Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
2013. Hard Lessons Learned (benmilne.com)
44 points by antidaily 1374 days ago | hide | past | web | 12 comments | favorite



I was wondering who Ben Milne was (maybe that’s my first mistake). Oh, Dwolla. CEO of a company that’s raised $20MM+ of VC, handles a billion dollars in transactions.

What can I learn from his blog? Well, for one, there’s this huge “stuttering” GIF that takes 3/4 of the vertical space of my screen, so I can only see the top half of the blog title, let alone content. But I can see the second most prominent link at the top of the page, however, “Buy Me A Coffee”, and “feed [his] habit”.

I find it a little distasteful when someone who is much more successful in the VC / startup game than the very vast majority of people ever will be has one of the most prominent links on his site being to “give me money to buy coffee”.


thats what you took away from this? really?!

I don't think I've read something that came across so genuine and down to earth for a long time (and not just in the context of very successful people..but in general).

I, for one, appreciate his post much more than the average startup related blog post I see these days.


Actually, I re-read my post, and realized it wasn’t “the full message”. I wanted to say that it -distracted- from the message, for me anyway.


I find it a little distasteful when someone who is much more successful in the VC / startup game than the very vast majority of people ever will be has one of the most prominent links on his site being to “give me money to buy coffee”.

Why? I mean, who cares, really? It's just a link, right? If you don't care to buy him a coffee, why not just ignore it? Not meaning to be snide, I just really don't understand the mindset behind even caring about something like this...

FWIW, I enjoyed this post quite a lot. I feel like this is one to bookmark and read repeatedly. As someone else said here, it strikes a good balance between being just useless platitudes and being overly specific.


He's the founder of a payments company and that link goes to a page that demonstrates one way it can be used.

It's not about the coffee money, it's about dogfooding your own product.


It was also a little unnerving having his giant head staring at me upside-down the whole time I was trying to read the article.


Some context, since Ben assumes you know who he is, and, more bizarrely, doesn't put a bio anywhere on his site:

Ben Milne is a founder of Dwolla. Dwolla was sued by TradeHill in 2012: http://betabeat.com/2012/03/dwolla-was-just-sued-by-bitcoine...

Dwolla also came to the attention of the DHS in 2013: http://pando.com/2013/05/14/dept-of-homeland-security-freeze...


Probably more useful to HN readers than links to articles about their drama surrounding bitcoin: Dwolla is a payments company that has built their own network to skirt credit card transaction fees. They charge a flat fee of 25 cents for transactions over $10 and transactions under $10 are free.

They also raised 16.5MM from Andreesen Horowitz last year: http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/30/payments-network-dwolla-rai...

Also, many involved in Bitcoin dislike them because they were originally one of the only ways to transfer USD to BTC exchanges and stopped allowing that due to problems with fraud and law enforcement. So that will color a lot of the Internet comments you read about them.


I thought this was a great list. Usually lists like this either feel like a bunch of platitudes, or they are so specific that I'm left thinking, "I'm not sure these lessons apply to anyone but the author." I can't put my finger on why, but I found this post to be very compelling. It might be the examples and the tone (the lack of "OMG everyone should do exactly what I did" is refreshing).


Definitely not the type of update I was hoping to see from Ben/Dwolla - it leaves a bit of an ominous outlook for those of us trying to save some money on credit card exchange fees in 2014.

I will look on the bright side and just assume this is his way of leaving some difficult times behind...


"Trust. Win. Trust. Win. Trust. Lose really HUGE. Trust again."

I'm going to do that this year. I've lost so much because I wouldn't allow myself to trust someone.


For me the best was the last line :

"Now get back to work and create something."

See you later HNers! :P




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: