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Votes made from an article's direct link (e.g. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6799854) don't count towards its rank and too many of them will set of the voting ring detector (this is why it's a bad idea to link directly to a HN submission from your blog or from Twitter/Facebook). This is probably what happened here.

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Zaephyr 144 days ago | link

Wait...what? I am not suppose to upvote from the article page but the main pages? I know I'm new here, but I find that counter-intuitive and disappointing that I've been doing wrong.

Wouldn't it make sense to remove the upvote option on the article page, surely I'm not the only one who got this wrong (I hope).

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kilovoltaire 144 days ago | link

I think it's based on referrer, not where you actually do the upvote.

I.e. if you get to the article page from the main page, then that's fine. But if you arrive there with no referrer or from somewhere else, then it isn't counted, since quite possibly someone sent you the specific article just to upvote it.

At least that's how I understand it...

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Robert Khoo, the business manger of Penny Arcade and the one who wrote this job ad subscribes to the "work is family" level of cultural fit. He looks at hiring as adding a new member to the family rather than just filling a position. This is why his job ads and hiring methods are so harsh. The three seasons of Penny Arcade's video show paint a good picture of what it's like to get hired and work at Penny Arcade: http://penny-arcade.com/patv/show/pa-the-series.

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GuiA 145 days ago | link

Bullshit.

Anyone who has been in the industry for more than 2 months knows that the "work is family" thing is a nonsensical feel good catchphrase thrown around by manipulative managers.

Your boss will not feel bad for you if you have a personal emergency which requires your absence and costs the company money (parent dying, spouse or children having medical problems, etc.).

Your company will not hesitate one second to fire you if the output you produce is deemed less valuable than the input you need to function.

Seriously, this is why Penny Arcade can get away with shit like that - because there are people out there who blindly believe that "work is family" and eat up the whole "it's not for everyone, others don't want to do it because they're not hardcore enough, but you're hardcore enough spiel". Statistically speaking, any argument that rests on the premise that you are better than 99% of the population is bullshit.

If you really subscribe to the whole "work is family" thing, go ahead. Then in 6, 12, 18 or 36 months, when you inevitably get fucked over, you'll complain about how you wish you had been warned ahead.

Sure, I love making work pleasant and grabbing beers with my boss and co-workers as much as the next guy- but at the end of the day, work is work, and anyone who tries to convince you otherwise has ulterior motives.

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dougmccune 145 days ago | link

I won't try too hard to convince you otherwise, because you certainly seem set in your opinions. But I think it's a shame that such an overwhelmingly negative tone is thrown around so much. There are companies (small and otherwise) made up of good people that do not operate on this horribly cold impersonal calculus. There are bosses that will genuinely go out of their way to help you through a family crisis. There are co-workers and organizations that feel like family. I'm sorry you think it doesn't exist and that you've never had a relationship with a boss that was anything other than evil, but don't be so quick to tell everyone that that's all there is.

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GuiA 145 days ago | link

My opinions are formed by witnessing friends getting fired/being pressured to quit because their company had run out of money, or because they had to take care of an ill relative and the company felt that their performance wasn't as good as what it used to be, or because of some BS office politics. Those companies include small trendy startups and big fortune 500 companies alike.

At the end of the day, no matter how wonderful everything is, if the company is having a hard time and they need to fire you, they'll do it. Your boss is not going to sell his car or house to pay your salary.

If the company is doing well and offers a nice work environment, it can be fantastic, as you described- in which case, enjoy the ride while it lasts. But don't delude yourself in thinking that the wind won't turn if bad times hit. Believing anything else is setting yourself up for major letdown when it happens.

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mst 145 days ago | link

I broke my hip. The team rallied around and handled it until I was back. Both my parents died. The team rallied around and handled it until I was back. One of the team got close to burnout - the company provided him with unsolicited paid time off provided he took it now, so he could chill and get back to being productive.

My good experiences don't invalidate your bad experiences - but that sentence applies vice versa too.

