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Thanks for your patience about all the (YC S12)
208 points by pg on Aug 16, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 72 comments
I realize the frontpage has been clogged with launches recently. It's because Demo Day is coming up in a few days. Every batch I tell the startups not to wait till the last minute before launching, but most always do anyway, with the result that there's a glut of launches a week before.

The good news is that the flood should be peaking about now. In the meantime, thanks for putting up with it. Although for HN readers the volume of launches probably starts to become an annoyance, for each startup that's launching it's big deal.

Have we really gotten to the point where we can assume readers on HN are annoyed by hearing about new company launches? It's sad that this warrants an apology.

I think it's not so much the individual launches that annoy people as the fact that there are so many at once. It throws off the usual mix on the frontpage.

I find all of the job posts from YC companies that launched years ago most distracting.

Launches are interesting to a general audience.

Jobs only to a small niche.

Agreed, the launches are interesting. YC job ads I see one of the ways the site pays for itself.

But seriously, tech startup launches? As opposed to another shallow-but-emotionally-intense political discussion? Easy choice.

When you see the same startup over and over again, it does raise an eyebrow as well.

Oooh, ooh, I can play this game! I used to play Guess Who as a kid!

Doooooes their name begin with a number?

Do they wear glasses?

> Jobs only to a small niche.

This is what annoys me the most, especially if it's a 'stealth' idea or it's a YC company that posts once a month instead of using the "Who's Hiring?" thread.

The only thing I don't like about job posts is if they don't say right in the headline their geographical area. If they do have that, I can filter them out in 5 seconds.

I don't mind the job postings. I find it annoying that there is no comment thread on them, to sort out the BS.

I agree. I wish I could unsubscribe from the job postings.

80+ team in this batch alone,more from the previous batches as well.News about YC companies and job postings in a seperate page would be awesome on Hackernews something like xxx.ycombinator.com.A seperate page for YC startups to share their news and job postings. Should be easy for everyone to take note on whats happening in the YC family :)

I fail to understand how they bubble up to be the top posts most of the time though?

I've wondered about this too. The conspiracy theorist in me came up with some silly ideas. But, in reality my guess is that people associated with YC (alumni, friends, YC co. employees, investors, etc.) vote up posts about launches as part of rooting for & supporting each other. Of course, many people associated w/ YC visit the site so it's almost an automatic front page.

They don't bubble up. They are assigned a high rank to start with and then they fall off the page as per the normal algorithm.

The real question is whether HN and YC have outgrown each other yet - I don't think HN is going to scale to many more seasons of YC, it's become the next in line on slashdot / digg / reddit and I think that balance has already tipped the scales against people here out of a deep interest in YC.

And of course at the same time YC are huge now, there's probably 80+ startups in this batch and enough alumni a site like TC could be created that exclusively reports YC news.

HN and YC are conjoined twins in many ways. A lot of people's thoughts about how HN could be improved run aground on that fact.

And of course there is still the arc forum...


"there's probably 80+ startups in this batch and enough alumni a site like TC could be created that exclusively reports YC news."

I think that's a great idea even if some of those stories end up being posted on HN.

I agree. Why would any of us be annoyed by others trying to create something cool?

But maybe this is also a subtle warning to non-YC companies that Demo Day participants will be hoarding all of the excitement for the next week.

Even the biggest fan of music will be annoyed at everyone playing their new composition at the same time.

Yeah, I should've realized before trying post my Show HN. Looks like I'll have to wait another week or so.

It remind me an idea: ideally, pages of top news on HN should have a dynamic number of news according to "energy" (the one use for the placement algorithm). For example, the first page could contain news with "energy" from +infinity to 100, page two, from 100 to 90, page 3, from 90 to 80 etc.

Because sometimes one could miss important news due to page selection, and sometimes one could read less important ones due to the current page selection again.

And its super easy to scroll past announcements that don't grab my attention.

Look Paul, I know you don't want to spend time coding and upgrading this site, your time is more valuable managing your business and dealing with all the new startups coming down the pipe.

But it would greatly benefit you, the startups and the readers if you had a section with all the upcoming startups, their founders bio, and a place to showcase their products.

Something like crunchbase, but better. Organized by batch (YC S12). Searchable by funders, VCs, etc.

We want to see what your guys are working on and give them props for their work!

This. I've been using HN for years now (significant portions of that time as purely stalking) and I check it rarely, but I'm very interested in these startups as I've had nothing but praise for the ones who's products I do use.

It would be a great help in trying out their stuff.

I don't mind seeing the launches on the front page here, but I wish I could see them all together rather than haphazardly like this. Is there any chance we could have a /yc-s12 list which has all the posts with "(YC S12)" in the title?

I'm the total opposite. It might be nice to see all the launches in one place, but the relative position of each YC12 launch on the front page conveys information about the level of enthusiasm HN has. As long as nothing from Torrentfreak hits the site at the same time.

on a related note, it feels like anything with a (YC S12) tag in the title gets an arbitrarily high number of upvotes (ViaCycle, for example, got like 40 upvotes in around 30 minutes.)

I don't mean to profane YC, but I seriously doubt an otherwise uninventive bikesharing company would get so much attention if it didn't have the S12 brand behind it.

I am interested to know that people are starting bikesharing companies, for whatever that's worth.


I don't mean that to be condescending; I really just don't get it. All of the bikeshare programs to which I've been exposed are more expensive than a bike purchase by two years of membership, and none of them (ViaCycle included) seem to mitigate the biggest issue; bike parts are theft-prone.

I use Boston's bikeshare (Hubway) all the time, even though I own one bike and could easily buy another.


One-way trips. Bike from one Hubway station to another, then go home on the bus or train or in your friend's car without needing to figure out what to do with your bike. I do lots of circular itineraries where I switch from bus to bike to strolling to train to bike and back to bus without ever retracing my steps.

100% secure bike parking at any Hubway-equipped destination. Because bikes stolen from Hubway stations are not my problem, they are Hubway's problem, so once I dock a bike at a station I just walk away with no worries.

(And right there we've probably got my $85/year of value. Imagine a service which provided lighted, security-monitored bike racks at forty or fifty stations around town, with insurance against theft and an iPhone app to tell me if a particular rack has space for my bike at this moment. I might well expect to pay $10 a month for that service. And Hubway provides that, plus they throw in bikes for free!)

Minor advantages include spontaneous bike trips (mitigated by my own insistence on wearing a helmet, which is annoying to carry around "just in case") and much faster arrival and departure because unlocking and locking these things is fast. I walk up and leave in thirty seconds, most of which is spent putting on the helmet, readjusting the seat height, and strapping my bag to the bike basket; arrival is faster, maybe fifteen seconds. Looking for a good locking spot, then fiddling with U-locks is not so much fun as that.

Meanwhile, sure, thieves could strip the bikes at a Hubway station. I'll bet they'd be doing it on camera the whole time, though, and Hubway stations tend to be near major intersections in populated neighborhoods. And Hubway bikes are pretty odd; I'm not sure there's a lot of easily-fenced standard parts on there.

Sharing a bike is cool if you need it only sometimes, like a few times a month or less. Or if you don't have space to store your own bike.

My point is that most bikesharing programs I've seen average in the $50-$75/year range (ViaCycle included), and an entry-level (as in 'this won't win you any races, but you can ride it to the store') bike costs $100.

The space point is apt, but I can't imagine that the space constraints for your own bike (any bike rack) is more specific than a viaCycle location.

The main selling point for bikesharing programs is that they deliver some form of ease-of-mind. The core benefit is, that you don't have to spend any thoughts on these bikes, they are just there - no maintenance, no charring-around, no winter-issues (depending on your region), no theft, etc. But then again I am an avid user of one of these services and might be a bit biased.

"The core benefit is, that you don't have to spend any thoughts on these bikes, they are just there - no maintenance, no charring-around, no winter-issues"

Exactly. Commonly known as a "turnkey" experience. Something to also keep in mind when developing products or services.

I had such a service business years ago. The main thing we did was offer something and not require any thinking on the part of the customer. We limited their choices, gave them advice, and made things very easy. They liked that. They had less to think about than with our competitors. (We were able to charge more and our quality wasn't really that good.) We saved them time and the stress of making decisions.

That works, but I prefer the HN list interface to the hnsearch results page.

I filter them out at http://diff.biz/ -- if you change the last query param from only-show-removed=no to only-show-removed=yes then you basically get a (YC *) filter.

yeah, YC should have a page on their site with a list of all the funded startups sorted by batches. Maybe a small PR blurb by each startup to describe it.

The blog has most of them http://ycombinator.posterous.com/

Ha, looks like a popular request (given the current sample size anyway :) )

I actually like seeing the launch announcements, but I would prefer if they didn't come via TechCrunch.

(My main opposition is that the TechCrunch website is like playing Russian Roulette with my v1 iPad. It crashes frequently.)

I upvoted your comment but I doubt we'll stop seeing the TC announcements. There's probably an unspoken quid pro quo agreement that TC covers the launches in exchange for exclusivity and traffic from HN.

Actually all the other TC-like sites will also cover a launch in return for an exclusive. The reason most people go with TC is simply that it's the default.

Others would cover for exclusivity but I'm assuming you're going with TC because they're the most popular for your target audience.

I mistakenly included exclusivity as unspoken when that's likely a standard agreement when trying to get a story covered.

Linking to tcfast.com (in HN style!) would be kind of mean to techcrunch, though :)

Good point. It would be nice if Y Combinator (ycombinator.com) has some kind of semi-standard way of making these announcements then. Couldn't the companies just self-post here on HN using a common format? The next level would be a special type of posting like the help wanted posts.

They could just use their own blogs + HN instead of herding the traffic through AOL and only getting the scraps.

I'm surprised that it's still even worth startups announcing their launch on TC, especially those with YC backing.

Can we have a new link at the top of the HN page which wil take me to the: "YC Batch" section. Then all the YC launches/news can be under that one category - and the regular news feed can be about the general happenings in our industry?

You could also have historical batches as well. So if I want to find out anything on YC11 - I go to their batch page?

All I really care about is them being very consistent with how they indicate YC in the title (so it can be searched for); always YC S11 not YC11 or YCS11 or YC Summer 2011 or S11 or whatever.

At some point, having actual tags per-submission could be cool too. Sort of a stopgap on the way toward Reddit-style subreddits. Tag posts with admin, security, python, vc, ...

I'm curious why there isn't a place on HN where we can see the startups for each of the classes including their web site, industry, a description of their service, etc.

I know there are a few resources online, but they don't seem to be kept completely up to date. Personally, I love reading about the startups and would prefer to have that information made available here in an organized fashion than having to read about them on TC or elsewhere.

Anyway, no apologies necessary for me! :)

They likely do not have a page because each startup needs to go out and develop an audience, work at it. Try to solve problems and become popular that way. Also by not listing the startups, it makes it more mysterious. This way if a lot of startups fail, it is not like there is a list on the site or that they suddenly disappear, it would look bad. Better to celebrate success then mourn the losses.

Good points for past classes, but I don't see the harm in listing the current class. On the other hand TC seems to cover them, so I'll lower my hand now :)

It's an early start (I hesitate to even talk about it here since it's such early days), but I put together Seed-DB (http://www.seed-db.com) for all accelerators; YC and all the rest.

I'm a day or two behind on updates because of work travel, but should catch up soon.

Bookmarked! Thanks for putting that together, great work.

"Thanks for your patience about all the" is quite an unorthodox name for a company.

For those of us who grew up reading heavily editorialised printed press, having (voted up) news about hackers in a site called hacker news shouldn't be too painful.

Just put a link next to Submit:

ask | jobs | YC S12

I always found it confusing reading about all of them on the same day on techcrunch. One yc startup launching per day gives me enough attention time to learn what they are building and doing. I actually think it's a good strategy.

No apology is needed.. that's among the most interesting articles of HN in my opinion. As someone else pointed out, I'd prefer to see the post from the founders rather than by Techcrunch thought.

It's actually exciting to see all of these companies coming to fruition. If anything, it'd be nice to see an official "who's launched" list so we can check everything out.

Paul, have you considered making a formal staggered launch schedule? All of them launching at the same time makes every launch that much less remarkable.

I, for one, love seeing all the new companies launching - Hacker News feels like an even livelier more vibrant place this time of year. Keep 'em coming!

Don't worry, even if every YC company ever chartered launched today, it would not outnumber the Twitter me-too posts.

So far so good. Interesting batch.

Would it be better to post 'Show HN' with a direct link rather than Techcrunch?

Really not annoying at all, they're always interesting to see.

I love to see them, but it is hard to keep up with so many.

I didn't even notice.

When is demo day?

Hey, you welcome!

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