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Hackernoon logoThe Road to 300k by@David

The Road to 300k

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@DavidDavid Smooke

Founder & CEO of Hacker Noon

Hacker Noon surpassed 300k Medium followers this week. It’s humbling. It’s been a ton of work. At the end of the day, it’s a lot of people who trust as a place to read great tech stories. It’s not something I take lightly. And yet, it doesn’t really mean much, because when the day to day is driven by follower count, you never have the followers or the number of followers you want — and maybe that’s because they call them ‘followers.’ Oh, social media. These are people who read. I care about providing readers something worth their time. By focusing on the stories, we serve the readers. It’s always the stories first. The tech professionals writing down their work, their failures, and the walls they walked through. Writing with purpose. Writing with experience. Publishing the work you want to share. It’s about how you change tech and about how you make peace with tech. Submit your story to Hacker Noon today.

A Recent Podcast

If you want to know more about the story of how I bootstrapped and run Hacker Noon and @AMI, check out my recent Indie Hackers Podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Was fun to share how I approach publishing — and much thanks to Courtland Allen for having me on the show!

Upcoming Story Highlight

We’ve started publishing excerpts from Adam Zachary Wasserman’s upcoming book, “The Chaos Factory.” The first 5 excerpts can be found at We have a bunch more coming, so be sure to bookmark that page to learn the decade by decade evolution of an industry.

This week’s top ten tech stories:

How a kid from San Francisco ended up starting a school in India. by Andrew Linfoot. “My start up failed and I had no money to pay rent. Three weeks later, having sold almost everything I owned, I boarded a plane to Bangkok with a one way ticket and a carry on backpack. My financial situation didn’t worry me. I only had a couple hundred dollars in my bank account but I had my laptop and I was a good software engineer. Good software engineers in the US can make $150 per hour freelancing, even while working remotely from beaches in Thailand.”

A crypto-trader’s diary — week 2 by David Gilbertson. “Finding the Good Information… I’ve grown to take it for granted that in the world of web development (my day job), pretty much everything is free. People write everything from server software to UI libraries, from blog posts to books — all for free. But in the trading world, almost everyone has something to sell.”

How Cryptocurrency Prices Affect the # of HODL Comments on Reddit by Anthony Xie. “So I decided to analyze every Reddit comment mentioning “HODL” to examine the relationship of HODL vs. the total value of the cryptocurrency market over time (market capitalization)… Both the days with the biggest market losses, along with the days with the biggest market gains saw a higher # of HODL comments on average.”

A tale of Webpack 4 and how to finally configure it in the right way by Margarita Obraztsova. “Webpack 4 so far is the popular module bundler that has just undergone a massive update. There is a lot of new things it has to offer, such as zero configuration, reasonable defaults, performance improvement, optimisation tools out of the box.”

How Internet-connected sex toys make it clear that we need to worry about the Internet of Things by Ida Aalen. “IoT-gadgets has a lot of problematic aspects, but with the sex involved, the problematic aspects become more evident. Everything that is connected to the Internet can be hacked. How would you feel if it’s not your girlfriend that is remotely controlling the sex toy, but someone else, that has hacked into it?”

What is the math behind elliptic curve cryptography? by Hans Knutson. “Public keys, private keys, and digital signatures form the basic components of public-key cryptography. No matter what mathematical basis is used to implement a public-key cryptographic system, it must satisfy the following at least for our purposes: (1) It is computationally infeasible to derive the private key corresponding to a given public key. (2) It is possible to prove that one knows the private key corresponding to a public key without revealing any useful information about the private key in the process. Furthermore, such a proof can be constructed in a way that it requires a specific message to be verified. This way, the proof forms a digital signature for that message.”

How to hack your mind to think like Richard Branson by Marcel Muenster, MD MPH. “You need to carve out periods of your life that aren’t obsessed with strategy, fundraising, and hiring. The seasoned entrepreneur knows this is easier said than done; you essentially live every moment doing one of these three things. The best way I found to do this? Make time to have conversations with inspiring people in order to make sense of your daily chaos. Regaining your creative power not only helps you develop ideas but also build your company.”

“A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.” — Richard Branson

How we made $100K trading CryptoKitties by Ivan Bogatyy. “Now the question was, which Kitties should we buy? The marketplace offered 4 ways to sort Kitties: cheapest first, most expensive first, newest first, oldest first (note: the website had been redesigned since). The first 3 options are clearly transient: you can always put a cheaper, more expensive, or a newer Kitty on the market. Oldest, however, is like diamonds: forever. Thus we decided to buy single-digit Founder Cats, despite their already hefty price tags: somebody just snatched them at 25 ETH and re-listed the lineup at 50 ETH($25K), with Founder Cat #1 trading even higher at 150 ETH.”

Lessons from Amazon’s shareholder letters by Susa(Sudharshan Karthik). “I constantly remind our employees to be afraid, to wake up every morning terrified. Not of our competition, but of our customers. Our customers have made our business what it is, they are the ones with whom we have a relationship, and they are the ones to whom we owe a great obligation. And we consider them to be loyal to us — right up until the second that someone else offers them a better service (1998).”

The Microsoft laptop anomaly by David O. “Branding is identity and it has to be a consistent narrative to be effective. Nobody understands this like the auto industry. Do you know that the same group that owns Bentley owns Audi? Why didn’t they combine it together? Or call it by the name of the parent company; Volkswagen? It is very important to brand right. In today’s world, people own for more than just functionality. If I were highly placed in Microsoft, I would create an hardware brand and build its credibility strong, isolated from the Microsoft brand, define an identity and a purpose for the brand, push it among social circles, capture the hearts of the young generation with it, can even go as far as naming a president for the brand that is a smart and likable 16 year old. People would think it’s a startup with lots of money but then if they investigate they would realize its Microsoft. And the value of Microsoft will shoot up just by the fact that they have a new brand.”

Until next time, don’t take the realities of the world for granted.

Kind Regards,

David Smooke


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