a small few".

I see it that way.

That attitude used to exist back in the 90s, with products like HyperCard, Filemaker, even Microsoft Access. There was a time when it was just expected that development software had a graphical interface builder for developers to use. (Heck, even IDEs for really difficult languages, like C++, had them.)

But "real developers" crapped all over those tools, especially Access. And when "real developers" create programming tools, they don't spend even 10 milliseconds thinking about accessibility or usability or user experience-- look at Git (created in 2005) as a perfect example. There was a time when terrible software like Git was mocked and derided, not praised.

So while back in 1998, anybody could program their own recipe database with drag&drop and a little scripting in HyperCard or Access, now in 2016 they can't. They could try perhaps in one of the "leftover" easy environments, like WinForms, but it's about an order of magnitude more difficult to learn, and if they want to share their solution with someone, they have to learn Git which is about two orders of magnitude more difficult to learn.

The world you grew up in no longer exists, and we move further from that ideal every year. Sorry, but the "high priesthood" concept (make everything difficult and annoying so we can demand more salary) won in our industry, and it won decades ago.

So, I had to learn some basic Access in my CS class in school around ~2000, and for me it was an absolute nightmare that I did not grasp (I was a teenager and had no coding experience).

Now I am a developer and can handle direct SQL and in retrospective I think it is easier to setup sqlite and learn basic SQL than learning MS Access.

> But "real developers" crapped all over those tools, especially Access. And when "real developers" create programming tools, they don't spend even 10 milliseconds thinking about accessibility or usability or user experience-- look at Git (created in 2005) as a perfect example. There was a time when terrible software like Git was mocked and derided, not praised.

I think they crapped over those tools, because these tools got the abstraction wrong. They are in complexity between spreadsheet software like Excel and "real" databases that speak SQL. There just aren't enough use cases where you go in-between there, so as an expert in Access you can't solve many problems, especially as you are tied to the Access stack.


The problem git solves is just non-trivial, so git itself has some learning curve.

> I think they crapped over those tools, because these tools got the abstraction wrong.

If you identify a problem in a useful tool, the correct response isn't "throw it into the garbage and never make a tool anything like it ever again!" The solution is to research and iterate and try to fix the problem. The Wright Flyer didn't have much range. The Wright's solution wasn't "let's give up on creating airplanes forever!"

We'll never know if Access could be made better, because development on it stopped.

And in any case, for the point I'm making, it doesn't matter if Access is a perfect, or even a good tool. The point I'm making is that he developers of Access had a clear vision of how to make software development easier for the average person that now no longer exists. Maybe they weren't good at achieving that vision, but they had it. Modern software developers, by-and-large, do not. (HyperCard's a far better example, since it had the same vision and also more successfully executed on it.)

> The problem git solves is just non-trivial, so git itself has some learning curve.

Microsoft Word solves the same problem Git does with its "Track Changes" feature and is far easier to use. I'm not saying that "Track Changes" is sufficient for software development purposes, but it certainly points to a few obvious ideas that could make source control software far better.

But of course Git has none of that. It doesn't even try. It's simply bad software.

EDIT: BTW, the problem with Git isn't that it's too complex, the problem is that it's far too simple. It implements a few abstractions, then forces the user to deal with them even though those abstractions don't resemble human thought processes even slightly.

And for the record, Subversion solved the exact same problem and was far more usable. It also had more features. And was much easier to create GUIs for. Basically, it was better than Git in every measure that matters to me. And it was bad software. But it was way better than Git.

This nails it — coming of age as a coder in that era really informs my perspective on how we could make more accessible tools today.

The world I grew up on didn't have HyperCard, Filemaker or Access. I wrote code (as opposed to dragging and dropping, which I couldn't, because there weren't mouses our GUIs). I used primitive text editors to write BASIC, COBOL, C and Assembly code and I printed it on paper to better understand the whole program. I typed programs from listings on magazines. All of that as a teenager.

The tools we have now, and the libraries and learning resources (like YouTube) make it that much easier, not harder, for someone to learn and get started.


It's "easier" in that it doesn't cost money, I'll grant you that. It's not "easier" in the sense that development tools are more accessible, discoverable, or usable than they were a decade ago. How many of those YouTube videos only exist because the tools they're teaching have terrible usability?

It's the scope (see my other comment).

When you learned it was possible to create and sell a commercial product by learning 1 simple language with no frameworks and no rest apis. That's just not possibly today.

Totally agree. GUI is derided as a child's toy and command line is the only "real" way. Polymer started working on a GUI builder, and finally went with a command line interface where we need to type mkdir, --g serve sorts of commands. As a designer playing with concepts, this puts me in a totally different kind of mindspace and make me worry about arcane commands, not UX processes or concepts.

It is that way. I learned the same way you (without the class) and pretty quickly learned assembly after that.

The problem is the our universe was so small back then compared to what you have to know today. Networking, security, so many frameworks, the Internet. Even learning JS is harder than basic.

>>programming is a field that is easily accessible to anyone that's interested, with a very low entry bar.

Not according to the hordes of HN posters who regularly shit on coding bootcamps.

Perhaps coding boot camps are the problem, and not the accessibility of learning to program? Not that I'm arguing bootcamps are bad, however there is a lot of junk out there.

