Thursday, April 9, 2015

Kickstarter Talks

A great evening at Kickstarter HQ here in Greenpoint! Three fantastic talks about processes they use there:

  1. Kumquat: Rendering Graphs and Data from R into Rails, by Fred Benenson, Head of Data.
  2. Rack::Attack: Protect your app with this one weird gem! by Aaron Suggs, Engineering Lead.
  3. Testing Is Fun Again, by Rebecca Sliter, Engineer.

It is always great to see uses of ggplot, especially on data upon which I also use ggplot, and I got to talk to Aaron about the throttling they do to stop malicious scrapers (I fall into the non-malicious camp of course!).

They have a really great little auditorium and they were pretty awesome and had some text to speech system for anyone who was hearing impaired -- that's the bright rectangle in the lower left (it's washed out due to contrast).
Here is Aaron talking about throttling overly requesty processes, which I found really funny since I have scraped Kickstarter but hopefully for good not for evil. 
Finally, here is a ggplot chart I made of some Kickstarter data, for Music, US projects, with various other long-winded details, but this shows that, out of those who succeeded on their first project (blue line), people with a lower pledged/funder ratio (left side) were slightly more likely to do a second project (higher on the Y axis) than those with a higher pledged/funder ratio. We call this ratio "the sugar daddy" measure, since if you are higher on this measure, maybe your rich uncle came in at the last minute to save your project.