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Share your weekend/part-time startup (December 2012)
32 points by withinthreshold 1423 days ago | hide | past | web | 69 comments | favorite
Tell us about your ventures!

I recently shipped WOPR, a subtractive polyphonic synthesizer with an embedded Game of Life grid. The GoL modulates the various parameters in time with an internal (or now, external) clock. It's for iPad 2 and up. I started it a year ago to learn a bit more about iOS and DSP. It had 9 months of sporadic evening & weekend development over a very busy year, with a 3 month hiatus over the summer.

It's had pretty decent reception so far. Beer money only, but enough that I could have a few every day if I wanted to! It's done better than I ever thought it would; I think because no musician can ever resist another synth.

Subsequent versions will increase in price as more features are added. Right now I'm working on a huge v1.2 upgrade with a ton of stuff people have requested.


I made AppLens (formely AppSnap) a iphone app that lets you install any other iphone app by taking a picture of its icon (on other phones or laptop screens or anything else).

It's a free app + ads, most of its users are from china and japan.

Money-wise definitely not an hit!

I spent quite a bit on time to develop the backend part (in C) and optimized it to query 3mil icons in few ms on a commodity server (cheap).


Cool idea, liked it! Can you give some hints about the image processing you have done or what kind of trick did you use?

This is incredibly awesome.

Thanks!! :)

(Just posted on HN) my new (ad)venture http://songsasaservice.com the idea is every week people submit suggestions for a song subject (and a bid) and within one week the winning bidder will receive an original song written on the subject. The idea is based on a little 10 week challenge I set myself earlier in the year. This time I thought I'd try and generate some revenue of it :) and use it as an opportunity to create the most minimal MVP ever, whilst simultaneously learning a minimum about python/ appengine and using existing web services to minimise my workload (e.g. Gumroad, soundcloud, appengine, bootstrap). Hope you like it?

Looks cool, and who does the songs?

Oh, forgot to say if you could tell other people about it I'd very much appreciate it :)

thanks! It's just me. Would love it people contributed ideas (appropriate ones obviously :) I've had to clear out a lot of inappropriate submissions since posting on HN

I love it!

Thanks,all appropriate submissions are very welcome, please tell your friends about it

Not really a start-up, but some things I've been working on, mostly in an attempt to get in the habit of shipping stuff opposed to writing.

1. Kill long meetings (http://killlongmeetings.com/). Counts the time and calculates the money you're spending in a meeting.

2. Where to pee in Antwerp (http://antwerp-wheretopee.apphb.com/). The city of Antwerp (Belgium) has opened up some of its data. This mobile web app get all the toilets in Antwerp and sorts them by distance. Shows that the browser is already capable of running these sort of apps; beats building 3 native apps.

3. Culture in Antwerp (http://antwerp-culture.apphb.com/). Also for the city of Antwerp. This is just a POC which should show that their current site (http://www.antwerpen.be/eCache/ABE/80/34/031.html) is visually very unattractive.

http://offensivest.com/books/ ranks the most vulgar English books. The books are from a DVD released by Project Gutenberg. The offensiveness scores for individual words and word phrases come from votes cast by visitors to The Online Slang Dictionary (http://onlineslangdictionary.com/).

It desperately needs an "About" page describing the data and the methodology.

Later, I hope to expand the number of books we analyze and also analyze other forms of media.

DailyCrunch (http://dailycrunch.mobi) - a "Flipboard for the Kindle".

Building it "to scratch my own itch" of having something to read on the subway and getting rid of the "infinite streams of news" devices such as the iPad suck you into.

Still pretty alpha, but everyone's welcome and feedback is appreciated :-)

Experiment on making a browser/android-based MMO using GWT to offload a lot of heavy processing to the client (and save on those pricey cloud cpu charges)


General idea is that each player controls a bunch of soldiers that they can equip and give battle tactics to (flank, use abilities, etc). Battles get auto-resolved with a nice graphical replay (you can check out an early version of that by clicking the bottom right button on the page), so anybody can attack anybody else on the map regardless of whether they're 'online' or not.

Currently coding up a stock exchange based economy for the game so that there are caravans moving between cities for players to raid and generally make the world seem a bit 'alive'.

