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Ask HN: I would pay X for Y
91 points by westonplatter0 on Nov 1, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 133 comments
I would pay $10 every 3 months for a highlevel review/changelog of the top Javascript frameworks.

I would pay $1/month for book suggestions related to technical leadership.

I would pay $2/month for 10 suggestions of breweries I haven't tried yet.

I would pay $10/month for a weekly digest of the most important world news without editorializing, clickbait, celebrity news. Just important stuff. Also I would not like it to be only US-centered (that could be optional though).

EDIT: Some people asked what I mean by "important". For me, important event is the event that has potential to have a high impact on the society or any large group of people in long term. Some very recent news that I found important: results of elections in Austria, terrorist attack in Somalia, grand jury indictment against Manafort, hundreds of sexual harassment allegations in USA as a whole (I don't think reporting each individual case and celebrity implicated is important).

I have found the Economist Espresso[1] is an excellent version of this. And it's only $3 / month.

[1] http://www.economist.com/digital

Thanks for the tip. I would prefer the option to read on a bigger screen though. I hate reading on my phone.

They do allow email subscription, if it's preferable to you. http://www.economist.com/newsletters

(No affiliation, just a happy subscriber.)

Shameless plug, but check out WikiTribune [1]. It was started by Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia founder) as an attempt to democratise and wikify news. It just entered public beta, but they solicited recurring donations over summer and are still accepting them - if you believe in the project, consider signing up for a few dollars a month.

[1] https://beta.wikitribune.com/

Thanks! Looks promising, I will try it out.

I would pay a lot more for really important things - science, R&D, tech, not politics and things that get dated tomorrow. If there would be a quality magazine with HN level articles on: cutting edge tech (blockchain, quantum computing, etc), biotech (organs, prostetics, implants), brain science and broader space travel. I’d pay quite a lot for that. Not the basic news, but more like deep dives to make me interested and dig more. From what I know, haven’t found anything close to that. If you run such a media, tell me where to send money. Also open to invest.

Can you share your email or a way for me to get in touch?

If you can pay a little more, just get a subscription to The Economist

The Week (http://theweek.com/) does a fantastic job of this. They summarize the main issues of the week from the viewpoint of a variety of politically-diverse sources, and there's a lot of non-US news in there as well. I believe they've covered all the examples you mentioned in recent weeks. Well worth a try if you haven't heard of it yet.

I think the Foreign Policy morning brief is awesome. It's not US-centric, it's fairly unbiased, and the reporting is high-quality. https://imgur.com/a/ssfBU

I also subscribe to https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/ for US politics news.

none of the links on the morning brief site work, and when i actually go to the morning brief site it looks like most of the articles are from 2009. I thought for a second Swine flu had re-emerged.

Yeah sorry the particular page I linked to is from 2008 and is super broken. The actual morning brief these days looks like this: https://imgur.com/a/ssfBU

k. what's the link to that page?

It's an email, to signup go to their homepage.

The screen looks great, but I can't find the signup page.

https://foreignpolicy.com/ then "Register/Sign In" in the upper right. You only need Web Access for the morning brief, not Premium.

If you listen to the BBC World Service, they do a 5 minute news summary every few hours outlining the important news events of the day - free and worth using.

Every few hours is a bit to much. That's why I would prefer a weekly digest. I am learning German and I have started listening to daily Deutche Welle podcast [1]. It is really good and my main source of information now (even though I still don't understand much of it ;).

[1] http://www.dw.com/de/deutsch-lernen/nachrichten/s-8030

NPR and Hacker News. As a huge recovering news junkie, that's what I've slimmed down to and I think it's perfect.

You might like Eurasia Group's "Signal" - https://medium.com/signal-geopolitics-made-simple/saudi-andr...

This doesn't meet all of your criteria (in that's it's Daily and US-centered), but I've found it to be valuable for keeping up with US-politics.


It seems fairly biased politically.

