Turning Hackaday into a virtual hackerspace

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The owner of Hackaday, [Jason Calacanis], wants to sell this site. The editors and contributors of Hackaday want to buy it and turn it into a nonprofit. You can help! 

Here’s a really nice Powerpoint going over what we’re going to do while making Hackaday the best it can be.

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Here’s the skinny: if this campaign is funded, the writers and editors of Hackaday will keep doing what we’re doing. If we’re successful, we’re going to write up more hacks than we are right now, hosting an awesome community, and expanding our custom builds. You know how [Caleb] built Thor’s Hammer? If we’re funded, we’ll be doing more stuff like that, only with a bigger budget. It will be awesome.

But wait, there’s more!

The community is going to be the main focus from here on out. We’ll visit hackerspaces, do proper interviews, hold contests, and coming up with some giveaways. We might even do a few hackerspace/builder grants; sometimes we see a really cool build that’s constrained by custom or handmade parts (this spray etcher comes to mind) that need a shot in the arm and a little bit of funding to bring them into the ‘buildable by everyone’ level.

[dynotronix] in the comments suggested we do a Hackaday scholarship. That’s an awesome idea. At the very least we’ll buy some O Chem textbooks for students. They’re taking O Chem anyway, and having to buy the book is just rubbing salt in the wound.

But wait, there’s problems!

Half a million dollars is a lot of money. A ton. You know when you see the ‘briefcase with a million dollars’ in movies and TV shows? That briefcase couldn’t hold a million dollars. It would probably be something like $200 – $300k. We’re going to need a lot of help from the Hackaday community.

It’s been suggested many, many times that we offer some sort of equity or shares in Hackaday. This is illegal, and even though white collar prison seems  cushy, we’d prefer to keep things above board here. In any event, this is exactly the problem we’re facing right now – the possibility of an unknown business having undue influence over Hackaday. Too many cooks, or something like that.. We’d like to keep this in the family, with the same content (but expanded), and the independence to do what Hackaday should.

[Jason] did offer a revenue-sharing plan for the community to buy Hackaday, something along the lines of $300,000 up front, and $10k a month for 30 months. We don’t want to do that. That would actually decrease the revenue available to the writers and editors for two and a half years. Yes, with this plan, the community would ‘own’ Hackaday, but it would be worse – no projects, no really cool stuff – for a fairly long time. We want to hit the ground running.

In the interest of fairness…

This is not the only ‘lets crowdfund Hackaday’ project out there. [Logan Collins] and [Brett Diedrich] have their own Indiegogo campaign running. Edit: never mind, they shut theirs down.

If the Hackaday community doesn’t like this Indiegogo campaign, I encourage you to start your own. This is a community driven site, and we’ll be more than happy to support anyone who comes up with a better crowdfunding campaign.

And that’s all she wrote

So there you go. We’re crowdfunding Hackaday so we can be independant forever and do really cool stuff. The owner of this site has assured me he’s on board with this plan.

This post is going to be stickied for the duration of the campaign, so if you have any questions, ask them in the comments. I’ll update this post with an FAQ shortly.

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The FAQ:

So who would actually own it? /  If the funding is successful, who will really own the company? / Can you comment on who inherits this asset?/ What will happen in 2 or 3 years if you want to leave?

We’ll be setting up an LLC with the current writers and editors as the managers. Then we’ll go for non-profit 501(c)(3) status. If I die or leave in two or three years, Hackaday will still have other editors and writers.

Here’s the best reason why setting up an LLC is the best option.

It has been brought to our attention an L3C might be better than an LLC. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

What about shares / equity / No ownership of stock = no donation.

This is what we’re trying to get away from. Right now, the revenue from Hackaday is being used for other unrelated startups. We already have too many owners, and some weird dividend or sharing scheme would only keep us (financially) where we are now. This is publishing. Think of it as a subscription. Donate a buck or two and keep enjoying Hackaday as it is, but cooler.

For everyone who wants ownership of Hackaday, read this comment.

If that doesn’t convince you, it’s also illegal.

If this is funded, what’s stopping you from buying Hackaday, then selling it and keeping the money?