Obviously a pretty big project to be doing with one guy and part time, but it's surprisingly coming along pretty nicely!

I'm working on Scribe, web-based sheet music notation software for songwriters and composers. Right now the public-facing URL is just a landing page, but if you ping me (contact info in profile) I'd be happy to give you access to the prototype.


I've been some time developing a solution for most of us. It's a website called Parkuik that will use a wiki-like environment to make us easier to find parkings (some of you may have had this problem on your city :-P) with the help of all of us.

I can just develop it when I have some time on weekends, but it is starting to have some users and I hope sooner than later It'll be one of the reference websites for this :)

You can find it here: http://www.parkuik.com

Hope you can visit it and tell me whatever you think that can be done to improve it :)

You mean something like this? http://en.parkopedia.com

I'm working a nights/weekend startup that positively conflicts with the subject matter: a better kiteboarding forecast service/app. http://kitecaster.com The idea is to model how kiteable a spot is based on the location, your schedule/equipment, and of course the weather. Prototype is going slow, kiteboarding gets in the way! And I am enjoying doing the full stack using the tech I want (node, Parse, etc) when I should outsource some things, but we're looking good for 2013!

Two related projects:

1. https://github.com/armhold/ocarina - a Ruby gem for doing simple OCR.

2. http://wordhelper.net/contact - helps you win at Letterpress. Uses my OCR library to find playable words on the board. Have only tested it on an gameboards generated on an iPhone 5.

I created the first project just to see if I could write a simple OCR library (yay, I can!) I created Wordhelper mostly to find a practical use for Ocarina.

The first startup I'm seriously trying to build: http://folkrobots.com

It's only a landing page at the moment, working on finishing the MVP within this month.

What I'm trying to build is a SEO tool that analyze your inbound traffic and gives you a list of keywords to target. It'll analyze the keywords and related keywords and check how competitive they are for you, automatically.

Give me lots of feedback please. If anything confuses you, please let me know.

Don't bet too heavily on this...HitTail is having a rough time with Google's (very slow but incremental) roll-out of removing the search phrase from the inbound referrer headers...

If this becomes a problem do you have any suggestions for a slight pivot?

A bit like Hittail?

Actually, it turns out it's almost exactly like hittail. I guess it means there's a market for it.

I tried Hittail a year ago, and didn't quite work for me. I ended up writing a few scripts myself. But I heard in Rob's latest podcast that Hittail is growing 30% per month.

Why didn't it work for you?

A kind of Google Now for Movies. Instead of searching for movies, new releases automatically land in your inbox once available as stream and you just need to sort them into "Want-watch", "Saw-and-liked", "Saw-and-disliked" or "Dismiss" folders (for later auto-sorting). A beta version is available at http://exkino.de for all you native German speaker and learner.

An iPhone app for skiing/snowboarding. Track the stats for your runs on the mountain. Add friends and see where they are on the mountain you're on. Send meet up notifications. Download detailed maps of various mountains. Free to download, with options for upgrading to PRO version and obtaining additional maps. E-mail me at jordan [AT] kingofthemountainapp [DOT] com if you're interested in testing!

We built from SignUpasaService.com from scratch, launched, won AngelHack New York, got featured in TechCrunch, got hundreds of beta users, got inquiries from investors all in 48 hours!


Send a screengrab, sketch on it, annotate, all in real-time (using Meteor framework): http://sket.sh/

I've been doing http://priceflurry.com for quite some time now (I posted about my progress on HN couple of times). It's a service where people can collaborate on prices and deals. It's finally getting some traction (not that big of, but who said it's going to be easy) and I'm really happy to see that :-)

Besides really pretty Russian girl, there is very little benefit to that video. Maybe add some subtitles or spend more seconds on video portions that have text? I couldn't figure out why some things she scrolls have price tags of $250 and some $30 - what is she seeking in such wide price range?

Thanks a lot :-) I'm really thinking about redoing the video since more and more people say it's not informative at all.

I'm plugging away on a service to allow mobile developers to add messaging and location services (and some simple online storage) to their apps without having to write the backend themselves - and provides high availablility.

Sadly I feel like its become moot, with some rather big players doing that as well. But I might be able to white label it in some fashion.

