Constraints Breed Creativity

Let limitations guide you to creative solutions
There’s never enough to go around. Not enough time. Not enough money. Not enough people.

- Getting Real by 37signals

Despite having about two hours less each day of free time I’m making better progress now than I was in the past? Why? I don’t have time to bullshit around on Hacker News or read all 45 updates on my Google Reader.

Every minute counts.

Pricing Strategies

This article on pricing strategies was near the top of Hacker News today. It’s a really excellent read for anyone consider how to price a product. Here’s a quote:

The Nine and Zero Effect. People associate the number nine with value and zero with quality. Look at the difference between fast food and a gourmet restaurant. A burger meal can sell for about $4.99 while a gourmet entree at the best place in town may go for $30. So the psychology of pricing isn’t so much about gaining additional sales because the price appears to be lower, it’s about what the price communicates about your offering. So which do you want to communicate? Value or Quality? Now you can price accordingly.

Check it out.

A few months ago I wrote some poker software that I intended to sell online (more on that in another post). I changed the price seven or eight times before I released the final product. The price went from $25 to $29 to $35 to $40 to $39 to $34 to $10 to $0.

That curve pretty much reflects my optimism about the project too…

AOL-Files.com

I took a break from Rails this weekend to work on an old project.

AOL-Files.com was an AOL hacking website that a guy named BMB and I founded in 1999. I worked on it until about 2001, when I lost interest and started working on other things. Last week I checked it out on archive.org and got the urge to save a copy for myself.

Unfortunately, downloading a site from archive.org is not a trivial task. I tried some site copying software like GetLeft and HTTrack, but due to some peculiarities of archive.org, neither of them would work. I eventually had to write software to crawl and download the archive. Once I got that working (and it too about 15 runs to get it to go without errors), I had to go through one by one and clean up the files so they could be linked together.

And so it gives me great pleasure to report that a mirror of the site is up and can be accessed here.

The archive is not 100% complete for two reasons: 1) Archive.org doesn’t contain everything and 2) I don’t want to post anything that could get me in trouble with AOL. To make things easier, all of the active links are highlighed in yellow.

If you come across this and remember AOL-Files.com, please fire me an email and say hi.

Happy exploring!

Nostalgia

About eight years ago I ran a popular AOL hacking website, which I’ll write about in another post. On one section of the site we had profiles for members of our community. Here are the relevant parts of mine, via archive.org:

What is your real name? Matt
How old are you? 15
What are your hobbies? Obviously all of this, cross country running, lifting, reading, and relaxing
How would you describe your physical appearance? I’m six feet with brown hair and eyes.
What do you hope to do as a profession? Astronaut. I want to get an eight year degree in aerospace engineering then go work for NASA as a mission specialist for space missions. Seriously. I don’t want to sit infront of a computer all day for any profession. Obvious I will use the computer because everything is and will be based on computers. Thats what I want to do, but money is an issue so we’ll see about going to that eight year college.
How long have you been on AOL? Three years about. Two spent programming and one spent working with FDO and learning about internal operations.
How much time do you think you spend online each day? A few hours. Usually not more than three of four. I enjoy it though, I learn and I apply what I learn. It’s productive in my opinion.
What programming languages are you familiar with? I great with Visual Basic and I’m pretty good with FDO and HTML. Anything that can be done on AOL by clicking around can be done on Visual Basic 100 faster. Thats why I love it so much. I’m good with FDO, but there is only so much that can be done with it before it becomes boring.
What do you spend most of your time online doing? Working on this site and talking with online and real-life friends.
Who are your good friends online? I have many but my good friends are BMB, Rob, Faf, and Tom. Others that I talk to every now and then include most of the people that I’ve interviewed.

——-
You see? That’s why we persist in our investigations, why we struggle so desperately for every bit of knowledge, stay up nights seeking the answer to a problem, climb the steepest obstacles to the next fragment of our understanding, to finally reach that joyous moment of the kick in the discovery, which is part of the pleasure of finding things out.

Just… LOL.

I haven’t seen this in years, so I got a kick out of it reading it tonight. I still keep in contact with one guy from that era, Artem. He sent me this link tonight about a guy named Dolan who is getting 5 years in jail for spamming on AOL. I checked to see whether we had a profile on him, but unfortunately he never submitted one. That lead me to my profile.

Few observations…

  • I was a pretty big nerd back then. Thank god I’m cool now. =)
  • Apparently not everyone gets to be an astronaut when they grow up. Seriously.
  • I’ve grown half an inch in the last eight years… and whats with these random gray hairs?!?
  • Until recently, I used Visual Basic for the bulk of my hacking. A programming language is good when it enables you to do the things you want to do. For me, Visual Basic accomplished just that.
  • I still spend a few hours a day on the computer and my hobbies are very similar.

That last quote is from Richard Feynman’s The Pleasure of Finding Things Out which I threw in at the bottom because I liked it so much and still do.

So I guess the question is: Where will I be eight years from now?

Netflix Delay Notice

My wife received the following email from Netflix this morning:

This is a great email in so many ways.

The wording was not hastily thrown together. A lot of work went into making sure there were no unnecessary words in any of the paragraphs. It’s short and to the point. The tone is apologetic, but not incompetently so. There are no excuses and they don’t try to downplay the seriousness of the problem. They’re basically saying We screwed up, we’re sorry, we’re going to fix it. They offer us resources to get more information if we’re confused about what’s going on. They’re going to credit our account, which they didn’t have to do. Also, the layout is smart. They could have sent an unformatted email hoping that it would put some distance between the red Netflix theme and the screw up. Instead, they prominently display their logo and the Netflix colors – which makes me feel more like their taking responsibility for their mistake. Also, the width of the paragraphs is just right – not too compact, not too wide.

This reflects highly on their customer service.

Kudos to Netflix.

Hacker News Top Submissions

Below you’ll find a list of the top posts on Y Combinator’s Hacker News, first organized by number of points and then by number of comments.

This list covers October 9, 2006, the day of Paul Graham’s first post, through May 21, 2008, which was as far as I got before I had to stop indexing the site. SearchYC.com also has a list of the top submissions, which has a few that aren’t included here, such as the all time #1 post: Startup Ideas We’d Like to Fund.

I hope you’ll find these as enjoyable to browse as I did.

Happy hacking.