With non-profit status, this would require the agreement of all the writers and editors of Hackaday. That’s simply not going to happen.

The same could also be said if Jason sells to someone else. At least with this plan there’s some accountability.

Now go contribute!

Comments

  1. A. Dunkel says:

    I am in need of something else to do with my life. At this point I could go into mech. engineering or I could dedicate my life to something more fun.

    Jason if you are looking for your way out I could provide you with enough to set you up in a new house. That is not the point. If you are interested or reading then by all means…

    I would like to take Hackaday from a mere collection of articles to a place where an entire community could lay down an organized educational ground work. Think community driven virtual college with a possible crowd funding kick. Imagine what it would be like to get the accreditation of a four year institution but be able to provide the education at one tenth of the cost. That is a bold vision worth going for.

    I think we could also start linking into projects like those found at buildlog.net and reprap.org. Makerbot has gone the way of Stratasys and we need some way to keep Open Source alive. I think we need some Hackaday designed machines with our name on them.

    Continue the old format? Yes. That’s our bread and butter… But could we do more? Definitely and without compromise.

  2. mistbooster says:

    If you make a funding plan, I will commit to chip in 70-150 bucks.

  3. dvorak says:

    Mr Calacanis is rubbing his hands watching the indiegogo pledges…
    I say let hackaday die and start a fresh LLC. Regular readers will follow, and if you keep the quality of posts then non regular readers will follow too..
    You will also save everyone (except for Calacanis) half a million.

  4. Tomare Utsu Zo says:

    With Respect. I am only interested in an Equity. Not intersted in paying to start up a non-profit so some other people can have a job.

    R
    TomareUtsuZo

  5. xorpunk says:

    There should be democracy and transparency if you expect people to give 500k free. Want to change layout, add ad for new product, bring on new partner, bring on new writer, give details and poll it, have some transparency for the poll.

    Sorry for using logic and common sense to conflict with your convenience. Until this is established anyone who gives sums of currency to this is a moron..

  6. ThinkLiveLife says:

    @’the editors’ Good idea but I think you really hurt your effort by coming out like you did. So much more information should have been put out on this post. To be blunt your not going to get any real contributions without clearing up quite a few things. I would list them off but most of them have been brought up in the comments. That and I’m going to put the same amount of effort into this comment as you put into this idea. If you want real donations put some time and effort into this idea. I really hope after reading all these comments you decide to revise the hell out of this thread. If you don’t show some competency in creating a business structure here you can’t hope to have any real shot at this. Please take this comment to heart. I would hate to see a good idea die because of a lack of preparation.

  7. AndreaS says:

    Shit … it’s really expensive …. 500K for a web site!!!
    I love you but he’s making a LOT of money on OUR good ideas …

  8. chuckt says:

    You basically have to raise $18,000 a day or you won’t reach your goal. You only raised $11,000.

  9. Joel Aud says:

    All you need is approximately $500,000? How soon do you need it and what does that include?

  10. cocasdaneve says:

    @Brian Benchoff: I’m replying here because I can’t reply to you directly (too many nested replies?).
    This is regarding your reply “Everyone suggesting equity can read, right?”

    I know it must be a bit frustrating, it’s starting to show in your replies, and I’m sorry for using the term “equity”, but you should clarify things a bit further. If you also read my comment and other similar comments more carefully, you will also see that the worry is not just “I’m ‘investing’ money and not getting equity”, it’s more “you guys are financially in the green because of advertising and are still asking for a very substantial amount of money without giving lots of details”.

    After reading the FAQ more carefully (was it edited after the first post?), in the FAQ you say:
    “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
    You shouldn’t, you should first study everything and make things very, very clear before asking for money.

    “Right now, the revenue from Hackaday is being used for other unrelated startups.”
    Again, to ask for a 500k donation you should make very clear where every cent of the HAD revenue money is going/will go.

    “Think of it as a subscription. Donate a buck or two and keep enjoying Hackaday as it is, but cooler.”
    This is a better reason, but again, the money you get from our views of the ads looks like it should be more than enough to cover your expenses without the need for a subscription, see the previous line.

