I'm building a HackerNews reader for people that love HackerNews. There are many readers out there, but they always leave me wanting more so I decided to build it.
This is a modest for-profit venture - my goal is to offer a reader that offers a better reader experience for free with some great power features for passionate users.
Here's what happened.
I was given $5000 in AWS startup credits to work on this. I had some servers running for testing purposes and was trying IOPS provisioned disks for faster performance.
I must have made a mistake in the calculations ($0.065 vs $.0065) and what I thought would be an expense of about $200 a month was really about $2000/month.
So I set up the servers and things were going fine - I wasn't really using them yet (they were scraping content, not serving it). I was continuing development on my laptop and for a few months I got a AWS bill of $0.00.
What was quietly happening is that I using up all my credits. I am new to AWS so I didn't realize how to see the real costs. I would have expected the bill would say something like "Usage Costs: $2000, Credits applied: $2000, Balance Due: $0.00"
So this month I get a bill for $1800 (some credits were still applied). I contacted AWS support and explained the situation. I shut off all my servers so as not to incur more costs. I wasn't refusing the bill - I take responsibility for my mistake. But I really can't afford to pay this now. I've been using my own savings to work on it and I'm at the end of my funding. See:
AWS support was not helpful - they had already taken the money from my bank and wouldn't refund it. I was already given $5000 in credits and I couldn't get any more. They didn't seem bothered that their billing system was hiding the expense. People in the startup program are the new to AWS and the billing system and most likely to make dumb mistakes like this.
I'm about a month away from launching the site and I'm working on raising a little money for the idea (it can turn a profit). But this extra expense is very difficult for me to handle and my bank is in overdraft almost to the limit.
I'm asking for your help to cover this expense and help me bring the project to light.
The site is going to be a subscription service at $15/year (great price for all the features for an HN addict).
Anyone that can help with a donation of $20 will get a lifetime subscription.
If you can give more, I'll think of a gift appropriate for the level.
If, after the launch, you're not happy with the site or don't think it's worth the price, I'll refund your money.
Thank you and happy HNing!Yehosef