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Come stay at the hacker house in San Jose, Free
68 points by samwise on Mar 19, 2008 | hide | past | web | favorite | 55 comments
My partner and I will be launching our startup in a week or two. We will subsequently be moving to San Jose, CA on June 8th to pursue our venture full time. We will be staying at a great 4 bedroom single home in a fantastic area.

Our startup is small, just the two of us. So that means we will have two rooms to spare, rather than renting the rooms to some total (useless) strangers i would rather have two (useful) hackers stay.

I came up with an interesting solution. Why not let hackers stay for free as long as they provided some contribution to the house and our project. It would make for great environment, an environment of education,networking and most of all, fun. So if you think you would be interested in staying in the "hacker house" submit a short application to us via our e-mail. Include your Name,background,projects/demos,and what you would add to the house.

We would like for the interested YCers to be from the east coast or Midwest, people that normally wouldn't have the opportunity to move to bay area. A younger crown is preferred, i'm 22 and my partner is 23. For many reason, men only. You don't have to be a hacker, but it's strong recommended.

Please understand that there will no compensation besides room and board and possibly a community car(i'm not sure yet, i have to check with insurance company).food?ramen?. You will be responsible for all travel expenses. We will also have a crash couch for any hackers that are passing through. We simply ask that the guest write a blog post on our blog about themselves/company. I'm sure i'm forgetting a lot of info, but i'll be setting up a simple dedicated site just for the house soon.

Feel free to subscribe to my twitter feed for more info.http://twitter.com/cbomb




Just to be a bit contrarian, while it sounds like a good idea, the dynamic of having "some people more equal" than others might be tricky. Having people pay their part, or at least a part, might actually make sense from that point of view.


I agree. When I lived with my girlfriend, I had a bit more money and she had a bit more time, so I paid the utilities while she did the stuff I wasn't as good at (read: didn't like), like laundry. That worked out pretty well, I thought.

If it had instead been the case that I just paid extra while she did nothing to make up for it, it would have been awkward, like she owed me something. I think it's important to make sure that everyone feels they are contributing their fair share to the cost and upkeep of the house.


> while she did the stuff I wasn't as good at

Ever heard Click 'n Clack's (CarTalk show) theory of planned incompetence for husbands?

The first time your wife asks you to do something you really don't want to do - do it so badly (e.g. laundry - turn everything pink) that she would be remiss to ask you again... Brilliant


Or, you could just tell her you don't like it and negotiate a different arrangement. I think honesty with your wife is probably the way to go. If you can't be honest with her, why did you marry her in the first place?


I'm not married. But I think you could tell.


That is a very cool idea. Unfortunately I can't apply.

I thought about another idea that would work for me though and might be fun and helpful for you.

I think you guys should also have a virtual guest hacker stay at the house. Setup some sort of video chat and the virtual guest hacker would hang out virtually and you could trade ideas and do the same type of hanging out except the shared pizza/ramen. I'd do the same type of selection process and maybe limit it to a day or a week. You might even get some famous hackers to hang out. You might consider targeting the profile of the guest hacker too. There are specific steps that need to be done along the path to success. Why not try to get the hacker of the week that has experience doing what your working on. It could also generate some buzz if you do it right.


I just want to thank everyone for their positive feedback and all the great applicants. There's a lot of great talent and i'm sure we'll have no problem finding the right people. My only wish is that we have more room. I also wanted to take this time to respond to a couple comments.

why only girls you ask. I think this is a non-issue since most girls wouldn't want to live in a house full of "geeks", but in either case i believe it would cause for huge distraction and ultimately take away from what we are there to do, and that's build great companies. Don't get me wrong, the last thing i want is a sausage fest. Members/tenants are welcome to have guests of any sex.

You don't have to work on our startup solely. we actually would encourage you to have your own job and just moonlight with everyone else in the house on their respective projects. You can stay as long as you want or until the money runs out, which ever happens first. We have enough cash for a little less than a year.

Many of the applicants are relatively close to us (Philadelphia Area) so i will attempt to meet as many of you guys as possible in the coming months prior to the move.

