When Hacker News Brought a Visitor from the UK to our Doorstep in Singapore

  

Everyone knows that your site gets bombarded with (virtual) visitors when any of your pages trends on Hacker News. We’ve been fortunate to have that happen twice recently thanks to posts about our experience with conferences and our mad weekend code sprint.

What may not be apparent is that trending on Hacker News can also send real human visitors, you know, the kind with blood and flesh. We had one such visitor yesterday!

At around 5.40 pm I received a phone call from a gentleman with a British accent: ‘Hi I am Rami. I am here in Singapore on a personal visit. Can I meet with you today?’

My initial reaction was: ‘Huh?‘. Then he mentions that he has got a flight to catch in a few hours and he would really like to meet us before that. The next question was obviously ‘How do you know me?’. It turns out he is an active Hacker News reader and had read both of our (link-bait) blog posts that trended on HN. He really liked them and wanted to meet us before heading back to the UK. Its not very often that someone calls and insists on meeting me (except, my mom of course =)), so I didn’t want to say no.

When he called me, I was with my team mates doing a draft of our YC Application (gentle reminder: the deadline is on the 28th of March 2012). We were kinda zoned out and felt that it would be good to chill out a little bit.

I was also pretty nervous. I was meeting a complete stranger out of the blue. What if this guy turned out to be an axe-wielding psychopath? And he’s also got my phone number. Thankfully we were in a pretty crowded spot (The Starbucks outlet at University Town) and @govind201 (apparently) is a karate black-belt holder (I have yet to verify it).

Rami finally arrived at the Starbucks outlet an hour later. All my fears of facing off with an axe-wielding psychopath immediately disappeared after seeing him. He seemed like a really nice guy.

Rami turned out to be Mr Rami Chowdhury, an entrepreneur who did his bachelors in Political Science and Economics at Oxford University.

Installed Linux on his computer, fell in love with it and decided to change careers. #Respect. After earning a Masters in Computer Science, he is now working on a bunch of projects, and is the CTO of Kliqed.

For the next one hour, we chatted about things ranging from business stuff (raising funds, the startup scene in Singapore, his YC application) to the more exciting tech stuff (our respective tech stacks, key-value databases and finally a lengthy discussion on graph-based databases).

It was a great chat and we at Semantics3 learned a lot from him. Thanks Rami for visiting us and good luck with your startup!

Oh btw, he is also heading to PyCon. So if you are there, please say hi to him.

Published at: March 07, 2012

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