I don't really get the problem with him automating the submission, in fact, isn't that the hacker instinct the site is named after?
I'm just one dude running a solo business and need to build automation things like that so I don't forget to post on Hacker News.
I never manipulated votes or anything like that.
> My outsourcing team, in combination with @trypigeon is trained to click that link whenever they see that email.
> And that's how I hit the front page without knowing!
And you bragged about being called out in another tweet, which doesn't feel very repentant.
Regardless, this discussion thread is guaranteed to be linked to in all of your future HN submissions that hit the front page and consequently flagged to death, so I hope it was worth it.
Per the domain submission history (https://news.ycombinator.com/from?site=starterstory.com), he does not employ this strategy for all submissions, likely only ones with traction to obfuscate things.
I found this line interesting — many people don’t realize that companies themselves don’t like using unnecessary packaging — most packaging decisions are made for very good reasons. The despised clamshell happened because of shoplifters and on-shelf marketing tests. “Unnecessary plastic” happens because manufacturers know about water damage. Individually wrapped parts happen because of shipping damage or lost parts. What consumers see as “unnecessary” comes as a result of very good reasons and likely thousands of customer complaints when their stuff arrives damaged or with parts missing.
It would be so nice if they could take it a step further and design the envelopes for true multiple re-use.
For example, the white waterproof slightly padded envelopes from Amazon tear open cleanly (most of the time) but aren't extremely reusable because you have to fold over the open end on itself to tape it shut, which looks terrible, and seems flimsy, so I don't save them that often.
I think the biggest challenge is that the closer you get to full re-use, the closer you also get to making it trivial for someone to pop open the envelope, steal what's inside, and reseal it like they were never there.
Thanks for your comment.
Receiving a wet diary in the mail is a terrible customer experience so from a business stand point, we want to rectify these types of issues as quickly as possible.
Thankfully, the plastic we use is recyclable at the correct locations, and we're educating our customers around using these options while continuing to look for viable alternatives :)
You hit the nail on the head with this one.
It's frustrating we still have to use a small amount of soft plastic, but we're doing as much as we can to educate our customers about how to recycle it properly.
What I haven't been able to reproduce is the rapid success! Sometimes I will get upvotes on, say, reddit, and sell $300 worth of books in a week. For the most part, social media influences have been a bust - promising to leave a review in exchange for a free book, but never doing so. I haven't spent tons of money on SEO, content, or advertising, so perhaps I should do that. Just hard to know what the ROI would be.
After reading this post, I might look at putting more money into some of these efforts (Instagram ads, google ads, creating content for my website for SEO purposes). Just hard to know where to begin!
(If you are curious, the product is themusiciansnotebook.com :)
You might want to consider an edition that has little things a musician might find interesting or useful included in it. That seems to be how these planner people attract people, is a lot of little things that people probably don't really need but enjoy filling out anyway (the link says they compiled all sorts of stuff into their planner, and for anecdata my fiancee is a huge planner nut and loves checking out planners with all sorts of different approaches to layouts and fields and organization and whatnot).
For example (and I don't recommend going this far necessarily, but it might inspire you), a board game designer decided to design a playtesting journal for other board game designers, and threw all sorts of little things in there, like a built in scoreboard, a die number on the page so it could be opened to a random page to simulate a die roll, added achievements with a sticker page, lots of fields to remind the designer to ask certain questions at the end of the playtest, a game contract checklist, a page with guidelines of sizes for various components for getting the game printed by a manufacturer, etc. He did a Kickstarter for it and raised $30k for it (not as much as the article, but still not bad). I backed it and got a few for myself, even though I've kind of settled on my own method for playtesting games, I'll give his a try.
Anyway, his journal serves a specific niche like yours does, so maybe something in there will inspire you to find ways to make your notebook stand out and attract more people to purchase it.
I would recommend memset to look at Field Notes for inspiration. They do an amazing job of turning simple ruled notebooks into something desirable.
- Make the cover look nicer and more inspiring (like Field Notes), not just plain white paper.
- Find someone who is good at drawing sheet music by hand, to show some really beautiful examples of the product in use for your shop. Again, inspiration.
- The site says you “pored over every detail”. I think you can tell that story better (again, think Field Notes).
No, I don't mean that they should change the product necessarily. I think there's value in what they currently have, and said that if I composed music myself, I would probably buy a couple.
But there's nothing wrong with seeing what other people have done and being inspired by them. I am constantly taking in ideas from all over and pairing them against all of my different game designs and story ideas and wondering if those ideas could be used in some way. Maybe seeing that link sparked a "Oh, maybe I could put in a... whatever... scale reference, or common key signatures list, or a box for a version number of the song, or whatever" and adds one extra page to the journal, and advertises it, and sees a 10% increase in sales or something.
I don't really have any desires one way or another in what the product should be. I'm just aware of that other journal, and thought maybe they might find it interesting, and probably aren't aware of it since it's for a different niche field.
I'd get some professional photos done with a couple of musicians as models. Upgrade the site. Set the cheapest pricepoint as $30ish for a three-pack (and maybe a bulk option for schools/teachers?). Then try some Instagram/Facebook advertising either as a one off, or with a $50/wk budget.
Then, after a few weeks, if it's had no traction, make a decision to proceed or bail. But at least you will have given it a bit more effort.
Prominently on the home page is an article about using crystals for healing. Ugh.
I don't know if this is intentional, but it really turns me off their brand, and I'm not interested in buying one anymore.
You are giving far far far too much credit. Read any mental health, nutrition, or exercise thread on here and you’ll find more woo-woo nonsense than in any healing crystal.
Promoting bullshit has real costs associated with it. Those bullshit crystals cost people money and don't do anything. People get dumber being convinced to buy them, and will use that dumbness in other parts of life. Promoting a market for delusion and false hope is the last thing anyone needs.
It might be hard to put a precise dollar value on second order effects like these, let alone on things like moral integrity, but that doesn't mean this value isn't there.
There is no shortage of people who will do whatever bullshitting it takes to earn more money, and that's not something to be celebrated regardless of whether it comes with mental health donations or another trendy atonement mechanism.
Ah, I see how my comment can be read like that.
I don't mean to say "only consider the positives of one and not the negatives of the other". And "the existence of negatives means the thing is negative" would also be a bad way of thinking about it.
The approach ought to be "The benefits should be weighed against the costs".
Which is why some people choose moral principles that are more rigid. And well scamming people into buying useless rocks is on the wrong side of mine, no matter what moral kickback it's artificially bundled with.
"That the website does one shady thing makes me suspect other things they're doing are shady" makes sense to me, though.
"if the negative impact of selling healing crystals outweighs the positive impact of donating to mental health organisations, then it's bad" makes sense to me.
Creation of value is good, and breaking a window just to replace it doesn't.
GDP counts money being spent, of course.
Thanks for your kind words about our story and brand, it really means a lot.
Can totally understand the distaste for crystals. We don't actually sell them, this is just a guest blog post from a local brand who do.
Appreciate your feedback.
I think for some people, crystals are a frame through which to explore their own intuition and emotional world. Not necessarily a literal concept.
Certainly it caught way more attention on my end than it should have. It has to do with the recent news and posts about We Company. I read a lot of them. Somehow my brain got conditioned to look out for We :)