    “(…) equity or shares in Hackaday. This is illegal.”
    Why? Please elaborate, I’m sure a lot of HAD readers are not in the USA and are not familiar with your laws, see my first point regarding the FAQ.

    With this I’m suggesting you should make a new post making everything absolutely crystal clear, that’s one of the reasons why people are making comments and suggestions that sound silly to you. In my opinion you didn’t made things as clear as they should be.

    Sorry for being boring again, but don’t take this mild negativity the wrong way, if we are asking these questions it’s because we care :)

    • dan says:

      the where the money is coming from / going to is simple.

      this guy called Jason owns the site, 100%. it’s his ad account or whatever, he gets all the money. after he’s paid the writers wages, he uses it for beer and porn and launching his other on-line interests (which he already said was inside.com)

      This guy called Jason doesn’t have time to run the site, so he wants to sell it…

      but peculiarly enough this guy called brian who doesn’t own the site can’t use this guy called Jasons money to buy the site from him, also this guy called brian can’t use the profits from the company that he works for to buy the company that he works for, because it’s not his money it’s the company that he works for…

      that’s roughly akin to saying that I’m going to buy google, by using the profits that google are currently making now.
      obviously I can’t those profits belong to the company, they don’t belong to me who wants to buy the company so that I can get those profits.

  11. C7VXZ8 says:

    “Hey, I have a question because I just read the title and nothing else”

    FFS people, this isn’t rocket science

  12. Dan C says:

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just make a new hack a day..? I can refresh my bookmark as easy as anyone.

    I love hack a day, but I’m not so sure it’s worth that kind of money. The talent is worth it but the site and infrastructure can’t be.

    I’d be more excited if you guys did what Leo Laporte did and just start something new from scratch. The lines would be clear. Jason is an interesting guy but he makes more than I do so I’m hesitant in funding his Tesla habit.

  13. Franklin Templeton says:

    I’m too confused to push any buttons. RnR the funding proposal.

  14. We’re going to buy Hackaday for you, err
    You’re going to buy Hackaday for us.

  15. LinkSearcher says:

    Honestly, the link to the campaign should be much much larger. I literally had to search for it…

  16. qwerty says:

    $500K for a brand name? That’s plain crazy. I would refuse even if they offered me google.com at $100K.
    C’mon people, YOU (editors, contributors) are the real value behind HAD, not its name. Your knowledge is worth much more than that. Just register a different site and move operation over there, write a note on your FB and Twitter pages and people will follow.
    Skeptical? Just take a look at the story behind http://linuxgizmos.com

  17. SpankOO says:

    I do not have so much money now… lol… :)

  18. Matt M. says:

    I’m a longtime reader and several of my write-ups have been featured on HaD. HaD gets 100% of their featured technical content donated, for free. The most visible thing the editors at HaD do is write a quick summary paragraph and copy a photo from the write-up/video. I really don’t see why anyone would contribute to this campaign. What if Sparkfun or AdaFruit decided to do the same thing? Both of these companies do a huge amount of education and could almost be considered schools. HaD is only a collection of pointers to technical content. This campaign is nothing more than making one man $500K richer, allowing the HaD employees to keep their jobs and be their own boss.

  19. Rusticus says:

    Ok, so no pledge at the moment? Where can i give my “help” right now?

  20. NewCommentor1283 says:

    1)
    so many posts/replys, i can only assume noone will read this one

    2)
    ignoring “1”, i question why anyone would want to buy H.A.D. execpt to do negative things the readers would not want. but thats just ME and my opingion.
    i am suspisious from the start, so this is your advance “i told you so”

    3)
    im NOT accusing anyone of anything.
    im merely warning people might leave if the only articles posted
    are about how ebay sells wonderous things at wonderous prices
    andor how to build by following the assembly instructions
    of the mentioned linked sale.
    there have been many such articles and i have only ever complained a few times

  21. todbot says:

    I pitched in. Hackaday is a tremendous resource. Good luck guys!

  22. Greenaum says:

    A new one for the FAQ –

    “Why don’t the current editors just set up a similar functioning website themselves?”

    That way there’d be no malign influences, the editors would own it just the same as in the proposed $500K buyout, and they could pay themselves a nice wage.

    Would be much easier and cheaper for everybody. I dunno how many readers here are regulars vs casual, but every regular reader would move across, I think. The casual ones would find it soon enough from all the links back from featured sites. The only thing to worry about would be keeping the quality high enough to keep people reading, which they’re managing quite well now.

  23. Betram says:

    Am I getting it right?

    You want our money, to be exact half a million dollar, to buy HaD with the editors as the legal owners with all rights and all you give us is a laughable FAQ consisting of 22 lines (including titles)?

    Come down to earth guys. Imagine what you could have done with that money when you would start a new project doing it right.

    I’ll even do that editoring for free, kudos are enough.

  24. svofski says:

    Sorry guys, but no, I’m not buying you an ardui\h\h\h\h\hcompany.

  25. joe g says:

    Quick thought: keep the campaign and start a new website. Make it a nonprofit, and just don’t give jason the money. Let him sell the domain for what he can and make your own way. This is a DIY community, so if you want a better way to run things, start your own site.

    I would be more interested in helping a group of writers looking to do better work than someone that owns a website. This looks like a good way for Jason to get 500k and leave you guys broke with access to a domain name.

  26. 0c says:

    Half a million? Talk about greed.

    Wanting half a mil for a site that makes $168,000 worth of ad revenue by posting other people’s work is pretty unethical and is the epitome of scumbaggery.

    We can make a new site.

  27. d says:

    Here is an article about Jason Calacanis (the current owner of HaD) and his orange Tesla roadster (base price $109,000). I particularly like the pic of him and his peace sign. http://www.autoblog.com/2008/11/24/orange-you-glad-jason-calacanis-let-us-drive-his-tesla-roadster/

    F*ck Jason… f*ck him and his half a million $ website and he can ram his Tesla up his ass.

    This whole damned thing is a scam. Why anyone would give this sh*thead money is beyond me, I get sick to my stomach reading people post “I don’t have much money but I want to contribute so I gave what I could”.

    Make, Gawker and other companies said they passed on buying this site… apparently they realize that making this rich f*cker any richer is not in their best interests. Why people who are 2 steps away from eating dog food would do such a thing is sad and sickening.

    Don’t give money… let it fail so the poor suckers who fell for this scam don’t lose their money,

    If you want to go public and be a small cap on NASDAQ is fine with me… I’ll buy a 1000 shares of that…. but asking for handouts to make this prick any more money is a god damned slap in the face to your readers.

    Giving this guy money is akin to eating the ass end of a skunk.

  28. Jason Voyles says:

    Hi, I am very interested in donating. I don’t mind the LLC. formation, but I would much prefer a limited cooperation (LTD.) Not much of a difference really, But LTD would likely have a board of directors.

    I also would feel a lot more comfortable if you had a board of directors developed. It is necessary to put trust in people for you to give them money. Right now I just see Brian and Mike (current writers) as authors “Driving” the campaign to raise capital. While this is excellent, it would be beneficial to have outside individuals that are included to put trust a level of trust in the public’s eye.

    Are there other considerations for a Hack-A-Day interim board of directors? As with any cooperation (Especially non-profits), it is critical to have a very solid set of people that work together closely on the board. This is especially true when forming any cooperation. Without this board, it becomes very difficult to accomplish the tons of tasks it takes to form a non-profit. Good candidates include lawyers, Accountants, Professors, Authors, (gasp) politicians, and other people in the “public eye”. It also provides a level of trust between the pubic and yourselves.
    Granted, you would likely be sued if you just took off with any of the money and dropped all of the promises, so I guess I can give 25$ or so. :-)

    Jason Voyles,
    President
    Club Cyberia Maker Space

  29. Eric says:

    This could have worked, but you guys aren’t taking it seriously enough. If you want us to pay 500k to buy you a website show that you are committed by scrounging up some money and hiring some counsel to do it right.

