Well That’s Finally Over With


When the owner of the site wanted to sell Hackaday you guys wanted a Kickstarter to crowdfund the purchase and keep it in the community. I obliged and started a crowdfunding campaign. All things must pass, and I got an email from the owner, [Jason]:

Looks like a nice showing but we won’t hit even 100k
I guess we tried…. I have two solid offers from really cool folks. Will keep you posted.

Yes, that’s right, we’re finally done with the crowdfunding campaign. The end time for the campaign is now set for Monday at noon – you can’t actually delete Indiegogo campaigns – and I’m very, very doubtful it will be funded by then.

I have two words for those who supported Hackaday and this crowdfunding campaign: thank you. It’s astonishing we raised what we did without the infrastructure, licensed business, and non-profit status that would make Hackaday really cool. You guys believe in the future of Hackaday, and I’m very thankful for that.

As for the people who vomited vitriol against me in the comments of the crowdfunding announcement, I also have two words for you.

Even though the dream of a Hackaday owned by the community is dead now, I’m extremely confident we’ll find a better home for Hackaday that will allow us to keep moving forward and allow us to do some really cool things we’ve been thinking about for a while. I’ve spoken with a few of the possible future owners, and let me assure you they’re cool people. No, we won’t be doing grants for builds, but I assure you Hackaday will come out of this better than how it went in.

TL;DR: We didn’t quite get to the best of all possible universes, but things are going to be better than how they were before. Everything’s cool, don’t freak out. We’ll tell you stuff when we know more.

150 thoughts on “Well That’s Finally Over With

      1. Or it might have been because people thought it was a bad idea……. because it was a bad idea? Hats off to giving it a novel try but it was a pretty terrible ownership structure.

    1. Hi Caleb,
      I have been reading all the negativity around the indiegogo campaign and frankly it saddens me and I imagine it’s not very nice for the Hackaday team either. As such I thought it was important for me to say thank you. I love Hackaday. I read every day.

      Hackaday is great for many reasons, but mostly for it’s ethos of knowledge sharing and collaboration. I’m a big believer in the ‘make do and mend’ mentality and Hackaday makes a massive contribution to demystifying the little magic boxes that are becoming more and more integral to our day to day lives.

      I really hope that you are right about the future of Hackaday and I wish I could have donated more – I would have bought the site in a heartbeat and funded a Hackaday roadtrip around schools colleges and universities if I had the means.

      Whatever the future holds you can be sure that Hackaday will always have at least one grateful and avid reader.

      Warmest Regards,
      Charlie Wilkinson

  1. Thanks for keeping this process so transparent, it’s really interesting! I’ve been reading HaD since 2005 and I feel personally invested in its future for reasons I can’t quite explain.

    1. LIkewise. It’s a real community (even with fartface and the other trolls showing up)… everyone gives it a little special something and it adds together to be a great place!

  2. I’m done with this website.

    All you guys have is a bunch of links to content hosted externally, typically on personal blog websites. How the hell is that worth as much as you were asking? What you were asking for this website was insulting, to the readers and content producers you linked back to.

    I don’t know why people stick around here anymore. This whole mess reeks from top to bottom. Leave now and never come back, let them try to “sell” the site for cash with zero readership and no new content. I am honestly surprised an alternative hasn’t been created yet- somewhere truly free and open without the burden of this political and marketing nonsense.

      1. That doesn’t even make sense in the context. Fact of the matter is that Jason is holding the Hackaday name hostage and demanding a ransom. From what I see this [Jason] fellow is a behind the scenes admin looking to cash in on the work of others. The people visiting the site every day (ad revenue) and the people doing the write-ups (content) are the real reason Hackaday is still around.

        1. No, I think you are entirely incorrect. Jason owns the site the readers and staff do not.

          Regardless of how you feel about his management style or whether the value he’s attached to it is realistic, it’s his site. The writers and staff are employees and we are the readership. This is the way business works; find an opportunity that shows promise to make some money. Invest some time/money putting together the business and if all goes well, reap rewards of many times your investment. It is a beautiful thing, especially if you can get paid for something you enjoy.

          If you think think you can do better, then do it. Make a better website, hire people for the editorial and establish a site that does what H-A-D does but do it better. Once you’re done, give it away for free.

          1. What is “the site” without readership, editors, and most importantly user-create content?
            Just a domain and a wordpress template.

            WE (the community) are the content providers and the content consumers. Jason is just a middleman looking to skim some cash off the transaction.

