Algolia looked like shit when it started. There was none of this shine and polish. IIRC it was some text styled with Bootstrap 2. Or might have been 1.
Stripe also looked like shit when it started. No shine or polish, no developer website based developer experience to speak of, no world leading 60fps animations, no fantastically versioned docs, nothing.
Build something people want / something that solves a hard problem and makes people powerful and more enabled. Companies that do this can afford to build fantastic developer experiences after 10 years of doing it, but companies that try hard to build excellent developer experiences will not necessarily be successful.
This level of patience and care at onboarding a new dev was incredible and I always rooted for them. I came to know them better a few years later (small world) and they are absolutely adorable, very down to earth and modest despite their tremendous growth
But one thing has not changed : when you implement Algolia in a project, it feels like magic. The speed + convenience combo is unbeatable
Selling to developers is a bit harder then that.
You need to offer something they already know they want. (or you will need a good sales team, and or sell to their boss). And something that can't easily build themselves. And something they can't already get for free (or you will have to also give it away for free).
Find something that Algolia or Stripe won't or cannot do (for deep reasons) and offer that. Stripe has a list of "Restricted Businesses" each of which is a market that would be delighted to be served at all, let alone with some polish. Of course there are complicating factors... but you don't expect this to be easy, do you?
For instance, if you decide to accept a +/- $20 margin, instead of filtering on exact price, you'd create a filter like `price < 180 AND price > 220` (replacing the numbers with your formula to calculate the range).
This gives you full power on what is the "error margin" you accept. Hope this helps!
I think this follows the other reply: you should offer something different that's attractive enough for a client to pick your service over theirs. Something you enable or focus on that Stripe can't.
Usually this happens because they'd have to sacrifice the experience of a much larger group of clients or your niche is too small to be worth it for a team at a bigger company.
The bet is that serving this new group/need will help you a)end up with a profitable group of customers that grows and/or b)end up developing a user-base/feature-set that makes it easy for you to expand to other users/products and steal market from the bigger competitor.
They're not selling to developers, they're selling to business executives, they give a nod to the fact developers are the end-user of this product, but all the material on the site is as executive-oriented as it gets. Listing other brands they've sold the product to, big stats about ROI and increased sales and revenue and "white-papers" which are really just fluff-pieces to hype up the product.
As a developer, I need to see transparent pricing up-front.
It's no good telling me about features, APIs without a way to figure out what it'll cost because that cost might easily be orders-of-magnitude out of range. Look at the pricing for Algolia - $499/mo and you don't actually get any of the features that separate it from products like ElasticSearch which are available as open-source downloads or as a much cheaper hosted service. You get tooling to make integrating search easier than the open-source alternatives, but now you're bound to the tooling provided by that service and its capabilities, or writing your own tooling anyway.
Either give me a monthly cost I can use to determine if its worth suggesting a product, or give me usage-based pricing that lets me start out cheaply, and lets my bill grow as the value I gain from your product grows.
The reality is that based on the number of objects you want to search in, your search traffic, your searches' complexity and your index/relevance configuration; the underlying resources can vary soo much, it's hard to have a single pricing that fits all use-case.
If your resources don't scale with usage, yes, you have a problem, but I'd say not limited to algolia
Why would I want to build a product/business that uses Algolia technology as a key component when I have no idea whether the eventual cost of Algolia will be acceptable? I wouldn't, which is why despite Algolia's extremely attractive features, I have time and time again been unable to recommend its use.
What is my cost with a million objects, an average computational complexity of 3 compute units per search, etc.
If you can't do that, at least give some example scenarios (small, medium, big, huge, etc) with total pricing.
Just... something. Anything would be better than a "contact us" link.
I absolutely refuse to use or recommend anything that looks like a black box enterprise solution if it lacks transparency.
It's impossible to use due to bugs.
Search is fast, relevancy is awesome, it's hosted and I have analytics. So for that use case it's a clear and major win against installing, configuring and adding search analytics to Elastic.
But I don't use Algolia for my project (and my full-time job now) Listen Notes (a podcast search engine). I did some back of envelope calculation on pricing, and figured that I had to pay $50k ~ $100k/month (at least) to Algolia, which is like I have to raise a pre-seed round every month :) I run a podcast API
myself. I understand that it's impossible for an api (and its pricing) to fit every use cases in the world.
