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Let's Buy Hackaday

Hackaday is up for sale. Now we're going to buy it and keep it in the community.

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Here's a wonderful presentation on what we're going to do with Hackaday with your help.

Hackaday.com is up for sale. The writers and editors can save it, and also improve it.

Hackaday is, in my opinion, a modern day museum of hacker ingenuity. Following the pages of hackaday you can see the birth of world changing technologies as they go from a wild dream in someones home to a physical creation in front of you. The quintessential story of the hackers building the crazy thing in their garage that goes on to change the world (like computers) happens every day on hackaday. 

I've been a loyal fan and reader since the very beginning. I've stared in awe of extreme cleverness, groaned at the lame puns, and I've complained about changes. About two years ago, I got the chance to write for Hackaday.  While I did as much as I could to keep it awesome, circumstances didn't allow myself or our editor Caleb to make hackaday what it should be.

What would we do different? 

Hackaday should put more emphasis on our readers and community. The awesome projects we see every day come from people all over the world who are passionate about what they do. Hackaday should focus more on those people. This would involve things like:

  • Posting more hacks. Way more than the half dozen a day we're posting now.
  • Visiting and profiling hackerspaces.
  • Interviewing and profiling individuals
  • Holding regular competitions and giveaways.
  • Funding unique and interesting projects.
  • Helping give back to the community with interesting ideas like thecontrollerproject.com.
  • Creating hacker events where people can join together to collaborate and celebrate hacking. (like conventions).
  • Scholarships! This brilliant idea came from a Hackaday reader and we're more than up for it.

Why weren't you already doing these things?

These business decisions weren't Hackaday's to make. The current owner, Jason Calacanis, has kept the project alive and protected it out of loyalty for over nine years. However, he's too busy with his startups to focus on Hackaday, much to the chagrin of Caleb and myself, and he's given us the green light to start this campaign! (thanks Jason!).

Will there still be ads? 

Yes, it actually does take money to run Hackaday.com. However, that money will now be used differently than it was before. Much of it would be rolled back into building community as you can see above. There would still be operating costs and the money from this kickstarter would all be gone at the day of the purchase. Ad revenue would be necessary to fund everything from that point forward.

There's no way you'll ever raise this much money.

You're probably right. This is an all-or-nothing proposition. The owner of Hackaday, Jason, is considering a revenue-sharing agreement where $250,000 would be paid up front, with $10,000 a month for 30 months after that. We don't want to do that. We want to hit the ground running, making Hackaday awesome from day one.

And really, would you contribute to a 'buy Hackaday' campaign if you knew it would stay the same (or worse) for two and a half years? We want to do the cool stuff now.

Wait, I though the owner wanted $500,000?

Yes, you're right. But there's also Indiegogo's cut. Anything left over from the purchase will go towards the rewards, setting up the LLC, and buying Caleb, Mike and other Hackaday contributors a beer. If there's a few thousand left over, we'll buy a laser cutter and give it away or something.

What might go wrong

The biggest hurdle for this campaign is getting funded. I'm pessimistic about this, but you're welcome to prove me wrong.

Apart from that, there's really nothing that will change on the user-facing side. Hackaday is already profitable, we have a great team of writers, a ravenous fan base, and more hacks showing up in our tip line than we could ever hope to publish. The only thing that's missing is our independence, and with enough funding, we'll have that as well

 

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