          2. @0c: “WE (the community) are the content providers and the content consumers. Jason is just a middleman looking to skim some cash off the transaction.”

            I appreciate your passion but you’re wrong. WE (the community) are the consumers. Some of us are making things (with build threads online) that are picked up and reviewed on the site but the majority of WE (the community), consume.

            The value is in the content that is aggregated and posted by the staff; Staff who were hired by the owner, Jason. I’m not diminishing their value however even staffers that make or break a business are still only employees unless they own the site. The owner holds all the cards. He had the initiative to set it up, convince the writers to stick with him and keep it going.

            I challenge those of “WE (the community)” who think they can simply do better to put their $9.99 where their mouths are and buy a catchy domain name and then get a $99/year hosting account so that they can build a better H-A-D site. I’m not saying that to be argumentative. I’m just saying, anyone can have an idea but very few follow through and act on it.

          3. @Andrew – You may think that I’m ‘entirely incorrect’ but I’ve read some of your other posts and you’re more interested in pushing an idea that would get people ARRESTED. Selling ‘shares’ in Hack-A-Day would land people in jails, so if that’s your version of a good idea- I’m OK with being ‘entirely incorrect’.

            Fact of the matter is that [Jason] is acting like a domain squatter. Who has done the actual work on the site? Every time I’ve heard mentions of site maintenance it’s been Caleb doing it. Who was working on the new WP theme? Who was driving cross-country visiting Hackerspaces promoting and building a community?

            FWIW: Business is about providing a good or service for a reasonable cost, Sitting around for 10 years while other people build a site, provide content, and establish a community is not ‘reaping rewards’. It’s profiteering.

            [Jason] wanted a hal-mil not because that’s what the site is worth, but because that’s the figure that he figured someone would pay.

            BTW: The fact that HAD editors get paid is highly hilarious… I mean, I was willing to look past the inability to spell-check for volunteer efforts- but that people are buying a site where every third post is a glaring example of inability to proof-read… that alone will have me smirking for, I dunno… three? Four days?

          4. I suppose you’ve never heard of the term “investment”? Yeah, it’s a new fangled thing where you provide some money for interest in a company and as a result you receive a shares certificate and often are paid what is called a dividend. It’s all the rage now but it’s pretty new so you might not have heard of it.

            Ok, sarcasm filter off: There is nothing illegal in anything I mentioned so don’t come off like a jerk. They could have set up a private company to buy HaD from Jason and offered shares to interested parties. That is how many companies get their start.

            Regarding your feelings about Jason. Instead of being bitter, why don’t you just show us how it can be done better.

        2. Someone has no clue how starting a business/company/project works… you sink the initial cash and make the commitments to growth, you reap the rewards. How is this so difficult???

      1. well apart from formatting everything as lower case, ’cause it’s l33t and all that. now we can have Capital Letters!

        Could be been worse I suppose; they could have converted everything to script kiddie.

        I don’t think anyone on HaD could actually spell, but at least they RTFA so the summary was at least relevant and correct.

  3. Well, I do like Hackaday the way it is now and most of the submissions are from outside the site so I’m sure you guys can keep it up without needing to own the site. Any improvement is icing on the cake (and it’s been good to have a conversation about that).
    In an increasingly mechanised and automated world, the ability to control and create our own devices will be important to counter runaway capitalism (where wealth constantly and increasingly concentrates) so I wish the new owners good luck.

  4. Now that it’s over, I can say this.

    When the campaign started, I predicted the end result would a demonstration to Jason that he was asking a clearly unrealistic amount; and that he’d end up considering – and accepting – a lower offer.

    Can you say at this point if this is what occurred, even if exact figures must be omitted?

    1. That’s more or less what I was thinking. Half a million dollars for a site that aggregates content via semi-literate posts? Hundred thousand, sure. Two hundred thousand, maybe. From what I’ve seen elsewhere, 10-20x the monthly revenue is typical. (e.g. 280 thousand tops).

      Alternate business model: Deduct 10% of an author’s pay for a given article for every typo/editorial error found, and give that to Jason. He’d make more money in the long run that way.

      1. Again it’s difficult to to know if a comment is bit of BS that may be a bit of a troll. I hope that Squirrel doesn’t now have or ever has a need for employees. Draconian penalties for inconsequential errors. Leading to a loss employees or difficulty in finding employees. No one hires employees unless there is work to be done. A business that has to hire employees is making money off those employees. Errors that aren’t likely to reduce revenue or incur liability are inconsequential.

        1. Inconsequential unless it reflects a lack of care or attention to detail in general. Which is sometimes the case.

          And as most of us know the HAD staff only by their written word, failure to take a few extra minutes to proofread casts some doubt whether they can successfully handle the many small details of a big venture.

          Plus, when you’re asking for 500K, most folks would put their very best foot forward. But even while the campaign was active, the error rate didn’t go down noticeably.

          I don’t think we would have reached 500K under any circumstances. But if it had been for a more reasonable amount, small stuff might well have made the difference between success and failure.

          1. The fascist spelling police cadets in the comments – yes, you Chris! – is far more annoying than some spelling errors in the posts. Shut up and get hacking!

          2. @bob How can you say that? He is completely right! It IS unprofessional to ask for half a million when you can’t even be bothered to spell it correctly! What *I* find annoying is that someone in the comments finally hits the nail bang on the head and someone like you comes along and shoots them down because u want to bum the editors!! Why?

            Mike can’t spell or can’t be bothered to check *OR* acknowledge that there’s a an issue with it.

            Caleb gave it a fucking good go for a few years and did quite well but inevitably jumped ship to a seemingly empty website.

            No idea that Eric had even left, he was posting ~ 6-9 months ago.

            Brian seems to be the quiet underdog for years that now seems very active as there are only 2 editors. Kinda feel sorry for him.

            Now I love HAD and have been reading since the early days but you gotta admit, things don’t look good right now!

          3. I just read that Caleb has left to become an editor for EETimes. Dude why didn’t u tell us and also why fob us off with that site address you told us you were leaving to edit?

          4. @Bob, I understand commenting on spelling errors is annoying too.

            It wouldn’t be so bad if such errors were infrequent. Or a comment typically resulted in a correction, perhaps even a quick thanks for catching it. Instead we have multiple people reporting the same thing, usually with attitude in an attempt to provoke a response since asking cordially hasn’t worked in the past.

            The fascist spelling police are certainly not the only ones to blame here.

          5. I resent the way you wedged in that sneaky “too”. For I don’t care at all if there are some spelling errors in the posts. Why do you have to obsess over that? Is that caused by a psychological compulsion you suffer from? Look, I don’t come here for delicately phrased poetry or to be astounded by peoples use of the english language. I want to read intros to new hacks, period. If it is an interesting hack and if the post gives an overview to it that is understandable (warts and all) then I’m very glad and all is well. The real value then is in the technical details of the project.

            Also keep in mind that the vast majority of us internet users are NOT native english speakers. As more and more earthlings get internet access that majority will only keep growing. You will during the remainder of your life see more and more “functionally sufficient” english and less and less 100% correctly spelled english.

          6. I agree with Bob here… I am a little OCD about spelling and grammar in print books, magazines and newspapers but for website’s like HaD, Instructables, etc… I am more interested in what is being discussed than whether the apostrophe is being used correctly or some sort of grammatical rule is being broken. I suppose it’s because I realize that the author can come back and repair anything that is incorrect or maybe I’m just more interested in the topic of the post.

            On the other hand, the Grammar and Spelling “dictators” are pretty annoying.

          7. I don’t care that much about smelling pisstakes, but when I read things like “… uses a Parallax Propeller IC to implement the CP/M language” it really freaks me out. Speaks volumes about general depth of introspection the editors tend to give to the things they’re writing about.

          8. @Bob: I don’t worry with spelling errors made by the authors of individual hacks featured here, nor poor English from non-native speakers.

            But all HAD staff are fully capable of proper English, and in the process of their job have been exposed to enough information that there’s really no excuse for most of the factual errors either. Some apparently just don’t give a damn, and as a highly visible representatives of the hacking community, they should. Any other supposition on your part as to my motives is false.

            You may in fact remember a post from the staff here, dedicated to how HAD was considered a joke by the hacking community at large, and that things have to change. One of the suggestions made at that time was that corrections should be emailed, rather than posted in the comments; and if this was done it was promised they’d be seen to promptly. That would have been a welcome change for me, and for you as well I’m sure.

            I did start emailing corrections only to find that promise empty, as all were ignored. Other promises, such as tighter moderation of comments from posters that were consistently hostile and non-constructive, were held to for a couple of weeks at best.

            I read HAD every day, as the first website of the day. I would miss it greatly if it went away or changed for the worse. I want it to be even better as a preventative against that possibility, and it easily could be. The editors say this too, but their everyday actions do not reflect or carry through on it. You can focus exclusively on lesser aspects like spelling as a means of distraction from other more serous issues also produced from carelessness, and resort to name-calling like fascist, all you like. It doesn’t change the fact that something is wrong here, I care enough to point it out, and will continue doing so.

        2. The first paragraph was serious, the second was just a joke to point out how bad the authors here are at actually writing/proofreading — with that system in place, they would end up paying out of pocket per post.

          1. Chris C: I bet the editors have a lot of email, comments and suggestions to browse through every day. If I had that task I would really, really, REALLY dislike that there was a naggy bunch of people who harp on and on about spelling errors. That would be a real downer! Things like that tend to suck joy and meaning out of the rest of the work. You may think you are doing everyone a favor but your nagging is really a net bad and you should stop. Accurate spelling under time pressure is a skill that some native speakers of a language have more of than others. What you repeatedly call “carelessness” is for many in fact simply a matter of prioritization among work task. They can produce 100% correctly spelled text but that would take time – time taken from other more important tasks. Do you want HAD staff to spend more time on perfecting their spelling and therefore less time on finding new hacks and participating in discussions? I don’t.

          2. Just no,
            If you are a professional writer, being paid a decent wage. (And we already heard that the principal editors job is 50k and general writer is 20 or 30k) then it should not be outside of your bounds of training or abilities to spell correctly, I know plenty of writers and book editors who write many more words than are written here and don’t make basic spelling mistakes.

            If the writers here are not professional writers, then how do they command the money that they are apparently paid.

            Indeed how does anyone who claims to be qualified in or around technology not know how to turn on a spell checker.

            Clearly someone thinks that half arse blog aggregation is worth a cool half million. So maybe I’m wrong!

      2. The sad part is that these guys are making money off other peoples content while producing nothing themselves. Are any of the people whos hacks are featured here going to receive a single cent? Of course not. And I really doubt it makes that much money in ad revenue. I know I block ads here and I’m sure most other people do too. And considering the average number of comments on a article is fairly low, I doubt this site is as heavily trafficked and some people may think.

        How much you want to bet that HaD is effectively dead a year from now?

        1. On the one hand you are right, BUT since nobody would know about all the small hacks (because there would be no aggregating site) they would have no money and no publicity. So you are right in one dimension, but you can create value just by tacking other people stuff and presenting it better and that’s ok for me.

          1. I agree. Just like Google , it doesn’t create the content, the people do. Yet people find Google useful. I find Hackaday useful, and entertaining.

        2. Spoken like someone who’s never been featured on HaD (I’ve been, twice). Some of us don’t hack for money–most of us, I suspect. No hack has every had content “lifted” and presented as being created by HaD. And the increased traffic is usually sufficient reward.

          Lets face it–most hacks are simple curiosities, or modern versions of the old “wordless workshop” in PS mag. Very few can monetized. That’s why they’re called hacks…

          If money were the primary concern, you’d take steps to protect your IP BEFORE releasing it to the wild… Or have a partnering relationship with aggregation websites, like Adafruit does…

        3. My opinion is that I never liked the way the review of someone else’s work takes a tone of a supposedly superior position looking down in publicly critical judgement on works that many times I’ve felt the reviewer could likely not reproduce at all themselves much less have performed as an original hack by themselves.

          An improvement would be if the reviewer held the work in awe from a position of humility and kept silent about any flaw he/she may have noted. Progress is built by standing on the shoulders of the giants that came before you, not by pretending to be greater than they and criticizing their work. Taking a snapshot of MKIII work in progress and being critical of it doesn’t help at all and may prevent MKIV from ever being produced.

          My opinion also includes that the entire concept of the site is to make profit from collecting the works of others into a single place and that the reviewer’s comments will be the death of HAD.

          And to close, my opinion is further born out by the reviewer posting his dislike of comments and that he/she has TWO WORDS for those that made comments that he/she didn’t like.

          The ONLY reason I look here is to find great new hacks being performed. For me alone I personally have found the reviewer’s comments to completely detract the entertainment I gain from this site. I would love to see the reviewer just be silent, and we don’t need the peanut gallery posting comments either like mine here, like yours, or anyone elses.

          1. *borne

            :) sorry, couldn’t resist.

