sytse 44 days ago [-]
I did a Show HN for the idea of a SaaS for GitLab and I’m now the CEO of a $6b company.
rochak 43 days ago [-]
This is the reason why I still use HackerNews. You never know whom you might encounter and end up having a logical discussion with.
elymar 44 days ago [-]
Guess I should keep spending time on HN then.
r0b05 44 days ago [-]
A man can dream.
raunakdag 44 days ago [-]
Can I get an internship? :)
44 days ago [-]
RaceWon 42 days ago [-]
Nuff said.
anm89 44 days ago [-]
mattowen_uk 45 days ago [-]
I've all but given up social media elsewhere on the web, HN is one of my last holdouts, and I would argue that's it's more of a forum than classic social media.

HN does not engage in nefarious methods of keeping you engaged. It does not send you alerts telling you about what you've missed, it does not curate the home page to place you in your own personal echo chamber. These for me are it's strengths.

However, like any large social gathering, there will always be people whose views you cannot stand, and people who you feel closely aligned to, and this is healthy.

Whenever I see comment threads spiralling into toxic views I simply click away to another thread. For every bad comment section there will always be another good one. The key thing is, as a user I drive how I consume HN, not the other way around.

I may not be the original target demographic for HN and I've certainly not had any more than my 5 minutes of fame here, but I still find myself coming for the posts, and staying for the comments.

anm89 44 days ago [-]
I never thought about this until you brought it up, but I'm more hooked on HN than anything else and it's the only place that doesn't try to hook you.
Ariez 45 days ago [-]
I have to agree it does feel more like a forum. I wonder how HN achieves this.
fuball63 45 days ago [-]
I think there are a few reasons it feels more like a forum than social media:

- No social network of friends/follows/circles

- No advertising

- No notifications on replies/threads

- Good moderation

SkyMarshal 44 days ago [-]
The thing to realize about HN, social media more broadly, and life in general, is that there is always much more noise than signal, but there are also always nuggets of extremely valuable signal mixed in at random with the noise.

If you want to discover the signal, you can't hate the noise. Understand that noise may even be a generator of signal. Embrace it, explore it, and harvest the signal from it.

As such, a few things I've learned on HN have positively impacted my career in a major way and sent me down a career path I may not have discovered otherwise. Namely functional programming, formal methods, and PLT (to which I wasn't exposed in school). I've also met people here I've later collaborated with IRL.

The name of the game is figuring out which noise is more likely to generate the most valuable signal for you. For example, if you're a programmer, then the noise of celebrity Twitter is going to generate much less signal for you than HN, programming Reddits, or similar.

Be strategic about where you spend your time, but also be forgiving of the noise. It's part of the process.

mleonhard 44 days ago [-]
PLT = Programming Language Theory [0]


plaidfuji 44 days ago [-]
The value of HN, to me, can be summed up by one quote from Noam Chomsky:

> There also just is a need in the media to present a tolerably accurate picture of the world... for example, take the Wall Street Journal, the prototypical business press: the editorial pages are just comical tantrums, but the news coverage is often quite interesting and well done... people in the business world have to have a realistic picture of what’s happening in the world if they’re going to make sane decisions about their money.

I’m not saying Hacker News is the WSJ of tech, but the reason I read HN is because it presents the most holistically accurate picture of the tech world that I’ve seen. Top comments are frequently people with a deep, first-person understanding of any given story - usually better than the linked story itself. Having that kind of understanding of the world available in your phone’s browser is simply invaluable in making well-informed long-term decisions about your career, skill development, and money.

simonebrunozzi 44 days ago [-]
As with many tools, it mostly depends on how you use it, assuming that there is something of value for you to start with.

Let me give you a few examples to illustrate:

- Reddit: mostly a waste of time for me; I rarely found anything of great interest; however, "killing time" sometimes is useful for me, even though I should find better ways to do so (e.g. take a 10 minutes walk, instead of spending 10 minutes of reddit browsing)

- Facebook: I rarely use it, because it's not only a waste of time, it's also a place where I see the worst part of my friends being shown. A lot of selfies, a lot of "let me show you how cool / rich / hot / lucky I am", even for people that I know aren't like that in real life.

I also recognize it as such, because at the beginning (8-10 years ago), I used Facebook that way. I used it to post pictures from exotic places I visited for work, diagrams of the globe with my numerous flights, etc. (at the time I was flying 100+ times a year, I had a very cool job (tech evangelist for AWS for a large chunk of the world), and I visited tens of different countries and cities each year)

- Hacker News, on the other hand, has mostly great content. I have been spending time here almost every day for the past 10+ years, and I pretty much don't regret any of it. To the contrary: me being extremely curious, I found a ton of relief in being able to read stuff not just related to work / software / IT, but also about other "geek" / "nerdy" things. I've learned so much. I even got to "know" a couple of dozen frequent posters, and with some of them we exchanged emails every once in a while.

But in addition to the links themselves, I think it's really valuable to read comments and participate. I think that the moderators (@dang, etc) have done an incredible job in keeping this place mostly civilized and high quality.

I don't think it's for everybody; and your experience might be different. But perhaps you should give it a proper try before giving up on it.

Hope this helps.

0x008 44 days ago [-]
The value in HN for me lies in the comments. I mostly don’t read the articles because I feel the comment quality is often a lot higher. Here I have the unique opportunity to read what a significant number of very very bright minds with a lot of experience in tech have to say about a certain topic. Nowhere else in my life do I have the opportunity to hear what a so diverse, experienced, global and intelligent group of people has to say about any given topic and I have to admit that this has given me much more with respect to developing my own thoughts and understanding the world than any exchange with a coworker or any other social media platform.

I have learned new hobbies, new programming languages, I constantly challenge myself and learn new aspects of my work, I had great and interesting political discussions, I found great advice for career and handling bosses and colleagues, I got into new interesting topics, I developed and challenged my view on things in the world, and last but not least, I found my true passion to which I probably otherwise would not have been exposed as much.

I think HN is such a unique opportunity, especially for people like me, who are not from the US tech scene, to engage with and be part of a global community if like-minded, interested, interesting, and rational people. I am so glad I found this place.

unk1102 44 days ago [-]
+1 exactly my thoughts do you have notes of these comments? Just for spaced repetition to make it stay in memory forever.
0x008 43 days ago [-]
not really, I will just soak in all the comments on topics I find interesting and by repeatedly clicking comment threads to topics I find interesting, I kind of do that automatically, I guess. The HN people tend to repeat the same sentiment over time for each new link on a certain topic, so much even, that it is easy to assume what the top 5 comments will be, haha. however, sentiment can change over time. and sometimes a comment is so poignant or interesting that it will just stick in my brain immediately.
prewett 44 days ago [-]
HN is how I stay current in my field. Back when I was doing some sysadmin stuff for work, I shifted to writing scripts in Python instead of Perl because people on HN kept talking about it and I wanted to see if I needed to learn it. Knowing Python has broadened work opportunities, even though I mostly do C++. HN gives me a way to monitor up-and-coming trends, and decide if I need to join.

I got a fantastic client from the one who's freelancing post I did. It was one of those where the appreciation was mutual, so much fun to work with them!

Somebody posted the history blog ( last year, and I've learned so much from reading it. I've been tossing around writing a fantasy novel at some point, and due to his writings and explanations, I realized that the Tolkien-quality fantasy wasn't so much a product of twenty years of pre-writing like I thought (although that is part of it), but actually understanding how ancient people thought. This gave me guidance for research: I, too, need to learn how people in the middle ages thought and lived if I am going to write a believable middle-ages fantasy. Too many authors put modern characters in the middle ages, and it just doesn't feel right.

Patio11 made consulting/contracting seem like something I could do. I'm also indebted to his article on raising your rates (which I can't seem to find the original of, where he talks about hyperventilating over pressing send on his first email to raise his rates).

Reading all the blogs linked here made me realize I needed to start a software blog, kind of as a marketing tool (in the way that HN is a marketing tool of YC, which it isn't really, but it does have that side effect). No tangible benefits yet except that thinking about it has caused me to understand things better in a way I didn't before.

But don't ignore the intangible benefits, which is why I keep coming back. I get exposed to all kinds of new ideas. I wouldn't care about mechanics of startups, but Steve Blank's hilarious stories kept me reading even when he transitioned to less exciting didactic stuff. No plans on starting a startup, but if I do start a business, I am so much better informed about it because of years on HN.

And there's always a couple comments a year that change how you think about something. I don't know where else I would find that.

(By the way, thanks @dang et al for moderating, it really makes a difference)

domano 45 days ago [-]
HN is an important way for me to keep up with new development technologies and methodologies, more so than any other single website i know.

This has helped with my standing in the company i work at, since i usually know every technology people are talking about. I don't know of anyone in the company with a similiarily broad knowledge.

45 days ago [-]
analog31 44 days ago [-]
HN is where I got interested in seriously improving my programming skills, several years ago. I was doing a lot of programming, but not employed as a programmer, so I had let my skills become outdated. Coincidentally, the language getting all of the "buzz" at the time was Python, which just really clicked for me.

Reading HN has also been the start of many a good nap. ;-)

superasn 44 days ago [-]
I was cured of a decade long chronic pain by reading a comment on Hacker news about TMS and Dr.John Sarno. Then a few people who read my comment also commented the same happened to them as they too had been cured of debilitating illness and chronic pains (one HNer said he was contemplating suicide because how bad his pains were but was cured just reading about it in the book).

I generally don't like to post about it anymore but since you want to know if HN got you money, power, etc. All I can say is reading HN got me my health and life back.

ggambetta 45 days ago [-]
HN helped publisher No Starch Press discover my online book Computer Graphics From Scratch [0], which led to its publication as a real book [1]. Shared more of the story in the most recent post about it [2].




RemingtonLak 44 days ago [-]
2nd comment. What I like about HN vs rest.

1. HN posts feel curated, filtered, critical.

2. Regurgitating from my previous comment to OP: HN commenters are a cut above the rest. Redditers may have witty retorts but HN's commenters are very cerebral.

3. My time is precious. HN's "curated" posts and brilliantly observant comments makes my time reading it feel time spent was invaluable vs Reddit's mindless brainless doom scrolling for a single hidden diamond in the rough post/comment with exception to few subs.

I guess art is to the eye's of the beholder. I/we can't tell you if your time here is worth it, it's up to you to interpret that however, you coming here to "ask" that seems somewhat telling, don't you think?

On that vein, I found my wife of 10yrs on craigslist as she was inquiring on my laptop for sale. Everything seems to a degree serendipitous . You should give everything a try once...if not multiple times.

PS. Interesting fun movie on this note: Yes Man tongue and cheek romcom, worth the life lesson(s) in it.

PPS> On what seems like a sad statement though mainly bc I'm feeling a bit melancholy lately. I wish I could befriend everyone here in HN.

busterarm 45 days ago [-]
I've been a hobbyist programmer since I was about 6 years old. I had done just about every other job in IT besides sling code.

Reading HN and conversing with a friend of mine in a CS program at Uni are what motivated me to turn my hobby into a new career, at 31 years old. It was through HN that I realized that I knew a heck of a lot more relevant job skills than I thought I did. Threads on HN also connected the dots for what it would take to make this my profession.

The career change itself only took me about 3 months, but reading HN was years of time invested.

I've also had some constructive interviews, on both sides, as a result of the monthly job threads.

0x008 44 days ago [-]
Did you become a software engineer?
busterarm 43 days ago [-]
For a while. Currently a devops lead.
woutr_be 45 days ago [-]
Just my personal opinion, but if you’re looking for a place to advertise your startup, then I doubt HN is the right place.

