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Show HN: My startup: code4cheap.com, a code marketplace (code4cheap.com)
36 points by blake8086 on May 2, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 40 comments

Cheap is a poor word choice for your brand; it invokes bad associations for both of your audiences.

Consider something implying speed instead, which signals "inexpensive," without suggesting a shoddy product.

True. It has worked well for NameCheap, only because the quality of the product is virtually identical among providers. Unfortunately it's not the case here.

I suppose I may have to change the name at some point down the line. It is quite difficult to find good names.

In my search, I sat down with instantdomainsearch and said "ok, I'm going to come up with at least 100 acceptable domain names", this was the favorite out of everyone I polled.

I like the idea of implying "speed" instead.

Somebody on here built http://impossibility.org/, which I've found to be fantastic. You give it a word, it sticks other words around it. I found about half a dozen better names in just a few seconds worth of work.

http://www.bustaname.com/ is also good. You provide the words but it does all the combos (even beyond two words).

Well that's definitely worth a look.

Love impossibility.org. Wonderful tool.

Does FinishedCode.com do anything for you? Its available, and I think it has a nicer ring to it.

I like the idea, I'm unsure of the pricing strategy. "How much do I get paid? code4cheap.com keeps 30% of the question's price. For example, with a $10 question, the best answer will receive $7." What if you changed that around, with something like a question posting fee. When I go to the site as a coder, I want to get the $50 I see, not $35 after you take your cut. It's inflating the payment that I would actually get, assuming I read that right. Presumably you could adjust the posted price to be $35 to do X, not sure how receptive your audience would be to that.

I just logged in to say the same thing. You should be charging the asker 30% more - so the answerer might "see" get $35 but the asker is actually paying $50.

Subtle difference ... but it's how I feel about it.

EDIT I've also got a real worry about the "Fuck You, Pay Me" aspect of this project (reference: http://vimeo.com/22053820)

What happens if I post a correct answer, this person tries it and decides "that's not really what I wanted", "I've decided to get out of that line of business" etc...

Or just figures he can back out since I've given the product (the answer) and all they've got to do to keep their money, is keep their money.

Maybe it's another 'elance', 'craigslist' or whatever ... but I don't know that it stands up to the FUPM test.

My feeling was that as a questioner, I don't want to pay $50 to have the number "35" show up. I think people will get comfortable with the pricing scheme over time.

Two things. One, I think 30% is a very high percentage to be charging for a fee, which inevitably will affect how questioners feel about paying it and the growth of your site. Second, if you don't actually charge until the transaction is ready, then few should object to paying say, $60 for a $50 question (20% fee) for an answer ready to be read.

The problem with these types of sites is that it favors the buyer. A quick browse of the questions posted shows one awarding a whopping $10 for some status screen thing. Sorry, but $10 barely compensates me for the time involved to even consider the question. I'm guessing that this is like any other Q&A site where the answers are effectively on spec. So you can't claim the question as being one you and you alone will solve... you have to compete with many others for a chance at being the one who gets the $10.

No thank you. Might as well have branded this ProgrammersAreCheap.com.

But for someone else who knows GNU screen really well, the $10 could easily be worth the short amount of time it would take to provide an answer.

I could see this being a good way to go deeper than the regular Q&A site format by offering monetary incentives to participate.

And questions which really are easy pickings will get 10 people answering them if the site becomes popular. So that $10 reward -- actually $7 after the 30% fee -- would have a 10% probability to win, assuming equal strength of answers for the really easy ones. I don't know many people who'd care about 70 cents.

It sounds like 10 people would care about it in that example you gave.

The first person responding perhaps thought it was easy money. Every subsequent answer is a race to the bottom. So why not go all the way and allow responders to underbid the last guy? That way, someone could spend an hour writing a very detailed response hoping to get the $7 and someone could come along, crib their answer off of the first one, and offer to accept only $6. The first guy, not wanting to totally waste the effort he put in, can then lower his bid to $5. Rinse and repeat.

I think there are significant problems with this approach which you have not thought through.

First, I believe this kind of market devalues programmers and programs. It takes a whole lot of small transactions for a programmer to make a living in this kind of market.

Second, it's not really useful for anything other than trivial programs. Getting agreement on a reasonable specification for anything at all complicated takes time, and for the programmer in this space, time is money.

Third, What happens when there are multiple responses to a question--does only one responder get paid, or do all get paid.

Fourth, there is no effective mechanism for quality control. Who has the liability about quality? How is testing conducted?

Fifth, who owns the code? who owns the copyright on the code? Can the code be redistributed to others?

From the FAQ:

Can I post homework problems? Absolutely!

That seems to encourage academic dishonesty? The stackoverflow community tends to self police homework, so it'll be interesting to see how explicit permission to pay for homework affects the site's community.

Academic dishonesty comes from academically dishonest students. Instead of policing each question and guessing if it's homework or not, I'm simply allowing any question.

Then you should say you are allowing any question (or don't say anything at all).

By addressing it in the FAQ and explicitly saying you allow it, you are implying that you condone academic dishonesty.

edited for clarity

What if the schools' homework policy is to allow collaboration between the student and any sources (including just looking stuff up on Wikipedia)?

That was the defacto policy in my school. Homework was 5% of your grade, and was expected to just be a learning experience. The real trials were the labs and the projects.

You could theoretically cheat by copying project code from somewhere, but without the explanation report you'd still get a 0.

That does sound a lot better.

I don't get it - why are there only four questions and no answers? What happens to my code after I've posted it? Can it be used by the site (as in re-sold)?

I have just launched.

Your code remains public on the site under any license you specify. It may be republished by the site, but only used under the terms of your specified license.

The ToS has the full gory details.

Its an interesting concept, but basically mechanical turk for code eh?

One way to incentivize it a bit more would be offering to sell a previous answer for half of the original cost. So buyer A pays $10 for an answer, if someone else wants it they can buy the same solution for $5. That creates a long tail effect and keeps people motivated to answer questions.

Cool idea! Sometimes I wish Stackoverflow had a similar functionality, where rather than getting help, I could literally offer a cash bounty for the solution. I realize the focus of SO is for education, but would be a nice option, particularly since it already has a very active community.

Hopefully this site will too!

Thank you. This is exactly the reason I built this site.

I had the idea a long time ago, and then SO came out a few weeks later, so I abandoned it because I thought SO would fill that space. However, they've remained free, and it's still hard to get an answer on something requiring more than a few minutes' time.

I like the idea. Do I have to wait for questions? Have you considered adding the ability for me to start adding scripts to be purchased?

I'm not sure what you mean by "wait for questions"...

Yes, I would love to add that ability in the future. If I get a lot of re-usable submissions, that may happen sooner rather than later.

I assume that Sakes means that right now, it appears as though a coder uses this site by fulfilling requests (questions).

Currently, there are 3 requests that a coder could potentially fulfill. Sakes is asking if it is possible to offer services directly, without waiting for somebody to ask for them.

Oh! I hadn't even thought of that.

So a coder says: "hey, I'm good at Python and..."

I'm having trouble filling in the blank there. Would they solicit questions and then get exclusivity? Would they just generally advertise? I'm not really sure how that would work.

Maybe someone just spent a week writing an ecommerce integration and would like to sell that script for $250 a pop to as many people as would like to buy it.

blhack: I can't reply to your comment so am posting here. It would work like this:

1. You need to have a solution repository.

2. Developers post solutions there. For instance, find numbers less than n where the sum of divisors is greater than number but none of the divisor subset equals the number. And the solution is tagged with the implementation language.

3. Before posting a question, someone can look into the repository and get the solution from there if already there.

What problem it solves:

1. Developers can post their solutions without someone asking for it.

2. Solution seekers will have a smaller turnaround time if the solution is already there in the repository.

I feel like that leads me down the path of being Experts-Exchange, and I don't really want to go there.

I got the impression Skakes was asking for posting scripts. "I have a Ruby script that converts X in to Y" "I have a Python script that lets people reset Active Directory and LDAP passwords" Skakes can then ask for however much money for those scripts.

This seems like it could be a really powerful idea, especially if the solutions were ranked well on Google. As a wannabe hacker, I often find myself searching for solutions to particular problems I need to solve within a larger JavaScript or Python or whatever script only to find some large project that I have to spend tons of time dissecting just to see how that one thing works. If I could spend $5 to save that time, I surely would. And, sometimes seeing the solution in another language could even help find an answer in the language I'm trying to use. Of course, depending on the language, there may be an active community on the web or IRC that can answer my question in real-time.

That's basically http://codecanyon.net/

I have great respect for what the Envato guys have built, and think it would be extremely difficult to compete with them head-to-head.

What specifically ties your system to "code"? It seems anyone can ask any question. Aside from the monetary award, how are you differrent from Yahoo answers?

It is true, anyone could potentially ask anything. I'm simply trying to target the code market.

It is not different aside from the monetary award yet.

I like the idea, I don't like the implication of the branding.

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