Translation from Startup-Speak to English of Selected Portions of This Opening for a Technical Co-founder

Nothing frustrates me more than a job posting for a designer or developer asking for such a broad spectrum of skills that finding such candidates might also mathematically prove the existence of unicorns. Nor do I have much patience for people who try to appeal to some kind of 'hacker' type persona in an effort to ask the unreasonable.

So without further ado, I present to you this gem which just popped up on Hacker News (and will probably be gone very shortly).

I'm an entrepreneur with over 14 years of experience as a web designer and developer. I used to own an interactive design agency and I recently co-founded, designed, and developed a custom social network for a niche industry.

I have a lot of experience building brochure-ware sites from my home office using Dreamweaver and occasionally copy / paste Wordpress snippets I found online.

I'm currently looking for a hacker to act as co-founder and potentially CTO of a new web startup that I will be applying to Y Combinator with. If you don't know what Y Combinator is, don't bother contacting me.

I'm a busy business-man trying to make business happen with other businesses. I'm sorry you've been too busy writing awesome production code to spend all your time online reading Hacker News, but I can't take five minutes to explain a simple concept to you. Besides, this is the Valley. If you can't namedrop at least five VCs within three minutes, you're useless to me.

... so this is for SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY! Additionally, if you're not a programming badass, a true hacker, then please don't apply.

Serious business if serious. It is so serious, in fact, that I felt it necessary to use phrases like "programming badass" and "true hacker" to convey the seriousness of this situation.

I'm a good programmer and can do all of the things I listed, but I'm looking for someone who's better than me!

I'm clearly impressed with myself, and already overqualified for this position. This means that I will second-guess you every step of the way, monkey around with your production code and constantly challenge your own expertise to assert my dominance at everything.

You must be a master of (at minimum):
PHP (Object Oriented Design)
JavaScript, jQuery, and AJAX
MySQL or SQLite

You know, LAMP. A solid, time-tested approach to developing websites and applications.

Ideally you would also be a badass in:
Ruby on Rails
Node.js
YUI

LAMP is boooring. A true badass uses Rails. And Node. Together. And we all know that true Node.js hackers use YUI. Right?

You'd be even cooler if you were ninja in:
Python
Mobile Web Application development
Mobile App Development (iOS, etc.)

Despite being a highly efficient programmer / designer / business person myself, this startup idea is so ill-formed I can't even figure out which technology platform to use, so you should know all of them (but no Java or C#, because statically typed languages are for nerds, not badass hackers like you). Also, we'll need both a mobile web app and native mobile app. You can do all of that right? Because you are a ninja. See how I threw in one more inane buzzword compliment there to appeal to your ego?

This is the big leagues. Big responsibilities and big money are at stake..

I am high as a kite.

(FYI, I'll introduce myself and give you a full background on who I am after you contact me.)

While I require you to give me all your information and proven examples of work and experience, I will simply remain an unknown quantity while you try and decide if you're read to meet my unreasonable demands.


Some credit to for this article goes to both Mark Pilgrim and John Gruber for pioneering / perfecting the classic PR-Speak to English format. This was not meant as an attack on the actual poster or his idea. It is simply what a jaded, cynical developer hears when he reads posts like this.