While Maciej notes accurately that death comes for us all, he's already outlasted the theoretically more powerful competitor that was Delicious.
I would say "I'm excited to see what's next for Pinboard," but I suspect the future is all it needs to be: The service will continue to function as designed, and that's all I really need.
I despise how the idiots at google and apple can't live without randomly permuting the android, gsuite, ios, and macos UIs all the time.
There is a pending android 9 update on my phone, and ios 12 on my ipad. Not today, Satan, not today!
So that's who actually receives updates to Android. The one dude who doesn't appreciate them.
That being said, Google's org is pretty fluid, there should be plenty of new projects in need of UX that you don't have to mess with old projects.
Doesn't help that the recommender algorithm seems to surface completely random 8 year old videos in the "recommended" feed now
The most visible change might be notifications, which are grouped by app and added a convenient option to revoke something’s notification privileges without digging through Settings.
It. Just. Works.
All these comments have me wanting to try it, but I'm not sure what I get over what I have. Thanks.
His API is a modified version of Delicious.
You have a built in Notes path that can also store (x) amount of notes.
Your account is as public or private you want it to be. You can make all bookmarks and user page private by default, or you can alter which tags you want to be public, etc. Best of all, nobody is tracking you. You can be an invisible user with a backlog of bookmarks spanning years and you will always have access to them.
Quick disclaimer: I’ve been using Pinboard since 2013-2014, before the new subscription model, and am fortunate enough to have paid an onetime-fee.
I gladly pay the 25/year, the only software product I was ever happier paying for was sublime text.
From a human perspective:
1. Supporting a one-person SaaS (i.e. "the dream")
A highlight for me was the ability to tag bookmarks, search through them, and manage them with bulk editing abilities.
You can search by tag or URL on a standard account.
There are some very useful features that would be great additions to the product though. Things like better Firefox integration, more powerful querying (e.g., it's not possible to search "unread starred bookmarks tagged with hn" today), and the open API being feature equivalent to the website to name a few.
I love this sentence, and the spirit of it.
"The site is reliable. Outages are rare and brief. The site has servers in San Jose and Sacramento, for better resiliency in case of a California earthquake."
Front page review:
“One dude in his underpants somewhere who has five windows open to terminal servers.”
"The site has a sane business model that would be familiar to your grandparents."
"As every year, I'd like to thank all Pinboard users, old and new, for their support and their custom. I know there are lots of rival bookmarking services out there.
I will consume them, one by one, like I consumed the pie."
Can't really overstate the coolness of this dude
Q: What happens if the guy who runs Pinboard gets hit by a bus?
A: The bus is likely to be fine. They don't go very fast and are designed with passenger safety in mind.
Love it. Also, I'm looking to quit my job and do small SaaS products for income, and this dude has really encouraged me to pursue it.
if he'd added a paragraph that said he'd put some $$ in escrow and some code/instructions with his will/lawyer the site will continue to run with a contractor while the business is auctioned off to one of it's users (or some such) I'd be much happier. as it stands - one guy in his underwear with a service that may or may not exist next year.
> Flounder, Pinboard.in
The reason I left was not so much the outage itself but the fact that I paid for the service, while the free ones were right there available for me (Delicious anyone?). I felt a bit silly paying for the vibe and not something more primary.
EDIT: This was years ago, hopefully it’s more reliable now though I haven’t been following them too closely.
Additionally, Pinboard bought Delicious. The free ones aren't very good about staying in business owing to the fact that they all have costs but no revenue. Thus his claim to eventually eat them all because he has a simple, profitable, business model.
I now have to pay him and ask for an invoice just to experience this :-)
But it's enough to just "talk" to the "Finanzamt" to already get a baseline €1000 tax-deductible expense, without even needing to show them anything. Which makes me wonder, why not just deduct this from all income taxes, if you're willing to grant it to everyone, without any proof.
Sorry for sounding cynical now, but "dumb" and "busy" people are naturally disadvantaged from this system. That's not exactly... helping anyone. Except those who profit from the motto "A sucker born every minute!". But even they'd have more advantages, if their "suckers" had more cash at their disposal...
For most people, the withhholdings match exactly the actual income tax or the December deductions are automatically adjusted so that they are (Lohnsteuerjahresausgleich) so there is no benefit in filing taxes.
Of course the system could be much better but I don't agree with the assessment that they keep money from the poor either purposefully or by negligence.
Furthermore, I did file my taxes as an employee once, and got some €80 back, so I considered it a waste of time.
