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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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