            I would argue that comments do have their places:

            1) If the hack’s author follows the comments, they can provide added detail and clarification when people have questions.
            2) Positive affirmation — in many cases, seeing the general public’s shock and awe will help inspire the hacker to do new and bold things
            3) Speculative improvements — Commenters can sometimes (rarely) provide valuable insight about problems people are having with hacks, or suggest possible improvements for next time (e.g. all this thing needs is a mf’n flamethrower).

        4. I would agree but BoingBoing has been ripping its readers off for years. lol. Worst website/modmins out there. I say that should just be the goal: don’t end up like BoingBoing. :D

          I still wish Dino could have taken over in a way. I enjoy his stuff and lack of attitude. I feel like he has always had the right mixture of knowledge and shooting from the hip and helping others that make a good hacker. And his cats in vids lol.

          Best of luck to all involved and hope it gets ironed out soon.

        5. You know if you think about it, everything you said was probably typed with your eyes closed. think of it this way you make a really cool hack but you have a not so cool website. But because H.A.D, hackernews, ycomb and others may post about your hack and provide backlinks(yay) you now have a bunch of randoms you may not have had access to before checking out your hack and other hacks. Possibility of having new fans…yay you.. and to the grammer Nazi folks out there…No one gives a……(put appropriate phrase here if you find the time)

    2. The top bid was $450k. So, pending some final paperwork it will go for a fair price. The new owner is in the space and very, very committed to the community. We have a couple of back up offers too…. so, it should all get done in a couple of weeks.

      the only thing that will change is that they will invest a LOT into the brand and make it even better.

      1. Like I said above, if it is any of the folks I talked to, it will be a positive change moving forward. Better copy, better community support, etc. Expect good things (assuming it is the same people, I’m a bit out of the loop).

      2. Enjoy your half-mil. I’ll be removing Hackaday from all of my browser bookmarks.

        Really wish I had told my conscience to STFU and used ad-blocking software for the last 10 years, but no… I wanted to make sure that Hackaday got _something_ for entertaining and educating. Nice to see the last 10 years have all been so that someone can cash out and profit off of a community.

        Goodbye Hackaday. You were great while you were different from the other hack sites, but now you’ll just be a bottom line that someone needs to get their investment back from. While selling the site complicates things enough, the high asking price is a bit much. Pretty much guarantees the future as fiscal fodder.

  5. Well, here is my 2 cents. what a shocker huh? I knew this was going to be a failure just like 90% of the other reader that come to HAD. Here you go Brian Benchoff, NO we will not buy YOU a half a million dollar (DOTCOM) here are my two words for you, FUCK YOU and find a real job doing some god honest hard labor somewhere.

      1. Yeah, I thought that was way out of line too. I guess some people feel they have the right to be disrespectful when they’re protected by the anonymity of the internet. I thought H-A-D readers had more class.

        I didn’t agree with the way Brian and the guys wanted to raise the funding either but it was their idea and they were putting it in motion. My two words were “Good Luck”, “Too Bad”, “Sell Shares”, that sort of thing.

        I wonder if Richard Jensen (if that’s even his real name) would speak so rudely if he were speaking to Brian in person?

        1. I wonder if he would say that to the President of the United States, or any other individual employed in a field that does not entail “a real job doing some god honest hard labor somewhere”.

          I keep hearing that America is the land of opportunity but that seems to only apply to a minority few. The rest of us pions must do hard labor as punishment for being born.

      2. So writing isn’t considered labour….wow. I wouldn’t pay that troll in trident for moving a pebble from my front lawn if that is what he considers labour. I wonder you know programming and almost everything is still considered writing, Physical labour mental labour is there really a difference the brain is a muscle needs as much exercise as ur biceps there…

        1. I had the misfortune of running into a group of professing Christians that had the view point that if you weren’t working for someone else, or were doing what they considered having a job, then you were not working.

          I once had a newspaper route and when I tried to collect from non payees, one of them actually told me to get a real job. The worst part was that the newspaper supported the subscribers even though I was the one who was actually paying the newspaper company for the paper.

          Ironically, when an unemployed person can’t find work and asks for food stamps so that they don’t starve to death and can maintain their health until they do find work, they are accused of having an entitlement attitude. But people who demand that others give their talents, skills and labor to them for free, do not.

          1. We’ve got ingenious “workfare” schemes blossoming in the UK. Unemployed people are given a job, as part of an arrangement between the government and businesses. While they’re doing this full-time job, they get their benefit money. That’s all, no wage. The company pays nothing, and is considered to be doing society a favour in getting these layabouts off the streets.

