I agree this idea has potential, and I have thought about it, but I am a bad web developer, and an even worse app developer. I have been looking for a partner to possibly do it with a rev share and I have contacted numerous people, but no takers...
If you are interested, i can develop NATIVE android/ios mobile html/web based app (similar to phonegap with embedded socket server) based on Xamarin.Android/Xamarin.IOS for FREE (looking to publish a portfolio of case studies). If interested contact srid68 at gmail.
This is sort-of the case in Denmark as well, though the conditions for what counts as "unemployed" for an entrepreneur are a subject of some discussion. Currently, you qualify on the same basis as someone who loses their job only when your company declares bankruptcy and is liquidated. That's the event that, for a business owner, counts as equivalent to being involuntarily fired or laid off for an employee.
You do also qualify for the base welfare system without any strings, though. For example if your income is too low relative to the cost of housing, you may receive a housing subsidy.
In essence, the US government (not it's people) could be regarded as the global bully. It's probably because bullying works and is economical. It makes sense for them and the world where the US would have to apologize for it's behaviour is not the world we live in, no matter how much we would want to.
But isn't it also a slight sign of weakness? Comparing to China, it's apparent that US more often resorts to bullying tactics. Especially if you count in military operations in that spectrum. If the US were an economical power the bullying would not be more economical than a more long-term, silent and behind the scenes overtaking of the global economy. Which is what China is engaged in and US has been in the past.
And also historically speaking, nations with the kind of relative power that the United States has have behaved far, far worse towards other countries. There are things the US could improve upon, but the bar has been set impressively low by those who have held power before (including the United States of years past).
Oh, just that maybe the USA is not the world's worst example of tyranny that you seem to make it out to be. Especially in comparison to Russia, but even in comparison to some of the "more advanced" European states.
After all even with slavery, it was something America inherited, instead of going out of their way to do. Much of Europe, on the other hand, chose to murder their undesirables, and far after when America was able to finally free their slaves.
Calm yourself. I haven't made out the US as "the world's worst example of tyranny". I would like to point out the hypocrisy though, of those who criticize a person for seeking refuge from the US in Russia, because he didn't instead choose "Unicornlandia" or some other similarly perfect utopian bastion of freedom and human rights.
I'm from the US, and I am proud that we ended slavery, (a little embarrassed that it took a war, but I had no control over that), but, I am not under the impression that the US is perfect, or without the potential for improvement. Critical self-reflection is an important step on the path to self-improvement. I criticize my country because it is the one that I personally have the potential and the responsibility to affect positive changes within.
> I would like to point out the hypocrisy though, of those who criticize a person for seeking refuge from the US in Russia, because he didn't instead choose "Unicornlandia" or some other similarly perfect utopian bastion of freedom and human rights.
Is it hypocritical to at least ask that he pick a nation comparable to, if not better than, the U.S.? Apparently this should be the easiest task in the world.
I've argued here before, and I'll repeat it again, that I would have no problem at all with Snowden asking for asylum in Russia (or even North Korea, China, etc.) as long as he makes it clear he's simply trying to 'beat the rap', as they say.
But Snowden doesn't do this, and in fact goes farther to claim that Russia is doing this to support human rights and tickle doves with angel feathers and even encourage privacy (which is just beyond ironic, but whatever).
That is either a flat-out lie to appease his host, or stupidity. And we all know he's not stupid...
> Critical self-reflection is an important step on the path to self-improvement. I criticize my country because it is the one that I personally have the potential and the responsibility to affect positive changes within.
We're going to 100% agree twice today! Wonderful progress. :)
>Is it hypocritical to at least ask that he pick a nation comparable to, if not better than, the U.S.? Apparently this should be the easiest task in the world.
I'm sure he would go to Unicornlandia if he knew how to get there. And, yeah, it is pretty silly to ask him to expose himself by travelling through places where the US arguably has enough control to cause his detainment/extradition.
>But Snowden doesn't do this, and in fact goes farther to claim that Russia is doing this to support human rights and tickle doves with angel feathers and even encourage privacy (which is just beyond ironic, but whatever).
I don't really care what symbolic gestures he makes when he may be under duress.
>That is either a flat-out lie to appease his host, or stupidity. And we all know he's not stupid...
It's arguably true! A person has the right to asylum from political persecution. Only a few other countries have the willingness to oppose the US. We both know that Russia's motives probably aren't rooted in an altruistic commitment to human rights, but as I have said before Snowden isn't in a position to look gift horses in their mouths.
>We're going to 100% agree twice today! Wonderful progress. :)
Let's not make it a habit. If we both agree all the time, that means one of us is redundant!
> A person has the right to asylum from political persecution.
Except it's not political persecution. He's not being charged with being a Communist, or anarchist, or libertarian here.
I'm assuming you disagree with the law (though even figures like Schneier agree that there is a legitimate need for government to protect secrets), but disagreement with the law doesn't make it a political prosecution.
For that matter, the laws against theft and misappropriation of public property have a long and proud history. I'm assuming you don't intend to introduce a loophole in those laws that would permit the politicians to abuse the Treasury even worse than they already manage?
> After all even with slavery, it was something America inherited, instead of going out of their way to do.
Its true that the slave trade predates American independence, but its not as if it wasn't largely driven by the interests of wealthy Americans; it really had very little other point, which is why after the US was independent, England first both suppressed the Atlantic slave trade, and then, decades before the US did (and without a civil war) abolished slavery entirely.
> Much of Europe, on the other hand, chose to murder their undesirables, and far after when America was able to finally free their slaves.
So did the US. The Indian Wars were a real thing, after all, and ended long after the abolition of slavery.
> The Indian Wars were a real thing, after all, and ended long after the abolition of slavery.
Absolutely, but none of us can go back in time and undo the bad things that America has done, or that Britain has done, or that Germany has done, or that Russia has done, or what anyone has done.
But people do not apply the same standard to, say, Germany or Russia, that they apply to the USA.
You can bring up slavery every day, and America will have been wrong every time. Does that, itself, taint the blood of 2013 Americans?
Certainly American can and should make corrections and pay penance how they can, and at least partially they do (e.g. affirmative action programs, equal opportunity laws), just as Germany atones for the actions of the Nazis, and just as Japan still maintains only a "self-defense force" in consequence of wars from decades ago.
Certainly we can compare America of today with other countries of today. America won't always win that comparison (e.g. Germany has much better laws regarding data privacy and data protection) but nor will America be the worst nation on the Earth. Certainly they look OK as compared to Russia.
But if one's argument against the USA will inevitably come back to what a bunch of assholes were doing back in 1790-1920 then it's not unfair to also widen the scope of comparison for those nations that are being compared against the USA.
My former startup Twingly http://twingly.com has hundreds of millions of blog posts stored (everything collected since 2006) in 128 MySql shards with a unified query interface. The last few months of data are indexed and searchable for free from their website, but the entire archive is kept forever.
Perhaps there could be some continuous rollover with all data older than five years being made available through the Internet Archive. I'm no longer affiliated with Twingly but of course know them very well. I can make a proposal! It would be a great idea and I guess for Twingly it could mean increased brand recognition.
I didn't realise you couldn't download and use the data from Internet Archive. If not, that's pretty silly to back up the feeds to them, and I'm a bit annoyed to have contributed. I'd like to make them available to everyone to download, analyse, plug into their reader etc etc etc...
For anything substantial (like say, their actual crawl), they'll only do it on a case by case basis with a rather restrictive license and you have to drive up there and plop down the machines to copy it onto.
What is (or should be) the real driver here is the difference between striving for success and striving for creating value. If you strive for success it always feels as if there's a long way there, no matter how far you get. You can rarely see the best way forward because it's mostly depending on chance.
But if you strive for creating value you can start in an instant, by just being helpful to someone or (in the case of being a tech entrepreneur) building a small web service that you know that a handful of people find valuable.
With time, striving for creating value will take you on a straighter path to success than if you were aiming for success all along the way.
I have complete understanding of your situation, having been in the position of having to let people go from a very small team a couple of times. It's hard and feels awful, but you are doing what you see needs to be done which is great in comparison to not having the willpower to act.
If the developer you need to let go is as good as you say, he won't have a problem finding a new job. You feeling shitty will not help him nor you so continue working to remedy the situation to the best of your ability. That's all you need to do and I think it sounds like you will be able to look back to all of this and be proud of you being able to make hard decisions even in a situation when it's so much easier not to.
Here is a problem that I would pay a subscription for a great solution to: Cron as a service.
Sometimes when you set up a simple codestack on Heroku or Parse or similar, it would be great to be able to specify a web hook that should be called repeatedly just to run maintenance code, summarize scores, clean up logs etc. If you have root access you can set up cron but this is not always the case, and I think it would be possible to build a SaaS that people feel is easier to use and more flexible than cron. I would easily pay a few dollars a month for a simple reliable cron service. Reliability is key, your service needs to never ever fail.
