Do you also lament the creation of things like the fore-runner of the Internet that was created by the military industrial complex? Or the countless other advancements we use every day that were driven by military R&D? Or are you just completely and totally unaware of the significant contributions that military R&D has made to civilian lives?
The option isn't military or no military, it is military or spend the money on something else. There are plenty of other ways the same money could have been spent which resulted in similar civilian improvements.
The fact that its hosted at Modulus (the guys behind Demeteorizer, which allows you to host meteor apps on Node.js services) would indicate that its almost certainly a Meteor app to me.
I DO think that Meteor is fucking awesome, due to the sheer speed you can crank out commonly requested features (you can add a Google/Facebook/Github Oauth login widget with one line of code), but it sure as hell doesn't seem to scale well these days.
The fact that it's considered contrarian to advise people to start with building a profitable and sustainable business model is a sad testament to the "startup culture" that emphasizes hype over substance.
I've run my own software business for over a decade now and I still have a boss. It's called The Free Market.
I can decide I'm above doing certain tasks, but my customers can also decide to go to my competition if my company isn't taking care of their needs. And sometimes my customers need things that I really don't feel like doing.
But I do them..because they are my customers; they pay the bills. They are the boss.
I think it's a worthwhile goal to attempt to achieve this in other companies, but it's also important to truly understand why this works so well at GitHub.
GitHub is largely developers writing software for other developers. An interesting problem to a GitHubber is just as likely to be something that their customers are interested in.
GitHub is a classic example of dog-fooding. They use their own product and many of their employees used the product before they came to work there. A typical developer at Github is very likely to have the same vision (and passion!) for the product as the owners of GitHub.
If your product is software for a vertical that doesn't happen to be other developers then are going to be likely challenges. What is interesting to the developers very well might not be interesting to their customers.
What about trim levels? Trim levels are crucial in the buying decision. For example, if you search for a Ford F-150 on your site, there is no way to see if it's an XLT, King Ranch, Raptor, etc. The price and equipment difference in those vehicles is huge.
What about options and equipment? Does the car have navigation? Sunroof? Most consumers have specific option packages in mind when searching for car online.
This is why VIN explosion is necessary for any serious automotive shopping site. If a consumer can't narrow the vehicles down to a trim and option package level then it won't get wide adoption.
Trucks are certainly the most difficult to decode. But if you are using something like ChromeData for the VIN data, and combine that with the info from the dealer's site then you can usually narrow the vehicle down to a specific trim level.
Not always however. Dealers frequently have incorrect or missing information on their websites, so garbage-in, garbage out.
This is why scraping dealer websites for data is always going to be problematic. Far better to work with the providers to have them send you the data. It's faster, easier and you get far better data.
I used to work for a competitor in the same space as AutoRevo =) Chrome was ok, but there was another provider that had exact vin matches in their catalog. It was a bit more expensive, but made it so the trim field was a non-issue. I don't remember the name, it's been too long.