Personally I come to HN because it’s one of the few places you can have a discussion and read comments without having to dig through dozens of memes and low attempt jokes.

quantstats 45 days ago [-]
I was going to answer in a similar vein, although I don't normally participate in the discussions, mainly because English is not my native tongue and although I think I can now read at the level of a native speaker, I find it significantly more difficult to write in it (and, being a language that for reasons that elude me I love, I hate how artificial and unnatural my phrases sound like).

In my case, I have a background in statistics and biotechnology and I use Hacker News (via RSS) to learn about new developments in machine learning and related technology. I tend to ignore all news related to politics/social issues because HN, on average, has a very narrow-minded (too engineer-like, often ignoring a lot of vital nuances) way of looking at those topics. Also, I'm from Europe and I find that there's a particularly American way of looking at business and personal projects that we don't have here and that I feel beneficial to get exposed to (even with its downsides).

Edit: To expand a little more on my process of using HN, in case anyone finds it interesting, I subscribe to the frontpage RSS feed, so that I usually get between 75-100 stories (just the headlines) per day, which I then proceed to quickly scan to open the interesting ones (both the original URL and its accompanying HN discussion). I've found the signal/noise ratio to be more than worth it (also factoring in the time it takes me to do all of this).

n4r9 45 days ago [-]
Well, the level of English in this comment is well above that of the average on Hacker News!
quantstats 45 days ago [-]
Thank you for your comment, you've really brightened up my day!
mbrodersen 44 days ago [-]
Agree :-)
jraby3 45 days ago [-]
Wow, I have to say that I think you write beautifully. I’m a native English speaker learning a second language and I can only hope to be able to write this well.
quantstats 44 days ago [-]
Thank you so much for your kind words!
blackbrokkoli 45 days ago [-]
On the other hand, it may be one of the last places left where you can actually naturally advice.

Stuff like...

"Oh I can tell you a thing or two about the legal complications of cubesat launches, my company did this for the last 12 years. [...]. By the way, this is our website" probably more effective if a potential client stumbles over it than 100,000 "targeted" facebook ads, especially if you serve some highly technical niche.

graeme 45 days ago [-]
I actually found my favourite finance tracker, Lunch Money, because the creator posted here. And her posting it here really helped her company grow.

So it does happen a fair bit if your startup is relevant.

throwaway744678 45 days ago [-]
It may be relevant if your startup provides a product (tools or services) targeting HN demographics, let's say, technical users/tech companies/startups.
frob 45 days ago [-]
1) I found my first job out of grad school via a startup's Show HN post. It began a successful chain of SWE positions for me and unlocked many doors.

2) I was inspired to relearn JS and web development when Jen Dewalt's fabulous journey of 100 (now 180) websites in 100 (180) days was posted daily: I credit it with giving me the baseline to pass those interviews. I later had the luck to work with Jen and the joy of letting her know how she shaped my career.

3) Introduced me to Clojure which I loved having learned Scheme in the past. This baseline again allowed me to nail that first job interview.

4) In general, keeps me up to date on emerging technologies, services, and trends. Knowing about sendgird and postmates and their general features and pricing off the top of my head in my most recent job interview seemed to earn me some bonus points from the CTO.

gpm 44 days ago [-]
One year during university my summer job fell through at the last second. I emailed 3 people who had posted on who is hiring asking if they'd be interesting in hiring an intern. I got an interview within 24 hours, scheduled under 24 hours later, and I was hired in the interview (at a big company too). In the interview they asked me how much money I wanted, and apparently I named a number that was too low because they paid me more than I asked for.
graeme 45 days ago [-]
Hacker News is like a slot machine with positive expected value. Most days are interesting or sometimes a waste of time. Occasionally you see something like altering. I’ve gotten one big business idea that changed how I ran things and made me a lot of money. Like I mean permanently life altering my business worked instead of didn’t amount of money.

But most days are not like that.

You also get some information early. For example, if you paid attention you could have bought calls on Gamestop when they were cheap or puts on the S and P when they were cheap back in early 2020. It’s a filter: WSB talks about a ton of stocks, but when a news story hits HN that says “WSB is talking about Gamestop”? That is a highly filtered signal and equivalent to inside information.

Hacker News can be dumb in some ways of course but it is the highest signal place I know on the internet and genuinely early on a lot of things.

However, to get any benefit out of it you have to enjoy it, and it doesn’t sound like you do, so you probably wouldn’t benefit as things are.

I think the motto about it being a place to gratify intellectual curious really sums it up. This is a forum for people who are curious, and you come every day looking for interesting stuff. Slanted to programming, tech and business building, but with a mix of everything. And if you think about what you are working on as you do you will occasionally find legitimately useful gems.

matwood 45 days ago [-]
> That is a highly filtered signal and equivalent to inside information.

As a person who gets paid convert knowledge into product, HN is an easy place to check a once or twice/day to keep up to date on decently filtered knowledge/information. I have other sources I follow, but as you said, if it hits HN it's probably important enough that I should know it exist.

And yes, this is a vague answer because that base level knowledge can manifest itself in many ways when solving a problem.

In order to keep the EV/time positive, I have become more disciplined around which articles I decide to read the comments on.

danieka 45 days ago [-]
That sounds like a very interesting job. Without giving away too much, what other sources do you use?
matwood 44 days ago [-]
What I've found generally, is it's all about curation. You have to be ruthless about curating at all times. If some source that used to have a great S/N ratio, suddenly doesn't, then drop it.
hutzlibu 44 days ago [-]
Very much agreed. Nostalgia seldom pays off.
177tcca 45 days ago [-]
Probably reddit, lobsters, newsgroups, mailing lists, Matrix, IRC, etc. Like any good CTO type.
ignoramous 44 days ago [-]
CTO roles are not as rigid or well-defined as one would assume:
alexchamberlain 45 days ago [-]
You've crowd sourced your job to some of the most engaged people in the industry; bravo.
graeme 45 days ago [-]
> In order to keep the EV/time positive, I have become more disciplined around which articles I decide to read the comments on.

Can you expand on your methods here? I still get value from HN but want to dial things back a bit.

User23 45 days ago [-]
The average comment quality nosedives when the subject has in any way been politicized. I don’t always follow it, but as a rule for any post about climate, immigration, diversity, and so on reading the comments is at best a waste of time even when the submission is high quality.

Comment quality is generally high on computing related technical subjects—unsurprisingly for a community composed of subject matter experts.

Finally I’ve noticed mixed comment quality on financial posts. There is significant noise but there are many commenters with an excellent operational grasp of how our financial system really works.

chubot 45 days ago [-]
Yes agreed. I find it's pretty easy to tell comments and stories where people are genuinely interested in learning things, and those where there is a lot of "advocacy" or meming of a political position they heard from somebody else.

Some subjects attract a lot of the latter comments. This applies to both technical and business stories.

IMO if you want to get more value, then learn to tell the difference, and don't spend a lot of time "arguing with people on the Internet". You could do that forever on HN, but you can also get a ton of value out of it if you spend your attention wisely.

6510 44 days ago [-]
People needed most in political debates have removed themselves from it.
matwood 44 days ago [-]
As someone else mentioned, I avoid anything political unless I'm purposely diving in for entertainment. The tech comments are normally high quality, and tend to force me to think about my opinions. Also, while everywhere has some level of group think, the tech comments tend to be pretty balanced.

I've developed a bit of timer in my head. If I feel like I've perused HN too long or catch myself just refreshing the home page, I close the tab and move on.

Finally, and this isn't HN specific, I never start my day by checking sites. I always do a solid 2-3 hours of work (sometimes 'deep'), before anything else.


Other thing, is don't argue on the internet or HN. I'll share my opinion and/or respond a bit, but if someone really wants to argue, I let them have it and move on. Takes too much time, and doesn't gain anything once I'm ok with my position. I mentioned the other day in another HN post that I had stopped going to FB for this exact reason. Zero helpful information, and it just led to arguments which take too much time and accomplish nothing.

graeme 44 days ago [-]
Great advice, thank you! I think I need to find something else to read over breakfast. That small habit is probably where I went wrong.

The mental timer is an interesting idea too. Basically active cultivation of awareness to allow discipline.

mariksolo 44 days ago [-]
What sources do you follow other than HN?
xtiansimon 45 days ago [-]
> “And if you think about what you are working on as you do you will occasionally find legitimately useful gems.”

This for me. I’m greatly satisfied when a problem I’m working is also a topic oh HN—even obliquely.

Otherwise, the question seems to put the cart before the horse—power, wealth.. these are positive side-effects of a life of engaged curiosity within a professional domain and good decisions, right place;right time, and luck. Not lighting in a bottle.

graeme 45 days ago [-]
> Otherwise, the question seems to put the cart before the horse—power, wealth.. these are positive side-effects of a life of engaged curiosity within a professional domain and good decisions, right place;right time, and luck. Not lighting in a bottle.

Precisely. Well put. There’s no way HN works as a quick fix or as a direct source of gains.

planet-and-halo 44 days ago [-]
I think you hit the crux of the issue.

On the one hand, life does not work the way OP assumes. It's not linear, we don't "read HN –> profit."

On the other hand, news in general can become a meaningless and value-less distraction.

So I think they key is what you said: intellectual curiosity and exposure to high-signal information, without a highly specific goal in mind. You get the value of serendipity and filling in some unknown unknowns while avoiding senseless and endless clicking. HN fills that niche about as well as anything, though it certainly can become a distraction if you let it.

geswit2x 44 days ago [-]
> “ Otherwise, the question seems to put the cart before the horse—power, wealth.. these are positive side-effects of a life of engaged curiosity within a professional domain and good decisions, right place;right time, and luck. Not lighting in a bottle.”

I read HN for sentences like this.

throw14082020 45 days ago [-]
It would be nice to know more about what you got out of HN (permanently life improving, I'd like some of that please?). To me, HN is an interesting distraction from deep work. Perhaps you have a better strategy of extracting value from HN, maybe you can share that.

I can't disprove "That is a highly filtered signal and equivalent to inside information.", but buying GME based on posts on HN to me (or selling), is absurd and is extremely far from "inside information". As someone who noticed the GME pump 1 week before its peak and spends time on HN, there was no way I was going to put money in GME or "ride it to the moon".

graeme 45 days ago [-]
Basically I was running a business, and found someone on HN whose site exposed me to a substantially better model for the same asset I had. Revenues eventually 10x.

It’s not some crazy thing, pretty standard business idea for my sort of business, but was still a revelation. Basically you can get a ton of business model info on HN. The specific model wouldn’t help you here, but basically if you have a business hn can show you how to round it out. Roughly:

1. I did a bunch of deep work and produced an asset

2. HN showed me how to use that asset waaaaaay better

3. However HN is dangerous if you go too far into doing only aleatory information seeking and forget to continue doing deep work (I fall prey to this at times)

You’ll see some stories in this thread of people who were not programmers on HN and who received the message “hey you can be a programmer”. If you have this knowledge it is trivial, if you don’t it is life transforming. So whether HN has any life transforming potential for you depends on whether you have any such blind spots where simply being exposed to the right idea would let you make a large change onto a new path which is substantially better than the old path.


For GME, this is roughly the process. Note I had background knowledge of reddit, wall street bets, memes and basic knowledge of call options.

1. This story was posted Jan 20th, about a week before the surge. Top comment lays out the short squeeze idea. But big signal is showing “hey wsb seems to be on to something, it made it through the hn bubble”:

2. My reaction was “oh interesting” (—> note to self “stop and pay attention to this reaction. Had it for the early pandemic stories too)

3. But what you could have done was checked the price of short dated call options. I could be mistaken here, as jan 20th might have been too late and the possible returns too small. But bought early enough, far out of the money call options could have a 50-100x return. The stock itself rose 10x so I’d be surprised if call options returned less than that.

(If anyone knows what gme call option prices were like on jan 20th I’d be very interested to know_

Don’t put in your life savings. But my claim is that if you faced fifty such decisions on HN and put $1000 in each time your ROI would be very positive.