– Be up front about pricing and terms (depends on target business size though)
– Easy to understand but detailed feature lists, tier comparisons, screenshots, videos
– Public, well organized documentation that goes in depth and is easy to search/navigate, also acts as good SEO
– Plenty of samples in documentation so you can paste and
– Quick support that can get technical enough
– Offer yearly and monthly subscriptions
Developers usually spend a few minutes scanning each solution they're comparing, so within very short time and clicks, they should be able to decide why you should be a pick and not the next one. There's usually a hard criteria. They need to solve a problem. Investigate what kinds of features your users picked you for.
Also, trials: If you don't offer trials, you'll get higher quality customers. (But still offer refunds just in case.) They'll be the type who can spend the first monthly fee to check out your site, and have realistic expectations.
You have to click on one of the other links that actually shows a correct hover icon and THEN click on the "Developers" link to get there.
Maybe their docs are great, but a bunch of links on the main site are broken...
But I've been meaning to do a sit-down discussion with this team for a while. We've funded a lot of API-first developer-focused businesses in the past: Easypost, Lob, Apollo GraphQL, and developer focused stuff like LogDNA and so some of this is wanting to point to things that work well.
Interactivity in particular is really important to nail in first time experience.
I'm also a customer of Algolia— I use it in all my software projects including Posthaven and Bookface at YC. I had to implement Lucene at Palantir and I used both Lucene and Thinking Sphinx when I ran engineering (and devops too) for my top 200 site Posterous. (In retrospect I should have hired a devops team... but that's another story.) And the contrast between running your own search at scale and having something work out of box with code that's ready to rock... I genuinely believe it's pretty magical.
You didn't answer OP's question, which was:
> This is an advertisement of Algolia. Isn't it?
Reflecting on your answer, you appear to be advertising for Algolia as well. It's a nice product, but the impression I get is that OP is right -- this post is an advertisement.
Which is more inline with normal HN content. Pointing to some technical thing which works well we can integrate into our coding/startups/etc.. In this case it happens to be a non-open source subscription business replacement for coding your own search, so it's very commercial, of course, but paid off the shelf solutions are technically an alternative to coding your own search with open source stuff.
Getting LPs to invest in your fund encourages strong personal brand building.
Getting startups to want _you_ to invest versus others—and for many "great looking" deals (the ones you want), the company has options—requires strong personal brand building.
In the medium term incentives are less towards being good at helping companies.
You have to do enough good marketing to get founders to sign on the dotted line. After that, if they don't like you or are "bleh" on you, there's nothing they can do about it. What's done is done.
By the time you've fully deployed the capital in your fund (2–3 years, excluding reserves for follow-on), you're raising your next fund. That's _far_ too short of a time span to know what the results will be for Fund I.
What does it take?
It's not a coincidence, then, that successful funds revolve around good, or at the very least incessant, self-marketers.
Garry has appeared numerous times on @VCBrags (and has, funnily enough, blocked them.)
This is helpful feedback for me in that if this feels too much like advertising, I'm not doing a good enough job there. Sorry about that.
(Launch HN posts are an exception. Those are one of the things that HN formally gives back to YC in exchange for funding it: https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=true&que...)
I noticed one dubious upvote making it past HN's anti-voting-ring software, but that's not enough to push a story onto the front page, let alone to #1. It's also extremely common. I didn't notice evidence of any "network for upvotes".
if YC disable_moderation;
Age all posts, push them down the ranking
When I say we moderate HN less, not more, when YC or YC startups are involved, the word "moderate" means all of the above: boosting submissions, downweighting submissions, intervening in comments, and so on. When I said we didn't touch this post, I meant we did nothing to affect its rank.
There's an important thing to add, though. "Less" does not mean zero. We still moderate—we just do it less. Mainly we try to be consistent with how we moderate other submissions, in order to be fair. In this case, for example, I just reduced the effect that flags are having in driving this post down the front page. But I reduced it by less than I would have if the post were non-YC-related. If that sounds scandalous, please re-read the previous sentence.
Ok, that's clear and unambiguous.