I'll have a house blog up soon. I would like anyone that's currently working on a project and would like some coverage to send me a write up of their startup so that i can post it on the house blog. I find the idea of a community of hackers working to help each other really exciting, and i hope that more startups use similar methods.

Can anyone come up with name for the house. I need a domain name idea. Don't forget to subscribe to my twitter feed for updates http://twitter.com/cbomb


Instead of merely having a home, why not incorporate it as a non-profit cooperative. The paperwork isn't very hard. We've done it from scratch here at the http://Ant-Hill.org in Rochester. The effort to found a developer/start-up co-op then goes on to sustain yet more start-ups. A co-op/social venture would grow independently and foster others, and even help sustain your venture in a positive feedback cycle too.


If you're worried about distractions, just make them wear a burka.


Why guys only? I've had roommate situations with both genders and mixing has never hurt.


When you're a young, unsettled man, you don't necessarily want to "waste" time extending the courtesies that are generally required when you live with women. All that nonsense with toilet seats, over the top levels of cleanliness, not calling people douchebags or bitches for fun, etc. Now, there are quite a few women out there who can operate just like men and would be just as good as a man in the anticipated role, but the odds are significantly lower.. whereas a man would most likely just "fit in."

Besides, these guys might have personal reasons. Sexual discrimination is something to eradicate at a societal level, not a personal one. If you simply don't get along with women, you shouldn't be forced to work with them (and vice versa!) This means there shouldn't be sexual discrimination in a general workplace, but in your own home you can discriminate all you like!


Wow... just... wow.

Something tells me that the women applying to be live-in-hackers are not going to be the same ones that bitch about toilet seats.

I'm sure he has his reasons for only wanting guys... and it's his house, but seriously man, you sound like a walking stereotype when you say that stuff.


I think all he's saying is that for him, he's not particularity comfortable around women and would prefer to be around men to ensure that comfort.

At least he's aware of his discomfort, I guess.


There are many, many housing ads on Craigslist right now that say "female only". In general, they are perceived as being cleaner and more responsible. For those same reasons someone might not want a female roommate.


My junior year of college I lived with a guy roommate of mine, and we both always put the toilet seat down even though there were no girls living there (and rarely visiting). We also showered and kept the house clean. It's really not that hard and should have nothing to do with gender.

As for the toilet seat, I put both the seat and the lid down. I just think it looks better that way.


All discrimination is at the personal level. Discrimination in society is the integral.


In that case, there must be two levels of discrimination.

I have lots of preferences and discriminate between different products, people, and choices all the time.

I am very much against institutionalized discrimination, however.

Let's say I wouldn't want to personally work with someone who couldn't speak English. That's a personal choice, but I wouldn't want the same person to be discriminated against in terms of politics, job opportunities, and other senses.

Perhaps the difference is passive versus active discrimination. The former being someone operating on their preferences (that is, choosing not to live in a black neighbourhood or choosing not to date blondes) versus active discrimation (attacking people of a certain color or gender, implementing discriminatory policies at a workplace, etc.)

I think passive discrimination is necessary for the world to work, but active discrimination should be avoided and discouraged.


If he's going to be keeping a dirty house and "calling people douchebags or bitches for fun", he should probably mention that. A lot of us men (most, in my experience) are going to be turned off by that, too.


No women? - this is a true nerd speaking.

:-)


CA's housing discrimination police think that gender discrimination laws apply to shared housing.


It's still a shock to me to see otherwise egalitarian and meritocracy-minded hackers engage in such blatant and naive sexism.

That's in response to your first paragraph. I can agree with the second.


It's not "sexist" to state things that are "generally" true. At least, no more sexist than saying men are "generally" into sports. I'm not into sports, but I would not be offended if a women were to say this since it IS "generally" true.


I'd actually like to work with female hackers. Never met one, but I'm pretty sure you could learn something. Different approaches to things, yeah.


Perhaps even more important than diversity in gender, diversity in age and experience contribute even more to a project. So long as people are bright and hard-working, they can contribute lots. In the technology world, age prejudice runs more rampant than gender prejudice.


hopefully we'll see more of this type of thing. wouldn't it be great if hacker news wound up getting some co-founders together that went on to be successful? PG mentions in several essays that college is the best place to find co-founders. Why not a social network that is exclusively for startup minded people?