            Meanwhile the last sane man, with his last breath, asks “how is supplying businesses with employees that they don’t have to pay supposed to REDUCE unemployment”?

    1. Wow man, if you’re the same Richard Jensen as Jensen1080 then you’re not doing much to make me want to read your entries on a brand new extremely-similar-to-HAD type site I found today. I really hope he’s not you!

  6. Perhaps part of the problem of not raising enough funds from hackers is that there are more than a handful of hackers out there that don’t have the spare cash to buy commercial offerings but they do have the knowledge/ability (and are willing to learn new skills) to create/modify for themselves.

  7. Freak out, over what Brian? For myself the fate what is free for me to use, that’s provided by the private sector is life’s small shit not to sweat. Not that I mean ill will, I would survive Hackaday’s demise if/when that happens.

  8. I’d love to know what those two words are for your readers that questioned the pocket that their donation lined. Some of us work for a living, and can’t afford to buy you a website.

    As for the future of HaD, I’m out. Selling out, shitting on readers after asking for donations… I’d rather not support that.

  9. Glad to hear Jason got some good parties interested in the purchase. I still think you guys need to get paid to date before he sells it though (just out of principle).

    I questioned the $500k but that was just due diligence. It could very well be worth that. I was around on the late 90’s, slinging HTML and I saw much more money being thrown at lesser assets. I quite like the idea that it’s worth some good coin. It’s always been a place of interest for me. Too bad you didn’t sell shares. I would have bought in immediately.

    All the best with the new owners.


      1. Yeah, I figured as much… Brian mentioned it in response to one of my postings on the other thread and it seemed weird that they hadn’t been paid but I just read (caleb’s post) that it was a paperwork issue so glad to hear all is well.

        I look forward to many more years of getting my daily dose of hack & tech.


    1. I don’t think there was any doubt that anyone would get paid. There was a slight delay when I left and forgot to turn in some payroll till it was a little late, but everyone has been working to make sure everything is going smooth.

  10. The end all what matters is that HAD lives on. It is up to the mods, contributors and visitors to keep it going in the right direction no matter who owns it. Most of us have been coming here for a while, in my case, I remember coming here since the mid-late 90s.

  11. My problem with the idea is that at the end of the day we’d donate money to the cause that’d go directly into Jason’s bank account, free to him to, idk, buy a golden toilet with if he so wishes. I have no problem with him buying golden toilets with his money, but that’s my money, and I’d rather put it towards my own toilet.

    Most kickstarters/indiegogos would fund a company that’s just starting up and creating a new, interesting, tangible product. Not so here, nor would we be shareholders or anything so our donations get us only the promise of editorial content and some touring from you editors.

    I’m not sure there’s a way this would have worked, maybe a community funded site should be community operated which would mean we suddenly turn into a reddit clone. Maybe the fact that hackaday has been privately owned for so long means it’ll probably be fine in such a state, so long as whoever owns it is not an idiot (and we can trust you guys to weed out idiot buyers).

  12. I trust after the sale the new owners will dedicate a post to telling us about: who they are, what they have done in the past, the direction they will be taking with HaD including any short and long term changes and other such info?. Actually why didn’t Jason set up a poll where the readers can vote on which company they would like as the new owner.. (with a small bio of each candidate). It’s logical that the fundraiser failed since people want to invest in HaD not Jason’s pockets..

    1. Adafruit and Sparkfun already have their posse of followers… Someone who is establishment but wants to be ‘cool’ to push their product…

      Um…someone like Mouser or maybe Newark/Element14?

      1. Hmm, interesting idea, 450k would be easy for them to spot, and would be within reason for the vastly improved advertising to hobbyists.

        Hobbyists don’t buy much stuff, but sometimes they have jobs in the electronics industry. Microchip has been marketing their PICs like this for years by giving dev kits to universities, it seems to work well enough for them. If TI can market on the personal level here then the may be able to garner good will and reputation that could improve sales on the commercial level.

  13. At the price sold my guess it: It doesn’t matter at all who ist buing it. Most blogs that were sold (in a way “not telling to whom”), where owned from some compamy, which were than (mis-)using the popularity of the blog as asort of advertising platform for their products.
    I don’t see how HaD will deliver us “cool hacks” related only to because they are coll and not because “I can/want sell this to you”.
    So, well surprise me “ominous new owner” (google?) (we’ll see in)

    I’m concerned if we “at least” get the hacks from the past somehow “rescued” from being transfered to “nirvana”.

