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Does Hacker News Deliver Value For Startups Or Just Y Combinator?

Paul Graham is really clever.An accident or is Paul Graham really clever?Y-Combinator has been an amazing Silicon Valley startup incubator that has been copied in cities around the world. Yet it remains the dominant brand when it comes to startup accelerators. Is this an accident or is Paul Graham really clever?

Case and point, Hacker News is a simple no frills message board that lets anyone post anything startup related. Anyone can start discussing the topic right there. Yes, this is the lost grandfather of Digg and Quora. Hacker News is surprisingly engaging and effective at creating discussion. No doubt in large part due to Y-Combinators magnetic ability to attract and spin passionate techies and entrepreneurs in their early to mid 20s. That demographic has lots of energy.

A person a minute was visiting my article from Y-Combinator.I recently posted an article from this blog to Hacker News, "Does Slide Share Drive Engagement?". I logged into my Google Analytics account four hours later and 200 people had visited the site from Hacker News. Great, amazing, wonderful, it was working, people were discussing my article and engaging. A person a minute was visiting my article from Y-Combinator.

Until I logged into Hacker News to contribute to the lively discussion, I couldn't find the article. As it turns out Hacker News had buried my submission, precisely because it was getting rapid traction. Its their site they can do what they want, no argument there.

However, if Hacker News caps the success of a post then is it worth posting to? Posting to Hacker News seems to guarantee a maximum return, around 200 visits at best. Why would Hacker News limit the success of its members?

I need to post this to HN... technically its about Y-Combinator.For one thing Hacker News is run by Y-Combinator, they have an inherent interest to keep Y-Combinator stories prominent. Hacker news lets me post only in so far as I lend credibility to the other Y-Combinator articles. Very typical Silicon Valley approach, Paul Graham lets you play as long as you're lifting him up. So now that we're clear about that... I need to post this to Hacker News... technically its about Y-Combinator.

Written By: Paul Kenjora

Paul Kenjora is the Product Manager and founder at AwareLabs, a company that provides the next generation website builder for small businesses. He has 10+ years product development experience, has launched sites netting millions of visits a day, and has consulted for fortune 500 companies.