Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

I am awe-struck with what people with a passion manage to get done "in a couple weeks" just for fun.

I can't imagine that I could have hired someone to do the same analysis, research, programming, scripting, graphics creation, and web site layout for anything less than tens of thousands of dollars. (Or is my intuition wrong about that?)

Nowhere does he say that he spent all of the 2 weeks working on this entirely. My guess would be that he did a 2-day sprint to hack the prototype and a bit more to polish it across the 2 weeks. Point is - he would not bill 2 working weeks were it a contracting gig. But then again, where'd you get such a motivated contractor (cf. working on own project)?

If he did it in a 2-day sprint, that makes it even more amazing -- which was my point. It seems unlikely to me that I could find someone to do the same quality of work as a contracting gig (whether it took 2 days or 2 months) and charge less than tens of thousands of dollars.

That's why people spouting "open-source is always less quality" and "without paying artists there would be no culture" are so dead wrong. People who feel the urge to create and do, will do so. And to me, things that were created for one's own enjoyment are pretty much always better than things created to be monetised.

Right. Can you imagine a film with the quality of Toy Story being produced just for fun? Not a chance. ThAt film took thousands of man-years to make. The whole open source everything movement is just communist nonsense that typically comes from people who have never had to make a payroll. Rails for example was the open source result of a profit-creating piece of software: Basecamp. The profits enabled the open source not the other way around. When I can feed my family, I'll contribute to open source, but who pays open source developers? Usually they're being subsidized by closed source work. For example, in my current day job, I'm building software for a startup. That pays the bills so I can afford to dabble in open source for fun. The idea if give everything away is just silly. Who is going to pay for the computer you're usin to develop on? Who pays the electric bills? Certainly not te little open source fairy godmother.

It's hard to imagine a film the quality of Toy Story being made for fun, but I frankly find it just as hard to imagine a world powered completely by open source software, from the OS on our computer through the network stack, to the databases, web servers, and programming languages that run them all. Yet we live in that world, and the closed-source software that you assert is the only way to make a profit is somehow being written as a thin layer of film atop an ocean of free, open source software.

I'm not sure how it has escaped the world's attention that you didn't approve these thousands of man-years of work, but it's clearly an oversight that must be corrected immediately. Let's have you tell everyone it doesn't make sense and get this communist nonsense shut down immediately—it's not philosophically viable!

Many great films are made on a fraction of the budget required to produce something like Toy Story. And anyway I don't think it's hard to imagine Pixar artists saying they were more motivated by the pure joy of creating something than by their paychecks. There are bad movies that are created specifically to be monetized -- that people need money is beside the point that often those who create the really good stuff are probably doing it more for fun than for money. I think I see what you're saying, but it seems like an overreaction to what didn't strike me as a controversial comment by the parent.

If that were true, there would be other movies like Toy Story, but "open".

Well, it isn't quite as long, but http://www.bigbuckbunny.org/ was pretty good in terms of quality.

That project had a budget of about EUR150k and artists were paid.

But is Toy Story really the best of our culture? Just because it was expensive and hard doesn't necessarily mean it was te est (for the record, I have loved almost everything Pixar has done).

Asked another way: if the Pixars of the world were to disappear, would it be a net loss for our society? I'm not sure the answer to that is "yes".

I am willing to bet that the same person couldn't even get as far in 2 days/weeks if you were hiring him for this project. Contracting comes with significant additional overhead that quickly eats up the time.

You might find the results you seek if you offered to pay someone for two days to work on whatever they wanted. However, even then, you're apt to not get anything of quality back. I'm sure the person who has created this work has thrown away many more projects.

Well, a week is about $2500, so I guess it'd take around $5k.

There are many people who would call $2500 their two day rate. So, $10k+ doesn't seem that far fetched for a project of this complexity that delivers business value of some sort.

I don't mean to be facetious, but there are also developers, and I mean that in the loosest sense of the word, that call $100 their daily rate. My guess is that both parties need to maximise the value/profit ration by negotiating. $10k sounds right as we are delving into hypotheticals.

People who charge $150+/hour are rarely working 8 (billable) hours a day.

I think that's far. I mostly posted because I don't want people to believe that $5k is the most you could get for this project.

There are infinite ways you could add a ton of value to this project that would be worth more than $5k. Automating the data retrieval and plugging it into mechanical turk for verification, being able to critique or comment on the deeper meaning of the change in colors. Or even online marketing to get the backlinks for a business could potentially be worth $10k.

I'm sorry, isn't this just a histogram of all the posters for that year? Am I missing something (e.g. a page I didn't see)?

It doesn't take that long to make a histogram of a "movie posters year X" Google image search...

No, you're right.

But from your comment "it doesn't take that long.." its clear to me we're thinking about this in two different ways.

You're saying, "Here's how long it would take me..." hourly * estimate.

I'm saying, "Here's how to add more business value..." business_value * my_cut_to_decimal

If you can, perhaps by not even programming, make business_value a large enough number then (business_value * my_cut_to_decimal) > (hourly * estimate).

I'd go one step further and argue that the higher price is a win for both parties. You get paid more, and the company has just discovered a slot that they can slide money into and get more money back out off.

Oh, sure, I agree with that. It's just that the OP was talking about what it would take for him to hire someone to do this, so I went with that.

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