Also problematic is the fact that plugin is doing almost nothing; instead it downloads Python from the official place, downloads a whole Python project (called CLI) and executes it. Also, there's an automatic update mechanism in place which updates the CLI every now and then. It sounds as a recipe for a disaster waiting to happen.
I guess what I've said applies to every software with an auto-update function and that's of course quite the norm today. As ztratar pointed out, the usage of SSL provides a decent level of security. I still would wish for the user to be notified in some fashion. Also, from what I understand, the WakaTime CLI seems to have an option to hide filenames, it's just not changeable from the Notepad++ plugin.
If you have concerns about this, do you also have problems with Github literally having access to all of your code? Or Google having access to your search history?
I'd be more concerned if it wasn't using SSL. That would make sense, but it seems secure on that front.
Yes, I agree with you, using SSL is definitely better than without.
Someone kindly shared an opinion and gave their reason for having that opinion. Outrage is a different thing.
<pattern> -> "backend code"
<pattern> -> "frontend code"
and upload only the class a file belongs to.
What's the difference between sending data within in a file, and having the file named something that is an important data point? None. So naming the file with a PHI field (even MRN!) is a bad idea to begin with.
A good answer would be to not let true patient data leave the hardened production server and be opened in any kind of development environment, ever.
>> The best startup book is one you never open because you're too busy marketing and building your product
I believe it's a mistake because there's a balance.
No, you don't want to become the ineffectual intellectual, constantly learning but never doing. It definitely is easy to see books and learning as progress when you should to be out on the sharp end.
But there are techniques you might use and mistakes you might not make if you invest into learning about and from written material. It seems like a celebration of ignorance to act otherwise.
Yes I do. Can't afford it unfortunately, but an ineffectual gentleman scientist and man of letters sounds like the perfect life to me.
This advice isn't relevant to those who have the opposite problem - but for those who use learning as a procrastination device, it can be just the right advice to put you into the happy medium
You'll know you're ready because when you read a book or listen to a podcast it will all be things you've heard before.
Granted every book/podcast usually has a unique gem but after a while, you're ready.
Plus, "It's NOT rocket surgery."
(DHH Startup School, still my favorite talk)
Incidentally, we invited this submission as a repost of https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15546345. We do that when we run across a good submission that didn't get much attention the first time around, and we think the community might find it interesting. We wouldn't have done that if we'd known the story was disputed. The principle remains the same, though, so if any of you know of a good submission that fell through the cracks, please email us at email@example.com and we'll consider putting it in the queue.
Priyanka Sharma and I worked on a massage on-demand startup which didn't take off. We decided to see if investors would be interested in my WakaTime project, and Priyanka asked to be listed on the WakaTime "About" page to build her confidence when talking to potential investors. I also agreed to pitch WakaTime on TechCrunch with her, although they listed her incorrectly as CEO! She was CEO of the massage startup, Kneady, but never WakaTime!
It's unfortunate that Priyanka Sharma now uses the WakaTime TechCrunch article to charge early-stage startups for advice through Heavybit. It's also unfortunate if HN caves to her threats of ownership without asking for any proof. If she was a founder of WakaTime, she should be able to produce a stock purchase or other agreement, or even documentation about an "ongoing legal dispute". I've already reached out to HN via email offering proof of ownership, so hopefully HN unburies this post.
Here's one example of an email from Priyanka on behalf of WakaTime:
And the removal of her blog posts:
And an interesting Twitter thread:
This makes me want to stop paying for WakaTime.
At the time I was happy when she said she would send the newsletter emails for me, but now I see she just wanted people to think she was the public face for WakaTime to further a tech founder persona. Yea I made a mistake letting her send newsletters on behalf of WakaTime, but that doesn't mean she can claim to have built WakaTime.
> This response is fishy as hell.
I didn't raise a fuss when I should have because I didn't want to cause her trouble, but then she demanded a large sum of money from me in exchange for giving me WakaTime... when she never owned WakaTime. That's what I consider fishey.
I am still unsatisfied with your version of events because it seems to discount that Priyanka did any work at all.
Her last blog post was on: 2015-03-31
This doesn't look like an sophisticated engagement.
That first spike is December 2014. Interesting timing!
The last Slack notification email I have from her is from 10/26/2015. Why is it so hard to believe that she did a year or so's worth of work for WakaTime? Why are her contributions to be valued less because they aren't code?
Also read: https://news.ycombinator.com/reply?id=15617309&goto=item%3Fi...
She's very good at making people believe her lies.
would appreciate if you can at least acknowledge receipt of the proof that was offered by Alan. Of course you don't have to, but it would be a kindness to the community if you come back to tell us that you stand by your decision or have decided to walk it back.
