Thankfully, the post took off - we were #1 for most of the day, and over 25,000 people signed up for our beta list in the several days after that post. This helped us reapply to YC with a lot more confidence and traction, and we were able to get into the next batch.
Webflow (https://webflow.com/) has since grown into a profitable business with close to 1,000,000 users all over the world, billions of website requests served, and close to 60 team members in over 14 countries. I'm pretty sure none (or very little) of this would be possible without HN and the community here, and the super positive reception our post had.
Today, we're on a mission to enable more people to create powerful software without having to learn how to code - we probably have decades to make that vision a reality, but we're on a decent start in large part thanks to our launch on HN.
A HUGE thank you to the community here!
Over the next 2.5 years, I reapplied to YC five more times. I interviewed twice in the second round. I eventually got rejected every time. From the ideation stage, to $1M in revenue, YC has an application of mine for every milestone in between (until I did not need to raise money anymore).
My company, Y Athletics (https://yathletics.com), is a profitable business with no investor funding and 7 figure revenues. We've delivered products to over 25,000 paying customers all around the world. We don't solve problems, but we create some amazing products that people want.
This post about Webflow made me nostalgic as it was during that time that I started to read HN religiously (and now I discovered that Vlad and I applied and were rejected in the same batch as well). My first landing page was made on Webflow. I learned how to code using Codeacademy. My first 100 users came from a comment I posted on an Ask HN thread (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6617551). Seeing others building their startups inspired me to continue building mine. My company would probably not exist if it wasn't for HN. Thanks for everything!
It's a pain to ship outside US (because of taxes/shipping prices) , but aside from that you make great products. keep going, and it's nice to see some bootstrapped examples too.
Sure sounds like you're solving someone's problem ;)
I wasn't struggling, since my mobile app business was already giving ramen profitability (which is around ~1k/month in Poland). I wrote a post onto HN, outlining new features of our service ( https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3693151 ), it got to the front page, and was picked up by TC shortly afterwards.
6 years later, I moved to other projects, but still maintain the site, and the site still brings profits, and has happy users :)
It's for the technically savvy who want to build websites quickly but for whom Weebly / Wix are just too inflexible.
You guys did such a nice job executing on the UI/UX of Webflow. It feels very quick and offers lots of choices without overwhelming me. That's such a rare quality these days.
I am using Firefox 59.0b10. It seems like Firefox is not at all supported. I should not have to switch browser.
BTW, Great work!
Quick question: My understanding may need to be updated, but doesn't YC give you Ramen-survival cash? How did you deal with the financial challenges with so little and a family, etc.?
So, I imagine that the ray of hope that YC-acceptance presents might embolden one to continue and take on that additional risk as you did.
Still, very gutsy and glad it worked out for you.
(BTW, I can attest: yes, those 401k/IRA penalties hurt!)
Perhaps this is par for the course in sales, but what I've learned from HN is that the value of my expected income from poker and stock gambling is higher than from interviewing with startups.
Thank you though for running a cool company
I think my comment is moreso reflective of the problems that persist in hiring today- massive candidate pipelines, subjective differences in candidates, ambitious growth targets vs a need to stay lean.
I wish GitLab and all startups the best in the future. I don't know where I fit into the startup world anymore, but I really support tech companies that make such awesome contributions to the world.
Interesting, I always thought the number of upvotes for a Show HN post correlates to its future success.
"For a Linux user, 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. From Windows or Mac, this FTP account could be accessed through built-in software."
I wonder how many other ten-figure business models can be developed from comments that begin "For any Linux user, this is totally trivial," or "Um, have you looked at the pricing for Amazon S3?" or "LOL, this problem was solved 20 years ago by XXXX at YYYY."
Obviously a TOTALLY different league, but I have a small text editor plugin that got < 10 upvotes, and how has 500,000 installs. don't think I ever posted.it anywhere else.
Can't imagine there are too many 100+ upvote use cases that don't already have substantial competition.
So 10-100 is probably a sweet spot in terms of "people are interested" and "there's an unfulfilled opportunity."
I’ve seen IRC bouncers that have more messages stored for a single user (270 million, in fact).
But as noted, BigQuery is more pragmatic.
Also, I dont like GitHub's political posturing nonsense, so thats a major reason too.
Thank you for an awesome product! :)
...connected to the tech scene
...not a "social network" in the usual data-harvesting sense
...slim, fast-loading, not riddled with bloat and bullshit
...not plagued quite so badly as the rest of the society "out there" by certain degenerate tendencies in what passes for discourse
...more interested in ideas and substance than in what color car the ideas and substance drove up in (and other black magic)
That's really it - that's enough. I didn't get anything cool like a job, but I know there's loads of info here for that too!
1. Open Chrome
2. Type "sdjkgfhsjkfahfd" into the URL bar
3. Hit enter
I have been using this method since I was 9, has been nothing but useful for me.
The fantastic people in the comment section, with intelligent people who put real thought into what they write. You may find people dropping in from high up in major corporations, are SMEs of the highest order - or are just way cool in their own ways. Love it.
In addition to being a place to always learn, it's a true sanctuary for the mind - especially after eg reading public Facebook/Twitter/YouTube comments on just about anything.
That's the really special part. There's plenty of places to find people that have a differing opinion, but HN does the best job I've encountered of fostering good, substantive discussion.
It doesn't always work, but it works here more often and on more subjects than anywhere else I've found. That "more subjects" part is important too, since unlike a smaller more focused forum, you might find that someone you totally agreed with on one subject the day before is someone you are in complete disagreement with the next day, and this can go a long ways towards helping people to remember that if they disagree on the current subject, the other person is likely a rational, agreeable person that deserves the benefit of doubt when you've found yourself interpreting what they've said as extremely harsh, disagreeable or wrong.
1 week after posting this. I got a visit from the police.
Apparently, someone gave them the ip and it took them a week to locate me. They wanted to take me to the hospital to check if i had mental problems. Of course they couldn't force me to go.
I assured them that i would fix my problems and make a therapy. It was a wakeup call for me.
Fast-forward to now:
I am working in an e-commerce company in switzerland. I almost have no debts (last payment in may 2018) and my coworkers are like family to me.
My life turned 180 degrees.
THANK YOU, STRANGER
i owe you a lot!
The reason I contacted the police was that I wanted to delegate taking care of this to professionals. I'm not a psychologist and what I think might be a reasonable approach to helping out in such a situation actually might or might not be. (People seem to have very different approaches here from "I feel you bro" through "Hey it's not that bad" to "You can be really proud of x, y and z" and up to "C'mon, stop whining!" and even "It's actually your fault")
I'm very glad to see that this seems to have been the right decision. I wasn't too confident about it at first, b/c police really didn't leave a professional impression. When I read that post I was at work and my wife and kid were at home. They were quite shocked (and the neighbors probably somewhat "excited") that KriPo showed up at our place. Turned out, I was also right not to trust their research capabilities. I literally stalked the sh*t out of you and sent them a good dozen of profiles together with your name, (work) phone number and address and the letter to your ex, her profiles &c. That may sound creepy but I actually really wanted to make sure they have all the information they need to reach out to you as fast as possible (I expected it to take minutes, not a week). Turns out doing so was both right and wrong: They really seemed not to be skilled investigators, but to the extent that some days (!) later they called me and told me they couldn't open the links.
So after that I really wasn't that full of confidence what concerns the police, so until I saw your HN submission in May I always thought about calling you but didn't really know how you'd react.
you are right, the police was not very professional and it might have ended badly. Luckily it didn't. First i was scared that my ex send them to me and i was in trouble (althoug i did nothing illegal). Then i was relieved that it was about my post on HN.
