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Ask HN: Is Anyone Living The 4-Hour Work Week?
56 points by Dejital  13 hours ago   28 comments top 13
Sindrome 8 hours ago 2 replies      
No, but my grandfather owned a successful restaurant. Invested all the profits into real estate. Built an empire of 5mil+ as a Mexican immigrant. Towards the end, he had everything pretty automated by people he hired. Property managers for the rentals and a mix of family and a good restaurant manager for the restaurant. He would just come in on Sundays to count the money/accounting.

Side note. Our entire family has been destroyed by fighting over money. Money isn't everything. :)

bsvalley 12 hours ago 3 replies      
The point of this book like many other books "get rich quick and work less", is to make the author richer. If you're successful, people will most likely listen to you. So, you need to be successful in some way in real life and if you do, Tim showed you how to leverage a success into a great business model. This helped him generating more income by documenting his journey to a larger audience. So, the content of his book is not the point I think. It's the existence of that book in itself. So, to me it's still about luck and about taking risks in life. It doesn't answer the question: "how to become rich?". More like "how to create a business model based on your success".

Like any other book... There is no recipe for success. But there are a lot of techniques on how to maximize your income.

gobengo 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I saw a flash of it once. I was in the middle of vagabonding in the philippines (Cebu) where breakfast on the corner was $1 and a private room $15/night. I got a contract for 8hrs at $120/hr = $960.

So I rented a desk for $10 overnight (EST hours) and billed the hours after 2 nights.

In Cebu, $960/month is more than enough to live comfortably. So I realized I made an entire months living (traveling) expenses in one day of work. That's almost like the "2 hour work week"

ShirsenduK 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The book is about being "the new rich". The new rich is not about having a billion dollars in your bank. Its about having enough money and most importantly the time and brain space to enjoy your time.

In the book Tim, emphasises that burning through 90 hour work weeks are pointless if you are not able to enjoy the $$$ it will bring in. Rather spend some money to reduce your workload and focus on things that excite you.

While most the examples he cites are not very useful for me. (I am from India and outsourcing the boring jobs to India isn't very effective ). It helped me focus on what I want in my life. And what is the $$$ amount which will help me achieve that. Its a hard conversation which most of us don't have with ourselves.

I sum up the book as; "There is no point in feeling like shit in your 20s and your 30s for a great life in your 40s which might not even come." Its not exactly YOLO as it emphasises to have a great time and not just let life happen.

4hwwperson 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I have lived the 4 hour work week for the last 2 years. I created a course online and earned half a million dollars from it in the first year alone, after spending 3 months creating it (I was 29 when I created it). Many of the ideas from that book (4hww) were ideas that came naturally to me prior to reading that book. I think anyone who considers themselves resourceful (particularly with utilizing Google search) would say the same thing. Most of the world's information is on the web, so if you want to create a lifestyle that optimizes for high earnings and low work hours, you should start by searching Google.

It's striking to me how people seem so baffled about anything anymore these days. Is there a God? The best framework humans have discovered for figuring things out is the scientific method, and according to that, the answer is: not as far as we can tell. Why is this even a question anymore and why do religions still exist, 20+ years after the internet has been around for the public? Again, the answer to that is on the web as well (the answer probably has to do with how longstanding institutions take a long time to die without meteoric disruption - and physics research/the discovery of the Higgs boson clearly wasn't enough to disrupt religion, nor was the recent rise in popularity of Nick Bostrom's simulation theory which happens to be my favorite theory about what this universe is, etc.).

Anyway, I digress...the point is that nearly anything can be figured out via Google. Want to become a rocket scientist? Google it. Read the best books out there. Don't sell yourself short. Want to be an engineer? Google it. And then do it. You can also learn almost anything with very low cost, thanks to the Internet.

I just gave you the secret to the 4 hour work week. Google + determination.

If you're struggling with accepting this answer - start with getting better at searching Google. You can get good at it like any other skill.

stealsomesteel 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Im living 4 hour work week and its one of the best books that ever helped me. Just use the advices in the book, pretty simple. I spend most of these days working on side projects, feels great! This also allowed me to earn a lot of money, so definitely not downshifting.

Actually kinda amazed that there arent many similar people in the thread...I can email you from a public address, it would prove I have a real reputation and not just Tims paid commenter.

Ilurkyeahsowat 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I have not, but I know a friend who did this for a while directly out of high school. I've never read the book, but most of these types of books say "create passive income using ____________" he made a pdf and charged 15 bucks for it. Sold it on his own website and made ~$1500-2000 a month. the money he used to live and built some other not so successful websites. We were straight out of highschool though so this was enough money to live on and he didnt TOUCH the webpage for like 2 years steady income. Sometimes people just get lucky I guess.
miga 5 hours ago 0 replies      
4-hour work week no, but I know pretty many people that wait to vest on 4-hour workdays.
_tulpa 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I really don't think there are many people at all who are in a position to make use of the advice in the book, and of those who are I really don't think there are any who would actually benefit from it.

Gotta milk that survivorship bias though!

mchan 3 hours ago 0 replies      
A friend of mine is - she trained to become a Pilates instructor a number of years ago. Now she does 2 group classes a week (corporate clients) of 1 hour each, earns about $300 per class. That's enough for her to live on.
csallen 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Yvo Schaap, the creator of Directlyrics.com, recently wrote a detailed article on Indie Hackers about how he's been living the 4-hour work week for the past decade: https://www.indiehackers.com/@yvo/how-ive-lived-the-4-hour-w...

He created product where the brunt of the work took place in the first few months/years, but the SEO traffic paid dividends for years to come.

afpx 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I have two friends who did, independently. I surely doubt that they are still running things as they did way back then. But, at the time, and for almost a decade afterward, it enabled them to travel freely around the globe and have a relatively luxurious lifestyle.

Interestingly, both eventually got married and settled down back in the states. They each seem to be doing well - but have more conventional lifestyles now (i.e. Living in the burbs with kids).

chunkiestbacon 7 hours ago 1 reply      
It gave me the dream to work remotely from abroad. I'm relatively poor and working a lot, but almost 2 years in Japan now.
Ask HN: Website Rejected from Amazon Affiliates Bad Customer Service
2 points by mgptw  2 hours ago   1 comment top
Cozumel 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Probably a stupid suggestion but ask some of your friends if your website is reachable, it's probably fine for you because you're the developer. But it looks like there's some issue you're not aware of.
Ask HN: Dr. Dobb's Jolt Awards current alternative for technical books?
19 points by xadoc  15 hours ago   1 comment top
aarongolliver 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Off topic: I really miss Jolt :( and I love that Dobb kept using their name post-bankruptcy
Ask HN: What do you wish you did when you moved to a new city?
5 points by meagher  9 hours ago   2 comments top 2
rman4040 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
Avoid pleasure at the beginning, observe, be open and simple, talk to people and ask question about everything.
samblr 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Apart from finding a good coffee shop and activities-on-offer because of geo-location. I would look at potential employers around and see what (tech based) jobs they offer. And how I fit into place if I have to stay long. To write this: I have been living in relatively small town for few years and only in last year I have paid attention to employers around.
Video Wall on the Raspberry Pi: Configure it by taking a picture of your screens
21 points by dividuum  16 hours ago   3 comments top 2
trcollinson 12 hours ago 1 reply      
This is honestly very cool and amazing. Why didn't you add it to a Show HN? Nevertheless, very nice work!
Meph504 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I have to say, that's really impressive.
Ask HN: What Happened to the Segment.com Open-Source Fellowships?
34 points by _Marak_  9 hours ago   7 comments top 5
fouadmatin 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Marak! Im Fouad and I work at Segment, specifically on this program.

To provide a bit of additional context, we launched the program on March 23rd (which closed on May 8th), received 285 applications, and then selected four of them as fellows on June 20th. We notified everyone that had applied that day.

From there, we still had to coordinate the final logistics with the fellows who were selected. A few were at full-time jobs and needed time to coordinate long-term sabbaticals, so weve had to delay the announcement on the selection process.

As far as why you werent contacted, this is totally my fault and an honest mistake. Even though the deadline was May 8th, we still had an apply late form that was able to submit applications for late participants. However, nobody was monitoring the form after June 20th since wed already accepted the fellows and were still figuring out the logistics with them. I just checked your application and it came in on June 21st.

Im really sorry about that, well do better here next timeI honestly feel terrible for botching the logistics, and can totally understand the frustration. For what its worth, nobody had seen your application until now, and I removed the application form earlier today to ensure this mistake doesnt happen again.

Happy to answer other questions here or at open@segment.com, well be announcing the four fellows in September.

shubhamjain 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Slightly related to this is a Stephen King's FAQ Question [1].

> Will you read my manuscript and tell me what you think?

...."There's another reason, and that's a legal one. I've been sued for plagiarism 8 or 9 times. Any writer who has deep pockets has been sued for plagiarism from time-to-time-that goes for J.K. Rowling, John Grisham, really everyone. For everyone who publishes best-selling fiction, somebody wants to think, 'Oh, he got that idea from me' and so it's just much easier and much safer to say I never read that book at all".

I mean, out of hundreds of applications that they received, one idea slightly matching with what they were already doing is highly probable. It seems rather unlikely that a company leader would see an application and jump out of his seat to instruct his team to copy the idea without any credit.

[1]: http://stephenking.com/faq.html

giis 8 hours ago 0 replies      
> I've now learned they will be soon be releasing a commercial product that is strongly related to the open-source project I submitted.

Is it someone from segment informed you about this upcoming commercial product? How did you learned about this info? What if there is no such plans or upcoming product?

Are you sure about their terms & conditions? Some companies include special clause to own or implement these ideas on their own.

I hope someone from segment will address your concerns.

hitekker 9 hours ago 0 replies      
What was the project that you submitted? And, for comparison, what is the commercial product Segment will be releasing?

I hope someone from Segment responds to your concerns.

jaequery 8 hours ago 1 reply      
sounds to me like you shouldnt be open sourcing your project if you are thinking like that.
Ask HN: Know of any non-digital toys/games that teach, for 6-10 year olds?
60 points by vijayr  1 day ago   68 comments top 42
ramphastidae 1 day ago 3 replies      
I think the best gift for kids is still Legos. I spent hours building miniature cities, vehicles, homes, train systems, etc. as a kid. My children love them too. It's a great way to develop imagination and motor skills. I would personally avoid the branded sets, although that may just be my bias.
__s 1 day ago 1 reply      
I commend you for wanting to teach children alternatives to digital. While binary & hexadecimal are popular, especially if you want to get them into the nuts & bolts of computers, I'd be interested to hear any reflections on duodecimal. I'm not too big a fan of this counting method: https://mihaslekovec.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/duodecimal-... as it comes off as a bit too digitcentric for my tastes

Balanced ternary could be a real fun starting point-- getting negative numbers involved asap surely has some great benefits. I think if balanced ternary was exposed to children more often at an early age we'd have a lot of these new fangled type level numbers being balanced ternary. I was playing around with implementing such in Rust: https://github.com/serprex/lambdaski/blob/master/src/typenum...

Binary comes off as particularly weak when type systems are still resolving lambda terms / prolog logic as associative maps & trees. http://repository.readscheme.org/ftp/papers/topps/D-456.pdf benchmarks 5 as being an ideal radix perfwise, but that does seem implementation dependent

My father wrote a song reflecting on our digital world: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw-au4sqKD2gWVJqOGFzSEVoakx...Stay strong & good luck

Inityx 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm a big fan of K'NEX http://www.knex.com/knex-education
Yetanfou 1 day ago 1 reply      
Give them a bunch of tools - hammer, saw, screwdriver, ruler, pencil, hand-powered drill, pair of pliers - and some scrap material (left-over planks, some thin sheet material, some small nails and screws, etc) to work on. Add a bottle of wood glue and some paint, preferably left-overs from other paint jobs to make them feel more at ease at wasting some and appreciate the fact that things don't have to be brand-spanking new to be useful. Help them along a bit but don't get in the way. They might make swords, bows, arrows, cars, horse stables, houses, whatever fits their fancy. The results might not be perfect but they're the work of their own hands and minds.

Yes, a 6yo can learn to use a saw, just make sure it is sized accordingly and has small teeth - both because they are easier to use as well as less likely to cause injury.

heymijo 1 day ago 1 reply      
Math Games

1) Prime Climbhttps://www.amazon.com/Math-for-Love-Prime-Climb/dp/B00PG959...

2) Tiny Polka Dotshttps://www.amazon.com/Math-For-Love-Tiny-Polka/dp/B01N1UUHP...

- Tiny Polka Dots might seem too basic, but counting is this complex topic that we forget because, well, we know how to count. Lots of downstream advantages of having the kind of secure understanding a kid can get from understanding counting inside and out. Tiny Polka Dots can help.

