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Ask HN: What has HN given you?
1095 points by jxub 33 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 570 comments
I wonder what opportunities, interesting insights, or otherwise has this community given to you. Thanks for the answers!

Nearly 5 years ago, a few months after being rejected from YC and a few weeks from being essentially bankrupt (my daughter had an unexpected surgery while we had only catastrophic health insurance), my brother and I posted a Show HN about Webflow (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5407499). It was our last-ditch attempt to show a proof-of-concept to the world before going back to our old bosses to ask for our jobs back.

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!

Nearly 5 years ago, a few months after being rejected from YC for the first time, I came across your Show HN and started using Webflow to build a mockup of my product's sign-up page (I did not know how to code at that time).

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!

As an angel investor solely focused on Y Combinator with more than 100 startups under portfolio, my observation indicates being rejected by YC can be equally inspiring as being admitted, because over the time, I found out some startups may survive and then thrive better if they are not admitted by Y Combinator. Therefore, I feel great that Y Athletics has been a $1m profitable business without YC or any other angel investor like Zillionize!

There are some really amazing stories in this thread about how HN helped launch some really great products. And such a variety of innovation. Really the only thing I can find in common is that their websites allow you to enter a discount code. I can only assume these benevolent entrepreneurs pass out these codes to give a little back to loyal customers, or maybe even a small community who helped spotlight their company. Anyway, I'm just thinking out loud ;)

Try “HN” in the next 24 hours ;)

nice to see yathletics here :) I'm a customer.

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.

> We don't solve problems, but we create some amazing products that people want.

Sure sounds like you're solving someone's problem ;)

Thanks for sharing this, Sam!

The crazy thing here for me is that YC rejected you as a business with $1M in revenue. I think any business with $1M in revenue has tremendous potential.

It’s not that crazy. YC wants businesses with the potential for billions in revenue. If your ceiling seems like it might be millions or tens of millions, you don’t meet their criteria.

Sorry if you've answered this elsewhere before, but what's with the logo? It almost looks like an exact copy of Y Combinator. Was that the case when you were applying?

The only resemblance is that both are a "Y". It's not the same font and it's not the same colors.

Yeah our logo has not changed since inception but it’s not a copy of YC or anyone else. Take a closer look here - http://bit.ly/2obM60y (first image is our logo)

A similar story with me and AppCodes.

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 :)

I love Webflow! It perfectly fills a niche between Weebly / Wix and raw HTML / CSS / JS.

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.

As somebody trying to figure out what Webflow was. This description makes a lot of sense to me.

Couldn't upvote this enough, for folks who are lucky to get those fat checks from investors with just a POC or even a business plan, never understand the pain and pressure of making it without that.. good that you hanged in there till the last moment without breaking.

25k signups from just HN? That's a lot more than I expected. My startup was on HN frontpage for 22h last Friday and until now (3 days) it gave me ~9k unique visitors and ~1900 new signups. Since before I only had ~30 users the HN post was by far the best driver of signups so far. So I'm super happy and have been working a lot on it.

What we posted got shared in various other places (Designer News, Twitter, Reddit, etc), which might we why it was higher. But Hacker News was definitely the catalyst of it all.

Hi, I just signed up for your website and everything looks really good but on your design dashboard I am getting your browser is currently not supported.

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!

On the other hand, the homepage looks great in Firefox with NoScript enabled. It's nice to be able read about what a product does without enabling a bunch of scripts first. It seems a lot of sites these days make their landing pages using SPA frameworks.

It’s rendered on the server with React + Apollo + GraphQL, just like all the other Webflow-powered websites out there! ;)

Came to (mildly) complain about lack of the FF support also, five years later. ;-)

Thanks! And sorry for the FF snag - we’re working on supporting Firefox later this year!

From the thousands of links we click on HN, Webflow is actually one of the few I can remember without even visiting the website again ;-)

That's an awesome story. Congrats!

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.?

Yeah, the first year even after YC funding was very tough. Long story short: sold a car, borrowed a ton on those credit card write-yourself-a-check 2% balance transfer deals (thankfully had good credit to be able to do that), and withdrew early from an IRA (those penalties hurt!) - wouldn’t recommend :)

I'm delighted to hear that after taking on all that risk and "doubling down" by believing in yourself(ves), that you're doing great now. Totally inspirational success story!

Ah. Understood. It can be a tough call: Am I being persistent and believing in my team/self/product or am I just being stubborn and not reading the signs? There's always a certain insanity to starting a business in the first place, hence is it any less sane to continue?!

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!)

Nice man congrats! You're livin' the dream :)

Just started using Webflow a week ago - it's amazing! Thank you for a great product!

What does YC stand for?

You might want to check the URL of the page you're on :)

“Y Combinator”, which is the name of the company that runs this website.


It gave me a job, a company, and a sense of purpose. In 2012 I did a Show HN for GitLab.com https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4428278 Today we are 1800 contributors and a company of 220 on a mission to ensure that everyone can contribute.

You have definitely constructed a great piece of software. GitLab has been a godsend for development workflows at our organization, and I’ve been watching it since that same Show HN so congratulations! That’s a very inspiring example.

We did that. Thanks for using GitLab!

I interviewed with Gitlab for a business development position. I enjoyed writing the pre-screen essay questions, but received no feedback. The recruiter yawned through the interview and then provided no feedback as to why I was denied.

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

Thanks for your comment. We get over 1000 applications a month and we want to make sure everyone has a good experience. I'm sorry to hear yours wasn't. I've asked the peopleops function to comment. We monitor what score people that applied give us, it has improved from a low 3 to a 4.3 out of 5 in January.

@anoncoward111 Thank you for your comment, we always appreciate feedback. If you reached back for further feedback, kindly keep in mind, in this instance, we work with the BDR Hiring team, before proceeding, as we have an exceptionally strong pipeline of candidates for this role and it takes a little longer than usual to reach back. @sytse comment below is spot on in terms of how we measure during each interview. You are welcome to email us directly at jobs@gitlab.com, to get the recruiting team's attention, so we can reach back with further feedback right away.

No worries! I appreciate you writing to me and do not wish to cause any trouble or problems in the system.

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.


Great reply, thank you!!

You only got ~60 upvotes?

Interesting, I always thought the number of upvotes for a Show HN post correlates to its future success.

Dropbox had about 60 if I remember right (109 now) - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8863.

Wow, those comments are awesome.

"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."

This is such a classy HN comment. "For 0.01% of the population, this is trivial to do by X, which is extremely complicated, and does not work at all, and evidently even the commenter himself had never done that"

It should be noted that HN in 2008 was a lot different than it is now.

Nah. Just the other day there was a big thread on how easy it is to run your own VPN on AWS and why should one ever pay for a glorified web proxy? :facepalm:

it's a weird metric.

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.

My gut says low number of upvotes are probably indicative of a "thing people don't know they need" opportunity.

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 believe 60 upvotes at the time is probably equal to >150 upvotes today.

Yeah, I felt it was pretty good at the time. BTW my comment here has 110 upvotes, many more people on HN then in 2012.

Upvote inflation, interesting!

Somebody should mine the data and calculate year-over-year inflation rate, we have a mini economy on our hands! :)

20 upvotes got me on the front page one time. It was the most views I've ever had on my blog. It got me a job interview! Nothing came of it, but still a wild ride.

I was once on the front page too, but sadly, no HS internship or job of any kind came out of it :(

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2120887 my estimate was 200% a long time ago

You wouldn't even need to mine it - https://github.com/HackerNews/API

Even easier: All Hacker News posts are ready to be analyzed in BigQuery.

- https://medium.com/@hoffa/hacker-news-on-bigquery-now-with-d...

Sorry, I meant analyze. I actually am writing a blog post right now on this (this thread was very inspiring). Should be up in a day or two at https://applecrazy.github.io/blog

Good luck downloading 16 million records...

Why? 16 million isn’t much, maybe 10 to 20 gigabyte if compressed.

I’ve seen IRC bouncers that have more messages stored for a single user (270 million, in fact).

You could do that with the Algolia API: https://github.com/minimaxir/get-all-hacker-news-submissions...

But as noted, BigQuery is more pragmatic.

I have a script running on aws right now.

We're evaluating Gitlab for use at my company and I'm really struck by the overall quality of the software. I've already started contributing to the codebase. Hope to contribute at least a few medium-sized features (currently working on web terminals for troubleshooting CI failures) over the next few weeks, and who knows, maybe more! Love getting back to Ruby after so many years, and Golang is interesting :)

I just switched our small company over to gitlab over the last couple weeks. So far the experience has been great. It seems like a really solid piece of software.

Yay! Thanks for using GitLab. Every month we're trying hard to make the installation, the performance, the security, and the interface better. Still a lot of work to do but we've come a long way from our beginnings being based on gitolite.

Thanks for the free private repos. Thats what sold me on moving from GitHub to Gitlab.

Also, I dont like GitHub's political posturing nonsense, so thats a major reason too.

I'm happy you did, GitLab is fantastic! I've been extremely impressed by GitLab CI and the install and update experience with Omnibus. Upgrading from 8.x to 10.x was smoother and went quicker than I imagined. Kudos to you and the team behind it!

I really enjoy GitLab and I've used it for five years now. I really like what GitLab is doing with the community version: free with all the features that makes sense for small to medium sized companies, or just a group of people.

Thank you for an awesome product! :)

Awesome, your comment means a lot to me. Deciding what functionality to open source is very hard and it is good to hear you like what we are doing.

