For those who are curious the product is browserless.io. Rev chart is here: https://www.indiehackers.com/product/browserless/revenue
EDIT: here’s my ShowHN post for posterity: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15722617
I did more than a couple of Show HNs. The most upvoted one (49 upvotes) was one of the first ones with a mostly crappy product .
I was just starting to learn to code, it was an ugly, amateurish CRUD, lacking a lot of basic features.
Unsurprisingly, it went no where. Not because of the software quality, but the product itself.
It was an idea of organizing sales prospects info based on my own experience as a salesperson and the way I organized myself using Excel sheets. It was a neat idea and I believe that's why it was upvoted.
I even had one of those "why should I use this product if I can do it myself with excel?" comments . Turned out this one was right, as it was an excel sheet turned - unnecessarily - into a web app.
The evidence is that I got only one or two signups, who never came back after the first visit.
 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7768857
 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7769115
When I look at the Github link, I actually understand what it does: "Severless Chrome on your own infrastructure. Each session gets its own clean Chrome context for total isolation. After the session is complete Chrome is shutdown. You can also think of it like a database connection where your app connects to browserless, runs some work, and gets results back."
But it's fair. Titles are hard and HN shuns clickbait.
It's a bit "damned if you do, damned if you don't" since lots of folks won't click on click-bait-ish links but will gloss over more terse titles.
EDIT: yeah, this is my bad. Totally missed it and it's a great comment too :(
So, I guess it would be a good-faith action to simply encourage others who are ShowingHN something and tell them what you think, regardless of that product being something you want/need.
I try to do this frequently, actually, I try things out and then give feedback.
On several I've noticed simple typos that can be fixed, and in those cases it is typically where you just need fresh eyes to see something to have it stand-out - because the creators stare at it constantly and thus small things can blind them.
- We've got some REST-based API's that make it dead-simple to interact with Chrome for the majority of the use-cases out there. Plus you're not restricted to having to maintain node-based infra if that's not your stack.
- A lot of good tooling has been developed, for instance a live-debugging tool that lets you visually see the browser (located here: https://chrome.browserless.io/).
- The nature of a lot of folks' business restricts them from using big cloud providers like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Just because one of them pivots into your market doesn't mean that they're going to squash you.
- Finally, I've written a driver + am actively involved in puppeteer's repos (plus others). So, in a way, when you sign up for an account you get support from me as well, which has a _ton_ of value if you've never done headless work.
Anyways, hope that helps
It’s simple. This is browserless’s bread and butter. For GCP, it’s just another feature for someone to get a promo.
BTW, anyone know of a simple SPA checker/monitor?
BrandonM: It's funny how often that comment—which I made as a 22-year-old undergrad—resurfaces. Someone even reached out to me 2 weeks ago because they wanted to use it in an article as an example of "the disconnect between the way users and engineers see software"!
I like to think that I've gained a lot of perspective over the last 11 years; it's pretty clear to me that point #1 was short-sighted and exhibited a lot of tunnel vision. Looking back, though, I still think that thread was a reasonable exchange. My 2nd and 3rd points were fair, and I conceded much of point 1 to you after your reply (which was very high quality).
Obviously, we have the benefit of hindsight now in seeing how well you were able to execute. Kudos on that!
Congrats on your success! I wish you nothing but the best going forward!
Zed Shaw's take on the matter.
I hope BrandonM isn't haunted by his comment or anything. It's not really a big deal right? Can't we just have a chuckle about it and move on? Besides, his comment was the top voted one (simultaneously my comment has a lot of upvotes too). We all get things wrong from time to time, especially at a young age. Big deal. He's probably been right a million times but nobody remembers those.
Also it really shits me that every time I log in I get a little banner that says “Almost out of space? Try Dropbox Business!”.
One, no, I am not almost out of space. I’m at 15% and if you don’t know that, there’s something terribly wrong.
Two, I’m not a business. I’m just me. And I already pay for Pro. Get out of my goddamned face.
It’s not the devs. The owners likely become sufficiently detached from the end product and experience and sales/marketing teams are left to squeeze every bit of fiscal value from the thing. That usually results in battles for new analytics or new features that usually look like background software/network bloat, and judging the client to increase their spend no matter what. Those teams always have to post higher numbers regardless of the market.
Not that I disagree.
The forced ad, accidentally clicked, locked my account, had to spend an hour cleaning it up.
Probably got tests running to see what exactly keeps people around when they get onto the plan.
When you've got that many users, I think it becomes norm. I remember a funny story about how Google tested hundreds of shades of blue to see which exact shade lifted click through rates the most. The standard default blue won.
I can't agree that the impact on UX is worthwhile in the long run but I can see how such things can be attractive when you haven't got the, I dunno the right word for it, "clout" to look past the immediate bottom line like Amazon or Apple had when people were betting on them.
"No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame."
May 7, 2012
"Gumroad raises $7 million from KPCB"
Hacker News referencing Bitcoin in April, 2011
Damn son! That's a lot more impressive than the money raised.
The product’s now delivering family photos in the mail for hundreds of grandparents every month. They might not be making millions of dollars yet, but they are making some money and doing lots of good in the world by helping with elder loneliness. That’s a success to me.
We did a Show HN a year ago: (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14515494). Then we did YC, raised a bit of money (almost entirely off our HN traction), and launched around a few weeks ago (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17725966). Now we're profitable!
Traffic has been ok but had 1-2 leads so far.
It's now a series C startup with over 200 employees and customers like Spotify, WeWork, Samsung, Nike, Jack in the Box, The British Museum
(I work there)
Boy, there's a ringing endorsement! :-)
I don't think changing the name would make sense for them at this stage but I'd say they are successful despite the name, not because of it.
Some of the people in that thread are comparing "Just duck it" to "Just google it"
Or even better, how about "Just duck it, mother truckers"
I started working on it almost 3 years ago. Now about 5.000 companies all over the globe are using it including Yelp, Reddit & Mozilla.
We're profitable and trying to expand our niche (GraphQL in Python) to more markets. Thinking on applying to YC in not a very far future :)
Edit: so the issue was that we had an extraneous trailing comma, which was turning a string (deprecation reason) into a 1-element tuple, which was then failing an assertion in the AST serialisation within graphql-core, however this assertion was being silenced by one of the backends - either the decider or the Quiver backend.
That lead to https://unicodepowersymbol.com/
Not a start-up, but a successful project :-)
But that doesn't mean you wont still be successful:
Orignal post: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14459876
By most definitions we've pivoted from tech startup to "profitable small tech business", staying at 4-6 people. We're no dropbox, but at a solid cohort paying customers for our reasonably well-loved consumer product we've turned into a successful (by our personal definitions) company, if not a successful startup.
Also the Show HN posts are not as organic as they appear, in other words I don't believe you just prepend Show HN to a post and see it go boom...they won't admit it but there is more happening behind the scene.
Great company, great founders, great product.
Successful is a broad term, but we have tens of thousands of apps on our platform and our SDK is running on over a billion devices. We did YC and raised multiple rounds after.
Thanks to HN it became a pretty good success. The original Show HN is here https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9145007
What does that mean exactly? Lots of downloads/customers but not enough to be profitable (or not profitable enough to where it was worth the time and energy)?
Or is it profitable, but you just don't view your single product as a "start-up", because maybe it is a one-man-show, and not something you do full time?
I then started helping Anton out and we managed to hit the front page a few more times: https://hn.algolia.com/?query=akshell&sort=byDate&prefix&pag...
To get feedback on the platform, we paid developers to use it to make apps for our clients, which brought in some revenue. However, we failed to get people to pay for the service itself, even though we had a couple of thousand developers signed up and a few hundred apps in production. So we put Akshell on hold, but stayed in touch.
Three years ago, we reconnected and started Toughbyte: https://toughbyte.com. We initially focused on the thing that worked at Akshell, i.e. writing software for clients. Almost by accident, in the end we ended up doing tech recruitment instead. More on that here: https://blog.toughbyte.com/whats-next-for-toughbyte-aed3cf54...