Top 200 by Points

1. PG Arc’s Out
239 points | posted by pg on 1/30/2008 | 124 comments

2. PG You weren’t meant to have a boss
229 points | posted by dfranke on 3/21/2008 | 291 comments

3. Number of founders – statistics
187 points | posted by fauigerzigerk on 11/9/2007 | 38 comments

4. New Video of BigDog Quadruped Robot Is So Stunning It’s Spooky
187 points | posted by paulsb on 3/17/2008 | 91 comments

5. Startups Wiki: Ask YC Archive
183 points | posted by epi0Bauqu on 5/8/2008 | 25 comments

6. PG Lies We Tell Kids
181 points | posted by mqt on 5/13/2008 | 387 comments

7. PG Be Good
175 points | posted by vsingh on 4/20/2008 | 199 comments

8. Hacker News Site Guidelines
171 points | posted by pg on 3/11/2008 | 35 comments

9. PG How to Disagree
171 points | posted by PieSquared on 3/29/2008 | 219 comments

10. “Finally, voting without refresh”
170 points | posted by pg on 6/13/2007 | 42 comments

11. Want to Remember Everything You’ll Ever Learn? Surrender to This Algorithm
170 points | posted by naish on 4/22/2008 | 61 comments

12. PG How Not to Die
167 points | posted by subhash on 8/31/2007 | 138 comments

13. PG Paul Graham: Six Principles for Making New Things
166 points | posted by Darmani on 2/16/2008 | 112 comments

14. Why we made this site
161 points | posted by pg on 2/20/2007 | 57 comments

15. Hacker News
153 points | posted by pg on 8/15/2007 | 76 comments

16. “Gin, Television, and Social Surplus”
152 points | posted by bdfh42 on 4/26/2008 | 55 comments

17. PG Why There Aren’t More Googles
149 points | posted by ecommercematt on 4/14/2008 | 151 comments

18. PG PG: Disconnecting Distraction
147 points | posted by Darmani on 5/17/2008 | 189 comments

19. Genius hack by PhD candidate (with source code): Turn any monitor into a 3D display using a Wiimote
143 points | posted by thorax on 2/22/2008 | 26 comments

20. PG Holding a program in one’s head
142 points | posted by eposts on 8/24/2007 | 126 comments

21. Why Zappos Pays New Employees to Quit—And You Should Too
136 points | posted by chaostheory on 5/20/2008 | 37 comments

22. PG PG on trolls
135 points | posted by sharpshoot on 2/17/2008 | 170 comments

23. “Codepad.org, a pastebin that executes code”
135 points | posted by sah on 3/5/2008 | 57 comments

24. TC Google Jumps Head First Into Web Services With Google App Engine
135 points | posted by jsjenkins168 on 4/8/2008 | 113 comments

25. Pmarca: If Microsoft goes fully hostile on Yahoo
135 points | posted by rantfoil on 4/28/2008 | 27 comments

26. Why Not To Do A Startup
134 points | posted by rms on 3/19/2008 | 83 comments

27. TC Dropbox launches (YC summer 07)
133 points | posted by sharpshoot on 3/11/2008 | 65 comments

28. Sleep deprivation is not a badge of honor
132 points | posted by naish on 5/1/2008 | 43 comments

29. Tell YC: Answers from John McCarthy
132 points | posted by mgummelt on 5/9/2008 | 72 comments

30. Workplace Experiments at 37signals
130 points | posted by mqt on 3/5/2008 | 46 comments

31. Architecture astronauts take over
130 points | posted by mqt on 5/1/2008 | 75 comments

32. News.YC open-sourced
127 points | posted by pg on 2/25/2008 | 20 comments

33. Ask YC: Startup crisis. Out of money and tech co-founder has bailed.
127 points | posted by drinko on 5/7/2008 | 232 comments

34. “The mortgage crisis, in cartoon form (has cursing, maybe NSFW?)”
126 points | posted by yummyfajitas on 3/18/2008 | 25 comments

35. CMU professor gives his last lesson on life
125 points | posted by amichail on 9/20/2007 | 33 comments

36. My experiment with smart drugs: Viagra for the brain?
122 points | posted by robg on 5/15/2008 | 114 comments

37. “Smjörið er brætt og hveitið smátt og smátt hrært út í það, þangað til það er gengið upp í smjörið.”
118 points | posted by pg on 2/8/2008 | 153 comments

38. How to Lay Off Your Developers the Right Way
118 points | posted by edw519 on 3/28/2008 | 21 comments

39. PG: Arc Likely To Be Open-Sourced This Winter
117 points | posted by kirubakaran on 1/15/2008 | 88 comments

40. More advice for new Y Combinator founders
116 points | posted by sama on 1/8/2008 | 28 comments

41. Solo founders: how do you stay emotionally efficient?
115 points | posted by dangrover on 4/18/2008 | 95 comments

42. Code’s Worst Enemy
114 points | posted by mqt on 12/20/2007 | 42 comments

43. Coding Horror: Paul Graham’s Participatory Narcissism
113 points | posted by sharksandwich on 3/22/2008 | 129 comments

44. Paul Buchheit: Ideas vs Judgment and Execution: Climbing the Mountain
113 points | posted by paul on 3/31/2008 | 42 comments

45. Learning Math
112 points | posted by dwaters on 2/4/2008 | 73 comments

46. PG Some Heroes
111 points | posted by mqt on 4/5/2008 | 86 comments

47. “Google releases free, detailed, HTML/CSS/Javascript encyclopedia by Mark Pilgrim”
111 points | posted by nickb on 5/14/2008 | 23 comments

48. Sign Up Forms Must Die
110 points | posted by jyu on 3/25/2008 | 34 comments

49. Processing ported to JavaScript
109 points | posted by tzury on 5/9/2008 | 25 comments

50. Why to Apply to YCombinator
108 points | posted by palish on 10/10/2007 | 36 comments

51. DHH: Are you sure you want to be in San Francisco?
108 points | posted by johns on 4/22/2008 | 108 comments

52. PG Why to Not Not Start a Startup
107 points | posted by palish on 3/27/2007 | 139 comments

53. PG The Future of Web Startups
107 points | posted by byrneseyeview on 10/5/2007 | 167 comments

54. PG A New Venture Animal
105 points | posted by mqt on 3/11/2008 | 58 comments

55. The Coolest Business Plan Ever
103 points | posted by jraines on 5/6/2008 | 11 comments

56. We didn’t start the Fire (2.0)
102 points | posted by raghus on 12/5/2007 | 57 comments

57. Joel explains how a new monopoly will emerge around AJAX
101 points | posted by herdrick on 9/19/2007 | 82 comments

58. Would this community prefer to be under the radar?
101 points | posted by techcrunch on 3/26/2008 | 91 comments

59. Ask YC: Have you built a good website that nobody visits?
101 points | posted by cousin_it on 5/12/2008 | 120 comments

60. PG Paul Graham: News from the Front
100 points | posted by mattculbreth on 9/6/2007 | 124 comments

61. PG Stuff – Paul Graham
99 points | posted by samb on 8/1/2007 | 92 comments

62. TC Little Known Hacker News Is My First Read Every Morning
98 points | posted by hwork on 3/11/2008 | 81 comments

63. The Great Ubuntu-Girlfriend Experiment
98 points | posted by nreece on 4/28/2008 | 82 comments

64. Amazon EC2 gets static IPs.
97 points | posted by ptm on 3/27/2008 | 33 comments

65. I Dropped Out of Grad School Today
96 points | posted by sam on 2/20/2007 | 49 comments

66. The most important thing to understand about new products and startups
96 points | posted by dfens on 2/17/2008 | 26 comments

67. Disagreeing with Paul Graham
96 points | posted by gabrielroth on 3/31/2008 | 72 comments

68. TC Fleaflicker (solo founder) Acquired by AOL
96 points | posted by fleaflicker on 4/25/2008 | 55 comments

69. Facebook Is Not Really That Special
95 points | posted by mqt on 4/11/2008 | 119 comments

70. Joel: How Hard Could It Be?: Lessons I Learned in the Army
94 points | posted by luccastera on 2/29/2008 | 23 comments