No way I'm checking this out at work

You can come check out https://marketvulture.com -- we do something similar: track the drama around the world that might present interesting market opportunities.

How do you personally define 'most important'?

I suppose it is a key moment - most important for Mr. westonplatter0. So Service have to be smart enough taking into account user's prefs. AI and Deep Learning are good friends for that Service.

I would pay about $10 for that too.

not quite every day, but the live feeds are good


How do you define "important"?

I would pay $50 for 30 minutes of the time of a webpack configuration expert. Or a similar amount for SAAS allowing me to select modules from a UI and chain them as desired.

I gave up on my desired configuration after spending 3-5+h in frustrated powerlessness.

Having just gone through the setup process a few times, I concur. It is an excruciatingly bad entry to a powerful solution to front-end web development.

The config is pretty straight forward once you understand how it all works. The docs have example configs for anything you need. Specify an entry point, add some loaders, and maybe a plugin or two, what are you stuck on?

I agree, it is a straight forward design (you chain things one after the other).

I just couldn't make these specific items work together, at all.

Did you consider a simple build script, e.g a make file or a nodejs script that just manually pipes the files in your codebase to the desired compilers/transpilers?

That's how I always set things up and I never once wished for anything like gulp or webpack or whatever else is trendy these days.

I am not an expert in those either... do you mean something like maybe gruntjs?

I wish there was a way to drive cars without the need to be an auto mechanic.

no, grunt is even worse.

You know, just a plain old script with all the build steps laid out sequentially:

feed this file to this command, pass these arguments, wait for command to finish, take output files and copy them over here .. etc.

Do you use this service? Is it efficient?

Hackhands does not work at all and it is completely inefficient (and frustrating to use) compared to other platforms.

I attempted to use it twice and here is what I don't like about it: They give you NO idea whatsoever of how many people are available through the service, what kind of expertise they have or if/when anyone even will be available. Worse than that is when you submit a request, they don't send you any status updates or anything until you get an email that says "It looks like no experts were available" ask you what time YOU are available instead of letting you know when a fucking expert will be on! They also give you zero clue as to what kind of prices you should expect. Is "$2 a minute" going to attract anyone? How about $3? I don't know!

In summary, I think Hackhands is probably one of the worse services that I've ever wasted my time trying to use.

BTW - someone please make a sane UI or config tool for webpack and post it to github.

That would research and provide custom workarounds for all modules that don’t work, by themselves, or in this configuration, for reasons not yet known? I’d love that.

What were you trying to make work that you couldn't figure out?

1. SCSS preprocessor followed by PostCSS-based autoprefixer, sourcemaps in dev and CSS minifyer when building.

2. CoffeeScript2 with support for modules, with uglifyer/minifier on build.

Both 1. and 2. as a part of a middlemanapp dev/build process, which means the JS process watches and builds a file tree, and the SCSS process does the same.

Even setting up ES6 had issues on build because some incompatibilities of the uglifyjs iirc.

EDIT: Added clarification.

Scss is so annoying and if you ask me, slows builds down a ton in development. Also, that uglify stuff is annoying! Thankfully they are adding es6 support but most guides are outdated.... I feel you...

Yes, things That should “just work”, don’t. At all. For reasons that require expertise to uncover and even deeper expertise to solve. With solutions that may cause issues later. Talk about shaving the yak.

$100 an hour is incredibly low for a short term expert contract

Could you give a couple examples?

I would pay $5 a month to have all physical junk mail filtered out of delivery.

Why can't I opt out of "or current resident"?

You can.... Same list as the opt out of phone calls. However, this one I've actually had luck with it working.


In France you just put a sticker on your letter box with something like "no ads, thank you".

Since I did it my letter box is desperately empty except the occasional paper bill.

Won't work with junk mail that is directly addressed to you of course, but in my case it's not frequent, I'm probably not in many databases.

I'm in Paris, I did it and it had absolutely no effect. I guess the spammers don't care about these stickers or not bothering you. They just want to finish their spam job as soon as possible.

