Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Making the Glif: Rundown of an atom-based startup (economist.com)
42 points by benjaminfox on Oct 8, 2010 | hide | past | favorite | 12 comments

I'm confused by the title, what does this have to do with atoms, apart from the rather undistinguishing fact that its product and indeed its founders are made from them?

I think it's jargon to distinguish the Glif's niche from the usual 'startup' fair (software development, etc.)

Yep. Consider January's Wired magazine feature titled In the Next Industrial Revolution, Atoms are the new Bits."


Now I'm getting tired of those cliches e.g "X is the new Y" and the like. Where can I get some journalism that doesn't fall for this?

Fall for what? The temptation to express ideas using common memes? Good luck finding any publication where no writer ever gets lazy and uses cliched forms of expression. (Also, if you're looking for really engineer-friendly technical writing, Wired is probably not the place to turn.)

That's unfortunate, because I assumed it was something nano-related, which sounded much more exciting than... uhh, rubber iPhone covers or whatever this is.

I'm fairly sure this refers to the use of 3D printing to refine the design, and even prototypes to temporarily give to people who donated $50 before the final production has run. It's not so clearly defined in the article, but I believe that the two points it tries to make are that without

1- 3D printing, (production with "atoms") and

2- social fundraising

such business are unlikely be as easy to start. They would require access to substantially more funds and manufacturing equipment.

Edit: They try to tie the social fundraising in to the "atoms" theme by referencing electrons, but it falls a bit flat.

Not hard to get: atoms are smaller than nano which is smaller than startups.

I kicked in $20 when the link first hit DaringFireball. It was $5k at the time. By the end of the day it hit $30k. Now that it has $70k I'm ecstatic. But at the same time sad.

I think equally cool is this project to start the first avocado farm in Iran: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/943051402/irans-first-av...

It's far, far, far from its $10k goal. Is the problem that people care more about a plastic dongle versus avocados? Or that marketing at the end of the is the difference maker in making differences in the world?

The avocado farm needs people interested in giving away money to help other people.

The dongle people only need people interested in buying something that they benefit from.

Our avacados usually come from Isreal. Perhaps why there's so much tension in the region.

reminds me of MoviePeg (which does not have an iPhone 4 version available yet, but they do have an iPad version): http://www.movie-peg.com/

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact