Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: Your must-read HN post?
169 points by imheretolearn 15 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 29 comments
If you had to choose 1 HN post, that you think every other HN visitor should read, which one would it be?

My suggestion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22943749

Show HN : Dropbox [0]

It's a rare insight into a first product launch to the world with comments on a focused community.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8863

This is the HN equivalent of Slashdot’s most famous post.


HN tie-in, featuring the OP -


And yet people never learn.

Ed Colligan CEO of Palm on rumors of Apple releasing a phone.

“We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone, PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”

The main things Taco complained about:

No wireless - the iPod was already popular before the iPod Touch

Less space than the Nomad - even though later iPods had up to 160GB of storage, the most popular ones were the Shuffle and the Nano that had little storage.

I remember hearing Drew on some podcast talking about this. It's great to actually see the original post. Thank you for your submission!

It's amazing how one website post can make someone into a billionaire over night

It's hilarious to see Mr. "I have a few qualms with this app" as the first comment.

"you can already build such a system yourself quite trivially by getting an FTP account, mounting it locally with curlftpfs, and then using SVN or CVS on the mounted filesystem"

Oh, thanks bro.

That is probably the most cited HN comment of all time (https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=true&que...). Entire rants have been written about it, and not nice ones. Fortunately BrandonM has been a good sport about this over the years, given that it's pure hindsight fallacy.

Edit: I think I want to add a bit more. Would you please not post like this to HN? Your comment is only snark ("hilarious", "Mr. [sarcastic quote]", "oh, thanks bro"). That is against the site guidelines (https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html), and is worse than the comment/commenter you're putting down; he was obviously trying to be helpful and responded sweetly to Drew's reply in the original thread. His real mistake was simply being unlucky enough to have people posting internet-jerk comments about it 13 years later.

People don't remember this now, but before Dropbox succeeded it was widely taken for granted that file synchronization was pointless to work on because no one would ever make a business of it. There was a famous post mocking the idea: https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2008/05/01/architecture-astro... ("Nobody cared then and nobody cares now, because synchronizing files is just not a killer application. I’m sorry. It seems like it should be. But it’s not.") In 2007, it was common knowledge that most consumers wouldn't want such a thing and technical people would just roll their own, so a viable business couldn't be created out of it. (In Brandon's comment, the word "app" referred to YC application, not software apps, and you can see in his point #3 the widespread assumption that no one would ever pay money for this.) The surprise was that Dropbox proved the common knowledge wrong, but that didn't happen till later. When YC funded Dropbox, it was because they believed in Drew, not file synchronization—also information which wasn't available till later. So if we are to look at that thread fairly, in context, we should see it as a successful conversation with a graceful ending, rather than mocking someone for not knowing the future.

I sell onions on the internet. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19728132

My absolute favorite.

Thank you, that was such a fun read. Very inspiring

Ask HN: A New Decade. Any Predictions? ::: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21941278

Other contenders, plucked from my favourites

• The boring technology behind a one-person Internet company (2018) ::: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20985875

• Ask HN: Successful one-person online businesses? ::: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21332072

• Why's that company so big? I could do that in a weekend ::: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12626314

• Bullshit Jobs ::: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17874320

I checked the 2010's predictions. This is the highest voted comment on that post (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1025802). It is creepily accurate. These posts humbly drive the point how it was impossible before the internet to find out what opinions the general public held in the past.

Is it really?

The Google thing was part of the htps for Google Fiber, a now-abandoned promising Google Project.

The rest of the things sound like predictions you could make for 2030.

I really like "Ask HN: Name one idea that changed your life" [1] from two weeks ago.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23092657

As someone 2 or so years into coding professionally and constantly looking at my own work and sort of frowning, refactoring, wash rinse repeat, I keep telling myself this is the process and that's ok.

I believe your past work is a great indicator of your progress. If you look at your past work and frown, chances are you are frowning because you now know something you didn't back then. This is a great sign of improvement. If you look at your past work and go meh, it was great back then and it's great today, chances are you've not learned anything new. Pro tip: There's always room for improvement.

Pfft.. there are many.. and new ones keep popping up every once in a while. That's why I keep coming back.

I'd start with the HN Search:


It's default setting is all posts ever posted sorted by popularity.

Show HN: I built a tool to remove news articles from HN https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23093990

This site act as a filter of HN, so you can find original content easier. The idea behind is also interesting.

(I'm not the OP)

A comment, actually, but @tokenadult's comment on hiring, of which I'm not sure this is the latest version, but close enough: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5227923

I do not really expect just one, especially I do not expect just one for everybody. I think it depend what you are interested to read about.

I agree there is no one size fits all solution. This question is aimed at HNers who thought a post was important to them for some reason and they think it would benefit others for the same reasons. The reader is free to choose the posts he/she finds interesting.

I already read this one though.

I'll even go as far as to say that everyone here has already read it.

The death of Job https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3078107

to remind me how great one man can change the world.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact