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Ask HN: Let's list hair on fire problems
13 points by adamzerner on Mar 19, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 41 comments
Don't worry about them being good startup ideas.

Having to go to the doctor for something little, rather than a quicker and cheaper alternative.

I need a "do you think I should see a doctor about this?" Server.

Having to go to the Hospital / ER / A&E for something little, rather than going to the Doctors.

A lack of stimulating discussion. Most people treat discussions/arguments like wars, and don't know how to apply the principles of reductionism.

Having to buy a car when you really just need to get to work and go shopping every once in a while.

Actually I think that is part of a general problem, of infrequent large purchases.

Most people buy these things maybe once every ten years, so it is very unusual to have people who actually know what they are looking for when they are buying (a salesman's dream I guess).

I read an interesting article about washing machines, written by a repair man. Apparently there are not many manufacturers, but the cheap ones have loads of different brands. And loads of models, which don't actually differ very much, except for the software on them. So they can have a range of different price points, as it has x many different programs so must cost $100 more. Better to go for a basic one from one of the better quality brands than an expensive one with 100 different programs that you probably won't use anyway.

Not knowing what the culture is really like at the companies your considering working for.

what ever you see in public, multiplied by terrible.

Grocery store has ALL the ingredients i need except 1 or 2 ESSENTIAL components.

I'm sure everyone's had the experience of filling their shopping trolley up with all the ingredients to make say wraps except the store is sold out of actual wraps. Like you have all the salads and fillings etc but no actual wraps.

Now I have to find another store nearby that has my missing ingredients. DURRRR RAGE!

There's a start up idea in there somewhere.

like what if I could check off my grocery list and any items not checked off, i automatically get a list of the nearest places relative to my current location where i can get that item.


Not having any useful startup related classes to take in college. (Business classes teach how to run big businesses. CS classes are often many levels of abstraction too low. And there aren't any classes that teach design)

You might be interested in https://iovine-young.usc.edu/

which is trying to solve these exact problems

Knowledge management in big institutions. -> Being aware there's a missing piece of the puzzle. -> Being aware of who has pieces of this puzzle. -> Being able to tell this piece belongs with a different puzzle. -> For each puzzle. how many (and which) pieces no longer fit in the whole picture (because puzzles evolve over time). -> For each piece, find out the name of the guy who has it. -> Bob's turned his 2 week notice... which puzzles are likely to suffer one year from now because of the pieces (or meta pieces) he's taking with him.

Not knowing what different careers are really like until you try them.

Create a fully automated and objective system to gauge the ability of developers. Then people and companies wouldn't have to waste time performing interviews.

https://codility.com/ is that. I have never used it, so I cannot comment on effectiveness. It is pitched as a pre-filter, not a total replacement for the interviewing process.

Cheap and convenient interstate travel. Megabus sucks.

Digital asset management after death. Something all encompassing that is easy to comprehend by non-technical people. (i.e. The people you leave behind.)

Instead of leaving a list of accounts, user names, passwords and instructions for each, I want to be able to say, "When I die, XYZ co will take care of all of this" and feel confident that it will be as stress free as possible for my family.

Perhaps with the account data encrypted with a two-part key, one part on the will, one part in the hands of said company.

I make bad decisions to do things that are not as important as other things. It's as if I'm perpetually missing something at the point in time where I could make a better decision. I'd love to hear how to change that.

Trouble meeting cool new people. Most of it just happens by chance encounters.

Do some cool stuff, and you will be more likely to meet cool people.

international tax advice. cash flow for young companies. hiring.

Not being able to fall asleep at night.


ZzzQuil is just rebranded Benadryl. I believe it stops being effective after a few days of use.

Not being able to easily compare the performance of different mutual funds.

Past performance means nothing to the future.

Surly there is some correlation. Is there data on this?

Not having a quick, cheap and healthy fast food place to go to.

Having to go grocery shopping when you only need a few things.

Curing physical pain - especially long term (neck, back, shoulder)


Earning more money

"Having" to go through K-12.

Remembering all your passwords.

This is solved with a variety of methods. I prefer KeePassX stored in Dropbox and available on my phone.

Finding something good on TV.

Dicks to chicks ratio at tech conferences is abysmal.


Fear of death is the actual problem.

No, dying itself is definitely bad.

Don't knock it 'til you've tried it ;-)

Having to clean.

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