Been involved in CityBikes[1] for a while, both an Android app to find stations on public bike schemes, and an API[2] that homogenizes and provides the same information for projects, applications and statistical research.

[1]: http://www.citybik.es

[2]: http://api.citybik.es

More like just a project, but we will see where it goes:

I made http://tunesicles.com but am sort of re writing it and making it look better and have some more features using MeteorJS to learn in.

For now that one is at: http://tunes.meteor.com

We launched today - http://www.ultimategiftlists.com - we've spent the last week on it. I got bored of having to write an email with a series of links to my family to tell them what I wanted for Christmas and for my birthday so built this..

Nameknack - App to help you learn names: http://www.nameknack.com

Just a landing page right now for the user, but I have a prototype I'm almost done with that I'll be launching soon. Sign up with your email and I'll invite you when I'm ready if you're interested.

Signed up and ready to hack my name learning issues :)

Awesome! It's a nights and weekend project right now. My goal is to be launched by the end of the month.

I, with some friends, created DOM: a bookmarklet that turns websites into 3D platformers using jQuery, Three.js and an accompanying multiplayer server with Node and Socket.io With it we won HackNY and presented it at NYTM


Clicking 'Instant Demo' on the landing page doesn't seem to work...


A google maps mash up for backcountry travelers that does things like find avalanche prone slopes by analyzing image maps of elevation in canvas/javascript.

Started it mostly for my own use but it has been getting some traction.

In pursuit of a casual passive income generator, I've been working on a meme creator. It uses HTML5 canvas rather than Flash. I'm only a weekend or so into it, but would appreciate any constructive feedback.


How do you expect to generate income? Are you going to charge for creation?

No way. Ad-supported.

I think some of us are already having fun over there :)

I released a Canvas based online photo watermark app a couple of weeks ago. Its not really a starup, but one instalment in a series of photo based apps I plan to build.

Check it out at http://www.umarkonline.com

Couple of months ago I spent 30 days doing/writing this http://leanpub.com/30daysonobliquestrategies A few months before that I wrote this Http://leanpub.com/howtobeadick

I am working on EquityLancer (http://equitylancer.com/), the world's first equity marketplace. We're setting up to launch our new website, but come check us out before we expand.

Not a startup but a side project https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/albumsyncer/id548959990?mt=8

Sync your Facebook friends albums to Dropbox

I'm working on ticket on rails http://www.ticketonrails.com an easy customer support tool dedicated to startups. Check it out, it's free!

Is it really free? I need a customer support tool for a new project and this looks good!

yeah, absolutely! Feel free to register and try the service, any feedback is appreciated.

More than a weekend long...checkout http://www.moupp.com. A mobile app for bands, musicians and artists to stay connected with their fans.

https://captivate.me - Add interactive apps with your YouTube & Vimeo videos. Just launched to MVP stage and starting to get traction!

We're working on Farmly, a website & app that aims to make finding and buying from local food producers in the UK much easier:


Good take! Been thinking about it for some years.

What's your plan on handling distribution?

Thanks! Us too – it's something that we feel just hasn't been executed in the right way yet.

We're focussing first on creating a platform for local producers & consumers to connect before we tackle distribution. We've got some interesting ideas on the cards though when the time comes. Would be great to hear your thoughts on it.

I like your approach: test the market without taking risks, and learn on how locals handle it themselves.

Can't think on a better way of doing it. Distribution can kill your idea. At the same time, it's the best selling point of it. If users are buying through the website, they expect a quality deliver, which is not always easy to get, and is expensive too.

On a sidenote: let sellers express themselves. I would not buy groceries from a craigslist-sort site. I would if I can see photos, location, and know more about the product and the business ethics of the seller.

Those were exactly our thoughts.

For sure – something we really want to emphasise is the people behind the produce, their story and what makes the things they sell so good.


A mobile friendly web app for monitoring and helping to manage heroku apps.

My friend and I have been working on Protobowl, a realtime multiplayer quizbowl game.


what is the software stack you're using? thank you.

http://livelystocks.com - Realtime stock news for day traders

A stock photo search engine- http://www.stickstock.com/

Emoji - An OSX app to make diagrams http://bit.ly/YEv3SR

Great topic! Don't have a startup by myself, but am looking for some inspiration for 2013 :)

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