My daily readings 06/20/2013

    • List procedures. The plaintiffs in Latif all flew for years without any problems. But more than two years ago, they were suddenly branded as suspected terrorists based on secret evidence, publicly denied boarding on flights, and told by U.S. and airline officials that they were banned from flying¾perhaps forever.

      One of the reasons that I’m not too attached to the specific details of the Snowden story (aside from supporting him, of course) is that it’s just a piece of a much larger picture. Snowden’s “NSA direct server access” is but a tiny speck in an ocean of civil liberties problems.

      In this case, the government is effectively using a quasi-military/police force to c

    • > No citizen should be victim of unknown charges and/or evidence that impacts their free movement through society.

      Why should I need to be a citizen to not have my human rights violated? If it is in the UN Declaration of Human Rights[1] then chances are your country signed it, agreed that would be the minimum standard, that these rights were inalienable and most importantly, that they applied to everyone.

      You have to admit it seems a bit silly (at least from my side of the pond) that when it comes to human rights the US seems to ignore the UNDoHR and when it comes to it’s international drug policy it enforces the UN Single Drug Convention all over the world with aggression to the point that no country in the world besides Peru can even make cannabis legal in their own nation state without violating international law (which WILL be enforced).

      [1] http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

    • If you read Evgenia Ginzburg’s writings, she was convinced -as were many many others- that even in her case the Gulag was for the greater good.

      Just calling it a “commie gulag” does not minimize the fact that for many people they were “for the betterment of the country and its protection.”

      So: yes, one needs to take the worst to memory in order to prevent the bad from happenning. History is filled with good-willing governants.

    • 2) Failing that, talk to businesses. I could give you a vague fact pattern to ask about (a problem which is amenable to a solution with code) but people seem to get hung up on that so I’ll give you something really specific: you are looking for a MS Excel spreadsheet which has ever been mailed by Bob to Cindy, had Cindy edit it, and mail it back to Bob. Every time this happens a SaaS app gets its wings. Now go out and find, in the actual physical world, ten firms which have that same darn spreadsheet. Offer to build them a software system which solves the business problem which that spreadsheet represents. Ask if they would pay (pick a number based on how big the firm is) $50 to $250 a month for it. If yes, ask them to commit to buying it when it is ready. If you get 5 commits, build it, sell to them (n.b. you’ll lose some commits here), and then start trying to sell it in more scalable Internet-y ways.
    • Here is a problem that I would pay a subscription for a great solution to: Cron as a service.

      Sometimes when you set up a simple codestack on Heroku or Parse or similar, it would be great to be able to specify a web hook that should be called repeatedly just to run maintenance code, summarize scores, clean up logs etc. If you have root access you can set up cron but this is not always the case, and I think it would be possible to build a SaaS that people feel is easier to use and more flexible than cron. I would easily pay a few dollars a month for a simple reliable cron service. Reliability is key, your service needs to never ever fail.

    • 1. Identify a problem that affects a significant market, and a problem that you can solve within reason yourself.

      2. Create a solution that people are willing to pay for.

      3. Sell it.

      Tune out everything else. Ignore the gurus. Focus on the important things only and just do it. Tune out HN, tune out everything.

      I would look into doing paid mobile apps. But you still need to have 1-3 nailed.

      Definitely read PG’s startup ideas article. You don’t just sit down one day and think of startup ideas. It will come to you naturally because you will experience the problem. Any other way (other than partnering up with a problem experiencer) will yield fluff.

    • I hate to be the cynic (lies), but there’s no such thing as a “passive income”. The moment you put your service online you’ll have active maintenance and support, even if you don’t charge for it.

      The other problem is that if you solve a problem well, it’s actually extremely hard to avoid the business scaling. Once the revenue goes past 1k/month, it’ll carry on going, and few people can bring themselves to remove purchase links.

      I know that’s essentially what you’re asking, but my answer would be no, it’s unlikely that you can find a model that fits exactly the criteria you have.

      I notice many people posting ideas, rather than low-maintenance ideas.

    • I’ve also been thinking of the exact same thing myself, something which will generate enough profit to pay off bills, buy something nice and invest a little in growing the idea.

      Recently I’ve been working on https://www.emlipo.com which was scrutinized by HN for essentially being “little code nobody would pay for”. So I’ve not really wanted to work on that now.

      Still, there will be something out there I’m sure.

      By the way, the demo is currently offline. I’m currently at work, but shall try to get it back on.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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