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.
- No social network of friends/follows/circles
- No advertising
- No notifications on replies/threads
- Good moderation
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.
> 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.
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.
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.
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 (acoup.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)
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.
Reading HN has also been the start of many a good nap. ;-)
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.
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 https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1068680/? 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.
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.
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.
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).
"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"
...is probably more effective if a potential client stumbles over it than 100,000 "targeted" facebook ads, especially if you serve some highly technical niche.
So it does happen a fair bit if your startup is relevant.
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: https://jenniferdewalt.com/. 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.
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.
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.
Can you expand on your methods here? I still get value from HN but want to dial things back a bit.
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.
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.
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.
The mental timer is an interesting idea too. Basically active cultivation of awareness to allow discipline.
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.
Precisely. Well put. There’s no way HN works as a quick fix or as a direct source of gains.
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.
I read HN for sentences like this.
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".
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”: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25837208
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.
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.
I also love the typo of “potion” for option in your second paragraph. It seems especially fitting for this story.
> Very hard to find such data.
That is the understatement of the decade.
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”
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.
I wonder how many HN people became buy-and-hold millionaires.
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.
Almost a year ago, I posted my new startup (https://screen.so) 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!
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.
I have commented on this before, caveat emptor:
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.
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 (https://github.com/typesense/typesense) 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.
After this, going back to local sites where anger, trolling and fool-playing are just normal adult behavior, is outright painful.
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.
- Multireddits—you could put ‘slow’ subreddits into a multi that you'll check separately.
- RSS feeds, if they still work.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Even though I got zero wives out of these comments, there was some real value generated here!
It's a small thing, but I think it is an important part of HN.
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.
Don't you know the very bad ROI they have??
(unless you count in cuteness)
But kids can end up making money, too, and take care of you when you're older.
From my reading of HN, what you need to do is invest in crypto and date ballerinas.
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)
> 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.
BTW I use this magic link https://news.ycombinator.com/over?points=100 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.
The story is here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26327717
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.
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
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.
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.
* 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.
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 ;) ).
I've noticed that some submissions are these single-serving-sites 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: https://www.motherfuckingwebsite.com/
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.
I'm #24 on HN (https://news.ycombinator.com/leaders ) 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?
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.
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.
There have been other threads on HN that helped to put some money in my pocket, but that put the most in.
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.
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).
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.
Don't even get me started with the weekly UFO posts ...
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.
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.
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.
This helps me at my day job to take a lead in getting our systems more up to date
Health is more important than money or power.
Thank you, HN.
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 BoardGameTables.com
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.
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.
Not hating, but please can we not keep assuming everyone reading HN is a (hetero) male
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.
It's what Slashdot was a couple decades back.
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.
I don't see how you can compare it to sites that monetize user engagement though, since there is no monetization at all here.
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.
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
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.
This creates an "elitist" atmosphere (totally subjective assertion) that I'm not comfortable with.
Your comment is the perfect example of that.
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.
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:
I do not even bother anymore to argue against that.
- 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
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).
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”
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.
It is very powerful to be able to say: “my Show HN post was at #1 for over 12 hours”.  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.  I reached out and they’re now one of our partners. Ditto for a popular podcast website. 
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.
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.
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...
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 match.com 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. ;)
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.
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.
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 :)
So benefit: low bandwidth, (relative) low noise news source compared to other places
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.
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.
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.
But, its usage definitely has to be managed. It's on my leechblock list for 9-5.
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
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
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.
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.
I'm taking a professional reporting course at my uni and I feel like lurking here has paid off at least a little bit.
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.
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.
Besides that - the comments are incredible
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.
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)
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!
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)
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 https://hanami.run
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.
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.
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.
As a budding entrepreneur, the info here is incredibly valuable for learning, especially the comment discussions on products created by other entrepreneurs.
Generally, I appreciate reading the thoughts of other people who have views opposing my own, but with reasonable arguments, in a calm manner.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Good for both of them.
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.
1. There are posters (regardless of platform) who want to garnish attention either to...
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.
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.
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 Indiehackers.com
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..https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26293703
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....
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.