Reading this made me uncomfortable, but also happy. A Stranger from the internet cared (about my life) and took action. I got 80 messages on that thread. Most of them were upliftig. But taking action is another level. Thank you for that! Faith in humanity restored.
You could have reached out to me directly. I would be happy to have a coffee with a fellow HN and "talk about it". I'd rather talk to a stranger with an open ear than a psychologist who listens because he/she gets paid for it.
If there is anything i can do for you, you can contact me at: email@example.com .
You did the right thing.Thank you!
Due to an online misunderstanding, a person with good intentions reported to the police that I was a danger to myself. What followed was one of the worst experiences of my life.
What seemed almost like a SWAT team appeared at my house. I was pulled out of my home in handcuffs in front of my neighbors. I begged and tried to explain the misunderstanding but no one would listen. The police said it was the responsibility of a psychiatrist to decide whether I needed to be hospitalized and that I seemed fine but they couldn't make that decision. After spending hours alone in a concrete cell, when the psychiatrist finally came to talk to me, she assumed I must be dangerous because the police had taken me away from my home.
While I was handcuffed and sobbing, she told me that "just to be careful" and for my "own good" I was being forcibly put into a mental hospital for observation. I spent a night locked in a ward full of psychotic people and drug addicts.
Thank God one of my relatives was able to contact the hospital and convince them it was all a misunderstanding. A different psychiatrist evaluated me and I was immediately released.
I still have PTSD about the incident. When I hear a knock on the door, sometimes my heart races because I am scared it is men with gun who will take me away. I have had many, many nightmares about being locked inside the mental ward. I thought my life was over.
When I got home, my life was not ok. My neighbors saw the police response to my house and all stopped smiling or talking to me. I was so ashamed. This incident is still on my record and it makes it impossible for me to pursue certain jobs.
I am not saying you should never send the police to the home of someone you are worried about. However, you should only do it if there are NO OTHER OPTIONS for expressing concern. Stories like what happened to u/ tevlon are the exception not the rule.
I do want to point out that tevlon was in Germany. That explains why the outcome was so different.
I can petition to have certain legal consequences removed --
like my right to buy a firearm for hunting. This still would not erase the incident from the government database.
I can explain that it was a misunderstanding and show how I did not technically deserve what happened to me. However what I said was still very stupid and not something I ever want anyone else to read. It was my mistake for writing it but the consequence will follow me forever in this small way.
Nothing in your linked post said you were in immediate danger, you just sounded mildly depressed, and lots of people have ongoing suicidal thoughts for very valid reasons like my long term health issues that some intervention like the above won't help at all. Getting me mired in debt and being buried even more in life, and locked in a mental hospital, won't help me. I am glad things worked in your case and it was as simple as having a wake up call, but lots of us can't afford for someone to involve the authorities, who in my country at least are not remotely allies in these situations. Glad now I was smart enough not to post/email from an identifiable connection thus far, and use a pseudonym with the one person I have spoken to from the forum, but knowing this place people are smart enough to still ID me despite those precautions.
I spent last evening writing and editing the draft...trying to anticipate all the ways people would respond with the things that have never worked and trying to paint an accurate picture of my situation and needs. I was going to post it today hoping THIS time something might work out. But your post has just reminded me that it's far more likely someone is going to negatively enter my life than help...as has been the case over and over.
If people want to help (with the exception of POSSIBLY someone saying "I am doing it now goodbye") they should talk to US directly not call the cops and create potentially huge problems. I find the lengths he went to to ID you so incredibly uncomfortable.
I reached out to the police for tevlon b/c
a) I'm in the same country
b) I felt I could properly assess the implications my action had
c) I felt those are mainly positive (I actually did have the concerns you raised in mind, but felt I carefully weighed the pros and cons)
d) If at all possible being forced to take a medical treatment is extremely unlikely here (and the vast majority of medical treatments is covered by your obligatory medical insurance here)
e) Together with the other information I gathered the situation seemed way more serious than it would have seemed with the post's information only
But also f) I generally do consider suicidal thoughts sth serious and not at all "normal" in the sense of being sth you don't have to take care of (which does not mean that going through what you paint to be the implications of a police call in your country seems like a proper way to take care of it for me).
I'm not telling you all this to justify, but a) to show you that I really did take my action and its implications serious and b) this was a decision tailored to this very specific situation.
I don't know what exactly you were about to post and I can of course only speak for myself but solely the fact that you're in another country already "breaks" the chain of arguments presented above that justified calling the police for me, so even without you telling me the implications you see a police call would have, it would be extremely unlikely for me to actually call the police on you.
More particularly that a) now you clearly voiced your concerns and disapproved of the police being called on you and b) you consider your situation not constituting immediate danger I can't imagine anyone still doing so.
Still: I can only talk for myself and as soon as you post sth publicly, you of course never know who will read it and how they will react.
Long story short: I really am sorry both for your situation and for me making you hesitate in taking a step that might help you in your situation.
I don't want to convince you anything but I actually don't consider the risk of you unwantedly finding yourself in the situation you described when you explicitly state not wanting it.
Therefore, if you feel that this would help you, you might reconsider your decision.
To be fair: You seem not to be the only one, opposed of what I did considering the downvotes I got.
I wouldn't want someone to NOT help if they felt they could, but too often that help is running right to "authority" which is not as helpful as imagined and so often makes things worse. I wish people would take more time to be human and approach the human rather than say "I called 911/112 whatever and did my part". I have shared intimate details with people only to be betrayed so often I fear this at every turn. I don't know what to do or think about it anymore.
Regarding suicidal thoughts, they ARE normal for many people and perfectly rational given their conditions and length of suffering. It's not an attitude problem or something therapy or pills can fix. Sometimes those things can help COPE temporarily but it's not a fix of the root cause. I know it's hard to understand that if you have never been there and there was a time I would swear I could NEVER think that was valid but experiences changes you. In my view nobody wants to die, even when they claim so, they just want the pain to end and can't find a way here in life...sometimes because there simply IS no way...others because they can't get the real and tangible help they need.
> Regarding suicidal thoughts, they ARE normal for many people and perfectly rational given their conditions and length of suffering. It's not an attitude problem or something therapy or pills can fix. Sometimes those things can help COPE temporarily but it's not a fix of the root cause. I know it's hard to understand that if you have never been there and there was a time I would swear I could NEVER think that was valid but experiences changes you. In my view nobody wants to die, even when they claim so, they just want the pain to end and can't find a way here in life...sometimes because there simply IS no way...others because they can't get the real and tangible help they need.
i agree alot. I had a hard time in my 20's. My parents live in another country. I was living in this "new" city on my own with problems i couldn't handle. I was always on the brink of being homeless.
I didn't want to take counseling mainly because they wouldn't fix the root of my problems: No income, but a lot of debts.
What if i took 3 Months of therapy? I would still have my debts. It is important to find the root cause and tackle it directly.
Don't get me wrong: Therapy can help alot. But the therapist is not going to get a job for you.
I had to do it on my own. It was even hard to get out of bed for me. But i did. Because of the wake up call.
We live in a society where 90% of the people have to work for their status. If you don't work, you don't have money. I don't like the idea of "making a living". Living should be a human right. But the reality is: it isn't. You have to work in order to have a place to sleep or get food. Living on Food stamps only keeps you alive. You are not part of society. In hindsight, i did miserable comparing to all my friends (most of them PhD students). But i am a huge success comparing to the vast majority of people who are living in 3rd world countries. Back then i had forgotten how lucky i am to be born in a rich country. Today i still live a simple life, cause i use every extra penny to pay my debts, but i am grateful for what i have! And one day, i can have a vacation. Something i didn't have in 8years.