* with that said General Assembly I hear is pretty good, and there is a reason why a lot of companies let their employees go to some of their Bootcamps. The rest, I can't speak for, even on a incidental level.

Amazed me to read the part of Joel's side of this where he talks about the staff counts at Stack Overflow and Trello. I remember the early days of his blog, SO, and when Trello was announced. Now Trello has 100 staff and SO has 300.


Why is a post about a product launch that was made a month ago #1 on HN right now? Did something happen?

Someone pushing their social network to come here and upvote.

Nah, if we'd have done that it certainly wouldn't have been while I was asleep and over a major holiday.

I wasn't implying you directly, as it seems (from comments in this thread), that you are benefitting from a wave of PC-pressure. The internet-collectivist movement is strong, so it could have quite easily been a fan.

In any case, it's cool that you're responding to a thread about your blog. I wish you and yours nothing but health and happiness in 2017 from here in Russia.

I love Fog Creek and use Trello daily. I'm your target audience. If you could make this self-hosted i.e. on my own company's intranet secure servers, I would pay a lot for it.

Ditto. It'll would be awesome if there was an ability to download the files you 'remixed' so you can self host.

It could serve as a great educational tool too. Something that would allow people who are overwhelmed to get their feet wet and 'build something functional'. Getting 'hello world' to print on a console is cool, but it won't excite someone as much as getting a live website to print 'hello world'.

Yep! We're doing exactly this — hope you'll give it a try. :)

One more tool for managers and non-tech product owners, to sell them idea "any cool app can be made just by few clicks of mouse, your dreams will come true, developers are lying about complexity". And in reality all of these "just copy-paste from github" will require tons of work to integrate, because in reality 3 party plugins are not so carefully prepared for Gomix as in their video presentation.

As an aside, does anyone have a list of tools that are in this category of "One more tool for managers and non-tech product owners, to sell them idea \"any cool app can be made just by few clicks of mouse, your dreams will come true\"". What's a good place to find such tools?

Even if you are trolling, good example of such products: PHPMaker. I hate it wholeheartedly as a programmer, but if you like tools like this - you will be satisfied :)

I read the blog post and I still have no idea what Gomix is. Is it just a web-based nodejs ide?

It's basically jsfiddle or codepen for nodejs. I have to admit, it's pretty interesting. I'm bias as I look at this from a teaching perspective and it makes it a lot simpler to just get into the meat. Looking at the code, there's a bit of magic. If you spin up the parse server it states that it requires a monogodb ENV key yet it'll just work without one. I'd imagine they are spinning up services behind the scenes.

Doesn't look like there's currently any way to add more modules. At least I haven't found it yet. Interested in testing out the import feature...

You could write it off as 'just' a web-based Node JS IDE. That is a large part of what it technically delivers. But here's a few points that we think makes it more useful and accessible to a much larger group of users than would ever typically use such a thing: https://gomix.com/about/

A few years ago I got into the habit of using alternate languages to HTML, CSS, and Javascript---namely Pug, Stylus, and Coffeescript---and I'm physically unable to use the originals any more. Are these supported by Gomix?

It does - here's an example using Jade (Pug), Stylus and Coffeescript: https://gomix.com/#!/project/hello-coffee

For a fuller example, the Gomix site is also built using those technologies, and you can view their code too: https://gomix.com/#!/project/community

I don't know the answer, but whoever down voted OP is an ass. Its a perfectly reasonable question. So what if OPs skills are different to yours.

I don't see why they wouldn't be supported. It's just a regular Node/Express app, so you can include whatever modules you need.

Looks like you're right, and syntax highlighting is even supported!

That doesn't get in your way for finding jobs?

No, I work in a laboratory. Web dev is a hobby for me, and it seems Gomix is designed for hobbyists. There are many hobbyists I know who share the same opinion, so it would nice for Gomix to support languages which emit HTML/CSS/JS.

Some folks are fortunate enough to only have to deal with frontend technology in their spare time.

so while I'm coding, the site is down for my users? (because half written code throws errors until finished)

I like the auto-deploy because the iteration cycle is amazing for testing and realtime collab, but it would be great if I it auto-deployed to a staging area, then when satisfied promote that to be live...

We'll be adding some type of super simple 'branching' type functionality allowing people to develop without breaking production.

Is that happening soonish?

Yes-ish. :)

This looks like a slightly upgraded Mozilla Thimble https://thimble.mozilla.org

They're both online editors that use the word "remix", but that's really it.

Mozilla Thimble is a HTML/CSS/JS learning tool. It's frontend only and doesn't have realtime collaboration.

Gomix is backend and frontend. It's collaborative, so a team can work on it at the same time. They're looking to change how teams work together by replacing version control. It also deploys instantly, so there's no saving/uploading/pushing/etc.

Source: https://learning.mozilla.org/blog/introducing-the-new-thimbl... and https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2016/05/31/introducing-hyperd...

So its a process I need to adapt several of my dev teams to adopt?

We just got in a new agile rhythmn.

I still didn't understand how they replace version control for the sake of something better. AFAICT, it just lacks version control?

Lack of version control is a deal breaker for me to just go through the trouble of opening their page and clicking on "Try".

Maybe there will be Kiln integration at some point?

Is a software company founded in 2000 really "venerable"?

I would have thought that would be more appropriate for software companies founded 40+ years ago — around longer than most careers

It's not the length of operation, but the track record.