The pandemic is maybe a clearer example. Due to HN and adjacent tech sources I’d say I knew pretty much what was going to happen by Feb 20th. In hindsight this was way too slow, but it was still a good 3+ weeks ahead of most of north America.

I feel HN reliably has me a bit ahead of the curve.

Disclaimer, to all reading: please don’t start gambling on HN. These are just examples to illustrate my general claim that HN has a high concentration of early info compared to other sources and has high signal.

chris_st 45 days ago [-]
> If anyone knows what gme call option prices were like on jan 20th I’d be very interested to know

Look here:

graeme 45 days ago [-]
Are those american or european?

Doesn’t have high out of the money but if I’m reading it right the potential returns for buying Jan 20th were insane. A $60 call potion expiring Jan 29th was $1.20.

GME went to $500 or so. If you exercised such an option at, say, $350, your profit on the exercise would have been $290.

At a cost of $1.20. 242x return.

And thank you, that site is incredible. Very hard to find such data. Another example of HN’s value. I searched for this kind of thing off and on for weeks, but it randomly pops up on an unrelated thread because I made an offhand mention. That’s HN.

sokoloff 45 days ago [-]
The options are American-style.

I also love the typo of “potion” for option in your second paragraph. It seems especially fitting for this story.

chris_st 44 days ago [-]
You're most welcome -- glad I had the link.

> Very hard to find such data.

That is the understatement of the decade.

graeme 44 days ago [-]
Huh interesting the site is offering the free data as a byproduct to sell affordably priced subscriptions.

They could probably improve their SEO, unless they are new within the past nine months or so. When I searched historical options prices extensively nothing came up.

Do you have any affiliation with them? If not I can reach out directly. There are some pretty obvious strategies that would make them much more prominent for searches like “SPY historical options prices”

chris_st 44 days ago [-]
Nope, no relationship, and I don't even remember how I found them :-). I added that link to pinboard in November, 2019, so they've been around at least that long.

But by all means reach out to me if you've got a winning options strategy :-) or want freelance data-mangling or web stuff done (I'm retired, I'm a pretty good programmer) to get there.

mettamage 45 days ago [-]
I'm happy OP asked the question, because this wasn't/wouldn't be in my answer. But now that I've read yours, I couldn't agree more.
45 days ago [-]
ed25519FUUU 45 days ago [-]
The biggest life-altering idea that was personally investable to cross hacker news is most certainly Bitcoin. That’s something we all knew intimately about before the general public.

I wonder how many HN people became buy-and-hold millionaires.

graeme 45 days ago [-]
Heh, I think about that a lot. But no way I would have held until now, personally.

However, for anyone psychologically inclined to like the idea of BTC and hold they could have found out about it early and got them for pennies or even mined.

jsherwani 45 days ago [-]
In December 2012, one of our early alpha users of Screenhero posted the product to HN. It catapulted us into the public beta phase, and got us our initial traction. Those users eventually helped us refine the product over a year and a half to get it to revenue, profitability and eventually, our acquisition by Slack.

Almost a year ago, I posted my new startup ( to HN, and got a similar group of amazing users that have been helping us slowly but surely improve the product. We’ve now got a number of household-name companies using us on a daily basis.

It’s also my favorite site to visit every day in the hope of learning something new. There’s nothing quite like it.

So yes, HN has changed my life multiple times. Kudos to the community and to dang and others who make this site as awesome as it is on a daily basis.

I have, admittedly, gotten zero wives directly through HN!

anonleb4 45 days ago [-]
For me, HN gives a sort of window into the American SF techno views and mindset about the world. It's quite interesting to read their ideas and opinions. It's a bubble like other places but it doesn't mean you won't learn something.
dang 44 days ago [-]
Last I ran the numbers (which was a couple years ago) the HN community was at least 50% outside the US.
imtringued 44 days ago [-]
But the assumption is that the US userbase is concentrated in the bay area. So its mostly people in or near SF and the like.
dang 43 days ago [-]
You're right that it's a common assumption! But that same analysis showed that only about 10% of HN users are physically near the Bay Area.
reducesuffering 43 days ago [-]
Is there a recent publish of that user base analysis for the public?
cblconfederate 43 days ago [-]
how many of them are posting and who gets the upvotes?
Balgair 44 days ago [-]
I posted a comment once bemoaning the high costs of one of my SO's medications. The chemical compound in question is used by horse veterinarians as a supplement for their joints; think something like how Vitamin-D is put into milk. Due to medical/legal issues, the only source for this compound in the US is via a MD or a VD (or so we thought). The cost is ~$2/pill, taken thrice daily. Depending on the insurance plan, it can go up to ~$10/pill. This cost had been keeping our family from changing jobs and careers as the medical costs had to be factored in during salary negotiations. Like many Americans, we were enslaved to our insurance plan.

A extraordinarily kind HNer pointed me towards how to search for bulk manufactured chemicals.

A few weeks later we got 1 cubic meter of the stuff. The cubic meter being the smallest volume the company would send. It will last my SO's entire lifetime and then a few more.

That HNer gave us the gift of freedom.

ampdepolymerase 44 days ago [-]
Beware using non-pharmaceutical grade ingredients. Lab grade is not the same as pharmaceutical grade. If things go wrong then the liability is on you. It may also have implications for your health insurance.

I have commented on this before, caveat emptor:

refurb 44 days ago [-]
As a former chemist this. Pharmaceuticals are developed for human consumptions with defined limits for things like heavy metals, residual solvents, etc.

Bulk manufactured chemicals are not. You’ll often by see them sold at 98% purity and the remaining 2% can be whatever. Even if they are 99.9% pure, the remaining 0.1% can be metals used in the manufacturing process, carcinogens or toxic solvents.

Kind of like the different between ethanol, USP (pharmaceutical grade ethanol) versus ethanol, 99%. If no one is drinking the ethanol they don’t care if it contains traces of benzene, methanol, etc.


Itsdijital 44 days ago [-]
Well whats the compound? Perhaps someone else reading it could benefit from this too.
tebbers 44 days ago [-]
Amazing story, how much did you have to pay for the cubic meter and how did you take delivery?!
arboles 44 days ago [-]
Can you point us to the post that pointed you towards how to search for bulk manufactured chemicals?
justhw 44 days ago [-]
PascLeRasc 44 days ago [-]
spsphulse 44 days ago [-]
^This. I would love to know this as well.
karterk 45 days ago [-]
I've been following HN for 10+ years, first as a lurker and then getting into the whole "build something people want" thing. Over the years, I've "launched" quite a few projects here. Some have failed, while others have succeeded far beyond my modest expectations. But in a pre Product Hunt era, launching on HN was the only way to get exposure to your product. Even today, for a number of highly technical projects, HN is the best place to get the word out.

While HN crowd has a reputation of being too cynical at times (the most famous example being the original "Show HN Dropbox"), over time, pre-empting how the HN crowd will potentially react and what kind of criticism a project might attract has actually helped me improve the product before launch!

> I mean one day you got traffic 100K on the website. Good. But just for one day.

My latest project, Typesense, which is an open source instant search engine ( literally found traction only after posting here on HN. Yes, it was a ~50K single day traffic, but it had a permanent impact on the baseline traffic. So nothing is as useless as it looks :)

Apart from the value I've gotten out of all these Show HNs, there is an incredible amount of value in the comments on HN. In fact, I often just skip the main post and just skim through the comments. Also, unlike certain other forums, snarky/toxic comments are discouraged and moderated.

aasasd 45 days ago [-]
Not tangible I guess, but HN gave me rest from Reddit's stupidity and incivility. I do want some social web-hangout, and migrated from one place to another—and while Reddit is (or was) better than what we have in my country, it's overrun by teens and tends to bring out the worst in them. HN has its share of dumb crowdthink, but the contrast with Reddit is illuminating, so that now I notice when I begin to act or think like people on Reddit do.

After this, going back to local sites where anger, trolling and fool-playing are just normal adult behavior, is outright painful.

quickthrower2 45 days ago [-]
There are some good subreddits out there. r/experienceddevs springs to mind
NathanielK 44 days ago [-]
I enjoy Reddit, but it's just not designed for smaller communities in my opinion.

The tricky thing with reddit is that it's algorithm tuned for a daily churn. A small sub, like the one you mentioned, may only have a couple good posts a week, but you will miss them if you don't check every day.

If you only browse the frontpage of your subscribed subreddits, adding any popular subreddits tend to drown out the smaller ones.

aasasd 44 days ago [-]
A couple workarounds for that:

- Multireddits—you could put ‘slow’ subreddits into a multi that you'll check separately.

- RSS feeds, if they still work.

quickthrower2 44 days ago [-]
I see. My habit is manually checking subs rather than relying on an aggregate or algorithmic view. I also sort by newest.
agumonkey 45 days ago [-]
I scan Reddit wide but this sub I didn't know
yamrzou 44 days ago [-]
r/AskHistorians and r/AskAnthropology come to mind as well.
tpetry 45 days ago [-]
HN had no business impact on me but it is the best information source i am aware of. I get to see bleeding edge technologies discussed first. The vast i will never use but i do get a broad view of technologies which are new, interesting to test or see them maturing. But the best information is seeing articles about companies struggling with some new tech. Whether it‘s an database which has a lot of problems writing data safely to disk and loosing data (MongoDB), some horror stories ops teams had when having to debug a PaaS for days because of some complex problems (Kubernetes), an article why a company switched away from a cool new database which could provide live updates on changes (can‘t remember the name, product is now open source and not really maintained as company shut down) or people experiencing latency problems with new technologies calculating every interaction on the server ( Phoenix LiveView and all clones). So i didn‘t get more money, build a cool business or got more attractive for the other gender but i am at the bleeding edge on technologies without having all the problems of depending on them. I can use them when they mature or simply ignore them because sticking to more boring technologies will be better for my mental health. I do get a lot of knowledge on hn which i don‘t get anywhere else. Ps.: If you don‘t want to participate in discussions it‘s really nice skimming through the comments 48h after the topic got popular. So much information without a big time investment.
soneca 45 days ago [-]
I got a few interviews after posting on “Who wants to be hired?” and got a job after a post on “Who is hiring?”.

I know a friend who got a job offer from Square and Google after one of his blog posts (very deep, technical, explaining a new thing he discovered about the tracking of a famous app). He is not even very active on HN, just one hit post.

But, it seems to me that you are being very superficial about how you define tangible and not very open to get value from HN outside of a very direct path with obvious causality to power and money. So it will be a lottery with low chances of winning, thus I would advise you to get out of it. It will be a waste of time for you because of your way of seeing things.

GolDDranks 45 days ago [-]
I realised that software engineering and programming can be a lot better compensated than I thought. This has given me some leverage to pursue better salary and an idea to land a remote job somewhere well-compensated. The latter is just an idea at the moment, but I'm thinking of acting on it later this year.
staysaasy 45 days ago [-]
HN is the only public place I've found that has well beyond a critical mass of people who have started, owned, operated, or worked at very strong startups and technology companies. When the media is out of touch on a topic, HN will often be right on the money. And HN has a lot of good ideas on management and business strategy if you're down to dig for it.

As a result if you want to read the ideas of or get your ideas in front of people who are actually in the arena of modern tech companies (with a definite SV / American / western european / VC backed startup slant), this is the best place I've seen.

HN also has the most "real talk" about startup equity value that I've ever seen, although I think that the HN POV on equity is broadly more negative than it should be.

stareatgoats 45 days ago [-]
1) I posted this project and I started some company. Sold it or earning a lot of money or living my dream: No

2) I was hired because of my post on HN: No

3) Girls chasing you because of your reputation as HN: No, and no guys either.

