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I love this post. People always ask you "Are you doing a startup? A hobby? A side project?". I always respond "I just wanna make revenue, damn it, call it whatever you want".

There's this website called MyFitnessPal.com. Has over a million uniques. Run by just 2 guys from their own house. No coverage in TC, VentureBeat, or any startup publications. Yet they probably get more visitors and more revenue (and less employees) than 99% of the startups covered.

Actually, their office is next to ours at 333 Bryant Street, and there's probably around 20 people in there. We borrowed a chair from them last week.

This reply made me smile, and is such a great example of why it's so hard to trust anything we read on the Internet, anywhere. I don't know which response to believe, if either, and don't know why I care so much either way.

Edit: A little coverage in VentureBeat http://venturebeat.com/2012/04/19/health-tracking-app-needto... I just had to check. :)

they are both right. i've been using myfitnesspal for quite some time now, and remember reading that it was indeed a very small team (of just 2). now time has passed and they have obviously expanded. but they were extremely successful even at the beginning. i can't find the link right now but i'm certain that if you check out their blog, near the beginning, you will find something that resembles the 2man team story.

I'm sure a great many web companies that have 20 people today had 2 people not so very long ago. Stats have associated timestamps :)

I would venture to say that almost every start-up begins with 1 or 2 driving forces, and branches from there. I am hard pressed to remember any that haven't. Anyone here think of one?

I had no idea.. if so, they do a good job of making themselves appear smaller than they really are.

Not to be inquisitive, but I wonder how they make money. From the website it seems they only sell Fitbit [0]. Amazing how one such stream of income can support the whole enterprise and generate revenue.

This model (free service/soft + hardware) reminds me of sports-tracker.com [1] (one of few sites I simply love). They service (app, site) is also free and they sell heart rate monitors.

With same model (do free service, sell hardware), there is one difference which is interesting. Sports-Tracker sells their own hardware, MyFitnessPal just resells Fitbit.

[0] http://www.myfitnesspal.com/apps/show/fitbit

[1] http://www.sports-tracker.com/

Added: I just hope they (MyFitnessPal) do not sell their databases.

Way to rain on the parade of a great story by introducing some contradictory facts!

Now that's an address I recognise. Wasn't DailyBooth located there too? I believe they have relocated since - but it definitely is a nice place

Ha, great reply - small world.

I know HN loves anecdotes, but they're a great example for me. As an overweight guy whose relatively open about it (read: happy to discuss my weight and weight-loss difficulties) I'm constantly having this site recommended to me by non-technical non-early-adopters.

Figuring out what makes that happen is the magic key to plentiful riches, not so much tech-industry blogs. Of course, positive coverage in the tech press is unlikely to hurt.

One data point: a nutritionist at a gym I was using asked me to start using myfitnesspal as a food diary he could monitor. Maybe it's more about their trade press than our own?

Nutritionism doesn't exist. Dietician is the real profession.

Dietician : Nutritionist :: Dentist : Tooth-i-ologist.

Tooth-i-ologist doesn't have its own Wikipedia page. Just because a job title isn't protected by law or regulation, doesn't mean the job title doesn't exist.


Homeopath is a job title that exists and has a wikipedia page.

I'm not sure this qualifies Nutritionists as "real" for any value of real I personally care about ... then again I haven't clicked, because I don't really want to know about people who'll likely all hate me for eating too much steak ;)

I made a gross simplification with saying "Nutritionism doesn't exist". It obviously does exist since people call themselves it, and we can talk about it.

However it 'exists' and is true as much as Astrology and Creationism.

imho, it's more like the difference between a college educated programmer and one self-taught. You can find inadequately trained programmers (dietician) with some impressive degrees and some brilliant self-taught programmers (nutritionist) who naturally take to the subject.

That being said, all things being equal, I'd take a brilliant dietician (who has been trained in the whole system and science), over a brilliant nutritionist (who might only be great programming in one or two languages).

again, imh(uneducated)o.

The analogy is flawed because self taught programmers are often able to programme computers, often just as good as university programmers, do not believe in radically different things from university programmers.

No 'self taught programmers' use their own "base 3 logic system" fighting against the "base 2 conspiracy".

Some of the things nutritionists believe are at odds with basic science, e.g. nutritionists who think you should eat green veg because the chlorophyll will oxygenate your blood... ignoring the fact that chlorophyll works in the presence of light, and there is no light inside your body...

Let's be clear here, Nutritionism is up there with Astrology, Creationism, Flat Earth Theory, Crystal Healing, and the Magic Power of the Stars to Heal You.

Good point, I agree that the analogy is not perfect, but I don't agree that Nutritionism is equal to the faux sciences you list, everything you listed has a philosophy that at it's core is faux science, the philosophy of nutritionism says that what we eat and how much affects us. It's the individual nutritionist that may base their philosophy either on real or faux science. Dietician:Nutritionist and Sports Science:Fitness Trainer is probably a more accurate comparison.

But then how do you differentiate between the people who believe in the magic healing power of $FOOD_DU_JOUR and someone who's based on science? That's the difference between a dietician and a nutritionist.

A Fitness Trainer is not a good analogy either, because you can't stay in business long as a fitness trainer if you have no idea of the basics of fitness or anatomy. E.g. a fitness trainer who said that you breath through your feet, so you should wear sandals when running knows as much about biology as a nutritionist who thinks chlorophyll can oxygenate your blood. However the magic super food nutritionist had a prime time TV show! High ranking, popular nutritionists can believe things that are nonsense, what hope do you have about a local nutritionist?

A fitness trainer who believes you breathe through your feet would probably suggest you run barefoot. Hey what do you know, he's just created one of the most popular running fads (although this could go with running barefoot or in sandals, as both are popular among hardcore runners).

And dietician's pushed the traditional food pyramid for years, which many current dietician's find fault with, years after nutritionist's pointed out the same thing.

I've met successful doctors, lawyers, trainers, etc., that believe in crazy wild theories that have no basis in anything other than what they want to believe. Success amazingly often has very little to do with if people are right or wrong (I'm sure there are some very wealthy astrologers out there).

By your theory, it doesn't matter which doctor you pick, they are all trained physicians, so they all believe the exact same thing. Need a psychologist, just read Dr. Phil's book, he's board certified. Or don't agree with Dr. Phil, then all psychologist's are bad.

True. I'm a med student who loves nutrition. Here in germany the DGE forces actual dieticians to use extremely outdated information (they HAVE to adhere to their handbook). The official curriculum is 30-50 years behind current state of research And don't get me started on surprising amount of doctors that have no concept of science at all. They just say: "Wer heilt hat recht!"/"Who Heals is Right!"

Ask for proof. Competent people will be able to provide it. And explain it logically in depth. Fitness trainers believe amazing amounts of bullshit. And teach that nonsense. There are less than 1 % of trainers that have a decent knowledge of anatomy or of how to train you for maximum results. Their real job isn't delivering results, but keeping you busy and "motivating" you.

I get what you are saying, but formal education only tends to weed out the absolute nutjobs. Just look at Dr. Oz or Charles Poliquin. Completely crazy. TLDR: Ask for proof. From my experience you overestimate the impact of formal education.

Most startups don't have coverage from TC/VB/etc. Crunchbase listed around 90,000 companies at the moment, probably less than 5,000 of them have had coverage in a startup news source.

It's mostly recently funded companies that seem to be getting all the coverage. Self-funded or profitable - not so much.

Made me want to blog about it.


It is worth noting that Arrington had a history of investing in the very companies that he was covering. And had personal connections with many of the other investors who might invest.

Thus improved access to tech blogs can be considered one of the benefits of having well-connected investors.

Can't agree more. Its about creating more wealth for the founders. That is the whole idea. A lot of funded "startups" are just websites with big names behind it. great post.

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