But how is it going with the HN-dream - passive income? :)

Right now it is active income since I'm a full-time ceo.

Yes, I guess the most hard is to be successful and stay small.

gitlab is great, thank you for your amazing work

Gratz, man

A place to hang out (as it were) on the internet that is...

...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!

There’s a lot to be said for the “slim, fast-loading” bit! HN is my go-to “is my internet connection at all functional?” web page. And when T-Mobile cuts me off when I run over my data allotment each month, at least I can read the comments.

Even better for that purpose is neverssl.com. As the name implies, it’s http-only, so misconfigured WiFi portals will still intercept and load their captive login page.

I use example.com which is also guaranteed to not be https. If I'm asking someone else to type the URL in, it is easy to say "example.com" and know they can spell it correctly. It's also very light weight.

I use www.com because it's the shortest to type non-https site I know of.

Same here. HN is usually the site I go test my internet connection.

You should get their unlimited(30gb) plan. I've had it for the past year, it's been super good so far.

Throttling doesn't kick in until 50GB now (T-mobile One).

Hey that’s not bad. I’m on a grandfathered plan that saves me a few bucks a month, but I keep thinking about switching.

I believe you also get a Netflix subscription included, which saves you an additional $10/month if you're already out of pocket for said subscription. Check it out! Happy T-mobile customer for 18 years.

How I check my internet:

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.

Is it hard to remember that string every time?

asdlkfjhsdklfh, for example. I assume you are joking, the point is to enter a random string to see if google searches for it; as entering a fixed string takes longer.

My #1 reason, aside from the great number of quality and diverse stories that get posted:

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.

(Thanks all!)

And also with many people who I believe are experts in their field adding insightful comments on a particular topic, and from whom one can ask some clarification directly. This direct access in a wide range of domains is I think quite valuable and unique.

..full of people who's views differ from mine that I can have good arguments with.

> that I can have good arguments with

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.

I think this happens mostly because the site looks so boring on the outside to anyone but tech professionals and hobbyists and proper nerds. This discourages the majority of people who would otherwise bring immaturity to HN. Thankfully it's not yet had its Eternal September [1].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September

...has an anti-procrastination setting which is so unique in our current economy of attention-grabbing!

Well -- not totally ad free. There are the job postings for YC companies.

HN job postings, at least those on the first of the month, are open to anyone, not just YC companies.

Besides the Hiring thread, there are links to job postings of YC companies that appear like regular stories, e.g.: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16404959

As well as the launch posts for YC companies. Those are like the job ads in that they get a front-page placement. But unlike the job ads, they rise or fall based on voting after that.

Do you or does anyone know of any similar websites that are similar but slightly less-tech focused? I love it here but the coding articles / jobs can occasionally lose me.

1,5 years ago, i was suicidal (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13051611).

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!

Great to see you here again and particularly great to hear these news! I was already relieved to see your HN submission in May and now I see that was the time when the first public contributions after your AskHN appeared on the GH profile you used here (What I didn't see is that you already used reddit again only some 3 weeks later)

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[1] 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.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16403671

hi TAAndreas

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: tevlon84@gmail.com .

You did the right thing.Thank you!

I am glad that this story had a happy ending. Mine did not.

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 am sorry that this happened to you. I can imagine how traumatic that must have been. Have you considered talking to a lawyer to get damages and/or remove this incident from your records?

I do want to point out that tevlon was in Germany. That explains why the outcome was so different.

I talked to multiple attorneys. The jobs I am talking about involve security clearances and it does not seem like the true fact of the incident can be erased for such purposes.

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.

Well done. Just... well done. You should be very proud of what you did that day. Thank you.

I actually find this very unsettling as I was about to post a last ditch "advice or help" post with lots of potentially identifiable details required to relate the story (and would have had to ID myself to anyone helping anyway) and don't feel safe doing so now, because the police being called to my home would result in more problems for me and potentially total loss of agency. Even if I could avoid being taken in against my will and saddled with huge medical bills I would likely lose the last place I have to stay as it is on shaky ground as it is and the cops showing up here would be just the excuse they need to send me off.

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.

You could make a throwaway account. It's legit to do that when there's sensitive information in a post, and many people have reached out to the community that way when in a hard spot. tevlon didn't do it that way, which is fine too of course, but you could.

I appreciate the input dang (your username always makes me chuckle in a good way), but I have said enough already on HN it would be trivial to connect the dots. I need to think about how to proceed. I probably shouldn't have said anything and in the end the OP is better off so that's a win, things seem to poke me a little harder than they probably should anymore and I know my perspective is not some universal truth.

Ok. If there's anything we can do to help, let us know at hn@ycombinator.com.

You're a good person dang...thanks.

If I can help in any way feel free to mail me.

I'm sorry both to hear you're facing this kind of problems and that you now seem to have lost a way to deal with it.

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.

Sorry if I made you feel bad. I just feel very uncomfortable with the massive invasion of privacy and submission of all the OP's details to the police (which is a record that can hurt him later) and I don't know how to personally reconcile that with his being ok with the outcome. I fully admit I view this through my own clouded lens. I can understand how someone outside would think it's the "right" thing to do but I have seen it cause harm many times as well and selfishly perhaps fear it doing so in my case as well. Some people intervene out of pure goodwill, some do so to feel special or good and it's entirely about them, some do to cause strife. Sometimes the result is positive, although I would argue in the OP's case if a "scare" is all it took his situation wasn't that dire. Again perhaps that's too myopic and self centered since mine and many others I see are in dire states, and I am judging or jealous or someone who could "fix" things. I am truly glad for him and anyone else who can survive. I just can't help but twitch at the worry of sinking more.

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.

I agree. It is very unsettling to hear that a stranger "stalked the st out of you" and i would prefer direct help.

> 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 wish you all the luck and hope I didn't belittle your situation. I am glad you had the opportunity to turn it around. I am also envious and was surely reacting partially because of that and the frustration of my own life. I have had close friends who were able to dig out of various kinds of holes and the universal truth was they had access to various options...social systems, family, were physically healthy and had the option to change environments etc. Not everyone has the same available paths to recover and I often, maybe unfairly, get frustrated with people imagining it's like that and if "that guy can do it so can you so why aren't you doing it?" and they just refuse to see the confirmation bias.

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.

I don't know exactly what your situation is and I don't want to make assumptions. I understand you lost your job, because of your long-term illness and you feel like you can't have your dreams fulfilled. I can imagine how hopeless and depressed that must make you feel.

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.

What is it that you need? Maybe there is a chance somebody here can help. This is a support network too, although it can be very weak.

Truthfully about everything. Health problems caused money and relationship/family/people problems caused everything else problems and I have reached a point where hope isn't even something I can fool myself with anymore. I have a draft of a post I wanted to make outlining things and will try to clean it up in the next days.

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.

What a story! Though I am not depressed, I find myself extremely frustrated with a performance-obsessed society at the moment. I go to one of the most prestigious schools in my country. That should feel like an accomplishment, but I am now surrounded by people "better" than me. It's inspiring, but it also demolishes your ego, from time to time.

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 feel you man. I was a student at the swiss federal institute of technology (ETH Zürich). I was fine 2 years ago. Had a nice swiss girlfriend but my mind was obsessed with becoming a prestigious scientist.

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 ;)

I’ve found that my sense of „hierarchy“ is too strong when I start idolizing people. If you concentrate on the aspects where all humans are the same (eg mortality, human needs, driven by chaos/destiny/god/... etc), you can gain a sense that all people are worth the same, and you are among them. You no longer need or want to climb the hierarchy ladder, because there is no hierarchy, only the illusion of one.

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.

Seems like me. I am studying in Tokyo, Japan. The pressure is so high as I am surrounded by highly-intelligent and hard-working people around me. The machine learning research for Master's degree here is somewhat equivalent to PhD level in my home country (I am from Southeast Asia)

I'm not your stranger, but your history made my day. I'm happy to hear that you are alive and kicking again.

(Warning: halfway through writing the thing below it accidentally morphed into a "big picture" rant, sorry about that)

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[1], since (mis)communication is one of the most important factors in building trust, which is the foundation of collaboration[2]. We will need to figure out how to cope with these changes, both individually and as a society. This is why initiatives like Buurtzorg[3][4] 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.

[0] https://www.additudemag.com/rejection-sensitive-dysphoria-ho...

[1] https://www.ted.com/talks/clay_shirky_how_the_internet_will_...

[2] http://ncase.me/trust/

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSoWtXvqsgg

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buurtzorg_Nederland

What happened to bioinformatics?

I finished my master and left the field. If you want to have a career in bioinformatics, there is no way you can get a good position without a PhD. I realized that a PhD is not the best option for me at that time.

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/)

That is completely awesome, and a great choice. Speaking as someone who's not having had the easiest time lately, it's fantastic to see the positive outcome. All the best going forward.

Thank you, for your kind words! I like the positivity there. Wish you all the best, too!

did you attend therapy? and did it help? It might sound like a stupid and a lazy question, but what happens in therapy?

I have to say. I didn't. So here is the rest of the story:

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.

They didn't have an appointment in 2 months for someone who is suicidal? What a joke...

I found out about Y Combinator through HN in 2007. The big thing I learned from PG's essays and the links on HN were that I could start a company myself, and that there were lots of smart people like me who had done it and were going to do it. It gave me the confidence to quit and start working on something.

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.

This is inspiring thanks for sharing

What's does a "designer in residence" do? Is that a 9-to-5 job?

I've been through a lot of web communities. HN is easily the most intellectual, respectful, and diverse. The simple reason is that we like to be here!