Not to be flippant, but you seem to have misunderstood the intent of HN (if this post was made in earnest that is). If these are the things you want to get out of HN then you should probably get out, for the sakes of both your own and HN in general. Alternatively try and learn to enjoy the benefits of knowledgeable discussion about all sorts of topics that may not fit inside your normal bubble.

bbno4 45 days ago [-]
1. HackerNews shares my articles sometimes and I get ~1 million views / year from it 2. Monthly "who is hiring" threads. I don't think I'd have my job without them. 3. Interesting things you can't find anywhere else.
username91 45 days ago [-]
Seeing what other people are working on via HN dulls my desire to work on similar things, so it's a nice way to kill ambition and melt into complacency.
PhillyG 45 days ago [-]
Why not offer to collaborate with them if you're interested in doing something too?
username91 44 days ago [-]
That's a good attitude to keep in mind; thanks!
corobo 45 days ago [-]
Relaxation and distraction without pun threads. Guaranteed stimulation on a break

I love reading technical blog posts. Raw tech rather than tech besmirched by the business development department.

Not everything needs to be part of the hustle. Make time for you!

hnarn 44 days ago [-]
The signal to noise ratio for posted content is way better than most similar sites, and the comments are usually informative although they’ve become slightly more opinionated and polemic over the years — but even so my trust in the “right” comments rising to the top is much higher here, so the community moderation still works well.

There’s also some ridiculously smart people here, so reading comments tends to make you smarter more often than they make you want to go to bed early, which is saying something these days.

dave_sullivan 45 days ago [-]
Yes, it's a waste of time, I would leave and not return. I haven't made any money or started any companies or met any wives on this site, it's a total joke.
wakatime 45 days ago [-]
HN is part of the reason I moved to SF back in the day and started my company. My company is the reason I met my wife, because she saw me wearing a t-shirt I made to promote it while walking down the street in SF. You could say HN is the reason I met my wife ;)
tiddles 45 days ago [-]
I only browse sites with an average ROI of at least 1 wife per week.
alexilliamson 45 days ago [-]
Honestly I've been seeing that ROI from HN for quite a while. Sometimes a wife per day! I would say to spend more time on the wife threads.
hutzlibu 44 days ago [-]
You got a bulk rate on wedding cake?

jsherwani 45 days ago [-]
Thank you for this gem and the responses. I haven’t laughed out loud from something I’ve read on HN as much as I just did thanks to this comment and its children comments.

Even though I got zero wives out of these comments, there was some real value generated here!

ignoramous 45 days ago [-]
On the flip side, you do at least get to meet tech bros and not have to pay for conference tickets. That's gotta count for something.
Ariez 45 days ago [-]
HN to start monthly thread: Who's single?
hutzlibu 44 days ago [-]
Oh no. Pls don't. Because it probably would be highly successful. Or well, much used. (Not necessarily leading to couples, though)
nickthemagicman 45 days ago [-]
Someone should start an app to disrupt the wives and companies market.
elliekelly 44 days ago [-]
I’m genuinely surprised (and a little disappointed) that this thread doesn’t have a single love story sparked on HN. I did once receive a bunch of shirtless bathroom selfies from a gentleman here when I included my twitter handle in a comment. Unfortunately, I blocked him before he had the chance to propose so I guess I’m doomed to forever wonder what could have been...
NathanielK 44 days ago [-]
I think that's another reason I like HN. There is no direct messaging like other social media, so if someone wants to interact with you they need to reply publicly.

It's a small thing, but I think it is an important part of HN.

saagarjha 43 days ago [-]
Many commenters (myself included) include an email address in their bio to let people contact them.
superbcarrot 45 days ago [-]
> or met any wives on this site

The wife has negative ROI anyway. If she isn't getting me more money, a new job or another wife, there is no tangible benefit.

Also feelings, life satisfaction, love as benefits etc. don't count in this context.

mpfundstein 44 days ago [-]
what about the tangible benefit of having well-raised kids?
hutzlibu 44 days ago [-]

Don't you know the very bad ROI they have??

(unless you count in cuteness)

grumple 44 days ago [-]
Your ROI needs to measure returns other than money.

But kids can end up making money, too, and take care of you when you're older.

incognition 44 days ago [-]
tobmlt 44 days ago [-]
Well I for one am glad you are here, Borat!
krapp 45 days ago [-]
>I haven't made any money or started any companies or met any wives on this site, it's a total joke.

From my reading of HN, what you need to do is invest in crypto and date ballerinas.

mhenr18 44 days ago [-]
Every so often, posts from Bruce Dawson's blog get posted here - one such post was about using Event Tracing for Windows to diagnose an issue with an NTFS lock being held causing 63 cores to idle while 1 does all the work.

A few months later, some other people in my team were struggling to diagnose an issue in production where a legacy webapp was struggling to scale up and fully use all 64 cores of the server we needed it to run on. I stepped in to help and remembered that post I'd seen on HN. We used ETW (through Windows Performance Recorder and Windows Performance Analyzer) to profile our app and I looked into the Wait Analysis. Turns out that Entity Framework 6 uses a ReaderWriterLockSlim to guard a cache, and that particular lock performs extremely poorly under heavy contention. Heavy in our case meant that for a single page build of one of this app's "hot path" pages, this lock would be taken a few hundred thousand times. We weren't the first to discover this:

What some other people in my team were struggling with for about two weeks was resolved in a single day thanks to me goofing off and reading HN. (We ultimately used a fork of EF6 that didn't suffer from this issue to solve our problem)

pjmorris 45 days ago [-]
In your context, I didn't actually get the tangible benefit that was there, so this doesn't fully count. However, I became aware of Bitcoin when they were going for ~9 cents, and thought seriously about buying 300-400 when they were $1 due to another HN article. I'm sure I'd have spent the BTC on pizza or something even if I'd bought it, but there are tech waves that start as ripples and HN is one of the first places to see those ripples.

> Also intellectual debate, I get more information, I feel smart as benefits etc. don't count in this context.

I happen to think the intellectual debate aspect is an important one.

44 days ago [-]
pawurb 44 days ago [-]
Story about my SAAS made it to the front page ~3 years ago . Back than the project was making some pocket money. I've received a lot of valuable insights in the comments. It allowed me refine the features and business model, to a much more profitable format. Right now this project is my main source of income and it allowed me to quit my job to focus on pursuing other challenges.

BTW I use this magic link to filter out less valuable stories that "growth hackers" push to the frontpage. Since I've started using it, browsing HN has become much more pleasant.

yaseer 45 days ago [-]
HN changed the trajectory of our company entirely, after the community found it interesting.

The story is here:

There are a lot of influential people on HN. I have seen companies win business and lose business for content posted here.

Either way, If the community takes interest in something (positive or negative), it is impactful.

FlyingSnake 45 days ago [-]
I’m a old fogey who’s on HN since 2007, and HN is one of the rare forums that has helped me in my career. I lurked a lot during early years but the value I got from it was immense. I honed my craft of software engineering just by being here and randomly discovering Nuggets of wisdom. HN is a treasure trove if you know how to find it. The olden comments are especially golden.

Edit: the best feature of HN is the absence of notifications when someone comments on your comments and absence of an award system. This removes the Karmafication of the interaction

hoodwink 45 days ago [-]
Met my co-founder thru HN comments. We’ve since operated a delightful consumer SaaS business called Readwise for the past 4 years. I think this speaks to the main benefit for me: hanging out with forward-thinking technologists I couldn’t in real life.
Bakary 45 days ago [-]
>So I would like to know if any of you have such experiences. I am specifically looking for stories like: 1) I posted this project and I started some company. Sold it or earning a lot of money or living my dream 2) I was hired because of my post on HN. 3) Girls chasing you because of your reputation as HN or met your wife because of your cool project ( Please don't hate me for this)

This is a cargo-cult understanding of these sorts of places. The sort of things you describe come as a result of random social interactions that could take place anywhere, and are more linked to your personal characteristics than the environment itself. It's true however than HN can be a good environment for some of that as all sorts of people gravitate to it. But it's silly to reason along the lines of 1. Successful tech people go there 2. I will go there too 3. ??? 4. Profit. Technically, it can work but it will only work based on what you put into it along with random chance, it will not work through magical osmosis.

>Also intellectual debate, I get more information, I feel smart as benefits etc. don't count in this context.

I've changed multiple aspects of my lifestyle thanks to HN, although it would be hard to reverse engineer that process and find which post changed what. It has also been a font of inspiration for my creative pursuits. I consider both of these things to be big tangible benefits

If you are worried about "optimizing" your time, just scan through the posts one half-hour per week to check if there's any topic that catches your eye. But yeah, the obvious solution is sometimes the best one: if you want a successful company you'd better be working on such a project. If you want a good job HN can help but you're better off systematically applying and networking. If you want women, you'd better be out there talking to them. I'd say that for that last part, the "I should get X achievement so [relationship/sex] pops out like with a vending machine" type of thinking is both dangerous and surprisingly counter-productive.

toto444 45 days ago [-]
> Forgive me for being blunt but I am not looking for "10-sec fame". I mean one day you got traffic 100K on the website. Good. But just for one day.

I was lucky to once get my 10-sec-fame on HN. I don't know how much traffic it represented because my site does not have any analytics. However what I I do is very niche and there is not many places on the internet where people will show interest in my work. HN is one of these, I got some high quality comments which I personally think is a tangible benefit.

yakshaving_jgt 45 days ago [-]
One of my employees found my company through a "Who's Hiring?" post, so that's a huge benefit to me. I definitely prefer speaking with people directly than having to deal with recruiters. Otherwise, it's interesting for me to occasionally see what people are thinking about, but I try not to let it consume too much of my time.
XCSme 44 days ago [-]
My Show HN[0] got to the front-page and I received amazing feedback from HN users. I also made several sales from that post and I received an outstanding exit offer (I didn't accept it).


davidfstr 45 days ago [-]
HN occasionally alerts me to the existence of new tools or trends that I can leverage in business.

For example:

* About 5 years ago I happened to read about the Material Design Lite library on HN which I then used for my then-nascent startup to get our initial website up and running quickly in the Material Design UI language. (And for that purpose it has worked quite well.)

* Emscripten & WASM-related tech has been useful for implementing some of the “secret sauce” at my startup.

* The recent attention given to Cosmopolitan has unlocked a specific technical hurdle (around multi-platform support) for a digital preservation venture I’m planning to start as a side project soon.

blackbrokkoli 45 days ago [-]
Of my ~600 markdown notes, 85 currently contain the string "news.yco". Some of them may be just feel-good pseudo-procrastination (inspiration for the blog I did not start yet) but others definitely shaped me as a person. A big percentage is relevant material for my main side-project - the note taking app for my note - for which I got the idea and various details from HN. Another is a bunch of good (and less good) books I found here and read.

I don't have a collection of Teslas and some bay area real estate to show for it yet, but it comes down to this: My day-to-day thoughts are massively shaped by the media I consume. I can spend all day contemplating some dumb /r/askreddit question or a novel take on Docker CI/CD I read on HN. I am pretty sure the second one aligns more to whatever the opposite of opportunity cost is. IMO, in the end, being knowledgeable makes you a better dev.

Also, I am practicing my English writing skill, so if I start this blog one day, maybe it will not even suck (and earn me all that tangible money, of course ;) ).

tylermac1 45 days ago [-]
I found my current job on here. It was on a Who's Hiring post awhile ago. One of the better things to happen to me and my family in years.
cyberlab 44 days ago [-]
> I mean one day you got traffic 100K on the website. Good. But just for one day.