  14. $400k – $500k is a fair asking price. Some of you guys just see dollar signs, but good, popular websites with lots of unique content for syndicates go for a decent amount.


    • HaD articles are written by real people. (Subject content belongs to 3rd parties, but the articles belong to HaD.)
    • Content Syndicates pay good money for original daily content (ie: NewsTex)
    • I’m sure HaD gets more than 50k pageviews per month: advertisers love that.
    • Over 7k other websites link to HaD (hooray for legit backlinks!)
    • HaD currently uses Google Adsense for advertising, which actually SUCKS – Google pays squat for their stinking banners. There are much better, higher paying options out there (and the potential new owners may know this.) If you have enough connections in your rolodex, private advertising can generate top dollar.
    • Notice the HaD sister sites popping up lately? Might have been a strategic move to increase the value.

    If revamped slightly, with some smart marketing, I’d guess the site could probably generate anywhere from $20k – $50k/mo in gross revenue. Maybe more under the right ownership.

    Overall, good for you guys: I hope all of the original startup team are getting a little slice of the pie and Jason isn’t getting the whole thing. ;)

  15. Also, I’m quite sure the buyer isn’t Google. For one, HaD wouldn’t be telling us about it because Google is hush-hush during buyouts (insider trading laws.)

    Second, if they were really interested, Google puts more commas in their checks…

  16. Please can we make the life.hackaday thing over as well? just seemed like a shameless attempt to fragment the site to increase it’s value. It all seemed like caleb was pushing the thing pretty hard and now he’s gone. can we get rid of that too? it’s awful!

  17. Love the site – no complaints about the articles, even. The ownership structure didn’t make sense to me though – I would have been happy to donate otherwise. Heck, i’d be happy to throw a few dollars to the authors aside from the campaign. But helping to raise half a million for some guy who does… what? Own a URL? I think you’d have better luck taking the authors, going elsewhere (“hack a minute”; idk) and kickstarting 50k to pay for hosting. The value here is in the content, which is wholly under the control of the folks that were trying to raise the money. Failing that, offering some ownership share to the investors for the current campaign would have been a pretty sweet deal as well. Regardless, it sounds like we’ll be seeing some changes in the future, and I hope it works out for everybody!

  18. Ok, I donated to the cause, I’ve enjoyed HaD so I thought I’d chip in, it sounded like a cool idea for the editors to buy it and create a not for profit – or whatever.

    But this quote from Jason has me confused :

    “Looks like a nice showing but we won’t hit even 100k I guess we tried…. I have two solid offers from really cool folks. Will keep you posted”

    Wait ‘we’? ‘we’ won’t hit 100k. So jason was part of the group trying to raise the funds to pay… himself. WTF? Slimy.

  19. >>>>
    As for the people who vomited vitriol against me in the comments of the crowdfunding announcement, I also have two words for you.

    NO! NO! NO! NO! Don’t give them words.
    Just load up your supper soak-er with syrup or other sticky substance and let go a salvo of saturating stickiness followed by an ample supply of chicken feathers.

    I’d say just tar and feather the lot but I don’t think the authorities would be all that amused. ;-)

  20. You should have given it more of a chance, for all you know some rich guy who’s into tech might pop in and decide to spend 400K
    It might seem – and be – unlikely, but you have wozniak and that elon musk dude and lots of those people who are into tech and have a lot of cash and are capable of doing odd things.

  21. Thanks for trying so hard though! I love hackaday, and our new overlords would have to really cock it up to make me stop going here.

    I hope you and Mike are sticking around and still writing?

  22. what percentage of H.A.D. users “use” thier credit-card to do online purchasing?
    what are their telephone numbers? street address? ages? middle-names?
    looks like someone now knows all these things…

    PS: it was fun and lasted longer then anyone could have expected
    unfortunately, modding websites always eventually get modded :P

    1. Nah, all done through Indiegogo. Who are at the very least, we can assume, not credit card thieves. They’ve got a business they think’s going to make them rich legitimately, maybe it will. So they’ve fairly low motivation to start selling piles of printouts on Nigerian market stalls.

  23. >>>>
    As for the people who vomited vitriol against me in the comments of the crowdfunding announcement, I also have two words for you.

    Don’t you think that some vitriol was justified?

    You were begging for a half million dollars so you could buy out the place you worked for and be your own boss, whilst at the same time offering nothing to the people who would have helped you. (stickers don’t count!)

    Plenty of people said that they would have invested, in a company, and would have been happy with a modest return, and there were plenty of way that you could have made that work, if you’d wanted to.

    Even the figures that you posted showed that per year you’d have a better rate of return than most existing financial products! so if you would have done the work properly, you probably would be your own boss by now!

    But you were only interested in 100% personal ownership on the goodwill of readers.

    Have fun working for the next man

    1. The goal was to keep this site the way it is now, him being his own boss was just a side benefit. Most of us, including Brian are worried that once HaD is passed onto someone else they’ll destroy it. This entire thing, at least from my perspective (And yes I did donate) was to ensure this site stayed the same.

  24. W T F !!!!!!?
    I take a hiatus from the Internet and what the fuck happens?1? The last I heard Jason was looking to move on to other projects, ok, that shit happens. I remember reading a couple of members comments that if a reasonable deal could be struck, they would be interested in taking the reins. cool. I go about taking care of some business of my own and $500K ?!?, Indiegogo, Calebs gone?!? Maybe I just missed the caleb thing earlier but I wasn’t away that long. How long do fundraising campaigns like Indiegogo and kickstarter normally run for? More than a week, right? Was this one even given a fair shot? I guess I’m going to have to check it out myself. Okay, just did. That makes no sense at all!! A Sticker??? I thought they were talking like selling stocks or shares or something. And Forgive me for being skeptical, but between only giving it a week, and then throwing in the towell (while announcing “Not to worry, found a buyer et al.) before the campaign is even done (vs. IDK actually beating the drums and uh, campaigning) reeks of a dog and pony show.
    Like they didn’t mean it.

    For what its worth, I’ll continue to check the site out as long as there is something relevent here and the comment section isn’t edited (sanitized).

    As for the spelling grammar and punctuation… FUCK YOU Mrs. Nessbaum! I took enough of your shit in High School!


    1. There’s a very good reason why they did not offer stock in exchange of contributions.

      Here’s an article talking about the legal requirements for “capital contribution” or shares in the company.


      According to the article, the cost of meeting the legal requirements will exceed the revenue cap that the jobs act put on using crowd funding to a means to raise money for businesses ventures.

  25. This is exactly why I don’t post my own hacks… Not into open source because moochers like HaD (or arduino a day, really) can take my project, plagerize the hell out of my own write up, steal my ideas, and post them and then make $$$ off of my hard work and brain child. SCREW THAT AND SCREW YOU. Oh and Jason, I hope you buy yourself something nice with all that $$$ you made off of everyone elses backs.. BRAVO!

    1. That’s not how HaD works… They don’t steal or plagiarize other people’s work. They promote them and link to them so that your ideas can get exposure, interest and like minded people weigh in on them. It’s not like they have secret HaD agents trying to get all of your precious secrets off of your encrypted drive.

      Well, just to be safe, you should really disconnect yourself from the interwebs too so that all of your wonderful hacks and ideas aren’t tarnished by content you might be exposed to at sites like HaD. Work in a vacuum for a while and see how that works for you.

    2. If you’re planning on making a business out of your brainchildren, of course you should keep them secret until the patents come through. Most hacks here aren’t supposed to be money-spinners though. And the ones that are (SpaceX and stuff like that) generally don’t give away the full blueprints.

  26. I have now seen the ugly underbelly of the internet.

    It staggers me that so many people feel entitled to be so abusive over something on the Internet that they have no personal stake in.

    Get a life. . . and if $500k seems like a vast fortune to you. . . I’m sorry?

    – Robot

    1. Maybe you should ask why they quit; They quit raising funds. Even if they didn’t reach the $500,000, the writers here leaving would have made the transition of Hackaday less profitable and it would have been blackmail. Any funds they raised could have been for salary and starting a new Hackaday website with a different name.

      They quit.

      Does anyone want to raise $500,000 so I can be in business? No? Why not? Not so generous?

        1. In addition, you can’t legally use money raised for a specific project on an unrelated project. That is called misappropriations of funds. To safely use such raised funds, the alternate projects must be clearly mentioned in the fund raiser.

  27. So… what happens to the money that been donated? Was this a clever way to raise $30,000? Why is Jason saying “We”? Was he part of the crowdfunding campaign? Lets get some clarity of the whole messed up situation, and put it behind us.

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