Z1515M8147 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's an obvious one, but I think there's something to be said for a simple three-in-one chess, draughts and backgammon set. The upfront cost is small but the long term benefits are vast.
ajarmst 1 day ago 0 replies      
A kickstarted I supported is Turing Tumble, a simple Turing-complete mechanical computer. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/871405126/turing-tumble...
jlg23 1 day ago 0 replies      
Math: Skat[1] is an awesome card game with rules that fit on the back of a single card (basic version) and that trains addition and multiplication. AFAIK it is/was accepted as a teaching tool in Thuringia's schools. (usually for 3 players, a 2 player variation is described in the WP-article).

Literature: A membership in the local library was enough for me.

Problem Solving: Chess and related board games; any kind of puzzles - I loved metal puzzles where I had to separate/join pieces (e.g. those found here[2] - not endorsing the shop, just the first hit on DDG).

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skat_(card_game)

[2] http://www.zoompuzzles.com/Metal-Puzzles_c_15-2.html

hluska 13 hours ago 0 replies      
When I was 6 or 7, my Grandma taught me how to play cribbage. At first, it was a little tough, so my Grandma helped me decide which cards to put into my crib and with counting out my hand. But as my ability to add and spot patterns increased, I stopped needing her help so much.

Cribbage is a nice blend of strategy, applied math and pattern matching. I plan to teach my 17 month old daughter cribbage as soon as I can.

avip 1 day ago 1 reply      

 Tanagram Frisbee Bike Prism Magnifying glass

a-saleh 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I would really recommend MERCUR, I am just not sure where would you be able to get it. Where I come from (i.e. Czech Republic), it is this legendary engineering toy kit, and you could build almost anything with it :)

As kids we loved it, and then, even in college we still used it in our robotics projects :)


usegolang 1 day ago 0 replies      
Most board games can be great educational tools. Eg Guess Who teaches logical thinking skills since kids have to think of a strategy to use and a question that will support that strategy. Clue is similar but possibly a higher age range.

Same goes for puzzle games - Sudoku, or even those little golf tee + peg board games you see at like cracker barrel. Simple but educational and they exercise the brain.

As others have said, Legos and similar toys teach spatial reasoning and similar skills as well.

If you are looking for toys that teach a specific skill (eg algebra) that is likely trickier to find.

saluki 20 hours ago 0 replies      
magnatiles (amazon have seen at target) one of our kids favorites, great for 6 year old but they will play with them for years. https://www.amazon.com/Magna-Tiles-Clear-Colors-100-Piece/dp...

Kapla Blocks (building)https://www.amazon.com/CitiBlocs-200-Piece-Natural-Colored-B...

Dominos for Toppling (lots of tutorials online to do amazing runs)https://bulkdominoes.com/collections/all

Wooden Blockshttps://www.amazon.com/ECR4Kids-Hardwood-Building-Storage-48...

If you don't have a hard smooth floor pick up a sheet of plexiglass for dominos and kapala blocks.

Legos, get a variety of sets, encourage mixing and building your own creations.

Board Games


Catan JuniorSettlers of Catan

Ticket to Ride


Scrabble (deluxe with plastic grid)


Stratego (Original General is 1)

Uno Card Game.


Snap Circuits (Electricity Projects)


Do science night where parents use a white board to teach how things work, let them ask questions/explain things they know.


Lego Mindstorms is good too, but they would need to be on a screen some for this.

tmaly 1 day ago 1 reply      
there was a book getting started in electronics that use to be sold at radio shack. They had all sorts of basic projects from a battery using a potato to a transistor radio to an amplifier. I think it is still available online. I use to love making those projects when I was younger.
j_s 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Robot Turtles. This game teaches kids 4+ the ins and outs of programming in a fun, tactile game."

https://amzn.com/B00HN2BXUY $21.89

(originally a Kickstarter)

ajarmst 1 day ago 0 replies      
Both my kids enjoyed Mastermind (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastermind_(board_game)) from a young age. Deductive logic game.
andy_adams 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't know if you'd count this as "not digital" (it's mostly analog) but my kids have a blast with http://www.snapcircuits.net/
jamesdmiller 1 day ago 0 replies      
Meta-Forms teaches problem solving. You have to guess the arrangement of objects in a 3 by 3 grid based on clues such as two circles are next to each other, and no red objects are next to each other.https://smile.amazon.com/FoxMind-5512646-Metaforms-Games/dp/...
marttt 1 day ago 0 replies      
For DIY toys, check out Arvind Gupta's toys from trash:http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/toys.html

A compelling way to introduce children to laws of nature. You can see him sharing his philosophy here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOllmFfELT8

michielk 1 day ago 0 replies      
A musical instrument. I would suggest not teaching them the traditional way, but in a more natural way. Check out the approach of Victor Wooten [0]. If you want things a little more structured, try Improvise for Real [1]. Both will teach creativity, self expression and more. Plus its fun!

[0] https://youtu.be/2zvjW9arAZ0[1] www.improviseforreal.com

murkle 1 day ago 0 replies      
For problem solving / strategy (and fun of course!)Marble run, Geomag, Monopoly, Canasta (2 or 4 player)

Also the games by thinkfun.com (Rush Hour etc) are very good

bikamonki 1 day ago 1 reply      
Rabidgremlin 1 day ago 0 replies      
lprubin 1 day ago 0 replies      
My parents used Brain Quest cards with me and I loved them. Kept me happy on road trips and at restaurants.
ams6110 1 day ago 0 replies      
Have them try sports. Don't force them, but try a few and see if any stick. It's a huge social advantage for the rest of their lives both as something to do and something to talk about.
LarryMade2 1 day ago 2 replies      
Model Rockets (designing, working out altitude, etc.)

Ship in a bottle

Woodworking projects (especially involving measuring, proportion, etc.)


I Hate Mathematics Book by Marilyn Burns

Stolen Sharpie Revolution by Alex Wrekk (and other books on creating Zines)

Problem solving/lateral thinking books.

larrydag 1 day ago 1 reply      
Boardgames are a great way to teach. There are so many to choose from now. Also there is nothing better than spending time with your kids. https://boardgamegeek.com/
hackpert 1 day ago 1 reply      
There is this brilliant card game Set (https://www.setgame.com/set), which is a load of fun and also teaches visual reasoning skills.
noamhacker 1 day ago 1 reply      
Scrabble is great for vocabulary, although as you get better you'll learn strategic words and probably disregard their meaning (for example, I frequently use qi, qat, suq, qua but I can't define them)
sgs1370 1 day ago 1 reply      
Not sure if it will fit your age range but this company has a lot of good teaching toys/things:


MachineMan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lego, Magic the Gathering, European board games, and playing a musical instrument
ams6110 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lego, erector set, chess, backgammon, othello/reversi, card games are all things I remeber from my pre-technology childhood.

Reading of course.

hprotagonist 1 day ago 0 replies      
bicycles teach you a great deal.
juancn 1 day ago 0 replies      
chemistry set, microscope, bicycles, roller skates, balls, play doh, legos, books, magnifying glass, compass, etc.

Pretty much anything you throw at them will teach them something.

The question is, what do you want them to learn?

Kenji 1 day ago 1 reply      
MECCANO ( http://www.meccano.com/ )

6 might be a bit on the younger side for it, but 10 definitely not. You learn to use a screwdriver and screws and basic mechanics. You can go all the way to elaborate designs.

It's a timeless toy, my father already played with it (looked like this back then: http://www.dalefield.com/nzfmm/slap/RoyalMeccano.JPG ) and so did I. Heck, even an adult can use these, I once made a distillery platform with height-adjustable burner with these. Really nice to slap together sturdy prototypes.

EDIT: Now that I'm looking at modern MECCANO, I feel like they have diverted too much from the original path. I'd rather have the basic old metal kit in the second image than a fancy MECCANO car consisting of oddly shaped plastic pieces.

josephorjoe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Poker for probability and a little bit of psychology.
skocznymroczny 1 day ago 0 replies      
Standard cards deck. Solitaire, card tricks.
mgallezot 1 day ago 0 replies      
Kapla (wood blocks)
Ace17 1 day ago 0 replies      
Rubik's cubes?
DanBC 1 day ago 0 replies      
Math rods / Cuisenaire rods: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Viga-Wooden-Maths-Rods-Cuisenaire/d...

A Pound of dice: https://www.amazon.com/Wiz-Dice-Pack-Random-Polyhedral/dp/B0... (I'd be keen to know if there's dice at a similar price in the UK)

You can then play something like Button Men (which could easily be rethemed to "Pokemon battle") https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Button_Men

HammadB 1 day ago 1 reply      
No suggestions unfortunately, but I'm curious to know the motivation behind trying to find non-digital toys. Is there something we could do to bring the benefits of non-digital toys into digital ones or are the differences fundamentally irreconcilable?
Ask HN: Do you get more done working longer hours?
16 points by shifte  1 day ago   16 comments top 15
mattbgates 1 day ago 0 replies      
My company operates during business hours and then some (6 AM - 2 AM). I think, for the most part, they have decent hours, but I'd say we could be just as productive with working 10 hour days, 4 days a week, instead of 5 days a week at 8-9 hours. But generally, I work 9 hour days 5 days a week. About 4 hours of my day is somewhat busy, but not always. Once in awhile, my entire shift is busy.

Luckily, my company doesn't have a policy that anything I work on during my shift is theirs. They don't mind me doing me during downtime, and in fact, they encourage it. I believe its right in the handbook that they encourage us to go on social media if we have nothing else to do and have gotten all of our work done. I work for a media company, so it kind of makes sense that they would want us to be up to date with social media trends and news.

I've built several successful websites during downtime and off-hours (after I leave work and continuing on it). I think much of my success outside of work has to do with the hours I've had downtime at work. We can definitely get busy... but we pretty much sit around, waiting for an inbox to have work in it, and we just get it done when it comes in. After it's done, I return back to what I was doing before.

While I definitely procrastinate, it's rare for me to not do anything. Always working on something. In my early days, I had started up a side gig freelancing, building, maintaining, and editing websites for clients, and then I started up a side business while working for my main job and currently in the process of starting up a second side business.

None of my side businesses steal away any business from my company, and if anything, only compliment their work and mine. In fact, I try to reel in business for my company so that I can keep doing what I do. Everyone wins.

Powerofmene 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I was working full time and working on my doctorate I had very long days for 27 months. Several months I was only averaging 2 hours of sleep. I can say for me, working longer hours was not ideal. I had trouble concentrating. At times I could not complete simple tasks. I had leg cramps that were excruciating. We had a very short timeline to complete a ridiculous amount of work.

I firmly believe that obtaining a doctorate is as much about jumping through hoops that they have set on fire as it is mastery of your academic field of study. I just wonder the quality that was surrendered because sleep was in critically short supply.

In business, I believe it is better to work smart than to work hard. I acknowledge that when I was working on my doctorate had I taken a step back even for a solid day, I would have recharged and likely saved myself 5x that in lost productivity. Unfortunately, it is hard to see that when you are under intense pressure to produce huge volumes of work on a very brief timeline.

danieka 22 hours ago 0 replies      
There was a time that I could put in more hours and keep my productivity up. But it wears you down, and after two years of many hours I'm quite worn out. So, yes, short time you could probably get more done if you push yourself. But it will run you, and any developers, into the ground leading to lowered productivity over the long term.
bradknowles 1 day ago 0 replies      
Each person is somewhat unique in this regard, but generally speaking there is a peak number of hours you can work and be effective. Beyond that, you're working longer and less effectively, and more likely to make mistakes. And that can be very counter productive.

On average, I think that number is about 6-8 hours per day for most people. But even that length isn't functioning at your peak, just high enough to be generally worthwhile. Peak effectiveness would be more like half that.

You need to do your research and find out what works best for you and your team, but the larger the group, the more likely you are to fall into the typical pattern.

psyc 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the connection is loose at best. Personally, yes, I'm wired so I can mostly turn more hours into more progress. That's great when I'm working alone. But I don't think I've ever been on a paid project at a company where the bottleneck was straight-ahead serial work. It feels like teams have a way of divining when's the absolute latest they can deliver something, and will pad any length workday with slacking, as needed.
db48x 1 day ago 0 replies      
Certainly. I get a lot more done on days when I work 6 hours than I do on days when I only work for 2. In fact, I probably get more than 3 the work done, which is nice. On the other hand, if I worked for 18 hours a day I would certainly not get another 3; I would soon hit the point of diminishing returns. Where that point is must certainly vary from person to person, for I have noticed that it also varies from project to project and day to day.