I've noticed that some submissions are these single-serving-sites[0] that eventually become memes that people re-share for eternity, so the 'one day' sentiment isn't always true. A site can become part of Internet culture pretty quickly, and continue to get high-vol traffic for some time. One notable example is this gem:

I share this in business meetings to communicate decent design principles, despite the NSFW title, and continue to share it on social media, forever surfacing it to remind people about the 'lean web' / non-obese web. The stats for the site would be interesting to look at.


jmartrican 44 days ago [-]
It got me away from watching/reading the normal news. The normal news is full of negative sensational stories. I find HN more positive and constructive. I still stay up to date with HN but view a different angle of attack. We all need a grasp on reality. If you are a trader on Wall St. You might get your grasp on what's going on in the world via the prices of stocks and commodities. HN is another way, I think, at getting a grasp on reality without constantly being bombarded with sensational news formats.
pjc50 45 days ago [-]
Not HN, but I'm #32 on, the top 0.5%. I did get something concrete out of this: they sent me a free tshirt with the site logo on.

I'm #24 on HN ( ) and am proud to report that this has got me absolutely nothing tangible.

I did consider trying to turn my most upvoted comments into a book, since I've probably already written 50-100k words here, all they need is a little editing, right?

elcomet 45 days ago [-]
Would you say what drives you to write so much on those sites ?
toast0 44 days ago [-]
I've only got 1/3rd the HN Internet Points. But I write a lot of comments here.

I feel like a lot of people actually read the comments here, and consider them, and may change their mind. I've seen enough conversations where someone says something, another person argues something different, and the first person agrees and thanks; and ocassionally, I see that person bringing it up with the new state of mind in future threads.

So, while "someone on the internet is wrong, I must correct them" is generally a fruitless endeavor, it seems somewhat fruitful here. I get good vibes from helping other people in that way.

Also, I am sometimes corrected and I get good vibes from learning new things. Ocassionally, you can rant about something related and say it doesn't make sense or isn't documented, and someone will point you at the documentation.

Do I spend too much time here? Probably. But it's a better time suck than many other places. I try to stay out of the political threads, although not always successfully (rule of thumb, it it's 100+ posts and not connected to my technical experience, don't click, or if you do click, just skim for current events knowledge)

Also: HN loads fast almost always, and has the best chance of loading in poor conditions compared to anyother site I might want to look at.

jarenmf 45 days ago [-]
I need something to scroll mindlessly and explore interesting stuff, after trying Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and Twitter I've found HN the most positive place on the Internet with the highest signal to noise ratio in posts and comments.
Aeolun 45 days ago [-]
The value I derive from hackernews isn’t anything like that.

I just read a lot of interesting stuff here in both posts and comments that is directly applicable and helpful to my day job.

Actually, come to think of it. I did meet my wife through someone I met at a HN meetup.

Mc91 45 days ago [-]
For me it is #2. I posted my resume on a looking for work thread and got a contract at good pay and some money I needed at the time.

There have been other threads on HN that helped to put some money in my pocket, but that put the most in.

kissgyorgy 45 days ago [-]
I became a Software Engineer (my childhood dream) by reading edw519 ( comments and free PDF book. He wrote that you don't need a university degree to start in the field, so I jumped out of bed and started learning Python. Now 8 years later I'm a Senior Software Engineer.

I even was in a CTO position once, which didn't work out, because I arrived too late and the startup would have gone bankrupt anyway, but I enjoyed that the most.

I learned a lot about Python and generic programming related things from the articles posted here. I read 1 article/day on average for years now.

gumby 44 days ago [-]
I read articles I enjoy and comments that are sometimes really interesting. That is the sum of he refit to me and more than worth it.
rc-1140 44 days ago [-]
Curated information discovery and sharing that I genuinely cannot get anywhere else in a public manner - maybe Lobsters is a competitor, but that's focused exclusively on software development. I have more than a handful of articles and comments favorited here that have helped me either help others or help myself either professionally or recreationally; they've directed me to create personal projects, given me conversation topics, helped me get the most out of interviews with companies, identify social habits and trends.

There's a lot of noise in regards to the signal-to-noise ratio, and I have my own biases and petty views (i.e., it's common for users to post articles from people I dislike sharing the same industry with), but there's simply so much to open yourself up to in terms of even reading the comments for a submission I flat-out dislike or otherwise don't particularly care for.

There haven't been any miracles on this website in terms of feeling part of a unified community or experiencing random bouts of generosity in person-to-person interactions, but I consider spending time on HN so valuable that I'd willingly pay a membership fee to preserve some kind of member standard like SomethingAwful hoped to do with the "10bux" membership fee (paying $10 to access the site's forums).

0x1DEADCA0 45 days ago [-]
It is a waste of time and a growing place of toxicity a smugness, but it is not very different from the rest of the internet.
jsilence 45 days ago [-]
I especially like that HN is free of sarcasm.
k_sze 45 days ago [-]
Also the lack of meta.
tim333 45 days ago [-]
Yeah none of that stuff.
chad_strategic 45 days ago [-]
> toxicity smugness

Sad but true, it's kinda like what stackoverflow has become. It's also site of overwhelming group-think.

I anticipate downvotes to prove my point.

redis_mlc 45 days ago [-]
I'd agree. For experienced technologists, HN has become increasingly tedious - it's eternal September here.

Don't even get me started with the weekly UFO posts ...

wayoutthere 45 days ago [-]
Growing? You must be new here...
mellosouls 45 days ago [-]
I've enjoyed reading and engaging in discussions with reasonable people (who I sometimes fervently disagree with) on HN. Nothing more; a diversion at worst, a source of information from which I can learn at best (signal to noise, compared to your average forum).

It's never occurred to me to judge its benefits solely (or at all!) in material or monetary value as implied, and I wouldn't want to see the world in such a narrow way.

dorumus 45 days ago [-]
The mildly intriguing information that I find on HN has definitely been useful in plenty of contexts. A very tangible one was one HN article about garbage collector implementation from zero which I read simply because it was intriguing. Then found myself in a bloomberg interview where we ended up talking about GC and it was a pleasure to discuss the details having read that article a couple of month before
dijit 45 days ago [-]
There’s upsides and downsides. I learned a lot about how to steel man arguments and to hold decent, well cited arguments online.

I learned about lots of things I wouldn’t have otherwise learned exist.

And ultimately I learned that I can program, from seeing that even the people who are pro/excellent can do the wrong thing, that the barrier isn’t all that high, and there is still large value in gluing libraries together for a purpose.

awillen 44 days ago [-]
I posted a comment on a thread about side hustles - it was about a new business I had just started. That got me a small but significant for the time number of sales (which were doubly important because most of my sales before that had been to friends or friends of friends).

Between the sales and a lot of positive comments, it really made me think that my product was something people wanted, and I decided to stick with the business and go full time.

Back then I was doing a few sales a week, now I'm at ~20/day, and that's just because I'm at my limit in terms of production capacity. I'm now looking to move to a contract manufacturer ASAP. Once I do that, I can crank up the FB ad spend (that's my main customer acquisition channel, and I've got one ad that's extremely effective) and really get rolling.

So yeah, pretty possible that a comment on HN will turn out to be fairly life-changing. Hopefully that makes up for all the definitely-not-life-changing time I've frittered away on here.

spaetzleesser 45 days ago [-]
The main benefit I get from HN is some level of knowledge about newer technologies and what people are thinking about them. My day job is not very innovative so it’s really easy to fall way behind in knowledge. From reading HN comments i can see what other people are thinking about things and see what’s fashionable right now.

This helps me at my day job to take a lead in getting our systems more up to date

gabrielsroka 45 days ago [-]
After reading a lot of health/fitness posts here about 12 months ago, I decided to start exercising more and I went from drinking 1 alcoholic beverage every other day to 0.

Health is more important than money or power.

Thank you, HN.

bryanmgreen 44 days ago [-]
Most recently, a job.

And not just any gig. I’m working with a small business that makes awesome products while staying very efficient from an biz ops perspective. It’s great to make an impact and share success with a likeminded team. It’s fun working with physical products again too and I’m learning so much indie e-commerce.

Shoutout to Chad and

mv4 45 days ago [-]
Got a new career from one of the "who is hiring" posts.
icey 44 days ago [-]
I signed up for HN 14 years ago yesterday (whoa!).

The biggest thing I've gotten out of it over the past 14 years is meeting a lot of interesting people working on cool gear. People who I wouldn't have known about at all otherwise.

The second biggest thing is exposure to all those cool projects. I love new programming languages and this has been the most reliable place to learn about them. Almost never from an announcement, but from the early users of those languages trying to convince everyone to join them.

I don't spend nearly as much time as I used to here, but there was one other intangible benefit early on -- HN helped me be more precise in my written communications. Not really knowing anyone here but wanting to contribute forced me to think through the things that I was saying much more than hanging out on irc or Slashdot.

JakeStone 45 days ago [-]

I hit your (2) criteria a while back.

In general though, for me, it's a case of finding out additional tech/science things I wasn't aware about and reading what are generally informed opinions about said things. Sometimes I get to be one of those informed opinions.

That became useful to me when I ran across a post about H3 spatial partitioning. I actually had a use case that I'd been working on using DGGRID for a few months, and that was turning out to be computationally expensive, and I couldn't make it work in near real time for my specific use.

This in turn led me to developing a project I've been working on for a while that has expanded my skill set in a handful of disciplines, and if I hadn't run across H3, I'd probably have thrown away my project as a lost cause.

declnz 42 days ago [-]
> Girls chasing you because of your reputation as HN or met your wife because of your cool project ( Please don't hate me for this)

Not hating, but please can we not keep assuming everyone reading HN is a (hetero) male

capableweb 45 days ago [-]
I agree with others, especially graeme's idea of HN as "a slot machine with positive expected value". I get ton of new ideas and ways to approach things by reading through the comments after getting my own view of an article. Just that is enough for me to think I get more value from HN than the time I spend on it.

One concrete thing I've managed to do is earn a lot of money on reading and understanding the sentiment of users who know more than me. The concrete scenario is around AMD as a stock, which I invested in late September 2019, only based on reading and trying to understand users and why users here prefer AMD rather than Intel for most common tasks.

smitty1e 45 days ago [-]
On an internet with a generally lousy signal-to-noise ratio, HN generally affords useful tech pointers.

It's what Slashdot was a couple decades back.

trashme 45 days ago [-]
> For a few weeks, I am doubting if HN is another "user engagement" place like you know Reddit, FB etc.

If you cannot engage an audience, people don't crowd around to hear you.

HN is a place where people come to showcase what they create, share something that good hackers would find interesting, and comment on others' submissions.

As you may know, visitors to the site are wide-ranging in background and interests. Here I would restrict my reading to what suits my tastes since I am not a polymath and comment on topics which I am knowledgeable or want to learn more about.

Grustaf 45 days ago [-]
Not everything needs to have tangible benefits, it's just entertainment.

I don't see how you can compare it to sites that monetize user engagement though, since there is no monetization at all here.

bflies 45 days ago [-]
HN does offer quite educated conversations about a wider spectrum touching tech, startups, investing, business models, science and just being on the edge of things. Sometimes with high profile folks from those industries. There is no other community like this, even no sub on reddit.

However, I find as good discussions in specific reddit subs with (of course) less dogma since you are then in some subs with like-minded folks. Here you get quickly downvoted for slightly "wrong" wordings/messaging/opinions which again makes sense because the variety of audiences is higher here but also hurts the user experiences. So while reddit is often real fun and ends with long convos on some discords, HN is somehow different and creates some obsessive behavior before and after paired with a weird need to be "right" which I do not experience in this strength on other forums. While it educates (sometimes), HN often leaves some aftertaste.

Then there is—because of a huge number of YC members and alumnis—some bias here which reflects in respective up- and downvotings, extra boosts and gravities, flagging, shadow-banning (HN has probably the most sophisticated shadow banning techniques than any other forum) and in general very fast moderation/correction of unwanted behavior.