StudentBusinesses.com

YouNoodle.com


Cool idea. I'm still in school, but I love the sense of trust in the community. Best of luck.


This is an excellent idea - and I don't think you'll have trouble finding the kinda housemates you need. Personally, I'd be all over this if I didn't have a job over here, so good luck.


Interesting idea.

Just make sure you're clean in terms of intellectual property contributed by people outside your startup...


Now I'm just imagining what is essentially a hacker frat house. That would be sweet for some sort of incubator or whatnot to set up a 10-20 bedroom house in SJ or SV or somewhere and get like 5-7 startups to all work out of there. You could pay their living expenses +stipend and such in exchange for equity and they could get the benefit of living with a bunch of hackers. Eta Alpha Kappa!! 


I don't think you could have a legitimate hacker frat without π.


Or Lambda

Edit: To show my unicode credentials... λ



alright, we can be the πλ chapter.


Fun idea and an interesting way to get some smart people on your radar!


this brings up a point..

do we need a YC hacker housing feed? We are moving from the Midwest and are interested in meeting as many people out there as possible. I have been trying Roommates.com now for a while, but many people there are not as crazy into the start up experience as we are.

We are planing on renting a uHaul in the middle of May.


On my great big idea whiteboard, I have "Hacker Classifieds" listed for just this reason. Why not build it in your spare time? I'll be trying to launch my site at the end of May.


Props for opening your home like that. Great way to network and help out other folks.


http://superhappydevhouse.org (not the same thing of course, but still useful for anyone that's interested)


If it weren't for my lack of confidence in being able to contribute in the hacker-sense (I've never been part of a huge project), I would say that I'd be glad to help. There's not much start-up wise going on in Sandusky, OH. I would be all over this idea if the post had stated: Looking for someone with some knowledge of programming and a strong background in finance.


This is interesting. I plan to move out to San Jose in mid-July to do FT at IBM. Would you mind sending me more info., namely where in San Jose you're located and what your project is all about?

adambossy [at] gmail [dot] com


Hey, I'm up in Toronto working on my startup and looking to launch in a week or two. I wanted to head down to San Jose to work on the launch, so the timing would be great for me. Look for my email.


hey i stay in San Jose downtown, right next to San Jose State University, I dont plan to stay with you guys, but i dont mind helping out with stuff, code and so on, get in touch when you move here!


Too bad you won't have it in time for SuS, I'd definitely crash.


This is a fantastic idea. I'm going to be in Seattle this Summer and am hoping to drive down to the Bay Area for a weekend. I'll send out an email if it all pans out.


That's awesome. I might just have to take you up on your offer for a couple of weeks between semesters if the offer is still open before or after summer.


anyone doing something like this in Bangalore/India?


This is pretty neat - love the concept. I'd take you up on the "just passing through" crash couch if you had the place in May.


thanks for opening your home to everyone, but no ownership in code at all? It will be exactly like working on a really early stage startup for no equity, but instead of being paid with money, one just gets room and board. I think you should openly say you're hiring, give some equity and say you won't get paid, but have room and board.


If they just said they were hiring, they would get the same lookover as everyone else who's hiring. If you're going to take the time to do something different, why not highlight that and use it to draw people in - there wouldn't be nearly this much discussion if they had just said "Hey, we're hiring and we can't pay you except in room and board."


Sounds like fun. Best of luck to you guys.


Great Idea, Hope Something good results so that more people emulate your example!


That is a very cool idea. Unfortunately I can't apply.

I thought about another idea that would work for me though and might be fun and helpful for you.

I think you guys should also have a virtual guest hacker stay at the house. Setup some sort of video chat and the virtual guest hacker would hang out virtually and you could trade ideas and do the same type of hanging out except the shared pizza/ramen. I'd do the same type of selection process and maybe limit it to a day or a week. You might even get some famous hackers to hang out. You might consider targeting the profile of the guest hacker too. There are specific steps that need to be done along the path to success. Why not try to get the hacker of the week that has experience doing what your working on. It could also generate some buzz if you do it right.


sorry double post.


There's a delete button for those.




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