Really a fantastic product that puts everything from the big names to shame. It's available as both a standalone or cloud-hosted solution. It's so simple that usually only one journalist of graphic artist can manage a set of channels all by him/herself.
> But our biggest self realization was that we were not users of our own product. We didn’t obsess over it and we didn’t love it. We loved the idea of it. That hurt.
In a way, the OP is just another re-phrasing of this...if you know the steps of a process pretty well, it's because you're an active user. You know what steps are worth removing, and as an active user, you can maintain a tight feedback loop informing you whether the cost of removing those steps are worth it. And, as a cherry on top, you're actively making something you already do more enjoyable.
When I was in high school I would always lose points on my tests because I never showed any work. It was always easier for me to imagine formulas in my head like puzzle pieces then writing them down.
There are benefits to picking something you don't already do - or rather, something that most people who start startups don't do. People naturally think the most about optimizing things they do often, and when most of them are being told to "scratch your own itch", they do even more of that. So most software startups will be about things that people who write software and found startups do a lot of, and those markets will be the most competitive. If you solve your grandmother's problems instead of your own, there's a lot less competition.
As someone who actually does the dishes, I cringed when I saw the OXO measuring cup, those small corners are hard to clean if flour gets stuck in there. Maybe the execution could use some work. If you consider washing part of the job, that measuring cup is worse than a common measuring cup.
This morning I made some oatmeal. I took a 1/2 measuring cup, scooped out some oatmeal, shook it quickly to remove the overflow, threw it in a pot, and dropped the measuring cup in my sink. It took around 5-10 seconds.
If I had to do the same by weight, I would have had to get my scale, put on a bowl, zero the scale, slowly start pouring oatmeal onto the scale until it reached the desired weight, throw that into a pot, put the bowl in my sink, and put the scale away. That'll probably run around 15-20 seconds. If I screw up and poured too much into the bowl by accident, it'll take a lot longer to correct than briefly shaking a pre-sized 1/2 measuring cup.
Other times a scale is much easier to use too; it just depends on the context.
Volume fluctuates depending on temperature.
Where I live, the majority measuring cups can be used both for liquid and solids, they usually come with a bunch of scales for a variety of products, both with volume and weight.
Recipes are usually "200ml of milk and 1 cup of flour, eggs, mix it" I put the 200ml on the measure a cup and add the rest on top of it and mix on the same cup to avoid having yet another bowl to wash. I only use another bowl for making larger things, like cakes.
Accuracy aside, I find it easier to cook by weight (especially if I'm scaling the recipe). I set the bowl on the scale, dump in an ingredient, press tare, dump in the next one, press tare. No fiddling around with measuring cups and spoons.
What weight are you using for a cup of AP flour when converting recipes? (I usually go with 125 g, per the USDA nutrient database, but I've seen numbers as high as 150 g elsewhere.)
Edit: that's for high-gluten bread flour, which may have a different density than AP flour.
My dad, a chemist, insists on weighing the dry ingredients, and I agree in principle, but find volume to be quicker.
On the other hand, my "pyrex" measuring cup lost all of its markings to the dishwasher, which also makes it a bit difficult to measure anything in it (without a scale).
This happened to mine as well, I was a bit disappointed, expect OXO to be better quality. They'd probably replace it if I asked but I feel like it's my fault since I dropped it, even though a plastic cup should survive a fall on the kitchen floor.
I think the joint is somewhat plastic, to the point that it feels slightly flimsy, possibly to prevent drop failure.
(As a side point, you don't really need to come up with new ideas or even make an improvement, you can just enter an existing market and be successful at selling.)
I come up with new business ideas probably once a week. Maybe several in a day.
It is orders of magnitude more difficult to actually effectively execute a business idea. And also often extremely difficult to successfully market it.
The reason it is relatively easy to come up with a new idea: you just need to make a loose identification of a product or solution. To actually implement it, you have to fill in all of the details and refine them. A simple concept can encapsulate a huge amount of complexity and engineering work. For example, the OXO cup. Once you have that idea, you need to work out exactly what design to use and where to place the measurement labels. Then you need some kind of manufacturing. Manufacturing a product can be very complex. You need distribution.