My student friends at the time swore that I should do this, because of the 1k€ "Werbungskosten", and they also got about €80 out of it, but they were earning far less, so I don't know how the maths behind that is all supposed to work out.
I'm in an entirely different situation now, I run my own company, but no employees, and have yet to talk to a tax advisor. I'll know more by the end of the year, but trust me that there is some (in my subjective opinion, of course, objective) truth in the sentence, that "rich and poor are segregated by tax systems" and this is no coincidence.
If you have the same income each month (and there haven't been changes in law during the year) each monthly payment covers exactly 1/12 of your income tax. So in that case, the December payment is the same.
Do to different circumstances you might still get small sums back, as you noticed
I also like knowing that some of my $$$ is helping him do things like that.
It's the preferred means of communication for my utility company in the event of a blackout.
Some companies have contests for free swag; I've gotten an Atlassian hoodie and some hand tools from Digi-Key.
His blog is also filled with tasty bits like that.
I hope it's a choice!
I applied for a salaried position at IBM (I think?) for a Product Management position that I could have nailed, through a head-hunter that I knew was covering the position.
He said: "No way, dude. I wouldn't do that to them or you".
I said: "Why not?"
He said: "Because you are a startup guy".
I said: "Hey - I used to work at Motorola. At the global level. Scotland, Malaysia, I lived in Japan, Phoenix and Austin. I was a great corporate droid."
He said: "Used to be. Now you would just get a couple of paychecks into feeling less homeless-bound, and tell your boss or your boss's boss to fuck off and die."
I said: "No I wouldn't".
He said: "Yes you would - and you can't change my mind".
In my town, I am apparently branded "a startup guy".
1) Eat shit and do the stupid thing while a small part of you dies.
2) March into the VP’s office, tell him to fuck off, and walk out like a champ.
Which option do you choose?
It was very rude but pretty declarative!
In any case - I would never have the moral rectitude to make that kind of statement.
I don't backstab, but I also don't lie (which includes people I'm "supposed" to sell the stupid idea to as a great one, starting with myself), I respect the "chain of command" in a way, but never blindly, and wear that on my sleeve. That closes plenty doors, but far from all, and my general experiences with "standing up to my bosses" were surprisingly good. As long as it's because you care about the thing, and the clients of it, and as long as the boss is confident, in themselves and maybe even you, there should be some leeway for that.
It is absolutely important to be able to say no to people who outrank you.
I'd happily work for myself with some sort of SAAS thing again, but no way i want to go back to freelancing unless I'm desperate.
I worked in startups prior to that so it wasn't a huge leap outside my comfort zone I guess.
> Running an online service solo puts one in the coffin corner between the Dunning Kruger effect and impostor syndrome.
This guy knows how to write.
I was wondering, what does it mean?
What I mean is phrasing that makes allusions. You'll find it in writing as a tool to expand meaning, change tone, add connotation, etc. It can lose power and clarity when the reader is unfamiliar with the underlying references.
Here, the writing brings in an aerodynamics concept (coffin corner), a famous bit of psychology about cognitive biases (Dunning Kruger), and a trueism about doubting one's own capacity (imposter syndrome).
Personally, the reference to coffin corner adds richness to the writing. It is from a completely different discipline, less commonly referenced in HN context than the other two, and immediately gives me a sense of greater breadth about the author's experiences.
But maybe I'm just cynical and afraid to get out of my comfort zone.
Many thanks for all the hard work you put in to the "other" activities you were involved in. Like, really. Thank you.
EDIT: After looking at his resume, I'm fairly confident his writing style is heavily inspired by Wodehouse (he mentions about Jeeves and Wooster!).
(I've been following his blog for ~12 years now, ever since I first read this one: https://idlewords.com/2007/04/the_alameda_weehawken_burrito_... )
It's so nice to have a simple, reliable service. I got a little cranky when the various Pinboard APIs started suffering some scaling problems, I think during the hiatus Maciej mentions as he was busy trying to save America. That's OK, we survived, although jury is still out on whether America will.
At the same time, I am once again amazed at how little revenue a publicly touted successful project makes.
It adds up but yes .. the freedom is nice :)
It’s just that these projects always get talked up as huge successful life changing products (like Bingo Card Creator and appointment reminders etc) and then have really small revenue numbers attached to them.
Don’t get me wrong, kudos to the developers for building something people love and that give them the lifestyle they want.
I just think these projects are often overhyped to seem more than what they actually are: lifestyle projects.
His writing is super entertaining and he has made a great product.
However, I don't really like pinboard's "business" story - it seems, selfish, for lack of a better word. Pinboard lives and dies with Maciej and the people who have come to depend on that product may lose an amazing service if Maciej gets tired of running it.
He may never get tired of it, but pinboard is reminiscent to me of many one-man communities that were built in the early 2000s that just died once the admin left - and no one was equipped to take over because the admin never wanted to let anyone else in. So 220k is great, but is it enough to support at least one other person full time? Is everyone who uses pinboard aware that the services lives or dies with one man (I know its called out in the blog post).
When I see pinboard, I see less of a product that was made to provide value to others and more of a side project that lets the CEO live how he wants. Which is fine (I think Maciej is a great person - and I've donated to the Great Slate), but isn't my cup of tea when it comes to product responsibility.
And yeah, 220k/y is more than enough to support another person full time. Not everyone lives in SF and pays thousands for half a bedroom.
How is it different than any other small business started to serve a community? Businesses close all the time for all kinds of reasons. If your favorite restaurant were to close because the owner and cook developed a serious illness, would you be upset at the selfishness of that person?
Is he shutting saying he's shutting it down, or just saying that's the future eventually?
Fortunately, today is not that day. I hope it's a long time in the future...
Hopefully some day deep into my retirement.
You should anticipate that as how your relationship with any non-big name service you use will end because that's how it will. It just won't be working one day, then the next. You'll hit the internet to find that the person running it died a month ago and the business with them.
I imagine a lot of those companies ending is the result of acquisitions/mergers where the services continue uninterrupted and in the vast majority of cases where that isn't true, there's a warning that it will end.
(Granted, not an S&P500 company, but those have been known to fuck up as well)
This hits very close to home, guess I might as well embrace it! I'd probably be just as anxious at a normal job anyway and am determined to figure out anxiety management.
I grew up in a semistrict religious context, and regardless of whether it was intended, I internalized that everything I did was a reflection of my righteousness and value as a human and even to a degree my worthiness to be accepted into heaven.
I've since stopped practicing that kind of religion, but I realized I have still been treating say my freelance work as a _moral_ question - if I do it right, I am good, if I mess up, or take too long, or there are bugs, my emotions still process that as if my eternal soul is at stake. Leading to, procrastination, stress, and withdrawing from communication because I'm afraid of punishment.
I had some really good conversations with clients lately, just being upfront about my fears of blowing timelines and admitting to withdrawing, and they were very understanding and to hear them acknowledge that this stuff is hard and that I was doing a good job was massively motivating.
Hopefully most people don't have this issue, but if you do, it was very relieving to even just realize this is what I was doing, and am working with a really good therapist and a business coach to process and work through it, and I'm already seeing a lot less stress as a result.
Oh yes. I was so close to giving up on Pinboard and hosting my bookmarks myself. Badly, probably.
I hope he doesn't find another hobby that is taking exactly 100% of his time.
Since a few months everything is back to normal, and that is great. But this episode showed the transience of things.
For anyone using Pinboard, Why would I use it instead of pocket?
I have been using pocket for a while and the overall feature set and mobile/browser support is great.
Love it :-)
Good old grandfatherknowledge. Reminded me of, "the gods help those, who help themself".
Usually nice things do not get presented on a silver plate to you. You have to act.
I feel that.
If you are looking for a Pinboard alternative, do try out https://www.PageDash.com (free tier of 30MB/month storage). Essentially, PageDash archives full pages for $29/year. We have been in business since 2017. Open to feedback. Thanks!
signed, an anxious customer
Ever thought about leveraging your skills/instincts/fame for much bigger impact other than through politics ;) ;) ? I'm in Seattle tired of big corp, cooking up with other ex-pat Romanians a service to disrupt the traditional ad model while preserving privacy and data ownership. Email is in my profile if at all interested.
Hating ads is misguided. Ads aren't going anywhere and network effects keep users and advertisers coming to Facebook and Google. The solution we see is going after the ad money with a different business model and use cases that give users control over their personal data while serving advertisers needs. That is disruption and idlewords could leverage sorry use his success and relative fame to more impact sorry effect on changing the status quo.
I used to follow him on twitter but I get enough US politics already without following somebody who tweets about it 24x7.
> My grandpa sometimes said "you have to help your fate along".
It's a free alternative :)
That does mean you don't get to add tags at that time, though.
One minute something doesn't look "awesome" so it's shite, next minute something looks "plain jane" and it's amazing.
Fuck this, so many ideas people have but don't want to progress because of Silicocks.
P.S. I'm a paid member, and it's awesome!
Never thought about this that way!
Why did revenue go down? Think it'll go back to growing in 2020?