    The message SHOULD be “We have an LLC/nonprofit already registered that we want to use to buy Hackaday. Here are some legal documents describing its structure and the safeguards we have in place to make sure your money will be used in the manner you intended. We have negotiated with Jason to bring the selling price of HaD down to XXXXXX. If you want to invest substantially and become a partner and take some ownership in this venture please contact us and we can have a conversation along with our lawyer. Otherwise, we have setup an indiegogo campaign where you can contribute and receive a sticker/t-shirt as a thank-you. ”

    I would TOTALLY back that kind of campaign. What I’ve seen so far (including the PowerPoint with numerous grammatical errors) feels like something anyone could throw together in a day or two. That isn’t good enough to get my money/support and it doesn’t give me any confidence that you would successfully run HaD. Sorry guys, love the site, but I don’t think I’ll be supporting this.

    • somun says:

      Well put. I was really considering making a donation the very first day but quickly disliked the approach considering the quite large amount involved.

      In addition to that. I still cannot figure out how many people will actually own this thing. Says, “Editors and writers” in the FAQ but I could not find a list or at least a number anywhere (I might be retarded but asking this because I may not be the only one?)

      • somun says:

        Ok, I’ve seen the answer, it was there in the google doc slides (said I was retarded). FWIW, it’s ‘currently’ only two folks that we are given the opportunity to buy HaD for.

  30. 0c says:

    Oh, my post got deleted. I think I’ll post it again:

    Hackaday already makes *at least* $168,000 per year from ad revenue from other people’s content. You just post projects that other people make and rake in the cash.

    Asking half a million bucks for a site that functions in this manner is highly unethical and smacks of douchebaggery.

    What are you paying for with that half a million bucks, exactly? This is just a WordPress template and an email to submit projects.

    Forget this BS. We can make our own site.

  31. CrashInfinite says:

    It’s sad that this is the first comment that I’ve wrote on Hackaday, as I’m pretty new to the site. But come on guys.

    Whilst the details of the purchase are a bit shady, I think in general the writers/editors have a good idea and I’m pretty sure it’s not a money grab.

    However, looking at the indiegogo campaign I’m surprised as to what you decided to give as rewards. They suck.

    For example, why not use something a bit more personal:

    1) Guest article (this has already been mentioned)
    2) Personal Skype call from Caleb or Brian or even everyone to discuss projects and ideas etc
    3) Invitation to a secret group video call for contributors
    4) One of the writers will write an article for your personal blog on a relevant subject

    Just some ideas, but I think people would be more likely to give money for the chance to speak to you guys and get your advice, rather than a sticker…

    • You figure out what to price those examples at, and I’ll put it up.

      • CrashInfinite says:

        Just my opinion but,

        Move the 5shirt down to $200
        Add group video conference to the $500
        Guest Article at $1000
        Personal Skype Call at $2500
        Writers write you an article for your blog/website at $3000

        I don’t actually know, not too familiar with indiegogo or how much people are willing to spend, but I just think the above stuff wont cost anything but time, and looking at your comment above you need things that readers value, but are at a minimal cost.

        Keep up the good work though Brian, I’m sure it’ll get sorted.

        Cheers

  32. cocasdaneve says:

    Hmm, comments being deleted?

  33. d says:

    Brian I saw the post you deleted about Jason not paying you for over a month.

    You… got… to… get… out….

    • coleman1982 says:

      I also read Brian’s post. That is kind of sad. Not sure what the incentive to raise the money is if the guy running the site is screwing you over. Not sure that Jason wants to use his own site as the mechanism to announce a decent alternative, but I am working on a hackernews style hackaday that users can post links and discuss things on. I will post the info when it’s done. See if it gets removed.

  34. mookieblaylock says:

    FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN A COMMUNITY HACKER SITE:

    It has been mentioned numerous times that

    A) HackADay is really a bunch of links with interesting (sometimes) discussions in the comments.

    B) It’s primarily interesting because of the community and not because of the editors/writers (they are good guys and do a good job though).

    C) 500k is a stupid amount of money to ask for and the poor editors are taking a beating for doing what a good number of people asked them to do (sorry guys!)