I don't think there is anything wrong with giving therapy a try if one is depressed or has other issues. My problem is people seem to focus on that and pills rather than the underlying issue...whether that be physical illness, money troubles, no support network whatever. When someone is suicidal people react with this idea the fix is psychiatric care. I disagree with that entirely for the majority of cases. If the boat has a huge hole in it you need to plug the hole before you can effectively bail and dry things out...otherwise it's a losing battle and all the positive attitude, introspection, and coping skills in the world won't keep you above water and you are just avoiding reality while drowning. Some people get through it to the end like that...I have not been able to.
I am frustrated mostly because I know I could at least live out life if the conditions were right. I will never be truly happy or have my dreams fulfilled because my physical health is permanently damaged, but I COULD realistically survive and not feel this terrible if I could only access the conditions that are just on the other side of an ideological, political wall so close I can see them. So it goes for countless people...lest I sound like it's all about me.
However, I don't think it's true that someone who's physical health is permanently damaged can't be truly be happy. Sometimes the underlying issues can't be fixed easily, but what can be fixed is our attitude towards them.
In order of what I would prefer:
1. New body and a time machine to avoid surgery.
2. Robust social care/access to reliable doctors I know and trust etc for the long term if I have to live in this body so I have peace and time to work forward.
3. Some means to earn that is physically and mentally sustainable that won't bury me even further so I can buy "at least survivable for me" conditions.
#1 is impossible...#2 is possible but not here (USA)...#3 is the only one I see being MAYBE a real option which could help lead back to #2 somewhat but it all requires a lot of things to fall into place, lots of kindness, and lots of luck. All 3 things that have been in very short supply in my years of dealing with this. Still trying though...depending on the day.
Last night I had a dream of becoming true friends with a colleague that i idolise. Upon waking up, I realised that the women that I love, sleeping next to me, should've been the one occupying that mind-space, and i suddenly felt pathetically insecure.
I worried too much and lost her. It was one defining factor of my depression. You should give her a hug and tell her how happy she makes you ;)
Rock stars, billionaires, top scientists - they all die, shit and don’t have their life under control, AT ALL. They just do the thing that matters most to them, when circumstances allow them to - and so can you.
This is probably one of the best examples of how the internet can amplify human kindness that I have ever seen.
Reading your message fills me with joy, and I think that goes for most of us. The same is true for your linked post. While it was sad to read you felt like that at the time, but I'm happy that you recognised that suicidal thoughts are something to worry about, and that you reached out for help, and that it all worked out in the end!
And good that you sought out therapy. The sooner we get rid of the stigma for mental illnesses, the better. We don't judge people for getting a broken bone fixed either. This probably sounds way too familiar to many of us, and it really is a clear sign it is time to seek help:
> I feel trapped. Forgotten. Not part of society. (...) I feel like, i can never "start a life", because i studied so long and no one wants a quitter
It can be so hard to explain this feeling to those who have not experienced it. Pessimism can objectively be inappropriate, yet subjectively a perfectly logical conclusion. When I felt like this, I remember that friends would list objective reasons why everything should work out fine (and there were many). It only made me feel worse: I already knew those facts, they gave no emotional comfort. All they did was make me think "if I manage to fail despite all of that, I must be even worse a person than I though".
If anyone reading this recognises any of these anxieties: it's not you. Modern society is almost guaranteed cause these thoughts in many of us. Most interactions with other humans have been abstracted away into complex systems, and some of that complexity is probably necessary for it to function. The problem is that these systems rarely acknowledge that we evolved as a social species. That our mutual dependence for survival has resulted in brains that are hardwired to seek nurturing, supportive connections, and have an excessive fear of rejection and "missing out". The systems we have set up are often a terrible mismatch with that.
Our new modes of communication have far-reaching consequences for the way we get things done, since (mis)communication is one of the most important factors in building trust, which is the foundation of collaboration. We will need to figure out how to cope with these changes, both individually and as a society. This is why initiatives like Buurtzorg are so successful: they are a "recalibration" (and rediscovery) of organisational structures into something that is a better fit for the way humans naturally collaborate and build trust together. It is going to be really interesting to see how initiatives like this will evolve, and the counter-responses from the people and institutes with a vested interest in maintaining the old structures.
And with all of that in the back of my head, it makes perfect sense to me that that police visit was what you needed. An anonymous stranger cares enough about your well-being to think of looking up your IP and sends it to the police, and the police then followed through on that to check in on you. And that part is important: it does not end with intangible messages on a screen, but with a physical interaction with human beings. Direct, tangible emotional proof that you are a part society, and not forgotten.
So i took a regular coding job.
Sometimes i miss the "research" part.
But i am still active in r/bioinformatics on reddit and read occasionally a paper from BioArxiv(https://www.biorxiv.org/)
I assured the police to make a therapy. They said they will check in a week, if i reached for help.
I did. I called the Psychological Counseling Services at my university. They said their next free session is in 2 Months. The police officer who came to my flat called me ^. I told them... that they are fully booked and the next free spot is in 2 Months.
He asked for the phone number of the counseiling service. I guess he called them and they confirm that i have an appointment in 2 months. This is where the sotry ended for the police officer. In hindsight, i don't think they really cared. They just did their duty. Anyway:
Fast-forward 1 Month: i went to switzerland looking for a job and i got an offer, 1 week after my interviews.
Fast-forward another month: i didn't go to couseling, because i had exams and i felt much better.
But i would have taken the counseling, if i was still depressed. That job offer was my way out of my depression.
Sometimes, you can get out.
Sometimes you are able to get out of this "dark place" yourself, but most of the times, you should seek for help!
So if somebody is reading this. PLEASE GET HELP! Don't try to convince yourself, that you can get out on your own.
The next year I applied and got in with my startup Posterous. We built that to a Top 250 Quantcast site, and Twitter ended up buying it. In 2011 I joined Y Combinator as a designer in residence, then investing partner through 2015. In 2015, I started a $125M Seed VC fund (Initialized Capital) with Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, who interviewed me in 2008 to get into YC.
So I literally wouldn't have done any of those things and probably would have stayed on at Palantir as a software engineer in 2007 if I had never seen Hacker News.
In the same way that it takes a village to raise a child, your understanding of the world around you is drastically deepened by various points of view. I don't expect to find a better village anytime soon.
Anyways as much as I like HN and its often insightful comments, this has proven me that I would have a hard time living/working in the US as we don't share the same values at all it seems. I kinda understand the valley's spirit better though, which is nice considering its huge impact on everyone's tech life.
I used to think this too, but after thinking about it a little more, I've come to the conclusion that the perception of bias towards a certain viewpoint in any thread is colored by the day of week (some old-timers frequent on weekends), the time of day (US lunch breaks and close of business), and the members who are drawn to the topics that you are interested in.
In other words, my perception of the "prevailing" bias tends to fluctuate with the time of day (I don't have a fixed schedule for visiting HN) or topics I currently have open.
Sometimes, out of curiosity, I click on a random thread (typically high comments/upvotes) with a title that I would ordinarily have not clicked on, just to get a sense of what the community is yapping about :).
And I am a european, though I don't see libertarian views beeing the majority at all ... rather the contrary ..
Transhumanist as in there will always be some guy in every biology/medicine thread to talk about how we will evolve as a species, or claim that immortality is achievable or the likes. This is especially prominent here (and was shocking to me at first), because these opinions are not so common otherwise (in society or online communities). I guess it's just the demographics and personal interests of people here that explain this phenomenon, but I was very surprised.
Can you explain more about this "irresponsible indifferent American fat and sick" thing you've encountered? As an American, I'm curious what has given you that impression specifically on HN.
But PT is not seen as viable, people enjoy living in suburbs and being reliant on private cars for anything, culturally less sensible to ecological matters overall compared to europeans (even though in Europe it scales, and I've felt people enclined to think ecologically most in Switzerland and Germany), mass consumption (people really love Amazon... I mean Europeans do too but Prime is less of a thing here).
Also in healthcare threads (which I browse a lot since that's my original field) I've often seen comments about massive weight loss, illnesses esp diet/digestive or diabetus related (like, in a scale I don't see as much amongst my regional communities). Also how people seem to discover once in a while what a healthy diet is (culturally less prevalent in the US than over here it seems).
This is probably especially shocking to me since I have above average interest in these topics, granted. But I'm still very shocked by the US culture which imo shows and prevails here in subtle things. But every now and then I'm like "ah, true, this is most probably an US user". At least it calms down the lust I could have after working there :)
I'd just add that frequently someone will mention something, anywhere from some open-source project to some deep area of science, and the author mentioned, (who is already a member!) chimes in with clarifications and further explanation. Wow.
To date HN has the highest (consistent) quality of any online community I've encountered
Also I say the following as a long time member of metafilter: it's really gone downhill. If you're the type of person who thinks dissenting opinion on hacker news is restricted you will probably be shocked by what goes on at metafilter. They have a serious problem with passive aggressive bullying and groupthink on political and social justice issues.I don't think it's hyperbole to say that the conversation there has been hijacked by a handful of aggressive users who shameless brigade threads to their narrative. Metafilter is a shadow of what it was even 5 years ago.
That said, ask.metafilter.com is the best part of metafilter and is worth the $5 price of admission alone.
"Deldo is a sex toy control and teledildonics mode for Emacs"
But times have changed and people love to downvote here these days.
Obviously that creates its own problems but at least you have to have a little bit invested in the community before you can start trying to dictate the conversation.
I might agree with the first point, but the latter two have a checkered past, and would indeed be two points of improvement I think we as a community would do well to focus more on.
I can't count how many times I've read 'I work on the team that built that' with some new insights or opinions just sitting nested in a comment chain 4 levels deep.
Low level optimization - nkurz BeeOnRope dragontamer
Programming Languages - pcwalton jordwalke chrisseaton
Other people who work on well-known things that comment frequently:
jblow (The Witness, Braid)
phire (The Dolphin Emulator)
I made a web app just so I could subscribe and read all their comments via RSS: http://hnblogs.thume.ca/
I was pretty excited when he responded to my comment one time
I think he is missing a lot of content on here if that's his true opinion. I think you can find all sorts of varying levels of depths on a vast amount of technical issues.
Discussion on this site is by no means perfect but it is miles ahead of the alternatives out there.
Many folks have reached out, some were pitching their ideas and others just wanted to get in touch.
One guy, Ev, said that he was going to write a new email server. I thought it was a bit funny (who wants a new email server in 2010?) but pretty cool at the same time so I decided to join.
That's how I ended up as a founding engineer at Mailgun (YC W11) and later on co-founded gravitational.com (YCS15) with same folks, Ev and Taylor, my best co-founders and friends from HN.
So thanks HN and YCombinator!
Do you think it still has the same usefulness? It looks quite chaotic to shift through ~8 years of unmaintained information. Back then I can imagine you could basically contact everyone on the list and see what happened?
About 5 years ago a friend was kidnapped by Indian police on behalf of their parents who were trying to gain custody of them, in India, on a Friday evening. By the time they landed in Delhi on Saturday, HN had helped me and another prominent user here find a lawyer to take the case. When the case was heard first thing Monday morning the lawyer demolished it and this friend regained their freedom (and has had it since). Whilst I cannot be sure what would have happened if the case had gone the other way, I think it could easily have ended in this friend's suicide.
HN has helped me in countless other ways but this one trumps them all I think. You don't get much more tangible than actively saving someone from abuse and possible death.
In case anybody is wondering about what this refers to:
A year ago, another user mentioned Monero so I looked into and discovered it's more "bitcoin" than Bitcoin and bought what I could.
I'm not a millionaire, but it sure has helped me financially, so I'm really appreciative that I took advantage of that opportunity.
EDIT: and for something a little more intrinsic: Everyone's experiences on different things. I've read lots of great comments on raising kids, and hope to take advantage of that shared knowledge when I have a family.
Then it was double digits, and I was like, "huh."
Then is was somewhere around $40, and I thought "maybe I should get a couple? But money's kind of tight, maybe later."
Then it was over $100, and I thought "surely this can't go much higher? This definitely isn't the time to buy."
I thought that same thing when it hit over $300, and over $700, and then over $3000, and then when it was well over $15k.
I've learned a valuable lesson. I'm far too risk averse to invest in something like this, because I'm still not sure I could convince myself to invest even though it seems to have hit a bottom and is climbing again.
As it turns out, I was right. But by being right, I missed a huge speculative windfall. While it would have been nice to make a bunch of money for nothing, I don't really have regrets because my decision was sound at the time.
I still wonder whether the early bitcoin marketing was uninformed but they lucked out... or if the early proponents knew it was a terrible currency, but that they had to sell it that way early in order to inflate the speculative bubble.
I've been noticing that the more fragile the professional situation, the more people seem to regret or actively join the (already at full speed) bandwagon
I guess I should dump my AMZN, GOOG, and FB stock. I can't believe what I could have been thinking when I put money in such a speculative product like Amazon. Add in Berkshire Hathaway, and 4 of the top 10 largest companies in the world don't pay out. Between the 4 of them, they account for more than 10% of the S&P500, and they are just 4 of the nearly 100 companies in the S&P500 that don't pay dividends.
It is going to take a hard fork to fix this.
I find myself often bathing in regret and telling myself "if I could travel back in time, I'd just ...". But these days I try to snap myself out of it and say "You are traveling in time, but you're traveling forward in time -- take that risk now and travel into the future and reap your rewards." It doesn't always work, but it helps give me some perspective.
I was too green to understand just how far ahead HN is though, and I just watched instead as it all played out without me.
I’m always shopping for new perspectives or opinions that I haven’t seen yet that maybe give me a clue on how to do things better.
People tend to give a lot of perspective in-between the words they’re writing. How people use, feel about or otherwise think about ‘things’ (products or services).
That’s the gold here for me. Learning how people see the obviousness that I also see, but in their own unique ways.
Helps me build better stuff.
Reddit is much better for open discussion. 10x better.
Do you feel that'd impede on your experience, that being possible? Genuine question.
There's such a thing as deleting a comment, in which case it's no longer visible even with showdead turned on. But only the author can do that. Software never does it, and we never do it unless the author asks us to.
The work was actually funded through bountysource, but without the momentum gained by my post HN (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7278214), which stayed in the front page for more than 12 hours, the bountysource campaign may not have been successful.
HN had a major impact on Neovim being a successful open source project.
It led me down a path that really paid off in terms of how much I learned: about using nvim, customising it with a dotfile - a skill that turned out to generalise really well-, then about version control from the command line, learned to use Docker because it seemed useful to Dockerize nvim at the time (?), I rented a VPS to be able to run nvim on a tablet, well then I had to learn about the structure of Linux..
It just went on and on, and it's still going on! To most here on HN these are elementary skills, but you have to start somewhere. And I started with Neovim.
