Simon Willison’s Weblog

Entries in Feb, 2014

Filters: Type: entry × Year: 2014 × Month: Feb ×


Aside from Google I/O, does Google organize any other conferences?

They run a whole bunch, but many of them aren’t widely advertised—they have a lot of invite-only events for customers of their advertising tools, for example, and there are things like the Google Analytics Summit.

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What are good event venues to have a 100 person weekend hackathon in San Francisco?

As a general rule, tech companies in San Francisco are very supportive of hackathons and keen to host events. Eventbrite have hosted this kind of event in their office in the past, and I’m certain there are a bunch of other companies with decent spaces that would be worth approaching. Does the hackathon have a specific topic? I suggest approaching companies related to that topic as a starting point.

[... 90 words]

Does Y Combinator accept purely app ideas like WhatsApp, Flipboard, etc.?

Yes they do, but you’ll need to demonstrate that your team also has the ability to execute on the idea.

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Should I use Django forms or pure HTML in order to do not establish borders for the growth of my app?

Use Django forms. Django scales horizontally on the front-end, so if your site needs to handle large amounts of traffic you just need to run multiple front-end servers—your form handling code will scale up just fine.

[... 65 words]

What are the most important things to keep in mind when doing a presentation?

Know your material, and don’t speak too fast.

[... 28 words]

What is the best payment provider for a web app with monthly subscription fees at its early stage?

We found Stripe extremely easy to get started with for charging subscription payments.

[... 37 words]

What are the key points accelerators such as Y-Combinator drill into their startups?

They also teach the importance of launching something and getting real feedback. The entire three month YC process is based around the need to launch and demonstrate traction in order to raise money from investors.

[... 89 words]

Does Ycombinator welcome projects that are similar to alumnis?

Y Combinator has funded companies that are similar to alumni in the past. Two examples: they funded dotCloud and Parse, both platform-as-a-service startups, despite having previously funded Heroku.

[... 45 words]

What’s the best way to communicate with go libraries from within Python programs?

Go speaks HTTP extremely well, so one simple but powerful approach is to hook your Go libraries up as simple HTTP+JSON APIs and have Python call them over HTTP (the Requests: HTTP for Humans library is awesome for this).

[... 59 words]