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.

I would not say diverse though. This community is hugely biased towards an american, transhumanist point of view. There's an "european" minority who does not seems as egocentric (and libertarian maybe ?) as the majority, which is a bit reassuring.

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.

> This community is hugely biased towards an american, transhumanist point of view.

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 :).

What do you understand by "american, transhumanist" point of view?

And I am a european, though I don't see libertarian views beeing the majority at all ... rather the contrary ..

American as in use your car because public transportation is for poor people anyways (and who cares about ecology nowadays when everything will be resolved with technology ? -at least according to some people here, see second point-), be fat and sick. I really have the impression that people are not so healthy overall, I mean of course there's a bias as you don't speak to talk about your fine shape, but still.

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.

I've felt the trans-humanist vibe historically but to be honest lately I've felt things swinging the other way (towards more pragmatic humanism).

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.

I already did.

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 :)

Interesting.. yeah I don't have an eye out like you do so I didn't quite understand how you were getting the sense that more Americans are less healthy (which I don't disagree with) just from HN comments.

This says it quite well.

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.

I'm very curious as to whether there are any other communities on the web that are as generally "high quality" as HN (bonus points if those communities are tech-focused or tech-adjacent). Anybody got any links?

To date HN has the highest (consistent) quality of any online community I've encountered

https://www.metafilter.com/ - it's been going for almost 20 years. Not really tech per se, but is tech/liberal/academic leaning.

Just a note, you have to pay a one time fee of $5 to comment on metafilter.

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.

lobster.rs[0] is pretty good for tech (specifially software development) topics.

[0]: https://lobste.rs/

My first impression:

"Deldo is a sex toy control and teledildonics mode for Emacs"

It is pretty good though. Never got an invite and din’t know how to. :( Seems like a very closed group.

I'd say Quora is rather good as well.

Nowhere near as high quality as it used to be though. I stopped my email digest there a year ago.

Yeah I agree with this. I've tried to use Quora before (about 2 years ago) but couldn't get my signal/noise ratio nearly as good as I wanted it to be

It was very good in the beginning. Now it is mostly people trying to show off any way they can. And it attracted too many ... well, let's call them ordinary mainstream people.

Completely agree. To add to that, HN also makes me feel inadequate, but in a good way. That in return "forces" me to always improve and strive for the better especially in my career.

I remember when I first joined that I really liked how people who disagree here do not downvote but rather challenge you through a comment. It was a nice change from reddit...

But times have changed and people love to downvote here these days.

I think hacker news does an ok job at mitigating this by not allowing you to downvote until you reach a certain amount of karma.

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.

Honest question: how do you know? There doesn't seem to be any public voting data available. Is this just an impression you have?

> HN is easily the most intellectual, respectful, and diverse.

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.

Well I agree fully with his point, when it's weighted against the rest of the internet, it's spot on. :)

For me the coolest thing about HN is the breadth of experts here for any (even niche) tech field. This allows for in depth understanding of new products (when someone who actually worked on the team making it is here) or calling out conspiracy theories about why some company shut down some product (because they have inside knowledge and can actually explain the reasoning).

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.

A few of my favourites:

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) pizlonator (Webkit/JSC)

I made a web app just so I could subscribe and read all their comments via RSS: http://hnblogs.thume.ca/

I would add Radim (Gensim, Data Science)

I was pretty excited when he responded to my comment one time

Hadley Wickham (R & beautiful API's for data stuff) once replied to my comment about buying a dead tree copy of his book and recommended the HTML version.

Interesting you have jblow on there, as I just was watching his programming stream on twitch yesterday and he said he doesn't really come to HN much anymore. His reasoning was basically that he wanted a place where programmers were working on harder things (basically CRUD web devs).

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.

Agreed. The wide spread of experts who come out and give first hand accounts of the event/product being discussed adds a tremendous amount of value to the discussion on the site.

Discussion on this site is by no means perfect but it is miles ahead of the alternatives out there.

Coupled with the occasional burn of people who don't realise they're talking with the actual developer/person behind the product

I put my name in a co-founder wish-list doc from HN [1] in 2010.

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!

[1] https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Sygd1fhGYRS-ZvRP0IVV...

Great to learn about this. Thanks for mentioning!

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?

I was amazed by how many great people have reached out, I was not expecting that at the time. I think part of it was due to the fact that list was relatively small and time relevant. I think that monthly spreadsheet published in “Who is looking for a co founder” thread will be very useful, especially to folks who have limited access to usual networking events (for example I was in Russia in a city with very small startup scene).

Saved a life.

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.

Sounds familiar. Thank you Daniel, for all you've done.

In case anybody is wondering about what this refers to:


I learned about Bitcoin here when it was just a whitepaper, but didn't recognize the opportunity then.

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.

Tell me about it. I remember when it was single digit dollars, and it was a curiosity, but it didn't hold my interest.

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.

I looked at bitcoin very early, when it was pitched as digital currency free from the problems of fiat money. My impression was that the proponents did not understand currency and that bitcoin would make a terrible currency.

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.

Most people I know invested in still talk about it as a currency. We talk transaction rates and all that, but they are still convinced it is the "money of the future." So I think a lot still luck out. There are clear market manipulations. But that's why I still stay out. I do not see it as a missed opportunity.

Maybe I'm project the experience of people close to me and my own, but it helps to not feel left out that we have jobs in somewhat valued careers with somewhat guaranteed future employment.

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 definitely see this correlation too. But I equate it to "I should have played on the craps table, tons of people just won." The part that bothers me is that people consider those that played that table as smart. And those that didn't play the table as dumb. Hindsight is 20/20 and there are still clear reasons to be wary of cryptocurrencies.

I take issue with the term 'invest' being used here. When somebody invests in something, they expect returns to come in the form of dividends, interest, or something of the sort. When somebody buys something because they expect to sell it later at a higher price, they aren't investing, they're speculating

> When somebody buys something because they expect to sell it later at a higher price

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.

Sounds like your views on transaction rates are about a month out of date now

Oh, sorry, is the pool not growing? Has crypto gotten to thousands of transactions per second? Because last I was aware they haven't even broken 20 transactions per second and the mempool is still growing.

It is going to take a hard fork to fix this.

> I've learned a valuable lesson. I'm far too risk averse to invest in something like 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 remember reading about meltdown and spectre here first, and thinking “huh, I should short intel stock before this goes public.”

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.

There really has not been a long-term drop in the stock so that would have been (and still would be) very risky. You were smart not doing it.

Yes, shorting a stock is not a long term investment tactic, and it is risky. "Smart" is, in my opinion, too subjective a term to use in this particular situation. I was too risk averse at the time to take action, and part of my risk aversion was based on my lack of trust in the foresight of HN articles.

I think there's still a lot of uncertainty in this, given that Intel can benefit from everyone replacing their broken processors with new ones.

My experience as well - Bitcoin was still in single digits when HN made me stumble over it. Many ycombinator applications and projects later I launched a Bitcoin related company and couldn't be happier. The first HN discussion I saw was the one where someone had asked how he could store data and make sure it's still readable 40 years later... the answers where so smart, funny, detailed and out of this world it got me hooked. Thanks HN &a community.

Which story?

HN, for me, is all about the comments.

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.

I too find the comments to be the greatest part of HN. I used to use Slashdot for the same reason.

You're missing out. Most of the interesting comments are shadowbanned.

Reddit is much better for open discussion. 10x better.

I'd much prefer HN's scarce supply of armchair commentary to reddit's endless supply of quickly triggered "meme" comments.

The strict moderation is a feature for me.

I just wish I could choose to see what was removed, somehow.

Do you feel that'd impede on your experience, that being possible? Genuine question.

In your profile, there is a choice called "showdead". If you set that to yes, you see those comments.

Shadowbanned is not the same as downvoted/dead, unless I've missed something.

It's the same. If you turn on 'showdead' you see all comments by banned users as well as comments killed by software, user flags, or (more rarely) moderators.

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.

which subreddits? I haven't found this to be the case, but perhaps I'm looking in the wrong places.

It indirectly funded my work on a personal project - Neovim - for nearly two years.

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.

Thank you for your work! Neovim was really the first tool that got me hooked on the CLI.

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.

Thank you!

I'm a very happy Neovim user, what could I do to become a very happy Neovim contributor as well?

Best thing about HN are the quality of posts and the comments. No politics, mainly focused around technology and intellectually challenging posts. It gives you idea of technology trends, and how others are handling challenges similar to yours - something equivalent of going to a conference, but without going to a conference. Some of the comments here are even better than the article and when you combine both, you get a complete perspective. You learn not only technology but how to lead people, how to(and not to) run a company based on what/how you absorb from HN. It's the quality of comments that makes it better than any such site/forum out there. I still remember a comment - which was almost equivalent to a dozen books, around why some people are successful - something to the effect that it is not that we lack information, or lack access to information but the fact that our mind is so full of input that we don't act on what we already know we need to do. Very few other places, I've found such thought provoking comments.

That sounds like a very interesting comment that I'd like to read. Would you happen to still have the link to it?

sorry. I don't have that link.. the main post was either about usefulness of internet or about secret behind most successful people in tech - not sure which one precisely.

Any idea about how far back it was?

It got me into programming. One day I was trying to VPN into my workplace, and I started experiencing network connectivity problems which were very rare. I went on FB and asked if anyone else was experiencing connectivity problems. A friend of mine who was a developer linked me to a post on HN where the service degradations were being discussed.

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.

What are the challenges in bio like compared to tech industry interms of innovatation, opportunity, or otherwise? I'm considering transition in that direction.

Are you going from bio into tech or tech into bio? Also what exactly are you interested in doing? Both of those domains are very broad.

From tech to bio. Primarily diving into the processes involved with DNA, RNA, and proteins (i.e. following CRISPR hype).

If you're interested in dealing with the wet lab side of these processes, the biggest immediate challenges will be amassing the underlying domain knowledge and credentials. Unlike in tech, industry labs care a lot about formal credentials, and it will be hard to find a real research position without at least a masters or PhD in the field. Ignoring credentialing, the biggest challenge is that you're trying to develop products in a space where the systems you're working in are not fully understood yet. This means that there is a lot more underlying uncertainty in everything you work on. You're also entering a highly regulated space if you're talking about therapeutics, which impacts development processes, timelines, and costs. There is a ton of room for innovation in the space and CRISPR is hot new tech, but expect everything to move substantially slower than in tech.

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.

That would be great. My understanding is very shallow, last bio class was in high school. But I'd be applying for admission in ~September or self learning on the side. My email is my username at gmail.

HN is the nearest thing to a tech community you can have if you live in a place where there is no much IT scene. This site allowed me during half of my career to have somebody interested in the things I care, to talk, exchange ideas, and read very smart things from random nicknames that often I wish I could know in person.

Thanks a lot for Redis!!!

Silly, but some self assurance. I'm mostly anonymous here, so my job history / pedigree doesn't weigh into anything.

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.

For me, its the other way around: I think I'm ok with my job history/pedigree, and when I check HN, it feels like I'm the dumbest person in my area. It seems like I'm not even trying.

I probably should have considered that perspective. To be clear, I often feel behind on my current state vs HN comments. Was mentioning that, for certain topics, I felt like a big contributor. I don't expect to always be on top, but (very) occasionally feeling like a thought leader here was encouraging.

Great observation, and appreciate it.

I absolutely relate to this. But hey, knowing that there are other engineers out there feeling the same thing when they read HN makes me feel better. So, thanks.

I feel the opposite, but I am in a different position.

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.

It was a kind of fuel while I worked at a grocery store trying to build some software that I thought would be game changing (it was a new kind of text editor that would break documents into interactive 'tiles' around grammatical boundaries[0]). Eventually it was on the front page here and I got tons of feedback, most of it good; and while I wasn't fortunate enough to get funding or anything, it's been a big part of why I've been able to get some pretty good/interesting work.

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.

[0] http://symbolflux.com/projects/tiledtext

I also poured over HN while working dead end retail for 3 years. It quite literally sent me into the mental health system.

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.

Got me a job at Facebook. I posted a weekend project while at school in 2011 ( https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2478751 ) and someone at Facebook reached out to me to interview there :)

HN got me into dancing.

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!

"an introduction to impro theater interspersed with a lot of personal stories" seems like a technically accurate but misleading description of the book to me. I struggle to capture the essence of the book, but I'd add that it shows a lot of insight into creativity, relationships, and the human condition.

You are right, and it is indeed quite hard to describe this book. It is less monolithic, more like a collection of short stories each offering unique insight into a topic.

Here is one of my favorite stories from the book: https://books.google.de/books?id=j0n2DAAAQBAJ&pg=PT15&dq=%22...

Found the thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5570013

The "unknown HN user" is bambax

You made me look back and I think it was gruseom from the thread Surprisingly undervalued books



Hah, wow, now I can thank you in person! Thanks to your well written comment I read the book, learned to move and dance, fell in love, got amazing friends, went skinny dipping with beautiful dancers in the summer, got heartbroken, learned to accept change, and started developing objects that behave and choreograph the user through their behavior.

And all for the want of a nail..

Thank you!

You're welcome. It's delightful that you did all that with it.

What order did all that shit happen in, exactly?

Y'know. For a friend.

It was just as much about loss as it was about the good things. Go write your own story!

Few things pull a genuine smile from me. Peace and prosperity, my friend.

Oh, ok. I guess there are a lot of "favorite book" threads.

What a coincidence. I just started reading and bookmarked the archive.io of Impro yesterday after seeing used copies on Amazon starting at $25. I'm assuming it's out of print?


The 2007 reprint is available in Europe for around 12 Euro, and libgen.io has an old edition as pdf.

I joined this year and I am still intimidated that I might say something trivial or stupid. Just trying to get a depth of this community. Programming/ML related posts are always fun to read here.

HN gave The Tao of tmux a lot of valuable feedback, as well as readers.

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/

About 6 years ago, I posted an article I wrote about my experience on the app store[1] and somebody (now a good friend of mine) reached out and asked why I wasn't living in silicon valley. Long story short[2] I ended up moving to San Francisco less than a month later and I've been here ever since. That was unexpected.

[1] - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2705440 [2] - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4424592

In 2016, I came across a Show HN for a laptop powered by your Android phone (called Andromium at the time, now Sentio). I thought the idea was amazing, went over to their office, met one of the founders, and the other soon after. They gave me a shot working for them in a partnerhips / growth role, even when I hadn't had any experience doing that kind of work before, but had a strong desire to learn. Can't express how grateful I am to have met that bunch and worked with them for almost a year. So much learning. Lifelong friendships. And I was able to see from up close the challenges of delivering a hardware + software product from both engineering and a distribution standpoints. Definitely influenced my current path. I’m working on a product now that I’m excited to ShowHN in a few weeks.

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.

Thank you.

Unfortunately, I only found out about HN a couple of years back in 2016. I had been looking for such a community for an incredibly long time and somehow I used to always wonder how some of my colleagues knew what was the latest in the tech scene.

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 :)

I get to feel very stupid, but in a comforting, always learning way. I have a PhD in HPC and HN always humbles me with the depth of knowledge contained by the community.

It motivated me to make stupid github projects for Internet points. A couple of them got voted to the front page and one even got flagged killed.






I second your pronunciation tracking site. There are often trivial syllable mispronunciations endorsed by a community that if surfaced to the attention make significant improvement in speech clarity. What is more interesting than the not-obvious mistakes(that you cited as examples) is that there is a repetition(pattern) of pronunciation mistakes specific to a group(or all non-natives).

For instance: http://ijleal.ump.edu.my/images/volume4/IJLEAL004.SHAK_et_al...

I would like to make this work.

Given the prestige and usefullness of English in many countires, an app that teaches pronunciations seems to me a good idea

That's pretty neat!

That being critical doesn't mean necessarily being mean.

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.

Very much this. I am pretty passionate, but I've learned more about civil discourse on hn than just about anywhere else, mostly because of dang. At first I really resisted the non-user approved positivity rule change, but it's forced me to reevaluate how I approach disagreements online in general. (Even in irc)

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.

Actually I started being less mean on my criticism because I thought that everyone would welcome the criticism with open arms when I was naive. Instead, now I try to complement people first or point out the good parts and highlight the bad.

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.

Probably the best advice I've gotten on here is from reading 'patio11 and 'tptacek posts on how to bill for consulting work. I don't have a particular comment as they've written it many times over, but it's really changed the game for me.

Do you have links to any of these posts handy?

There are lots with good advice (worth searching site:news.ycombinator.com tptacek/patio11 billing/consulting/etc), but the main thing is to stop billing hourly, here's one: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1880096

One of the few places that still makes me go wow. 80% of the time I'll only read the comments for the insights, love the general positivity and sense of wonder that the community brings to a wide range of topics that I would be unlikely to come across otherwise. Thank you all!

Beyond learning a lot of stuff that I don't think I would of been introduced to and/or thought about looking for, it has given me 8.5 years of my favorite side-project to date with http://hackernewsletter.com. With it I've met a ton of folks and the best company to work for that I could of asked for.

Just signed up! Thanks for making cool things

Thanks for subscribing! Would love to hear what you think about it after a couple issues.

Now that HN has their own weekly newsletter, how does yours compare?

As _dang_ mentioned, not sure which one you're referring to? That said, it is doing well and keeps growing. Hit 55k total subscribers this month.

https://blog.ycombinator.com/category/newsletter/ http://ycombinator.us7.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=6507bf4e...

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.

I think that newsletter is for the blogpost, not for HN threads and comments summary like in http://hackernewsletter.com/.

What newsletter do you have in mind? There's no official one.

Great question. So far.. links to so many interesting websites, books, papers, blogs—mostly linked to in comments and in AskHN. (And then, maybe even more, the sources mentioned in turn by all those.) Way too many really. Already I'm thinking of having a break from here for a while to actually read all those books (have read some..e.g. just the other day got Crucial Conversations thanks to a mention on here, started reading it with my housemate, it's going to transform our lives—at home and work, everywhere—for sure, and already has helped) and to concentrate solely on what I'm doing, rather than the endless stream of fascinating leads on here to new stuff. But I've got more in a few months on here than I would in many years elsewhere. It's fascinating reading the comments too, usually—typically far more than the linked articles. Thanks so much.

any great books in particular that you would suggest of those you've read already?

Oh that's hard to answer, sorry! - I didn't keep a record of which things I got from here or elsewhere, or from mentions in the stuff I learnt about here. Or from searching topics I learnt about on here. And I was checking out everything I could get from "best programming/mathematics books" lists online for a couple of years before coming here regularly. Youtube videos too - e.g. Matt Might's "Winning the War on Error: Solving Halting Problem, Curing Cancer" and Rich Hickey's talks were..elevating; Julia Evans, Doug Crockford I probably heard about on here. I googled quite a few AskHN lists of fav books, books that changed your life, books you wished you'd read earlier, books you wished your co-workers had read etc and looked at anything that sounded interesting. Sorry I can't be more specific. Well, what is great depends on the reader too. Good luck!