71. Hire Family People
94 points | posted by breily on 4/24/2008 | 152 comments

72. Would you have answered this job ad?
94 points | posted by dhotson on 4/29/2008 | 55 comments

73. “Absolutely, DO NOT, get a co-founder!”
93 points | posted by BitGeek on 11/8/2007 | 94 comments

74. You Can’t Soak the Rich
93 points | posted by epi0Bauqu on 5/20/2008 | 109 comments

75. y combinator news bookmarklet
92 points | posted by phil on 3/8/2007 | 12 comments

76. Paul Graham convinced me to drop out of school / quit my job [Vote up if true]
92 points | posted by Alex3917 on 3/28/2007 | 58 comments

77. The importance of launching early and staying alive
92 points | posted by drusenko on 2/26/2008 | 29 comments

78. TC Bringing OpenID To The Masses: Clickpass (YC summer 07)
91 points | posted by immad on 3/11/2008 | 37 comments

79. TC “Communicate Acquires Y Combinator Startup Auctomatic, Unveils New Business Strategy”
91 points | posted by paulsb on 3/26/2008 | 39 comments

80. PG How to Do Philosophy
90 points | posted by samb on 9/22/2007 | 221 comments

81. Scaling Facebook Chat to 70 Million Active Users Almost Overnight
90 points | posted by edw519 on 5/15/2008 | 42 comments

82. Arthur C. Clarke has died at the age of 90
89 points | posted by rms on 3/19/2008 | 16 comments

83. Lessons of Y Combinator: Things I’d do differently after 2 startups
89 points | posted by marcus on 4/2/2008 | 32 comments

84. “Teenage Girl’s MySpace Layouts Worth Millions, Drops Out Of High School”
88 points | posted by vlad on 8/28/2007 | 34 comments

85. Interview with Paul Graham at Imperial College London
88 points | posted by sharpshoot on 1/4/2008 | 31 comments

86. “The Psychology of Entrepreneurial Misjudgment, part 1: Biases 1-6″
88 points | posted by sharksandwich on 3/25/2008 | 20 comments

87. Get that job at Google
87 points | posted by comatose_kid on 3/13/2008 | 74 comments

88. The boring truth about why groups don’t get invited to interviews
87 points | posted by pg on 4/10/2008 | 48 comments

89. TC Kiko guys back as reality tv stars
86 points | posted by gaz on 3/19/2007 | 25 comments

90. Rails is a Ghetto… [NSFW for Language]
86 points | posted by raju on 1/1/2008 | 68 comments

91. Is it down for everyone or just me?
85 points | posted by dedalus on 3/17/2008 | 45 comments

92. Everything I want to do is Illegal
85 points | posted by smanek on 5/14/2008 | 78 comments

93. SICP – summary of 10 months working through the entire book
84 points | posted by pchristensen on 4/18/2008 | 39 comments

94. Code on the Road: Laid off? The one thing you absolutely need to do on the first day
84 points | posted by tjakab on 5/8/2008 | 35 comments

95. “Storage Space, The Final Frontier: Amazon EC2 adds persistent disks”
83 points | posted by RyanGWU82 on 4/14/2008 | 16 comments

96. “Essential Python Tips, Tricks, and Hacks”
83 points | posted by rockstar9 on 5/21/2008 | 25 comments

97. Seven steps to remarkable customer service
82 points | posted by beau on 2/19/2007 | 8 comments

98. 7 reasons I switched back to PHP after 2 years on Rails – O’Reilly Ruby
82 points | posted by luccastera on 9/23/2007 | 27 comments

99. Absolutely Unbelievable: Richard Stallman Crankin’ Dat Soulja Boy in front of the Green Building at MIT
82 points | posted by pius on 1/17/2008 | 41 comments

100. Programmer Destroys Seven Billion Dollar Industry With A Single Software Application
81 points | posted by iamelgringo on 4/5/2008 | 39 comments

101. Y2 Combinator launches: the startup starter starter.
80 points | posted by pc on 4/26/2007 | 31 comments

102. How to be a genius
80 points | posted by brl on 11/4/2007 | 37 comments

103. Microsoft bids $44.6 billion for Yahoo
80 points | posted by surya on 2/1/2008 | 80 comments

104. The Thing About Git
80 points | posted by mqt on 4/8/2008 | 31 comments

105. Vote up if you want YC to remember your cookie for longer than a few hours
79 points | posted by lupin_sansei on 5/1/2007 | 15 comments

106. Aaron Swartz: How to Get a Job Like Mine
79 points | posted by rms on 10/6/2007 | 40 comments

107. Live video from startup school
79 points | posted by abstractbill on 4/19/2008 | 14 comments

108. Hans Reiser Guilty of First Degree Murder
79 points | posted by mcxx on 4/28/2008 | 96 comments

109. Scientists Create First Memristor: Missing Fourth Electronic Circuit Element
79 points | posted by Alex3917 on 4/30/2008 | 40 comments

110. Dynamic Languages Strike Back
79 points | posted by bdfh42 on 5/12/2008 | 34 comments

111. Getting Real: Free Book by 37signals
78 points | posted by keesj on 2/22/2007 | 8 comments

112. Git is the next Unix
78 points | posted by oxyona on 2/2/2008 | 19 comments

113. Interview with Donald Knuth
78 points | posted by johnm on 4/25/2008 | 24 comments

114. TC Microsoft Withdraws Yahoo Bid; Walks Away From Deal
78 points | posted by raghus on 5/3/2008 | 58 comments

115. PG Microsoft is Dead
77 points | posted by kkim on 4/6/2007 | 445 comments

116. It’s official: Google buys Zenter
77 points | posted by drusenko on 6/20/2007 | 47 comments

117. Two AI Pioneers. Two Bizarre Suicides. What Really Happened?
77 points | posted by terpua on 1/19/2008 | 53 comments

118. How do you learn?
77 points | posted by abstractbill on 2/6/2008 | 54 comments

119. What are worthwhile problems: Feynman’s moving letter
77 points | posted by hhm on 3/12/2008 | 13 comments

120. TC Snaptalent Launches (YC Winter 08)
77 points | posted by jamiequint on 3/13/2008 | 31 comments

121. Martian Headsets
77 points | posted by bdfh42 on 3/17/2008 | 31 comments

122. An Ingenious Video Game That Looks Like It Was Designed by a Third-Grader
77 points | posted by gensym on 3/20/2008 | 18 comments

123. “Joel Spolsky’s talk at Yale, part 1″
75 points | posted by gensym on 12/4/2007 | 36 comments

124. “Every time you search for a domain on Network Solutions, they register it themselves.”
75 points | posted by nickb on 1/9/2008 | 42 comments

125. Standing Still Predicts School Success Better Than IQ
75 points | posted by curi on 3/15/2008 | 38 comments

126. “So you “”just need a hacker””, huh?”
75 points | posted by carpal on 3/25/2008 | 102 comments