Royal Mail in the UK call them 'door-to-doors' and allow you to opt out here: https://personal.help.royalmail.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/...

It's a bit more than $5, but you can try a service like PostScanMail.com that will scan your mail for you and let you manage it virtually. You can choose to have certain items forwarded or opened and contents scanned.

I would pay $50 a 30-60 min call with an industry vet programmer/EM to look at my career and give next steps to grow my career. I have no idea if I'm doing well or not or how to become a great programmer cause I don't know what's "next", as it's not as linear as I wish it was.

Unfortunately a good eng/em makes much more than $50/h. More like 150-300 (pretax) and that’s just for a normal fulltime hour, they would def charge more for consultancy work due to the overheads. That leaves you with not-that-vet people.

Edit: I assumed major tech companies and western world, the situation is obviously different in other regions.

> Unfortunately a good eng/em makes much more than $50/h. More like 150-300 (pretax) and that’s just for a normal fulltime hour

That's to hire them for their work. I'm just trying to talk with them about their experience, not asking them to code/manage.

There was a service a while ago called "clarity" or something like that, which was supposed to facilitate this kind of activity.


It seems to still be in business at clarity.fm, though it seems to be more aimed for startups than individuals.

Define 'veteran'.

Also, readers, the email is in his profile ... ;)

15-20+ years in the industry (I'm almost 10 in myself)

I pay $60-$70/month to have my laundry done. They do a better job than I would, and I value my time highly. Plus the capex of a washer/drier, and the opex of detergents and dryer sheets, and I think I'm coming out well ahead...

In theory, Handy (https://www.handy.com/services) does this for you for significantly higher rates at your own home. I've used the service before when it first started and rates were 40-60%/hour of what they are now. Seems like they could not keep up with demand - scheduled appointments would get cancelled less than an hour before and be incredibly inconvenient - which I would guess was a factor to them increasing their prices to attract more talent while keeping margins.

tl;dr; services like this exist, but 60-70$/mo is laughably low (assuming min 2-3 loads of washer + dryer per month)

This is a wash-dry-fold service out of my local laundromat. I just drop off a big sack of laundry in the morning, they weigh it and charge by the pound (Wednesdays is a sub-$1 special), and then I pick it up after work, clean, nicely folded, bagged up, and with all my shirts on hangers. It's pretty close to the best thing ever.

I see. I was envisioning a "bigger" service - your quoted price makes sense in that case.

Does it include ironing ?

I feel like in 2017 we should have an automatic Ironing Machine in every home.

You mostly have that actually: Get stuff out the washer within 20min of it being done and hang it to dry.

Alternatively I have a few shirts made by high threat count Egyptian cotton and those are wrinkle free if you just put them in the bathroom while taking a shower and the let 'em dry. Pretty price, but honestly worth my time.

I feel like in 2017 nobody should have to wear clothes that need ironing.

No one should wear clothes that look professional?

The hardline against even business casual dress by some people boggles the mind.

Ironing appropriate clothes will make you look substantially more put-together. Try it please.

Not op, but they have no-iron dress shirts that look pretty good directly out of the drier.

I would pay high margins to legal firms whom I'd forward spam and they'd sue spammers on my behalf (in Poland).

90% towards class action to sue spammers on my behalf (in US)

I would pay $100/hr for a competent freelance system administrator who could parachute in and deal with the various things we need dealt with.

Of course the problem here is "competent". On two different occasions people have offered to do the job and they were terrible.

I wish there was more demand for stuff like this at a reasonable price. I've worked from various freelance sites in my spare time asking a similar price, but invariably I'd only see 10% of the business that the $15/hr crowd would see.

I got a few ex-$15/hr customers, who wanted a few hours of my time purely to clean up the mess left by the last guy, and once it was cleaned up they'd take their business to the next $15/hr guy and hope he was a little better than the last one.