Anil, I don't know you, and you certainly don't know me. But I have a word of advice.

When you join a company a few weeks before it releases a new software product, have the humility to admit that you had precious little to do with it. Don't write about yourself, at all! Write about the product, what it can do for me, and the amazing team who built it.

I'm going to go way out of line and do a bit of a hatchet job on your writing, because this is honestly how it came across to me when I read your post. Here are your exact words, with a few ellipses thrown in to emphasize the point.

> I'M AT FOG CREEK…I’m the new CEO of Fog Creek Software!

> If you know me…It’s no secret that I’ve become increasingly critical of the conventional tech world’s lack of focus on ethics, humanity, and inclusion.

> [Fog Creek's] brilliant and thoughtful founders Michael and Joel were willing to trust me to be the CEO of the company that have so carefully shepherded all these years. [sic]

> …after challenges like shutting down ThinkUp earlier this year, I started reckoning a bit with how to be most effective in pushing the tech industry to be a little more thoughtful. This personal inflection point became clearer as the team at Activate released this year's Activate Outlook — seven years after we'd set out to create the leading strategy consulting company, I realized we'd not just succeeded, but done so to the degree where the team could now run effectively without me being involved day-to-day. Between stepping back to an advisory role at Activate and sharpening the focus of my work for the organizations whose boards I serve on, I was able to bring some clarity to the work in front of me.

> I realized that I wanted to fully engage myself with a single, all-encompassing role that would use all my skills, and that Fog Creek's legacy of leading the industry made it the perfect place to try and push things forward again. So now, I have a simple answer if someone at a cocktail party asks what I do.

> What do I do? I'm the CEO of a small software company in downtown Manhattan that’s as influential in the tech world as companies 1000 times our size.

> For the past several years, I found that the overhead of provisioning servers, or trying to maintain a dev environment, or wrangling with version control took all the fun out of coding for me, to the point where I don’t just hack on things for fun anymore. I can’t imagine how much more intimidating it would be if I hadn’t spent many years coding.

Tell me, does any of this have anything to do with… What was the product called again? What does it do for me? And how can you helpfully communicate that value?

Now I realize this post was on your personal blog. So a bit of self-indulgence is understandable. But still… Is all of this about you, or about a great company and its new product that you were lucky enough to be asked to be involved with?

I should admit that I'm probably just jealous. How in the world do you get a publication like TechCrunch to give you personal credit for this product when you had so little to do with it? Their headline from 12/6: "Anil Dash, new CEO of Fog Creek, launches platform to remove barriers to app development"

Agreed. That is Anil Dash for you. Read his other blog posts as well.

Oh, you are right. I never heard of this guy before, but this quote from his "about" page is choice: "His Twitter account is the only one that’s been retweeted by the White House, Bill Gates and Prince, a succinct summarization of Dash’s interests."


He really sounds like the worst kind of person, doesn't he?

Depends, I think having a bio that seems too self-congratulatory is not as bad as, say, perpetrating systemic violence or oppression against entire groups of people. Some can disagree with that, I guess.

Put simply, this was my personal blog post, so it was about me & my feelings about the moment. On our company blog, or on Medium, we (as Fog Creek) wrote about the Gomix product and the only mention of me was a little blurb at the bottom. Both of these choices seem appropriate to me.

Thanks for the levelheaded reply. After reflecting on it a bit, I think you and WhitneyLand are right. It would have been a different thing if this were the company blog, but this was your personal blog, so of course it's completely reasonable to talk about yourself.

I was out of line, and I am sorry for the harsh tone of my comments.

No problem — that's context that may not have been obvious with the way the link was posted. Thanks for being willing to reconsider! Hope you'll check out Gomix, too. :)

For another perspective, I wouldn't spend ten seconds reading yet another announcement of yet another software product, but I'll read a post by and about Anil Dash repeatedly.

I don't know you, and you certainly don't know me, but I suspect Dash knows his target audience for this particular post pretty well. The product-focused posts are somewhere else, not his personal blog, and chances are they're gathering dust, speaking relatively and metaphorically.

Maybe the Gomix product should pivot to be more about Anil, less about that dry, boring code. They could put in some kind of interface to view all his tweets and blog posts in one place.

I have to disagree, this feels like piling on. Let me add lack of humility and narcissism really peeve me but I just didn't get that from his post.

Remember, the article was in fact meant to be about his new role. The title starts out "I'm at Fog Creek...". Given that he's within scope with what he wrote.

Personally, I would never list celebrities that have retweeted me and recoil at even the thought of doing such a thing. But we have to interpret things as generously as possible. I know people who would talk about Prince retweeting them just as a matter of fact thing that seemed cool to take note of.

You are right! I apologized to Anil in a nearby comment, but in case you see this note, I wanted to thank you personally for calling me out on it.

In Russian "Gomik" is an intentionally offensive, very rude form of "homosexual".

Just FYI, Fog Creek.

I wonder, is there a quick way to learn what's that all about without watching a video? As usual, seems like good old text reading/writing skills are ignored...

May be in reading it wrong, but that page contains another video, couple example snapshots and "why we built this". I still have no idea what all the fuzz is about, and I'm not wasting my time on videos.

Here's the text of the page for you:

Gomix is the easiest way to build the app or bot of your dreams.