Now we're building a tech recruitment platform. We've been profitable since day one and have been growing 50% each year. So, in a somewhat roundabout way, that first Show HN post did result in a startup that's still around.
Raised 68M last week, 100+ total overall - https://sysdig.com/press-releases/sysdig-closes-series-d-fun...
Good to hear that. Best of luck.
Successful is a broad term, but we're still kickin' and growing fast. :)
This reminds me that I should document the history of projects I work on.
We'd been building the tech (realtime GraphQL on Postgres) for a while, but the HN launch gave us the initial visibility and a tremendous number of users, reviews. And within the last few weeks we have several users in production and enterprise clients too. :)
Aug 5, 2013 "I launched my weekend project 7 months ago on HN – here's CameraLends today" (124 upvotes)
Jan 10, 2017 "KitSplit Acquires CameraLends Becoming Biggest Online Camera Rental Company"
Our Show HN post didn't get much attention, but we also didn't have our marketing hopes set on that. We did turn into a successful startup, not in terms of raising money but instead in terms of growing off of revenue.
Not much traction on our Shown HN post, but we've had a lot of growth through our standup bots in Slack and Microsoft Teams. Still very much a startup, but we've re-branded to https://jell.com, have 4 employees, and a growing customer list!
Thanks to HN, I was able to get into the YC fellowship program. After launching and not getting any traction, I almost quit. However, I realized I did not know how to do marketing, sales, or customer dev (the "people want" part of "Make something people want"). It wouldn't be fair to the idea of AutoMicroFarm, or to myself, to quit without trying to learn marketing/sales/customer dev and applying it to AutoMicroFarm.
So this year, I hired a business coach (https://solacelessons.com/) and continued working on AutoMicroFarm. I can't claim it's successful in any meaning of the word yet, but I have a solid framework in place for my social media/email/blog outreach, I am talking to people to figure out what they want, and starting to make revenue--all while having a day job, a side gig (both related to web dev), and a family. I've been really happy to make this progress while keeping the hours spent on AutoMicroFarm to 5-10 hours per week.
I'm not going to specifically make that assertion (because, well, I could easily be wrong); I'm just saying how it comes across to me-the-reader. :/
How is this less than genuine? Would a disclaimer help? Perhaps something like, "This post may contain a direct link to providers of products and services that I personally have found helpful. I was not prompted to add the link, and receive no financial renumeration for adding the link. However, I may do so in the future."
There are so many great wordpress themes and premade static page templates you could use, why are the fonts on your site so terrible? The vertical spacing and kerning make my eyes bleed, especially on the FAQ.
Are you sure your business coach actually knows what they are doing? Even the font on your logo is terrible too Federant, serif...?, the font is extremely dispropionate to the logo. There is simply too much crap going on in your logo as well, the roots are distracting and don't scale well for small image sizes. Doesn't YC fellowship recommend business coaches already as part of their program?
Maybe design isn't your thing, but you should seriously consider paying a professional to redo your entire branding and website. Its hard to have a social media / email / blog outreach strategy when these essential requirements aren't met yet. Its a oneclick install in many instances, adding a few images, and some text and that's it
I don't know how long you've had your business coach either, or what things she has outlined and actionable steps moving forward. Nor do I know what things you have gained since then. So I don't really know either way. But if website / logo redesign wasn't one of the lowest hanging fruits / highest priorities on that list then I question the coaches' effectiveness. Its cheap, fast, and easy to get a nice site done these days with existing templates.
Also, why do I get the feeling this comment's intention is just to solicit traffic to your coaches site. Well for one, why does she already know about this comment on hackernews?
However, your comment comes across as really mean and unnecessary. I really doubt someone would come across it and think, "I really like the concept and would even be willing to pay for the products and/or services, but the logo font is Federant serif, and the FAQ spacing and kerning literally made my eyes bleed, so I can't see anything now."
Your reply to my coach is much more constructive and actionable. Please refrain from making comments like the one I am replying to, and strive to keep your comments constructive and actionable.
Have a great day.
