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Here's the thing: Not everyone is super confident, not everyone has a thick skin. So when people just snipe it really damages that person and potentially their idea.

It would be fine if ALL the good ideas were made by super confident thick skinned people but they are not. So we, as a species, just lose the potential of the less confident, thin skinned people. This is a HUGE waste of talent. This community should be here to fix that.

Now it's true that in the wide world, thin skinned people need to 'toughen up'. THIS community should be here to help them by helping, guiding and supporting. After all that is what communities are for.

I agree with sw007 that this community is atm worth less than it was a few years ago due to this.

However, if they are thin-skinned, a tech startup is not the place to be. Better to weed out the insecure before they invest their entire life into something. If anything HN has made me stronger -- if one of my ideas flies well among this crowd, then talking to a skeptical VC is cake. And, it would seem that most of the harshness is well meaning. In NYC, bluntness isn't considered rude, it's actually doing the other person a favor -- we don't have time for smoke to be blown up one's ass.

I think my main complaint about HN is the cyclical obsession with the Torrent/Kim Dotcom/Wikileaks side of things. There is a sizable minority that seem to have some ignorant idealism that everything should be free and that developers/musicians/filmmakers ought to just produce content simply out of the joy of doing so, while neglecting that if you give away the store, you can't pay your bills. The recent story about the 200,000 downloads game devs who were now homeless illustrates what happens when that logic is actually implemented.

As Fred Wilson has said, the key to reducing piracy (and the need for it) is the frictionless, low-cost ability to acquire desired content.

I'm am glad that the Bitcoin fad seems to have faded from the HN pages. The fringe types (constantly looking for conspiracies, no problems with "warez" and very "hack the planet" (i.e. Hackers (1995)) seem to provide some interesting "color" but also occasionally drown out the original purpose of HN -- startup-related news and the technologies involved therein.

I was a late comer to the party, so perhaps I'm part of the problem, but still, on the whole, HN, even with its snark, is a great place to be and I'm proud to have earned a few Karma points over the last year.

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