Is it possible that we can aspire to create better things than that? Can we bring food and shelter to those who don't have it? Can we bring counseling to the those who need it? Can we support and create real face to face local community? In other words can we take our gifts and the tremendous leverage that software and technology provides and actually help people? Can we fly in the face the current economic incentives and actually help people?
Otherwise we are just creating things that may be popular/successful in the the short term but die in the long term because they have no "real" value. And we as producers suffer under the truth denying myth that we are doing something of value when we actually know that we are just trying to cash in on a tiny worthless market wrinkle. We might as well be playing the stock market.
While these are great pursuits, unfortunately most of these things aren't the best for profit generation.
Many startups are in fact non-profits, but a lot of the biggest innovation you see is in the for-profits (for obvious reasons).
>We might as well be playing the stock market.
I disagree. Intel and AMD were startups at some point; Google was for a while. Amazon, ebay, etc. While these don't give value in the sense of providing food or homes, they add a lot of value to the current kind of world we live in.
This is beyond the post, but I agree that value should land where it can deliver the biggest impact. However, making money writing apps for 20-somethings isn't necessarily a bad thing, what matters is where that money goes afterwards. More on that in http://80000hours.com/.
Any talk is cheap. Charge them for it as a pre-sale to really lock this down. Give them a reasonable discount if they prepay during the development period, of course, and refund everything if you can't deliver as promised for any reason.
I just submitted https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6307569 but I don't think it's going to make front page.
Direct link: http://opensuffer.com/
EDIT: Sorry for piggybacking on the post. Important cause though.
So yes, it happens and it's very sad. I don't know whether there's anything to be done though. Bad things happen all the time.
This is effectively kidnapping and should be prosecuted as a felony, really.
One argument is that I should have gone to the police to make them think twice about doing this to other cats. But paying $1k worth of damages would not dissuade people like that.
Sure, as seen in Unnecessary Fuss, these experiments can be pretty horrific, and the destruction of all test subjects even after the most minor test feels unnecessary. But the meat industry systematically kills vastly more animals a day. And I don't see vegans marching outside my local McDonalds.