With working example apps to remix, a code editor to modify them, instant hosting and deployment - anybody can build a web app on Gomix, for free.

Start by remixing. You never have to start from a blank slate. Remix a full, working app to personalize it for your needs, or build on the most popular and powerful developer frameworks to create your app.

Real collaboration. You don’t have to deal with the complexity of version control or tracking changes — the built-in editor allows multiple people to edit code at once and undo mistakes as they happen, just like working together in Google Docs.

It's not training wheels. Gomix is not a limited "toy" version of a real developer environment — your Gomix app is hosted on the exact same industry standard infrastructure that the best developers use to run their apps.

We handle the mess. While you work with Gomix, we seamlessly upgrade your servers and cloud infrastructure in the background. There’s no deployment or server provisioning because it all happens automatically.

Why Did We Make Gomix? In some ways, Gomix is a throwback to an older era of software or the internet, when there were simpler ways to get started making cool stuff. For people who were around at that time, they'll understand Gomix easily: We’re bringing “View Source” back. Of course, they didn't literally take “View Source” out of web browsers, but the ability to just look at the code behind something, and tweak it, and make your own thing, was essential to making the Internet fun, and weird, and diverse, in its early days. And that has sadly disappeared.

Similarly, in even earlier eras, tools like HyperCard on the Mac and Visual Basic on Windows democratized software creation, letting regular individuals or casual business users create useful apps to meet their needs. During development, Gomix was even called “HyperDev”, as a nod to this history — and its early-90s aesthetic subtly nods to that heritage, too.

Whether we look at simple issues like being able to do fun things with an Amazon Echo, or hugely complex issues like trying to make tech and programming more inclusive, Gomix has a role to play in solving problems that matter. And we’re going to have fun doing it!

Gomix looks like the most ideal tool for hackathons where multiple people can really quickly collaborate on a live updating prototype. It also seems like a fantastic tool for teaching since learners have a really tight feedback loop without any set-up. Obviously, most of us here aren't the real audience for this but I can see it really lowering the barrier of entry for a lot of people.

I found this post with examples of things recently built with gomix quite illustrative: https://medium.com/gomix/what-can-you-build-on-gomix-557e380...

This is actually helping me learn nodejs. I'm so happy right now! I'm gonna be messing around with the very basic todo app as I learn more about node/express.

ah cool - if you're new to Node.js, then be sure to check out our free interactive course: https://gomix.com/#!/project/node-beginner

This seems like a slightly more balanced blog post (posted to HN a few weeks ago): https://medium.com/gomix/introducing-gomix-aec205c421cb#.jcd...

Also discussed on this Show HN post: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13116426

After reading the blog and comments on here I now have a really bad impression of Fog Creek's CEO and little hope for their future.

Saw this on medium and got excited. Checked for commentary on HN, and found Gomix was posted to HN 4 times with little fanfare (https://news.ycombinator.com/from?site=gomix.com).

Now when a tech celebrity posts about it, the post blows up but is filled with discussion of the personality...

I wrote this post the same day as the rest of the announcements; I don't know why my personal blog post took off now, but I'd definitely prefer to focus on the product, not me.

Anil - not sure you're still reading here but the civility with which you've handled a lot of criticism really impresses me.

Heh, thanks. I've been on the internet long enough to know most of what folks are going to fuss about on HN probably doesn't have much to actually do with me as a person.

After reading that, I don't think I'd want to work at Fog Creek.

Is there a datastore of some kind?

They do provide persistent file system.


"We have a persistent file system, so anything you store within your project is kept. This means you can use files as a flat file database, or save your database files locally (see our SQLite3 and NeDB examples). You can also use third-party storage services, like a hosted MongoDB database or Redis (see our MongoDB example).

We recommend creating a folder called ‘.data’ as a safe place to store your database files. This folder isn’t copied across when a project is remixed."

Thank you. Seems kind of cumbersome though. Why wouldn't they provide one themselves.

We'll be looking to add some simple to use database type functionality. We've only recently launched, so expect the product to develop over the coming months.

I love Gomix. I spent the past weekend helping a friend migrate a static front-end only CSS skin they had made over to a live server on Gomix. That friend has moved onto running webpack and babel locally to do more advanced stuff, but Gomix was a godsend in helping demonstrate to him that the problemspace isn't as horrifyingly large as he expected. We communicated and "code reviewed" via writing comments to each other in js files. It was a really pleasant experience.

I loved it when it was called Hyperdev too. At first I didn't really get it (I work at Stack Overflow so we're part of the same extended family meaning my first impression of Hyperdev was before it was as polished), honestly at first I was angry they were even spending the time doing something I considered so stupid. Until I had a use for it.

I had gotten a Raspberry Pi foundation touch-screen LCD, spent my Saturday morning setting it up, had a grandiose idea of what I wanted to make using it (basically just a "smart" note / TODO / grocery list manager I could attach to my fridge's door) and... realized I had to write yet-another-webapp. I've been making web apps for around a dozen years. The last thing I want to do in my life is spend the time writing the basics of a web-app.

My idea was going to be a thing where I'd use Trello (wow this is becoming an ad for all my sister companies remind me to plug FogBugz, Kiln, and CityDesk at some point too) as the "data store". I have Trello boards for everything. Work to-dos, Personal to-dos, even a trello list for the records I own and the records I want to own.