Impostor syndrome. jk

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.

Not entirely false though. I do miss coding (actually playing with the computer) as I did in the 90s, alone and without comparing to anyone else, or thinking something was already done and my efforts were futile..

> 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.

> Plus, the comments are often even more insightful than the actual posts.

+1 This is the main reason for me to visit hacker news often.

When I see tech stories or headlines in mass media that seem important I always jump on over to HN to see what's really up.

The commentary here is just invaluable. 10 minutes reading the comments here is worth a hundred mass media news stories.

Lots and lots of wasted hours arguing with people on the internet.

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 don't think "smart people" actually do too much "arguing on the Internet". You reach a point where it's "debate" and over time, those arguing from opposite extremes will tend to move towards the middle ground.

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).

I like HN because despite the liberal bias (IMO) responses to my conservative views are often decently thought out. Of course I get the down-votes too, but it helps me maintain my martyr complex. Best of both worlds.

Out of curiosity, have you found anywhere on the internet that is both tech-focused and does not have a liberal bias? I'm sure you could find places that lean libertarian, but I don't know of anywhere that I would consider traditionally conservative

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.

In years past, I frequently found that techie oriented sites tended to lean libertarian (or "classical liberal") more than "liberal" (in the modern sense). In the early days of HN there was a much more markedly libertarian bias here (IMO). Hardly surprising though, given that at one time there was such a close association between tech and libertarian thought that people coined the term Technolibertarianism[1].

But it seems to me that the zeitgeist here has drifted more towards the "liberal" camp over the past few years.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technolibertarianism

Yes, the uncommondescent blog is heavily conservative, and science and tech focused. But, in general there is a correlation between tech and liberal or libertarian. But this is because that crowd tends to eschew the time consuming obligations that accompany a lived out traditional conservative viewpoint, which would prohibit one from heavy online participation.

I don't think it's about time constraints, there is plenty of conservatism elsewhere on the internet. Possibly it might be age related.

There are the Breitbart and Fox News message boards, but that's mostly an older crowd with much time on their hands. The 20-30 conservative crowd is probably busy raising families and being involved with their communities.

Presumably the 20-30 liberal crowd is also busy raising families and being involved with their communities.

Gave me a great job that I took 4 years ago after posting in "Who wants to be hired?"[0].

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.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7970405

I'll dodge specificity and just say I value HN for commentary by thoughtful people who contribute information and opinions on matters that interest me, but for which I have less than expert chops. This covers a wide range of topics.

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.

About 8 or 9 years ago I was coming out of megacorpland into a software startup where I was hired as a principal, payed mostly in options etc. I was terrified and really had no idea what I was doing. I accidentally happened upon HN one day and ended up lurking for something like 4 years -- the information content was so compelling. Not even just the tech news feed, but the comments were a treasure trove that provided so much context and guidance that I needed to help understand what exactly it was that I was trying to do.

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.

The YC seed accelerator model remains the most effective blueprint for generating startups from ideas. Pay heed to the lessons contained herein. And the keys to the kingdom will lie well within your grasp ;)

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.

Generally, "highest possible value/bandwidth ratio" would better connote a positive intent. Agreed on both points!

Contributed to my internet / procrastination addiction.

But in amongst the many things I've read about that are essentially wasting time, there have been some interesting tech too.

HN kinda saved my life. I have lurked since about 2015. In that time, I have learned so much, which has been a big confidence booster.

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.

We posted our product, Manypixels (https://www.manypixels.co) there last week (I wrote an article on how we scaled it to $15k in MRR). The article got on the first page of HN and got us about 50 new subscribers ($10k in revenue)

I rather not try to dig up the best specific opportunity or lesson learned from my nine years here. HN promotes the positive and entrepreneurial mindset necessary to have an impact on the world, however small that impact might be.

Paul Graham set excellent example early on. Upward mobility from curious, resourceful, and already successful people deciding to help one another.

I would not have gone, been invited, or had the opportunity to attend Startup School 2010. I would have not met Alexis, Chris from Reddit [0], briefly meet Paul Graham [1], nor met Dr. Chrono (YC W11) founding team (Hi Katelyn, Michael, and Daniel!).

Not to mention the quality of posts and resources I have learned about from reading comments. My reading list will last me until retirement.

[0] http://chriskaukis.github.io/Alexis_Ohanian_and_Christopher_...

[1] http://chriskaukis.github.io/Paul_Graham.jpg

I first learned about Go here. It inspired me to learn more about the language. Myself and two others worked to get it adopted at work, where it has become the main language there, which makes my daily life much more pleasant.

The other thing HN has given me is a large time sink. I spend far too much time reading comments here.

Lots of pros and cons, but those mostly reflect on myself. Coming out of college in '11, I had spent the past few years of my degree on HN constantly, very eager to work for a startup. Ended up working for a couple ones which went belly up pretty quickly, and quickly learned some life skills flavored cynicism. Tried my hand at cofounding a startup, got screwed over by my cofounder right as we were about to close our $1M seed, went into a spiral of depression. Realized that I was not the first or last person this happened to, and found the strength to ask for help, lawyer up, find a new job, etc. At that point, I was still only a year and a half out of college.

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.

Everything. Got my current job by helping someone on HN, got the motivation to go abroad by reading HN, inspired weekly by HN articles and comments.

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.

It changed my life. I found edw519's free ebook and after reading it, I jumped out of bed and learned Python. He wrote that you don't need a university degree to be a programmer. I believed that and I will be a senior developer soon. Never been happier in my entire life, really!

A few years ago a colleague of mine showed me HN. It was like a new world was opened to me. That may sound exaggerated, but it really felt great to always read about top stories and innovative project here first.

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!

Your phrase "it was like a new world was opened to me" really took me back. Before "the orange website" cynicism, before disillusionment with technology, before deciding startups were a tool to exploit engineers. I remembered finding HN in university - this weird non-web-2.0 website - and learning there was so, so much more to know outside of the narrow computer science curriculum. Things I first heard about on HN include:

* 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.

I've spent the past hour reading through just some of the unbelievable stories in this thread, the whole time thinking, or maybe hoping, that someday this community would somehow benefit me in such a meaningful way as well.

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.

I have been reading HN regularly for 10 years. It has taught me everything I needed to know to get started. I applied to YC 4 times, got rejected 3 times, crashed one startup and ultimately found my current cofounder through the YC community.

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.

While I don't have any direct benefits to enlist, I'm sure there are multiple indirect benefits. I come here, when I am lost without knowing what to do. I'm one of those who reads the comments first and then the articles. So HN acts as a 2 layer curation filter. I came across Andrew Ng's course here on HN and that was an eye-opener, changed my career trajectory. I've learned a lot about parenting, entrepreneurship and startups. I don't live in Silicon Valley, so for an outsider, HN is a good window into SV as well.

Freshdesk/Freshworks (Series F, $149M Total) CEO, Girish Mathrubhutham, has penned down a memoir of how a comment on HN has enabled him start his startup journey.


I got a few Amazon gift cards after some of my comments. That's always amazing, and surprising. (And if someone created a cryptocurrency tipping browser plugin for HN (that I can use on Firefox) I'd probably tip people small amounts here and there.)

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.

I was really tempted to just post my bitcoin address here .... :p :D

I joined in college and HN has always been a leading indicator of technology for me. At first I was a lurker and around 2009 all I saw were articles on Rails and Bitcoin.

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!

I must say that the HN community has cranked my career trajectory up a notch. Like many commenters here have said, this remains one of the healthier and more intellectual online communities out there. I've learned many more things here than I do during my day job, and it has continued to motivate me to do better every single day.

I started reading HN when it was called Startup News, and it has changed my life. I now live in a small village near the Himalayas, and run my startup called Resumonk (along with my Co-Founder). We both work remotely, pay ourselves well and have the freedom to live life completely on our terms. I'm now living my dream and HN played a huge role in it.

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!

When I joined Hacker News in 2012, it was after a lot of reservation, as I wasn't a uber-programmer with a CS degree and wasn't sure I could contribute properly to the community.

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.

This was around 7 years ago or so.

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.

absolutely nothing directly.


* 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 fixed the whitespace formatting on your post. Hope that's ok. Bullet lists are kind of hard to get right in HN markdown.)

Mostly for me it's a place to highlight interesting writing/content that I feel should be read more widely. It's really fun to find someone's heartwritten article, post it here, and, if it trends, have them mention it excitedly on Twitter. (That's happened a few times.)

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).

I did a show HN in 2017 for one of my GitHub projects. https://github.com/sukeesh/Jarvis I now have 900 stars, 47 contributors. More importantly, it taught me the open source!

It got me interested in building software. I am currently studying with Platzi, a Y Combinator Company that gave me a scholarship for a whole year to learn about programming, personal branding and startups.

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.

HackerNews gives me the freedom to say contrarian things without instantly being down-voted to hell. HackerNews also encourages me to be level-headed and polite. The mods here are mature and are relatively unbiased. I like this one intellectual feed over Reddit's many frivolous subreddits. Does the subreddit differentiation tend to attract low quality mods and users? Probably. But Idk.