127. Tumblr security hole (the gaping kind)
75 points | posted by oldgregg on 4/15/2008 | 78 comments

128. “A list of deals one VC firm passed on — Google, eBay, Apple, Intel, Fedex, Paypal, etc.”
75 points | posted by smoody on 4/22/2008 | 23 comments

129. This Psychologist Might Outsmart the Math Brains Competing for the Netflix Prize
74 points | posted by elq on 2/28/2008 | 24 comments

130. David Heinemeier Hansson’s Speech about Making Money at SS2008
74 points | posted by vlad on 4/19/2008 | 48 comments

131. How I built a poker-bot
74 points | posted by run4yourlives on 5/9/2008 | 37 comments

132. Unix Command-Line Kung Fu
74 points | posted by __ on 5/10/2008 | 21 comments

133. “Forget VC Money, Fund Yourself”
73 points | posted by BioGeek on 2/23/2007 | 24 comments

134. Don’t Become a Scientist.
73 points | posted by aneesh on 2/24/2008 | 91 comments

135. Quick – is 91 prime?
73 points | posted by bdfh42 on 3/12/2008 | 24 comments

136. Anywhere.FM acquired by imeem
72 points | posted by iamwil on 1/29/2008 | 27 comments

137. Optimize for now!
72 points | posted by naish on 3/6/2008 | 34 comments

138. “Facebook knows who you are, and that’s worth more than you think”
72 points | posted by mattjaynes on 4/17/2008 | 50 comments

139. Surprisingly useful new page: Web Developer’s Field Guide
71 points | posted by thorax on 1/26/2008 | 16 comments

140. Lockhart’s Lament: On Mathematics at School
71 points | posted by hhm on 3/6/2008 | 20 comments

141. PG You Weren’t Meant to Have a Boss: The Cliffs Notes
71 points | posted by brlewis on 3/23/2008 | 74 comments

142. “Startup School videos on Omnisio, synchronized with slides and questions”
71 points | posted by tlrobinson on 4/20/2008 | 30 comments

143. The Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet
71 points | posted by marrone on 4/30/2008 | 19 comments

144. Programmers Need To Learn Statistics or I Will Kill Them All – Zed Shaw
70 points | posted by jamiequint on 8/30/2007 | 19 comments

145. How I lost my faith (in Lisp)
70 points | posted by bootload on 2/1/2008 | 97 comments

146. Poll: Ban Valleywag?
70 points | posted by pg on 4/11/2008 | 102 comments

147. Sincere Apologies to Paul Graham and the Y Combinator Team (from the Seattle Founder’s Co-op)
70 points | posted by brfox on 4/16/2008 | 49 comments

148. Ubuntu 8.04 is out
70 points | posted by mcxx on 4/24/2008 | 48 comments

149. Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years
70 points | posted by jdale27 on 5/15/2008 | 19 comments

150. “On Having Balls, Part II: Staying Hungry”
69 points | posted by matt on 2/19/2007 | 1 comments

151. Arc Ported to JavaScript
69 points | posted by rms on 2/7/2008 | 23 comments

152. So You Hacked Our Site!?
69 points | posted by muriithi on 3/1/2008 | 22 comments

153. IBM building Blue Brain (full brain neuron simulator)
69 points | posted by andr on 3/4/2008 | 55 comments

154. Google putting up fence and gate to keep execs from leaving
69 points | posted by foemmel on 4/3/2008 | 22 comments

155. Ask YC: What are the going rates for consulting gigs?
69 points | posted by iamelgringo on 5/6/2008 | 105 comments

156. Ask HN: Subscription web sites: How did you get your first customer?
69 points | posted by bkovitz on 5/16/2008 | 50 comments

157. “It’s not exponential, it’s sigmoidal”
68 points | posted by terpua on 11/27/2007 | 8 comments

158. TC Reddit Adds Ability to Create your own Reddits
68 points | posted by hwork on 1/23/2008 | 29 comments

159. Do it Fucking Now.
68 points | posted by ajbatac on 2/23/2008 | 30 comments

160. Every Piece of Startup Advice is a Lie
68 points | posted by ericwan on 3/9/2008 | 15 comments

161. Why we disagree with Don Norman
68 points | posted by __ on 3/11/2008 | 10 comments

162. Ask YC: Dealing with post startup depression
68 points | posted by poststartup on 3/26/2008 | 58 comments

163. Using Microsoft Excel as a 3D Game Engine
67 points | posted by hhm on 3/7/2008 | 8 comments

164. TC Y Combinator Demo Day Roundup
67 points | posted by nextmoveone on 3/14/2008 | 51 comments

165. This talk puts the eccentric absent-minded professor stereotype to rest once and for all.
67 points | posted by amichail on 3/28/2008 | 29 comments

166. We need a Wikipedia for data
67 points | posted by bootload on 4/9/2008 | 54 comments

167. “Zed Shaw: “”rails-core ripped off the idea for Campfire from NextApp Echo2 ChatClient Demo”””
67 points | posted by rob on 4/9/2008 | 34 comments

168. New Feature: get kicked off News.YC on demand
66 points | posted by pg on 11/8/2007 | 45 comments

169. OpenDNS is hijacking Google requests (For what they claim is a good reason)
66 points | posted by e1ven on 3/14/2008 | 24 comments

170. URLs Are Totally Out In Japan
66 points | posted by nreece on 3/26/2008 | 23 comments

171. The Young Man’s Business Model
66 points | posted by zinxq on 4/14/2008 | 17 comments

172. StackOverflow.com : the new venture from Joel Spolsky
66 points | posted by pibefision on 4/17/2008 | 32 comments

173. Quit your job
66 points | posted by breily on 4/23/2008 | 46 comments

174. Notes from Del.icio.us founder Joshua Schachter
65 points | posted by wbornor on 2/22/2007 | 14 comments

175. 10 Lessons of an MIT Education by Gian-Carlo Rota
65 points | posted by hhm on 9/12/2007 | 14 comments

176. Evan Williams: Will it fly? How to Evaluate a New Product Idea
65 points | posted by staunch on 12/17/2007 | 23 comments

177. Ask 37signals: How do you process credit cards?
65 points | posted by dawie on 12/29/2007 | 10 comments

178. TC My 23andMe DNA Results
65 points | posted by aneesh on 3/3/2008 | 19 comments

179. “Come stay at the hacker house in San Jose, Free”
65 points | posted by samwise on 3/19/2008 | 55 comments

180. Please tell us what features you’d like in news.ycombinator
64 points | posted by pg on 2/21/2007 | 571 comments

181. PG Why to Move to a Startup Hub
64 points | posted by samb on 10/11/2007 | 94 comments

182. Success [pic]
64 points | posted by papersmith on 12/15/2007 | 13 comments

183. UNIX tips: Learn 10 good UNIX usage habits
64 points | posted by luccastera on 1/25/2008 | 17 comments

184. Bill Gates demos Xobni
64 points | posted by gaborcselle on 2/12/2008 | 32 comments

185. Why a School Banned Legos
64 points | posted by kirubakaran on 2/21/2008 | 90 comments

186. Ask News.YC: How to re-motivate yourself?
64 points | posted by qwestion on 2/22/2008 | 42 comments

187. Why bother having a resume?
64 points | posted by comatose_kid on 3/17/2008 | 60 comments

188. “Take the Next Step, Paul”
64 points | posted by brlewis on 3/24/2008 | 44 comments