A bunch of bad data points proves that bad exists, but it doesn't prove that bad is prevalent. That sentence also applies vice versa.

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GuiA 145 days ago | link

That's awesome- I'm genuinely happy for you. Finding a fulfilling job is hard.

Based on your experience in the field, how many software companies out there do you think are like yours? 20%? 10%? 1%? 0.1%? Less?

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mst 143 days ago | link

I have a suspicion that for larger companies, it's more a question of which teams are like that than which companies are, since the line manager's attitude has a huge influence on the results (for example, one bent the HR system substantially for me to enable me to house hunt effectively - a personal act rather than an organisational one).

As for what percentage? I'm not really sure. Shadowcat is how it is because it was baked into the culture from day one because that's how things should be done, so I'm not sure I can extrapolate usefully from it.

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phizzo 145 days ago | link

Anecdotal n=1 response, but I worked for a civil engineering firm where the owner of the company did mortgage his house to keep as many people as possible on staff during the housing market crash.

I don't expect that level of commitment to employees from my employers, but it does exist.

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wpietri 145 days ago | link

I had to take care of an ill relative, and my startup was immensely supportive throughout. I've seen similar things happen at a variety of companies.

You're creating a false dichotomy here. I agree that places that push the "we're just like a family" line often do so because some boss means "I want to act like an abusive dad". And I agree that no place is perfect.

But there's plenty of room for compassion and human feeling in the workplace. Companies are human institutions, and executives ignore that at their peril.

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Shinkei 145 days ago | link

The plural of anecdote is not data. Ever heard of 'your mileage may vary'? We can throw opinions around all night, but it's clear that either people are looking through rosy and 'cynic' glasses at the same companies... or there truly are different workplaces than you've come to know.

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wsxcde 145 days ago | link

> There are bosses that will genuinely go out of their way to help you through a family crisis. There are co-workers and organizations that feel like family.

Sure, I know such people. The difference that these people won't write a psychopathic job ad, and they certainly won't expect me to work >40hours a week for below market salary.

If you believe work is family, do you think your family would be OK with you working 60 hours a week for below market salaries? Of course not! Your family doesn't want to screw you over while selling you shitty psychobabble. They'll actually pay you what you're worth and make sure you work reasonable hours.

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dougmccune 145 days ago | link

100% agree. I wasn't saying anything in support of the PA job posting. And seeing as it's just about 5pm here, I'm signing off from work for the day :)

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ssclafani 145 days ago | link

My comment is not an endorsement, it's merely an explanation of the mindset of the person who wrote the ad.

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yummyfajitas 145 days ago | link

Your company will not hesitate one second to fire you if the output you produce is deemed less valuable than the input you need to function.

Labor hoarding is well established empirically.

http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2005/2005-040.pdf

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downer95 145 days ago | link

That's an interesting paper, but GOD why are people so motivated toward using absurdly dense jargon in their papers? What does one accomplish by couching their ideas in convoluted words?

For example:

  Labor hoarding is a widely believed empirical behavior of
  firms and a prominent explanation for procyclical labor 
  productivity. Conventional wisdom attributes labor 
  hoarding to labor adjustment costs. This paper argues that 
  the conventional wisdom is inadequate for understanding 
  labor hoarding because it ignores the role of inventories. 
  Since idle labor can be used to produce inventories, why 
  do firms hoard labor when inventory is an option?
The whole paper reads like that. Repurposed words dumped obliquely in the middle of sentances, and then abandonded.

Why not:

  Labor hoarding is defined as the retention of idle workers
  during periods of low economic activity or slow business,
  further reinforcing the impact of larger social trends.
  The common perception is that retaining valuable workers
  will prove less costly than rounds of lay offs, followed 
  by subsequent phases of recruiting and training new labor.
  Observations have proven that businesses will choose to 
  idle their workers during these periods, instead of
  producing finished manufactured goods and retaining an 
  expanded inventory of surplus product. This paper 
  questions the strategy of hoarding idle labor, and offers
  improved strategies as potential alternatives to the 
  tendency of hoarding.
What is it about academia, where people feel obligated to contort their writing into an intimidating architecture of opaque jargon and garish vocabulary? Is it some form of group think? Is it a defense mechanism designed to ward off criticism? Why must new ideas be presented in such stark, frustrating words?