After writing the basics of what I wanted down, I started sketching the UI. And you know what? After I had all that set, I was able to make a prototype of the entire thing in less than 15 minutes using Gomix (at the time Hyperdev). You can view my prototype here: https://coal-sting.gomix.me/

I didn't end up building the full flow, but I've been coming back to the Gomix project every month or two and adding one-more-MVP-checklist-feature to my prototype. And once I'm done with it? I can take all the JS I wrote, put it into a project bundled with webpack like the rest of my projects, and place it directly onto my RPi and touchscreen.

I know Gomix looks deceptively simple, but that's exactly why I love it. I really value minimizing the time it takes to go from "ooh that's a cool idea" to "holy shit I'm actually working on the idea and not the cruft and skeleton code I need to work on before I get to work on the idea itself!"

Half the time the reason why I stop working on a side project is because I'm getting bored before I get to even work on the real side project. I am always just looking for an excuse to give up and go back to playing video games.

Gomix is perfect for me. I can't wait until they support more languages so I can throw away all the time I've spent and code I've written making templates[0] and bootstrappers[1] for myself.

[0] https://github.com/jc4p/flask-react-skeleton [1] https://github.com/jc4p/quickstart

This sounds forced/scripted beyond belief. It really reads like an Amazon review written in exchange of a product:

> I love my FooBar 2001. I spent the past weekend migrating my dishwasher's contents into my new FooBar 2001 and it was a very pleasant experience. I was intimidated by how much work it would be at first but to my surprise it was A BREEZE. I'm so happy now with my new Foobar 2001 that I will probably use my dishwasher as a litterbox.

I mean... I work for a related company (as mentioned in the post)... sorry for being excited about something they're working on?

I just felt the need to comment because a lot of the comments remind me of my first impression of the product before I really gave it a chance.

I was so angry they were working on it, they started working on it after a quiet period following the Fog Creek / Trello split and my first impression was they were merely looking for something to waste their time doing, it just didn't make sense. But, I tried it, and damn I love it.

You can go look through my 5 years worth of HN comments if you'd like, when I like something I am always this excited about it.

There ya go - should have started out your previous comment with this text. This one sounds much more honest and thoughtful.

Again, not questioning your ethics. Just trying help make your argument more impactful.

Yeah, very valid. The comment was stream-of-consciousness because I saw this post when I got home from a pre-new-years-eve party last night.

Honestly with the rest of this thread and the feedback though, I wish I hadn't posted it at all. I used to really enjoy participating in this community.

Definitely should have started the other comment with this. :)

Happy new year.

It's a legit comment. S/he is a long-time, thoughtful commenter.

Yes he says he works at Stackoverflow

You need to point out conflicts of interest right at the front or right at the end of your comments, not buried in the middle somewhere.

I fully believe you had no ill intent. It's just that bending over backward to make it clear strengthens your viewpoint.

I am waiting for Fog reek to write something as good as Trello, and I'm not sure this is it. Trello is a genius piece of clear thinking, and is loved by non tech people, but has a 'power user' features and a decent API.

I'm not sure about this Gomix thing. I might send my kids to have a play on it and see what they think. I can't imagine it is going to have the uptake of Trello though

It's a little odd to read a "programming is just so gosh darn hard" sales pitch from Fog Creek.

That might be my fault if I wrote this poorly. What I was trying to say was closer to "programming is fun, but all the prerequisites it takes to get code running these days aren't very satisfying".

Will Gomix be open source?

Most of Gomix is totally standard open source infrastructure, and people can release projects on Gomix under any license they want. We don't currently have plans to open source the parts of Gomix that run the community or enable remixing apps, but we'll follow the community's lead based on what they need.

Just use Zeit's 'now'

Looks horrible, still don't know what it's for.

It's like http://codepad.org or http://jsfiddle.net but with persistence and GitHub integration, project support, and live collaborative editing.

the video is not technical enough, to explain "what is this" to the technical people who dont have any experience with this application domain

the video targets, manager, who probably dont care what this is ... and maybe developers who are very familiar with this domain

i guess, either, it is targeted as a niche app for specific people or .. they messed up badly

seems like they solved the easy parts of programming.

Anil Dash seems like a deeply creepy guy.

He inserts race into everything: https://twitter.com/marcoarment/status/336853407698657280

He gets people fired for making jokes: http://archive.is/ddDFz

I'm sure Gomix will have some level of success, though I have no idea what it is from his post - which just seems to be about how his is now CEO and all the glory is his. I wonder how his team feel about that? Perhaps some of them are white, so the team doesn't matter?

Reading his post it was perfectly clear what kind of egomaniac he is, he spoke only about himself and I had no idea what the product was about. After reading in the other comments what kind of person he is I decided to actively discourage as many people as possible to use the product as long as he is the CEO. Maybe savouring his own medicine will help him to understand the consequences of his actions and a bit of humility.

For real. Wasn't the product 90% done before he even came over? Sounds like he is taking credit.

This was a post on my personal blog about joining the company; as the official announcements make clear, one of the biggest reasons I was excited to join Fog Creek is specifically because the team was building Gomix. I'd give 100% of the credit to the team for building it.

Thanks for the lucid response. I think the tone of your responses has been way more civil than some of the other comments upthread.

I think Anil Dash is a creep. His involvement in Gomix and Fog Creek means I'm less interested in those projects, frankly. I think he's one of the bigger blowhards in this scene, and I don't see the value in his participation, given that he seems more interested in social engineering his way to the top than .. you know .. actual engineering.

Judging from the lack of clarity in his post, he doesn't seem to know what his own product is. But he sure knows that he is the new CEO (he mentions it a few times). And he certainly thinks the successes of Fog Creek somehow reflect on him - in fact he talks about that more than the product.

For me, it is a bad sign when the personalities in the company has a higher profile than the products it is selling/making. Fog Creek seems to be heading down this path.

I like Marco but it's comically absurd to claim Anil used racism to win an argument there.

He wasn't even trying to win an argument or refute anything.

Also that's one link. He inserts race into "everything"?

Look at Anil's history of tweets, his politics, his obsession with race and just general snark. That one tweet actually did mean something "30 year old white dude." That IS the very definition of inserting race into a discussion unnecessarily. In 2012 he called me racist because I opposed Obama during the election; since I am white, automatically that made me racist, according to him. He's a jerk, at least in my opinion. I sure many people love the guy and of course they're entitled to such an opinion just as I am entitled to mine.

That IS the very definition of inserting race into a discussion unnecessarily.

I was only trying to refute the accusation that he was racist. That seemed pretty absurd.

Don't have anything to say about your position. I haven't spoken to him personally.

> That seemed pretty absurd


Identifying someone's race doesn't make you a racist.

Observing that some races have historically enjoyed more or less privilege than others isn't racist either.

this is both reductive and a red herring.

Yeah he has had that impression on me as well. I remember soon after some of our collective activism succeeded against Facebook's "Free Basics" in India, most of us celebrated a win against what would have been a dangerous precedent against net neutrality.

Meanwhile, people like this guy tried to pass it off as if we were afraid of the big bad colonialist telling us to trust him. It was fairly disgusting to read, because it was implied as if we're incapable of forming intelligent opinions without bringing identity politics into the picture.

Meanwhile, people like this guy tried to pass it off as if we were afraid of the big bad colonialist telling us to trust him

Do you have a link? All I remember was a comment he made on Zuckerberg's post politely asking him to reconsider his approach and why it didn't work



“At a broad level, it might be useful to really, really reckon with the history of western corporate powers enforcing their desires on a broad swath of the Indian population, especially India’s poorest,” he suggested. “There are things that India, Indians (and those of us in the diaspora) place a very high value on, for historical reasons, that should be obvious with some thought. A colonialist ‘Trust us, it’s for your own benefit’ pitch is a hard sell with good reason.

Thanks for the link.

I can see how you reached your conclusion but I didn't end up there after reading the bit you quoted. I think there's a more charitable take on what he said.

Thanks, I appreciate the measured reading.

It seemed innocent enough – you can talk about an issue with immediate technical and legal implications, while also entertaining a more epic framing of the discussion.

Read the thread, Marco was 'being indignant' on the day he struck it rich, Anil pointed it out and highlighted Marco's incredible privilege. Deeply creepy? I think you need to look at yourself before throwing accusations like that around.

For what it's worth, I bet if you asked Marco, he'd agree he's very privileged, just as I am. I certainly respect all he's accomplished, and have used every product he's put out.

GP needs to check his privilege. /s

Anil's statement was both sexist and racist as in, discriminating based on race and sex.

Its totally pointless and counter-productive, but hey, at least his followers will cheer.

Your first comment on this account promoted eugenics.

One tweet != everything

re: "He gets people fired for making jokes"

This seems like putting a spin on things. Following a link in the article, you might want to read what Anil actually wrote (in particular, search for "Update"):


How many times can this blowhard say "I'm the CEO" in one blog post? He & his CEOness are not the story here.

Hey throwaway, this is a link to my personal blog. Our official company posts aren't about me, just the one on my site is. You'll also find my personal Instagram has pictures of me & my kid and my personal Tumblr has some songs and pictures that I like.


So, two things.

I used to really respect Joel Spolsky. I've read all of his stuff and really liked it.

But I can't help thinking that Fog Creek just isn't that important of a company. As a decidedly "technical" person, I don't know a single person that uses any of their products. And I really do mean, zero. I know plenty of people that use git, IntelliJ, github, Stack Overflow, Twilio, AWS, Firebase, Google Cloud Platform, MongoDB, Pivotal Tracker, hell even JIRA, but nothing from Fog Creek. Ten years in the trenches, writing software, and never have I even once used, or even _met_ anyone that uses their stuff.

Furthermore, the world has kinda moved on. We aren't shipping desktop software anymore and also, it's not enough to release to the web, either. These days people expect mobile apps, complex responsive design, and 1000 other things you didn't need to do 10 years ago. Software is increasingly becoming a field dominated by teams of specialists in all areas, and I just don't get the sense that Gomix was built with this new reality in mind.