And then you need marketing. There are many reasons that marketing hard. For one thing, people are bombarded with products. There are so many new options that people have built up a tolerance for amazingness. Even if your product is absolutely incredible it may not break through into someone's consciousness for more than a moment. Also, people are busy and they have a limited capacity for learning new things. Even if your product makes things much easier, it is still a new thing for that person to learn, so they have to make an investment of their time and effort. And unfortunately with status quo bias there is a tendency for everyone to undervalue innovative ideas. And for your product to really become popular then you need to access network effects, i.e. move the entire herd.
I would hope that persons of talent aspire to higher goals. A better measuring cup is of trivial benefit to humanity. A new dessert is actually a detractor.
If all you can do is make new measuring cups and new desserts then, by all means, do it and support your family. But if you think you bring something special to the world, try to improve it in a significant way. If that means investing a few years of your life to go to nursing school (for example) and learn a profession of value, then make the investment. You will then find ample opportunities to innovate, and bring benefit to your fellow man.
You are basically saying that it is pointless to be a pastry chef, and that joy in food is not significant.
I would be very, very, careful about judging what is significant to humanity and what is not.
It's an easy calculation if you think big (which is what people of talent should do). If you think small, then, indeed, you can get whatever answer you want.
Most pastry chefs would be incompetent and unhappy as nurses or engineers, and vice versa.
This, though, is a subjective judgement too—even if presented as fact. Not that I disagree with your point or something.
Edit: come to think of it, it seems unlikely that many chefs were given a chance and tried training and working as nurses or engineers. So yes, I disagree with your point as well, not just scorn at subjectivity of the argument.
One thing's for sure : one person cannot make a difference here.
Could Earth use more Water Engineers? Certainly. Should people with passion be forced into pursuing careers that utilize their talents better? No way.
I agree with that statement but what you're saying is Peter Parker should not be forced to be a Spider-Man or Bill Gates should waste his billions on parties because he likes to party.
I'm not trying to sound socialist it's just the world would be a much better place to live if people with power and talent really took responsibility and made a good choice.
My argument is made for "normal" people.
And I don't think your opinion falls in the realm of socialism, fyi.
This is a common misconception. If, for example, one looks at physicians as a group (the occupational class with the highest so-called IQ), they are in general more stable and mentally healthier than the rest of the population.
If one ventures into the realm of savants, then those people are, by definition, not normal, so anything goes. But they are small in number.
Disagree in both cases. A "better" measuring cup would be one that either saved time (freeing it for other productive uses) or provided more accurate measurements (reducing the number of ruined recipes and food waste).
A new dessert provides pleasure. And no, pleasure is not bad. Gluttony can be.
The capitalist argument is essentially that anything that saves time/money/... is worth it, if people pay for it and it's self-sustaining. But the criticism of this position is valid too : what if caring for people is not worth it ? Will we simply not care for people ? How will this affect you ?
The socialist argument is that certain things are to be constant at any price, like nursing. Problem here of course is that the price has risen quite considerably, and people aren't willing to pay. So it's not self-sustaining, and therefore wouldn't normally be done. But the socialist would simply use (some form of) force to get it done anyway. From forcing people into professions, to shaming, ... Of course having a nurse that was denied what (s)he saw as a better career caring for me is unlikely to result in a good relationship.
But you see the problem too, right. I don't want to be subject to that socialism thing, but I do agree it sure would be nice if we cared for people better. And when I'm older, I'm sure I'll agree even more.
Here's what it comes down to : who determines what society's resources get spent on : people themselves (but of course they'll be forced to admit that there's no nursing because they haven't paid for it), or the "intellectuals" who want to protect people from themselves, make sure they don't die uncared for ?
Of course, one of those hobby operating system grows into Linux, and suddenly that experimentation doesn't seem pointless anymore.
A contractor at CERN wants a faster way to share research papers. Isn't this outside the scope of his work, though? Isn't he wasting CERN's money with this project? People can just share papers via Usenet anyway. Who even needs the World Wide Web?
Most people don't set out to "bring benefit to your fellow man." Most people fool around with side projects or new ideas. These projects, which seemingly offer "trivial benefit to humanity," are the ones which make a difference in the world.
Experimentation or invention for any reason (including profit) is valuable, precisely because we don't know where this experimentation will go.
Fleming discovered the mold and its anti-bacterial effect in 1928 by happenstance, but this knowledge languished until the outbreak of WW2 in Europe in 1939. At that point, the Oxford group realized the war was going to cause enormous numbers of gas gangrene cases (truly a terrible affliction), and they very deliberately set out to find a treatment. Their research was, therefore, incredibly directed, and, indeed, most of their work centered on culture and chemical preparation.
Fire, wheels, writing, and industrial production of penicillin -- greatest inventions ever.
And, yes, I am saying the best preparation for worthy entrepreneurship is to do something else. Using the method outlined by the blogpost, the only problems you can solve are the problems that you encounter in your everyday life. If, however, you go (for example) to nursing school, you will learn about [a] a much larger population of problems, and [b] a population of problems that are, in many cases, grievous.
We all get one crack at life. Solving silly problems is one way to spend it. Solving real problems is another.
Measuring cups do make a difference - albeit proportionally smaller than say finding a way to remove society from fossil fuels. Measuring cup creation is much lower on the totem pole than, say relativity as examples.
Being able to learn subjects deeply and communicate with subject matter experts , do in depth market studies of potential customers and creating collaborations could all be good options for creation of innovations. Hell, it works quite well for academics.
Oh, so it is of benefit, is it? What, exactly, is the minimal amount of positive benefit to humanity I must exert in my work to be deemed worthy in your optics?
What, exactly, is it about nursing, as a whole, that makes the field universally superior to the measuring cup industry? Is all of nursing equally deserving? What if you, as a nurse, spend your entire career caring for the morbidly obese, extending their lives so then can eat more smores? Is it OK to care for the obese, but not to feed them better desserts?
Human development is a long, hard trudge of incremental improvements, with a few leaps here and there. If you insist on sitting around waiting to be part of a leap, resisting the temptation to incrementally bringing benefit to your fellow man, you're missing the forest for all the trees.
> A new dessert is actually a detractor
EDIT: Try not to be provocative.
Please don't address other users this way on Hacker News. (It's a bad way to respond to provocation because it degrades the discourse further and invites worse.)
You lose credibility when you ask a question like this.
I would think that now that measuring cup has saved many times the time taken to design it, and the people whose time has been saved include (and is not limited to) doctors, nurses, various scientists, and your 'everyday' man. So I think it is quite obvious that the contribution of the angled measuring cup could indeed be much greater than any single nurse.
The marketplace won't necessarily value the angled measuring cup inventor as a nurse at all, indeed it may value them negatively (eg by reducing patients who attend a clinic because this person is a nurse there). That would mean that on a market based evaluation, for a person who makes a bad enough nurse, the availability of the cup "improvement" would have to be detrimental to measuring-cup users in order for the market to value the person as a nurse above them as a measuring-cup inventor.
As you note there's a big problem with working out how the market values the item in the first place. Just because something costs more doens't mean it's better value, of course. In a way if the cup costs less than the traditional measuring-cup it's a better product; in another way if it costs more but the same number buy it then it's a better product. You have to make a cost-benefit judgement.
If people say they wouldn't buy a new angled measuring-cup just for the USP, but that they would replace a broken traditional cup with the new style one, how then do you establish the value? You have to take in to account the person's value judgements on disposal of working items. I don't think you can genuinely make an objective market-based analysis here?
Obviously if you need a nurse then 10 million measuring cups won't make you better. But if you need a measuring cup, a nurse won't really be that helpful either.
The world needs both, but generally we don't need people who have inventive ideas to shun them in favouring of doing things they are ill-suited and unmotivated to do.