It's currently running at 160,000 requests a day, from 45,000 unique IPs. Lots of those are mobile apps, lots of shopping carts, economics research projects - big users include Flattr, WooThemes (WooCommerce), and some other nice people.
Doesn't make any money because it was designed as a free service - but I'm currently re-architecting it from scratch to offer vastly improved features for a very small cost.
The data will always be free and open to anybody. The big fish I'm going for are partnerships with big institutions and colleges/universities, offering much more accurate and wide-ranging financial/economic data and statistics at a far cheaper rate than the current incumbents!
Great project btw!
Pretty soon it'll be collecting from other services too and taking averages, with a few slightly more complex moving parts, as well as calculations and statistics - that's where we need to beef up the server and start making some dough though.
Also very soon we're starting to collect other types of 'freely available' trade and economics data, and adding value to it in other ways!
Meant to be free for all, included a silly in-app purchase. Generated lots of calls to congress, got some press, currently losing $2.10/week on hosting.
A few friends and I are working on an app and website that lists corporations' political contributions. The mobile feature that makes it interesting is that you can scan barcodes to find out the political contributions from those products right away--inspired by Boycott SOPA https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.boycottsop...
I'd really appreciate it if we could talk some time about publishing an iPhone app. I'm still in college, so I don't have much experience with iPhone App publishing and would really appreciate some advice, especially for a non-profit app dealing with politics.
Edit: Also interesting that it got quite a bit of attention on HN and several hundred (maybe 400?) downloads and not a single sale (from what I could tell). That surprised me a bit; every sale has been driven by people coming from tweets that some big names in the jailbreaking scene retweeted.
Except nobody paid.
* offer a $100 credit to start off.
* offer more services than just a tweet if successful - for example a very simple feedback widget that shows up.
* charge only for delaying ship dates, but not for changing what is being shipped, or for minor delays (say within a week).
* don't charge if the person accepts public humiliation with a tweet saying "I sucked and did not ship my planned item.".
First off, it's fairly obvious that you could have a "hacker shelf", "new mom shelf", "mathematician's shelf", and so on.
Second off, I see little point in making your own database, when Amazon is.. well, pretty much the standard app and user interface for searching for books.
My suggestion is to do something which integrates with Amazon and lets people define their own "shelves" by choosing Amazon products. Everyone could define themselves as a mathematician, hacker, new mom, etc. It would be kinda like social networking gone Amazon.
P.S. Upvote for letting me know about a few really cool books, like the Haskell School of Music which I intend to read.
Let's see a post with some screenshots!
It's an opinion of course, but I personally find the hacker news design to be dreadfully ugly; yet it's one of the sites I visit and interact with the most frequently. It's simple and very usable. A flashy modern design might make it look better, but if not done well it might also impede functionality, and thus make me visit it less often. And the obvious lack of pretense is psychologically satisfying. Simple and ugly is fine if it's functional.
I definitely should have polished it up more and included documentation on how to use it and why it's cool and why building it on Github's infrastructure was a particularly neat trick, but I announced it too early because I was excited.
I definitely underestimated the importance of proper marketing and UI, even for an MVP for the high-tech crowd.
Edit: typo and clickable link
For example, LeBron James' career timeline: http://careers.fantasysp.com/player/nba/lebron-james/
It works by aggregating thousands of stories over the years and assigns them to a specific player/sport. Then I monitor how users interact with the stories to formulate trends in his career. Each story presented in the timeline has a link back to the original source so you can read the full article.
I already had all of this data from my main site and thought it would be fun to use it in another way.
Is there anything more useful than taking all the bragging out of Hacker News and seeing what didn't quite work, or works but isn't blowing up? These are the great lessons
It was built over a weekend to experiment with the Yii PHP framework and because I wanted to see what the list looked like (wasn't disappointed, there's some surprising stuff on there - like how Braveheart on DVD is mankind's greatest accomplishment according to Amazon).
I was considering promoting it as a quick way to find gifts for people and use it for this purpose myself, but I have more profitable/enjoyable things to be doing.
Although it was done more for me, than generating revenue, so that's not too bad.
 - http://www.tigerscheme.org/
You spell "conversion" incorrectly in two different ways and your grammar is poor ("Why noone...").
If I were you I'd get the site redesigned, preferably by a professional web designer.
Maybe slim the main page down to your banner, a tag-line saying what the product is and a "Try It Now" button. I don't want to sign up for anything; why not let me demo it on your site in real-time?
And where's the initial Wow? There's a heatmap picture on the main page but nothing happens when I click it. Why not have the image work as a heatmap too?
Sorry to be so negative, but maybe you'll get better results if you fix some or all of those things?
Also, I did want to see how it actually worked, but I don't want to sign up and install stuff for that...so that's why I wanted a live demo.
I think you should drop the "completing with Google Analytics" angle too. Even if it's true that you're better, no-one will believe it. Why not show how you integrate with it instead? If people are using both and realise themselves that they only need your product, then that's good enough.
We really should put a little more effort into this project.
I agree about "noone", but I don't think the website can be called awful. It's certainly quite pretty.
At least I improved my skills a lot thanks to it, especially in regards to financial processing.
I'm quite surprised I got any upvotes.
Its 3rd beta update was released in May, and we're hoping to launch very soon. While its technically not profitable, it does have a small # of users, and we still have the payment system to hook up.
Despite it being very young, building it has been an incredible amount of work, and one of the most enjoyable experiences I've ever had.
Gmelius made the first page of HN (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3878153) and has been featured on TechCrunch, Lifehacker and other tech related news sites since then.
The idea was and still is to propose some enhancements to the new Gmail UI. Donations are welcome and are currently just sufficient to pay the coffee/beer intake necessary to adapt the code to constant Gmail changes and provide some new features ;)
Still need to fix/optimize a bunch of stuff and better document/test, but it was a nice break from studying for exams. And man am I loving Clojure.