If contrarian debate includes technical debate, I learned that I enjoy reading the counter arguments for programming solutions that I'd probably not learn about, if for any reason I am by experience or knowledge or style or ability, the longer in tooth or lesser as is inevitable in this Cambrian explosion of the web, if I'm going to instinctively assume that I would take another approach to the similar goal. Learning about the depth and even shallowness of the industry that touches large database installations has been most eye opening, in a good way, to this fifth decade enterprise maven. This, and comparing my experience with start-up in the early nineties, and generally the sheer variety of voices, keeps me returning

I'm fairly new here, but I've already fallen in love with the fact that there's all sorts of interesting discussions going on here, allowing you to find other's perspectives presented in a well written and respectful manner.

HN has taught me what great comments and writing look like, introduced me to cool and obscure tech, and shown me that everyone experiences imposter syndrome. I'm especially grateful for getting a push out of my comfort zone when I was job searching. I got an offer to do contract development work from a post on HN which lead to starting a business and being a full-time, remote developer. I've gotten several clients and job offers from blog posts that have received attention on here and people have always been helpful and respectful in the comments section especially in comparison to other sites.

Theres a lot of really intelligent people on here. To me, its often more interesting to read their insights and debates on an article than the article itself. HN always introduces me to new technologies and new ideas. I love it.

This is incredibly modest in comparison, but HN has given me a great understanding of just how smart people can be on any side of any issue, as well as a desire to try to contribute in some way to that dialogue.

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 :)

Made a "who's hiring" post a few years ago, looking for a presumably short-term contract worker. Met the co-founder of my next company. Win!

I like the smackdown when I'm out of line. Community here keeps you pretty intellectually honest. Thanks HN! :)

For me - Lots of learning. I live in an isolated area, and work from home alone, so there is a sense of community and sharing of knowledge that is valuable to me. I learn way more about new technology and directions in innovation on here than anywhere else on the internet. Signal to noise ratio is still pretty good.

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.

Hope <3

This is vague, but I love this community. I expect that in the future we will accomplish amazing things together.

Gave me the confidence to apply to a tech company and I got accepted, making a much better living now.

I posted something like "I'm a lonely founder, are there support groups?" And got hundreds of comments, and a scholarship to a support group! (Courtesy of Zenfounder)

Next to nothing. I scan for links and sometimes find one or two to my interest. I might scan the comments to see if the link is being revered or dissed before I visit. If I'm bored, I've made a few comments. Otherwise HN is nothing more than a link list to me.

Same here. The discussion rarely add something really useful to the topic compared to what you would find by skimming through a book, an article, or by doing your own investigation.

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 am proof of that today.

Oh come on. You keep coming back. If nothing else, HN gave you something intriguing.

He said what he gets from it- a list of links.

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."

What’s your version of what HN is to other people? In the way that people learn about new things, connect with others in various niches, etc—where do you go for that?

I don't have such a thing. Eventually they all turn into reddit, populated by kids and amateurs and unemployed wannabe programmers. So they are all for skimming only.

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.

It gave me a spectacular job (CTO of a 150-person YC company) and several job offers. I also hired quite a few engineers through HN. HN jobs (both the YC job postings and the monthly threads) really work! It's no exaggeration to say the site has shaped my life.

About $2800 I guess. I never would have known about Stellar otherwise.

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!

Through HN (and PG's) essays:

- 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!!!

- high quality information & comments (including famous people that I'd never meet in person or have a direct conversation/discussion) - passion for technology - probably the current job plus an once in a lifetime IPO experience - a lot more ;-)

A sense of anxiety and an increase to my imposter syndrome despite having very good personal skill set increases every year

HN has given me enough cynicism towards Silicon Valley culture to never want to live there, and an appreciation for some of its residents that comment here to believe that conditions can improve.

I'm a drop out from school. All my technical skill are through asking stackoverflow.com. Not until I found hacker news, I got the best tools to use, have a community that supports the site. And overall, I never end the day without opening it.

I found my first software engineering job through an HN hiring post by a YC company. It was at a time when my life and resume were... not great. But I could code, and that was enough for them. It was the only offer I got. I became a software engineer, moved to the bay area, and my life turned around. That company had its issues and I did not stay very long, but I would not be where I am today if it weren't for that post.

It's hard to nail it down to anything specific, but I've gained a sense of community from interactions here, and have learned a lot from other posters comments, and from the many awesome links that have been shared here.

The HN community is such a big part of my life that when I had a heart attack a few years ago[1], 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"[2] one is one of my favorites.

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8550315

[2]: http://www.paulgraham.com/die.html

I found my current job (since 2015) working 100% remote in the whoishiring thread, and I'm super grateful for that. Besides that, it's been my go-to source for tech and startup news and great (sometimes frustrating) discussions.

We shared news about our open protocol for resumable file uploads tus.io and on a few occasions this hit the front page. We haven’t done anything else to “market” it and so I’d say this was the single thing that gave it traction and turned it into a success. Vimeo rolled out support for it in production last week and we couldn’t be happier and more thankful towards HN as a platform to discuss our inventions

The insight that a great many programmers, probably including myself, consider their particular tiny tiny tiny subsection of the programming universe to actually be the most common case by a large margin.

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.

It's given me an eye on the tech world outside of my own country, and a sense of opinion on things outside of my immediate coworkers.

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.

Coming from an under-represented demographic in technology, Hackernews has really been my insight into the industry and helped me immensely with figuring out how to get into it. Reading this website has honestly made me a ton of money and steered my career. On the job, I think Hackernews also keeps me sane by stimulating continuous learning each and every day. I really like this little community.

I believe it was sometime in 2008/09 I attended the first meeting of the NYC HN Meetup in Madison Square Park (pretty sure the meetup is now dead). I met a lot of amazing people from the NYC tech scene that I still keep in touch with. We've helped each other start companies, find jobs, build things, and create lasting friendships outside of work / tech. I miss those days...

A job that I've had for years and 2 people that I hired via the "Who's Hiring?" threads. Beyond that, a sense of what smart techies are talkin' about via the headlines and some comments.

I've had tiny conversations with people like Alan Kay and Walter Bright here. Now, I'm a humanities undergrad living in Istanbul with a soft spot for programming and computers, so without something like HN, this sort of interactions were impossible.

HN is bustling with domain experts and very smart people, lots of experience, just the best kind of guys to rub shoulders with.

By studying posts, I inferred that a majority of AI research was conducted on Nvidia cards, due to software infrastructure, network effects, and switching costs. This stiffened my resolve to hold on to NVDA.

> What has HN given you?

You mean aside from the education, and the aquaduct, and the wine, and keeping the peace. Oh, and the roads go without saying.

Incidentally, thank you for asking, jxub. It must encourage the mods a lot to read stories like the ones I've read here, and being a forum moderator is ordinarily among the most thankless of tasks.

You're welcome ;)

Besides a wayy better facebook new feed (https://github.com/yczeng/hackernews-newsfeed). A feeling I'm not so alone in my pursuit of learning as much as humanly possible about the world of technology, startups, physics and everything in between

3 years ago I was reading HN, wondering what could be improved in my work. I felt a little bit of burnout but nothing that extreme, yet I wasn't satisfied.

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 :)

Learning about Ethereum when it was dirt cheap so I bought a bunch @ $20. Giving me confidence to quit my job and move to a new city without one (I now have the best job of my life).

We launched Intercom right here on HN and while I wouldn't say "the rest is history", I'm sure most folks here know the rest.

Fun fact here was our first post on it: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2718354

I met one of my cofounders via hacker news, and was accepted into Y Combinator shortly after thanks to this post on HN on new year's eve. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6993981

Change the trajectory of my life for sure.

Six years ago, I saw a job posting on HN—a YC farming startup was looking for a designer. I joined the two founders, moved to Michigan, and learned more about building companies, products, and teams than I ever imagined at the start. I also met a bunch of people who became like a family.

Unexpected but priceless. Thanks HN.

In 2011-2013, HN gave me the necessary understanding of business, enough that I confidently quit my employer and created my own online app. I call HN my « rogue MBA »:

- 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.

Gave me my current job at NuCypher (YC16). I'm doing some cryptographic engineering and building a decentralized KMS.

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. :)

HN gives me hopes about humanity every day; while the news give me dispair.

It's nothing majorly life-changing, like some of the other people in these comments (and I'm a bit late to the party).

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.

The opportunity to develop perspective and taste when it comes to programming languages, libraries, and paradigms. I read "Can programming be liberated from the von Neumann style?" for the first time because it gets posted to HN every couple of months (the mods should automate it at this point.) I've seen a steady drip of interesting discussions about and debates among proponents of lisps and statically typed functional languages -- and at the same time I witnessed the fall of Rails and the rise of one hot Javascript framework after another. If it weren't for HN, I'd still be blaming myself for not doing OO right, instead of coming to understand that OO is metaphor rather than science.

THE go-to place for technical news and reading material every day.

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.

My joking comments rarely ever downvoted.

I was so tempted to down-vote you!

I'd forgive you. You have to be willing to accept downvotes if you want to make a joke. The joke has to be worth it.

I learned about an opening at an awesome company that I spent ~2 years at. It was my first flat-ish org experience and I gained an amazing amount of insight into how that works, and after I left the challenges their processes/culture had evolved to address.

Everyday insights and knowledge from like minds, keeping up to date with new tech/languages/standards.

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.

I think it's awesome that hacker news doesn't ban people just for sharing their works. It's one of the few places where you can share a link for a solution that's relevant to the conversation/article at hand.

It has given me a lot of things through the years: lots of insight both on things I'm interested into as well as things I don't pay much attention to, quite a few interesting articles and entertainment.

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[1] 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.

1: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8863

A business, a fulfilling job and some really happy customers!

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.

(mostly) political news-free content, but I'm here mostly for the comments, 'Show HN' and 'Ask HN' posts.

I got my first paid internship through a Who's Hiring post almost four years ago (March 2014). I'm so happy that I was able to break into this industry, the financial stability and benefits have given me a new life.

Mainly, early exposure to a wide variety of languages, libraries, and even more obscure projects that I wouldn't have heard of, or not as early. Also, a somewhat wider vocabulary for talking about many aspects of software.

I got my first job out of college through HN at a YC startup. I am still in startups several years later and will be for a long time, hopefully. I am very grateful for the opportunities I've found and cultivated from it.

HN used to be a daily source of nourishment. But today it is a source of "informed bewilderment" like everything else on the web. Google the term. Understand it's consequences on you and the people around you.

This is going to get buried, but HN has given me a place where I feel at home. It's community has just the right mixture of pragmatic empiricists, tasteful dreamers, and unabashed nerds. Thanks y'all!

A deeper appreciation for groupthink.

Is this sarcasm? If not, can you elaborate why?

I’m genuinely curious.

HN is an echo chamber, to some extent. For example, try making valid criticisms against Go or JavaScript and you will be downvoted without explanation. I think HN would be better if it required an explanation in order to downvote something. At least then it would be clear to everyone reading whether the negativity was legitimate or not.

Many members find language wars boring. Most are already aware of strengths and weaknesses of various languages. People have language preferences (I know I do), and those vary from person to person. What’s more important is what you’re accomplishing. If you bring up criticism when it’s not the topic of conversation (for example, complaining about the use of JS on a Show HN), people may downvote because it’s off-topic.

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.

To clarify, I'm not talking about language wars. I'm talking about legitimate constructive criticism on threads about specific languages. My degree is in writing, and I cannot stress enough the importance of criticism in achieving one's highest quality work. Therefore, it seems to me, we would serve ourselves better by considering constructive criticism with an open mind, and working to make our languages better, than to up and down vote based on preferences and emotion. A downvote offered simply because someone said something about one's favorite language is no more intellectual or objective than a commenter who writes, "<whatever language> sucks!" Both should be scorned.

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.

Also make a pointless, positive statement about a popular technology and you get upvotes.

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.

> Point out that a clever solution is not that useful or applicable and you get a lot of downvotes

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.

See what I mean? Hehe. You asked. I answered, with a purposeful example to illustrate, and there’s the immediate downvote. Thanks for making my point, to whoever did.

HN is my main source of up to date news. The technical orientation and relative absence of mainstream "noise" is well aligned with my interests. For example I found out about Golang and Closure by reading HN.

On HN I saw this post: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4156478 (you can see my comment on it too https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4157074)

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.

HN is a watering hole for well intentioned smart people. I have learned a lot from the community and try to give back.

HN has given me confidence in my ideas. I've been able to take risks in my communication with peers and pitch ideas that without HN's upvotes I would have been too intimidated or insecure to share.

Met the co-writer of my book on Hacker News which changed my life! (Was a book on growth hacking that we first talked about on here) Http://secretsaucenow.com - the book Austen Allred - the man

An introduction to a community that just so happens to be centered around technology.

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.

An experience of a community that is respectful, mature and is one of the few places on the internet where I read the comments, and don't feel ashamed of humanity afterwards.

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

Besides daily inspiration, I am constantly challenged and exposed to new tools I can bring into my professional services business. Some outstanding clients have found me in an indirect way after I offered a couple of unemployed readers a free resume review (one of our business lines). I was able to help others while growing my business even though pure marketing is verboten. It's an invaluable community of generally upbeat do-ers and visionaries.

The first few thousand subscribers to my side project. And tons of great advice on how to improve it!

Occasionally interesting reading because I'm not a computer programmer or anything of the sort so I don't benefit from the tech job type of discussions or opportunities.

I read about the new Raspberry Pi Zero here first. And was able to buy it directly, to receive the first batch and had not to wait 2 months before the next batch was available.

I joined in high school, and several things came out of it:

- 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

A job, doing what I love, with conditions I never dreamed possible for someone with poor formal qualifications but an insatiable desire to learn and prove my value.

I am grateful.

Ask not what HN has given you, but what you have given HN

I cannot find a better source for bleeding edge/trends/tips in programming related and tech and just generally interesting articles. There just isn't any other place that's better. This is the last stop when you find it as far as I know. So it has given me a better sense of the world state of affairs as it relates to me, every day and then I make decisions accordingly.

A gigantic inferiority complex

I feel you. For any given subject there are 140 people who are an order of magnitude better/more skilled/smarter than you, and can make much better points in with less text.

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.

But here those 140 people will provide deeply insightful answers to your questions.

Fortunately, the crowd on HN is definitely not representative of the quality of software developers in the general population.

If it were, I would be unemployable :)

I know the feeling. But there may be an illusion in it. People are more likely to post on topics they know about, so the posts here tend to represent their high points. (There are plenty of low points as well, but when you're vulnerable to feeling inferior, those don't register.) If you only look at the high points of a large enough group, it's going to seem overwhelmingly superior.

Since I live in an area that isn't very plugged into the tech world at large, seeing blog posts aggregated on HN can clue me into some interesting technologies -- I started using grafana and prometheus for something at work and it ended up being the right choice that other coworkers would not have figured out. Without HN I probably wouldn't know much about these technologies.

most of our traffic and customers for our cryptocurrency trading stats dashboard and prediction engine https://bitbank.nz come from hacker news

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

"What have the Romans ever done for us?"

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.

It made me quit other social networks. I realised how much time I was waiting on FB and other networks without any added value to life.

Got my first security gig by reaching out to someone here on HN.

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.

– kickstarted my app: at least $12k after Show HN

– inspired an idea for a future educational non-profit

– lots of insights, especially from non-tech articles I found here

A sense of belonging with a group of people who are passionate about technology, science, design, entrepreneurship.

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.

Why I like HN: I get caught up to date on newest tech news, the community is the absolute best, and includes many people famous in tech history. It's not the echo chamber of SV but more libertarian. And people will debate you without namecalling, politics, or downvotes. It's like reddit for adults, and I pray it always remains that way.

I gradually found out that a lot of tech news starts right here at HN. Great responses as well. Very professional and very mature.

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. :)

The solace in knowing that true discourse need not be confined to real life situations!

People can speak in a civilized manner on the internet.

Well I get to read well thought out arguments against things I firmly believe in. Not just "your idea is stupid"

Daily distraction from work, :p. But at the same time, I learn something new - probably several somethings - every day; new technologies, expertises, etc. Not much I'd use in my day to day job, but it's enough for me to have a basic understanding of a broad range of subjects. Keeps me up to date, so to speak.

HN gave me a link to a Bitcoin-Article back in June 2016. Well, i got intruiged and gave it a chance. Thank You HN!

A reading list that I'll never be able to get through. Is there a service that turns reading lists to mp3s?

Which platform are you on? I use a droplet on the Macintosh built with Automator.

On the Mac there's already a service that will read texts and PDF's etc. You may have to install similar things on your UX or Windoze computer.

Do you not read faster than regular human speaking voice speed? (No shame if you do, just curious)

Not at all; the opposite, I think. As a new Silicon Valley resident, I spent 2 hours a day in a car and have really been enjoying Audible. A few years ago I found myself using Instapaper-to-Kindle. Now I need something-to-Audible. :/

Some people like to listen to things while driving.

You could save articles to Pocket, and then have it read it to you.

Azure's cognitive services, particularly because you can spend the free development dollars for a start:


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.

Aside from all the other stuff, my interactions here have led to some great "real life" friendships.

One of my comments got a job for someone else who I had never met. And it got me a nice referral bonus. :)

I haven't done anything amazing like a lot of these people, but I sure enjoy reading about them.

It showed me that there are other worlds beyond LAMP boundaries.

It also gave me new parameters for procrastination. LOL

HN is really a novel place because amatuer developers like me can interact with founders, 10x devs, and everyone in between without fear of mockery for the most part. The feedback is very often constructive. For the internet in 2018 that's a feat unto itself.

The idea that startups are not for the few with the richest connections but anyone with the will and drive.

Thanks HN!

Inspiration...? I am quite new, have been learning to program less than a year. And posts, comments on HN, even on this post itself gives me the confidence to believe that I too make awesome things if I work hard, something that I crucially lacked in my life until now.

One day less of available work time every month. That is until I discovered "noprocrast".

Despite being a new user have I used a bit of time in here. HN has given me another perspective. It has given me a perspective beyond the large companies like Google and Facebook. I'm blessed by all the small upcoming companies we see in here!

1) News of new and potentially disruptive products and ideas.

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...

The way each one of you are changing the world, and sense of intellect our community has is incredible.

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!

It's my version of the the silicon valley since I'm in another country. I love it

Submitted one of my first few article for my web dev blog, colintoh.com, many years back. It hit the front page and it really encourages me to write more until I didn't. Nowadays, the blog is used as both a personal dev resource and a resume.

Introduced me to CyberChef (https://github.com/gchq/CyberChef) which has since become the open source project I contribute to frequently.

A four month six figure consulting gig. Thanks HN.

A sense of community even while living far from the valley. Thanks HN, don’t ever change.

I have a more thorough pinboard.in collection.

I discovered attrs here, which really has been very useful.

Spending time on HN has allowed me to keep in touch with the pulse of the tech industry and the cutting edge in software.

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.