But yeah, every community has their pros and cons. FWIW, I limit my HN time while I do not limit my time on reddit.

cbanek 45 days ago [-]
I'm not sure if this counts as #2, but I've hired a number of good people on HN via the monthly job postings. It's a good community, and not even just people who blog.
hooande 45 days ago [-]
This question is silly. You can find business opportunities, jobs and romantic partners by pure chance in any social situation. If you're trying to find "tangible benefits" by asking people "did you find them by hanging out here?", you're doing it wrong.

The people here are intelligent and have widely varied experience. They discuss topics that are of interest to me, with minimal BS. That's it. That's the benefit

isatty 45 days ago [-]
On the first glance the “this question is silly” seems snarky and stackoverflow/HNesque but I agree with you. This is one of the few posts that deserves this reply.
amelius 45 days ago [-]
Cognitive bias is a weak point of HN, which is the reason why posts like "how I made 1 million selling cheap stuff" are always likely to be on the front page.

It's also the reason why founders have an enormous working drive, most of them fail, while VCs of course are the ones laughing their way to the bank.

lapcatsoftware 45 days ago [-]
capableweb 45 days ago [-]
And this kind of cherry-picked reply-replies is why I'm happy that some people hate HN. Let them find a different place to misunderstand comments and focus on something irrelevant :) Then the rest of us can assume the best of the people we discuss with.
45 days ago [-]
linkdd 45 days ago [-]
I feel more and more than HN comments is not for every one and not for me. If you're not careful with your wording, you'll get flagged and your message will be dismissed and it seems futile to argue against it.

This creates an "elitist" atmosphere (totally subjective assertion) that I'm not comfortable with.

Your comment is the perfect example of that.

capableweb 45 days ago [-]
Yeah, I agree with you, I also sometimes feel that some comments get unfairly flagged and then trying to argue your opinion to be futile.

But I also think that not every place on the internet is for everyone. I for one feel that the Twitter atmosphere is not comfortable, but I can imagine how other people do think so. So I try to stay away from Twitter.

Not all places invite all groups of people on the planet. I like to discuss with different-minded people, people who think different from me, so I like to talk with people against sexualisation, against drugs, people who are generally more conservative than me, to understand their perspectives. But it's really hard to do that on Twitter, as those people don't feel comfortable there, and that's fine to me. I'll find them where they are comfortable, and then I either adjust myself to the community I'm joining, or I find a different place.

Different and divergent communities on the internet is a good thing, it gives us multiple different ideas at the same time.

linkdd 45 days ago [-]
Every social place has its own "traditions" if I dare use this term.

Twitter is not really a place for debate (more for rants IMHO), but HN is. And not every one wants to debate and that's cool.

What I enjoy the most on HN is the often insightful content (based on years of experience), but many threads bring "hype wars" or some kind of tech-related drama, what I remember the most is:

  - C/C++ is evil, every one should do Rust
  - Kubernetes is evil because it's complex
  - Your business is failing if it's not generating 100k MRR
I do not even bother anymore to argue against that.

NB: I exaggerated intentionally to make my point, I know there is more nuanced opinions, and some real/justified concerns about those topics.

IMHO, While HN is a "social place" (there are people who can talk), this is not a "social network" (I will probably never remember your nickname even if we talk again together in another thread).

sokoloff 45 days ago [-]
I hired two strong engineers directly from contacts made here.

I made one (modestly) successful angel investment from a chain of events inseparably linked to here.

I do value the intangible enjoyment/education from HN much more than the concrete things above, though.

There’s no way the time I spend here is “paid back” just from the concrete RoI items and if you’re trying to build a financial Excel model to decide whether to spend time here, your answer probably rounds to “No”

soulchild37 45 days ago [-]
Its not as straightforward, but I would never would have thought making my own apps / SaaS to make a living (instead of working for an employer) if I didn't lurk at HN previously.

By lurking at HN, I stumbled across patio11, tptacek, amyhoy, pieter levels, and several other small indie devs sharing their experience, and encouragement.

My apps/ SaaS income are still laughable compared to my salary, but I think it will grow as time goes.

vanderZwan 45 days ago [-]
I found my current and my previous job through it, and I've been extremely happy in both places. So... almost five years of employment by now I guess?
gnicholas 44 days ago [-]
Like many others, I launched my startup here, and yes we got tons of traffic that week. There is another benefit, which is the validation that comes with having been at the top of HN.

It is very powerful to be able to say: “my Show HN post was at #1 for over 12 hours”. [1] It tells potential funders/partners that your idea is very popular in a community that they respect.

I have also found a couple important partners through HN. In December, I was deep in a thread when I saw a comment mentioning an extensible iOS browser that a YC company was soon to launch. [2] I reached out and they’re now one of our partners. Ditto for a popular podcast website. [3]

HN has a lot of visitors who are willing to embrace new things, and who are fast-moving. This can be very valuable if you’re looking for early adopters and partners.




nickthemagicman 45 days ago [-]
The learning alone is worth it. I think very few things in my career have been as formative as this site.

Interesting bug troubleshooting articles, learning about new tech being released, learning about new zero days, seeing people post their work or see new ycombinator companies inspires me. I'm also able to see when AWS is down or Google shuts down one of it's apps before anyone else. All around good stuff.

wsostt 45 days ago [-]
So many. I’m a product owner so I’m interested in a lot of things that come across HN: management resources, new technology, trending ideas and concepts, and other stuff that I didn’t know I needed to know.

The real value comes from the thoughtful conversations in the comments. An article on Snowflake is going to touch in competitors, management advice is going to have a link to a book that goes deeper, etc...

RemingtonLak 44 days ago [-]
A brain fart as I too am looking for sounding board to my ideas although not exactly putting them out there but here's one:

Problem Statement: Everyone needs someone. Everyone needs input, mentoring, direction, new ideas, concepts, discoveries else you feel dead inside. Googl promises contextual searching but they all feel like upsells, ulterior motive results and promotions.

IDEA/ExecSum: A.I. based cognitive search that answers to your posts, comments, emails, interests.

HOW: You give a like cerebral notes of your mindset based on what you've written and browsed. then on a daily / weekly basis comes back with recommendation of forums that speaks your tongue and interest. :) Say a very intrusive script that reads your emails (ones in particular you sent to yourself), your docs on locally and cloud, your posts and comments on everywhere. Then let it psychoanalyze and come back with everything from books to posts to podcasts and maybe even real life happening to you locally.

Brain fart I'll never explore. ;)

randcraw 44 days ago [-]
I think your answer begins with the site's full name: Hacker News Network (HNN). It's not about hacking, per se. It's about aggregating news and tech articles and occasional solicitations from YC's startups that are likely of interest to developers and other tech folk, originally those in the San Francisco area startup community where its owner YCombinator (YC) is based (a startup incubator).

I think HNN's original intent was to help startup staff to make connections with potential partners and domain subject matter experts (which can be difficult if you're new to an industry, as many at startups are). In time, the site has evolved, broadening its agenda and its geography as its participants grew and diversified.

The conversations that ensue are echoes of participants who have trod the path described in each article, or more typically, have insights or opinions. If you find that amusing or edifying, you'll stay. If you don't, you'll leave. Apparently you don't.

mFixman 45 days ago [-]
HN is boring.

Even if it has no tangible benefit, I'm at a lower risk of l wasting a lot of time here than in Reddit or most other social media sites.

mettamage 45 days ago [-]
> Also intellectual debate, I get more information, I feel smart as benefits etc. don't count in this context.

They may not count for you, but it has allowed to see me how easy most things are and that very few things are actually hard. I used to be a lot more intimidated by many things, but HN always gives a cursory glance into a topic with the right approach to explaining it, which leads me to adapt the mindset that's needed much faster than I'd be able to do when self-learning it.

This even goes so far that whenever I need an opinion or need to learn something, I skip Google search and go straight to HN to see what their opinions are on the matter. Reddit doesn't come close to HN in this regard either.

In the traditional sense of your question: I got no job out of it or anything. I did get contacted a few times for various reasons, and meeting up with other people is always fun :)

45 days ago [-]
627467 45 days ago [-]
Being a 'low-tech' (compared to most other web destinations these days) and text-only sites with some social interactions is one of the reasons I come to hn multiple times a day. I sorta learn to ignore most things posted.

So benefit: low bandwidth, (relative) low noise news source compared to other places

fattybob 44 days ago [-]
Hackers news when at work is my goto for almost every moment I need a distraction from the current focus point to reset the mind that may have become bogged down. It lacks flashy content that is designed to suck you in, and if you do get stuck, it almost always a valuable gem of knowledge that you gain. When not working, it’s just a familiar and eclectic mix of news and stories that are presented in a realistic manner, and I love to scan the responses for alternatives of all kinds. I’ve almost given up on Reddit, it used to be my goto long agai, and Facebook is just a pain (with its see once and never see again system). Btw, I’m not even a computer scientist, I’m a geologist, but we do use a lot of tech surprisingly!
altrunox 44 days ago [-]
> 2) I was hired because of my post on HN.

Well, not really, BUT, I go some thousand of views on my blog, and I never reached the front page. While it's not really money, it's marketing...

But I would say you could get hired, I posted in a specific reddit community last year I got an interview opportunity due to my post.

But I'm mostly here to get some new information and read some different perspectives of stuff in general, not only IT related.

And about IT stuff, I've found books and information that I probably would never by other means, which, by itself, could help me do better at work, interviews and so on.

I check the front-page almost daily at my lunch break.


EDIT: I just remembered that someone also approached me due to sharing a post here, that they were hiring.

I didn't move forward because I just started a new job, so yeah, you can get hired.

Normal_gaussian 45 days ago [-]
When I was freelancing I got a couple of gigs by talking to companies who listed themselves here.

Very recently I achieved a significant boost in production system perf from comments here about the underlying hardware of GCP at different custom assignments. This saved decent $$ at a small company.

I've used HN twice now to cash in on the rise of BTC (unfortunately my liquid capital is low enough that this is only low 5 digit gain).

And you say information doesn't count, but filtering through the information and analysis here is a high signal way to "get ahead". To acquire power at work and amongst friends it helps to be both insightful and reliable, as well as confident. While HN doesn't make me reliable it sure as hell helps on the other fronts.

45 days ago [-]
boatsie 45 days ago [-]
In some ways, it’s what’s not here that brings me here. Other sites are filled with ads, hate, click bait, images, videos, trackers, etc. When you need to kill 10 minutes waiting in line, the efficiency of what you can learn here is unmatched.
superbcarrot 45 days ago [-]
> Basically money, power etc..

None of those, personally. I'm sure that some people have benefited by finding business ideas and opportunities or new jobs but there are other ways to do this and it's hardly a good reason to spend time on HN.

> Also intellectual debate, I get more information, I feel smart as benefits etc. don't count in this context.

The largest benefit for me is being exposed to a mix of interesting ideas and being part of a corner of the internet that's quite a bit more civil. The effects that this has over the long run might be positive but they are also difficult to quantify.

It's okay (and healthy) to do things that can't be assigned a specific monetary value.

JoeMayoBot 43 days ago [-]
Being exposed to new ideas and information outside of normal. In other types of social media, you curate your own feed, which limits what's seen because your network might not know or post about certain things. In other types of news-like feeds, the host uses ai-like prediction to show what they think you'll like. On HN, in addition to new subjects, there are varied opinions on all sides of an issue to consider Whether I like what I hear or not, I believe it's important to see other perspectives. I like to learn, so it can be fun and interesting.
phtrivier 44 days ago [-]
HN is very addictive. IT made me aware of some interesting authors. (Waitbuwhy, for example.) Also, I got my current job through the "who's hiring".

