Regardless of your opinion of the idea/execution it qualifies as a startup.
The same "startup" tags could be applied to Quora (I write content for free, you make people log in to view it to profit) or any other number of enterprises.
EDIT TO ADD: Poster has removed the tags around startup without adding in his edit history to show it.
Why do you think it is not a startup?
This is a personal project with no intended future other than the experience. Calling it a start-up is going overboard.
Why do you think you are qualified to pass judgement or even question whether his intention is to build a solid business? Can you even define a 'solid business'?
Are startups solid in any definition? Surely once a business idea has scaled/matured into something solid is no longer a startup?
Are personal projects and startups now mutually exclusive? That must be news to Martha Stewart, the boys at innocent Smoothies (sold to Coca Cola) and the entire forum of Mumsnet.
Not to mention these guys - http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224357
You might not like his proposal but you don't get to label it a non-startup when it actually fits every technical definition of the criteria.
Oh, and by the looks of this thread his potential customer base might be polarised but the idea is pretty validated. People are putting down money and defending the brand.
Sounds like he has a business to me...
I defend my position as a sentient being that can offer sane judgement. He's doing 12 'start-ups' in 12 months. I should not have to say anything else to justify why this is such an absurd idea. His reasoning is that he can do this because someone else completed 180 projects in 180 days. The analogy alone should tell you that he is not taking this as seriously as he should for each to be considered a start-up (realistically). Practice is excellent but he's doing this for the number not for the raw value of any particular experience.
Start-ups are solid in the definition that they should have a reasonable business plan to expect anything of value (experience, cold hard cash, what have you). There are objective manners in which to approach whether something has merit as opposed to viewing business plans in a nebulous fashion believing that 'everything is possible!'
Personal projects and start-ups are not mutually exclusive, nor did I state this. I said that a project should not automatically become a start-up.
This is HN, not Reddit. When you criticise something you are expected to give a credible reason for that criticism.
You failed in that respect and retrospective attempts are simply not going to cut it.
His business seems to be generating cold hard cash right now. In what world can you say that is not a startup?
I'm really starting to believe this is no different than Reddit.
>> Justifying your belief that I don't comprehend what is in front of my face.