Sounds to me like you need to reduce distractions rather than working more hours.

drakonka 1 day ago 0 replies      
I do, but it seems to be less about the hours being longer and more about my being in the office when it's quiet and distraction-free. Therefore I am hoping that noise cancelling headphones will help me be more efficient during the normal workday. It won't be the same as having the whole office quiet and the room to myself, but it might be an improvement.
twh270 1 day ago 0 replies      
Brain-intensive work is fatiguing just like physically demanding work, and if you regularly push past your limits mentally or physically there will be consequences. Yes, over the short term you can get away with it. But it's gonna cost you, and the longer you do it the more it's gonna cost.

With that in mind, not all coding is equally brain-intensive. If I put in a serious intense hardcore 3 hour session of gnarling code wrangling, I'm pretty much done for several hours. Conversely I can do minor refactoring and code cleanup all day.

It's well known that pushing developers to work more hours isn't effective. It might (might!!) get a product to deadline faster, but it will be at the cost of burned-out developers who will have greatly reduced productively, and a decreased quality in the codebase and more defects at the time of launch. And the better developers tend to leave for a healthier environment.

Regarding skipping meetings and emails, figure out (if you haven't) why you're doing that and take appropriate steps. Maybe it's having a discussion about why a particular meeting is unproductive, or alternate forms of communication. Maybe it's finding a reason to go to a meeting other than its stated purpose.

muzani 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have seen a few individuals work longer hours and succeed. But more often it's the kind of project they would sneak away to do, instead of sneak from. Software is one of those industries that runs so efficiently on passion, although passion is a limited resource.

I do think progress is proportional to time spent on it. The only question is how much time you can get in and at what cost. You can always push harder, but it can lead to burnout and deplete passion.

patatino 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Working is like running, consistency and staying healthy are key. You can train/work your ass off and get better results short time, but you will pay for it later and geat injured/sick.

Plan your day so you can use those 4 hours of focus the most! For me that means no meetings, phone calls and email in the morning if possible.

tmaly 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I get less done with longer hours. I try to eliminate meetings, phone calls, emails.

We have Jira at work as well as some legacy Bugzilla systems. I have been trying to get everyone sending requests to my group to put them in Jira.

I prefer a structured process so I can minimize interruptions of developers.

cuchoi 20 hours ago 1 reply      
The problem with 4-5 hours days is that you will not be efficient 100% of the time. You need those extra hours (for breaks, communication, coordination, mentoring, etc) to be able to code 4 hours in a day.
NetStrikeForce 19 hours ago 0 replies      
No, since I've reduced my day to ~6 work hours I am much more productive.
nidhi549 15 hours ago 0 replies      
oldandtired 1 day ago 0 replies      
To answer your question - Yes.

In point of fact, the observation of no interruption for the team (by anyone including management) means more work is done in less hours. This observation, which I have found to be true, was made in the late 80's.

Any interruption in thought processes when doing engineering/technical work requires the person to spend a significant amount of time returning to the place where the interruption occurred.

Management practise since the late 80's has ensured that all technical staff (engineering, programmers, etc) must be interruptible at all times (especially by management itself). The team/team members have no ability to redirect phone calls, email messages or management meetings to management PA's to deal with.

The experience that I and my technical colleagues had was that if we could have a non-interrupted period of 2-3 hours to work on any project, we would achieve more than we could in any normal interrupted 8 hour day. Often we found that an extended uninterrupted period of 4-6 hours would allow us to complete technical work/projects that would normally take us a week to complete. This was based on a total effective 1 hour due to the continual interruptions we normally received during our normal days. This lead us to start work early and finish late when we could work uninterrupted. Of course, this worked against as this was in effect unpaid time.

The common management practise of the last 30 years has ensured that every technical/engineering team works at its lowest efficiency. There are some managers who will protect their engineering teams from such interference and as a consequence get a much higher efficiency out them in a normal work day of 7-8 hours. Unfortunately, these kinds of managers are few and far between.

I would say that any team that works beyond this number of hours will still not achieve anywhere near the same results as a corresponding team that has the unfettered ability to block out all interruptions.

In addition, it also requires group offices for this to work. Open plan layouts are an instant cause of inefficiency, especially with technical/engineering groups. Two to three team members per office would be ideal.

As an office is considered a status symbol within management circles, we should not expect any sensible outcome in this area. All of this was documented and published in the late 80's.

In relation to your comment that in any day there is only 4 hours that you write solid code, I would suggest that if you had an uninterrupted 4 hours that the amount of code produced would very likely double or even triple and be even better.

Just don't expect any management or management guru's of today to see it this way.

The comment regarding brain-intensive work being fatiguing is certainly true when you have to deal with multiple interruptions. From my experience, mostly the fatigue is from having to get yourself back to the place you were at before the interruption. A uninterrupted period of time devoted to a brain-intensive activity is less stressful than the same period that has had interruptions.

I am also saying that such periods of time need to be regulated by oneself so that burnout doesn't occur. Good physical activity, good food, rest, relaxation and good non-work related socialising make one able to keep at peak efficiency.

Have made some edits about to fill in more explanation and correct spelling and sentence structure.

How Do I Protect DIY Electronics from the Environment?
61 points by antoniuschan99  2 days ago   24 comments top 11
laydn 2 days ago 1 reply      
Your first line of defense will be conformal coating. There are various options here. Easiest to apply for DIY electronics would be in spray form (such as Electrolube HPA200H spray)

However, if you have an RF component and/or RF circuity in your PCB, you should be careful with conformal coating. As the frequency goes up and impedance requirements gets tighter, conformal coating becomes harder and harder to use, because it alters the RF circuit behavior. Also, obviously, you should not be coating certain sensors (pressure sensors, humidity sensors, etc).

Your next line of defense is your enclosure. Ideally, all your connectors should be IP67 or IP68 rated, and you should place your PCBs in an enclosure which is itself IP67/IP68 rated. This is usually achieved by using a gasket and designing the enclosure with a proper gasket opening.

If your device is going to be exposed to sunlight, you should make sure that any active IC in your system will not exceed its operating temperature. Metal enclosures exposed to sunlight will heat up considerably. You may want to think about a cooling solution, based on your power dissipation (enclosure with fins, etc).

taneq 2 days ago 0 replies      
Conformal coating is good for protecting against crud on the circuit board in general, so yeah, it'll help against condensation. To be super sure, put the board into an IP68 enclosure with a couple of sachets of 'Do Not Eat', and use IP68 rated cable glands for all cables going into and out of the enclosure to make sure no additional moisture gets in.
scalaris373 22 hours ago 0 replies      

I've had good results with simple plastic cases, as long as a few rules are followed:

- The case must have a gasket on its cover

- Any openings must be on the bottom of the case (including antennae!)

- Cable glands or waterproof connectors must be used on all openings

- All cables must have a little slack, so they hang below the case and come straight up

- Put a couple of dissecant bags inside the box

I've been using this for various DIY outdoor projects for years, like putting mikrotik routerboards, raspberry pis, arduinos, etc. outdoors.

Water will accumulate in all openings not on the bottom of the case, and air pressure changes will cause the box to "suck" this water in, no matter how tightly sealed that cable gland is. That's why the openings should all be at the bottom.

Just my 2 cents.

noonespecial 2 days ago 2 replies      
Believe it or not, I've had reasonable luck with JB Weld. Just make sure anything that might get warm has a little bit of heat sink poking up through the stuff.

Edit: Looks like you're aiming for an actual product release. There's no substitute for potting your circuit inside its enclosure. I'd look for a silicone based solution as you're aiming for large temperature swings.

eternauta3k 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sounds like a question for electronics StackExchange. Let me know if you ask there, I'm interested in protecting a bike light I put together.
lazylester 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is condensation a problem in a freezer? There is no moisture in the air b/c the temp is less than freezing, no?

Condensation happens when moist air hits a cool surface, how much power is your circuit consuming? You may not have a problem.

I have designed a number of telephony products (e.g. T1 repeaters) for use in outdoor environments, we never coated the circuit boards.

analog31 2 days ago 0 replies      
Conformal coating isn't necessarily guaranteed to be rugged against abrasion and handling, so you may still need an enclosure. Also, as others have mentioned, not all components can survive the process. But it has the advantage of being something that a PCB house already knows how to do.

Along the lines of "do things that don't scale," household products such as Household Goop (aka Shoe Goo), silicone sealant, etc., work pretty well.

If you have one or two components that can't be coated, you can leave them off the board and solder them by hand after coating.

snarfy 2 days ago 1 reply      
Conformal coating will work. You could also use clear varnish, which is what they use to coat tesla coils.
itomatik 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is that a cooling solution for mining rig?:)
airbreather 2 days ago 0 replies      
Epoxy or sikaflex encapsulation.
moron4hire 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you don't have any components that generate a lot of heat, I bet a few coats of clear spray paint would work.
Ask HN: What are the best US cities for for working remotely?
30 points by hueving  2 days ago   15 comments top 5
tedmiston 1 day ago 2 replies      
I don't usually like posts that just link to an external resource, but Nomad List is a (free) search engine built for this exact use case. They have both domestic and international cities.


The same guy that created that also recently made a second project of crowdsourced neighborhood characteristics within each city. For example, if you want to find where the tech or hipster neighborhood in a given city is.


For example, SF:


cylinder 1 day ago 1 reply      
Somewhere beautiful an hour or so outside of LA or north of SF. Drive into town when there's meetups. Don't waste this opportunity to live in a really nice place that most people cannot viably live in due to lack of employment opportunities.
zerr 20 hours ago 1 reply      
A question for those who live in a year-around summer/spring - isn't it too monotonous? I mean when you don't have a "real" four seasons...
jamesmp98 1 day ago 1 reply      
jpster 1 day ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: Beside Bitcoin, what has offered a 1000000 ROI over 7 years?
15 points by mrb  1 day ago   10 comments top 7
thiagooffm 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Looking at ROI(or any indicator alone) is possibly the worst way to spend your time, because it doesn't mean anything.

It's such a poor idea that you aren't even factoring the risks in. And can barely factor it, as it's bitcoin. What is the chance of this entirely thing breaking down tomorrow as people just give up believing on it? Big chance.

It's completely unusable. I can write a bash script which does more transactions than bitcoin on a calculator. The blockchain model it uses has no scale.

As soon as mining becomes more difficult and we hit close to 90% of the coins and use doesn't increase up(because usage didn't take off, like the prices), this is all worth 0.

Who has hit the jackpot is the one who sells before this ponzi scheme falls down and entered early enough.

mattbgates 1 day ago 1 reply      
Timing is everything.

LinkedIn crashed at the end of 2015, but recovered in early 2016, dropping from around $250/share to $92 and rising up again to $190. If you took $10,000 and invested it and rode that wave... it is now $195. Would've been a 112% ROI with about $11k made.

I did take a risk on investing in another company with $10k recently and made $1000 in a day or two. There are websites out there that help you... its definitely risk taking with chances of losing a lot of money if you aren't quick enough, and while it's not technically insider trading... it's more similar to penny stocks, where timing is everything, and if you have at least a minimum of $10k to invest, and you ride the small waves.. you can make thousands of dollars doing that.

Money makes money and with time money can be made. I have a 401k that I can't touch because I no longer work at the job. I have spoken with financial advisers about touching it or not touching, and while some suggested I move it, the fact remains: My money got invested into some really good companies at early stages that are just not available with any other plans, either with my current company, or Roth IRAs, so leaving the money in there is just best. The last time I put money in there was at 4k. A decade later, it is nearing $12k. Might not sound like a lot to some people, but that is the power of money making money on itself. I haven't touched it because I can't put anything into it. Being as I'm still about 30-35 years away from retirement, I'm sure it will be just fine if I leave it.

Kind of like a Futurama deal... where Fry gets frozen for 1,000 years...

>>The account had contained 93 cents in 1999, but after accruing interest at 2.25% per year for 1,000 years, the balance is now $4.3 billion. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Fishful_of_Dollars )

anonymouskimmer 1 day ago 0 replies      
1) Jackpot winning lottery numbers.

2) Possibly various patents.

This is more a matter of the sheer number of people who could become involved in Bitcoin in a short amount of time (i.e. an artifact of the modern era) than it is about Bitcoin per se.

seattle_spring 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Buying random art at garage sales and hoping they were painted by the famous deceased

2. Lottery tickets

3. Slipping at Wal-Mart and suing them for millions

gesman 1 day ago 0 replies      
celticninja 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't think anything in history has had as good an ROI as bitcoin in the same sort of timeframe.
Ask HN: What is your biggest business expense besides salaries?
66 points by cronjobma  1 day ago   43 comments top 16
nodesocket 1 day ago 4 replies      
Health insurance in San Francisco which according to my quick research using Blue Shield[1] is some of most expensive.

Most people who work at tech companies in the bay area don't pay for their insurance, or pay very little. It's just considered part of benefits.

I think they'd be shocked if they had to pay full retail price for it. Also, the government subsidies only apply if your making less than 50k a year, so most likely everybody would be paying full retail price if not for their employer.

 [1] - Blue Shield monthly cost for Silver 70 PPO Downtown San Francisco $462.54 Downtown San Diego $388.22 Santa Barbara $372.58 Beverly Hills $342.53

rrggrr 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Health Insurance

2. Marketing & Advertising.

3. Rent.

4. Employer Share of Payroll Taxes.

5. Other Insurance (eg. Workman's comp, General liability, etc.)

6. IT (Including AWS).

7. Legal & Accounting.

02thoeva 1 day ago 2 replies      
AWS fees. We're an email marketing platform, we send around 150m emails a month, all of which we need to store and process clicks/opens on.
manyxcxi 1 day ago 1 reply      
Health insurance is by far the largest, but I generally consider that part of salary when I'm thinking about costs.

After that it's hosting (we have no on-prem infrastructure), AWS is probably 85% of that cost.

TazeTSchnitzel 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looking at some of these comments, it'd be great if more of them were contextualised with the particular line of business.
shoo 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you have access to a market research database you can get statistics on this kind of stuff for different industry sectors and different countries. For subscription services you may be able to get access via a public library or university library.

e.g. here's an estimate of costs in Australia's IT consulting sector, as percentage of total revenue:

 wages:40% other:26%incl. insurance, advertising, cleaning, repairs & maintenance purchases:16% profit:11% utilities:5% rent:2% depreciation:1%

corford 1 day ago 0 replies      
At the moment, aggregate SaaS costs and data licensing but I expect marketing to eventually become the biggest cost after salaries (or even the biggest overall).
TheAnimus 1 day ago 2 replies      
Office Space, after salaries and employer taxes is our biggest per employee cost.
contingencies 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hardware prototyping related expenses. After that, office space and lawyers are looking about equal right now.
superasn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Marketing and ads and site Support. All other expenses like hosting, rent, etc are very small compared to these two.
preinheimer 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hosting. I'm a co-founder at https://wonderproxy.com, so our product is having servers all over. It starts to add up after a while.

Jumping down an order of magnitude we've got: software, bank fees/processing fees, insurance, taxes.

We were really happy when our salaries passed our hosting bills and stayed there.

dangrossman 1 day ago 1 reply      
Credit card processing fees.
muzani 1 day ago 0 replies      
For e-commerce, logistics.
kidlogic 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Salaries

2. Benefits

3. Contracting

4. Rent

yeldarb 1 day ago 1 reply      
30% platform tax



edoceo 1 day ago 0 replies      

Advertising + Trade Shows


Ask HN: What tech that's right around the corner are you most excited about?
210 points by Kevin_S  3 days ago   341 comments top 68
nulagrithom 3 days ago 11 replies      
New, exciting tech making its way in to boring, old industries. And I mean boring, old industries.

There's an unbelievable amount of backwards business process that's still out there. Unless you've experienced it first hand, I really don't think you can fully appreciate how manual the "business world" still is.

For the past year I've been working with an intermodal trucking company building an app for owner-operator truck drivers so they can accept/reject deliveries, turn in paperwork, and update delivery statuses via a mobile app. If that sounds dead simple, it's because it is. But the change it brings is amazing.

While deploying the app I'd often ask when so-and-so truck driver came in to the office. The answer was usually something like "every day at 5:00pm to drop off his paperwork". A week after they start using the app, the answer suddenly turns in to "Oh, he never comes in to the office. You'll have to call his cell."

Dispatchers that were tearing their hair out trying to get updates from their drivers so they can in turn update their customers now feel like they can manage double the trucks. They're asking if they can get a similar app on their phone so they can manage their drivers on the go. Managers are asking when they'll be able to ditch the office space they're renting and let everyone work from home.

When I tell people "It's like Uber for intermodal trucking", nobody cares. If they pretend to care, I have to explain what intermodal trucking is in the first place -- then they stop pretending. It doesn't sound "sexy". It's a boring industry.

I think there's a lot of boring industry out there that hasn't fully embraced technology, and I think when it finally does we'll see a cultural change in the way we view work.

allpratik 3 days ago 10 replies      

Apple has solved few real world AR problems, which were usually hard for an average app developer to get started with. But with ARKit, apple, is "trying" to do the heavy lifting in terms of plane and object recognition etc.

Another thing is the platform of distribution. People will use AR apps, which will hit the app store after September like crazy. And these same people, will be primary audience for Apple headset.

It's like, before releasing headset, Apple is proving people that you really need a headset to overcome the pain of "continuously" moving your phone in the space.

Also, other OS and vendors will follow the trend and release AR compatible phones/hardware early. The only potential pitfall, I see is, battery usage. If it's properly optimised, I think a large AR wave on smartphones is about to hit.

Just my 2 cents!

ProfessorLayton 3 days ago 3 replies      
Gene editing, particularly on living people. I'm looking forward to cancer treatments being no more involved than an antibiotics regimen.

I don't know if its around the corner, but considering the human genome was completed circa 2003, I'm pretty enthusiastic that it isn't too far away.

jostylr 3 days ago 7 replies      
Textblade: https://waytools.com/

Single row keyboard that has minimal finger movement. It was to be delivered March 2015 or so, but it has yet to be released. They have testers who rave about it and it looks incredible, but it is perpetually around the corner.

Originally designed as an ultra-portable phone keyboard, those who have used it tend to use it for all their machines. It has jump slots to quickly switch from device to device.

baron816 3 days ago 4 replies      
Much of what people have mentioned here will be really great. I think self-driving cars have the most potential to impact people lives day to day, followed by AR. I guess infinite, cheap, clean energy could also spark another industrial revolution.

But all these things aren't likely to impact the happiness and life satisfaction of those living in the developed world. The internet has been huge, but it really hasn't made us happier as a whole.

I would like to see someone create something that will make people's lives happier. That probably means doing something that will foster good human relationships and real world experiences.

I guess there's a lot of potential for driverless cars to help with that, but they could do the opposite as well. I think we need better tools for connecting with each other, understanding each other, forming social organizations and communities, and maybe changing the geography of cities to bring us closer together, rather than making it possible for us to be further apart. It's likely that new technology isn't needed, we just need to use what we already have in a new way.

bmcusick 3 days ago 1 reply      
Fully & Quickly Reusable Rockets (refuel & refly, like jets)

Obviously both SpaceX and Blue Origin are the leaders here, but once they do it the other majors will either have to build the same thing or drop out of the industry.

There are so many things about space that we just assume are true, but are actually only true because access to orbit has always been so expensive. If we can get the cost to reach orbit down to a multiple of the fuel cost, then so many more things are possible.

We finally get large satellite constellations for low-latency Internet all over Earth. We get space stations and O'Neil cylinders. Moon bases and fuel depots on Titan.

At the same time, firms like Made In Space are working on in-space construction so you can build radio telescopes in space with arbitrarily large dishes (10 km, maybe?). Eventually we build mirrors that size too.

Basically just those two things are the only barriers between us and a solar-system-wide civilization like in The Expanse.

subhrm 3 days ago 2 replies      
I am excited about both WebGL & Web assembly.

Although both of these have been around for a few years, we are yet to see a general adaptation of these. (might be due to inconsistent browser support).

Now with the rise of VR, 3d Printing, powerful GPUs these two technologies are bound to open new avenues of an immersive browsing experience. I imagine that in next few years we would have 1- Webs stores, that show a virtual 3d shopping mall, 2- 3-d virtual try out of garments, 3- VR coaching of physical activities like a- Playing Tennis, b- Judo, c-Taecondo, d- Dance

phkahler 3 days ago 0 replies      
RISC-V We should see the first hardware running a real Linux distro in 2018 and it should proliferate from there. RV32 should also start showing up in micro controllers as well.

Still need an open GPU, but I think a bunch of risc-v cores with vector extensions running LLVMpipe would be reasonable for running a Wayland desktop.

aphextron 3 days ago 3 replies      
Mass adoption of electric vehicles. Battery prices are plummeting and the advantages of EV are so great that the moment they break that $20k barrier with zero subsidies (which should be within the next five years) the switch will be rapid. I suspect at least 1 in 3 personal vehicles in use in major metro areas will be an EV by 2025.
aakilfernandes 3 days ago 1 reply      
Ethereum's Casper


It aims for more economically secure public blockchains with shorter confirmation times and less cost (electricity/hardware/inflation). I haven't delved deep enough into it to be fully convinced, but what I've gotten through so far is promising. AFAIK its the only proof of stake algorithm thats been formally documented.

goatlover 3 days ago 4 replies      
Crystal & Julia 1.0. Crystal because it's a blazing fast, compiled and statically typed version of Ruby (or 80% anyway), and it's web server is awesome. Now it just needs full concurrency.

Julia because it offers a nice, performant alternative to Python & R in data science, while avoiding Java & C++. It has some really nice features like multiple dispatch and the ability to run R, Python, Fortran and C code inside of it, so you can use libraries like Numpy in Julia.

miheermunjal 3 days ago 2 replies      
ARkit finally pushing AR to the masses. From a developer perspective, having an SDK that simplifies "environment detection/reasoning" is huge. Previously required pretty deep hardware requirements and now is turning into an AI/ML/software problem.


Numberwang 3 days ago 5 replies      
There are rumors of phones with batteries lasting longer than 5hrs. I'm still not sure if true or not but when it happens it will revolutionize what you use your phone for. It may even replace the watch completely some day.

Obviously I insist they still need to be as thin as they are now. That is much much more important than batteries.

pryelluw 3 days ago 3 replies      
AR. Being able to superimpose software on top of real objects is amazing. It has so much economic potential that it hurts not being in the space already (working on that though). I feel AR will be the app craze 2.0.
egypturnash 3 days ago 1 reply      
Still waiting for the day when I can buy a computer wth a full color e-paper display and sit out in the sunlight to work.
lkrubner 3 days ago 0 replies      
If by "tech" you mean mostly computers and software, then WebAssembly is exciting. We've had 5 or more years now of companies inventing languages that compile back to Javascript, even though Javascript is a terrible target for compilation. WebAssembly was designed to be a true compilation target, and will allow an endless number of languages to be used on the browser.

WebAssembly helps create more space between the kind of languages that developers want to use, and any particular GUI output, such as HTML. In a different thread, I just wrote about what is wrong with HTML:


If by "tech" you don't mean computers/software, then CRSPR is clearly going to be a huge thing going forward.

amirouche 3 days ago 8 replies      
Without doubt, GraphQL is the next technologo I will learn. The idea is so brillant compared to REST. If you are convinced by SQL and in general by Domain Specific Languages, I think you should give GraphQL a try.
Animats 3 days ago 2 replies      
Self-driving cars that really work and are safe. Google/Waymo is just about there.

Automatic language translation everywhere.

Big Brother everywhere. (Excited about, yes; happy about, no.)

Batteries + solar as the predominant energy source.

Electric cars getting some real market share.

mlboss 3 days ago 0 replies      
Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN)

GAN is a type of Deep Learning Network which can generate data after training.


- Text to image synthesis (Scripts to Movie ?) (https://github.com/reedscot/icml2016)

- Generation of Game Environments

- Image to Image conversion (https://github.com/junyanz/CycleGAN)

- 2d to 3d conversion

I think in future we will have highly creative deep learning systems, which will make ar/vr/movie/game creation faster and cheaper.

chx 3 days ago 1 reply      
Lenovo ThinkPad Retro! That's certainly right around the corner: two months and one day until pre-order opens.
anotheryou 3 days ago 3 replies      
better search, always

Find me:

- an aggregation of everything I have to know to run a porcelain store in my country (taxes, suppliers, how to find staff or better yet: showing candidates directly, best location in my town, etc.)

- Fuzzy stuff like: the pic of that tree I took when I was on hollidays in XY a few years ago; or the note I took a few days ago about that band with some greek name

- a ready to paste, non-ancient js-script for XY

- a cafe where nobody cares about how long I sit with my laptop with a not too modern ambiente

- the lesser known types optical illusions

ZenoArrow 3 days ago 1 reply      
Excited may be too strong a word, but I'm interested in seeing how the world of decentralised apps evolve. I like the idea of decentralising the web using plug and play home servers. There are a few projects in this space already (such as Sandstorm) and there are some existing projects that aren't strictly limited to dapps but could play a key role in the future (a few unikernel and meshnet projects spring to mind).
akavel 2 days ago 0 replies      
For me personally, currently my absolute top reason I'm dying of excitement is http://www.luna-lang.org/ Only I'm not sure if they're gonna manage to get a release out of the door; I have an impression that they understand that it's their top priority and main focus now, but I'm not sure if they really realize how far they they need to go with sacrificing features and cutting it down to absolute bare essentials, to avoid faltering into endless development hell.

That said, I have some tiny glimmer of hope that even if they go vaporware, maybe someone e.g. from around the Lambda the Ultimate community might possibly try to revive their ideas and ignite some F/OSS clone.

adventured 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm looking for a company to successfully implement what I call on-behalf AI. AI legally allowed to take actions on behalf of someone, in a large number of ways in relation to daily life. This may be 5, 10, or 20 years out yet, hard to say. It'll be very hard to pull off, and whichever company does it first at a high function + comprehensive level will be another Airbnb or Uber, as the legal/regulatory hurdles will be similarly challenging, and exactly as with those cases it'll be ideal to move first and apologize later (which will cause the typical uproar among people that find that approach appalling). This type of AI is where you get deep into real time savings for consumers, by significantly reducing dozens of mundane & routine tasks (most of which repeat from person to person and can be modeled very accurately accordingly).
Entangled 3 days ago 0 replies      
The second coming of WebTV. I am sick of small devices, I want a huge 100" display managed by a touch remote where I can play and work, watch videos, movies, track my cryptos, even code my own apps from it, all from the comfort of a fat-ass recliner.
devrandomguy 3 days ago 2 replies      
Fusion, of course. It actually is right around the corner now, this time.
timfrietas 3 days ago 1 reply      
I am suprised applications of blockchain outside cryptocurrency is not higher on this list. For example:

* Election fraud and recounts can become a thing of the past* Everything that requires a contract could become completely electronic (the mortgage industry alone is probably a multi-billion dollar opportunity)

zimablue 3 days ago 2 replies      
For me, I'd like online IDEs to be standard (and therefore equally good) and graph wikipedias for arguments (like Argumans but mainstream).

I can see the advantages of both of these and imagine (and have seen people) build them so I assume someone will fully crack this in the next few years and we'll all be using this.

What might be around the corner that I'd love: someone makes a mainstream general purpose visual programming language (or tools in IDEs using languages that are indistinguishable - revenge of smalltalk)

mjevans 3 days ago 0 replies      
USB-C being so common that it's cheep.
econnors 3 days ago 2 replies      
VR Gaming. We're a few years away from some incredible experiences in the space.
rl3 3 days ago 1 reply      
WebGPU. Granted, "right around the corner" is a bit of a stretch.


oconnore 3 days ago 1 reply      
IRV voting in Maine, automatic districting to prevent gerrymandering, and reliable voting schemes like Scratch and Vote.
bhouser 3 days ago 0 replies      
Writing React apps in OCaml using Reason: https://reasonml.github.io/
dabockster 3 days ago 1 reply      
Edge computing.

Basically shifting off of cloud onto separate peer-to-peer connections. Faster, more secure, more distributed, and no middleman. Think 1990s/mid 2000s but no servers, just client to client.

Soon everyone will want a home server.

loeg 3 days ago 0 replies      
That inflection point in a couple years where SSD is just cheaper than spinning HDDs. A whole class of problems kind of goes away, low end consumer performance goes way up, and archival platforms get faster "for free."

I'm also excited about NVMe and on-the-horizon, faster-than-flash solid state technologies like 3d xpoint, etc.

neilwilson 3 days ago 0 replies      
Allam cycle power plants. I love the idea of turbines that continue to burn in the middle of a giant fire extinguisher.
elihu 3 days ago 0 replies      
Major applications and/or operating systems written in Rust, or languages that offer a similar degree of type safety. We need to be ruthlessly eliminating undefined behavior from our software stacks, especially the lower layers, so that there are fewer places for security bugs to hide.

Electric car adoption.

Solar isn't new or particularly exciting, but it's become a good alternative to burning fossil fuels and it isn't used widely yet.

I've been looking forward to real-time global illumination via ray tracing with photon mapping or path tracing or some other good algorithm to become mainstream. It doesn't seem like there's much enthusiasm for the idea from the game industry, though.

Genome editing has already been mentioned, along with reusable rockets.

tech2 2 days ago 1 reply      
Large-scale low-cost metal 3D printing. We're _very_ close and it could be a game changer for a number of industries since the price for one unit is very close to the mass-production per-unit cost. It could allow custom-fit application or modification of a design on a per-customer level for things that would in the past require significant outlay.

If I need a new part for something that's no longer supported, no problem. If I want to test an idea, fine. etc.

Havoc 3 days ago 0 replies      
Renewables in general. Many problems can be solved if you throw enough juice at it.

e.g. Desal plants.

chaosbutters314 3 days ago 1 reply      
Affordable triple digit core desktop computers. The cloud is fine but until I'm getting Google fiber in every city, this'll need to suffice. The application is HTC applications in industry design
nether 3 days ago 1 reply      
Another javascript framework, of course.
bobosha 2 days ago 1 reply      
The advent of AI-based search. I'm not sold on the siri/cortana et al conversational agent approach. AFAIK it's mostly UI/UX layered atop the "keyword->10 links" paradigm. Search is missing the key concept of iteration and exploration and (hopefully) someone somewhere is working on it.
midhunsezhi 3 days ago 0 replies      
WebRTC for all real time communications/broadcast.
dtech 3 days ago 1 reply      
Self-driving cars, it will majorly change how we transport.

People in 100 years will look back to manually driven cars as we look back to horse-drawn carriages

tonyedgecombe 2 days ago 0 replies      
A replacement for Javascript in the browser, I'm sure it can't be far off.
zemo 3 days ago 0 replies      
volumetric displays are pretty fun. e.g.:


BlakePetersen 3 days ago 0 replies      
FDA-approved closed loop artificial pancreas.
evanvanness 3 days ago 0 replies      
The decentralized web built on top of Ethereum/Swarm/Whisper
contingencies 3 days ago 1 reply      
Truly and honestly, the automated food preparation and retail systems we're building at http://infinite-food.com/ ... constantly available, broader choice of higher quality food for more people with less supply chain waste and at a lower cost in time and money.
ntobto 3 days ago 0 replies      
Eye tracking - mouse and keyboard control using eyes. Microsoft has already started working on this.

I read a novel published in 1999 which predicted how VR headsets would be followed by eye tracking eye boards,etc. which would then be followed by control directly via the brain using electrodes,etc.

andrewstuart 3 days ago 0 replies      
Millisecond instance boot and teardown times on the major clouds - AWS, Google, Microsoft and Digital Ocean.

Along with suitable pricing.

rhinoceraptor 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hopefully WebUSB will arrive sometime and be useful. I thought it would be really cool to write a basic SDR web app/browser extension, but unfortunately it's not really possible right now.

There was a project called Radio Receiver which used an RTL SDR, but it is a chrome app and chrome apps are pretty much dead.

daxfohl 3 days ago 0 replies      
Global warming and this coming mass extinction thing are gonna be awesome. And IPv6.
goldensnit 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think voice controlled apps (google home, Siri, Alexa, etc will be the next big thing)
goldensnit 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think voice controlled apps (on Alexa, Cortana, Siri, google home) will be pretty big.
Ken_Adler 3 days ago 0 replies      
Secure Production Identity Framework For Everyone


dannygarcia 3 days ago 0 replies      
GPGPU in the browser. Some would say it's already here but not all browsers have a standardized API that facilitates it.
thisisit 3 days ago 2 replies      
So I guess the responses on this thread begs another question - VR or AR? Which is going to take off much better?
Jach 3 days ago 0 replies      
Smartdust. (And the opening of geospatial database tech that can support all the data...)
taco_emoji 3 days ago 0 replies      
m3kw9 3 days ago 0 replies      
Teslas travel network involving Autonomous driving, Boring and hyperloop network.
andrewstuart 3 days ago 1 reply      
Entangled pair quantum routers. Oh wait, that's 50 years away.
nunez 1 day ago 0 replies      
unikernels; single purpose operating systems for anything you want.
teilo 3 days ago 0 replies      
Racetrack Memory.
mgarfias 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hydrogen fusion power.
rajangdavis 3 days ago 0 replies      
na85 3 days ago 2 replies      
graycat 3 days ago 1 reply      
My own!

Should I ask HN to help with the beta test?

Ask HN: Life as a developer gets boring real quick.remedy?
37 points by oggyhead  2 days ago   25 comments top 16
stepvhen 2 days ago 3 replies      
You sound like you need a hobby. Have you tried baking? Like, get a breadmaking book from a ised book sttore, read it carefully, and make bread. Its super rewarding, not that difficult, you end up with a finished product (that you can eat!) and its not math or programming.

Also, read literature anyway. Learn how to by doing it. If a novel is daunting read short stories (particularly Jorge Luis Borges or Cesar Aira). Reading wasn't important in my life until about 2 years ago, and since then books have improved my life dramatically. Its low cost, high yield, fully analog, ubiquitous, and enriching. Just learning new words makes it easier to form new concepts in your head and be better at stuff like math and programming. Seriously I cant suggest reading enough.

But really, this sounds more serious than just boredom or ennui. I side with Cozumel, and might suggest looking into a counsellor.

sp527 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is going to sound odd but I'd recommend journaling. You need to spend some time free writing to access your subconscious and gain insight into how you really feel and especially what you value. You'll be amazed at how effective it is. I'm of the opinion that a substantial share of ennui arises from a failure to commit to routine and honest introspection.

With respect to software, your feelings may stem from a perceived deficit in value creation. No matter what we do, we all want to feel like we're contributing in some way and we all try to find ways to achieve that. Could be blogging, OSS dev, teaching classes, turning an app into a business (or just putting it out there for people to use freely!), etc. If you're just hacking on things to learn, that's great and necessary. But you might be better served taking it a step further.

mythrwy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Programming is a lot of fun, but at the end of the day it's a tool rather than life itself. If you lose track of this (which is easy to do), it's a slide down a dark hole.

I'd recommend putting down the electronics for a bit as much as possible. You might wish to learn to enjoy people and look for opportunities to do so. Spend more time observing yourself and your world without tinker toy distractions. Spend some time alone (leave the smartphone out). In nature maybe. Think about life. And death. What life means, what you would regret if you died tomorrow. What you really want. Who you really are. It's uncomfortable sometimes, being around people and being around ourselves. We look for distraction. And that's what you have to overcome.

I'd venture a lot of us on this site have the same symptoms to various degrees. I know I do from time to time. It's a job hazard I think kind of like skin cancer or a bad back. The above paragraph is my way out of the hole and back to a grip on what's important.

apohn 19 hours ago 0 replies      
>> After failing culture fit tests at companies

>> I don't like people that much though I do put up a front

Question: Do you not like people or do you not like the people you have to interact with on a regular basis? If you have to eat lunch with the people you work with, can you enjoy it or do you tolerate it/hate it?

I used to work in the consulting arm of a software company and got to interact with a lot of different teams. After the novelty of having a new challenge (new language, new algorithms, new project, etc) every few months wore off, I started to realize work was more enjoyable when I didn't mind spending time with the people I worked with. When I felt forced to work with people I didn't click with the work itself didn't matter - I felt either bored or frustrated. I asked about lunch because sometimes I'd rather have done anything else than try to force a conversation with some of the teams I used to work with.

"Enjoying" spending time with the people you work with is also not about after-hours or having a lively conversation. I used to work with a machine learning algorithm team that was filled with brilliant people, but they had zero interest in the typical office banter, small-talk, ping-pong, etc. Put them at a lunch table together and there conversations were not very animated. But after a while, an observer would realize these folks enjoyed spending time together, and there was a reason they had been together for 10+ years despite getting offers from big name companies who paid a lot more.

In my view it's easier to find a job with the a particular technology than it is to find a place where you can tolerate the people you work with for 40+ hours a week. I love to code and I'm introverted, but I struggled to fit in with the typical "developer" office environment and found myself happier in teams were I get to code but my role is more business facing.

Cozumel 2 days ago 0 replies      
This sounds a lot deeper than just being bored as a developer, maybe see a counsellor? They'll be in a better position to help you than any of us.
i456 2 days ago 0 replies      
Spend some time not doing anything: sit on a chair, close your eyes, and let your brain do its thing. Try not to focus on any thought. Some people would call it meditating, I call it letting go. In this world where we're always distracted, it forces onto me some boredom, during which my brain very often comes with unexpected answers to problems I've been working on lately.

In my case, I also often get hindsight into what I should be doing, and often end up doing things good for me, instead of things I've been asked to do (makes me do for me, instead of doing what others want me to do).

uptownfunk 2 days ago 0 replies      
I notice you talk about what you have been doing (programming, proof writing) and what you haven't been doing (watching tv, reading), but not at all about what you'd like to be doing.

Find something you'd like to do, and the only way to do that is to explore other things than what you are currently doing (since you are obviously not finding real satisfaction in it).

Might I suggest volunteering your time or a charitable activity? That can be a very fulfilling activity for some.

flaviusas 2 days ago 0 replies      
Try to attract interesting parties and make them approach you first by doing projects which are interesting to you. Keep those projects production-ready.

Then the parties who value your work will naturally approach you, and by default value your work and give you more decision power in whatever the two of you will want to pursue together.

Sounds twisted, but that's how life works.

Oh, and making the program is not a goal in itself, solving the problem is.

muzani 2 days ago 1 reply      
I had the same issue around the middle of my job. I took a break, started a cafe, thought F&B would be something better. It immediately shocked me back into programming. That's one approach - just do something else (preferably low cost) and see what you like more. Some people did up liking F&B more than tech.
PaulHoule 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://store.steampowered.com/app/282900/Hyperdimension_Nept... <- Here is how you can play video games and watch anime at the same time;
nonplus 2 days ago 0 replies      
It sounds like you expect a lot out of your job. I think the 'as a developer' part is going fine. Not liking people is fine. I don't have any good advice on the picking a hobby part. Most of mine are not things I picked up because I enjoy them. They are things I started doing because I wanted to build something. You sound like you might have that in common. You could try woodworking; it provides you many opportunities to take shortcuts, which would show in the final product. That won't really help with the meaningless part, but it passes the time.
bluemix 2 days ago 0 replies      
Life is all about choices. You can choose what you do next. It seems your only choice is always programming, of course you get bored.

Try something new and exciting, maybe extreme sports?

smnplk 2 days ago 0 replies      
What about girlfriend/boyfriend ? How is your love life ?
tehlike 2 days ago 2 replies      
Start your own company, or a side project. See how it goes.
wcummings 2 days ago 0 replies      
Find a more interesting career.
Ask HN: Just made Director, now what?
95 points by yegborscht  2 days ago   36 comments top 26
EliRivers 2 days ago 0 replies      

All I ever wanted from the directors; strong leadership. Decisions made. Directions set (the clue is in the job title). Listen to what we have to say, ensure that everyone knows that their points have been taken on board, and then for God's sake make strong decisions, tell everyone why that's the decision made, and enforce the notion that it is never inherently wrong to pursue the direction you set. I want to know that you're going to support actions that pursue your direction, so support them publicly.

I have never had any problem getting 100% behind a direction I disagree with when it's been made and communicated well.


gtf21 2 days ago 2 replies      
Would recommend very highly:

(1) Andrew Grove's "High Output Management", it's easy to read: https://www.amazon.co.uk/High-Output-Management-Andrew-Grove...(2) Manager Tools "Basics" podcasts, especially on 1x1s and feedback: https://www.manager-tools.com/manager-tools-basics

There's a hell of a lot to learn outside of these things, but I think they're a good start.

Stwerner 2 days ago 1 reply      
I made the transition from engineer to managing a team of around 12 at Groupon. So I made the transition with a smaller team than you are - forgive me if some of this isn't as useful for your situation.

What worked for me:

- One on Ones. Nothing I've done has had as much of an impact as weekly one-on-one meetings with everybody on my team. I tend to follow the format outlined on Rands In Repose: http://randsinrepose.com/archives/the-update-the-vent-and-th... (This is an incredible blog for engineering management. I would highly recommend reading everything he has written.)

- Read everything you can find on the topic and about leadership in general and start figuring out how you can incorporate the lessons from those books into your situation and context. This is a brand new skill set that you need to approach with the same effort that you had been approaching engineering.

Some suggestions:

Rands in Repose: http://randsinrepose.com/archives/category/management/

Radical Candor: https://www.amazon.com/Radical-Candor-Kim-Scott/dp/B01MY574E...

Extreme Ownership: https://www.amazon.com/Extreme-Ownership-U-S-Navy-SEALs/dp/B...

Becoming a Technical Leader: https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Technical-Leader-Problem-Sol...

Peopleware: https://www.amazon.com/Peopleware-Productive-Projects-Teams-...

- Finally, one piece of advice I got when I first transitioned into management was that "first-time managers usually fall into the trap of becoming the manager they wish they had. What you really need to do is figure out how to be the manager that each person on your team wishes they had, and become that manager." Easier said than done, obviously, but I've always found it useful to return to it whenever I am struggling.

killjoywashere 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like Lazlo Bock's book, Work Rules!

If you think HR isn't central to management, I offer to you that the top junior officers in the US Navy are sent back to the Academy as Company Officers to

* run herd on ~120 talented young midshipmen, basically a high stakes RA.

* meet each other

* earn a master's in HR, focusing on leadership, administered by the Naval Postgraduate School. Spitball annual cost: $10M for 15 a year (2 year program and they're drawing salary and benefits, which could have been invested in having them driving ships or flying airplanes).

Focus on your people, their development, their well-being. Let them handle the technical challenges.

Communicate your people challenges to company HR aggressively. Make sure they are giving your folks money for training. If you have a weak player, talk to HR early. If they think you can handle it, they'll tell you. If they have tools for you, they'll bring those to bear.

Collect data, ask HR what data they collect company-wide. Talk to the other directors. Those are your colleagues now. Use them. Be frank with them.

umbs 12 hours ago 0 replies      
For past 2 years, I have interacted with Directors a bit more and following stood out among the Directors I like.

1) Clarity in vision and ability to articulate it to the team is very important.2) Engineers will zone out if you sprinkle sales (and/or management) mumbo, jumbo. Engineers (anyone for that matter) appreciate clear communication and reasoning behind management decisions. Many times, management decisions aren't clear cut. That's OK. But calling it out as is is being honest and engineers appreciate that.

Most recently, I had an interesting experience speaking with a Director during a job interview.

I asked for reasons behind building a product by their team. I explained why it's not a good idea. The Director kept throwing sales and marketing terms and was clearly out of his depth. What should have been a 30 min interview was cut short in 10 min and I was walked out. I did not get the job. I'm glad I didn't.

But key take away for me was, as a Director, they will be bridge to many departments (Engineers, Sales, Marketing, Customers). They should have good understanding of the product, how to pitch to everyone.

I hope this will be useful.

bboreham 2 days ago 0 replies      
Focus on doing the things that you alone can do.

There's a bug in the code: you can fix it. But can anyone else fix it? If so, let them. Even if you can do it better. Let them learn, let them grow.

What can you alone, as the Director, do? Direct. Lead. Set a direction, make sure people are following. Figure out your goals and values, and state them, often. Visibly live them.

Make sure people are following your lead, by knowing what they are thinking and what they are doing. Create ways to find that out, because people won't tell you straight out they think your leadership is shit.

dvfjsdhgfv 2 days ago 0 replies      
Everybody will give their own advice, but from my experience there are two aspect of it: (1) management in general, (2) issues related specifically to managing a team developing software. As for (1), I personally recommend the Theory of Constraints. To simplify: you identify weak points and fix them. There are several more modern management theories, but this one is particularly efficient and simple enough to apply as a part of your daily routine. As for (2), I'd recommend being open minded, but at the same time following common sense, especially if everybody is convincing you that you should follow some modern trend.
helper 2 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe read "The Manager's Path" by Camille Fournier[0]. It focuses a lot on the transition from being an engineer to going into management.

[0]: https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Grow...

simonhamp 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd highly recommend reading Radical Candor by Kim Scott. Incredible book. Really focuses on practical ways to be a great manager. I'm not in management at the moment, but I plan to re-read carefully and apply almost all of it when I am!
rpmcmurphy 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hopefully this will not apply to you, but be prepared to take one for the team if malignant stupidity or malice come down from on high. All too often it is easier for managers to "let shit roll downhill" rather than put up meaningful resistance. Like I said, hopefully this doesn't apply to your company, but since you posted here, you probably work in tech, so there is a non-zero chance it will. Best of luck and congrats on the promotion.
gji84 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just repeat the process of what you just did here at HN. I mean, your Open-mindedness to learn from industry and team, willingness to listen to your team, contemplating on the opinions and choosing the best to make it win-win for stakeholders.To do the above to the best, you need "Clarity in thoughts, purity in heart and sincerity in action" (Quote by Sri Sri Ravishankar, Founder of "The Art of Living"). While I was in a similar position as yours, I did the same. Where I learnt to be in that state is, in this program called "Happiness program" by "The Art of Living". All the very best in your new role.
sjg007 2 days ago 0 replies      
A lot depends on your company and how it works. Some directors drive programs so abstractly, you are an interface to the rest of the company. You coordinate with other directors. Protect your engineers and managers. You have to shield them from the upstream shit. I presume you have 5 managers or so under you. You should have a boss above you as well. Your boss delegates to you and you delegate to your reports. You have a reputation and probably skill with working with others. You have to ensure that your teams are building the right thing in the right way (abstractly of course).. you don't need to micromanage. The best managers and directors bring people together and lead a common cause but let their people figure out how to achieve it.
manyxcxi 2 days ago 0 replies      
I went from architect to director, partly because I recognized I was already doing a lot of what a director should have been (we didn't have a Director of Technology at the marketing agency I worked for).

Here's what I intuitively understood that made it easier for me to get the job and be broadly successful:

- You're the public face of your group, you're essentially responsible for championing your team to those in the organization as a whole.

- You need to be listening to those other groups and thinking about what your group can do to help

- Aggregate all those things you hear at a more global level and think about how you can gather interested parties (from all areas) to solve them

Specific example, we weren't closing as many software development projects because our sales teams didn't know what we could do.

First, I worked with some of the sales guys to create some training to help them pick up on the signs that "this might be a dev project" and "this could be worth a lot of money".

Second, I got in on a lot of RFPs and proposals to see what was being asked of us. I refactored the initial training to target the patterns we were seeing.

Third, and this may not be applicable, I actually became a part of proposals and pitches. Nobody was bringing the tech folks in.

Here's what I didn't think about/had to work on:

- HR and management strategy at a much higher level. Knowing impending cuts are coming, the knots that come with having to be part of firing or laying off people.

- Instead of keeping a smaller number of people that you work with closely happy and interested, you're trying to keep them AND their employees interested

- Managing managers is totally different than non-managers

- Budgeting strategy. Fighting to get training dollars, head count, new hardware (that wasn't really an issue), etc. It's kind of a zero sum game and politics will absolutely come in to play here. Maybe more so than anywhere else.

- So many meetings.

- It's a lot harder to feel like you've accomplished anything at the end of the day. You need to start measuring by weeks and months.

- So many meetings, again.

- You need to get people interested in your ideas for change. You really have to sell them in a new way to every person you talk to.

- You better have ideas for change.

tpae 2 days ago 0 replies      
Don't burn out too quickly.

Being a director means you have more responsibilities, but if you are too focused on trying to make everyone happy, you could set yourself up for a burn out.

Identify key individuals to help you (usually lead engineers), and give them your trust to do their job.

Focus on larger initiatives, give both positive and negative feedback, encourage healthy competition, and always be forgiving. Always be approachable, but never let them take your presence for granted.

Ultimately, you will find a larger reward when you take time developing individual relationships. They will appreciate your attention, and in turn, you will have direct influence over them.

random101 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Make sure you when you make important decisions you surround yourself with the smartest people. You cannot know everything, but knowing how to proceed with your most trusted and smartest people will be the core of your success. Provided you can make the right decisions, and learn from the wrong ones.
Spooky23 2 days ago 1 reply      
- Don't put up with jerks.

- it's not all about you. Make sure that you piblically represent your team, not yourself.

- politics isn't above you. Learn how to be effective with your peers. At the director levels even your friends can become your competition.

- appreciate that your decisions impact people around you and the company.

- study budgeting. Know where the money goes.

- when tough times come, know where you will cut. If the place is toxic, learn how to stockpile cash or human fodder.

juancn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Besides all the managerial stuff, you're at a point where you need to exhibit what I call "higher order leadership". At this point you should be able to help others become leaders themselves and find people in your team that can eventually replace you. Also your team is your responsibility, hiring and managing growth is likely the most important thing you have to deal with.
tehlike 2 days ago 0 replies      
Make decisions. If someone cant make a decision, do it for them. There is nothing worse than not making a decision - it prevents progress, it lowers morale, makes everyone involved frustrated. If lower management gets into cya mode, make sure you fix that.
wdfx 1 day ago 1 reply      
Red flag: how could you possibly be promoted into a position you know nothing about? How did the rest of the management allow this?

Edit: surely it is the responsibility of whomever promoted you to provide the definition of what is expected from you.

tmaly 23 hours ago 0 replies      
The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker is another good book to consider.
muzani 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm going to assume director means upper leadership of a project?

The transition is not so hard. Think of it as another programming language, another architecture.

Your team is like a machine. You are not in it. You don't work in it. You build it. You improve and iterate on it. Your job is to look at it from the outside and see what can be improved.

You also have to make sure that information flows from top to bottom well. The lowest intern needs to understand that strategic goals and focus of the team. That's really what motivating is.