Second. I first heard of this guy (Anil) only about a month ago, when I came upon Joel's blog. I heard that he became CEO and yeah, I agree with a lot of what you've written -- a windbag with a political agenda who's great at self-promotion. Honest question though, does this make for a great CEO? We can certainly look to really cerebral guys like Bill Gates as a model for a tech CEO, but consider that Jeff Bezos apparently wasn't a developer. Also consider that more problems in tech are basically "solved" at this point, and as the industry matures, things like promotion and marketing are getting increasingly important. Satya Nadella (Microsoft) himself acknowledged this; I just read last week that Microsoft had some kind of senior meeting, and Satya was on a rant about how MS's culture is too engineering-driven for today's world. I don't have the temperament to be as much of a self-promoter as a guy like Anil, but I know plenty of companies that seem to be run by these guys, like Buffer, Groove, or anyone else specializing in "content marketing", and it seems to be working for them.

So before you dismiss this guy, think of what it takes to make a good tech CEO. I fucking loathe self-promoters, really I do, but I'm becoming increasingly convinced that's what it takes to make it in the sort of CRUDdy "tech" that isn't too research-heavy, which is most of software, these days (not autonomous vehicles, genetics, deep learning, thorium reactors, etc)

> I used to really respect Joel Spolsky. I've read all of his stuff and really liked it.

After reading the rest of your post, I'm not sure why.

Joel Spolsky always seemed to me like he was all hat and no cattle -- he had rather strong opinions (and a high opinion of himself) for someone who ran a small company that never did anything of significance.

He has always seemed rather fixated on some kind of superiority complex and separating good programmers from bad, but why should anyone believe that he is one of the good ones? What is he an authority on -- writing software nobody wants to use?

He wrote the spec for Excel and Gates didn't scream at him, according to his own account: https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2006/06/16/my-first-billg-rev...

(A good read, like most any one of his pieces - nothing wrong with his writing talent, obviously ...)

Even if somebody will agree with this opinion, 2 questions are not solved: 1) non-tech person shouldn't present product for programmers; 2) his "I'm CEO" is still too annoyingly repetitive.

> Jeff Bezos apparently wasn't a developer

Before launching Amazon, Bezos worked at "a financial-trading company on the cutting edge of computer technology" [1].

Wikipedia says he has a degree in "electrical engineering and computer science" [2].

It's reasonable to assume that Bezos has at least some development experience.

[1] http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/biography/A-E/Bezos-Jeff...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Bezos

At the end of the day, as industries mature, you can, in aggregate, segregate things into a couple of platitudes. You have those products that will absolutely require marketing and promotion to move forward, because incremental progress on a product is not enough alone to move it forward (Think of your average ICE car, how different are they nowadays really? If you take the emotion out of the equation, they're really not too different). Then there will be those that are on the cutting edge frontier, where the action and innovation happens (Again, cars, where there is a different is something like Tesla or the chevy bolt, and that requires a LOT of pure research, development, engineering etc). If you don't like one, you should probably pursue the other. There isn't as much middle ground as things mature. Financial services is another great example of this. Cutting edge privately held funds is where all the quants go because it's interesting (with some exceptions, i'm talking in aggregate), where as your JP Morgans or your Bank of Americas tend to be all about marketing (even on the various other services they provide that you don't usually see TV commercials for, or web ads, or what have you).

"I don't know a single person that uses any of their products."

I would say, Fog Creek created one of the most important pieces of software in history and one of the most used. It is called "Stack Overflow". Sure. Quote how they are technically are not owned by FogCreek and Joel is just a CEO there. But that is lawyers, you know, lawyer-ing.

"In 2008, Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky created Stack Overflow, a question-and-answer Web site for computer programming questions, which they described as an alternative to the programmer forum Experts-Exchange."


"Retrofitting" SO to have been made by FogCreek is obviously to put the company in some better light. It was Jeff that came to Joel and had this idea, and it was not implemented within FogCreek.

You do realize that Stack Overflow and Twilio are Fog Creek products yea?

Twilio (SMS and voice infra and APIs) is not related to Fog Creek.

Trello (project management) and Stack Overflow were spun off from Fog Creek parent company, but are not run by Fog Creek.

Does it matter who runs them? Are the various subsidiaries of abc now not to ever be associated with 'Google'? That's naive and shortsighted.

You mean Trello, not Twilio right?

maybe auto correct? :)

1. Calling the tweets that got Pax Dickinson fired "out of context" is fairly hilarious. Pax was a contrarian, who enjoyed making provocative statements. Eventually, those bit him in the ass. Reason did a fairly fair-minded article on the whole thing: http://reason.com/archives/2015/07/09/the-social-media-shami...

2. Not even sort of bizarre.

3. Anil reached out to a journalist and apparently made a valid point. The accusation of "coercion" has no basis in known facts. Your link is literally a guy quoting three tweets and making wild claims about what MIGHT have happened behind the scenes.

2. Why?

According to this other post this Anil guy has attempted to bully and blackball a founder from our industry.


If this is true, and it seems true, no founder in Silicon Valley should do business or in any way support Anil Dash in anything.

I would chastise Joel Spolsky and that other guy too, but it seems unnecessary given the destruction they're inflicting on their own business by letting him run it. Hah.

This is a time when I'm glad HN highlights new accounts. A train of green accounts making personal attacks is pretty self-explanatory.

Yeah HN has anonymous accounts so people can speak more freely. I have a day job and I bet this guy knows the CEO at my company and could probably get me fired. I just want to state my position, not create an escalating personal war with the guy. But if I was wealthy I would call him out in my own name as loudly as possible. In my opinion there are few worse things you can do then try to blackball someone from an industry. I think it's grounds for your own excommunication.