Bit of a tricky situation I suppose, on one hand the competent Sadmins are probably more inclined to stick to a normal job with a steady income, but the incompetent ones seem to be happy to sit around all day spamming freelancing sites.

What kind of things do you need dealt with? Any examples?

I'd pay 20k for an open-hardware Notebook with a formally verified open source OS

I would pay $20/month for a simple, easy to set up affiliate management service.

Seriously - there are literally hundreds of affiliate management services out there, I've looked at dozens of them, and none of them quite fit the following requirements:

- Simple setup - Reasonably low cost - Dashboard for affiliates to track clicks & signups

Most existing systems also wrap up some sort of customer referral widgety thing, which I don't need. Or, the websites are broken / look like they're from 2001.

ReferralCandy is probably the closest thing, but again, it's way more set up for "customer referrals" vs professional or semi-pro affiliates. The integration process is also super heavy.

We literally built our own affiliate management since everything that fit our requirements was so expensive. This seems like an obvious side-project for someone to knock out.

I would pay much more than that for a system that matches what I have to sell with affiliates that could promote it properly. I have a couple side eZines/Paid Newsletters I would love to promote through affiliates but finding those that have the kind of traffic I'm after seems so impossible.

(Here is where I'm hoping someone chimes in to say that already exists)

This is something I've considered doing for years after dealing with the likes of Clickbank, etc. I'd love to pick your brain for your requirements. How can I get in touch?


Not sure if this is helpful, but have you seen https://www.getambassador.com/ ?

Yes - this is a great example of what I'm talking about, it starts at $800/month (https://www.getambassador.com/pricing) with a bazillion features I don't need.

I would pay 1€ once for an Android weather app that has no ads, that don't take 30s to load and that is instantly readable and not some fancy schmancy style that makes it hard to know what's the weather for today and where to look for next days.

Apparently it's too much to ask.

Wunderground is what I use, it works quite well. Ad free is $1.99 a year, which I guess is close enough. Generally I don't do into the app though and just use a widget.

The Google weather app is easy to read and loads in <5 seconds on my OnePlus 5. Doesn't that app fit your requirements?

Now you're talking about it, it didn't appear in the top 30 apps that I found on Google Play.

However I sometimes get Google weather predictions on my (desktop) browser and find them less accurate than our local weather service (Météo France).

meteoblue.com. Website with adblocker, I don't know about their app because I usually just use websites instead of apps (they load faster and ad-free).

The built in weather widget gets the job done

The yahoo weather app is great.

I would pay $5/night for someone to clean my families dishes after dinner.

I would pay $20/month for someone to keep my clothing fresh.

I’d pay $200 a month for a professional dishwasher, but really I’d probably have to pay much more.

> I would pay $5/night for someone to clean my families dishes after dinner.

Why not just use a dishwasher? If you wanted to break it down into a 'cost per night' then maybe rent the appliance or get it on interest free.

How big is your family?

Assuming your dishwasher(s) can hold 3-4 days' worth of dishes, you can totally do that now. Hiring a housekeeper to come in twice a week to do dishes and laundry is probably in your price range.

I would pay $5 to get a text transcription of any podcast.

My life doesn't support podcast-listening particularly well, and yet I know there's a lot of good info out there in the audio world.

Don't most mainstream podcasts come with a text transcription?

I would pay $100/year for a photo organizer SaaS, that has a read-only access on a folder in my Dropbox, and let me organize my photos by time, by people on the photo, by places, or by events that I would have created. It would let me make some requests like "Show me all photos with John on it, taken on Europe, between 2008 and 2012".

Google Photos is shitty and Google already got too much information about me.


I don't use them and it's not from your Dropbox but heard great things about them in general.

I would pay $50 for 30 minutes of time in person from an expert on gardens.

I would pay $10 a month for scraping 100 data entries for my side project.

Most nurseries have expert gardeners on-hand who will happily talk to you for free.