As tech management, one of the most effective thing you can do is to train the ones below you.

You should take complete responsibility for what happens in your team. One of your junior programmers breaks the product? Sexual harassment? A core member ragequitting? Your fault.

Ben Horowitz's The Hard Things About Hard Things is what I'd recommend most on engineering leadership. Extreme Ownership by Wilink, Jocko is a good book on general leadership. Do avoid a lot of the things on Business Insider, Forbes, or other business blogs.

zhte415 2 days ago 0 replies      
1. manager-tools.com

2. have a support network or establish one through a coaching or mentoring program. if you've not done such before, seek to hook onto an existing one and go from there

wolco 2 days ago 0 replies      
Start planning on the next jump. Can't stay a director forever.
rurban 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good directors communicate (e.g. they don't manipulate and lie), make good decisions (early enough), are straightforward (and not overly polite), don't avoid conflict and cannot be easily manipulated.

Usually good techs make better managers than typical politically-embroiled middle management.

tapanjk 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is not exactly the answer to your question, but others have posted many resources in this thread. While you spend time to learn from those resources, I have a few words about what could be done in the first few weeks, and this is based on my own experience (i.e. I wish someone told me this).

I would not change anything in a hurry just to prove that "I've got this one." You are promoted to Director (you do not mention this but I assume) because your management sees you do at least some of this job already, and they also see that you have demonstrated potential for growing in this role. (The other possibility is that someone got fired and you are asked to step into that role, in which case, that is a different game altogether.) So, here are the Dos and Don'ts.


1. Own the tech roadmap. You will not know why some of the items are on the roadmap and now is the time to find out and be able to explain why, and at this stage you need not be convinced that each item on the roadmap should be there.

2. Build relationships with your business stakeholders in order to understand what is their definition of success, and what is your and your team's role there.

3. Take a look at your team again. This time you will see a different perspective. You want to quickly reach an understanding about your team's strengths and weaknesses.

4. Reevaluate your communication style. What worked so far, may not be suitable or sufficient in your new role.

5. Meet with as many of your team members 1x1 and ask them what they think is working well, and what they think needs to change/improve. Just listen and take notes, without agreeing or disagreeing to what they are saying.

6. Be prepared to receive feedback. From anywhere -- your team, stakeholders, management, customers, etc.


1. Try to prove yourself a good leader. This is something that takes time, and there are rarely any actions that can be taken directly only to accomplish this goal. Also, if you think too much about "am I a good leader," you will stress out very quickly.

2. Make changes in the roadmap too soon. At this stage, you are more likely to not have enough information and context about why the roadmap is what it is. If you make changes too soon, be prepared to change it again after you have gained context in the next few months.

3. Make changes in the team structure too soon. In your new role, you are likely to change your opinion about some of your team members' effectiveness and impact on business.

Over a period of time, you will intuitively know what needs to change, and that is the right time to start making any changes in the way the team operates, the team's priorities, the team structure, etc.

ifoundthetao 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yeah, it's not too bad. Odds are, you were probably doing it already anyway.

My recommendation, learn how to translate "unquantifiable" ideas to quantifiable ones. You can do this through a simple tool called an "OKR", which stands for "Objectives, and Key Results".

OKRs are generally built for quarterly runs. No need to stick to that. But come up with four objectives, split them each into six or so actionable items. So those actionable items can be split up into tasks, sprints, etc..

At that point, you will have quite a bit of work set up, and it will be easily measured. Take the percentage completed of each of the tasks, which make up the percent completed of the Key Result, and then the percentage of the Key Results completed make up how far along in your objective you are.

The objectives should spread across several different domains that you're directing, and your priorities should take care of what goes in there.

Take a good amount of measurements on those, do Gap Analysis' often, to find out why you overshot, undershot, etc., and keep track of that information. Do Root Cause Analysis' often as well, so you can find out what is really going on.

The crux of it all really depends on what you're willing to do with your team, and how accountable you're all willing to be held. Without their backing on your objectives, it'll be a bit more difficult. So if they understand what it is that you're trying to accomplish, and they see your leadership (i.e. owning up to all mistakes, and sharing all accomplishments), they will back you. But the keys to that are understanding the goals of the objectives (not just the objectives, but the reason that they're up there).

If you can do those things, you'll find it very easy to manage.

Other more specific things might be setting up controls so that you can easily audit the SDLC: get "sensors" and "measures" in place. Sensors would be something like a CI server, automated testing, security unit tests, post deployment tests, code sniffing, static code analysis, dynamic code analysis, regular fuzz testing, ensuring that your environment is locked down with file integrity checking, track third party tools that are in use for any known vulnerabilities, get software bill of materials (while you're at it), get a known authorized hardware list, get a known authorized software list, have a monitoring system for when these are violated, and get the response time down to 1 - 24 hours.

The measures will be something like:* adding a benevolent unauthorized machine to the network.* adding benevolent unauthorized software to an unauthorized machine in the network* adding benevolent unauthorized software to an authorized machine in the network* make a change to a file that does not decrease the security of the environment (ex: change from 10 char password complexity to 14 char password complexity), and see if the file integrity check finds it.

Basically for every sensor, you want to have a measure that checks it, otherwise you won't know if you have it set up properly, or if it is broken.

Ask HN: Why did 4GL tools like FoxPro, Clipper, Clarion, DBase disappear?
14 points by open-source-ux  2 days ago   5 comments top 5
miguelrochefort 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Because 5th generation programming was better, until it too died for reasons I can't explain.
le-mark 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I have often wondered this myself. The 90's were all about the 4GLs taking over, and that obviously didn't happen. Here are some thoughts in no particular order.

The languages were usually some flavor of "business BASIC" which were in reality pretty bad. It was far too easy to end up with "ball of mud" apps. I worked for one company on a project over several years to replace a foxpro app with EJB 3 backed desktop app. A lot of the complexity in that project came from documenting and replacing what users were doing by manually updating the tables with proper workflows (permissions to perform actions? egad!). Note this is not the fault of the 4GL in particular, but more a result of the "throw something together" ethos (so I maintain). So my take away here is: great for prototyping, not so great for long term maintenance and support.

There are still companies offering 4GL solutions in this space like [1] and [2]. I have no doubt there is some enterprise version of Microsoft Access that will expose your app to the web, with an appropriate licensing fee.

Another thought I have is all the X compiled to Javascript to run on the browser languages, like scalajs and java (GWT). GWT (in my view) was a failed experiment, I don't know of anyone using it for new development, all the apps I see are legacy. I welcome feedback on this.

Something else I think about is; in those days, although lisp and smalltalk were around, doesn't seem like they were widely used. Nowadays, there's an abundance of dynamically typed, highly productive languages with extensive library ecosystems that essentially enable developers to move the language to meet (any particular) problem domain, and create solutions quickly. So the appeal of environments that bind language/database/display together isn't as novel as it once was. In other words, Ruby and Rails is your 4GL today.

> Or was there some snobbishness amongst programmers who didn't view these products as 'real' programming languages?

Definitely some snobbishness; but also the fact that as developers, we have to chase 'the new hot' on some level to stay current, and marketable. No one wants to be stuck only knowing coldfusion, when those jobs all go away.

[1] https://www.elevatesoft.com/products?category=ewb

[2] https://harbour.github.io/

codeonfire 19 hours ago 0 replies      
These languages were supposed to eliminate programmers by having analysts do all the tech work. However, doing tech work is career suicide for any non programmer. What if a future VP was caught cleaning the toilets... The curse of frameworks is that at some point businesses outgrow them and then they hit a wall with performance, ability to add some feature, or huge licensing fees.
Finnucane 2 days ago 0 replies      
FoxPro was acquired by Microsoft and eventually discontinued in favor of Access. How much of FoxPro's technology ended up in Access I couldn't tell you. (On my Mac, I kept running an old version of FoxPro in 'Classic' mode until that was no longer an option).
dzmitry_lahoda 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Modern rival http://witheve.com . Current approaches seems became much more math heavy.
Ask HN: Best noise cancelling headphones for developers
7 points by rjammala  1 day ago   16 comments top 11
michalpt 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
I bought Bose QC35 2 weeks ago and I am absolutely thrilled about them. The noise cancelling is almost perfect and when I have them on and somebody speaks to me I really dont hear anything. Unlike many other headphones I have tried they are also very comfortable. I tried Sony MDR-1000x and to be frank their noise canceling is maybe even better than the Boses, however they are so tight on my head I know I wouldnt be able to wear them for more than an hour.
drakonka 1 day ago 1 reply      
I recently got the Bose QuietComfort 35 based on recommendation in a recent thread and am in love. I have no other noise cancelling headphones to compare to, so maybe I don't know what I'm missing, but these have been excellent for me so far. Usually my main issue with headphones is that they press too hard against my ears, which protrude slightly. These go perfectly right around my ears and don't actually touch them at all. I've worn them for hours at a time in the office with no discomfort. When I take them off it sounds like I'm suddenly in an airplane cabin.
jotjotzzz 14 hours ago 0 replies      
The three best noise cancelling headphones right now are:

1. Sony MDR-1000x

2. Bose QC35(or Bose QC25)

3. Senheiser PXC-550

Apparently, the Sony MDR-1000X has now beaten the Bose on noise cancellation. It has a lot of cool features, such us letting you turn off the noise canceling by touching the right earphone (I believe) and touch controls. In addition, it beats the Bose with amazing sound quality. Caveat: Expensive, if bought new. There is a build/quality issue at the moment -- where the plastic in the earphone is developing cracks. So buyer beware.

The Bose QC35 is/was the standard noise cancellation. I personally think this may be the best recommendation since it has been proven to be a quality product, very comfortable to wear. I personally chose the QC25 over the wireless version (to save money) and also because the QC35 battery is non-replaceable, after certain years if it dies, you cannot replace it and you are out of luck. Whereas, the QC25 batteries are AAA that you can get anywhere. It is wired version, but I am happy with it. Caveat: I own the ATH M50X, and let's just say Bose sound quality is a couple of notches below. But, if you don't know any better, you probably won't notice.

The Senheiser PXC-550 has also been getting really great reviews and has pretty comparable noise cancellation as Bose (a notch below). Great sound quality. Lots of cool features like the Sony. Caveat: More expensive than Bose if bought new. I don't like that you have to position the headphones a certain way to turn it off. Could be problematic if you are thinking of just putting the headphone in your book bag without putting it in its case

mtmail 1 day ago 0 replies      
Similar previous discussion, where most recommended the Bose QC35

Ask HN: What are the best noise cancelling headphones? 3 months ago, 11 comments https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14226574

while here there are other options named

Ask HN: Which headphones do you use while working? 4 months ago, 36 comments https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13978072

e_py 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I recently bought a pair of Sony MDR-1000x and they really work well.

Some people say QC35 are a little bit better some say MDR-100x are better. I can only talk about the seconds and I highly recommend them.

In addition, they have some cool touchable control on the right side. I didn't like it at the beginning but now when I use other headphones I find myself trying to touch them to pass the song or lower the volume..

conikeec 1 day ago 1 reply      
My rating is based on 1) Noise Cancellation quality 2) Price 3) Battery Life

Been using it for 3 years now, no complaints (one for office and other for home)



tjt 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I really love the IEM from Etymotic Research:


I've been using them for over ten years and only had to replace a pair once. I use the mc5's which are there lower tier option.

If you have ear comfort issues you can also get custom made ear molds.

They really block out so much sound it's amazing. I prefer IEM's to headphones because of the weight and heat from headphones (my ears get hot when covered).

rjammala 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for all the replies. I went with the QC35.
chrisked 5 hours ago 0 replies      
PXC-550 from Sennheiser.
warsharks 1 day ago 1 reply      
noise cancelling is one thing but im assuming youre looking for something to cut you off while you work, which also means long periods wearing them.

in my opinion the best option is actually isolation and to that end a pair of earbuds with a set of custom fit tips could be a good option, i have some myself on a pair of etymotic er4 and theyre spectacular, complete isolation from outside sound and comfortable enough to wear for 8 straight hours

thecrumb 1 day ago 0 replies      
An office :)
Ask HN: How to get good feedback for academic code?
4 points by aregue  1 day ago   4 comments top 3
tedmiston 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This is definitely a pretty common situation with academic code.

I think there are two paths - (1) human code review to consider things like design patterns, and (2) automated code review through static analysis to consider things like linting, use of language idioms, cyclomatic complexity, code duplication, variable reuse, etc.

Code Climate [1] is one service that provides the latter pretty well. It's free for open source.

You can also run linting tools on your local machine, for instance ESLint for JavaScript or pycodestyle / pep8 or flake8 for Python.