I had never heard of HN and went back to the front page. One of the first links on the front page was a submission advertising the fact that Coursera (which I had also never heard of) was just launching a data science course track which also covered machine learning. I was in pure bio at the time, but I had heard about machine learning and data science at work and thought they sounded very cool but would be unapproachable to someone without a strong math background. When I saw the link, I said "oh fuck yea I should totally look into this!". I checked out the course track, learned basic R, and have never looked back. I've now fully transitioned into development and out of bio :D
HN also inspired me to launch my own company, which I never even thought of as an option until I started spending time on this site.
If you want to be a developer who works on bio-related problems, that's a totally different story. Frequently developers in bio are not as good as what you would find at a big tech company, so there is very high demand for people who know what they are doing and who also have the domain XP to understand the problems.
I would be happy to chat about it more in depth sometime.
But, I still manage to be in the middle of meaningful discussion, and contribute something worthwhile here and there. Even got a few thank-you notes over a 2 year period.
Tldr: Helps with imposter syndrome.
Great observation, and appreciate it.
I am a hobby programmer. I spend quite a lot of time doing programming challenges (Euler, cryptopals, advent of code) and amateur robotics.
Most of the programmers I meet are a result of a shorter non-CS education focusing on getting them employable, which means they know .net and not much more.
So far I have only met one person in real life that understood anything of what I am doing, even though I have met several people that make a living coding.
Hadn't it been for HN I would believe that undergrad maths from old schoolbooks is actually advanced programming or that moderately advanced scheme macros are dark magic :)
Being here is somewhat good for my hubris, but also pretty often makes me realise I could have a career doing programming if my current line of work doesn't work out.
And, one day I'll post another project here and the world'll love it and all my problems financial and otherwise will be solved forever and all of humanity will live happily ever after etc. :P
I also have learned lots more about programming languages and various other CS topics than I likely would have without HN.
I picked up a heeeap through osmosis, did a dev bootcamp for web dev/JS/React, spend a year being rejected from places, did almost nothing but self study + Github projects at the same time, self learnt Python and it finally paid off this past October with an offer.
I started my position as a graduate Site Reliability Engineer this last Monday since it's my employers inhouse program where grads rotate 4 times (ie frontend, backend, mobile) in the first year before settling into a position. Personally, I have 2x 6 month rotations of SRE and Cloud Data and it's very exciting!
Come to think of it, I've still been meaning to write a post about all the "junior" positions I was rejected from. It really sucks when you're starting out.
One startup who I did a test with, and never got a response, actually went bankrupt earlier this year which was a weird feeling.
Around five years ago there was a thread about books that changed your lives. Someone wrote about Impro by Keith Johnstone - an introduction to improvisational theater interspersed with a lot of personal stories. I read it and fell in love with the honesty and the new view of social interaction the book offered.
I found a dance theater studio near me - the closest thing to impro theater that was available - and went there. It was there that I met some of my most important friends and developed practices that I use to this day in my artistic projects as well as in interaction design.
Thanks, unknown HN user!
Here is one of my favorite stories from the book:
The "unknown HN user" is bambax
And all for the want of a nail..
Y'know. For a friend.
Here is the Show HN post: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13022062
That day, I got tons of pre-orders. The email notifications kept piling up. Book wasn't even done yet.
It's available online for free: https://leanpub.com/the-tao-of-tmux/read, and also in DRM-free ebook format: https://leanpub.com/the-tao-of-tmux/
 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2705440
 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4424592
Back in my 2nd year of college, when I first found HN, I was inspired by many cool projects that were posted here. Within a year, I decide to take the plunge to build an app from scratch. Ended up taking a lot longer than I had thought (didn't realized how complicated a simple looking app could be), so I skipped a semester and continued to work on it with a friend. It was a great learning lesson that gave me the confidence to try and build out ideas when I had them and see what would happen, rather than just sit around hoping someone would build things that I would want to use.
Lastly, I admire the culture here that focuses on creating actual value and doing things rather than chasing status. That has been a huge influence for me - as someone who was very influenced by social pressures and craving for status during high school, and early college (e.g. getting into a top college, getting a job at one of the “top” 5 tech companies), I believe I’ve slowly shifted towards valuing actual work that creates value for others in a meaningful way and caring less about other proxy symbols of “success”. I have a long way to go, but I’m grateful to have been exposed to thoughts and a culture that pointed in this direction, during a time when my mind greatly craved the opposite.
Anyways, when I first joined, I fell into a bit of a depression due to the impostor syndrome :(. Fortunately for me, I had quite a few other changes happening in my personal life so I was able to snap out of it and focus on using the platform to learn and grow rather than be intimidated.
I had also recently started blogging in 2015 and I remember submitting one of my articles (it was about using gmail with mutt) to HN. It hit front page for over 100 points) and it was one of the most thrilling moments of my career!
I went on to get a few more submissions on to the front page and HN also gave my the confidence to launch my side project which also hit the front page: https://ewolo.fitness
A big thank you to everyone on here :)
For instance: http://ijleal.ump.edu.my/images/volume4/IJLEAL004.SHAK_et_al...
I would like to make this work.
Knowledge about a bunch of new things that I wouldn't know.
Inspiration to try and do new things.
But, most importantly 7000+ pretend internet points and something to do when I'm bored.
It's also been a place for me to vent a bit as a senior sysadmin, and learn quite a bit about how much I don't know.
I found that this started to bleed into my real life and at the end of the day it made me grow as a person.
Those are the ones I'm referring to. But I'm glad to see there's still some growth on this! I'll definitely subscribe and look into it.
Without HN, it's impossible to quantity how much tech/dev news I'd have missed out on. Plus, the comments are often even more insightful than the actual posts.
Agree with that. I often just read the comments. The link is just a discussion topic.
+1 This is the main reason for me to visit hacker news often.
The commentary here is just invaluable. 10 minutes reading the comments here is worth a hundred mass media news stories.
But it has also shown me a wider world, of smart people that have for various reasons interpreted reality to come to wildly different conclusions. This leads me to question my assumptions, and seek the reasons these other people have come to espouse their beliefs. Sometimes I am persuaded, other times there remains a deep gulf of experience or ideology, but in any case, it is instructive.
Additionally, there are some members here that are incredibly informative and I love the historical, under-the-covers insight they provide.
I personally never lose an argument - I'm either right or I'm wrong and learn something from it. (the reality is that there are snippets of truth embedded in most of my wrongness which is what kept me there to begin with).
To add to your point, I feel that the conservative views on this website are also generally intelligent and thoughtful, even though I mostly disagree with them.
But it seems to me that the zeitgeist here has drifted more towards the "liberal" camp over the past few years.
It's particularly a big deal for me because I also moved from Russia to the US as a result, which is something I always wanted to do.
And even in those few domains where I might possibly be an expert, I occasionally get turned around by HN commenters or the stories they submit. That keeps me growing.
I'm deeply grateful for the quality of the HN community and to HN for maintaining it.
In a sense it provided too much information as I started to develop mental models for how the business should be working, and started to measure us by the information I learned from this community. We managed to grow pretty rapidly, then like many startups went out of business all of a sudden. But the long perspective HN gave me made me not feel as bad about it as I might have.
Instead I took what I learned, became a hard negotiator, and with the skillset I learned from crashing a startup into the sea excelled at my next megacorp job, then my next startup job, and now sit in a great position for a medium sized R&D firm. HN provided the context and perspective that really enabled it all and for that I'm forever thankful.