I speak with them frequently, but it would be awesome if some could be paid to come to your house and help with various issues.

I bet you can say "Hey, would you mind coming to my house this weekend? I'll buy dinner after" to someone you've spoken to before (so that they know you're not a murderer)

You might make a wise old friend out of it too :)

Does the second part scale linearly ? Does scraping 200 entries mean 20$ ? If it does, I might be interested in making some 150-200 bucks a month scraping websites for you given that it's a decent amount in the place I currently live

yes 200 entries means $20

Mturk can get you 100 data feeds scraped for around that price pint probably.

Gardens, as in landscaping your yard?

yes, if you have certain flowers, they are pretty challenging to take care of. Roses are a great example. I have numerous varieties, but I lost one plant this year.

I would pay up to 50% (EU level) of my monthly income to live in a place with direct democracy. Fortunatly I live in the one country on earth with direct democracy so I pay less then 24%.

Which country is that?

I would pay $xxx for a good UX/UI designer!

Are we (http://fairpixels.pro) within your budget? :)

That's an interesting concept. Do you do only the design/mockups or you build the frontend (HTML/CSS) as well?

I will forward the link to a friend that was looking for something similar.

Which part are you having trouble with, "designer," "good," or "$xxx?"

I would pay $100 for a secure, open source version of Skype that is compatible with Skype chat history and contacts.

Signal has video and voice chat

Can it seamlessly import all the Skype chat history and groups correctly? That's mostly what I'm paying for, not just "video and voice chat"

I would pay up to $300 for a NAS with at least two hard drives bays working in RAID and an open linux-based operating system (with root access). Hard disks are no included in that price.

How about GnuBee [1]? They're currently running a campaign [2] for version 2.

1: http://gnubee.org/ 2: https://www.crowdsupply.com/gnubee/personal-cloud-2

Just install FreeNAS on a usb stick and buy a PC off GovDeals for $50.

Not Linux but it's the best NAS you'll get.

I would pay $200 for a dumb phone that only makes/receives call/texts, and has whatsapp and google maps.

The technical requirements of running google maps would immediately turn your dumb phone into a smart phone.

Why don't you just uninstall everything from your phone but whatsapp and google maps?

Try to switch your SIM card on your iPhone without having access to WiFi or any other assisting device, in a remote terrain where you need the new SIM immediately.

He is worried about distractions from other websites/apps if I had to guess and or does not need all extra features.

The biggest issue is that you need data for the maps, unless you plan ahead and download them off line.

Check out TMobile's 25$ a month just Text and Calling service that came out fairly recently.

I am looking for the same thing as you, but unfortunately have used a ton of software to replicate it.

I wish phone companies would go back to simple =(

I paid $150 for a Samsung phone that does everything you mentioned.

Which phone?

Samsung J3 from Amazon.com

X = you Tuesday, Y = a hamburger today

If you don't like that Wimpy suggestion, I would pay $2000/year in union dues (or professional association of equivalently sized teeth).

$20/month for a bundled subscription to various popular news sites (WSJ, NYT) & other online media (The Atlantic, New Yorker, etc.). So many of these sites are behind paywalls and everyone wants you to subscribe to them. It's unsustainable to subscribe to all of them and the days of being a dedicated reader of just 1 paper are long gone

I don't do this exactly, but have 3 newsletters that: - publish two times a week - include between 8 and 12 key industry stories in the specific B2B vertical of that newsletter - Include a ~100 word summary of the linked story - Cost $10/month each

The cool part to me is that the subscribers I do have almost never click the links; they tell me the summaries are all the info they need. So that feels like creating some value. Now, if I could just find more subscribers. :)

shameless plug missing:)

yeah, I don't care for it much when people plug their wares unless it really is applicable. In this case, no one brought up the niches I publish to so I avoided adding them in. LOL


Not exactly a 'subscription', but you pay a small amount (~$0.30) for each article. It is in beta but I got accepted by the next day when I signed up a few months ago.

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