[1]: https://codeclimate.com/

math_and_stuff 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would recommend starting a code peer review circle with your fellow domain experts and never allowing yourself to push to your repo without someone reviewing.
brudgers 22 hours ago 1 reply      
CodeReview on StackExchange, so long as the code works.


Ask HN: Who are the most compelling blockchain naysayers?
11 points by mdevere  1 day ago   4 comments top 4
quickthrower2 1 day ago 0 replies      
For currency: the fact that it is quite difficult for an average person to keep their keys both secure and backed up. For example choosing a secure enough but memorable password for their wallet. Not having their PC hacked while they type in such password etc. As the currencies go up in value so will the sophistication of attacks.

For other applications: Miners fees are high. Any data put into the chain is public and immutable and probably stored forever. So even encrypted messages may be attackable at a future date and the secrets leaked. So you want to stay anonymous there can't be too much interesting data stored in there.

olegkikin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Blockchain is just a clever data structure, it can't succeed or fail.

Particular implementations of it can fail, financially, or due to bugs.

davidgerard 1 day ago 0 replies      
I literally wrote a book attempting this:


There's a pile of excerpts linked in the sidebar, and the Amazon "look inside!" shows you the first few chapters.

Honestly? Come by Reddit /r/buttcoin. The name gives you a good idea of the seriousness, and it's very much critics, but it's turned out to be the only place on Reddit you can have a serious discussion of blockchainy stuff, 'cos all the others are filled with the frankly delusional.

roschdal 1 day ago 0 replies      
Energy usage.
Ask HN: Why is there no way to prevent scroll-jacking on a webpage?
43 points by ValentineC  1 day ago   14 comments top 6
Y7ZCQtNo39 1 day ago 1 reply      
Fortunately, most sites don't do this. I don't understand why it's done in the first place, though.

It's mentally agitating when I go to scroll on a webpage and it doesn't do what I expect.

And what content authors should be most concerned about: it distracts viewers from the site's content, because I'm thinking "what just happened to my mouse". And that reaction is the antithesis of what content creators should want: they should want to engage me, and explore the site more deeply.

makecheck 1 day ago 0 replies      
A general-purpose scripting language and general-purpose elements, where it isnt easy to see what the high-level impact of low-level actions will be.

Though were at the point where browsers really need to clearly separate what requires advanced capabilities from what really doesnt. For example, a browser could always display exactly two tabs per page: Read and Interact, where ONLY the Interact view can access scripting capabilities and dynamic content and the Read view may only display trivial things like images and text. If youve ever installed something like uMatrix on the desktop (and you should), it is astounding how much crap from how many entirely different domains is loaded and executed just by loading a simple page now. It has to stop.

MattGrommes 1 day ago 1 reply      
Oh man, if there was a way to find sites that use that new mobile pattern where the ad slides up as you scroll down, I would nuke all of those sites from orbit.
matt4077 1 day ago 0 replies      
Because, in most cases, it wouldn't work. Most pages using scroll-jacking create and/or show certain layers upon scroll. The content isn't there before.

There are some, like I believe most Apple product pages, where scroll-jacking is used to create a one-slide-at-a-time-effect where it may work. But even on those, individual slides often undergo transformations upon scroll revealing information you'd otherwise not see.

dguo 1 day ago 1 reply      
Here is a Chrome extension that claims to be able to prevent it: https://joshbalfour.github.io/disable-scroll-jacking/
josephorjoe 1 day ago 1 reply      
Because all major browsers support creating `onscroll` event handlers and some people offer money to javascript developers if they will do annoying and mildly evil stuff and a large number of those javascript developers say "Sure boss, whatever you want".

The browser creators, people paying for websites, and (many) javascript developers all seem happy with this, unfortunately.

Ask HN: As a freelance app dev, what retainer can I best offer to my clients?
14 points by thr2178008  2 days ago   1 comment top
chmaynard 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love the idea of retainers, because it offers the freelancer a chance at a steady income. However, clients generally don't want to pay a retainer to someone doing new development. A retainer is probably more appropriate if you're maintaining an existing app that's already in production. That said, the amount of a retainer is totally negotiable based on your special knowledge and skills. If you wrote the app, you're in an excellent bargaining position. Go for it!
Ask HN: Why doesn't HN keep all the questions in the ask section?
8 points by bhnmmhmd  2 days ago   9 comments top 5
mtmail 2 days ago 1 reply      
There's a search box on the bottom of the page. If you select 'all time' and sort by date you get a list of all 66.000 Ask HN ever submitted. - https://hn.algolia.com/?query=ask%20hn&sort=byDate&prefix&pa...
0x54MUR41 1 day ago 0 replies      
I second what @mtmail said. You can use Algolia [1] to access older questions/answers. But, if you want to make it more accessible I would recommend to upvote or favorite the question/answer. This way will save your up-voted or favorite questions/answers into your HN account. You can use bookmarking tools for tagging questions/answers. It will help you to organize.

As mentioned on FAQ [2], HN limits the number of showed threads because its ranking algorithm. It depends on thread points and submitted time.

I remember, there is a website which provided weekly top Ask HN threads [3]. This website is useful if you miss threads on previous week.

[1]: https://hn.algolia.com

[2]: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsfaq.html

[3]: http://www.daemonology.net/hn-weekly-ask/

tedmiston 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm seeing 66 right now. Poking around it looks like maybe the threshold is asked within the past 7 days + at least 1 comment?
Pyrodogg 2 days ago 0 replies      
I remember emailing Dang about it two years ago. At the time it was barely showing a page worth of stories. They got it to improve a bit, but since then I don't think it's ever paged on and on like top does.
raarts 2 days ago 1 reply      
Even this question will be kept. But it won't be found....
Advise HN: If auto-detecting language, provide a way to change it
22 points by nathancahill  3 days ago   7 comments top 5
jfaucett 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've built a lot of websites/apps over my career, almost all of them in multiple languages and regions, and to me the best practice pattern is this (if you can do it, sometimes for various legal/company reasons you can't).

Default your app's language to the first match between the languages you offer and the user/browser's preferred language list. Fallback to English or the country locale, depending on the app's goals/requirements. If the user still changes the language , save it in a cookie/session whatever so on repeat visits the corrected option is selected.

This only solves the language problem though, not regional issues such as an online store in Germany vs Spain which have different deals and products. This is why you should keep a clean separation between locales and regions/countries.

Anyway thats my 2 cents from the trenches.

pitaj 3 days ago 0 replies      
Websites should just respect the HTTP Accept-Language header sent in requests. There's no need to try detecting the language by location, just trust the browser.
assafmo 3 days ago 0 replies      
It sucks that websites "detect" language by location. When I was in Mexico I always had to use Chrome's auto translate to English because I was sick of searching for the language chooser.
CodesInChaos 3 days ago 0 replies      
My biggest issue with automatic language detection is that many websites use location to detect language, instead of the http accept headers.
rl3 3 days ago 1 reply      
Even then, most website language selectors suck.

It would be nice if language selection happened via the browser UI rather than the site itself.

Fortunately the future is at least bright on the automated translation front.

Ask HN: Is IBM Watson speech to text API so bad
5 points by bikash1999  1 day ago   3 comments top 2
sdague 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
I did some experimenting with Watson and Google using podcasts, and Watson came out pretty well in the mix - https://dague.net/2017/06/12/comparing-speech-recognition-fo... and https://dague.net/2017/06/13/visualizing-watson-speech-trans.... I haven't done systematic analysis with a lot of data points yet.

You can get per word confidence levels back from the Watson API if you ask for it, which is useful to know what parts it is sure about and what parts it is not.

Disclaimer: I work at IBM. But feel free to reach out at sean.dague@ibm.com if you want some help debugging on the Watson STT side.

ig1 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Why not use Google Speech API ?
OVH Cloud Storage is inaccessible for 2+ hours
14 points by clon  1 day ago   24 comments top 6
clon 1 day ago 2 replies      

Claims no less than 99.999% SLA:

 Daily: 0.9s Weekly: 6.0s Monthly: 26.3s Yearly: 5m 15.6s

openmaze 1 day ago 0 replies      
Still users can't admin their OpenStack machines, containers, networks...
pfg 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Based on my logs, the outage seems to have started around 9 am UTC, with services recovering around 10:50 am UTC.
Antwan 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Typical OVH.
AznHisoka 23 hours ago 3 replies      
why would someone use OVH for cloud storage when they can use S3? OVH is only good for dedicated servers.
Ask HN: What is your process when you have a product idea?
23 points by jfoucher  3 days ago   9 comments top 2
Adrig 2 days ago 1 reply      
First you have to find your market. Do not listen to anyone execpt your target audience. Stuff like "your grandma need to understand your product in 10 sec" is the most stupid advice I hear. Your market should see your value in less than 5 min.

Usualy the validation goes in 2 phases : market interest and MVP.

The first phase is about faking it until you make it. Create your landing page presenting your product (don't spend more than a day on it, you don't care about design/ branding), post in your audience's facebook group, go to their meetups, shadow them to affine your concept. The goal is to have proof of traction and the assurance the market is ready / big enough. The best metric is usualy an email list you can reuse later.

Second phase, if the first is successful is building the MVP (main viable product). It's about having the most minimalistic version of your product that you can sell. Usually it's your main feature. You MUST hack it yourself, don't spend money yet, you'll lose it. The goal is to iterate quickly to have what's called a product market fit.

Product market fit is when you can write an equation like : "when a number P people see my product, there is a conversion of C% that get me X money". Then you can launch and the rest is about scaling.

Do not spend any money (aka > 1000$) until the product market fit. Not in ads, not in freelancers, not in consultants and especially not in PR.

If you product is expensive to make or need a big chain of production, sell it before building it. If you succeed it will be you proof of product market fit

It's difficult to make a standard advice since it depends a lot of the context but key insights are :

Your market is king, refer only to them.

Make them believe 80% of the job is done when you really just have a landing page

When proof of traction hack the main feature of the product and sell it.

If you have a product market fit, congratulation you have a business / startup.

Ryel 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm interested in making this into a framework and it's been difficult to say the least.

The high level things about a startup are very consistent and good candidates to be fit into a framework. I'm not sure but I think these are just called unit economics. Things like "Our product is sold for $X because it saves our customer Y in time". However it's the unknown, and emotional values that I've found incredibly hard to fit into a framework. I'm fascinated now in seeing if the way the finance industry calculates risk is in any way a good framework for startups to assess which features to build.

What I've found to be the hardest questions to answer...

How do I find industry metrics on an industry that doesn't exist yet?

How do I prove people will want something that they don't want right now?

How do I measure emotional value? Tactile sensation(hardware)? UX, UI, etc...

These are the things that startups often believe to be their advantage over the competition. "Our product is much more fun/easy/fast to use/learn/teach" But how do we measure that?

The most valuable exercise I've come up with is this question...

How would your user recreate your product, if you're product didn't exist and they had to piece together the end result with existing technology?

I have a startup right now that creates custom educational podcasts by summarizing publicly available content (with attribution) to generate entirely new content and sort the corpus in increasing complexity. If you searched "Skateboarding", you would get a text document that taught you what skateboarding is, then the history of skateboarding, and then get into beginner, intermediate, and advanced skateboarding lessons. This would go through text-to-voice and be downloaded to your device for offline listening.

Search any topic and you get a 45 minute podcast to listen to on your commute.

In our case, I stepped back and said "Okay... If I wanted an educational podcast on skateboarding, the first thing I would do is search Google, then Wikipedia, then I would start going to skateboarding blogs and read them one by one in increasing complexity. If I wanted to consume this content during my commute I would take all of this content and copy it into a text-to-voice service, and download that audio file on my phone for listening offline." I walked through this entire process and it took me 1 hour to get 45 minutes worth of audio content.

Peter Thiel says that your solution must be 10X better than the existing solution.[0]

Unfortunately for me, I think I will need to cut the time it takes to manually create a podcast by 1/10 and also 10x the quality of the content, which I don't know that I can do.

Tangentially, I often joke that if the problem your startup is trying to solve doesn't exist as a meme, than it's not a real problem for enough people.

[0] http://blog.hypeinnovation.com/peter-thiels-7-questions-for-...

Ask HN: What are your plans for the 8/21 eclipse?
7 points by good_vibes  1 day ago   4 comments top 4
nvusuvu 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The Single A Red Sox team Greenville Drive moved their game time to correspond with the eclipse. I'm taking the family to baseball! My wife said she'll go as long as we get seats in the shade. I said the moon will be providing the shade!
ateesdalejr 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Hoping to head down to origin for quick looksee.
limeblack 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm viewing it in the NC Smoky Montains. My grandparents live there funny coincidence. Might be a bad idea viewing them in the the Smoky Mountains considering how cloudy the can be.
mattbgates 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hoping to fly my Drone and be able to catch it.
       cached 8 August 2017 12:05:02 GMT