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Come on. I don't know anything about the Grid team, but this line of criticism is pretty specious, little more than Tesler's Theorem writ large: "AI is whatever hasn't been done yet." Once AI is successfully applied to a problem, it's dismissed as not "real intelligence."

The big critique is that you were promised AI but all you're getting are "templates and some algorithms." I mean, what do you think AI is? Magic? I hate to break it to folks, but AI is just "some algorithms" applied to a problem domain.


You may not be in their market (yet), but that company is going to make a lot of money if they execute well.

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I haven't considered the economics of salons, but not sure they would have the same low variable costs that allow Classpass to succeed in fitness. I certainly wish the team (and all the other YC companies) the best though considering the guts and determination it takes to give it a shot, and you are correct that I am decidedly not in their target market so I may be missing something about the idea that is gold.

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Pretty sure blow drying hair has very low variable costs. Electricity to run a hair dryer.

Everything else is to some extent fixed (including operator). What it doesn't have is SaaS style scalability (1000 users costing the same as 1), and it's not like a yoga class where you can probably do 30 in the same space as 15, but the variable costs are just the electricity.

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Not necessarily. The long tail of integrating with the management systems those salons use is really long and it's basically a non-starter without management system integration. Add to that that those management systems have started to wise up to the need for scheduling and it's a very difficult nut to crack.

And no, those businesses will not copy appointments back and forth themselves. Small business scheduling is hard. Very hard. This isn't speculation, I've worked on a product that has pretty good traction doing exactly what they're doing. It would surprise me greatly if they've yet discovered why this problem isn't solved yet, and it isn't for lack of trying or that previous attempts haven't been executed properly.

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"... if they execute well."

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Yes...my point was that even if they execute well, there's still a ton that can torpedo their success. They're going to need to execute phenomenally and get a ton more cooperation from the small businesses than we've ever found them willing to give.

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Not a user of Octopart, but a fan of them and their story ... congrats to them!

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I am a user -- congrats, and please don't start limiting your service to Altium users! :-P

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Agree with OP's argument or not, but practically the entire post is spent answering that question directly.

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So you ask clients to give Gigster equity?

Also, would love to hear more about your pricing generally.

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Hi! Not all clients, just a select few. We collect data on all the projects we do and infer prices automatically :) Generally you can expect a Gigster project to be way cheaper (we've seen 10X in some cases) than what an agency would charge and often times cheaper or on par with similarly curated services like toptal but with the added convenience you get from having a product manager like an agency would provide.

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If only a select few clients, not all clients, provide equity, how can you give "all Gigster developers equity or options on projects!"

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Especially love to see someone who actually experienced communism first-hand make the parallel with progressives' behavior.

There's not much of a parallel. Calling on game makers to make more diverse games is the essence of free market capitalism — consumers driving change with their words and dollars.

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I was referring to the end of the first part of the article.

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You'll never be in college at college age again. Meanwhile, you'll have your whole life to work in the Valley. Unless this job is really something amazing, stay in school.

Of course if you find yourself violently recoiling at that argument, that'll tell you something too.

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That's definitely a valid reason - I'm having a blast in school, so I guess I'm just naively eager to begin working (since this past co-op term in SF has been one of the greatest times of my life). I guess SF won't be going anywhere, and it'll be just as good in the future.

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I had so much fun at university (also in Canada like OP) and am glad I did a full 4 years and did not end it early.

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When that logic is run in the other direction, the courts smack it down. "We weren't discriminating against race, we just happened to use $CRITERION that effectively discriminated against race." Does it really change its force if it's discriminating "for"?

Utter strawman. The pool of applicants for any given job is largely a function of the people who've already been hired. This startup is providing a tool for counteracting that selection bias. It isn't "discrimination" to strive for the broadest possible pool of qualified candidates.

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"The pool of applicants for any given job is largely a function of the people who've already been hired."

That makes no sense. It seems far more likely you've just got correlation effects going on; a given physical office has a certain local distributing of people.

And this is part of the reason I'm trying to keep to the legal aspects. Any new pool of applicants can only broaden the "diversity", but that doesn't mean you could use the complementary service without getting into serious legal trouble.

Preferences are one thing, but this appears to be out-and-out racially discriminatory. Even as part of a recruiting diet it seems legally dangerous, because as I tried to show with my link, there are limits to the preferences that can be displayed.

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[The idea that the pool of applicants for any given job is largely a function of the people who've already been hired] makes no sense.

You don't seem to be familiar with how hiring works.

Referrals are a thing, for instance. Job openings tend to get shared within the networks of employees.

I'm honestly amazed that this is a point of debate.

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You're basically claiming that the details of this service can't possibly be relevant because effectively nobody ever uses these sorts of recruiting services.

Along with it being pretty "scorth-the-Earth" as defenses go, I would submit the alive-and-well recruiting industry of which this startup is trying to become a part is a sufficient counterpoint. Referral networks are great for Silicon Valley startups... I mean that fully seriously, not merely rhetorically, it's a legitimate advantage that Silicon Valley has over any other region trying to become Silicon Valley because you just can't legislate those networks into existence... but you tap them out as you grow. Especially if you're not in Silicon Valley.

Hence the market for things like, oh, say, Jopwell.

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You're basically claiming that the details of this service can't possibly be relevant because effectively nobody ever uses these sorts of recruiting services.

Yet another strawman. We haven't even gotten to the details yet; remarkably, you've argued against increasing the pool of qualified applicants, on principle.

Referral networks are great for Silicon Valley startups

And another strawman! I never claimed referral networks are bad for startups. But those networks also tend to miss large swaths of qualified potential hires. You yourself admitted that eventually those networks get tapped out.

Meanwhile ... is the applicant pool a function of the current employees or not? If not, why are referrals an advantage? In one breath, the claim makes "no sense" to you, but in the next, that fact is a "huge advantage."

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"And another strawman! I never claimed referral networks are bad for startups."

Perhaps you ought to be slower to fling about accusations about "strawmen" and actually read what I'm saying. I'm allowed to make points that are not necessarily direct responses to you. You're attempting to control the frame. Well, so am I. I see no reason to hide that.

"In one breath, the claim makes "no sense" to you, but in the next, that fact is a "huge advantage.""

Bollocks. Read more, assume less please.

"remarkably, you've argued against increasing the pool of qualified applicants, on principle."

Again, you're scorching the Earth to save your point. Your point logically explains that it would be perfectly ethical to create a recruiting service that both highly vets its candidates, and only accepts "the majority", because that would "increase the pool of qualified applicants" vs an unvetted population that requires wading through tons of people who barely even read the posting. Your defense is proving far more than you intend. It is perfectly reasonable, and indeed a real hiring company better be considering, the mechanics whereby the "applicant pool is being increased" if they don't want to be sued. You're nuking the ground Jopwell is standing on to defend it, which is precisely the idea that where the pool comes from does matter, beyond just "a big enough pool"!

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Come on, you guys—we need established users to set examples of civility when discussing difficult matters.

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Happy to hear this, love what they're doing.

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This is a pretty big deal, even if just for the fact that this plus Lambda eliminates fixed costs.

Rather than running an API server 24/7, you can write your API as a set of functions that cost you money only when they're actually invoked.

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