New and unique ideas are the hardest to gain traction because nobody understands them yet. Improved executions of existing ideas can gain traction a lot faster. There is hardly one version of anything out there... and if there is, there is something wrong about it.
Haters gonna hate.
As Scott Adams put it: "Can the people saying it won't work please talk to the people who say it's already being done? Work it out and get back to me."
EXACTLY. What no one ever tells you is that as an entrepreneur one of two things will be true:
1. 100% of people will ignore you
2. OR, some nontrivial fraction of commenters, journalists, bloggers (often 10-20%) will HATE you
It helps a lot to know that this happens to everyone.
Am I the only one who is a little annoyed?
Patrick, you spend 8 days, budget $60, spend most of your time blogging about what you did, and you call yourself a MicroISV? It's more like NanoISV to me. A real MicroISV pour a lot more energy and soul into the software they develop.
If somehow, your blog gets popular and what you did is considered a "MicroISV", I will be very sad. There will be no more pride in being a MicroISV and I will stop calling myself that. Spend a few days, a few bucks, to get a few extra bucks is a MicroISV ? Shame on you man! You give those real MicroISV like Bob Walsh and few others a bad name!
I should really get that framed.
My parents, circa 1999 when I was dropping out of high school to teach myself: "You'll end up working at 7-11!"
(Our income from products this year will be 10x my father's salary from that year.)
Seems like I need to grow a thicker skin and accept that it comes with the territory. :-/
Here's something I've noticed in the years I've been on HN: Many seem to be so utterly pessimistic about others' ideas, executions, and successes out of what I suspect to be nothing but pure jealousy. Seriously. Take a look at every Rate My Startup thread, every thread about a company being acquired, etc, and you'll find people left and right throwing criticism after unwarranted criticism.
The difference between you and most of the people on the thread about you releasing your new product is this: You're actually creating stuff, and I'm willing to bet that a good 80% of them are not.
If Crush Notifier doesn't work, it seems like you'll quickly jump onto the next thing; so keep pushing, and don't mind the disgruntled, cynical, vain naysayers here on HN or TC, etc.
Even if you were to be handed the keys to a perfect replica of Facebook, with a whole new brand, it would be anything but trivial to gain traction with it.
Success is above all determined by the execution of the idea as well as its marketing.
Some of the commenters are no doubt annoyed by the fact that the idea was (in their eyes) easy to execute and TC did most of the marketing for them. So I think it comes down to petty jealousy for some.
And even with brilliant execution and a fantastic marketing strategy, most things are still doomed to fail. Luck still plays a brutal and major part - the internet is chock full of successful startups/sites/projects that lingered in obscurity for many months or years without catching on, and then suddenly blew up and started to go viral without any particularly clever action on the part of the founders.
The important thing is to resist the urge to explain success and failure as if they are deterministic when they're really driven by essentially random factors (to be precise: they're not random, but they're so unpredictable and difficult to control that to us they might as well be). The "execution is everything" mantra is true for most types of products, and poor execution can explain failure, but IMO it's far overrated for things that rely on virality. Even if you do absolutely everything right, there's always a significant chance that an inferior me-too ripoff is going to be the one that gets all "your" users.
Which is why it's so much smarter to build things like Breakup/Crush Notifier as weekend projects rather than startups.
Who benefits from such garbage? I'd love to know if anyone here has experience maintaining loose communities like that. Does light moderation help? I feel like letting the loudmouth morons run free tends to shut out anyone who might want to write something intelligent or useful. A crappy comment section is worse than useless; it actively makes your site look bad.
I still don't know how HN happened. I suppose making it a private community to start, then opening up once the culture was established, played a large part, and I know pg does some moderation. But I personally haven't seen much evidence of moderation, so my mental model is a little soft there.
Even sites like NYT have morons and it only goes downhill from there.
Sometimes the internet looks like a really strange place.
Quality discussion of articles is many times (like ycombinator) more relevant, salient and informative.
engadget once called something I did outright 'crappy' right in the title of the article. guess who was making sales? that's right, this guy :)
Most entrepreneurs would kill for this kind of attention to their weekend projects. Now everything he does is inherently newsworthy because he's "the creator of Breakup Notifier."
The lesson here is - do something controversial and make a name for yourself. Notoriety is far better than obscurity for an entrepreneur.
This lesson isn't anything new, it's been around since Diogenes.
There's nothing different btwn this and Zynga's cloneVille tactics which all other game companies universally hate.