189. More data usually beats better algorithms
64 points | posted by toffer on 3/31/2008 | 15 comments

190. Free is Killing Us. Blame The VCs
64 points | posted by llimllib on 4/4/2008 | 67 comments

191. “Cross Browser Testing. Pick a browser, Pick an OS, Test website”
64 points | posted by drm237 on 4/11/2008 | 47 comments

192. Interview with reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian
64 points | posted by Sam_Odio on 4/14/2008 | 9 comments

193. Python Generator Tricks for Systems Programmers
64 points | posted by dood on 4/17/2008 | 13 comments

194. “99designs: Need something designed (logo, …)? Crowdsource it.”
64 points | posted by chaostheory on 4/27/2008 | 47 comments

195. Malcolm Gladwell: Who says big ideas are rare?
64 points | posted by danohuiginn on 5/5/2008 | 26 comments

196. Scipy – the embarrassing way to code
64 points | posted by dood on 5/6/2008 | 37 comments

197. PG The Hacker’s Guide to Investors
63 points | posted by byrneseyeview on 4/30/2007 | 45 comments

198. Warning: Software Startups are Not as Easy as Everyone Says
63 points | posted by rwalling on 11/7/2007 | 39 comments

199. Five whys
63 points | posted by jmorin007 on 1/23/2008 | 21 comments

200. TC Heroku Lifts Ruby on Rails Development into the Cloud (YC Winter 08)
63 points | posted by danielha on 2/8/2008 | 35 comments

Top 200 by Comments

Grey items indicate it also appears in the Top 200 by Points

1. YC Please tell us what features you’d like in news.ycombinator
64 points | posted by pg on 2/21/2007 | 571 comments

2. PG Microsoft is Dead
77 points | posted by kkim on 4/6/2007 | 445 comments

3. PG Lies We Tell Kids
181 points | posted by mqt on 5/13/2008 | 387 comments

4. PG You weren’t meant to have a boss
229 points | posted by dfranke on 3/21/2008 | 291 comments

5. YC Ask YC: Startup crisis. Out of money and tech co-founder has bailed.
127 points | posted by drinko on 5/7/2008 | 232 comments

6. PG How to Do Philosophy
90 points | posted by samb on 9/22/2007 | 221 comments

7. PG How to Disagree
171 points | posted by PieSquared on 3/29/2008 | 219 comments

8. PG Be Good
175 points | posted by vsingh on 4/20/2008 | 199 comments

9. PG PG: Disconnecting Distraction
147 points | posted by Darmani on 5/17/2008 | 189 comments

10. YC Ask YC: How many people here have a degree and are programmers?
34 points | posted by gregp on 2/8/2008 | 187 comments

11. PG PG on trolls
135 points | posted by sharpshoot on 2/17/2008 | 170 comments

12. YC Ask: What would you do/make if you never had to monetize it?
55 points | posted by icky on 3/21/2008 | 170 comments

13. YC Startup idea list
53 points | posted by deltapoint on 9/18/2007 | 168 comments

14. PG The Future of Web Startups
107 points | posted by byrneseyeview on 10/5/2007 | 167 comments

15. YC How old are you and what is your education level?
34 points | posted by nextmoveone on 10/5/2007 | 163 comments

16. YC Ask YC: What are you working on right now?
27 points | posted by robmnl on 4/1/2008 | 157 comments

17. YC Why Lisp Is Unpopular
58 points | posted by mnemonicsloth on 4/3/2008 | 156 comments

18. YC “Smjörið er brætt og hveitið smátt og smátt hrært út í það, þangað til það er gengið upp í smjörið.”
118 points | posted by pg on 2/8/2008 | 153 comments

19. Hire Family People
94 points | posted by breily on 4/24/2008 | 152 comments

20. PG Why There Aren’t More Googles
149 points | posted by ecommercematt on 4/14/2008 | 151 comments

21. PG The Equity Equation
58 points | posted by rams on 7/19/2007 | 151 comments

22. YC Ask YC: How do you lose weight?
24 points | posted by Flemlord on 4/18/2008 | 150 comments

23. PG Why to Not Not Start a Startup
107 points | posted by palish on 3/27/2007 | 139 comments

24. PG How Not to Die
167 points | posted by subhash on 8/31/2007 | 138 comments

25. Coding Horror: Paul Graham’s Participatory Narcissism
113 points | posted by sharksandwich on 3/22/2008 | 129 comments

26. YC YC News Unavailable…
26 points | posted by gibsonf1 on 9/28/2007 | 129 comments

27. YC Ask YC: How many hours do you sleep on average ?
37 points | posted by VinzO on 2/14/2008 | 127 comments

28. YC Ask YC: Are there *any* startups using ASP.NET?
24 points | posted by kilik on 11/21/2007 | 127 comments

29. PG Holding a program in one’s head
142 points | posted by eposts on 8/24/2007 | 126 comments

30. YC How good were you at college?
24 points | posted by ptn on 11/13/2007 | 126 comments

31. PG Arc’s Out
239 points | posted by pg on 1/30/2008 | 124 comments

32. PG Paul Graham: News from the Front
100 points | posted by mattculbreth on 9/6/2007 | 124 comments

33. YC Ask YC: Have you built a good website that nobody visits?
101 points | posted by cousin_it on 5/12/2008 | 120 comments

34. Facebook Is Not Really That Special
95 points | posted by mqt on 4/11/2008 | 119 comments

35. YC What programming language should I start with?
24 points | posted by zenobo on 8/21/2007 | 116 comments

36. My experiment with smart drugs: Viagra for the brain?
122 points | posted by robg on 5/15/2008 | 114 comments

37. YC Tell YC: Summer 08 decisions out
42 points | posted by raghus on 4/10/2008 | 114 comments

38. TC Google Jumps Head First Into Web Services With Google App Engine
135 points | posted by jsjenkins168 on 4/8/2008 | 113 comments

39. YC Ask YC: Why do you recommend a Macbook?
45 points | posted by kirubakaran on 3/8/2008 | 113 comments

40. PG Paul Graham: Six Principles for Making New Things
166 points | posted by Darmani on 2/16/2008 | 112 comments

41. YC Ask YC: Django vs Ruby on Rails
58 points | posted by notdarkyet on 5/20/2008 | 112 comments

42. You Can’t Soak the Rich
93 points | posted by epi0Bauqu on 5/20/2008 | 109 comments

43. YC Ask YC: What are starting salaries for CS grads this year?
43 points | posted by iamelgringo on 5/1/2008 | 109 comments

44. DHH: Are you sure you want to be in San Francisco?
108 points | posted by johns on 4/22/2008 | 108 comments

45. YC Idea Week. Post ideas you don’t plan on implementing.
41 points | posted by ivankirigin on 10/9/2007 | 107 comments

46. YC Ask YC: What are the going rates for consulting gigs?
69 points | posted by iamelgringo on 5/6/2008 | 105 comments