But, its usage definitely has to be managed. It's on my leechblock list for 9-5.

ellis0n 43 days ago [-]
1) tried but no

2) tried but no

3) not tried but be cool :)

Thanks to HN, I gained knowledge of why iOS/Android platforms are separated with a dev and management stage. Founders who do not understand programming and technology always everywhere, hence the separation of various technological platforms by non-technological people. Here is something wrong and HN helps here I think. HN allows to improve the knowledge between non-technical and technical people about each other. I hope HN will continue to improve overall communication and accelerate and improve the next Starship

santa_boy 44 days ago [-]
With a little discipline of not going overboard with surfing here, I've been able to get the following from HN:

i) Discover really cool new projects (mainly open-source) ii) Find ways of generating income on the internet through first hand inputs iii) Get in touch with cool people with useful things to say occasionally iv) Relate to challenges faced by many others and gain inspiration v) Develop gratitude for self when reading about things others have faced and have had to overcome vi) Feel more globally connected. Many users are approachable for one-to-one chats

armonraphiel 45 days ago [-]
I grew up believing SWE was something I couldn’t do after a very abrasive C++ course I took in my youth. It took a few years but the content posted here directly contributed to me pushing past those fears.
Tade0 45 days ago [-]
I'm here to practice my English.

Language-wise the quality of posts here is much better than what I would get on reddit, fb or similar.

Not sure if this counts, but it's a major reason why I visit this site daily.

tim333 45 days ago [-]
It's an odd feature of the thing - I'm a native English speaker so I'm ok with that but getting upvotes / downvotes is quite good practice for improving your writing, I've found.
graeme 45 days ago [-]
Yes that’s actually how I got my start in writing. I had a travel blog back in 2007-08 and would post entries to Facebook. I gauged writing effectively by comments and rapidly improved my style.

Ended up starting a writing focussed business. Don’t think I could have done it without frequent and rapid feedback.

Your comment made me realize this is probably why I keep writing comments. It is constant, precise feedback on my skill in what I do.

Tade0 45 days ago [-]
I only started my "technical blog" (heavy quote marks here) after four years of posting comments on HN.
anvemaha 45 days ago [-]

I'm taking a professional reporting course at my uni and I feel like lurking here has paid off at least a little bit.

pontifier 44 days ago [-]
I found an article about a company nearly identical to the one I was trying to start that was going out of business. Not only would that have completely destroyed my chances, but it would have been a disaster for all of their customers.

I've been working for over a year to re-build that company. It's been a challenge, and it's been much tougher than I could have expected, but it's probably one of the best opportunities I could have asked for.

thaumasiotes 45 days ago [-]
I have never been hired because of a post of mine on HN. But I have been hired twice by noting posts of the form "we're hiring based on this challenge, go check it out".

In both cases the challenge was apparently challenging enough that the company actually meant "we hire based on this challenge". Sadly, an overwhelming majority of hiring "challenges" are so easy that the company feels the need to impose a full conventional hiring process behind it.

leeuw01 45 days ago [-]
It made me realise that the formal methods part of my CS master, altough quite niche, can generate a lot of value if aplied correctly. This lead to my first R&D job.
ElectricMind 40 days ago [-]
Thanks for all sharing your experiences. I have no doubt now about whether to stay here or not. Question now I am asking to myself : how can find a right way to consume this valuable information and become 1% better man/programmer than before? Have a nice day everyone :))
olegp 44 days ago [-]
I met my co-founder as a result of him posting a Show HN and my comment on it:

We've been working together on Toughbyte, our second venture, for more than six years now:

DataCrayon 43 days ago [-]
It got me the first few customers for my book "Data Analysis with Rust Notebooks ( which encouraged me to work on it further.

Besides that - the comments are incredible

lioeters 44 days ago [-]
If you're looking for money, fame, or love - so-called "tangible benefits" - you're in the wrong place.

It's a stimulating way to spend some reading time, with intellectual debate, tech news, snippets of insider information from those in-the-know.. Plenty of fluff but occasional and consistent inspiration and thoughts from genuine people deep in their niche domains.

pinouchon 45 days ago [-]
Posted a comment on this thread,, then had people contact me and had very good conversations as a result.

Also, I met my co-founder on reddit/r/algotrading and it was a total game-changer for me (reddit is not HN, but similar)

higerordermap 45 days ago [-]
Got interested in compilers & Programming languages. Also variety of other CS topics. (The links and few top comments are very good).
cinntaile 45 days ago [-]
I think they changed the algorithm a couple of months ago, threads with high user engagement get nuked into oblivion really fast nowadays.
ryan-allen 44 days ago [-]
I've been reading it for years. It keeps me abreast of what I would consider many of my peers are paying attention to.

I find heaps of cool new programming libraries and languages and frameworks that would just slip through the cracks.

I also love reading the comments to get overall sentiment on various issues, from a group of people who are quite well behaved online!

raverbashing 45 days ago [-]
There are once in a while priceless comments about things like career growth, trends (technological, economical) or just new products.

Also some technical tidbits here and there, especially on the practical side, the knowledge "on the streets", exchange experiences, niche companies that are only starting but might solve a problem you have (or might have)

kureikain 43 days ago [-]
I got my first few customers from Hacker News for my app.

It's nothing and not a huge amount of money but it's my SaaS after 10 years trying to make and build a profitable SaaS app that people are willing to use and pay for.


the app is an email forwarding service

lordnacho 45 days ago [-]
1) Education. There's regularly links to important topics in eg Machine Learning or low level coding. I use the favourites feature as a bookmarks thing.

2) News digest. HN tends to be ahead of the curve on things that touch on tech, eg privacy.

3) Qualified contacts. I don't often write to people directly (email), but the times I have it's always been worthwhile.

1123581321 44 days ago [-]
Back when there were a lot of Ruby, Rails and CSS posts, I used the knowledge from those and the comments to change careers and it’s been a good move for me.

I recommend the Hacker Newsletter if you are busy and just want to know the big stories posted. It’s a quality curation and the writer takes suggestions from his subscribers.

intrasight 45 days ago [-]
An example. I just read this and enjoyed it very much.

Certainly would not have come across that except for HN.

On HN, I find interesting articles with the added benefit of thoughtful conversation about said article.

45 days ago [-]
vinliao 45 days ago [-]
I think the benefit of HN, reddit, or twitter is the random once-in-a-bluemoon jackpot you get with it. Sure, most of the post here are meh, but sometimes there's one that grabs you and alters your life. Perhaps all the okay-ish posts are the price you and I pay to get exposed to the once-in-a-bluemoon jackpot.
r0b05 44 days ago [-]
As a tech pro who needs to keep up to date with current and future trends in the industry, HN provides an easily digestible list that I can skim through daily.

As a budding entrepreneur, the info here is incredibly valuable for learning, especially the comment discussions on products created by other entrepreneurs.

southerntofu 45 days ago [-]
Here i learn about interesting new tech that isn't (yet) widely known. That's more than enough for me.
magicroot75 44 days ago [-]
This question is flawed. It's like asking if attending cocktail parties has practically benefitted oneself. Or walks around the neighborhood. Or playing video games. The experience of life and information is more complex than a probabilistic return of 'practical' value.
eerikkivistik 45 days ago [-]
One of my comments in HN came up in a business transaction, where the opposing party wanted to know how a specific technical optimization problem I described, was solved.

Generally, I appreciate reading the thoughts of other people who have views opposing my own, but with reasonable arguments, in a calm manner.

45 days ago [-]
maximente 45 days ago [-]
i consider all tech - all forums, social media, etc. - to be similar to a special forces group (or pick your favorite non-violent elite group). it's best deployed with a clear objective in mind - learn more about Haskell from gurus, see how S.V. is reacting to tech workers/wages changing, get a job or work from monthly threads - until either the effort is a success, more time/energy can/should be brought to bear, or it can be easily aborted without much fanfare.

so, what do you want? if it's to network, connect, learn, debate, get a new job - do that, and avoid the addictive type stuff like refreshing every 10 mins, etc. if it's to avoid boredom, well... tread carefully.

cuddlecake 45 days ago [-]
Every now and then I find a link or a mention in the comments about literature or information regarding a topic I find interesting.

Lately, I learned about CSS stack contexts because of a blog post here, and read other posts by the same author. Learned a lot about CSS that day.

meowster 45 days ago [-]
I heard about Bitcoin when the whitepaper was released, however I never profited from that experience, so when I heard about Monero in someone's comment years ago, I bought some of that and have made some pretty good (tangible) money.
chalcolithic 44 days ago [-]
My first step when evaluating new (software development related) technology/product/service is to google Hacker News for it. Great value for the time spent. You may try cutting leisure browsing time and use HN as a tool.
dencodev 44 days ago [-]
I learned how to negotiate when someone linked to the famous kalzumeus software article on the subject. I've probably made tens of thousands of extra dollars in my life from it.
dencodev 44 days ago [-]
Also I got a job that I found on a who's hiring thread.
kderbyma 44 days ago [-]
I got a job by posting into one of the forum posts. I was job hunting and it was one of the actual companies which I ended up going all the way through the interview process with.
peterstensmyr 44 days ago [-]
I pivoted careers to software engineering. That wouldn’t have happened without HN. I actually make less money now, but I am much happier and have great work/life balance.
the_only_law 44 days ago [-]
What were you doing before?
karaterobot 44 days ago [-]
I did get a job from a post on HN: I applied to a "Who is hiring?" posting. But I have to say that you and I are looking for entirely different things from this site.
dnautics 45 days ago [-]
took out puts on intel twice on bad news about their processors. Made a ton of money, though the second one was an accident. The bad news went unnoticed but i was still sitting on the position a week later when it was announced the CEO was fired for diddling his underling; and then the stock tanked 30%.

The market can become irrational in time to put $ into dnautics' pocket (this sort of thing has happened to me more than a few times now).

ookblah 45 days ago [-]
hacker news is good to me for keeping a bead on latest tech stuff (sometimes related to work). i've def gotten some use mainly out of finding new processes, apps, etc. that help run business better.

it's filtered significantly better than something like reddit, but ultimately if you spend any good amount time on it you're just "wasting it". if you want tangible benefits in anything you have to "do" vs. accumulating knowledge.

imwillofficial 45 days ago [-]
I get exposed to a broader swath of what people smarter than me care about, I also get to dive deeper on topics I enjoy. HN has been a wonderful addition to my life.
whateveracct 45 days ago [-]
i love to bookmark HN threads instead of articles sometimes. especially for technical stuff. the commments usually have a lot of good discussion and related links.
lambda_obrien 45 days ago [-]
I figured out there was a pandemic in January 2020 and was able to shelter at home and buy a few essentials (like tp) which ran out of stock for a while.
iovrthoughtthis 45 days ago [-]
Sounds like HN is a waste of time for you and your goals.
anotheryou 44 days ago [-]
I'm a product owner and much of my "education" comes from HN. Well or at least originates, including e.g. book recommendations.
pram 45 days ago [-]
It literally got me a couple hundred bucks in some crypto from Keybase, just for having an HN account. Thats more than I can say for any other site lol
Antoninus 45 days ago [-]
You get to see what the average developer thinks.
enko123 45 days ago [-]
Invested in and made a fortune off Nvidia after reading various comments. Similarly Sold Tesla near the peak based on comments here.
skinkestek 44 days ago [-]
Someone got a correct diagnosis based on something I read on HN, his brother was the diagnosed with the same diagnosis.