> If that sounds scandalous
It sounds like you are following through on exactly what you said you were doing on the search you linked elsewhere. I read some of those and it clearly stated "less intervention". So for you to apply "less intervention" here is you being consistent.
For the record I didn't flag the submission. It didn't appear, to me, to violate any guidelines.
> If you're going to imagine that sort of interpretation
Sounds like I have violated the guidelines:
Please respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says, not a weaker one that's easier to criticize. Assume good faith.
I appear to have escaped censure at this juncture, perhaps due to the lesser moderation applied in this thread.
it means they are less likely to intervene in the discussions on them.
User posts story to blog and includes hn link in an email blast. Followers upvote quickly then the article slowly losses interest.
But catchy title gives more attention. Podcast during a workday means more bookmarking for the ride home.
It may be that "you find them interesting is enough", and it's your site so this is not a complaint, but it is not a transparent process because despite "thousands of comments" there is little documentation or explained policies.
We know there's an "anti flame war" trigger on the down side, but of more interest is what causes stories to jump hundreds of spots and that has never been well explained to my knowledge. (Or perhaps it has but I haven't been to read such an explanation).
Well they are and the hand is users flagging posts. Plenty of times I've seen
Article A, 2 hours, 50 votes
Article B, 1 hour, 100 votes
Trying to write comprehensive policies would end up interesting only the sorts of users who like policies, who are also the sort who will raise objections no matter what we do. The more policy we produce, the more objections and meta concerns they will raise, so to go down that road would be to perform a DoS attack on ourselves. It would suck limited resources away from things we can do to improve HN for the community as a whole, instead of just a vocal, litigious few. Since we're going to get criticized from this angle no matter what we do, we may as well take our lumps up front. If that sounds harsh, I'm sorry—it's mostly because policy-writing is the last thing my soul cares to do, and the bureaucratic parts of this job make me grumpy.
HN has always been curated, and that involves human judgment and interpretation—there's no way around that, no way to spell it out, and certainly no way to formalize it. As far as I can tell, the community is somewhere between fine-with-that and prefers-it-that-way.
But we're fully open to answering questions. I spend hours each day doing that, in threads and by email. There's basically nothing people ask about HN that we don't answer. Before someone objects to "basically", I'm throwing that in because there are always corner cases (e.g., a question we can't answer because it would compromise some other user). You can't run a site this complicated without inconsistency. But the principles we practice are deeply about openness and satisfying curiosity.
As for stories "jumping hundreds of spots", if you mean jumping up, that's the second-chance pool (described at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11662380). If you mean jumping down, it's some combination of software penalties and/or user flags and/or moderation downweights. Most often it's user flags.
That may have flown by for you but is much of the time I have been visiting HN.
That's just the standard link I use to describe the second-chance pool. We've been just as open in the subsequent four years.
For me, I just don't have enough time in the day (parenthood + day job as an investor) so when I do code, I am looking for a lot of leverage, and I'm willing to trade off a monthly fee for it since it's like licensing software that lets me get something done a lot faster.
Most cloud services are like this: You could do it yourself, but when you compare it to hiring more people on your team, you should use a cloud service.
The upside to this is that a lot of startups are going to be able to get a lot more leverage through building on top of services like Algolia. I mean, this is really the AWS strategy in a nutshell, isn't it?
However, automatically dismissing an entire piece of content because of a conflict of interest, which actually may not be that big (e.g. what percentage of their portfolio is Algolia, that it'd be worth pushing), seems closed-minded.
Investors are people, and like anyone, being excited about a company/product and using their platform to share it, is a pretty benign thing to do.
The over-the-top cynicism seems unnecessary.
I tip my hat to you good sir. I have been roasted, but well.
p.s. looks like Hacker News is using algolia for searching right now.
Exilir and Rust would indeed be great additions to our integrations. However, we are really cautious when considering to support new languages. As said in the interview, we try to provide those API clients in the most idiomatic way for each language.
At the moment, we do not have a lot of demands for those languages nor the necessary workforce to onboard on those two languages (only very few people are proficient with those languages at Algolia and we don't have any production code using them IIRC).
Can't blame a dev for being drawn to newer languages!