I experienced Priyanka as a dishonest person, solely focused on personal gain, who had no issues with stealing credit from others (including from me). It's terrifying to see that she continues to leech off Alan's hard work and even damage his success. Alan only listed her temporarily as Co-Founder on the website (almost 2 years AFTER he founded WakaTime) to build up her confidence in talking to investors (an idea she had btw). She proceeded however to use that for self-promotion, giving interviews all over the place of how she was a "female founder", despite it being a fake title. She would tell Alan that it was all to help Wakatime. Alan was too patient and trusting, even though many people who met Priyanka and saw through her manipulation were warning him about her. Despite finally realizing what she was doing, he kept her listed on the website for many more months, because it was helping her get new job opportunities. He was THAT generous and just didn't think she would exploit him and his hard work.
She has now woven such a big lie that all she can do is continue lying. I hope the truth will finally catch up to her.
The story is about building this product. About putting in the time(thousands of precious hours) and focus to build the extensive amount of software running Wakatime. He has listened to his users and built the integrations. There is no disputing that. This story deserves attention and is true. Let whoever else make claims about their alleged ownership on their own time. it wouldn’t change the story.
That raises an issue with this sort of model that I've never really understood: if only ~1% of users are paying, it seems like very small changes in conversion rate could make or break the business. Suppose the conversion rate goes down by just 0.3%. That would be a 30% reduction in revenue while you still have to run the infrastructure to support all the free users who didn't convert. Would the business still be financially viable? What's the best way to manage that risk?
Agreed. 4% to 5% seems to be the minimum for this sort of model to sustain and not die.
> Chris Anderson in his book “Free” explains that Freemium works on the 5 Percent Rule - where 5% of premium customers support the remaining 95% of free users and also the cost of servicing the 95% is close to zero.
When Dropbox launched they were surviving on their 4% of users who had converted from free subscription. Now their conversion rate is around 25% which is very impressive for a fremium product / service.
Second, why is it likely to get lower the more exposure it gets?
But, everything I've ever read on the subject indicates 1% is either bare minimum or too low. [1,2]
>Second, why is it likely to get lower the more exposure it gets?
In my experience the more hype you get, the lower your conversion rate all other things being equal (in my case conversion rate after free trial, vs freemium) because people who had to search you out to find you are more likely to convert than people who are just checking out the hottest new thing they saw on HN.
That's obviously not always true, and it may not be true in their case, but if I were the CEO, I'd be very focused on increasing my conversion rate.
Shaving 6% off a 10k a month company is $600 which is nice but not a game changer. Shaving 6% off a $1 mil a month company is $60k a month, which is a nice bonus for someone...
If you were to port the entire application to each editor's idiosyncratic plugin API, it would be a huge scaling issue for them.
Instead, if you make your application standalone and multiplatform and then turn the plugins into thin controllers to connect the IDE and the application, you save yourself a whole lot of development time.
* high volume of incoming requests from plugins sending heartbeats (https://wakatime.com/blog/23-how-to-scale-ssl-with-haproxy-a...)
* keeping all the metrics cached in real-time, many background machines dedicated to only this
* data storage & reads - if you change your Timeout Preference need to re-cache your coding activity quickly (https://wakatime.com/blog/27-fill-the-gaps-in-your-coding-ac...)
There have been a lot of great points in reply to this and I would like to add that part of this cost may be to help perception. A service like this that feels/is slow can die pretty quickly if the perception of the service is that it doesn't work as well as it should.
Right now, the only link is in small print at the very bottom of the home page.
"...you can already build such a system yourself quite trivially by getting an FTP account, mounting it locally with curlftpfs, and then using SVN or CVS on the mounted filesystem."
* the one misattributed to Bill Gates, about 640k of RAM being enough for everyone
* the one by Thomas Watson about the worldwide computer market needing only 5 computers
* or more recently, the Commander Taco quote about the iPod: "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame."
Hindsight is funny :)
Edit: Oh, and I have to tell BrandonM, if he's still around: in no way is your solution trivial for non-developers, even 10+ years after your comment :)
The interesting thing is, the context of that quote is building-sized computers being accessed by terminals over the phone network.
Fast forward to 2017 and we have terminals (smartphones) accessing building-sized computers (datacentres) over the (wireless) phone network.
We can be more charitable by treating all of a company's datacentres as one big, distributed computer. In which case, what's the world market? It's easy to pick 5 that cover a big chunk of it; e.g. Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon :)
So is survivorship bias. There's countless other times where the naysayers were spot on and their comments are long forgotten because the predicted failure happened. It's more a commentary on the wisdom of being a detractor. Unless it's going to be a truly spectacular failure, you're better off not saying anything since you'll either be right or remembered but not both.
We should however easily find quotes from demo of failed products, such as the Zune being the greatest thing ever...
No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.
Am I missing something about this product in that it measures anything related to code quality?
If a company relies heavily this tool to measure its devs productivity, that would be a red flag about what developer attributes the company rewards. I guess it could be combined with other measures, but the leaderboard and gamification will incentivize behavior not closely tied to getting things done, in my opinion.
