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Show HN: Stay with founders in San Francisco (staywithfounders.com)
154 points by mkx 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 62 comments

I would be more happy if there was a stay with "Builders" alternative. I would love to live around with technically smart people who are building something on their own rather than "founders"

There is just something with "staying with founders" that feels so pretentious...

A meta startup; a startup making money from other startup founders... Sounds parasitic...

The whole Digital Nomad fad works similarly

I've been wanting to create something called "Dev Nest" (or similar) for a while now (in my ever growing backlog). The basic premise would be that tech professionals with spare rooms provide medium term accomodation in exchange for part time technical expertise (design or development). So guests could see somewhere else in the world, experience the culture, and get hands on experience with a variety of startups and projects (open source etc.).

The main difficulties would be in ensuring expectations of hosts are clear so everyone is happy, and also IP. However, I think it's doable.

EDIT: There's also potential legal hurdles as to whether the accommodation is deemed payment for work. The whole platform would need to be extremely transparent to mitigate exploitation.

Having looked into compensation law in the US, my understanding (I’m not a lawyer but play one on HN) is that housing accommodations are generally considered taxable income. However, the way you’re describing it means it could work. They would need to live in your house, and also work in your house with you. They would accept that arrangement in your hiring docs. You would need to be able to demonstrate benefit by having them live on the property.

I think this gets tricky if you live and work in two different areas, so it’s probably best suited for remote work or new projects.

Totally agree. We have a lot of builders on the platform already. We started with founders because that's the community we know best, but it's pretty easy to expand it to to all sorts of makers, builders, future founders--generally ambitious people.

Seems cool.

But honest question here. Who cares about staying with founders? Why is that a benefit? Founders of another wave of generic startups don't seem like the most interesting people

People that value ambition, drive, maybe want to pursue their own start-up and want to pick someone's brain? I stayed in San Fransisco last year and while my BnB host was great, I didn't really get the feel that San Fransisco was "the" start-up city in the world, which it is. I thought of it more like a very European city-thing with functional public transport and a lot of homeless people. I walked by Twitter's office though. Other than that, networking?

> functional public transport

San Francisco? The city that had to invent Uber because it's so hard to get around otherwise?

Compared to other cities I traveled to in the USA? Yes.

You have the absolute wrong impression of SF

I work for a tech company but live on the east coast, so I frequently fly out for projects and meetings. This is absolutely the feeling I get from SF: no real difference in talent, and something of a monoculture. SF is more expensive and way less diverse as it's priced out a ton of people. It seems unhealthy to be surrounded by so much sameness and unwillingness to change (NIMBYism, etc.)

While there is certainly a concentration of talent and capital in SF, I don't see any less drive or capability where I live. We'd love to expatriate some of that. It's cheaper to live here and not everybody has to be in tech.

This is just my own opinion, and it's certainly biased since I'm not someone who would live in SF.

Interesting! Seems like something that fits nicely between the chaotic couchsurfing.com free for all and pricey soulless Airbnbs.

Does anyone know how the pricing compares with airbnb? Could be handy for early/young founders coming to SF to pitch investors for the first time.

Hey Chris! We usually end up being a bit cheaper than Airbnb, since the hosts on here aren’t trying to make a profit, but just cover their costs and meet awesome people.

> ... and meet awesome people

what if I'm not awesome? would the hosts still want to meet me? what if I don't have anything interesting to say and I'm just a mediocre shlub?

You and me both. Let’s start www.staywithshlub.com but in Kansas.

If you want to meet my awesome parents they have some empty bedrooms in their house in Kansas!

Then I guess you can stay in an airbnb or a hotel. Not every product has to be for everyone.

I think you got it wrong. S/he want to meet the founder. But s/he's a schlub.

After few cycles the founders may have lesser incentives to participate.

Fantastic idea. I've been doing this for various musicians & stage actors (free) for a few years and it's been very rewarding.

Cool! As a musician myself, i’ve Often thought of hosting like this. How did you make first contact?

Great idea - just signed up. I'd make it more clear up front that the signup questions are short and simple. I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't drag on.

Thanks for the feedback! Added a little note that it only takes two minutes :)

Agreed. Short questionnaires are always a pleasant surprise.

Very cool - Airbnb feels like it got overrun by professional property managers, cool to see a more personal alternative with a genuine community.

Also, it's something like $300/night on average these days in SF, which is bananas.

It's insane. One of our core hypotheses is that a lot of people in SF don't want/need to rent out their rooms for a profit. They'd rather just meet and host particularly awesome people.

> One of our core hypotheses is that a lot of people in SF don't want/need to rent out their rooms for a profit. They'd rather just meet and host particularly awesome people.

hmmm, I think "a lot of people" referred to above is actually the group of startup founders with a room to rent? In which case probably not a lot per se?

Is this a side project or a product? If it's a product it doesn't seem like it will "scale" (sorry to use that lingo).

Many good products start as a side project :)

Yeah, that's definitely a concern we've heard. We're starting with startup founders because that's a niche we know well, but it can work for any frequently traveling professional.