Good for both of them.

tanseydavid 44 days ago [-]
HN has forced me to improve my choice-of-words and tact when responding critically or engaging in argumentation.
antihero 45 days ago [-]
It's the reason I discovered React and a bunch of other tech so my current career is in part due to it :)
alexfromapex 45 days ago [-]
I think one huge benefit is because downvoting is limited in some cases it allows for a much better dialogue.
idlewords 45 days ago [-]
It helped me learn to hate startup culture individual by individual, and not just as an abstract group.
jacquesm 45 days ago [-]
Wouldn't want to be part of a club that would have me either.
bobkrusty 45 days ago [-]
Cool products, valuable knowledge / informations not all tho, you can make friends here too....
choeger 45 days ago [-]
I learned about the CentOS 8 story and could cancel a pending upgrade. Saved a lot of effort.
Itsdijital 44 days ago [-]
It still has the "social news site" vibe of the mid 00's.
SunlightEdge 44 days ago [-]
Bitcoin was definitely something I learned early on here
EVa5I7bHFq9mnYK 44 days ago [-]
I am here to learn about investment opportunities.
ForrestN 45 days ago [-]
I got a much clearer sense of the deeply Ayn Rand political sensibilities of HN and much of startup world. I naively expected a mix of sort of normal California liberalism with utopic, egalitarian aspirations. But in fact the dominant ideas seem to be a kind of just-got-to-college paused-philosophical social Darwinism, I’m special so regulation is just a hindrance, social issues and justice are just a distraction kind of vibe. Getting a deep feel for that here transformed my relationship to startup culture in an important way, and I’m grateful for that.
Bakary 45 days ago [-]
There is the crypto-Rand crowd as you've described it, but there's also the neoliberal technocratic mindset that everything can be condescendingly fixed with technology or scientific/bro-scientific inquiry. In this case, the technocratic ideology is considered as standing outside of the realm of ideology and culture, and as a natural result of enlightened thought that manages to transcend bias. By this framework, "normal" people must be manipulated for their own good.
dalu 43 days ago [-]
None but downvotes by jealous people
hnnoob 45 days ago [-]
the tech universe is too vast, HN provides a perspective in a world where you can aim and shoot for 10,000 years.
topspin 45 days ago [-]
Free clues.
tryeverything 44 days ago [-]
HN changed my life. Seriously. I started using this site fairly young, and it shaped my view of the world and who I am as a person more than almost anything.

Because of HN comments, I fixed some serious health issues (search your symptoms on HN, write down all the wacky advice, and do everything that's safe!), I tried MDMA (which is magical), I made tons of money, I kept my mind sharp, I traveled to interesting places, I found other groups that led to lifelong friendships...

HN also recommended me every single one of my favorite books (mostly old fiction), a good portion of my wardrobe (Darn Tough socks, various denim etc), my laptops, my audio setup, and my financial setup. Heck, even my underwear was a recommendation from HN - if you haven't, try merino wool underwear, it feels like your ass is being caressed by God.

You specifically mentioned romance and sex, so I'll touch on that aspect. The most valuable advice HN gave me on this subject was that attractiveness is not set in stone. Take the most attractive actors and take away their personal grooming, their fashionable well-fitting clothes, their physical condition, their clean skin, their diet, confidence, career, money and relationships and you'll have someone that would fail to catch your eye at McDonalds. (Seriously - look up the ones who went off the rails.) All of the above are things that anyone can improve. Fix a number of those things, find attractive women and talk to them like they're human and not a sex object - and I can guarantee you sexual and romantic success. I was an unattractive nerd who was laughed down by girls and even fixing a minority of the items on the list above was enough that (pre-Covid) I never had a problem finding beautiful, intelligent, interesting women for serious relationships, casual dating or sex. Everyone I know who's done the same has had similar results. You won't meet a partner on HN (or Reddit, or Facebook, or anywhere) - despite their colossal userbases, there are only a few stories of people who met their partner on those sites. The best dating site was pre-2017 OKCupid, but that is dead and gone now. Real life is your best shot - otherwise try Tinder, or modern OKCupid.

Another reason this place is beautiful is because of the small community feel, despite being a relatively large website. Many people know each other IRL, many get to know the names they butt heads with, and when one of the many famous users drops in there's often an intelligent and interesting discussion. For that reason I'm very hesitant to see it grow. In that regard, I'm thankful for the 90s design, large amount of boring programming things (I can code, but many of the programming posts are drier than hell), and even to a degree the new-user-unfriendly atmosphere - they all slow growth. Serious growth would be fatal to a place like this.

HN isn't great for everything, though. Music is one huge blind spot. Another thing is that the HN discussion style doesn't carry on over into the real world. HN will love your massive, detailed comment and it will ask for more, but in the real world even people who love and care about you have a finite, human attention span. On HN, if you keep your argument short and simple people will poke holes in it, but in the real world nobody expects your arguments to be watertight and bulletproof (and you better not expect that of others' arguments!)

Spend too much time in HN, and it rubs off on you: the skeptical attitude, the long-windedness, the cultural and political views and most importantly the feeling of superiority. Even stupid people aren't stupid - they'll sense your feelings of superiority eventually. It's easy to fall into this because HN values the optimal, and it values comments correcting someone's non-optimal ways. For example, with retirement accounts, even a relatively minor mistake (an account or ETF with high fees, wrong type of contributions, etc etc) can compound into missed tens of thousands of dollars. Logic would dictate that you should tell as many people about this as possible! Practical experience, however, tells me that no matter how you explain things, _most_ people will just feel bad about themselves for their mistake (even if they don't show it) and oftentimes won't even correct it. If you really can't help yourself, you can casually mention the topic as gently and briefly as possible - "oh cool, I did xyz for a while too, then I heard that abc might be better, you should look it up sometime." Alternatively, don't make it into a comparison - just (briefly!) mention your positive experience and let that stand alone.

If you understand that last paragraph, you will finally understand why so many people truly hate vegans, or nerds, or the modern left... or HN users. People like people that are like them, and if you feel like you're not like them, you won't be liked. If you try to convert them to your ideology, or insist it's the only option, you will be hated. You can narrow down your life goals, your identity and your politics to a tiny segment of the population, or you can look to our common aspects and realize that we're all human, just trying to live our short lives on this tiny blue dot of a planet.

giantg2 43 days ago [-]
RemingtonLak 44 days ago [-]
Your post read my mind except #3, I got that nailed w/ a beauty. No complaints. As for #1/2, I think there is more to it than that. My myopic view of the posts/articles from various is as follows:

1. There are posters (regardless of platform) who want to garnish attention either to...

   a) get a job, since visibility is how you attract attention good or bad.
   b) Plato stating this the best for #2: “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” ― Plato I personally fall under both categories depending on subject.
   c) Bored, depressed, immature commenting as the latter part of quote in #2
   d) Genuinely cares and has something to contribute, this now being the "wise men" of Plato's quote.
   e) Want/looking to be tribal.  Genuinely lonely, wanting, needing to be a part of a collective.
2. Speaking of both Ask / Show HN, I feel most do genuinely want to know and/or what to show like your own and unlike most other platforms. Here on HN, 98% of the time, you will get sincere responses. Thus my love of HN. Unlike the narcissism in 60% of Reddit, 99.9% of 4chan and 99.99% of FB...most being just a cesspool of wasted bits.

Now of course speaking only for myself. Here is me: 1. I'm an implant from Midwest to silicon Valley. Been here >20yrs.

2. what I miss dearly are conversations with well read individuals. I love the people I work with, with most having superior intellect to me however, English not being their primary, more sophisticated conversation I cannot have. I love my friends who came from afar and enjoy talking to them but I do not get the "tribal" connection I seek of being more alike. I get this "conversation" here in HN and nowhere else.

3. HN posters and commenter are like none other outside of StackOverflow ;). What I love about HN is the makeup of individuals who sincerely have something wise to say. I like to feel I'm well read and bread (not genetic ;-) but when i read people's comment like on this post, I literally take something away from every single commenter. It's overwhelm and I sometimes swell up because it gives me the connection I currently lack due to Covid lock down. The overwhelmingly well thought out and thought through comments feeds my thirst for knowledge and soul. From what you seek, although i would still encourage for you to checkin HN for such support and topics, but goto somewhere more specialized to your needs like

Also look into this post and many others like it that seems to come up periodically as some having the courage to say they are lonely..

PS> It's the worldwideweb with no barriers to entry including negative AI bots which I feel are being strategically inserted by foreign or internal agents. Sun Tzu said it best, "To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself." Somebody has literally taken this general's advice to task. It's unreal to think that someone can let a bot roam and disseminate seeds of self destruction to break a country down from within. www has become a very very scary place. Topic for a diff post ;-)

PPS> I'm guessing you're in your thirties, single, living in a metro, disheartened by the pandemic and frustrated in not being able to find a clear path to fame, fortune and independence. Although I am a bit older, join the club! :)

PPS> Just had an epiphany that we all need besides a soulmate, is an intellectual mates too? I feel that's what I'm searching for....

roninhacker 45 days ago [-]
Four jobs.
fortran77 45 days ago [-]
I use it to learn about the type of people I'm dealing with in the Tech Industry, and how they speak and act when they're peudo-anonymous.
Impossible 45 days ago [-]
Blind is better for this than HN, but HN is pretty good, especially with the rise in throwaway accounts. I think this is because HN is more diverse, and Blind by it's nature is employees at your company and other big tech companies.
mctt 44 days ago [-]
For a start I use set to Top 20%.

This opens to Hews for Hacker News.

I'm really here for the comments. I like how people think here.

They are presented with a story, they analyse it, offer considerable effort and insight.

That effort comes in the form of reading large amounts, on subjects often beyond my comprehension, and distilling it down to something I can understand.

Best of all, an opposing but equally compelling point of view is close by.

Often the author/developer turns up. They can answer questions and provide additional context.

I send the Link and text excerpts to myself by email and just search ycombinator to get a neat reading list of the most interesting stuff. Every month or so I will go back and read it or pickup a project that's caught my attention.

Bitwarden, Tailscale, Shellfish for iPad all came to my attention here and have served me well.

Here is an example post;

>Hackers hijack and publish metal health data of hundreds of people


Some current background info: The breach and the extortion emails are at the moment on the front page of all major Finnish news publications. The Finnish government main ministers are discussing on how to handle the potential crisis, since there are possibly 40 000 patients' records leaked and some of the victims are already in a very vulnerable state and might be feeling even more desperate if their traumas will be publicly shared online. It is also known that there are minors among the victims.


Currently I hold an ENG1Medical certificate which is required by my job. And this has been fine to renew every two years with my Doctor for more than a decade.

Now my employer has contracted the services of an external Occupational Health provider. They have presented an extensive questionnaire. Along with this they suggest an abnormally long data retention timeline with no reference to actually data legislation.

After reading the comment by SebaSeba about what is going on in the wild there is no way I would participate in such obvious folly.

The next comment;


This is a classic "Damoclean sword" conundrum.

The ability to digitize and aggregate the data, and maybe even subject it to some kinds of AI, might result in massive improvement in therapy.

Mental health treatment has come an incredibly long way, just in the last couple of decades. It's even more amazing, when you look at how it went a hundred years ago. Some of the reasons are because of the ability to study treatment methodologies and outcomes.

But having the data in a place that can happen, is very, very risky.


Cool, so I have to sides of an argument. On one side using this data might help people. At the same time, keeping this data has been demonstrated to hurt people.

If I filled in the survey it would be composed of "NO"and "Zero" type answers. No medical conditions or meaningful medical history and Zero alcohol.

There is nothing beyond my basic ENG1 Medical certificate needed here. So the decision is simple, I won't be filling the questionnaire out.

The other point about how people think is also present.

"having the data... is very, very risky."

And this idea, which is validated by the very cast of people who deal in the largest datasets in human history, can be applied to everything I do in life.

What's it for? What are the risks?

Of course I get labelled as difficult within my company in the short term, even predictable, but if I've listened to a debate on the subject I feel confident to weather the storm of an aggressive boss demanding I fill in the survey or face vauge punitive action.

xyzzy4 45 days ago [-]
I learned about Bitcoin from HN in 2011.
hvmonk 45 days ago [-]