>4) Most "software" patents (which can't even be cleanly categorized as such) are not crappy, at least with respect to all other patents. There are studies presenting this view [2, 3], but it's also based on my experience having read hundreds of patents. Almost none are revolutionary, but just as few are really as bad as the media portrays. The PTO has gotten pretty good at finding prior art (interestingly around the same time Google came around), and the really broad patents are dying out.
That's only a person assessment, not a fact, as you are making out it is. The consensus in the tech industry among almost everyone (from software developers to tech legends) is that the patent system is broken and continues to routinely pass invalid and valueless patents.
>The "crappy software patents" view is common mostly because tech media routinely publishes uninformed (or disinformed? ) rhetoric, mostly because they garner some easy rageviews, and audiences accept it without critical thought.
No, it's because it's actually the truth and the software community is not nearly as susceptible to junk journalism as you make out.
>I am not a patent lawyer or an agent, but I believe in the patent system, as I have actually worked for the mythical small-guy firm that was ripped off by the big guys and almost died, but eventually prevailed with patents.
For every example of a situation as you described, there are 10 of a patent troll shutting down another small-guy firm or making them work for slave wages.
The supplements he listed (D3, Omega 3, Iodine) actually all have huge amounts of empirical data from a diversity of sources over a long period of time associating them with positive outcomes and improved health. These are not considered "miracle cures", in fact they have gained widespread acceptance amongst medical professionals including GPs as standard best practice to recommend to patients, even if they have no specific medical ailment. It would be unwise to not take these 3 supplements, period.
Conclusion Overall, omega-3 PUFA supplementation was not associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, cardiac death, sudden death, myocardial infarction, or stroke based on relative and absolute measures of association.
Why is it hard to see the value in making a product that competes in an existing profitable and developed market space, but does so better/cheaper/more conveniently? Isn't that a significant portion of the startups in YC? E.G. Hipmunk - simply a more user friendly flight search and hotel booking? Mariusz shouldn't have to spell it out for YC in this case.
If the issue is as Mariusz describes, he shouldn't be blaming himself, but rather YC instead for not seeing the obvious market potential in fairer pricing. Either YC missed something obvious or the reason YC turned Mariusz down was for a different reason than stated.
If the problem you are trying to solve is inaccessibility due to prohibitive cost, you'd have to at least show that there is market at that lower price point.
With regards to matlab, I don't believe the cost to be prohibitive. In most situations where you'd even require what matlab provides, $2k is not that much money. There is also already a very good product that competes with matlab on price - Octave, and its free.
Creating value isn't as simple as just making something cheaper.
Or it could be that YC knows Mathematica and/or matlab are thinking about launching a cloud computing service. Mathematica definitely is and it will most likely ROFLstomp whatever these guys and other competitors are coming up with. Computer algebra systems and numerical analysis aren't just topics you can sprinkle with "Cloud" dust and have it come out right. Unless these guys have years of experience, YC probably made a prudent decision.
There's obvious market potential in building a nationwide chain of stores and outpricing Costco by 1%, but an angel investor isn't going to be interested in giving you a billion dollars to make it happen. You have to have some "hook" that makes them believe you'll be able to rapidly achieve profitability and be SO much better than the competition that you have an unusually high chance of success.
I'm with gandi, there's a few things I don't like but overall they've been super stable with very little headaches. I think in the 3+ years I've been with them I've had one slight issue that was dealt with in <24 hours.
The pricing model is also something from another era. It's an incredibly unattractive option for small teams just starting out, especially when compared to all the reasonably priced high quality options out there (github etc.)
Could you expand on what specific qualities a high quality engineer would have to have that would you make you turn them down? Is it something obvious like they are rude/disrespectful, or something more intuitive and that you can't narrow down like just your overall feel of if you would like to be friends with them?
Right. A bit like an artist. You don't need an advanced degree in art to be an accomplished artist. Plus the idea of formalized education with narrowly focused advanced degrees is fairly recent, and for most of the history of the discipline Physicists have not been so qualified.
Unfortunately we can't make the modern technology-driven world simpler for people like Carmen Ortiz. The advice at the end by the author is that we (the tech community) should demystify ourselves. But, there's nothing to demystify, the complexity is there and the only way to understand it is to actually put the time in and learn it. It's not too much to ask that those prosecuting computer crimes are deeply educated in the technical details.