These days I mainly use it to keep on top of the shifting sands of tech trends and find that just by reading HN every day for 20-30 minutes I can usually keep up or a bit ahead of my technical staff in a fairly broad swath of areas. Which is nice because I don't really have the time these days to do it all myself.
Also. HN is a phenomenal user experience on Mobile Web (Android/Chrome). Superlative readability. Lowest possible bandwith to informational value ratio. And a never-ending well of mental stimulation and ethical provocation.
But in amongst the many things I've read about that are essentially wasting time, there have been some interesting tech too.
I never felt like I belonged anywhere before I found HN. I don't post much, but I love reading all the different opinions in the comments. I don't know anywhere else where there is (largely) civilized debate about such a wide range of fascinating topics.
Paul Graham set excellent example early on. Upward mobility from curious, resourceful, and already successful people deciding to help one another.
Not to mention the quality of posts and resources I have learned about from reading comments. My reading list will last me until retirement.
The other thing HN has given me is a large time sink. I spend far too much time reading comments here.
After that point, I began to work at funded, solvent mid sized firms for the past few years with increasingly higher amounts of salary and responsibility. It's now more than a couple years later, and although I've still got complaints with my current job situation, I've built up the skills to find a new job that will make me happier, the perspective to appreciate the journey I've been on in my past few, and savings to buffet some changes. At some point, I'm sure I'm going to try and take a side project full-time, but in the meantime, I'm pretty content making my career changes at my own pace, with my own agency, and with gradual results I'm happy with.
HN has provided a great forum to allow me to break through the reality distortion fields so common on the job (especially at startups) and make sane, levelheaded decisions. Lots of folks here have made the journey from student to engineer to founder, and I hope to one day join them! I'm beyond excited for when the right time comes for me to begin the next phase of my journey bootstrapping a lifestyle venture. It's one of the main things that keeps me going during shitty days at work, honestly.
Seriously, internet without Hacker News would suck. The community, administration, and ranking of the articles are just great to keep up to date with the tech field.
In that time - when android was young - I made a little app for generating passwords. I put it in the play store as an purchasable app without any marketing what so ever. It got no downloads so I stated that in another HN thread and some HN stranger bought the app and gave it a 5-star review, just to help me out! That made me really happy and grateful, I won't forget that, thank you, HN folks!
* TLA+, now one of my main extracurricular technical interests
* The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, kicking off a tour of philosophy that seemed like simple intellectual exploration until I needed it most
* Conflict-free replicated datatypes. I loved their mathematical purity, noticed the CRDT Wikipedia article was a stub, decided to write it, and so got back into editing Wikipedia.
These plus countless other things I don't recall, some of which permanently joined my amalgamated pool of knowledge and influence me in ways I don't even know.
It just finally struck me, however, that one of the most significant changes in my recent life and one that has made me feel the most fulfilled can be traced back to reading a post on HN. In 2016 I read an something on here about a new conpletely free software university in San Francisco called 42. A few months later I was in SF learning/teaching myself to code in C alongside some of the most brilliant people I've ever met.
If you'd have asked two weeks ago, HN, I'd have told you I was developing a mobile app in React Native for a quirky company in Prague. If you ask today, I'm unemployed and working on a website to showcase my skills. Either way, I'm miles from where I started and never would have been here had it not been for that post.
Thank you HackerNews.
HN is not perfect, but I am incredibly grateful for everything it has given me. Like so many here, I couldn’t have done it without Hacker News :)
To this day, the advice I give anyone who wants to get into technology or starting a company is to read everything on HN for 3 months and to look up all the things you don’t understand.
Someone got in touch about books for children and I got some nice recommendations.
Someone else got in touch about some work they're doing around mental ill health. It was fascinating, and it gave me some ideas that I wanted to shamelessly steal.
I've got an appreciation of the difficulties of building for the modern web, with competing demands from unclueful bosses / clients, vs visitors and users. I still don't quite understand why text can't just be text, or why mobile browsers have such terrible defaults for plain HTML pages.
I've got a bunch of useful links and I've learnt a lot.
I've managed to smooth out some of the rough edges, I think.
Fast forward 5 years of time wasted by a young adult and Bitcoin becomes a missed opportunity (I know, still wasn't, but how could anyone know for sure?) meanwhile Rails hype plateaued here on HN.
Anyway, now anytime there's heavy mention of anything, I do my fair share of due diligence and have been a lot more successful because of it. Thanks HN!
Apart from the learning related to startups/tech, reading the views of all the smart people here on a variety of other topics has made me a better person. It has also given me insights on different cultures & people from different backgrounds.
A big thanks to everyone who contributes here. Your words/submissions silently might be having a great positive impact in some corner of the world. Please keep sharing your knowledge & experience.
p.s. Also met my Co-Founder through HN when he did a 'Show HN' for Resumonk!
In the many years since, Hacker News gave me the motivation to improve both my writing and my technical skills, and gave me confidence in my work.
Found about Google App Engine on Hacker News. Ended up learning Python & Django so I could deploy apps on App Engine.
A couple years later, ended up doing (rather high profile) a couple of projects for Google itself.
Have been putting bread on the table as a Python dev since then.
Hacker News literally shaped my career, in a very very good way.
* besides pretty much the first five pages I hit every morning.
* a positive feeling towards the future because even though I may not understand every link on here, there are people that do. People that devote all of their time toward one thing small or big and that is a cool feeling knowing that people can make a living and follow their passion. If that's a startup that their only goal is to cash out and drive fast cars or their goal is to eat ramen every night and contribute to those less fortunate people. ALL OVER THE WORLD.
* a place to keep up with all the new things in my domain. Stuff I would never hear about on other sites.
* a broader sense of news. I know a lot of people don't like that not "hacker" articles get posted here, but I personally love it. I can't stand hitting much of the current news sites anymore and I enjoy seeing stuff pop up on here occasionally.
I also appreciate the discussions, though there are slacks that I'm on that have deeper, more focused discussions.
It's also a great way for me to record links that I find interesting, even if they get only one or two votes. (I also auto tweet all my HN links, so it serves double duty.)
Finally, I appreciate both the range of the populace (in terms of viewpoint and expertise) and at the same time the lack of fragmentation (as contrasted with the other main internet forum I monitor, reddit).
It has given me knowledge about interesting topics in the tech world. This has made talking to interesting people a lot easier.
This is a little more personal, but it has given me hope of having a better life in the future.
For me, when IRL it's incredibly hard to find, this has been a much needed boon to my overall view of the world at large :)
Also like that it is still a pretty civil and respectful community - I know it is hard to ride that fine balance between censorship and freedom of expression, and I think the mods here do a good job under trying circumstances.
This is vague, but I love this community. I expect that in the future we will accomplish amazing things together.
But it gave me a good, if sad, insight about crowd behavior. Write something that people want to hear and you get upvotes regardless on how true or insightful it is.
Write something people don't want to hear and you get downvotes.
I mostly agree.
I come here for the links, and HN does deliver some quality links each day. I've lowered my expectations for discussion to "mediocre subreddit."
The last great place to go was Stack Overflow but it, too, is now overrun by redditors and other amateurs and I no longer help out there even though I'm in the upper three percent. There is one forum I still go to but the past year has shown an erosion there as it has become popular among the non-elite tech group.
There are some mailing lists which are exclusive but sparsely visited unfortunately. Same with IRC. So its better to be good at Googling and gleaning fact over fiction, not finding a good forum.
The same is true of "news". There is no good source for news anymore and you have to do your own vetting, something news editors used to do but no more.
Beyond learning a hell of a lot, the most cherished thing was probably finding out about microcorruption. That feels like one of the biggest accomplishments of my life, I finished pretty early on, and it was fun!
- Insight to plan 1 year sabbatical (financially and technically)
- Shipped a 3D game from ground up in that sabbatical, learn 3D graphics was the objective of that
- Got a scientific developer job as a result of that game, part of which was to contribute to OSS Libraries
- Now working as a freelance 3D graphics engineer
- Introduced me to Lisp which I have used ever since to learn hard topics
- Wrote a 3D asset kit for iOS, which is open source.
NONE of the above would have been possible at all without HN (and PG's) essays. Thanks a million!!!
The HN community is such a big part of my life that when I had a heart attack a few years ago, one of the first things I did when I got to the recovery room was post to HN. Of the people I wanted to talk to in that moment, a bunch of strangers, most of whom I'll never meet IRL, were near the top of the list (to be fair, I did call my mom, my dad, and a few close friends first!)
I've also gotten a handful of emails from people commenting on or discussing comments I've left here. Those are always appreciated.
Also, as others have mentioned, I would say that PG's essays have been very influential to me. The famous "How To Not Die" one is one of my favorites.
As such, I let "nobody needs X" and "everyone should use Y" and "why does Z even exist" comments slide off me, except in the cases where I can genuinely help someone expand their horizons.
On the dark side it does give me shiny object syndrome - wanting to read up and know about a lot of things, and some inferior feelings as I see super successful people here, however I am moving on and being happy just to be a guy who enjoys coding, earning money for the family etc.
HN is bustling with domain experts and very smart people, lots of experience, just the best kind of guys to rub shoulders with.
You mean aside from the education, and the aquaduct, and the wine, and keeping the peace. Oh, and the roads go without saying.
I remember that to me the solution was remote work.
I dreamed of it and coming from Italy it seemed like an impossible request.
I had this idea that even though our job might be good/great, our life isn't defined by our job. I still think this today.
Our life is what we do after our job.
Friends, family, travels.
In one comment a guy discussed the benefits he gained moving from the 9-5 job, to a part time job.
I thought about it for a couple of months and decided to give it a go with my boss.
It went well, and even though I'd love to have the flexibility of remotework right now I'm really happy about this choice.
To me nothing is comparable to being able to spend more time with the people you love.
Side effect of it: some other coworkers started evaluating part-time job as a possibility to increase their quality of life, which is amazing :)
Fun fact here was our first post on it: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2718354
Change the trajectory of my life for sure.
Unexpected but priceless. Thanks HN.
- Major: Patrick McKenzie
- Minors: Non-factual knowledge, just a deep understanding of what is to be expected when managing a business, good and bad patterns, dozens of failure reports from other startups, why seed money isn’t necessarily a good thing and the mere existence of bootstrapping, HN gave me an intuition that is hard to describe but lead me to success.
- And with HN I have a better source of news than IT journalism, which is often 1 step behind, has their own interpretation and doesn’t have multiple points of view like the comment section on HN.
I spent 2 years reading before my first comment, because I didn’t feel legitimate commenting before creating my own startup. Now I’m a CEO ;) Thank you HN.
Honestly, it's the coolest and most fun job I've had to date and I couldn't be more happy with where I'm at.
I got it all because I was browsing HN while eating some food. :)
But HN has given me a mostly nerd/geek/hacker/science/generally curious person focused news site that is simple and straightforward and doesn't try to track me or otherwise infringe on my privacy.
It has also given me comment sections that are generally full of thoughtful and intelligent comments, some of which I vehemently disagree with, but they are intelligent nonetheless. This is a marked contrast to the comments on Slashdot, where political rants and virulent racism/sexism/general assholishness seems to be the norm now.
So thanks everyone, for being civil and respectful.
Though I do wish people would lighten up. You can't hardly post a joking comment without the downvotes pouring in. Yeah, we don't want this to be a meme palace, but it's ok to kid around every once in a while.
I was also heavy in Python in 2006 and there was lots of Python focused content. Proggit, reddit/r/programming was also big at the time and had a similar feel.
Back in 2007 it made me go get my masters in software engineering because the level of intellect seems more focused here, didn't need it but wanted some challenges. I also finally jumped to game development which was my goal to take on more challenges.
Ultimately HN is a time sink that pays off as a motivator. It is closer to the old proggit than the rest of the web. I also love Paul Graham's essays.
But the thing it really stuck with me is inspiration: the endurance and obstacles you must overcome to create a new product. The original post on Dropbox had a lot of naysayers: on how the problem is already solved, that you have to install something, that is seems that is a solution looking for a problem, etc.
At the beginning of 2015 I was waiting three weeks for GoDaddy to verify my company for an EV HTTPS cert. I spent 6 weeks coding a very minimal version of https://certsimple.com - it launched on the front page of HN on March 16th https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9210908, got it's first customers on that same day and has become my fulltime career for the last 3 years.
I’m genuinely curious.
As for requiring comments for downvoted, search the archives if you’re really interested in more discussion, but those that aren’t interested in leaving comments are just going to leave junk comments if required, and then there would be endless litigation as to what constitutes a valid reason.
As the guidelines request, just don’t comment about downvotes. If you’re really worried about it, take some time to review the guidelines and look at the behavior of other comments that are downvoted. Speculate to yourself why they might have been downvoted. Improve your own comments taking that into account. But in general, I suggest just not worrying too much about it.
As you say, we all have our favorite languages (all of which have flaws). Mine are currently Elixir and Elm. However, neither of those are perfect and those imperfections can sometimes hinder me. Since, for me, the point of HN is knowledge, it is unhelpful when a critical comment is downvoted, even though it contains good information that would help me in choosing the best language for my project, based entirely on team-sport emotions.
I'm sorry this got long; however, I also wanted to clarify, from my side, your point about the mention of language in an Ask HN post. I did not criticize any language. I was answering someone else's question, and simply used the criticism of popular languages as an example. Yes, you could argue that their question itself was off-topic, but since the point of HN, at least for me, is knowledge, I did what I could to answer it. I'm not remotely concerned about karma points, as you can probably tell from the age of my account vs. my low karma score. I'm on "the spectrum" and tend to rub people the wrong way all the time. I'm used to it and I don't expect to be treated any differently here. My only criticism is that many of the downvotes are emotional and unhelpful, and HN should do what it can to eliminate worthless downvotes the same way it tries to eliminate worthless comments.
Point out that a clever solution is not that useful or applicable and you get a lot of downvotes.
I wish I could have a comment ranking system not based on sheer popularity.
I have exactly the opposite impression, that this is one of the easiest ways to get cheap upvotes. So much so that we have to moderate to prevent such subthreads from choking out others.
Through that I contacted the author, we became friends, hung out at the IOI, and eventually he referred me to Shopify, where I've worked for the last 4.5 years. Because of that I also lived in Canada for 3.5 years. Quite a ride.
As far as my career goes, it has given me a wealth of perspective on the different tools people are using to solve their problems.
It's also linked me to all kinds of interesting tech I would otherwise have missed, which in turn, indirectly, helped me get a new job last year. I probably never would have bothered learning Vue.js if there wasn't such a buzz around it on here, and I got a job out of it.
Lastly, HN has made me nervous of using the word 'electron' in a sentence
- I commented with feedback on a random product posted here several years ago, and got an internship from them out of it
- I met a few other high schoolers with similar interests, and was added to a group called 'HS Hackers' that spawned the subsequent 'Hackathon Hackers' group, from which I was referred to some defining internships, met a co-founder, and met some of the more valuable people I know
I am grateful.