This is a place for research authors to support open access ~= the idea that research should be free to read when the authors want it to be. Specifically, the site is about boycotting one particular academic publisher, Elsevier, by pledging never again to do free labor for them (submitting, reviewing, editing papers). So far over 12,000 people have signed up. I see this as part of a larger movement of academics away from research-behind-paywalls.
And, yeah, email me and I can send you my PayPal address.
I don't expect it will ever make any money!
The terms of the Youtube API pretty much rule out monetizing the site with advertising, but usage has (sadly?) been low enough that I just eat the cost of the two Linodes it takes to run.
Obviously my execution is not resonating with people (great signup conversion rates, terrible usage rates), so when I have time I may reboot it as something more like what you're describing.
I still think there is something to the idea of improving the leanback and placeshifting experience for all this great long format web content that's out there (Rev3, This Week In, etc). I'm apparently just not smart enough to figure it out on my own ;p.
Also: if you want to say thanks, just click the tiny triangle pointing up next to my name. That's how we give out happiness around here.
I've always wanted to use something like that to take notes quickly, does it combine well with a bluetooth keyboard?
PS: Anyways, this was very good as a personal challenge!
Actually interviewed at YC but they declined to fund me cause of competition from Apple and Google (see Apple's recent patents and Google's forway into codeless dev - I was actually suspicious if Apple took some of my innovations). I decided to put it on ice and pursue one of my old EE projects which is actually more important to me.
Nowadays I'm working with Pair (http://trypair.com) and do have a few firms interested in acquiring blueprint, so might actually be able to pass the torch and get something out of it to fund my next ventures. For that matter, anyone interested in learning more can email me at email@example.com.
I regret nothing, great learning experience, the whole thing.
But at least it is a small start in transitioning to be some kind of product company instead of just doing consulting/contracting.
While I do plan on manufacturing and selling the things this year, I'm going to price it as close as possible to break even.
The initial idea was that when I was young I played games on a single computer with a shared computer, things like Tankwars, Worms and Mortal Kombat. That was a lot more fun for me than fragging strangers over the internet.
After the web-demo I would like to look at mobile apps. Actually about to post a Show HN of it very soon.
Source @ https://github.com/fmstephe/location_server
Goal is to make french startup famous ... in France. No ads ! No business model ! (cost us zero since it's hosted on my server I use for my projets)
We started with 3 visitors/day now we are at 200.
Got a partnership with the French techcrunch
Got contacts with famous french entrepreneurs to interview
We are happy and we continue to work hard (I work all day long) Actually, I'm working on the design (which is not that easy for an engineer...)
Any feedback are more than welcome
2 days ago I started a Google AdWords campaign so people may find the site, I spend $2.62 so far and got 95 visitors and even won $0.10 with AdSense. Today I added a PayPal donate button.
Made about ~20$ so far, so it's "profitable", but you get the point..
This is my version: http://numok.com
PS, the guys from priceonomics.com seems to be the leaders in this.
And yes, I'll be changing design and button placement in the coming weeks, that's a valid point.
Thank you (:
We are also adding a small tutorial as you suggest -- a number of users were asking "what do I do next" ;-)
The events are recorded manually at the moment and pushed to the users using Pusher.com. There are automated feeds but they are expensive.
It's almost impossible to monetize a patient support site, especially for rare diseases, so I've known for a long time we wouldn't make money. However, we've become one of the largest patient support networks on the Internet. I've put a lot of my money into it and we've run out of money many time, but something good always happens and we stay afloat.
Here is some unsolicited advice:
-Keep your side project alive for as long as you enjoy it. You never know how things will change. When we started there was no such thing as crowdfunding. Last year we managed to pay all the bills through an IndieGoGo campaign: http://www.indiegogo.com/Bens-Friends-Builds-Support-Groups-... - we never dreamed Crowdfunding would exist, now it's our lifeblood. Reading through many of the responses below, they are public service projects. It's very likely you could do at least a small crowdfunding to pay the bills if you need it.
-Who cares if you don't make money? You get to do something you love. That makes you incredibly lucky. Also, almost every person here has tons of opportunities so you can make money on something else. Again, that makes you lucky.
-Change the way you measure success. Most people measure success with money. Since we weren't going to make any money on Ben's Friends, we started measuring how many thank you emails we received every day. I get about 25 thank you notes a day - completely unsolicited. Your measurement may be usage, or reach or whether your girlfriend likes your app. Whatever it is, focus on that. It will make you a lot happier than money.
-If you are going to do something that doesn't make a lot of money, do it with a partner. It will be more fun, you'll pick each other up when things are down, and with both of you brainstorming and iterating, there is a much better chance it will get traction and eventually become something. Ben's Friends never would have gone anywhere without my partner, Ben Munoz. Good partnerships turn into great friendships and they are one of the best things about starting something.
Hope this helps. thanks for posting a great question.
Never intended it to be profitable, more of a learning experience (first webapp).
because we haven't implemented payment yet :D
Slightly taking advantage of this thread: is there anyone who has successfully sold ebooks on Internet? I definitely need some help. Thanks in advance.
And I think it made all of £7 in commissions since then :-(
Maybe you could include less posts in the frontpage, and have more of the post show up.
The default font size is rather small.
I did like the content. It is a good blog. Just looks to busy.
Had 250 referrals from HN domains in approximately six hours landing on the home page. c. 100 blog posts were viewed
Not earth shattering but more visitors than normal. Just need to work out how to make them stay for longer than 10 seconds.
My core focus, which is to keep the UI free of extra text and needless "social" features, has led to a user adoption rate that is less than desirable, to say the least.