And, yes, the success is inspiring and despite my negativity I'd be curious to hear how the tool has been used to improve a team's productivity. I spent some time on the product's web page, but it doesn't really address how time spent in a file relates to productivity.
"generate and send PDF invoices pre-filled with your coding activity." is in the future roadmap. And the pain of keeping track of billable hours is what drove him to write it to start with.
Keeping track by program used is a nice-to-have, because then someone on the team could notice "hey we spend a lot more time with tool X then makes sense, maybe there's a way to improve that?"
I love the guy's success but man do I hate this idea. I'm billing for more than time in vim. If you're my client and I'm answering an email from you, I'm billing you for that. If we're on the phone, the clock is running. If we're on a Hangout, you're paying.
Could you imagine if your employer only paid you for time spent in an editor?
I'm rather consoled by these responses that the expectations for the tool are lower than what I expected. It does one simple thing very well it seems. Some need that data, some don't, but no one here is purporting it to equate with code quality or productivity.
This product seems targeted at that. It's automatic feedback on sizing/estimates and it's how teams get more accurate in their future assessments and how businesses get more predictable product plans that they can rely on to make business decisions. Productivity of a development team is almost a secondary concern to predictability. Delivering on-time, whenever that time is predicted to be, might be more important than delivering quickly since the business doesn't have to wait until product is done to start selling, promoting, partnering, etc.
I think it is just a tool to be used as you desire. It can certainly be misused, like any tool or method, and promote bad results. If you have someone wanting to measure you by time alone you have bigger problems with that decision maker than just this specific tool being put in place.
I was in a fitbit group challenge where one guy found himself in the hospital after going to extreme measures to "win". Yet, I don't feel fitbit is a bad entity. Used correctly it promotes good habits.
Also the private leaderboards tell me when I had an in-the-zone week or a week with too many meetings.
Yes, it's possible to have some false flags, like working on an easy project will produce a lot more hours. But if you cater for such things it's a great tool.
Like LOC, it should not be your sole metric, just things that you track along with everything else.
Or time spent vs feature complexity?
Or maybe it just shows you what is actually done. "Oh, we spend all out time in the file on data import - let's revisit the architecture"
This kind of thing doesn't stop people. I think it just means you end up with fewer good products to use.
To be more clear. This won't stop the vast majority of people. They want to use good products. If it's good, they will use it.
One problem I have bootstrapping my SaaS is that I have no money to market. I can tweet and do direct marketing but that is slow and time consuming. Any recommendations from the crew on HN with how I can market to a large audience without needing a huge budget to spend on Adwords and things like that?
> Once we hit about $20,000 MRR (through direct sales and word-of-mouth) we added an affiliate program. That worked exceptionally well because bloggers — our target market — are used to using affiliate programs to generate revenue. Also, if a small business owner loves your product they might tell 2-3 friends. But if a blogger loves your product, they'll tell 20,000 readers! So we had a very natural distribution path built in.
> We decided to pay a 30% recurring commission each month, rather than a large upfront commission, mainly because we didn't have any cash and couldn't cashflow anything up front. That turned out to be a great decision since many bloggers want a predictable, recurring income source.
> Later on we started doing webinars with our affiliate partners as a way to help them drive more sales. This not only grew our email list significantly (up to 50,000 subscribers in a year), but also drove a ton of new revenue. Today we pay out just over 10% of our revenue each month to our affiliates."
> "Once we hit about $20,000 MRR"
Interesting. I wonder why the $20k MRR... I have $50 MRR (dollars... not thousands). But I don't see anything about affiliate marketing that would prohibit starting early.
For some $N MRR (magic point where you look for scalable channels), N should be large enough that you have a product that your market wants and will pay for, and the market is large enough that you were able to manually scale it to N.
The heuristic is something like "if you can get big enough doing low-efficiency/manual marketing, you've likely gotten close enough to the important things* and can move on to testing scalability".
* things like product/market fit, market size, clear communication, well defined value prop, etc.
It's not so nice because it can screw consumers over a bit (e.g. try and find a non-biased review of an affiliate marketed product such as convertkit)
If you're looking for a free source of relatively fresh ideas, try https://www.julian.com/learn/growth
Do you do content marketing (blogging) to an email list?
You could also start writing about your market, to gain a following who could become your initial users but that usually takes a long time to ramp up.
Is this still generally true in 2017?
Also if any dev is reading, a good addition will be able to run this on my own premises, this is some information valuable for project leads but its hard to justify monthly cost for something you usually take for granted.
That's the hardest part about products for devs, we understand how things work and therefore obviously we shouldn't pay for something we could build ourselves.
I'm currently writing an integration (beta) that will take your wakatime history (heartbeats), and convert it into billable hours (15 minute chunks)... it is available for free at:
Congrats to Alan!!!
Just asking because it must be an awesome place to work if you're still there!