On the other hand, remember the saying: "Aim for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll end up among the stars."
I keep consoling myself that it's not just about having the most stat points in a single skill. There are projects which can only be accomplished by jacks-of-all-trades, or people who are knowledgeable about several domains. But it requires good self-knowledge. For example, if you have an analytical mind, like animals, have a sense of aesthetics, and patience, you can excel at Origami.
If it were, I would be unemployable :)
Lots of interesting discussions and learning materials just like this post here allow learning from great people and can sum up to have a great benefit on your life/career
In all seriousness now, it helped me become an amateur dev (1 app in Apple store, 2 more on the way) and opened my mind to design principles, color selection, and many more.
Plus it keeps my mind sharp with both interesting articles/posts but MORE important, with the dialogues/comments. Truly positive and intelectually stimulating.
Lots of high quality discussions here, with quite a range of experts. Where else can you find more than one lawyer who is also a compiler developer? World-class experts in small business, cryptography, breaking cryptography, old war stories, and lively discussion on many topics.
– inspired an idea for a future educational non-profit
– lots of insights, especially from non-tech articles I found here
I don't get that from reddit or people I know in real life.
I'm going to apply to YC S18. I didn't get in last year but I'm only 28 and I have worked on every area of my life over the last year and feel ready to try again.
This may sound strange, but sometimes i feel like an stupid idiot around here and i kinda like that, because i'm learning great new things. Sometimes i also act like an idiot, but i hope i can apologise for that. :)
People can speak in a civilized manner on the internet.
I have been very pleased with customer reviews when we used the service to custom voicemail greetings per caller for a call center app, where the client was losing too many tickets to SPAM filters, before we could move them to a new SMTP server. And afterwards, too.
It also gave me new parameters for procrastination. LOL
2) The opportunity to read to insightful comments rather than always being sucked into flame wars. It’s not always the case but it’s more pro-constructive feedback and commentary than reddit, forums etc...
I learned a lot by just reading through conversations here and in many other threads over the time. HN is helping me become better version of myself.
Thank you to each one of you!
I discovered attrs here, which really has been very useful.
Honestly, many individual sessions of delving into HN end up feeling like a waste of time. However, there are enough indications of triggered thoughts derived from HN posts/comments in my day-to-day to suggest that it's quite valuable in the aggregate, over a sufficiently lengthy period of observation.
It's also quite useful at times to comment on posts (particularly technical ones). I find that helps me refine my own thoughts and become a more discerning developer and industry strategist through feedback.
Edit: And it's a great place to find tech related news I care about. :)
I always feel somewhat nostalgic the rare times, like today, when I'm reminded of it.
Slashdot, Kuro5hin, LWN, all used to be sites I visited daily. Now only LWN is left.
Indirectly, I come back here usually everyday for the following reasons
- Experts debating on topics with each other provides useful insights on technology / industry trends, so I understand what things matter and what things do not.
- Keep up to date with new emerging technology / practices
- Some interesting project ideas that I star on github to revisit later
- Show how little I know when I read an article and have no idea what its talking about. Also, it helps expand my technical vocabulary
A feeling of elite-ness as not one other person i know (jobs, family or patrons) have ever heard of HN. It's my exclusive ivy-league braggard self worth identity
Like minded nerds? No. I disagree. :)
Good reading list
Made me aware of silicon valley and startup when I was India, now I am here :)
I still think politics; especially US; appears too much. Some stories submitted are little more than hit pieces but fortunately flagging does help
Sorry, it was the only thing i could think of when I saw the question...
You've got to check out this new Hotmail thing.
But what do you want? It's a message board.
The bad things include FOMO, addiction to HN, anxiety, low self-confidence.
The key is balance.
Inspiration to pursue big problems.
Inspiration to always be learning.
Technically, a job, too.
a. Several years ago, I used to follow a handful of tech sites on a daily basis. When I discovered HN, I still used it to go straight to the articles/headlines that interested me, never looking at the discussions here. Later, I switched to looking at the discussions, and now the discussions are where I start at everyday, and it's only after checking out the discussion that I decide whether to visit the linked site or not.
b. I don't follow all the discussions here, and I do wonder how, with HN's primitive interface, people keep up with nested comments and replies. So I don't look at nested comments below two levels or so, and instead use the comment collapse button ([-]), which for some reason appears only on desktop browsers, to collapse comments and check the high level ones (this also means sometimes missing valuable comments that may be in the replies).
c. I also end up wasting a lot of time because of HN (yeah, I know about the profile options) and the links posted here.
d. On the negative side, there are some topics that I do avoid discussing here because even the most liberal minded/rational people have some limits (please don't ask me about this).
No, I didn't know why, given that "What has HN given you" just produced a list of angry-sounding complaints from you. And by rhetorical I meant, I wasn't asking a question to get an answer, like usual, but to make a point, to suggest something. I was just going by what you'd written. But it's nice to hear the positive side of your experience, not sure why you didn't write any of that initially.
People get up and downvoted all the time. Why would that discourage you? A person can't live life without being questioned. And I'd much rather be questioned by smart strangers (even if I disagree) than argue with significant others.
When people ask us about this we're happy to answer, and to take the penalty off if they commit to using HN as intended in the future. If we don't get that commitment, though, we don't take the penalty off, and we put it back on if they revert to their old ways. This is one of the software tools we use for preventing the signal/noise ratio from getting too low here.
I guess it's not happened to me.
Related question, how come sometimes comments can be downvoted or upvoted and sometimes they can only be upvoted, even though they aren't greyed? I thought it was whether I'd already contributed to the thread, then I thought it was a relative karma thing, but I see later it's neither of those things.
As a developer -contract or fulltime- for the last 30 years, you would think people would listen.
Your assertion is that it happens to you regularly. Have you considered that it's actually you, and maybe there is a way to express your opinion clearly without getting shadow banned?
> As a developer -contract or fulltime- for the last 30 years, you would think people would listen.
As an intelligent person, one would think you might learn how to adapt your methods of expression.
I also know of occasions where people actually asked for advice on what they are doing wrong and got genuinely helpful responses. Perhaps you could consider that.
Edit: To the people/person who downvoted - I don't care. I like HN, and I find the comments mostly valuable and the discussion mostly civil. After spending a lot of time on many forums over several decades I've come to the conclusion that this is mostly because of the strong moderation. If people are being shadow-banned here then there will be a reason underneath. They can complain as much as they like, but it's likely that if they don't change then the shadow-banning will continue. If they want to participate, and want not to be shadow-banned, then they need to change their behaviour, and seeking advice is often helpful.
So I stand by what I said, and in replying to the tone of the comment by Cytronex, I stand by how I've said it.
Since he was already shadow banned for this exact comment and it's his very first with this account I don't think it's on him.
One of us is mis-understanding things.
You seem to be saying that the account "Cytronex" is shadow-banned, but it isn't, so I'm not sure what you're saying. This comment has been downvoted, and that makes the comment display in a light grey, but that's not the same as shadow-banning.
Speaking from experience and experiments here.
HN has a lot of anti-spam and anti-troll software. It's possible that you saw some of its effects and drew an over-general conclusion.
You and anyone else are welcome to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about what's going on with your account. We're happy to answer questions, and to roll back bans or penalties when people give us reason to believe they will use the site as intended.
Even so, if anyone keeps getting shadow-banned then I'd expect that they'd learn how to make comments that don't get them shadow-banned. If they just keep banging against the moderation without changing their behaviour and without adapting to the community, maybe they really don't belong here.
<fx: shrug />
Finding it hard to care, given the comments I've seen.