I created an account just to write a comment here. I've been a spectator for years - I read comments on this site at least once a day. So many great insights from smart people. I'm a big fan!

Two jobs that helped get me where I am now, plus knowledge and entertainment.

Honestly, not much. Mostly, it's reinforced my switch from programming.

from programming to what, if you don't mind me asking?

Yes, I’m curious what you switched to as well.

A place to discuss a technology related (generally) topics with mostly sane and rational people. It's a joy to post and communicate here.

Edit: And it's a great place to find tech related news I care about. :)

A place to go for intelligent discussion after Slashdot lost appeal (to me)

Slashdot is still limping along, but it hasn't been a site I've visited for many, many, years now.

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.

Access to an incredibly thoughtful bunch of minds which I doubt I could have had otherwise. Many new ideas and helpful advice. However, it also is also my number one excuse to procrastinate.

Hacker News reminds me that there are lots of people much smarter I am.

absolutely nothing directly

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

I extensively use HN to do http://www.netmba.com/strategy/swot/

I've used HN to hire 4 engineers (mostly junior or mid-level) at three different companies (one startup, two growth-phase) in two different states (Maine and Pennsylvania).

Lots of great articles to tweet about

A sense of dispair: still no idea which web framework to choose.

I know this is tongue and cheek but if anyone out there really feels this, there's two good directions to go: 1) Choose _any_ of your candidate frameworks and gogogo. 2) Choose something like golang and learn to bring-your-own-framework. Either way you'll come out _far_ ahead of where you'd be if you'd spent your time just evaluating.

Now I'm going to write a web framework in Go called "gogogo" just to really confuse future readers of your reply.

I would recommend Elixir on the backend and Elm on the front. Or better yet, fishing.

The joy of reading (comments)


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

HN has given me hopes and dreams about 10 years. I have not yet created any unicorn company. But I have quit my job and started doing software development as a freelancer.

HN has made me a much better writer. So thank you all for that!

All that time spent arguing with me wasn't wasted after all!

Fancy meeting you here. Was just thinking about you yesterday. Email inbound :)

Hearing about the latest tech just before my students mention them, so I at least vaguely know what they’re using to build their projects. This occurs uncannily often.

It introduced me to a friend who was a friend of a friend that I didn't even know who lived locally. As a result of that relationship this person met with me and introduced me to his partner, his partner happened to refer a 50k business deal. The butterfly effect ;) We didn't close the deal, but without HN I'd never even be able to swing. This friend I made through hacker news would also later speak at my meetup.

A community of like-minded nerds :)

> A community of like-minded nerds :)

Like minded nerds? No. I disagree[0]. :)

[0] https://xkcd.com/309/

Good point. How about: A community of (xkcd and non-xkcd reading) nerds and non-nerds? ;)

Knowledge and company for people building knowledge companies.

I learned what to learn. Reading comments gave me tips on how to improve my skills and experience. So thanks to all the nameless experts out there on HN!

A place to kill time while I debate what I want in life.

A daily reminder of how far the tech community has to go socially and morally, and hopefully a chance to help change that in a positive direction.

I've found mostly interesting things, very interesting things; and articles and readables to feed my thirst for knowledge.

Other than the ability to argue, nothing much, a time waste feeding into our need for affirmation, like most social networking.

Nice set of people to chat and comments are especially helpful.

Good reading list

Made me aware of silicon valley and startup when I was India, now I am here :)

a mostly politics free zone where interesting technical news and odd but also interesting subjects could be discussed as well as expanded upon by people who are good in the associated field.

I still think politics; especially US; appears too much. Some stories submitted are little more than hit pieces but fortunately flagging does help

News addiction. But also an insane awareness of the latest tech that I’ve leveraged at startups for the past decade.

A habit of checking HN every 20 minutes. :)

All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us?

Sorry, it was the only thing i could think of when I saw the question...

An online community where I almost always feel like the dumbest person in the thread, priceless

It has broadened my horizons immensely and enabled me to think differently about various problems

HN told me that the world is larger than I thought and that I don't know that much about it.

... also HN seems to have developed a peculiar ranking system - in fact any system of communication gets a ranking system. It seems that hierarchy is part of human nature, isn't it?

Discovered Dropbox here. Also have gotten many interviews via the monthly who's hiring posts.

> Discovered Dropbox here.

You've got to check out this new Hotmail thing.

An intellectual soil with respect to business, technology, history, economics, and sociology.

Some interesting links to click and discussions to read when I'm procrastinating.

By the way: Props to dang for making all this possible. HN is very lucky to have him.

Props to pg for making all this possible. But thank you.

A job. Applied to a position posted at the who’s Hiring and will be starting soon.

My entire career.

Found my current job through HN's "Who is Hiring" threads.

yeah I found my job through the "Who wants to be hired" thread

HN has given me a bigger disgust for tech than I thought I could ever have.

I’ve bought a lot of books and tech based on recommendations made here.

Nothing. And I've been here forever.

But what do you want? It's a message board.

It gave you resilience! 2007 account, wow.

Seeing an old account being downvoted for being unhappy is sad.

...and here come the downvotes to my comment. Good job HN.

It's because you're breaking the site guidelines. Could you please read them and not do that?


An echo chamber to bolster my own paranoia and disconnect from reality.

The good things include inspiration, ambition, talking to like minded people, discovering great tech content etc.

The bad things include FOMO, addiction to HN, anxiety, low self-confidence.

The key is balance.

- A sense of community - Knowledge - A little less boredom :)

The sinking feeling that everything is not going to be OK.

Some posts I saw here inspired me to start blogging myself


Inspiration to pursue big problems.

Inspiration to always be learning.

Hey guys, thank you all for sharing great stories but I stopped when someone said it made me start dancing ;).

a place to catch up on technologies, and to get a sense of where thinking in various industries are headed.

Found my job through who's hitting

*hiring? ;)

Lol, yup

New questions to answer, daily.

Technically, a job, too.

TL;DR — It's my daily dose. I come here for the variety of content and the discussions. I very much admire how some people here write and put forth their thoughts (the thoughts themselves are so valuable). I also like how this forum of probably hundreds of thousands of users is polite and maintained that way (wish I could do that elsewhere), and would love to pick the brains of the moderators sometime.


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).

Met a good friend through the site.

Changed my views on drug policies.

outstanding signal to noise ratio and insightful comments. I read HN every day

Open source connections!

25 karma and rising xD

Food for my curiosity.

Part of my link to the bay area without having to be there.

Surprisingly little comic relief. It's almost sad.

An audience.

Hah, just yesterday I have browsed your github again. It's my go-to resource for clear and beautiful C, Python and go code. And Craft is awesome!


2 jobs

It made me aware of Scala.

purpose, perspective & a penchant for tech in general.



skytorrents.in. Arguably life changing.

YES! I almost forgot about that, super valuable!

A bad habit.

Good advice.


internet addiction

A taste for n-gate

This is the real answer.


A small, dingy window into the world of dyspeptic 40+ y/o's. And a few good reads, here and there.


ever-deteriorating karma.

wow. you just had to do it...

Irritable bowel syndrome

I think I'm shadowbanned here, so I don't really have much to say.

I don't think you're shadowbanned here.

They were, but I unbanned them after seeing the comment and looking at the recent history. We garbage collect unnecessary bans that way, although it's sporadic and ad hoc.

Lectured at for over 2 years that I knew why I was rate limited. Got told for 2 years that I made “low quality” posts. It gave me a sense on injustice. You be the judge.

So then why on earth are you still on here?? (rhetorical question) Life's too short. Well, some people seem to just enjoy playing the wronged, misunderstood martyr, for whatever reason.

Not much of a rhetorical question, you seem to think you know why I'm here. It's because I personally find Hacker News is quite interesting and insightful. And I have contributions I can make, and the upvotes to most of them seem to show that others think so too.

Ok, so yet again you reply in a snarky, downvote-worthy tone. I guess you just don't realize you're doing it. Your first sentence just isn't a nice way to talk to people. It's got more of a YouTube vibe than HN.

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.

So you responded with a snarky comment starting with a rhetorical comment?

What's rate-limiting, being downvoted?

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 accounts post too many unsubstantive comments too quickly and/or get involved in flamewars, we sometimes penalize the account by rate limiting it, which means the software won't let it post as often. Actually it limits the account to posting no more than a certain % of all the posts appearing on the site.

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.


That's very interesting. Thanks for the explanation.

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.

Replies to you and comments that are older than 24 hours can't be downvoted.

Maybe the delay when you are allowed to reply to comments? I think this is a pretty good idea and certainly has managed to keep me from getting too carried in "heated" discussions.

Post flagged: Low Quality

HN gave me a hellbanned ID after my first half dozen or so comments. It's been reversed now but I have no idea why it happened in the first place or why it was revoked thereafter.

Nothing but grief. I post my opinion here, and I get shadow banned. Every-time.

As a developer -contract or fulltime- for the last 30 years, you would think people would listen.

> Nothing but grief. I post my opinion here, and I get shadow banned. Every-time.

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.

>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?

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.

> 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[0] has been downvoted, and that makes the comment display in a light grey, but that's not the same as shadow-banning.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16410628

You'll see that the next comment he makes will be automatically dead. New accounts get shadowbanned right away if any of their comments gets killed.

Speaking from experience and experiments here.

That account isn't banned, and what you said about new accounts definitely isn't true.

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 hn@ycombinator.com 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.

But s/he's made two comments, and neither has been killed. Both are heavily down-voted, but that's not the same.

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.

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