47. YC Ask YC: Do you watch TV?
25 points | posted by daniel-cussen on 2/13/2008 | 105 comments

48. juwo beta is released (at last!). Please use it and help improve it!
5 points | posted by juwo on 4/18/2007 | 105 comments

49. YC Ask YC: Best ways to become socially adept?
55 points | posted by yters on 4/21/2008 | 104 comments

50. Breaking News: Girls don’t become engineers because they don’t want to
51 points | posted by aggieben on 5/19/2008 | 104 comments

51. YC Is Aaron Swartz the Paris Hilton of Web 2.0?
48 points | posted by qwertyy on 11/15/2007 | 104 comments

52. YC Ask YC: What new technologies are you exploring?
36 points | posted by iamelgringo on 11/20/2007 | 103 comments

53. YC Ask YCNews: Any lady hackers using the site?
24 points | posted by pchristensen on 1/21/2008 | 103 comments

54. “So you “”just need a hacker””, huh?”
75 points | posted by carpal on 3/25/2008 | 102 comments

55. YC Poll: Ban Valleywag?
70 points | posted by pg on 4/11/2008 | 102 comments

56. Why is 37signals so arrogant?
58 points | posted by rglullis on 3/8/2008 | 102 comments

57. “Aaron Swartz: Perfectionism (and his new startup, Jottit)”
48 points | posted by abstractbill on 9/1/2007 | 102 comments

58. YC Ideas to monetize new artifical intelligence
26 points | posted by marcus on 11/14/2007 | 102 comments

59. YC Ask YC: Are there any black or latino founded startups?
14 points | posted by wumi on 1/27/2008 | 102 comments

60. YC Applications Open for Winter 2008 YC Funding
59 points | posted by pg on 7/3/2007 | 101 comments

61. YC “I have a great idea for a webapp, but hardly any programming knowledge. What should i do?”
31 points | posted by thehigherlife on 9/25/2007 | 101 comments

62. YC “Ask YC: Mid-sized, livable, hacker-friendly towns?”
23 points | posted by davidw on 2/8/2008 | 101 comments

63. How I lost my faith (in Lisp)
70 points | posted by bootload on 2/1/2008 | 97 comments

64. YC Hackers’ screen shots
48 points | posted by davidw on 11/1/2007 | 97 comments

65. Hans Reiser Guilty of First Degree Murder
79 points | posted by mcxx on 4/28/2008 | 96 comments

66. YC Vote up if you’re refreshing your email once a minute today
50 points | posted by blader on 4/10/2007 | 96 comments

67. My Mac Mini
24 points | posted by ashu on 4/29/2008 | 96 comments

68. YC Solo founders: how do you stay emotionally efficient?
115 points | posted by dangrover on 4/18/2008 | 95 comments

69. YC Ask YC: What’s the best advice you ever got?
38 points | posted by edw519 on 5/8/2008 | 95 comments

70. YC “Absolutely, DO NOT, get a co-founder!”
93 points | posted by BitGeek on 11/8/2007 | 94 comments

71. PG Why to Move to a Startup Hub
64 points | posted by samb on 10/11/2007 | 94 comments

72. YC Are you going to change the world? (Really?)
54 points | posted by Shooter on 9/20/2007 | 94 comments

73. Futurist Ray Kurzweil Pulls Out All the Stops (and Pills) to Live to Witness the Singularity
41 points | posted by edw519 on 3/27/2008 | 94 comments

74. YC “Poll: Should this site be visible to Yahoo, MSN crawlers?”
39 points | posted by pg on 4/16/2008 | 94 comments

75. YC Looking for a co-founder? post here (3 rules apply)
31 points | posted by sharpshoot on 2/17/2008 | 94 comments

76. How To Get Your Own Fanboys
25 points | posted by mqt on 5/1/2008 | 94 comments

77. Ayn Rand’s Literature of Capitalism
32 points | posted by robg on 9/15/2007 | 93 comments

78. PG Stuff – Paul Graham
99 points | posted by samb on 8/1/2007 | 92 comments

79. YC Ask YC: Has anyone switched from OS X to Ubuntu?
30 points | posted by rob on 4/12/2008 | 92 comments

80. Asking for Feedback on Our Startup: Coordinatr.com
25 points | posted by drm237 on 2/22/2008 | 92 comments

81. New Video of BigDog Quadruped Robot Is So Stunning It’s Spooky
187 points | posted by paulsb on 3/17/2008 | 91 comments

82. YC Would this community prefer to be under the radar?
101 points | posted by techcrunch on 3/26/2008 | 91 comments

83. Don’t Become a Scientist.
73 points | posted by aneesh on 2/24/2008 | 91 comments

84. YC Ask YC: Status of your startup
47 points | posted by robmnl on 2/2/2008 | 91 comments

85. YC “YC Analysis: “”37signals/DHH style”” companies?”
45 points | posted by davidw on 4/21/2008 | 91 comments

86. San Jose is hell on earth
42 points | posted by henning on 5/19/2008 | 91 comments

87. YC Where is your startup? (for me Atlanta)
21 points | posted by rokhayakebe on 8/13/2007 | 91 comments

88. YC Ask YC: Why is YC’s layout table based?
13 points | posted by german on 1/19/2008 | 91 comments

89. Why a School Banned Legos
64 points | posted by kirubakaran on 2/21/2008 | 90 comments

90. YC PG: Arc Likely To Be Open-Sourced This Winter
117 points | posted by kirubakaran on 1/15/2008 | 88 comments

91. Aaron Swartz’s Jottit has been officially released
51 points | posted by rob on 9/16/2007 | 88 comments

92. YC What books would you recommend reading? Why?
37 points | posted by aswanson on 9/19/2007 | 88 comments

93. YC What is the average startup entrepreneur age? ie your age (I am 26 almost)
18 points | posted by rokhayakebe on 9/6/2007 | 88 comments

94. YC Ask YC: do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend?
13 points | posted by btw0 on 3/28/2008 | 88 comments

95. YC What do hackers think of PHP?
38 points | posted by amrithk on 5/5/2008 | 87 comments

96. YC Ask YC: AI
36 points | posted by Novash on 12/18/2007 | 87 comments

97. YC Bored with no ideas for next startup
18 points | posted by bored_dev on 3/2/2008 | 87 comments

98. PG Some Heroes
111 points | posted by mqt on 4/5/2008 | 86 comments

99. Obama’s Victory Speech
49 points | posted by chengmi on 1/5/2008 | 86 comments

100. YC Is it bad if I don’t want to work at a C++/Java startup?
19 points | posted by gregwebs on 7/17/2007 | 86 comments

101. YC Ask YC: (< (/ signal noise) too-low)
42 points | posted by BrandonM on 3/30/2008 | 85 comments

102. YC Startup crisis. Dorm room style.
32 points | posted by jfornear on 5/8/2008 | 85 comments

103. YC Ask YC: What have you learned that rocked your world?
40 points | posted by ericb on 3/11/2008 | 84 comments

104. Why Not To Do A Startup
134 points | posted by rms on 3/19/2008 | 83 comments

105. YC What can you do with money?
28 points | posted by some on 7/29/2007 | 83 comments

106. Joel explains how a new monopoly will emerge around AJAX
101 points | posted by herdrick on 9/19/2007 | 82 comments

107. The Great Ubuntu-Girlfriend Experiment
98 points | posted by nreece on 4/28/2008 | 82 comments

108. YC “Ask YC: So, why are you doing a startup?”
21 points | posted by hhm on 1/25/2008 | 82 comments

109. YC One (programming) language for the rest of your life. Which one?
19 points | posted by watmough on 1/10/2008 | 82 comments