    With that in mind I am hosting a HackerNews style social site to contribute links and maintain discussions. My hope is that the people who REALLY do want to continue meaningful discussions and share links will try it out. I realize soliciting people in the comments is probably going to run afoul of the editors… but I hope that they realize this is meant to keep the community together at a time where it’s future is uncertain.

    Also, I am paying for the server. I will not use ads. If a critical mass is reached, then moderators will be appointed. If not, it will die a slow internet death.

    http://www.curatoris.com/

    Hope to see you there!

    • kludgecraft says:

      I’m signed up.

      It will be interesting to see what kind of traction you can get. I hope it takes off!

      On another note…

      HaD has been, and still is, pretty awesome, but it is worrying that we rely on it to find and discuss cool projects. It would be really revolutionary if we could find a completely decentralized way of doing it.

      Perhaps all of us who fancy ourselves hackers could take some time to seek each other out, subscribe to each other’s RSS feeds, and just comment on each other’s sites.

      There’s really no need to have a central hub to have an online community, and it is more robust if things are arranged so any node can disappear without bringing down the whole community.

  35. Dave says:

    I didn’t read the 300+ comments so I might be asking something that has already been asked.

    I’m posting this message for the editors (those who got paid by the owner).

    I’ve been looking at the Powerpoint presentation in which you list the positive things about a non-profit corporation. I can only but support those things..

    But why in the h*** would you pay 500k for something like this? Why would you (or we, or whoever reads this message) pay for Jasons house, boat, car, ….?
    WHY WOULD YOU EVEN WORK for this guy? It seems like he’s more interested in his money then providing for the “greater good/cause” his editors and posters are after.

    Instead of raising 500k, try raising 1k, open a new site as a non-profit organisation, and people will follow. I doubt my post will be posted, but it’s worth the shot. Thanks.

  36. Eric says:

    Take 2:

    This could have worked, but you guys aren’t taking it seriously enough. If you want us to pay 500k to buy you a website show that you are committed by scrounging up some money and hiring some counsel to do it right.

    The message SHOULD be “We have an LLC/nonprofit already registered that we want to use to buy Hackaday. Here are some legal documents describing its structure and the safeguards we have in place to make sure your money will be used in the manner you intended. We have negotiated with Jason to bring the selling price of HaD down to XXXXXX. If you want to invest substantially and become a partner and take some ownership in this venture please contact us and we can have a conversation along with our lawyer. Otherwise, we have setup an indiegogo campaign where you can contribute and receive a sticker/t-shirt as a thank-you. ”

    I would TOTALLY back that kind of campaign. What I’ve seen so far (including the PowerPoint with numerous grammatical errors) feels like something anyone could throw together in a day or two. That isn’t good enough to get my money/support and it doesn’t give me any confidence that you would successfully run HaD. Sorry guys, love the site, but I don’t think I’ll be supporting this.

  37. Cheech says:

    capitalist pig-dogs! die! die! die! :)

    on a more serious note, going “upmarket” with bigger bucks for projects will alienate most of the world population that are the grassroots of the hackaday “make something cool from leftovers or cheap parts” movement. The average cost of my hacks is around 0.5-1$US new/off-the-shelf parts the rest is recycled or broken equipment.

    Things are tough all over man

    • Franklin Templeton says:

      I would totally be down for that. I usually enjoy the Dollar Tree prop guy’s builds. A dollar tree hackaday kinda thing would be cool. Mixing in found items as you suggest would be neat also as I enjoy Dino’s kinda hacks as well. As I always joke to the wife, “Between Hackaday and Thereifixedit lies the truth.” lol. We could all stand to save a few bucks anyway. Good thinking, Cheech :)

  38. Anybodysguess says:

    At this rate it will only be a little over 1/2 funded.

    I would love to see a Hack a Day with contests and stuff, just don’t change it to much, would hate for Hack a Day to go the way of Instructables.

  39. Anybodysguess says:

    At this rate it will only be a little over 1/2 funded.

    I would love to see a Hack a Day with contests and stuff, just don’t change it to much, would hate for Hack a Day to go the way of Instructables.

  40. Andrew says:

    Ok, after reading nearly all of the comments and posting a few of my own over the past couple of days, I have a few clear thoughts about this whole shebang…

    1) I appreciate the dedication from the authors/editorial staff for keeping on plugging away. According to Brian Benchoff, he hasn’t received a cheque for over a month and that is just wrong for a business that is grossing $14,000 per month. You guys need to get paid before anyone talks about selling the business.

    2) Regardless of what any anonymous guy on the internet says: Branding is important and HAD has a brand and following. Yes, the hosting and setup for the site is trivial but HAD is established and I don’t expect the authors/editors will be motivated to start from scratch something they have had a great deal of involvement building up to this point.

    3) I still think that the best way to generate funding for this is through selling shares. I would be first in line to make a share purchase. I’ve been following HAD for a few years and although I can find a lot of the articles piecemeal if I hunt through various other sources, it is great to open my browser to one page and find it all here.

    4) If I were to invest in the purchase of HAD, I would challenge the valuation as an act of due diligence.

    I have purchased one company and nearly purchased another in the past eight years. The first one was small and the investment was small and it was eventually absorbed by our company but in the long run I came to believe we paid too much (part up front + royalties over two years). The second one was large and had huge promise but this time we went to an accountant who specializes in acquisitions. He made no bones about it that the owners had an idea of value, we had an idea of value and there were methods to come up with a “real” value. You never want to buy something that doesn’t repay you in short order and start generating revenue. I think the same conversation needs to be had to determine the real value of HAD and this should be done before generating a big pile of money.

    No offense to Jason; he’s done a bang-up job of creating and managing things. No just anyone can do that and if it were the case, we would all have revenue generating websites but just because Jason has a number of 500K doesn’t mean it’s worth it.

    • Did you see the post I deleted where Jason turned down Johhny Lee’s $3k bounty for an open Kinect driver? That went to Adafruit instead of Hackaday.

      How about the one where Full Spectrum Laser wanted to give us a laser cutter away for a contest? Jason turned that down and it went to buildlounge.

      And of course there’s me waiting for my paycheck for a month and a half.

      I challenge your assumption that Jason has done a bang-up job here.

      And keep in mind, you people wanted a kickstarter.

      • Andrew says:

        Well, yeah… I saw that but he owns the site so he’s the one who makes those decisions. Did you see the rest of my points?

        I think Jason has an inflated idea of the value of the HAD website and before anything else happens he should pay you guys up to date. That said, he somehow managed to attract writers, advertisers and a following. Somebody has to do that and with all due respect to everyone else involved, he was the one who somehow managed to do it. So yeah, I think he’s done a bang-up job for the past 10 years.

      • rocket says:

        Just because the tech community wants it crowdfunded that doesn’t mean it’s the best way forward for the site. If you want to keep it going you should make your own informed decisions based on appropriate advice from financial specialists rather than anonymous posters with little financial experience.

        And to Andrew’s points:
        1) totally agree
        2) the HaD brand has value but is it as much as what the owner wants for it?
        3) regardless of the way the purchase is structured – you need to have more transparency and work done before funding is considered.
        4) valuation (particularly by an independant valuer) is a must if you are asking anyone to help you fund this, other than with your own $$. It is the main due diligence matter that you haven’t addressed.

        As it stands, love the site and your general proposition, but I feel you’ve gone about this with little serious planning and due diligence.

  41. James says:

    I see some comments condemning this action, usually by people who then say they have no business background. Comments do little to help this dialog as this is solely a business situation and it is important to look at it as such. Just because a company is grossing 14K a month doesn’t mean that is what it is neting. Hosting, site management, paying writers and everything else that costs money all get a chunk of that.

    Hackaday as a site, collection of information, brand and community has a value. A value that is hard to put a dollar amount on but the owner has given the price of $500,000. By some estimates this may be reasonable depending on current assets and future revenue. It would take some work to confirm these numbers but I am going to use them for now, rather than comment on if I feel that is a fair price or not.

    Here is how I asses the situation. The writers want to make hackaday a writer owned company. The writers do not have enough capital to do this and seem to be uninterested in seeking equity investment or loans to make the purchase. Because of this they are trying to sell items on indieagogo to try to raise the money to buy the company outright. Those who buy these items will not be considered investors and will not be entitled to any equity in the company. It is a novel plan but only time will tell if it is effective.