From his own web site:


"He flat out said that he wants his startup to be funded and wasn't sure if it'd be possible after all of his, and I replied that it realistically wasn't going to happen without the say-so of someone like me, and I wasn't inclined to give some VC the nod on this. On reflection, I'll be explicit: If you're a venture capitalist, and you invest in Pax's startup without a profound, meaningful and years-long demonstration of responsibility from Pax beforehand, you're complicit in extending the tech industry's awful track record of exclusion, and it's unacceptable."

This is clearly a threat that Anil Dash will make trouble for any VC that funds him. This truly sounds so unethical that it might be criminal extortion.

I have no history or relationship with him. I just came across someone publicly trying to use his power against a fellow founder and I wanted to publicly (and anonymously) despise him for it.

Oh my. I almost wish you hadn't posted that link, or that I hadn't clicked it. But I guess I'm grateful.

> I hope that Pax's friends in the pick up artist community take a few moments away from writing date rape manuals and sending me death threats to reflect on the fact that their new hero has at least some tiny bit of respect for the wife he's been married to for 15 years. How crushed they will be.

> Pax showed up about 10 minutes late, having been busy with the latest stop on his press tour, and as I had agreed, I called him an asshole to his face and paid for his coffee. We talked for about 20 minutes. He offered up a pretty boringly conventional defense of male privilege, and when I described the role of actual satire and comedy in punching up instead of punching down, he revealed that he sees attacking feminists and equality activists as punching up. There was some pointless bickering from me about the inanity of that perspective, but overall things were fairly civil; I've met guys like this before and I didn't have any illusion that I was going to dissuade him from a perspective which his social group rewards with attention and the perverse impression that acting like an asshole is somehow being brave.

This is the new CEO of Fog Creek? In all fairness, he did say he was "fighting off a brutal chest cold". But WTF? I've had chest colds too, so has everyone. They never provoked me to being this nasty, whatever the reason.

I am sad. I thought Joel had some interesting insights, and Fog Creek was involved in some truly interesting and useful products like Stack Overflow and Trello.

But if someone like that is now running the show, it doesn't give me much hope for their future products.

> More broadly, I am trying to live a life where I am as unreasonably kind as I can be.

Yeah, sounds exactly like the guy he is. I mean what else could someone be that thinks people who don't share his world-view are "supremacist assholes", that blacklisting others (or trying to blacklist them, whatever) is completely okay be than "trying to live a life where I am as unreasonably kind as I can be".

If what they're saying is true, they've good reason not to use their real accounts.

Kind of a messed up world when follower counts can have a chilling effect.

No it's not. This is my first comment in this thread, I don't know the guy in question and I have no opinion.

But if it's true what people say: No one wants to get into a public fight with a professional talker, SJW, "technologist" and self-promoter.

Those fights are only for people who have the time and the money.

I'm not going to pick on you specifically here, but this is a great place for me to highlight something.

I think folks in tech (and society at large, frankly) have a bit of a fundamental misunderstanding of what comprises discrimination and sexism. The systematic disenfranchisement of a gender/race/ethnicity whatever term you want to use, often is not remedied without some kind of equality of status, that's what 'retweeting only women' is doing. Its giving equality of status to women that they likely would not usually have. Fundamentally I think its hard for a lot of folks to grasp this, even those who have historically been discriminated against when it comes to something they don't understand, part of that is human nature, but over and over again actual psychological studies and sociology studies show again and again that when you give people equality of status only then do things change. [0][1][2][3]

As far as Pax goes, CTO of a growing (and arguably large at the time even) should have known better, and frankly, his comments, joke or not, were inexcusable. I also don't care what people may say about what people say in private, because that is something I cannot react to, because I'm not party to that conversation, but this took place on a public forum, and it was in very poor taste at a minimum, and given an executive at a company, likely someone with such poor taste on a public forum as such I can't imagine was doing much for bettering workplace standards. This may be complete conjecture which I acknowledge. With that said, in my experience dealing with people who tend to act the same way in a public forum, in private they're more often than not just as inexcusable.

[0] http://commons.emich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1408&co... [1] http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-... [2] http://www.forbes.com/sites/ruchikatulshyan/2015/01/30/racia... [3] http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2016/02/10/business-...

Equally I hate it when tech C-execs have never written a line of code, but you come across as politically charged with personal attacks rather than recognising his suitability for the role based on direct and relevant experience. And if we're going to be frank about pd's "out of context joking tweets" here they are:

"In The Passion Of The Christ 2, Jesus gets raped by a pack of niggers. It's his own fault for dressing like a whore though."

"aw, you can't feed your family on minimum wage? well who told you to start a fucking family when your skills are only worth minimum wage?"

"feminism in tech remains the champion topic for my block list. my finger is getting tired."

Point 1 is ridiculous. What company in the public eye would allow an exec to tweet the n* word, jesus, and sex acts all at the same time and do nothing about it?

Anil could have begged BI to forgive him and it wouldn't have helped. Pax placed a time bomb under his own bed with that tweet and it was destined to go off if BI ever found it.

>"yet he's somehow been able to parlay his way into positions of influence by guilt tripping white liberals into giving him power".

So this is what HN has deteriorated into? Really? Might want to check your blood pressure cause all that salt can't be good for you.

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