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count 145 days ago | link

Theirs is half the length and more precise than yours. Maybe they had a word count limit? That, and they're writing for other people in the field - jargon is USEFUL as a time and space saver.

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wpietri 145 days ago | link

You're really going to come on a technical site and complain about other people's jargon and opaque writing?

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marvin 144 days ago | link

It's especially interesting when compared to the "but my code is self-documenting!" that a lot of technical people advocate.

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yetanotherphd 145 days ago | link

For someone trained in the field, the original version is more concise and easier to understand. They key "jargon" terms are very common in economics, in particular "procyclical", "labor adjustment costs", "labor hoarding" and "inventories".

So really it's just a matter of using a common technical language that is less ambiguous than ordinary language.

Your rewrite adds a lot that isn't in the original article. E.g. the last sentence doesn't reflect their meaning. They are looking for explanations for why firms hoard, not trying to make suggestions to firms.

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aliakbarkhan 145 days ago | link

How stupidly self-centered are you? "All academic papers should be written in a way that I can understand no matter whether they would be comprehensible to the intended audience!" What a fucking egomaniac.

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danielha 145 days ago | link

Your outlook on the world makes me sad. There's such a defensive attitude in this community — for some good reasons, I can understand — but it paints the world in black and white.

How do you know that's how it is? For most companies, "work is family" may be hyperbole, but how do you know it's that way at PA? I don't profess to know, but I don't find it unreasonable that there are companies out there that are different than the ones that I'm accustomed to. Just like I accept that there are people out there that have lives very different than how I've lived mine.

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GuiA 145 days ago | link

You shouldn't sadden yourself with my outlook on the world; I'm doing quite fine, thank you :)

Don't forget that when you sign a work contract in California, it says explicitly that your employer can get rid of you at any time (and they are certainly happy to exercise that right, especially in startups). This is legally true for any company here, no matter how different they are from the ones I've experienced.

Also don't forget that we live in a city where entire teams frequently get cut because they're deemed unnecessary by the new CEO of the day. This is the same city where when people (albeit not in the tech industry) go on strike because they don't get certain benefits promised to them in the past, they become almost universally hated by everyone.

The US is not exactly a reference when it comes to siding with workers in those matters.

I'm not saying that I treat work as a dull, impersonal affair, far from that. As I've said in another comment, I've happily socialized and made life long friends and partaken in office outings and activities in my life as a tech employee.

But I prefer to not cloud my mind with ultimately useless romantic notions such as "your work is your family" (I already have a family, and it's filling its role quite well- don't need another one). When the bad times come, it makes dealing with things much easier. And when employers try to push this angle a bit too much, it's a sign to me that the workplace might not be too desirable to be at.

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danielha 145 days ago | link

Totally. I get it. All I'm saying is that it's not out of the question that there are people out there that would be absolutely happy to treat their work just like family.

And that there's an organization/group out there that treats it just like that.

It's sort of like jaded lovers. Certainly there are people that poo-poo the notion of "soul mates" or "love at first sight." Fair enough. But it's always a little bit sad when that dampens the mood for people who are caught up within potential romance, no?

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SheepSlapper 145 days ago | link

The irony is, this is a community based around the startup lifestyle. Often that means extra hours for a promise of equity (which, in my experience, isn't worth the paper it's printed on) and lower salaries. But for some reason, there's a huge outcry at this posting because it says you have to wear many hats and they don't have a ton of money to spend. Sound familiar? At least they're upfront about it.

Honestly, I'd rather spend time working for someone (or on something) that I believed in and make less money than the usual soul crushing 9 to 5 and make a boatload. I'm in that situation now, actually, and it's not great. I moved the the bay area earlier in the year to chase the almighty dollar, and my overall happiness level has gone down. Who'd have thought?