If you want constructive critcism, I suggest adjusting your line-height properties and font-family to something like Arial or roboto. If you want a quickfix, just add these 3 lines in your `body` tag https://i.imgur.com/33lI25Z.png
Without changes https://i.imgur.com/91Pv9Sh.png, with changes https://i.imgur.com/nA7JYub.png
For your font-logo I suggest simplifying it and removing some of the finer details. This is a quickdraft I made following the same guidelines that your logo emphasizes. Remove 2 fish, and just focus on one fish with bubbles to emphasize a complete cycle. https://i.imgur.com/fSWf2fJ.png
Do you have any suggestions about which font to pick? I like Federant because it seems rustic/"farmy" yet modern at the same time.
As far as the logo itself, I meant to play around with making it a responsive SVG (https://tympanus.net/codrops/2014/08/19/making-svgs-responsi...), but it would take me quite some time to climb the learning curve to do so. Unfortunately, the designer who made it for me did not provide an SVG file.
Again, thanks for your help!
When it gets exported its almost always a .png file. The logo you have doesn't benefit from SVG. The only ones that really benefit from it are things like gitlab's animated logo https://i.imgur.com/FuxVepX.gif. SVG tends to overcomplex things, sometimes designers circumvent it using embedded font-families instead. https://fontawesome.com/icons?d=gallery
Serif definitely is in the right ballpark for font families you are looking for. I really like the artofmanliness when it comes to older styles. https://www.artofmanliness.com/. They use "BLACK" found here I believe. http://www.fontspace.com/category/rustic. Other farmy rustic styles http://www.fontspace.com/category/rustic?p=3 → Altantida
I tend to think of "barber shop fonts" when I think of old rustic "farmy" feel, because farmers would cut their own hair. And barbershops are still one of the few places that still use old traditions of knife shaving. Other good examples would be "speakeasy" bars, cowboy style.
The font you have is more castle/medieval/serfdom font instead of old farmy rustic. Technically, its not actually a bad font though for what you are going for, actually I looked through it is one of the better options. The logos font height needs to be the same size as the logos height though. Example https://i.imgur.com/NEMKnhT.png . Change the size font-size here to 2.5rem. https://i.imgur.com/KJGAlxe.png
I wouldn't suggest using federant for your actual paragraph text tags though. Keep that part simple and use Arial or Google Roboto
Hope this helps out
"You’ve been told to TALK to your audience, but it’s NOT WORKING" → change it as a background color div
"Hell YES I Want It!!!" → remove the pink shadow as well
I get that pink and blue are your colors, but those colors don't pair well together used that way. Either that just reduce the pink shadows by a large margin.
These are the changes it should look like
This is all the code I modified
It still has the correct callout to action but doesn't induce any nausea to your users. I made the fix very quickly, but you should get the general idea. There might be minor tweaks you can make from the suggestions I indicated
If you want to implement these changes on your wordpress site, you can simply just copy paste everything I've written and paste it in your css file, or forward this whole message to your developer.
These are just my personal opinions though, your free to do whatever you want
But your project seems interesting.
One example is a little fun halloween project I did last year. It's nothing more than a simple servo that opens a box after a voice command through amazon Alexa. I a don't do much in the way of motors and electronics. So I tried to find a way to elegantly mount the servo in the box and build something that pushes the lid upwards.
In the end I thought what the heck I'll just glue it down with endless amounts of hot glue hoping that it will stick.
A year later when I wanted to retire my box to save some space it turns out that the glue stuck so well that I had to cut it out. So even if it is not elegant and could gave been done in a much more elegant way it worked and nobody cared how it was done.
No matter how elegant your solution, most of the time you are judged by the result not the how.
Here is the link to the box I was talking about https://youtu.be/BdbjoniAP0s
Their first submission was in 2010: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=876141
Here's the Ask HN for Visual Website Optimizer that got 0 comments: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=991252
This product has gone to help Wingify bootstrap to $20mn in annual recurring revenue. So there's hope even if an 'Ask HN' doesn't fly :)
Started 4 years ago and raised $100m 5 months ago
*edit: Looks like it's at https://checkr.com
As of Monday, both co-founders are working on it full time as a fully bootstrapped business.