    Personally I don’t have confidence in this succeeding. $500k is a huge goal and the return for your indiegogo investers is low. There are quite a few more reasonable ways of going about this that I think you guys need to consider. I am not sure all of them are the types of things that should be discussed on an open forum until they have been vetted a little. If you would like some professional advice please feel free to drop me an email.

    On top of this you guys are trying to avoid dealing with shares/equity/ownership and the truth is that none of that is avoidable. You will have to have owners, accountants, managers, etc. You cannot just get the stuff you want from a business and ignore the real business work, the company will just fold.

  42. Louis says:

    Really…. Someone Dropped 10,000.00 WTF…… Someone has money to burn.

  43. Christiano Oliveira says:

    Sorry, Brian. After everything I have read about it, I would never give away ANY money, and in adittion, discourage every single person to donate it for you. You want hackaday, you BUY it. Otherwise, let someone else buy it. Shall hackaday wont fulfill it´s mission, other “.com” will certainly take over. I don’t want hackaday to change purpose, but I believe it is a commercial venture. If you want your share, money or not, I’m sure every donor will want it too.
    Most sincerely, wish you luck in your course of action.

  44. Sheda says:

    Am I the only one to get a :

    400 Bad Request
    The plain HTTP request was sent to HTTPS port
    nginx/1.3.11

    When I try to “contribute now” on indiegogo?

  45. MikrySoft says:

    I suggest that you should get in touch with The Geek Group and see if they would be interested in buying the site for you (with money donated from HaD users) They already are 501c3 and do most of the stuff you said you wanted to do with the money from this site. Plus our donations to them would be tax deductible and no third parties (like indiegogo) would take any cut from them

  46. Pun says:

    I love everything about this plan, except for the amount of money it has brought in so far. My (very limited) experience with crowd funding says this campaign is irrecoverably behind right now. Does anyone think this still has a chance? I would really like to be wrong here.

  47. Raven Of Rage! says:

    i think a lot of comments that have been on this thread are missing a huge part of the picture here…..the point of what brian and the rest are trying to do is make this site better and remove jason from the picture since he will not reinvest the profits from this site back into this site. also it seems as if they are trying to make HAD into a charity to encourage more hacks and mods! they are asking us as a community to help them help us and others like us. before you decide that the price is too much…how much value have you gotten from reading this page? how many ideas have you gotten? how much money has it saved you? take that value and multiply that by roughly say perhaps 10,000 readers…and that is what HAD is worth to the internet and the world in general….and before u say that the site should be for profit…just remember for profit companies are required to make money for their shareholders…which would mean more ads and other distractions from the core of this site. jason shame on you for in my eyes ravaging the value of this site to fund other projects! brian im going to do all i can to donate to this worthy cause and for all those greedy ppl that say they will not help with out a stock dispersal….if thats the case yall put ur money together and see if u can come up with enough….i for one would much perfer a non profit HAD so that the community will grow instead of HAD becoming just another tool of the corporations!!!

  48. Pedro says:

    if I’m donating I want to see all the accounts and what the money will go to and what is the present revenue etc etc etc I want to see the numbers otherwise I won’t donate a single penny and I advise anyone from doing it.
    This is very grey and it seams like a scheme to suck money.

    if this shit goes as planed it’s the beginning of the end of hack a day.

  49. wyndnra1n says:

    I find it astonishing, that the people who keep this website running, who seem exceptionally smart, expect a group of a thousands of poor hackers to raise $540,000 dollars for this. Why the heck do you think people *hack* things together?

    Imagine how much beer and ramen that could buy.

    I don’t mean any disrespect by this, but in my eyes, the eyes of someone who fits the stereotype I laid out, this idea is just plainly stupid.

  50. Jerzee says:

    Hackaday: I have followed you since your weee days, learned plenty of tricks, hacks and shortcuts, not to mention having a place to go an fullfill part of my inner-geek. Over the years you have provided me more entertianment and information than I can account for.

    I hope this succeeds. You have my pledge of $200.

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