I use Pingdom's 1-minute monitoring for this, which is included on the Free plan. No joke, it hits up my pseudo-cron Task Processing route which fires up and reschedules all tasks needing doing, and it never fails. And it provides uptime and failure reports on my scheduled tasks!
This could be nice for small apps. The problem with higher-scale apps is you want to handle requests as quick as possible - they should be well under a second. And under typical server configurations, it will time out altogether after maybe 30-60 seconds.
I use one of these for various side tasks, because I got sick of having to run cron jobs for servers that I might switch between or kill off, and I run a lot of cron jobs. I also like the idea of offloading the cron hits to an independent service, so my servers focus strictly on more important tasks.
It's the first one I found that I liked and was reliable. It's very modestly priced as well.
I wouldn't suggest this for passive income however, as cron is a very low cost, value added type product. It's difficult to charge much for it stand-alone. You'd want to bundle a suite of services, like ping / uptime, cron, etc etc. into one.
The concept of a business is hundreds of years old and history has seen most types of business financing, both benevolent and scammy. As a result, there's a massive amount of regulations around it. No matter if intentions of the business owners are benign or not, when the public invests in companies there is a need for rules governing transparency and control.
What the post is referring does exist, it's called the stock market. It is a set of rules you need to follow before you can allow thousands or millions of shareholders to invest. Committing to the rules and getting the permission to do so is called an IPO.
> No matter if intentions of the business owners are benign or not, when the public invests in companies there is a need for rules governing transparency and control. What the post is referring does exist, it's called the stock market.
When the users are the owners it's a co-op. No need for a stock market there. A lot of grocery stores in BFN are co-ops.
I disagree - a business that is owned by its customers is probably best described as a mutual company. Examples are the old NYSE, and most other stock markets before modernization, most insurance companies before the wave of demutualization in the 1990's, Savings and Loan companies. The list goes on.
I think it's potentially a good model for some businesses, for example those that do not require a large amount of R&D spending, or where this is not a race to the bottom as happened with stock exchanges.
> What the post is referring does exist, it's called the stock market. It is a set of rules you need to follow before you can allow thousands or millions of shareholders to invest. Committing to the rules and getting the permission to do so is called an IPO.
No, that's all wrong. There are business that seek direct investment -- including specifically from their customers -- without being publicly traded on any exchange; they obviously have to comply with general securities laws, but do not have to deal with anything applicable specifically to publicly-traded companies or particular exchange rule, and obviously don't have an IPO first as they aren't public.
Neither being widely held (having lots of individual shareholders) nor seeking direct equity investment from your customer base requires you to be a publicly traded firm.
Is it possible to create a mutual fund that invests in start ups? May be something like a VC backed by many small investors? Small investors can be an important resource. Loyal customers, promoters, extra help, etc.
There are some hedge funds that invest in startups, along with the investment arm of other companies (Microsoft bought 1.6% of Facebook pre-IPO), but I don't know if it'll work for mutual funds. Hedge funds and companies can sit on a startup for years before getting any return, but mutual funds have to be much more liquid. It could work as a closed-end fund, but those are much less common than open-ended funds and you lose the ability to reinvest in the startups.
To my understanding, the thing that is really new is the current strategy surrounding IPOs. From what I gather, IPOs used to be a key option for raising funding, rather than a key option for cashing out.
If you use an IPO as a source of fund raising, it seems like you'd have little trouble using the stock market to do this very thing- allow your users to invest in you.
I think (for technology companies you're correct).. Private money is 'cheap' for growing tech companies, so going IPO as a way to source further growth capital makes little sense (also worth noting, the cost of starting/ growing is accelerating down).
So, why give up massive amounts of control - in many cases having to actually listen to those owners, be forced to share information with competitors through filings, and deal with the headaches when VC money is so cheap and relatively plentiful?
Look at an example like Groupon, where many of the major shareholders had largely cashed out before ever making it to the stock market (through VC fundings). Similar situations have happened with both Facebook, Twitter in terms of pre-emptive cashing out.
"need for rules governing transparency and control."
And when they're implemented, the politicians the existing large players hired via campaign contributions are very careful to make sure the regulations favor the existing large players who pay the politicians bills, in other words the exact opposite of startups. So that's probably not going to end well for the startup.