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The difference between online dating sites and co-founder matching sites is that with dating, there is a well defined process to gauge mutual attraction over time with minimal investment.

You go on a date for an hour, get to know the other person and if there's a connection, do it again. Eventually, after a few dates, you might decide to become exclusive, after a few more, it might be a real relationship. And after a few years, it might lead to marriage.

Co-founder matching sites always seemed to me like you're skipping the whole 'dating' process and jumping straight to marriage.

I'd be interested in a site that had some way for me to get to know the other potential founder's work ethic, intelligence, integrity, and sociability without jumping straight into a legal business relationship right away. I don't mind if the process takes months to find the right one.

Co-founder matching sites should set a goal of finding the perfect co-founder 3-6 months from now. Now, their job should be to help qualified candidates go through the 'dating' process in the interim. THAT would be real value and I'd sign up and pay if I came across something like this.

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They should just pay market rates. The alternative is hiring contractors at 2-3x market rate

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It's not possible. Government jobs (except for those for the equivalent of flag officers in the military) are categorized at certain pay levels. The highest pay level tops out around 160K. I think the original intent was to avoid politicians paying their friends extreme salaries, which is how gov't jobs used to work (see "Spoils System).

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This article is entirely about another alternative. Which is to pay below private market rates but exposure to otherwise inaccessible problems.

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Feel free to tell that to Congress.

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There can be lockup periods in the contract that say you can't sell for some specified period of time

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tldr?

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> * There are lots of industrial products which need heavy customization. Offer on-line ordering tools for such products as a service to industrial sellers.

Yup. This definitely should have started out as a B2B play. Industry will pay an arm and a leg for customization for lots of random parts. Use the cash to build the foundation of the biz then go after the finicky consumer market later.

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Yes, and there's a business model. There are industrial companies that are good at making things, but not so good at making web interfaces for ordering complex products. So there's a niche for an online service. There are lots of things a good online service could do that few industrial companies now offer. Consider:

    * proper cross-checking of compatibility of items ordered
    * generate image of finished product
    * on-line generation of installation drawing/CAD file,
      including mounting holes and electrical connections.     
      Let users play with the options. Huge win for
      designers - "If we add option B, will it fit?"
      This, in fact, is the big win - let users try your
      options and see what works for them.
    * generate manufacturing data in format the seller's
      production system can use
    * provide cross-company integration.  If you need
      something that requires parts from several
      companies, and they're often used together, give
      the user help in getting everybody going in the
      same direction.
Most industrial sites have a big parts list and a "call for details" phone number. Getting all the right pieces together is hard. The automation level in this space is low, except for a few big companies.

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In Germany at least there is a big initiative backed government. See industry 4.0 and mass customization. They see it as the next thing that will give then a competitive edge

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This is a crowded space with some good alternatives on the market already (JIRA, Trello, Basecamp, & more)

There's even a solid open source version (https://taiga.io/) that is giving away their product for free. They have a traditional agile JIRA type UI as well as a more Kanban style like Trello which sounds like what you're doing.

So the technical aspect here probably isn't the interesting component. The innovation for you will be how you market your product, not the awesome feature list.

If I were you I would target unique markets that are being underserved by current offerings. Why not position your product to the Latin American market? Find a co-founder in Buenos Aires who is great at selling to Latin America and bring them on. Alternatively, find a big industry that has very specific project management requirements where the available tools are too generic to be a good fit. Getting a remote co-founder sounds like a recipe for failure. It's one thing to have your engineering employees remote, but you need to live in the same city as your co-founder.

You should also probably stop coding today and try to find the answers to the above questions.

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That blog post became irrelevant the day Jan Koum signed the deal with Zuckerberg.

Sure, WhatsApp isn't selling ads TODAY, but you better believe it's coming. You don't shell out $19B for a 'defensive play'.

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So wait, you know that Whatsapp has never have ads, but because it some day theoretically could have ads, you're saying that the post is irrelevant? Damn.

Facebook have been bying all kinds on successful tech companies that don't have any relevance to the Facebook social network ad service, like the Oculus Rift. Not every company keeps selling one single thing forever you know?

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Sounds like this guy pissed off someone who knew a NYTimes reporter.

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Yep, there goes his chance of raising any more money for foreseeable future.

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This.

I'm wondering how this warranted a writeup like this. Someone starts a few ventures, a few people lost some money, its ambiguous as to whether or not there are valid claims to the lost money. Total amount "a few million dollars".

What makes this different?

And the examples given are of ventures that Josh worked for 8+ years in. Hardly the mark of a conman.

Many HN participants have left behind more failed ventures or lost more money than this Josh.

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Yeah, this is a hit piece against a low level schlub. By west coast standards, in fact, by New York standards this is light-years away from damning levels of failure. I mean, it's in total less than a healthy series a round, and probably less than a hedge fund trader can lose in a bad month without risking his job.

Goldstein (author) writes investigative pieces on the Clintona' hedge fund dealing among other big issues. What on earth possessed him to try and tar this guy?

That's the real story I'd love to read: how to buy or beg the favor of turning a nyt reporter into one's own hatchet man for nickel and dime vendettas. Sheesh.

Full disclosure: I probably have lots of 2nd degree connections to the subject of the article since we were in related schools at the same time, but I don't know him and have no dog in his fight(s).

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Just look at real estate development. In every bust many big names lose billions for their investors. Even recently look at the schmucks who bilked investors for the massive failure in Atlantic City (Revel). Yet the developers usually end up coming back just fine and are darlings of the press. Not sure how this hit piece is justified.

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> wildly successful app

Foursquare didn't agree. They didn't pivot just because it's the cool thing to do.

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> Foursquare didn't agree

Maybe the millions of users actively making check-ins every day weren't too big of a clue for them?

They needed a monetization strategy, you pivot when your product is not being used.

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It's funny how everyone in this thread is saying they needed a monetisation strategy but no one has suggested one. Maybe there just isn't a business in check ins.

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How about "be acquired by Google."

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There are rumours today about them being acquired by Yahoo: http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/15/sources-yahoo-in-talks-to-b...

Makes the timing of this post interesting.

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That didn't work out so well the first time, did it? https://gigaom.com/2007/04/15/dodgeball-founder-quits-google...

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Google has to want you for that to happen.

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popularity != success

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The leadership of Foursquare failed. They had a very popular product but couldn't make anything out of it; hence the pivot. They should have sold the company while the valuations were good. Now, the company is the Mayor of crushed expectations.

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Is it really the leadership that failed? Their product was popular, but I can't see any way they could make money on it. I don't think that means the leadership was bad, I think it means the product was inherently un-monetizable.

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Well, who came up with this un-monetizable product then?

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That's a fair point, but I read the parent post as complaining that the leadership couldn't squeeze blood from a stone, not that they came up with a non-commercial product in the first place.

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You could have monetised it the same way you monetise many other apps. With ads? I mean, Twitter's monetisation model isn't exactly genius either...

Why not give a coupon when checking into a place that is near others - making people stop by another place/shop to maybe purchase something? (lat/long based)

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Lots of valuable data for mapping, local search, and the ad targeting that goes with it. Valuable to Google, Apple, Facebook and a few others. The failure was in growth, blame likely correctly laid on Facebook.

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Another non-scientific anecdote here. I attended a talk with maybe 150 attendees recently and the VC asked the audience who had ever used Foursquare. Then he asked who had used it in the past month.

Almost everyone had tried the product at some point, but very few were still actively using the product.

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