Jacques Mattheij

Technology, Coding and Business

Hacker News is for hackers not startup founders

In this http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2438564 thread HN user ‘Icey’ points out that PG has said that “HN is for hackers, not startup founders. There just ends up being a disproportionate amount of stuff about startups, because YC is in the startup business.” (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2403868)..)

I’m aware of the name ‘Hacker News’ and that it tends to suggest that the focus should be on hacking, but the original name of the site was ‘startup news’ and it looks as though I’ve been advising lots of people to join HN for all the wrong reasons.

Hackers is an honorary name for programmers that ‘know their stuff’, and it just so happens that lots of hackers have this dream, to one day, maybe even really soon, run a business of their own.

So I think there is a distinct overlap between ‘hackers’ and ‘startup-founders’ and even though YC is in the startup business I would think that even if they weren’t that a forum for ‘hackers’ would because of the significant overlap between those two groups automatically have a large number of start-up founders.

I’m no longer contributing so I should probably say something along the lines of “I couldn’t care less”. The problem is that even though I no longer contribute I do still read HN and if the start-up component of HN would be considered to be ‘off-topic’ in the strictest sense of the words then that would be a great loss.

Now I have a bunch of questions:

  • If HN is (according to the words of PG) not for start-up founders where should they go?
  • Would it be possible to formally change the charter of HN to include start-up founders, because even if that wasn't the intention it *is* how it started and it *is* what is on there now and it certainly seems to fill a need?
  • Does this mean that flagging articles from or about start-up founders is expected/encouraged?