There's a big tailwind for more people traveling for work and working remotely, and staying 1+ weeks in a hotel/Airbnb is prohibitively expensive. There are startups working on solving this by creating their own custom spaces, but we know tons of people who just leave their room unoccupied because they don't want to deal with minor hassles like key exchange, cleanings, making sure the temporary visitors get along with roommates, etc. We think solving all that will open up a massive new supply of short to medium term housing.

Can you add direct link to their startups website or app from their profile? Only name is there and many are having too generic name and its difficult to find their website/app.

A few years back there was a start-up doing something similar called StartupStay a.k.a BiZpora ( https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/bizpora). I hosted some founders in London, it was a great experience and I made some friends. I am glad this is being looked into in SF! All the best with it!

Pretty cool, thanks for sharing this. If you're up for hosting founders in London again, let us know :) we're looking to expand to other cities soon.

Hi, This is very timely for us as we will be in the Bay area during Dec and Jan. However, I am not able to fill out or even see any forms. I live in China, so perhaps some js libraries from google etc are blocked? Any alternate ways to register? Our company website http://www.100-xyz.com Tx

Sure! Here's a direct link to the application form: https://swapspace.typeform.com/to/Bg59Xe

If that doesn't work, send me an email (it's in my hacker news profile).

Just doing a little test to see if typeform have closed the little vuln I submitted months ago: https://testytest.typeform.com/to/Bg59Xe

... appears not. People can still pose as others. You'd think they'd care a bit more about security after the hack in June. I recommend against using typeform for this reason.

Woah, crazy. Thanks for pointing this out...

Hi tomglynch

We are Typeform's security team and we want to let you know that we are aware of this issue and are actively working on finding a solution. This is a core functionality of the platform, and we need time to find the best solution without breaking the user experience.

We take security seriously and we review every single report we get to try to find the best possible solution.


hi tf_security. It's been more than 4 months since I reported this. Regardless if it is a core functionality or not, this is too long.

HN really needs to add a note next to the email field: “Only you and HN admins can see this.” Put any info you want publicly visible into the about field.

No. That is the link that does not load. Also cannot see your email in your profile. Perhaps not enough karma on my side? I know I shouldnt have kicked that cute puppy!!!

No problem. Just shoot me an email at max@swap.space.

I've seen .xyz so it's unpleasing to see xyz.com

There is a reason behind the naming. 100 is our platform, so any WiFi SSID that starts with 100- would be ours. 100-JamaicanRestaurant, 100-UpperCut, 100-BigJohn....

Hence the 100-xyz

Looks cool! I've been lucky to have found places for my visitors through my networks in the past and they had a great time meeting startup people in SF.

I wondered if we can advertise the idea of "meeting interesting people" as a perk for our potential interns. However it's hard to be sure it's reproducible.

For sure - we're trying to be really thoughtful of maintaining the high quality community aspect. We're actually experimenting with student internships, and have a pilot with MIT for their January externship.

Interesting, let me know if we can get in on the beta too ;)

Yep! Ping us at max@swap.space

Interesting that their entire population consists of attractive/fit white and Asian people between the ages of 22 and 35...

... more or less like every SV company's "Work with us!" pages.

Awesome, signed up. Travelling through SF in mid-Nov, would love to try it out!

Just returning from SF. I would definitely prefer this to Airbnb.

What a cool idea! Next time I’m in SF for business going to check it out.

they should pay homage by renaming this to The Erlich Bachman

Awesome service. Definitely going to bookmark this

10 js imports according to NoScript? No thanks.

Hey can you give what is the rationale behind the JS hate? I am building a website that relies heavily on JS. What should I be aware to steer away from the JS hate?

> Hey can you give what is the rationale behind the JS hate?

JS has its overhead in terms of data and, more severly, performance. Many people tend to put unecessary JS stuff like custom scrolling, needless animations and needless interactivity, etc. This stuff more often than not just ends up getting in the way of normal browser function and is of questionable benefit or none at all.

> I am building a website that relies heavily on JS. What should I be aware to steer away from the JS hate?

Don't add any JS interactivity that only makes a website "look cooler"* and that's not actually critical to your website's functioning. For example, stuff like google maps needs javascript. Stuff like blog most likely doesn't.

Remember to try out how your website works on a device with weak hardware and slow connection. This will not only make it far more accessible for people with older hardware, it will make better for recent hardware as well.

*) today's expression would probably be "rich user experince" or somesuch, but the meaning is the same - it's just vanity

Thanks for the detailed answer. This makes much more sense.

I am building a web based chat bot, so it is essential as without animation, it kind of look bland and uninteresting. Although, I will try to check in weak hardware and slow connection. Although not IE previous versions though.

cool! any plans to come to other cities?

Yes! We are alpha testing other locations and have around 25 homes between NYC, Boston, LA, and abroad. You can fill out the form and mention the city you'd like to go to in the freeform question, and we'll contact you!

your wix site takes very long to load for me

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