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dack 145 days ago | link

Penny Arcade really isn't the same as a "normal company" though. Most of them there are minor celebrities just by proxy of the number of viewers that read the comics and watch the videos. I think it's safe to say there are a lot of people that can get a sense for what it would be really like to work there. It's more like a reality TV show (which they have actually done) than an enterprise business.

That said, there's no way I would apply for that position, and I hope nobody else does, so that they finally realize that they need to hire more than one person for all that stuff. I'm just saying the Penny Arcade company really is different than nearly any other technical gig, and that when they said "work is family", it's not "a nonsensical feel good catchphrase". It's them trying to weed out as many people as possible so they aren't flooded with 100,000 resumes at once.

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GuiA 145 days ago | link

Yes, in that sense a developer wishing to work for PA is no different than the young actor who wants to work with his Hollywood idols and is willing to do anything for even the smallest chance at making it big. I get that if you're really into video gaming and love PA, you may be willing to work like crazy for a low salary just to be with your idols and be a part of it.

The fact remain that if you do that, you're doing yourself a major disservice as a professional.

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SheepSlapper 145 days ago | link

And if your philosophy is truly "work is family" then this kind of job posting is exactly the thing you need to weed out people that aren't passionate about the things PA is doing. A point that seems to go over many peoples' heads in this thread (though not some of the others).

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InclinedPlane 145 days ago | link

> Anyone who has been in the industry for more than 2 months knows that the "work is family" thing is a nonsensical feel good catchphrase thrown around by manipulative managers.

That might be true in general but in this case it is not.

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devandstuff 144 days ago | link

Agree 100%.

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potatolicious 145 days ago | link

I'm unconvinced that this is a suitable excuse. For a lot of small companies work is family. You spend an awful lot of time with these people, day in day out, and you share in triumphs and adversity together. Penny-Arcade is by far not the only organization in this boat.

Demanding, insane-o jobs are also common in those places. They may have poor work/life balance, but goddamn it, they pay their people, either with fat salaries or substantial equity or both.

It's hard to imagine the confusion under which someone would post a job that is three standard deviations more overworked than the norm, and then flippantly say "we're not money-focused" about the compensation.

You want insane-o crazy work? You pay for insane-o crazy work.

But maybe this isn't surprising. PA does come derive from an industry where talented, young people will drag themselves through broken glass just for a tiny sliver of the glory of making video games for a living.

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ghshephard 145 days ago | link

"Work is family" is a line used by companies that want to pay their employees less money. Let's see how long you remain "Family" if you have an accident/stroke and your productivity goes down.

I don't know about you, but my mother and brother are still my family, regardless of their work output.

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ceejayoz 145 days ago | link

If this is how "family" gets treated, someone needs to call protective services.

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saraid216 145 days ago | link

"Family" isn't code for "children".

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ceejayoz 145 days ago | link

Which is why I didn't say "child protective services".

Many states have adult/elder protective services, too, not to mention police involvement with general abuse cases regardless of age.

Obviously, PA isn't really doing something worthy of that sort of response, but I'd want to be treated better than "shit wages, shit work-life balance" by a family member.

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RogerL 145 days ago | link

"harsh" and "family" do not mix.

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deletes 145 days ago | link

You are confusing the hiring process and actual employment there.

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LordHumungous 145 days ago | link

Right. Work is family until the minute they decide it is in their financial interest to lay you off. Then they are "forced to makes a difficult business decision." Don't buy into bullshit business rhetoric.

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snowwrestler 145 days ago | link

Exactly. The job description is written that way on purpose, to weed out anyone who does not really, really want to work at Penny Arcade.

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When I was at RIT in '02-'03 there were two companies doing this. Both of them shut down a couple of months after launching. After I graduated and moved back to Connecticut I found two services in the area that did this. They too both eventually shut down. This model seems to have a problem making enough to pay drivers.

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SkyMarshal 268 days ago | link

There were also two big ones in NYC right before the 2000/2001 .com crash, neither lasted, but everyone loved them. Kozmo.com and one other I can't remember. I do still remember the gourmet steak & lobster dinner they could deliver anywhere in an hour.

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hayksaakian 268 days ago | link

Don't worry there's plenty of VC to keep this thing going.

And on the off chance they make it work, everybody wins.

You don't really lose anything for other peoples failures (unless you're investing money you're not willing to lose)

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tanzam75 268 days ago | link

> You don't really lose anything for other peoples failures (unless you're investing money you're not willing to lose)

A number of pension funds are invested in venture capital.

Thus, a lot of people are unknowingly losing money on these types of things. Granted, they're only losing pennies each time. But it adds up.

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mattmanser 268 days ago | link

That's not how it works, VCs are like record publishers, doesn't matter if most of your companies suck as long as one is a hit.

You can't pick only hit companies. Well, if you could I'd sure pg would want a word!

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tanzam75 267 days ago | link

> That's not how it works, VCs are like record publishers, doesn't matter if most of your companies suck as long as one is a hit.

I know how venture capital is supposed to work. The problem is that it hasn't been working out the way it's supposed to.

Over the past decade, venture capital has underperformed the stock market.

Thus, pension funds have gotten their money into illiquid and risky VC investments -- but they haven't been getting paid the liquidity and risk premiums that they thought they were going to get.

(Incidentally, the record labels haven't done that great over the past decade, either.)

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mattmanser 267 days ago | link

If you supposedly know how it works why are you blathering on about pennies here and there? As the post I replied to shows a glaring lack of knowledge.

Plenty of VC funds are working exactly how they're supposed to work, don't try and wriggle out of it by claiming that 'of course you know' but somehow dropping a few million here and there on grocery suppliers is a meaningful loss to a VC or pension fund.

I'd have far more respect if you just said 'yeah, whoops, didn't know what the fuck I was talking about'.

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tanzam75 266 days ago | link

A million here, a million there, pretty soon you're talking about real money.

As for your personal attacks upon me, I think it evident that you just want to pick a fight. Four sentences in your post, and all four contain more insult than content.

As for "Plenty of VC funds are working ...", I would simply repeat what I've already stated, and you've ignored -- that the industry as a whole isn't delivering the promised returns.

Good luck trying to pick the VC funds that are working, rather than the ones that aren't.

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Heroku will be publishing a blog post sometime today.

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willlll 466 days ago | link

http://blog.heroku.com/archives/2013/1/9/password_hijacking_...

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To report a security or privacy vulnerability to Facebook use their Report a Security Vulnerability form: http://www.facebook.com/whitehat/report/ Anyway else and you risk your report not being received.

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shimon_e 476 days ago | link

I did.

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The indictment filed against Weev by the DOJ in 2011:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/113664772/46-Indictment

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jcromartie 516 days ago | link

The complaint cites "losses"

> To date, AT&T has spent approximately $73,000 in remedying the data breach. Those costs include, among other things, the cost of contacting all iPad 3G customers to inform them of the breach and AT&T's response to it.

BOO-#$%^ING-HOO.

As if AT&T shouldn't have had to lock down their user's info, and it's some kind of injustice to them that they have to do things the right way now. This perfectly highlights the fundamental disconnect between the corporations, the (their) legal system, and the Internet-connected world.

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I flagged this. No politics on HN, not even from PG.

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tzs 555 days ago | link

I wouldn't consider this to be politics. It is not advocating a political position, or discussing the merits of a political position, or advocating or discussing the merits of particular politicians. Rather, it is about how a particular demographic that is of particular interest on HN but that is not covered much in the mainstream press is leaning.

The distinction is subtle, but I think important. For instance, an article on Romney's attempt to take all sides on all issues so as to appeal to whatever audience he is speaking to at the moment would be inappropriate politics if the theme of the article is that Romney's campaign is setting the record as the most dishonest campaign in Presidential history.

On the other hand, if the theme of the article was that in the age of the internet, when we have near instant access to news, and anything a politician says is widely reported, you might expect that the "all things to all people" approach would be a terrible failure, and yet it is working well for Romney, and so the article tries to explore WHY this is so, I'd say that would be quite appropriate for HN. It raises an interesting question of whether widespread access to information actually helps people make better decisions, or just makes it easier for them to find information to reinforce their preexisting beliefs and contrary information gets ignored. It could be the launching point of some very interesting non-political discussion.

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tptacek 555 days ago | link

The demographic here is "people will who answer questions like this from Paul Graham". It's not exactly a representative sample. We don't even know its operator vs. investor makeup. Some of the people in the sample don't even live in the Valley. But the headline...

I flagged it after 'ssclafani did, hoping it might just vanish (I've since unflagged it), but for what it's worth: I don't so much think it's radically inappropriate for HN (though it sets a disquieting precedent, because the world is full of cohorts that someone can claim are interesting to HN), just that it's not particularly valuable, and a little transparent.

(For whatever it's worth, I'm an Obama supporter).

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Jd 555 days ago | link

Additionally, when there is a potentially negative association with a particular political choice (i.e. the choice of something other than pg's preferred option), one will obviously refuse to report, and will usually not make one's refusal explicit. That is to say, that even were we to assume that the 32 people pg asked were utterly representative of the startup community as a whole (which I don't think we have grounds to do, esp. given pg's own sensationalist headline), we have every reason to suspect that the 9 people who have refused to answer (including explicitly and implicitly) may have an answer other than the expected norm.

Take that into account, and you have 15 Obama 6 Romney 9 Refuse to answer

Where does that leave us? Well, with more questions than answers, to start with.

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Jd 555 days ago | link

> It is not advocating a political position

From the OP: "I prefer Obama too."

That's a political position, pure and simple. In fact, it is as good as an endorsement (and a somewhat sneaky one given that it comes at the end of a seemingly innocuous survey -- oh, la di da, I was interviewing my friends about economic growth since we know about it, being "startup leaders" and all, and what do you know, most of us support Obama. Oh, and by the way, so do I.).

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People who say that Twitter should just charge pro users don't get what Twitter is trying to achieve. Twitter doesn't want to be a million-dollar business, they want to be a billion-dollar business. They wont get there by charging users. Not even close.

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MBCook 612 days ago | link

Of course their plan to become a billion-dollar business could causes them to become a zero-dollar business.

The problem is that they seem to be overreaching, and doing it in what may be a self-destructive manor.

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Retric 611 days ago | link

A 20% shot at a 5 billion dollar bushiness may be a perfectly rational choice on their part.

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Steko 612 days ago | link

Pretty sure the list of companies that have made billions charging users is nonzero.

Text messaging has certainly been driven by user fees. If you look at the tv market it's moved from primarily ad driven to primarily fee driven.

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debacle 611 days ago | link

You're not going to make billions charging only ~10% of your userbase.

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Steko 611 days ago | link

If you have a billion users and you charge .1% of them $1,000 that's $1 billion. If you charge another 1% of them $100 that's another $1 billion. If you charge another 10% of them $10 that's another $1 billion. That's $3 billion already and we're just playing with rough numbers.

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Ralith 611 days ago | link

How large is Twitter's userbase?

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Thanks. Both titles are references to the paper Smashing The Stack For Fun And Profit by Aleph One. http://insecure.org/stf/smashstack.html

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The Dominant Factor Test is what most U.S. states use in determining what is and is not a game of skill. The Dominant Factor Test was defined in the 1973 Alaskan case Morrow v. State. The four qualifications as defined by the court in Morroware:

- Participants must have a distinct possibility of exercising skill and must have sufficient data upon which to calculate an informed judgment.

- Participants must have the opportunity to exercise the skill, and the general class of participants must possess the skill.

- Skill or the competitors efforts must sufficiently govern the results.

- The standard of skill must be known to the participants, and this standard must govern the results.

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