110. TC Little Known Hacker News Is My First Read Every Morning
98 points | posted by hwork on 3/11/2008 | 81 comments

111. Microsoft bids $44.6 billion for Yahoo
80 points | posted by surya on 2/1/2008 | 80 comments

112. Ruby’s not ready
53 points | posted by glyphobet on 4/8/2008 | 80 comments

113. Why Programmers Don’t Like Relational Databases
44 points | posted by mqt on 9/27/2007 | 80 comments

114. YC Ask YC: favorite books
41 points | posted by cellis on 12/4/2007 | 80 comments

115. Just launched! Asking for news.yc feedback.
49 points | posted by tx on 10/4/2007 | 79 comments

116. YC Ask YC: What’s the most inspiring sci-fi book you’ve read?
37 points | posted by moog on 3/19/2008 | 79 comments

117. YC Ask YC: Why would someone leave his/her cushy job to join a startup?
22 points | posted by popat on 5/2/2008 | 79 comments

118. YC Ask YC: C++
20 points | posted by kashif on 4/16/2008 | 79 comments

119. YC Ask YC: What was your first computer?
18 points | posted by altay on 10/18/2007 | 79 comments

120. Everything I want to do is Illegal
85 points | posted by smanek on 5/14/2008 | 78 comments

121. YC Tumblr security hole (the gaping kind)
75 points | posted by oldgregg on 4/15/2008 | 78 comments

122. “‘Second Earth’ found, 20 light years away”
56 points | posted by pg on 10/17/2007 | 78 comments

123. “New Languages Considered Harmful: “”Learning new languages is a waste of time.”””
53 points | posted by tb on 4/4/2008 | 78 comments

124. TC Twitter Said To Be Abandoning Ruby on Rails
51 points | posted by jsjenkins168 on 5/1/2008 | 78 comments

125. YC “Y Not – YC rejects of the world, unite!”
22 points | posted by mdemare on 10/20/2007 | 78 comments

126. YC “Advice needed: “”friend”” stole my idea…what to do?”
20 points | posted by pissedoff on 4/27/2007 | 78 comments

127. YC Which Programming Language did you pick for your idea?
19 points | posted by theoutlander on 4/9/2007 | 78 comments

128. Design: Voting up or Down is Dead
38 points | posted by DanielBMarkham on 10/15/2007 | 77 comments

129. YC “Ask YC: Mac virgin wants to know, what would you install?”
38 points | posted by ericb on 3/7/2008 | 77 comments

130. YC Ask YC: What Is Your Favorite Board Game?
16 points | posted by xirium on 3/10/2008 | 77 comments

131. YC Hacker News
153 points | posted by pg on 8/15/2007 | 76 comments

132. The world’s most toxic value system
48 points | posted by akkartik on 12/27/2007 | 76 comments

133. College Board drops AP comp sci & latin for racial diversity reasons
25 points | posted by Alex3917 on 4/8/2008 | 76 comments

134. Architecture astronauts take over
130 points | posted by mqt on 5/1/2008 | 75 comments

135. Ask YC: I just quit Microsoft to work on this product full-time. What’s your brutal feedback?
32 points | posted by arooni on 2/7/2008 | 75 comments

136. YC “Ask YC: Hacker moms & dads, what do you read?”
26 points | posted by rodrigo on 3/3/2008 | 75 comments

137. YC Hacker Music?
24 points | posted by nextmoveone on 10/2/2007 | 75 comments

138. YC Ask YC: What’s the most hacker-friendly keyboard?
21 points | posted by ComputerGuru on 5/9/2008 | 75 comments

139. Get that job at Google
87 points | posted by comatose_kid on 3/13/2008 | 74 comments

140. PG You Weren’t Meant to Have a Boss: The Cliffs Notes
71 points | posted by brlewis on 3/23/2008 | 74 comments

141. YC “OK, you’ve convinced me. I’m coming to join you.”
44 points | posted by cubicle67 on 9/10/2007 | 74 comments

142. YC “Ask YC: Development-wise, what do you do that’s unconventional and why?”
34 points | posted by ericb on 3/13/2008 | 74 comments

143. “Y Combinator Clone in Vienna, Austria launches”
22 points | posted by enki on 4/23/2007 | 74 comments

144. YC Learning Math
112 points | posted by dwaters on 2/4/2008 | 73 comments

145. Phase 3: Profit
57 points | posted by mqt on 4/11/2008 | 73 comments

146. What I.Q. doesn’t tell you about race
49 points | posted by papersmith on 12/11/2007 | 73 comments

147. Why Arc is bad for exploratory programming
28 points | posted by mqt on 5/15/2008 | 73 comments

148. PG PG on Unions
27 points | posted by chwolfe on 5/8/2007 | 73 comments

149. “PG cites Ron Paul proliferation on Reddit as “”evidence of design flaw in version 1 of social news”””
26 points | posted by brett on 9/9/2007 | 73 comments

150. YC “Ask News.YC: Proposed experiment to test “”The PG bias”””
21 points | posted by randomhack on 4/17/2008 | 73 comments

151. YC Tell YC: Answers from John McCarthy
132 points | posted by mgummelt on 5/9/2008 | 72 comments

152. Disagreeing with Paul Graham
96 points | posted by gabrielroth on 3/31/2008 | 72 comments

153. Is poverty self-perpetuating?
58 points | posted by kradic on 4/6/2008 | 72 comments

154. YC Ask YC: what is your favorite startup related quote?
45 points | posted by deltapoint on 3/16/2008 | 72 comments

155. YC I built it but they wouldn’t come!
44 points | posted by hashbucket on 4/14/2008 | 72 comments

156. YC “Ask YC: “”Can a 40 year old, married with 3 children, start a start-up?”””
27 points | posted by whiten on 5/15/2008 | 72 comments

157. Facebook’s fail is going to be epic
55 points | posted by nickb on 2/22/2008 | 71 comments

158. My YC app: Dropbox – Throw away your USB drive
53 points | posted by dhouston on 4/4/2007 | 71 comments

159. 40 percent of college students say their next computer purchase will be a Mac
58 points | posted by pg on 4/1/2008 | 70 comments

160. YC Ask YC: What’s a reasonable share of equity to get as the first developer?
32 points | posted by myoung8 on 10/29/2007 | 70 comments

161. YC I’m giving away my startup idea to a deserving Haxor
17 points | posted by poppysan on 3/14/2008 | 70 comments

162. YC Ask YC: Mac Text Editors
14 points | posted by nomad on 5/16/2008 | 70 comments

163. College is a waste of time and money for kids
34 points | posted by ranparas on 2/14/2008 | 69 comments

164. YC Ask YC: Where do you work?
20 points | posted by trekker7 on 1/29/2008 | 69 comments

165. Rails is a Ghetto… [NSFW for Language]
86 points | posted by raju on 1/1/2008 | 68 comments

166. Why Y Combinator is a waste of time
59 points | posted by markovich on 4/5/2007 | 68 comments

167. YC Where does a wannabe hacker begin?
38 points | posted by Perry on 3/29/2008 | 68 comments

168. YC What sites would you pay to use?
31 points | posted by pchristensen on 4/16/2008 | 68 comments

169. YC “Ask YC: are you a UK-based hacker, or working on a startup in the UK?”
25 points | posted by dood on 11/14/2007 | 68 comments

170. Free is Killing Us. Blame The VCs
64 points | posted by llimllib on 4/4/2008 | 67 comments

171. “JPMorgan buys Bear Stearns for $2/sh, ~$236mm total”
56 points | posted by ctkrohn on 3/17/2008 | 67 comments

172. YC “Goodbye, Hacker News. I’m going back to Reddit.”
46 points | posted by jmpeters on 8/18/2007 | 67 comments

173. The Real Reason there are no Silicon Valleys in Europe
37 points | posted by lupin_sansei on 3/4/2008 | 67 comments

174. PG “It’s Charisma, Stupid”
28 points | posted by mqt on 2/12/2008 | 67 comments

175. YC Ask HN: Why be an option/futures/day trader when it is zero-sum?
27 points | posted by hashtable on 5/15/2008 | 67 comments

176. “Brain Enhancement Is Wrong, Right? “
22 points | posted by robg on 3/9/2008 | 67 comments

177. YC Ask YC: Who’s your favorite domain registrar and why?
39 points | posted by pius on 3/31/2008 | 66 comments

178. YC Ask YC: What music do you listen to when hacking?
31 points | posted by moog on 3/9/2008 | 66 comments

179. YC Ask.YC: Spammers have finally hit News.YC — what do we do about them?
30 points | posted by pius on 2/14/2008 | 66 comments

180. YC “Ask YC: Ruby and Lisp devs, please answer this (Not a flame war)”
28 points | posted by Readmore on 1/15/2008 | 66 comments

181. YC Ask YC: What is your preferable development environment?
22 points | posted by tzury on 3/6/2008 | 66 comments

182. A YC Clone in India
21 points | posted by aneesh on 4/8/2008 | 66 comments

183. YC Ask YC: Best undergraduate college for hopeful startup entrepeneurs
17 points | posted by deltapoint on 2/28/2008 | 66 comments

184. TC Dropbox launches (YC summer 07)
133 points | posted by sharpshoot on 3/11/2008 | 65 comments

185. YC How about this idea to save Hacker News from fluff?
51 points | posted by kirubakaran on 2/23/2008 | 65 comments

186. Signs You’re a Crappy Programmer (and don’t know it)
34 points | posted by hhm on 11/23/2007 | 65 comments

187. YC What are the best non-database solutions you’ve seen? What did Viaweb use?
33 points | posted by mattjaynes on 4/19/2007 | 65 comments

188. YC Food Ideas for Startup Guys
33 points | posted by majimojo on 9/21/2007 | 65 comments

189. YC Ask YC: What is your favourite paradox?
29 points | posted by moog on 3/11/2008 | 65 comments

190. Paul Graham is too arrogant
12 points | posted by infirstlive on 5/16/2007 | 65 comments

191. YC Ask YC: What software makes you happy?
11 points | posted by kulkarnic on 3/4/2008 | 65 comments

192. YC Ask YC: What do you spend on health insurance?
11 points | posted by rrival on 5/5/2008 | 65 comments

193. YC Ask YC: Would YC.Newsers try a web service that works only on IE?
6 points | posted by eusman on 2/5/2008 | 65 comments

194. YC Ask YComb: Should I quit to do a startup during a recession?
38 points | posted by eventhough on 1/22/2008 | 64 comments

195. YC Everything’s Blub All Over Again
37 points | posted by raganwald on 3/24/2008 | 64 comments

196. YC Is anyone working on something that is not a website?
22 points | posted by palish on 5/11/2007 | 64 comments

197. PG: What’s your current take on reddit’s comment system?
20 points | posted by brett on 7/13/2007 | 64 comments

198. YC Ask YC: Give Us Your Best Elevator Pitch
18 points | posted by socalsamba on 4/25/2008 | 64 comments

199. “We wanted it, so we built it…feedback?”
17 points | posted by rwebb on 9/6/2007 | 64 comments

200. YC What services would the perfect government provide?
11 points | posted by rms on 8/19/2007 | 64 comments

LLC or Corp Notes – Partnerships & LLCs

Been slowly reading LLC or Corporation by Anthony Mancuso, not because I expect to form either soon, but because I’d like to one day and want to be prepared.

As I’m reading I’ll take notes, which serve to help me understand and might benefit some of you too. I encourage anyone interested in the material to pick up the book, which is excellent so far.

—-

General Partnerships – 2 or more people, no limit legally, but it often leads to problems if you have a large # of people because of managerial disputes. You can designate someone as a managing partner, but doing so is risky because everyone is still personally liable.

You should create a written partnership agreement early to avoid complications later. A lawyer might cost $1K-$5K, but you can do it yourself using some free online tools.

Beware: all the general partners are liable for business debts. In bad cases, you and the partners might have to mortgage your house, sell your car, empty your bank accounts, sell your children (jk) and other nasty things. And this is regardless of what your % ownership – creditors can come after your shit regardless. So, General Parternships are risker than LLCs, corpoerations, and limited partnerships which offer at least some limited liabilities for the owners.

The tax burden passes through the partnership to each of the partners, who have to pay their fair share of taxes on their profits (on their individual income tax return). This is regardless of whether you choose to reinvest it or distribute it to the partners. That’s allocated profits vs distributed profits. Oh, and you have to pay self-employment taxes too. Each partner must fill out a IRS Form 1065 U.S. Partnership Return of Income and the partnership much give each partner a filled in IRS Schedule K-1 (Form 1065 (?)) Partner’s Share of Income, Credits, and Deductions which shows what proportion of profits or losses carry over their their 1040.

LLCs – Income tax passes through to the partners (like a partnership), but you have limited personal liability (hence the “LL” in “LLC”) for business debts. If you start making more $ than you need to take home you can convert LLC -> Corp so you’re taxed at a lower rate -or- you can have an “IRS Election” (?) to have the LLC taxed as a corporation, but it still stays an LLC. You can have one person for an LLC and don’t have to be a resident of the state where you form the LLC.

The owners aka members manage the LLC. In some cases, you can appoint a nonmember to manage the comapany’s affairs.

To form an LLC, it takes some paperwork (surprise!). You have to file a legal document called articles of organization with the state business filing office. If the LLC will have a presence in another state, you have to do even more.

You should prepare an operating agreement with the other members detailing how it will be owned, how the profits and losses will be split, how departing/dead members will be bought out, and other important things. If you don’t do this then your state’s default provisions will apply, which could get ugly. Create an operating agreement.

At this point, I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t form an LLC vs a General Partnership.

Next up… Corporations.